the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2021-Jun-10 today archive

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

Self-Driving Waymo Trucks To Haul Loads Between Houston and Fort Worth

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: On Thursday morning, Waymo announced that it is working with trucking company JB Hunt to autonomously haul cargo loads in Texas. Class 8 JB Hunt trucks equipped with the autonomous driving software and hardware system called Waymo Driver will operate on I-45 in Texas, taking cargo between Houston and Fort Worth. However, the trucks will still carry humans -- a trained truck driver and Waymo technicians -- to supervise and take over if necessary.

"This will be one of the first opportunities for JB Hunt to receive data and feedback on customer freight moved with a Class 8 tractor operating at this level of autonomy. While we believe there will be a need for highly skilled, professional drivers for many years to come, it is important for JB Hunt as an industry leader to be involved early in the development of advanced autonomous technologies and driving systems to ensure that their implementation will improve efficiency while enhancing safety," said Craig Harper, chief sustainability officer at JB Hunt. "We're thrilled to collaborate with JB Hunt as we advance and commercialize the Waymo Driver," said Charlie Jatt, head of commercialization for trucking at Waymo. "Our teams share an innovative and safety-first mindset as well as a deep appreciation for the potential benefits of autonomous driving technology in trucking. It's companies and relationships like these that will make this technology a commercial reality in the coming years."

Re:Time to start charging for road damage.

By creimer • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

this innovation is already putting millions of truckers out of a job

There's a shortage of truck drivers. With retirees outnumbering workers in the U.S., autonomous trucks is the solution for that problem.

Re:Time to start charging for road damage.

By q_e_t • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The other solution is support for training. If you are already doing a job then you probably don't have the time (or money) to do the training courses required and if you don't have a job then you probably have the time, but less likely the money. It creates a barrier to entry, so even when unemployment is significant (I'd look at workforce participation excluding retirees not the unemployment rate - these figures are available) it may not be possible to fill jobs. The questions is should support for training be offered, and if so how.

These are questions that crop up with regularity as the needs of the economy change, and the cost of training needs to be balanced against the cost of having be people unproductive and the knock-on effects in the economy. For example, if a change in the economy means that widget tappers are no longer required then this might mean a drain on the economy to support unemployed widget tappers and the reduction in growth because widget tappers, even with unemployment benefits, aren't spending much. In that context even the government stepping in and training widget tappers to be reiki healers might be worth it if there's a demand for that, it gets them supporting the economy again and there is a sufficiently long-term demand for that. It might not be appropriate to train then as long-distance truck drivers, though, if it looks like there would be insufficient demand for that long-term as you'd need to train them again.

Yes, you can make the argument that people should have personal responsibility and ensure they have skills that are up-to-date, but the reality is for many that they don't have the money to take courses, or not the time to do that if they are doing things like raising children at the same time, or be prepared to give up all their free time to guess at what skills might be required in five years' time should they need a new job. People have conflicting demands on time and money and to expect everyone to be able to do it is unrealistic, so there will always be a need for an element which is in reaction to changes that have or are occurring rather than personal, proactive steps. I'd agree that taking steps yourself makes sense, of course.

Well this is going to end well

By DrXym • Score: 3 • Thread
"Gentlemen, fully autonomous vehicles haven't been proven to work anywhere, so let's scale them up and introduce all kinds of new, oh so glorious catastrophic failure modes!"

Re:Time to start charging for road damage.

By gtall • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I doubt that. The MBAs running our companies will see their costs go up with more trucks rather than fewer. The savings in personnel will, by that time, be declared history and already factored into the year-end bonuses given for how many fewer employees the trucking companies must support.

Re:Time to start charging for road damage.

By jcr • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

the major cost is the driver's wages


The biggest cost is fuel. Driver salary is more like a quarter of the cost of operating a truck.
An autonomous truck prioritizing fuel economy is likely to outperform a human driver on saving fuel.


Laughing Gas Can Help Treat Depression, Small Study Finds

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
PolygamousRanchKid shares a report from Gizmodo: A dose of laughing gas may just help some people with hard-to-treat depression, suggests a new, small clinical trial published Wednesday. The study found that people who inhaled nitrous oxide reported improvements in their depression symptoms afterward. It also found that people felt similar improvements with a smaller dose as they did with a larger one, but experienced substantially fewer side effects. Nitrous oxide (NO) is a colorless, non-flammable gas at room temperature that's long been used as an anesthetic and sometimes as a recreational drug, due to the euphoria and dissociative hallucinations it can cause upon inhalation. But several years ago, Peter Nagele, a researcher and trauma anesthesiologist at the University of Chicago, and his colleagues began looking into nitrous oxide as a potential treatment for depression.

The small trial recruited 28 participants in a crossover design, which is when all the volunteers go through each of the trial's conditions and their responses are compared to one another (as opposed to two or more distinct groups that either take the drug or placebo). The team found that these volunteers on average experienced a greater improvement in depression symptoms when they took the nitrous oxide at either dose than they did after taking the placebo (based on the primary survey they completed) -- an improvement that lasted for up to two weeks. Some doctors and patients had been using generic ketamine, taken through IV, as an experimental depression treatment for years. But Johnson & Johnson didn't fund expensive clinical trials to secure an approval for ketamine as a depression treatment; it instead developed a patentable form taken as a nasal spray, called esketamine. That sort of commercialization isn't something that's possible with nitrous oxide, according to Nagale.
The study has been published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Explain something to me

By Krishnoid • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Hasn't this been used for over a century for dental anaesthesia? Wouldn't an effect like this have been noticed in depression-suffering individuals coming in for major dental work, in all that time?

Used it in college.

By RightSaidFred99 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

It's a weird experience if you've never done it. The main thing I remember is for me I'd always hear this like droning, repetitive "whomp whomp whomp" noise that's hard to describe as you start coming back to your senses. And when you are coming out of it (it only lasts a few seconds from a balloon) you feel like you just had a conversation or were listening to someone and had a whole long experience of something but you don't remember the details, a bit like coming out of a dream you don't quite remember.

Hmm.. now I kind of want to try it again, it's been 25 years.

Life-threatening misinformation in summary

By Wdi • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

Laughing gas is *NOT* nitrous oxide (NO). Nitrous oxide is a highly toxic gas. Inhaling it WILL KILL YOU. The study used dinitrogen oxide (aka laughing gas), which has the molecular formula N2O. That is a very different compound.

Re:Life-threatening misinformation in summary

By yo303 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Mod down. NO is nitric oxide, and is a gaseous signaling molecule used by most living creatures. It will hurt you if inhaled in high concentrations. N2O is nitrous oxide, or laughing gas.


By RockDoctor • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Supposing ketamine is significantly better than esketamine

Taking your question slightly more seriously than it is intended (I suspect), my bet (to the value of a litre of beer, no more) is that "better" applies to the sum of (intended effects) + (side effects), and the difference being in the (side effects) part of "better".

If you're looking at home treatment (i.e., not depression severe enough to require hospitalisation), then the range of common side effects from IV treatment includes missing the vein, major mis-dosing, and lethal sepsis from not cleaning the injection site properly on your 345th injection of the year. All of which have considerably smaller consequences in a hospital setting.

The nasal spray form, since it doesn't involve breaking the skin, has a different profile of side effects to the IV form.
You could well argue that the oral tablet route also has "doesn't break the skin" advantages, but since ketamine is already a relatively popular drug of abuse, that has other side effects to consider.

IMF Sees Legal, Economic Issues With El Salvador Bitcoin Move

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
The International Monetary Fund said on Thursday it has a number of economic and legal concerns regarding the move from El Salvador to make bitcoin a parallel legal tender. Reuters reports: El Salvador has become the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as legal tender, with President Nayib Bukele touting its use for its potential to help Salvadorans living abroad to send remittances back home. "Adoption of bitcoin as legal tender raises a number of macroeconomic, financial and legal issues that require very careful analysis," said Gerry Rice, an IMF spokesman, during a scheduled press briefing. "We are following developments closely, and we'll continue our consultations with the authorities." Rice said the Fund will later on Thursday meet with Bukele to discuss the bitcoin law. El Salvador is in discussions with the IMF seeking a near $1 billion program. Hours after his announcement, Bukele 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."

Re: Of course it does

By saloomy • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Why was this modded down? He is right. The IMF is a cog in the modern financial order and will seek to maintain status quo. Bitcoin is a cog in the future financial order.

Re:Legal Issues

By cfalcon • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

> How so?
If El Salvador is a sovereign nation, then they can do this silly thing with bitcoin and no one will fuck with them.
If in fact the IMF is warning them, then you'll soon see extreme economic measures being applied to El Salvador. Possibly they will call Nayib Bukele, who won a general election in 2019, a "dictator".

In fact, here is his wikipedia page, it doesn't call him a dictator yet, maybe you should fix that?

If they are not REALLY a sovereign nation, then you will see that they will not be permitted to do the thing that they want to do.


By DMJC • Score: 3 • Thread
Now that the US military has failed to control the oil trade, they can go back to doing what they do best: Suppressing Democracies in South America. Get ready for Freedom El Salvadore! America is coming to liberate you from Bitcoin's Tyranny!

Re:IMF looks out for its own

By Luckyo • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Bitcoin is prone to wild swings because it's a speculative tool of investment with no real world value beyond being hard to trace way to launder money. Be it as payment for ransomware decryption, or taking money out of systems with currency controls/sanctions.

That means that its value swings as various nations with currency controls putting new limits on bitcoin to real currency exchange and ransomware gangs getting hit, taking them temporarily offline.

Re:IMF looks out for its own

By ranton • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Saying things like crypto is only used for drugs and laundering just makes you look like a poorly informed fool.

He isn't really that wrong. It is believed that only about 2% of Bitcoin transactions are for criminal activity, but that doesn't consider the fact that only 1.3% of Bitcoin transactions come from merchants. The vast majority of the transactions are mere currency speculation. So for actual economic activity using Bitcoin as anything other than a speculative investment, criminal activity is still the primary use of Bitcoins when purchasing goods and services.

'CryptoPunk' NFT Sells For $11.8 Million At Sotheby's

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
phalse phace writes: A non-fungible token of a digital artwork called a "CryptoPunk" was sold for $11.8 million on Thursday, according to a tweet by auction house Sotheby's. The NFT was sold as part of the Sotheby's online auction "Natively Digital: A Curated NFT Sale," which runs from June 3-10 and features work by 27 digital artists. CryptoPunks are a series of 10,000 unique pixel-art characters made by Larva Labs in 2017. The individual one sold by Sotheby's -- "CryptoPunk #7523" -- is of the sought-after Alien variety with blue-green skin, and wearing a medical mask. Two other Alien CryptoPunk NFTs have sold for more than $7 million each in previous sales. According to Reuters, it was bought by Israeli entrepreneur Shalom Meckenzie, who is the largest shareholder of digital sports company DraftKings.

Re: I don't understand NFTs.

By daten • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
It's money laundering. Like grey market "fine art". They're not really paying millions for the digital asset alone.

NFT Blockchain? Hackers are Welcome.

By geekmux • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I can only hope and pray the blockchain that literally creates value for the more prominent NFTs, is compromised and destroyed.

Perhaps then we'll finally be able to convince the ignorant masses who believe in this NFT shit-ware.

I just copied it!

By cjonslashdot • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
And now I have it too - for $0!!!! Suckers!!!

non-fungible token sounds like a rotten mushroom

By thesjaakspoiler • Score: 3 • Thread

couldn't they come up something more exiting like ArtCoin or Coinye?

Re:non-fungible token sounds like a rotten mushroo

By q_e_t • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
You could take that idea all the way to the Banksy.

Linux Foundation Readies Global COVID Certificate Network

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet: The Linux Foundation Public Health (LFPN) is getting the Global COVID Certificate Network (GCCN) ready for deployment. The GCCN [...] really is a coronavirus vaccine passport. It will do this by establishing a global trust registry network. This will enable interoperable and trustworthy exchanges of COVID certificates among countries for safe reopening and provide related technology and guidance for implementation. It's being built by the Linux Foundation Public Health and its allies, Affinidi, AOKPass, Blockchain Labs, Evernym, IBM, Indicio.Tech, LACChain, Lumedic, Proof Market, and ThoughtWorks. These companies have already implemented COVID certificate or pass systems for governments and industries. Together they will define and implement GCCN. This, it's hoped, will be the model for a true international vaccine registry.

Once completed, the GCCN's trust registry network will enable each country to publish a list of the authorized issuers of COVID certificates that can be digitally verified by authorities in other countries. This will bridge the gap between technical specifications (e.g. W3C Verifiable Credentials or SMART Health Card) and a complete trust architecture required for safe reopening. This is vital because as Brian Behlendorf, the Linux Foundation's General Manager for Blockchain, Healthcare, and Identity explained, "The first wave of apps for proving one's COVID status did not allow that proof to be shown beyond a single state or nation, did not avoid vendor lock-in and did not distinguish between rich health data and simple passes. The Blueprint gives this industry a way to solve those issues while meeting a high bar for privacy and integrity, and GCCN turns those plans into action."

Once in place, the GCCN will support Global COVID Certificates (GCC). These certificates will have three use cases: Vaccination, recovery from infection, and test results. They will be available in both paper and digital formats. Participating governments and industry alliances will decide what COVID certificates they issue and accept. The GCC schema definitions and minimal datasets will follow the recommendations of the Blueprint, as well as GCCN's technical and governance documents, implementation guide, and open-source reference implementations, which will be developed in collaboration with supporting organizations and the broader LFPH community. Besides setting the specs and designs, the GCCN community will also offer peer-based implementation and governance guidance to governments and industries to help them implement COVID certificate systems. This will include how to build national and state trust registries and infrastructure. They'll also provide guidance on how to leverage GCC into their existing coronavirus vaccine systems.

Re:No thank you

By Arethan • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Sorry, but there shouldn't be an automatic assumption that being against a registry also implies being against vaccination. That's broken logic. Correlation != causation. Some people are just plain against having their names put on lists.

Furthermore, I don't see how creating a registry meaningfully improves the overall situation or encourages vaccination participation. If anything, making lists like this is more likely to just create angst, and it gives people one more excuse to avoid participation (just to buck the system).

People that wanted a vaccine have had plenty of time to get one. People that don't want it should be allowed to roll the dice.
If you're still concerned about your own safety, you should consider getting yourself vaccinated (since self protection is one of the prime benefits) or perhaps move to a place with less concentration of people.

Re: No thank you

By jdawgnoonan • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
I'm vaccinated and unlike a lot of these people I'm not afraid of people who are not. These people who want these systems just want a license to discriminate or to control other people in my opinion. I do not want more of my private information in damned systems.

Re:No thank you

By markdavis • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

>"The continually evolving variants likely won't take your natural immunity into account either."

My natural immunity? I never had COVID-19, I was vaccinated. And from what we know so far, it isn't any more effective on "variants" than natural immunity is. Probably isn't any less, either.

Regardless, "Vaccine passports" are anti-civil-rights, anti-freedom, anti-privacy, and anti-American. The whole concept is moot, anyway. Between the high percentage of natural and vaccine immunity, we have already reached an end to the pandemic in the USA (and many other countries). The data clearly shows this. It is very unlikely variants will change that at this point.

Billions around the world are desperate for shots

By iamacat • Score: 3 • Thread

But Linux foundation thinks the most important thing is to help bully people who don't want them in rich countries? This doesn't make sense even from pure nationalist point of view, because we can target surplus shots to places and individuals that we deem most likely to spread virus widely and generate new variants. Vaccinating a taxi driver in India may well reduce danger to yourself more than vaccinating your next door neighbor.

Re:No thank you

By markdavis • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

>"CDC recommends vaccination for previously infected people because..."

I agree that it *could* lead to a better protection. Of course, it can also lead to an immune over-response by some individuals. I am likely to seek a booster at the end of the year, if one is developed that covers a wider spectrum than my original vaccination in Feb. At this point, I don't think variants will become a big problem, but it is a bit too soon to know for sure.

I would still oppose any of it being mandatory or proving any of it to participate in normal freedoms through some "passport" thing. But I strongly support vaccine research, education, development, promotion, and even making them available at no charge.

Reddit Ends Secret Santa Gift-Giving Platform

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Reddit is shutting down the beloved Secret Santa platform Reddit Gifts after the 2021 holiday season. Gizmodo reports: Over the years, the related forum r/secretsanta has attracted over 200,000 members and celebrity surprises such as a cat drawing by Arnold Schwarzennegger, an autographed photo of Shaq, and annual thoughtful gift packages from Bill Gates containing items such as video games, a horse blanket, and 81 pounds of books and toys. "Why the fuck would you kill this," a top comment reads. Reddit admins didn't explain much in their announcement yesterday but acknowledged that "countless acts of love, heroism, compassion, support, growth and hilarity happened through Reddit Gifts, and those memories will live on in the hearts of our community." Plus loads of free press. Why the fuck would you kill this? Reddit has not yet responded to Gizmodo's request for comment.

Re:Or a parasite

By adfraggs • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Ah, the spirit of Christmas: where we get upset and sue because we didn't get a present.

People still go to reddit?

By shm • Score: 3, Informative • Thread

Reddit used to be interesting if you had a thick skin and filtered out their trolls. Especially the technical groups had some very knowledgeable people.

Now itâ(TM)s a hive of tumblr refugees who take offense at anything.

âoeUSB masterâ is enough to get some asinine dolt upset

No comment = HR talk

By stikves • Score: 3 • Thread

It is very likely someone in the HR received a "gift" that they did not like. This kind of thing happens all the time, and "fun" is shut down immediately, especially in larger companies.

I personally ran into this several times, but for obvious reasons I cannot share (ask HR).


By RJFerret • Score: 3 • Thread

Looking at the announcement (so heavily downvoted I missed it yesterday) and the original user who started it before Reddit took it over has already picked up the mantle again per r/NewSecretSanta my bet is the return on investment doesn't pay off for the company.

Re:It's obvious

By grub • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Forgot to change accounts, eh? How embarassing.

Google Kills Measure, its AR-based Measurement-Taking App

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The latest thing to be shuttered by Google is an app. AndroidPolice blog writes: Google's AR plans have changed over the years, from the standalone Project Tango to modern web-based efforts. But it's the AR-based Measure app that's the subject of today's eulogy. The app leveraged your camera on ARCore-supported devices to (as the name suggests) measure the dimensions of stuff, and now it's being retired. Google has suspended both support and updates for Measure.

Re:This ia as expected..

By Krishnoid • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
In all fairness, they were probably getting pressure from big, uh, laser rangefinder and big tape measure. You don't want to mess with those guys.

Not that it's a big deal, but...

By King_TJ • Score: 3 • Thread

Apple still has this capability with a "Measure" app they include as part of iOS. So seems odd to me that Google would drop it, just telling people to go with third party alternatives.

Most likely it's self-preservation of sanity

By Randseed • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
Most likely Google was using it to spy on people and their employees got sick of people measuring their dicks.

Apple Hires Former BMW Executive for Its Rebooted Car Project

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Apple has hired Ulrich Kranz, a former senior executive at BMW AG's electric car division, to help lead its own vehicle efforts. Bloomberg reports: The technology giant hired Kranz in recent weeks, about a month after he stepped down as chief executive officer of Canoo, a developer of self-driving electric vehicles. Before co-founding Canoo, Kranz was senior vice president of the group that developed the i3 and i8 cars at BMW, where he worked for 30 years.

Kranz is one of Apple's most significant automotive hires, a clear sign that the iPhone maker is determined to build a self-driving electric car to rival Tesla and other carmakers. Kranz will report to Doug Field, who led development of Tesla's mass-market Model 3 and now runs Apple's car project, said the people, who requested anonymity to discuss a private matter. [...] Following successful stints at BMW's Mini division and teams working on sports cars and SUVs, Kranz was asked to run Project I, a battery-powered vehicle skunkworks started in 2008. It yielded the all-electric i3 compact and the plug-in hybrid i8 sports car. The former was panned by design critics, and production was very limited on the latter. Kranz left BMW in 2016 and soon became chief technology officer at Faraday Future, an electric vehicle startup based in Los Angeles. He stayed only three months, before co-founding Canoo. Both firms have struggled with their technology and ability to produce vehicles, while Canoo reportedly discussed selling itself to Apple and other companies.

The Apple of carts

By Frank Burly • Score: 3 • Thread
I think Apple is exactly the sort of lifestyle brand that could move very convincingly into electric cars, but isn't the i3 the BMW that nobody wants to drive or be seen in?

I can't wait

By Junta • Score: 3 • Thread

I'm looking forward to a car that will refuse to start if I install unauthorized third-party windshield wiper blades, and that will start limiting my car to 45 mph/70 kph when it is a couple of years out of date.

Apple should just start with electric cars

By Pinky's Brain • Score: 3 • Thread

Autonomous driving is a hard AI problem, especially on urban roads. The real reason why VW wants to charge for "autonomous" driving is because they anticipate it will require a fuckton of remote control rather than autonomy and remote control drivers require hourly wages.

Re: A car for who? Jeff Bezos?

By NFN_NLN • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

If I told you Apple would release a $1000 monitor stand before it happened you would say I was trolling -- and you'd be correct.

Narrator: That premium is also known as the "Apple tax," or paying more simply because it's an Apple product. The 256 GB MacBook Air, for example, costs $1,299, but you can get a more powerful Windows laptop for over $100 less. Apple's high prices reached meme proportions during the announcement of its Mac Pro in June 2019. Claps turned to gasps when John Ternus unveiled a $1,000 monitor stand as an add-on for the $5,000 Mac Pro display.

Still a weak move

By bill_mcgonigle • Score: 3 • Thread

I called it on BMW but it's still a weak-leader move. Apple can afford BMW - be bold, Tim.

CDC To Meet On Rare Heart Inflammation Following COVID Vaccine

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday that will convene an "emergency meeting" of its advisers on June 18th to discuss rare but higher-than-expected reports of heart inflammation following doses of the mRNA-based Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. So far, the CDC has identified 226 reports that might meet the agency's "working case definition" of myocarditis and pericarditis following the shots, the agency disclosed Thursday. The vast majority have recovered, but 41 had ongoing symptoms, 15 are still hospitalized, and 3 are in the intensive care unit. The reports represent just a tiny fraction of the nearly 130 million Americans who have been fully vaccinated with either Pfizer or Moderna's doses.

"It's a bit of an apples-to-oranges comparison because, again, these are preliminary reports. Not all these will turn out to be true myocarditis or pericarditis reports," cautioned Dr. Tom Shimabukuro, a CDC vaccine safety official. Shimabukuro said their findings were mostly "consistent" with reports of rare cases of heart inflammation that had been studied in Israel and reported from the U.S. Department of Defense earlier this year. The CDC is working on more data and analysis on the reports ahead of the emergency meeting of its own advisers next week, he said, and also planned to analyze the risk of heart inflammation posed by catching COVID-19. The new details about myocarditis and pericarditis emerged first in presentations to a panel of independent advisers for the Food and Drug Administration, who are meeting Thursday to discuss how the regulator should approach emergency use authorization for using COVID-19 vaccines in younger children.

Re:I had both a TIA and mild Myocarditis from it

By The Wily Coyote • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

- NO ONE is talking about natural immunity and that if you had a moderate case of covid (like mine) and recovered without any immune system deficiencies then you likely have just as robust of an immune response as those vaccinated.

I am not sure that's true. People can have Covid and not generate a long lasting immune response. At this point it's not clear why.

Re:Lung scarring

By im_thatoneguy • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Pericarditis or worse. I have a friend who had to have open heart surgery and then died almost a year later. Covid ate his heart. He was young too.

Re:Did they cut corners?

By im_thatoneguy • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Wildtype Covid has an overall Infection Fatality Rate of about 0.8% in the US (based on our age/demographics).

With the latest variants such as Delta (Indian) you're needing about 80-90% immunity to stop the spread. And that's assuming it wouldn't mutate further with that high of levels of infection.

0.008 IFR * 140 million Americans have now been fully vaccinated * 0.8 herd immunity factor * 0.9 vaccine effectiveness. = 800,000 deaths have been prevented by the vaccines.

3 people of those 140 million vaccinated Americans have gone into the ICU for treatment. 0 have died.

Even if all 3 die... even if those 3 are 1% of the actual number who developed problems in died. Even if you wildly inflated the assumptions about how many will die you're looking at 300 deaths vs 800,000 deaths.

What they're going to do is review the data and confirm that everybody receiving a vaccination is still less likely to die from the vaccine than Covid or if there are any groups they should carve out to not be recommended to receive vaccine. If it's only a problematic side effect in people with families who have a history of severe heart disease and if you're under 18 and have no risk factors for severe covid side effects they might say "Ok this 1% of the population should take the vaccine, but they should carefully monitor their condition."

But how many....

By tchdab1 • Score: 3 • Thread

....cases of myo- or pericarditis can you expect in 130 million people in this time frame? Theyâ(TM)re not all vaccine related; canâ(TM)t be.

Re: Did they cut corners?

By dirk • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I can't speak to the vaccine review process, but this is completely false for the drug review process. I would in the drug research sphere (I'm in IT, but I have been in it for over 20 years so I know how it works) and you are 100% incorrect. Phase 1 trials are conducted on healthy people. These are usually first in man studies looking for any side effects from the drug, so they want healthy people who are not on other medication. It then goes on to phase 2 trials, which are designed to see if the drug works. So if it is a high blood pressure drug, it is given to people with high blood pressure to see if the drug actually works and does what they want it to. These people are often on other medications. There is not a requirement they not be on other medications unless they know of negative interactions or the other drugs also may do something similar to the drug they are testing (which means the results could be skewed). Then the drug goes onto phase 3 trials which compare the drug to other drugs used for the same thing to see if the new drug performs better.

So as you can see, no, drugs are not "only ever tested on otherwise healthy people who aren't taking other medications or have other pre-existing health conditions". It is true they cannot test the interaction witha ll other drugs or conditions, since that would be practically impossible, but the idea that drugs are not tested on people with any other conditions is completely wrong.

Internal Data From Breach Circulating Online, Cyberpunk 2077-Maker CD Projekt Says

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Internal company data leaked during a February security breach is now being circulated on the internet, Polish video games maker CD Projekt said in a statement published on Thursday. From a report: The attack, which compromised some of its internal systems including the source code to its much-hyped game Cyberpunk 2077, dealt another blow to the Warsaw-based business after the game's launch was beset by glitches. read more "We are not yet able to confirm the exact contents of the data in question, though we believe it may include current/former employee and contractor details in addition to data related to our games," the statement said. It added that the company couldn't confirm whether or not the data has been manipulated or tampered with since the breach. Not a good day for game developers.

Re:Not necessarily a bad thing

By Ostracus • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Criminal acts to fix other people's problems. How low we've sunk. And there's nothing good about "borrowing" employee data.

Senate To Probe Whether Legislation Needed To Combat Cyber Attacks

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Thursday said he is initiating a review of recent high-profile cyber attacks on governments and businesses to find out whether a legislative response is needed. From a report: "Today I am asking Chairman Gary Peters of our Homeland Security Committee and our other relevant committee chairs to begin a government-wide review of these attacks and determine what legislation may be needed to counter the threat of cyber crime and bring the fight to the cyber criminals." Schumer noted that the New York City subway system was the victim of a computer hack in early June. This came on the heels of Colonial Pipeline having to shut down some operations, resulting in disrupted fuel supplies in the U.S. Southeast, as a result of a cyber attack.

So, they want to make cybercrimes illegal?

By CrimsonAvenger • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Somehow, I'd always had the impression that "crimes" implied "illegal". Of course, they could be trying to make it MORE illegal.

Which begs the question "if you couldn't catch them when it was only somewhat illegal, what makes you think making it more illegal will do anything at all?

Belly laugh from hell

By LostMyBeaver • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
7 years ago, I was called in to audit/review tenders from the major vendors for replacing the clusters in 6 data centers for a 3-letter organization within the US government (9-digit budget USD). I was asked to come in blind, and while I lacked the clearances to look at what was on these systems myself, I was able to request redacted reports once I got there. I had worked with this organization several times in the past and had earned a reputation for being brutally honest and biting the hand that feeds me if I felt it was the morally right thing to do.

me: "What is the reason for this upgrade"
them: "We're at 98% capacity and are popping in RAM and disks to hold us over at this point"
me: "Show me what they're running"
them: 'H--e's o-r red-ct-d -epor-"
me: "This is there because someone said your DC isn't running properly, so they sold you a 'fix all'"
"This is here to backup the fixall"
"This is here to monitor the fixall"
"This is here to monitor the backup to the fix all"
"The is here to provide faster storage for the systems which are monitoring the fix all and backing them up"
"This is here to migrate the VMs of the fixall and all it's collateral systems since they weren't setup as redundant"
"This is here to run a second copy of the fixall to fix the fixall in case the first fixall fails"
"This i here to backup the..."
"Oh look, there's an actual application used by your agency for actual agency business... wait... that's the old one. Where's the new one?"
Them: "We put that into one of the cloud providers as it wasn't high security"
Me: "Ok... let's continue"
"Here's another fixall"
"Here's all the shit to run the fixall"
"Oh, here's an exchange server"

When I was done, I found out that 97% of the current used capacity was for systems on systems on systems which ran systems... which did IT things... but didn't actually do anything the agency needed. This IS NOT an exaggeration. This is not a made up figure. There is a possibility for a margin of error, I'd be willing to say that maybe, best case, it was 92%.

What I do know is that almost every system was installed by a sub-sub-contractor because every 18 months, the agency legally has to circulate a tender to allow contractors to battle over who will run the system for the next 18 months. In most cases, the sub-subs will just be taken over by whoever wins the bid. In a lot of cases, the contactors go into overtime, are no longer able to pay the sub-subs during the negotiation phase, so the sub-subs move onto the next contract. So, the people who worked on all the systems for the last 18 months leave with tons of half finished shit in production.

So, I explained to the people working at this agency... the people wearing the fancy suits, not the cheap ones... they should invest $1-$5 million in removing the useless crap running on their data centers and free up 90%+ capacity and tell the vendors to screw off.

They did...

And two weeks later started a new tender for the same upgrade but for a different reason... because it's that or negotiate a new service agreement for the old stuff.

In my personal opinion, the reason why these systems get hacked is because the government has rules in place to keep adding to the problems and replacing perfectly good systems with "even better" systems and none of them ever get properly installed or up and running.

It's like "This isn't working, should I pay someone to sit down, figure out what the problem is and then orchestrate getting it done properly?" .... "I wouldn't know how to hire that person, whether to trust them, whether they know what they're doing, etc... I'll just call some consultants, let them rape me and hope that I can keep the doors open and lights on a little longer"

Re:how to fix that

By Areyoukiddingme • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Victimhood is a choice made by executives. Those expensive ransom payments which the customers, stock holders and tax payers were forced to fund were the consequence of executive decisions against good security practices such as keeping up with software security updates, intrusion detection, backups, security audits, and having an emergency recovery plan in place.

True as far as it goes. Unfortunately you can't legislate competence.

Government's usual (successful) response to this sort of thing is to authorize the executive branch to come up with security standards and then demand that government contractors follow them. Things like FIPS exist because of such efforts, and FIPS in particular is reasonably successful. Unfortunately there is no way to create a standard called "Secure Your Networks" and have it be anything useful.

Banning payment of ransoms would probably help, especially if one of the inordinately large number of federal law enforcement agencies was instructed to make specific efforts to enforce the ban, including finding secret payments. That's how you get executives' attention legally and appropriately, rather than trying to get the Supreme Court to uphold piercing the corporate veil, which the Trump Supreme Court definitely won't go for. Make paying a ransom a felony with no jail time ('cause non-violent offense) and a nice fat fine and see how fast the hacking industry dries up.

Follow the money?

By Zarquon • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Make any payments to the extortionists illegal and hold executives personally responsible if their company or contractors do so. Remove the profit motive.

Likely outcome

By MysteriousPreacher • Score: 3 • Thread

The review found that these crimes will be best addressed by requiring back doors into all encryption, further regulating crypto currency, and extending copyright terms for Disney.

Samsung Pushes Pixel Size Even Further With New Camera Sensor

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Samsung has announced a new image sensor for smartphone cameras that it says has the smallest pixels in the industry. From a report: The ISOCELL JN1 is a 50-megapixel sensor with a relatively tiny 1/2.76-inch format, meaning its pixels are just 0.64um in size. For comparison, Samsung already broke records in 2019 with the slightly larger ISOCELL Slim GH1, another 50-megapixel sensor with 0.7um pixels. Conventional camera wisdom says that smaller pixels usually result in worse image quality with higher noise, so why is Samsung doing this? According to the company, it's about form factor versatility. The sensor's smaller size means it can be used in ultrawide or telephoto camera modules -- which are challenging to design when size is at a premium -- or as a way to reduce the height of the primary camera bump. As with other high-resolution camera sensors, the JN1 will make use of pixel-binning technology that combines multiple pixels into one for higher light sensitivity. In this case, Samsung says the sensor will capture 12.5-megapixel photos with the equivalent of 1.28um pixels, and the company is also claiming a 16 percent boost to light sensitivity with its ISOCELL 2.0 tech.

In before...

By RightSaidFred99 • Score: 3 • Thread

Did I make it before some guy raised on ca. 2005 digital cameras chimes in with "but we all know the megapixel race is a scam! Who wants a 50-megapixel sensor it will be all noisy!!"

Ahh, conventional wisdom - some people just never let go of it.

Re:In before...

By RightSaidFred99 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

No, that's my exact point. People are so used to reflexively guffawing at the "megapixel race" that they don't bother understanding what's going on. It's like they think Samsung must be run by morons or something and they, SlashDot Nerdy Guy, are the only ones who know about how silly the "megapixel race" is.

Only it's not silly, the people at Samsung aren't morons, and they use pixel binning to get better metrics across a broader range of scenarios using a tiny 50mp sensor and utilizing various algorithms to pixel bin (or not, in some scenarios). So that 50mp sensor is better than a 12.5mp sensor in the same form factor. The replies to my post illustrate this lack of understanding.

I wonder what their refrain will be if/when a large form factor camera maker goes with the same strategy? "But muh megapixelz war is teh silly!!".

Do not want.

By msauve • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
" a way to reduce the height of the primary camera bump."

Or they could simply make the phone as thick as the cameras, providing room for a larger user replaceable battery, a micro SD card slot, and an audio jack. But nope, that doesn't provide the critical features of planned obsolescence, overpriced storage, and product tie-in

Pixels smaller than the wavelength of the light?

By john83 • Score: 3 • Thread
Visible light goes up to about 0.75 microns, a little bigger than these pixels. I wonder whether they have to do any processing to compensate? Of course, they're doing other post-processing anyway.

Uber Offers To Pay For Drivers' Health Insurance, and Then Yanks it Away

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Uber mistakenly sent out an email to some of its drivers and delivery workers last month offering to cover some of their health insurance costs -- only to revoke the offer two weeks later. From a report: On May 26th, an email from Uber with the enticing subject line "It's a great time to get health coverage" appeared in the inbox of an unspecified number of the company's drivers and delivery workers. When they opened the email, they were greeted by an even more alluring proposition: "Uber can help cover your healthcare costs." Drivers and couriers for Uber are classified as independent contractors, making them ineligible for employer-sponsored health insurance plans. For years, many of these workers have lobbied for more benefits and protections, only to face vicious opposition from Uber.

So one can only imagine the shock from drivers who opened this email and saw an offer for subsidies ranging from $613.77 to $1,277.54, depending on the type of insurance plan they had and the amount of hours they worked each week. That kind of money could be transformative for drivers, many of whom subsist on poverty-level wages and are struggling to find work amid a steep drop in demand during the pandemic. What could account for this radical change in position by Uber? As it turns out, nothing has changed. Uber intended only to send the email to drivers and delivery workers in California, and not any other state.

Wake up call

By FunkSoulBrother • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Maybe it will encourage some of these drivers to ask their own representatives why they don't have the same protections

The reason

By phalse phace • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Uber intended only to send the email to drivers and delivery workers in California, and not any other state.

And the reason is because of California's Prop. 22 which was left out of the summary

Under Prop 22, Uber and other gig work companies are required to “provide healthcare subsidies equal to 41 percent the average [California Coverage] premium for each month” for drivers and couriers “who average between 15 and 25 hours per week of engaged time.”

A drivers's co-op would be better than Uber

By presidenteloco • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Same kind of ride-coordinating software system as Uber, but run by the driver's co-op.

I've been suggesting this for a while, and I believe someone's actually trying it in New York now.

No boss. No external shareholders. Drivers democratically decide on governance and revenue distribution.


(The flip-side, if as a driver-member you want to complain, you're complaining to yourself, effectively.)

It will be interesting to see how this works out, and whether conditions for those co-op drivers are better than in the corporate model.

Netflix Opens an Online Shop To Hawk Items From Popular Shows

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Netflix is branching into toys, games and clothing based on its popular shows, looking to mine popular characters for added revenue much like Walt Disney. From a report: The streaming service is launching, a retail arm that will sell curated products from its catalog of shows and movies. As part of the launch, Netflix is introducing a collection of anime-inspired products, according to a statement Thursday. Products from other programs are in the works, too. The move into merchandising is a logical extension for Netflix. Other major studios generate billions of dollars in revenue from toys, collectibles and other goods based on popular characters and shows. [...] The shop will open in the U.S. before expanding to other countries, Netflix said.

It sounds like a plan

By xack • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Open a Netflix shop, where you can buy toys and rent dvds of your favorite Netflix shows. Get some popcorn and ice cream as well. It sounds like a blockbuster of a plan.

About Time

By crow • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Years ago I realized that movie theaters were leaving money on the table by not having a movie store where you could buy merchandise from the movie you just saw as you leave the theater. At a minimum, they should have had CDs of the soundtracks (I was saying this back when people bought CDs). So this linking of selling merchandise directly to watching a movie is something I've been expecting for decades.


By fermion • Score: 3 • Thread
In an interview for the new She-Ra the show runner talked about how she could be more diverse because there was no marketing tie. If the show was, as all kids show from that time were, to sell dolls then each doll had to have the same body with interchangeable heads. This of course was the power of MMPR where the action figures were just different colors and the actors were interchangeable by market, or TNMT where there was just a cloth difference.

Re:About Time

By tlhIngan • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Years ago I realized that movie theaters were leaving money on the table by not having a movie store where you could buy merchandise from the movie you just saw as you leave the theater. At a minimum, they should have had CDs of the soundtracks (I was saying this back when people bought CDs). So this linking of selling merchandise directly to watching a movie is something I've been expecting for decades.

The problem always was distribution. Soundtracks come from a ton of distributors and often times, they're not out when the movie comes out. Usually they come out after the movie's theatrical run, or come out the weeks before, rarely do you get a simultaneous release (note: soundtracks are typically recorded in a special recording session because the audio stems to which the movie is mixed is unsuitable for listening - so instead the composer bundles the stems into one coherent music track based on what was arranged).

It makes sense in the end, but movie merch is fickle and often the studios want to keep the money to themselves while what the theatres would get would be what's in other stores already, either being clearanced out or other thing.

House Democrats About To Uncork 5-Pronged Assault on Tech

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
House Democrats are set to introduce a package of five bills as soon as this week that would prohibit tech giants like Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google from discriminating against rivals or buying potential competitors, two individuals familiar with the discussions told POLITICO -- the most serious effort yet to rein in Silicon Valley's power after years of complaints from Congress. From a report: The most controversial bill would let prosecutors sue to break up major tech companies by forcing the platforms to sell off lines of business if they represent a conflict of interest. POLITICO obtained drafts of all five bills. The legislation aims to enact the recommendations from a blockbuster House Judiciary Committee report last fall on competition in digital markets, which found that the four tech giants have monopolized various aspects of the online economy. It also represents a major test for Congress: Can the lawmakers of both parties who have condemned the tech companies as abusive monopolists come together to do something about it? Democrats on the House Judiciary antitrust panel circulated the draft bills to potential co-sponsors this week. They hope to lure at least some GOP members into supporting the bills, particularly Colorado Rep. Ken Buck, a critic of the large tech companies and the top Republican on the panel.

Re:All for nought

By Frank Burly • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Crafting a law that "we all agree with" doesn't work when "we" overrepresents people with no interest in governing.

A return to the speaking filibuster would allow minority factions force the majority to the bargaining table, but would it would add costs to this obstruction: personal effort from the filibusterers, greater public awareness of the people who are blocking the will of the majority, and the purpose of the blocking.

Right now the effort and cost of a filibuster is the same as a simple "no" vote. The effect is to require a supermajority for almost all legislation, which is not what the Founders envisioned.

Not an attack on tech

By gweihir • Score: 3 • Thread

It is an attack on tech-companies that basically are leeches on society.

SV won't go GOP - for attrition's sake

By Somervillain • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

One possible outcome may be a shift of tech political donations from Democrats to Republicans. The Dems are sinking their teeth too deeply into the hand that was feeding them.

I don't see this happening. Their fortunes are tied too heavily towards hiring and retaining top notch talent and talented engineers are rarely fans of the GOP, especially the current iteration. I know a lot of people on this site don't like that fact, but you want conservative opinions to matter to tech companies?...learn to code, provide some value...outnumber the liberal or rational (apolitical) engineers and Google will care a lot more about your views. Unfortunately, the people smart enough to keep those sites running and competitive have many options of where to work and will leave if you become a heavy GOP donor. FAANG doesn't want to become the next MySpace, Yahoo, or Quibi...and losing to talent can make that happen. In contrast "conservative" companies like Parler or Gab can't seem to do much right technically. They should be regarded as a cautionary tale. Even established conservative-led companies like Oracle are widely regarded as failures in the may be a coincidence, but I don't know of any conservative establishment that isn't regarded as a shit place to work.

With the current political climate, it's not just a debate about size of gov or how much influence religious groups should have over government policy like it was 30 years ago. We have one group that votes for the GOP and the rest of the country that viewed the Jan 6 as a violent and shameful insurrection, if not terrorist attack (fucking assholes marched through the capital with confederate flags for fucks sake) and Trump and his sycophants as a danger to democracy. Most are "diverse" or closely associated with people the GOP has recently been very hostile to, such as non-whites, immigrants, the LGBTQ community, or non-Christians. If word got out Google or Facebook donated to any Trump supporters, they would have an exodus of top talent that would quickly get scooped up by their competitors. There just are very few talented engineers who would be comfortable working for a company that actively donating to any Q or Trump supporting politicians....and if they have talent, they have many options.

I think the leaders of FAANG are amoral sociopaths who would have no problem donating to the GOP and fundraising for them if it fit their rational interest. Unfortunately with them being so dependent on talent that is very hard to find, they can never let it get out if they did.

IMHO, a more probable outcome is tech will be less politically neutral than they used to be. 20 years ago, they largely stayed out of politics, thinking they were above it all....lobbyists and that sort of bullshit, that's for old, uncool places, like oil companies and banks and insurance companies. I would guess a more probable outcome is Warren, Sanders, and the like will find new donors. Tech companies are sociopaths with no principles. It's cheaper to buy off a popular opponent with a 100k donation than spend 500k funding their opposition, with a huge chance of them losing. Take Elizabeth Warren...she'd hard to beat in MA. With the exception of Scott Brown's short term, there hasn't been a GOP senator in MA since the late 70s. You want to get rid of her, that's risky and expensive. She's a national name and well liked, so she'd be hard and expensive to primary...and after January 6, no Republican is going to win MA, so you can't beat her in the general election...but you could make a huge donation so you can be involved with the crafting of the bill.

Also, this "assault on tech" is more likely to impact smaller companies than large ones. FAANG will be just fine for many reasons. The gov can do little to harm them. Upstarts are a much greater threat and this is an opportunity to do more damage to them than the big names. These companies are led by smart people and I see them more likely to exploit this opportunity to both look good in the public's eyes and harm their competitors.

Re:How careful would legislation need to be writte

By tsqr • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

From TFA:
Under four of the bills, the Justice Department or the FTC would first be required to designate "covered platforms" — those with at least 500,000 U.S. users, $600 billion in revenue or market cap and a “critical trading partner” for other businesses. Those platforms would then have limitations on their conduct, mergers and data use.

Interesting that they consider revenue and market cap as so closely related that the same threshold should be used for both. Wikipedia's list of the largest tech companies, ordered by revenue, doesn't include a single corporation with 2020 revenue anywhere close to $600 billion. This list of largest tech companies, ordered by market cap, has 5 US companies (Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet, and Facebook, in that order) with market cap over $600 billion, with one more (Tesla) approaching that threshold.

Re: And no muckraker

By bws111 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

They're not arguing the companies are monopolies. They are arguing that the companies use their considerable economic power (which does not require a monopoly) in one area of business to harm competitors in a different area of business.

Yes, you can get iOS or Android. Nobody is denying that or claiming that either one is a monopoly. However, within those ecosystems Apple (and to a lesser extent Google) block competition for things NOT related to the purchase of a phone. Nobody can compete with Apple in selling iOS Apps (a completely different business than selling phones). Nobody can compete with Apple in payment processing for iOS Apps (another completely different business from either selling phones OR selling apps).

Yes, you can use Google or Bing. Nobody is denying that or claiming a monopoly. But Google priortizes its own products (not related to search) over competitors. That hurts competition

Funny you should use Standard Oil as an example. Standard Oil didn't get in trouble because they were massive, or even a monopoly. What they got in trouble for was using their position to hurt competitors. For example, they used their position to either buy or control railroads, so that a competitor either could not get transportation or it was at an enormous cost.

There is nothing illegal about becoming a monopoly by providing the best, cheapest, whatever product. But once you use that product to gain an unfair advantage over competitors in an area where you might not have the best product, that is illegal.

Hackers Steal Wealth of Data from Game Giant EA

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Hackers have broken into gaming giant Electronic Arts, the publisher of Battlefield, FIFA, and The Sims, and stole a wealth of game source code and related internal tools, Motherboard reported Thursday. From the report: "You have full capability of exploiting on all EA services," the hackers claimed in various posts on underground hacking forums viewed by Motherboard. A source with access to the forums, some of which are locked from public view, provided Motherboard with screenshots of the messages. In those forum posts the hackers said they have taken the source code for FIFA 21, as well as code for its matchmaking server. The hackers also said they have obtained source code and tools for the Frostbite engine, which powers a number of EA games including Battlefield. Other stolen information includes proprietary EA frameworks and software development kits (SDKs), bundles of code that can make game development more streamlined. In all, the hackers say they have 780gb of data, and are advertising it for sale in various underground hacking forum posts viewed by Motherboard. EA confirmed to Motherboard that it had suffered a data breach and that the information listed by the hackers was the data that was stolen.

Another reason not to run games as superuser

By suso • Score: 3 • Thread

Another good reason not to run games that require you to run them as the superuser, because eventually their code may be compromised and exploits galore over the network. Currently, there are a handful of games that require you to run (not just install) them as the superuser.

This follows news that a dev was selling power ups

By UnknowingFool • Score: 3 • Thread
A few weeks ago, there was a story about an employee selling the most powerful items in FIFA 21. I do not play FIFA but my understanding is that certain cards in the game are the most powerful. Normally they have a very low chance to spawn with the only ways to increase chance by 1) playing more matches (which grants more chests) or 2) outright purchasing more chests with micro-transactions. A developer was able to create them and then disguise the acquisition as legitimately obtained.

And the biggest reveal

By thegarbz • Score: 3 • Thread

FIFA 2022 will be FIFA2021 with a slightly changed colour tone, a new logo, and every time you kick the ball $1 gets deducted from your bank account.

Lake Mead Falls To Lowest Level Since 1930s Amid Worsening Drought

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Amid an intensifying drought, Lake Mead in Nevada, the nation's largest reservoir by volume, reached its lowest level since the 1930s late Wednesday. From a report: The record low is due to a combination of years of punishing drought that's worsening across the Southwest, as well as challenges in managing water resources for a burgeoning population. The record-low reading, as well as expected subsequent drops in the lake, are almost certain to trigger a federal "water shortage" declaration later this summer, which would set off cuts in water allocations to several states. Lake Mead, which sits along the border between Nevada and Arizona, is part of the vast Colorado River basin that provides water for agriculture and human consumption to seven states, and also generates electricity at the massive Hoover Dam.

Cuts in water supplies, to be determined in August, would affect the region's farmers, residents of sprawling cities such as Las Vegas, and others. Already, the Hoover Dam is operating below its maximum capacity, and it could see a further reduction in power generation as the summer goes on. Years of unusually dry conditions along with a growing population and water resource decisions have helped lead to the situation. As of Thursday morning, the Bureau of Reclamation showed Lake Mead's hourly water levels dipped to 1,071.48 feet Thursday, and remained below the previous record set on July 1, 2016.

Re:There's your problem

By Applehu Akbar • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Stop living in a fucking desert!

No, if you're a coastal city of fifteen million, stop using our water. Desalinate your own.

Re:1071.48 feet?

By theshowmecanuck • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
They use the same tools that software project managers use to describe the amount of progress to management.

Re:A solution for overuse.

By gtall • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

No, the real reason is lack of rain and snow pack. See the map here

That's drought not caused by over use.

Re: There's your problem

By reanjr • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Average CA water consumption: 85 gallons/day/person

Average NV water consumption: 205 gallons/day/person

Pretty sure it's Nevada that has issues with water use. If every Nevadan moved to California, the water use would go down.

Obligatory joke

By Zak3056 • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Reminds me of the old joke:

The weather service predicts massive rain and flooding for a given area, and urges evacuation. Everyone leaves except one man. "The lord will protect me," he says.

As the rain starts and the water starts to rise, a sheriff's deputy in a pickup truck pulls up. "You really should get out of here," says the deputy to the man, "this area is going to flood." The man responds, "the Lord will protect me," and stays.

The next day, sure enough, the area is flooded, with a few feet of water all around. The same deputy arrives in a boat and tells the man, "the water is going to get even higher than this--you really should leave!" The man responds, "the Lord will protect me," and stays.

The next day, the water is ten feet high and the man is on the roof of his home, the only dry land around. The deputy arrives in a helicopter, and shouts at the man, "the water is going to get even higher than this! You have to leave, or you'll die!" The man responds, "the Lord will protect me," and stays.

A few hours later, the house is underwater and the man drowns. A rather disgruntled man arrives in heaven, and says to St. Peter: "I thought for sure that the Lord would protect me! Why did he let me die?" St. Peter responds, "well, we sent a truck, a boat and a helicopter..."

Amazon Gets UK Antitrust Scrutiny On Data Usage, FT Says

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link is getting U.K. antitrust scrutiny into how it uses data from smaller sellers on its site, the Financial Times reported, citing three people with knowledge of the matter. From a report: The Competition and Markets Authority has been analyzing Amazon's business for months, according to the newspaper. While the regulator hasn't yet announced an investigation, it may focus on whether Amazon favors merchants that use its logistics and delivery services, the report said. Silicon Valley giants are the focus of a vast array of European probes into how internet giants increasingly govern the terms of what people do online, often gaining insights into user behavior that no-one else can match. The U.K. move adds to European Union and German probes of Amazon's business and follows multiple investigations into Google, Facebook and Apple.

Google Seeks To Break Vicious Cycle of Online Slander

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Google is changing its algorithm as part of a major shift in how Google polices harmful content. From a report: For many years, the vicious cycle has spun: Websites solicit lurid, unverified complaints about supposed cheaters, sexual predators, deadbeats and scammers. People slander their enemies. The anonymous posts appear high in Google results for the names of victims. Then the websites charge the victims thousands of dollars to take the posts down. This circle of slander has been lucrative for the websites and associated middlemen -- and devastating for victims.

Now Google is trying to break the loop. The company plans to change its search algorithm to prevent websites, which operate under domains like and, from appearing in the list of results when someone searches for a person's name. Google also recently created a new concept it calls "known victims." When people report to the company that they have been attacked on sites that charge to remove posts, Google will automatically suppress similar content when their names are searched for. "Known victims" also includes people whose nude photos have been published online without their consent, allowing them to request suppression of explicit results for their names. The changes -- some already made by Google and others planned for the coming months -- are a response to recent New York Times articles documenting how the slander industry preys on victims with Google's unwitting help.

I like my search unfiltered...

By sinij • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
If you use DuckDuckGo and Google for search on any controversial or political topic you will see how much Google is already filtering your search results. They do this even if you are not logged in. More of the same but on more and different subjects is not the answer. The answer is for society to allow people to move on by making it socially unacceptable to dig up old stuff.

I dunno

By UnknowingFool • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
As long as the Internet has existed there have been people posting nonsense. I do not see how Google thinks it can do.

"harmful content"?!

By mi • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

Is not it sadly ironic, that the purported champion of free speech — heroically publishing even the classified information — will ever use the term like "harmful content"?

The words can hurt after all — justifying even all sorts of "sticks and bones" in return, eh?

Then, again, a fellow Slashdotter just accused me of using illegal arguments — pleasing the crowd — the rot sure trickled down fast...

Can't us this for abuse.... like...

By sizzlinkitty • Score: 3 • Thread

Lets say I wanted to remove all traces of my ex from the internet, couldn't I just get her listed as a victim and boom, it's like she never existed according to Google.

Re:I like my search unfiltered...

By Sloppy • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Wanting unfiltered search would make you a rare exception, so you shouldn't expect any well-known search engines (including duckduckgo) to be offering that anymore.

Most people don't want their search unfiltered, because they want actual information they can use nearly-immediately, instead of spam and chaff that they have to sort through for an hour or two. Relavance turned out to be an extremely important factor in search for the overall marketplace, which is why all the commercial search engines filter so much. None of them want to be the next AltaVista.

Microsoft is Building Its Own Streaming Devices as Part of a Major Xbox Game Pass Expansion

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Microsoft on Thursday announced plans to expand its Xbox Game Pass subscription service to many more screens, including third-party smart TVs and also streaming devices the company is currently building itself. From a report: Microsoft intends to deliver its subscription platform on less powerful hardware via the cloud, as it does now with Android and iOS smartphones using a beta version of its Xbox Cloud Gaming service. "We believe that Microsoft can play a leading role in democratizing gaming and defining the future of interactive entertainment," said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in a prerecorded interview with Xbox chief Phil Spencer. "There are really three key areas where we believe we have an incredible competitive advantage: First, our leadership in cloud computing. Second, the resources we have to build our subscription service, Xbox Game Pass. And third, our overall focus on empowering creators." Microsoft says it's in the process of "working with global TV manufacturers to embed the Xbox experience directly into internet-connected televisions," adding that no extra hardware will be required, save a controller. The company is also "building its own streaming devices for cloud gaming to reach gamers on any TV or monitor without the need for a console at all."

JBS Paid $11 Million In Ransom After Hackers Shut Down Meat Plants

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Washington Post: JBS, the world's largest meat supplier, confirmed Wednesday that it paid the equivalent of $11 million in ransom to hackers who targeted and temporarily crippled its business. The company confirmed making the payment in a statement Wednesday, saying it did so after most of its plants started operating again last week. The company consulted with its own tech workers and external cybersecurity experts, it said, and decided to pay to make sure no data was stolen. "This was a very difficult decision to make for our company and for me personally," JBS USA CEO Andre Nogueira said in a statement.

JBS was hit by a ransomware attack last week that temporarily halted operations at its nine beef processing plants in the United States and caused disruptions at other facilities. The FBI attributed the attack to a Russian-linked ransomware group known as both REvil and Sodinokibi. The payment was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. JBS got many of its plants operating again by the end of last week, but Nogueira said it decided to make the payment to "prevent any potential risk" for customers. JBS said Wednesday that it spends more than $200 million annually on information technology and employs more than 850 IT workers worldwide. The company said experts are still investigating the hack, but preliminary findings indicate that no employee or customer data was compromised.

Tax their payment.

By Fly Swatter • Score: 3 • Thread
Ad a tax on ransom payments, owed by the payee. Set the rate at 1,000,000% thereby making the 'business decision' a no-brainer.

Could have avoided this

By Edward Nardella • Score: 3 • Thread

This expense could probably have been avoided by spending half that amount in prevention and preparation.


By fropenn • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
There's something a bit scary, and maybe a bit exciting too, about working for a company that would hire assassins on your behalf. Unfortunately, where I work I think it would take them several months to notice I was missing and once they did notice, they would probably just assume I took a new job somewhere else and shrug and move on.

Re: financials

By zlives • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The real it pros switched sides once they were outsourced.
News at 7 (11 is way past my bed time)


By discovercomics • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
So really this is becoming, a racketeering item, where companies are paying protection money to the gangs to prevent future disruption?

Man Pleads Guilty to Plotting to Bomb Amazon Data Center

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
A Texas man who had boasted that he was at the United States Capitol when swarms of Trump supporters stormed the building on Jan. 6 pleaded guilty on Wednesday to charges of plotting to blow up an Amazon data center in Virginia, prosecutors said. The New York Times reports: The man, Seth Aaron Pendley, 28, of Wichita Falls, Texas, had been arrested in April after he went to pick up what he believed were bombs made of C-4 plastic explosives and detonation cords from an explosives supplier in Fort Worth, but were actually inert objects provided by an undercover F.B.I. agent, prosecutors said. In a conversation recorded by an undercover agent on March 31, Mr. Pendley said he had hoped to anger "the oligarchy" enough to provoke a reaction that would persuade Americans to take action against what he perceived to be a "dictatorship," prosecutors said.

On Wednesday, in an appearance before Magistrate Judge Hal R. Ray Jr. of U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Mr. Pendley pleaded guilty to a malicious attempt to destroy a building with an explosive. He faces five to 20 years in federal prison. His sentencing has been set for Oct. 1. "Due in large part to the meticulous work of the F.B.I.'s undercover agents, the Justice Department was able to expose Mr. Pendley's twisted plot and apprehend the defendant before he was able to inflict any real harm," Prerak Shah, the acting U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Texas, said in a statement. "We may never know how many tech workers' lives were saved through this operation -- and we're grateful we never had to find out."

Re:Problem correctly identified, but wrong solutio

By squiggleslash • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The two Democratic choices where Sanders and Clinton. Now, I know, this is Slashdot and there's a lot of enthusiasm for Sanders, but bear in mind that a sizable proportion of Americans, even Democrats, will never, ever, vote for someone who describes himself as a Socialist. They hear "Socialist" and rather than thinking "Most Western Democracies are a nice mix of socialism and capitalism, providing a base level of support so nobody has to worry about healthcare etc, and that appears to be what Sanders is talking about because he's never proposed nationalizing everything or anything silly like that", they think "In Soviet Russia Venezuela nationalizes YOU!"

Clinton is mostly unpopular due to a 30 year old smear campaign anyway that started when her husband ran for President and they wanted to depict him as "weak" using a sexist assertion he was really controlled by his wife. They then continued to come up with new smears including at one time alleging she was part of a conspiracy with her husband to murder most of their friends. A disappointingly large number of people on the right believe it. But... that's just it, isn't it? If you believe Clinton orchestrated Benghazi, murdered Vince Foster and a dozen other people, and deliberately caused a real estate investment to go wrong so she'd lose a ton of money, then the chances are you wouldn't have voted for Sanders either, not because there's any direct connection, but because you have to be a Republican looking for excuses to hate a Democrat.

The available evidence is that Clinton won over the Sanders supporters. Oh, nobody went into that election enthusiastically voting for Clinton, her politics have never gelled with those of us on the left, but everyone on the left did vote for her anyway. Which is why she got more votes than Agent Orange.

Once again ...

By cascadingstylesheet • Score: 3 • Thread

... the only violent death at that event was an unarmed protester shot by police. (And the nonviolent ones were two cardiac events, a drug overdose, and a stroke that didn't even happen at the event.)

I"m going to keep saying it every time the "insurrection" narrative comes up.

Is this really the right solution?

By bradley13 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Some fruitloop rants about wanting to blow things up. A well-meaning person reports this to the FBI. What does the FBI do? They encourage him, provide him with information and support. Right up to the critical moment, when they get him to cross a line and do something illegal. Then *bam* he's arrested.

Why not talk the guy down. if he's mentally ill, get him some help. In really extreme cases, force help on him. But pushing him along the way, encouraging his delusions, until he becomes a full-fledged criminal, so that you can through him in jail? Is this really the way to go?

Re:Problem correctly identified, but wrong solutio

By ranton • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

It is an exaggeration that voting hasn't changed anything, but I'd say it is objectively true that US politics has not been very effective in the past few decades. One simple metric is how many amendments we have had to the constitution lately. This is arguably the best metric for government progress in keeping up with societal changes.

In the first 75 years of our constitution there were only 2 amendments. It makes sense there wouldn't be as much need for immediate change since the constitution was new (a new house doesn't need many repairs for the first couple decades either). Then from 1865 to 1971, there were 14 amendments. One every 7.5 years. Since then we have had only one amendment in 1989 and it was only to regulate how Congress can increase its salary.

If current politics had kept up with the pace of progress over the past 50 years that it had in the previous 100 years, we would have had 5-6 new amendments over my lifetime. But politicians making significant improvements to our lives on the order of the abolishment of slavery, voting rights, and equality has mostly stopped. Sadly most progress has only come from our courts interpreting 75+ year old amendments with modern lenses. That is not a sustainable path.

So while who is elected has still had an impact on many people's lives over the past few decades, its almost inarguable that our politicians have been ineffective for a very long time. This shouldn't be that surprising to hear about a country where things like universal healthcare are considered radical ideas.

Re:Is this really the right solution?

By Ol Olsoc • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Some fruitloop rants about wanting to blow things up. A well-meaning person reports this to the FBI. What does the FBI do? They encourage him, provide him with information and support. Right up to the critical moment, when they get him to cross a line and do something illegal. Then *bam* he's arrested.

As much as some like to scream "Entrapment!", the fact remains that at any point, the good citizen could have stepped away, perhaps even turned in the FBI sting to the FBI. The apparent thesis on the part of the "Entrapment!" people is that the only reason that the guy attempted to purchase the stuff was the FBI - nothing else.

Why not talk the guy down. if he's mentally ill, get him some help. In really extreme cases, force help on him. But pushing him along the way, encouraging his delusions, until he becomes a full-fledged criminal, so that you can through him in jail? Is this really the way to go?

And if the guy, after getting that mental help, goes out and successfully carries out his little project, you would say what? "It's okay, we knew his plans - looks like the weekly visits with a therapist didn't help. Thoughts and prayers!"

This is not all that simple. People can and do things like commit suicide even while under therapy - this is the unfortunate fact that therapy - even drug therapy doesn't always work.

The only alternative to the situation is determining the person is dangerous, perhaps mentally ill, then involuntarily incarcerating them in a mental institution. So not much difference.

'Miraculous' Mosquito Hack Cuts Dengue By 77%

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Dengue fever cases have been cut by 77% in a "groundbreaking" trial that manipulates the mosquitoes that spread it, say scientists. The BBC reports: They used mosquitoes infected with "miraculous" bacteria that reduce the insect's ability to spread dengue. The trial took place in Yogyakarta city, Indonesia, and is being expanded in the hope of eradicating the virus. The World Mosquito Programme team says it could be a solution to a virus that has gone around the world. The trial used mosquitoes infected with Wolbachia bacteria. One of the researchers, Dr Katie Anders, describes them as "naturally miraculous." Wolbachia doesn't harm the mosquito, but it camps out in the same parts of its body that the dengue virus needs to get into. The bacteria compete for resources and make it much harder for dengue virus to replicate, so the mosquito is less likely to cause an infection when it bites again.

The trial used five million mosquito eggs infected with Wolbachia. Eggs were placed in buckets of water in the city every two weeks and the process of building up an infected population of mosquitoes took nine months. Yogyakarta was split into 24 zones and the mosquitoes were released only in half of them. The results, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed a 77% reduction in cases and an 86% reduction in people needing hospital care when the insects were released.

Re:Not GMO?

By vadim_t • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

You're on the verge of discovering that natural vs human made isn't really important. What's important is that whatever is done is done well.

Re:Not GMO?

By The Evil Atheist • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
If the mosquitos get out of hand, we'll just release a bunch of frogs and other insect eating animals. Then when they start getting out of control, we'll send wave after wave of Chinese needle snakes. When the snakes start getting out of control, we'll release gorillas that thrive on snake meat. Then when winter comes, the gorillas simply freeze to death.

Gorillas culled by freezing

By Latent Heat • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

That only works in a temperate climate as in Springfield. Dengue is a problem where the weather never gets down to freezing.

Re:Gorillas culled by freezing

By sabbede • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
My hopes were embiggened, but sadly, you are cromulent.

Re:Must have been hard to get approved.

By Admiral Krunch • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
The study

Community approval for wMel releases was obtained from the leaders of 37 urban villages after a campaign of community engagement and mass communication. Written informed consent for participation in the clinical component of the trial was obtained from all the participants or from a guardian if the participant was a minor. In addition, participants 13 to 17 years of age gave written informed assent.