the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2021-Jul-20 today archive


  1. Mastercard Will Use the USDC Stablecoin As a Bridge Asset For Cardholders Who Want To Pay For Goods Using Cryptocurrencies
  2. EU Plans To Make Bitcoin Transfers More Traceable
  3. Nasty Linux Systemd Security Bug Revealed
  4. LG Might Sell iPhones In Its Stores After Quitting Android Devices
  5. Denuvo DRM Removed From Upcoming Strategy Game, Dev Blames 'Performance Impact'
  6. Bitcoin Crashes Below $30,000 As Cryptocurrency Free-Fall Accelerates
  7. Stockfish Sues ChessBase
  8. Jeff Bezos On Critics of Billionaires Going To Space: 'They're Mostly Right'
  9. Venmo Drops the Global Social Feed That Could Make Your Payments Visible To Strangers
  10. US Needs Japan and Korea To Counter China Tech, Says Google ex-CEO
  11. FCC Investigating Whether Cuban Government Is Jamming HAM Radio
  12. France Investigates Report Morocco Had Macron's Phone Hacked
  13. Biden To Name Google Foe Jonathan Kanter as DOJ Antitrust Chief
  14. Astronomers Push for Global Debate on Giant Satellite Swarms
  15. China Calls Out Amazon, ByteDance, NetEase for Violating Users' Rights in Latest Crackdown
  16. The West's Punishing Summer Heat Dries Out Thunderstorms and Fuels Raging Wildfires.
  17. DuckDuckGo Launches New Email Protection Service To Remove Trackers
  18. Together Price Helps Strangers Share Subscription Passwords
  19. Wally Funk And Three Crewmates Travel To Space And Back In Under 15 Minutes
  20. Scientists Create the World's Toughest Self-Healing Material
  21. iOS and Android Activations Now Split Evenly In the US, Research Shows
  22. Our Universe Might Be a Giant Three-Dimensional Donut

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.

Mastercard Will Use the USDC Stablecoin As a Bridge Asset For Cardholders Who Want To Pay For Goods Using Cryptocurrencies

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CoinDesk: Mastercard has named the first stablecoin and a handful of partner companies that will help cryptocurrency holders spend their digital assets at merchants that accept the payment giant's cards. In the pilot announced Tuesday, Circle's USDC will serve as a bridge between the cryptocurrency in consumers' digital wallets and the fiat currency paid to merchants. USDC is a digital token that almost always trades at $1 because the issuer promises to redeem it 1-for-1 with greenbacks at any time.

While it might sound like adding an extra step, swapping a cryptocurrency for a stablecoin and then exchanging the stablecoin for dollars can be quicker or simpler than going directly from crypto to fiat. For example, some cryptos cannot be easily traded on an exchange for dollars but can be for USDC. Adding this way station will assist cryptocurrency firms that want to offer Mastercard-branded products to their customers, the company said. "Today not all crypto companies have the foundational infrastructure to convert cryptocurrency to traditional fiat currency, and we're making it easier," said Raj Dhamodharan, Mastercard's executive vice president of digital asset and blockchain products, in a press release. The announcement, five months after Mastercard said it planned to bring select stablecoins into its network, was framed as a step toward that eventual goal.

so if I understand this "bridge asset" thing...

By mertzman • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

It's money laundering, but, with a MasterCard?


By paradigm82 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
I don't really follow the Stablecoin angle. The motivation provided is: "For example, some cryptos cannot be easily traded on an exchange for dollars but can be for USDC. " Well, if that's the case, it should have been easy for everyone to make a general service for converting any currency into dollars, and then Mastercard could use that service. So seems like a strange gap in the market, and just a technical detail for the user that this middle conversion is taking place.
But of course, the key takeaway is that the conversion to USD happens at all: The payment is in dollars. It's no more technologically advanced or crypto-related than if my bank allowed me to have an account denoted in rice or gold dust and then did the conversion on the fly when I used my card. Nothing crypto about it. But as with everything blockchain and crypto-related, it's not about the actual use case or purpose, it just has to sound cool.

Re:stable coins an unregulated bank.

By cfalcon • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

> Stable coins are nothing more than an unregulated bank

I mean, technically they are regulated because they can't engage in fractional reserve banking. That is most of the desire to be a bank in the first place, as you get to lend out money that doesn't exist. The point of reserve-backed stablecoins (such as tether and USDC) is that every dollar is backed by a dollar's worth of assets.

Now... is that true? That's the bigger question, and people are constantly writing articles predicting the implosion of these stablecoins. But the take that they are 'unregulated banks' is a bit of a short sell- if these guys are found to be lying about backing these things, they'll certainly be subject to legal actions.

Why do you think they are engaging at 10:1 fractional reserve banking? I'll point out that it is interesting for you to choose that particular ratio, because historically that's been what US banks have been required to have- 10% cash on hand. In March of 2020, this was changed to 0%. I don't even think that counts as fractional reserve banking any more, because the fraction is now zero. It's zero reserve banking, and that's the REPUTABLE system these days lol

EU Plans To Make Bitcoin Transfers More Traceable

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Proposed changes to EU law would force companies that transfer Bitcoin or other crypto-assets to collect details on the recipient and sender. The BBC reports: The proposals would make crypto-assets more traceable, the EU Commission said, and would help stop money-laundering and the financing of terrorism. The new rules would also prohibit providing anonymous crypto-asset wallets. The Commission argued that crypto-asset transfers should be subject to the same anti-money-laundering rules as wire transfers. "Given that virtual assets transfers are subject to similar money-laundering and terrorist-financing risks as wire funds transfers... it therefore appears logical to use the same legislative instrument to address these common issues," the Commission wrote.

While some crypto-asset service providers are already covered by anti-money-laundering rules, the new proposals would "extend these rules to the entire crypto-sector, obliging all service providers to conduct due diligence on their customers," the Commission explained. Under the proposals, a company transferring crypto-assets for a customer would be obliged to include their name, address, date of birth and account number, and the name of the recipient. To become law the proposals will need the agreement of member states and the European Parliament. The proposals could take two years to become law.

EU getting more âliberalâ

By sebrk • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
EU as an organisation is getting more draconian and totalitarian by the week now. All under the pretense of being a âoeliberalâ project. This elite project is doing everything to get taxation rights in sovereign member states and to regulate more and more aspects of our lives. So much for that. Funny how liberal socialism always turns out like this in the end.

Re: Prohibit anonymous wallets?! Have they gone ma

By Lisandro • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

And, until you want to actually use coins for anything, those will sit in your precious digital wallet doing nothing.

Financial privacy rights?

By bradley13 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

So, I live in Europe. And I really applaud the increasingly strong privacy legislation here, like the GDPR. What I don't understand is simply this: why do governments think they have the right to all of your personal, financial information? Why don't privacy rights apply here, as well?

In the US, y'all have the right to be "secure in your papers" unless the government gets a warrant. Yet, your government knows everything about your financial life: your salary, your bank balance, your investments - apparently all of that is reported automatically. What happened to the "secure in your papers" bit?

For what it's worth, this intrusiveness is neither necessary nor justified. I'm in Switzerland, and the government here does not have the right to all of your financial info. Yet, the Swiss government still manages to collect taxes. If they think you're cheating, they can go after you - but this involves a court process, warrants, and the usual procedures that a government must take, if they want to collect evidence against a private person.

Re:but but

By jarkus4 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

They will pay by hiring overseas (so unregulated) "consultants" to "help them decrypt the data" aka pay the ransom for them. Those companies already exist and help in jurisdictions that prohibit paying ransoms. The only change will be them moving to some unregulated country.


Re:What "regulation" does fiat obey?

By DaveV1.0 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Don't be so sure. While one is legally required to file a Form 8300 report with the IRS for transactions over $10,000, banks are required to report transactions over $3,000 in cash. The customer generally doesn't know this. You might not have to fill out a form but that doesn't mean your transaction isn't being reported.

Nasty Linux Systemd Security Bug Revealed

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Qualys has discovered a new systemd security bug that enables any unprivileged user to cause a denial of service via a kernel panic. Slashdot reader inode_buddha shares the news via ZDNet's Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: As Bharat Jogi, Qualys's senior manager of Vulnerabilities and Signatures, wrote, "Given the breadth of the attack surface for this vulnerability, Qualys recommends users apply patches for this vulnerability immediately." You can say that again. Systemd is used in almost all modern Linux distributions. This particular security hole arrived in the systemd code in April 2015.

It works by enabling attackers to misuse the alloca() function in a way that would result in memory corruption. This, in turn, allows a hacker to crash systemd and hence the entire operating system. Practically speaking, this can be done by a local attacker mounting a filesystem on a very long path. This causes too much memory space to be used in the systemd stack, which results in a system crash. That's the bad news. The good news is that Red Hat Product Security and systemd's developers have immediately patched the hole.

Re: Queue the inevitable...

By Tom • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The point being, bad C code, not checking inputs, and code review failing at catching any of this. That happens with any piece of software.

No, it doesn't.

This is the case where the "bad programmers" argument is actually RIGHT. I know my students hated me during the C programming excercises, but they sure as hell learnt input validation. It took some of them 3 or 4 times being sent back with a segfaulted program to understand that it's not enough to check for whatever I put in the last time to make it crash, because I'll do something different the next time, and that they should ensure the input is what they expect.

Not validating your input does NOT happen to any piece of software. It's exactly what happens when you let bad programmers write kernel code, where no framework catches their mistakes.

Failure to follow past peactice

By stanbrown • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Once again, we suffer from the failure of the developers of this tool to understand the long established *NIX philosophy of doing one (small) thing, and doing that one thing well. The code for something as big and complex as systemd will always be a huge risk, and what value does this bring?

Re:Queue the inevitable...

By thegarbz • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Then welcome to systemd based automounting of attached media

Doesn't work like that. You actually need to create a path name that is larger than 8MB in size. SystemD doesn't automount anything like that because there's no device that would present to the system like that (and if it did you'd have bigger problems). And to automount NFS you need the user to specifically set it up (and if they did, you'd have bigger problems).

You can't abuse automount to trigger this bug if you don't have access to the config of the machine.

So the problem is

By mugurel • Score: 3 • Thread
alloca() allocating a la loca

Re: Queue the inevitable...

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

GNU Bash has a long list of critical (many rated 10/10) vulnerabilities:

I'm sure other shells do too.

As for init systems there was some security through obscurity since people often had their own custom ones, but many also relied on the default scripts shipped by distros that sometimes had security flaws in them.

LG Might Sell iPhones In Its Stores After Quitting Android Devices

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
LG will reportedly start selling iPhones and iPads in its South Korean stores this August -- mere months after the company quit making Android devices. Android Authority reports: According to MacRumors, the Herald Economic Daily claims LG has struck a deal with Apple to sell the iPhone and iPad in 400 stores across South Korea starting in August. LG may have to overcome some hurdles to make this happen. The company reportedly signed a "win-win" agreement with the country's National Mobile Communication Distribution Association that bars it from selling a direct competitor's phones in its stores. That deal was made in 2018, however, or well before LG signaled that it would quit making phones and tablets. LG is supposedly planning to renegotiate the agreement once it officially sells the iPhone and iPad in its shops. The deal unsurprisingly wouldn't include Macs, as systems like the MacBook Air compete directly with the Gram series and other LG computers where the iPhone and iPad are relatively safe.

Denuvo DRM Removed From Upcoming Strategy Game, Dev Blames 'Performance Impact'

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
A video game developer is abandoning the Denuvo DRM platform for its upcoming game's PC version, blaming Denuvo-related performance issues for the decision. An anonymous reader shares an article written by Ars Technica's Sam Machkovech: Amplitude Studios, a French studio known for PC-exclusive 4X strategy games, had previously announced that its next game, Humankind, would ship with a Denuvo implementation in August 2021. This prompted a post titled "The day Amplitude broke my heart" on Amplitude's official forum, with a fan declaring their love of prior Amplitude strategy games and then expressing their disappointment that Humankind had a Denuvo tag on its Steam page. After pointing to their disagreement with Denuvo's practices, including the block of offline-only gameplay, the fan offered a reasonably levelheaded plea: "To be fair, I totally understand why Denuvo was chosen (probably by [Amplitude studio owner] Sega). I understand how important it is for sales to protect the game around release, but PLEASE Amplitude, PLEASE consider to remove Denuvo after some months!" This request lines up with other game publishers' decisions to remove Denuvo protections after a PC game's launch window has passed.

Amplitude co-founder and CCO Romain de Waubert de Genlis replied to the thread on Thursday, July 15, with a surprising announcement: the fan wouldn't have to wait "some months" to see Denuvo removed. Instead, Humankind will launch on August 17 with no Denuvo implementation to speak of. On his company's forum, de Genlis admits that business considerations played into Amplitude's original decision: "We've been one of the most wishlisted games on Steam this year, so we know we're going to be targeted by pirates, more so than any of our previous games," he writes. "If Denuvo can hold off a cracked version, even just for a few days, that can already really help us to protect our launch."

But ultimately, his teammates felt they couldn't justify its inclusion after running into issues. While de Genlis admits that there's a chance his team could have added Denuvo to the game without impacting PC performance, tests during the game's June closed beta showed the performance hit was too great—and that it's "not something we can fix before release. So, we are taking it out." In other words: when left with the choice between delaying the game to optimize a Denuvo implementation and to launch the game without Denuvo at all, Amplitude opted for the latter. "Our priority is always the best possible experience for the players who buy our games and support us," de Genlis writes. "Denuvo should never impact player performance, and we don't want to sacrifice quality for you guys." After this, the topic's creator edited the thread title to read, "The day Amplitude broke my heart (and how they reassembled it)."

The problem isn't just a performance impact

By rsilvergun • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
It's at the performance impact seems to be completely random. Some users have no performance impact whatsoever on low end hardware and some users find games running Denuvo run at sub 15 frames per second. I remember when Arkham Knight launched and you have people playing it on an FX 6300 at 60 FPS and people at the top of the line i7 lucky to get 25. It was a total crap shoot and support for it was a nightmare

Doing the right thing.

By Ostracus • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

And the community is going to show their appreciation for this right decision by not pirating it, and buying at full price. Right?

Re:Doing the right thing.

By blahplusplus • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

And the community is going to show their appreciation for this right decision by not pirating it, and buying at full price. Right?

Games are not owed money, games sales are determined whether the game is good or whether there is any interest. There are thousands of games competing for the same dollar. Just because a developer makes a game that doesn't mean they deserve success.

Let us not forget the last 23+ years the industry has been stealing games from the public under the MMO/f2p marketing moniker by pulling stealing the networking code out of games which started in the late 90's with ultima online and everquest, we were supposed to get dedicated servers like Neverwinter Nights (2002).

That's why dedicated servers disappeared, a standard feature was literally stolen out of the game and sold back to us minus ownership at inflated prices. There's been a war on game ownership since 1997.

For those of you who don't believe, go get Neverwinger Nights (2002) from gog, and notice the multiplayer button, we were expecting all future rpg's to be local applications with dedicated servers+level editors, that was the zeitgeist for Descent, quake, Warcraft, Starcraft in the 90's until Richard Garriot blew that all up by teaching publishers about the software stealing superweapon under the worlds continents --.

Two or more computers networked together become and behave as a single machine, so you can start splitting any program into two seperate lists of binary executable instructions and taking control of games out of customers hands, it's literally fraud and they've been doing it for 23+ years now.

So I'm pissed that the public has been so stupid and oblivious over the last 23 years. Fortnite, Dota 2, League of legends, Smite, Warframe and Destiny, would have all been traditional boxed PC games in the 90's with singleplayer campaig and/or multiplayer which you owned and controlled like Unreal tournament 2004 or quake 3.

So no, the game industry doesn't deserve any money, Valve and the rest are theives.

Guild wars 1 should have been a bog standar PC rpg with the ability to host your own games /w level editor, that quickly changed when everyone saw the sick money Ultima online and everquest were making, and all rpg's they had in development that they thought they could back end they did and rebranded them mmo.

Link to neverwinter Nights 2002.

People still buy games at release?

By Opportunist • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Hell, what am I saying, people still preorder that shit.

How much does it take for you to finally start to wisen up? Games get released unfinished, unpolished and unready, a buggy mess of half-baked, half-running and unoptimized trash, to be fixed later. Maybe.

Back when I was still developer, we called this "bananaware". Like bananas, this software is delivered while still green and unripe and ripens and matures at the customers'.

You save a lot on QA. Why bother testing your shit when your customer does it for free... hell, he doesn't even do it for free, he pays for that privilege to be your testing department. And with a hint of luck he'll be "done" with your game before you're done fixing it, so you never have to fix it.

And all you have to do to get all that is to reskin something and call it a "preorder bonus".

Why do we do that? You get a buggy, unfinished and often unplayable game, either because the game has more bugs than features or because the always-online servers are overloaded with people wanting to play it RIGHT NOW, so even if the game worked you can't play it, you get to deal with the woes of crippling copy protection schemes that border on spyware or outright malware (hello Sony, still saying "Most people, I think, don't even know what a rootkit is, so why should they care about it?"?) and you even pay a premium for the privilege of being the guinea pig, because either the game is good, then it will be fixed 2 months later and you can play it, or it's generally panned, then you can either dodge that bullet or get it at 66% discount 2 months later.

Why the hell do you do this?

Bitcoin Crashes Below $30,000 As Cryptocurrency Free-Fall Accelerates

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
The price of bitcoin has come crashing below the $30,000 mark for the first time in a month. "At the time of this writing, Bitcoin is trading at $29,694.34," writes Paul Lilly via HotHardware. "That's down from around $31,000 yesterday, and less than half of where Bitcoin peaked at in April of this year, when it topped $60,000." From the report: Will it go back up? Probably, but for Bitcoin investors, there are definitely reasons to be cautious, outside of the normal volatility associated with cryptocurrencies. For one, China is cracking down on cryptocurrency in general. As such, crypto miners recently dumped a bunch of used GeForce RTX 3060 cards on eBay for relatively cheap (compared to what they had been selling for), as well as ASIC hardware, the latter of which is what Bitcoin miners use these days. But it's not just China.

Malaysian police recently seized and then steamrolled 1,069 ASIC mining rigs after discovering that miners had illegally tapped into a power grid to steal electricity for their operations. Talk about sending a strong message. In addition, six people were arrested, jailed, and fined (but hey, at least they weren't steamrolled). Tighter regulations in various territories could affect Bitcoin's value, too. For example, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said lawmakers must "act quickly" to construct and adopt new rules on stablecoins. "Bringing together regulators will enable us to assess the potential benefits of stablecoins while mitigating risks they could pose to users, markets, or the financial system," Yellen said in a statement. "In light of the rapid growth in digital assets, it is important for the agencies to collaborate on the regulation of this sector and the development of any recommendations for new authorities."
It's worth noting that other cryptocurrencies are down too. Dogecoin is down more than 5 percent to $0.16, while Ethereum dropped more than 3 percent to $1,755.99. Just over two months ago it was at nearly $3,900.

the power grid can't take Crypo also the crime

By Joe_Dragon • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

the power grid can't take Crypo also the crime tied to it.


By ceoyoyo • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Inflation reduces the value of currency. If your savings are in currency, well, you're doing it wrong.

Inflating currency makes it worth more now than it will be in the future, which gives people incentive to spend it instead of hoarding it, which is exactly what you want to happen.

That's why no government will seriously let bitcoin become a dominant, uh, thingy, whatever it is. The ability to control your national currency is extremely important for national security. Maybe the most important thing.

Investors and business are in conflict

By hAckz0r • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

As soon as I had heard that Bitcoin was going to be traded on the open market I knew it was doomed as a long term investment strategy. Can you make money by trading it? Sure. But you need to realize that it is now volatile by design. Crypto currency has no inherent value of its own. Its only worth is what other people think it will be worth tomorrow, therefore its easy to manipulate using the media to change how people feel about what it is worth. In contrast to gold or stocks there is noting to sell off if the value tanks. With Gold it still has some usable industrial value and with companies you can always sell of the building, IP, and other assets in chapter 7 to recoup and repay some of the liabilities. With Crypto, when investors think it is worthless, it actually is.

Since stocks or gold have at least a minimum fundamental value there are bounds on how much the price can fluctuate. Often when the price for a stock goes too high people punch the numbers to look at future business trends and company assets and a market adjustment takes place. The price then comes back to a more reasonable value. With Crypto there are no fundamental bounds on how high or how low it can go. Its easy to hype or spread rumors that make it look more or less attractive after which the person doing that manipulation will buy or sell a huge chunk of shares to make a profit while everyone else rides out the volatility wave that was produced by that media hype. Those people actually doing the manipulation are of course clairvoyant of that media hype and know exactly when to buy or sell.

This ability to manipulate the price of Crypto is completely at odds with the people actually trying to use it for daily business. For them stable is better, but instead the inherent volatility is like trying to use a credit card where you don't know what added fees or rebates the credit company is going to charge you with each purchase. You can't plan a business if you can not trust the value to be at least fairly constant. Investors on the other hand only make money with the commodity being unstable, so they make it that way on purpose. Investors therefor love volatility because then they have the possibility to make even more money, while the businesses find it increasingly harder to use/accept it and any retirement portfolios can no longer be counted on.

Re:It's still 3 times as high as it was a year ago

By timholman • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Shouldn't have invested in ponzi scams then.

Bitcoin isn't so much a Ponzi scheme as it is a giant game of Las Vegas roulette. As others have pointed out, no profit comes out of the BTC ecosystem that isn't put there by others. Bitcoin is useless as money; nothing productive is done with it. It's just a speculative instrument that millions of people are gambling with simultaneously. If you make money "investing" in BTC, it's only because that money came out of the pockets of other "investors". The miners play the role of the house; they take their cut while everyone else plays the game.

There is one big difference between BTC and Vegas roulette, however - the Vegas game is at least nominally honest. The house takes its cut, and the rest of the money passes randomly back and forth between the players. But with BTC, the price can be manipulated by the big players, who are only too happy to fleece the newcomers.

You'd think that decades of gold and silver traders fleecing the newbies would have taught a lesson to the Bitcoin crowd, but some lessons have to be learned the hard way.

Deepest apologies

By nightfire-unique • Score: 3 • Thread
I must apologize to everyone who actually knows what they're doing; this precipitous drop is my fault. I realized crypto was taking off a few months ago, so decided to move a bunch of my money into it. Sorry. :(

Stockfish Sues ChessBase

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Slashdot reader Hmmmmmm shares a blog post from Stockfish announcing a lawsuit against ChessBase: The Stockfish project strongly believes in free and open-source software and data. Collaboration is what made this engine the strongest chess engine in the world. We license our software using the GNU General Public License, Version 3 (GPL) with the intent to guarantee all chess enthusiasts the freedom to use, share and change all versions of the program. Unfortunately, not everybody shares this vision of openness. We have come to realize that ChessBase concealed from their customers Stockfish as the true origin of key parts of their products (see also earlier blog posts by us and the joint Lichess, Leela Chess Zero, and Stockfish teams). Indeed, few customers know they obtained a modified version of Stockfish when they paid for Fat Fritz 2 or Houdini 6 -- both Stockfish derivatives -- and they thus have good reason to be upset. [ChessBase released Fat Fritz 2, described on their website as the "new number 1" chess engine "with a massive new neural network, trained by Albert Silver with the original Fat Fritz." They advertise Fat Fritz 2 as using novel strong ideas compared to existing chess engines, but in reality Fat Fritz 2 is just Stockfish with a different neural network and minimal changes that are neither innovative nor appear to make the engine stronger.] ChessBase repeatedly violated central obligations of the GPL, which ensures that the user of the software is informed of their rights. These rights are explicit in the license and include access to the corresponding sources, and the right to reproduce, modify and distribute GPLed programs royalty-free.

In the past four months, we, supported by a certified copyright and media law attorney in Germany, went through a long process to enforce our license. Even though we had our first successes, leading to a recall of the Fat Fritz 2 DVD and the termination of the sales of Houdini 6, we were unable to finalize our dispute out of court. Due to Chessbase's repeated license violations, leading developers of Stockfish have terminated their GPL license with ChessBase permanently. However, ChessBase is ignoring the fact that they no longer have the right to distribute Stockfish, modified or unmodified, as part of their products. Thus, to enforce the consequences of the license termination, we have filed a lawsuit. This lawsuit is broadly supported by the team of maintainers and developers of Stockfish. We believe we have the evidence, the financial means and the determination to bring this lawsuit to a successful end. We will provide an update to this statement once significant progress has been made.

Good for them.

By Baconsmoke • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
I hope they win their lawsuit.

Re:Stockfish doesn't understand GPL.

By The Evil Atheist • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
No, it IS their's to enforce. The licence is for a product, and it IS up to the owners of the product as to how they interpret the licence. That's how copyright law works. And they DO have standing because they are the owners of that software, and any infringement upon the terms in which they release the software means they have suffered a tangible, quantifiable loss - that their users had lost the ability to use the software they received under the terms of the GPL.

Re:Stockfish doesn't understand GPL.

By quantaman • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

As usual the overconfident AC doesn't understand what they're talking about.

"went through a long process to enforce our license"

The license is not "theirs" to enforce. They released their software under "the" GPL license, not "their" GPL license.

"leading developers of Stockfish have terminated their GPL license"

1) The developers of Stockfish have no right to terminate a GPL license
2) A GPL license is terminated automatically upon violation

In this context "their license" means the license they chose to release "their" software under. And it is definitely their software since they wrote it and have the copyright.

And there's automatic termination and reinstatement language in the GPLv3, but from the description ChessBase have hosed themselves in that regard. However, there's nothing saying the holders of the copyright are not allowed to grant ChessBase a NEW license, which would have been the alternative once ChessBase ran out of chances encoded in the GPL itself and needed to rely on the goodwill of the devs.

Stockfish has no standing to sue because the have not suffered a tangible, quantifiable loss as the result of the alleged infringement. It would have to be up to someone who actually had standing to sue to correct the alleged GPL violations.

I can't sue because I don't have standing. But the Stockfish devs hold the copyright, ChessBase violated the copyright, it's a slam dunk case for standing. If ChessBase is making money off the stolen IP then that's a fairly simple starting point for damages. The fact Stockfish devs didn't choose to monetize the same way doesn't mean they didn't get tangible benefits from Stockfish.

Frankly, the only odd thing I find is the definition of "leading Stockfish developers". The copyright is assigned to the list of authors in the authors file, but I didn't see a mechanism for adjudicating copyright disputes. Any subset of devs can sue ChessBase, but say they come to a settlement and allow ChessBase to start distributing Stockfish derived code again. I suspect all authors who hold copyright would need to agree to re-instate the license.

Re:ChessBase Response

By hankwang • Score: 4 • Thread

A link would have been helpful. I can't find anything like that by searching for "stockfish" on, via google.

Jeff Bezos On Critics of Billionaires Going To Space: 'They're Mostly Right'

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNBC: Jeff Bezos has heard the complaints about billionaires like himself funneling their money into private rocket companies instead of donating to causes on Earth, and he doesn't disagree. In an interview with CNN ahead of his planned Tuesday morning space voyage in a rocket built by his company Blue Origin, Bezos was asked for his thoughts on critics who call the extraterrestrial flights "joyrides for the wealthy, and [who say] you should be spending your time and your money and energy trying to solve problems here on Earth." "Well, I say they are largely right," said Bezos, who Bloomberg estimates is worth $206 billion. "We have to do both. We have lots of problems here on Earth and we have to work on those."

Bezos and fellow billionaires [...] have been characterized by critics as deaf to issues on the ground and too obsessed with making space more accessible when they could put their resources elsewhere. The 57-year-old Bezos, who earlier this month stepped down as CEO of Amazon, said it's important to "look to the future ... as a species and as a civilization." In his view, the work being done today will lay the foundation for future generations to work in space, which "will solve problems here on Earth."
In an opinion piece for MSNBC, Talia Lavin views billionaires going to space through a more incendiary lens, writing: "What they seek to leave behind is a planet burning and flooding and full of the kind of small and ordinary suffering such fortunes could alleviate in an instant."

The space program of the 1960s, which resulted in the first crewed mission to land on the Moon, "may have been mired in the bitter and petty rivalries of the Cold War, and limned by prejudice about who could excel," writes Lavin, "but it was a project funded and created by our government, an achievement held in common by the masses. No such common pride can be held in the launch of the titans of capital."

"In this billionaire battle, there is no pretense at a sense of collective pride or communal achievement. Even the drumbeat of nationalism would be better than this obscene egotism, whose fumes are more putrid than rocket-jet emissions. It feels like a parody of hubris, and a colossal celebration of the social failure to moderate preposterous accumulations of wealth."


It's his business.

By biggaijin • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Jeff Bezos is an extraordinary entrepreneur and made himself one of the richest men in the world through his vision and hard work. He made a lot of money and he can do whatever he wants with it. If he wants to fly himself into space, or buy a town in Connecticut and paint all the buildings purple, or give everyone in South America a pogo stick, he is free to do that. Whiny complaints from people who have not been as successful are unpleasant to hear and not useful. If these people are committed to ending famine, they should work on the problem themselves and not complain that Bezos has not done it.

Re:Mr. Musk

By fleeped • Score: 4 • Thread

Instead he is using his da Vinci level talents

I never knew Da Vinci was a smart businessman, who hired the right people to make his visions reality

What did they think would happen

By mattr • Score: 3 • Thread

I think the journalist is trying to pick an easy target but makes obvious mistakes. For one, Richard Branson's video while weightless talks about dreams and is inspiring. His charisma being used to a good cause. And, I wonder if you think a private space industry is critical for mankind's advancement (and it tends to advance civilian technology too), then what do you expect would happen? The billionaires get on the first safe rides. However I also think Musk has no need to put himself and the entire program at risk by risking his own life whereas his competitors are expecting it to benefit their own.

Re:Liquid Oxygen and Hydrogen

By Geoffrey.landis • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

the combustion energy is converted into exhaust kinetic energy before the exhaust products reach the atmosphere. A well designed rocket engine running on hydrogen and oxygen won't produce nitrogen oxides.

Isn't temperature just the average kinetic of the gas molecules?

Close. Temperature is the random portion of the average kinetic energy of the gas molecules. A packet of gas moving in one direction is not hotter if it's moving quickly.

What a rocket nozzle does is convert the random motion of hot gas into directed motion.

You only need 1300C to make nitrogen oxides,

Yes... and also no. Nitrogen reactions typically are done with pressure as well as temperature. Your car engine, for example (assuming you don't have a Tesla), makes nitrogen oxides not because the combustion process is hot, but because it is hot and compressed. The Haber process, the canonical example of nitrogen fixation, runs at ~100 bar or higher. So, if there were nitrogen in the combustion chamber of the engine... yes, you'd get NOx. At atmospheric pressure, not so much. Yes, lightning produces nitrogen oxides at atmospheric pressure, but lightning is 30,000C, a lot hotter than rocket combustion temperatures.

which is water molecules moving at around 1500m/s by my envelope back. A rocket exhaust speed is 2-3 times that, so must be very hot in a meaningful sense when it meets the atmosphere, no?

Good choice of phrase, 'hot in a meaningful sense'. Right: it's not hot in a thermodynamic sense, but the rocket exhaust has kinetic energy, which will indeed turn to temperature when it slows down. Which it does by mixing with air. But the mixing with air dilutes it and hence spreads the kinetic energy over a large amount of gas, meaning that once the kinetic energy has turned into thermal energy, it's not as hot as it had been in the combustion chamber.

While the rocket exhaust contains negligible free oxygen, I'd have thought it will be hot enough on contact with air to create some nitrogen oxides, as any combustion does. Just not much, especially as it is designed to minimise mixing of fast exhaust with atmosphere.

OK, I'd call that reasonable; I suppose there could be non-zero NOx in the interface region between the supersonic flow and the external atmosphere. But the "not much" really should be interpreted as "almost zero". The reaction H2O+N2 --> H2+N2O really doesn't go very fast; it's thermodynamically unfavorable and has a high reaction barrier.

Actually, I am a rocket scientist.

Well, it's hardly brain surgery.

Fortunately for you! I'd be a terrible brain surgeon.

Re:Liquid Oxygen and Hydrogen

By strikethree • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

You're confused and wrong, the nitrogen is all around that bring flame coming out the bottom end.

Actually, I am a rocket scientist.

Oh my god! I have been waiting 20+ years to hear this kind of response and it absolutely is as glorious as I thought it would be. I can die happy now. :)


Venmo Drops the Global Social Feed That Could Make Your Payments Visible To Strangers

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Venmo announced it's removing its global social feed on Tuesday, the payment appâ(TM)s notorious feature that allows strangers to potentially view payments you make and receive on Venmo. From a report: Now Venmo's social elements will be limited to your actual friends on the app in the "friends feed" without you having to toggle any features in the app. The company buried the change in a blog post detailing an update to the Venmo app. [...] Until recently, Venmo also offered users no control over who saw their friends list within the app, which is potentially incriminating in an entirely separate way from seeing the content of a transaction. After Buzzfeed News discovered President Biden's Venmo account and the accounts of people in his inner circle via the friends list, the company added additional privacy controls for the visibility of your Venmo contacts.

Took long enough

By Sebby • Score: 3 • Thread

This was reported in tech circles well before the incident involving Biden; and I can't fanthom why they would even have a 'social feed' of everyone's transactions in the open - sounds like a major privacy nightmare I wouldn't want to deal with as CSO of any company, no matter how "social" it might be.

US Needs Japan and Korea To Counter China Tech, Says Google ex-CEO

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China's capabilities in artificial intelligence are "much closer than I thought" to catching up to the US, former Google chief executive Eric Schmidt told Nikkei Asia, stressing that America would not succeed without a "very strong partnership with our Asian friends." From a report: In an online interview, Schmidt, now chair of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, said China was closing in on the US in certain areas of AI and quantum computing -- faster than his previous estimate of "a couple of years." That's a really, really big deal," he said. Schmidt stepped down as executive chair of Google parent Alphabet in 2018. He was nominated as the commission chair in 2019 to make AI-related policy recommendations to the US president and Congress.

The commission's final report, released in March, warned that "if the United States does not act, it will probably lose its leadership position in AI to China in the next decade and become more vulnerable to a spectrum of AI-enabled threats from a host of state and non-state actors." To win the tech competition with China, the US had to maintain its lead in "strategic" areas such as AI, semiconductors, energy, quantum computing and synthetic biology, Schmidt said. And for that, he said, "we need much closer relationships with Japanese researchers, Japanese universities, Japanese government -- the same thing for South Koreans and same thing for Europeans."

Don't forget Taiwan.

By Z00L00K • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

But China hates it when you treat Taiwan as independent.

The root problem is education ...

By CaptainDork • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

... in all subjects without the batshit crazy goddam Evangelical right-wing nuts who are driving America into the dust.

Re:But.... AI is bullshit

By Fly Swatter • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
The only reason 'AI' has gone anywhere is the increase in raw computing power that can now be run in parallel (sorry, 'in the cloud'). All this same stuff could be done in the past except not in real-time or even an acceptable time frame.

The power is now there, but the software needs a long way to go before the Sci-Fi version of 'AI' gets any closer. And I think most people think of that when AI is mentioned.

Your empires fucked

By Growlley • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread
You can't stand on your own two feet.

Re:Mode of thinking

By ChunderDownunder • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Welcome to the cold war.

Here in Australia we followed Trump down the rabbit hole and poked the (panda) bear. Our exports got smashed. China has repeatedly shown not to respond positively to public sabre rattling.

Diplomacy 101.

FCC Investigating Whether Cuban Government Is Jamming HAM Radio

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HAM radio operators in Florida have said that Cuba is jamming radio frequencies that prevent them from communicating with operators in the country since anti-government protests began last week. Now, the Federal Communications Commission says it has started an investigation into the issue. From a report: "Too many people around the world are fighting uphill battles to be able to use technology to expand economic opportunity, express themselves, and organize without fear of reprisal," an FCC Spokesperson told Motherboard. "The FCC is committed to supporting the free flow of information and ensuring that the internet remains open for everyone. We are assessing these reports in conjunction with our field agents and communicating with the Department of State as this issue develops." The Cuban government has notoriously controlled communications on the island; until recently there was little internet connectivity in the country and during the protests the government has taken steps to shut down the internet. Cuban exiles living in Florida and other parts of the country often use HAM radio to talk to the mainland.


By suss • Score: 3 • Thread

The source of the jammin' could possibly be coming from Jamaica... /They hope you like jammin' too.

"Ham Radio" -- HAM is not an acronym.

By Known Nutter • Score: 3 • Thread
"Ham radio" -- HAM is not an acronym in ham radio.... fucking Slashdot.

Re:lost the middle east war

By bjwest • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
You can have a strong military without being in a never ending war. I'd argue that without the war spending, you can have an even stronger, better prepared military at less cost.

Do Slashdot editors know anything about "HAM"

By ve3oat • Score: 3 • Thread
Not sure why I even bothered to read this summary. My permit says I am an Amateur Radio Operator.

Re:lost the middle east war

By bjwest • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I'd argue that without the war spending, you can have an even stronger, better prepared military at less cost.

I'll bite - how?

By not spending trillions blowing up other countries and their citizens and using a small fraction of that in training and upkeep.

Developing weapon systems isn't trivial. It's not like there's a lot of commonality between a Nissan Sentra and an M1 Abrams.

The only weapons we can't test, either in training exercises or just live-fire ranges, are our nuclear weapons.

Developing doctrine for using weapon systems isn't trivial either. And teaching people to repair same, and supply chains and...

Doctrine for using weapon systems can easily be developed through theory and training, and do you think things don't break while training with them? I don't know what you're talking about with the supply chains thing. The same supply chain is used regardless of how the weapon was used.

Yeah, militaries are hard to do right. And if you don't do it right, you find yourself replaying 1940 France....

Yes, militaries are hard to get right, but you do not need to use them constantly in war to do so.

France Investigates Report Morocco Had Macron's Phone Hacked

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France is looking into a news report that the phone of French President Emmanuel Macron may have been tapped on behalf of Morocco using spyware developed by Israel's NSO group, his office said Tuesday. From a report: A Moroccan surveillance agency attempted to access his private conversations in 2019, according to an international investigation cited by France Info, which took part in the project. Other heads of state and government members -- including about 15 French ministers or ex-ministers were also targeted -- the probe showed. Morocco has denied responsibility, France Info reported. The Pegasus spyware was used in attempted and successful hacks of 37 smartphones belonging to journalists, activists and business executives worldwide, according to the investigation led by the Paris-based not-for-profit Forbidden Stories, which relied on evidence extracted from the phones through forensic analysis by Amnesty International.

Re:Popcorn time

By saloomy • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
NSO group is Israeli. Israel requires security to maintain its status-quo as an occupier / apartheid state (whether you think its justified or not, I'm just calling a spade a spade) as well as fend of its regional adversaries like Iran. Israel wont give up any of its security apparatus, much of which comes from the private sector so easily. NSO group may not exist after this, but will be reformed as a separate private entity or the tech will be absorbed into the Mossad and Israel will be the contractor for the software in the future.

France complaining is just theatre

By Alain Williams • Score: 3 • Thread

Most countries are doing it but pretend that they are not. If they are caught they will lie and say that they do not. If someone is caught spying on them the act like a kid who has had his sweet bag stolen.

Heads of State an not trust their phones

By gurps_npc • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Frankly, I would assume that any cellphone owned by a P. (President, Premier, Prime Minister, etc.) is hacked.

If I were them, I would not own one. If you have an actual, human aid, they can do everything a smart phone can do, including entertain them.

Not like they are dating, have trouble finding their friends.

Twitter, etc. can be printed out and given to them by their aids. Even videos can be checked for viruses and downloaded to a PC for them to view.

Re:Popcorn time

By geckoFeet • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

"Apartheid" refers to the situation in the occupied territories. There are two sets of laws, two systems of roads, two systems of public transport, two systems of permits, two educational systems, etc. The term has been used by centrist and left-wing Israelis such as former prime minister Ehud Barack, the late president Yitzhak Shamir and the current editor of Ha'aretz (the largest newspaper in the country). You can argue that these territories aren't Israel proper, but the right-wing does indeed call them "Israel" for obvious political reasons.

Biden To Name Google Foe Jonathan Kanter as DOJ Antitrust Chief

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President Joe Biden plans to nominate Jonathan Kanter as head of the Justice Department's antitrust division, Bloomberg Law reported Tuesday, citing a person familiar with the matter, the latest sign that the administration is preparing a broad crackdown on large technology companies. From the report: Kanter, who left one of the country's biggest law firms last year to start his own firm, is a long-time foe of Alphabet's Google, representing companies that have pushed antitrust enforcers to sue the search giant.


By Ostracus • Score: 3 • Thread

Maybe this one will be "recused" as well?

Re:Is an opposing lawer your foe?

By fermion • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
This was the defense of Ken Starr when he put Epstein back on the street to rape more teens and women. He was just being a good lawyer. But then he had to resign from Baylor university because he was implicated in athletes raping other students. Some lawyers are just doing a job. Some develop a skill set and talent for certain causes, like the lawyers who won against tobacco is now going after general drug dealers.

If Biden is serious about anti-trust

By oldgraybeard • Score: 3 • Thread
why did he select a Google lawyer insider as his anti-trust guy @ DOJ? Just another corrupt back door deal in government where the corps just have their guy put in. The DOJ is just a corrupt bunch of lefty lawyers now.

We have such bigger problems than Google

By rsilvergun • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Facebook and Twitter. A handful of C-levels are buying up all the apartment complexes, houses and even trailer parks. They're also buying up all the hospitals and medical facilities. If the majority of our universities weren't public they'd be buying those. If this is just for show and biden's going to go after the much bigger and more important targets that's great, somehow I think he's not going to do that. He's still a neoliberal Democrat.

Worse, This is going to probably pan out like citizens united did, where the Republicans in the right wing out maneuver the Democrats and the left wing and the result is Facebook and Twitter and Google get to continue their antitrust behavior but we end up clamping down on Free speech online of a kind that's opposed to make a corporations and the C-levels.

Right now the plan by the Republican party seems to be to repeal section 230 and replace it with a dmca style rule that allows them to send a notice to Facebook or Twitter or Google that would allow them to take down any content they disagree with. In theory they'd be penalties for false flags but in practice the penalties would be so low they just pay them. And yeah you can fight it and maybe get your content back up but by the time you do everyone will move on and there'll be no impact from your words. You don't have to end speech you just have to stifle it.

Re:If Biden is serious about anti-trust

By Bahumat • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Wow, you did not read the story at all, did you?

The guy isn't a "google insider", he's a long-standing foe to Google. Foe means enemy. The opposite of friend.

Astronomers Push for Global Debate on Giant Satellite Swarms

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Aerospace companies have launched about 2,000 Internet satellites into orbit around Earth over the past 2 years, nearly doubling the number of active satellites. This has sparked concerns among astronomers and other skygazers, who worry about interference with observations of the night sky. From a report: Now, in what would be the biggest international step yet towards addressing these concerns, diplomats at a United Nations forum next month might discuss whether humanity has a right to 'dark and quiet skies.' The debate could initiate a framework for how scientists and the public would deal with the flood of new satellites -- with many more expected.

Tens of thousands of satellites could be added to Earth orbit in the next few years to provide broadband Internet, if companies and governments build and launch all the networks, or 'megaconstellations,' they have publicly announced. The sheer number of these could mean that hundreds are visible all night long, affecting the sky like never before in human history. "These constellations are changing dramatically the way space has been used," says Piero Benvenuti, an astronomer at the University of Padua in Italy and a former general secretary of the International Astronomical Union (IAU). He and other astronomers have been working through the IAU to raise international awareness of how the megaconstellations are affecting scientists and members of the public. They say the goal is not to pit astronomers against satellite companies, but to develop a vision of how to fairly use the shared realm of outer space.


By thegarbz • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

IMHO - as much as a like astronomy - global low-latency, high bandwidth internet anywhere in the world is more important than hobby astronomy.

Why is it that every time this discussion about actual astronomers having a debate comes up someone dismisses them as a "hobby". Maybe science is more important than your low latency internet "hobby".

Re:Right now my biggest issue is Smoke

By g01d4 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

hadn't had an increase in satellites ruining my images

This seems to be more of an issue in theory than fact. I've not seen a citation with an instance of a satellite significantly affecting data acquisition. The prevalence of electronic sensors over the last thirty years means that deep sky images are stacked and stacking enables rejection of the 'bad' pixels in a satellite track occurring in just one of the images. When we get a satellite track in one of our images I'm more interested in identifying the interloper than bothered by its impact. Similar for high cadence measurements where a very unlikely track will impact only one data point of a large time series.

Understandable, but...

By bradley13 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
For serious astronomers, get the equipment off the planet. For the rest of us, light pollution is the bigger problem. The only thing you can reasonably expect re satellites is to require them to have a low albedo (i.e. dark and nonreflective).

Re:Understandable, but...

By iggymanz • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Most discoveries in astronomy are made from ground based stations, it's far far cheaper. We can do internet everywhere without swarms in the sky, the tech is already here.


By Coren22 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Read more than the first sentence?

high bandwidth internet anywhere in the world is more important than hobby astronomy.

If I understand correctly, the professional astronomers should be able to filter out the satellite interference in their observations.

Schweini was talking about both, professional and hobbyists.

China Calls Out Amazon, ByteDance, NetEase for Violating Users' Rights in Latest Crackdown

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China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has called out apps made by Amazon, NetEase and Tiktok-owner ByteDance, as well as 142 other apps, for violating users' rights. From a report: Amazon's China app and NetEase's Dashen, an online community for gamers, have illegally collected user information, the ministry said in its latest list of problematic apps released on Monday. In addition, Douyin Lite, a version of TikTok's Chinese app made for lower-end phones, did not clearly display app information on the app store while Huya, a major live-streaming platform backed by Tencent Holdings, was found to have deceived, misled or forced users to turn on certain permissions, according to the ministry. Amazon said in an emailed statement that it will "continue to coordinate closely with the ministry to ensure we are meeting its requirements." Other app operators did not immediately reply to requests for comment. As part of the regular naming and shaming of Chinese apps by the central government, the MIIT has exerted its authority since 2019 with a total of 15 lists of problematic apps, including 6 so far this year.


By phalse phace • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Pot, meet Kettle.


By aardvarkjoe • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Chinese citizens have the right to be only be abused by their government.

China is violating the rights of everyone

By Targon • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
They should be careful, because I declare that their crimes against humanity should have the world cut off all communications and business with China overall. Three months without new factory orders and China will have massive problems from people who are not working. The Chinese government even supports slavery within its own country, so should be shunned by the global community.


By PPH • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Crushing users' rights like a tank in Tiananmen Square.

Pot black?

By Mr.Fork • Score: 3 • Thread
Or as the saying goes, those who throw stones shouldn't live in glass houses. China is in a Glass Castle. Disappointing to see them try and point this out when they themselves are guilty of so egregious activities. Like arbitrarily detaining citizens from other countries to apply political pressure when it serves them. (i.e. two Canadians when Canada detained a Huawei executive on the USA's behalf).

The West's Punishing Summer Heat Dries Out Thunderstorms and Fuels Raging Wildfires.

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Another scorching summer heat wave was set to peak across portions of the western United States early this week, with air so dry that rain from thunderstorms evaporated before reaching the ground and smoke from wildfires delayed hundreds of flights at one of the region's largest airports. From a report: Temperatures reached the upper 90s and lower 100s in parts of the Northern Rockies on Monday, and forecasters warned of "dry thunderstorms," which bring lightning that can spark fires, but no rain to quench them. It was the fourth major heat wave to afflict parts of the West since early June, bringing dangerously hot temperatures and helping fuel the deepening drought and exploding wildfires across the region. An excessive heat warning was also in effect for parts of Montana and Wyoming through Thursday, the National Weather Service said.

Glasgow, a town in northern Montana, hit 110 degrees on Monday, the Weather Service said. By 2:45 p.m. local time, Billings, toward the southern portion of the state, was officially hotter than Death Valley, Calif., at 110.4 degrees. Weather officials in Billings took advantage of the toasty temperatures and baked a batch of cookies on the dashboard of a car. "It may have taken 5 hours but we have fully baked cookies," they shared on Twitter. Lander, in central Wyoming, reached a record 100 degrees on Monday, according to the Weather Service. In 130 years, it was only the 21st day in Lander to reach triple digits. Parts of Idaho, including Boise and Twin Falls, saw much needed rain showers.

Re:How does a dry thunderstorm work physically?

By sgage • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Yes. Out in the desert, sometimes you can see the rain pouring out of a thundercloud and disappear before reaching the ground. Also known as 'virga'. I saw it a lot when I lived and traveled a lot in AZ and UT.

things may be getting much, much worse

By cats-paw • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

if you weren't an idiot denier, and were paying attention, your attitude about climate change should have been "scientists are generally conservative, things will probably get worse sooner than they think".

That's exactly what we're seeing.

What's even truly frightening is we are now seeing effects that were not predicted .

This could be that there will be additional, tipping point related, effects that could, and probably will, come into play that are not in the climate models.

how many bad summers will it take before the food supply is severely curtailed ?

7 billion people leaves very, very little margin of error. It won't be the end of the world, but it will be the end of a lot of people, and i think it could happen quite fast.

i'm starting to calculate how many calories i can store in my basement. also, best not to rely on a freezer for food storage. it feels weird to be this paranoid, but a level headed view of the current evidence is starting to make me freak out. i thought we had time (a couple of decades) to do something about this, i'm pretty sure i was wrong.

Re: Eh, no big deal

By BytePusher • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
This is an excellent representation of the approved pro-fossil fuel industry propaganda. Which is in fact the establishment or we would have seen actual activity to prevent climate change by now. The reality we're looking at now is, climate change is happening -now- and deniers are a key factor in determining how bad it will turn out to be and how much damage will be done. So yeah, people who deny human caused climate change just suck boots. If you don't like people thinking you suck boots, then stop sucking boots and stop playing the victim.

Won't someone save the airlines!

By Fly Swatter • Score: 3 • Thread

wildfires delayed hundreds of flights at one of the region's largest airports

Oh No! While bringing in fresh water for drinking and water to douse the fires, be sure to bring some peanuts for the passengers during their flight delays.

Re:things may be getting much, much worse

By ScienceBard • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

how many bad summers will it take before the food supply is severely curtailed ?

7 billion people leaves very, very little margin of error. It won't be the end of the world, but it will be the end of a lot of people, and i think it could happen quite fast.

i'm starting to calculate how many calories i can store in my basement. also, best not to rely on a freezer for food storage. it feels weird to be this paranoid, but a level headed view of the current evidence is starting to make me freak out. i thought we had time (a couple of decades) to do something about this, i'm pretty sure i was wrong.

Just a couple things. For one, at least referencing severe drought and wildfires in the American west... those were very much predicted. We've known for a while now that the western US was made a state and had its population boom during a historic wet period. Nothing we're seeing happen now is radically out of the norm looking on long time scales, this was almost certainly going to happen at some point. Even just in human memory we know of Native American civilizations that experienced this exact phenomena, and were forced to abandon the region wholesale because of it. I'm not saying climate change didn't make this statistically more likely to happen, but anyone telling you this wouldn't be happening without climate change isn't being truthful.

For two, you don't have to worry about food in our lifetimes. There is a huge, insane over-abundance of food from modern agriculture. The scale of the production is almost baffling. Right now, in the US, we use food to make plastic, fuel, and pay land owners to let their land lay fallow rather than put it in production as a form of price protection. The true carrying capacity of the planet if we reached for it is almost certainly in the hundreds of billions (assuming you like tofu). There may be productive regions that are lost to climate change, or even some unproductive regions that become productive, but on the whole we have a whole lot of buffer.

I'm not trying to shit on your concerns about climate change or food security. Climate change is definitely real, and supply line shifts due to it could make getting food from where it's produced to people that need it more difficult. But don't give yourself a panic attack, neither the reality on the ground nor the science supports that. If anything the incredible advancement of electric vehicles and encouraging progress on flow batteries should calm the nerves a little... I truly didn't think I'd live to see a day without fossil fuels, and now I actually suspect I will, outside of maybe a few edge cases.

DuckDuckGo Launches New Email Protection Service To Remove Trackers

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DuckDuckGo is launching a new email privacy service meant to stop ad companies from spying on your inbox. From a report: The company's new Email Protection feature gives users a free "" email address, which will forward emails to your regular inbox after analyzing their contents for trackers and stripping any away. DuckDuckGo is also extending this feature with unique, disposable forwarding addresses, which can be generated easily in DuckDuckGo's mobile browser or through desktop browser extensions.

The personal DuckDuckGo email is meant to be given out to friends and contacts you know, while the disposable addresses are better served when signing up for free trials, newsletters, or anywhere you suspect might sell your email address. If the email address is compromised, you can easily deactivate it. These tools are similar to anti-tracking features implemented by Apple in iOS 14 and iOS 15, but DuckDuckGo's approach integrates into iOS, Android, and all major web browsers. DuckDuckGo will also make it easier to spin up disposable email addresses on the fly, for newsletters or anywhere you might share your email.

This requires much trust

By Rick Schumann • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
I use DuckDuckGo instead of Google for web searches and I glad to do it, but frankly I'm not so sure I have enough trust in them to allow them to sift through my emails, even if it's not all of them. I still remember Google having the motto "don't be evil", and look what happened to them.


By nospam007 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

They started a wait-list for a beta.

Trigger happy spam filters

By Zarhan • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I have been using something like this for 20 years - the It's run by a nonprofit. They do spam filtering including graylisting and similar things to your mails as they come in, and outside e-mails also allow you do http redirects to your homepage and also provide a domain name for you if you like (or an entire subdomain if needed).

Anyway, with mails, the big problem is that some mail providers either classify the forwarded mails as spam or reject them altogether, because the mails are not arriving from the servers where the SPF records point to. Combine this with whatever spam blacklists they use and suddely mails do not make it. O365 ( rejects some mails altogether, Gmail seems to work better in the sense that they just put them to spam folder. If incoming mails get classified as spam, a workaround for some of these is to add the senders to your address book. However, if they are rejected at SMTP level then nothing much you can do.

Only available for cell phones too

By bagofbeans • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Sorry, I'm not installing an app just to make an email feature work.

This is a client-side feature not server-side

By MobyDisk • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Blocking trackers seems like something that should be done on the client-side, not the server-side. The client (even a web client) should simply not display any remote content. There's no need to pass all your email to a third-party site just for this feature.

U will acknowledge that there is value in doing so in order to mass train a filter. But not for removing trackers.

Together Price Helps Strangers Share Subscription Passwords

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: Earlier this week, I bought a month of Starz for a fraction of its typical asking price. Instead of paying $9 per month, I paid $3.24. Then I added a subscription to Spotify for $3.49, and a Disney Plus subscription for just $3. All told, my bill comes to about $10 per month for $28 worth of services. Those cut-rate subscriptions come courtesy of Together Price, a service that lets people rent out access to a share of their digital subscriptions. In exchange for a cut of each transaction, Together Price essentially serves as a marketplace for organized password sharing. The service, which started five years ago in Europe and has 80,000 paying customers, just launched in the U.S. last week.

While Together Price isn't the first service to make password sharing easier, it's definitely the most brazen. Still, CEO Marco Taddei insists that the service is legal and that it technically honors each subscription's terms of use. He also believes the service is helping companies retain users that they'd otherwise lose. "We are targeting the very specific audience that needs to share," he says. "If [subscription providers] are not going to allow them do so so, they are going to drop the subscriptions." After signing up for Together Price, you can browse a "network" of users offering to share their subscriptions. Most major streaming video and music services are available, including Netflix, Spotify, Disney Plus, HBO Max, and Hulu, but sharing isn't limited to media. Some users are also peddling subscriptions to software tools such as Canva Pro and Surfshark VPN, and the site lets you set up custom subscriptions for pretty much anything by listing the service name, price, and sharing rules. For each service, you send a request to the subscription owner and submit credit card information to Together Price. Once the owner accepts the request, Together Price processes the payment, and you're allowed into a group where you can view login details and chat with the other members.

Re:Sure this will end well

By WankerWeasel • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
In addition, the resale of your login is against the TOS. That's where you'll really get in hot water. Sharing your password with a friend is one thing but selling it to a stranger? They're going to go after that.

And the winner is...

By rossdee • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The Lawyers

Re:Sure this will end well

By Zak3056 • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

I think there's an old joke that refutes the above quite well:

An engineer dies and goes to hell. Pretty soon, the engineer gets dissatisfied with the level of comfort in hell, and starts designing and building improvements.. After a while, they've got air conditioning, flush toilets and escalators, and the engineer is a pretty popular guy. One day God calls Satan up on the telephone and asks, "So, how's it going down there in hell?" Satan replies, "Hey things are going great. We've got air conditioning and flush toilets and escalators, and there's no telling what this engineer is going to come up with next." God replies, "What??? You've got an engineer? That's a mistake he should never have gotten down there; send him up here." Satan says, "No way. I like having an engineer on the staff, and I'm keeping him." God says, "Send him back up here or I'll sue." Satan laughs uproariously and answers, "Yeah, right. And just where are you going to get a lawyer?"

Note that Netflix, like every major corporation, is not on the side of the angels, and has no trouble finding competent legal counsel.

Credit card numbers

By ghoul • Score: 3 • Thread
Sharing credit card numbers to an organization already breaking laws. What could go wrong?

Re:Welcome to Economics!

By tempo36 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

A subscription services doesn't have an "unlimited supply" as it costs them money, in the form of servers and all the costs associated with them, to supply the content. It costs them more to serve 1,000,000 users than 1,000.

So the premise of your point, that their unlimited supply should command a minimal price, is false.

Wally Funk And Three Crewmates Travel To Space And Back In Under 15 Minutes

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
NPR: Wearing a cowboy hat under the West Texas morning sun, Jeff Bezos crossed the bridge to enter the capsule made by his company Blue Origin. He was accompanied by three others -- his brother Mark Bezos, female aviation pioneer Wally Funk and 18-year-old Oliver Daemen. Then the shuttle hatch closed and just before 9:15 a.m. ET, the four blasted into space on the first human flight on Blue Origin's New Shepard launch vehicle. Bezos is the second billionaire this month to reach the edge of space: Richard Branson rocketed there last week aboard a vessel made by his company Virgin Galactic. The date of the New Shepard's maiden launch is no accident: July 20 was the day in 1969 that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon. Further reading: 'Mercury 13' pilot Wally Funk carried 60 years of history to space on Blue Origin flight.

Re:better late than never?

By Applehu Akbar • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

sixty two years is a damn long time to wait for a flight.

Pffft! I've waited for United delays.


By larwe • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

So you want Space X (owed by an other eccentric billionaire) to get a monopoly in commercial space flight?

Is it reasonable to believe that *in the near future* any of the other contenders can really overtake SpaceX? From where I sit, I'd say that SpaceX has built up an unassailable lead in first-generation commercial crewed spaceflight, and a strong and growing position in commercial uncrewed spaceflight. What I mean by "first generation" here is that my belief is that SpaceX is going to suck all the money out of the room for the immediate future. They have a proven solution. Everyone else needs millions of dollars more in research and prototyping to reach the same point SpaceX is at today. If I was investing $250M, or even just spending $250M on launches, would I invest in the second place contender - who might not even reach the finish line - or in a proven thing? Musk could evaporate tomorrow and SpaceX would continue as a going concern with money coming in and rockets going up.

It is my belief that the people who aren't SpaceX are going to need to continue to be spoonfed cash from individual investors (eccentrics :)) until the market for commercial crewed spaceflight is significantly bigger and can support two or more players of SpaceX's size with a meaningful degree of engineering competition between them. Right now it's a NASA team vs several college senior projects.

Amazon app

By Harold Halloway • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
Although the spacecraft has landed, the Amazon app is still showing it as six stops away.


By FictionPimp • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The best way to inform someone they are misinformed is to start with an insult. Might I suggest you try replacing liar with "You are misinformed". Assuming the worst upfront is why we have such a terrible country as it is.

Scheduling Conflicts

By quantaman • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I still find myself wondering about the person who spent $28 million on a ticket then didn't go due to "scheduling conflicts".

Like did they get reservations at an ultra-exclusive restaurant? Didn't realize it conflicted with their hair cut appointment?

Maybe they weren't really paying attention when they bought the ticket and "scheduling conflicts" is just their blanket excuse when ditching a commitment they don't want to do.

Scientists Create the World's Toughest Self-Healing Material

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Interesting Engineering: [Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Kolkata] along with those at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur decided to focus on developing something that is harder than conventional self-healing material, as reported by The Telegraph India. The researchers used a piezoelectric organic material, which converts mechanical energy to electrical energy and vice versa, to make needle-shaped crystals that aren't more than 2 mm long or 0.2 mm wide, according to the experimental results which were published in the journal Science. Due to their molecular arrangement in the specially designed crystals, a strong attractive force developed between two surfaces. Every time a fracture occurred, the attractive forces joined the pieces back again, without needing an external stimulus such as heat or others that most self-healing materials would need.

"Our self-healing material is 10 times harder than others, and it has a well-ordered internal crystalline structure, that is favored in most electronics and optical applications," lead researcher Professor Chilla Malla Reddy of IISER said. "I can imagine applications for an everyday device," said Bhanu Bhushan Khatua, a member of the team from IIT Kharagpur." Such materials could be used for mobile phone screens that will repair themselves if they fall and develop cracks."

Hardness != thoughness

By gweihir • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Usually the two are pretty much mutually exclusive:

Re:Hardness != thoughness

By jellomizer • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

They are not opposites, they are independent traits to an object.

You can have an object is not hard nor tough. Think of a cheap plastic that will scratch easily and break with little force.

Then you may go up to say a quality stainless ateel, that is difficult to scratch, however after a good amount of force it may bend but not break.

While a Diamond is the worlds hardest material, however it isn't so tough as it will shatter rather easily, however it isn't proportionally fragile to its hardness either.

The article mentions glass. Hmm.

By ITRambo • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
I wonder how they can keep the components totally transparent such that there are no hazy areas on a phone screen before and after a self repair. If they can, that will be phenomenal.

Re:Applications for things beyond screens ...

By phalse phace • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Would be great for car windshields / windows. No more rock chipped/cracked windshields to replace.

With windshields getting thinner to save weight to improve MPG, they seem to be more prone to rock damage.

iOS and Android Activations Now Split Evenly In the US, Research Shows

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Activations of iOS and Android devices are now evenly split in the United States, with little sign of movement toward either platform dominating over the past two years, according to data sourced by Consumer Research Intelligence Partners (CIRP). MacRumors reports: CIRP estimates that iOS and Android each had 50 percent of new smartphone activations in the year ending this quarter. iOS's share of new smartphone activations climbed from 2017 to 2020, but has now remained at its peak level for a second consecutive year. CIRP Partner and Co-Founder Josh Lowitz said that the finding is significant because for several years, Android smartphones "had a significant edge, with over 60 percent of customers opting for an Android phone in most quarters. In the past couple of years, though, iOS has closed the gap, and now splits the market with Android."

Both Android and iOS users have had a high level of loyalty historically. Android loyalty has varied very slightly, in a narrow range of 90 to 93 percent in the past four years. iOS loyalty, on the other hand, has gradually increased over the past four years, from a low of 86 percent in early 2018 to 93 percent in the most recent quarter ending in June 2021. Loyalty and tendency to switch platforms may explain some of the change in the share of new smartphone activations, where iOS has gained loyalty in a market with a limited amount of switching.


By JackieBrown • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I'm the opposite, When you are paying hundreds or thousands of dollars for a phone, locking yourself to a phone ecosystem to avoid paying for a 1-5 app causes my eyes to roll.

iMessage on the other hand, being the android user in many iPhone group texts, I do feel the "lock out"
    - the picture sharing quality is reduced for everyone on the chat
    - the chat can't get named
    - people are adding emotions or replying direct to messages in the chat and I get a general message with little context "X liked a photo"

I mean

By DarkRookie2 • Score: 3 • Thread
The only reason to get an Android phone over an iPhone is so you don't have to install iTunes.


By Ol Olsoc • Score: 4 • Thread

Science Fiction author, Jerry Pournelle, was on a tech podcast talking about iPhone vs. Android. I think this quote from him perfectly describes the situation:

"Everything the iPhone is designed to do, it does flawlessly. It's just that everything else is utterly impossible."

Okay - explain that. Since the premise is that the Android smartphone is superior because you can do anything on it, yet outside of apps you purchase from the app store, the iphone does absolutely nothing else.

Your Boy Jerry is pretty obviously a fanboi of Android. He's also quite wrong. And I do find it funny that so many of us get all spun up about a phone. If you want or need flexibility and top notch computing ability, get a real computer, not these toys.

Re:it always amazed me

By Ol Olsoc • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

the high share apple gets in the US. in Europe it's like 70% android. What are the factors? american company? too many sheeple?

What people want. Having both iPhone and Android - they both work.

I'm in a subset of wanting privacy, as well as enjoying the better way my iphones integrate with my Mac computer, and with my wife and my Jeeps. And Apple does do this better.

And having Android also, I know from first hand experience.

But, the idea that a person is mentally deficient based on their choice is just part of the Ford Versus Chevy mindset where people have a deep seated need to believe that they made the smart choice, and those who don't make the same choice is some sort of stupid enemy.

The only useful aspect of either is that you can have a lot of fun trolling them.


By slaker • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Microsoft Office works that way. Adobe Creative Cloud works that way. Games from Steam and GoG work that way. I bought a photo-culling tool called Optyx last week that works that way.

I think you'll find that if you buy much software at all, that's how it works now.

Our Universe Might Be a Giant Three-Dimensional Donut

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
fahrbot-bot shares a report from Live Science: Imagine a universe where you could point a spaceship in one direction and eventually return to where you started. If our universe were a finite donut, then such movements would be possible and physicists could potentially measure its size. "We could say: Now we know the size of the universe," astrophysicist Thomas Buchert, of the University of Lyon, Astrophysical Research Center in France, told Live Science in an email.

Examining light from the very early universe, Buchert and a team of astrophysicists have deduced that our cosmos may be multiply connected, meaning that space is closed in on itself in all three dimensions like a three-dimensional donut. Such a universe would be finite, and according to their results, our entire cosmos might only be about three to four times larger than the limits of the observable universe, about 45 billion light-years away.

Re:No, its doughnut

By syntap • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Come on, this is Slashdot... Lando.

Yeah yeah, queue up the jokes that it should be spelled Landough for appearances in the final trilogy.

Grigori Perelman

By guestapoo • Score: 3 • Thread
Remind me about BBC's program several years ago, suggest that the Poincare Conjecture that Perelman proved, may lead to conclusion that the shape of the universe is a donut, and if we, suppose could travel across the universe, we would return to the starting point. (I watched it as an entertainment program, and don't understand much of that.)

3D D

By Mr0bvious • Score: 3 • Thread

It's called a fuck'n torus.

And a donut IS three dimensional.

Where's my pencil gone?

Re:Is there an actual paper associated with this?

By dasunt • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Physics research stopped when universities turned into accreditation mills awhile back, even before they turned into daycare centers for adult children and other forms of commies.

"Tell me you are old without telling me that you are old."

Re: Is there an actual paper associated with this?

By gl4ss • Score: 4 • Thread

Donut is a pretty common name for torus internationally