the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2021-Sep-12 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.

Steve Wozniak Shares a Video About His New Space Startup

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Tonight 71-year-old Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak tweeted ten words: "A Private space company is starting up, unlike the others."

The tweet also included the URL for a new video just uploaded tonight to YouTube about a company called Privateer.

"Together we'll go far," says the narrator, later offering these thoughts on the people of our planet. "We are explorers. We are dreamers, risk-takers, engineers, and star gazers. We are human. And it's up to us to work together to do what is right and what is good."

The video's tagline? "The sky is no longer the limit.

The same tagline appears at, followed by two short sentences. "We are in stealth mode. We'll see you at AMOS in September 2021 in Maui, Hawaii." (With AMOS apparently, being the Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies Conference running from this Tuesday through Friday.)

There's very little information about the company — although last month a 3D printing site reported Wozniak's company appeared to be using a printer for high-strength titanium — and suggested the company might have something to do with cleaning up space junk.

Re:Deja Vu

By Arethan • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Marketing was never Woz's forte. He's an engineer. If the message comes directly from him, expect it to be honest, dry, and complete. If you see flashy videos and suspenseful withholding of information, that's more than likely cruft from the marketing department.

Prior art

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

"There's very little information about the company — although last month a 3D printing site reported Wozniak's company appeared to be using a printer for high-strength titanium — and suggested the company might have something to do with cleaning up space junk."

Another famous old guy was working on this 40 years ago.

Wheels of Zeus

By MDMurphy • Score: 3 • Thread
I flashed back to this:

Re:The sad part is

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

probably every VC in the Valley is licking their chops to write him a check

I don't think so. VCs have mostly avoided investing in space companies.

SpaceX got some late-stage funding this year after they had a track record of successful launches. But others rely on rich owners to pay the bills. Woz has a net worth of about $100M, which is way too little to fund a space company.

SpaceX is the only one with a viable path to profitability.

Not a great name

By petes_PoV • Score: 3 • Thread

a company called Privateer.

Privateers were state-sponsored pirates. Or "brave explorers" depending on which nation was doing the describing - and of whom.

As More US Men Abandon Higher Education, Are Admissions Officers Discriminating Against Women?

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
The Wall Street Journal reports an interesting observation about America. "Men are abandoning higher education in such numbers that they now trail female college students by record levels."

Slashdot reader Joe_Dragon shared their report: At the close of the 2020-21 academic year, women made up 59.5% of college students, an all-time high, and men 40.5%, according to enrollment data from the National Student Clearinghouse, a nonprofit research group. U.S. colleges and universities had 1.5 million fewer students compared with five years ago, and men accounted for 71% of the decline.

This education gap, which holds at both two- and four-year colleges, has been slowly widening for 40 years... In the next few years, two women will earn a college degree for every man, if the trend continues, said Douglas Shapiro, executive director of the research center at the National Student Clearinghouse.

But numbers can be misleading. New York Times reporter Kevin Carey points out that more American men are going to college now than they were decades ago — but the percentage of women now going to college has just increased even faster, "more than doubling over the last half-century." Because of the change in ratio, some selective colleges discriminate against women in admissions to maintain a gender balance, as The Journal reported... In a New York Times essay in 2006 titled "To All the Girls I've Rejected," the dean of admissions at Kenyon College at the time explained: "Beyond the availability of dance partners for the winter formal, gender balance matters in ways both large and small on a residential college campus. Once you become decidedly female in enrollment, fewer males and, as it turns out, fewer females find your campus attractive."
The Journal even reported that a former admissions officer at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, and Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon "said this kind of tacit affirmative action for boys has become 'higher education's dirty little secret,' practiced but not publicly acknowledged by many private universities where the gender balance has gone off-kilter."

But even with more women in college, the Times argues that "The raw numbers don't take into account the varying value of college degrees." (And not just because "The female-to-male gender ratio is highest in for-profit colleges, which often overcharge students for worthless degrees.")

"Men still dominate in fields like technology and engineering, which offer some of the highest salaries for recent graduates..." Women surged into college because they were able to, but also because many had to. There are still some good-paying jobs available to men without college credentials. There are relatively few for such women. And despite the considerable cost in time and money of earning a degree, many female-dominated jobs don't pay well...

The fact that the male-female wage gap remains large after more than four decades in which women outnumbered men in college strongly suggests that college alone offers a narrow view of opportunity. Women often seem stuck in place: As they overcome obstacles and use their degrees to move into male-dominated fields, the fields offer less pay in return.

Maybe men are smarter?

By Qbertino • Score: 3, Informative • Thread

Given that the majority of women appears to be majoring in "Gender studies" and "Modern [whatever] Arts" and men tend to go for the topics that have a useful career attached (engineering, economics, etc.) but at the same time have noticed that ...

a) ... US college debt is a silly joke these days ...

b) ... ROI on college degrees is dimishing and ...

c) ... US college is a legal minefield for hetero men these days and ...

d) ... a college degree is no guarantee anymore for scoring a kind and caring wife and partner anymore ... ... it might be reasonable to assume that a growing amount of white hetero men in the US are consciously avoiding college and for good reasons too and would rather specialize and certify right away or learn a trade that can bring in cash faster and more reliably.

I know that I would if I were a young white hetero male in the US today. It's basically a no-brainer IMHO.

My 2 Eurocents.

Re: The title

By getuid() • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Then what's the solution?

You've said it yourself in a different post - the "socialist" Europe way, where education is paid for by taxes money.

It's beyond me how a presumably enlightened society can have anything else and hope to stay enlightened.

Re:You're kidding, right?

By argStyopa • Score: 4 • Thread

Speaking as a man, I find the entire 'whinging for other people to give us something' whether that's respect, jobs, etc just sounds repellent.

People, not just men, are waking up

By erp_consultant • Score: 3 • Thread

Higher Ed in the USA is a scam. The government, in its infinite wisdom, decided to guarantee student loans. Meaning that anyone could get one and the university would be guaranteed repayment of that loan. Unlike any other type of loan, the student loan cannot be discharged via bankruptcy. Students in many cases are saddled with decades of repayments.

At the same time, financially naive students see this as free money. In the old days you used to get a summer job and save money for college. Now they just borrow the money. Universities quickly saw the appetite for these easy loans and began rapidly raising tuitions, far beyond inflation or any real associated costs.

The business community has a role to play here as well. Jobs that never required a Bachelor degree all of a sudden require it. Companies stopped training people and pushed that back to the universities. This artificial demand for degrees just feeds into the demand for student loans and the cycle continues.

The colleges like it because they have guaranteed loans and can charge as much as they like for tuition. Despite the fact that nearly all schools receive some government funding the government does not appear to want to exert any oversight by controlling much tuitions can go up.

Businesses like it because they can absolve themselves of training and choose from a pool of higher educated potential employees.

Students like it because they can borrow seemingly unlimited sums of money to pursue their education. Until they realize that their degree is in many cases worthless in landing them a job and they are still saddled with enormous amounts of debt.

I think a lot of people are coming to this realization and just skipping the whole college thing and starting a business or pursuing a trade. Trades like electrician or plumber makes it quite easy to be your own boss and charge high rates and enjoy the many tax advantages of an LLC. Unless you are studying medicine or engineering or accounting or law, college is at this point a suckers game.

The Problem: Equity Misdefined as "Not White Male"

By eepok • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I'm a Mexican-American male well into my career and I've been either a student or an employee of my University system for the last 21 years. The first part of my career gave me an intimate insight into college admissions.

For the first 10 years or so, the focus was to "help those who had lesser privilege/access" get into our schools and I don't think anyone would disagree with that focus. If you grew up poor, you'd get help. If you came from a crappy neighborhood with crappy schools, you'd get some leniency in admissions criteria. Same with being the gender minority (woman), sexuality (LGBT), and on and on-- If those aspects of your identity resulted in hardships in your upbringing and you could show how you overcame those difficulties, then you'd get bonus points on your application. (Resiliency is a common trait of successful college students.)

The last 10 years, though, has seen a blatant sea-change in peoples' comfort in speaking about how THEY interpret the goals of this endeavor though. "We have too many white males". "We need more women." "We need more 'People of Color'." They have an ideal of what the campus could/should look like in its population and it's heavily burdened with the idea that "white males had their shot". All of this in the name of "equity" and righting historic wrongs.

This is very wrong-headed and explicitly racially and sexually discriminatory. Luckily, when my University system recently attempted to remove legislative restrictions preventing it from re-instituting race quotas, they were shot down. But the pressure from within the University continues.

At the crux of the issue is the irrational belief that the fairest University admissions system would result in a campus population that mirrors the racial, gender, religious, and sexuality make-up of the state and that those proportions would show themselves again in each of the majors. I understand where they're coming from with that bad assumption, but it fully ignores upbringing and the effects that has on educational preferences and goals.

It is much more likely that 18 years of traditional gender pressures steer girls away from most STEM majors than the campus being systemically exclusive of girls in STEM majors.

It is much more likely that Black boys have such severe experiences growing up Black in America, that their academic goals are steered by the desire to improve the state of being for other Black boys and thus they don't go into Accounting with the same frequency with which they go into Black American Studies, Political Science, and Law.

In fact, I'm pretty sure if we were to survey everyone of this year's first-year students, I'm pretty sure that 99.9% of them will say that they selected their major because (1) they're interested in the topic, (2) it's most likely the major they wanted but couldn't get into, and (3) it's what my parents want me to study. Only an exceedingly small amount will say, "Because I felt like the University excluded me from my actual desire of studying Computer Science despite my completed prerequisites."

Was Theranos a Sign of Larger Problems in Silicon Valley's Startup Culture?

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Were Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos symptomatic of something larger? The BBC's North America tech reporter writes that in Silicon Valley, many believe that the story, "far from being an aberration — speaks of systemic problems with start-up culture." In Silicon Valley, hyping up your product — over-promising — isn't unusual, and Ms Holmes was clearly very good at it... She projected an unfaltering confidence that the technology would change the world. "It's baked in to the culture" said Margaret O'Mara, author of The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America. "If you are a young start-up in development — with a barely existent product — a certain amount of swagger and hustle is expected and encouraged" she said.

Particularly at an early stage, when a start-up is in its infancy, investors are often looking at people and ideas rather than substantive technology anyway. General wisdom holds that the technology will come with the right concept — and the right people to make it work. Ms Holmes was brilliant at selling that dream, exercising a very Silicon Valley practice: 'fake it until you make it'. Her problem was she couldn't make it work.

Her lawyers have argued that Ms Holmes was merely a businesswoman who failed, but was not a fraudster. The problem in Silicon Valley is that the line between fraud and merely playing into the faking it culture is very thin. "Theranos was an early warning of a cultural shift in Silicon Valley that has allowed promoters and scoundrels to prosper," said tech venture capitalist Roger McNamee, who is critical of big tech and did not invest in Theranos. He believes that a culture of secrets and lies in Silicon Valley, a culture that allowed Theranos' tech to go un-analysed, is "absolutely endemic"....

Secrecy is important for these companies to succeed — but that culture of secrecy can also be used as a smoke screen, particularly when even employees and investors don't understand or aren't given access to the technology itself.

The reporter points out that like Theranos, "There are many Silicon Valley companies I've reported on that will not fully explain how their tech actually works. They claim to have 'proprietary' systems that cannot yet be revealed or peer-reviewed.

"The system is based on trust, yet it is fundamentally at odds with a culture of 'faking it' and creates the perfect environment for Thernanos-type scandals, where claims that aren't true are left unchallenged."


By backslashdot • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Yeah .. a sepsis diagnosis can be from as low as 1 bacteria (or even less) per mL of blood (1 bacteria in at least 20 drops of blood). That means you can miss certain dangerous blood-borne infections if you don't check at least 20 drops of blood. Reference:

Re:Startup culture is a lie

By Arethan • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Take it from a 40+ year old veteran: it's not all bullshit and mirrors, but a lot of it is. Be smart, and you too can win.

Do you want stock/options? Yes!

Do you want those options to have an expiration window upon your exit (whether on good or bad terms), where you have to pony up a bucket of your own cash to "buy out" your options? NO!

It's literally your money. DO NOT accept "stock options" that aren't real. Fictitious dreams of "going to IPO one day and then you can sell out big" are just that: dreams. Don't accept fictitious, funny-money carrots. If your stock/option has no buyer, then it has no value. Period.

If the company you work for is already publicly listed, you MUST DEMAND stock allocation as part of your compensation. It's called "living wage + your future". Your living wage is cash, your future is RSU grants. Make sure you can live on the cash without selling the stock, after that the stock you get becomes a real incentive toward making sure your company doesn't suck, without risking your daily livelihood.

If the company you work for is NOT listed, then you MUST DEMAND fully tradable future options or shares on a platform/marketplace where you can actively exchange them with others for real cash. If you have no available buyer, your funny-money is worth zero dollars. Don't find yourself in that situation.

In all cases, the value of your RSU options/shares should be about equal to your cash living wage, or better, as of the time of the offer/contract (ie, you are theoretically making 2x your cash income, just 1/2 of that is funny-money). If your RSUs are options, then those options must vest into real private stock ownership (still fully tradable on the same platform/marketplace) at a reasonable timeframe (most common is a 4 year window, ~25% per year). Again, DO NOW let your options have some fucked up "buyout within 30 days of separation or forfeit" clause -- those are sadly very common, and they are really shitty deals from shitty companies.

Cmon guys! This isn't really all that hard. It's called making businesses put their money where their mouth's are! If they believe the business has a solid design and is going to moon no matter what, then they won't care if their employees get fat along the way as well. In fact, it's way more fun for everyone involved when you all get rich as fuck together!

The only things that matter in silicon valley star

By sonoronos • Score: 3 • Thread

The only two things that matter in silicon valley startup culture are:

1. Who else is investing. Big names on the investor list have a huge influence on who invests.
2. How much money is being invested. The bigger the investments, the more others are likely to invest larger sums.

All you need are big names and big dollar signs.


By flyingfsck • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Knowingly delivering machines that don't work and endangering the lives of patients as a result, is a different level of faking, called fraud. If she said that their first machines require 1cc of blood to work, but the final ones will use 1 drop and the machines actually worked, then it would have been OK.

Re:Silicon Valley has a lot of problems...

By Gibgezr • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

"When the inventor of mRNA vaccines is telling people about risks of the COVID-19 vaccine, but YouTube deletes those videos [], you won't know something is seriously wrong."
Yes, what went wrong is: the people who edited those videos made it SEEM that he was saying something that he wasn't. He requested they be taken down, because he saw that they were misrepresenting his actual views on the subject. He wanted it made clear: he firmly believes you should go get the vaccine.
Here is his statement on the whole thing:

Apple Says Motorcycle Vibrations Can Damage IPhone Cameras

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Long-time Slashdot reader fahrbot-bot quotes Engadget: Hold off on purchasing that iPhone mount for your motorbike.

In a new Apple Support post first seen by MacRumors, the tech giant has warned that high amplitude vibrations, "specifically those generated by high-power motorcycle engines" transmitted through handlebars, can damage its phones' cameras.

As the publication notes, that damage can be permanent. A simple Google search will surface posts over the past few years by users whose cameras were ruined after they mounted their iPhone on their bike, mostly so they can use it for navigation.

MacRumors summarizes another Apple recommendation: for slower vehicles like mopeds and scooters "at least use a vibration-dampening mount to minimize the chances of any damage."

Engadget's suggestion? "Just use another GPS device to make sure you don't ruin a device that costs hundreds to over a thousand dollars."


By countach • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

This is not unique to Apple, and it's why Quad-lock developed a motorcycle mount dampener with soft rubber mounting bushes. Quad lock motorcycle mount dampener

The old days

By presearch • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

It's an interesting and difficult to solve problem.

In the old days, slashdot was inhabited by mostly intelligent, well-read engineers that would quickly
grasp the issues of vibrations in a domain that could damage small delicate components.
Now, mostly clueless 12 year olds hang out here with nothing of value to contribute.

In other words...

By Jsutton1027w • Score: 3, Funny • Thread
You're holding it wrong.

Re: Or just save your money...

By registrations_suck • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

A). Motorcycles are bought by plenty of people not included in your description. They are efficient, highly practical transportation.

B). Motorcycles are not expensive. They are CHEAP. You don't have to buy a super bike or an overpriced chromed out HD. Plenty of good, low mileage used bikes can be had for under $3K. For $5K, there is a wide selection.

Re:easier solution

By Paul Carver • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Sure. I realize they all have the same problem, but at some point, somebody had to say, "This works well enough," and if it's that sensitive, I'd argue that it doesn't, in fact, work well enough, at least if your camera module isn't easily replaceable. I would argue that doing optical stabilization in something that small still doesn't make sense, given the current level of hardware.

Wait, are you saying that things that won't work on a motorcycle shouldn't be allowed to exist? I have motorcycle and that seems like a pretty extreme position to me. I'm perfectly fine with allowing the existence and invention of things that can't be mounted to a motorcycle. In fact, I own lots of things that I would never consider mounting to my motorcycle. I don't own one of these OIS phones, but I don't think their existence should be prohibited just because they shouldn't be mounted to my bike.

I find it very weird when I read posts from people claiming that some technology shouldn't be allowed to exist.

'Every Message Was Copied to the Police': the Daring Sting Behind the An0m Phone

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
The Guardian tells the story of "a viral sensation in the global underworld," the high-security An0m phones, which launched with "a grassroots marketing campaign, identifying so-called influencers — 'well-known crime figures who wield significant power and influence over other criminal associates', according to a US indictment — within criminal subcultures." An0m could not be bought in a shop or on a website. You had to first know a guy. Then you had to be prepared to pay the astronomical cost: $1,700 for the handset, with a $1,250 annual subscription, an astonishing price for a phone that was unable to make phone calls or browse the internet.

Almost 10,000 users around the world had agreed to pay, not for the phone so much as for a specific application installed on it. Opening the phone's calculator allowed users to enter a sum that functioned as a kind of numeric open sesame to launch a secret messaging application. The people selling the phone claimed that An0m was the most secure messaging service in the world. Not only was every message encrypted so that it could not be read by a digital eavesdropper, it could be received only by another An0m phone user, forming a closed loop system entirely separate from the information speedways along which most text messages travel. Moreover, An0m could not be downloaded from any of the usual app stores. The only way to access it was to buy a phone with the software preinstalled...

[U]sers could set an option to wipe the phone's data if the device went offline for a specified amount of time. Users could also set especially sensitive messages to self-erase after opening, and could record and send voice memos in which the phone would automatically disguise the speaker's voice. An0m was marketed and sold not so much to the security conscious as the security paranoid...

An0m was not, however, a secure phone app at all. Every single message sent on the app since its launch in 2018 — 19.37m of them — had been collected, and many of them read by the Australian federal police (AFP) who, together with the FBI, had conceived, built, marketed and sold the devices.

On 7 June 2021, more than 800 arrests were made around the world....

Law enforcement agencies ultimately saw An0m as a creative workaround for unbreakable encryption, according to the Guardian. "Why debate tech companies on privacy issues through costly legal battles if you can simply trick criminals into using your own monitored network?"

The Guradian's story was shared by jd (Slashdot user #1,658), who sees an ethical question. "As the article notes, what's to stop a tyrant doing the same against rivals or innocent protestors?"

Open source

By felixrising • Score: 3 • Thread
A strong argument for open source software.

Re: "entrapment"

By gnasher719 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
If you had considered committing a crime but didnâ(TM)t do it because it was too difficult, then handing you the tools is not entrapment. Only if you hadnâ(TM)t considered committing a crime. Showing you opportunities for crime, like an unlocked car with the keys in the ignition, is not entrapment.

Re:The Guradian?

By dackroyd • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

That's actually reasonably obscure - might as well link to

Re: Yes we know, Guardian

By Antique Geekmeister • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Barring evidence due to unconstitutional violation of privacy is possible only if the existence, and source, of the evidence is ever revealed to the court. Evidence used to blackmail a criminal into an informant doesn't normally suffer from such limitations. Investigations based on such illicitly gathered evidence can also be laundered to conceal its illicit origin, or merely used to indicate to officers where to look. The FBI in the USA has a very poor reputation for collecting informants who remain criminals while working for the police, including infamous mobsters who used the FBI to eliminate competition.

Relying on such an agency to keep its data scrupulously legally obtained does not seem wise. It's why people were so concerned about PRISM, the NSA program for monitoring Internet communications in bulk, and the FBI's "Carnivore" program for monitoring email.

Re: Yes we know, Guardian

By darkain • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Nah, it was probably just buried in the 1000 page EULA somewhere!

Scientists Probe Whether Uranium Cubes in US Lab Were Produced by Nazis

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
The New York Times reports: Scientists at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the University of Maryland are working to determine whether three uranium cubes they have in their possession were produced by Germany's failed nuclear program during World War II. The answer could lead to more questions, such as whether the Nazis might have had enough uranium to create a critical reaction. And if the Nazis had been successful in building an atomic bomb, what would that have meant for the war...?

The Nazis produced 1,000 to 1,200 cubes, about half of which were confiscated by the Allied forces, said Jon Schwantes, the project's principal investigator. "The whereabouts of most all of those cubes is unknown today," Schwantes said, adding that "most likely those cubes were folded into our weapons stockpile."

Two history professors speculate in the article that the technology ultimately would not have changed outcome of the war. Kate Brown, who teaches environmental and Cold War history at MIT, argues that without planes that could fly long distances without being spotted, "the only target I can think of would be London." Brown said that while a Nazi bomb would not have had much of an impact on the war, the Nazis set the stage for the Cold War simply by trying to build one. The Soviets, who were then U.S. allies in defeating Germany, were aware that the Americans took this uranium out of the country "right out from under them," she said. "That becomes a real engine for suspicion that sets up the Cold War, almost immediately," Brown said.
The project's principle investigator tells the Times they're planning to use a process called radiochronometry to date the cubes by measuring how much their uranium has decayed.

"We do believe they are from Nazi Germany's nuclear program, but to have scientific evidence of that is really what we're attempting to do."

Much too heavy

By raymorris • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

  > An Arado Ar234 could cruise through either Russian or British air defence

If I'm not mistaken, an AR234 could carry 750 kg under each wing. The Little Boy bomb weighed about 4500 kg.

I mention "under each wing" because balance is key for aircraft, especially those like the AR234 that are providing cutting-edge performance.

They could redesign a variant to carry the bomb internally as deploy it, resulting in a plane that could carry 1/3rd the weight of an atomic bomb. So still no go even with a redesigned plane. Still not even close, really.

Re:Somehow reach the east coast?

By ksw_92 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

You need to do more research. You can start at and fall down the rabbit hole of open publications from there.

Water is pretty immune to activation effects; it is the salts in "salt water" that can be a problem. The thing is, it's mainly sodium and chorine that would be activated. Sodium-24 would be dangerous but has short 18-hour half-life; Chorine-36 has a very long half-life and is not very dangerous. In reality, with the dilution of both in water you don't have a real concern unless you took a swim in the area right over the IP.

Physical effects are even less of an issue for the landlubbers. A lot of the energy of an underwater detonation goes up, not out. You don't get a tsunami. Shock waves bouncing off the sea floor (in the case of a shallow detonation, like in littoral waters of a bay) can actually pull water back towards the IP, reducing the size of the expanding wave.

In short, if all you got is submarine delivery, you're better off putting the gadget on a raft and floating it into into some harbor somewhere and hoping for decent thermal effects.

It's only London, after all.

By martinX • Score: 3 • Thread

Two history professors speculate in the article that the technology ultimately would not have changed outcome of the war. "the only target I can think of would be London."

Might have had a large impact on one of the unoccupied countries putting up a significant fight. But, yeah, no biggie.

It should be easy to tell.

By Grog6 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

the trace impurities in the Cube should tell where it came from, and if it ever saw a critical mass.

Re:Deliver it?

By hackertourist • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

drop a nuke and then say Aufiderzein

That would be 'Auf Wiedersehen', surely?

Boeing's Directors Are Now Facing an Investor Lawsuit Over Fatal 737 Max Crashes

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Alain Williams (Slashdot reader #2972) brings this report from the BBC: Boeing's board of directors must face a lawsuit from shareholders over two fatal crashes involving its 737 Max plane, a U.S. judge has ruled. Morgan Zurn said the first crash was a "red flag" about a key safety system on the aircraft "that the board should have heeded but instead ignored".

She said the real victims were the dead and their families but investors had also lost billions of dollars... In her ruling the Delaware judge said: "While it may seem callous in the face of [the families'] losses, corporate law recognizes another set of victims: Boeing as an enterprise, and its stockholders...."

The crashes have already cost Boeing about $20bn in fines, cancelled orders and other costs.

Why aren't they facing jail time

By takionya • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Why aren't they facing jail time for the 346 people killed by their faulty MCAS system?


By sjames • Score: 3 • Thread

Sadly, none of these people who "deserve the huge rewards because they take the big risks" will be having to choose Ramen over a thick steak for dinner as a result of their huge failure. But a bunch of people who had no power to make Boeing behave better will.

IANAL, but surprised judge let CEO off

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

It seems to me that "lying to the board and then getting to retire with full pension and options' sure -should be- actionable against the board! The extensive narrative from the judge shows that the Board knew, or damn well should have known, that Muilenberg lied to the board about 737 MAX safety and MCAS.

I also note in passing the current CEO was also accused of 'bad things' in the judge's summary.

Given the high bar for such a suit, that probably explains the lengthy and detailed judicial opinion. No judge likes to be overturned on appeal... Definitely some blunt characterizations by the judge in this report! (And given my own experience with Dennis Muilenberg and with Boeing, I'm glad to see the blunt language.)

On Sacklers, oxycontin and investor law suits ...

By 140Mandak262Jamuna • Score: 3 • Thread
Sacklers are getting away scot free! Less than 7% of the money is going to the actual flesh and blood victims and 93% is divvied up among companies. And they needlessly included Sacklers and gave them immunity from private law suits.

People who actually died in these crashes, any engineer who stood up to management pressure they will get no justice. But these "investors" who gorged themselves on the profits made when the company cut the corners now demand the remaining stock holders to pay them for their imaginary losses. Board is not going to pay out of their pockets. They have contracts with the company to backstop and indemnify them.

Oh, give it a break

By tiqui • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

This case says NOTHING about the people Boeing murdered - that's in a different set of lawsuits.

You did the typical leftist drive-by shooting of "capitalism sucks!", accompanied by something good actually being inverted and presented as something obviously bad [to ignorant fools who ignore details] and implications that any other system [usually something Marxist] must obviously be better.

1. NOTHING about this lawsuit affects any other lawsuits, and in fact even the left wing hacks at NPR admitted back in January that Boeing is paying out $2.35BILLION in the settlement over the two crashes $500Million of which will be divided among the families of the 346 victims (some of the settlement is criminal penalties and some is to the airlines who bought 737Max airframes that were then grounded). That means that each victim family will end up with over a million USD, which may not be what it used to be but is certainly not trivial.

2. This is excellent news - in a market economy like this one, shareholders SHOULD be making their boards of directors and corporate execs responsible for their bad actions. Sadly, most investors sit on the sidelines and ignore all the garbage the executives at the companies they invest in get into - which is how so many corporations have ended up going so far astray. This is a very positive development - long overdue.

3. You anti-capitalism guys always compare market economies to perfection, NEVER to the real world alternatives. Please point to the non-capitalist system in the real world where simultaneously one sees the sort of economic growth and success for the general population we see in market economies, AND there is MORE accountability for lost human lives. As a general rule, people living under non-market-based systems get treated like interchangeable cogs in a machine and their families are treated appallingly when they are killed.

Ask Slashdot: Why Is Firefox Losing Users?

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
This weekend finds some long-time Slashdot readers debating why research shows Firefox losing market share. Long-time Slashdot reader chiguy shares one theory: "Firefox keeps losing users, according to this rant, because it arrogantly refuses to listen to its users."

Slashdot reader BAReFO0t countered that that can't be the reason, "because Google does that too." (They blame Chrome's "feature" addition treadmill, where "they keep adding stupid kitchen sinks for the sole and only purpose to make others unable to keep up.")

Long-time Slashdot reader Z00L00K thinks that "All those totally unnecessary UI changes are what REALLY annoys users. Not only the immediately visible things in the header but also the renaming of items in the menus just bugs people." But long-time Slashdot reader AmiMoJo argues that "the most popular browser, Chrome, has all those things. In fact all the browsers that are more popular than Firefox do, so the idea that those are unpopular and driving people away doesn't really hold up... Firefox's decline is mostly due to Chrome just being really good, and [Firefox] not having a decent mobile version."

I'm still a loyal Firefox user. (Although the thing that annoyed me was when Firefox suddenly changed the keyboard shortcut for copying a link from CNTRL-A to CNTRL-L.) The "rant" at ItsFoss argues that Firefox's original sin was in 2009 when it decided to move tabs to the top of the browser, and when favorite features could no longer be re-enabled in Firefox's about:config file. But that's what I like about Firefox -- at it's best, it's ultimately customizable, with any feature you want easily enabled in what's essentially an incredibly detailed "preferences" menu. Maybe other browsers are just better at attracting new users through purely mechanical advantages like default placement on popular systems?

Long-time Slashdot reader zenlessyank is also a long-time Firefox user -- "Been using it since Netscape" -- and countered all the doubters with a comment headlined " Firefox rocks!"

"Doesn't matter to me how many other users there are or aren't I will still use it as long as it stays updated."

But what are your thoughts? Feel free to share your own opinions and experiences with Firefox in the comments.

Re:UI changes

By dinfinity • Score: 4 • Thread

Seconded. I am now regularly hesitant to close a tab by middle clicking it, because it has happened to me multiple times that I closed an inactive tab instead of the active one due to the difference being incredibly unclear.

So now when I want to close the active tab I use CTRL+W, which requires me to move my hand towards the keyboard. It is absolutely inexplicably awful.

eliminating features and options

By Dusanyu • Score: 3 • Thread
things like this could be an example the thread is full of users asking for a option not to be remove (compact view) and the requests being hidden when your users are treated as a inconvenience to your "artistic vision" your users will go away

Folks do have a point

By martynhare • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Brave is led by a Mozilla co-founder (and inventor of JavaScript) and is gaining popularity quite fast considering its user base know its essentially Chrome. Correlation does not equal causation but when an organisation forces people to step down over unrelated personal politics and said people continue to demonstrate their worth elsewhere, it kinda shows how much self-harm Mozilla inflicted upon itself. Therefore, I cannot really say folks chanting SJW this and SJW that about Mozilla are wrong this time round.

Re:Longtime user here

By Retired ICS • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The ESR version is totally completely useless and fucked. It contains the same drivel changes as the "great unwashed" version of FIrefox. Not to mention that you cannot switch from a fucked-up version of Firefox to the ESR version without reformatting the computer, re-installing the Operating System,, and reconfiguring Firefox ESR from the get-go.

This might be useful if you could simply install the ESR version and it would work, but you cannot do that.

Re:"at it's best, it's ultimately customizable"

By famebait • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

And yet people have flocked to Chrome. There is no rational explanation for this

Not looking hard enough.
There are other qualities than customising that matter to many, even if they might not to you.
For me the biggies are:
* Solid versions for all the platforms I use, including my android mobile
* Smooth replication of bookmarks and other settings between them all with no extra effort/config from me
* Brilliant developer features on desktop version
* No-effort sso with google mail, maps, docs, and keep, all of which I use extensively

I respect the criticisms against chrome, and Google in general, but for me the convenience and fit with my life trumps it all.
If your situation and/or priorities are different, that is fine.

"people are generally stupid"

People are generally not you.

Personal Data About Millions of Children Stolen from Schools, Leaked onto the Darkweb

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Long-time Slashdot reader phalse phace quotes NBC News: Most don't have bank passwords. Few have credit scores yet. And still, parts of the internet are awash in the personal information of millions of schoolchildren.

The ongoing wave of ransomware attacks has cost companies and institutions billions of dollars and exposed personal information about everyone from hospital patients to police officers. It's also swept up school districts, meaning files from thousands of schools are currently visible on those hackers' sites.

NBC News collected and analyzed school files from those sites and found they're littered with personal information of children. In 2021, ransomware gangs published data from more than 1,200 American K-12 schools, according to a tally provided to NBC News by Brett Callow, a ransomware analyst at the cybersecurity company Emsisoft.

Some schools contacted about the leaks appeared unaware of the problem. And even after schools are able to resume operations following an attack, parents have little recourse when their children's information is leaked. Some of the data is personal, like medical conditions or family financial statuses. Other pieces of data, such as Social Security numbers or birthdays, are permanent indicators of who they are, and their theft can set up a child for a lifetime of potential identity theft.


By quonset • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Other pieces of data, such as Social Security numbers or birthdays, are permanent indicators of who they are, and their theft can set up a child for a lifetime of potential identity theft.

Why would a school need a social security number?

To correctly identify the kid claiming to be Ben Bova is really Ben Bova. Also, it might be possible (not sure) to verify the kid is really from the school district and not from somewhere else.

Where a particular school district is known for its quality education, people who don't live in that district will try to find ways to get their kid to go to those schools. For example, they may have the kid live with a grandparent who is in the district, but not the kid's legal guardian. Someone who lives near the border of the district might try to get their kid into the district, hoping the school won't look too closely where the kid lives. Depending on your state, school districts are funded by the taxes of people from the district itself. If someone who isn't in the district attempts to have their kid go to schools in the district, they aren't paying for their kid's schooling.

There is no such thing as Identity Theft

By sjames • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

The sooner we legally force the understanding that there is no such thing as identity theft, the sooner this crap will stop.

The person who "stole your identity" and took out a new credit card did NOT steal anything from you. No need for you to be involved at all. He committed fraud against a bank. That would be between the bank and the fraudster. Any attempt to get you to pay the bill is a second act of fraud committed by the bank against you and should be treated as such. As soon as you say "that wasn't me", it's done. They can either present evidence that it was ACTUALLY you, not just someone who knew a bit of public information about you or they can STFU. Reporting it to a credit agency when such proof is not available is an act of libel. A credit agency that reports adverse information associated with you better be able to show that it was ACTUALLY you or it is also libel.

Can the US Create Hundreds of Thousands of Jobs With a Civilian Climate Corps?

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
ABC News reports: Inspired by the New Deal-era Civilian Conservation Corps, President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats are pushing for a modern counterpart: a Civilian Climate Corps that would create hundreds of thousands of jobs building trails, restoring streams and helping prevent catastrophic wildfires. Building on Biden's oft-repeated comment that when he thinks of climate change, he thinks of jobs, the White House says the multibillion-dollar program would address both priorities as young adults find work installing solar panels, planting trees, digging irrigation ditches and boosting outdoor recreation...
Colorado Public Radio reports that there's already a new Colorado Climate Corps, funded by a $1.7 million federal grant, that will place 240 members of America's federally-funded national service program "AmeriCorps" into 55 counties across Colorado "to protect public lands and help low-income communities brace for the climate crisis."

And now supporters of the larger federal program "envision climate corps workers installing solar panels, weatherizing buildings and providing water and other supplies during heat waves and storms," reports the New York Times: A new climate corps would help address the growing threat of wildfires in Idaho, according to Jay Satz, senior director for partnerships and innovation at the Northwest Youth Corps and Idaho Conservation Corps. Mr. Satz said his group doesn't have the funding or the staff to meet that need, which includes thinning out dead trees, replanting new trees and rehabilitating land hit by fires.


By Anonymous Coward • Score: 0 • Thread
It amazes me that self-identified capitalists can be so ignorant about debt, and that they can be so willfully dishonest about what they're actually advocating.

Among the reasons the national debt is irrelevant (in brief): it's in our own currency, our real economy grows faster than the nominal interest rate, and there is no enforcement mechanism to collect any of it short of war. The vanishingly-unlikely but worst-case outcome is that people stop lending the federal government money, meaning that years from now we'd have to contemplate the kind of belt-tightening you're advocating for right now.

In the situation we're in, the only logical objection to any debt is that we're not getting the appropriate value in what we're spending the borrowed money on. But the reality is we know exactly what kinds of government spending leads to return on investment: social programs and real infrastructure. That's where you're being dishonest: just admit that you don't think things like educational spending, healthcare, a social safety net, and public construction are things you want to see done. Due to your classism, racism, sexism, religious myopia, I don't care, maybe it's just the misguided belief that those things don't do you personally any good.


By Reiyuki • Score: 1 • Thread
At a certain point, everyone is eventually forced to live within their means.

Re:What defines a "job"?

By NotEmmanuelGoldstein • Score: 2 • Thread

... a job for one hour a week.

It's an international standard. The problem, aside from the large number of jobs that require a person to work for only one or hours per day or per week, is the person who works such a job has to perform all the unemployment activities that a person working zero hours does, but isn't labelled a dole-bludger and belittled. It means the under-employed are never mentioned in government reporting or welfare-bashing while in fact, they number two or three times the no-job population. It is a sneaky way of giving corporate welfare.


By The Real Dr John • Score: 2 • Thread

Yes, I was talking about neoliberal (which means paleoconservative actually) America, where corporations have more rights than people. Sorry about that, I should have been more specific.


By CrimsonAvenger • Score: 2 • Thread

Do remember that every dollar created for this program will increase the money supply without bothering with all that "making something to sell" part.

Which translates, more or less, to higher prices for everyone for everything.

Which translates , more or less, as "everyone will be a bit poorer.

Do try to keep in mind that switching from coal, oil, and gas to solar, wind, and nuclear doesn't mean "let's recruit a bunch of guys from the ghettos of NYC to do this". Rather, it means "let's give a metric fuckton of money to companies that make solar panels, windmills, and nuclear power plants".

And giving a fuckton (metric or not) of money to large corporations is NOT going to produce tens of millions of jobs....

Amazon Renames Its Open Source Fork of ElasticSearch 'Amazon OpenSearch Service'

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"Amazon Web Services on Thursday fulfilled its commitment to rename Amazon Elasticsearch Service with its expected new identity, Amazon OpenSearch Service," reports the Register in a new update on Amazon's ongoing battle over open source licensing: The name change was necessary because AWS and Elasticsearch BV fell out over the licensing of the Elasticsearch open source software and the eating of one another's lunch.... While AWS promises that OpenSearch Service APIs will be backward-compatible with the existing service APIs (open source Elasticsearch 7.10), meaning no backend or client app changes should be necessary, building against new OpenSearch Service features means there's no going back. AWS says that upgrading from existing Elasticsearch 6.x and 7.x managed clusters to OpenSearch is irreversible.

[According to a blog post by Channy Yun, principal developer advocate for AWS], OpenSearch 1.0 (the AWS fork) supports three features unavailable in the legacy Elasticsearch versions still supported in Amazon OpenSearch Service: Transforms, Data Streams, and Notebooks in OpenSearch Dashboards... Amazon OpenSearch Service incorporates various other capabilities not present in the open-source Elasticsearch code, like security integrations (Active Directory, etc), reporting, alerting, and other such things. Cloud provider lock-in can become an issue even when there's compatibility between hosted open source services and the projects they're based upon.

What started out as an exercise in copying, the most lucrative form of flattery, has become a race to differentiate, or — to use the words of former Microsoft VP Paul Martiz when telling Intel representatives in 1995 about how Microsoft would deal with Netscape — "Embrace, extend, extinguish."

Simple: destroy the core development team

By DeplorableCodeMonkey • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

How does one "extinguish" open-source? Does it involve being run over by a bus?

In every open source community, you have a core development team that does the heavy lift and is not easily replaced. Find a way to disrupt that, you disrupt the whole project.

For the ELK stack, that core is the group of developers employed by Elastic. There has probably never been a period in Elastic's history where the community could just pick up the pieces and move on without them.

A decade ago, I joined a small team that tried to pick up an open sourced app when its vendor ended its open sourcing plan. We failed to keep things going because it was too much work for half a dozen part time people to build a viable replacement. So it could easily happen with Elastic unless there is a real community building up around an open source fork.

Ignorant drivel

By thegarbz • Score: 3 • Thread

Did TFA really just compare this case here to MS's EEE? If like to remind the moron who wrote it that we're only in this situation because a crybaby developer got upset that a company followed the rules the developer chose, took their bat and ball and went home.

This isn't EEE, this is open source at is finest, forking away from bad practices and getting on with your life.

Amazon's changes are published. The Elasticsearch idiots are more than welcome to catch up now if they want their product to remain relevant.

Linux For Apple Silicon Macs Gets Closer To Reality

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"Asahi Linux for Apple M1 Macs is moving closer to reality," writes Slashdot reader TroysBucket.

An Asahi developer posted a detailed status update on Twitter. Linux enthusiast Bryan Lunduke offers this succinct summary:

- The Asahi Linux team has Linux (Debian, in this case) booting and usable with network support.

- They now have (very early) display drivers which "take full advantage of the display hardware."

- They have at least two base distributions — both Arch and Debian — working and functional (to some extent).

They also have, according to their latest update, "boot picker" support so that you can manually select which OS / Drive to boot from on the M1 Macs... I, for one, can't wait to see the first public, functional release of Asahi Linux — and will be following it extremely closely.

Re:Who's going to use it?

By ToddDTaft • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I have a hard time believing there are many people who buy Apple hardware specifically to run Linux. It's too easy to get something cheaper that's probably better suited.

You're probably right that not many people would buy Apple hardware to run a single-boot Linux system, but I could see using it as a dual-boot system or to extend the useful life of Apple hardware by installing a Linux distribution once the system is too old to run current versions of MacOS.

Re:I would love to try this

By dnaumov • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

But I have a measley 128gb ssd that is soldered onto the board, it barely fit my mac os files

You're lying. M1 Macs with 128gb ssd don't exist.

Re:I would love to try this

By ArchieBunker • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Indeed. Smallest is 256gb.

One question - why?

By filesiteguy • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
I love Linux and use it daily on at least one PC. But I recently bought an Apple laptop for work. It is UNIX. I can add repositories, run bash command lines, I can compile my own apps.

Why would I want Linux?

Why would I want this?

By RogueWarrior65 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

OSX is essentially Linux already and has a far better user experience than any of the Linux desktop flavors. If you absolutely need that, virtualize it.

Torvalds Merges Support for Microsoft's NTFS File System, Complains GitHub 'Creates Absolutely Useless Garbage Merges'

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"Linux creator Linus Torvalds has agreed to include Paragon Software's NTFS3 kernel driver, giving the Linux kernel 5.15 release improved support for Microsoft's NTFS file system..." reports ZDNet, adding that the driver "will make working with Windows' NTFS drives in Linux an easier task — ending decades of difficulties with Microsoft's proprietary file system that succeeded FAT...."

"But he also had some process and security lessons to offer developers about how to code submissions to the kernel should be made." "I notice that you have a GitHub merge commit in there," wrote Torvalds.

He continued: "That's another of those things that I *really* don't want to see — GitHub creates absolutely useless garbage merges, and you should never ever use the GitHub interfaces to merge anything...GitHub is a perfectly fine hosting site, and it does a number of other things well too, but merges are not one of those things."

Torvalds' chief problem with it was that merges need "proper commit messages with information about [what] is being merged and *why* you merge something." He continued: "But it also means proper authorship and committer information etc. All of which GitHub entirely screws up."

TechRadar supplies some more context: One of the shortcomings Torvalds highlighted are GitHub's concise, factually correct, but functionally useless, commit messages. For instance, GitHub's commit message for Paragon's merge read "Merge branch 'torvalds:master' into master", which didn't impress Torvalds one bit...

Torvalds also had some pertinent security advice, perhaps useful in light of recent software supply chain cyberattacks that the Linux Foundation wants to address by improving supply chain integrity through tools that make it easier to sign software cryptographically. As Torvalds points out, this is particularly important for new contributors to the Linux kernel. "For GitHub accounts (or really, anything but where I can just trust the account management), I really want the pull request to be a signed tag, not just a plain branch," Torvalds explains...

Torvalds suggests Paragon do future merges from the command-line.

Re:Is this really that newsworthy?

By Joce640k • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

NTFS in Linux kernel? Definitely newsworthy.

closed-source GitHub vs open-source GitLab

By SpzToid • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Just to clarify, Microsoft owns Github, and the source-code behind Github has never been open-sourced itself. Microsoft bought Github for 7.5 billion dollars, and there's nothing stopping them screwing up Github, just like Microsoft did with Nokia, Skype, etc.

While I jest about Microsoft potentially integrating closed-source Github with Microsoft Teams and Office, what are the odds of it not happening? Did you know Microsoft paid 26.2 billion dollars for LinkedIn? Think of all the synergies.

GitLab has always published it's own source-code, and has always allowed you to run your own server on all kinds of different platforms.

In alignment with our Transparency value, all of GitLab’s code is source-available and the open source components of GitLab are published under an MIT open source license.

Re: Huh?

By evil_aaronm • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Who cares. Get the code merged and move on.

Said by someone who's obviously never worked on a large project that required any traceability.

Re:If Microsoft really believed on openness

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

MS's NTFS code is for *Windows*. How well do you think that would merge into the Linux kernel? /s

The Paragon driver is, in effect, the MS blessed Linux NTFS driver. 'Old' MS would no doubt have 'had a word' with Paragon (who got unspecified help from MS with their driver, likely on the condition it was paid for, with MS getting a royalty, and thus not kernel merged).

'New' MS is perfectly OK with this and presumably must have released Paragon from any such obligations, otherwise they wouldn't be able to do this.

It appears that MS didn't actually patent bits of NTFS (unlike FAT32 and exFAT, whose patents eventually respectively expired or were opened for Linux royalty free use via the OIN). So including this driver doesn't bring patent risks (if there were patents, MS would have OIN'd them, or this would not be happening).

It's a great advance for anyone who needs to share data between Linux and Windows via NTFS (e.g. dual-boot setup), with a 4x improvement in performance over the NTFS-3g FUSE driver.

And no, MS has not changed from 'evil' to 'good', it's just that they are not bothered about trying to sabotage or limit Linux anymore, since that serves no purpose for them. Given that with WSL2 'real Linux' is supported from within Windows, and given their Azure cloud business profits from Linux adding extra interoperability features to Linux is presumably a positive for them.

Linux people: MS is *no longer the enemy*. MS *makes money* from Linux (although we still need to be vigilant, of course for MS attempts to 'steer' Linux - but other Linuxy companies like IBM and Oracle act as counterweights).

Re:If Microsoft really believed on openness

By ctilsie242 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

As an iconoclast, I wish NTFS were the same version that is what MS is using for Windows 11 and Windows Server 2021. That, and the ability to use it as an option for a Linux distribution root filesystem.

It sounds crazy, but even though NTFS is not as flashy as ZFS or others, it is a filesystem that has stood the test of time, and not just have had bugs hammered out, but a lot of feature additions, be it deduplication, compression, file encryption, ACLs, alternate data streams, snapshots, and other items. NTFS can't detect bit rot, but it can be snapshotted for backups relatively easily, and because of how permissions work with it, it is easy to add UNIX style perms onto directories in that environment.

For external drives, it will be extremely useful. Right now, we only have ExFAT as a common filesystem between Macs, Linux, and Windows. Moving to NTFS gives a lot of data protection features like journaling, deduplication, and other items.

The only thing NTFS doesn't really have is bitrot protection with checksums.

Facebook Admits It Sent Misinformation Researchers Flawed Data

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"Facebook provided a data set to a consortium of social scientists last year that had serious errors," reports the Washington Post, " affecting the findings in an unknown number of academic papers, the company acknowledged Friday." The company used a regular monthly call on Friday with roughly three dozen researchers affiliated with Social Science One, a consortium founded in 2018 that Facebook hails as a model for collaboration with academics, to admit the error and apologize for the impact on their work. The data concerns the effect of social media on elections and democracy and includes what web addresses Facebook users click on, along with other information. The error resulted from Facebook accidentally excluding data from U.S. users who had no detectable political leanings — a group that amounted to roughly half of all of Facebook's users in the United States. Data from users in other countries was not affected...

Gary King, a Harvard professor who co-chairs Social Science One... said dozens of papers from researchers affiliated with Social Science One had relied on the data since Facebook shared the flawed set in February 2020, but he said the impact could be determined only after Facebook provided corrected data that could be reanalyzed. He said some of the errors may cause little or no problems, but others could be serious. Social Science One shared the flawed data with at least 110 researchers, King said. The group's former co-chairman, Stanford Law professor Nathaniel Persily, said of the incident: "This is a friggin' outrage and a fundamental breach of promises Facebook made to the research community. It also demonstrates why we need government regulation to force social media companies to develop secure data sharing programs with outside independent researchers."

An Italian researcher, Fabio Giglietto, discovered data anomalies last month and brought them to Facebook's attention. The company contacted researchers in recent days with news that they had failed to include roughly half of its U.S. users — a group that likely is less politically polarized than Facebook's overall user base. The New York Times first reported Facebook's error...

The anonymized data set is one of the largest in social science history, with 42 trillion numbers.

One Social Science One researcher told the New York Times this discovery " undermines trust researchers may have in Facebook...

"A lot of concern was initially voiced about whether we should trust that Facebook was giving Social Science One researchers good data. Now we know that we shouldn't have trusted Facebook so much and should have demanded more effort to show validity in the data."

They had "tust" in Facebook?

By gweihir • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Are these people mad?

What are they complaining about?

By roskakori • Score: 3 • Thread

First FB gave them a bunch of data they could write a paper about, feel all warm and fuzzy about being scientists and brag about it with their buddies.

Now FB gave them a bunch of fixed data they can write basically the same paper about with a small introduction along the line "I did everything right but FB botched the data, so here's my new low effort paper".

Chances are they only have to dump the new data in their existing Jupyter notebook and be done with it.

Also now they can write a meta paper about the impact of botched data on the results.

More papers, more warm and fuzzy scientists, more bragging rights. Isn't that what they want?

They already pay off their advocacy groups

By feedayeen • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

4 of the 5 privacy groups that they consulted about their smart glasses have public statements listing Facebook as a donor. I'm sure they are beyond repute.

* Future of Privacy Forum (
* National Network To End Domestic Violence (
* National Consumers League (
* Information Technology and Innovation Formation (

So the data FB has is bogus?

By Opportunist • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Erh... isn't that basically all they have to sell?

Dear advertisers, you might want to wonder whether the stuff you get from there is worth what you're paying for...

What did they expect?

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

FB only sends quality data to paying customers.