the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2021-Oct-12 today archive


  1. Solar Panels On Half the World's Roofs Would Power the Planet
  2. Google Cloud Will Now Show Its Users Their Carbon Footprint In the Cloud
  3. Study Reveals Android Phones Constantly Snoop On Their Users
  4. Robotics Engineer Adds a Working USB-C Port To An iPhone
  5. Best Buy's New $200/Yr Membership Locks PS5, Hot Holiday Items Behind Membership
  6. The Intercept Reveals Facebook's Secret Blacklist of 'Dangerous Individuals and Organizations'
  7. Stripe Is Hiring a Crypto Team 3 Years After Ending Bitcoin Support
  8. Adobe Uses DMCA To Nuke Project That Keeps Flash Alive, Secure and Adware Free
  9. Microsoft Puts the Windows Subsystem for Linux in Its App Store for Faster Updating
  10. Microsoft's Project Turing is Building AI to Rival Google and Open AI
  11. Woman Allegedly Hacked Flight School, Cleared Planes With Maintenance Issues To Fly
  12. Pentagon Says Hypersonic Weapons Are Too Expensive
  13. A Record Number of Workers Are Quitting Their Jobs, Empowered by New Leverage
  14. Magic Leap Somehow Raised $500 Million To Make Another AR Headset
  15. Coinbase is Launching a Marketplace for NFTs
  16. Apple Announces October 18 Event After Months of Mac Rumors
  17. Olympus Confirms US Cyberattack, Weeks After BlackMatter Ransomware Hit EMEA Systems
  18. Spectrum Threatens Former Customers In Renewal Shakedown
  19. Microsoft Says It Mitigated a 2.4 Tbps DDoS Attack, the Largest Ever
  20. Google Unveils Cybersecurity Programs and Action Team
  21. Neuroscientists Claim To Have Pinpointed the Brain States Unique To 'Team Flow'
  22. Peter Norvig Leaves Google To Join Stanford AI Unit
  23. Star Trek's William Shatner On His Plan To Boldly Go Into Space

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.

Solar Panels On Half the World's Roofs Would Power the Planet

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Conversation: Our new paper in Nature Communications presents a global assessment of how many rooftop solar panels we'd need to generate enough renewable energy for the whole world -- and where we'd need to put them. Our study is the first to provide such a detailed map of global rooftop solar potential, assessing rooftop area and sunlight cover at scales all the way from cities to continents. We found that we would only need 50 percent of the world's rooftops to be covered with solar panels in order to deliver enough electricity to meet the world's yearly needs.

We designed a program that incorporated data from over 300 million buildings and analyzed 130 million km of land -- almost the entire land surface area of the planet. This estimated how much energy could be produced from the 0.2 million km of rooftops present on that land, an area roughly the same size as the U.K. We then calculated electricity generation potentials from these rooftops by looking at their location. Generally, rooftops located in higher latitudes such as in northern Europe or Canada can vary by as much as 40% in their generation potential across the year, due to big differences in sunshine between winter and summer. Rooftops near the equator, however, usually only vary in generation potential by around 1% across the seasons, as sunshine is much more consistent. This is important because these large variations in monthly potential can have a significant impact on the reliability of solar-powered electricity in that region. That means places where sunlight is more irregular require energy storage solutions -- increasing electricity costs. Our results highlighted three potential hotspots for rooftop solar energy generation: Asia, Europe and North America.

Of these, Asia looks like the cheapest location to install panels, where -- in countries like India and China -- one kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity, or approximately 48 hours of using your laptop, can be produced for just 0.05p. This is thanks to cheap panel manufacturing costs, as well as sunnier climates. Meanwhile, the costliest countries for implementing rooftop solar are the U.S., Japan and the U.K. Europe holds the middle ground, with average costs across the continent of around 0.096p per kWh.
The report mentions this endeavor would be "extremely expensive," and won't be a solution for some industries that require very large currents and specialized electricity delivery. However, the report concludes by saying: "If the costs of solar power continue to decrease, rooftop panels could be one of the best tools yet to decarbonize our electricity supply."

Re:Will need some storage

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Storage --- not batteries.

Molten Salt, Gravity, Flywheels, etc. etc.

Molten salt has about a 30% roundtrip efficiency.

Most locations don't have useful terrain for gravity storage.

Flywheels are prohibitively expensive for day-to-night storage.

For most people, batteries are the only viable option for storage.

But daytime electricity demand is higher, and wind turbines run at night, so in a well-designed system, not much storage is needed.

Why this fixation on solar?

By Gonoff • Score: 3 • Thread

Solar is not the only method of harnessing renewable energy. There are then additional sources of energy that do not use fossil fuels.

In the small set of islands off the north coast of Scotland (Orkney pop. 22k), they admit to generating 130% of their power usage from wind turbines. This figure could be a lot higher but the electricity company seems to be working hard to prevent it. Despite being around 59 north, people still find it useful to put solar panels on their roofs but I don't think that there are any commercial sites. Another source that is being investigated is tidal turbines - think of them like underwater wind turbines! As water is denser, you get a lot more power from a given sized set of blades and it is completely predictable.

If you live in what would naturally be a desert, solar panels are the right tool but for those of us in more habitable climates, there are better alternatives.

Re:It is called "night"

By AmiMoJo • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

The paper does mention the need for storage, but that's not what it is looking at. The paper presents a novel method using satellite imagery to estimate the amount of roof space available for solar PV in different countries, and breaks down cost on that basis.

As for "extremely expensive", they say about 40% of it can be realized at below $100/MWh, and most of it under $200/MWh. For comparison, new nuclear being built in the UK is currently at $127/MWh with a guaranteed yearly increase as part of the deal to built it.

Given that solar PV costs are falling, as are storage costs, solar is pretty competitive in some parts of the world and will continue to get more attractive.

Re: One thing the solar industry needs to do...

By Smidge204 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

For roof loading, solar panels add about 3 to 5 pounds per square foot. If it's a ballasted system on a flat roof that can be as high as 15 pounds per square foot. (A ballasted system is one where the panels are secured to the roof with racks held down with concrete blocks, rather than being physically attached to the building structure)

For 30cm (1 foot) the design load for snow is 16 pounds per square foot.

TL:DR; you're talkin' nonsense, bud.

Re:One thing the solar industry needs to do...

By crunchygranola • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Because the "Tesla" roof is only viable for a climate like southern California. Any other climate with wind, will blow those tiles right off

If only technology had been developed to secure things so they didn't blow away! Some sort of anchor device... but I am dreaming. (/s)

Large areas of Southern California are regularly subjected to gale and hurricane force winds called "Santa Anas" due to the surrounding high deserts and mountains causing gravity enhanced down slope winds channeled through passes and canyons. Yet our roofs and solar panels stay put.

Google Cloud Will Now Show Its Users Their Carbon Footprint In the Cloud

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Google Cloud today announced a new (and free) feature that will provide its users with custom carbon footprint reports that detail the carbon emissions their cloud usage generates. TechCrunch reports: "Customers can leverage this data for reporting as well as internal audits and carbon reduction efforts. Build in collaboration with customers like HSBC, L'Oreal and Atos, our carbon footprint reporting introduces a new level of transparency to support customers in meeting their climate goals," said Jenn Bennett, who leads Google Cloud's data and technology strategy for sustainability in the Office of the CTO. "Customers can monitor their cloud emissions over time by project, by product and by region, empowering IT teams and developers with metrics that help them reduce their carbon footprint. Digital infrastructure emissions are really just one part of their environmental footprint, but accounting for carbon emissions is necessary to measure progress against the carbon reduction targets that they all have."

As Bennett noted, once a company has accurate reporting in place, providing recommendations for how to reduce their climate impact is a natural next step. Specifically, this means adding carbon estimates to Google Cloud's Unattended Project Recommender, which helps customers reduce their number of idling resources, and adding a sustainability impact category to its Active Assist Recommender.

Study Reveals Android Phones Constantly Snoop On Their Users

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
A new study (PDF) by a team of university researchers in the UK has unveiled a host of privacy issues that arise from using Android smartphones. BleepingComputer reports: The researchers have focused on Samsung, Xiaomi, Realme, and Huawei Android devices, and LineageOS and /e/OS, two forks of Android that aim to offer long-term support and a de-Googled experience. The conclusion of the study is worrying for the vast majority of Android users: "With the notable exception of /e/OS, even when minimally configured and the handset is idle these vendor-customized Android variants transmit substantial amounts of information to the OS developer and also to third parties (Google, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.) that have pre-installed system apps." As the summary table indicates, sensitive user data like persistent identifiers, app usage details, and telemetry information are not only shared with the device vendors, but also go to various third parties, such as Microsoft, LinkedIn, and Facebook. And to make matters worse, Google appears at the receiving end of all collected data almost across the entire table.

It is important to note that this concerns the collection of data for which there's no option to opt-out, so Android users are powerless against this type of telemetry. This is particularly concerning when smartphone vendors include third-party apps that are silently collecting data even if they're not used by the device owner, and which cannot be uninstalled. For some of the built-in system apps like (Xiaomi), Heytap (Realme), and Hicloud (Huawei), the researchers found that the encrypted data can sometimes be decoded, putting the data at risk to man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks. As the study points out, even if the user resets the advertising identifiers for their Google Account on Android, the data-collection system can trivially re-link the new ID back to the same device and append it to the original tracking history. The deanonymization of users takes place using various methods, such as looking at the SIM, IMEI, location data history, IP address, network SSID, or a combination of these.
In response to the report, a Google spokesperson said: "While we appreciate the work of the researchers, we disagree that this behavior is unexpected -- this is how modern smartphones work. As explained in our Google Play Services Help Center article, this data is essential for core device services such as push notifications and software updates across a diverse ecosystem of devices and software builds. For example, Google Play services uses data on certified Android devices to support core device features. Collection of limited basic information, such as a device's IMEI, is necessary to deliver critical updates reliably across Android devices and apps."

Re:The Solution to Better Phone Privacy is Simple

By Tony Isaac • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

When I was a kid, we all lived entirely without computers, or cell phones of any kind. I certainly don't want to go back to that life!

Sure, you can live without a smartphone. But most of us don't WANT to.

iPhones spy on you too

By Tony Isaac • Score: 3 • Thread

What's the default search engine on iPhone/ Google, of course.
What's the most popular iPhone maps app? Google Maps is virtually tied with Apple Maps for this honor.
Just about every iPhone app out there is ad-supported, which means that it is spying on you.

You can't hide just by using an iPhone.

Re:Not just Google

By khchung • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Just about every app developer of any size uses their apps to spy on you.

And why would they if not for advertising companies willing to pay for the data collected?

Writing code to collect telemetry, paying for server and bandwidth to receive telemetry, processing and storage the data, all of these costs money. No sane dev would do it unless there are companies ready and willing to pay for the data.

It is the same with drugs. Effective control means hitting the supply chain, blaming the end points won't get you anywhere.

DNS-block statistics

By Gaygirlie • Score: 3 • Thread

If you have some sort of a DNS-blocker on your network that is capable of logging all the blocked requests, you'll quickly see how quite practically [b]EVERYTHING[/b] nowadays tracks everything you do, everything on your network and everything you don't do. Both my NVIDIA Shield TV and the Philips "smart" TV absolutely fucking spam my logs with requests to,, and several others. No, I don't have any Amazon-software installed anywhere and I don't own any of their devices -- all those requests to Amazon's device-tracking come with Shield TV and the actual TV.

I have rather conservative blocker-settings so as not to break anything, including any of the hubby's work-related services, and yet I am seeing literally thousands of blocked requests a day in the logs.

I know it won't happen, but I really, [b]REALLY[/b] wish EU would make it mandatory for companies to add an option for people to opt-out of all of this. No, the Google spokesperson in the article is lying: it is perfectly possible to update OSes and applications without constantly sending out all that data, that data is not needed for such functionality.

Re:When you get a free OS

By thegarbz • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

now I'm really thinking it is worth it.

I too prefer the pot over the kettle. Personally I'm happier leaking data to Google than Apple looking over my shoulder to see if I happen to have an immoral picture on my phone.

The reality is, everyone spies. The question is what they do with your info. Ending up in some database to get served ads vs being actively and specifically investigated and reported for content is the lesser of two evils in my eyes.

Robotics Engineer Adds a Working USB-C Port To An iPhone

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Ken Pillonel, a robotics engineer on YouTube, replaced an iPhone's Lightning port with a working USB-C port. AppleInsider reports: In a YouTube Short titled "World's First USB-C iPhone," Ken Pillonel claims to have installed the component into the iPhone X, replacing Lightning in the process. In the video, the iPhone is said to receive power via the connection, as well as being able to handle data transfers over a USB-C cable. In the description of the video, Pillonel says he reverse-engineered Apple's C94 connector, in order to make a PCB with a female USB-C port. After the schematics were set in place, it then became a challenge to shrink it down and install it into an iPhone.

Pillonel has spent a few months on his creation, with a blog post from May showing the thinking behind the replacement, and the challenges of replacing the Lightning port itself. A video at that time showed a DIY prototype that worked and laid out the work ahead to make it small enough to work within an iPhone enclosure. A late September update advised he had designed and ordered a flexible PCB, a key component in enabling the port switch to occur. He adds a future video is in production, explaining how the board was made and squeezed into the iPhone itself.

$6.99 for 3

By Dan East • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

$6.99 for a three pack.

royalties and licensing

By bkmoore • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
I know this has already been mentioned, but Apple is making billions in royalties and licensing fees off of their Lightning Specification. They have no commercial incentive to go with USB-C.


By thegarbz • Score: 3 • Thread

Apple just finished telling the EU that such a device would bring about a cataclysm leading to the end of days! Were they lying to keep their proprietary port, or has this guy just not turned on his phone yet?

Re:royalties and licensing

By tlhIngan • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Which is exactly why regulation is needed to force them to adopt the industry standard.

Standards are flexible. If you forced Apple to use industry standards, every phone would be using a Mini B port and nothing would've moved on. But instead we have Micro ports and USB C, the later of which came out several years after Lightning became established for Apple products.

And Micro-B might be cool, but USB-C certainly fixes a few issues that could finally rival Lightning.

See, regulations have a way of backfiring, because they take years to come into play. And in doing so, it means useful innovations get shoved aside.

Imagine USB-D comes out and takes over the world. But cellphones are stuck with USB-C because the laws say it has to use "industry standard", and the cellphone industry standard is USB-C. Use a USB-D and you just broke the law because now your phone requires a new cable or adapters which were prohibited.

Likewise, the other problem remains - what about all those accessories people have? The old 30-pin universal to lightning transition was derided because people needed to buy expensive adapters. Now you're going to obsolete a bunch of accessories as well that people will have to buy new ones of?

Of course, the other issue is the spirit of the law versus letter of the law. Apple could easily do two things - make a bolted on adapter so regulated markets get a larger phone (not inconceivable, as those markets aren't ones where Apple is a big player). Or they could make a new assembly that puts a USB C port instead of lightning, and works for just charging and data connectivity - added accessory pins aren't brought out so USB-C iPhones are limited in what you could plug into them. Regulated markets wanting accessory support must then import a US iPhone or replace the circuit assembly. Since these markets are probably first to right to repair, Apple will be more than happy to sell you Lightning assemblies.

After all, I'm sure you get bugged enough about setting your cookie settings, right? What's a few extra steps to install the port you want to get accessories to work?

Re:royalties and licensing

By AmiMoJo • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Why does the iPad have USB C then?

Best Buy's New $200/Yr Membership Locks PS5, Hot Holiday Items Behind Membership

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: If you're still searching for a PS5 and are a Best Buy customer, your ship may have just come in -- that is, if you're willing to spend an extra $200 a year for access. That's because the big-box electronics retailer is locking stock of in-demand holiday items like Sony's console behind membership of its new Totaltech program. The expensive customer service package was recently rolled out nationwide. The $200 annual service -- which has benefits like round-the-clock tech support, up to two years of protection on Best Buy purchases (including AppleCare+ insurance, which can cost $200 on its own), and member discounted prices -- is throwing in exclusive access to "the season's hardest-to-find products" as a bonus perk for the holidays, the company said in a statement. The Best Buy retail site had the $500 disc drive model PS5s available for Totaltech members to buy Monday morning, with the consoles gated behind an "exclusive access event" paywall. Instead of selling out instantly, its stock lasted between 90 minutes and two hours -- a relatively glacial sales pace compared to the insane demand for the hardware that consumers have faced since it hit stores last November.

Although the PS5's listing page pointed directly to Totaltech membership exclusivity while the hardware was still available, its seemingly unrelated VIP buying privileges aren't listed anywhere on the program's membership benefits and FAQ pages. We would not be shocked to see other highly desired products that have been affected by the chip shortage follow suit, particularly high-end PC GPUs and Xbox Series X/S consoles. The service is replacing a "Best Buy Beta" program that was tested in select markets starting in April. Beta seemed to target a more generalized range of benefits over one focused on tech support and protection, and it notably did not offer special members-only events to buy limited-stock electronics. The company's free My Best Buy membership, which sometimes includes exclusive discount sales, remains unaffected.

In my case, they missed the point

By damn_registrars • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
I have no doubt some people are buying more electronics online and less in stores. Retailers are trying to do more in store service - of various types - to get customers to come back in when they can't necessarily compete directly on price. That's great for them.

However I'm in a different group, and I know I'm not alone. I didn't switch my electronics purchases to Amazon, newegg, or anyone else. I'm simply not spending as much on electronics and entertainment as I used to. I don't own a gaming console that is less than 5 years old, and I don't intend to buy a current generation console or anything from the next generation either. My TV is over 10 years old but I don't have any desire to replace it. 4K doesn't appeal to me.

In other words, Best Buy isn't losing out on my money because it's going elsewhere; they're losing out on my money because the companies whose products they carry don't appeal to me at this moment. I'm not sure what the answer is to that; I don't want Best Buy to try to carry everything and turn into WalMart either.

My gods, just raise prices

By ZorinLynx • Score: 3 • Thread

This whole concept of electronics being sold for the same price as always in the face of ridiculously high demand so you can't get it easily just makes me wonder why companies don't increase the price to match the demand. It feels like Sony is leaving a lot of money on the table with the PS5; they probably could have charged twice as much and still be selling every single one.

Good Deal for Scalpers

By srichard25 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

This seems to be a good deal for scalpers. They pay $200 per year and get access to buy hard-to-find consoles that they can sell on Ebay for significantly more. Can they buy more than one PS5 to sell? That would make it an even better deal for them.

sam's club and costco cost less and the non meber

By Joe_Dragon • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

sam's club and costco cost less

The Intercept Reveals Facebook's Secret Blacklist of 'Dangerous Individuals and Organizations'

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Sam Biddle writes via The Intercept: To ward off accusations that it helps terrorists spread propaganda, Facebook has for many years barred users from speaking freely about people and groups it says promote violence. The restrictions appear to trace back to 2012, when in the face of growing alarm in Congress and the United Nations (PDF) about online terrorist recruiting, Facebook added to its Community Standards a ban on "organizations with a record of terrorist or violent criminal activity." This modest rule has since ballooned into what's known as the Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy, a sweeping set of restrictions on what Facebook's nearly 3 billion users can say about an enormous and ever-growing roster of entities deemed beyond the pale. [...] The Intercept has reviewed a snapshot of the full DIO list and is today publishing a reproduction of the material in its entirety, with only minor redactions and edits to improve clarity. It is also publishing an associated policy document, created to help moderators decide what posts to delete and what users to punish.

The list and associated rules appear to be a clear embodiment of American anxieties, political concerns, and foreign policy values since 9/11, experts said, even though the DIO policy is meant to protect all Facebook users and applies to those who reside outside of the United States (the vast majority). Nearly everyone and everything on the list is considered a foe or threat by America or its allies: Over half of it consists of alleged foreign terrorists, free discussion of which is subject to Facebook's harshest censorship. The DIO policy and blacklist also place far looser prohibitions on commentary about predominately white anti-government militias than on groups and individuals listed as terrorists, who are predominately Middle Eastern, South Asian, and Muslim, or those said to be part of violent criminal enterprises, who are predominantly Black and Latino, the experts said.

The materials show Facebook offers "an iron fist for some communities and more of a measured hand for others," said Angel Diaz, a lecturer at the UCLA School of Law who has researched and written on the impact of Facebook's moderation policies on marginalized communities. Facebook's policy director for counterterrorism and dangerous organizations, Brian Fishman, said in a written statement that the company keeps the list secret because "[t]his is an adversarial space, so we try to be as transparent as possible, while also prioritizing security, limiting legal risks and preventing opportunities for groups to get around our rules." He added, "We don't want terrorists, hate groups or criminal organizations on our platform, which is why we ban them and remove content that praises, represents or supports them. A team of more than 350 specialists at Facebook is focused on stopping these organizations and assessing emerging threats. We currently ban thousands of organizations, including over 250 white supremacist groups at the highest tiers of our policies, and we regularly update our policies and organizations who qualify to be banned."

Not on that list but no linky

By thogard • Score: 3 • Thread

People can't link to things on my web site on Facebook because of "community standards". It has been blocked for a few years and I have no idea why it is blocked.

Why is the CCP not on the list?

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Informative • Thread

The Chinese Communist Party may be the largest and most dangerous hate group on the planet. Just ask Uyghurs, Falun Gong, Christians and Hong Kong freedom fighters or anyone that is unable to travel because their social score is too low.

Re:More like...

By Train0987 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

You obviously didn't look at the actual list. The overwhelming majority of foreign groups are on the US Gov'ts terrorist watch list.

There are FAR more "white" individuals and groups than black or latinos combined.

Take a look for yourself and drop the juvenile narrative that we all see through:

Re:Yeah right

By Samantha Wright • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Demagoguery and propaganda are as old as language itself. You live in a fantasy world, which was invented by yellow journalists in the US following the landmark NYT v. Sullivan. No one outside your country believes what you're saying, many people inside your country have directly experienced the destruction caused by literal torch-carrying mobs, and just a few short decades ago, even the sorely overused catch-all of "First Amendment rights" was more or less theoretical, as people were generally accountable for what they published and broadcasted.

I can't tell if you're "Uncle Dook" or "Nick_Angel" on Steam, based on the "Swoopers" group you have set as your Slashdot homepage link, but if it's the former, I sorely recommend you actually read what Hunter S. Thompson wrote rather than just quoting the opening monologue of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas in as profile text. He has quite a lot to say about the erosion of human decency in the twentieth century, especially as a result of the very same fascist praxis which now consumes Facebook.


By shaitand • Score: 3 • Thread
"The DIO policy and blacklist also place far looser prohibitions on commentary about..."

The drumroll please.

'predominately white'

oh, so we have another bigot in the house. Maybe they'll finally be recognized as hate on the FB list after this article.

'anti-government militias than on groups and individuals listed as terrorists'

I should hope so. In the United States the militia is essentially every able bodied person (technically the law says male but the protection clause would extend it to female as well). Keeping yourself well regulated and keeping your arms well regulated is a civic duty like voting. There is a widespread myth that militia were replaced by national guard who are an unrelated military reserve group. These groups, the NRA and military veterans are the only reason we have any well regulated citizen militia at all.

As for anti-government. That is misleading. The sovereign of the United States is the people and not the administrative government. This might seem superficially similar to other constitutional democracies but there are some important distinctions.

* Treason is either befriending a foreign element against the interests of the people OR the government acting against the people.
* Criticism and opposition to actions of government which infringe upon liberty is a civic duty.
* Our rights as sovereign are innate, the Constitution is empowered by us and grants limited powers with some explicit prohibitions on the state/states. This is distinct from other ideas of democracy wherein rights derive from the Constitution.

Groups like these while superficially appearing similar to rebel guerilla groups are actually usually actually composed of ardent patriots. They do not engage in terrorist activities.

Stripe Is Hiring a Crypto Team 3 Years After Ending Bitcoin Support

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Payments company Stripe has begun assembling a crypto engineering team to chart its future in digital assets. CoinDesk reports: The team -- described in LinkedIn posts and job listings -- will be run by Guillaume Poncin, Stripe's former head of engineering for banking and financial products. He is looking to hire at least four staffers to help plot Stripe's crypto strategy. Those engineers "will design and build the core components that we need to support crypto use cases," the job posts said. "Crypto is a brand new team at Stripe."

The team may be new but Stripe's interest in crypto stretches back years. A payments giant whose API supports millions of digital storefronts, it made headlines in 2014 when it supported bitcoin -- an industry first. Stripe abandoned that service four years later. But a source told CoinDesk that Stripe never left crypto. The company continued to watch the digital assets space develop, weighing if and how to participate again. In recent months it has shown increasing interest in non-fungible tokens (NFTs), the source said. One thing on the company's mind is a need to avoid picking favorites, the source said. Stripe already supports an array of more traditional online payment options. It wants to remain tech-neutral when it comes to crypto, the source said.

Adobe Uses DMCA To Nuke Project That Keeps Flash Alive, Secure and Adware Free

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TorrentFreak: In January 2021, development and support for Adobe Flash was discontinued. That marked the end of an era but in reality, Flash wasn't quite dead. Flash Player is still available in China, something that was exploited by the Clean Flash project to continue making the software more widely and safely available. The Chinese version of Flash receives one security update per month and can be freely downloaded from but also has significant strings attached. It comes preinstalled with an adware program called Flash Helper which, according to security sources, exhibits malicious behavior. Developed by 'darktohka' and previously located on Github, Clean Flash Installer solves these problems and more. "Clean Flash Installer installs this up-to-date freely available version of Flash, but it comes WITHOUT the adware program," darktohka informs TorrentFreak. "As such Clean Flash Installer can be used by anyone to use a relatively secure version of Flash Player after the support for Flash ended."

The developer says that he was inspired to create his tool to keep Flash content alive, something which he says was a huge part of his childhood. Adobe appears to be less enthusiastic about his work and following a DMCA notice filed with Github, the developer platform has nuked the project. In a DMCA complaint filed with Github on October 4, 2021, a legal representative acting for Adobe explains that the Clean Flash Installer project breaches copyright law. "Adobe Inc. is the copyright owner and I am authorized to act on its behalf. Our Adobe Flash Player software has been infringed. The files in question contain our proprietary Adobe Inc. owned copyrighted materials (software code)," it reads, adding that the project must be removed.
"As this is my passion project, I am deeply disappointed with Adobe's action. The repository in question only hosts the installer code for the project, which was written by myself and does not contain any infringing code," explains darktohka. "Adobe Flash was a huge part of our childhood, and it's gut-wrecking that Adobe would rather have everyone use super out-of-date versions of the software when versions with security updates are freely available. It makes no sense for them to DMCA an installer that was written independently and makes use of the freely available and downloadable version of the project."

Re:Not this time.

By Waccoon • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Something that is truly obsolete does not need to be killed by force. All the hate against Flash is purely political and emotional, and that simply is not right.

Re:Not this time.

By bhcompy • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
That's what sandboxing is for

Re:Not this time.

By squiggleslash • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Flash didn't die. It became the web browser. That's why you it's hard to find a browser add-on that reliably kills autoplaying video - because now the threat is coming from inside the browser. We used to just be able to turn the Flash plugin on and off on a website/session basis, but now...

Only the modern Tech industry would be able to find something as irritating and screwed up as Flash and make the "replacement" worse.

flash games

By slothman32 • Score: 3 • Thread

So how does someone play a flash game?
They still exist.
Most of /.'s opinions seem to be that Flash should be gone and hence all .swf files on the internet since they can't played anymore.

Adobe was totally within their rights

By FeelGood314 • Score: 3 • Thread
They make a product that is supported by ads and this developer is stripping out the ads. Adobe's version may suck, it might be insecure and the developers version maybe better in everyway for the end user but it is not the developer's product. It is Adobe's.

Microsoft Puts the Windows Subsystem for Linux in Its App Store for Faster Updating

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Microsoft has announced that new WSL features will be even easier to get in the future. From a report: The company has posted a preview version of WSL to the Microsoft Store so that Windows 11 users can download and update WSL independently of other Windows updates. Many of Windows' built-in apps have already moved to being updated through the Microsoft Store rather than through regular Windows Updates. This gives the company more flexibility when deciding when to update apps, though one side effect has been that many of Windows 11's pre-installed apps still haven't been fully updated for Windows 11. But long-term, it also means you don't need to wait for a new Windows update to benefit from updated apps. For WSL, this means you won't need to install major, potentially disruptive Windows updates (like, say, Windows 11) just to take advantage of new WSL additions.

Microsoft's Project Turing is Building AI to Rival Google and Open AI

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: Since 2017, Microsoft has pursued this goal under the name Project Turing, a team that's tasked with building these large language models and figuring out how they can be used in the company's vast suite of products. Project Turing might not be a visible name outside the company, its AI can already be found generating text inside Microsoft Office products and powering much of the curated information provided when searching with Bing. If Turing succeeds, the strategy could amplify the research dollars that Microsoft has poured into AI research over previous decades. Notably, Microsoft isn't only using Turing-NLG, the project's flagship model, internally: It's already begun selling the tech to select partners, hinting at the cloud giant's ambitions for the AI market. Insider spoke with AvePoint and, both of whom are using Turing in their own products.

"Our job is to further the frontier of AI innovation as much as possible," Ali Alvi, group program manager of Project Turing, told Insider. Alvi tells Insider that the Turing team was assembled from within the company by Microsoft chief technology officer Kevin Scott, in recognition of the ongoing deep learning boom. Scott encouraged the team to think bigger and work with the Azure infrastructure team to make the models exponentially larger. When CEO Satya Nadella saw the team's progress, he decided to get it into the hands of customers, Alvi says. AvePoint, a Microsoft partner that resells and builds applications on top of Microsoft products, has launched two products so far using the Turing model: An education platform for teachers that will automatically create quiz questions using material that's been uploaded for a specific course, and a corporate training platform that uses Turing to test employees on internal material.

Woman Allegedly Hacked Flight School, Cleared Planes With Maintenance Issues To Fly

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
A woman allegedly hacked into the systems of a flight training school in Florida to delete and tamper with information related to the school's airplanes. In some cases, planes that previously had maintenance issues had been "cleared" to fly, according to a police report. The hack, according to the school's CEO, could have put pilots in danger. From a report: Lauren Lide, a 26-year-old who used to work for the Melbourne Flight Training school, resigned from her position of Flight Operations Manager at the end of November of 2019, after the company fired her father. Months later, she allegedly hacked into the systems of her former company, deleting and changing records, in an apparent attempt to get back at her former employer, according to court records obtained by Motherboard. The news of her arrest was first reported by local TV station News Channel 8.

Derek Fallon, the CEO of Melbourne Flight Training called the police on January 17, 2020, and reported that five days before, he logged onto his account for Flight Circle, an app his company uses to manage and keep track of its airplanes, and found that there was missing information. Fallon found that someone had removed records related to planes with maintenance issues and reminders of inspections had all been deleted, "meaning aircraft which may have been unsafe to fly were purposely made 'airworthy,'" according to a document written by a Melbourne Airport Police officer.

Re:So what's the charge?

By fahrbot-bot • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Attempted murder or what?

Being a Floridiot.

Wouldn't have done anything anyway.

By Sitnalta • Score: 3 • Thread

While digital maintenance databases are important (mainly for archiving), there is always paper master that has to get physically signed off before the plane can fly. That paper master is then entered into the database when the job is complete.

So "clearing the airplane to fly" in the computer would have done absolutely nothing. The mechanic doesn't care what the computer says, it's only a way of bookkeeping and tracking preventive mx.

Re:Donâ(TM)t aircraft

By squiggleslash • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

My recollection from at one point looking into flying lessons is that this isn't how it's supposed to work. The computer may say "Take plane #3, it's available!", but the pilot is supposed to inspect the plane and examine the log book before actually flying it, regardless of what the computer said.

I'm not trying to justify what this woman did, but it looks to me like her aim was to cause chaos, not to cause actual deaths. Pilots would have taken the planes out, gotten ready to fly them, and then found they couldn't, and the mismatch between what the computer said and what the paperwork said would have resulted in several days of exasperation, followed by a shutdown while the company rebuilds its computer records.

When you fly, your life is on the line, so I don't see trusting someone's computer records (where a slip of the finger can change an "N" into a "Y", or the wrong plane's record can be updated for a whole host of reasons) as being something any rational pilot would do.

That's sabotage and terrorism.

By couchslug • Score: 3 • Thread

She should be crushed as an example and locked up for life. There is no redemption but her punishment can at least be exemplary and give what remains of her life a bit of value.

The US is a strange place where victimless crimes are punished cruelly but victimful crimes often punished lightly.

Pentagon Says Hypersonic Weapons Are Too Expensive

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The Pentagon wants defense contractors to cut the ultimate cost of hypersonic weapons, the head of research and development said on Tuesday, as the next generation of super-fast missiles being developed currently cost tens of millions per unit. From a report: "We need to figure out how to drive towards more affordable hypersonics," Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Heidi Shyu told reporters at the Association of United States Army conference in Washington. She said cost was something she "would like to help industry focus on." Currently, the U.S. uses cruise missiles which are mature technologies costing less than $5 million per unit to strike deep into enemy territory. But cruise missiles are inferior to hypersonic weapons because they have a shorter range, are far slower and more vulnerable to being detected and shot down. Both Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Technologies are working on hypersonic weapons for the Pentagon. The Pentagon's budget request in the 2022 fiscal year for hypersonic research was $3.8 billion which was up from $3.2 billion they year before.

World is f*cked up man... f*cked up

By Mazzachre • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
&gt:rant>Spending 5 million dollars to kill some random Arab 8000 miles away is considered cheap... Spending 5 million dollars to house 1000 homeless people here at home is considered outrageous...

Lockheed = overpriced

By cjonslashdot • Score: 3 • Thread
Their only goal is to get long term expensive projects. They goal is not to produce breakthroughs.

Re:Russia and China

By Anubis IV • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Being ahead in development—which is questionable—won't matter much if it isn't cost effective to produce and maintain, which is what this article is about.

Back in the '00s I was talking with Roger Boisjoly at a dinner, and he half-seriously claimed credit for ending the Cold War. While he's perhaps best known for his role as a Challenger whistleblower who tried to stop the disastrous launch, his claim to ending the Cold War actually derived from his time working on the Minuteman missile while at Thiokol.

It was his contention that the USSR's long-term reliance on liquid fuel rockets was what caused their collapse. Because the liquid fuel used by the USSR was highly corrosive, maintaining an arsenal of tens of thousands of missiles in a ready state (or engaging in routine readiness tests? I can't remember the specifics), meant costly repairs were necessary on a regular basis. In contrast, the solid fuel used by the Minuteman was far more stable, allowing the US to maintain a ready state without needing to engage in costly maintenance of the missiles with nearly as much regularity as the USSR.

I'm neither an aerospace engineer nor an economist nor a geopolitical analyst, so I can't speak to the veracity of his claims or even that I've accurately repeated them here, but I found the idea interesting, nonetheless, and it's stuck with me ever since.

Re:Usefulness of hypersonic missiles is asymmetric

By ghoul • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Having hypersonics would prevent China from opening a base in Venezuela and carrying out freedom of navigation patrols off the coast of Houston

Re:Kind of disappointing

By gtall • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Nope, cannot do that. The Republicans scream bloody murder over foreign aid.

A Record Number of Workers Are Quitting Their Jobs, Empowered by New Leverage

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The number of people quitting their jobs has surged to record highs, pushed by a combination of factors that include Americans sensing ample opportunity and better pay elsewhere. From a report: Some 4.3 million people quit jobs in August, according to the monthly survey -- about 2.9 percent of the workforce, according to new data released Tuesday from the Department of Labor. Those numbers are up from the previous records set in April and nearly matched in July, of about 4 million people quitting. The phenomenon is being driven in part by workers who are less willing to endure inconvenient hours and poor compensation, quitting at this stage in the pandemic to find better opportunities elsewhere. According to the report, there were 10.4 million job openings in the country at the end of August -- down slightly from July's record high, which was adjusted up to 11.1 million, but still a tremendously high number.

The "quits" numbers include about 892,000 workers in restaurants, bars and hotels, as well as 721,000 workers in retail. An additional 706,000 employees in professional business services and 534,000 workers in health care and social assistance also left jobs. Nick Bunker, economist at the jobs site Indeed, said the numbers were a reflection of the leverage workers have in the current economic market, with job openings outnumbering unemployed workers. The high level of people quitting their jobs was likely due in large part to people leaving jobs to take other positions, although the data doesn't specify why people are quitting and where they are ending up.

There's more to this than what some seem to think

By King_TJ • Score: 3 • Thread

The "mystery" always seems to be that question of; "Why are the people quitting and where are they ending up?"

If so many are quitting because wages are too low for them or their workplace sucks? Well, it shouldn't make the total employment numbers change if they move to a better paying job someplace else. And it shouldn't really cause a situation where people feel like everyone's hiring either -- because all we did is shift WHO someone works for. Someone got to take down the "Help wanted" sign that the other guy has to put up, right?

Yet that's not what we're seeing. The problem is, when COVID struck, you had a lot of older people in the workforce who had the ability to retire but didn't want to. They wanted some supplemental income to their social security or just wanted to stay active by working a basic job in fast food or retail. But many of them decided the threat of the virus was a good reason to go ahead and retire fully. Even the older workers in better paying positions in many industries decided to just give up and do an early retirement. (If you worked in, say, corporate travel or entertainment or assisted with putting on big corporate events/gatherings -- your client-base dropped to basically zero last year. Was it worth losing money left and right for at least a years' time, with no certainty your industry would rebound vs it happening again in waves, or was it better to just "cash out"? Many took the second option.)

We don't have as many younger workers in the workforce as the previous generation had, so this is starting to leave a gap.

The added unemployment pay is indirectly or partially to blame here, IMO. But that's just because it provided a "cushion" that made the transition out of the workforce easier to do. Those that took advantage of it out of laziness (and there were a LOT who did, including some people I know really well) still had to come back to work as soon as those extra funds dried up. Their bills didn't stop just because the extra $600 on each unemployment check did.

Ultimately? We've got a lot of opportunists who want to spin this as being about a need to pay better for jobs X and Y. But many places HAVE upped pay considerably and still aren't getting applicants. Dollars per hour only have relative worth. No matter what you artificially inflate pay to for a given job, things ALWAYS pan out so people's buying power is relative to the worth of the labor they're performing. Make it the new norm for flipping burgers to be worth $20/hr. and you'll find everything else works its way up similarly. The "higher pay" still buys a person no more than they could ever buy from wages doing the burger flipping job. (Only reason people can provide anecdotes to argue the opposite is the fact that this doesn't happen immediately or in a linear fashion. Change the pay overnight for a job, and the "fallout" will take a little while to become obvious.)

I think we simply have an acceleration of a reduced total labor pool that was going to happen anyway as the older people died off or retired.

Re: Burnout.

By narcc • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

A friend of mine is a retired surgeon. When I asked him about the ridiculously long shifts, he told me that it was to reduce the number of 'hand-offs' that happen. He claimed that most medical mistakes happen when patients are transferred from one person to another.

You're right about asshole MDs. I have no idea why they're so damned arrogant. You'd think someone who's job requires them to regularly interact with other peoples bodily fluids would show a little more humility!

(Yes, my surgeon friend has the same problem, particularly when you don't immediately accept his opinion as revelation.)


By Kernel Kurtz • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

It's all about me, me, me these days, who cares if someone else gets sick.

Yup. Nothing says you don't give a fuck about anyone else that being unvaccinated and wanting to work in health care. It's really a mind blowing level of douchebaggery.


By phantomfive • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I don't understand people like you. You're afraid of the long-term effects of a vaccine that is largely safe, but you are not afraid of the long term effects of a virus that has been proven harmful? What are you thinking?


By jeff4747 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

In the entire history of vaccinations, we were not using a mutagenic medical technology

We still aren't. mRNA is not a mutagen. You can't use it to change DNA without reverse transcriptase, as well as a few enzymes to transport it into the nucleus, and we don't make either. Nor does the vaccine contain one.

Google Moderna Crigler-Najjar

Damn, if only there was some way you could actually provide a link to what you think is valuable information. Because all I see is a bunch of press releases about trying to treat a rare genetic disorder.

Lo and behold, the only country actually tracking this shit

No matter how much you don't want it to exist, VERS exists.

You are lying. And literally killing people.

Magic Leap Somehow Raised $500 Million To Make Another AR Headset

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Magic Leap has raised $500 million in funding and is preparing to release a new AR headset, the Magic Leap 2, next year, the company announced Monday. From a report: The headset will be generally available next year, the company said, and "select customers" are using it as part of an early access program. CEO Peggy Johnson said in a statement that with the new funding "Magic Leap will have greater financial flexibility and the resources needed to continue our growth trajectory as we expand on our industry-leading AR technology." She revealed the new device in an Monday appearance on CNBC.

Magic Leap, of course, is the company that began its existence as a mysterious AR startup, received almost $3 billion to fund its consumer-friendly AR headset, before changing its headset's name from Magic Leap 1 to The Magic Leap One Creator Edition in an attempt to attract professional customers. The company laid off 1,000 employees -- roughly half its workforce -- in 2020, and was reportedly abandoning its consumer business. Cofounder and CEO Rony Abovitz left the company in July 2020, and was replaced by Johnson.
Magic Leap, which has previously raised $3.5 billion (according to Pitchbook), is now valued at $2 billion, down from $6 billion in 2018.

Virtual Augmented Reality Headset

By ZiggyZiggyZig • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

So they never actually made the first model, and they managed to secure funding to create a new one? Wow, we really live in interesting times.

AR Religion.

By Ostracus • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Name change to Leap of Faith.

It's all about the lenses/optics

By schweini • Score: 3 • Thread
I really don't understand why AR companies are so hyped.
AR will be very cool once it gets off the ground - but basically all R&D necessary is simply the lens/optics. All the other parts (display matrix, CPU, sensors) can easily be improved in a modular fashion.
The only thing that is really complicated is how to optically focus the image in a way that isn't too bulky and is comfortable for the eyes.
There are a limited number of ways to achive this. IIRCE, there's the option of small LASERs shining directly on the retina, and light field displays.
So what are the AR companies, especially Magic Leap, actually doing that is so secretive? All we need is the optics.

Re:It's all about the lenses/optics

By Brain-Fu • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I really don't understand why AR companies are so hyped.

Yes you do.

AR will be very cool once it gets off the ground


Coinbase is Launching a Marketplace for NFTs

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Coinbase is getting into NFTs. The cryptocurrency exchange said Tuesday it plans to launch a marketplace that lets users mint, collect and trade NFTs, or non-fungible tokens. From a report: Users can sign up to a waitlist for early access to the feature, the company said. NFTs are one-of-a-kind digital assets designed to represent ownership of online items like rare art or collectible trading cards. They aren't fungible, meaning you can't exchange one NFT for another like you could with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Sales of such tokens have boomed this year. The NFT market topped $10 billion in transaction volume in the third quarter of 2021, according to DappRadar, a company that tracks data on crypto-based applications.

10 billion...

By IdanceNmyCar • Score: 3 • Thread

Think about that... It's just absurd how much money is being thrown around here.

NFTs are the real longevity of value for cryptocurrency and I don't mean in the sense of making some fun artwork. NETS when combined with authenticated addresses could be a means to validate leases, titles, wills, and so much more. Ofcourose no one likes this. The Bitcoin enthusiasts don't like the inherent centralization and technopobics see no value. Yet if blockchains gain any real value it seems wholly based on how NFTs are embraced.

As an exchange, Coinbase has a relatively good position for utilizing NFTs in such a valuable way but I cannot help and think this is yet another money grab... meh.

Apple Announces October 18 Event After Months of Mac Rumors

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Apple's next hardware event will take place on October 18th, according to invites it sent out today. From a report: The company is widely expected to use its second fall event to launch a pair of new MacBooks, a redesigned higher-end Mac Mini, and possibly a pair of third-generation AirPods. The invite video teases one word: Unleashed.

[...] There have been reports for months that Apple is on the cusp of releasing new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. The new MacBooks would be the latest step in Apple's transition away from Intel chips, replacing them with an Arm-based processor called the M1X that Apple designs itself. The new chip could boost performance compared to the M1 chip that debuted last year. Other anticipated features include the return of fan-favorite MacBook features like magnetic MagSafe charging, an HDMI port, and an SD card slot. The maligned OLED touch bar, mercifully, could be on the way out. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman recently noted that stock of the company's existing MacBook Pro appears to be running low.

Re:Bloomberg's Mark Gurman...

By smooth wombat • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
even when ordering weeks ahead such that we now keep an increased stock of them.

I have orders from back in March which are still not filled. These are Windows machines which were purchased to replace other machines which went EOL. If you're only waiting a few weeks to get your machines, don't complain.

Olympus Confirms US Cyberattack, Weeks After BlackMatter Ransomware Hit EMEA Systems

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Japanese technology giant Olympus has confirmed it was hit by a cyberattack over the weekend that forced it to shut down its IT systems in the U.S., Canada and Latin America. From a report: In a statement on its website, Olympus said it is "investigating a potential cybersecurity incident detected October 10" and is "currently working with the highest priority to resolve this issue."

"As part of the investigation and containment, we have suspended affected systems and have informed the relevant external partners. The current results of our investigation indicate the incident was contained to the Americas with no known impact to other regions. We are working with appropriate third parties on this situation and will continue to take all necessary measures to serve our customers and business partners in a secure way. Protecting our customers and partners and maintaining their trust in us is our highest priority. Our investigation is ongoing and we are committed to transparent disclosure and will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available."

It's near-identical to a statement put out by Olympus last month following a cyberattack on its European, Middle East and Africa network.

So... Uh... About that Title

By Puls4r • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
So Olympus is confirming that the US attacked them? Seriously. You're supposed to be an 'editor'.

Spectrum Threatens Former Customers In Renewal Shakedown

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: Spectrum has been sending former customers strange letters threatening to report them to the credit agencies unless they renew services, in attempt to win back their business. The letters say that "as a one-time courtesy," the company will cancel debt it claims they owe and stop reporting them to credit agencies -- if they agree to resume cable service. The threat continues by stating that "You have worked hard to build a great future for yourself and your family" "We look forward to welcoming you back."

Re:Spectrum always pushes

By CubicleZombie • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

These people are evil.

My local Comcast customer service center had a little old lady walk in with a baseball bat and smash up the store. It takes a special level of evil to drive Grandma to commit violence.


By Sebby • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

It's not a threat. You /ALREADY/ owe money and are behind. What's going to happen if you don't renew was already the process and expected. You can't call it a threat or extortion because of they offer you a way out.

Except, as the story states, the people Spectrum is mailing don't actually have debt with them:

Schklair said he made two calls to Spectrum to see what was happening. Both service reps, he said, found no outstanding obligations.

Re:Spectrum always pushes

By taustin • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Clearly, you have limited experience with grandmas.

Re:Spectrum always pushes

By taustin • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Cancel in person in their office. Get a receipt for the equipment.

I had an ISP try that game with me years ago. The (out of state) collection agency I told I had no intention of paying them, then ignored. They went away after I pointed out to them that they couldn't even sue me for the outdated DSL $800 they claimed the modem was worth (plus about as much in "fees and penalties" without me being able to countersue them for $30,000 in Fair Debt Collections Practices Act violations (which I detailed for them), and that if they kept bothering me, it would soon be worth hiring an attorney in their state to sue them. When the local law firm specializing in collections sent me a letter, I explained what had happened (and they the ISP had confirmed that they had a record of me returning the modem), and that if I had to dig the receipt out of the box it was in in the garage (it had been well over a year at that point), I'd expect a $1,500 document retrieval fee that they would agree to by asking to see the receipt. (Which I couldn't have made stick, but it let them know I was tired of the BS.

Never heard from them or the ISP again. Never saw a ding on the credit report, either.

Re:What genius thought this up?

By andymadigan • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
The law you're looking for is the Fair Credit Reporting Act. It's a crime to try to collect on a non-existent debt, regardless of the suggested payment method (be it Visa gift cards, ACH payment, or a cable subscription). It's also illegal to threaten to report a non-existent debt to the credit reporting agencies. Fly-by-night collections agencies violate these laws all the time, but it's somewhat surprising that a cable company with significant assets would take a risk like this.

Now that Spectrum has admitted the debt doesn't exist, if they continue to send letters they won't have much of a leg to stand on when the AG comes knocking.

Microsoft Says It Mitigated a 2.4 Tbps DDoS Attack, the Largest Ever

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Microsoft said its Azure cloud service mitigated a 2.4 terabytes per second (Tbps) distributed denial of service attack this year, at the end of August, representing the largest DDoS attack recorded to date. From a report: Amir Dahan, Senior Program Manager for Azure Networking, said the attack was carried out using a botnet of approximately 70,000 bots primarily located across the Asia-Pacific region, such as Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan, and China, as well as the United States. Dahan identified the target of the attack only as "an Azure customer in Europe."

The Microsoft exec said the record-breaking DDoS attack came in three short waves, in the span of ten minutes, with the first at 2.4 Tbps, the second at 0.55 Tbps, and the third at 1.7 Tbps. Dahan said Microsoft successfully mitigated the attack without Azure going down. Prior to Microsoft's disclosure today, the previous DDoS record was held by a 2.3 Tbps attack that Amazon's AWS division mitigated in February 2020.


By ArmoredDragon • Score: 3 • Thread

This is exactly why the internet has to be centralized, and why you can't realistically host whatever content you want without the blessing of some large tech company.

Thanks, hacktivists.

Just In: MSFT PR dept hires ex President

By Flownez • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
"He's shown a great aptitude for headlines, although he keeps trying to fire the mail guy"

Easy solution.

By NFN_NLN • Score: 3 • Thread

This is why we need to limit end user bandwidth for security.

64.0Mbps should be enough for anyone. - Bill Gates


By LordHighExecutioner • Score: 3 • Thread
... xkcd quote.

Re: How does DDoS mitigation work nowadays?

By IdanceNmyCar • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

No. CDNs/Load balances handle this. That's why the other poster mentioned how this forces centralization...

Without knowing that target though we can hardly know the reason bit we can guess potentially politically-motivated...

The gist of the lesson is if you want to say something politically antagonizing about another country, either host with the big guys or keep it offline...kind of shitty but this is the modern internet.

Google Unveils Cybersecurity Programs and Action Team

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: By the end of 2021, cybercrime is expected to cost the world $6 trillion. And by 2025, this figure will climb to $10.5 trillion, according to Cybersecurity Ventures. There's been a rash of recent high-profile cyberattacks, including Colonial Pipeline, the SolarWinds breach, and JBS USA. That's perhaps why 80% of senior IT employees believe that their companies lack sufficient protection against cyberattacks, despite increased security investments made in 2020.

To address the challenges, Google today at Google Cloud Next 2021 debuted Work Safer, a program to help organizations, employees, and partners collaborate in hybrid work environments. It also unveiled a new security-focused task force --- the Cybersecurity Action Team -- and a security and resilience framework, in addition to enhanced security capabilities in Workspace. The announcements come after research showing that companies want cloud providers to increase their security efforts. According to a a recent Tripwire survey, while the majority of enterprises believe that public cloud providers are doing enough to ensure security for users, it's "just barely adequate."

Action Team = Sales Engineers

By xanthos • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
From the article: "The Cybersecurity Action Team offers blueprints and architectures for deploying Google Cloud products .." So the first step in Google's $10 billion security initiative is to deploy sales teams to sell Google cloud subscriptions. Anybody surprised?

Neuroscientists Claim To Have Pinpointed the Brain States Unique To 'Team Flow'

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ScienceAlert: At some point in life, you have probably enjoyed a 'flow' state -- when you're so intensely focused on a task or activity, you experience a strong sense of control, a reduced awareness of your environment and yourself, and a minimized sense of the passing of time. It's also possible to experience 'team flow,' such as when playing music together, competing in a sports team, or perhaps gaming. In such a state, we seem to have an intuitive understanding with others as we jointly complete the task at hand. An international team of neuroscientists now thinks they have uncovered the neural states unique to team flow, and it appears that these differ both from the flow states we experience as individuals, and from the neural states typically associated with social interaction.

Researchers found increased beta and gamma brain wave activity in the left middle temporal cortex. This region of the brain is typically associated with information integration and key functions like attention, memory, and awareness, which are "consistent with higher team interactions and enhancing many flow dimensions," the team writes. However, what was unique about team flow, was that participants' neural activity appeared to synchronize. When participants were performing the task as a unit, their brains would mutually align in their neural oscillations (beta and gamma activity), creating a "hyper-cognitive state between the team members." If brains can be functionally connected through inter-brain synchrony, does this mean it is not only our brain that contributes to our consciousness? It's a curious question, but the authors warn it is much too soon to tell. "Based on our findings, we cannot conclude that the high value of integrated information correlates with a modified form of consciousness, for instance, 'team consciousness'," they write. "Its consistency with neural synchrony raises intriguing and empirical questions related to inter-brain synchrony and information integration and altered state of consciousness."
The study was published in the journal eNeuro.

Great now they can "make"

By oldgraybeard • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
everyone a team player! I wonder if their definition of team is the same as mine?

This is ADHD in a nutshell

By shaitand • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
"At some point in life, you have probably enjoyed a 'flow' state -- when you're so intensely focused on a task or activity, you experience a strong sense of control, a reduced awareness of your environment and yourself, and a minimized sense of the passing of time."

Those of us with ADHD spend most of our lives in this space right here. People think we can't focus but they are wrong, we are in this hyperfocused 'flow' state at almost all times and the tunnel vision is what makes it difficult to focus on you.

"[this differs] from the neural states typically associated with social interaction."

Tell me about it.

I recognize this

By Tx • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

...when you're so intensely focused on a task or activity, you experience a strong sense of control, a reduced awareness of your environment and yourself, and a minimized sense of the passing of time.

Yes, I have played Civilization III.

Re:This is ADHD in a nutshell

By BAReFO0t • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

ADHD? Mate, that's just normal high sensitivity.
I know in the USA, everybody who doesn't run for the hills before they count to three in diagnosed with ADHD because it allows legally selling hard drugs to children who are "conspicuous", for a nice big fat amount of profit, but no, that alone does not mean you've go ADHD.

Peter Norvig Leaves Google To Join Stanford AI Unit

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Artificial intelligence expert Peter Norvig is joining the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI this fall as a Distinguished Education Fellow, with the task of developing tools and materials to explain the key concepts of artificial intelligence. From a blog post: Norvig helped launch and build AI at organizations considered innovators in the field: As Google's director of research, he oversaw the tech giant's search algorithms and built the teams that focused on machine translation, speech recognition, and computer vision. At NASA Ames, his team created autonomous software that was the first to command a spacecraft, and served as a precursor to the current Mars rovers. Norvig is also a well-known name in AI education. He co-wrote Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach, an introductory textbook used by some 1,500 universities worldwide, and he's taught hundreds of thousands of students through his courses on online education platform Udacity. In this interview, he discusses his move to Stanford, building a human-focused AI curriculum, and broadening access to education. When asked why he's leaving Google, Norvig said: "Throughout my career I've gone back and forth between the major top-level domains: .edu, .com, and .gov. After 20 years with one company and after 18 months stuck working from home, I thought it was a good time to try something new, and to concentrate on education."


By fph il quozientatore • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
It is a positive thing to hear that academia and non-profit-oriented research can still win back people over industries with a private agenda. Even top experts.

Star Trek's William Shatner On His Plan To Boldly Go Into Space

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
In an interview with Gayle King on "CBS Mornings," Star Trek's William Shatner talks about his plan to boldly go into space, becoming the oldest person to do so. He's planning to launch to the final frontier on Wednesday, courtesy of Jeff Bezos and his rocket company Blue Origin. CBS News reports: Shatner joked that he'll be able to brag about the age record. But he said his actual motivation was "to have the vision. I want to see space. I want to see the Earth. I want to see what we need to do to save Earth." "I want to have a perspective that hasn't been shown to me before," he said. "That's what I'm interested in seeing."

Shatner will eclipse Funk's record by eight years and John Glenn's mark before that by 13. "I'm looking forward to the whole thing," Shatner told CNN's Anderson Cooper. "Imagine being weightless and staring into the blackness and seeing the Earth, that's what I want to absorb." But he added, smiling: "Things like that go up and boom in the night. It's a little scary, I'll tell you." The most difficult challenges for 90-year-old Shatner likely will be climbing the seven flights of stairs required to reach the gangway to board the New Shepard capsule and then enduring more than five times the normal force of gravity during descent. But Funk had no problems, and Blue Origin officials presumably expect the same for Shatner.

Since Blue Origin still can't achive orbit!

By oldgraybeard • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin are just running a really really really expensive amusement park ride for the filthy rich and celebrities.
Must be a really wild ride. But it is just a ride!

As for Shatner good for him!


By CeasedCaring • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Where's Scotty when you need him...

Waiting in orbit. See

Re:save the earth

By pi_rules • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

The byproduct of New Shephard's hydrolox engines is... water.


By damien_kane • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Where's Scotty when you need him...

He's dead, Jim

CNN Story/ video in link...

By Obipale • Score: 4, Informative • Thread (CNN) —

William Shatner spoke to a crowd at New York Comic Con on Thursday evening, just days before he will blast into space on a sub-orbital flight.

Much of his 45-minute speech included talk of the 90-year old actor’s other projects, including his album, but near the end he explained how he got interested in blasting off.

Jason Ehrlich, a friend and the producer of Shatner’s show “Better Late than Never,” came to him about a year and a half ago and encouraged him to consider going into space.

“‘You know, they are starting to send these rockets up with people into space. Wouldn’t it be something if Captain Kirk went up there,'” Ehrlich said to Shatner.

“Jason, for God sakes, nobody cares about — hum going up in – it was 55 years ago — my God man — um, hum, uh — well maybe I should go up into space,” Shatner recalled, detailing how he came around to wanting to go.

Shatner hoped he would be on the first Blue Origin flight, but “all of a sudden” Jeff Bezos and his brother were announced for the trip. “Then there was an old lady and then there was a young lady,” he said to a laughing audience.

“So finally they came to me on the second thing. They said ‘all right, how would you like to go up. You’ll be the oldest guy in space,'” Shatner recounted. “I don’t want to be known as the oldest guy. I’m bloody Captain Kirk!”

Last week he went to Blue Origin launch site in Texas for two days to prepare for the flight.

“It’s mind numbingly endless,” he said of the scenery. “You drive 100 miles and then you get to a little town called Van Horn, and then you turn left. And you drive another 50 miles.”

He described the assurances given to him by Blue Origin staff as not entirely reassuring.

“The phrase that they use a lot was ‘it’s our best guess that’ Your best guess?” he told the crowd incredulously.

He then recounted initial problems with the Hubble Space Telescope and the events leading to the explosion of the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger.

Shatner said past space travel disasters sometimes give him pause.

“We’re human beings, we make mistakes,” he said. “I’m thinking, I’m going up in a rocket and our best guess is it should be fine. So there is a little niggling fire of terror. I’m terrified. I’m Captain Kirk and I’m terrified!”

To the crowd’s laughter he said the feeling is not constant.

“You know, I’m not really terrified. Yes I am. It comes and goes like a summer cold,” he told the laughing audience.

He also talked about what he looked forward to seeing in space.

“Three minutes in the weightlessness of space, and the beauty of this oasis of Earth, and — I was planning on pressing my nose against the window, you know, and my only hope was I wouldn’t see somebody else looking back.” Shatner said, referencing the classic 1963 Twilight Zone episode where he played a man who saw a creature on a the wing of a plane at 20,000 feet.

He added when his daughters were growing up they would have him recreate the scene every time they were on plane.

Shatner has not yet figured out what words he will utter when he reaches space, he said, but has been going over words that other people have used.

“What can I say that is different,” he asked rhetorically. “I’ll try and think of something to suggest how deeply I feel about the experience of looking into the limitless distance.”