the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2021-Oct-13 today archive


  1. Biden Administration Plans For Massive Expansion of Wind Farms Off US Coasts
  2. Aspirin Use To Prevent 1st Heart Attack or Stroke Should Be Curtailed, US Panel Says
  3. Apple Argues Against Allowing App Sideloading By Pointing Out Android's Malware Figures
  4. How Coinbase Phishers Steal One-Time Passwords
  5. 20 Years Later, Xbox Creator Apologizes To AMD CEO For Last-Minute Switch To Intel
  6. Some of Verizon's Visible Cell Network Customers Say They've Been Hacked
  7. AI Fake-Face Generators Can Be Rewound To Reveal the Real Faces They Trained On
  8. Cisco Wants To Climb Back the Way Microsoft Did
  9. Captain Kirk Safely Goes To Space and Back
  10. Activision Unveils Ricochet Anti-cheat System for Call of Duty
  11. China's Solar Power Has Reached Price Parity With Coal
  12. FAST, the World's Largest Radio Telescope, Zooms in on a Furious Cosmic Source
  13. Google Says Fortnite's In-app Purchase Swap Was a Breach of Contract, Sues Epic
  14. Steaks Could Soon Become Champagne-Like Luxury, Says Boss of Europe's Top Meat Processor
  15. America is Choking Under an 'Everything Shortage'
  16. Groups Launch 'How To Stop Facebook' Effort
  17. Windows 11's First Update Makes AMD CPU Performance Even Worse
  18. US Overtakes China as Biggest Bitcoin Mining Hub After Beijing Ban
  19. Microsoft Agrees To Human Rights Review in Deals With Law Enforcement, Government
  20. Amazon Copied Products and Rigged Search Results To Promote Its Own Brands, Documents Show
  21. Apple Set to Cut iPhone Production Goals Due to Chip Crunch
  22. Computer Space Launched the Video Game Industry 50 Years Ago
  23. Netflix Calls Squid Game Its 'Biggest Ever Series At Launch'

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.

Biden Administration Plans For Massive Expansion of Wind Farms Off US Coasts

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNN: The Biden administration is planning to aggressively expand offshore wind energy capacity in the United States, potentially holding as many as seven new offshore lease sales by 2025. The move was announced Wednesday by US Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and first reported by The New York Times. Haaland said the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is exploring leasing sales along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, in the Gulf of Maine, New York Bight, central Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, as well as offshore the Carolinas, California and Oregon. As part of that initiative, which spans multiple government agencies, the Departments of the Interior, Energy and Commerce committed to a shared goal of generating 30 gigawatts of offshore wind in the US by 2030. The Interior Department estimates that reaching that goal would create nearly 80,000 jobs.

By 2025??

By khchung • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

While Biden may no longer be in office by 2024? And we all know that if Trump returned, he will immediately dismantle everything Biden built.

This unending flip-flopping is going to send America down the drain.

Re:That's going to cost more than other options

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

In the UK onshore wind has been profitable without any subsidies for a few years now.

Besides, considering the unlimited subsidy that nuclear gets, it's hardly fair to compare nuclear with anything else. Even with the subsidy, the cost is extremely high.

Re:That's going to cost more than other options

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

There's an interesting article about how, in the UK, even offshore wind is now paying out more than it gets in subsidies:

You can read the paper it is based on here:

As it notes, projects in Germany and The Netherlands are already subsidy free.

By the way, Hinkley Point C gets preferential treatment. As well as the insane spot price it gets, it has a guaranteed buy on everything it produces.

Re: The jobs right now are for lawyers.

By VeryFluffyBunny • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
What do you mean by 'natural'? Isn't our social evolution into ever more tolerant, kind & fair societies natural?

Re:Create 80000 new jobs...

By ArchieBunker • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

* for poverty wages

Aspirin Use To Prevent 1st Heart Attack or Stroke Should Be Curtailed, US Panel Says

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Doctors should no longer routinely start most people who are at high risk of heart disease on a daily regimen of low-dose aspirin, according to new draft guidelines by a U.S. panel of experts. The New York Times reports: The proposed recommendation is based on mounting evidence that the risk of serious side effects far outweighs the benefit of what was once considered a remarkably cheap weapon in the fight against heart disease. The U.S. panel also plans to retreat from its 2016 recommendation to take baby aspirin for the prevention of colorectal cancer, guidance that was groundbreaking at the time. The panel said more recent data had raised questions about the benefits for cancer, and that more research was needed.

On the use of low-dose or baby aspirin, the recommendation by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force would apply to people younger than 60 who were at high risk of heart disease and for whom a new daily regimen of the mild analgesic might have been a tool to prevent a first heart attack or stroke. The proposed guidelines would not apply to those already taking aspirin or those who have already had a heart attack. The U.S. task force also wants to strongly discourage anyone 60 and older from starting a low-dose aspirin regimen, citing concerns about the age-related heightened risk for life-threatening bleeding. The panel had previously recommended that people in their 60s who were at high risk for cardiovascular disease consult their doctors to make a decision. A low dose is 81 milligrams to 100 milligrams.

The task force proposals follow years of changes in advice by several leading medical organizations and federal agencies, some of which had already recommended limiting the use of low-dose aspirin as a preventive tool against heart disease and stroke. Aspirin inhibits the formation of blood clots that can block arteries, but studies have raised concerns that regular intake increases the risk of bleeding, especially in the digestive tract and the brain, dangers that increase with age. "There's no longer a blanket statement that everybody who's at increased risk for heart disease, even though they never had a heart attack, should be on aspirin," said Dr. Chien-Wen Tseng, a member of the national task force who is the research director of family medicine and community health at the University of Hawaii. "We need to be smarter at matching primary prevention to the people who will benefit the most and have the least risk of harms." Those who are already taking baby aspirin should talk to their doctor.

Re:But we know everything there is to know about

By Beryllium Sphere(tm) • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

One difference is that preventive aspirin is something you take every day for decades, in contrast to mRNA vaccines where the active ingredient is gone forever within days.

Another important point is that we have lifetimes of experience with vaccines in general and we know when bad effects show up. It's within two months:,

We know exactly what the risks are from the COVID vaccines and how many per million will experience each one. Any way I do the estimate, they come out four orders of magnitude safer than COVID.

Re:I religiously took low dose aspirin for 20 year

By Chris Mattern • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

"Tobacco studies proved nicotine safe for decades."

Nicotine itself is highly addictive but only somewhat detrimental to health. The stuff you smoke that kills you are the tars, particulate matter, and other toxic and carcinogenic chemicals produced by burning tobacco.

Remarkably cheap?

By thegarbz • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

A year's supply of Aspirin costs about as much as a set of running shoes. But the running shoes do have other unintended side-effects such as not being perpetually out of breath, not looking like a fat slob, and exercise releases endorphins so you're going to have to give up your delicious anti-depressants.

It never ceases to amaze me how over-medicated Americans are. And my American colleagues who come to Europe for an assignment long enough that they actually visit a doctor are almost perplexed as to why doctors don't start with questions like "what drugs are you taking" and finish with "which one of these do you want me to prescribe to you".

I went to the doctor after my work medical diagnosed hypertension. I went home with a piece of paper describing a training regime, not a prescription like my mother did.

Re:I religiously took low dose aspirin for 20 year

By MMC Monster • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

When recommendations for medical treatment are put into guidelines, every single recommendation is associated with two things. One is a level of evidence and the second is a strength of the evidence.

Here is the old guidelines for preventing heart disease, from 2019:

It's a free PDF.

The explanation of level of evidence and strength of the evidence is on page e182.

According to page e204 (28 of the PDF, I think), the level of evidence is A (very good) but the strength of evidence is IIb, which is quite weak, suggesting that it may be overturned in the future.

Obviously the level of evidence has changed since this guideline came out.

That's why physicians "practice" medicine. There's always new information coming out and we change what we do.

BTW, I'm a cardiologist.

Re:I religiously took low dose aspirin for 20 year

By kackle • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

BTW, I'm a cardiologist.

Thank God; I thought you might be a web developer!

Apple Argues Against Allowing App Sideloading By Pointing Out Android's Malware Figures

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Apple said today that one of the reasons it does not allow app sideloading or the use of third-party app stores on iOS is because of privacy and security reasons, pointing to the fact that Android sees between 15 to 47 times more malware compared to its app ecosystem. The Record reports: Apple says that the reason its iOS devices are locked into the App Store as the only way to install applications is for security reasons, as this allows its security teams to scan applications for malicious content before they reach users. Apple cited statements from multiple sources (DHS, ENISA, Europol, Interpol, NIST, Kaspersky, Wandera, and Norton), all of which had previously warned users against installing apps from outside official app stores, a process known as app sideloading.

Apple's report then goes on to list multiple malware campaigns targeting Android devices where the threat actors asked users to sideload malicious apps hosted on internet sites or third-party app stores. [...] The list includes a host of threats, such as mundane adware, dangerous ransomware, funds-stealing banking trojans, commercial spyware, and even nation-state malware, which Apple said threat actors have spread by exploiting the loophole in Android's app installation process that allows anyone to install apps from anywhere on the internet. Today's 31-page report (PDF) is the second iteration of the same report, with a first version (PDF) being published back in June, shortly after EU authorities announced their investigation.

it's not YOUR computer

By Anonymouse Cowtard • Score: 3 • Thread
You purchase an iPhone but you do not own it. It's that simple. If that is acceptable to you then good luck.

Re:why don't they lock the Mac?

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
They're trying. They introduced GateKeeper, then they changed the default to only allow apps signed by Apple, then they removed the option to allow unsigned apps from the GateKeeper settings altogether and introduced the dark pattern of having to Command+Click to bring up the context menu and then select 'Open' and this only works in Finder, there's no way to this in Launchpad.

Re:yeah right!

By omnichad • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

income security

Re:yeah right!

By thegarbz • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

as Apple repeatedly demonstrates security is always a secondary concern on Apple devices

[Citation needed]. While it's obvious that their security is not perfect, especially the security of the walled garden I think it's clear as day that Apple do actually take security on their devices quite seriously which can be easily seen in the evolution of the security options they provide users over the many years, and in some cases security options that remain unmatched by other devices (e.g. FaceID vs Windows Hello vs Androids even worse than Microsoft's system, SecureEnclave in all their devices, corporate security isolation features being the reason iPhones used to be the only allowed device in a company, etc).

The fact that they have profit motive as well doesn't change that they pay more than just lip service to security.

Re:why don't they lock the Mac?

By thegarbz • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

With the same logic?

What makes you think they aren't heading down this path? Ever installed Mac software which hasn't been signed by Apple? If you have you may have heard of something called Gatekeeper.

Note that Gatekeeper gave the option to allow only Mac Store software, Mac Store + Any Signed by Apple software, or any software at all. Most notably, that last option has been hidden from the user 5 years ago and now required the user to actually jump through some hoops to install software that hasn't been given the Tim seal of approval.

How Coinbase Phishers Steal One-Time Passwords

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from from Krebs on Security: A recent phishing campaign targeting Coinbase users shows thieves are getting smarter about phishing one-time passwords (OTPs) needed to complete the login process. It also shows that phishers are attempting to sign up for new Coinbase accounts by the millions as part of an effort to identify email addresses that are already associated with active accounts. Coinbase is the world's second-largest cryptocurrency exchange, with roughly 68 million users from over 100 countries. The now-defunct phishing domain at issue --[.]com -- was targeting Italian Coinbase users (the site's default language was Italian). And it was fairly successful, according to Alex Holden, founder of Milwaukee-based cybersecurity firm Hold Security.

Holden's team managed to peer inside some poorly hidden file directories associated with that phishing site, including its administration page. That panel, pictured in the redacted screenshot below, indicated the phishing attacks netted at least 870 sets of credentials before the site was taken offline. Holden said each time a new victim submitted credentials at the Coinbase phishing site, the administrative panel would make a loud "ding" -- presumably to alert whoever was at the keyboard on the other end of this phishing scam that they had a live one on the hook. In each case, the phishers manually would push a button that caused the phishing site to ask visitors for more information, such as the one-time password from their mobile app. "These guys have real-time capabilities of soliciting any input from the victim they need to get into their Coinbase account," Holden said. Pressing the "Send Info" button prompted visitors to supply additional personal information, including their name, date of birth, and street address. Armed with the target's mobile number, they could also click "Send verification SMS" with a text message prompting them to text back a one-time code.

Holden said the phishing group appears to have identified Italian Coinbase users by attempting to sign up new accounts under the email addresses of more than 2.5 million Italians. His team also managed to recover the username and password data that victims submitted to the site, and virtually all of the submitted email addresses ended in ".it." But the phishers in this case likely weren't interested in registering any accounts. Rather, the bad guys understood that any attempts to sign up using an email address tied to an existing Coinbase account would fail. After doing that several million times, the phishers would then take the email addresses that failed new account signups and target them with Coinbase-themed phishing emails. Holden's data shows this phishing gang conducted hundreds of thousands of halfhearted account signup attempts daily. For example, on Oct. 10 the scammers checked more than 216,000 email addresses against Coinbase's systems. The following day, they attempted to register 174,000 new Coinbase accounts.

run by amateurs

By Anonymouse Cowtard • Score: 3 • Thread
So they are saying that they can't stop bots from attempting to sign up? This appears trivial to mitigate. Wtf are they doing?

This technique can work in many sites ...

By 140Mandak262Jamuna • Score: 3 • Thread
Any site that uses email address as user name can be targeted by this scheme to harvest email ids of account holders. Usually banks and brokerages ask you to create user names, they do not let you use email id or phone numbers as user names. So far so good.

But if the site allows multiple ways to sign in, they might leak my email id.


Re:This technique can work in many sites ...

By xalqor • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Simple fix -- when a user tries to sign up, you ask their email address, then you immediately send a verification email. Doesn't matter if it already exists in the system or not. Then, *after* they verify it, you can proceed to set up a new account or inform them that they already have an account and proceed to account recovery if they need it.

Some sites wouldn't want to do that because they're all about the sales and don't want anything to get in the way of a new sign up... Their perspective is that every extra step is a possibility to lose a new user. But sites that have valuable assets in accounts, it should be protecting their users privacy, should definitely do it the more secure way to protect their existing users.

20 Years Later, Xbox Creator Apologizes To AMD CEO For Last-Minute Switch To Intel

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
The original Xbox was released 20 years ago next month, and to mark the upcoming anniversary, the console's designer has apologized to AMD's engineers and its CEO for Microsoft's last-minute decision to drop AMD for rival Intel. GameSpot reports: Seamus Blackley apologized on Twitter to the AMD engineers who worked with Microsoft to create the prototype Xbox consoles that the company used in the lead-up to the OG Xbox's release in November 2001. To AMD CEO Lisa Su, Blackley said, "I beg mercy." "I was standing there on the stage for the announcement, with [Bill Gates], and there they were right there, front row, looking so sad," he said of AMD engineers in the room. "I'll never forget it. They had helped so much with the prototypes. Prototypes that were literally running the launch announcement demos ON AMD HARDWARE." "I felt like such an ass," Blackley said. Microsoft dropped AMD in favor of Intel due to "pure politics," Blackley said in another tweet.

I wonder

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

Just how much did Intel pay Microsoft for that?

Re:I wonder

By Dutch Gun • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Didn't you hear? It wa$ only an i$$ue of politic$. $erou$ly, ju$t politic$.

I Suppose In The End

By aerogems • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

AMD got the last laugh since their chips have been used in both Sony and Microsoft consoles for the current and previous generation.

Re:Nice, can we assume...

By iamnotx0r • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
I'll mix cars and software for ease of understanding.

If software A ran at 100 miles an hour on car X, and next revision B runs at 89 miles an hour on car X, it is not the hardware engineers fault.

SEGA multiprocessor

By DrYak • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

true for the Saturn, but starting from the dreamcast: not anymore.

part of the reason the saturn wasn't that successful in the west was that it was an extremely complex beast with multiple different chips, each requiring carefully hand tuned assembly. getting the most out of the system required dark-magic levels of hardware mastery.
(well that, and the fact that Sega was on a spree release confusingly many different platforms in a short period of time, pissing several developer houses in the process)

contrast with the Sony PlayStation 1 which was much friendly to the type of development done in the west: just compile your high-level C/C++ code against some library and run it on a straight-forward architecture, e.g., making ports of PC games much easier.
(funny how it will be Sony's turn to dial the complexity up later, specially with PS3).

Sega took notes, and designed the DreamCast much more straightforward PC-like structure : a single SH4, a 3D graphics card (at some point even 3dfx was considered), an optical drive sitting on an ATA interface, and a modem or 100mbit network card plugged on the side. The controller with pluggable mini-screen/micro-handheld was the only fancy thing out of the ordinary.

They even collaborated with Microsoft to license and adapt WinCE and offer that as an alternative OS, next to the native Katana (and to other sega's experiments with BSD) in order to further ease development of ports (a few game discs boot into WinCE and rely on Direct X).

once you pay attention to how the architectures are organized, it becomes very obvious that for Microsoft, their work on with Sega was a precursor to their XBox line: simpler PC-like organized hardware that is programmed with familar tools and APIs.

Some of Verizon's Visible Cell Network Customers Say They've Been Hacked

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Verizon's Visible network has confirmed that some accounts were accessed without authorization. Visible is a cell service owned and operated by Verizon that "pitches itself as a less expensive, 'all-digital' network, meaning there aren't any physical stores like you'd get with a tradtiional carrier," notes The Verge. From the report: Starting on Monday, customers on both Twitter and Reddit reported en masse that they'd been getting emails from the company about changed passwords and addresses, and that they've had difficulties contacting the company's chat support. Visible's customer service account on Twitter seemingly hasn't addressed the issue, besides directing upset customers to its DMs. A user marked as a Visible employee on the subreddit posted a statement on Monday afternoon, saying that a "small number" of accounts were affected, but that the company didn't believe its systems had been breached. The statement did recommend that users change their passwords, but as many commenters pointed out (and as I can confirm), the password reset system currently isn't working. In a follow-up article, The Verge reports that Visible has confirmed customer reports of attackers accessing and changing user accounts. The company said that the breaches were carried out using usernames and passwords from "outside sources," adding that it's worked to "mitigate the issue" since it became aware of it. They're recommending you reset your password if it's one you've used for other services.

AI Fake-Face Generators Can Be Rewound To Reveal the Real Faces They Trained On

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from MIT Technology Review: Load up the website This Person Does Not Exist and it'll show you a human face, near-perfect in its realism yet totally fake. Refresh and the neural network behind the site will generate another, and another, and another. The endless sequence of AI-crafted faces is produced by a generative adversarial network (GAN) -- a type of AI that learns to produce realistic but fake examples of the data it is trained on. But such generated faces -- which are starting to be used in CGI movies and ads -- might not be as unique as they seem. In a paper titled This Person (Probably) Exists (PDF), researchers show that many faces produced by GANs bear a striking resemblance to actual people who appear in the training data. The fake faces can effectively unmask the real faces the GAN was trained on, making it possible to expose the identity of those individuals. The work is the latest in a string of studies that call into doubt the popular idea that neural networks are "black boxes" that reveal nothing about what goes on inside.

To expose the hidden training data, Ryan Webster and his colleagues at the University of Caen Normandy in France used a type of attack called a membership attack, which can be used to find out whether certain data was used to train a neural network model. These attacks typically take advantage of subtle differences between the way a model treats data it was trained on -- and has thus seen thousands of times before -- and unseen data. For example, a model might identify a previously unseen image accurately, but with slightly less confidence than one it was trained on. A second, attacking model can learn to spot such tells in the first model's behavior and use them to predict when certain data, such as a photo, is in the training set or not.

Such attacks can lead to serious security leaks. For example, finding out that someone's medical data was used to train a model associated with a disease might reveal that this person has that disease. Webster's team extended this idea so that instead of identifying the exact photos used to train a GAN, they identified photos in the GAN's training set that were not identical but appeared to portray the same individual -- in other words, faces with the same identity. To do this, the researchers first generated faces with the GAN and then used a separate facial-recognition AI to detect whether the identity of these generated faces matched the identity of any of the faces seen in the training data. The results are striking. In many cases, the team found multiple photos of real people in the training data that appeared to match the fake faces generated by the GAN, revealing the identity of individuals the AI had been trained on.

Bit of Fun

By Kotukunui • Score: 3 • Thread
Interesting to generate a face at the site and then do a reverse image search to see who the Google Image search thinks it is.... Eyeballing it shows very few that I would say are actually the same person, but then Google mostly suggests "celebrities" first


By epine • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Such attacks can lead to serious security leaks. For example, finding out that someone's medical data was used to train a model associated with a disease might reveal that this person has that disease.

For fifteen years I visited slashdot twice a day, sometimes more often. In recent years I slowed down to twice a month, as slashdot culture become more like reddit culture. It's hard to put my finger on precisely what this x-factor is, but I know it when I see it.

Am I missing something here, or is the above passage total geek fail?

I mean it's possible that I've reached my silver-sourcer best-before date, and a trillion brain cells died over night, and I've crossed over the Dunning Krueger horizon into the final sunset, which is quite possibly not so different than falling into a gentle black hole of galactic mass, with no real tides at the event horizon to tap you with a clue stick by tearing your body asunder, limb from limb.

According to the brain cells I still retain, whatever their final number, it seems to me that to find out by this method that someone's medical data is inside the model, you need to test this by already having said medical data in hand. If so you can't by this method learn whether the person had the disease. What you can learn is whether they signed the consent form to participate in lending their personal data to the model builders.

While we're stuck here at the level of pushing back against reddit-worthy brain farts, we're not discussing any of the deeper issues. I can get that from any politician anywhere — modern supply now being as near to infinite as to make no difference.

Et tu, News for Nerds? This is so depressing.

This is good

By thegarbz • Score: 3 • Thread

If you can reverse a GAN to identify the underlaying training data there's potentially to manually review and weed out data which is causing an error in the algorithm. Sure the point of these training algorithms is to throw more data at it so the underlying problem gets massively reduced, but that only works if there isn't some common problem in the data you are feeding it.

Cisco Wants To Climb Back the Way Microsoft Did

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The networking giant says it has turned a corner in its attempt to adapt to the cloud era. From a report: Cisco is hardly a failure. It produces billions of dollars in annual profits and is generally regarded as stable and well-run. But investors feared that its steady operations could lead to a slow-motion descent into obsolescence in an industry that can be brutal to anyone who falls a half-step behind. The best example of a tech giant stumbling then regaining its dominance is probably Microsoft, and analysts regularly hold it up as a role model for Cisco. Microsoft's decline, which began about the same time as Cisco's, was largely the result of a progression of disappointing products. That began to change in 2014, when new Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella started selling tons of copies of popular software such as Excel and Word as subscription services rather than one-time purchase products and built a formidable cloud computing division. Microsoft is now the only U.S. company other than Apple with a market value of more than $2 trillion.

Chuck Robbins has held his job as Cisco's CEO just one year less than Nadella. In recent months, he's begun to insist that his company has finally reached its inflection point. Cisco acknowledged years ago that it had failed to capitalize on the chance to build the initial infrastructure for cloud computing, says Robbins, and responded with a significant, if slow-developing, overhaul of its strategy. "We were going to build technology for the next transition," he says. "We did that. Now we're seeing the benefit." Cisco's initial problem was partially a lack of flexibility. When Amazon, Google, and Microsoft began building cloud computing data centers, they wanted components, software, and machines that were tailored to their needs. Cisco insisted on selling the same expensive, uncustomizable equipment that was always the core of its business. The burgeoning cloud companies were only too happy to take their business elsewhere. Robbins can point to significant changes during his six-year tenure. Cisco has made a string of acquisitions that have turned it into one of the top 10 software companies in the world by revenue. Software and services have surpassed hardware and now make up more than half of Cisco's revenue. Its expected future revenue for outstanding fees from these products totals $30 billion.

Re:I wouldn't hold my breath

By youngone • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

So this means Cisco is pretty much admitting they are giving up on hardware and instead prioritizing software

Cisco Meraki gear is all cloud managed routers and switches and wifi access points and whatnot. I am assuming that support is based on a subscription, so they're not really "giving up" on hardware, they're just turning it into a regular payment model.

Cisco? They need to go "all in" on Meraki, really.

By King_TJ • Score: 3 • Thread

I remember when I worked at a job in the Metro DC area, our company used Cisco Meraki gear at all of our locations across the country. Therefore, I attended one of their annual seminars in DC. What I observed was Cisco really trying to push the Meraki solution to everyone in attendance (along with their security camera solutions). But practically everyone in the room except for me was some type of government contractor or employee, and none of them had any interest in it. The only reason why? Government guidelines for equipment purchases of that type were written many years ago, and had a number of specifics in them that ruled out the option of anything like Meraki that had a "cloud" component. For security reasons, at the time, the ability for the product to run completely "stand alone" was considered a must.

I'm sure this is slowly changing, but truthfully? Cisco probably makes a ton of $'s supporting all of these "legacy" firewall and router products of theirs that use only a command line. And that stuff is the "boat anchor" for them that will drag down any true innovation. Similar problem Oracle has, really. They specialized in a massively capable centralized database server solution that was *the* product to use for many years when you needed to store and look up a LOT of data really quickly. But the cloud obsoleted it with infinitely scalable solutions that only charge you for what you actually use. (During slow periods, you pay less since you're not hammering the server with queries.) Oracle has many lucrative contracts with all the customers who can't afford to migrate to something else right now. But it's not a real future-forward business model and all the money supporting the legacy stuff holds them back.

The Meraki platform and overall licensing model is a pretty good way to rake in a lot of cash while providing a flexible, easy to administer solution that MOST businesses today prefer. But even where I work now? We use Meraki and find it lacking in a few ways. A BIG gripe for YEARS has been their lack of real IPv6 support across the product line. Even now, in 2021, some of it is only a "beta":

Other issues include the relatively low processor power of the small units that you'd deploy to home office users to bridge their home network to your office LAN via VPN. Most aren't even capable of keeping up with a gigabit connection people commonly get from cable providers or fiber to the home scenarios.

I feel like Cisco just hasn't committed fully to Meraki because they still sell and support the traditional products, and they're afraid to "step on toes" by making Meraki too powerful vs some of that gear?

Re:I wouldn’t hold my breath

By tlhIngan • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Microsoft reinvented themselves by realizing that locking everything to Windows and Office wasn't the way to move forward. They realized that things like Office365, while not necessarily tying people to Windows anymore, would mean being able to satisfy business requirements in other ways.

The big corporate Microsoft clients don't really care about buying Office outright - the software support and such that they pay means the corporate plans for Office365 are a really good deal in the end which si why the big companies rapidly adopted it. Sure they have the option of buying full versions of Office standalone, but the costs end up being around the same - $500 outright versus $100 a year for 5 years, but the latter includes support and other online tools AND often includes other benefits, like being per-seat so if someone has a desktop and a laptop, they can use the same Office365 account and license instead of two separate standalone licenses, plus often that account includes a home use so that employee can install Office on their home PC, back when working from home was a rarity.

Microsoft basically quit being idiots, realized that Linux and online and clouds were things and basically fully embraced the concept.

Not sure what Cisco can do - they squandered WebEx such that a new startup literally now owns the conferencing space. And there's not much else they can do - Meraki is a nice piece of kit that is easy to manage, but their service plans and such need beefing up if you want to offer a subscription based variant to owning the stuff outright. (Nothing wrong with subscriptions, if you're paying for support on your standalone equipment, it's the same thing).


By kyoko21 • Score: 3 • Thread


i don't know if there is any money to be made from this space though...

Re:I wouldn't hold my breath

By Junta • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Which has long been a dumb model. I guess ok so long as you don't worry about competition, but it's easy to get out-competed in that mode. These practices are the worst of off-premise and on-premise headaches all put together. Most companies I know that doubled down on subscription-based on-premise lock-in have such offerings dwindling in the market. They love to inflict large capex and opex as well as tedious entitlement management on customers, and ride high for a few quarters before starting to get eroded by more appealing options (either more straightforward on-premise or off-premise offerings, depending on the market segment and customer preference).

Captain Kirk Safely Goes To Space and Back

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
New submitter pele writes: Captain Kirk alias William Shatner has just safely completed his first trip to space and back, and in the process has become the oldest person ever to have been to space. More news and coverage at BBC and Evening Standard. Blue Origin took the 90-year-old just about 60 miles (100km) above the Earth's surface where those aboard got to experience a short period of weightlessness. The trip only lasted about 10 minutes.

"Everybody in the world needs to do this," the Canadian actor told Mr Bezos after landing back on Earth. "It was unbelievable." In tears, he added: "What you have given me is the most profound experience. I'm so filled with emotion about what just happened. I hope I never recover from this. I hope I can retain what I feel now. I don't want to lose it."


By mark-t • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

He's not. Or at least probably not.

The Overview Effect can have a profound effect on a person's psychological core. More people return from space for the first time forever changed by the experience than not.

Sponsored by Depends adult diapers

By Nocturrne • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Congrats to Shatner, sincerely - he is pretty spry for 90 years old.

Re:Would've been funnier if he yelled "KHAN"!

By magarity • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Your homonym parser is broken.

Musk needs to get Uhura next!

By bussdriver • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Nichelle Nichols
1st black woman in space on tv (world?)
1st black woman to kiss a white guy on tv (USA; it was a thing)
1st non-astronaught black woman in space
5th black woman in space.
Oldest woman in space.

George could too... maybe 1st gay person?

Boldly going...

By Chas • Score: 3 • Thread

Where many have gone before...On his giant space-dildo!

Activision Unveils Ricochet Anti-cheat System for Call of Duty

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Activision unveiled its Ricochet anti-cheat system for Call of Duty games as it tries to attack a longstanding cheating problem that has frustrated a lot of players. From a report: The new system will get rid of players cheating in Call of Duty: Warzone later this year and it will debut with Call of Duty: Vanguard, the new premium game coming on multiple platforms on November 5. Activision, whose parent company Activision Blizzard has been sued for having an alleged toxic culture of its own, said in its announcement that cheating in Call of Duty is frustrating for players, developers, and the entire community. The anti-cheat team has made great strides in fighting this persistent issue that affects so many, but the company said it knows more must be done. Ricochet is supported by a team of dedicated professionals focused on fighting unfair play.

The Ricochet anti-cheat initiative is a multi-faceted approach to combat cheating, featuring new server-side tools which monitor analytics to identify cheating, enhanced investigation processes to stamp out cheaters, updates to strengthen account security, and more. Ricochet's backend anti-cheat security features will launch alongside Call of Duty: Vanguard, and later this year with the Pacific update coming to Call of Duty: Warzone. In addition to server enhancements coming with Ricochet is a new PC kernel-level driver, developed internally for the Call of Duty franchise, and launching first for Call of Duty: Warzone. This driver will assist in the identification of cheaters, reinforcing and strengthening the overall server security. The kernel-level driver launches alongside the Pacific update for Warzone later this year.
Further reading: Cheat Maker Is Not Afraid of Call of Duty's New Kernel-Level Anti-Cheat.

That's a helluva footnote

By Anubis IV • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

In addition to server enhancements coming with Ricochet is a new PC kernel-level driver, developed internally for the Call of Duty franchise, and launching first for Call of Duty: Warzone. This driver will assist in the identification of cheaters, reinforcing and strengthening the overall server security. The kernel-level driver launches alongside the Pacific update for Warzone later this year.

No thank you.

I'm out

By Dutch Gun • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I'll never install a game that requires a kernel-level driver. I actually use my PC for important stuff. And there's a very long history of malware making use of badly written kernel level DRM or anti-cheat drivers to get privileged access.

Besides, the only reliable way to detect cheating is server-side detection, since that's 100% under the dev's control. Anything client-side can be spoofed if the user is willing to work hard enough to hack it. It'll catch low-hanging fruit, but not those truly determined. It's good they're not completely relying on client-side code.

I'm guessing this also means there's little chance of these games working on Mac or Linux.

Seems good to me

By SuperKendall • Score: 3 • Thread

I know many people are against the rootlet aspect of this, but if I were really into Call Of Duty I would prefer that *if* it actually makes a difference with the amount of cheating.

I would probably make sure I had a gaming PC where this was installed, and a PC (probably laptop) for other purposes as I wouldn't want the rootlet around a system I did other things with. But making a console PC is the price you pay for having an all around stable gaming experience.

Re:How does cheating work?

By UnknownSoldier • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Game dev here. I can shed some light on this.

First off, how will you _verify_ that someone isn't running a custom GPU driver that draws everything in wireframe mode? This "Wall Hack" has been around for decades.

Second, positions for players are usually stored in C's float or double type. It is relatively easy to read memory from another process. Are you going to decrypt, do operations, and then encrypt them EVERY time they are accessed? Let's pretend you move them around in memory. With CheatEngine it is relatively easy to "trace pointers" and find the new locations.

Third, let's say you start to track accuracy and notice some players are _extremely_ accurate. How do you detect the difference between false positives and aim bots? Bots are NOT 100% accurate all the time as that is TOO noticeable. So they introduce tiny flaws to make them look more human. How much time, money, resources, etc. are you going to waste trying to solve this unsolvable problem of what is basically a stripped down Turing test?

Fourth, how do you detect a proxy server / man-in-the-middle attack where a client machine has no cheats running but a machine is logging and inspecting all network traffic and displaying the information on a second monitor to the cheater?

Fifth, servers usually send more information to the client to prevent "pop-up" and because doing occlusion testing in real-time can be expensive. For example, Players Alice and Bob are heading towards a corner. If you delay sending Bob's position to Alice until the last second Alice will have "pop-up" where Bob magically appears in front of them. If you have N players this is potentially an N^2 visibility problem. Yes, there are Spatial Partitioning algorithms to help with this but the more players you have and the more responsive you want the game to be the less Physics you need to do.

Sixth, how do you prevent "Spying" where someone on the other team is "leaking" information via an external voice chat?

> Could we delay updated cheats long enough for a new update to send them back to square one?


You DON'T want to ban cheaters instantly. You want to collect data and then do "ban waves" so cheaters don't know what "triggered" the alarm.

> Is it lack of effort?

No. More like waste of time and money for devs when cheaters continue to pay big money in underground sites to develop custom cheats.

> Something more fundamental?

The problem is basically unsolvable. There are WAY more hackers then developers who are more determined to "beat the system".

Basically, cheat detection is a black hole of resources. i.e. Decreasing returns. You spend more and more money to catch less and less cheaters.

> Are they afraid of alienating the cheaters?

In some games that happens. It really depends on the game.

Also, what is prevent someone caught cheating just from buying the game again and making a new account?

Hope this helps.

China's Solar Power Has Reached Price Parity With Coal

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Like everywhere else, China has seen the cost of solar power dive over the last decade, with a 63 percent drop between 2011 and 2018 alone. In line with that, the installation of solar has risen dramatically. From a report: Currently, a third of the entire planet's new solar capacity is being commissioned in China; the country passed the installed capacity of the US in 2013 and Germany in 2015, and it now has over 250 GW active -- well more than double what its economic plan had specified by this point. Given that China plans to hit net zero emissions by 2060, it is likely to continue this building spree. But the forecast is not all rosy. Most of China's population is located in the country's southeast. The best solar resources (in terms of cloudless days and available land) are in the northwest, which also happens to be sparsely populated.

This mismatch has left solar facing constraints due to limits in the ability of China's grids to shift power across its vast distances. The output of solar plants in the northwest has frequently ended up curtailed, as there's no capacity to send it where it's needed. As a result, it's been somewhat difficult to fully understand the economics of solar power in China. To get a clearer picture, the researchers built a model that takes into account most of the factors influencing solar's performance. The model tracks changes in technology, economics, solar resources, and the Chinese grid for the period from 2020 to 2060. It used six years of satellite weather data to estimate typical productivity in different areas of the country, and it included information on existing land use that would interfere with solar-farm siting.

Re:Solar boosters should pay attention.

By timeOday • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
China's total energy production is still rocketing upwards and has more than doubled in the last 10 years.

Given that, it's truly remarkable they shut down the coal mines earlier this year. Having to bring some back online for a while is unfortunate, but I'm glad it's the older, more dirty sources they are modulating to match demand (which with coal, is not trivial to do).

I don't know why you would call solar "greenwashing," doesn't that imply something that's supposed to alter perception but isn't really cleaner? Don't tell me you deny solar is truly cleaner than coal? Coal is filthy.

Re:How many lies can one fit in one article?

By timeOday • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

China plans to stop using coal in 2060, not hit net zero emissions.

That's not true at all. Just google China 2060 and read any or all of the first 10 hits.

parity with coal does not exist

By epine • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

There's no such thing as parity with coal, because coal has minimal siting constraints. Whether you site a coal plant in Ecuador or Anchorage, the same physical plant generates the same power on the same schedule.

This isn't true for solar. The cost structure for solar depends intensely on siting factors. This determines how much power you get, and when you get it. Not all time is created equal, not unless you have a battery warehouse the size of Azathoth's nutsack, and that doesn't come for free.

Plus solar is land hungry, requiring about 8–10 kilo-acres/GWac. (See Land-Use Requirements for Solar Power Plants in the United States 2013.)

Which has a bigger footprint, a coal plant or a solar farm?

California's proposed Blythe plant will require a whopping 7,000 acres of Mohave Desert in order to deliver 2,100 GWh per year. The area of a coal plant producing the same output will typically be one square mile (640 acres) or less.

Then it goes on to an entirely brain-damaged comparison of the size of the coal mine required to support the generation capacity of the coal plant. But coal mines are generally found in places not much use for anything else, often far away from urban centers, and once again, it produces a mostly consistent coal output 365 days of the year (and you don't need a battery, because coal has this amazing capacity to sit there in giant piles, as piles were understood long before Volta).

So yes, the environmental disruption might have a large footprint, but we're actually talking about direct economic cost structures, and it doesn't in any way close the overall siting gap. So what this amounts to is that there are now many places in the world that can purchase a solar plant rather than a coal plant, on direct economic cost comparisons, without the addition of any green fairy dust.

But this is not your father's technology curve, where once a price threshold is crossed, it stays crossed. No, it's the other kind of crossed—as in "crossed off"—as the best sites for solar are exploited, and you progress ever further down the list, to less desirable princes and princesses.

It might be the case that progress in solar technology is able to keep pace with the degradation of the situation list. But it's a stupid assumption to make without even noticing that you haven't zipped up your fly, and your chuff is showing.

Re:Solar boosters should pay attention.

By PPH • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

If you don't have the transmission capacity and you are suffering "distance limitations," increasing supply won't help.

The distance limitations are for their solar resources. Clear and sunny in the West, far away from their population centers. But little transmission capacity to move it there. Increasing coal supplies is a different issue. The 'supply' (generating capacity) already exists in the East, close to the loads.

Energy storage is not just for solar

By MacMann • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

Environmentalists demand more solar power and politicians and utilities complied to get votes and sell electricity. This drives the need for storage to manage the intermittent nature of solar power. What utilities found out is that storage capable of managing the intermittent nature of solar power can also manage the problem of large steam plants not able to follow load.

Once that storage is on the grid it is a sunk cost. While batteries for grid storage last about 30 years a pumped hydro station could last a century or more. Solar power, and wind power, last about 30 years. This tells me that the utilities will not be replacing old solar with new solar. Utilities will be replacing old solar with new nuclear fission.

We will spend about a decade building solar, storage, and learn to build nuclear power again. The decade after we will see storage and nuclear replace solar. Then the storage and nuclear will be integrated with things like molten salt thermal energy storage and Brayton cycle turbines that use air as the heat sink and working fluid.

Storage is going to kill the economics of solar power. Once storage is a sunk cost the economics change, as does the ability of the grid to handle large slow moving power plants. The loss of old reliable power sources like coal and nuclear will require adding new reliable power sources. If CO2 emitting remains an issue then that means nuclear power.

Solar may benefit now because of rising costs of coal and natural gas but those rising costs will get people to reconsider nuclear power as an option. I doubt another Fukushima style event would change people's mind much on nuclear power. There is a recognition that new nuclear is not like old nuclear. After there's a bunch of electricity storage on the grid the complaint of nuclear power being too big and slow go away. Complaints of costs go away with rising energy costs. The complaint of nuclear power taking too long to build goes away with people taking urgency to relieve the issues of rising costs and unreliable supply.

We will see more nuclear fission power plants built all over the world. What will make that easier to do is the storage added to the grid to accommodate solar.

FAST, the World's Largest Radio Telescope, Zooms in on a Furious Cosmic Source

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
China's Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope has detected more than 1,600 fast radio bursts from a single enigmatic system. From a report: Fast radio bursts, or FRBs, are one of the greatest mysteries of our universe. Coming from deep space, these outbursts can flash and fade in a matter of milliseconds, yet in each instance can release as much energy as the sun does in a year. They pop up all across the sky multiple times a day, but most appear to be one-off events and are thus hard to catch. First discovered in 2007, FRBs have challenged and tantalized scientists seeking to uncover their obscure origins and to use them as unique tools for probing the depths of intergalactic space. Now, using the world's largest single-dish radio telescope, an international team has reported the largest set of FRB events ever detected in history.

According to their paper published in Nature today, between August and October 2019 the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST) in southwestern China recorded a total of 1,652 such brief and bright outbursts from a single repeating FRB source in a dwarf galaxy three billion light years away. Besides dramatically boosting the total number of known FRB events, the observations also revealed a very wide range of brightnesses among the recorded events, offering new clues about the astrophysical nature of their mysterious source. "The study is very thorough, with a level of details and sensitivity we've never had before," says astrophysicist Emily Petroff from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands and McGill University in Canada, who is not involved in the research. "Such in-depth analyses of individual sources will be a top priority in FRB research in the near future."

Space children.

By Ostracus • Score: 3 • Thread

That's just Trelane having a temper tantrum.

Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telesc

By know-nothing cunt • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

They left "radio" out of the acronym. They could just as well have included it and left out "spherical."

Google Says Fortnite's In-app Purchase Swap Was a Breach of Contract, Sues Epic

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Epic Games keeps piling up lawsuits with app store owners. This time, Google is countersuing Epic for breach of contract. From a report: Epic signed contracts with both Google and Apple, pledging to use the default payment systems for in-app purchases. As part of its push for more open payment systems, though (and to dodge each platform's 30 percent fee), Epic boldly pushed out updates to the Android and iOS apps that switched the payment processing from the platforms' in-app purchases to Epic's in-house system. Google and Apple both allege this action was a breach of their app store contracts with Epic.

Apple sued and got its ruling last month. Epic was ordered to pay $3.65 million in damages, covering Apple's lost revenue from Epic's three months of self-powered payments. Following that ruling, Google wants its missing money, too, and now it's countersuing Epic, hoping for a similar ruling. Google's suit reads, "Epic willfully breached the DDA [Developer Distribution Agreement] by submitting a version of Fortnite for publication on Google Play with a payment method other than Google Play Billing for purchases of in-app content. By doing this, Epic denied Google its service fee under the DDA for any purchases made through the app outside of Google Play Billing." Google continues: "The users that downloaded the non-compliant version of Fortnite before its removal from Google Play are still able to use Epic's hotfixed external payment mechanism to make in-app purchases -- allowing Epic to evade its contractually agreed service fee to Google for those purchases." Google argues that "Epic has alternatively been unjustly enriched at Google's expense" and is seeking restitution of its missing earnings and damages.

Clipping the ticket

By NewtonsLaw • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Google's business model (outside of advertising) is to clip every ticket it can on the internet.

This explains why it is getting deeply into UTM (unmanned traffic management) systems for drones. It wants to be the one who *you* pay before you're allowed to take off and fly your toys. This is the entire reason that the company created its Wing division -- to create the illusion that drone-delivery was going to be a thing and thereby convince gullible governments that they must subscribe to Google's UTM service.

He who holds the key to the door dictates the price of entry :-(

So it is also with the app store :-/

Re:Google has a case

By Freischutz • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Google, unlike Apple, doesn't prevent you from installing alternative app stores on Android. Epic probably will lose this one.

That doesn't matter. Epic signed a contract with both Apple and Google where it pledged to use their default default payment systems for in-app purchases and then violated that contract. Epic's take on that is: 'But, your honour, in-app purchases yearn to be free. We are heroically liberating them from the tyranny of Google/Apple!!' the judges so far have not been particularly impressed. I'm not a masse fan of some of Google or Apple's business models but the thing is, you can really can sign your rights away if you are dumb enough to sign a shitty contract, Epic is finding that out the hard way.

No sympathy for either party

By La Gris • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Apple, Google, Epic are all too focused on building-up monopoly for extra profit.

They are like sharks in a tank.

One is taking real money for virtual stuffs that will vanish as soon as editor pulls the plug on servers.

The other two are crying fool if they cannot get their 30% share on the first one.

Attorneys, experts will get paid high figures to settle issues between the sharks.

In the end, users are victims cash cow who will continue to be drained for imaginary good they don't really own.

We are living in a feudal society owned by corporations and I really hate it.

It's a racket even if you initially agree to it

By ezdiy • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Unless online tenant rights become a thing, landlords will continue to collect their protection money. Kudos to Epic throwing a hiss about it, even if it means getting their knees capped.

Google and Apple should lose

By Stonefish • Score: 3 • Thread

Google and Apple should lose as they have created virtual monopolies using their platforms. Apple doesn't allow third party payment systems and Google has a similar innovation stifling arrangement with users of Android. No one would willingly pay 30% for a service which costs virtually nothing to run. We're not talking a bricks and mortar arrangement or having to spend significant sums on delivery. These margins existing because of the lack of competition enforced by the ones benefiting from the arrangement. Essentially what you are talking about is a market failure.

Steaks Could Soon Become Champagne-Like Luxury, Says Boss of Europe's Top Meat Processor

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The boss of Europe's top meat processor said beef will become a luxury like champagne because of the climate impact of producing it. From a report: "Beef is not going to be super climate friendly," Danish Crown Chief Executive Officer Jais Valeur said in an interview with Danish newspaper Berlingske. "It will be a luxury product that we eat when we want to treat ourselves." Valeur said pork would be a more climate-friendly protein. Danish Crown is one of Europe's largest pork producers, although it is also a player in the beef market. Meat companies are coming under pressure to curb greenhouse gases, with 57% of all food industry emissions coming from making animal products, according to one study. Tackling methane emissions from livestock is one of the most critical climate challenges for producers.

Re:Change who you vote for

By The Real Dr John • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

News flash, steaks are already a luxury item. By the way, just as a metric for how badly money is distributed among the US population, if you divide the US National Income value by the US population, you get about $66,000 per year per person, which works out to over a quarter million a year for each 4 person household. Not saying that's how it should be, but that is a good starting metric for beginning a conversation about what really is fair.


Re:Change who you vote for

By Darinbob • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Steaks have always been luxury items. We'd get half a steer of cuts to fill up a deep freeze with because my grandfather raised cattle, but even then we didn't have steaks every day. Most of the time you had lesser cuts, ground beef, more liver than you ever wanted as a kid, and so forth. So while beef wasn't a luxury item, the good steaks were. How many rich people are dining on cabeza or tongue?

Re:Shutdown Datacenters instead

By Darinbob • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Pork is relatively inexpensive in comparison to beef, while also being tasty. You can feed the pigs more variety than you can cows, they grow up to slaughtering age faster, they don't need as much land, and so forth. When my grandfather started his cattle ranch he also started off with pigs because it was a quick cash boost until the main business got going and sustainable.

Re:There is a methane cycle, like the other cycles

By hey! • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

This is an important point. Methane has a tropospheric half life of 9 years, which means it will be 99% gone in 60 years. What's more *agricultural* methane does not introduce more carbon to the atmosphere -- it is made from carbon taken out of the atmosphere.

The problem is that during its short time in the atmosphere methane is an extremely potent greenhouse gas. This makes methane emission reduction one of the few things we can do that might significantly slow the rate of climate change in the short term. The short term is important; it's the part of the future we'll all be living in.

Without a doubt waste and leaked methane from fossil fuel production should be a higher priority than getting rid of beef; not only is that pure waste, it introduces carbon to the atmosphere, which agricultural emissions do not. But reduction of agricultural emissions is still something we should be working on.

Re:Change who you vote for

By tlhIngan • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Beef is a lousy protein. It takes enormous amounts of land, water and other resources to produce beef. Plus, it's not all that great for you.

That's why there are those "plant based alternatives" - because beef is very resource intensive to produce. The conversion rate is around 18 to 1, or 18 pounds of feed to 1 pound of beef. Add in things like water consumption and land and it's a huge impact. Think of it this way - most of the agricultural land in the US is used to basically produce feed for livestock. Most of the arable land that grows stuff grows to feed animals, and not for direct human consumption.

More land still is then used to raise those animals until they can be slaughtered for meat.

And beef cattle are among the worst proteins possible for it.

So yes, steaks and beef are going to be luxury items because a lot of land is wasted raising cattle, and a lot of land is wasted growing food for cattle .

It's why plant-based burgers are around - despite the processing, the amount of resources that go into making that patty are far lower.

Pork has a much better conversion rate of around 5 to 1. Not great, but much better than cows which take nearly 4 times more feed to produce the same amount of protein.

Chicken is probably the most efficient, where the ratio is a lean 1.7 to 1.

Plant-based chicken nuggets and such really make no sense - I doubt they would beat the efficiency all that much to be worthwhile.

It's probably going to be one of the biggest things about climate change - the usable land for raising beef and its feed will force it to become an even greater luxury.

Doesn't mean you need to give up steaks, but you probably will have to give up those huge honking 36oz steaks and be satisfied with 8 or 12 oz ones.

It's hidden a lot in the US because the amount of land the US dedicates to raising cattle is quite large (and quite cheap). But other locations aren't so lucky and won't be able to dedicate so much land or food to an inefficient food source.

America is Choking Under an 'Everything Shortage'

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The global supply chain is slowing down at the very moment when Americans are demanding that it go into overdrive. The Atlantic: Is it just me, or does it feel like America is running out of everything? I visited CVS last week to pick up some at-home COVID-19 tests. They'd been sold out for a week, an employee told me. So I asked about paper towels. "We're out of those too," he said. "Try Walgreens." I drove to a Walgreens that had paper towels. But when I asked a pharmacist to fill some very common prescriptions, he told me the store had run out. "Try the Target up the road," he suggested. Target's pharmacy had the meds, but its front area was alarmingly barren, like the canned-food section of a grocery store one hour before a hurricane makes landfall.

This is the economy now. One-hour errands are now multi-hour odysseys. Next-day deliveries are becoming day-after-next deliveries. That car part you need? It'll take an extra week, sorry. The book you were looking for? Come back in November. The baby crib you bought? Make it December. Eyeing a new home-improvement job that requires several construction workers? Haha, pray for 2022. The U.S. economy isn't yet experiencing a downturn akin to the 1970s period of stagflation. This is something different, and quite strange. Americans are settling into a new phase of the pandemic economy, in which GDP is growing but we're also suffering from a dearth of a shocking array of things -- test kits, car parts, semiconductors, ships, shipping containers, workers. This is the Everything Shortage. The Everything Shortage is not the result of one big bottleneck in, say, Vietnamese factories or the American trucking industry. We are running low on supplies of all kinds due to a veritable hydra of bottlenecks.

Re:If only we knew

By WierdUncle • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Given that the vast majority of deaths would have been the elderly who are mostly retired, it would probably have had much less of an impact on the economy than the lockdowns.

That is a totally evil philosophy. You seem to think that the economy is all that matters in life. If loads of old folks die, that makes the economy more efficient, so that's OK. Jesus wept.

I am venturing into old folks territory, being over legal retirement age, though still working. Working from home is a great boon. I have to mess about with health care doodahs, but other than that, I can do useful work. That is how it should be,

Not enough workers

By Dan East • Score: 3 • Thread

I live in a smallish, relatively isolated community. We have a mix of service industry and manufacturing industry. I can't name one single business that is fully staffed. Doesn't matter if it is a factory manufacturing Gatorade, a local grocery store, a fast food restaurant, or departments in our hospital. NO ONE can get people to work. Our population is unchanged. People haven't moved away. COVID hasn't killed any significant portion of our population (93 dead out of a population of nearly 30,000).

The reason is very, very simple. Government stimulus, and allowing people to claim fear of COVID as a valid reason for unemployment. There's a portion of the population who would rather just break even and have the basic necessities to live if they don't have to work. They won't get ahead, or afford new things, etc, but they haven't had to work to keep a roof over their head and have something to eat, and that's adequate enough for them.

Re:lockdowns ftw

By jeff4747 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Not only that, those diseases are a lot worse than a flu or a cold

In a bad year, Measles killed about 30,000 people. COVID killed 650,000.

Stop lying. You are literally killing people.

Re:If only we knew

By WaffleMonster • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Idiot. This was caused by a lack of preparation. It would have been much much worse with no lockdowns. In that respect, this pandemic is exactly the same as all the others we've had. And in every case, historically and now, economies that locked down first, and hardest, recovered the quickest. It's not rocket science. We know how this works. We've known for hundreds of years. The historical data doesn't lie.

This is a apples and oranges comparison with regards to history. The appropriate reaction is radically different when no game changing medical intervention (vaccines, treatment) are forthcoming.

Australia locked down so hard they had basically no cases for 9 months prior to the last three. That quickest "recovery" is not going so well for them now. They are under exceptionally draconian lockdowns here in late 2021 while their economy is getting worse as a result while there are basically no restrictions in the US.

And if Trump had done his job, we'd be over all this by now. but instead, he made it political and convinced the dumber 1/3 of the country that refusing vaccines, masks and other sensible measures was a partisan stand.

I don't understand. I wholeheartedly agree Trump is a certified circus clown but he pushed and touted the vaccines hard. He did Warp speed and gave the drug companies billions. He threatened FDA officials to green light the EUA before the election and continuously touted Vaccines in public.

Partisan refusal to "get the shot" materialized AFTER Trump's tenure. My perspective on what happened mandates and remnants of lockdowns created extremely motivated groups to build consensus against the infringement of their rights and as a result the issue of whether to get the vaccine was hopelessly intertwined with outrage over mandates. A basic tenant of governance by consent had been broken. You can only beat down outliers... You can't have policy a significant portion of the population vehemently disagrees with without losing legitimacy and with it infliction of collateral damage upon society.

masks and other sensible measures was a partisan stand.

The largest real world study of its kind involving 320000 people in Bangladesh reported the benefit of cloth masks as "an imprecise zero". I'm all for policy that makes sense. While I don't agree with mandates for masks that actually work at least such mandates would be coherent.

I mean, we know that certain countries hate America and are spreading lies about the pandemic to weaken us and make us look idiotic on the international stage. Are you being paid by Russia or China? Or are you just ignorant?

As Biden is so fond of saying its always appropriate to question judgment and never appropriate to question motives. If you disagree with someone's perspective address it on the merits. Whether or not one happens to be a paid Russian shill makes no difference.

Re:If only we knew

By jeff4747 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

It was Biden and Harris before the election that told people not to trust them

When you think "Its telling you have to lie", it's probably not a good idea to lie yourself.

First, Biden didn't say anything like you claim.

Second, Harris said she would not trust a vaccine that Trump said was safe, and the "experts" did not say was safe.

It's so odd you folks keep lying about this over and over again. Almost like you don't actually give a fuck about the truth.

Groups Launch 'How To Stop Facebook' Effort

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
A coalition of nonprofits on Wednesday debuted, a fresh push to encourage greater government regulation of the social networking giant aimed at forcing the company to change its business model. From a report: The campaign hopes to take the outrage expressed by legislators over the revelations of whistleblower Frances Haugen and translate it into action. The campaign is pushing for two goals: A Congressional investigation with subpoena power into harms caused by Facebook; and a strong federal data privacy law that makes it illegal for companies like Facebook and YouTube to collect the vast amounts of data they use to personalize recommendations. The more than 30 groups involved include Accountable Tech, Article 19, Center for Digital Democracy, Fairplay, Global Voices, Media Justice, National Hispanic Media Coalition, Presente, Public Knowledge, United We Dream, Ranking Digital Rights, SumOfUs, Win Without War, and the Sex Workers Project of the Urban Justice Center.

Re:How do you stop facebook?

By Merk42 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
I, personally, haven't used it in years, but it's still tracking behavior.
People who never even made an account still get Shadow Profiles made of them

So unless you mean " everyone/enough people stop using it to the point where it's not profitable and shuts down" fine.
It's more than just the individual's action to stop Facebook from tracking them.

why is this a facebook problem?

By snowshovelboy • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Facebook wasn't the one who curated the content that dragged us into the Iraq war to secure WMDs that weren't even there.

That's just one example. People with money and power have been "curating our feeds" for their own benefit for thousands of years. This isn't unique to facebook. Fix facebook, and we'll still have reddit, instagram, tiktok, WSJ, NYT, FoxNews, MSNBC.. the list is a mile long, and the problem isn't "algorithms".

Re:why is this a facebook problem?

By evanh • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Because the algorithms auto-curate with explicit programmed bias towards conflict. Free-market principles dictate that whatever generates the most income is right. The off-loaded costs, of course, aren't counted in such a model.

Conflict has been stated by Facebook as what makes the max views and clicks and thereby ad revenue.

You're right of course, it's not Facebook alone. But Facebook is very much the epicentre. So much so that the resulting laws will probably be forever known by his name.

I suspect Zuck is intentionally demonstrating, while raining money for him, that special new laws are needed. From the first day, when he openly called all his customers "dumb fucks", he knew then this had to be taken to extreme.

Not unlike the pushing of the, "I need this", six-hour blackout button when a particularly revealing whistleblower speak up. Again, seeing how far he can wind up the stakes.

GDPR Exists. CCPA Exists. Facebook still exists.

By brunes69 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

There are no stronger privacy regulations in the world than GDPR, and anything the US creates is likely to pale in comparison when it comes to scope and enforcement.

Yet, Facebook still exists in Europe, and GDPR has not significantly affected their business. Why? Because people freely consent.

The simple truth is that the majority of people accept the bargain of giving away some personal data to target ads, vs. paying what would be $30 / month for a social network.

Guess what? I am one of those people. I accept the bargain. Not only do I think it is fair, I actually think it is amazing value.

You may not agree with that. You may not like it. But you don't get to dictate the terms for everyone on earth.

Re:How do you stop facebook?

By ChatHuant • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Shadow profiles [...] contain no actual information about you or anyone else.

Well, to begin with, they do have enough information to link you to other people or profiles - at least the tagger, and maybe other people in the same photo, and other people known/tagged by the account that posted the tag. With your name and those links, they may find you in other people's photos/accounts and connect you to them as well.

Besides the tag, the photo may contain interesting metadata, maybe a title, a date/time, GPS coordinates, or else the location could be recognized by some algorithm, kind of like Google's "similar images" thing. Now, if they have your name and location they can look you up in all those sweet public databases, like the DMV or property titles registries, school/university records, credit card transactions data, phone operator logs, and so on. All, if not most of what I described can be done automatically. With a bit more effort they should be able to link you to accounts you may have on other sites, whenever you give your real info to some site. At this point you have become a valuable asset they can sell to advertisers - all without you having a Facebook account at all.

Windows 11's First Update Makes AMD CPU Performance Even Worse

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
AMD warned last week that its chips are experiencing performance issues in Windows 11, and now Microsoft's first update to its new OS has reportedly made the problems worse. From a report: TechPowerUp reports that it's seeing much higher latency, which means worse performance, after the Windows 11 update went live yesterday. AMD and Microsoft found two issues with Windows 11 on Ryzen processors. Windows 11 can cause L3 cache latency to triple, slowing performance by up to 15 percent in certain games. The second issue affects AMD's preferred core technology, that shifts threads over to the fastest core on a processor. AMD says this second bug could impact performance on CPU-reliant tasks. TechPowerUp measured the L3 cache latency on its Ryzen 7 2700X at around 10ns, and Windows 11 increased this to 17ns. "This was made much worse with the October 12 'Patch Tuesday' update, driving up the latency to 31.9ns," says TechPowerUp. That's a huge jump, and the exact type of issue AMD warned about.

Microsoft Releases in a nutshell.

By nightflameauto • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Stop using your end users as alpha / beta testers Microsoft. A company rolling in your kind of bank can afford to pay a large testing pool of internal users and quality control folks. Maybe it's time you try that?

Performance issues.

By Ostracus • Score: 3 • Thread

AMD warned last week that its chips are experiencing performance issues in Windows 11, and now Microsoft's first update to its new OS has reportedly made the problems worse.

Must be a guy CPU, and a she OS.

Re:How much did Intel have to pay MS for this?

By suss • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

It could just be sheer incompetence.

The fixes are being readied soon enough

By Stephen Postwater • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
According to BetaNews, AMD and Microsoft are working on the issue:

"AMD has said that updates are in the pipeline for two separate issues. An L3 cache latency bug will be fixed with a patch delivered via Windows Update from October 19; patch for the Preferred Cores (UEFI-CPPC2) bug is due for release on October 21."

Re:Microsoft Releases in a nutshell.

By Dracos • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

MS used to have an extensive testing farm. They shut it down for Win10.

US Overtakes China as Biggest Bitcoin Mining Hub After Beijing Ban

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The US overtook China as the world's biggest source of bitcoin mining two months after Beijing banned crypto mining this year, new data have revealed. From a report: China's share of the global hashrate -- the computational power required to create bitcoin -- fell from 44 per cent to zero between May and July, showed figures published by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance on Wednesday. The country accounted for three-quarters of the global hashrate in 2019. The US share of the global hashrate increased from 17 per cent in April to 35 per in August, while Kazakhstan rose 10 percentage points to 18 per cent in the same period.

China's State Council, or cabinet, banned cryptocurrency mining and trading in May, citing environmental and financial concerns. The decision prompted an exodus of miners in search of cheap energy and crypto-friendly politicians. China's bitcoin mining ban resulted in the "great mining migration," said Sam Tabar, chief strategy officer at Bit Digital, a New York-based bitcoin miner. The company suspended its operations in China, which it had been winding down since October 2020, after the prohibition. Michel Rauchs, digital assets lead at the closely watched Cambridge tracker, noted that "the effect of the Chinese crackdown is an increased geographic distribution of hashrate across the world," adding that it could be seen as "a positive development for network security and the decentralised principles of bitcoin."

Queue it up...

By shaitand • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Here you go Pyrite Pete trolls. Bust out those links to urban dictionary entries you added!

This article is a somewhat misleading. A big chunk of hashrate has vanished and not merely moved.

"The decision prompted an exodus of miners in search of cheap energy and crypto-friendly politicians. China's bitcoin mining ban resulted in the "great mining migration," said Sam Tabar, chief strategy officer at Bit Digital, a New York-based bitcoin miner."

If we look at the overall hashrate instead of just each nation's share of it we see the overall hashrate has dropped by about 25% from peak going from 197EH/s to 139EH/s. This is important because bitcoin is now doing the same job with less power. This makes room for more green power usage. Moreover the power infrastructure of the US is dramatically cleaner than China. Since bitcoin was always a neutral technology changing the underlying power infrastructure magically reduces its carbon footprint as well.

Cool. Now the next step

By thegarbz • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

How do we stop it here? Do we have to legislate away this example of the human race's abject stupidity or can we block it at the ISP level?

Count me in!

By DontBeAMoran • Score: 3 • Thread

With winter and the coming cold, I plan on using my gaming PC for mining. If I'm going to pay for electricity to heat the place, I might as well do some mining and use the waste heat.

Re:Cool. Now the next step

By thegarbz • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Looks like the propaganda machine is in full force.

What propaganda machine? Are you claiming that a "currency" which is woefully incapable of clearing transactions quickly, is used entirely by speculators, is not actively traded for goods or services, and uses the same amount of power as Poland to achieve its... well it hasn't achieved anything... are you saying it isn't abject stupidity?

If so you're right, someone here has fallen for some propaganda, but you're not going to like when you find out who.

I can't wait for the "look how awesome inflation is" crowd to mysteriously start parroting headlines here

You mean people who studied basic economics at school? Dude Business Degrees are dime a dozen. It's the throwaway degree that every moron has. Even the person flipping burgers for you at Maccas can tell you why steady low level inflation is required for economic efficiency at this point.

Microsoft Agrees To Human Rights Review in Deals With Law Enforcement, Government

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Microsoft, which has faced pressure from employees and shareholders over contracts with governments and law enforcement agencies, agreed to commission an independent human rights review of some of those deals. From a report: The move came in response to a June filing of a shareholder proposal asking the company to evaluate how well it sticks to its human rights statement and related policies. Microsoft committed to a review of any human rights impacts that its products have on those including communities of Black, Indigenous and People of Color in contracts for police, immigration enforcement and unspecified other government agencies, according to correspondence from the company viewed by Bloomberg. Microsoft pledged to publish the report next year, and the shareholders, who include faith-based investors like Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, have withdrawn their proposal ahead of Microsoft's annual shareholder meeting next month.

Cool, start with the CCP

By schwit1 • Score: 3 • Thread

I suspect this is all for show, but if not then the CCP and CCP controlled businesses such as Huawei should be first on the chopping block.

Amazon Copied Products and Rigged Search Results To Promote Its Own Brands, Documents Show

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link has been repeatedly accused of knocking off products it sells on its website and of exploiting its vast trove of internal data to promote its own merchandise at the expense of other sellers. The company has denied the accusations. But thousands of pages of internal Amazon documents examined by Reuters -- including emails, strategy papers and business plans -- show the company ran a systematic campaign of creating knockoffs and manipulating search results to boost its own product lines in India, one of the company's largest growth markets. From the report: The documents reveal how Amazon's private-brands team in India secretly exploited internal data from to copy products sold by other companies, and then offered them on its platform. The employees also stoked sales of Amazon private-brand products by rigging Amazon's search results so that the company's products would appear, as one 2016 strategy report for India put it, "in the first 2 or three ... search results" when customers were shopping on Among the victims of the strategy: a popular shirt brand in India, John Miller, which is owned by a company whose chief executive is Kishore Biyani, known as the country's "retail king." Amazon decided to "follow the measurements of" John Miller shirts down to the neck circumference and sleeve length, the document states.

Why is this a surprise?

By mysidia • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Amazon never implied they were making an independent search engine for "stuff".

Amazon is literally an Ecommerce retailer, and their website is the website of a Retailer - Of course when you use the search tool it is going to respond to a search with products they think you are interested in based on your search terms prioritizing ones most profitable to the retailer.

The site has 3rd party retailers as partners yes, But they've always been visibly treated as 2nd class; have rules on pricing, Amazon themself provides some guarantees and protections over their sales, and Of course Amazon's going to compete aggressively if they see opportunity... If you wanted an independent marketplace to sell - Amazon is Not that, never been that, and has never even claimed to be that.

Perhaps running your own Website, or selling your listings on eBay would be a better fit.... OH Wait, the deal is less good because you don't have Amazon driving traffic
  to your listings, and operating in an Independent marketplace is more expensive and possibly less profitable, because you're listings are not providing a sufficient benefit for the Retailer you're competing with to offer you a storefront basically for free (Minus a cut of sales).

Re:... and this is a surprise?

By AmiMoJo • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

It's not a surprise. The news here is that there is hard evidence they did it, which will help other companies sue them for it.

Really a big deal?

By kenh • Score: 3 • Thread

Imagine you had a brick-and-mortar store, and you sold other people's items. You can't help but notice that one product, a shirt, is very, very popular - you keep ringing up sales for that shirt and keep ordering more. One day, it occurs to you - maybe you could offer a store brand shirt, just like the very, very popular shirt, and sell it at a discount to the very, very popular shirt and make a bigger profit than reselling the very, very popular shirt.

Ok, so now you have your new, cheaper, in-house brand shirt - where do you place it? In the hardware section? in the automotive section? Or do you place it in the shirt section, next to the very, very popular shirt? Of course, you put it next to the very, very popular shirt.

You have just done exactly what Amazon did, have you really done anything "wrong"?

"But wait" you say, "in the Amazon example they duplicated the dimensions of the very, very popular shirt" - so what? there's a funny thing about shirts - they are made to standard sizes, so that when you go into a store and look for a 15 1/2" neck, 34 inch sleeve shirt it will match those measurements.

Pretending that Amazon should ignore what items are selling when it decides what to offer in-house is asinine.

Go down to your local grocery store and walk down the cereal aisle - you'll find countless knock-offs of popular name-brand cereals, not the niche-market specialty cereals - ever wonder why? Perhaps the off-brand, generic cereal makers are watching the sales data of competitor's cereals and hoping to siphon off some of that market share by copying their products.

This is standard business practice, and the fact that Amazon is doing it doesn't change anything.

Re:Amazon Basics

By kenh • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Does anyone think Amazon has a factory (or factories) churning out their "Basic" products? No, of course not - they have third-parties manufacture them, some times the very manufacturer they are ostensibly competing with on the website.

Re:... and this is a surprise?

By smooth wombat • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Sue them for what? As far as I know a supermarket is free to give their store brands the best shelf space.

False. Store brand products are displayed directly next to the name brand product along with the price. This allows the customer to compare prices, size, ingredients, etc. Store brand products are not given any different shelf space than name brand products.

What Amazon is doing is hiding the name brand product and only showing their product. Since Amazon controls what one sees on their site, that might all under abuse of dominance. It is certainly anti-competitive behavior. In case you have trouble falling asleep, you can read this article from the DOJ regarding market power and monopoly power, both of which Amazon might also fall under.

Apple Set to Cut iPhone Production Goals Due to Chip Crunch

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Apple is likely to slash its projected iPhone 13 production targets for 2021 by as many as 10 million units as prolonged chip shortages hit its flagship product. Bloomberg reports: The company had expected to produce 90 million new iPhone models in the last three months of the year, but it's now telling manufacturing partners that the total will be lower because Broadcom and Texas Instruments are struggling to deliver enough components [...]. The technology giant is one of the world's largest chip buyers and sets the annual rhythm for the electronics supply chain. But even with strong buying power, Apple is grappling with the same supply disruptions that have wreaked havoc on industries around the world. Major chipmakers have warned that demand will continue to outpace supply throughout next year and potentially beyond. Apple gets display parts from Texas Instruments, while Broadcom is its longtime supplier of wireless components. One TI chip in short supply for the latest iPhones is related to powering the OLED display. Apple also is facing component shortages from other suppliers.

Use more modern chips

By WoodstockJeff • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

When we see stories about auto manufacturers and others not being able to get chips, a familiar refrain is, "They're using obsolete chips that no one wants to make anymore. They should modernize their designs!"

Now we see that Apple is experiencing shortages on its modernized design...

Computer Space Launched the Video Game Industry 50 Years Ago

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
In an article for The Conversation, Noah Wardrip-Fruin writes about how Computer Space marked the start of the $175 billion video game industry we have today when it debuted on Oct. 15, 1971 -- and why you probably haven't heard of it. From the report: Computer Space, made by the small company Nutting Associates, seemed to have everything going for it. Its scenario -- flying a rocket ship through space locked in a dogfight with two flying saucers -- seemed perfect for the times. The Apollo Moon missions were in full swing. The game was a good match for people who enjoyed science-fiction movies like "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "Planet of the Apes" and television shows like "Star Trek" and "Lost in Space," or those who had thrilled to the aerial combat of the movies "The Battle of Britain" and "Tora! Tora! Tora!" There was even prominent placement of a Computer Space cabinet in Charlton Heston's film "The Omega Man." But when Computer Space was unveiled, it didn't generate a flood of orders, and no flood ever arrived. It wasn't until Computer Space's makers left the company, founded Atari and released Pong the next year that the commercial potential of video games became apparent. The company sold 8,000 Pong units by 1974.

Nolan Bushnell, who led the development of both Computer Space and Pong, has recounted Computer Space's inauspicious start many times. He claimed that Computer Space failed to take off because it overestimated the public. Bushnell is widely quoted as saying the game was too complicated for typical bar-goers, and that no one would want to read instructions to play a video game. [...] At about the same time Computer Space debuted, Stanford University students were waiting in line for hours in the student union to play another version of Spacewar!, The Galaxy Game, which was a hit as a one-off coin-operated installation just down the street from where Bushnell and his collaborators worked. [...] Key evidence that complexity was not the issue comes in the form of Space Wars, another take on Spacewar! that was a successful arcade video game released in 1977.

Why were The Galaxy Game and Space Wars successful at finding an enthusiastic audience while Computer Space was not? The answer is that Computer Space lacked a critical ingredient that the other two possessed: gravity. The star in Spacewar! produced a gravity well that gave shape to the field of play by pulling the ships toward the star with intensity that varied by distance. This made it possible for players to use strategy -- for example, allowing players to whip their ships around the star. Why didn't Computer Space have gravity? Because the first commercial video games were made using television technology rather than general-purpose computers. This technology couldn't do the gravity calculations. The Galaxy Game was able to include gravity because it was based on a general-purpose computer, but this made it too expensive to put into production as an arcade game. The makers of Space Wars eventually got around this problem by adding a custom computer processor to its cabinets. Without gravity, Computer Space was using a design that the creators of Spacewar! already knew didn't work. Bushnell's story of the game play being too complicated for the public is still the one most often repeated, but as former Atari employee Jerry Jessop told The New York Times about Computer Space, "The game play was horrible."

It completely failed to "launch" anything.

By Pierre Pants • Score: 3 • Thread
A commercial failure is not the "launch of the video game industry", even if you claim that this game is the thing that made people see the light and believe in the commercial viability of video games. A totally unsupported claim. Pong was the first commercially successful video game. That's all.

The first computer game

By MemoryDragon • Score: 3 • Thread

ever made was Tic Tac Toe on a 1939 EDSAC machine. You still can play the game today on a MiSTer setup in its original form (more or less)

FYI Pong

By Rick Schumann • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Pong wasn't even a 'computer game', it was all hardwired 7400-series TTL ICs. There was even a Radio Electronics Magazine construction article to build your own Pong home game -- the desire for which, at a very young age, is what launched me into a life of interest in electronics. Eventually General Instruments came out with Pong on a single IC.

Television tech vs. general-purpose computers

By Geodesy99 • Score: 3 • Thread
INRE: "Because the first commercial video games were made using television technology rather than general-purpose computers. This technology couldn't do the gravity calculations."

Not true, even before television became pervasive just about any set mathematical equations can be reduced to some sort of analog electrical circuit. This approach was actually getting quite sophisticated in the domain of flight controls and missile guidance, and hybrids existed for a long while as microchip technology matured. There are some environments where analog computing still is needed, notably high radiation areas.

Netflix Calls Squid Game Its 'Biggest Ever Series At Launch'

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Netflix's hugely popular series Squid Game has become its biggest title ever at launch, the company said Monday. The Verge reports: The company's Netflix Geeked account tweeted Monday that Hwang Dong-Hyuk's survival thriller reached 111 million global accounts in its first 17 days on the service. Additionally, Squid Game is the first Netflix series to surpass 100 million in its first 28 days on the service, a spokesperson told The Verge. Netflix typically uses 28-day windows to measure the performance of a title on its platform. The spokesperson confirmed to The Verge that the figures it shared are based on the number of accounts that watched the series for at least two minutes, its standard metric for ranking titles (though it has used additional measurements to track the success of titles in the past).

Since debuting on Netflix on September 17th, Squid Game has reached the no. 1 position on the streaming service in 94 countries -- every country in the world where the service features a top 10 list, the company spokesperson said. Additionally, the show has held the no. 1 position for 21 days in the US, shattering the record for a non-English language title. Squid Game was previously announced as the first Korean title to reach the top spot in the US.

Well at least they have Stargate

By bobstreo • Score: 3 • Thread

The movie, and the first series.

I wish they had Atlantis and Universe too.

How many watched to the end?

By AntisocialNetworker • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

According to the article, Netflix count "the number of accounts that watched the series for at least two minutes, its standard metric for ranking titles". That's not long enough to develop an opinion. "More than 50% of its duration" would be what most people might count as "watched".


By Voice of satan • Score: 3 • Thread

I heard about "squid games" because retarded parents let their primary school kids watch it. Then the kids brutalize each other because they mimic the show.