Alterslash

the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2022-May-12 today archive
 

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

Report: 'Carbon Bombs' Are Poised To Screw Us Over Big Time

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Gizmodo: Oil and gas companies are gearing up to invest in so many new projects that they'll blow away potential progress to mitigate emissions and stop worst-case climate scenarios, says a new investigation from the Guardian. Why describe them as bombs? If completed, these projects would push climate change well past the 1.5-degree Celsius warming target that the Paris Agreement has set for the world. These projects would literally blow through our carbon budget, the Guardian reports.

But how will this be financed? Oil prices are currently sky high at the pump, and the two largest petroleum companies in the U.S. -- Chevron and ExxonMobil -- have raked in record profits. That means that large fossil fuel companies can bet on expansion projects that could dish even bigger payouts, the Guardian found. [...] The Guardian's investigation found that about 60% of these projects are already pumping, and Canada, Australia, and the U.S. are among the nations with the biggest fossil fuel project expansion plans. The commitment to these projects is pretty clear. Large companies, including Shell, Chevron, BP, PetroChina, and Total Energies, are set to spend over $100 million a day for the rest of this decade on creating projects in new oil and gas fields. This is despite the fact that we might be on track to meet 1.5 degrees of warming in the next four years.
In an editorial follow-up to their investigation, the Guardian says "governments much find ways to promote the long-term health of the planet over short-term profit." They added: "There is no alternative but to force companies to write off the most dangerous investments."

Re:The Phrase you're looking for

By drinkypoo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

How about we tax fuel accordingly so people think about alternatives and we drive a reduced demand.

Oil companies have literally induced demand. We'd hold a drug pusher responsible for their actions, why not the oil pushers?

Re:Anti-Nuclear Activists Left World Only Bad Choi

By drinkypoo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Our best hope at providing non-carbon generating power was nuclear fission

That was before we found out it was a boondoggle.

Yes, there are risks but what's more important controlling global temperature rise or deactivating and preventing new construction of nuclear plants.

False dichotomy is stupid. It's cheaper to build production with renewables, and faster too.

The truth: Nuclear or Carbon, pick one.

By Canberra1 • Score: 3 • Thread
Solar works a treat during daytime, viability confirmed. Wind is iffy, and relies on bigger subsidies than solar. Even after Fukishima, Nuclear is the only way forward. But it takes years and years to build, 10 years of running just to pay the carbon build cost, and little for decommissioning, let alone non-subsidized insurance. It will be interesting to see what Germany decides on, although they can cheat by buying French nuclear power. It seems the friendly oil exporters can't be trusted not to cook the economic goose.

Shooting yourself in the foot

By WaffleMonster • Score: 3 • Thread

Environmentalists with no coherent plan for energy demand and no solutions other than take away and "no pain no gain" are shooting themselves in the foot. All of the open ended demands for OTHERS to make fundamental changes to their lives because you say so will not only never work they will only backfire.

This is a very good strategy if your goal is to alienate people and ensure there will not only never be consensus for constructive solutions but to expect a large group of people who will actively work against anything constructive and even seek out dirty fuel and energy inefficiency on purpose because now you have effectively declared war on them. A BEV? Not just no but would not be caught dead with one and lets go coal rolling just to spit in the face of people who do.

Neither is crying to government the answer. Governance by consent only allows for the beating down of outliers not overriding sentiments shared by a substantial proportion of the population. All pretending otherwise does is promote illegitimacy. Despite all the virtue signaling and wishful thinking to the contrary humanity is inherently selfish. The degree to which people care about others depends entirely upon the degree to which charity negatively affects themselves.

Energy companies would not be investing in more dirty energy if they didn't see a return on investment. They are entirely soulless creatures of the markets who respond to demand. If they didn't see a profitable future in it they would not be making capital expenditures on hydrocarbon extraction. They would either shift to whatever is profitable or die like the coal industry.

What if instead all the Gretas of the world traded in their big mouths for STEM educations and worked on ways to lower the cost of energy storage by an order of magnitude? What if instead of attacking cheap energy people worked on new ways to better and more cheaply meet demand? Instead of making it about austerity and pain vs "saving the planet" why not direct the energy to provisioning what is needed?

A hydrocarbon free future means not simply meeting existing energy demand but dramatically exceeding it. The vast majority of new energy is already green energy. This isn't because of environmentalists it's because green energy has the least cost.

To quote Greta "blah blah blah" the US government despite all political talk and environmentalism can't even bring itself to end tens of billions of taxpayer dollars yearly funneled into subsidies for hydrocarbon extraction. If people were smart shit like this would be their political targets not making new enemies by telling everyone to get over accepting a lower standard of living which is effectively what happens when you intentionally throw a wrench in production.

Re:I'm never voting Democrat again.

By doom • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Well you know, going "third world" is still better than reviving the medieval era, so on balance I'd go with the Extremoid Lefty Liberal Conspiracy to turn us into a primitive third world country like Denmark.

US Secretly Issued Subpoena To Access Reporter's Phone Records

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The US justice department secretly issued a subpoena to gain access to details of the phone account of a Guardian reporter as part of an aggressive leak investigation into media stories about an official inquiry into the Trump administration's child separation policy at the southern border. From a report: Leak investigators issued the subpoena to obtain the phone number of Stephanie Kirchgaessner, the Guardian's investigations correspondent in Washington. The move was carried out without notifying the newspaper or its reporter, as part of an attempt to ferret out the source of media articles about a review into family separation conducted by the Department of Justice's inspector general, Michael Horowitz. It is highly unusual for US government officials to obtain a journalist's phone details in this way, especially when no national security or classified information is involved. The move was all the more surprising in that it came from the DoJ's inspector general's office -- the watchdog responsible for ethical oversight and whistleblower protections. Katharine Viner, the Guardian's editor-in-chief, decried the action as "an egregious example of infringement on press freedom and public interest journalism by the US Department of Justice."

Re: The US is definitely not. . .

By shaitand • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
"There's a little difference. Project Veritas [wikipedia.org] is a propaganda organisation"

Right... because their political opposition says so. NVM that their propaganda tends to be true. Which is the entire point of the first amendment, nobody gets to single out sources and paint them as journalists/propoganda based on their own biases and opinions on source credibility/expertise.

They certainly convey more accurate pictures than propoganda organizations like the NYT, Washington Post, CNN, etc and the Guardian has many stories which are overtly false.

"That doesn't make leaking recordings from an ongoing investigation legal of course."

Mostly false leaks and it is best to remember the nature of the 'investigation' which is Joe Biden using the DOJ as his personal political attack force against journalists who exposed negative details about him written in his daughter's journals. Supposedly the DOJ is supposed to be largely independent but there is no indication of that under the Biden Administration.

Re: Rights in an Authoritarian Society

By e3m4n • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
GOP?? The Obama administration prosecuted more staff and journalists under the Espionage Act that any other president in history. Look it up. This isnt a democrat vs republican thing. This is a bureaucrat thing. But itâ(TM)s so nice of you to turn a blind eye when its the Democratic Party doing some of the shit. I guess when they murder in the name of something you agree with its totally OK right? If you dont learn to get over your own hypocrisy youre never going to affect change. This is a systemic problem not a partisan problem. Dont be surprised if you get down modded for either troll or flame bait. If you had studied history you would have realized that the uneven amassing of power within the government has been occurring since the end of World War II.

Re: The US is definitely not. . .

By kunwon1 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Anyone claiming PV is 'journalism' has not been paying attention. They're a criminal enterprise.

Re: The US is definitely not. . .

By JBMcB • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The press has enormous freedom to research and publish things the government or at least parts of it would rather keep secret. That does not mean they are entitled to break the law.

The press can publish anything it can get it's hands on without being prosecuted. Period, full stop. The press can't break the law to get the material, IE it can't break into someone's computer, or steal files from someone's desk, but if someone gives them something, even if that person obtained it illegally, they can publish it with practically no restrictions or threat of prosecution.

https://www.theatlantic.com/po...

Re: The US is definitely not. . .

By Can'tNot • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

because their political opposition says so.

You have that backwards. Their political opposition says it, because that's what they are.

Project Veritas is the mouthpiece of James O'Keefe, the piece of shit who cut apart a bunch of gotcha videos in order to make Acorn look bad. One of his victims sued, got $200k from him and a court mandated apology, but it was too late for Acorn and by that point Fox News had already turned him into a wingnut hero.

O'Keefe's MO is to shoot a bunch of video and then chop it up to make it look like whatever he wants. Then he says, wide-eyed, "None of the video is faked." as though that was what he was being accused of doing. For some reason people just keep eating up his bullshit though. People who talk about O'Keefe like he isn't a trash person bother me more than the ones who do the same for Alex Jones. I'm not sure why that is, they're basically the same, it shouldn't bother me more... maybe O'Keefe just feels less deserving. Jones puts more effort into it, I think. He's got his own weird mythology.

Google's New Android Auto Interface Works With Any Screen Size

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
At Google I/O, the company said their Android Auto car interface app is now "built to adapt to any screen size." Ars Technica reports: Google says "there are three main functionalities that drivers prioritize in their cars: navigation, media and communication," and the new Android Auto design puts each of those interfaces in its own panel. Maps gets the biggest, main panel, media and communication panels get stacked next to each other, and there's a combo status/navigation bar. To accommodate the million different screen sizes, these items can be arranged in whatever orientation works best in the car.

One example, close to the current Android Auto configuration, shows the combo bar oriented vertically against the side of the screen, followed by a vertical stack of the message and media panels, then a big Google Maps panel. Another example of a more vertical screen design shows a big Google Maps panel on top of the message and media panels, with the combo bar on the bottom. Things can be arranged to fit. The new interface will be out "this summer."

Except Phones of Course

By Luthair • Score: 3 • Thread
For some dumbass reason they took that away in Android 12.

Perhaps have analog controls in a future version?

By ctilsie242 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

One thing I wish that cars had would be a set of analog controls on the center console. Let stuff still be controlled by a touchscreen, but it would be nice to have some hardware buttons for basic things like a volume control, on/off switch for the radio, etc. Especially if that isn't present on the steering wheel. That way, automakers could locate the volume button wherever on the dash or center console, and Android Auto would know what to do with it.

Re:Perhaps have analog controls in a future versio

By Parsiuk • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Absolutely this! Last thing I want is to be forced to take my eyes off the road just to change volume. "Only touch" controls should be illegal.

'It's 2022, Phones Should Be Built To Last Five Years or More'

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Robert Triggs, writing for AndroidAuthority: In 2022, there's now a multifaceted argument in favor of a new approach to smartphone manufacturing. One which focuses on long-term support for both hardware and software. Core to this line of thinking is that smartphone hardware has hit a plateau. From the mid-range to flagships, hardware is now more than powerful enough to last several years without going obsolete. The days of rampant year-on-year improvements are long gone, whether you're looking at bleeding-edge performance, cameras, or battery life. This isn't to say we don't yearn for those yearly gains, but they no longer suddenly mark older models for obsolescence even if they materialize. As such, modern smartphones deserve long-term software support above and beyond semi-annual security patches.

Not to mention the increasingly compelling sustainability and right-to-repair arguments regarding raw materials and e-waste. It's increasingly hard to justify the production of throwaway electronics built to last just a handful of years. Simultaneously, sky-high prices and a squeeze in the cost of living have cast new light on the need for easier access to repair programs and spare parts. Not forgetting the popularity of refurbished handsets. Long-term support doesn't have to be an unprofitable venture for smartphone manufacturers either. Official repair channels bring in revenue over time, and it's possible to factor long-term support into the retail price of a handset. Then there's the whole avenue of hardware-as-a-service to explore.

Planned obsolescence

By WierdUncle • Score: 3 • Thread

Though electronic products can easily be made that will last for many years, this does not suit the business model of a typical mobile phone company. As a mobile phone producer, what do you do when everybody has got a mobile phone? Do you just close down, because people have stopped buying your product? There is economic pressure to get people to upgrade on a regular basis, on whatever pretext can be devised. From what I have read, this first came about in the US motor industry in the 1920's, as a result of successful production of affordable vehicles saturating the market.

The classic planned obsolescence engineering model is to design products to fail within a definite time scale. This keeps the "churn" going, as customers buy new products, to replace their old worn out products. I have to say that I have never designed in a finite service life in this sense. I am not sure how I would go about it, as most electronic devices do not wear out as such, unlike mechanisms. One product I designed was a radio remote control, where the battery was not replaceable. The economic argument in that case was that soldering in the battery saved significant costs, compared to having a removable lid and some kind of connector. This could be seen as a benefit to users of the product, because they could get their product at a lower initial cost. I think the business case was that users of electronic products do not tend to keep them for a lifetime, so all you have to do is provide an adequate product life, for the average customer. This might upset the Right to Repair enthusiasts, but does make at least some economic sense.

Another aspect of planned obsolescence is fashion cycles. This obviously applies to the clothes manufacturing economy. You don't want to be seen wearing last season's style. This means that many clothes are discarded well before they have any need to be repaired. Fast fashion is a major contributor to plastics pollution. Without going into the history of fashion in too much depth, there has long been a drive for prosperous people to display their wealth, by buying the latest fashionable items. This need to display spending power can be exploited by producers, to get customers to replace their goods regularly, even though there is no physical need to do so.

There is considerable scope for economic and environmental research on this subject. Throwing away goods before any reasonable end of service life is obviously wasteful, and can harm the environment. An example that comes to mind, which bucks this trend, is the idea of re-usable plastic shopping bags. You pay 10p (or whatever) for a robust shopping bag, and use this for months or years afterwards. I think it fair to say that in the UK, this has been wildly successful in removing a major source of plastic pollution.

Re:We'll need gov regulation

By Gavagai80 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

For example, every phone owner should have to pay a disposal fee when buying their device.

That's how it works in California, e-waste recycling is funded by fees on purchases of the devices. Europe just makes the manufacturer pay the fees instead. Wikipedia says "In Europe, the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive requires member countries of the European Union to allow consumers to recycle electronics free of charge. This is funded by national "producer compliance schemes", into which manufacturers and distributors pay an annual fee for the collection and recycling of associated waste electronics from household waste recycling centres." But you can rest assured the manufacturers up their prices to pay for that fee, so it effectively works out the same.

Any article that starts with "it's ..."

By bb_matt • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

... is usually going to be bunk.

This one is no exception.

Millions of people, if not a billion, have phones older than 5 years.
FFS, it's exceptionally common in families, for parents to pass down their older phones to the kids.

What are people _doing_ to their phones, that they last only 5 years?

The fact is, they are just being stupid for the most part and are buying into the hype that marketers sell them.
More money than sense.

Of course, the other factor is mobile phone contracts - and people equating a typical 24 to 36 month contract to "I must get an upgrade" at the end.
No, you don't have to, you are just falling for the hype.
You justify it because "Well, I'm already paying $50 a month, I may as well get the new model"

And this hype is now driven mainly by software updates - and has been for 5 or 6 years.

I'm on year 4 with my galaxy s9 and see no reason to upgrade - none.
When I finally do, it'll be for a second hand model, because no way am I forking out $500 plus for a phone, when I can get almost identical specs for $200.

Why do I need software support ...

By thegarbz • Score: 3 • Thread

Beyond security patches? I mean what does a new OS bring me? New features stopped being important or relevant years ago. Focus on getting security patches done and leave the rest of my OS alone. I don't need the latest shinest piece of software crammed down on my phone to make it "better".

A large portion of security updates have been decoupled from the OS as well and are pushed through Google Play so in many cases there isn't even a reason to push security updates out via bi monthly patches.

*yawn*.

Re:Battery Tech

By echo123 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Ummmm, I did exactly as you suggest once, to replace a Pixel 2 battery if I recall correctly. I *did* manage to get the phone apart, and that was the end of that endeavor. Mind you I'm a fairly technical person and don't mind pulling apart machines for a little adventure, however the problem is those parts are so small they make my eyes bleed, (figuratively speaking). Maybe if I had a giant lit-magnifying glass plus tweezers in a vice, plus some experience... Not time I'll visit a shop. LineageOS sounds enticing. BTW, another great way to extend old smartphones is to make them webcams, (I wish I thought to develop this first). My Pixel3a beats a 'well-regarded' Logitech webcam against a greenscreen w/ OBS meetings handily.

FBI Told Israel It Wanted Pegasus Hacking Tool For Investigations

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
The F.B.I. informed the Israeli government in a 2018 letter that it had purchased Pegasus, the notorious hacking tool, to collect data from mobile phones to aid ongoing investigations, the clearest documentary evidence to date that the bureau weighed using the spyware as a tool of law enforcement. The New York Times reports: The F.B.I.'s description of its intended use of Pegasus came in a letter from a top F.B.I. official to Israel's Ministry of Defense that was reviewed by The New York Times. Pegasus is produced by an Israeli firm, NSO Group, which needs to gain approval from the Israeli government before it can sell the hacking tool to a foreign government. The 2018 letter, written by an official in the F.B.I.'s operational technology division, stated that the bureau intended to use Pegasus "for the collection of data from mobile devices for the prevention and investigation of crimes and terrorism, in compliance with privacy and national security laws."

The Times revealed in January that the F.B.I. had purchased Pegasus in 2018 and, over the next two years, tested the spyware at a secret facility in New Jersey. Since the article's publication, F.B.I. officials have acknowledged that they considered deploying Pegasus but have emphasized that the bureau bought the spying tool mainly to test and evaluate it -- partly to assess how adversaries might use it. They said the bureau never used the spyware in any operation.

What would Eric Idle say?

By NoNonAlphaCharsHere • Score: 3 • Thread

"...for the collection of data from mobile devices for the prevention and investigation of crimes and terrorism Wink Wink, in compliance Nudge Nudge with privacy and national security laws."

The FBI really needs this tech!

By oldgraybeard • Score: 3 • Thread
It will enable them to do their main mission much better, spying on their political opponents. The FBI leadership is just a bunch of partisan hacks. The DOJ and FBI have lost all trust.

Lots of terrorist at these School Board Meetings.

Apple Is No Longer the World's Most Valuable Company

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Oil giant Saudi Aramco on Wednesday surpassed Apple as the world's most valuable firm. CNBC reports: Aramco's market valuation was just under $2.43 trillion on Wednesday, according to FactSet, which converted its market cap to dollars. Apple, which fell more than 5% during trading in the U.S. on Wednesday, is now worth $2.37 trillion. Energy stocks and prices have been rising as investors sell off equities in several industries, including technology, on fears of a deteriorating economic environment. Apple has fallen nearly 20% since its $182.94 peak on Jan. 4. The move is mostly symbolic, but it shows how markets are shifting as the global economy grapples with rising interest rates, inflation, and supply chain problems.

The rollercoaster

By locater16 • Score: 3 • Thread
The rollercoaster ride of stock market valuations does not feel like the most news worthy thing for nerds. Oh look Saudi Aramco is down today, do another news story about which company is the NEW most valuable company! (*repeat at least once a week for forever or something)

Anonymous Social Media App Yik Yak Exposed Users' Precise Locations

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: The anonymous message board app Yik Yak is designed in a way that it is possible to get the precise location of a user's post, and see users' unique IDs, potentially allowing someone to dox and stalk users, according to a researcher. Yik Yak is an anonymous social media network popular primarily on college campuses. It was launched in 2013. The app shut down completely in 2017, after it was accused of being a platform used to harass and cyberbully students, and even to post bomb threats. These allegations have followed the app since its very beginning. In 2014, the company blocked access to middle school and high school students because of reports of threats of violence and bullying. The app came back last year, a comeback no one was really asking for, as my colleague Gita Jackson pointed out at the time. Yik Yak does have so-called "community guardrails" to "to ensure everyone feels welcomed and stays safe." But students are still reporting the same old problems.

In April, David Teather, a computer science student, analyzed what kind of data Yik Yak exposes by intercepting data sent and received by his Yik Yak app using a free and open source tool called mitmproxy and by writing "code that pretended to be the Yik Yak app to extract information from it." By doing that, he realized that Yik Yak sent the precise GPS coordinates of every post to his app, as well as a user's unique ID -- nrCi213RA3SncY6mVLZzuGUIJ2T2 for example -- which could have allowed him to track users' posts by looking at where they posted over time, opening up the possibility to de-anonymize and stalk users, according to a blog post he published this week. Teather demonstrated the flaw in a video call to Motherboard, showing a post in his area, and its GPS coordinates.

After Teather alerted Yik Yak of this flaw on April 11, the company made some changes and pushed out new versions of the app on April 28, May 9, and May 10. Teather told Yik Yak that he was planning to publish his research on May 9, according to email correspondence that he shared with Motherboard. After Yik Yak pushed the new updated apps, the privacy issues are only partially fixed, according to Teather. Teather said that as of today, on the app's latest version, Yik Yak does not expose GPS locations, and the app doesn't display a user's unique ID when intercepting data the same way he did in April. But, Teather told Motherboard that he is still able to recover both coordinates and user ID by analyzing the app's API from previous app versions. What's worse, the app now shows the distance, in feet, between a user and other users' posts, according to Teather and Zach Edwards, an independent privacy researcher who analyzed the Yik Yak app for Motherboard.
"Since the distance is in feet though it should be still possible to triangulate a particular user/post by changing your location until you can figure that out," Teather told Motherboard.

Edwards added: "you can still probably dox someone by merely spoofing your own location and recording the number of feet from the person posting."

Anonymity app asks for permission to use GPS..

By Fly Swatter • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
Dumb-ass says OK.

Disney+ Adds Almost 8 Million New Subscribers

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Disney added 7.9 million new subscribers to its Disney Plus streaming service during the first three months of 2022, the company announced (PDF) in its Q2 earnings report on Wednesday. The Verge reports: That brings the total to around 87.6 million worldwide, excluding the 50.1 million people subscribed to Disney Plus Hotstar internationally. In the US and Canada alone, Disney Plus now has 7.1 million more subscribers than it did a year ago, with 44.4 million. The company also said that the number of subscribers for all of its streaming offerings -- including Hulu and ESPN Plus -- had grown to over 205 million, an increase from the 196.4 million it reported in January.

Disney also reports that it's earning more per Disney Plus subscriber than it had been previously, at least in the US. Where its average monthly revenue per paid subscriber used to be $6.01, it's now sitting at $6.32. Disney says this is thanks to "an increase in retail pricing and a lower mix of wholesale subscribers." Despite this, Disney Plus is actually losing the company money at a greater clip than it was before. Disney says this is thanks to higher costs for production, advertising, and technology. Those costs seem unlikely to go down, and raising prices, like Netflix did, could cut off its subscriber growth. All that put together makes it obvious why Disney is looking at creating an ad-supported tier sooner rather than later.

Re:Crazy eh

By Powercntrl • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

People just love that warm fuzzy feeling they get from the DRM telling them what they can and can't do with their own computing machine.

Streaming services are one of the few instances where DRM actually makes sense, because you're paying for access to watch the content while you hold a valid subscription, not for the rights to leech the entire library to your home NAS.

The main problem with DRM is when it's applied to things that you ostensibly do own, such as video games, Blu-Ray discs, and smartphones.

It'll hit Disney too

By SuperKendall • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Get woke...Make even more money??

Remember it took years to really drag Netflix down, the same will be true of Disney. But they are on that path.

Could be recent actions will make them re-think through, and at least for Star Wars they pulled back from that abyss.

Apple iPod Creator Warns the Metaverse Will Encourage Trolls, Damage Human Interaction

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Tony Fadell, Apple's iPod creator and Nest co-founder, warns the metaverse risks creating more trolls and damaging human interaction. The BBC reports: The virtual reality-based metaverse removes the ability "to look into the other person's face," Tony Fadell said. "If you put technology between that human connection that's when the toxicity happens," he said. [...] While Mr Fadell said the technology behind the metaverse has merit: "When you're trying to make social interaction and social connection, when you can't look into the other person's face, you can't see their eyes you don't have real humanistic ways of connecting. It become disintermediated and you have the ability at that point to create more trolls, people who hide behind things and then use that to their advantage to get attention." He added: "We need to regain control of that human connection, we don't need more technology between us."

He said told The Verge that people should not be living through "small, glowing rectangles" such as their phones. "A lot of the meetings that we have today, you're looking at a grid of faces on a screen. That's not how we process things either." However, the metaverse has also prompted criticism and concerns over safety due to the ability of people to create and hide behind avatars. Mr Fadell said: "We had the same problem with text-based commenting and with blogs, we've had it with videos now we're going to have it in metaverse."

No shit?

By RightSaidFred99 • Score: 3 • Thread
Wow, that's some insightful commentary there. You mean the same shit literally everyone already knows about will happen..in the metaverse? Wow! I'm gobsmacked right now! This is like when I learned Santa wasn't real last year, just gobsmacked!

The "metaverse" nonsense

By rsilvergun • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread
is just a trick to try and get us all used to the idea of paying real money for pretend property. It's a bunch of digital landlords hoping to tell us literally nothing. It's primarily driven by Facebook, who's one and only product is rapidly becoming associated with bitter, angry old men (and women to be fair), which isn't exactly the best advertising demographic.

What I hate the most about it all is the fact that they think I'm so dumb I'll give them money for literal nothing. Also the fact that for a certain number of people who aren't me, they're right.

Why do I care if other people get ripped off? Because no man is an island. Money fools lose on digital land leaves the economy proper and gets sucked up into the coffers of the digital landlords. It becomes a drag on the economy as a whole, and the knock on effects hurt me.

Like it our not, none of us is above the economy.

Wrong argument....

By King_TJ • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I agree with Tony that the Metaverse will just be one more place where people can act toxic/rude/nasty. But beyond that, his argument is pretty weak.

I mean, the real reason the Metaverse is a dumb idea comes down to trying to create a solution for a non-existent problem. Nobody, ever, was saying "This whole thing of interacting with people socially in real life is ok and all. But what we REALLY need is a way to spend a lot of money for a high speed broadband connection and computer hardware so we can sit someplace, alone, and PRETEND we're doing that same social interaction!"

Everything else he gives examples of are creations that DO serve useful core purposes. Text-based commenting and blogs? Lots and lots of great knowledge-sharing going on with those. (Yeah, even Slashdot, sometimes! Heh!) The "small glowing rectangles" are tablets and touch-screen phones that are essentially "Swiss Army knives" of tech-tools. Sure, someone might get addicted to staring at one all day long and only communicating through it. But it wasn't created for that specific purpose! As many people have pointed out before, a modern smartphone replaces carrying around a separate camera, video camcorder, flashlight, portable music player and possibly even a tape measure or ruler, plus a notepad, a calendar/scheduler, alarm clock/timer, maps, and a plethora of other things depending on what apps you installed.

And video meetings like Zoom were always traditionally intended as a cheaper alternative to having in-person meetings when it was costly and time-consuming to get all the participants into one room. The COVID pandemic is really what twisted it into a replacement way to communicate with each other more casually. (And that gets into the endless debate of whether our government handled that right with the restrictions it placed on people "for their own good"... Suicides went up dramatically during COVID, for example.)

But I'm still not sure what the Metaverse is supposed to do for any of us that we can't already do with other existing tools and software? It really seems like an exercise in seeing how well a company can simulate people moving about in daily life.

What encourages trolls...

By Ichijo • Score: 3 • Thread

...is letting them spread misinformation freely while punishing those who call them liars because that's just disrespectful. We've taken political correctness too far.

It'll be fine

By Lohrno • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

No one will use the Metaverse.

DEA Investigating Breach of Law Enforcement Data Portal

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from KrebsOnSecurity: The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) says it is investigating reports that hackers gained unauthorized access to an agency portal that taps into 16 different federal law enforcement databases. KrebsOnSecurity has learned the alleged compromise is tied to a cybercrime and online harassment community that routinely impersonates police and government officials to harvest personal information on their targets. On May 8, KrebsOnSecurity received a tip that hackers obtained a username and password for an authorized user of esp.usdoj.gov, which is the Law Enforcement Inquiry and Alerts (LEIA) system managed by the DEA. According to this page at the Justice Department website, LEIA "provides federated search capabilities for both EPIC and external database repositories," including data classified as "law enforcement sensitive" and "mission sensitive" to the DEA.

A document published by the Obama administration in May 2016 (PDF) says the DEA's El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) systems in Texas are available for use by federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement, as well as the Department of Defense and intelligence community. EPIC and LEIA also have access to the DEA's National Seizure System (NSS), which the DEA uses to identify property thought to have been purchased with the proceeds of criminal activity (think fancy cars, boats and homes seized from drug kingpins). The screenshots shared with this author indicate the hackers could use EPIC to look up a variety of records, including those for motor vehicles, boats, firearms, aircraft, and even drones.

From the standpoint of individuals involved in filing these phony EDRs, access to databases and user accounts within the Department of Justice would be a major coup. But the data in EPIC would probably be far more valuable to organized crime rings or drug cartels, said Nicholas Weaver, a researcher for the International Computer Science Institute at University of California, Berkeley. Weaver said it's clear from the screenshots shared by the hackers that they could use their access not only to view sensitive information, but also submit false records to law enforcement and intelligence agency databases. "I don't think these [people] realize what they got, how much money the cartels would pay for access to this," Weaver said. "Especially because as a cartel you don't search for yourself you search for your enemies, so that even if it's discovered there is no loss to you of putting things ONTO the DEA's radar."

MFA May

By awwshit • Score: 3 • Thread

Hey US Government, you might want to have your right hand meet your left hand. It is CISA's MFA May after all. Time to do yourself what you force all contractors to do.

https://www.cisa.gov/blog/2022...

And tomorrow is FIDO Friday. Get with the times.

Backdoors

By dstwins • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
And this Boys and Girls is why government "backdoors" are a BAD thing.. because you just shift the attack pattern/profile from a few script kiddies that knock on the door, to a concerted effort to breach the defenses.. And then when you add Human stupidity/fallibility to the mix. Well, its just not going to end well.

US Senator Introduces Bill To Strip Disney of Special Copyright Protections

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., is introducing legislation that would strip the Walt Disney Company of special copyright protections granted to the corporation by Congress, while also limiting the length of new copyrights. From a report: The "Copyright Clause Restoration Act of 2022" would cap the length of copyrights given corporations by Congress to 56 years and retroactively implement this change on companies, including Walt Disney. "The age of Republican handouts to Big Business is over. Thanks to special copyright protections from Congress, woke corporations like Disney have earned billions while increasingly pandering to woke activists. It's time to take away Disney's special privileges and open up a new era of creativity and innovation," Hawley told Fox News Digital in an exclusive statement. According to Hawley's office, Congress has used an old law, also known as the "Mickey Mouse Protection Act," in order to extend copyrights to corporations for up to 120 years. Instead of issuing copyright protections to create enough monopoly protection in order to foster innovation, companies are getting handouts from Congress for a much longer period than needed.

Re:The right move for the wrong reasons

By Octorian • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

So I actually found a copy of the bill itself (Copyright Clause Restoration Act of 2022, S.4171). While it doesn't "name names" like the article and all of Hawley's rhetoric, its still quite specific in who it targets.

Specifically, it only applies to copyright holders with a market capitalization above $150B and for which an NAICS code of 5121 or 71 could be assigned.
In other words, it only affects the largest media megacorps and nobody else.

In other words, it'll hurt the people he wants to hurt, a few others as collateral damage, but not really fix the problem for greater society.

Re: No lying about lying

By Ogive17 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Was it a problem before the law was passed?

It wasn't.

I agree the "don't say gay" bill was misrepresented in the media but it was a law that was not needed. It's just another GOP boogeyman to rile up their voter base. Just like calling Biden a radical socialist.

The GOP is too busy changing the rules and removing freedoms to actually put forth some good ideas to improve the country.

Re: All for this

By msauve • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
"The problems with the "don't say gay" bill are that it marginalizes LGBTQ+ youth by denying them access to education and resources that heterosexual youth take for granted"

You're sexualizing 3rd graders?

So this bill is garbage

By cpt kangarooski • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I see a lot of the same people (many of whom are probably sock puppets) saying things like 'well, at least it's copyright reform, and that's good.'

No.

Assuming that there are still a few real people left on Slashdot, don't be fooled by these other assholes who don't give a shit about copyright, they just want to fellate Republicans and punish anyone who isn't them for the crime of existing.

As a bit of introduction, I've been posting on Slashdot since 1997, and the only reason my user ID is as high as it is is because I didn't bother to make an account until it was mandatory. (It used to be you just typed in whatever name you felt like for each post) I've been interested in copyright since the late 1990s when the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act and the DMCA came along. I became a lawyer because of my passion for copyright law, and probably the vast majority of my posts here are about that subject, including the need for reform.

This stupid, stupid law is not meaningful copyright reform; there is nothing good about it. You can find it here if you want to follow along.

First, it proposes to reduce the terms granted to new works from the current lengths of either the author's life+70, or 95 or 120 years from creation (which length you get depends on certain details about the work) to 28 years with an option in the last year to renew for another 28 years. This is the same term length as under the 1909 Copyright Act, which was in place until the end of 1977. However, because it only applies to new works, no one would see any benefit from it until the late 2070s. Nothing prevents the terms from being retroactively lengthened again in the future -- and nothing short of a constitutional amendment could ever ensure that -- so the smart money is on absolutely nothing actually having such a short term length. So it's a useless reform in that respect.

It's also useless because it's poorly thought out. Why 28+28? US copyright terms were originally 14+14, then 28+14, then 28+28, and then the longer and more complicated regime we have now. The reason for 28 is obviously because it's twice 14, but why did it start with 14 year terms back in 1790? The answer is because it cribbed off of patent terms (which had been 14 years also, but without renewal), and those were that length because the traditional length of an apprenticeship was 7 years, and 14 was twice that. The idea had been the master could teach a couple generations of apprentices his new invention, but also not fear that they'd run off with it. This is ultimately a stupid basis going forward.

The ideal copyright term length was studied some years ago -- and could probably use more study -- and was estimated at 15 years. Even that is not a great approach though, as it's still one size fits all. If the bill were smart -- it is not -- it would vary the term length based on the type of work. For example, newspapers don't need long copyright terms; no one is incentivized to publish one based on how much money will roll in days after a particular issue is published, much less years. Books only make money for around 18 months after first publication in a given medium (this is why there are hardbacks and paperbacks; to stretch out the time and to charge early adopters more). Software ages fairly quickly. Movies typically last the longest, and probably TV nowadays too, although release windows have been getting awfully compressed lately. The best way to handle this is to have numerous 1-year terms, with the number of renewals varying on the type of work.

Why doesn't Hawley suggest this? Because he's a shithead who doesn't care about this at all.

Frankly, term length is not even the most important issue in copyright reform. If he were honestly (something he's never been) trying to do something good (something he's never tried to do) he would instead prioritize copyright formalities, then copyrightability, then damages and injunctive relief, and then maybe get around to term lengths. And then there's my own personal dream of a broad personal use exception for natural persons acting noncommercially.

If you don't know what these are, then briefly: Formalities are steps you have to go through to get a copyright. We used to have these; you had to register the work, send a few copies to the Library of Congress, pay a fee, include a copyright notice as directed by the statute, etc. There were several good reasons behind this, including not granting copyrights to people who didn't care about them enough to go through a few simple steps (which was nearly everyone -- and a 0 year term is better than 1 or 14 or 28), and making sure there was a registry so that people could at least theoretically be on notice as to what works were and were not protected, and preserving copies of works.

Copyrightability is whether a work even gets a copyright. Traditionally many works didn't, because there was no real need to -- there were plenty of these works anyway, and granting copyrights didn't cause more to appear. Copyright maximalists hate the idea of anything not being copyrightable, so there's been a lot of pushback on this in the last 30 years or so. Architectural works -- actual buildings -- do not need copyrights. No one pirates skyscrapers, and piracy between tract housing developers is so banal who cares. Fashion does not need copyrights, but they're beginning to show up there. There are several whole categories where we could just eliminate copyright entirely with no down side, and maybe with an up side if copyright has been suppressing creation.

Damages and injunctive relief are way too broad. A professional piracy ring might merit high penalties; a college student or single mother pirating mp3s (this may not happen anymore but it used to be a big deal -- I myself attended the Tenenbaum trial; his lawyer was lousy and wore silly boots) probably doesn't deserve to have their life ruined. The DMCA takedown provisions are a part of this as well, but current reform efforts have so far been headed the wrong way, with the usual suspects pushing the idea that if an infringing work is ever reposted it should automatically be removed without their having to point it out. This is a huge deal, especially as few sites can afford the resources that would go into even detecting it. There are other problems as well which I needn't rehash.

My own hobby horse of a personal use exception would basically solve most reform issues at once, or at least take the pressure off. Just allow actual human beings, acting individually, and absolutely noncommercially (so no donations, tip jars, merchandise, patreons, advertisements, subscriptions, or even share ratios) to do whatever and it's not an infringement. Since the misapplication of copyright to ordinary people rather than than industry players, is the big problem with copyright, this makes most of the rest of it tolerable, no matter how bad it is. A life+70 term isn't great, but if you can lawfully ignore it so long as you aren't profiting from it, it doesn't get in your way much. Plus, this is what everyone does anyway when piracy is rife (Netflix is getting ads -- it'll be rife again) and it's better to legalize common behavior than to make everyone in the country a felon for doing things they don't regard as objectionable or wrong.

But does Hawley get into any of this? No. He's a fuckwit. He doesn't give two shits about copyright. The whole thing is entirely about his shitty motives -- to bolster his political career against DeSantis by ganging up on Disney.

The only other part of the bill is that this is supposed to have retroactive effect but only on companies with a market cap of $150 billion and which are in the motion picture or theme park industries. This is so poorly written that it not only is obviously an attempt at an unconstitutional bill of attainder against Disney, it also probably hits Comcast, Amazon, and Netflix. What a dipshit!

This all has serious problems. Personally, I don't like the Berne Convention at all, and would prefer the US left it, but we're in it currently and while it doesn't bind Congress it exposes us to retribution from trading partners and not just in the copyright field. The WTO can permit enforcement in other categories of trade.

The retroactive provisions, under current law, would probably be a taking under eminent domain, so now the taxpayer is on the hook for untold billions of dollars payable now for the likely future revenues that Disney et al would be deprived of.

So getting back to the point: this isn't copyright reform, and it isn't good, and actually the motives behind it do matter -- especially as they're a factor in whether it would even be constitutional.

Anyone here who is saying this is even halfway decent is stupid or lying, and that's coming from someone who has been advocating for copyright reform for decades.

Re:So this bill is garbage

By cpt kangarooski • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I read your lengthy post in hope that you read the whole bill (which isn't that hard since it's very short), but it appears that you only read Paragraph (2)(a) and didn't bother to read Paragraph(2)(b)(2). Here, let me help you...

Oh, I read it. It's just garbage, as I said.

Section 2(b)(1) changes the term for new works (i.e. works which would be fixed after the bill becomes effective, not that it will).

Section 2(b)(2) also changes the term for pre-existing works, retroactively.

I addressed this as well; it probably will stick the taxpayer with a bill of billions of dollars based on the current stance of federal eminent domain law.

This is clearly aimed directly at Disney.

And I addressed that; the Constitution prohibits bills of attainder. A prospective change that applies to everyone? That would certainly be upheld, though it's stupidly done. A retroactive change that affects a handful of businesses? (And it doesn't just hit Disney) That's asking for it to be struck down because the law is not intended to be used as a means of petty revenge, which is clearly what this is, to the extent that it isn't just pointless grandstanding.

It effectively would undo the effects of the Sonny Bono Act of 1998.

Idiot. First, it doesn't undo it at all with regard to the vast majority of works because it is mostly only prospective in effect. (CTEA was a terrible law, but at least it treated everyone equally, even if the benefits were of little value to most) Second, it goes way beyond that. CTEA only added 20 years. This undoes the term provisions of the 1976 Copyright Act, and takes us all the way back to the 1909 Copyright Act term lengths. (And in case you think the 1909 Act was some sort of highwater, it wasn't. It was written by the usual sorts of copyright industry players of its day, just as later copyright laws were; you have to go well back into the 19th century to find copyright laws that at least considered the public benefit) Third, as I discussed at some length, that's not a good term length either; it's still too long.

Paragraph (2)(b)(2)(B) then goes into exceptions regarding licensees where the copyright thereof will expire as a result of (2)(b)(2)(A).

Yeah, that's a sideshow; it's not particularly important.

Ultimately, I think you just didn't want to like this because it was proposed by a Republican in response to the "don't say gay" fiasco.

No. I would criticize this just as much had it been proposed by a Democrat, although I'm confident it never would have been. Republicans no longer try to govern; the devil's bargain of Nixon's Southern Strategy has resulted -- actually as far back as the 80s -- in the party just sort of flopping around mindlessly and destructively. The Democrats at least try.

This is ill-thought out, incompetently done, and besmirches a good idea -- copyright reform -- with Hawley's stupid name. The little fucker is ruining copyright reform by trying to appropriate it, but all it means is that he'll fail, not that he would accomplish anything useful if he succeeded, and it'll discourage anyone who actually wants to do something good for the American people from going anywhere near this issue.

Terraform Restarts Blockchain Behind UST Stablecoin, Luna

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Terraform Labs restarted the Terra blockchain following a software update to help avoid attacks against the network in the wake of the collapse of its algorithmic stablecoin and the related Luna token that had roiled cryptocurrency markets. From a report: The fix is designed to help avoid so-called governance attacks against its protocol -- a way of manipulating the fundamentals of a given blockchain by acquiring enough tokens to force a majority vote. Following the patch's release, Terra said earlier that the network would go live again once two-thirds of the voting power belonging to validators came online to finalize the update. In previous outages for blockchain networks like Solana, this process has taken several hours to complete as validators can reside across multiple time zones.

Pure comedy.

By Fly Swatter • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
But the antics are comedy gold! So long as you are not invested this is very funny to watch.

Imagine if ten years ago you said 'money would be like apps, there will be frequent bug fixes and complete reboots'. Everyone would think you were a clown, now the clown money apps are-a-multiplyin.

"DeFi" = "Deregulated Finance"

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

Remember kids, "DeFi" really means "Deregulated Finance"

Re:Again?

By NoMoreDupes • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

We have a "technology" section on slashdot, couldn't they just add a "crypto" section? I'd be cool with that.

We've all been asking for a 'cryptocurrency filter' for ages now - they refuse to implement one, because they clearly have a vested interest in the scams.

Re:I really hope this comes back

By jacks smirking reven • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Would we feel the same if he put his retirement into selling Amway or Avon? What about trying to flip houses? What if he just put it all on red and lost the coin flip? Buying into crypto is the same as doing any other type of day trading, don't put in what you can't afford to lose.

ETFs, mutual funds and even bonds still exist, all very safe but slow and boring. I imagine his retirement funds were in some sort of 401 or IRA type account and that's where they should stay. That money could still be doing a part in the actual economy.

What's worth feeling bad over is Americans having the feeling that having no money is paramount to life not being able to be worth living. I would prefer it if people falling on hard times had a better ssocietal support system, even the dumb crypto-bros.

Nothing says stable like restarting.

By splutty • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Oh no! Your crypto is failing? Have you tried turning it off and back on again?

Bay Area Startup Offers $800-a-Month Bunk Bed 'Pods' in Shared Home

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
For $800 a month you could live in a tiny bunk bed-style pod with 13 other roommates in the Bay Area. From a report: Eight-month-old startup Brownstone Shared Housing has come under the spotlight this week after an Insider profile on the company revealed what it looks like inside the Palo Alto home with 14 tenants each living in a "pod." While the $800-a-month rent may seem steep for a stacked bunk bed pod, the average rental rate for a studio apartment near Stanford University, where the pod-home sits, is currently around $2,400. Co-founder Christina Lennox has lived in a pod herself for the past year. "The wood kind of allows for relaxation, rather than like going inside of this futuristic-looking plastic object," Lennox told Insider. "It has, like, definitely a different feel -- I would say that it's more calming and soothing for people."

Good for a 2nd home or open marriage

By Somervillain • Score: 3 • Thread
Now you can have a spacious suburban home for the weekends and a pod for the week. I would love one of these if I didn't have kids, honestly. Right now, I have an expensive home 2 miles from my office. It's a nice place, but if I moved an hour out, I could easily get a lot more for the money.

I know a few affluent couples who do something like this. They have a tiny apt near the office and a nice home in the burbs. The husband is away all week and comes home on weekends. It may be the only thing keeping them from divorce. :) I even know couples in open marriages who have a small second place just so they can fuck away from the kids. It's not for me, or really most, but hey...some have non-traditional marriages.

I'm glad my wife likes me enough to want to be around me 7 days a week. However, having an inexpensive option for when I want to sleep far away could be appealing. This also could easily be a timeshare. When I used to have a long commute, I would have been tempted to just sleep there for long nights. I don't want a full hotel room. I just need a place to sleep and shower. The lack of appeal is actually a feature for men with nervous wives. I think banging in a pod is a deterrent for most women who have better options.

I can also picture companies setting these up for employees. Have a late night release? Want to get plastered with your coworkers? Why not just let them book a bed. A setup like this also reduces the chance of sexual misbehavior since it will be more obvious if your coworker is sneaking out of your cube as well as if she's a screamer.

LOL! Twice as expensive ...

By Qbertino • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

... as my single-room apartment in a six-apartment house built from bricks and concrete with 50cm thick walls with all-inclusive, located in a wealthy neighborhood in the outskirts of large German city smack center in Europe with bike-paths all the way into the city center 6.5 km away.

800 USD rent for a large coffin and still no feasible healthcare or feasible public education. LOL. You guys are effing insane, that's what.

SCNR.

Re:Look back to 1849/50

By q_e_t • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

See what people were doing in SF then. Explain to me how this is particularly different.

You'd have hoped for more progress in 173 years.

wankingpalace.com

By julian67 • Score: 3 • Thread

wankingpalace.com. Buy the domain now. Also shares in Kleenex.

Stanford Real Estate

By bugs2squash • Score: 3 • Thread

I'm surprised these universities in expensive real estate areas don't use their muscle with the local authorities to build high-rise student accommodation communities at the edge of town, and then lay on transport focused on shuttling students back and forth between "campuses".

That way they can generate rental income and also keep the kids "in disney" for eating, leisure etc.

I hear that in some other places they initially build for students, use it that way for a few years and then sell and build a replacement elsewhere - that way they are effectively leveraging their privileged access to planning approval to constantly build housing that may not meet normal city codes (eg. for minimum apartment sizes, parking capacity etc.) but that gets "grandfathered in" by the time they sell and move on

Twitter CEO Pushes Out Top Execs, Freezes Hiring

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Twitter is shaking up its top leadership. The first move came as consumer product leader Kayvon Beykpour announced on Twitter that current CEO Parag Agrawal " asked me to leave after letting me know that he wants to take the team in a different direction." From a report: Bruce Falck, the general manager of revenue and head of product for its business side, confirmed in a (now deleted) tweet that he was also fired by Agrawal. Now Jay Sullivan, who we spoke to in March about Twitter's plans to add 100 million daily users, will take over as both the head of product and interim head of revenue. These moves are occurring at the same time Elon Musk moves forward with his $44 billion purchase of Twitter, although he hasn't taken ownership of the company yet. In a memo to employees obtained by The Verge, Agrawal wrote, "At the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, the decision was made to invest aggressively to deliver big growth in audience and revenue, and as a company we did not hit intermediate milestones that enable confidence in these goals."

Broke.

By AcidFnTonic • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Yep with 44billion coming they need to basically act broke.

I remember laughing at companies that act like this when I worked for Quicken. Nice downtown office in the center of detroit, Gilbert owns over 96 buildings in the city, also owning many parking decks. They can afford to rend out COBO Hall every few weeks for mandatory all hands RA RA meetings where Gilbert walks out on stage like he's some housing god.

But one talk about housing and the company flips off hiring, stops raises, and acts like they just aren't going to make it anymore. Then a few weeks later, oh yeah alls kewl lets throw out 1500 job openings again and buy some more buildings downtown.

So glad I left hellholes like that for a company that actually shares in the profits. Everywhere else we just shared the losses while watching the owner grow by 8 billion dollars net worth in a year.

Oh wow

By slack_justyb • Score: 3 • Thread

I'm sure absolutely no one saw this coming and this news comes as a surprise to all.

At the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, the decision was made to invest aggressively to deliver big growth in audience and revenue, and as a company we did not hit intermediate milestones that enable confidence in these goals.

So scapegoats? Got'cha. Social media turning a profit is a lie and now that we have governments the world around that want to stick their fingers into it, quadruple so.

Re:Broke.

By Burdell • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Do you understand that Twitter isn't getting a dime of that $44 billion?

That's the plan?

By flippy • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
"Twitter's plans to add 100 million daily users" - does someone at the company actually think there are 100 million people who want to be on Twitter but aren't already?

Not just Twitter. But Social Media Idea is broke

By jellomizer • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The problem with traditional Media, News Papers, Radio, TV is that they are slaves to the Companies that pay them to advertise. (Or the Grants and underwriters for Public media) If they bite the hand that feeds them, the advertisers will just switch to a different venue that will take their money and be nice to them.
So you may get a news article on how the Owner of a dealership who scammed you into a crappy car, with a service plan that you can never use, because of fine print, about how much of a humanitarian they are, because they funded a local baseball team of special need kids.

So people got sick of this bias news, so they turned to Social Media. Figuring because anyone can state what is happening, the truth will be reviled.

However these platforms make their money off of advertising as well. However, while they may not need to be bias, because they they can target ads to people who are more receptive to them, they have favored ads around posts that get a lot of traffic and are shared and reposed, because such ads would get a lot more views and impressions. So your post on how scammy that car dealer was, would probably not get too much attention, and will shortly just fall on the bottom of the page within a few minutes. However your re-post about the Baseball team will attract more interest and then that dealership will attach their ads to your post.

Now so far this isn't much different... Then people figured out they can post stuff no matter how well researched it is, and people will fall for it, and share it, because it often gets their blood to boil for or against it, and they will generate more and more revenue.

A long article with paragraphs taking a more closer look at a topic, will never get the views, however the quick message and a picture with a logical unsound statement, will convince enough for it to spread.

US Cities Are Backing Off Banning Facial Recognition as Crime Rises

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Facial recognition is making a comeback in the United States as bans to thwart the technology and curb racial bias in policing come under threat amid a surge in crime and increased lobbying from developers. From a report: Virginia in July will eliminate its prohibition on local police use of facial recognition a year after approving it, and California and the city of New Orleans as soon as this month could be next to hit the undo button. Homicide reports in New Orleans rose 67% over the last two years compared with the pair before, and police say they need every possible tool. "Technology is needed to solve these crimes and to hold individuals accountable," police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson told reporters as he called on the city council to repeal a ban that went into effect last year.

Re:What about funding policing?

By phantomfive • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

No, that's what the Brookings Institute wants you to believe defund the police means.

I know plenty of people who literally want to defund the police.
In practice we can see that defunding the police means cut the funds sent to them: https://abc7news.com/san-franc...

So there are lots of reasons to believe that defund the police means defund the police, despite what some think tank wants you to believe.

Guess what

By sTERNKERN • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
There are other countries without wide spread facial recognition and much lower crime rates. It should make some officials think, but guess what, it is much easier to be blunt and carpet bomb every last bit of privacy and sacrifice it for the sake of (the false sense of) security.

Sigh ...

By cascadingstylesheet • Score: 3 • Thread
1970s inflation, 1970s weakness, 1970s crime ... everything but the music (which was actually good).

Re:What about funding policing?

By WaffleMonster • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Here's what defund the police actually means.

Defund the police is an intentionally incendiary slogan which many supporters take literally.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/0...

If one expects to be taken seriously and not simply ignored as an extremist crackpot they will have to do a better job at communicating.

Re:What about funding policing?

By dstwins • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Actually it means exactly what it says.. its just requires a little more though/understanding than you seem either capable of or willing to expend..

Defund the police isn't "REMOVE" the police... its not even "give the police no funding".. its change the police and stop militarizing the police and instead use MORE tools (With the same police budget) to provide a wider range of services that can respond/deal with different conditions the police face. Most of the loss of life in the last 20 years with police altercations are do to the police treating every situation as one that requires a gun.. when most need a different tool (and a different mindset). That doesn't come from giving the SAME people more money.. that comes from changing the budgets so the people that NEED a gun are only called in for situations that REQUIRE it (which is not as often as we like to think) and other people are called in for other cases..

But I will confess that this also needs some societal changes, the biggest one is stop "militarizing" the population as well.. (with the mass push for EVERYONE to have a gun (including the bad guys) it means a gun is going to be needed more and more simply to keep pace as opposed to reducing the number of guns which lessens that as well).

Cress Seeds Grown in Moon Dust Raise Hopes for Lunar Crops

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The prospect of growing crops on the moon has edged a little closer after researchers nurtured plants -- some more successfully than others -- in lunar soil for the first time. From a report: Scientists planted thale cress seeds in moon dust brought back by three Apollo missions and watched them sprout and grow into fully fledged plants, raising the potential for astronauts to farm off-world crops. But while the plants survived in the lunar soil, or regolith, they fell short of thriving, growing more slowly than cress planted in volcanic ash, developing stunted roots, and showing clear signs of physiological stress.

"We found that plants do indeed grow in lunar regolith, however they respond as if they are growing in a stressful situation," said Dr Anna-Lisa Paul, a molecular biologist at the University of Florida. Thale cress, or Arabidopsis thaliana, is a small flowering plant related to broccoli, cauliflower and kale. "It's not especially tasty," Paul added. The experiments are the first to investigate whether plants can grow in lunar soil and follow an 11-year effort to obtain the rare material. Because the soil is so precious, Nasa loaned only 12g of it -- a few teaspoons -- to the researchers who conducted the tests. Scientists have long wondered whether the moon could support crops, but with space agencies now planning to return humans to the surface, and potentially build lunar settlements for visitors, the question has become more pressing.

Let's send Matt Damon

By Rinikusu • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

He'll science the shit out of it.

Makes sense but why bother

By jacks smirking reven • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I would imagine regolith to a plant is just an inorganic, inert substrate, similar to growing in coco-coir where it's just a medium for roots to hold onto and all the nutrients are going to come from supplementing the water.

Basically it's a different version of hydroponics which is what we will obviously use to grow crops on the moon. No organics in the soil means no organics. You're going to have bring those with you no matter what. If we can get a source of water on the moon that will be the most important factor rather than flying it up there.

There's sunlight on the moon, If you have water and food for the plants then why bother growing in the soil? We already know hydroponics works.

moon kids

By guygo • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

"Thale cress for dinner AGAIN?"

Re:Makes sense but why bother

By ljw1004 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I would imagine regolith to a plant is just an inorganic, inert substrate, similar to growing in coco-coir where it's just a medium for roots to hold onto and all the nutrients are going to come from supplementing the water.

Another area to consider is the physical structure. https://www.esa.int/Science_Ex...
"Lunar dust is made of sharp, abrasive and nasty particles... Miners on Earth suffer from inflamed and scarred lungs from inhaling silicate. On the Moon, the dust is so abrasive that it ate away layers of spacesuit boots and destroyed the vacuum seals of Apollo sample containers. Fine like powder, but sharp like glass. The low gravity of the Moon, one sixth of what we have on Earth, allows tiny particles to stay suspended for longer and penetrate more deeply into the lung."

I wonder (1) when the roots spread through the inorganic inert substrate, do the sharp edges actually damage the roots as they grow? (2) do tiny vibrations of the plants cause them to rub against sharp edges? (3) does airbone regolith abrade the leaves or stem?

Re:Makes sense but why bother

By keithdowsett • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

The problem is that good soil isn't just made up of angular particles. It really needs clays and organic matter. The clays act as an ion exchange medium, allowing the soil to retain nutrients. The organic matter retains water and reduces compaction. Then there's the nitrates, potassium, phosphate, and trace elements the plants need. Finally, there's the fungi and bacteria which decompose the organic material. All these things would need to be shipped from Earth.

In the short term hydroponics might provide a stopgap, using tumbled regolith as a support medium. But it would take a long time to build up a decent soil.

Yellen Says Fed Can Bring Down Inflation Without Causing Recession

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that she believes the Federal Reserve can bring down inflation without causing a recession because of a strong U.S. job market and household balance sheets, low debt costs and a strong banking sector. From a report: Yellen told a U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee hearing on Thursday that "all of those things suggest that the Fed has a path to bring down inflation without causing a recession, and I know it will be their objective to try to accomplish that."

Re:s / inflation / stock market /

By davide marney • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Two weeks to flatten the GDP.
Mission accomplished!

$40 Billions to EVERYBODY

By davide marney • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Look this is really so simple. This one trick will solve poverty forever, eliminate structural racism in a single blow, and make us all fabulously, insanely rich at the same time! What's not to love?!

Just give $40B to everybody. Instant wealth.

You can thank me later.

Yeah right

By wakeboarder • Score: 3 • Thread

They over reacted on throwing gas on the fire. If you throw gas on a fire, things get out of control. The economy is like that now. I don't think the fed knows what they are doing and they are trying to cover their butts

Nothing was actually said. Great politician.

By quall • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

"America is strong, we can reduce inflation".

That sums up her statements, which did not even elude to a plan or explain why she thinks the value of the American dollar will go up. Just a pow-wow fluff statement.

The reactions being taken

By rsilvergun • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
To encourage a recession. The FED for example is raising interest rates in the hopes that it will reduce inflation but what they don't say, at least not that often, is that what they're counting on is it's will higher less and that'll result in lower wages and those lower wages are what's going to cut inflation.

Basically as always the burden falls on the backs of the middle class and the poor. We could of course get inflation under control by constraining the money supply at the top, but somehow nobody ever talks about that as a solution.

Cryptocurrency Luna Now Almost Worthless After Controversial Stablecoin It Is Linked To Loses Peg

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Luna, the sister cryptocurrency of controversial stablecoin TerraUSD, has collapsed to nearly $0. From a report: TerraUSD, or UST, has been dragged into the spotlight in the last few days after the so-called stablecoin, which is supposed to be pegged one-to-one with the U.S. dollar, fell sharply below the $1 mark. UST is an algorithmic stablecoin which uses code to maintain its price at around $1 based on a complex system of minting and burning. A UST token is created by destroying some of the related cryptocurrency luna to maintain the dollar peg. Unlike rival stablecoins Tether and USD Coin, UST is not backed by any real-world assets such as bonds. Instead, the Luna Foundation Guard, a nonprofit created by Terra's founder Do Kwon, is holding about $3.5 billion of bitcoin in reserve. But in times of market volatility, such as this week, UST is being tested. Its peg has been lost and now investors are rushing to dump the associated luna token. Luna's price has plunged from around $85 a week ago to trade at around 3 cents on Thursday, according to data from CoinGecko, making the cryptocurrency almost worthless. The Luna token was trading at $121 last month. At the time of publication, Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, has delisted Luna Futures-USDT margined contract.

Re:As I said yesterday

By Lisandro • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I can wait for Tether to blow up. It will be spectacular.

Anyone believing there's $80bn somewhere backing up all the USDT in circulation is up for a very, very rude awakening.

Re:"Pretend economy"

By crunchygranola • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

One can buy real stuff with any fiat currency as long as some perceive it with value. The problem happens when that perception changes.

It is amusing that the two opposite ends of the financial fantasy universe -- the gold bugs that claim only hard gold has any real value, and the crypto nerds who claim that everything is imaginary -- rely on the same claim that currency issued by national governments (given the scare label "fiat currency" as opposed to just "currency") is all smoke and mirrors, mere perception -- so the crypto coin in no worse despite is obviously extremely unstable nature.

Those "fiat currencies" are backed by real national economies with real physical assets and the productivity of millions of people and factories, and value fluctuation is rarely based on mere perception, but almost always on actual economic and hard financial factors -- trade balances and the like. Any perception-based changes are transitory and the value regresses to its underlying economic basis. Crypto has no underlying economic basis at all.

Article outlining "stablecoins"

By smooth wombat • Score: 3 • Thread
Came across this article which discusses "stablecoins" (both varieties) and specifically mentions the meltdown in Luna. Nice read for those who keep claiming how great "stablecoins" are.

The great quote from the article:

Algorithmic coins are "just a fancy way of saying, 'We are going to say that this is worth a dollar because it's backed by another asset that we also create out of thin air,'"

Will the FTC ever step in?

By Pollux • Score: 3 • Thread

This is downright fraud. There's nothing stopping Joe off the street from creating their own crypto-"currency", hyping it until he gets people to pump money into it, only to dump it when the price is high, then walk away with the fools holding onto all the worthless "assets".

I'm really curious to know how long this can go on without the FTC saying at least -something-. I know they can't regulate it, but they could at least say something along the lines of "We don't recommend investing in crypto due to its volatile nature and resemblance to fraudulent activities like Ponzi and pyramid schemes."

DCA in? /s

By bb_matt • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

First one down ... more to follow.

Anyone's guess how much BTC will plummet - and it really is just a guess.
"Expert" "Crypto-bro's" guess anything from $24k to $10k.

That's all you really need to know - this entire market, as many pointed out over the years, is Tulip mania baby, in a modern guise.

The die-hard coolaid drinking "Crypto-bro's" will say "it's just crypto winter, we'll come out the other side - 2023 and MOON!"

Maybe, but the amount of asses getting burned right about now is probably significantly more than the asses burned in 2017/18 - and the amount of retail investors, having seen their ass, will never trust cryptocurrency again. ... and yet, you _still_ see the classic "I'm going to fill my bags! - I'm DCA'ing in!" (dollar cost averaging).

Nuts.

USDT is showing signs of a wobble - if that tanks, if it is finally proven there isn't sufficient _real_ dollars behind each tether - which many suspect - game over for the entire market.

Good riddance too - for the most part.
I still see some fantastic use-cases for DeFi and cutting out the middlemen, but just without the insane speculation.

It's going to be an interesting ride watching this collapse and seeing what impact it has in financial markets overall.
My bet is HEAVY regulation is just around the corner, that is going to quite literally nip any chance of a recovery in the bud.

Global Crypto Regulation Body Likely in Next Year, Top Official Says

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Global market regulators are likely to launch a joint body within the next year to better co-ordinate cryptocurrency rules, a senior watchdog official has said. From a report: Ashley Alder, chair of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) said the boom in digital currencies such as bitcoin was one of the three main areas authorities were now focused on, alongside COVID and climate change. "If you look at the risks we need to address, they are multiple and there is a wall of worry about this (crypto) in the conversations at an institutional level," Alder said during an online conference organised by the OMFIF thinktank on Thursday. He cited cyber security, operational resilience, and a lack of transparency in the crypto world as the key risks that regulators are lagging behind on. Focus on crypto markets has intensified again this week amid more wild volatility that has long-alarmed watchdogs.

Antithetical

By pr0t0 • Score: 3 • Thread

I don't really have a horse in this race, but wasn't the point or driving ethos in the creation of crypto currencies, bitcoin in particular, was that it was unregulated?

Hackers and technophiles: "Let's create our own separate financial system, free of government oversight and regulation!"
Governments and financial institutions: "Thanks for the innovation. We'll take it from here."

Or is this regulatory body simply creating rules for institutional engagement?

Re:Just incinerate them all

By Petersko • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

"Ransomware is actually helping to BEEF UP security."

If I kick your front door in and beat your family, and you have to then reinforce the frame, install a much stronger door, put bars on all the windows, and build a panic room, I have not provided you a beneficial incentive. Good lord.

Well that's it for crypto

By rsilvergun • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread
the floor of crypto currencies is set by money laundering, drug purchases and ponzi schemes. That hasn't changed.

Without that floor there's no limit to speculator's losses. And unlike MLMs there's no product to speak of, so it'll be difficult to hide the ponzi schemes from regulators.

What you're left with is a much less efficient form of banks that uses a ton of water, electricity and computer parts.

It's not even decentralized. It didn't scale, resulting in transactions that can take minutes or hours to complete. The exchanges and mining pools formed to address that problem resulting in centralization. Worse "whales" have already shown the can fork chains like Tether and Ethereum, and if you don't follow the Whales when they fork the value of the old currency devalues so much you're screwed. Go look up what happened to "Ethereum Classic" sometime.

Finally that centralization means you can and do see 51% attacks. A currency called Juno just did one, calling it a "community vote", to reverse a large scale theft. Hilariously they screwed up when they did it and lost the currency.

Crypto is a failed experiment with nothing but downsides. It's tough to let go though because a) there's still a lot of money in it and b) it's so f'ing cyberpunk. We all want to imagine a world where 733t hxxrz hold the power instead of Old Money. Funny thing is, even in Shadowrun it didn't work that way. It was mega corps run by immortal dragons.

Think that's still necessary?

By Opportunist • Score: 3 • Thread

Watching them drop like flies, do you really think there will be much left to regulate in a year?

We don't need regulation

By ebcdic • Score: 3 • Thread
We need abolition.

The Milky Way's Black Hole Comes to Light

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Astronomers announced today that they had pierced the veil of darkness and dust at the center of our Milky Way galaxy to capture the first picture of "the gentle giant" dwelling there: A supermassive black hole, a trapdoor in space-time through which the equivalent of 4 million suns have been dispatched to eternity, leaving behind only their gravity and a violently bent space-time. From a report: The image, released in six simultaneous news conferences in Washington, D.C., and around the globe, showed a lumpy doughnut of radio emission framing an empty space as dark and silent as death itself. The new image joins the first ever picture of a black hole, produced in 2019 by the same team, which photographed the monster at the heart of the M87. The new image shows new details of the astrophysical violence and gravitational weirdness holding sway at the center of our placid-looking hive of starlight.

Black holes were an unwelcome consequence of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, which attributes gravity to the warping of space and time by matter and energy, much as a mattress sags under a sleeper. Einstein's insight led to a new conception of the cosmos, in which space-time could quiver, bend, rip, expand, swirl and even disappear forever into the maw of a black hole, an entity with gravity so strong that not even light could escape it. Einstein disapproved of this idea, but the universe is now known to be speckled with black holes. Many are the remains of dead stars that collapsed inward on themselves and just kept going. But there seems to be a black hole at the center of nearly every galaxy, ours included, that can be millions or billions of times as massive than our sun. Astronomers still do not understand how these supermassive black holes have grown so big.

Re:Supermassive

By Roger W Moore • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
I believe the problem is that just like the sun did not "gobble up" the planets due to angular momentum the same problem exists with simulations of galaxy formation: you can't get enough mass to gather at the centre to explain the huge masses of these Black Holes. My guess is that we will need to understand the physics of Dark Matter before we can explain how they formed.

Almost Eternity

By Roger W Moore • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

A supermassive black hole, a trapdoor in space-time through which the equivalent of 4 million suns have been dispatched to eternity

Not quite, but almost. Black Holes evaporate through Hawking Radiation but the larger they are the longer this process takes. Supermassive Black Holes will probably be the last things left in the Universe but even these will eventually evaporate away returning their mass if the Universe lasts long enough to let this happen.

Re:Almost Eternity

By iggymanz • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

We don't know if Hawking Radiation exists, it comes from a hybrid theory of GR and QM, two theories we can't reconcile. HR causes a violation of QM information theory. HR has never been observed, too little of it would come from stellar sized black holes.

Without a theory of quantum gravity we can't be sure about a lot of things including HR, singularities, what's really inside the event horizon.

a great visualization

By Klaxton • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

This zoom-in gives a good sense of how enormous everything is relative to the very big black hole.

https://arstechnica.com/scienc...

Re:Supermassive

By spun • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

We still don't know exactly what it is, but we know it exists. We've seen galaxies where, thanks to a galactic merger, the dark matter has left the galaxy. The dark matter itself still creates a gravitational lens. And the galaxies act differently without it. There is just so much more evidence for dark matter than "Galaxies are rotating as if there were a lot more matter in them." But we have no idea what it is, or even what type of stuff it might be. Weakly Interacting Massive Particles? Sterile Neutrinos? Primordial black holes? We just don't know.

Google Cloud Launches AlloyDB, a New Fully-Managed PostgreSQL Database Service

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: Google today announced the launch of AlloyDB, a new fully-managed PostgreSQL-compatible database service that the company claims to be twice as fast for transactional workloads as AWS's comparable Aurora PostgreSQL (and four times faster than standard PostgreSQL for the same workloads and up to 100 times faster for analytical queries). [...] AlloyDB is the standard PostgreSQL database at its core, though the team did modify the kernel to allow it to use Google's infrastructure to its fullest, all while allowing the team to stay up to date with new versions as they launch.

Andi Gutmans, who joined Google as its GM and VP of Engineering for its database products in 2020 after a long stint at AWS, told me that one of the reasons the company is launching this new product is that while Google has done well in helping enterprise customers move their MySQL and PostgreSQL servers to the cloud with the help of services like CloudSQL, the company didn't necessarily have the right offerings for those customers who wanted to move their legacy databases (Gutmans didn't explicitly say so, but I think you can safely insert 'Oracle' here) to an open-source service.

"There are different reasons for that," he told me. "First, they are actually using more than one cloud provider, so they want to have the flexibility to run everywhere. There are a lot of unfriendly licensing gimmicks, traditionally. Customers really, really hate that and, I would say, whereas probably two to three years ago, customers were just complaining about it, what I notice now is customers are really willing to invest resources to just get off these legacy databases. They are sick of being strapped and locked in." Add to that Postgres' rise to becoming somewhat of a de facto standard for relational open-source databases (and MySQL's decline) and it becomes clear why Google decided that it wanted to be able to offer a dedicated high-performance PostgreSQL service.
The report also says Google spent a lot of effort on making Postgres perform better for customers that want to use their relational database for analytics use cases.

"The changes the team made to the Postgres kernel, for example, now allow it to scale the system linearly to over 64 virtual cores while on the analytical side, the team built a custom machine learning-based caching service to learn a customer's access patterns and then convert Postgres' row format into an in-memory columnar format that can be analyzed significantly faster."

Too bad google cloud is shit

By mveloso • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Authenticating programmatically is a PITA. Do you need a service account? What permissions? What scopes? And their documentation is written for people that know how their stuff works (ie: internal users). It's at least 10 times harder to get stuff to work on google cloud than AWS.

For more obscure services (I'm looking at you, DFA) all their samples don't work.

It's what AWS could have been if AWS had fucked up.

Re:How much is google giving back ...

By squiggleslash • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

If this is a moral thing, Google does fund open source projects, they even fund Mozilla, which is the biggest rival to Chrome.

But most FOSS developers would argue that, from a moral standpoint, they don't believe use of a product requires you "give back" anything outside of whatever their license requires. They're just glad to see their work used. Supporting PgSQL is, by itself, a positive thing for the PostgreSQL community. It encourages better third party support.

Isn't enough that all my data are belong to them?

By mmell • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
Now they want me to organize it?

I wish they'd get rid of the marketing names!

By Virtucon • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Shit, just call it managed Postgres! I hate these damn marketing names that make it sound like some sort of new, innovative database! It's just Postgres without all the administrivia! Call it Postgres PaaS so we don't have confused customers when we try to explain it to them!

I realize AWS started this trend but it's time to kill it, or nuke it from orbit!

Re:Too bad google cloud is shit

By bustinbrains • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

AWS leaves a lot to be desired and intentionally doesn't have complete APIs in quite a few key areas. If you've ever scratched your head on why AWS APIs don't do something blatantly obvious (e.g. the ability to delete something via the API that can clearly be done via the Console), that is an intentional "by design" decision! I refuse to touch AWS as a result of that. IMO, DigitalOcean offers the vastly superior platform to Google Cloud, AWS, and Azure. I don't know who the big companies think they are catering to but it sure isn't me!

APIs: The Google Cloud API is horrible - a gazillion different account types and SDKs that are so bloated that even Google now has special instructions on how to reduce the SDK size down to a few MB. AWS APIs are a little easier to interact with but still have bloated multi-MB SDKs. DigitalOcean APIs are straightforward and can even use common tools like cURL to interface with the APIs (i.e. no SDK required as mother nature intended).

Console: Google Cloud and AWS have consoles that look and feel horrendous. Navigating those consoles is a nightmare. DigitalOcean is both pretty and largely navigable.

Cost: Google Cloud is more expensive than AWS and AWS is more expensive than DigitalOcean. At the end of the day, the bean counters want whatever is going to impact the bottom line the least.

Support: Google support for their own products is non-existent. Amazon support is barely competent - they think their broken systems are fine as-is. DigitalOcean actually has comprehensive technical support and fixes things that are broken - I've identified at least a dozen issues with their API over the years that they have promptly fixed.

Blocking Inflammation May Lead To Chronic Pain

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Using anti-inflammatory drugs and steroids to relieve pain could increase the chances of developing chronic pain, according to researchers from McGill University and colleagues in Italy. Neuroscience News reports: Their research puts into question conventional practices used to alleviate pain. Normal recovery from a painful injury involves inflammation and blocking that inflammation with drugs could lead to harder-to-treat pain. [...] In the study published in Science Translational Medicine, the researchers examined the mechanisms of pain in both humans and mice. They found that neutrophils -- a type of white blood cell that helps the body fight infection -- play a key role in resolving pain. Experimentally blocking neutrophils in mice prolonged the pain up to ten times the normal duration. Treating the pain with anti-inflammatory drugs and steroids like dexamethasone and diclofenac also produced the same result, although they were effective against pain early on.

These findings are also supported by a separate analysis of 500,000 people in the United Kingdom that showed that those taking anti-inflammatory drugs to treat their pain were more likely to have pain two to ten years later, an effect not seen in people taking acetaminophen or anti-depressants. "Our findings suggest it may be time to reconsider the way we treat acute pain. Luckily pain can be killed in other ways that don't involve interfering with inflammation," says Massimo Allegri, a Physician at the Policlinico of Monza Hospital in Italy and Ensemble Hospitalier de la Cote in Switzerland.

Re:Pain is good.

By Bethany_Saint • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I'm guessing you don't have chronic pain. Even "mild" chronic pain can make you question your will to live after a while. Chronic pain doesn't stop you from taking care of your own basic needs. It just mentally becomes all consuming. Then add another temporary pain on top of that and I guarantee you'll want something to take it down a notch. A huge number of people taking pain meds fall in this category.

Re: Welcome back narcotics!

By shaitand • Score: 4 • Thread
Absolutely! But while cannabis is great it isn't really a substitute for opiates for serious pain. It definitely combines well with them and is a great way to handle the withdraw pain when it is time to come off the opiates though.

I don't think it is.

By twocows • Score: 4 • Thread
The original purpose of pain from an evolutionary perspective is to tell you what you're doing wrong, sure, but in the modern world there are lots of situations where pain arises from doing things that are useful or even necessary (or from circumstances outside our control entirely). Either way, I don't think that's a valid justification to avoid painkillers.

There's generally nothing wrong with taking painkillers in moderation. TFA identifies a problem that may occur with (probably overuse of) a certain type of painkiller (NSAIDs). That warrants more investigation into that particular type of painkiller and that situation, but it's not a reason to stop using NSAIDs entirely in situations where the benefits outweigh the risks, nor is it even relevant to the question of using other kinds of painkillers like acetaminophen, which with typical doses has basically no ill effects whatsoever.

Your line about vaccines seems completely irrelevant to anything being discussed, I'm not sure what painkillers have to do with vaccines. I've had all of my scheduled COVID shots and still use painkillers, I don't really understand what you think the connection is there.

The trouble is people who need them to work

By rsilvergun • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
This is anecdotal, but I've seen several interviews with the people addicted to opioids and the reason was always the same: blue collar guys who needed to keep working after an injury and were taking the meds to work through the pain.

Most people can't make do on disability. It doesn't pay enough to live. The ones that do are usually ones who made it to 65 (67 now, 70 soon), have social security, maybe a spouse or a pension from before we stopped doing those or maybe their kids help out.

So they were popping pills to keep working, then they got cut off and the addiction kicked in, so they started taking illegal stuff and sooner or later it was too strong or cut with something and they died. That made the news, there was a scare and a backlash, we didn't solve the underlining problem because you're not allowed to stop working just because you can't anymore, and here we are.

Physical Therapy

By Thelasko • Score: 3 • Thread
The big advantage of reducing inflammation and pain is it increases tolerance of physical therapy. If you can't do physical therapy, you won't recover from orthopedic injuries.

Maybe these people aren't in any pain, but permanently crippled? Was mobility measured in this study?

Cleaner Air Leads To More Atlantic Hurricanes, Study Finds

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Cleaner air in United States and Europe is brewing more Atlantic hurricanes, a new U.S. government study found. The Associated Press reports: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration study links changes in regionalized air pollution across the globe to storm activity going both up and down. A 50% decrease in pollution particles and droplets in Europe and the U.S. is linked to a 33% increase in Atlantic storm formation in the past couple decades, while the opposite is happening in the Pacific with more pollution and fewer typhoons, according to the study published in Wednesday's Science Advances.

NOAA hurricane scientist Hiroyuki Murakami ran numerous climate computer simulations to explain change in storm activity in different parts of the globe that can't be explained by natural climate cycles and found a link to aerosol pollution from industry and cars -- sulfur particles and droplets in the air that make it hard to breathe and see. Scientists had long known that aerosol pollution cools the air, at times reducing the larger effects of greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuel and earlier studies mentioned it as a possibility in increase in Atlantic storms, but Murakami found it a factor around the world and a more direct link.

Hurricanes need warm water -- which is warmed by the air -- for fuel and are harmed by wind shear, which changes in upper level winds that can decapitate storm tops. Cleaner air in the Atlantic and dirtier air in the Pacific, from pollution in China and India, mess with both of those, Murakami said. In the Atlantic, aerosol pollution peaked around 1980 and has been dropping steadily since. That means the cooling that masked some of the greenhouse gas warming is going away, so sea surface temperatures are increasing even more, Murakami said. On top of that the lack of cooling aerosols has helped push the jet stream -- the river of air that moves weather from west to east on a roller-coaster like path -- further north, reducing the shear that had been dampening hurricane formation.

Dirtier air led to less hurricanes

By algaeman • Score: 3 • Thread
The conclusion in the headline has things bass-ackwards. There were less hurricanes than would have been expected over the last 100 years, due to the aerosol levels. Low levels are the norm, the deviation was a century of poisoning the atmosphere. Now that we are actively trying to reduce the levels, we are seeing just how badly off-balance the system has become. It may seem convenient to say "Let's just go back to the way it was", but that sort of wholesale, oblivious geoengineering could just as easily have opposite effects or other unintended consequences. We need to truly address this problem, and solve it in a sustainable manner so that humanity can coexist with Mother Earth instead of fighting her at every turn.

I know how to fix it

By FudRucker • Score: 3 • Thread
Nuke some volcanoes and if we can get one or two to erupt it will spew some particulates into the atmosphere blocking some sunlight. If were lucky we could kickstart a nuclear winter or even better an ice age

so...put sulfur *back* into the atmosphere?

By CoderFool • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
https://science.slashdot.org/s... which is just as ironic as this clear atmosphere story. way back in the 70s and 80s the environmentalists were fighting to get lead out of gasoline and sulfur out of smokestacks to cure acid rain. And it did. Now they want to put pollution back in the sky to fight climate change. Oh wait...we want more pollution in the sky to fight hurricanes. Oh wait...sounds like something Big Oil and Big Factory cooked up... Maybe we should all start smoking tobacco agains....for climate's sake...

Re:Well...

By Pentium100 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The thing nobody is asking is why just diesels, and why not just VW, but just about every car maker is guilty of lying about emissions to some degree.

My guess:
Government: "We are planning to impose these restrictions on car emissions, what is your opinion about them"
Car manufacturers (in public): "Yeah, looks good to me"
Car manufacturers (in private): "Ha, this is almost impossible to achieve, our competitors will bankrupt themselves trying to achieve this, but we are smarter, we have a way to cheat the system"

Also, I do not know how much a regular person cares about emissions. Cars that burn more fuel are more expensive to drive, so someone may choose a more efficient car for this reason.

I know I don't care about emissions and the people I talked to do not seem to care about them either - primary reason to buy a newer car, either fossil fuel powered or electric is so that it's cheaper to drive.

Re:I know how to fix it

By CrimsonAvenger • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

or even better an ice age

I trust you mean a glaciation. We have been in an Ice Age since before humans evolved, and will continue to be in one long after humans vanish (probably. it's possible humans will last tens of millions of years but don't bet on it).

Note that when the Ice Age finally goes away, we can expect normal temps higher than our worst case estimates for AGW. Again, humans will likely be extinct long before that (not many species last tens of millions of years)....