the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2022-May-14 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.

Gunman Livestreams Killing of 10 On Twitch - After Radicalization On 4chan

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Slashdot reader DevNull127 writes: 10 people were killed in a grocery store in Buffalo, New York this afternoon — and three more were injured — by a gunman who livestreamed the massacre on Twitch. "A Twitch spokesperson said the platform has investigated and confirmed that the stream was removed 'less than two minutes after the violence started,'" reports NBC News.

The Raw Story reports that the 18-year-old suspected gunman had also apparently posted a 106-page manifesto online prior to the attack. A researcher at George Washington University program on extremism studied the manifesto, and points out that the suspected shooter "states that he was radicalized online on 4chan and was inspired by Brenton Tarrant's manifesto and livestreamed mass shooting in New Zealand."

The suspect reportedly used an assault rifle.

Less than two weeks ago, Slashdot posted the following:

28-year-old Brenton Tarrant killed 51 people in New Zealand in 2019. The Associated Press reports that at that point he'd been reading 4chan for 14 years, according to his mother — since the age of 14.

The year before, 25-year-old Alek Minassian, who killed 11 people in Toronto in 2018, namechecked 4chan in a pre-attack Facebook post.

But the Guardian now adds another a story from nine days ago — when a 23-year-old shooter with 1,000 rounds of ammunition opened fire from his apartment in Washington D.C. "Just two minutes after the shooting began, someone under the username "Raymond Spencer" logged onto the normally-anonymous 4chan and started a new thread titled 'shool [sic] shooting'. The newly published message contained a link — to a 30-second video of images captured from the digital scope of Spencer's rifle...."

NBC News reported that while Saturday's suspected shooter was livestreaming, "Some users of the website 4chan discussed the attack, and at least one archived the video in real-time, releasing photos of dead civilians inside the supermarket over the course of Saturday afternoon."

Re:4chan the issue?

By Lisandro • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Yeah, that shit runs rampant on 4chan, but this shit isn't new.

Tucker Carlson basically spews this shit every night on Fox News, and nobody seems to care.

Re:4chan the issue?

By fafalone • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Then propose restrictions that might actually have an impact on mass shootings. Because every time one of these tragedies happen, all I see are people using it as an excuse to push laws that wouldn't have even stopped the incident they're exploiting. How exactly do you think you're going to have an impact on mass shootings with laws that wouldn't have stopped 99% of mass shooters? You don't, you're not looking to reduce mass shootings, you're just using them as an excuse to restrict lawful owners, and enough people see right through that so that's why they don't get passed.

Re:Russia actively cultivates these maniacs online

By dcollins • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Agree with pretty much all that. But at the same time, since the Trump era, a lot of American "patriotic" folks are also pro-Russia and pro-Putin. E.g.:

Though Americans overwhelmingly call the Ukraine invasion unjustified, Trump voters actually had a more favorable opinion of Putin than of Biden. Ninety-five percent of Trump voters expressed an unfavorable view of Biden (including 87 percent holding a very unfavorable view), compared with 78 percent of Trump voters expressing an unfavorable view of Putin (60 percent very unfavorable). Only 3 percent of Trump voters said Biden is “doing a better job leading his country” than Putin, while 47 percent said the dictator, who has brought isolation and economic crisis to Russia, is doing a better job than Biden.

Washington Post.

Re:assault weapon?

By skam240 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

You gotta love it when some one is so stuck on having to be right they they're refuting the dictionary.

Re:Forget 4chan

By snowshovelboy • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

We told this gunman that a valid way to make sense of the world was to essentialize race. And then he did. Why did we tell him that? Who benefits from it? Why are we still doing it? Why do you think its ok?

Elon Musk Warns Twitter Users, 'You Are Being Manipulated by the Algorithm'

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Twitter's potential new owner just made this announcement to his 93.1 million followers. "Very important to fix your Twitter feed," the annoncement began: 1. Tap home button.
2. Tap stars on upper right of screen.
3. Select "Latest tweets".

You are being manipulated by the algorithm in ways you don't realize.

Easy to switch back & forth to see the difference.

Currently it's been pinned to the top of Elon Musk's Twitter feed. And minutes later, he added this reply to his own tweet. "This message brought to you by the Illuminaughty."

Hours later Musk posted some clarification. "I'm not suggesting malice in the algorithm, but rather that it's trying to guess what you might want to read and, in doing so, inadvertently manipulate/amplify your viewpoints without you realizing this is happening.

"Not to mention potential bugs in the code. Open source is the way to go to solve both trust and efficacy."

Musk's motivation isn't clear — but just minutes earlier he'd tweeted a reply to own tweet from Friday that had suggested Twitter users check a sample of 100 Twitter accounts for the percentage of fake/spam/duplicate accounts. "I picked 100 as the sample size number," Musk had added as a reply Friday, "because that is what Twitter uses to calculate less than 5% fake/spam/duplicate." Musk's follow-up tweet today?

"Twitter legal just called to complain that I violated their NDA by revealing the bot check sample size is 100! This actually happened."

The tweets follow three more from the last 24 hours which all apparently comment wryly on Musk's planned acquisition of Twitter. "Whoever thought owning the libs would be cheap never tried to acquire a social media company!" Musk tweeted earlier this afternoon. "At least, that's what the lib hivemind thinks haha."

And an earlier tweet appeared to allude to his recently-expressed interest in the number of fake/spam accounts on Twitter. Friday night, Elon Musk tweeted:

"The bots are angry at being counted."

Elon Musk wants attention

By peppepz • Score: 3 • Thread
Remember that Internet 1.0 rule about trolls? If you give them attention, they multiply. Keep writing news pieces for every nonsense that comes out of his mouth and you'll get more and more of it.

Re:Oh heck yeah

By physicsphairy • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

They're not wrong []. In fact, another one went out of his way [] to murder nearly a dozen people a few hours ago.

The "right winger" who describes himself as 'authoritarian left wing' in his manifesto? Especially concerning when they recently tried to assassinate a black mayor. And murder a crowd of people at a parade.

Because burning property is the same thing as murdering people for the color of their skin.

That's cool how they are able to telekinetically control the fire and keep it from harming anyone. Oh wait people were burned alive. Which was an obvious risk that the arsonists showed themselves more than happy to take every time they started a fire. Unless they posted warnings, thoroughly cleared the buildings, and set up fire suppression to keep it from spreading to uncleared buildings, the fact, say, disabled people might not be able to get out in time was clearly okay to them.

Also, white supremacists were involved in those burnings [] as well, but we won't hear you say anythinga about that, will we?

Every single person who does anything remotely like that should be prosecuted to the fullest extent. One of the things that markers white supremacism as a disgusting and abhorrent ideology is that it provides context for justifying such behavior. Any other ideologies which choose to express themselves by such means thereby prove they can comfortably sit beside white supremacy as siblings in character and thought.

Further, a study about the protests showed the overwhelming vast majority were peaceful [] with less than 4% of all protests involving property destruction.

Serial killers spend less than 0.1% of their nights about town murdering people so I guess not a problem, right?

Seriously, what is that statistic supposed to provide other than a political framing? If x is a problem the fact x can be called a small percent of some other category y... has no relevance at all to initial fact of x being a concern.

Would you like to know more?

Yes I would like to know between (a) getting bipartisan buy-in for a collaborative effort to wind down and eliminate extremism (b) opportunistically dunking on your political adversaries while ignoring mutual problems, which would you choose?

How about this - all attacks on the public are bad and evil. Anyone who encourages them, or from a position of responsibility (such as media) turns a blind eye to any one or any category of them, deserves to be called out. The most important calling out anyone can ever do is on they're own side, because generally no one listens across the aisle. And saddling one side with responsibility is the last thing you want to do, because at the same time you are sullying your opponents, you are also mainstreaming the extremists. We should be telling extremists that they have no home, not that half the country secretly supports them. If people start to commonly believe those accusations are reality I can tell you both the right and left are going to be more willing to broaden their coalition to welcome the new members than they are to sacrificially implode for the common good.

Re:Wait if you have no idea what

By Tom • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

for the express purpose of turning you against Biden or political gain?

I'm not even a US voter so what would that gain be?

But the whole affair around Burisma smells.

It might be a good idea to ask where you're getting your talking points from and what their motives might be.

Various media all over the political spectrum. The US department of justice and their investigation against Hunter Biden - the fact that there'S enough crap for the district attorney (Wilmington) to get involved.

And if you seriously think that the son of a previous vice president and (at the time it all apparently happened) presidential candidate does such business without his dad knowing then you're even less familiar with the "family clan" political system of the US than I am.

Re: I think the current president

By DocJohn • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Unfortunately not as simple as that. You need a full-on 60 clear votes in the Senate to stop the filibuster -- which is a requirement for ANY kind of controversial (e.g., one-sided) legislation.

This is why when either party has a majority in the Senate, they usually still can't get all the things done they want, because it's rare for either party to have that full 60 number. (Also, Dems have 2 Senators right now that vote along conservative lines more often than their own party.)

Re:I think the current president

By drinkypoo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Biden is involved in some dirty dealings with Ukraine. No idea what and not sure if we'll ever find out

That's hilarious. What we know for sure is that Trump was involved with dirty dealings with Ukraine. He was literally impeached for it. Manafort was paid tens of millions of dollars to help install Russia's man in Ukraine (who preceded Navalny) which he then concealed from the government, eventually arrested for it, then later pardoned by Trump. Trump and Manafort were both working for Russia — When Trump pardoned their asset Manafort, it was well after every non-Russian bank had kicked him to the curb. Russia is Trump's only source of financing now because banks don't like being defrauded, and the whole world now knows that Deutsche Bank only loaned Trump money on the basis of the scam where he called in pretending to be an officer of his father's corporation. Hilariously, you can easily recognize his voice and accent in the recording of the call, but somehow they failed to do so, which makes them look like a bunch of dumbfucks. Banks don't like looking stupid either.

No idea what and not sure if we'll ever find out, but the whole shit with his son and then the whole thing blows up and everyone thinks there's no connection?

We know beyond any doubt that Paul Manafort helped Russia install a leader in Ukraine. We know beyond any reasonable doubt that Trump tried to pave the way for Russia's invasion into Ukraine, both by weakening NATO and by refusing to provide aid to Ukraine well in advance of Russia's invasion. The Biden administration has been consistent in providing aid to Ukraine. US intelligence successfully predicted Russia's attack on Ukraine, and most of their predictions about the attack came true (some of which have been confirmed by information they released before the attack.

Why do you assume that whatever was going on was nefarious? Some associated graft would not shock me, and I do not intend to support it, but what we know is that the Trump administration was actively trying to harm Ukraine, and the Biden administration has consistently supported it. Are you opposed to support of Ukraine against Russia? Because that's most likely what Hunter was doing in Ukraine, besides the usual nose-powdering and such. I'm not a Hunter fan. Shit, I'm not even a Biden fan. He's a centrist at best. But what I'm really especially not is a Russia fan. Not Russians, get them out of their environment and they're just people like anyone else. But as a single entity, Russia has a long history of atrocities. It's kind of what they're known for, both against other people, and even their own people. And frankly, I'm willing to accept some graft if it means preventing the rebuilding of the Soviet Union.

The whol thing didn't need to happen, I agree on that. But honestly I think that a lot of forces in the west not only wanted it to happen, but actively acted towards making it happen.

Well, we know Trump worked towards making it happen. Is there any evidence that Biden did that? Because all of the available evidence so far shows that he worked against it.

Nuclear Energy: the Case Against

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
" We do not need to plunge headlong into a nuclear future," argues Serhii Plokhy, author of the book Atoms and Ashes: From Bikini Atoll to Fukushima.

He notes Belgium's adding a 10-year extension to the life of two of its nuclear reactors, France's program to build 14 new reactors, and Boris Johnson's pledge to create supply 25% of the UKs power needs with nuclear energy by 2050. On the surface, the switch to nuclear makes sense. It would not only enable European countries to meet their ambitious net zero targets, since it produces no CO2. It would also make them less vulnerable to Russian threats, and allow them to stop financing the Russian war machine....

What the Russian takeover of [Ukraine] nuclear facilities exposed is a hazard inherent in all nuclear power. In order for this method of producing electricity to be safe, everything else in society has to be functioning perfectly. Warfare, economic collapse, climate change itself — all of these increasingly real risks make nuclear sites potentially perilous places. Even without them, the dangers of atomic fission remain, and we must ask ourselves: are they really worth the cost...?

Technological developments, growing international cooperation and rising safety standards did indeed do a great deal to ensure that no major nuclear accident occurred for 25 years after Chernobyl. But the Fukushima explosions demonstrated that such improvements have not eradicated the dangers surrounding nuclear power plants.... Can anything be done to make reactors safer? A new generation of smaller modular reactors, designed from scratch to produce energy, not to facilitate warfare, has been proposed by Bill Gates, and embraced, among others, by Macron. The reactors promised by Gates's TerraPower company are still at the computer-simulation stage and years away from construction. But his claim that in such reactors "accidents would literally be prevented by the laws of physics" must be taken with a pinch of salt, as there are no laws of war protecting either old or new reactors from attack.

There is also serious concern that the rapid expansion in the number of plants, advocated as a way of dealing with climate change, will increase the probability of accidents. While new technology will help to avoid some of the old pitfalls, it will also bring new risks associated with untried reactors and systems. Responsibility for dealing with such risks is currently being passed on to future generations.

This is the second great risk from nuclear power: even if a reactor runs for its lifetime without incident, you still have a lot of dangerous material left at the end of it. Fuel from nuclear power plants will present a threat to human life and the environment for generations to come, with the half-life of some radioactive particles measured in tens of thousands of years.... Nuclear power plants generally have no alternative to storing their high-level radioactive waste on site....If what we bury today in the New Mexico desert — the waste created by our nuclear ambitions — is so repulsive to us, why do we pass it on to others to deal with?

The author's counter-proposal: expanding the use of renewable energy: New research should be encouraged, grid infrastructure should be built up, and storage capacity increased. Billions that would otherwise go to new nuclear infrastructure, with all the attendant costs of cleanup that continue for decades and beyond, should be pumped instead into clean energy.

In the meantime, we obviously have an existing nuclear industry, and the solution is not to run away in panic, but to take good care of the facilities that already dot our countryside. We must not abandon the industry to its current state of economic hardship, as that would only mean inviting the next accident sooner rather than later.

Re:Climate change is the problem

By nojayuk • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Look at the cost of Hinkley. How much grid storage could we have built with that much money?

Grid storage assumes there are significant surpluses of energy at times to store, presumably from renewables. Britain and nearly every other large nation runs deficits in renewables, mostly covered by burning gas and adding to global CO2 levels. There is usually no surplus to store hence there is no point to building more storage (Britain already has two large pumped-storage stations, one more is being considered but its utility is in doubt since we're burning lots of gas instead).

Nuclear power plants produce electricity without emitting large amounts of CO2. Storage does not generate any electricity in itself, indeed it wastes some electricity in the round-trip from input to output.

Re:Fukushima was not a modern reactor design

By Immerman • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

>And why was an old nuke plant being run? Money.
Not just money - huge amounts of money. Traditional nuclear plants are ridiculously expensive to build, and would quite likely never actually break even without being indemnified against responsibility for any possible catastrophe.

Which is exactly why I like modern reactor designs and especially SMRs - they address most of the potential economic failure modes - something large reactors decidedly do not.

Most modern reactor designs are extremely unlikely to fail catastrophically - for many of them (like molten salt) an explosion is basically impossible - the fuel itself is designed so that the reaction chokes itself out unless the rest of the plant is actively pulling away heat fast enough to keep it going. Had the same tsunami struck a badly managed modern reactor with all of Fukushima's other problems, it would just shut down.

Individual SMRs are also small, so even if you manage to make a reactor explode somehow, it's only going to affect a relatively small area, quite likely never escaping its protective vault (aka reinforced hole in the ground).

SMRs are produced on a factory assembly line rather than in-place - so any corner cutting in production that causes a problem is going to lead to a massively expensive recall of thousands of identical reactors, far exceeding the damage done.

Far less money is associated with each individual reactor - especially since it's essentially a "battery" plugged into a power plant, not the whole power plant. So if a particular reactor shows damage you don't shut down the power plant and stop making money (and then incur enormous expense decommissioning it) - you just shut down one reactor for replacement. Potentially not even reducing production as many power plant designs call for (relatively simple and inexpensive) vaults for at least an extra reactor or two so that you can get the replacement up and running before you shut down the one that's at risk.

There's still a vulnerability to malicious activity - I don't think there's any realistic way to completely protect against, e.g. being intentionally targeted by military action or sufficiently competent terrorists. But there are now options that are almost completely immune to greed and incompetence, which are the far larger threats.


By saloomy • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Fuck you, cunt. I live 10 miles from a plant that had a bad accident that lead to shutting it down. No radiation was leaked, but I still advocate for nuclear power. It was the SONGS plant in SoCal.

The point is, accidents happen in all power generation schemes. Nuclear power has among the lowest deaths per TWh generated. So, no matter where I got my power from, it would be risky for people in my area. Statistics matter, unless your a dumbass, like angelosphere over here.

Re:Fukushima was not a modern reactor design

By Immerman • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Good point.

Where geothermal works it's *awesome*. Unfortunately it's really only well suited along major fault lines that allow lots of heat to accumulate near the surface. In most places it would be prohibitively expensive to drill deep enough (many kilometers) to get enough heat without also fracking (with all the geostability issues that introduces). And in many locations the local rock structure is sufficiently water-soluble to present serious fouling concerns, dramatically increasing the operating costs. And the world being what it is, cost gets the final say in the matter - though we could help things along with massive subsidies.

An interesting overview on the topic:

Oh, and nuclear in the form of SMRs could be rolled out extremely rapidly. There's already pilot factories being built for the reactors, and power plants are very similar to coal or gas plants (aside from the reactor vaults) - to the point that there are several proposals on how to quickly retrofit existing plants to use them. It's primarily regulatory hurdles aimed at massive reactors, along with NIMBY opposition, that are likely to slow adoption - thing which governments can sweep out of the way at will, and often have for other things.

The short-lived nuclear waste is also a potentially valuable resource, as it's exactly the sorts of materials needed for RTGs and other "nuclear batteries". I would be opposed to widespread use of such things on Earth because of the contamination risk they pose (though Russia at least is fond of powering remote lighthouses that way) - but with SpaceX's Starship poised to enable the industrialization of space, there could be a huge demand for such things in an environment where contamination would present a negligible change in ambient radiation levels.

Heck, with a little caution you could turn the waste storage facilities themselves into good sized power plants in their own right by harvesting the decay heat.

Re:Fukushima was not a modern reactor design

By jwhyche • Score: 4 • Thread

Fukushima was built 10 years before Chernobyl was BUILT, in 1967.

It is not when they where built, it is when they where designed. Chernobyl was designed in the late 40's and early 50's. It was a graphite based reactor, and a poor design. It was a accident just waiting to happen.

What happened at Chernobyl could not happen at any western designed reactor. Not even at Fukushima.

America's FAA Shifts Gears Slightly on Certifying Future 'Flying Taxi' Pilots

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Flying cars — or even electric flying taxis — are the dream of several well-funded manufacturers building "electric vertical-takeoff and landing aircraft" (or eVTOLs).

But will they face stricter government regulations than anticipated? Long-time Slashdot reader wired_parrot reports that America's Federal Aviation Administration has shifted gears — "revising it certification requirements for eVTOLS from small aircraft to a powered-lift category." (The original submission cites a "growing number" of issues for the industry to resolve — and asks whether this raises concerns about the viability of the whole potential eVTOL market.)

Meanwhile, AVWeb reports: According to a Reuters report, the impetus for the shift came from an ongoing audit by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of the Inspector General. The IG said so-called Urban Air Mobility vehicles present the FAA with "new and complex safety challenges...."

In a written response to a request for clarification, an FAA spokesperson told AVweb:

"The FAA's top priority is to make sure the flying public is safe. This obligation includes our oversight of the emerging generation of eVTOL vehicles. The agency is pursuing a predictable framework that will better accommodate the need to train and certify the pilots who will operate these novel aircraft.

"Our process for certifying the aircraft themselves remains unchanged. All of the development work done by current applicants remains valid and the changes in our regulatory approach should not delay their projects. As this segment of the industry continues to grow, we look forward to certifying innovative new technologies that meet the safety standards that the public expects and deserves."

Pie in the sky

By NewtonsLaw • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

We've had VTOL craft for decades.. they're called helicopters and although we were promised (by the likes of Popular Mechanics and Popular Science magazines) that every household would have its own flying car or helicopter by the year 2000, no such thing has eventuated.

The reality is that eVTOL craft are just not viable yet. Such craft are only earning revenue when they're in the air so having to sit on the ground for a hour or more while they are being recharged effectively kills their economic viability. At least a regular helicopter can be refueled in a couple of minutes and be ready to fly again.

What's more, the failure modes for helicopters are well proven and robust. If the helicopter's power source (engine) fails, they can be autorotated to a safe (if not comfortable) landing. What happens when the battery or ECU of an eVTOL with a myriad of tiny propellors goes out? Well I don't see it floating gently to the ground, that's for sure.

Sorry, eVTOL urban mobility craft are about as likely to be successful as the concept of delivering your pizzas by drone.

Fair enough

By rossdee • Score: 3 • Thread

FAA does have jurisdiction over flying things

new aircraft should stick with the old rules

By k6mfw • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Our process for certifying the aircraft themselves remains unchanged.

Which it should be. There is new aircraft technology but idea of pilots doing whatever they want like in the 1920s is not something for the 2020s. When one gets a PPL, they must follow the rules and practice good procedures, no stunts like Trevor Jacob. Also if FAA doesn't grant a Part 91 waiver don't proceed with a plane swap stunt anyway.

I don't think we will ever see the flying car as portrayed in 1950s Popular Mechanics or 1980s Back to the Future. Maybe an aircraft that is affordable for the middle class like in the 1960s? Will you be able to use it in some places like San Jose where politicians are trying to close Reid Hillview (they may just do it eight years from now)?

Re:Pie in the sky

By drinkypoo • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

There's no reason they can't do battery swaps for craft like these. The reason battery swaps aren't practical for automobiles is structure. But a multicopter doesn't have that problem. You can just build a frame and hang things off of it... like batteries. That's the same reason why battery swaps are a potentially viable solution for OTR trucking — the fuel tanks are already hanging off of the outside of the frame.

But the truth is that aircraft can already be profitable even though they spend a lot of time on the ground, and require a lot of maintenance that electric multicopters won't because they have so few moving parts — typically, literally only the rotors. And hopefully, some kind of pyrotechnic-ejected parachute system for if all the other systems fail at once...

eVTOL designs suck

By backslashdot • Score: 3 • Thread

If it can't fit in a parking spot it is useless. If it can't be driven on a road it's dumb. Helicopters already exist, if that suits your fancy.

Should Social Networks Let You Take Your Followers to Other Services?

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
The Washington Post reports on the " My Friends My Data" coalition, a group of start-up founders "working to push tech giants to adopt a new industry-wide standard that would allow users to transfer their followings from one app to another, thereby creating more competition between platforms." "Large social media companies are intentionally holding our personal contact information hostage," said Daniel Liss, founder and CEO of Dispo, a photography-based social network. "This limits consumer choice, stymies competition and inhibits free speech. We are committed to giving our community members control of their friend data...."

MFMD's founding members include a who's who of buzzy social apps like Dispo, Itsme, Clash App, Muze, Spam app and Collage, which together have received more than $100 million in venture funding and amassed tens of millions of downloads. The group has issued letters to Meta, TikTok, Snap, Twitter and other large social platforms calling on them to join their crusade. As the start-ups have found, competing with tech giants like Meta or YouTube is difficult when the top talent on the Internet is essentially locked in to specific platforms because of their inability to take followers elsewhere.

Many creators are already on board with MFMD's initiative. Some learned lessons about ownership the hard way after the fall of Vine. Many top Vine stars were overleveraged, investing all their energy in building out their following on the short-form video platform. When the app shuttered in 2016 those who hadn't used Vine to springboard to other apps like YouTube were left without access to the massive fandoms they had built....

[Liss] said that in addition to putting public pressure on the tech giants he hopes the MFMD can be a political force as well. "I'm very comfortable engaging in the political process on behalf of what we think is right," Liss said. "Not just for our companies but also for the next generation of consumer start-ups."

Eugene Park, a gaming Twitch streamer in Los Angeles with 300,000 followers, likes the idea of making followers transferrable to other services, telling the Post it "would be taking power from the tech companies and putting it in the hands of creators who really make up these giant platforms."

In the meantime, the article points out, TikTok users "have taken to referring to other apps like Instagram and YouTube using ' algospeak' pseudonyms, because they say even uttering the name of a competitor can downrank your content."

Re:It's a tactic to break up monopolies

By Opportunist • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

If you don't mind, if I follow someone, that's my decision. If anything, I should get the information that someone that I happen to follow on antisocial media A is also on B and whether I'd like to follow them. And then I, and only I, decide whether or not I want to do that.

Which is something these influenza already do anyway.

Re:It's a tactic to break up monopolies

By duckintheface • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

This is exaclty right. Social media would improve dramatically with competition and choice. No, you shouldn't be able to "take your contacts with you" without their consent. But media sites should be required to allow a "come with me" offer from one site to another. An offer to existing "friends" to be friends on a different site.

What a truly dumb idea

By thegarbz • Score: 3 • Thread

People follow different people on different social networks for different purposes. I may follow my ex on Instagram but only because she's a photographer and the psychobi*** publishes amazing photos, I sure as heck don't want to talk to her on Facebook, or Twitter or ... well anywhere. Likewise I follow specific people on Twitter for the specific announcements they make *on that platform* and I sure as heck am not interested in their holiday photos on another.

Also the premise is stupid. Our contact information isn't held hostage anymore than you having a phone number is you being held hostage to someone who has no phone. People can contact you if they want. There's no hostages here.

Re:You think that's necessary?

By mmell • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

It's not your data. The instant you post it, it becomes the property of the website operator to do with as they see fit.

Read the TOS.

Re: You think that's necessary?

By Z00L00K • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Some concerns here:
1. I might not want followers on platform A to also follow me on platform B because it's two different platforms/subjects.
2. As a follower on platform A then I don't want to be exposed to stuff on platform B based on whom I'm following on A.
3. I don't want my interests to be too strongly mapped/linked. After all it might be used against me.

CentOS Successor Rocky Linux Gets $26M to Fund Push Into Enterprise Space

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"CIQ has landed $26 million in funding to support its plans to expand the use of Rocky Linux in the enterprise space," reports ZDNet. Last year, Red Hat decided to stop supporting CentOS 8 and shifted focus to CentOS Stream. CentOS had some huge enterprise users, among them Disney, GoDaddy, RackSpace, Toyota, and Verizon. In response, Greg Kurtzer, one of CentOS's founders, kicked off Rocky Linux in December 2020.... Kurtzer says Rocky Linux adoption has been "massive", with monthly downloads of OS images typically 250,000, reaching 750,000 in a bumper month. "Within two months we had 10,000 developer and contributors trying to be part of this project...."

The project has gained the support of Greg Kroah-Hartman, the maintainer of the main-line stable Linux kernel, to meet community demands for Rocky Linux to run on a more modern, optimized kernel, Kurtzer said. Kroah-Hartman is leading Rocky Linux special interest group (SIG) for the kernel to create an optional enhanced kernel for Rocky Linux. "He's working closely with us to make sure the kernel we use is blessed by him. He's in the loop as bugs come up and help us manage that kernel in Rocky Linux," says Kurtzer.

"Moreover, today's news follows shortly after CIQ inked a major deal with Google to help support companies looking to deploy Rocky Linux on Google's cloud infrastructure," reports VentureBeat.

Kurtzer tells the site that Rocky Linux "has been a rocket ship in terms of uptake across the enterprise and cloud."

Re:Stupid name for a distro...

By gosso920 • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
That's a bunch of Bullwinkle.

Hackers Are Exploiting WordPress Tools to Hawk Scams

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"If you've visited a website in recent days and been randomly redirected to the same pages with sketchy "resources" or unwanted ads, it's likely the site in question was 1) built with WordPress tools and 2) hacked," reports Gizmodo. Details come from this blog post by researchers at Sucuri (a security provider owned by GoDaddy): As outlined in our latest hacked website report, we've been tracking a long-lasting campaign responsible for injecting malicious scripts into compromised WordPress websites. This campaign leverages known vulnerabilities in WordPress themes and plugins and has impacted an enormous number of websites over the year — for example, according to PublicWWW, the April wave for this campaign was responsible for nearly 6,000 infected websites alone. Since these PublicWWW results only show detections for simple script injections, we can assume that the scope is significantly larger.

We recently investigated a number of WordPress websites complaining about unwanted redirects. Interestingly enough, they were found to be related to a new wave of this massive campaign and were sending website visitors through a series of website redirects to serve them unwanted ads. The websites all shared a common issue — malicious JavaScript had been injected within their website's files and the database, including legitimate core WordPress files... This JavaScript was appended under the current script or under the head of the page where it was fired on every page load, redirecting site visitors to the attacker's destination.... Domains at the end of the redirect chain may be used to load advertisements, phishing pages, malware, or even more redirects....

At the time of writing, PublicWWW has reported 322 websites impacted by this new wave... Considering that this count doesn't include obfuscated malware or sites that have not yet been scanned by PublicWWW, the actual number of impacted websites is likely much higher. Our team has seen an influx in complaints for this specific wave of the massive campaign targeting WordPress sites beginning May 9th, 2022, which has impacted hundreds of websites already at the time of writing....

We expect the hackers will continue registering new domains for this ongoing campaign as soon as existing ones become blacklisted.

"It's important to note that these hacks are related to themes and plugins built by thousands of third-party developers using the open source WordPress software, not, which offers hosting and tools to build websites," Gizmodo points out. But this also cite this warning from Sucuri malware analyst Krasimir Konov: "This page tricks unsuspecting users into subscribing to push notifications from the malicious site. If they click on the fake CAPTCHA, they'll be opted in to receive unwanted ads even when the site isn't open — and ads will look like they come from the operating system, not from a browser," Konov wrote.


By 93 Escort Wagon • Score: 3 • Thread

Plugins are both Wordpress' strength and its weakness.

Core Wordpress seems to have improved significantly - it used to be (years ago) I could count on every SANS newsletter including a story about at least one significant core Wordpress vulnerability; but, for the past several years, Drupal has been significantly worse than Wordpress in that regard.

But still - you need to be really, really careful with Wordpress plugins.

Want to Run Python Code in a Browser? Soon You Might Be Able To

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
ZDNet reports news from PyCon 2022 ("the first in-person meet-up for Python contributors since 2019 due to the pandemic")

"Developers revisited the idea of running Python code in the browser...." CPython developer Christian Heimes and fellow contributor Ethan Smith detailed how they enabled the CPython main branch to compile to WebAssembly. CPython, short for Core Python, is the reference implementation that other Python distributions are derived from. CPython now cross-compiles to Wasm using Emscripten, a toolchain that compiles projects written in C or C++ to Node.js or Wasm runtimes. The Python Software Foundation highlighted the work in a blog post: "Python can be run on many platforms: Linux, Windows, Apple Macs, microcomputers, and even Android devices. But it's a widely known fact that, if you want code to run in a browser, Python is simply no good — you'll just have to turn to JavaScript," it notes.

"Now, however, that may be about to change."

While the Foundation notes cross-compiling to WebAssembly is still "highly experimental" due to missing modules in the Python standard library, nonetheless, PyCon 2022 demonstrated growing community interest in making Python a better language for the browser.

The article notes additional news from Anaconda (makers of the a Python distribution for data science): the announcement of PyScript, "a system for interleaving Python in HTML (like PHP)." It allows developers to write and run Python code in HTML, and call Javascript libraries in PyScript. This system allows a website to be written entirely in Python.

PyScript is built on Pyodide, a port of CPython, or a Python distribution for the browser and Node.js that's based on WebAssembly and Emscripten.... "Pyodide makes it possible to install and run Python packages in the browser with micropip. Any pure Python package with a wheel available on PyPI is supported," the Pyodide project states. Essentially, it compiles Python code and scientific libraries to WebAssembly using Emscripten.


By drinkypoo • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

"Now, however, that may be about to change."

But it isn't, because Betteridge's law applies. Not in a mystical way, but in a that's-not-python-in-the-browser-that's-webassembly kind of way. And it's not a distinction without a difference in any way, either. If you can't run interpreted python in the browser, that's not python.

The article notes additional news from Anaconda (makers of the a Python distribution for data science): the announcement of PyScript, "a system for interleaving Python in HTML (like PHP)."

Which is also not in the browser, so still no. Also, it's not the first way you could write mixed Python and HTML... That was actually ASP! You could plug in python as a scripting language for ASP, and then write the code portions of your ASP in Python! There is also mod_python, which appeared around the same time as python for win32, but that's really not the same thing.

Can't imainge that being a security risk

By joe_frisch • Score: 3 • Thread
I"m sure the implementation will be 100% secure, so there is no chance of malicious code taking taking advantage of this.

Python in HTML?

By AnonymousNoel • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Does anyone think that co-mingling a language where white-space is syntactically crucial and a language where all white-space is ignored is anything other than a disaster waiting to happen?

After 28 Flights, Is NASA's 'Ingenuity' Mars Helicopter Nearing the End of Its Life?

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
After traveling 300 miles on the underbelly of the Perseverance rover, the "Ingenuity" helicopter has made 28 different flights over the surface of Mars, reports the Washington Post, staying aloft for a total of nearly one hour, flying 4.3 miles with a maximum speed of 12.3 miles per hour and a top altitude of 39 feet. "It's traversed craters, taken photos of regions that would be hard to reach on the ground, and served as a surprisingly resilient scout that has adapted to the changing Martian atmosphere and survived its harsh dust storms and frigid nights.

"Now the engineers and scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory are worried that their four-pound, solar-powered drone on Mars, may be nearing the end of its life." Winter is setting in on Mars. The dust is kicking up, coating Ingenuity's solar panels and preventing it from fully charging its six lithium-ion batteries. This month, for the first time since it landed on Mars more than a year ago, Ingenuity missed a planned communications session with Perseverance, the Mars rover that it relies on to send data and receive commands from Earth. Will a dust-coated Ingenuity survive a Martian winter where temperatures routinely plunge below minus-100 degrees Fahrenheit? And if it doesn't, how should the world remember the little helicopter that cost $80 million to develop and more than five years to design and build? Those closest to the project say that as time winds down for Ingenuity, it's hard to overstate its achievements....

"We built it as an experiment," Lori Glaze, the director of NASA's planetary science division, told The Washington Post. "So it didn't necessarily have the flight-qualified parts that we use on the big missions like Perseverance." Some, such as components from smartphones, were even bought off-the-shelf, so "there were chances that they might not perform in the environment as we expected. And so there was a risk that it wasn't going to work.... What happened was, and this is really key, after Ingenuity performed so well on those first five flights, the science team from Perseverance came to us and said, 'You know what, we want this helicopter to keep operating to help us in our exploration and achieving our science goals,' " Glaze said.

So NASA decided to keep flying....

On April 29, it took its last flight to date, No. 28, a quarter-of-a-mile jaunt that lasted two-and-a-half minutes. Now NASA wonders if that will be the last one. The space agency thinks the helicopter's inability to fully charge its batteries caused the helicopter to enter a low-power state. When it went dormant, the helicopter's onboard clock reset, the way household clocks do after a power outage. So the next day, as the sun rose and began to charge the batteries, the helicopter was out of sync with the rover: "Essentially, when Ingenuity thought it was time to contact Perseverance, the rover's base station wasn't listening," NASA wrote.

Then NASA did something extraordinary: Mission controllers commanded Perseverance to spend almost all of May 5 listening for the helicopter.

Finally, little Ingenuity phoned home.

The radio link, NASA said, "was stable," the helicopter was healthy, and the battery was charging at 41 percent.

But, as NASA warned, "one radio communications session does not mean Ingenuity is out of the woods. The increased (light-reducing) dust in the air means charging the helicopter's batteries to a level that would allow important components (like the clock and heaters) to remain energized through the night presents a significant challenge."

Maybe Ingenuity will fly again. Maybe not.

"At this point, I can't tell you what's going to happen next," Glaze said. "We're still working on trying to find a way to fly it again. But Perseverance is the primary mission, so that we need to start setting our expectations appropriately."

For Ingenuity's "Wright Brothers moment" — when it flew for the first time on another planet — it was actually carrying a postage-sized bit of fabric from the Wright Brothers original 1903 aircraft.

I don't know, is it?

By newcastlejon • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

God I hate headlines that end in a question. If you have something to say, say it. Don't try and pretend some content-free puff piece is thought-provoking.

After 28 Flights, NASA's 'Ingenuity' Mars Helicopter May Be Nearing the End of Its Life.

See, was that so hard?

Rotorwash vs Dust on Panels?

By SummitCO • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Why aren't the solar panels effectively self-cleaning via rotorwash?

Awesome performance

By Iamthecheese • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
I want to tip a frosty mug to the engineers at NASA who did the near impossible and did it in a machine that could perform over and over and over. Flight on Mars. ROTARY flight on Mars. It's just incredible. Thank you for doing what you do.

Re:Rotorwash vs Dust on Panels?

By GuB-42 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Reasons I can think of:
- Positioned the way it is, the solar panel doesn't receive that much airflow
- Fine dust collects under the boundary layer, where airspeed is low, same reason why cars don't self-clean just by driving on the highway
- Martian atmosphere is really thin, it takes a lot of wind to move just a little bit of dust

Re:Rotorwash vs Dust on Panels?

By UnknowingFool • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
Also Martian dust is slightly charged and thus extra clingy

FAA Revokes Certificates of Two Pilots Involved in Plane-Swapping Attempt

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Whatever happened to those two pilots who attempted to swap planes in mid-air — skydiving from one to the other while the planes slowly tumbled toward the desert 65 miles southeast of Phoenix?

One pilot successfully reached the other plane — but the other pilot didn't, parachuting safely to the ground instead. "All of our safety protocols worked," the first pilot said triumphantly in a documentary streamed on Hulu. Er, but what about that second plane, slowly tumbling toward the ground without a pilot? It fell 14,000 feet, landing "nose first" (according to footage from a local newscast) — though its descent was also slowed by a parchute. (Both planes also had a specially-engineered braking system to slow their fall so the skydiving pilots could overtake them.) The stunt was sponsored by Red Bull.

Both pilots had previously conducted more than 20,000 skydives — "but there's a problem," that local newscast pointed out. "The FAA says it had denied Red Bull permission to attempt the plane swap because it would not be in the public's interest." So now both pilots — who'd had "commercial pilot certificates" from America's Federal Aviation Administration — have had their certificates revoked.

The Associated Press reports: In a May 10 emergency order, the FAA cites the two pilots, Luke Aikins and Andrew Farrington, and describes their actions as "careless and reckless." Aikins also faces a proposed $4,932 fine from the agency....

Aikins had petitioned for an exemption from the rule that pilots must be at the helm with safety belts fastened at all times. He argued the stunt would "be in the public interest because it would promote aviation in science, technology, engineering and math."

While both pilots must surrender their certificates immediately, there is an appeal process.

Aikins had shared a statement on Instagram after the stunt, saying he made the "personal decision to move forward with the plane swap" despite the lack of the FAA exemption.

"I regret not sharing this information with my team and those who supported me."

"I am now turning my attention to cooperatively working transparently with the regulatory authorities as we review the planning and execution."

Re:Overbearing government

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

A bigger deal probably than just doing it and not even asking for permission first is the only thing I can think of. I imagine defying the order definitely played a part in getting them revoked, if they don't follow this what else would they be lax on?

Leaving two planes under no manual control for any amount of time I would imagine is considered unsafe no matter the circumstances. Maybe there's a hiker somewhere that day, or a car driving by. Very very unlikely but not a 0% chance and for something that they rightly called not in the public interest (this is purely commercial, Red Bull is the prime benefactor).

There was little reason not to have a second pilot in the planes other than sensationalism. The FAA has the kind of job where they need to come down hard on everybody about most infractions. Getting even a bit lax with even trusted, capable people and you end up with the 737 MAX.

Re:Overbearing government

By hey! • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Well, that may be, but when they petitioned the FAA for an exemption to an existing rule, and were turned down, rather than to appeal or modify their stunt, that they went ahead anyway. *That's* the "what if everybody did this?" red line they crossed. What if everybody made their own exemptions for rules they didn't want to follow?

You may argue the FAA was wrong not to grant permission, and that's a complicated technical question on which reasonable people may be differ. But if someone ignores having permission refused, the FAA can't selectively make an exception for them after the fact without opening the door to every social media influencer with an idea that he thinks would attract eyeballs.

Re:Overbearing government

By careysub • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

even if the FAA was being overly cautious, that they decided to simply do it anyway after being told 'no' is a much bigger deal.

A bigger deal than what?

Than simply staging the stunt.

Holding a commercial pilots license is not just a recognition of technical skill in doing the tasks of being a pilot, it also reflects the fact that to the best of the FAA's knowledge, the person holding it acts responsibly and obeys all rules and procedures set forth by the FAA.

When guys simply ignore the FAA's ruling on a matter of safety they demonstrate conclusively that the presumption of responsibility and observance of rules and procedures was mistaken. I doubt they will ever get those license back. This is usually a one strike and your out situation, as it should be. Nearly all commercial pilots do not pull shit like this. No one has a right to such a license.

Appeals process

By thegarbz • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

When you ask for permission and get told no and get punished for doing it anyway realistically your appeal process should be someone coming and kicking you in the balls really hard and telling you to fuck off.

There's nothing to appeal. They ignored a very clear instruction.

Could not do it in a Banana Republic?

By gurps_npc • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The US is far more restrictive when it comes to these kind of stunts than smaller countries.

Or even India - which is in no way a Banana Republic. But it is a lot easier to convince the DGCA-India to let you try something like this than the US's FAA

Security Expert Nabs Expired Domain for a Popular NPM Library's Email Address

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"Security consultant Lance Vick recently acquired the expired domain used by the maintainer of a widely used NPM package," reports the Register, "to remind the JavaScript community that the NPM Registry still hasn't implemented adequate security." "I just noticed 'foreach' on NPM is controlled by a single maintainer," wrote Vick in a Twitter post on Monday. "I also noticed they let their domain expire, so I bought it before someone else did. I now control 'foreach' on npm, and the 36,826 projects that depend on it."

That's not quite the full story — he probably could have taken control but didn't. Vick acquired the lapsed domain that had been used by the maintainer to create an NPM account and is associated with the "foreach" package on NPM. But he said he didn't follow through with resetting the password on the email account tied to the "foreach" package, which is fetched nearly six million times a week. In an email to the Register, Vick explained... "I did not log into the account, as again, that crosses a line. I just sent a password reset email and bailed.

"Regardless of how much control I have over this particular package, which is unclear, NPM admits this particular expired domain problem is a known issue, citing this 2021 [research paper] which says, 'We also found 2,818 maintainer email addresses associated with expired domains, allowing an attacker to hijack 8,494 packages by taking over the NPM accounts.' In other words, anyone poking around is going to find accounts easy to take over in this way. I was not lucky or special." His point, which he has been trying for several years to communicate to those overseeing NPM — a part of GitHub since March 2020 — is that taking over the NPM account of a popular project to conduct a software supply chain attack continues to be too easy.

Part of the problem is that JavaScript developers often use packages that implement simple functions that are either already built into the language, like forEach, or ought to be crafted manually to avoid yet another dependency, like left-pad (now built-in as padStart). These trivial packages get incorporated into other packages, which may in turn become dependencies in different packages, thereby making the compromise of something like "foreach" a potentially far-reaching security incident.

But Vick argues that with so many upstream attack vectors, "We are all just trusting strangers on the internet to give us good candy from their truck," according to the Register. Their article points out that on Tuesday GitHub launched a beta test of improved 2FA security for all its NPM accounts — which Vick calls "a huge win... [T]hat is the best way to protect accounts. We in the security community have been demanding this for years."

But he's still worried about the possibility of email addresses with weak two-factor authentication or compromised NPM employees, and would like to see NPM implement cryptographic signatures for code. "I am talking with a member of their team tomorrow and we will see where this goes."

Vox Populi

By AlanObject • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

The elephant in the room, of course, is by its nature Javascript in the browser and the npm ecosystem has allowed vast numbers of under-trained and inexperienced programmers to not only get their training (or not) and their experience (such as it is) but to deploy their products with very little QA other than the feedback they might get from users or themselves when actually using it.

The next hot pepper ingredient is that the publication process is so cheap and easy that the most trivial function can get into commun use.

The foreaach library is about 20 lines of functional code which, as the article says, and implements something you can do without it. I have a hard time imagining that there are that many people seeking it out and installing it directly. But it is probably referenced by a number of packages that are popular and less trivial, written by someone who composed it by copying some other code or tutorial, and then never removed for generations since everything seems to be working.

The main saving grace in this incredibly fertile ecosystem for cyber-predators is that incursions are not that hard to detect and, when found, excised. As with a chess board, the same open system lets everyone see what is going on.

Personally I have fully bought into this crazy fragile setup but I think I know enough (after 50 years of programming) to managed the risks. I don't think it is all that hard to teach beginners how to do it as well. It just seems to be a neglected subject in all the blogs and tutorials.

a bit of a repost

By v1 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

We wouldn't see so many dup stories here if the ones approving the stories regularly read the front page.

Anyway... XKCD is always relevant: XKCD: Dependency

White House Joins OpenSSF, Linux Foundation In Securing Open-Source Software

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet: Securing the open-source software supply chain is a huge deal. Last year, the Biden administration issued an executive order to improve software supply chain security. This came after the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack shut down gas and oil deliveries throughout the southeast and the SolarWinds software supply chain attack. Securing software became a top priority. In response, The Open Source Security Foundation (OpenSSF) and Linux Foundation rose to this security challenge. Now, they're calling for $150 million in funding over two years to fix ten major open-source security problems.

The government will not be paying the freight for these changes. $30 million has already been pledged by Amazon, Ericsson, Google, Intel, Microsoft, and VMWare. More is already on the way. Amazon Web Services (AWS) has already pledged an additional $10 million. At the White House press conference, OpenSSF general manager Brian Behlendorf said, "I want to be clear: We're not here to fundraise from the government. We did not anticipate needing to go directly to the government to get funding for anyone to be successful."

Here are the ten goals the open-source industry is committed to meeting:

1. Security Education: Deliver baseline secure software development education and certification to all.
2. Risk Assessment: Establish a public, vendor-neutral, objective-metrics-based risk assessment dashboard for the top 10,000 (or more) OSS components.
3. Digital Signatures: Accelerate the adoption of digital signatures on software releases.
4. Memory Safety: Eliminate root causes of many vulnerabilities through the replacement of non-memory-safe languages.
5. Incident Response: Establish the OpenSSF Open Source Security Incident Response Team, security experts who can step in to assist open source projects during critical times when responding to a vulnerability.
6. Better Scanning: Accelerate the discovery of new vulnerabilities by maintainers and experts through advanced security tools and expert guidance.
7. Code Audits: Conduct third-party code reviews (and any necessary remediation work) of up to 200 of the most-critical OSS components once per year.
8. Data Sharing: Coordinate industry-wide data sharing to improve the research that helps determine the most critical OSS components.
9. Software Bill of Materials (SBOMs): Everywhere Improve SBOM tooling and training to drive adoption.
10. Improved Supply Chains: Enhance the 10 most critical open-source software build systems, package managers, and distribution systems with better supply chain security tools and best practices.

I hope a few distros survive

By FudRucker • Score: 3 • Thread
When government gets involved with software you can bet they want back doors installed

Classic Japanese Audio Brand Onkyo Files For Bankruptcy

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Onkyo, one of the best-known Japanese manufacturers of home theater equipment, has " filed for bankruptcy at Osaka District Court on Friday, with total liabilities of around 3.1 billion yen ($24 million)," reports Nikkei Asia. The report is sparse on details but attributes the bankruptcy to a "market shift to streaming and smartphones."

In mid-2020, Onkyo USA Corporation ended a 45-year run as Onkyo's exclusive sales, marketing and distribution division for the Americas, according to Audioholics.

Onkyo has appeared in a few stories on Slashdot over the years. Our personal favorite was a story in 2003 about a new use of embedded Linux in Onkyo's home music server.

Just went from Onkyo to Yamaha

By demon driver • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I've just replaced my (rather cheap) ten-year-old Onkyo amplifier with a (still not really expensive) Yamaha amplifier, also a few years old, that came into my household; I wouldn't have made the change otherwise. But while I had always been happy with the Onkyo, I'm surprised by how much better the Yamaha now sounds, which came totally unexpected.

Still I guess Onkyo's good-value-for-money image was well deserved—and selling good value for money is probably what makes it hard for a manufacturer to survive in times of dwindling demand.

Onkyo died for me when they installed fans

By ffkom • Score: 3 • Thread
I vividly remember the last time I scanned the market for an A/V receiver - even though that is many years ago. There were numerous brands with solid offers, and in terms of features provided, Onkyo would have been an option for me. But then I read about the mechanical fans(!) they had build into their home stereo receivers... and removed them from the list of manufacturers to be considered.
Seriously, why pay money for all these fancy low-noise circuit components, only to ruin everything by putting in a noisy mechanical fan! How cheap can a company be to save money on a decently sized passive cooler - which is also not prone to fail after a few years?

Bought a Denon receiver back then, and it still works just fine - without generating fan noise.

Onkyo is just the latest

By quenda • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Uncertainty has hit the Japanese electronics industry.
In the past week, Origami Holdings has folded, Sumo has gone belly up and Bonsai Industries announced plans to cut some of its branches.

Last week it was announced that Karaoke Group is up for sale and will likely go for a song while shares in Kamikaze Electronics were suspended after they nosedived.

Samurai is soldiering on following sharp cutbacks, Ninja Group is reported to have taken a hit, but it remains in the black.
Furthermore 500 staff at Karate got the chop and analysts report there is something fishy going on at Sushi Industries where it’s feared staff may get a raw deal.

Re:Onkyo is just the latest

By UnknownSoldier • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Mod parent +1 informative.

WOW. Didn't realize so many companies were effected. Thanks for the info.

That's a shame

By sarren1901 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I have a Onkyo receiver 5.1 system. It's worked great for me and at one point in the past, Onkyo even contacted me that there was a recall on the unit and paid for everything to get it fixed. It had something to do with the ethernet control board. I don't have my system connected to the Internet at all, but I still got it fixed.

I didn't even know it was an issue so I was quite happy it was resolved with such ease. That kind of experience would lead me to likely buy another product from them or at least give it added weight. Apparently that won't be an option anymore.

Soundbars are nice and we have one. I still prefer my surround sound setup in a different room though.

House of Representatives To Give Staff Free Peloton Memberships

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
schwit1 shares a report: The House of Representatives [...] will provide taxpayer-funded Peloton memberships to all of its staff, costing taxpayers roughly $100,000 per month. The move comes one year after the fitness company set up a lobbying shop in Washington. Memberships to the exercise service, which offers workout classes, will be available to House staff in Washington, D.C., and in district offices, as well as to Capitol police officers, Fox Business reported. The number of people eligible for the fully taxpayer-funded memberships totals roughly 12,300.

Under the contract with Peloton, which takes effect May 18, the government will pay the company $10,000 up front and $10 per month for each staffer who chooses to enroll, according to Fox Business. With high participation among House staffers, the monthly cost of the contract for taxpayers could exceed $100,000 per month. [...] In March 2021, Peloton hired an in-house lobbyist and two lobbying firms to influence Congress on issues including "government programming to support health and wellness of Americans."

Re:The incredible shrinking pricetag

By imidan • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

First, I didn't say anything about current inflation rates being defensible. From my reading, the inflation has more to do with big businesses who are making record profits and still increasing prices using inflation as an excuse, but that's beside the point.

I'm not saying Peloton was a good choice. I'd certainly prefer go out and actually ride my bike for exercise rather than pay $40 per month to sit on a stationary bike and have some fitness goon "encourage" me from a tablet on the handlebars. But the House has a certain budget for employee benefits, including fitness benefits. Nobody is going to get "impeached" for voting for this because it wasn't a bill on the floor of the House that members voted for; it was a contract entered into by benefits administrators who decided (perhaps as a result of lobbying) that this was a good use of employee wellness benefits dollars.

Employers do this all the time. My employer has contracts with various service providers that so I can get access for reduced cost. I don't use most of them. I get a small discount on my phone bill because of one of them. It's a very typical deal to offer a 'perk' to employees.

Re:Employer offers gym membership...

By Can'tNot • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
If this were an actual gym membership I would agree. The fact that this is being done with an over-funded startup that's about to go bankrupt... I don't know why they're doing this, but it won't last too long and won't cost too much in the end. It's just an odd choice.


By Revek • Score: 3 • Thread
Feel the grift. Thats right work it, work it.

Pentagon spends $30million per year on gym mainten

By tekram • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
.. maintenance - that is only for the Washington DC athletic center and that is only for the increase in maintenance, not the total cost of operation. Tax payers are unable to recognize the cost, waste and where they are coming from and how to do the math. The Pentagon spends nearly a $ trillion dollars on defense a year.

Re:More corruption

By Third Position • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I've never been one to advocate for more government spending, but this seems like a pretty run of the mill corporate perk. If they were handing out free vacations to Hawaii, that might be worth getting pissed off about, but fitness programs for employees are pretty routine benefits, and in context, not even very expensive to provide.

Not worth getting excited about.