Alterslash

the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2022-Jun-20 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.

There Are 24.6 Billion Pairs of Credentials For Sale On Dark Web

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Register: More than half of the 24.6 billion stolen credential pairs available for sale on the dark web were exposed in the past year, the Digital Shadows Research Team has found. Data recorded from last year reflected a 64 percent increase over 2020's total (Digital Shadows publishes the data every two years), which is a significant slowdown compared to the two years preceding 2020. Between 2018 and the year the pandemic broke out, the number of credentials for sale shot up by 300 percent, the report said. Of the 24.6 billion credentials for sale, 6.7 billion of the pairs are unique, an increase of 1.7 billion over two years. This represents a 34 percent increase from 2020.

With all those credentials available for sale online, account takeover attacks have proliferated as well, the report said. Seventy-five percent of the passwords for sale online were not unique, noted Digital Shadows, which said everyone needs to be wary. Proactive account protection, consistent application of good authentication habits, and awareness of one's organizational digital footprint are necessary to protect against account takeover attacks, the study found. Individuals, the report said, should "use multi-factor authentication, password managers, and complex, unique passwords."

Re:Current security procedures

By ctilsie242 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

You can get some decent security with FIDO tokens (YubiKeys). With even just 2FA from a phone or other device, it requires an attacker to compromise the phone, and the desktop endpoint to get the password, assuming both are stored in separate PW managers. Of course, if the Oauth token is snarfed, game over, but endpoint compromise is a nasty thing anyway, and no amount of authentication will protect against a compromised desktop or device.

Nothing is 100%, but FIDO tokens can help deter account compromise, just because someone has to be physically present and tap a button (perhaps enter a PIN) before authentication can finish.

Re: 6.7bn unique?

By shitzu • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

They are testing them daily. Against my ssh server where password login is disabled.

Re:correcthorsebatterystaple

By ZiggyZiggyZig • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

You would never guess my password because it is actually converted to **** when I type it on my computer: hunter2

See?

Rutgers Scientist Develops Antimicrobial, Plant-Based Food Wrap Designed To Replace Plastic

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Aiming to produce environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic food wrap and containers, a Rutgers scientist has developed a biodegradable, plant-based coating that can be sprayed on foods, guarding against pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms and transportation damage. From a report: Their article, published in the science journal Nature Food, describes the new kind of packaging technology using the polysaccharide/biopolymer-based fibers. Like the webs cast by the Marvel comic book character Spider-Man, the stringy material can be spun from a heating device that resembles a hair dryer and "shrink-wrapped" over foods of various shapes and sizes, such as an avocado or a sirloin steak. The resulting material that encases food products is sturdy enough to protect bruising and contains antimicrobial agents to fight spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms such as E. coli and listeria.

The research paper includes a description of the technology called focused rotary jet spinning, a process by which the biopolymer is produced, and quantitative assessments showing the coating extended the shelf life of avocados by 50 percent. The coating can be rinsed off with water and degrades in soil within three days, according to the study. [...] The paper describes how the new fibers encapsulating the food are laced with naturally occurring antimicrobial ingredients -- thyme oil, citric acid and nisin. Researchers in the Demokritou research team can program such smart materials to act as sensors, activating and destroying bacterial strains to ensure food will arrive untainted. This will address growing concern over food-borne illnesses as well as lower the incidence of food spoilage [...].

In other news...

By dfn5 • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
A scientist from Rutgers has mysteriously disappeared. A spokesperson from the petroleum industry commented, "Don't worry. You've still got plastic"

Re:Can it be removed?

By bugnuts • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I quite enjoy consuming certain anti-microbial agents, such as ethanol.

I also like thyme, citrus, bbq smoke, and vinegar. And some anti-microbe microbes such as lactobacillus, blue cheese (penicilium), and bread yeasts.

But I think TFA (which is behind a paywall that I can't access) is probably talking about transporting it. It dissolves in water, so it probably doesn't work on something like a steak, but more like something such as an avocado. I think the idea is to simply wash it off before using the food.

We already had this

By Khyber • Score: 3 • Thread

Nano-structure cellulose that bacteria can't proliferate upon because it causes cellular membrane rupture on contact.

Things like meat come packaged in nitrogen to stop most of the bad bacteria from even being able to reproduce. In that case, plain plant-based cellulose plastics exist and are enough for the application.

Re: Seriously?

By St.Creed • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

I'm pretty sure their marketing didn't want sentences like this: "the packaging is similar to the webs spun by the Black Widow, from its rear sphincter."

I did a 180 - This guy is like Buckaroo Banzai

By mattr • Score: 3 • Thread

I did a 180 after looking into it. At first I thought, "No fucking thank you! I do not want to have cobwebs all over my produce!" And, well okay I still would be repulsed if it really looks like that. But I think pullulan is actually what those Listerine film things are made of which dissolve on your tongue. Apparently pullulan was liscensed from Japanese company Hayashibara for those. I guess if it was like that and tasted like thyme I wouldn't even mind just eating a vegetable still covered in it even. Might be hard to avoid adding taste to some produce I suppose. Also, while there are a number of people on the team this guy Kevin Kit Parker is fucking impressive... a national treasure. I mean, everything from DARPA and counterinsurgency to tissue engineering, fashion and BBQ he's like Buckaroo Banzai only like, more! So I am guessing the fashion sense side has avoided any publication of what the cobweb stuff looks like now and hopefully they will become nice glossy thyme-flavored films we can apply with a spray like Pam. Maybe your lunch bag will be lined with something like nori dried seaweed with a ginger / myoga / yomogi antimicrobial Japanese flavored infusion, who knows! :) https://wyss.harvard.edu/team/...

Apple Will Now Allow Developers To Transfer Ownership of Apps That Use iCloud

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
"The most impactful change to come out of WWDC had nothing to do with APIs, a new framework or any hardware announcement," writes Jordan Morgan via Daring Fireball. "Instead, it was a change I've been clamoring for the last several years -- and it's one that's incredibly indie friendly. As you've no doubt heard by now, I'm of course talking about iCloud enabled apps now allowing app transfers." 9to5Mac explains how it works: According to Apple, you already could transfer an app when you've sold it to another developer or you would want to move it to another App Store Connect account or organization. You can also transfer the ownership of an app to another developer without removing it from the App Store. The company said: "The app retains its reviews and ratings during and after the transfer, and users continue to have access to future updates. Additionally, when an app is transferred, it maintains its Bundle ID -- it's not possible to update the Bundle ID after a build has been uploaded for the app."

The news here is that it's easier for developers to transfer the ownership of apps that use iCloud. Apple said that if your app uses any of the following, it will be transferred to the transfer recipient after they accept the app transfer: iCloud to store user data; iCloud containers; and KVS identifiers are associated with the app.

The company said: "If multiple apps on your account share a CloudKit container, the transfer of one app will disable the other apps' ability to read or store data using the transferred CloudKit container. Additionally, the transferor will no longer have access to user data for the transferred app via the iCloud dashboard. Any app updates will disable the app's ability to read or store data using the transferred CloudKit container. If your app uses iCloud Key-Value Storage (KVS), the full KVS value will be embedded in any new provisioning profiles you create for the transferred app. Update your entitlements plist with the full KVS value in your provisioning profile."
You can learn more about the news via this Apple Developer page.

I've been waiting 5 years for this...

By seoras • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Emigrated 8 years ago and after I got settled I tried to move my App biz to my new country. Got 2 out of 4 apps moved to my new account only to be told I couldn't move my "bread winner" apps because they supported iCloud.
This was after me asking Apple in a support ticket if there would be an issue transferring. Sure, they said, no problem they said...
So I've been very patient and it's been expensive for me paying the equivalent to $99 annually for 2 accounts for 5 years because of some random rule.
Two days ago I started the final migration requesting a transfer of just one app (being cautious...) and all went well.
Last email I got from Apple was to tell me the transfer was complete and that "It can take up to three hours for the app to transfer."
That was 2 days ago.... Still waiting. Must be a HUGE backlog of Apps on the move after so many years of others like me patiently waiting...

Will they also...

By Immerman • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Will they also prominently notify users when an app changes ownership? So that users get alerted when some potentially shady malware company buys control our old standby app? And give them the option to stay with the last version from the old owner, or remove it and flag it prominently in their library as being suspected malware? Not to mention prompt you to reconsider the permissions you give it in light of the new owner?

Uh-oh

By The MAZZTer • Score: 3 • Thread
Chrome Web Store for Chrome extensions allow this I believe. There has been a problem with companies buying out popular extensions with large user bases so they can infect them with ads or malware to force them in front of lots of eyes. I predict that something similar could also happen here, since reviews and ratings are preserved which is critical for such schemes to work.

Tencent Forms 'Extended Reality' Unit

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
China's Tencent has officially announced the formation of an "extended reality" unit, "formally placing its bets on the metaverse concept of virtual worlds," reports Reuters. From the report: The unit is tasked with building up the extended reality business for Tencent including both software and hardware, the sources said, adding that it will be led by Tencent Games Global's Chief Technology Officer Li Shen and will be part of the company's Interactive Entertainment business group. Two of the sources said the unit will eventually have over 300 staff, a generous figure given how Tencent has been cost cutting and slowing down hiring. However, they also cautioned that the hiring plans are still fluid, as the company will adjust the unit's headcount based on its performance. The unit was first formed earlier this year but remained shrouded in secrecy, the three sources said.

Why Paper Receipts Are Money At the Drive-Thru

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Krebs on Security: Check out this handmade sign posted to the front door of a shuttered Jimmy John's sandwich chain shop in Missouri last week. See if you can tell from the store owner's message what happened. If you guessed that someone in the Jimmy John's store might have fallen victim to a Business Email Compromise (BEC) or "CEO fraud" scheme -- wherein the scammers impersonate company executives to steal money -- you'd be in good company. In fact, that was my initial assumption when a reader in Missouri shared this photo after being turned away from his favorite local sub shop. But a conversation with the store's owner Steve Saladin brought home the truth that some of the best solutions to fighting fraud are even more low-tech than BEC scams.

Visit any random fast-casual dining establishment and there's a good chance you'll see a sign somewhere from the management telling customers their next meal is free if they don't receive a receipt with their food. While it may not be obvious, such policies are meant to deter employee theft. You can probably guess by now that this particular Jimmy John's franchise -- in Sunset Hills, Mo. -- was among those that chose not to incentivize its customers to insist upon receiving receipts. Thanks to that oversight, Saladin was forced to close the store last week and fire the husband-and-wife managers for allegedly embezzling nearly $100,000 in cash payments from customers. Saladin said he began to suspect something was amiss after he agreed to take over the Monday and Tuesday shifts for the couple so they could have two consecutive days off together. He said he noticed that cash receipts at the end of the nights on Mondays and Tuesdays were "substantially larger" than when he wasn't manning the till, and that this was consistent over several weeks. Then he had friends proceed through his restaurant's drive-thru, to see if they received receipts for cash payments.

"One of [the managers] would take an order at the drive-thru, and when they determined the customer was going to pay with cash the other would make the customer's change for it, but then delete the order before the system could complete it and print a receipt," Saladin said. Saladin said his attorneys and local law enforcement are now involved, and he estimates the former employees stole close to $100,000 in cash receipts. That was on top of the $115,000 in salaries he paid in total each year to both employees. Saladin also has to figure out a way to pay his franchisor a fee for each of the stolen transactions. Now Saladin sees the wisdom of adding the receipt sign, and says all of his stores will soon carry a sign offering $10 in cash to any customers who report not receiving a receipt with their food.

Re:$115k isn't a lot of money

By Xenx • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
It sounds like Saladin is the owner/store manager, given that he was working for them so they could have time off together. The other two sound like they are just managers. The other thing of import is that in Missouri they have to predominately only be working in a supervisory roll to qualify as salary. Few management positions, outside of store manager and assistant manager, would honestly fit that definition. There is just too much actual work to do. They could be salaried, but I would guess not.

Aside from that, I don't know whether that $115,000 is the total cost or just their wages. That introduces a ~30% variable. It would make the difference of $22/hr to $27/hr, assuming 40hr work weeks. Missouri also has a lower cost of living than the US average. I wouldn't say they were living large, but they were making a living wage.

Now, please don't take that to mean I think people working those jobs don't deserve to get paid a decent wage. I also don't know all the actual details here. I'm only saying if they were making closer to $27/hr, then they're roughly making as much as me. That's before you take cost of living into account.

Re:I'll save everyone some reading

By tobiasly • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Didn't realize that $115,000 in yearly salaries ( x2 for the couple) was not a working wadge.

If there is a way to game the system, then people are going to do it.

But was it really $115k each or was it $115k total i.e. $57,500 each? The wording is really weird: "That was on top of the $115,000 in salaries he paid in total each year to both employees"

In total each year, not to each employee. "115k total to both" sounds like the latter. (If someone is selling you concert tickets, "I'll sell them at $200 for both" is different from "I'll sell them at $200 for each")

I realize it's kinda splitting hairs & doesn't really change your point, but I'd be really surprised if fast food managers in the middle of Missouri were making $115k/yr each.

Re:I'll save everyone some reading

By AvitarX • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The two Arby's I've gone to for slider happy hour definitely skim (lots of $1 things, so easy math).

They don't ring you in until you pull out a card.

It's super irritating because they constantly fuck up the order (shouting around what you want instead of it being on screens).

You didn't read anything did you?

By Xenographic • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

> $115k isn't a lot of money especially if you've got medical debt.

So, first, there's no mention of the husband & wife having *any* debt, let alone a medical one. And two, here's what they actually made:

Saladin said his attorneys and local law enforcement are now involved, and he estimates the former employees stole close to $100,000 in cash receipts. That was on top of the $115,000 in salaries he paid in total each year to the two employees.

This is twice as much as you're figuring and only drives home the point that you're making up stuff to justify thieves who have no such excuse without even attempting to look at the facts of the case.

Did someone tip off your employer to look at your receipts lately or something?

Re: $115k isn't a lot of money

By e3m4n • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Hmm my takeaway was that it was $115-yr combined. So technically $55-$60k salary per year. I seriously doubt any fast food joint is paying a manager $115k. If that were true I need to switch careers. But you are correct, nothing justifies blatant theft from your employer. Thats some marxist shit right there. Thats one step away from the opposite response of cutting off of a hand as punishment.

Volvo Starts Testing Trucks With Fuel Cells Powered By Hydrogen

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Volvo Trucks said Monday that it had begun to test vehicles that use "fuel cells powered by hydrogen," with the Swedish firm claiming their range could extend to as much as 1,000 kilometers, or a little over 621 miles. CNBC reports: In a statement, Gothenburg-headquartered Volvo Trucks said refueling of the vehicles would take under 15 minutes. Customer pilots are set to begin in the next few years, with commercialization "planned for the latter part of this decade." Fuel cells for the vehicles will be provided by cellcentric, a joint venture with Daimler Truck that was established in March 2021. Alongside hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, Volvo Trucks -- which is part of the Volvo Group -- has also developed battery-electric trucks. [...] While there is excitement in some quarters about the potential of hydrogen-powered vehicles, there are hurdles when it comes to expanding the sector, a point acknowledged by Volvo Trucks on Monday. It pointed to challenges including the "large-scale supply of green hydrogen" as well as "the fact that refueling infrastructure for heavy vehicles is yet to be developed."

Described by the IEA as a "versatile energy carrier," hydrogen has a diverse range of applications and can be deployed in a wide range of industries. It can be produced in a number of ways. One method includes using electrolysis, with an electric current splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen. If the electricity used in this process comes from a renewable source such as wind or solar then some call it "green" or "renewable" hydrogen. Today, the vast majority of hydrogen generation is based on fossil fuels. Last week, Volvo Construction Equipment, which is also part of the Volvo Group, said it had commenced testing of a "fuel cell articulated hauler prototype."

Re:this is somehow better for the environment than

By wiggles • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

> Hydrogen is primarily produced by electrolyzing water.

See, now I know you're full of it. Right now, the primary method of producing H2 is through natural gas reforming.

Hydrogen is dead end tech- time for NH3

By ghoul • Score: 4 • Thread
Hydrogen leaks through metal. It makes hydrogen tanks difficult to make , heavy and large in size (you cant store Hydrogen at high pressures or it starts to leak through metal). You can get all the benefits of Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicles by using NH3 Ammonia. Ammonia is much easier to store. A distribution infrastructure already exists as its used in agriculture. Mazda have already shown NH3 fuel cells can work. They stopped work due to the craze for BEVs but BEVs have a fundamental resource problem. They need a lot of mining to produce the batteries. On the other hand NH3 can be produced at the well head from Natural gas and with carbon capture and re-injection into the well the NH3 is carbon free.

Energy Density Facts

By Canberra1 • Score: 3 • Thread
Look at this chart: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... at per litre. Hydrogen is 10, Diesel is 40, PVC plastic (25). So you need easy, at least 4 times the space for any battery solution. But wait, batteries have plates and a casing (weight and space), and inverter losses - say 10%, making LPG/Propane at 15 look bloody fantastic. Wood gas used in WW2 is possibly more efficient. Body fat at 35% means funeral parlors can solve two problems at once.

Re:this is somehow better for the environment than

By MacMann • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

1. It takes significantly less energy to move a vehicle on batteries and motors than it does to move it around on gas. Like, staggeringly less.

One big difference is that gasoline is an energy source while battery electric vehicles would place extra load on electricity generation. If we made this switch overnight then we'd just end up burning the gasoline in the power plants to produce the electricity we need.

2. Cars charge on the grid when there isnt peak demand. That makes the grid more profitable for operators who can use lulls in demand to incentivize charging during those times.
3. A giant portion of consumers and businesses will be adding solar generating and battery storage capacity to offset their newly acquired electricity consuming vehicle. This would be akin to drilling for oil and refining it yourself for part of your needs in an ICE vehicle, which is obviously impossible. This solar and battery capacity provides time-based supply, and provides it closer to consumers in peak times. That makes transportation costs on the grid lower than they otherwise would be, and generating it cheaper as well, as the peaks do not need to move up on those supplies.

Have you seen the math on how much batteries would be needed for this to work, and how much mining would have to be done to produce those batteries? Or, how much mining would have to be done for the solar power? I have and the amount of materials we'd have to mine is just beyond comprehension. The US Department of Energy studied this and some of the results can be seen in figure 2 on this web page: https://cmo-ripu.blogspot.com/...

That's a good article in defense of nuclear power so I suggest people read it all but it's really just the chart using US DOE data that I want people to see. Wind, water, sun, and storage will not solve our problems. This has been studied by all kinds of people and they all came to roughly the same conclusion. Even the IPCC agrees. https://nei.org/news/2022/ipcc...

Hydrogen is a waste of time and engineering effort for automobile efforts. The right answer is clearly battery power.

No, battery power is clearly the wrong answer.

The right answer for transportation fuels is synthesizing hydrocarbons. The energy for synthesizing these hydrocarbons will have to come from onshore wind, hydro, geothermal, and nuclear fission. These are energy sources that are low in CO2 emissions, relatively low tech, don't take up much land area or allow for dual use of that area, and is technology that exists today. I also believe that hydrogen as a fuel is a waste of time but we will likely be producing a lot of hydrogen for the synthesis of hydrocarbon fuels.

Re:this is somehow better for the environment than

By Whibla • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

You're not wrong, but I wonder if the OP was thinking about the "large-scale supply of green hydrogen" line in the summary / article, and simply omitted to make this clear.

Hydrogen produced from fossil fuels is not classed as 'green hydrogen', even if the CO2 is technically left in the ground.

Four Tet Wins Royalty Battle Over Streaming Music

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Pioneering electronic artist Four Tet has reached a settlement in the legal battle against his former record label. The result could set a legal precedent for contract disputes in the music business; where royalty rates have been subject to heavy scrutiny since last year's inquiry into the streaming market by MPs on the Culture Select Committee. The BBC reports: The musician, whose real name is Kieran Hebden, sued Domino Records last year over the royalties he gets paid when his music is downloaded or streamed. He argued that the 13.5% royalty rate he was being offered was unfair, and demanded a 50% split with the label. In a settlement, Domino agreed to the honor the 50% rate and reimbursed the musician for historic underpayments.

It was quite a reversal for the indie label, which originally responded to the case by removing several Four Tet albums from streaming services (they were later reinstated). "It has been a difficult and stressful experience to work my way through this court case and I'm so glad we got this positive result," wrote Hebden in a statement announcing the settlement. "Hopefully I've opened up a constructive dialogue and maybe prompted others to push for a fairer deal on historical contracts, written at a time when the music industry operated entirely differently."

They used to have excuses

By Ecuador • Score: 3 • Thread

Record labels used to have excuses about the abysmally low rates to artists, about how printing and distributing media costs etc. Now it doesn't cost anything to distribute music and they are running out of excuses... This was an "indie" label too.

Lyrics

By backslashdot • Score: 3 • Thread

I didn't like the lyrics in his songs, it was insulting. To be frank, I found Tet offensive.

Not a victory.

By Gravis Zero • Score: 3 • Thread

Reaching a settlement isn't a victory because it doesn't set any sort of precedent. It might be advantageous for this one artist who can afford to fight them but it's not a victory.

First Short Bitcoin ETF To List On NYSE

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CoinDesk: Investment product provider ProShares is set to list the U.S.'s first exchange-traded fund (ETF) allowing investors to bet against the price of bitcoin (BTC). The ProShares Short Bitcoin Strategy (BITI), which is designed to deliver the inverse of bitcoin's performance, will start trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Tuesday, ProShares announced Monday. The ETF will allow investors to hedge their bitcoin exposure, which may prove particularly pertinent given the sharp downturn in crypto markets of late.

ProShares was the first firm to list a bitcoin futures ETF in October, a factor which saw the world's largest crypto hit an all-time high of around $68,900 in the subsequent weeks. Bitcoin investors will be hoping the listing of a short bitcoin futures ETF does not have a similar effect on the world's largest crypto in reverse. Bitcoin's price dropped below $20,000 for the first time since Dec. 20 on June 18, falling as low as $17,800 the following day.

Too bad...

By jddj • Score: 3 • Thread

Just a few days too late.

Where is the triple-short ETF?

By aaarrrgggh • Score: 3 • Thread

It would be interesting to see what would happen with a highly leveraged short ETF.

Much as I hate Bitcoin

By rsilvergun • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
shorting should be illegal. It creates perverse incentives that wealthy investors can exploit. Rich folk have been caught multiple times undermining a business they hold a short position on. Essentially corporate sabotage.

We don't have to allow anti-social behavior in our economy out of some strange obligation to the free market.

Question

By buss_error • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Is there a block chain to short block chains?

No, shorting outs fraud and does the SEC's job for

By waspleg • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

profit. I recommend you watch The China Hustle which does a great job showing how this works in an 80 minute documentary format.

There are absolutely exceptional short sellers who publicly post their research. Hidenburg Research is one of the best and has a free email list. I'm pretty sure the documentary mentions Muddy Waters, and there are others like the Bear Cave which I also subscribe to. These people are top tier journalists who put their money where their mouth is. It's a fucking public service and they get almost nothing but hate for it.

But, as I said, they wouldn't exist at all and there would be no need if the SEC did their job (this is mostly due to being criminally underfunded, as if that's not by design), but congress has exemptions for their own insider trades. As St. Carlin said, It's a big club and you ain't in it.

Google Says It's Time for Longtime Small-Business Users To Pay Up

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Google is charging some small businesses for email and other apps after more than a decade of free use. Business owners say Google is being callous. The New York Times: When Google told some small businesses in January that they would no longer be able to use a customized email service and other workplace apps for free, it felt like a broken promise for Richard J. Dalton Jr., a longtime user who operates a scholastic test-prep company in Vancouver, British Columbia. "They're basically strong-arming us to switch to something paid after they got us hooked on this free service," said Mr. Dalton, who first set up a Google work email for his business, Your Score Booster, in 2008. Google said the longtime users of what it calls its G Suite legacy free edition, which includes email and apps like Docs and Calendar, had to start paying a monthly charge, usually around $6 for each business email address. Businesses that do not voluntarily switch to a paid service by June 27 will be automatically moved to one. If they don't pay by Aug. 1, their accounts will be suspended.

While the cost of the paid service is more of an annoyance than a hard financial hit, small-business owners affected by the change say they have been disappointed by the ham-handed way that Google has dealt with the process. They can't help but feel that a giant company with billions of dollars in profits is squeezing little guys -- some of the first businesses to use Google's apps for work -- for just a bit of money. "It struck me as needlessly petty," said Patrick Gant, the owner of Think It Creative, a marketing consultancy in Ottawa. "It's hard to feel sorry for someone who received something for free for a long time and now are being told that they need to pay for it. But there was a promise that was made. That's what compelled me to make the decision to go with Google versus other alternatives."

Google's decision to charge organizations that have used its apps for free is another example of its search for ways to get more money out of its existing business, similar to how it has sometimes put four ads atop search results instead of three and has jammed more commercials into YouTube videos. In recent years, Google has more aggressively pushed into selling software subscriptions to businesses and competed more directly with Microsoft, whose Word and Excel programs rule the market. After a number of the longtime users complained about the change to a paid service, an initial May 1 deadline was delayed. Google also said people using old accounts for personal rather than business reasons could continue to do so for free. But some business owners said that as they mulled whether to pay Google or abandon its services, they struggled to get in touch with customer support.

Please Feel FREE to FOAD

By SlashbotAgent • Score: 3 • Thread

So, you're building your "business" around a free email service? You didn't think that that wasn't a great idea? Fine, but now they're eliminating the free tier and you have to pay for their service.

Anyone with the nerve to complain about this should truly be ashamed of themselves. Why don't you "show Google" and move to some other free(or paid) service?

Seriously. If you have an issue with Google over this, FOAD!

Do it yourself

By dskoll • Score: 3 • Thread

I know it's highly unfashionable for businesses to run their own infrastructure, but it's really not that hard to set up your own mail server (or pay someone to set it up for you and maintain it.)

Then at least you have control over things. Cloud services are nothing more than someone else's computer, and once you're locked in, they have you in a chokehold.

In this specific case, unless Google made representations that the service would remain free for a specific time period, I have very little sympathy for the free tier users. Did they really expect a public company to offer free service perpetually?

A free lunch

By RitchCraft • Score: 3 • Thread
Is never a free lunch.

Good time to jump ship

By Dixie_Flatline • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I used that service for free for 15 years or whatever, but when Google asked me to pay I took the opportunity to pay someone else. Fastmail is popular, but I went with Zoho because they suited me a bit better. I am happy that I was encouraged to leave Google, even if I have to pay now. (I know Google went back to offering the service for free for personal use, but I'll keep my data to myself from now on, thanks.)

Moral of the story: don't trust Google. They'll either sunset the thing you liked, or they'll squeeze you for something that used to be free.

Re:Do it yourself

By Voyager529 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I know it's highly unfashionable for businesses to run their own infrastructure, but it's really not that hard to set up your own mail server (or pay someone to set it up for you and maintain it.)

I'm not quite sure I'd call it "hard" at this point, but barring some specific use case or circumstance, it's definitely more trouble than it's worth for most.

First up, you need static IP service from your ISP. Typically, that's $20-$30/month more than the rest of the internet bill. Failure to do so, along with a failure to alter PTR records, is a pretty much guaranteed way that most of your mail will land in junk.

Then, you need something to put it on. An entry level Poweredge server with a handful of drives in it is going to run you somewhere around $7K.
Just that expense alone, in isolation, for a 10-user email system, compared with the $5/month Microsoft365 costs, will take 10 years to break even.

So now, we need software to put on it. Obviously, we're not going to look at MS Exchange, or Kerio Connect, or Icewarp, or Axigen, or Crossbox...we're going to look at exclusively $0 software. Personally, I've been a fan of Mailcow, in no small part because it's one of the handful of solutions which have Activesync support. So, Mailcow it is, which runs on Debian. Huzzah! $0 for software licensing, and we'll assume that whoever's setting it up is volunteering their time out of the goodness of their heart. So, a weekend is spent with setup and install, doing a bunch of DNS pointing, account setups, and the like.

Now we need some spam filtering. The included rspamD gets most of the egregious offenders, but even a modest business is going to consider its passthrough rate too high. Proxmox has a free option, and both ScrolloutF1 and Xeams exist, but in practice, most companies' insurance companies won't be happy with those solutions; they need checkbox compliance from commercial companies; Miracast, Symantec, Sonicwall, Spamtitan, Barracuda...those folks, who charge a few bucks a month just to filter your spam.

So, put it all together, and the reality is that self-hosting mail doesn't make sense on its own. Even if Google and MS made the baseline $10/month, it is a hard sell to those without regulatory reasons or principled stances. ...and this is coming from someone who absolutely prefers self-hosted to an ever-ballooning AWS bill.

China Wants All Social Media Comments To Be Pre-reviewed Before Publishing

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
China is fine-tuning its censorship machine, this time proposing changes in how to regulate the billions of online comments posted in the country every day. From a report: On June 17, the internet regulator Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) published a draft update on the responsibilities of platforms and content creators in managing online comments. One line stands out: all online comments would have to be pre-reviewed before being published. Users and observers are worried that the move could be used to further tighten freedom of expression in China. The new changes affect Provisions on the Management of Internet Post Comments Services, a regulation that first came into effect in 2017. Five years later, the Cyberspace Administration wants to bring it up to date.

Messages with double meaning

By sapgau • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
This very likely will create a new language with double meaning between users of social media. Phrases like: It looks cloudy, should I take my umbrella today?
Will be loaded with so much secret signals it will be impossible to say if they are illegal

They also want a pony.

By Ungrounded Lightning • Score: 3 • Thread

I expect that this would just kill the above-ground social media in China, filling its place with a limited amount of primarily propaganda-astroturf while any real communication went to whatever underground channels survive.

Re:They also want a pony.

By AmiMoJo • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

It's not real, it's a misunderstanding. I followed the links to the original and used Google Translate instead of their own English translation.

It's saying that platforms must have the capability to pre-moderate comments, to be used in times of "emergency" like when Winnie the Pooh is trending.

Trollollollo

By dohzer • Score: 3 • Thread

Even the troll ones? I'm all for censorship, but banning trolls seems a bit harsh.

FBI Says Fraud on LinkedIn a 'Significant Threat' To Platform and Consumers

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Fraudsters who exploit LinkedIn to lure users into cryptocurrency investment schemes pose a "significant threat" to the platform and consumers, according to Sean Ragan, the FBI's special agent in charge of the San Francisco and Sacramento, California, field offices. From a report: "It's a significant threat," Ragan said in an exclusive interview. "This type of fraudulent activity is significant, and there are many potential victims, and there are many past and current victims." The scheme works like this: A fraudster posing as a professional creates a fake profile and reaches out to a LinkedIn user. The scammer starts with small talk over LinkedIn messaging, and eventually offers to help the victim make money through a crypto investment. Victims interviewed by CNBC say since LinkedIn is a trusted platform for business networking, they tend to believe the investments are legitimate. Typically, the fraudster directs the user to a legitimate investment platform for crypto, but after gaining their trust over several months, tells them to move the investment to a site controlled by the fraudster. The funds are then drained from the account.

shocked

By gochomoe • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
I am shocked that a platform that used to dig thru your contacts list if you had accidentally left your gmail tab open then went to their page. I read about it a long time ago and then noticed it when I had a girl I went on 1 date with 10 years earlier showed up in my "you may know" on linkedin, even though I didn't have anything in common with her and didn't have any mutual friends.

phishing too

By awwshit • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Every single time a new person starts at our company, two days after they update LinkedIn with the new position, a phishing email gets sent to the new employee purporting to be from the CEO and asking for cell phone number. They got through at first, one employee responded but reported it to me when the 'CEO' asked her to buy gift cards with her own money. These get sent to quarantine now. Thanks for all of the phishing, LinkedIn, you are a pot of gold for assholes.

Why we can't have nice things ...

By 140Mandak262Jamuna • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Something acquires a reputation for trustworthiness or friendliness.

Scammers move in, exploit the reputation, ruin it for a few bucks. Others bitch, moan and belly ache about the loss. Lather, rinse and repeat.

Usenet, email, wikipedia, they all were useful once upon a time, ... Linked in comes pretty low in that list.

"Lure" stupid people do do stupid things?

By gweihir • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Somehow that does not seem to be a linkedin specific problem. More like if they do not get scammed there, they simply get scammed elsewhere. Is there some political angle between linkedin and the FBI here?

Fewer Americans Than Ever Believe in God, Gallup Poll Shows

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Belief in God among Americans dipped to a new low, Gallup's latest poll shows. While the majority of adults in the U.S. believe in God, belief has dropped to 81% -- the lowest ever recorded by Gallup -- and is down from 87% in 2017. From a report: Between 1944 and 2011, more than 90% of Americans believed in God, Gallup reported. Younger, liberal Americans are the least likely to believe in God, according to Gallup's May 2-22 values and beliefs poll results released Friday. Political conservatives and married adults had little change when comparing 2022 data to an average of polls from 2013 to 2017. The groups with the largest declines are liberals (62% of whom believe in God), young adults (68%) and Democrats (72%), while belief in God is highest among conservatives (94%) and Republicans (92%). The poll also found that slightly more than half of conservatives and Republicans say they believe God hears prayers and can intervene, as well as 32% of Democrats, 25% of liberals and 30% of young adults.

Re: Religion is belief without evidence

By quonset • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

You know the constitution so well do you? It does not say this at all, perhaps except in your mind.

Yes, it does. In fact, the guy who worked to craft the Constitution, who lived the Constitution, then stated the clear and unequivocal notion of separation of Church and State.

and violates in particular the article of the Constitution of the United States which declares that "Congress shall make no law respecting a religious establishment."

Further, having seen the effects of Ecclesiastical meddling in governmental affairs, he stated in an earlier year:

“The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries.

In fact, he was so opposed to both government inteference in relgious worship and vice versa, he considered the opening prayer to Congress a violation of the First Amendment. However, because it was Congress doing this, he had no say since that dealt with separation of powers.

So yes, that is what the Constitution says. Or are you saying the guy who wrote the damn thing didn't know what he was talking about?

Re:Why is it still so high ?

By psycho12345 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Unlike all of Europe, the US skipped mass, wholesale murder and carnage over religion (by design). But that also meant that religious zealotry is tolerated in the US, and as usual, it has crept back up to attempt to control the country once more (of course religion is simply an excuse for straight power grabs, under the usual guise that "God Wills It!")

Re: Religion is belief without evidence

By mcswell • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

No. This is the actual wording:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Re: Religion is belief without evidence

By ArmoredDragon • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

I think everybody believes something without evidence. For example, I'm an atheist, but I believe rsilvergun is a closet Stalinist.

Abstinence makes the Church grow fondlers

By Nocturrne • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

I'll show myself out...

Facebook Unveils Future 'Near Retina-Quality' VR Headsets

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Artem S. Tashkinov writes: Meta's Reality Labs division has revealed new prototypes in its roadmap toward lightweight, hyper-realistic virtual reality graphics. The breakthroughs remain far from consumer-ready, but the designs -- codenamed Butterscotch, Starburst, Holocake 2, and Mirror Lake -- could add up to a slender, brightly lit headset that supports finer detail than its current Quest 2 display.

Yet to be released headsets have features which have been sorely missing previously: near-retina-quality image offering about 2.5 times the resolution of the Quest 2's (sort of) 1832 x 1920 pixels per eye, letting users read the 20/20 vision line on an eye chart, high dynamic range (HDR) lighting with 20,000 nits of brightness and eye tracking. "The goal of all this work is to help us identify which technical paths are going to allow us to make meaningful enough improvements that we can start approaching visual realism." says the Meta CEO.

Catching on

By Tough Love • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

This VR thing is really catching on with Metastabook execs.

GPU Capabilities?

By nealric • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

Core issue is that we still haven't even gotten true 4K capable GPUs (for AAA quality titles) down to reasonable consumer prices, and it's been close to a decade since 4k gaming started to hit the high-end PC scene. It may be a very long time until cheap consumer grade hardware can drive two independent 4k displays. Great displays don't get us anywhere if we don't have the processing/rendering capability to drive them.

Will it still require a Facebook account to work?

By leathered • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

If so I'm not interested, however good it may be.

Re:GPU Capabilities?

By thegarbz • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Doesn't need to. The whole point of future displays is through a combination of foveated rendering and eye tracking you don't actually need to render the entire resolution in one go. The visual acuity of the eye is absolute garbage outside of exactly what you are looking at.

NetEase Shares Fall After Nationalist Backlash in China Over Winnie the Pooh Post

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Shares in NetEase dropped on Monday morning after the Chinese gaming company fell foul of China's censors over a social media post that was suspected of alluding to Winnie the Pooh, a popular way to derisively refer to President Xi Jinping. From a report: The company said over the weekend that it would delay the Asian release of the blockbuster game Diablo Immortal, sending its Hong Kong-listed shares down 9 per cent in the morning to HK$137 before they slightly pared losses by midday. Diablo Immortal, an online multiplayer action game developed by NetEase and Activision Blizzard, had been scheduled to launch in China on June 23. But on Sunday, Diablo Immortal said the release date would be pushed back to "optimise the gaming experience."

The delay came as a screenshot circulated online of a post published by the game's official account on Weibo, the popular Chinese microblogging site, dated May 22 that read: "Why hasn't the bear stepped down." The remark was interpreted as a reference to China's President Xi Jinping, who is often illustrated as Disney's Winnie the Pooh. The cartoon bear has been blacklisted by censors in China for years.

Everybody sucks here

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

Xi, Activision-Blizzard, Netease, there are no heroes in this story.

Do I root for the overly sensitive semi-fascist dictator who is offended by a cartoon bear? Or do I root for the once great company that is now a barren shell of its former self trying to sell me a wallet draining pay2win shit-fest trying to rope people in based on nostalgia vibes from years past?

Imagine being so butt hurt

By RitchCraft • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Imagine living in a country where the leader is butt-hurt over images of Winnie the Pooh to the point they are banned. That's progress I tell you, right there. Act like a cartoon character, get treated like a cartoon character. du-dee-a du-dee-a du-dee-a That's all folks!

Standard issue despot

By Tough Love • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Standard issue thin skinned despot.

Re:Everybody sucks here

By shanen • Score: 4 • Thread

Xi needs a sense of humor transplant. He should have adopted Winnie the Pooh as his personal mascot.

This campaign against WtP is the strongest evidence Xi isn't especially competent. Probably feels threatened by Eeyore, too.

Troubled Crypto Lender Celsius Seeks Time To Stabilize Liquidity

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Celsius Network will need more time to stabilize its liquidity and operations, the embattled crypto lending platform said in a blog post after it froze deposits last week. From a report: Celsius, one of the biggest crypto lenders, has been struggling to raise funds in a fragile digital-assets market hit by tightening interest rates, liquidity and the collapse of the Terra blockchain last month. "We want our community to know that our objective continues to be stabilizing our liquidity and operations," Celsius said in its blog on Monday. "This process will take time." The firm has also paused Twitter Spaces and Ask Me Anything, also known as AMAs, in crypto jargon "to focus on navigating these unprecedented challenges," Celsius said in the post.

Can we finally get to the important bit?

By Opportunist • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Who cares about scammers and their victims. The question every geek in the world asks is: How long 'til GPUs get affordable?

Never try to..

By julian67 • Score: 3 • Thread

Never try to Stabilize Liquidity when you just Liquidized Stability.

I'm an American.

By thunderfsck • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
Could someone please convert this to Fahrenheit so it makes sense?

So stable!

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

Anyone want to pipe up again about how "paper fiat money" is inherently unstable and crypto will free us from the elites?

Meanwhile a literal joke token, not even taken seriously by the person who created it, jumps in "value" by 20% because one man said he was buying it and we're supposed to believe what these absolute shitheels have to say about finance or the economy when they cheer that type of thing on?

Bitcoin's back down below $20k

By rsilvergun • Score: 3 • Thread
can you say "Dead Cat Bounce"?

iOS 16 Will Let iPhone Users Bypass CAPTCHAs in Supported Apps and Websites

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Tapping on images of traffic lights or deciphering squiggly text to prove you are human will soon be a much less common nuisance for iPhone users, as iOS 16 introduces support for bypassing CAPTCHAs in supported apps and websites. From a report: The handy new feature can be found in the Settings app under Apple ID > Password & Security > Automatic Verification. When enabled, Apple says iCloud will automatically and privately verify your device and Apple ID account in the background, eliminating the need for apps and websites to present you with a CAPTCHA verification prompt.

Re:I'll leave it off

By seth_hartbecke • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

If you watch the video from apple, they will step you through the IETF standards they are using to accomplish this.

iCloud is involved to say "this person is a human."

iCloud does not give out any information that uniquely identifies you, or even your phone.

All it's doing is proving you are a real human, not a bot.

Rare Useful Feature

By registrations_suck • Score: 3 • Thread

It is very rare that a new OS has a feature that I would find useful. Hell, it's rare for a new OS to debut a feature that I can imagine ANYBODY having any use for. But this seems like an actual, bonafide useful feature. Congratulations, Apple!!

That will work for about a week

By Opportunist • Score: 3 • Thread

Until the scammers find out how to pretend to be human, then the whole shit is back to square one.

America's First CRISPR Trial is Still Nearly 100% Effective 3 Years On

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Incredible new data presented recently at the European Hematology Association Congress has revealed an experimental CRISPR gene editing therapy is both safe and effective up to three years after treatment. The follow-up results come from one of the longest-running human trials using CRISPR technology to treat a pair of rare genetic blood diseases. From a report: The first human trial in the United States to test CRISPR gene editing technology started back in 2019. The trial focused on two rare blood diseases: beta-thalassemia and sickle cell disease. The treatment involves first gathering stem cells from a patient's blood. Using CRISPR technology a single genetic change is made, designed to raise levels of fetal hemoglobin in red blood cells. The stem cells are then re-administered into the patients. Initial results were extraordinarily promising. The first two patients treated were essentially cured within months, but questions over long-term efficacy remained.

A follow-up announcement last year continued the impressive results with 22 patients treated and all demonstrating 100 percent success. Importantly, seven of those patients were 12 months past the initial treatment with no waning of efficacy. Now, a new data release is offering results from 75 patients treated with the groundbreaking CRISPR therapy, now dubbed exa-cel (exagamglogene autotemcel). Of those 75 patients treated, 44 were suffering transfusion-dependent beta thalassemia (TDT) and 31 had severe sickle cell disease (SCD). All but two of the 44 patients with TDT were essentially cured of their disease, needing no more blood transfusions. The two TDT patients still requiring blood transfusions had 75 percent and 89 percent reductions in transfusion volumes respectively. All 31 SCD patients were also free of disease symptoms at long-term follow-up.

Re:People weren't OK with mRNA vaccines`

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

When people are given a severe diagnosis a lot of "principles" go out the window.

How many stories of people about to go on ventilators who were now asking for the vaccine did we hear.

Re:I Won't Eat GMO food...

By drinkypoo • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I seek to avoid GMO not because I think the technology is inherently bad, but mostly because I don't trust anyone involved in monetizing it. The primary reasons it's used are to enable the use of additional chemicals, despite all the people who love to claim that farmers want to use as little of them as possible — both things can be true at once.

Re:I Won't Eat GMO food...

By Shaeun • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

And meanwhile, I will not buy any product that is advertised as No GMO. Not because there is anything wrong with the product, but because I don't support anti-scientific messaging.

I buy whatever is cheapest because it is 2022 and I have a family to feed. It's generally GMO, but not always.

Re:I Won't Eat GMO food...

By backslashdot • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Eating stuff that has DNA in it sounds gross. Ban all foods that have DNA in it.

You Can Run Doom on a Chip From a $15 Ikea Smart Lamp

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
A $14.95 smart lamp from Ikea apparently has enough computing power to run the classic PC game Doom. From a report: A software engineer named Nicola Wrachien removed the smart lamp's computer chip and used it to build a miniaturized Doom gaming system. Over the weekend, he uploaded a video to YouTube, showing his creation in action. The system runs a downsized version of Doom that requires less RAM. The chip from the Ikea lamp has enough processing power to play the game at 35 frames per second over a cheap 160-by-128-pixel display. Wrachien, who is from Hungary, embarked on the project after reading headlines about Doom purportedly running on a pregnancy test. In reality, the pregnancy test was only able to run the game due to an added OLED display and streaming it from a PC.

1 year old article

By tommeke100 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
pretty cool, but the article is a year old. None of the links work, including the youtube video.

Stretching the definition a lot

By Guspaz • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

While he's technically still using the PCB from that Ikea lamp, he's adding a board with flash memory, a power supply, inputs, audio hardware, and of course the display. At that point the vast majority of the hardware involved is add-on. So I don't think it's really fair to mention the Ikea lamp as being the thing running Doom. It's more the ARM Cortex m33 microcontroller that's running it.

Is Firefox OK?

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
At the end of 2008, Firefox was flying high. Twenty percent of the 1.5 billion people online were using Mozilla's browser to navigate the web. In Indonesia, Macedonia, and Slovenia, more than half of everyone going online was using Firefox. "Our market share in the regions above has been growing like crazy," Ken Kovash, Mozilla's data analytics team manager at the time, wrote in a blog post. Almost 15 years later, things aren't so rosy. From a report: Across all devices, the browser has slid to less than 4 percent of the market -- on mobile it's a measly half a percent. "Looking back five years and looking at our market share and our own numbers that we publish, there's no denying the decline," says Selena Deckelmann, senior vice president of Firefox. Mozilla's own statistics show a drop of around 30 million monthly active users from the start of 2019 to the start of 2022. "In the last couple years, what we've seen is actually a pretty substantial flattening," Deckelmann adds.

In the two decades since Firefox launched from the shadows of Netscape, it has been key to shaping the web's privacy and security, with staff pushing for more openness online and better standards. But its market share decline was accompanied by two rounds of layoffs at Mozilla during 2020. Next year, its lucrative search deal with Google -- responsible for the vast majority of its revenue -- is set to expire. A spate of privacy-focused browsers now compete on its turf, while new-feature misfires have threatened to alienate its base. All that has left industry analysts and former employees concerned about Firefox's future. Its fate also has larger implications for the web as a whole. For years, it was the best contender for keeping Google Chrome in check, offering a privacy-forward alternative to the world's most dominant browser.

Desktop Firefox is usable with heavy configuration

By twocows • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
Mozilla's defaults are generally garbage and I'm not sure they can even claim to have a privacy-friendly browser out of box when they're shoving in Pocket, "suggested sites," and a bunch of telemetry and "experiments" that you can't readily turn off. They've also gutted about:config over the years, taking out settings the developers think people shouldn't want (but for which there are no acceptable alternatives). They also keep making the UI substantially worse every time their UI developers decide to justify their own paychecks and of course with no option to revert their ugly changes.

Firefox can still be brought back mostly under user control with heavy configuration (this link is more for functionality-related configuration; for UI-related changes, you'd have to dig into userChrome.css instead I believe). It takes a while to set up (and some settings can break things or introduce more annoyances), but it does the job. It's just annoying that you have to resort to out-of-browser configuration when the options page, maybe about:config, and a few extensions used to be sufficient back in the day. Mozilla is dead-set on making Firefox as miserable as possible to use.

If you want something that "just works" and is privacy-friendly, I can recommend "ungoogled" Chromium (Windows build available here). Just don't expect to do much configuration in a Chrome-derivative, obviously; it's even worse than Firefox in that respect, you'd have to make changes at compile time. Wish there were better options available, I hate the state browsers are in right now.

Re:No.

By caseih • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I think I'm beginning to understand the problem here. You (and Mozilla devs) think that everyone should think as you do and cannot fathom that others think differently, have different and long-standing traditional preferences and are just as productive.

Also seems like there's a fundamental difference between how you and Mozilla devs think we should use a browser and how many of us complainers do. This is the kind of thinking that made Google search the center of the chrome browser, rather than the url bar, a separate search box, and bookmarks (remember those?). Personally I rarely search for things. I type in the URL bar and just rely on my history to fill it in. A lot of old timers do it this way too. Sending everything off to Google is not something I need or want.

In any event one or two specific UI problems where mentioned by the GP which apparently you did not read. I'll add to his list the removal of the display of http or https in the url bar, and since I'm crotchety, the removal of gopher and ftp support!

One trap Mozilla consistently falls into is the same trap that Gnome and other OSS projects fall into. They are caught up in the quest for mythical new users. Yet in this quest they are bleeding their stalwart, long-time users. "New users" have no interest in Firefox, and I"m hard pressed to sell them on Firefox, especially when it offers little of consequence or improvement over Chrome. This despite the integration of vpn and pocket and other potential money-making features (Mozilla has wasted millions of dollars over the years so they are now finding themselves in a cash crunch).

I'll keep using Firefox as long as I can make it look and act the way I want it to with userChrome, about:config remains, and add-ons remain effective, particularly ublock origin and privacy badger.

Re:No.

By waspleg • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

They also keep trying to monetize with trash like Pocket, DNS over HTTPS spying, and their "VPN". Fuck all that shit. I have also used Firefox since it was called Netscape, and I agree, while some things like tabs/memory use have gotten better other things are much MUCH worse.

Re:No.

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

In order for there to BE a privacy-focused browser (that is actually privacy focused, and not just full of BS doublespeak to sound like they give you control when really they spy on you as much as they please and you can't actually turn it off, like with Windows), there must be a large enough group of people who care enough about their privacy that producing the browser can be profitable.

So far, it appears that the market is in love with "free as in beer" and will not pay a dime for a browser that truly protects their privacy. So, the best, "free as in beer" browser IS the best because it gets funded by privacy-invasion instead. And the very people who insist on using this free stuff will get all angry when they learn about all the evil that is happening because of their choices, but the moment you say "so stop using things that spy on you" they close you right off. Free-and-convenient wins every time.

That truth means that truly privacy-focused options are relegated to hobbyists and volunteers, which in turn means it will never have any kind of marketing clout against the likes of Google or Meta. So you get stuff like DuckDuckGo which tries as hard as it can to be privacy focused but simply MUST sell out at the boundaries in order to stay afloat at all.

So, "we get what they deserve, because they outnumber us." The privacy-focused buying demographic is too small for a direct profit model, and the voting demographic is too small to get meaningful regulation in place. So the totally-predictable result is that the privacy-focused stuff simply isn't as good, so nobody uses it, and it is caught in a spiral of trying to find ways to spur interest which don't violate privacy but also don't cost them a fortune to make.

Good luck with that.

Re:No.

By Dutch Gun • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

One of the things some developers fail to realize is that, especially from a UI perspective, even if you somehow consider a UI improvement objectively better in every way (and let's face it, it's ALL subjective)... even then, any UI change to a program a person has been using for years, maybe even decades, is HUGELY disruptive. And quite frankly, the older you get, the more of a muscle-memory investment you make in the old system, and the more disruptive any change is, and as such, it's almost guaranteed to be perceived very negatively.

It's why it's very important not to be perceived as shoving a new UI down long-time user's throats. You're pretty much guaranteed to piss off about 95% of your long-time, loyal users. Not a good thing, no matter how much you think you're improving your UI.

So the solution is... what exactly? Step gingerly with UI changes. Leave legacy options in place or create functional equivalents. Yes, it's ongoing maintenance work. The alternative is abandoning your *marketshare* due to unhappy users. But importantly, you can then get actual, real metrics on how many people truly prefer your new UI vs the old, comfortable one.

And most important, stop screwing around with your UI because you think it needs "refreshing", or you can't think of what else to do.

Microsoft could afford to screw up their UI and not substantially lose marketshare. Most others are not in such a strong position. How many UI overhauls can you name that have seen huge backlashes? There are a lot of examples out there of how not to do this.

Iran To Cut Power Supply To Licensed Crypto Miners: State TV

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: Electricity to all 118 legal crypto mining centers in Iran to cease from June 22 ahead of seasonal spike in power demand, Mostafa Rajabi Mashhadi, spokesman for country's power industry says in interview with state TV.

Will Texas follow?

By Joce640k • Score: 3 • Thread

The question on every body's lips is, will Texas follow suit?

controversial how?

By MancunianMaskMan • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
least controversial use of executive power in Iran since forever.

Did Telegram's Founder Lose a Million Dollar Bet Over a Prediction for Signal?

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
While he couldn't even ethically accept the million dollars, PC Magazine's senior security analyst Max Eddy writes that "how this happened in the first place is indicative of some of the information security industry's worst impulses. It doesn't have to be this way." Back in 2017, Telegram founder Pavel Durov and I had a disagreement... Durov tweeted about how the Signal secure messaging app had received money from the U.S. government. This is true; Signal received funds from the Open Technology Fund (OTF) — a nonprofit that previously was part of the US-backed Radio Free Asia. According to the OTF's website, it gave nearly $3 million to between 2013 and 2016. It's entirely legitimate to be suspicious of government funding (even if TOR, OpenVPN, and WireGuard also received OTF money), and even take a moral stand against recipients of money from governments you disagree with.

But Durov went far beyond that. He seemed to think this meant Signal was bought off by the feds and predicted that a backdoor would be found within five years.

That's quite an accusation to make, especially without real proof, and it made me mad. Not because people were mouthing off on Twitter — that seems to be that platform's primary function. It made me mad that companies ostensibly working to better people's lives by protecting their security and privacy were trying to drag each other down publicly. This is not new; the VPN industry is full of whisper campaigns and counter-accusations. I can't tell you how many conversations I've had with VPN vendors that start with "first off, everything you heard is a lie...." But generally the message from companies in this industry is one of cooperation and protecting everyone. It's a common theme to keynotes at the RSA Conference and Black Hat that the people who work in infosec have a higher calling to protect other people first and do business second.

And then this happened (on Twitter):


Max Eddy: It's one thing to point out funding and another to say that a "backdoor will be found within five years."

Pavel Durov: I am certain of what I'm saying and am willing to bet $1M (1:1) on it.



While Eddy didn't have a million dollars, "I knew there was no way I would lose. This would be the easiest million-dollar bet I ever make." I was confident Durov was wrong because Signal, like many companies, has made an effort toward transparency that I can have some confidence in. Signal has made its code available, has registered as a nonprofit, has a fairly comprehensive privacy policy, and has made abundantly clear that it has no information to provide in response to law enforcement requests. Signal's protocol is also used by competitors, such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, which have surely done their homework when selecting a method for encrypting messages. Most recently, a document revealed that even the FBI has been frustrated in its attempts to get data from Signal (and Telegram, too).
It's been five years, and Eddy now writes that Signal "continues to be recommended by advocacy groups of all kinds as a safe and secure way to communicate..."

"Neither Durov nor Telegram responded to my attempts to contact them for this story."

Re:I think he'll weasel out of paying the bet.

By ciaran.mchale • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
If you read the article, you will see that no bet was actually made. As such, there is no bet to weasel out of paying.

How to Train your Security Monkey

By geekmux • Score: 3 • Thread

(Security Salescritter) "first off, everything you heard is a lie...."

(Potential Customer) "fantastic, thanks for confirming why I shouldn't stand in front of you and waste my time...."

Negative sales tactics, is how we choose our leaders. Perhaps we learn something from that already.

Re:Telegram founder bet isn’t slam dunk yet

By waspleg • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Itâ(TM)s not clear how investigators gained access to the messages used in the arrest of the far-right group leader, Stewart Rhodes, and other defendants.

Seems pretty obvious they got somebody's phone. I've never used Signal, but unless it's wiping messages after they're received, presumably there is a conversation log on multiple phones and they only needed one that they could read.

There was never a bet

By enriquevagu • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

From the article: In fairness to Durov, he did not respond to my offer to set the terms for the bet in 2017.

Durov said he was willing to bet $1M (1:1) on it, but for a bet to happen, both parties need to confirm it. I might be willing to bet on a football match, but simply mentioning my will does not actually confirm my bet (or your implication in such bet). Nonstory; just a reporter seeking attention.

Betteridge's law of headlines

By dada21 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The answer is no.

Ukraine is Using AI to Catch People Sabotaging Its Resistance

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Newsweek reports: Artificial intelligence has become one of Ukraine's most "effective tools" in identifying potential saboteurs amid the ongoing war with Russia, according to the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs. The ministry issued a report Wednesday on law enforcement's anti-sabotage activities aimed at stopping people in Ukraine who may compromise the counteroffensive or aid Russia in its assault.

Officers have been using software on tablets to check if a person they view as "suspicious" is already listed in databases, including a police database of about 2 million people suspected of holding positions in paramilitary units from the far-right faction known as the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR)... The ministry said that Ukrainian police have been fighting against such saboteurs ever since Russia invaded Ukraine. "More than 123 counter-sabotage groups were set up, and at least 1,500 people were involved," First Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Yevgeny Yenin said in a statement, according to an English translation. "And the result was not long in coming: More than 800 people suspected of sabotage and intelligence activities were detained and handed over to the SBU (Security Service of Ukraine) for investigation."

The report, citing Yenin, said that the police database on people with suspected ties to the LDPR alone contains a "huge amount" of operational information that law enforcement and partners have compiled. This includes more than 10 billion photos, it said...

Russia has also reportedly contended with sabotage from supporters of Ukraine within its borders.

BREAKING!!!

By ZiggyZiggyZig • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Database software is the new AI. Oracle becomes new AI leader on the AI market of AI, MySQL said to be renamed AISQL and MariaDB will become MarAIDB.

In related news Microsoft AI Department considers revamping Access To Become the Small-Business AI Tool of choice for small businesses that want to do AI, to the dismay of the AI community.

Stay tuned for more news soon!

Re: BREAKING!!!

By TuballoyThunder • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
It's not a big deal until it is based on blockchain and they start minting NFTs.

Butthurt Russians whinig like babies

By quonset • Score: 3 • Thread

It's hilarious to see comments from Russian trolls talking about "nazis" when the Wagner PMC group literally has people with swastikas tattooed on their bodies, give the Nazi salute, and proudly display the Nazi flag. The head of Wagner even has Nazi SS tattoos. One thing is for sure, Putin is certainly "de-nazifying" Ukraine by sending all those Wagner nazis to their deaths.

Then of course is the whining about how Ukraine is being so authoritarian by tracking down those who attempt to undermine Ukraine's defense against Russia's invasion. Considering Putin has outlawed any talk of soldier's deaths in Ukraine, prevents family members from talking about the mutliple dozens of dead sailors from the sinking of the Moskva as well as denying any compensation for the deaths during war, and arrests anyone who protest the war, the attempted deflection is truly pathetic.

It's like how Putin keeps whining the sanctions should be lifted while at the same time saying sanctions have no effect. If all you talk about is lifting sanctions, they're having an effect.

What they are actually doing

By sinij • Score: 3 • Thread
I understand Ukraine is at war with its very existence as nation and culture on the line. Still, what they are actually doing is in my view unjustifiable in a democratic society. Essentially, If you are Ukrainian that was at some point involved in a political activities of pro-Russian party, your are automatically considered a suspect in sabotage and an application using facial recognition will flag you to any "law" enforcement official.

Re:What they are actually doing

By evorster • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I was with you until you said that you the US should stay out of this fight, because it's not your fight.

The big, big problem with this fight is that as Russia absorbs smaller countries, it gets bigger and braver. Much like those games where you are a little fish that can only eat fish that are smaller than you, and so you keep eating and growing until you can get to the really big fish?

The first time it invaded another country the whole world should have been there, driving the foreign troops out of the country, and putting an end to this invading idea. That would have been the end of it, but no... since it's not your fight you stay out f it?

You just wait until it does become your fight? Do you realize that if you wait long enough you might have to face off against an enemy that you may not be able to win?

Of course, there is the not so insignificant matter of the US also invading other countries, and the whole world should have been just as strict with the US there. No more invasions!

Any country in the world should have the ability to ask for military assistance to protect it's sovereignty and borders.

Reaching 700M Active Users, Telegram Announces 'Premium' Tier

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"Telegram became one of the top-5 downloaded apps worldwide in 2022 and now has over 700 million monthly active users," they announced this weekend. "This growth is solely from personal recommendations — Telegram has never paid to advertise its apps."

But they add significantly that "As Telegram keeps growing at rocket speed, many users have expressed their will to support our team." And so Telegram is now adding a premium tier, TechCrunch reports. "The firm did not disclose how much it is charging for the premium tier, but the monthly subscription appears to be priced in the range of $5 to $6." The premium tier adds a range of additional and improved features to the messaging app, which topped 500 million monthly active users in January 2021. Telegram Premium enables users to send files as large as 4GB (up from 2GB) and supports faster downloads, for instance, Telegram said. Paying customers will also be able to follow up to 1,000 channels, up from 500 offered to free users, and create up to 20 chat folders with as many as 200 chats each. Telegram Premium users will also be able to add up to four accounts in the app and pin up to 10 chats.

The move is Dubai-headquartered firm's attempt to keep its development "driven primarily by its users, not advertisers," it said. It's also the first time an instant messaging app with hundreds of millions of users has rolled out a premium tier. Signal, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Apple's Messages and Google's Messages, some of Telegram's top rivals, don't offer a premium tier.

Some analysts had earlier hoped that Telegram would be able to monetize the platform through its blockchain token project. But after several delays and regulatory troubles, Telegram said in 2020 that it had abandoned the project and offered to return $1.2 billion it had raised from investors....

"Today is an important day in the history of Telegram — marking not only a new milestone, but also the beginning of Telegram's sustainable monetization," the firm said in a blog post Sunday.

Premium users will also get animated profile videos and new home screen icons, along with a special chat-list badge, animated stickers, and additional reaction emojis, according to Telegram's blog post. (And of course, no ads.) Telegram's premium tier "will allow us to offer all the resource-heavy features users have asked for over the years," according to the blog post, "while preserving free access to the most powerful messenger on the planet..."

"The contributions of premium subscribers will help improve and expand the app for decades to come, while Telegram will remain free, independent and uphold its users-first values, redefining how a tech company should operate."

Re:Never private

By AmiMoJo • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

It's frustrating that you need to supply a phone number to create an account on many services these days. Fortunately you can buy a pre-activated SIM on eBay for a buck around here. Obviously you lose the ability to recover your account if it ever gets lost, but you avoid giving away your real number.

There is also a FOSS version of the client software with some anti-features removed: https://github.com/Telegram-FO...

Re:I already have enough subscriptions

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Try Cwtch. It's an open source, decentralized chat system that is fully encrypted. It used the Tor network for communication for it's got pretty good anonymity too. I've been testing it out for a while, it works decently well. The only real downside is that messages can be delayed a bit, especially if your phone sleeps. Telegram push notifications are pretty much instant.

Actually there is one other downside. Because it uses Tor it's too heavy for most microcontrollers to use. With Telegram your IoT devices can send notifications. One possible solution is to route everything through Home Assistant instead.

https://cwtch.im/

Why ? lol

By bsdetector101 • Score: 3 • Thread
Why would I even need this ? Got texting.

Telegram is not the impregnable bastion you think

By NZheretic • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
Telegram reportedly surrendered user data to authorities despite insisting '0 bytes' had ever been shared

Der Spiegel reports from sources that Telegram has fulfilled a number of data requests from Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office involving terror and child abuse suspects.

Re:Never private

By K. S. Kyosuke • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Read the top comment again.

when you give someone your phone number they know you have a phone

doesn't sound to me even remotely similar to

[Telegram] immediately told everyone who had me in my contacts that I'd joined.