the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2022-Jun-21 today archive


  1. FAA: Airlines Must Retrofit Faulty Altimeters 'As Soon As Possible'
  2. Physicists Say They've Built an Atom Laser That Can Run 'Forever'
  3. Valve's Steam Deck Makes a Brilliant Case Against Walled Gardens
  4. DRAM Prices To Drop 3-8% Due To Ukraine War, Inflation
  5. Adobe Acrobat May Block Antivirus Tools From Monitoring PDF Files
  6. RISC OS: 35-Year-Old Original ARM OS Is Alive and Well
  7. BlockFi Receives $250 Million Credit Facility From FTX
  8. Eric Schmidt Urges US To Lean On TSMC, Samsung For Chip Security
  9. US Sanctions Help China Supercharge Its Chipmaking Industry
  10. Wikimedia Enterprise Announces Google and Internet Archive as Its First Customers
  11. Shadowy Strava Users Spy on Israeli Military With Fake Routes in Bases
  12. Heavy Industries in Australia's Regions Could Cut Emissions by 80% and Create a Jobs Bonanza, Report Says
  13. DocuSign CEO Dan Springer Steps Down Following Firm Losing Over 60% of Its Value Year To Date
  14. Microsoft, Facebook, and Others Are Founding a Metaverse Open Standards Group
  15. Google Maps Restrictions Probed By German Antitrust Watchdog
  16. Microsoft Plans To Eliminate Face Analysis Tools in Push for 'Responsible AI'
  17. South Korea Launches Satellite With Its Own Rocket for the First Time
  18. Amazon Extends Its Quantum Efforts With a Focus on Networking
  19. Sony Could Have a Trio of New Gaming Headsets on the Way
  20. Ex-Amazon Employee Convicted Over Data Breach of 100 Million CapitalOne Customers
  21. 58% of US Adults Say They Use Their Smartphone 'Too Much'
  22. Scientists Find Remains of Cannibalized Baby Planets In Jupiter's Cloud-Covered Belly

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.

FAA: Airlines Must Retrofit Faulty Altimeters 'As Soon As Possible'

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The Federal Aviation Administration says it finally has a plan for the industry to replace or retrofit airplane altimeters that can't filter out transmissions from outside their allotted frequencies. The altimeter problem has prevented AT&T and Verizon from fully deploying 5G on the C-Band spectrum licenses the wireless carriers purchased for a combined $69 billion. The FAA was urging airlines to retrofit or replace altimeters in recent months and now says it has finalized a plan. An FAA statement on Friday said that "airlines and other operators of aircraft equipped with the affected radio altimeters must install filters or other enhancements as soon as possible."

AT&T and Verizon said they will be able to accelerate 5G deployments near airports in the coming months, but the carriers agreed to continue some level of "voluntary mitigations" in the airport areas until July 2023. Altimeters are used by airplanes to measure altitude. The FAA said a new "phased approach requires operators of regional aircraft with radio altimeters most susceptible to interference to retrofit them with radio frequency filters by the end of 2022. This work has already begun and will continue on an expedited basis."

Additionally, "filters and replacement units for the mainline commercial fleet should be available on a schedule that would permit the work to be largely completed by July 2023," the FAA said, continuing: "The radio-altimeter manufacturers have worked at an unprecedented pace with Embraer, Boeing, Airbus and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to develop and test filters and installation kits for these aircraft. Customers are receiving the first kits now. In most cases, the kits can be installed in a few hours at airline maintenance facilities. Throughout this process, the FAA will work with both industries to track the pace of the radio altimeter retrofits while also working with the wireless companies to relax mitigations around key airports in carefully considered phases."

Re:What About WiFi?

By Richard_at_work • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Its more important that we have fault tolerant aircraft and not foster a lax safety approach, isnt it?

The whole 5G question here is pretty beside the point, as in this problem of aircraft being susceptible to trivial outside interference should be being solved regardless.

Re:They'd don't transmit, so no FCC approval

By CaptQuark • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Of course a radar altimeter transmits! They transmit an RF signal downward then wait for the return to see what their altitude is.

I don't know where this rumor started, but this is the second time I've heard it here. If people don't understand how a radar altimeter works, how can they have an informed opinion of interference, frequency bandwidth, or correction methods.

Re: They'd don't transmit, so no FCC approval

By im_thatoneguy • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

It's not that they don't transmit. It's that they don't transmit outside of their allotted spectrum so they comply with FCC jurisdiction which is only for licensing transmissions.

The airlines are complaining about interference outside of their licensed spectrum. And the FCC is saying... tough shit we gave you licensed spectrum, the fact that your equipment is harmed by neighboring bands is your problem.

3... 2... 1... Government grants to the rescue!

By chas.williams • Score: 3 • Thread
How long before the airline industry claims that it can't find any money to replace these altimeters, and the government *must* provides funding for their replacement. We can just roll it all into NextGen, the other slushfu... boondogg.. "upgrade" for the industry.

Tail wagging the dog

By Virtucon • Score: 3 • Thread

Let's see, FAA has approved these RADAR-based altimeters for decades, they're safe and don't interfere with other aircraft operations. Along comes 5G and the US Gov't opening up spectrum that now causes interference with FAA-certified altimeters. Why? Two companies who paid a huge amount of money to a large feeding bureaucracy can't use the spectrum they paid for.

All of this lies with the US Gov't and it and it alone should pay for the retrofit or give back the money to the companies who bought the spectrum that caused the interference.

Wait, that's how it should work. Ultimately, we the taxpayer or consumer (same-same) will be paying for this Gov't fuckup. It looks like it'll be coming out of the consumer bucket because we'll be paying for it with higher airfares.

Physicists Say They've Built an Atom Laser That Can Run 'Forever'

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
A new breakthrough has allowed physicists to create a beam of atoms that behaves the same way as a laser, and that can theoretically stay on "forever." ScienceAlert reports: At the root of the atom laser is a state of matter called a Bose-Einstein condensate, or BEC. A BEC is created by cooling a cloud of bosons to just a fraction above absolute zero. At such low temperatures, the atoms sink to their lowest possible energy state without stopping completely. When they reach these low energies, the particles' quantum properties can no longer interfere with each other; they move close enough to each other to sort of overlap, resulting in a high-density cloud of atoms that behaves like one 'super atom' or matter wave. However, BECs are something of a paradox. They're very fragile; even light can destroy a BEC. Given that the atoms in a BEC are cooled using optical lasers, this usually means that a BEC's existence is fleeting.

Atom lasers that scientists have managed to achieve to date have been of the pulsed, rather than continuous variety; and involve firing off just one pulse before a new BEC needs to be generated. In order to create a continuous BEC, a team of researchers at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands realized something needed to change. "In previous experiments, the gradual cooling of atoms was all done in one place. In our setup, we decided to spread the cooling steps not over time, but in space: we make the atoms move while they progress through consecutive cooling steps," explained physicist Florian Schreck. "In the end, ultracold atoms arrive at the heart of the experiment, where they can be used to form coherent matter waves in a BEC. But while these atoms are being used, new atoms are already on their way to replenish the BEC. In this way, we can keep the process going -- essentially forever."
The research has been published in the journal Nature.

Re: Wait a second

By timeOday • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Yes, but it was never true of an atom laser before

Misleading title

By dogsbreath • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Sort of implies perpetual motion. Actually just runs as long as it is powered up and on. Should be something like 'continuous coherent atom stream created', which should be impressive enough.

Very loose definition of "forever"

By Tony Isaac • Score: 3 • Thread

I'm picturing the stars going out one by one, until the universe is completely black. But there, out of nowhere, appears, an atom laser, still bravely shining in the darkness. And then there was a HUGE explosion. Wait, I think we just solved how the Big Bang happened!

Charles Townes

By Epeeist • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

That was pretty much the reaction to the LASER as well. We found a couple of uses for those in the following 80 years.

When I was doing my doctorate, I had the good fortune to meet Charles Townes. According to him, he was told the maser was a fantastic piece of physics, but that it would never have any use.


By gtall • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

What is this actually good for? Scientific Knowledge. Maybe you have heard of it, it was once considered a good thing.

Valve's Steam Deck Makes a Brilliant Case Against Walled Gardens

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
"Unlike practically every major game console that's come before it, the Steam Deck, from PC gaming giant Valve, doesn't lock users into one ecosystem," writes Fast Company's Jared Newman. "While Valve's own Steam store is the default way to buy and play games, the Steam Deck also lets users install whatever software they want on the device's Linux-based operating system. The experience has been liberating..." From the report: In recent weeks, I've gorged on weird indie creations from, classic games from, and free games from the Epic Games Store. I've used Plexamp to stream my personal music collection in place of in-game soundtracks, and I've used Vivaldi to browse the web in the Steam Deck's desktop mode. You don't have to use your Steam Deck this way, but just being knowing that it's an option makes the device more capable and personal. The tech industry is filled with companies that seem deathly afraid of this model, either because they don't trust their users or don't want to risk weakening their own ecosystems. By taking the opposite approach, Valve is proving that open platforms aren't so catastrophic, and it elevates the Steam Deck from yet another gadget into the most exciting consumer electronics device in years. [...]

Valve could have easily used the Steam Deck to lock players into its own ecosystem. It could have opted not to include a desktop mode and withheld instructions on how to lift its read-only restrictions. It could have discouraged users from installing different operating systems and made its recovery tools unavailable to the public. Console makers have long insisted that such restrictions are necessary for the good of their platforms. In 2020, for instance, Microsoft argued that because console makers sell their hardware at or below cost to create a market for their software, they shouldn't have to accommodate third-party app stores or sideloading.

Similar arguments have spilled out into the broader mobile app business as well. In response to a lawsuit from Epic Games, Apple has claimed that its investments in the App Store wouldn't be feasible if it couldn't force developers to use its in-app purchase mechanisms. Some defenders of Apple's viewpoint, such as Daring Fireball's John Gruber, have argued that iOS is more like a game console than a PC platform. So, it's all the more remarkable that Valve ignored all this hand-wringing and made the Steam Deck a haven for tinkerers. Instead of trying to shut out competitors, the company is betting that its own store will prevail on quality. If the Steam Deck successful -- as it appears to be so far -- it could upend years of conventional wisdom around walled gardens and become a threat to other consoles in more ways than one.

Re:One does not make friends by lying

By Khyber • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

"This is completely different from Apple and Google who provide a level, if expensive, playing field for everyone."

Apple certainly does not, with terms in their licenses forbidding you from making apps that compete with their native built-in apps (last I checked, back on iPhone 4-6.)

I have a Steam Deck since April

By MemoryDragon • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

and yes it absolutely is brilliant.
The point, given the article is, that it is not a wallet garden, but Valve simply follows the same approach as it did with tackling piracy 10 years ago, when Gaben stated that piracy is a service problem nothing else and he was right.
Wallet gardens simply are also mostly a service problem caused by greed and not thinking far enough but trying to rake in the quick buck. The deck is not wallet gardened, but you simply will get the best experience if you stick with Valves stack (which is open btw in a sense that third party stores could hook into it, some oss programs do btw.)
It is dead easy to download and play a game from steam, the linux based ui is tailored to the inputs and brilliant. Other stores while being able to hook into it seem to be perfectly fine trying to ignore this new market. GOG stated that you should install windows to play on the deck. Epic as usuall in their ass in the head manner outright stated they will not support any Valve hardware, so much for being the good guys fighting the good fight (hint they never were they just were jealous that Valve earns billions in a market they declared dead when Valve came out with Steam) etc...

So the task of getting those games on the deck now is in the hand of a handful of opensource projects which you can install as flatpacks (the only restriction you have on the deck is mostly that for convenience reasons the applications should reside in user space, since the core installation is readonly, but can be officially rooted, but the next updated might overwrite your changes, you can install anything on it though so once you opt out of SteamOS you are fully open even in that regard)

But back to the opensource projects like Heroic, they are good but not perfect so often you have to fiddle with the games themselves to get them running on the deck. So once you are out of the Steam ecosystem you are back to the usual Linux hoops you have to face with proton and wine, the experience is basically then the same as you would get on a desktop Linux getting those games up and running. But on the other hand the Steam ecosystem is so well integrated that you do not really have that much of an incentive to move out, even installing windows and then opening the console for literally every game has major downsides compared to sticking with SteamOS (which has reduced compatibility due to the proton layer) like power management worse ui for the inputs etc...

So in the end, it is not a wallet garden but sticking with what Valve provides simply gives you the best experience by miles, despite having probably a handful of games not working on it (while most games are not verified most games work)

Re:Year of Linux on the laptop?

By MemoryDragon • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

The steam deck is a very good handheld console, but not a very good tablet. The Linux productivity apps are not really tailored towards touch input and the touchscreen is not that good to begin with. It works but not that well that I want to use it permanently, but I prefer to use the touchpads and mouse. Add on top that the screen while good for games is too small for a tablet use.

Re:Too bad they won't sell them

By MemoryDragon • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I was in the first hour of orders, and got mine in April, a different approach atm is not possible, due to hardware shortages which will persist for the at least next 1-2 years. Valve probably will roll out 1 Mio of those units this year.

Also Valves approach stopped mass scalping upfroint, the first week of orders, only accounts with an order history dating at least 2 months back were allowed to order exactly one unit. This stopped mass scalping upfront. They lifted the history restrictions I think after one week or so but still it is only one unit per account.

Problem is that people who knew about the device ordered them and are now queuing up at least until q3 maybe end of the year, and after the device came out the hype got even more momentum, because it is a very good device and now people are trying to jump on the train which has been full already until q3. But literally everyone who has ordered had to wait for 10 months to get theirs unless they bought it overpriced on ebay (some people were scalping their devices or selling them off again, but no mass scalping), but in the end you will pay the same or more for a Deck on ebay as for a similar device like the Aya Neo!

Re:Year of Linux on the laptop?

By aRTeeNLCH • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Well, yes, but consider using this as a desktop, all that is needed is a docking station (50 bucks) and you reuse your monitor, keyboard and mouse. External hard drives if you don't have a NAS.

Granted, without keyboard it's not so practical as a tablet, but if you're consuming something you can just unplug it and take it to the couch. Otherwise it can be a fine desktop, considering the hardware.

DRAM Prices To Drop 3-8% Due To Ukraine War, Inflation

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Taiwanese research firm TrendForce said Monday that DRAM pricing for commercial buyers is forecast to drop around three to eight percent across those markets in the third quarter compared to the previous three months. Even prices for DDR5 modules in the PC market could drop as much as five percent from July to September. The Register reports: This could result in DRAM buyers, such as system vendors and distributors, reducing prices for end users if they hope to stimulate demand in markets like PC and smartphones where sales have waned. We suppose they could try to profit on the decreased memory prices, but with many people tightening their budgets, we hope this won't be the case. The culprit for the DRAM price drop is one that we've been hearing a great deal about in the past few months: weaker demand for consumer electronics, including PCs and smartphones, as a result of high inflation and Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine, according to TrendForce.

The weaker consumer demand means DRAM inventories are building up at system vendors and distributors, which means they don't need to buy as much in the near future. This, in turn, is why memory prices are dropping, the research firm said. On the PC side, DDR4 memory pricing is expected to drop three to eight percent in the third quarter of 2022 after only seeing a zero to five percent decline in the second quarter. DDR5 pricing, on the other hand, is set to drop by only zero to five percent in Q3 after seeing a three to eight percent plummet in the previous quarter. For certain DRAM products, prices could see a steeper decline of more than eight percent, according to TrendForce, though the firm didn't say which products this would include. TrendForce said PC makers are focused on getting rid of their existing DRAM inventories, and a continuously "sluggish" market means they'll be reticent to buy much more memory.

Question for insiders

By Luckyo • Score: 3 • Thread

Russo-Ukrainian war basically halted production of neon needed for lithography lasers by the two huge refineries. Mariupol one is in ruins, and Odessa one cannot export because of the naval blockade in addition to the fact that much of its feed in materials were imported from Russian steel foundries.

When is the neon shortage going to reduce manufacturing? Because right now, it seems to be trucking on just fine, and I don't see the upcoming shortages priced in yet. Not in more advanced lithography needed for complex logic chips and apparently not in memory ones either. At least for now.

So how is the supply/reserves of neon holding up and has there been any potential attempts at replacing it with something else?

Re:Saudi Arabia is nervous about gas prices

By crow • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

The demand for electric cars already exceeded production, so there is no real shift to EVs, despite reports to that effect. The real demand destruction for gasoline is from a number of factors:
* Reduced driving (shorter trips, carpooling, etc.)
* Multi-car families better optimizing use of their most efficient vehicle
* New sales of more efficient vehicles (instead of trucks and SUVs)

The last point is a minor impact since new cars are only a small percentage of the vehicles on the road, but the big question is whether consumers are spooked enough to stay away from inefficient vehicles for several years even if prices come back down, or if consumers will demonstrate typical short-sightedness and immediately forget history and only look at current prices.

The only impact this is likely to have on EVs is to push manufacturers to accelerate their EV production plans.


By ShanghaiBill • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

That's deflation, not inflation, right?

What TFA is claiming is that higher prices reduced demand which caused lower prices.

That is nonsense because DRAM prices fell earlier in the year so there were no "higher prices".

DRAM prices fluctuate. 3% to 8% in a quarter is completely normal. This shouldn't even be news.

Re: Saudi Arabia is nervous about gas prices

By Opportunist • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

How exactly does the president influence the gas price, that's something I didn't quite get.

You do know that being elected as the president doesn't grant you the magical power to just set prices at whatever you like, right?

Re:Saudi Arabia is nervous about gas prices

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Pretty much all of the fundamental requirements for making EVs that you don't need to for ICE vehicles? Russia is a major supplier. Ooops.

Russia produces 6% of the world's cobalt, but DRC produces ten times that much. 99% of the super-magnet rare earths are from China. The biggest producers of copper are in South America. Lithium is produced all over the world. Russia is a major nickel producer, but Indonesia produces five times as much.

Adobe Acrobat May Block Antivirus Tools From Monitoring PDF Files

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from BleepingComputer: Security researchers found that Adobe Acrobat is trying to block security software from having visibility into the PDF files it opens, creating a security risk for the users. Adobe's product is checking if components from 30 security products are loaded into its processes and likely blocks them, essentially denying them from monitoring for malicious activity. [...] In a post on Citrix forums on March 28, a user complaining about Sophos AV errors due to having an Adobe product installed said that the company "suggested to disable DLL-injection for Acrobat and Reader.

Replying to BleepingComputer, Adobe confirmed that users have reported experiencing issue due to DLL components from some security products being incompatible with Adobe Acrobat's usage of the CEF library: "We are aware of reports that some DLLs from security tools are incompatible with Adobe Acrobat's usage of CEF, a Chromium based engine with a restricted sandbox design, and may cause stability issues." The company added that it is currently working with these vendors to address the problem and "to ensure proper functionality with Acrobat's CEF sandbox design going forward." Minerva Labs researchers argue that Adobe chose a solution that solves compatibility problems but introduces a real attack risk by preventing security software from protecting the system.

Re:use something else

By sound+vision • Score: 5, Funny • Thread


Why use Acrobat at all?

By Catvid-22 • Score: 3 • Thread
Any PDF that requires more than a generic reader gives a lie to the modifier "portable".

name an alternative for secure documents

By swell • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I guess there are no doctors or lawyers here. No CEOs, insurance agents, building contractors, lenders, entrepreneurs, nobody at all who works with contracts or official documents. These people often require signed documents to confirm agreements. It's not always reasonable to meet in person, and fax machines are rare as hen's teeth. So what are they going to use but an Acrobat document? I've got piles of them and I'm just a regular guy who lives an average life. Have you never had to sign such a document? Do you trust a Brand X program to produce that document?

Acrobat costs a lot of money because there is nothing comparable. I have no love for Adobe or their rentware, but I keep an old copy of Acrobat so I can manage documents securely. I'd love to know if you've found a better PDF maker/editor.

Re:Another "they both suck" case

By geekmux • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Most "security" software is snake-oil garbage... but Acrobat has been hot garbage for decades. Don't use either!

Adobe Reader 5.x was under 10MB in size. It reads PDFs.

Adobe Reader 21.x is over 300MB in size. It reads PDFs.

Forget the subscription bullshit. I've yet to find a justification to support that much bloat.

Wait what?

By Gabest • Score: 3 • Thread

DLL-injection? Wow, that's no different than a virus. Or from overriding interrupt tables in the DOS.

RISC OS: 35-Year-Old Original ARM OS Is Alive and Well

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
RISC OS, the operating system of the original Arm computer, the Acorn Archimedes, is still very much alive -- and doing relatively well for its age. The Register reports: In June 1987, Acorn launched the Archimedes A305 and A310, starting at $982 and running a new operating system called Arthur. At the time, it was a radical and very fast computer. In his review (PDF) for Personal Computer World, Dick Pountain memorably said: "It loads huge programs with a faint burping noise, in the time it takes to blink an eye." Arthur was loosely related to Acorn's earlier MOS, the BBC Micro operating system but looked very different thanks to a prototype graphical desktop, implemented in BBC BASIC, that could charitably be called "technicolor." Renamed RISC OS, version 2 followed in 1989 -- the same year that Sun started selling its new SPARCstation 1 (a snip at $9,200) and DEC launched the MIPS R2000-chipset-based DECstation 3100 (for $10,800).

RISC OS has had a rather convoluted history, partly due to Acorn spinning out Arm, eventually pulling out of the computer market, rebranding as Element 14 and being acquired by Broadcom, where Arm co-designer Sophie Wilson still works today. And partly due to drama over the ownership of the OS post-Acorn at one point. One fork of RISC OS still supports Acorn-era Arm's odd 26-bit mode, meaning that today it mostly runs on the commercial Virtual Acorn emulator. The other branch, designed for the 32-bit mode of more recent Arm chips, is now owned by RISC OS Developments, which made it fully open source back in 2018. Development and maintenance is done by the team at RISC OS Open Ltd -- ROOL for short -- which offers downloads for a variety of current Arm hardware, such as the Titanium desktops. [...]

RISC OS Developments are still working on new functionality for the OS. Notably, it recently released a new TCP/IP stack, derived from OpenBSD. Right now, the main benefit is IPv6 support. A feature more significant to most users is still in development: Wi-Fi support. Also still under development, but available to paid backers, is a new RISC OS web browser, Iris. RISC OS does come with a choice of browsers -- NetSurf and Otter -- but the plan is that the new Iris browser will be a native app, with the RISC OS look and feel, but using the WebKit engine for better compatibility with the modern web. The main remaining limitation is SMP. As an OS from the 1980s, long before the 21st-century technology of mainstream multicore processors, RISC OS practically only supports a single CPU core. Various experimental efforts are under way to address this. One has got NetBSD running on another core, and another has the experimental Genode OS running alongside RISC OS. Another effort is working on adding SMP support into the RISC OS kernel itself.

Summary misses the most important thing:

By newcastlejon • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
The OS was stored in ROM so even the later versions with a full GUI booted faster than my Windows box does today.

What is interesting about RISCOS?

By erice • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I never hear too much about RISCOS. Even at the time, the attraction seemed to be simple but fast hardware. So beyond simple nostalgia, what is the attraction of RISC-OS? Similar vintage AmigaOS had slidable screens of different resolutions and ultra-lightweight interprocess communication. What did RISC-OS offer that is unusual even compared to modern systems?

Re: RISC OS is very fascinating to me.

By NateFromMich • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
It looks like you can just download an sdcard image of it from They have info there about the image and even a link for people that have never used it before.

Re:What is interesting about RISCOS?

By Lproven • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

[Author of the linked article here]

For me, there were sever things.

The ST and Amiga were games machines, from companies whose previous 8-bit ranges had been very strong in games. They had the same mainstream CISC CPU, a solid choice but not blazing fast. The Amiga had amazingly capable supporting chips for amazing hardware-accelerated games graphics and sound, but very lacklustre mediocre programming languages. So the programming languages that took off were 3rd party add-ons, so not standard, meaning rivalry, no interop, etc.

On the Amiga and ST, development was intended to be done by pros, on different machines.

Acorn's previous hit was the BBC Micro, an educational computer, very strong in programming languages, with a structured BASIC that had named procedures and inline assembler.

So the Archimedes range was designed as a programmer's computer, with a screaming fast CPU (but no fancy chipset), an integrated state-of-the-art BASIC supporting local variables, so you could write recursive procedures etc., a GUI code editor bundled, plus graphics and sound editors _right there in the ROM_.

ST and Amiga owners were expected to play games written by professional software companies.

Archimedes owners were expected to write their own programs, and the OS came with all the tools you needed to do that. This predates the rise of the C language, and even compiled languages in general. To fit the OS into ROM chips, it was hand-coded in assembly language by a team of 7, 4 of whom I interviewed on Zoom on Monday night:

So the app format is just a folder, with plain text files (a script, some BASIC if you want, some bitmap graphics for icons etc.) and all the tools to make them are part of the OS. You didn't need to buy anything extra. Obviously you could, lots of it in time, but it wasn't essential. You got the best interpreted language in the business, which was also an assembler, you got a monitor, you got editors to write code or draw or paint graphics, play or record music, and all right there in the ROM, accessible instantly, without disk swapping, on a single-floppy machine.

The OS did not _load_ from ROM: it _ran_ from ROM. So, all the RAM is user RAM. A 1MB machine had 1MB of user RAM, because the OS is in ROM that's right there in the memory map.

When you turn on an Android phone, it boots from ROM, meaning it loads the OS from ROM into RAM and *then*, after gigs of code have been transferred, it starts executing.

When you turn on an Archimedes, the code starts executing immediately. It's like a PC whose BIOS (or UEFI) is a complete multitasking GUI OS, so once the POST is done, that is it: you're at the desktop and ready to go.

At the point in the power on sequence when a PC _begins to load the OS_, the Archie was ready to use.

Now, to be fair, this had downsides. Acorn _should_ have stressed games more: the hardware was more than capable. The software division wrote the OS so they had no time left to do apps as well, so the 3rd party app market came later than it did for Atari and Commodore.

BlockFi Receives $250 Million Credit Facility From FTX

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Crypto lending platform BlockFi announced that it has secured a $250 million revolving credit facility from FTX, BlockFi CEO Zac Prince said in a tweet on Tuesday, and the company subsequently announced in a press release. CoinDesk reports: Prince said the move "bolsters our balance sheet and platform strength." He added that "the proceeds of the credit facility are intended to be contractually subordinate to all client balances across all account types (BIA, BPY & loan collateral) and will be used as needed." This is not the first time FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has stepped in to bail out a major crypto company impacted by the recent market downturn. Last week, crypto broker Voyager Digital (VOYG) secured a revolving line of credit with Bankman-Fried-founded quant trading shop Alameda Research.

Though it is now in the position of backstopping a broader market crash, FTX is reportedly one of the firms that liquidated Celsius -- the troubled decentralized crypto lending platform that was forced to halt all user withdraws last week. Celsius, one of BlockFi's competitors, reportedly ran out of funds to repay depositors due to a series of risky decentralized finance bets. In the press release, BlockFi said the credit facility is contingent on the execution of "definitive documents," which the two companies expect to be completed in "the coming days."

Wait, isn't FTX also a crypto company?

By rsilvergun • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Isn't this just a recursive loop? Fake assets backing fake assets? Where's the real money? As near as I can tell there's maybe 300 billion of real dollars in the entire crypto market. It's market capitalization was supposed to be around 3 trillion even now it's around 1 trillion. That means at one point for every one real dollar there were 10 pretend ones and even after the crash it's still 3 to 1.

Somebody is going to try to make off with that $300 billion of real dollars. It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if it was one of the exchanges or all of them. Assuming you can actually get out I would recommend you get out now. The jackals are getting ready to feast

Re:Bitcoin up

By jstott • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Bitcoin is too big to fail

Oh, I don't know. It seems to be doing a pretty good job of it right now!

Eric Schmidt Urges US To Lean On TSMC, Samsung For Chip Security

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from the Indian Express: The US should do more to attract overseas chipmakers to build plants on its territory as a matter of national security, former Google chief Eric Schmidt wrote in an opinion piece published Monday. Pointing to China's accelerating investment in chip fabrication technology and capacity, Schmidt urged the US to reduce its dependence on Taiwan and South Korea for the most advanced semiconductors powering everything from smartphones to ballistic missiles and build out its own capabilities. Instead, it should be incentivizing national champions Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Samsung Electronics Co. to partner with US chip designers and build more on US soil, he said.

International relations scholar Graham Allison, who shares the byline on the Wall Street Journal article with Schmidt, previously warned that the US and China could be on a path to war that neither country wants. The two men set out policy recommendations for improving American competitiveness in the chipmaking race so as to avoid a drastic imbalance between the two superpowers. "If Beijing develops durable advantages across the semiconductor supply chain, it would generate breakthroughs in foundational technologies that the U.S. cannot match," they wrote. "The U.S. can't spend its way out of this predicament."

In addition to President Joe Biden's proposed $52 billion investment plan -- which is still under consideration by US legislators -- the US should lean into its strengths of research and development, manufacturing less-advanced but more widely used slower chips through the likes of Intel Corp. and GlobalFoundries Inc., and redouble its efforts to bring TSMC and Samsung on shore. Both Asian companies are constructing fabs in the US, but Schmidt and Allison's message is that more needs to be done to ensure long-term US prosperity. "America is on the verge of losing the chip competition," they said, urging that "the U.S. government mobilizes a national effort similar to the one that created the technologies that won World War II."

In other words

By quonset • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

He wants the taxpayers to pick up the tab for these multi-billion dollar companies, who are making money hand over fist, to build chip fabs in the U.S.

Hey Eric, how much money are you going to personally contribute toward these plants?

OK, Schmidt.

By Sebby • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

Yeah, we should totally listen to the guy that was "adult supervision" while Google was "growing up", and clearly was a shitty "parent" given how Google has turned out.

Re:In other words

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

I mean if we are in economic war than it's probably a good idea for the government to get involved for domestic capability like they did with the Heavy Press Program.

Of course like that program the US should own the assets and lease them to domestic companies. Own the fabs, don't just give the cash to corporations. This is not about matching or even really competing with the likes of TSMC, they are there to assure domestic capability and capacity. Call it national defense.

How's globalization workin' fer ya now?

By jenningsthecat • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

OK, I get it - some form of globalization was desirable, necessary, and inevitable. But have we learned nothing about the perils of extreme specialization and single points of failure, AKA "all your eggs in one basket"?

Redundancy is an expensive-but-necessary component of fail-safe. It's good to offshore some parts of some capabilities, but letting local capability and expertise decay and disappear just because "it's available elsewhere cheaper" was short-sighted. Now the consequences are being felt.

I really hope government and industry get religion about the rest of the vulnerable supply chains before we get blindsided and burned again in some other key industry.

Re:Chip security?

By khchung • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

You mean the opposite. If TSMC no longer has to rely on Taiwan. Taiwan no longer is important enough to protect.

Parent got modded troll for telling the truth. It is the US forcing TSMC to build fabs in the US, TSMC themselves have no desire to do so.

TW themselves called TSMC their protector, it gives more reason for the US to come to TW's defence. If TSMC had their most advanced fabs built in the US, losing TW become no big deal for the US. So forcing TSMC to move their fabs to the US is actually the first step for the US to sell out TW.

You could see these sentiment from TW media, so you can hard claim this is CCP propaganda.

US Sanctions Help China Supercharge Its Chipmaking Industry

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
China's chip industry is growing faster than anywhere else in the world, after US sanctions on local champions from Huawei to Hikvision spurred appetite for home-grown components. From a report: Nineteen of the world's 20 fastest-growing chip industry firms over the past four quarters, on average, hail from the world's No. 2 economy, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That compared with just 8 at the same point last year. Those China-based suppliers of design software, processors and gear vital to chipmaking are expanding revenue at several times the likes of global leaders Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. or ASML Holding NV.

That supercharged growth underscores how tensions between Washington and Beijing are transforming the global $550 billion semiconductor industry -- a sector that plays an outsized role in everything from defense to the advent of future technologies like AI and autonomous cars. In 2020, the US began restricting sales of American technology to companies like Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. and Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology, successfully containing their growth -- but also fueling a boom in Chinese chip-making and supply.

It's the subsidies

By TomGreenhaw • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
The piles of money the Chinese government is throwing at their semiconductor industry is what is supercharging its growth. The stupid tariffs and trade policy are simply adding additional motivation for them to do so.

Sanctions on Russia make China look useful

By Babel-17 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

It's prudent to have a Plan B if you're vulnerable to what was done to Russia. I suppose Russia being willing to pay extra for what it has to have is an incentive for China to broaden its chip production.

Re:Yay ...

By caseih • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

While true, he was the first to see Chinese government as an adversary rather than a friend, which is truly astounding seeing how much he openly admires dictators and wishes he could be a king like them. Still, a stopped clock is still right twice a day.

Decades of cozying up to the CCP have not done us any long-term favors, nor have they advanced the cause of freedom and democracy in China. Indeed I don't think you can blame Trump for the position we now find ourselves in with regards to technology independence (aor the lack thereof) and dependence on China.

When the CCP's military invades Taiwan in the near future (it's a matter of when not if), it's going to make our present supply chain difficulties and chip shortages seem insignificant compared to what we will have. If Xi hopes to take Taiwan's chip factories and other economic engines for himself, he will be disappointed in the end. The CCP will find itself occupying Taiwan finally, which itself will be rubble and ruins.

It takes time, but entirely expected

By khchung • Score: 3 • Thread

The exact same thing has already happened with the Chinese space station and Beidou satnav system, to give two highly visible example.

In both cases, China was blocked from joining multinational efforts, the US banned China from joining the ISS in the 1990s, and Europe put in road blocks for technical participation even after China paid to join the Galileo effort, leading to China withdrawing from Galileo and started their own Beidou system. The result is the Chinese Tiangong space station while the ISS is going to retire soon, and the Beidou system now fully functional while Galileo is still nowhere to be seen.

While Americans often like to remind Europeans that the one state in the US is comparable to a country in Europe, so you should not compare the US to any single European country, but should compare with the whole Europe, similarly Americans should be reminded that China has a higher population than NA & EU combined, and also produces more STEM graduates than the whole of NA & EU. Give China 10-20 years, they can develop any tech they needed. The US tech sanction list is basically a to-do list for China, telling them exactly what tech they need to develop first.

So instead of comfortably making more profits for the US companies selling to China, all these sanctions did is to immediately reduce the profits they could have made, slowing their R&D, and then in the next 10-20 years face competition from Chinese companies after China developed their own. Lose-lose for US companies in both short term and long term. Only US politicians benefit by getting votes.

Re:Yay ...

By thegarbz • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

he was the first to see Chinese government as an adversary rather than a friend

No he wasn't. China was never seen as an open friend by any US administration. Don't confuse the USA's economic relationship with China with "friendship". The economic program was always about an attempt to advance causes of freedom and democracy. The fact it didn't work ... notwithstanding.

The big problem with the USA was not it's relationship to China, but it's relationship to its own citizens. It's unfathomable to think a government policy could ever raise the cost of products or the cost of living in the USA, and as such every possible trade barrier has been reduced and every possible source of manufacturing has been shifted to a lowest cost alternative.

Don't confuse this local policy with friendship to China. All presidents have held them at arms length. The difference being past presidents were diplomatic (Obama rejecting the Group-of-Two coalition idea that floated around during his presidnecy) rather than acting like children (tariff everything, what do you mean illegal according to the WTO? Pull out of the WTO!)

The USA has local policy issues, not China policy issues.

Wikimedia Enterprise Announces Google and Internet Archive as Its First Customers

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Wikimedia Enterprise, a first-of-its-kind commercial product designed for companies that reuse and source Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects at a high volume, today announced its first customers: multinational technology company Google and nonprofit digital library Internet Archive. Wikimedia blog: Wikimedia Enterprise was recently launched by the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit that operates Wikipedia, as an opt-in product. Starting today, it also offers a free trial account to new users who can self sign-up to better assess their needs with the product. As Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects continue to grow, knowledge from Wikimedia sites is increasingly being used to power other websites and products. Wikimedia Enterprise was designed to make it easier for these entities to package and share Wikimedia content at scale in ways that best suit their needs: from an educational company looking to integrate a wide variety of verified facts into their online curricula, to an artificial intelligence startup that needs access to a vast set of accurate data in order to train their systems. Wikimedia Enterprise provides a feed of real-time content updates on Wikimedia projects, guaranteed uptime, and other system requirements that extend beyond what is freely available in publicly-available APIs and data dumps.

Organizations and companies of any size can access Wikimedia Enterprise offerings with dedicated customer-support and Service Level Agreements, at a variable price based on their volume of use. Interested companies can now sign up on the website for a free trial account which offers 10,000 on-demand requests and unlimited access to a 30-day Snapshot. Google and the Wikimedia Foundation have worked together on a number of projects and initiatives to enhance knowledge distribution to the world. Content from Wikimedia projects helps power some of Google's features, including being one of several data sources that show up in its knowledge panels. Wikimedia Enterprise will help make the content sourcing process more efficient.

Shadowy Strava Users Spy on Israeli Military With Fake Routes in Bases

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Unidentified operatives have been using the fitness tracking app Strava to spy on members of the Israeli military, tracking their movements across secret bases around the country and potentially observing them as they travel the world on official business. From a report: By placing fake running "segments" inside military bases, the operation -- the affiliation of which has not been uncovered -- was able to keep tabs on individuals who were exercising on the bases, even those who have applied the strongest possible account privacy settings. In one example seen by the Guardian, a user running on a top-secret base thought to have links to the Israeli nuclear programme could be tracked across other military bases and to a foreign country.

The surveillance campaign was discovered by the Israeli open-source intelligence outfit FakeReporter. The group's executive director, Achiya Schatz, said: "We contacted the Israeli security forces as soon as we became aware of this security breach. After receiving approval from the security forces to proceed, FakeReporter contacted Strava, and they formed a senior team to address the issue." Strava's tracking tools are designed to allow anyone to define and compete over "segments," short sections of a run or bike ride that may be regularly raced over, like a long uphill climb on a popular cycling route or a single circuit of a park. Users can define a segment after uploading it from the Strava app, but can also upload GPS recordings from other products or services.

Not this again!

By Miles_O'Toole • Score: 3 • Thread

Either this is a very old story, or a similar trick was run on US armed forces personnel months ago. I can't recall who the victims were in the initial story, but I'm surprised soldiers are still getting hosed in by having their fitness app monitored.

Strava user here

By usu4rio • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

For once I can comment on some issue about a "social" platform I fanatically use!!

This is really a non-issue. The man himself (aka DCR) has spoken:

At the end of the day, it’s not a security breach when anyone (including military/intel/etc) publish their own whereabouts on a social media network, and then don’t properly set their security settings.
The only way you show up on the leaderboard is if a given activity is set to public. That’s it. It looks like these people set this to public (and Strava’s response wording pretty much confirms that).
The ‘Hide your map completely’ is specifically for a scenario where you set your activity to public, but then want to hide the map (roughly this use-case, but more a case of pretending to be indoors rather than out riding during the work day).
Said again, this isn’t a vulnerability in Strava. This is simply someone not setting an activity to private, and failing OpSec.

Re:Strava user here

By Geoffrey.landis • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

That directly contradicts the summary and the article, which states " to keep tabs on individuals who were exercising on the bases, even those who have applied the strongest possible account privacy settings."

Is the summary incorrect?

All soldiers should not use any carriable tech not

By gurps_npc • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

... issued by their military.

Not because of this particular exploit, but instead on principle. It's not just knowing their location, it's knowing that they turned off their location.

It's the modern equivalent of not letting soldier's mail mention their location.

Give them approved tech with preinstalled examples of the commonly requested tech (i.e. a game or three, fitness tracker, military email, a view only app for free services like youtube that cannot send data back - I want that for myself).

That is the RIGHT way to do this. But lazy people will do it wrong, despite security concerns.

I guarantee you that Discord and Tik Tok (both owned by China) are not safe for military to even have installed on their devices.

Heavy Industries in Australia's Regions Could Cut Emissions by 80% and Create a Jobs Bonanza, Report Says

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The regional powerhouses of Australia's industrial economy could slash their greenhouse gas emissions by more than 80% and become centres for multibillion-dollar investments in renewable energy, according to a report backed by some of the country's biggest companies. From a report: Bringing down emissions from producing iron, steel, aluminium, chemicals and liquefied natural gas is seen as one of the most challenging parts of Australia's efforts to reach net zero. But the report from the Australian Industry Energy Transitions Initiative (ETI), a partnership between heavy industry and experts working on decarbonisation, says the transition is possible using a range of known technologies, and would bring a jobs bonanza. By introducing a range of technologies along the supply chain, most of them proven and some already commercially available, the report says greenhouse gas emissions could be cut annually by 69.5m tonnes of CO2-equivalent -- about 14% of Australia's current total emissions.

Why bother?

By SuperKendall • Score: 3 • Thread

In world where Germany is firing up coal plants and closing CO2 free nuclear plants, CO2 emission simply does not matter any more.

Re: Why bother?

By sectokia • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
I agree completely. Over the last 10 years coal usage is up, gas usage is up, oil usage is up. We are putting out more co2 than ever. Yet everyone seems to be in denial about this. This report is just about a bunch of industries wanting $100b of government handouts under the guise of decarbonisation. Digging into the details and most of it is pie in the sky carbon storage ideas.

Re:Why bother?

By bug_hunter • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

In 2019 Australia's CO2 per capita was 17 metric tonnes
In 2019 Germany's CO2 per capita was 8 metric tonnes
(Not a perfect metric as Australia has a lot of mining operations, but doesn't mean those can't be done more efficiently).

Yes it's sad that Germany has gone a route where coal plants start back up, but the mentality of "Oh this place has had a setback, so let's give up and everybody pollute at full force" is not going to end well.

DocuSign CEO Dan Springer Steps Down Following Firm Losing Over 60% of Its Value Year To Date

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
DocuSign CEO Dan Springer is stepping down, the company announced Tuesday. The decision comes after the e-signature software maker lost more than 60% of its value year to date. From a report: The company didn't provide a reason for his departure but said Springer "has agreed to step aside," effective immediately. Chairman of the Board Maggie Wilderotter will serve as interim CEO as the company begins its search for the next executive. Shares were up about 1% when markets opened. Springer took on the role of chief executive in 2017 and took the company public in 2018. DocuSign was able to capitalize on the Covid-19 pandemic as more consumers shifted to online transactions and deals. But its business has been slowing in recent quarters, especially as it faces tough comparisons to its dramatic growth in 2020 and early 2021. The deteriorating macro environment has also impacted the company. Shares were off 80% from their 52-week high as of Friday's close.

Re:Honestly kind of surprised

By ageoffri • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

It's heavily used in B2B, nearly ever single MSA at the Fortune 200 I work at is finalized using DocuSign and we're talking hundreds if not thousands of signatures per year.

The problem is that for the longest time, DocuSign was the only player in the market. I had a conversation a few years ago when I did a Cybersecurity 3rd party risk assessment on the Adobe product that DocuSign increases prices every single year.

Between the poor customer service and constant price increases the competition doesn't have a high bar to hit to surpass DocuSign.

Right now DocuSign is coasting on reputation but just as it was once said "No one ever got fired for buying IBM.", it's time is ending without major changes.

Interest Rates

By bill_mcgonigle • Score: 3 • Thread

Good luck finding a new guy! With interest rates headed for the Moon and the last guy getting shitcanned (from a deal-attestation service as the economy entered a recession, per Atlanta Fed) the Board is likely to savage the new guy too when economic reality accurately reflects in the income statement.

Shareholders ought to think twice about that Board being able to attract talent. Stimmies and stonks shouldn't drive a Board.

What happens if poor management drives the company into the ground? Who will authenticate those attestations for the next 30 years?

Re:Honestly kind of surprised

By arglebargle_xiv • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

What this shows is the downside of a business-valuation model based on gambling, which is what most of the large US IT businesses are based on. The company is doing well, it has a solid business model, and its future is reasonably safe, but because that makes it difficult to bet on it gets dinged.

In the meantime a startup selling fart-smell attachments for cellphones so you can prank your friends is valued by the stock market gamblers at a billion dollars.

COVID bump

By MDMurphy • Score: 3 • Thread
The stock price charts for Docusign and Zoom look very similar. They both got a boost in growth due to COVID lockdowns. Stock prices chased growth. No one would expect the early COVID growth rate to continue at the same trajectory, but when it didn't it's not surprising that the stock price declined.

There's no mystery here!

By Virtucon • Score: 3 • Thread

Cripes, anybody can do a quick bit of research and see that Docusign has a very negative PE ratio. It's way overvalued and has never turned a profit since going public. Right now investors are seeking value in their portfolios with the tightening market and Docusign while a good product isn't making bank despite good revenue numbers per their last quarterly/annual report. They brought in $2.1B, an increase up 45% YoY and still:

net loss per basic and diluted share was $0.36 on 197 million shares outstanding compared to $1.31 on 186 million shares outstanding in fiscal 2021.

They're spending more than they're bringing in and also doing stock buy-backs to try and prop up the share prices. This is squarely on the shoulders of the CEO and the Board.

Hopefully, the new CEO can clean up their balance sheet, or a bigger fish may likely come in and buy them since their valuation is tanking.

Microsoft, Facebook, and Others Are Founding a Metaverse Open Standards Group

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Microsoft, Epic Games, Meta, and 33 other companies and organizations have formed a standards group for "metaverse" tech. The Metaverse Standards Forum is supposed to foster open, interoperable standards for augmented and virtual reality, geospatial, and 3D tech. From a report: According to a press release, the Metaverse Standards Forum will focus on "pragmatic, action-based projects" like hackathons and prototyping tools for supporting common standards. It's also interested in developing "consistent terminology" for the space -- where many players can't even agree on what a "metaverse" is. In addition to the companies above, the group's founding members include major pre-metaverse entities like the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Nvidia, Qualcomm, Sony Interactive Entertainment, and Unity, in addition to newer ones like Lamina1, a blockchain payments startup co-founded by Snow Crash author Neal Stephenson.

Is this the next VRML or X3D?

By youn • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Sure, it's nice to have standards and one more won't hurt.

With that said, I remember when VRML & later X3D were introduced with all bells and whistles about Virtual reality in the browser... really cool stuff

But today, they remains niche technology... I am wishing them success but at least for now I am not yet seeing mass adoption. At least for now , metaverse path pretty much looks like a re-run of what happened with second life with better technology (which again is really cool and I do hope they succeed)

ie... at least for now, the concept is still a bit too meta for the masses

Google Maps Restrictions Probed By German Antitrust Watchdog

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Alphabet's Google is under investigation by Germany's antitrust watchdog amid concerns over potentially illegal terms for the use of its maps platform. From a report: The Federal Cartel Office said Tuesday it opened a formal probe after initial findings suggest that the US giant is limiting options to use alternative map providers when app developers and other businesses seek to combine their offerings with maps. The regulator is also looking at the terms for Google's Automotive Services, according to the statement. Officials are concerned Google limits the option to embed position data from Google Maps, Street View or the search function on maps of other providers, Andreas Mundt, the agency's president said. "We will check whether Google could extent its predominance in certain map services via this practice," Mundt said.

Getting back at them for stealing Terra Vision

By brunoblack • Score: 3 • Thread

Germany finally getting back at them for stealing Terra Vision and making it Google Earth.
reference: /s

Re:Getting back at them for stealing Terra Vision

By MDMurphy • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Haven't seen the movie, but the linked article has issues. It says "the source code for "Terra Vision" fell into the wrong hands — and in 2005 Google, by then a tech giant, suddenly released Google Earth." Suggesting Google stole the code and released Google Earth. This seems to skip over that Google bought a pre-existing company, Keyhole, and product.

I wonder if the documentary covers where the patent in the lawsuit was invalidated and the "Terravision" plaintiff even had to re-name their product because of a pre-existing mapping product had the same name.

Microsoft Plans To Eliminate Face Analysis Tools in Push for 'Responsible AI'

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For years, activists and academics have been raising concerns that facial analysis software that claims to be able to identify a person's age, gender and emotional state can be biased, unreliable or invasive -- and shouldn't be sold. From a report: Acknowledging some of those criticisms, Microsoft said on Tuesday that it planned to remove those features from its artificial intelligence service for detecting, analyzing and recognizing faces. They will stop being available to new users this week, and will be phased out for existing users within the year. The changes are part of a push by Microsoft for tighter controls of its artificial intelligence products. After a two-year review, a team at Microsoft has developed a "Responsible AI Standard," a 27-page document that sets out requirements for A.I. systems to ensure they are not going to have a harmful impact on society.

The requirements include ensuring that systems provide "valid solutions for the problems they are designed to solve" and "a similar quality of service for identified demographic groups, including marginalized groups." Before they are released, technologies that would be used to make important decisions about a person's access to employment, education, health care, financial services or a life opportunity are subject to a review by a team led by Natasha Crampton, Microsoft's chief responsible A.I. officer.

In other words

By skovnymfe • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

In other words they're making the tools available only to select clientele.

Imagine if some... undesirable... went and created a face app that detects important people.

Coming age of AI business woo?

By GameboyRMH • Score: 3 • Thread

It'll be interesting to see if business owners and management continue to demand these tools despite evidence that they don't work because they just believe they do, and they end up going to sketchier and sketchier service providers to obtain it...sound too irrational to happen? Remember the pre-pandemic age of ubiquitous unnecessary commuting?

DeepFake v "Awake"

By SomePoorSchmuck • Score: 3 • Thread

The requirements include ensuring that systems provide "valid solutions for the problems they are designed to solve" and "a similar quality of service for identified demographic groups, including marginalized groups." Before they are released, technologies that would be used to make important decisions about a person's access to employment, education, health care, financial services or a life opportunity are subject to a review by a team led by Natasha Crampton, Microsoft's chief responsible A.I. officer.

Translation: "We were full steam ahead to develop and make money off dozens of technologies that are invasive, privacy-destroying, anonymity-eradicating, and of dubious accuracy/reliability despite being promoted as security/authentication/prosecutory tools. We already had our marketing strategists Handling those problems and had no intention of slowing down. But there's no amount of marketing money that can make us cancel-proof when it turns out that some of the hundreds of situations where this technology would be inaccurate or abusive, involve traits that lend themselves to an outrage tweetstorm."

Which, hey, data bias surrounding the sampling of race/gender/age/etc. are totally valid concerns. Glad something slowed down the "why are we in this handbasket and where are we going" juggernaut. But packaging this up as a social-justice issue is just another way for The Man to make an end-run around us. Rather than acknowledge the fact that the racial biases are simply some specific examples of why the biometric/profileization of civilization is full of shit and prone to data corruption and false-positives from top to bottom, they will spend a year or two making a big show of caring about "marginalized groups" as an isolatable implementation problem. Which then becomes their way of way of rehabilitating and, uhhh, whitewashing the technology's inescapable dystopian consequences.

South Korea Launches Satellite With Its Own Rocket for the First Time

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South Korea said it successfully launched a small but working satellite into orbit using its first homemade rocket on Tuesday, bringing the country closer to its dream of becoming a new player in the space industry and deploying its own spy satellites to better monitor North Korea. From a report: The three-stage Nuri rocket, built by the government's Korea Aerospace Research Institute together with hundreds of local companies, blasted off from the Naro Space Center in Goheung on the southwestern tip of South Korea at 4 p.m. Tuesday. Seventy minutes after the liftoff, South Korea announced that Nuri had succeeded in its mission of thrusting a 357-pound working satellite, as well as a 1.3-ton dummy satellite, into orbit 435 miles above the Earth.

South Korea wins the rocket race...

By slashdot_commentator • Score: 3 • Thread

...against North Korea for the first Inter Continental Ballistic Missile.


By Areyoukiddingme • Score: 3 • Thread

This is the second flight of the rocket after the third stage failed during a test flight last fall resulting in the payload not reaching orbit.

Its nominal payload capacity is 2600 kg. For comparison, the Falcon 1's payload to the same altitude was roughly 600 kg. (Altitude matters and there's no standard for specifying capacity to LEO, so that's an approximation.)

Looks like South Korea has a winner, and a bona fide space program, making them roughly the 11th country to do so, depending on how you count it. I'm inclined to credit them with being the 10th, since that doesn't count ESA (which isn't a country but should count), and does count Iran and North Korea, both of whom used Soviet-era Russian designs and so shouldn't count. (And in fact Iran used North Korea's variant of that Russian design.)(And Iran's capability is completely defunct after an explosion on the pad in 2019, which has never been restored.) New Zealand's Rocket Lab launches aren't counted because Rocket Lab New Zealand is a wholly owned subsidiary of an American company.

In order of independent achievement of orbit:

  • Soviet Union
  • United States
  • France
  • Japan
  • China
  • United Kingdom (from an Australian launch pad)
  • ESA (basically a joint French/German rocket, the beginning of the Ariane series)
  • India
  • Israel
  • South Korea

It's a pretty short list nearly a quarter of the way through the 21st century.

Amazon Extends Its Quantum Efforts With a Focus on Networking

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Amazon today announced a new effort in bringing quantum computing to its cloud -- at least in the long term. The company today launched the AWS Center for Quantum Computing, a new research effort that aims to push forward the science and engineering of networking quantum computers together, both for building more powerful, multi-processor networks for computation and for creating secure quantum communication networks. From a report: In recent years, Amazon and its AWS cloud computing unit made a number of major investments in quantum computing. With Amazon Braket, the company offers developers access to quantum computers from the likes of IonQ, Oxford Quantum Circuits, Rigetti and D-Wave, as well as other software tools and simulators. In addition to that, the company is also already running two more research-centric efforts: the AWS Center for Quantum Computing in Pasadena, California, which focuses on basic science like building better qubits and error correction algorithms, and the Amazon Quantum Solutions Lab, which puts an emphasis on helping enterprises prepare for the future of quantum computing. Basically, while Braket and the Quantum Solutions Lab focus on near-term practical solutions, the Center for Quantum Computing and now the Center for Quantum Networking focus on long-term research efforts.

Amazon discovers Schroedinger's Bezos

By Rosco P. Coltrane • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

He moves like he's alive, but fullfilment center employees the world over know he's also dead inside at the same time.

Sony Could Have a Trio of New Gaming Headsets on the Way

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Sony might be ready to announce a new lineup of gaming headsets, according to a report from 91Mobiles based on information provided by OnLeaks. From a report: Rather than being specifically PlayStation-branded, like Sony's Pulse headset, the three headsets will apparently be part of a new gaming hardware brand from Sony called "Inzone," which could also include a pair of gaming displays. Leaked images show the three so-called H-series headsets with a similar white color scheme to the existing Pulse headset. The H3 is wired, and has a USB-C port with a physical volume dial. There's a button marked "NC/AMB" shown in renders of the H3, which suggests it might support noise cancellation and have an ambient audio mode to allow players to hear what's going on around them.


By drinkypoo • Score: 3 • Thread

Wow, new gaming headsets from a company that is apparently now afraid to put its own brands (sony or playstation) on things because that brand is increasingly and justifiably associated with bullshit lockdown restrictions to try to stop you from using your own equipment the way you want to. I remember my friend building a circuit to strip the copy protection signal from toslink so that he could copy his own purchased CDs onto minidisc reliably back when that was actually regularly turned on, and also to copy minidisc to minidisc, this has been a thing with them since forever.

Sony has totally jumped the shark, without exclusives the Playstation brand would be dead already. How much longer will it make sense for them to even make a console?

Ex-Amazon Employee Convicted Over Data Breach of 100 Million CapitalOne Customers

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Paige Thompson, a former Amazon employee accused of stealing the personal information of 100 million customers by breaching banking giant CapitalOne in 2019, has been found guilty by a Seattle jury on charges of wire fraud and computer hacking. From a report: Thompson, 36, was accused of using her knowledge as a software engineer working in the retail giant's cloud division, Amazon Web Services, to identify cloud storage servers that were allegedly misconfigured to gain access to the cloud stored data used by CapitalOne. That included names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, email addresses and phone numbers, and other sensitive financial information, such as credit scores, limits and balances. Some one million Canadians were also affected by the CapitalOne breach. Thompson also accessed the cloud stored data of more than 30 other companies, according to a superseding indictment filed by the Justice Department almost two years after Thompson was first charged, which reportedly included Vodafone, Ford, Michigan State University and the Ohio Department of Transportation.

While I applaud the conviction...

By Virtucon • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Does it bother anybody that Ford, UMich, CaptialOne, et al. had insecure data in AWS?

Re:While I applaud the conviction...

By awwshit • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Maybe we should blame AWS for being insecure by default. One has to wonder who else accessed the data.

Re:While I applaud the conviction...

By Virtucon • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

AWS has big disclaimers on their services. From their TOS:

4. Your Responsibilities.

4.1 Your Accounts. Except to the extent caused by our breach of this Agreement, (a) you are responsible for all activities that occur under your account, regardless of whether the activities are authorized by you or undertaken by you, your employees or a third party (including your contractors, agents or End Users), and (b) we and our affiliates are not responsible for unauthorized access to your account.

4.2 Your Content. You will ensure that Your Content and your and End Users’ use of Your Content or the Service Offerings will not violate any of the Policies or any applicable law. You are solely responsible for the development, content, operation, maintenance, and use of Your Content.

4.3 Your Security and Backup. You are responsible for properly configuring and using the Service Offerings and otherwise taking appropriate action to secure, protect and backup your accounts and Your Content in a manner that will provide appropriate security and protection, which might include use of encryption to protect Your Content from unauthorized access and routinely archiving Your Content.

4.4 Log-In Credentials and Account Keys. AWS log-in credentials and private keys generated by the Services are for your internal use only and you will not sell, transfer or sublicense them to any other entity or person, except that you may disclose your private key to your agents and subcontractors performing work on your behalf.

4.5 End Users. You will be deemed to have taken any action that you permit, assist or facilitate any person or entity to take related to this Agreement, Your Content or use of the Service Offerings. You are responsible for End Users’ use of Your Content and the Service Offerings. You will ensure that all End Users comply with your obligations under this Agreement and that the terms of your agreement with each End User are consistent with this Agreement. If you become aware of any violation of your obligations under this Agreement caused by an End User, you will immediately suspend access to Your Content and the Service Offerings by such End User. We do not provide any support or services to End Users unless we have a separate agreement with you or an End User obligating us to provide such support or services.

You the user of their services is responsible, they take no responsibility.

Re:While I applaud the conviction...

By Scoth • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

In general, AWS goes out of its way to not be insecure by default. Things start out pretty locked down, and it takes a few steps to open things up. The problem is that people who don't what what they're doing just do easy "allow all" kind of rules, or disable various protections and permissions, which leads to things being insecure while still technically working. Some AWS services even pop up big banners when they're fully public to make sure devs are aware.

There are legitimate use cases for things set up that way, you can't really blame the service for improper use by devs/whomever. Although there's plenty of valid discussion to be had about "Cloud" in general as a concept and whether it's good to be using it for sensitive data at all.


By groobly • Score: 3 • Thread

Anybody wondering how atypical this action would be for a woman? Most of the reporting on this, such as by the venerable NYT, forgets to mention that this is a trans man to woman person who previously was subject to mental health intervention by authorities.

58% of US Adults Say They Use Their Smartphone 'Too Much'

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
The percentage of U.S. adults saying they use their smartphone "too much" has increased markedly in recent years, rising from 39% when Gallup last asked this in 2015 to 58% today. Gallup News reports: This sentiment was strongly age-contingent in 2015 and remains so now; however, all age groups have become more likely to express this concern. Also, this belief is pervasive not only among 20-somethings; smartphone users aged 30 to 49 (74%) are nearly as likely as those 18 to 29 (81%) to say they are on their phone too much. This contrasts with 47% of those 50 to 64 and 30% of those 65 and older. As in 2015, there is little difference by gender in whether adults think they overuse their smartphone, with 60% of women and 56% of men now saying this.

The latest findings are from a self-administered web survey of over 30,000 U.S. adults conducted in January and February of this year, using the probability-based Gallup Panel. Nearly all adults who took the poll, 97%, report they have a smartphone, up from 81% in the 2015 survey. Even as Americans believe they use their smartphone too much, nearly two-thirds think their smartphone has made their life better -- 21% say it has made their life "a lot" better and 44% "a little" better. This has declined slightly from the 72% perceiving a net benefit in 2015. Only 12% say smartphones have made their life worse to any degree, although this is double the rate in 2015.

Re:Intelligent life?

By devslash0 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Decent age. :thumbsup:

In your case, it may have to do with the explore vs exploit balance explained in the book called "Algorithms to live by". Basically, as we get older we are less likely to explore, and more likely to exploit what we like or are used to. It is because as a young person we've got more time to make mistakes and recover from any failures whereas as we get older our remaining timeframe shriks and we start exploiting the things that work for us and/or which bring us fulfillment.

Re:I use mine minimally

By GoJays • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Me too. I work in tech and I probably use my phone less than the average person. I can't stand using it. It is designed to be a digital leash. It got to the point where I would cringe when I would hear a notification. I have since disabled all notifications, I will check the device on MY time, not when the device/person on the other end wants me to.

Da Phone

By Ol Olsoc • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
The little smartphone is within itself, a fine little handheld personal computer. A marvel of engineering construction, and coupled with the ingenious cellular system, one of humanities's big achievements.

It has allowed millions, perhaps billions of us to access the world of the internet, GPS, basic communications and what the have to offer.

But all is not golden.

The utter ease with which a person can walk into a Verizon store, and walk out with a ready to roll device means that the average smarts of users goes down.

It might not seem obvious to many younger folks in here, but there was once a time that just getting your computer to connect to the internet was an achievement.

It's not that we didn't have Kooks, there just weren't as many, and they were smart kooks.

But the entry qualifications went down over time, and now it hovers around zero qualifications.

So we have almost universal access. Not everyone. But I've been watching youtube videos recently of people in West Asia who repair and create things in incredibly primitive conditions. Metalworkers and machinists. I watch to gain insight on how they do things we'd not consider here in the west, as well as the real recycling that they do

Recording on modern smartphones. And those guys are not on the stupid part of the spectrum.

But the stupid and the evil have equal access, and they tend to win the wars and chase away the normal. Tragedy of the commons in full force.

So much for access. Now the addiction.

Oh, that dopamine hit. It can be addicting - it is addicting. From getting likes on Facebook, to placing nearly naked photos of yourself on instagram and enjoying in the thirsty followers and replies, to commiseration, Yes even arguing with people on Slashdot or the other social medias is a dopamine hit. And on and on.

But dopamine is a harsh mistress. Become addicted to it and you burn out. The adverse reactions to excessive dopamine are the interesting part of this link. Sound familiar?

The addict knows they are addicted. But breaking the addiction is very difficult. So that number of people who say they use their smartphone too much will probably grow, but not much will be done about it.

Re:Intelligent life?

By jellomizer • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

So are you saying I am with the smart crowd, or are you calling me an Idiot and I just don't know it, because I hang out with idiots too?

That is kinda of the problem of the Digital Age, A lack of a trusted source to tell you that you wrong. As we tend to be in echo chambers that tell us we are right, and not to trust those who say we are wrong. While it feels good to be considered a smart thoughtful person, however if you a void of criticism and correction you will not grow as person. However the flip side is there are people on the opposing side as well who think they are just as right as me. And would have put the same amount of thought to justify their view, as my side has. We can point to our half researched studies and headlines back and forth and not gain any new knowledge, because we are now trained I am right, and you are wrong!

I have been personally trying to get out of these echo chambers, by blocking political posts in my social media circle for any stance that gets me angry or excited for and against my political views. Because I figure they are just using my Ego against me to go to actions on a topic I really do not know too much about, nor would I have really cared anyways except for the fact my echo chamber started to make a big deal about it.

Is a company being too racially sensitive or not sensitive enough? Is it really a big deal that they took a Picture of a Racial Stereotype off a package,or is it a big deal that they kept their traditional trademarks? Is it really showing bravery to raise a Rainbow Pride flag, or a Yellow Don't Tread on Me flag. In the grand scheme of things a lot of this stuff that gets us Angry, isn't because it worth getting angry about, but our echo chambers giving us this over analyzed version of the events. Is really Black Lives Matter and Support our Police so diametrically opposed? Is Abortion such a big deal that it is worth putting all your other values aside? Why are we so fixated on supporting or opposing a political party who's only requirement to join is to sign a piece of a paper saying you are in that party.

There's a serious problem with smart phones

By Miles_O'Toole • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

It is my belief that these devices are directly responsible for the international plague of police brutality. Before most people in the developed world began walking around with camera-bearing devices in their pockets, police were absolute paragons of virtue. They never used excessive force. They never planted evidence. They never attacked non-violent demonstrators. They never behaved like cowardly buffoons while children were being murdered in a school.

I am forced to conclude it is the phones themselves that are responsible for this sudden skyrocketing of bad behaviour by police forces that for decades exhibited spotless records. If only we could persuade people to give up their smart phones, once again we would have perfect police.

Scientists Find Remains of Cannibalized Baby Planets In Jupiter's Cloud-Covered Belly

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Jupiter's innards are full of the remains of baby planets that the gas giant gobbled up as it expanded to become the behemoth we see today, scientists have found. The findings come from the first clear view of the chemistry beneath the planet's cloudy outer atmosphere. reports: In the new study, researchers were finally able to peer past Jupiter's obscuring cloud cover using gravitational data collected by NASA's Juno space probe. This data enabled the team to map out the rocky material at the core of the giant planet, which revealed a surprisingly high abundance of heavy elements. The chemical make-up suggests Jupiter devoured baby planets, or planetesimals, to fuel its expansive growth. [...] [T]he researchers built computer models of Jupiter's innards by combining data, which was predominantly collected by Juno, as well as some data from its predecessor Galileo. The probes measured the planet's gravitational field at different points around its orbit. The data showed that rocky material accreted by Jupiter has a high concentration of heavy elements, which form dense solids and, therefore, have a stronger gravitational effect than the gaseous atmosphere. This data enabled the team to map out slight variations in the planet's gravity, which helped them to see where the rocky material is located within the planet. The researcher's models revealed that there is an equivalent of between 11 and 30 Earth masses of heavy elements within Jupiter (3% to 9% of Jupiter's mass), which is much more than expected.

The new models point to a planetesimal-gobbling origin for Jupiter because the pebble-accretion theory cannot explain such a high concentration of heavy elements. If Jupiter had initially formed from pebbles, the eventual onset of the gas accretion process, once the planet was large enough, would have immediately ended the rocky accretion stage. This is because the growing layer of gas would have created a pressure barrier that stopped additional pebbles from being pulled inside the planet. This curtailed rocky accretion phase would likely have given Jupiter a greatly reduced heavy metal abundance, or metallicity, than what the researchers calculated. However, planetesimals could have glommed onto Jupiter's core even after the gas accretion phase had begun; that's because the gravitational pull on the rocks would have been greater than the pressure exerted by the gas. This simultaneous accretion of rocky material and gas proposed by the planetesimal theory is the only explanation for the high levels of heavy elements within Jupiter, the researchers said.

The study also revealed another interesting finding: Jupiter's insides do not mix well into its upper atmosphere, which goes against what scientists had previously expected. The new model of Jupiter's insides shows that the heavy elements the planet has absorbed have remained largely close to its core and the lower atmosphere. Researchers had assumed that convection mixed up Jupiter's atmosphere, so that hotter gas near the planet's core would rise to the outer atmosphere before cooling and falling back down; if this were the case, the heavy elements would be more evenly mixed throughout the atmosphere. However, it is possible that certain regions of Jupiter may have a small convection effect, and more research is needed to determine exactly what is going on inside the gas giant's atmosphere. The researchers' findings could also change the origin stories for other planets in the solar system.
The study was published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Re:This doesn't make sense

By pjt33 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

On the other hand, you can easily bounce a small stone off the surface of the water, and with skill bounce it several times. The pebbles of the accretion model aren't starting at rest with respect to the surface of Jupiter, so it's not just a question of density. Bear in mind also that Apollo re-entry vehicles famously had to come in at a steep enough angle that they didn't bounce off Earth's atmosphere.

Re:Do I remember my mythology wrong?

By RockDoctor • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Zeus was very young when he was born (!) and had no agency. His mother Rhea wrapped a rock in swaddling clothes, and tricked Cronus into swallowing that, while Rhea hid Zeus in a cave on the island of Crete where Zeus grew to adulthood. Zeus didn't do anything of substance until freeing his siblings from Cronus' stomach, allying with the Cyclops and starting the Titanomachy war to overthrow Cronus (and the rest of the Titans).

Re:Do I remember my mythology wrong?

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Chronos is Saturn.

Chronos is the Greek name. Saturn is the Roman name.

Same as Zeus => Jupiter, Poseiden => Neptune, etc.

Re:Scientists Find Remains of

By GoTeam • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
This is slashdot where technical terms are preferred. Only a back-wood bumpkin would use a word like "accretion".

It's proper usage.

By Gravis Zero • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

cannibalize verb
cannibalize | \ ka-n-b-lz
transitive verb

5 astronomy, of a celestial object : to incorporate mass from (a nearby object) through gravitational attraction