the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2022-Jun-23 today archive


  1. NSA Shares Tips On Securing Windows Devices With PowerShell
  2. Dutch Join Germany, Austria, In Reverting To Coal
  3. China Bans 31 Live-Streaming Behaviors
  4. Government Scientists Discover Biggest Bacteria Ever, Visible To Naked Eye
  5. OpenAI Has Trained a Neural Network To Competently Play Minecraft
  6. Netflix Confirms Plans For Ad-Supported Service, Begins Second Round of Layoffs
  7. Italy's Data Watchdog Latest To Warn Over Use of Google Analytics
  8. New White House Partnership Aims To Speed Construction of Offshore Wind Farms
  9. CoinFLEX Pauses Withdrawals Amid 'Extreme Market Conditions' and Counterparty Uncertainty
  10. Scientists Unveil Bionic Robo-fish To Remove Microplastics From Seas
  11. PCI Express 7.0 Standard Provides Eight Times the Bandwidth of Today's Connections
  12. Intel Just Asked the EU For $624 Million To Pay It Back For Overturned Anti-AMD Fine
  13. Amazon Launches CodeWhisperer, a GitHub Copilot-like AI Pair Programming Tool
  14. Is Google Dying? Or Did the Web Grow Up?
  15. Broadcom's $69 Billion VMware Deal Set For Lengthy EU Antitrust Investigation
  16. Google is Notifying Android Users Targeted By Hermit Government-Grade Spyware
  17. Security Flaws in Internet-Connected Hot Tubs Exposed Owners' Personal Data
  18. FDA Denies Authorization To Market JUUL Products
  19. Extreme Weather Hits China With Massive Floods and Scorching Heat
  20. Linus Torvalds Says Rust For The Kernel Could Possibly Be Merged For Linux 5.20
  21. Twitter Testing Notes, a Long-Form Content Feature
  22. eBay Now Has An Established NFT Marketplace At Its Bidding
  23. NASA Taps Three Companies To Design Nuclear Power Plants For the Moon

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.

NSA Shares Tips On Securing Windows Devices With PowerShell

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from BleepingComputer: The National Security Agency (NSA) and cybersecurity partner agencies issued an advisory today recommending system administrators to use PowerShell to prevent and detect malicious activity on Windows machines. PowerShell is frequently used in cyberattacks, leveraged mostly in the post-exploitation stage, but the security capabilities embedded in Microsoft's automation and configuration tool can also benefit defenders in their forensics efforts, improve incident response, and to automate repetitive tasks. The NSA and cyber security centers in the U.S. (CISA), New Zealand (NZ NCSC), and the U.K. (NCSC-UK) have created a set of recommendations for using PowerShell to mitigate cyber threats instead of removing or disabling it, which would lower defensive capabilities.

Reducing the risk of threat actors abusing PowerShell requires leveraging capabilities in the framework such as PowerShell remoting, which does not expose plain-text credentials when executing commands remotely on Windows hosts. Administrators should be aware that enabling this feature on private networks automatically adds a new rule in Windows Firewall that permits all connections. Customizing Windows Firewall to allow connections only from trusted endpoints and networks helps reduce an attacker's chance for successful lateral movement. For remote connections, the agencies advise using the Secure Shell protocol (SSH), supported in PowerShell 7, to add the convenience and security of public-key authentication:

- remote connections don't need HTTPS with SSL certificates
- no need for Trusted Hosts, as required when remoting over WinRM outside a domain
- secure remote management over SSH without a password for all commands and connections
- PowerShell remoting between Windows and Linux hosts

Another recommendation is to reduce PowerShell operations with the help of AppLocker or Windows Defender Application Control (WDAC) to set the tool to function in Constrained Language Mode (CLM), thus denying operations outside the policies defined by the administrator. Recording PowerShell activity and monitoring the logs are two recommendations that could help administrators find signs of potential abuse. The NSA and its partners propose turning on features like Deep Script Block Logging (DSBL), Module Logging, and Over-the-Shoulder transcription (OTS). The first two enable building a comprehensive database of logs that can be used to look for suspicious or malicious PowerShell activity, including hidden action and the commands and scripts used in the process. With OTS, administrators get records of every PowerShell input or output, which could help determine an attacker's intentions in the environment.
The full document, titled "Keeping PowerShell: Security Measures to Use and Embrace" is available here (PDF).

For every new install

By systemd-anonymousd • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Step 1: Run everything that O&O Shutup10 does to secure the system and turn off telemetry, spyware, nonconsensual updates, more telemetry, etc.

Step 2: Run a bunch of hidden powershell commands to remove all that otherwise non-removable crapware installed on your system (search for "powershell remove windows 10 bloatware" for a list of paste-able commands)

Re:For every new install

By twocows • Score: 4 • Thread
I prefer Privatezilla myself.

Dutch Join Germany, Austria, In Reverting To Coal

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
The Dutch joined Germany and Austria in reverting to coal power on Monday following an energy crisis provoked by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. France 24 reports: The Netherlands said it would lift all restrictions on power stations fired by the fossil fuel, which were previously limited to just over a third of output. Berlin and Vienna made similar announcements on Sunday as Moscow, facing biting sanctions over Ukraine, cuts gas supplies to energy-starved Europe. "The cabinet has decided to immediately withdraw the restriction on production for coal-fired power stations from 2002 to 2024," Dutch climate and energy minister Rob Jetten told journalists in The Hague. The Dutch minister said his country had "prepared this decision with our European colleagues over the past few days."

Germany however said it still aimed to close its coal power plants by 2030, in light of the greater emissions of climate-changing CO2 from the fossil fuel. "The 2030 coal exit date is not in doubt at all," economy ministry spokesman Stephan Gabriel Haufe said at a regular news conference. The target was "more important than ever," he added.

Austria's government meanwhile announced Sunday that it would reopen a mothballed coal power station because of power shortages arising from reduced deliveries of gas from Russia. The authorities would work with the Verbund group, the country's main electricity supplier, to get the station in the southern city of Mellach back in action, said the Chancellery. The European Commission noted Monday that "some of the existing coal capacities might be used longer than initially expected" because of the new energy landscape in Europe.

Not "reverting" to coal.

By thegarbz • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Precisely none of these countries have changed the course on coal and all of them still have policies in place to be coal free. A temporary setback in the face of a gas crisis is not "reverting" anymore than me not going for a jog today because it's cold and raining is me "reverting" to being a fat slob.

But hey, headlines! Soundbites! OUTRAGE! Keep the sheep angrily shaking their fists at their phones.


By hackertourist • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The problem we have (excess nitrogen compounds) is local, caused by having too many producers all in the same place. This is eminently solvable by spreading them out.

Re:How did we get here?

By EnsilZah • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Nice job blaming the victim.

No, this war started in 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea, like their invasions into Chechnya and Georgia and plenty of other examples in its Soviet and pre-Soviet past.
Russia has made plenty of made up excuses for starting a war and violating the sovereignty of Ukraine, saying they're saving the Ukrainians from imaginary Nazis, saying Ukraine is not a real county and they're just confused Russians with a made up language, saying it's a preemptive strike because Ukraine was going to attack them first, saying they have bio-labs with genetically engineered birds that target ethnic Slavs.
And this NATO nonsense is just another excuse.
Up until the recent invasion Ukraine wasn't joining NATO, and neither were Finland nor Sweden, Russia already had NATO members on its borders, Russia had a nuclear weapons base in the middle of NATO in Kaliningrad.

This is Putin, as he himself stated in comparing himself to Peter the Great, just trying to make a place for himself in the history books trying conquer lands and resources that he believes belong to the greater Russia of the soviet past, before he croaks.

And I think that justifying the invasion of a sovereign country, killing tens of thousands of its civilian population, leveling whole cities, stealing and destroying its resources and potentially setting up for a global famine on the pretense that it might at some point in the future apply to treaty that would help with its protection, is despicable.


By hackertourist • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Total export of food products made in NL has a value of E75 billion. Flowers (12,0 billion euro), meat (9,1 B euro), dairy and eggs (8,7 B euro), vegetables (7,2 B euro), fruit (7,0 B euro). We also import for about E75B, 70% of that is exported again, E21B worth is consumed in NL.

Re: Nuclear fission power.

By test321 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The Fukushima Daiichi power plant was an ancient design from 1979 with issues:
* building a power plant on a coast known for tsunamis with a 10 meter tall sea wall. I mean, if you think a tsunami barrier is necessary and 10 meters should suffice, better choose another place;
* building the backup power generators on the front. If/when the tsunami barrier is overcome, the first thing to fail will be the emergency generators;
* absence of passive cooling (for when generators fail); passive cooling is included in new designs;
* absence of corium recuperation (for when the core melts); corium containment is included in new designs.

The same tsunami on a recent nuclear plant design would not have had the same catastrophic consequences. Reactors designed after 9/11 are also calculated to resist the impact of commercial aircrafts.

Older nuclear power plants worldwide are vulnerable, but if we are lucky enough to not have major accidents or terror attacks within 20-30 years, most of the risks will be gone as new plants replace the old ones.

China Bans 31 Live-Streaming Behaviors

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Long-time Slashdot reader Mr_Blank shares a report from Gerona: China has enacted new regulation for the live-streaming industry, listing 31 prohibited conducts and raising the bar for influencers to speak out on specific topics, in the government's latest effort to regulate the booming digital economy. The 18-point guideline, released Wednesday by the National Radio and Television Administration and the Department of Culture and Tourism, requires influencers to have relevant qualifications to cover some subjects, including law, finance, medicine and education discuss, although the authorities have not specified the necessary qualifications.

The 31 prohibited conducts during live-streaming sessions include posting content that weakens or distorts the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, the socialist system, or the country's reform and opening-up. Other prohibited behaviors include using deepfake technologies to manipulate the images of party or state leaders and intentionally 'building up' sensitive issues and attracting public attention. Live streamers are also prohibited from showing an extravagant lifestyle, such as showing luxury products and cash, the policy said.
This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post.

I'm gonna say it...

By ozmartian • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread
I wish this was the case globally re "influencers" tbh.

Not much left

By Baconsmoke • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Pretty soon the only thing you can say is China is great and Xi has a wonderful penis. Everything else will put you in a lovely re-education camp.


By systemd-anonymousd • Score: 3 • Thread

Only 31? They're slacking. Twitch, YouTube, and our other popular streaming sites probably ban double that, though they're things like naughty words, misinformation, no-no topics, previously acceptable words that are now banned, copyrighted music, criticizing the platform, criticizing certain cultural zeitgeists, etc.


By RitchCraft • Score: 3 • Thread
Wow, just wow. Tell me again why the rest of the world does business with ass-hat countries like this? I truly feel sorry for the Chinese people. They are on their way to becoming another dear leader state. Sad, very sad.


By serviscope_minor • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

False equivalence, asshole.

There's a lot wrong with the US. But that doesn't make it remotely as bad as China.

Government Scientists Discover Biggest Bacteria Ever, Visible To Naked Eye

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: Scientists have discovered a bacteria with cells that measure a full centimeter in length, an astonishing size that makes it by far the largest bacterial species ever found and even "challenges our concept of a bacterial cell," reports a new study. Bacteria are an extraordinarily diverse group of organisms that have inhabited Earth for billions of years and have evolved to occupy a dizzying variety of niches. Still, almost all of these microbes are composed of simple cells that measure about two microns in diameter, which is about 40 times smaller than a strand of human hair.

Thiomargarita magnifica, a bacteria discovered on sunken red mangrove leaves in Guadeloupe, Lesser Antilles, has blown this standard scale out of the water. The species has evolved filamentary cells that are "larger than all other known giant bacteria by ~50-fold," making them "visible to the naked eye," according to a study published on Thursday in Science. Scientists led by Jean-Marie Volland, a marine biologist who holds joint appointments at the Laboratory for Research in Complex Systems and the Joint Genome Institute (JGI), a U.S. Department of Energy office at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, suspect that this record-breaking adaptation is partly due to the astonishing number of duplicated genes wielded by T. magnifica, an ability that is known as polyploidy. [...]

The results revealed that these bacteria contain DNA clusters in their cells, which are located in compartments bordered by membranes that the team called "pepins." These organized pepins provide a stark contrast to the free-floating DNA seen in the cells of most bacteria. In addition, the team's genetic sequencing revealed that T. magnifica contains hundreds of thousands of genome copies that are dispersed across the cell, adding up to about three times the number of genes in most bacteria, which is an extreme example of polyploidy. "These cellular features likely allow the organism to grow to an unusually large size and circumvent some of the biophysical and bioenergetic limitations on growth," Volland and his colleagues said.


By systemd-anonymousd • Score: 3 • Thread

They've named it Bacillus Chungus

Big? More like long?

By 140Mandak262Jamuna • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
The bacterium is not really large, if we use large to denote area or volume. These things are long, but still microscopic in cross section.


By PPH • Score: 3 • Thread


Better images

By Dan East • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Some better images here:

OpenAI Has Trained a Neural Network To Competently Play Minecraft

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
In a blog post today, OpenAI says they've "trained a neural network to play Minecraft by Video PreTraining (VPT) on a massive unlabeled video dataset of human Minecraft play, while using only a small amount of labeled contractor data." The model can reportedly learn to craft diamond tools, "a task that usually takes proficient humans over 20 minutes (24,000 actions)," they note. From the post: In order to utilize the wealth of unlabeled video data available on the internet, we introduce a novel, yet simple, semi-supervised imitation learning method: Video PreTraining (VPT). We start by gathering a small dataset from contractors where we record not only their video, but also the actions they took, which in our case are keypresses and mouse movements. With this data we train an inverse dynamics model (IDM), which predicts the action being taken at each step in the video. Importantly, the IDM can use past and future information to guess the action at each step. This task is much easier and thus requires far less data than the behavioral cloning task of predicting actions given past video frames only, which requires inferring what the person wants to do and how to accomplish it. We can then use the trained IDM to label a much larger dataset of online videos and learn to act via behavioral cloning.

We chose to validate our method in Minecraft because it (1) is one of the most actively played video games in the world and thus has a wealth of freely available video data and (2) is open-ended with a wide variety of things to do, similar to real-world applications such as computer usage. Unlike prior works in Minecraft that use simplified action spaces aimed at easing exploration, our AI uses the much more generally applicable, though also much more difficult, native human interface: 20Hz framerate with the mouse and keyboard.

Trained on 70,000 hours of IDM-labeled online video, our behavioral cloning model (the âoeVPT foundation modelâ) accomplishes tasks in Minecraft that are nearly impossible to achieve with reinforcement learning from scratch. It learns to chop down trees to collect logs, craft those logs into planks, and then craft those planks into a crafting table; this sequence takes a human proficient in Minecraft approximately 50 seconds or 1,000 consecutive game actions. Additionally, the model performs other complex skills humans often do in the game, such as swimming, hunting animals for food, and eating that food. It also learned the skill of "pillar jumping," a common behavior in Minecraft of elevating yourself by repeatedly jumping and placing a block underneath yourself.
For more information, OpenAI has a paper (PDF) about the project.

The real test

By kyoko21 • Score: 3 • Thread

The real test is does it know when to stop playing?

Re:The real test

By Jeremi • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

The real test is does it know when to stop playing?

(if the answer is "no", then it is indistinguishable from a real human and therefore passes the Minecraft Turing Test)

Netflix Confirms Plans For Ad-Supported Service, Begins Second Round of Layoffs

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
According to the Wall Street Journal, Comcast's NBCUniversal subsidiary and Google are the " top contenders" for Netflix's upcoming ad-supported streaming tier. "After many years of resisting ads, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings announced the plan for an ad-supported tier in April," reports Ars Technica. "Netflix's stock price dropped 35 percent the day of that announcement, and Netflix revenue growth has been slowing amid a loss in subscribers." From the report: A deal with NBCUniversal would likely mean that "Comcast's video ad unit, FreeWheel, would supply technology to help serve up ads, while NBCUniversal's ad-sales team would help sell ads in the US and Europe," the report said. The Alphabet-owned Google, of course, has plenty of experience serving ads, including on its own YouTube and YouTube TV video platforms. Netflix already uses Google's ad-buying tools.

A deal with either NBCUniversal or Google would likely be exclusive, the WSJ report said. Comcast/NBCUniversal and Google aren't the only contenders, as "Roku has also had early talks with Netflix about ad partnerships," the report said. The Information reported last week that Netflix executives recently "met with representatives of both Roku and Comcast to discuss arrangements under which those companies would handle either the ad sales or the technical infrastructure for Netflix's forthcoming ad-supported tier of service."

Netflix "is looking to start doing some pre-roll ads, which run before a show starts, in the fourth quarter," The Information report said. Netflix is also negotiating with entertainment companies to put ads into shows that Netflix doesn't create itself. Licensing TV shows and movies for both ad-free and ad-supported streaming will cost Netflix about 20 percent more than for ad-free streaming alone, The Information report said.
Variety has confirmed the streamer is " letting go of roughly 300 staffers [...] across multiple business functions in the company, with the bulk of the jobs lost in the U.S." Netflix also laid off 150 employees, and dozens of contractors and part-time workers in May.

"Today we sadly let go of around 300 employees," a Netflix spokesperson told Variety. "While we continue to invest significantly in the business, we made these adjustments so that our costs are growing in line with our slower revenue growth. We are so grateful for everything they have done for Netflix and are working hard to support them through this difficult transition."

Re:It's a different price tier, duh

By Waccoon • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The ad-supported allows Netflix to have lower price tiers.

Yeah, just like not having to print e-books on physical paper lowered the prices of books.

Mmm... I love paying more for things that I don't own and have an artificially limited lifespan.

Ads = goodbye

By fox171171 • Score: 3 • Thread
The value of Netflix to me is already at an all time low to me. I don't watch it very much.

I despise ads, and will cancel if I see one.

Someone paying a subscription when they don't watch much has to be worth more than ad supported for someone who doesn't watch much.

I should probably just cancel anyway, so ads would definitely push me to do it.

Big step backwards

By MitchDev • Score: 3 • Thread

1) People leave TV and cable for streaming to get away from ads
2) Netflix raises prices in response to dropping subscribers
3) Netflix wants to add ads

It's like they are trying to drive themselves out of business

That or just more piracy

By skam240 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

That or you can avoid that hassle by sitting on the same two or three accounts you've always had and if the movie or show you want to watch isn't on one of those then it gets pirated.

With streaming slowly devolving into the crapiness that is cable it wouldn't surprise me to see piracy rates go up.

We really had something nice with Netflix originally but everyone wanted a piece of the pie and now all of it is starting to suck.

Re:It's a different price tier, duh

By squiggleslash • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Alas no. The problem with ads is it changes who the customer is. If you have a tier of subscribers who do not get ads, then you have to aim your resources at viewers. But if everyone gets ads, then all that's important is that your content doesn't drive viewers away, but your primary base you need to make happy are advertisers. They become your customers. And if you have tiers that are ad and ad-free, then your customers become split and you have to make a choice.

And it turns out advertisers are a lot easier to keep happy than viewers. They just want people to watch their ads and not be offended that you're funding the shows with them, which means bland, inoffensive, crap rules the roost. Notice that the streaming services, despite problems with funding, have been pushing far more originality than the bulk of network and cable TV in the last few decades? That's precisely because it's been aimed at viewers not advertisers. While you and I can point at a few examples of quality TV that started on ad-supported TV channels, for the most part those are the exceptions, not the rules, and ad-supported TV has been racing to the bottom lately.

So even if there is a $20 ad-free tier once Netflix decides to aim their service at advertisers, it's still going to be the same TV you'd see on NBC or Fox or USA. You're not going to want the $20 ad free service because it's $20 for something that just isn't that compelling.

Italy's Data Watchdog Latest To Warn Over Use of Google Analytics

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: Another strike against use of Google Analytics in Europe: The Italian data protection authority has found a local web publisher's use of the popular analytics tool to be non-compliant with EU data protection rules owing to user data being transferred to the U.S. -- a country that lacks an equivalent legal framework to protect the info from being accessed by US spooks. The Garante found the web publisher's use of Google Analytics resulted in the collection of many types of user data, including device IP address, browser information, OS, screen resolution, language selection, plus the date and time of the site visit, which were transferred to the U.S. without adequate supplementary measures being applied to raise the level of protection to the necessary EU legal standard.

Protections applied by Google were not sufficient to address the risk, it added, echoing the conclusion of several other EU DPAs who have also found use of Google Analytics violates the bloc's data protection rules over the data export issue. Italy's DPA has given the publisher in question (a company called Caffeina Media Srl) 90 days to fix the compliance violation. But the decision has wider significance as it has also warned other local websites that are using Google Analytics to take note and check their own compliance, writing in a press release [translated from Italian with machine translation]: "[T]he Authority draws the attention of all Italian managers of websites, public and private, to the illegality of transfers made to the United States through GA [Google Analytics], also in consideration of the numerous reports and questions that are being received by the Office, and invites all data controllers to verify the compliance of the methods of use of cookies and other tracking tools used on its websites, with particular attention to Google Analytics and other similar services, with the legislation on the protection of personal data."
A Google spokesperson issued the following statement: "People want the websites they visit to be well designed, easy to use, and respectful of their privacy. Google Analytics helps publishers understand how well their sites and apps are working for their visitors -- but not by identifying individuals or tracking them across the web. These organizations, not Google, control what data is collected with these tools, and how it is used. Google helps by providing a range of safeguards, controls and resources for compliance."

Google is reviewing the Italian DPA's decision, according to the spokesperson.

Google helps by providing.....

By splutty • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Google helps by providing as little as possible in the way of configuration that would not send all that data to Google to begin with.

I've seen the setups for google analytics, and the defaults are... Oh boy...

And trying to change those requires a bit more knowledge than I imagine a random "web designer" has, if they even know they're supposed to change those.

New White House Partnership Aims To Speed Construction of Offshore Wind Farms

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The White House and 11 governors from East Coast states forged a new partnership on Thursday to build up domestic supply chains for offshore wind farms and related infrastructure. From a report: The new Federal-State Offshore Wind Implementation Partnership includes governors from Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. As part of the announcement, the Biden administration committed to the facilitation of "timely and effective permitting and environmental reviews" for offshore wind projects and lease sales. In the past, permitting has been a significant bottleneck for advancing offshore wind projects. Crucially, President Joe Biden also moved to ease another major bottleneck: securing the specialized ships needed to erect turbines as tall as skyscrapers in the open ocean. Projects compete for time with the few installation vessels available worldwide, which number just over 30. The US faces additional restrictions because of the Jones Act, which stipulates that ships moving between two points in the US need to be built, owned, crewed, and registered in the US.

Offshore wind farms on the east coast.

By oldgraybeard • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Well! except where the rich have their mansions and beach houses.

They need more than that

By Whateverthisis • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
They need to authoritatively just force the issue, because the problem isn't environmental permitting. It's rich jerks on both sides of the spectrum.

Cape Wind was a project to put up a 454 MW offshore wind project in Cape Cod. The area had some of the most consistent, strong wind. You know what also is good in that area? Rich people sailing. This project was stalled by everyone from Ted Kennedy to the Koch Family fought to keep their wealthy estates free of clean power that polluted their views and sailing. Even when Obama stepped in and forced the issue, making sure the project would go forward, the wealthy folks there sued the permitting of the projects repeatedly, delaying construction. The project ultimately failed to hit their construction milestones and the customers pulled out of the power purchase agreements, killing the projects.

It's interesting how NIMBYism is a bipartisan issue, particularly when you're a wealthy politician or donor.

Re:Offshore wind farms on the east coast.

By geekmux • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Well! except where the rich have their mansions and beach houses.

"to build up domestic supply chains for offshore wind farms and related infrastructure"

(Translation) "We'll sign up for a 'Green' bill and pretend we care by labeling our bolts and nuts 'Green' and charge 3x more while sucking on the Federal teat-of-needs, and pretend you didn't hear that part about 'related infrastructure' as we build another gas-powered plant, and pay out handsome executive bonuses with taxpayer money."

Yes, I'm sure this will go about as well as that Broadband rollout we taxpayers have funded about 3 times over now.

Don't worry about their houses. They certainly aren't.

Re:Offshore wind farms on the east coast.

By Smidge204 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Close Enough (tm)

I mean they're just not spoiling anyone's view, being way out there. A 1MW turbine is about 320 feet tall, so anything over ~24 miles off shore will be completely below the horizon. Most of these locations are 30 miles or more off shore.

Re:They need more than that

By Whateverthisis • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
No, put that in context.

There's a potential 4,300 MW in all of Long Island's pipeline of projects. They just "broke ground" on South Fork wind, which is only 130MW, 1/3rd of Cape Wind's project (you can't compare Long Island's potential wind to a single project in Cape Cod). The rest are still in permitting. South Fork Wind was originally Deepwater Wind which started permitting in 2013, and was only finally approved due to the usual lawsuits and permitting issues in 2021, and was renamed because the original company couldn't hold it together and it was bought by a Danish firm and renamed. Orsted has the financial backing to keep a project going because permitting in Europe is way more permissive, and htey don't have Kennedy's and Koch's stalling things.

fingers crossed that Sunrise Wind gets going. That'll put Long Island on the map at 900+MW of offshore wind. That's slated to go next year.

CoinFLEX Pauses Withdrawals Amid 'Extreme Market Conditions' and Counterparty Uncertainty

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Physical futures crypto exchange CoinFLEX is pausing withdrawals citing "extreme market conditions" along with uncertainty around a certain counterparty, its CEO Mark Lamb said in a blog post Thursday. CoinDesk reports: Lamb said the counterparty is not Three Arrows Capital or "any lending firm." CoinFLEX expects to resume withdrawals "in a better position as soon as possible." Additionally, FLEX Coin trading is being halted for perpetual swaps and spot trading in the short term.

Those who fail to understand Unix^H^H^H^HFinance

By istartedi • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

So much of crypto is finance reinvented poorly. You know equity options? There's a thing called the "Options Clearing Corporation". Among other things, its job is to make sure that counter parties make good on contracts. So when you sell cash secured puts, your broker makes damn sure you've got enough cash because the OCC makes damn sure that brokers don't let customers write cash secured puts without CASH. For the riskier margin accounts, there are also standards that lead to the infamous margin calls, and probably some other form of insurance sufficient to make sure that the entire equity options market doesn't come crashing down. Oh and I'm pretty sure this stuff is all audited.

The crypto equivalent of that? Sound of crickets.

Re:Those who fail to understand Unix^H^H^H^HFinanc

By tlhIngan • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

So much of crypto is finance reinvented poorly. You know equity options? There's a thing called the "Options Clearing Corporation". Among other things, its job is to make sure that counter parties make good on contracts. So when you sell cash secured puts, your broker makes damn sure you've got enough cash because the OCC makes damn sure that brokers don't let customers write cash secured puts without CASH. For the riskier margin accounts, there are also standards that lead to the infamous margin calls, and probably some other form of insurance sufficient to make sure that the entire equity options market doesn't come crashing down. Oh and I'm pretty sure this stuff is all audited.

What you call "standards", DeFi calls "regulations". Deregulated Finance is all about not having regulations, because regulations are bad.

See, in a regulated finance scenario, the people at the top would be at risk of losing a bit of money so the people at the bottom can get their money back. With DeFi, the people at the top can make out with all the money - screw the little person at the bottom - they never mattered in the first place. Thus, regulations are bad (for the people at the top).

Re:"As Soon As Possible"

By Zontar_Thing_From_Ve • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Translation: We can go bankrupt once our primary benefactors get their money out, as long as we don't have to pay out the plebs.

There may be more to it than this. This is what we have learned about crypto due to the recent problems.
1) Very large investors, like people who dump over $100 million into an exchange, can withdraw their money after they have made enough of a profit and the sheer number of transactions needed to cash out can do massive harm to specific crypto currencies and/or exchanges.
2) The hugely inflated values of so many crypto currencies weren't backed by enough assets for everybody to cash out in probably every exchange there is. For example, exchange A may on paper have $10 billion in crypto assets in their ecosystem but in reality if everybody cashed out at once, they might only have, say, $100 million in real dollar assets to pay people off with.

Cryptocoins serve no useful purpose

By zeeky boogy doog • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
They are somewhere between securities fraud and a self-organizing ponzi scheme, and the only non-crime reason to mine them is because you hate earth and want to contribute to global warming.

All your crypto are belong to us .. for now

By thesjaakspoiler • Score: 3 • Thread

When Bitcoin hits $200,000 next year as Max Keiser predicted, everybody will forget this hickup.

Scientists Unveil Bionic Robo-fish To Remove Microplastics From Seas

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Scientists have designed a tiny robot-fish that is programmed to remove microplastics from seas and oceans by swimming around and adsorbing them on its soft, flexible, self-healing body. From a report: Microplastics are the billions of tiny plastic particles which fragment from the bigger plastic things used every day such as water bottles, car tyres and synthetic T-shirts. They are one of the 21st century's biggest environmental problems because once they are dispersed into the environment through the breakdown of larger plastics they are very hard to get rid of, making their way into drinking water, produce, and food, harming the environment and animal and human health.

"It is of great significance to develop a robot to accurately collect and sample detrimental microplastic pollutants from the aquatic environment," said Yuyan Wang, a researcher at the Polymer Research Institute of Sichuan University and one of the lead authors on the study. Her team's novel invention is described in a research paper in the journal Nano Letters. "To the best of our knowledge, this is the first example of such soft robots." Researchers at Sichuan University have revealed an innovative solution to track down these pollutants when it comes to water contamination: designing a tiny self-propelled robo-fish that can swim around, latch on to free-floating microplastics, and fix itself if it gets cut or damaged while on its expedition.

And when real fish eat these robo fish?

By Zondar • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Not sure they've thought through this one completely...

How toxic are microplastics? Really.

By backslashdot • Score: 3 • Thread

No study that simulates actual real-world exposure has shown microplastics to be clearly harmful to fish or mammals, let alone humans. For example, this study dosed up mice on quantities when scaled up to human levels is like being given IV microplastics for days. Even so the toxicity wasn't all that bad, which is the real surprise. I'm shocked the mice didn't just say fuck all this plastic and die.

Do you know what is harmful to humans? Not having a job, starving, and being homeless because some overzealous New Green Deal fools don't want a functioning economy. We can detox the ocean when 99.99% of humans don't have to worry about food or shelter.

PCI Express 7.0 Standard Provides Eight Times the Bandwidth of Today's Connections

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The group responsible for developing and updating the PCI Express standard, the PCI-SIG, aims to update that standard roughly every three years. From a report: Version 6.0 was released earlier this year, and the group has announced that PCIe version 7.0 is currently on track to be finalized sometime in 2025. Like all new PCI Express versions, its goal is to double the available bandwidth of its predecessor, which in PCIe 7.0's case means that a single PCIe 7.0 lane will be able to transmit at speeds of up to 32GB per second. That's a doubling of the 16GB per second promised by PCIe 6.0, but it's even more striking when compared to PCIe 4.0, the version of the standard used in high-end GPUs and SSDs today. A single PCIe 4.0 lane provides bandwidth of about 4GB per second, and you need eight of those lanes to offer the same speeds as a single PCIe 7.0 lane.

Increasing speeds opens the door to ever-faster GPUs and storage devices, but bandwidth gains this large would also make it possible to do the same amount of work with fewer PCIe lanes. Today's SSDs normally use four lanes of PCIe bandwidth, and GPUs normally use 16 lanes. You could use the same number of lanes to support more SSDs and GPUs while still providing big increases in bandwidth compared to today's accessories, something that could be especially useful in servers.

But what are you going to plug in?

By GotNoRice • Score: 3 • Thread
Maybe they should stop creating a new standard each year and actually try to create devices that can make use of that bandwidth. Even NVMe SSDs are handicapped by old file-system protocols at this point. Very few things show a benefit when moving from PCIe 3.0 to 4.0 - now we've jumped to 7.0? Sort of like opening a McDonalds on the moon today in anticipation of future colonists.

Re:But what are you going to plug in?

By Junta • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

For the desktop, this is true, to an extent.

However, the datacenters want to suck it all up in short order. A single port of NDR infiniband needs 16 lanes of PCIe 5. They want to have not only fast NVMes, but a lot of them. Ditto for GPUs.

Even if the appetite for 'faster' doesn't increase, if an SSD only warrants a single lane of pcie7, if a gpu only warrants 4 lanes, etc, then there's budget for processors to start dialing back the pcie lanes to traditional numbers to be cheaper to implement and facilitate.

By the same token, one could imagine a class of desktop processors going to, say, 8 lanes total with no extra lanes from a southbridge. Faster lanes, cheaper by reducing the count.


By jd • Score: 3 • Thread

Not bad. You could drive three ports on a 10 gigabit ethernet card simultaneously at full speed off a single lane, or 4 lanes of a quad Infiniband card. Let's say you dedicated 32 lanes to Infiniband, you could drive 12 links of NDR at close to full capacity, or about 75% of 4 lanes of GDR. That's hellishly impressive.So there's networking requirements for a bus this fast.

There's only one catch. There's bugger all you can do with this much data. True, you could use it to build a very nice NDR Infiniband switch, but there are probably faster switches out there today and therefore they can't be using this approach.

Intel Just Asked the EU For $624 Million To Pay It Back For Overturned Anti-AMD Fine

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Intel is seeking to be paid interest of $624 million on the overturned $1.1 billion fine it received from the European Commission back in 2009. From a report: The antitrust ruling was overturned at the beginning of the year, and so Intel has gone to EU General Court seeking compensation and interest on the fine. In fact, Intel is claiming back almost half of that original fine, based on the European Central Bank's refinancing rates. In case you need a reminder on all of this: Intel allegedly took part in anti-competitive practices that saw it offer conditional rebates to key OEMs such as Dell, HP, and Lenovo, making it difficult for competitors (read AMD, or ARM if you prefer, but really AMD) to compete with their own CPUs. The European Commission concluded in 2009 that Intel had indeed behaved in such a way between October 2002 and December 2007 and hit it with one of the largest ever fines at the time at a cool $1.1 billion. Intel appealed the decision unsuccessfully in 2012, but in 2014 it brought the case to the European Court of Justice, which sent it back to the General Court in 2017. The case has been going back and fourth ever since.

Regulatory capture isn't enough

By rsilvergun • Score: 3 • Thread
If you really want to be a King or an Emperor in the modern age, you have to take the courts too. Which they have.

What I don't understand is why so many people enjoy being ruled over?

This is not unreasonable.

By Petersko • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

They've been deprived of the opportunity cost of investment of that money. Ultimately they'll probably let it go if the judgement completely reverses the penalty and ends the whole thing outright. However, it's a negotiation tool they should certainly make use of. Were I a shareholder, I would approve. The European Commission has a decision to make. The longer they sit on that money, the larger the claim could be if they fail to stick the landing in court. Or, negotiate an exit. Right and wrong are no longer relevant to this. It's a transactional decision.

Re:Regulatory capture isn't enough

By notsouseful • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

If you really want to be a King or an Emperor in the modern age, you have to take the courts too. Which they have. What I don't understand is why so many people enjoy being ruled over?

They think the rulers are their friends. They've been convinced that living under a king you like is better than living in a democracy you share with people you don't.

Why the wait?

By GotNoRice • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Anyone else find it interesting that Intel was expected to pay the fine right away, before things were settled in the courts. But when it comes to the refund, Intel doesn't get anything back until the EU has exhausted all appeals... A bit of a double-standard, to say the least.

Re:Why the wait?

By thegarbz • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

No. The EU won. The fact that Intel is dragging it through the courts without a win on their behalf so far does not entitle them to any payback. It's not the EU appealing.

Amazon Launches CodeWhisperer, a GitHub Copilot-like AI Pair Programming Tool

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At its re:Mars conference, Amazon today announced the launch of CodeWhisperer, an AI pair programming tool similar to GitHub's Copilot that can autocomplete entire functions based on only a comment or a few keystrokes. From a report: The company trained the system, which currently supports Java, JavaScript and Python, on billions of lines of publicly available open-source code and its own codebase, as well as publicly available documentation and code on public forums. It's now available in preview as part of the AWS IDE Toolkit, which means developers can immediately use it right inside their preferred IDEs, including Visual Studio Code, IntelliJ IDEA, PyCharm, WebStorm and Amazon's own AWS Cloud 9. Support for the AWS Lambda Console is also coming soon. Ahead of today's announcement, Vasi Philomin, Amazon's VP in charge of its AI services, stressed that the company didn't simply create this in order to offer a copy of Copilot. He noted that with CodeGuru, its AI code reviewer and performance profiler, and DevOps Guru, its tool for finding operation issues, the company laid the groundwork for today's launch quite a few years ago.

Pair programming...

By devslash0 • Score: 3 • Thread

Can you imagine anything more horrific as a developer than pair programming? If I wanted to talk to someone all day I'd become a politician. Also, good luck getting into any zone at all. Oh, and forget about any kind of freedom - from now on your start times, finish times and lunch breaks have to be in sync. Have I mentioned pair holiday scheduling?

Garbage in, garbage out.

By devslash0 • Score: 3 • Thread

We've been through this before with other ai-based programming aids. If you train your models on unchecked public repositories, you end up with poor quality code, and full of security vulnerabilities.

Re:Garbage in, garbage out.

By stephanruby • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

In other words, the result is just as good as the work from most human programmers.

Is Google Dying? Or Did the Web Grow Up?

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Google is still useful for many, but the harder question is why its results feel more sterile than they did five years ago. From a report: SEO expert Marie Haynes's theory is that this is the result of Google trying to crack down on misinformation and low-quality content -- especially around consequential search topics. In 2017, the company started talking publicly about a Search initiative called EAT, which stands for "expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness." The company has rolled out numerous quality rater guidelines, which help judge content to determine authenticity. One such effort, titled Your Money or Your Life, applies rigorous standards to any pages that show up when users search for medical or financial information.

"Take crypto," Haynes explained. "It's an area with a lot of fraud, so unless a site has a big presence around the web and Google gets the sense they're known for expertise on that topic, it'll be difficult to get them to rank." What this means, though, is that Google's results on any topic deemed sensitive enough will likely be from established sources. Medical queries are far more likely to return WebMD or Mayo Clinic pages, instead of personal testimonials. This, Haynes said, is especially challenging for people looking for homeopathic or alternative-medicine remedies.

There's a strange irony to all of this. For years, researchers, technologists, politicians, and journalists have agonized and cautioned against the wildness of the internet and its penchant for amplifying conspiracy theories, divisive subject matter, and flat-out false information. Many people, myself included, have argued for platforms to surface quality, authoritative information above all else, even at the expense of profit. And it's possible that Google has, in some sense, listened (albeit after far too much inaction) and, maybe, partly succeeded in showing higher-quality results in a number of contentious categories. But instead of ushering in an era of perfect information, the changes might be behind the complainers' sense that Google Search has stopped delivering interesting results.

Unbalanced Power

By Mr_Blank • Score: 3 • Thread

Everyone would like to shut down 'disinformation', but the coalitions disagree on what counts as disinformation. That distrust is good. Everyone wants the power to do something about disinformation, but no one will trust everyone else with that power. The stalemate is protection of freedom of expression.

If Google does their best to knock down disinformation then I am for it, but if I disagree with how they do it then I will readily use a competitor. That there are a multitude of options is good for us. Competition is a good answer.

See how China is locking down streamers as a counter-example of what is possible when the power is too concentrated:

China has enacted new regulation for the live-streaming industry, listing 31 prohibited conducts and raising the bar for influencers to speak out on specific topics, in the government’s latest effort to regulate the booming digital economy. The 18-point guideline, released Wednesday by the National Radio and Television Administration and the Department of Culture and Tourism, requires influencers to have relevant qualifications to cover some subjects, including law, finance, medicine and education discuss, although the authorities have not specified the necessary qualifications.

Re:Unbalanced Power

By iggymanz • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Indeed, Hunter Biden's laptop was "a Russian hoax" and saying otherwise was "disinformation"

Plenty of other examples of reality and fact being called "disinformation"

Right now Biden is running his mouth off about "lies" when the ineptness and stupidity of his failing administration is pointed out.

Re:SEO Specialists are the problem

By fermion • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
So Google has done a good job working against this. Alta vista and the like, with keywords, was not able to provide relevant results when every page had the most sought after words on them, or even the dictionary. Google, with its base in graph theory, was able to minimize the effect of link farms

One challenge is Google is an advertising company, not a search engine. The challenge of the advertisers at the time Google became popular was that users could block cookies. One approach was obscurification, which was the path of 2o7. If the user couldnâ(TM)t find the cookie, they couldnâ(TM)t block or delete it.

The Google approach was a fair exchange. Users kept the cookie in exchange for services. The search engine, office apps, communication this was googles first mistake as it approached monopoly status. It did not invest in the products it offers as a fair trade for user data, and even began charging money.

Then, there is the fact that the search engine is a commodity often funded by direct advertising. This makes it less desirable and less secure. For instance, I try to know the direct address of my city services this is because Google and DuckDuckGo will try to redirect me to for profit or scam services, mostly ads. It is unreliable. And so useless

2 things for alt medicine to become medicine

By tepples • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

It takes two things for alternative medicine to become medicine: 1. evidence that it works, and 2. the labor of not only collecting the evidence that it works but also putting that evidence in a form that national health care regulators accept. Proponents of alternative medicine claim to have the former and complain of institutional and/or economic barriers to the latter.

Re:Unbalanced Power

By skam240 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Gotta love the conservative enthusiasm over things like Hilary's email server or Hunter Biden's laptop, meanwhile trying to find a conservative to say anything negative about our last president that literally tried to overturn our own country's democratic election is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Broadcom's $69 Billion VMware Deal Set For Lengthy EU Antitrust Investigation

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Broadcom's $69bn acquisition of cloud software company VMware is set for a lengthy antitrust investigation in Brussels over regulatory concerns that the deal will harm competition across the global technology industry. From a report: Broadcom is already in preliminary discussions with EU officials who will be looking into worries that the merger may lead to abusive behaviour, including potential future price rises by the US chipmaker, three people with direct knowledge of the transaction said. Many large acquisitions receive similar interrogation, known in EU circles as a "phase 1" investigation, which typically takes a few months to complete. But those close to the situation suggest that EU authorities plan to push forward with a more detailed "phase 2" investigation, which could take well over a year and may ultimately derail the deal altogether. Nvidia eventually walked away from a proposed $66bn purchase of chip designer Arm after being subject to a lengthy EU antitrust probe.

Google is Notifying Android Users Targeted By Hermit Government-Grade Spyware

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Security researchers at Lookout recently tied a previously unattributed Android mobile spyware, dubbed Hermit, to Italian software house RCS Lab. Now, Google threat researchers have confirmed much of Lookout's findings, and are notifying Android users whose devices were compromised by the spyware. From a report: Hermit is a commercial spyware known to be used by governments, with victims in Kazakhstan and Italy, according to Lookout and Google. Lookout says it's also seen the spyware deployed in northern Syria. The spyware uses various modules, which it downloads from its command and control servers as they are needed, to collect call logs, record ambient audio, redirect phone calls and collect photos, messages, emails, and the device's precise location from a victim's device. Lookout said in its analysis that Hermit, which works on all Android versions, also tries to root an infected Android device, granting the spyware even deeper access to the victim's data. Lookout said that targeted victims are sent a malicious link by text message and tricked into downloading and installing the malicious app -- which masquerades as a legitimate branded telco or messaging app -- from outside of the app store.

Screw sideloading

By RogueWarrior65 • Score: 3 • Thread

And that, folks, is why mandating sideloading should be looked at with a jaundiced eye.

Re:What does "Government-Grade" mean?

By Darinbob • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

No it's "Hermit Government" grade. The unofficial grades of spyware has this range:
- Kindergarten grade
- Junior High School Whiz Kid grade
- Change My High School Grades grade
- College Hacker grade
- Small Business grade
- Big Democratic Government grade
- Small Government grade
- Enterprise grade
- Authoritarian Government grade
- Authoritarian Enterprise grade
- Windows 11 grade
- Google grade
- Hermit Government grade
- Socially Active Government grade
- Putin grade

Security Flaws in Internet-Connected Hot Tubs Exposed Owners' Personal Data

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A security researcher found vulnerabilities in Jacuzzi's SmartTub interface that allowed access to the personal data of every hot tub owner. From a report: Jacuzzi's SmartTub feature, like most Internet of Things (IoT) systems, lets users connect to their hot tub remotely via a companion Android or iPhone app. Marketed as a "personal hot tub assistant," users can make use of the app to control water temperature, switch on and off jets, and change the lights. But as documented by hacker Eaton Zveare, this functionality could also be abused by threat actors to access the personal information of hot tub owners worldwide, including their names and email addresses. It's unclear how many users are potentially impacted, but the SmartTub app has been downloaded more than 10,000 times on Google Play.

"The main concern is their name and email being leaked," Zveare told TechCrunch, adding that attackers could also potentially heat up someone else's hot tub or change the filtration cycles. "That would make things unpleasant the next time the person checked their tub," he said. "But I don't think there is anything truly dangerous that could have been done -- you have to do all chemicals by hand." Eaton first noticed a problem when he tried to log in using the SmartTub web interface, which uses third-party identity provider Auth0, and found that the login page returned an "unauthorized" error. But for the briefest moment Zveare saw the full admin panel populated with user data flash on his screen.

The soviets will steal our

By hdyoung • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Precious. Bodily. Fluids.

Why network connected?

By larryjoe • Score: 3 • Thread

Why is network connectivity needed? So that people away from home can check on and control their hot tub while they're away? How about a panel of hardwired switches and knobs on the hot tub instead?

Re:The soviets will steal our

By DDumitru • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Actually, there is a use.

You can schedule when your hot tub is "ready to use".

A hot tub actually uses a lot of energy, mostly to keep the water hot. The app can at least somewhat mitigate this.

I have a window air conditioner on a "smart plug" for the same reason. I had to buy an older "analog control" AC to make this work. You then plug it into a $15 wifi power monitoring plug.

FDA Denies Authorization To Market JUUL Products

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Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued marketing denial orders (MDOs) to JUUL Labs for all of their products currently marketed in the United States. From a report: As a result, the company must stop selling and distributing these products. In addition, those currently on the U.S. market must be removed, or risk enforcement action. The products include the JUUL device and four types of JUULpods: Virginia tobacco flavored pods at nicotine concentrations of 5.0% and 3.0% and menthol flavored pods at nicotine concentrations of 5.0% and 3.0%. Retailers should contact JUUL with any questions about products in their inventory.

"Today's action is further progress on the FDA's commitment to ensuring that all e-cigarette and electronic nicotine delivery system products currently being marketed to consumers meet our public health standards," said FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf, M.D. "The agency has dedicated significant resources to review products from the companies that account for most of the U.S. market. We recognize these make up a significant part of the available products and many have played a disproportionate role in the rise in youth vaping."
Further reading: Biden Administration Targets Removal of Most Nicotine From Cigarettes.


By drinkypoo • Score: 3 • Thread

dupe of story still on front page, only like three stories down

This is why nobody respects the Slashdot "editors"

or Slashdot

Re:Bring Back Youth Smoking!

By squiggleslash • Score: 4 • Thread

Juul is being banned because it specifically marketed to teens and the product it marketed included nicotine. That's it. It's one of many e-cig companies. And no, as a regular business, owned by Atria which in turn is answerable to its investors etc, it's not going to start illegally selling on street corners.

Under 21s will get their e-cig fix from other suppliers. In the mean time there's one less company actually marketing to youth. That will actually reduce teens taking up nicotine for the first time.

Todays headlines

By pimpsoftcom • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

So according to the headlines today, I can carry a Sig but not an E-cig?

This seems like a bit of a surprise...

By fuzzyfuzzyfungus • Score: 3 • Thread
The FDA doesn't get to just slap an MDO on someone if they don't like them; they need to review the premarket tobacco product application for the product and find it to be either deficient or alarming in a way that allows for a marketing denial order.

Given Phillip Morris' decades of experience tangling with the FDA I would have assumed that they would either have thrown together a product application sufficiently intimidating to buy at least a number of years of additional time on the market while lawyers thump on about regulation being 'arbitrary and capricious' or given it up as a bad job, if they thought that the data were really that unflattering, and cooked up a contingency plan of some kind.

Since that didn't happen; and they went ahead and filed the application and received a denial; I have to wonder if someone on the FDA side grew a surprise spine; or if there was share price or similar financial-engineering incentive to keep things looking externally normal even once the senior FDA-whisperers came to the conclusion that the outlook was not good.

Update the tobacco legislation

By DrXym • Score: 3 • Thread
Cigarette use was in serious decline in teens. And then these scumbags launched up with e-cigarettes and now it is prevalent again. A whole new generation of addicts. And the likes of Juul are the worst for marketing their e-cig to kids, as a tech device with nicotine doses way in excess of normal cigarettes.

That is in part because e-cigs continue to lack sufficient regulation in terms of advertising (including social media), nicotine strength, nicotine delivery (nicotine salt / free nicotine), flavours & other chemicals, form factor, tax, point of sale, no-smoking law etc. Countries need to crack down hard on all this and other future tobacco products. Bring it all under one umbrella with ultimate goal of eradicating the habit entirely.

Extreme Weather Hits China With Massive Floods and Scorching Heat

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China is grappling with extreme weather emergencies across the country, with the worst flooding in decades submerging houses and cars in the south and record-high heat waves in the northern and central provinces causing roads to buckle. From a report: Water levels in more than a hundred rivers across the country have surged beyond flood warning levels, according to the People's Daily, the ruling Communist Party's mouthpiece. The authorities in Guangdong Province on Tuesday raised alerts to the highest level after days of rainfall and floods, closing schools, businesses and public transport in affected areas. The flooding has disrupted the lives of almost half a million people in southern China. Footage on state media showed rescue crews on boats paddling across waterlogged roads to relieve trapped residents. In Shaoguan, a manufacturing hub, factories were ordered to halt production, as water levels have reached a 50-year high, state television reported. Guangdong's emergency management department said that the rainfall has affected 479,600 people, ruined nearly 30 hectares of crops and caused the collapse of more than 1,700 houses, with financial losses totaling $261 million, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Weather reporting in $current_year

By spaceyhackerlady • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

All weather reporting these days starts with OMG WERE ALL GOING TO DIE.

Around here (British Columbia) the weather over the weekend will, for the first time this year, be seasonally warm. The media are screaming heat dome, special weather statements, you name it.

Some day something will come up that is genuinely worthy of concern. And people will ignore it.


Re:Little hope. but still..

By Budenny • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

No, they are not doing lots. They are in fact growing their emissions at speed. Not because they particularly want to, but because that is the corollary of growing their economy as fast as they want. This is not 'doing lots'.

Remember, if the theory is correct, the only thing that matters to the climate is the total CO2 being emitted. Or CO2 equivalents to be more accurate. So the fact that China is now doing nearly 12 billion tons a year, double the US, and close to one third of global emissions. They are mining and using more coal than the rest of the world put together.

It makes no difference what your per capital emissions are, only the tonnage affects the climate. Whether you emit because you are exporting, importing or building housing makes no difference. Only the tonnage matters. It makes no difference if you install lots of renewables. Only the tonnage you emit matters. By this measure China is doing very badly, and shows no signs of improving.

Their only commitment so far has been to increase. At Paris they promised to reduce their intensity of CO2 per unit of GDP. Add that to their GDP growth plans, and they plan to increase. As they have been.

Now however ask a more profound question. You can see that China, with its huge population and propensity for weather disasters, is highly exposed to global warming, if it happens. They will feel it harder and faster and worse than almost any other country.

So why are they not worried? Why are they not cutting back and demanding everyone else do the same?

Because they do not believe it. Now, if you want something to think about, think about the implications of that. They just do not believe in any climate crisis, they don't believe in the whole theory of global warming. They gave one public demonstration of this when they boycotted the last COP in Edinburgh.

They don't believe in the theory, they don't believe in the policy programs the West keeps trying to sell, and they are not doing anything at all to reduce their emissions. In fact, they will, and have said they will, increase them. To a level where anyone else cannot make enough reductions to save the planet if the alarmist predictions are true.

You cannot get below 15 billion tons a year globally if one country is headed rapidly for that level, and higher. And another, India, is following suit.

Time to get out of denial. Not just about China, either.

Did they make some of the same mistakes as US?

By schwit1 • Score: 3 • Thread

Building in flood plains.

Re:Did they make some of the same mistakes as US?

By jonadab • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
That happens everywhere in the world. Flood plains are usually readily-accessible waterfront property, so _of course_ people build there. Trying to stop people from building in flood plains, is like trying to stop children from eating candy, when there are dishes of candy sitting around in plain sight on every countertop, end table, and shelf. You can tell them it's bad for their teeth and charge them higher insurance premiums, but they just end up hating the dentist or complaining about the "fat cat" insurance companies having the audacity to set premiums high enough to actually cover the risks they're underwriting so they can expect to turn an actual profit. People don't want to accept that they are causing their own problems. It's always somebody else's fault.

With that said, the flooding that China has been experiencing since 2020, is greater than they'd previously experienced since they started building large and expensive stuff like high-rise apartment complexes and whatnot. The first world had to face this sort of thing in the nineteenth century and so by now has had a hundred and fifty years to sort out how to deal with the consequences. We've long since had our San Francisco Earthquake and Triangle Shirtwaist Fire and Great Mississippi Flood and other historically-important disasters leading to critical reform, building codes and regulations, and so on. In principle, China *ought* to be able to study our history and learn from our mistakes and avoid repeating them; but in practice, humans are frequently not-so-great at learning from other people's mistakes. Add to that the CCP's deliberate adoption of Marxist/Leninist "shoot-the-messenger" culture in which anyone who speaks out warning about possible dangers is beaten down for it, and so here we arrive at the present situation.

Linus Torvalds Says Rust For The Kernel Could Possibly Be Merged For Linux 5.20

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Speaking this week at the Linux Foundation's Open-Source Summit, Linus Torvalds talked up the possibilities of Rust within the Linux kernel and that it could be landing quite soon -- possibly even for the next kernel cycle. From a report: Linus Torvalds and Dirk Hohndel had their usual Open-Source Summit keynote/chat where Linus commented on Rust programming language code within the kernel. Torvalds commented that real soon they expect to have the Rust infrastructure merged within the kernel, possibly even for the next release -- meaning Linux 5.20. There hasn't yet been any Rust for Linux pull request sent in or merged yet, but things have begun settling down in the initial Rust enablement code for the kernel with the basic infrastructure, a few basic sample drivers, etc. Last month saw the most recent Rust Linux kernel patches posted that got more functionality into shape and additional reviews completed. As noted plenty of times before, this Rust support within the Linux kernel will remain optional when building the kernel depending upon whether you want the support or any of the kernel features to be implemented just in Rust code.

Welcome to our Rust overloads I guess

By brunoblack • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Like many here, I am a little reluctant to having Rust in the kernel but I guess Linus knows better.

From what I read before, Rust would only be used for drivers and modules. Does anybody knows if it is planned to use Rust in the core of the kernel as well?

I read about potential issues for platforms where the Linux kernel runs which don't support Rust. I guess the kernel could then be cross compiled for the target platform on another platform that supports Rust but it is a wild guess. Anybody knows more about that than I do?

Anyway, having Rust in the kernel would be a good reason for me to learn it I guess.

Re:Rust garbage

By Pascoea • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
Why not just write it purely in assembly, then? All that fancy stuff that C offers just creates lazy developers.

Lol no. Mostly one problem, same as modem C

By raymorris • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I track and report on vulnerabilities as part of my job, and have for a long time.

No, it will not "greatly decrease" anything. Mostly Rust attempts to protect against one type of error that matters. Modern C, for at least the last 11 years, also protects against the same type of error. Then Rust tries a couple other things that are not a significant percentage of security vulnerabilities.

Rust might be a decent language. The Rust fanbois definitely make ridiculously over hyped security claims in decades. In the Slashdot tradition of car analogies, here's what their claims sound like to a career security professional:

Rust project:
The new Toyota Rust is so much faster than other cars! No more "are we there yet?"!
* The Rust has a top speed of 92 MPH, vs 90 MPH for the competition.

Rust fanbois, who mostly aren't even programmers and have never used the language:
You're still driving to California? Why didn't you just use Rust so you'd get there instantly? Rust pretty much goes lightspeed, ya know.

But the most fun is when they trumpet things that apply to most any language. Which is a like a car fan shouting "this car has cupholders!"

Re:Welcome to our Rust overloads I guess

By CaptainLugnuts • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Let me know when Rust has an ISO standard so multiple vendors can make compliant compilers.

Let me know when a Rust "Hello, world" is under a megabyte.

Rust is currently a language for dabblers and language weenies. It doesn't solve any problems, it just pushes awareness to the coding phase. This isn't a bad thing but it's no panacea to coding errors.

My boss is going to force all new development to Rust in the near future because he thinks it will fill all coding issues. We work in a field that requires ISO26262 compliance, which Rust does not have. He's a moron and I'll be looking for a new job when that mandate comes into force.

Rust won't prevent security vulnerabilities...

By blahplusplus • Score: 3 • Thread

... because the vulnerabilities stem from CPU design. The way pointers work on current x86 cpu's are the issue, and special secure processors that prevent you from accessing pointers directly and trying to attack and redirect program flow needs to be built into the processor and it costs performance.

So modern CPU architecture is mostly concerned with speed, and most companies are not going to break compatibility with an entire software ecosystem.

The whole problem is the way addressing works in most cpu's for most security issues. The rest of a lot of bugs are simply due to programmers not taking into account what variables or types will be passed or how much memory will need to be allocated because they aren't very good programmers. AKA predicting interactions with other programs at scale VS performance.

In the early days of DOS win 3.1 and fat 16/32 you had to worry about files not writing to disk sometimes properly and you needed to run chkdisk, that mostly doesn't happen on modern NTFS.

Twitter Testing Notes, a Long-Form Content Feature

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Search Engine Land: Twitter is testing a new feature that would eliminate the constraints of its 280-character tweet limit and allow users to publish long-form tweets. Twitter confirmed the test via a tweet.

When this will become available to all Twitter users? It's unclear. Twitter noted: "We're excited for the moment when everyone can use Notes, but for now, our focus is on building it right. A large part of that is engaging with writers and building community." For now, Twitter plans to test it over the next two months with a small group of writers from Canada, Ghana, the UK and the U.S.

In Twitter Notes, it looks like you will be able to add:
- Formatting: Bold, italic and strikethrough text; insert ordered/unordered lists; add links.
- Media: You can add one GIF, one video, or up to four images.
- Tweets: You can either embed tweets by pasting URLs or from bookmarked tweets.

Notes also has a "Focus mode," that makes the article composer full-screen.

They're already available through this simple hack

By Cy Guy • Score: 3 • Thread
Long-form tweets are already available through this simple hack:
1) Type a post in a notepad app up to 1,000 characters
2) Screencap the note & paste it into a tweet as an image
3) copy/paste the actual text as the ALT-text for the image
4) add up to 240 characters in tweet body ...

Please don't!

By nospam007 • Score: 3 • Thread

Create a new service called Ramble.

eBay Now Has An Established NFT Marketplace At Its Bidding

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
eBay made its biggest move yet into the world of digital collectibles with news today of the company acquiring NFT marketplace KnownOrigin. The online auction company is keeping lips sealed on the deal's value but confirmed in the press release that the deal is closed as of June 21st. The Verge reports: "This partnership will help us attract a new wave of NFT creators and collectors," said KnownOrigin co-founder David Moore. KnownOrigin describes itself as "one the world's first, and largest, NFT Marketplaces," and it currently ranks No. 12 on all-time trading volume for Ethereum-backed NFTs at $7.8 million, according to DappRadar. Higher ranked, more popular marketplaces include OpenSea (No. 1) with an all-time trading value at $30.43 billion and Decentraland (No. 8) at $155.66 million.

eBay started allowing NFT sales on its site last year. With the KnownOrigin acquisition, eBay has the opportunity to control a proper digital marketplace where NFT transactions can be both monitored and controlled -- not just offered with the fingers-crossed hope the seller transfers an NFT to the buyer's wallet correctly.

Late to the game

By Deal In One • Score: 3 • Thread

I thought the NFT "market" was already crashing.

So why spend resources on a NFT marketplace now?

How can you tell a fad is over?

By Opportunist • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

When big corporations jump onto it.

Re:Late to the game

By achacha • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

They probably started working on it last year and by the time it was ready to launch the marketplace was crashing and burning.

Re:How can you tell a fad is over?

By LatencyKills • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Funny? Insightful? I can't decide.

Beanie Babies

By nuckfuts • Score: 3 • Thread
This comes as no great surprise. E-Bay has always been a trend-driven marketplace. In fact, the rise in popularity of E-Bay had a lot to do with things like the Beanie Baby craze of the 1990's, which at its peak accounted for 10% of E-Bay's sales.

NASA Taps Three Companies To Design Nuclear Power Plants For the Moon

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
NASA announced on Tuesday that it's contracting three suppliers to provide concept designs for nuclear fission energy systems designed for use on the moon. TechCrunch reports: The winning bids for this award came from Lockheed Martin, Westinghouse and IX (a joint venture from Intuitive Machines and X-Energy). Each will be working with a few partners to develop their systems, which will be "initial concepts" only for the purposes of satisfying this particular contract, and each will receive roughly $5 million for their work, expected to take around 12 months.

NASA is aptly partnering with the Department of Energy (DOE) on this project, and the specs include a 40-kilowatt power generation capability, capable of generating that for at least a decade. That's about what a full charge on a current entry-level Nissan Leaf contains -- but as a fission generator it would obviously provide that continuously. It may not seem like much, but deployed singularly or in groups to support a lunar base, it could solve a lot of the challenges of the kind of prolonged occupancy of the moon that NASA plans to eventually establish through its Artemis program, which seeks to return humans to our largest natural satellite for ongoing science missions. NASA also notes that the work done for this contract could have other future applications for propulsion systems for long-range spacecraft for deep space explorations.

If it works on the moon then it works on Earth.

By MacMann • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Seeing an article about putting nuclear reactors on the moon reminded me of a TED Talk I saw some time ago:

In the talk is Kirk Sorensen talking about the energy needs of a human colony on the moon, and the challenges faced in getting that energy. On the moon people would need energy for heat, light, cooling, food production and preparation, processing of waste, and so much more. The challenges for getting energy on the moon is there is no wind for windmills. There's no water for hydroelectric dams. There's no coal to dig up, or natural gas to drill for, and no oxygen to burn it even if either were possible. Solar power isn't helpful because the sun sets for a very long time.

To solve this problem he discusses a kind of nuclear reactor that runs on thorium for fuel. But he goes on to explain that such a reactor would be exceedingly useful on Earth too.

If we can make a nuclear fission reactor provide power for humans to live on the moon then we solved a lot of our energy problems here on Earth.

We have floating nuclear fission powered cities we call aircraft carriers. We have nuclear powered submarines, where people sleep, eat, and work in a big steel container with a nuclear fission reactor providing heating, cooling, oxygen, lights, and so much more. So, in a way, this is largely a solved problem. Clearly they have to scale the reactor down considerably for NASA to consider it for a trip to the moon.

The article mentions future applications in long range spacecraft and deep space exploration. I see future applications in providing power here on Earth for hospitals, airports, military bases, prisons, and any place else where we don't want to see the electrical power blink for even a second. I could see reactors like this used for disaster relief. Keep a few of them at the ready for the next hurricane to hit land, a volcano erupting, or whatever. A problem might be that once deployed it will be too radioactive to move for decades. No problem really, just leave it there producing power until it runs out, cools down, and can be dug up from the dirt mound it was put under for radiation shielding.

If this works on the moon then it can work on Earth. A 40 kilowatt electric power source that will not need fuel for a decade would have nearly infinite applications right here on Earth. This will be money well spent, no matter how much development ends up costing.

Re:How about for Earth first?

By MacMann • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

If you can afford to build nuclear reactors here on hearth nobody's stopping you but you ain't building those things with other peoples tax money.

Why not? Have you seen how much tax money is spent on corn ethanol fuel, wind subsidies, solar subsidies, hydroelectric dams, and so many other means of producing energy? We see tax money spent on building power plants all the time, be they coal, natural gas, or whatever. One big role of the government is providing infrastructure to aid in commerce, national security, and utilities. Building power plants is what people expect their taxes to do for them.


By nospam007 • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

In case of an accident, they'll let contaminated water into the Mare Tranquillitatis?
All the Moon-fish will die.

In seriousness

By wierd_w • Score: 3 • Thread

A fission reactor on the moon comes with a lot of challenges.

It needs cooling. There is NOT a convenient atmosphere to dump it into. The only heat sink you have is the colony itself, and the surrounding bedrock.

Additionally, the cooling loop has to be completely closed, and the coolant cannot become contaminated. (Because there is precious little of it on the moon, its heavy as fuck to fly up there, its the stuff circulating in the walls to prevent cryogenically frozen colonists, and generally, its very hard to clean up a superfund site in low gravity with space suits on)

Additionally, since its whats keeping life support running, it needs to have a redundant backup, or you will have all the problems of fukushima daiichi, just on the moon. (Namely, cant afford to shut it down for extended and costly maintenance, with entirely predictable results)

You also need a waste disposal plan for spent fuel.

Too late!

By jd • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

The deadline for the nuclear accident was September 13th, 1999.