the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2022-Jul-04 today archive

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

Vim 9.0 Released

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
After many years of gradual improvement Vim now takes a big step with a major release. Besides many small additions the spotlight is on a new incarnation of the Vim script language: Vim9 script. Why Vim9 script: A new script language, what is that needed for? Vim script has been growing over time, while preserving backwards compatibility. That means bad choices from the past often can't be changed and compatibility with Vi restricts possible solutions. Execution is quite slow, each line is parsed every time it is executed.

The main goal of Vim9 script is to drastically improve performance. This is accomplished by compiling commands into instructions that can be efficiently executed. An increase in execution speed of 10 to 100 times can be expected. A secondary goal is to avoid Vim-specific constructs and get closer to commonly used programming languages, such as JavaScript, TypeScript and Java.

The performance improvements can only be achieved by not being 100% backwards compatible. For example, making function arguments available by creating an "a:" dictionary involves quite a lot of overhead. In a Vim9 function this dictionary is not available. Other differences are more subtle, such as how errors are handled. For those with a large collection of legacy scripts: Not to worry! They will keep working as before. There are no plans to drop support for legacy script. No drama like with the deprecation of Python 2.

Re:Awww yeah

By narcc • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Emacs has a text editor?



By enxebre • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
Not enough people seem to know of :x (which is save and quit, the same as :wq).


By postglock • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Not enough people seem to know of :x (which is save and quit, the same as :wq).

Close, but not exactly the same. :x is even better, because :wq will force a write no matter what, and :x will only write if the document has changed.


By jeromef • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
And one that is even faster to type: ZZ (no need to press ENTER).

Re:That is sad!

By drinkypoo • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

And now those strips are no longer available.

last archived feb 26, 2022

How do people keep forgetting the internet archive? I guess this is why it's so slow, nobody remembers, so nobody donates.

Former Top Apple Lawyer Pleads Guilty To Insider Trading

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The former top corporate lawyer at Apple pleaded guilty to insider trading charges, for what prosecutors called a five-year scheme to trade ahead of the iPhone maker's quarterly earnings announcements. Gene Levoff, 48, of San Carlos, California, pleaded guilty to six securities fraud charges at a hearing before U.S. District Judge William Martini in Newark, New Jersey. From a report: Levoff allegedly exploited his roles as corporate secretary, head of corporate law and co-chair of a committee that reviewed drafts of Apple's results to generate $604,000 of illegal gains on more than $14 million of trades from 2011 to 2016. Prosecutors said Levoff ignored the quarterly "blackout periods" that barred trading before Apple's results were released, as well as the company's broader insider trading policy -- which he was responsible for enforcing. "Gene Levoff betrayed the trust of one of the world's largest tech companies for his own financial gain," First Assistant U.S. Attorney Vikas Khanna in New Jersey said in a statement.

Not very good at it...

By kulaga • Score: 3 • Thread

Only 600k gains on more than 14 million in trades. Guy is probably going to prison with an illegal return of 4.3%. I guess he should have just invested the money in Google.

Re:That level of risk

By thomn8r • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

to make 600k? Thats it? Really?

Yeah - on $14m in trades? My guess is he's copping to a lesser crime either as part of a deal or to throw the regulators off the scent.

Re:The Apple...

By Anubis IV • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I may be misremembering, but I seem to recall that Apple actually forwarded the case to the feds for criminal prosecution of their own volition after catching him in an internal investigation. I think they fired him before the SEC ever opened its own investigation.

It's illegal to impersonate a member of Congress

By Babel-17 • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

In this case by emulating their behavior.

Re:The Apple...

By nealric • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Disbarment would require a separate proceeding by the state bar. The judge can't just order disbarment as part of sentencing. Disbarment proceedings wouldn't even begin until after being convicted of a crime.

SQLite or PostgreSQL? It's Complicated!

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Miguel Grinberg, a Principal Software Engineer for Technical Content at Twilio, writes in a blog post: We take blogging very seriously at Twilio. To help us understand what content works well and what doesn't on our blog, we have a dashboard that combines the metadata that we maintain for each article such as author, team, product, publication date, etc., with traffic information from Google Analytics. Users can interactively request charts and tables while filtering and grouping the data in many different ways. I chose SQLite for the database that supports this dashboard, which in early 2021 when I built this system, seemed like a perfect choice for what I thought would be a small, niche application that my teammates and I can use to improve our blogging. But almost a year and a half later, this application tracks daily traffic for close to 8000 articles across the Twilio and SendGrid blogs, with about 6.5 million individual daily traffic records, and with a user base that grew to over 200 employees.

At some point I realized that some queries were taking a few seconds to produce results, so I started to wonder if a more robust database such as PostgreSQL would provide better performance. Having publicly professed my dislike of performance benchmarks, I resisted the urge to look up any comparisons online, and instead embarked on a series of experiments to accurately measure the performance of these two databases for the specific use cases of this application. What follows is a detailed account of my effort, the results of my testing (including a surprising twist!), and my analysis and final decision, which ended up being more involved than I expected. [...] If you are going to take one thing away from this article, I hope it is that the only benchmarks that are valuable are those that run on your own platform, with your own stack, with your own data, and with your own software. And even then, you may need to add custom optimizations to get the best performance.

Re:It's not that simple...

By edwdig • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

They made a simple system using ORM tools and a database not really meant for use on a server. They realized they outgrew it and swapped the database for a more appropriate one. They thought it would be interesting to benchmark the performance of the two systems.

They barely did any work here. The extent of the "optimization" they did was tweaking a config file to say PostgreSQL was allowed to use more memory per query, allowing their large queries to fit in memory.

It sounds like they've got a fairly simple problem to solve, with a pretty straightforward solution in place. They swapped out the weak link in the toolset, which was pretty obviously a weak point, and got the expected result. It sounds like they're keeping things pretty simple and not over-engineering anything.

What is actually sad

By pchasco • Score: 3 • Thread
What is actually sad is how much time this PRINCIPLE engineer wasted performing this experiment. Relying on an ORM to produce optimized queries for different SQL engines is naive. I expect that if the author took a few hours to do some research and write some optimized views instead of relying on ORM he would have seen 2x or better response times over SQLite.

Re:Cost of the analysis itself?

By Lothsahn • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
As someone who's worked on both database from the big red O company as well as MSSQL, I can assure you that it doesn't require a new release to cause a query plan regression. A simple change in the data going over some threshold causing the heuristics to be different can suddenly cause a massive performance issue in a production database that has been successfully running for years.

Especially for OLTP workloads, the optimal query plan is often fairly easy to compute and there often isn't "a better one in the future". Having the plan unexpectedly change isn't a feature, it's a bug. Plan pinning and SQL plan management is actually a great feature, unfortunately, it's nearly impossible without the enterprise version, which is literally $$millions$$.

When you're running a web application serving millions of users, consistent performance is key. 10% performance is great, but avoiding hangs, deadlocks, system overload, or 1000x performance regressions is key. Unfortunately, relational databases have tons of ways to encounter the latter. For instance, in Oracle, you absolutely can end up with a deadlock just from inserting rows too quickly--never reading or altering them. Theoretically, this shouldn't be able to cause a deadlock, but on Oracle, it can (Note: it also can on MSSQL but for totally different reasons and depends on isolation level). Hint: It's caused by the ITL (interested transaction list).

Having random deadlocks, hangs, performance issues, spins, or system overloads caused by the database misbehaving only under certain workloads is one of the most frustrating things to deal with in OLTP at scale. If you can't tell, I hate dealing with databases for their unpredictability (and am a huge fan of plan management and other designs to provide better predictability).


By Elixon • Score: 3 • Thread

"Having publicly professed my dislike of performance benchmarks" ... so he publicly put out his own performance analysis... hmm.

Would he read this analysis if there was not his own name underneath it?

Re:Cost of the analysis itself?

By DontBeAMoran • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Ah yes, the databases services from Opple, Oogle, Omazon and Oicrosoft.

Government Policies Will Not Get UK To Net Zero, Warns Damning Report

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The government is failing to enact the policies needed to reach the UK's net zero targets, its statutory advisers have said, in a damning progress report to parliament. From a report: The Climate Change Committee (CCC) voiced fears that ministers may renege on the legally binding commitment to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, noting "major policy failures" and "scant evidence of delivery." Lord Deben, the chair of the committee and a former Conservative environment secretary, said the government had set strong targets on cutting emissions but policy to achieve them was lacking. "The government has willed the ends, but not the means," he said. "This report showed that present plans will not fulfil the commitments [to net zero]."

He said net zero policies were also the best way to reduce the soaring cost of living. Average household bills would be about $151.3 lower today if previous plans on green energy and energy efficiency had been followed through. "If you want to deal with the cost of living crisis, this is exactly what you need to do," he said. The greatest failure was the insulation policy. Britain's homes are the draughtiest in western Europe, heating costs are crippling household budgets, and heating is one of the biggest single sources of carbon emissions, but the government has no plans to help most people insulate their homes.

Net Zero?

By blackomegax • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Prodigy was a better ISP.

Re:We're fucked

By hdyoung • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
We are going to pay lip service but otherwise largely ignore the problem until it gets bad-beyond-anything-we’ve seem.

Stuff like extreme weather that renders MAJOR coastal cities uninhabitable. Damaged-but-habitable will simply be ignored. Think a major super-hurricane that slows down and sits over Mumbai , NYC or Shanghai for a full week. Complete loss of power generation, major roads washing away, whole neighborhoods of apartment buildings collapsing and no emergency services to dig people out. Multiple entire neighborhoods beyond salvaging. Not just a few poor spots like New Orleans. Something that requires a city-wide abandonment.

Full collapse and desertification of several major breadbasket regions. Picture the full US midwest turning into a near-desert. The current food crisis because of Russia has raised prices around 10%. Picture a doubling or tripling of food costs. Whole countries starving.

Heat waves so intense that they collapse a large-area power grid and melt the roads at the same time. With no way to get out and no power grid, large regions experience a 90% mortality rate as entire populations slowly turn into pot roast. Because above a certain wet-bulb temperature, human life is literally impossible no matter how tough you are or how much faith in god you have. This could easily happen to a large city if average temperatures climb just 5 or 6 degrees above where they are currently.

From the science I’ve seen, we’re probably going to avoid these scenarios. We’re not doing great but the worst-cases seem to be unlikely. The CO2 emissions curve is actually starting to bend and maybe, just maybe, we can keep it from climbing again. Ive given up trying to convince the climate deniers. Any progress will happen in spite of them and they will never, EVER be part of the solution. They get dragged along kicking and screaming.

Dash for Gas was a big mistake

By ickleberry • Score: 3 • Thread
Back in the 90's in the wake of Thatcher there was a big move by privatised electricity producers to install gas generation. They have well and truly snookered themselves, should have gone for nuclear, wind and solar instead.

They are planning to build an interconnector between UK and Morocco though. Which is an ambitious enough project. If it's a success they could just build a few more.

Dr. David MacKay gave us the solutions.

By MacMann • Score: 3, Informative • Thread

Years ago Dr. David MacKay gave us, and specifically the United Kingdom, the solutions to our energy problems. He laid them out nicely for us, in ways that someone with a high school education should be able to understand.
He did a TED Talk on this:
Wrote a book, which gives considerable detail on the issues:
And then shortly before his death gave an interview where he decided to be far more blunt on the problems and solutions than before:

Dr. David MacKay was the chief science advisor to the UK department on energy and climate change. He showed his work, and so if anyone has a problem with his recommendations then this person should be able to point to the errors in his calculations or measurements.

Dr. MacKay is not alone in what needs to be done. Many others have validated his work. The article mentions a need for better insulation on UK homes, and Dr. MacKay pointed to this as a solution in his TED Talk. What was not in the article, but should have been, is the need for more nuclear fission power. UK needs more nuclear power plants. The world needs more nuclear power plants. Dr. MacKay, and so many others, show the math that we won't solve this problem without nuclear power. We will need better insulation, more onshore windmills, more geothermal power, more so many other things. What is vital to solving our future energy needs is nuclear fission power.

The UK government has been talking about nuclear powered shipping for at least a year now, it can't come soon enough.

Elected politicians can't implement long term plan

By khchung • Score: 3 • Thread

If you care to look at the history, even if only for the last 50 years, it is blatantly obvious that elected politicians simply cannot implement any long term plans. Come next election and they have the choice of either sabotaging the long term for short term gain so they can be re-elected, or stick to the long term plan and then lose the election.

Everybody knew the supposed target for being carbon neutral in 2050 was just hot air. By 2030 it would be blindingly obvious the target won't be met, and by 2040 the target will be revised to 2070 (again 30 years later), then the whole thing repeats.

Gartner Predicts 9.5% Drop in PC Shipments

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The party is over for PC makers as figures from Gartner suggest the market is on course for a breathtaking decline this year. From a report: According to the analysts, worldwide PC shipments will decline by 9.5 percent, with consumer demand leading the way -- a 13.5 percent drop is forecast, far greater than business PC demand, which is expected to drop by 7.2 percent year on year. The PC market in the EMEA region is forecast to fare even worse, with a 14 percent decline on the cards for 2022. Gartner pointed the finger of blame at uncertainty caused by conflicts, price increases and simple unavailability of products. Lockdowns in China were also blamed for an impact in consumer demand. It all makes for grim reading from a channel perspective. While worldwide PC shipments fared the worst, tablet devices are forecast to fall by 9 percent and mobile phones by 7.1 percent. Overall, the total decline over all types of devices in the report is expected to be 7.6 percent. This is in stark contrast to a 11 percent increase year on year in the shipment of PCs in 2021 and 5 per cent for mobile phones.


By Opportunist • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

And every gamer has postponed getting a new PC until the GPUs become available because you don't buy a PC where your old GPU doesn't fit only to discover that by the time GPUs become available again, they don't play nice with the chipset of your mainboard.

Re:PCs last a long time

By Opportunist • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

We've reached "good enough" a while ago. The arbitrary obsolescence of hardware by operating system demand ("your mainboard has to support TLA 3.0 for our OS to run on ti!") was rolled back quickly after MS noticed that nobody can, or would want to, buy a new PC just for the questionable honor to be guinea pig for their latest OS.

So what reason is left to upgrade? Games. Which suffer from a lack of available GPUs. So why buy a new PC if in the end I don't get better performance anyway?

Re:This Gartner that we are talking about

By Opportunist • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Why do you think that's not their data generation method? It sure looks like it is.

Gartner can say whatever they want

By quonset • Score: 3 • Thread

I still have orders from last year which have to be delivered as do several other agencies. We're now told the newest HP machines will be delivered in 8 - 12 weeks rather than the previous 16 - 20 weeks (which, as I initially stated, hasn't happened either).

So yeah, BS on what Gartner says. Gartner's "predictions" are like the Federal Reserve talking about inflation. Completely devoid of factual basis.

No surprise

By EvilSS • Score: 3 • Thread
COVID accelerated purchasing for consumers and companies. PC sales were already trending upward YoY since bottoming out in 2015. So yea, a down trend isn't a shock. I'm sure it will level out when business refresh cycles get back to a normal pace. Speaking of, I am curious to see if COVID has caused a large sync-up on corporate refreshes. Will we see sales spikes in 3, 5, and 8 years as companies hit their first post-covid refresh intervals?

On a side note I do kind of feel bad for these guys, all that work to do the forecasting and it gets tanked 2 months after they release it:

The Really Important Job Interview Questions Engineers Should Ask (But Don't)

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
James Hawkins: Since we started PostHog, our team has interviewed 725 people. What's one thing I've taken from this? It's normal for candidates not to ask harder questions about our company, so they usually miss out on a chance to (i) de-risk our company's performance and (ii) to increase the chances they'll like working here.

Does the company have product-market fit? This is the single most important thing a company can do to survive and grow.
"Do you ever question if you have product-market fit?"
"When did you reach product-market fit? How did you know?"
"What do you need to do to get to product-market fit?"
"What's your revenue? What was it a year ago?"
"How many daily active users do you have?"

It's ok if these answers show you the founder doesn't have product market fit. In this case, figure out if they will get to a yes. Unless you want to join a sinking ship, of course! Early stage founders are (or should be) super-mega-extra-desperately keen to have product-market fit -- it's all that really matters. The ones that will succeed are those that are honest about this (or those that have it already) and are prioritizing it. Many will think or say (intentionally or through self-delusion) that they have it when they don't. Low user or revenue numbers and vague answers to the example questions above are a sign that it isn't there. Product-market fit is very obvious.

Re:Important Question #1

By LifesABeach • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

why should an engineer be concerned with what marketing and sales croak as a new paradigm.
questions i have when i am interviewed.
1. is this company going to exist in 5 years. (covad proof)
2. is this a marketing company
3. how many sick days
4. does this company offshore projects
5. what is your personal view of the movie office space

Re:startups are lame

By vivian • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

As long as they are paying me a salary instead of stock options, it's not actually that relevant - give me the specs, tell me what you want and I will write code for it, and do my best to make suggestions and recommendations that accomplish your goals better.

  If your business plan sucks or your customers dont exist and you don't have a way to invent a new market for whatever it is we are building, that's not really my area of expertise to get into.
I have worked for startups - long hours, low pay and frozen salaries for years while I looked forward to the happy day we went into production - with the assumption that if I did my best effort and we succeeded, my efforts would be rewarded eventually.
Instead, the CEO got backstabbed by the ops manager and pushed out of the very company he started, and it all turned into a sh*t show.

Next time, I'll take a proper salary instead of empty promises, thanks.

It's definitely better working in fortune 500's. The hours are just as long, and the bureaucracy sometimes heavier, but at least they pay well and you don't have to try to explain to people what your company does.

Some -good- hard interview questions (for nerds)

By siege72 • Score: 3 • Thread

* What do you like about working for $Company?

* What challenges has this department had to deal with?

* What are some of the negatives of $Company and department?

No. Ask "why" questions about what matters to you

By Tony Isaac • Score: 3 • Thread

Everybody has different goals for their employment. Some want good work-life balance. Some want travel and interaction with others in the Industry. Some want to work with other smart people, others want to just put in their time and go home.

It's not enough to just get the answers to questions like work-life balance. Probing further to ask "why" the company does what it does, is more important than just the policies. For example, "We don't do overtime because we have a union contract" is very different from "We don't do overtime because we believe in building software at a sustainable pace." Or, "We work remotely but are looking for the right time to come back to the office" is different from "We work remotely because we have found that our people are happier and more effective in their jobs working remotely."

Interviewers seldom answer even basic questions

By erice • Score: 3 • Thread

1) What is the hot need to that you want addressed by this role?
2) In practice, what would you expect that I would actually be doing in this role?
3) What sort of project will I be working on?

These are much simpler questions and they don't generally get answered. You would think that #3 would be trivial and startups that only have one project will answer but others will more often deflect.

Engineers and engineering managers are not going to know what product-market fit is. If you explain it to them, they still won't know the answer. So, why ask the question?

It is painfully difficult to get useful information from an interviewer. Either they don't know or they don't think they can tell you. The best you can do is gather peripheral information and deduce what the information must be.

Webb Telescope Will Look for Signs of Life Way Out There

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
This month will mark a new chapter in the search for extraterrestrial life, when the most powerful space telescope yet built will start spying on planets that orbit other stars. Astronomers hope that the James Webb Space Telescope will reveal whether some of those planets harbor atmospheres that might support life. New York Times: Identifying an atmosphere in another solar system would be remarkable enough. But there is even a chance -- albeit tiny -- that one of these atmospheres will offer what is known as a biosignature: a signal of life itself. "I think we will be able to find planets that we think are interesting -- you know, good possibilities for life," said Megan Mansfield, an astronomer at the University of Arizona. "But we won't necessarily be able to just identify life immediately."

So far, Earth remains the only planet in the universe where life is known to exist. Scientists have been sending probes to Mars for almost 60 years and have not yet found Martians. But it is conceivable that life is hiding under the surface of the Red Planet or waiting to be discovered on a moon of Jupiter or Saturn. Some scientists have held out hope that even Venus, despite its scorching atmosphere of sulfur dioxide clouds, might be home to Venusians. Even if Earth turns out to be the only planet harboring life in our own solar system, many other solar systems in the universe hold so-called exoplanets. In 1995, Swiss astronomers spotted the first exoplanet orbiting a sunlike star. Known as 51 Pegasi b, the exoplanet turned out to be an unpromising home for life -- a puffy gas giant bigger than Jupiter, and a toasty 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. In the years since, scientists have found more than 5,000 other exoplanets. Some of them are far more similar to Earth -- roughly the same size, made of rock rather than gas and orbiting in a "Goldilocks zone" around their star, not so close as to get cooked but not so far as to be frozen.

Re:Embargoing science to build the hype up sucks

By ZombieCatInABox • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Show us on the doll where the NASA employee touched you.

Re:Embargoing science to build the hype up sucks

By splutty • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

What the fuck are you talking about? All the pictures they've taken during calibration (which is still ongoing) have been released (although some in NASA didn't want to, because they look weird).

You will have exactly 0 knowledge of what's in those pictures, and just spew more nonsense about them if you see them, though. So why would it matter?

Here are the schematics for a nuclear reactor built with tax payer dollars. Have fun.

Embargoes are to help scientists

By Eunomion • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
who have committed decades of work to the project just on the off-chance they will ever get to publish on its results. Pursuing such careers is already deeply impractical, and would become virtually impossible if they couldn't even count on the professional advantage of publishing priority.

Money doesn't make science: Scientists make science, and scientific careers make scientists. We contribute our tax money to them because the profit that society realizes from support of their efforts is perpetual and unbounded.

The pretty pictures they deliver as a secondary benefit are something we can wait for.

Atmospheric biosignatures

By Immerman • Score: 3 • Thread

So, anyone have any ideas on exactly what atmospheric biosignatures Webb could be looking for?

Free oxygen is an obvious one - Webb is capable of very high resolution spectroscopy, and oxygen is so volatile that it gets bound into minerals almost immediately, and can't accumulate to significant levels without some process continuously producing more of it. Life (via photosynthesis) is the only such process we know of. (Of course life doesn't necessarily mean oxygen, as proven by the first billion or so years of life on Earth, but oxygen seems to mean life)

Another I've heard of is to look for net circular polarization of light - there's good reason to expect life to produce molecules with a preferred chirality, which will then impart a net circular polarization (which can be seen by, e.g. shining flashlight through a tank of sugar-water). Purely chemical reactions in contrast produce equal numbers of left- and right-handed molecules, which combine to impart no net polarization. It sounds like Webb has some sensors capable of detecting polarization, though I'm not clear on whether they're the right kind for this task.

Any other ideas?

Mickey Mouse Could Soon Leave Disney As 95-Year Copyright Expiry Nears

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
schwit1 writes: Mickey will be for the public domain in 2024, following U.S. copyright laws that state intellectual property on artistic work expires at the 95-year mark. When Mickey Mouse first appeared, Disney's copyright was protected for 56 years. The company supported the Copyright Act of 1976 which extended protections for 75 years. In 1998, Disney lobbied for a further extension. It is unclear whether the entertainment giant plans to make another move before 2023 to prevent Mickey from being moved into the public domain. Once copyright expires, anyone wishing to use characters from everyone's favorite rodent will not have to request permission or pay copyright charge.

Re:95-year copyright

By quonset • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Don't remind me. I already called dibs on Minnie.

Rule 34 is now in play.

Re:95-year copyright

By nospam007 • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

"He wants porn involving a 95-year-old mouse?"

MILF, Mice I Like to Fuck.

Re:95-year copyright

By UnderCoverPenguin • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

You think anyone gives a fuck about copyright when it comes to Rule 34?

The characters will still be trademarked. Only the original cartoons might become public domain. That only means the cartoons can be shown/redistributed as-is. The characters themselves will still be protected - by trademark law.

Bigots? WTF?

By tiqui • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Do you understand that the law DeSantis signed said NOTHING about homosexuality, transgenderism, etc?

The law said that the schools cannot sexualize children. Teachers cannot push transgenderism, homosexuality, OR HETEROSEXUALTIY or indeed ANY DAMNED SEXUALITY on little kids (not ANY gender identity, not ANY sexual orientation). The law does not favor, nor disfavor any particular sexuality, rather it just says, effectively, "knock it off... ALL of it!". This is NOT ANY form of "bigotry" - it's a pushback against people robbing little kids of their innocence and childhood and trying to pickle their little brains with lots of sexual stuff when they are too young to understand ANY of it. It simply is NOT the damned job of a school teacher to talk to 2nd graders about sex. The bill does not even go very far - it only protects kids through the third grade; people bent on warping and molesting kids can still start grooming them in fourth grade. This is not even some far-right Republican bill; a slim majority of Democrats support it (and a strong majority of both Republican and Democrat parents support it).

If the LGBTQ[...] "community" is in some bizarre way harmed by being blocked from pushing sexual themes onto little children, if trannies simply cannot enjoy life without strutting in front of little kids without their parents' permission, then the "community" is not some innocent alternate lifestyle group, it's a pedo freak show. There are plenty of gays and lesbians who are not into sexualizing children and who do not want to be tied to any of this junk - just as there are huge numbers of hetero adults who do not want to push sex onto little kids and who do not want heteros doing it.

If you think DeSantis signed a "don't say gay" bill into law, then you (like the moron CEO of Disney) have been completely propagandized into being a meatpuppet for pedophiles. Try READING THE LEGISLATION some time instead of just being a willing dupe for some twisted political activists. Slashdot is supposed to be a place where rational people are able to READ and able to make clear logical arguments on the objective facts - a different sort of place from where people argue over their telephone-game-like third- or fourth-hand "interpretations" of what somebody might have meant when he might have said something.

Re:Trademark vs Copyright

By cpt kangarooski • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Hi, I'm an IP lawyer.

The case to look at here is Kellogg Co. v. National Biscuit Co., 305 U.S. 111 (1938). In it, Nabisco lost the SHREDDED WHEAT trademark, which was held to become generic when the patent for shredded wheat cereal and the making thereof, entered the public domain. That is, the patent running out permitted anyone to make and sell shredded wheat, depriving the mark of any ability to identify the source, which it has to have to be a trademark.

The other case to look at is Dastar Corp. v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., 539 U.S. 23 (2003), holding that trademarks are no substitutes for copyrights; when a copyright is in the public domain, a trademark cannot be used to prevent copying, distribution, preparation of derivative works, public performance or display.

There will be a good bit of litigation around this though, I bet.

BioNTech, Pfizer To Start Testing Universal Vaccine For Coronaviruses

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Germany's BioNTech, Pfizer's partner in COVID-19 vaccines, said the two companies would start tests on humans of next-generation shots that protect against a wide variety of coronaviruses in the second half of the year. From a report: Their experimental work on shots that go beyond the current approach include T-cell-enhancing shots, designed to primarily protect against severe disease if the virus becomes more dangerous, and pan-coronavirus shots that protect against the broader family of viruses and its mutations. In presentation slides posted on BioNTech's website for its investor day, the German biotech firm said its aim was to "provide durable variant protection." The two partners, makers of the Western world's most widely used COVID-19 shot, are currently discussing with regulators enhanced versions of their established shot to better protect against the Omicron variant and its sublineages.

Re: Good news

By Rei • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

You mean like influenza vaccines? So they're not vaccines?


What about tetanus? That's every 10 years. In your "vaccines can't be vaccines if they're annual" world, are tetanus vaccines considered vaccines or not?


By Rei • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Cold viruses primarily replicate in the upper respiratory tract and stay there

1. SARS-CoV-2 is not a "cold". Cold is a generic term for any mild virus which can cause upper respiratory symptoms, which can be from vastly diverse families (the most common cold viruses are Rhinoviruses, which are actually quite close relatives of polio, and not at all related to Coronaviruses - a diverse family that contains numerous highly lethal viruses, of which thankfully only a couple have ever jumped to humans in modern times) - where "mild" is generally seen as "less than influenza". SARS-CoV-2, being responsible for mass waves of excess mortality, well in excess of influenza,fails at the "mild" standpoint, and is thus not "a cold".

2. SARS-CoV-2 replicates in any tissue that expresses the protein ACE2. ACE2 is a blood pressure regulator, and is consequently found throughout the body, but especially in the vasculature. Indeed, while severe acute respiratory failure is the most common cause of death (hence the name), cardiovascular causes of death are a surprisingly common minority from the disease.

3. UNLIKE SARS-CoV-2, vaccination is highly locally confined. It is an intramuscular injection; it is not intravenous. The fact that it remains in the deltoid has been well studied - for example, instead of having it express double proline-stabilized spikes, one can have it express a luciferase (glowing firefly protein) and monitor the glow in mice to see where expression is occurring - here's the result.

4. The vaccine can enter *any* cell; unlike the virus, it has no particular affinity for endothelial cells. Namely, because it uses no cell receptor for entry; it is simply free floating in tiny fat globules, to be uptaken by any cell at all. The most common type of cell to uptake them is dendritic cells, for which uptaking and presenting "suspicious" material is literally their job.

5. Expression is to the cell surface, where it is membrane-fused. Literally, mRNA includes a sort of "address" for what is supposed to happen to the produced protein, and that's what it is marked at.

6. Unlike S on the virus, S in the vaccine cannot fuse. It is double proline substituted, which breaks the fusion mechanism. (Proline tends to form rigid sections in proteins, like a splint)

7. Like all proteins, it has a limited lifespan in the body, with a half life on the order of a couple weeks. The only thing that remains is the body's "memory" of how to fight it.

8. I have friends who... ... don't know the difference between anecdotes and statistics? I developed stomach problems before I got vaccinated. Should I count those as a side effect of vaccination? No? Of course not. But if they had happened *after* I had gotten vaccinated, you'd be instantly rushing to blame them on vaccination. I'm sorry, but that's not how these things work. You have to show statistical significance.

9. making earth-shattering profits - The most remarkable thing is how abnormally cheap the vaccines are. I had to pay several hundred dollars per Shingrix shot (I know, it's cheaper in the US, but still expensive). My government paid about $10 each for Pfizer, more (but still not that much) for Moderna. That's dirt cheap; they only made up for it in volume. If you want to rail against pharma profits, attack them for prices on drugs like Ambien and the like, that's where they're really ripping people off with insane profit margins.

Evolution adapts

By Tony Isaac • Score: 3 • Thread

If they develop a "universal" vaccine, evolution has a way of developing workarounds and defenses, or new variants that don't have the characteristics targeted by the vaccine. This would be a good development, if successful, but given how quickly coronavirus mutates, it's not likely to be a long-lasting "universal" protection.

Why i this taking so long?

By schweini • Score: 3 • Thread
Could anybody explain why this is taking so long? I thought that the huge benefit of mRNA vaccines was that they could be updated and customized super, super quickly. As in days.
And, IIRC, there was even an FDA exemption added that small variations of the mRNA sequence used would not have to go through the whole shebang of testing and re-approval.

Finally some good news

By gweihir • Score: 3 • Thread

mRNA seems to be the game-changer for vaccines that the smarter ones of us had hoped for. Of course, the morons will claim this is even worse, but frankly, I have stopped caring. Let them die from their stupidity. I am not fine with them inflicting the stupid on their children though. Not vaccinating your children is at the very least aggravated child abuse.

Crypto Platform Vauld Suspends Withdrawals, Trading Amid 'Financial Challenges'

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Vauld, a Singapore-headquartered crypto lending and exchange startup, has suspended withdrawals, trading and deposits on its eponymous platform with immediate effect as it navigates "financial challenges," it said Monday. From a report: The three-year-old startup -- which counts Peter Thiel-backed Valar Ventures, Coinbase Ventures and Pantera Capital among its backers and has raised about $27 million -- said it is facing financial challenges amid the market downturn, which it said has prompted customer withdrawals of about $198 million since June 12. Vauld enables customers to earn what it claims to be the "industry's highest interest rates on major cryptocurrencies." On its website, Vauld says it offers 12.68% annual yields on staking several so-called stablecoins including USDC and BUSD and 6.7% on Bitcoin and Ethereum tokens.

Re:no regulations is bad mkay!

By Opportunist • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

The price of freedom ... is bankruptcy.

They can't keep it above $20k anymore

By rsilvergun • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Despite a ton of market manipulation from big players who are desperate to keep confidence in the market from collapsing (since it's all funny money so once confidence goes the whole ponzi busts). Surprisingly Ethereum has held above $1000 for the most part, but that's probably just Great Fools "hedging" their Bitcoin losses with Ethereum.

All I can say is good riddance, or at least I hope so. As the regulatory noose tightens the money laundering and ponzi scams will go away and the bottom will drop out. All that'll be left are a handful of speculators who lose their shirts.

This can still change of course. They're still trying to get crypto classified as a commodity so they can have the much weaker commodities regulations instead of the SEC looking into their shady schemes.

Commodities get a lot less regulation because they have actual real world value and as such are much safer investments. If I buy 1000 pork belies I know I can at least get something out of them even if it's only jerky. Crypto is obviously not a commodity, but that's not stopping them from gunning for less regulation.

If they get it then that's going to be bad. They'll be able to run an almost completely unregulated securities exchange. I'd like to think /. readers are smart enough to understand how bad the market crash from that is going to be, and that their own savings and retirements and even livelihoods will be affected.


By Opportunist • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Erh... no.

If you think that the bank is sitting on your money and waiting for you to withdraw it, you're an idiot. You know, at least you should know, that a bank uses that money to hand out loans. These loans create the interest that you get for your savings (plus a not too shabby surplus interest for the bank).

Also, banks are incredibly severely regulated. At least over here. Bank laws over here require that every bank has to deposit 8% of their loan volume in government bonds. Give or take, depending on the loan (that's why mortgages are fairly cheap, they don't require that much money to be tied up in bonds). Take your average bank and ponder how much 8% of their credit volume is. You can't even try to withdraw that amount of money in a relevant time. Even if you're Elon Musk.

Also, savings (again, at least over here) are guaranteed by the government up to a certain amount (IIRC it's like 100k). In other words, even if the bank goes bankrupt, the government will cover your losses. That is quite comforting. And a pretty good reason for the government to hold them by the balls with regulations that would make any other industry throw a fit.

All that contributes to the stability we have in banks here. And that in turn contributes to the trust people have in banks. Do banks fail? Yeah. Well, no. "Surprisingly" whenever a bank is about to fail, some other bank hoovers them up and they "consolidate" without much of a hitch. You, as the average bank customer, don't even notice anything, except that there's now a different logo on your statement.

Bank business is a bit like sausages. You don't want to know just what kind of shit is going on inside. But then again, you also don't really need to. It works. For you. Your money is safe. And after all, that's all 99.9% of the people really care about.


By bill_mcgonigle • Score: 3 • Thread

Satoshi: Trustless. Permissionless. Be your own bank.

Scammers: Send us your crypto and we'll send more back. Trust us.

Greed creates fools.


By Opportunist • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I think it's a bit more complicated than that. One of the core problems is our culture, where admitting that you're wrong is equated with failure. It's even more socially acceptable to be demonstrably wrong and defending that point of view to the end than to simply say "yup. I was wrong".

Just look at our politicians and how we treat them. We have seen it time and time again that they are wrong. In a totally obvious way. Where facts were presented that showed them that, by any metric that could be applied, their position is wrong. Yet accepting this is political suicide, instead, if they stomp their feet like a child and refuse to accept reality, it's seen as a virtue.

We need to make being wrong socially acceptable.

Hacker Claims To Have Stolen Data of 1 Billion Chinese From Police

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
A hacker has claimed to have procured a trove of personal information from the Shanghai police on one billion Chinese citizens, which tech experts say, if true, would be one of the biggest data breaches in history. From a report: The anonymous internet user, identified as "ChinaDan," posted on hacker forum Breach Forums last week offering to sell the more than 23 terabytes (TB) of data for 10 bitcoin BTC=, equivalent to about $200,000. "In 2022, the Shanghai National Police (SHGA) database was leaked. This database contains many TB of data and information on Billions of Chinese citizen," the post said. "Databases contain information on 1 Billion Chinese national residents and several billion case records, including: name, address, birthplace, national ID number, mobile number, all crime/case details." Reuters was unable to verify the authenticity of the post. The Shanghai government and police department did not respond to requests for comment on Monday.

That's a little sad

By RogueWarrior65 • Score: 3 • Thread

If my math is correct, every person can be boiled down to ~23k or something like 11 pages of text.


By Joce640k • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The responsible thing to do would be to release it so the public can see what sort of profiles the government is creating.

But... the needs of the one outweighs the needs of the many, right?

Re:That's a little sad

By hdyoung • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
If he’s in China, he’s an idiot. He’ll probably be shot. If he’s in the US, he’s probably safe. No extradition treaty and China doesnt seem to be doing any overseas assassinations, unlike Russia.

On the other hand, if he has family members on the mainland, they’re gonna pay dearly for this.

Microsoft Finds 'Raspberry Robin' Worm in Hundreds of Windows Networks

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"Microsoft says that a recently spotted Windows worm has been found on the networks of hundreds of organizations from various industry sectors," reports BleepingComputer.

The "Raspberry Robin" malware (first spotted in September) spreads through USB devices with a malicious .LNK file Although Microsoft observed the malware connecting to addresses on the Tor network, the threat actors are yet to exploit the access they gained to their victims' networks. This is in spite of the fact that they could easily escalate their attacks given that the malware can bypass User Account Control (UAC) on infected systems using legitimate Windows tools. Microsoft shared this info in a private threat intelligence advisory sent to Microsoft Defender for Endpoint subscribers and seen by BleepingComputer....

Once the USB device is attached and the user clicks the link, the worm spawns a msiexec process using cmd .exe to launch a malicious file stored on the infected drive. It infects new Windows devices, communicates with its command and control servers (C2), and executes malicious payloads...

Microsoft has tagged this campaign as high-risk, given that the attackers could download and deploy additional malware within the victims' networks and escalate their privileges at any time.

Good old MS crap

By gweihir • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Not even secure against ancient malware spreading techniques. I mean, how pathetically inept can you get?

Stupid question?

By Errol backfiring • Score: 3 • Thread
A stupid question maybe, but how does the worm get there? If the Raspberry devices were already infected, a USB drive could have done the same. If it has to come from the network, how is that transfer initiated?


By drinkypoo • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

The user has to manually launch the shortcut per TFA (they call it a "link" though, sigh... presumably because it's a .lnk file) in order for the initial infection to occur.

Sound security practices

By ZiggyZiggyZig • Score: 3 • Thread

One should know better than clicking on a link.

Re:Does anyone really use UAC on personal machines

By budgenator • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

It's not that UAC is so annoying, it's that so many craptastic windows programmers are so bad at writing useful apps that can run in the expected UAC environment

A Library of Books No One Can Read For 100 Years

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Slashdot reader DevNull127 writes: The BBC looks at a 100-year art project in which famous authors write books that will not be published until the year 2113. An annual ceremony takes place near a forest of sapling trees which will be turned into paper in the year 2113 and then used for printing those books.
From the article: It began with the author Margaret Atwood, who wrote a story called Scribbler Moon, and since then the library has solicited submissions from all over the world... All the manuscripts will be stored for almost a century inside locked glass drawers in a hidden corner of Oslo's main public library, within a small, wooden repository called the Silent Room. In 2114, the drawers will be unlocked, and the trees chopped down — and 100 stories hidden for a century will finally be published in one go.
It's part of Scottish artist Katie Paterson's fascination with the passage of time: One of her first works, Vatnajokull (the sound of) [included] a phone number that anyone could call to listen to an Icelandic glacier melting. Dial the number, and you'd be routed to a microphone beneath the water in the Jökulsárlón lagoon on Iceland's south coast, where blue-tinged icebergs calve away and float towards the sea....

One of her most recent exhibitions in Edinburgh, Requiem at Ingleby Gallery, featured 364 vials of crushed dust, each one representing a different moment in deep time. Vial #1 was a sample of presolar grains older than the Sun, followed by powdered four-billion-year-old rocks, corals from prehistoric seas, and other traces of the distant past. A few visitors were invited to pour one of the vials into a central urn: when I was there in June, I poured #227, a four-million-year-old Asteroidea fossil, a kind of sea star....

Of all her work exploring the long-term though, Future Library is the project most likely to be remembered across time itself. Indeed, it was deliberately created to be. And this year its longevity was ensured: Oslo's city leaders signed a contract formally committing them and their successors to protect the forest and library over the next 100 years.

Interesting idea

By jd • Score: 3 • Thread

But why not print the books now on something like Do paper from Vietnam (life expectancy 800 years), which will boost poor economies considerably?


By drinkypoo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

by backslashdot ( 95548 ) on 07-04-22 2:42 (#62671512)
You must be really full of yourself to participate in something like this.

You mean Slashdot? or...?

Re:No one will buy them...

By Sven-Erik • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

According to the Norwegian copyright law, they get protection for the life of the author + 70 years. If they first get published after that protection period, they will get a 25 year protection period from the date of the publication.

Re:That'll Go Well

By thegarbz • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Have these authors thought about what they're setting themselves up for?

They are setting themselves up for nothing. They won't care, they will be dead. And if HP Lovecraft's work was published today with the full knowledge that they were written 100 years ago then it would be nothing more than a historical record.

"Cancel mobs" don't exist. Ever since humans have first communicated there has always been disagreements, ever since we have had the ability to trade there have been boycotts.

Call it what it is: One person telling another to boycott something for some reason, a practice which has existed for millennia. Stop feeding the right wing culture war by pretending this is new, related to twitter, or something to do with "cancel culture".

Re:Do I eat, drink, breathe, or read a book?

By drinkypoo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

That's the real purpose for actions like these — to make people think, ask questions, etc. Therefore, bravo.

If by chance we manage to survive long enough, then it may take on other meanings. And they will be situational, and people will take away from it something relevant to the times — even if that turns out to be "this was a spectacular waste of time"

Texts and Web Searches Have Been Used to Prosecute Women for Abortions

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Privacy advocates warn internet activity could someday be used to prosecute women who sought abortions. But it's already happened, reports the Washington Post.

In a handful of cases over the years, "American prosecutors have used text messages and online research as evidence against women facing criminal charges related to the end of their pregnancies." Despite mounting concerns that the intricate web of data collected by fertility apps, tech companies and data brokers might be used to prove a violation of abortion restrictions, in practice, police and prosecutors have turned to more easily accessible data — gleaned from text messages and search history on phones and computers. These digital records of ordinary lives are sometimes turned over voluntarily or obtained with a warrant, and have provided a gold mine for law enforcement. "The reality is, we do absolutely everything on our phones these days," said Emma Roth, a staff attorney at the National Advocates for Pregnant Women. "There are many, many ways in which law enforcement can find out about somebody's journey to seek an abortion through digital surveillance...."

Women have been punished for terminating pregnancy for years. Between 2000 and 2021, more than 60 cases in the United States involved someone being investigated, arrested or charged for allegedly ending their own pregnancy or assisting someone else, according to an analysis by If/When/How, a reproductive justice nonprofit. If/When/How estimates the number of cases may be much higher, because it is difficult to access court records in many counties throughout the country.

A number of those cases have hinged on text messages, search history and other forms of digital evidence.

In 2015 an Indiana woman received a sentence of 20 years in prison based partly on text messages she'd sent, according to the article (though that conviction was overturned).

It's provoked concern in countries around the world, and an activist group helping women travel to countries with less restrictive laws tells the Post that they now use encrypted messaging apps like Signal and VPNs to minimize records of their web searches.

Re:Better Ways to Solve Demographic Problems

By drinkypoo • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

It never fails to amaze me how bible thumpers manage to put a lot of emphasis on the parts they like but curiously never bother reading the parts that would point out the beams in their eyes...

That's why the Catholics like to tell you what to think about the bible, and for a long time strenuously opposed most people reading it themselves (or even learning to read at all.) And lo! The six justices voting for jebus, and our president who refuses to mount an opposition to them, are specifically all Catholics.

There's no pope in the bible. In fact, there's a whole lot in there about how you don't need a priest or a church to have a relationship with god. There's also a whole bunch about how you should give away your wealth to the poor, which the Vatican is literally the opposite of.

Re:Better Ways to Solve Demographic Problems

By TheGratefulNet • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

the bitch amy barrett is a female and she's fully into the whole woman-as-a-slave-to-men thing. remember, she's in that special religious cult, even more extreme than what most would call 'too far'.

there are a LOT of women who vote against their own best interests.

its one reason I think religion is the #1 evil in the world.

I've never believed it more than I do now, in fact. we SEE the effects of it. hard to ignore, now.

Re: Better Ways to Solve Demographic Problems

By quonset • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Ahh, but that's the neat part. They won't because they were forced to give birth after being raped. Now they'll have to subsist off the government which then allows Republicans to claim these women are welfare queens and demonize them even more.

The plan is coming together.

Re:The real agenda

By squiggleslash • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Leaving aside gerrymandering and voter suppression, a sizable part of it is complacency. The fact the constitution's implied privacy clause makes any laws on abortion even at a state level unconstitutional lead many to believe that forced-birthers who were pushing for state laws would be neutered, and so their opinions on abortion could be ignored and their other views should be used to determine whether to vote for them or not.

What nobody counted on was that a rogue supreme court would pretend there's no right to privacy (pretend, yes, the same court with the same people blocked anti-COVID measures because of those same privacy protections) and would sign on to an interpretation of the constitution that would have Benjamin Franklin rolling in his grave.

This ought to be a lesson to everyone, but honestly, a nation that forgets that four years ago gasoline was at $4 a gallon isn't going to remember that maybe you should not vote for nutcases who want to take rights away that you believe you should have.

And before anyone mentions gun rights, bear in mind that virtually no mainstream Democrats are in favor of a blanket ban on guns, while blanket bans on abortion are popular among many mainstream Republicans. Also the rest of the world is doing just fine with blanket bans on guns anyway, and it was never intended to be a "right" in the original constitution, the original intent was to make sure the Federal government couldn't pass laws making state militias impractical, it's just the 12th Amendment kind of messed things up by treating all of the Bill of Rights "rights" as human rights regardless of intent.

Regardless though, Dems are happy for you to have all kinds of gun as long as you're not a wife beater. Many Republicans are happy for you to have abortions under certain, restricted, circumstances, but a sizable number want to ban it completely.

Consider that at the ballot box in November.

Re:Abortion discussion in the USA

By squiggleslash • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

and also the democrats advocating unlimited right for abortion up to birth as stupid as full ban

Both sides!

Seriously though, here's a great quote from, of all people, Pete Buttigieg on that, and Pete's an outlyer, most Democrats are actually happy with third trimester bans:

(Chris Wallace points out 6,000 have third trimester abortions) That's right, representing less than 1 percent of cases. So let's put ourselves in the shoes of a woman in that situation. If it's that late in your pregnancy, then almost by definition you've been expecting to carry it to term. We're talking about women who have perhaps chosen a name. Women who have purchased a crib, families that then get the most devastating medical news of their lifetime, something about the health of the life of the mother or viability of the pregancny that forces them to make an impossible, unthinkable choice. And the bottom line is as horrible as that choice is, that woman, that family may seek spiritual guidance, they may seek medical guidance, but that decision is not going to be made any better, medically or morally, because the government is dictating how that decision should be made.

Is he wrong?