Submission + - A different story to the gender pay gap

malkavian writes: There's been a lot of talk over recent years around the "Gender pay gap", where analyses have been saying that women earn far less than men for exactly the same work.This seems to have been generally accepted, and widely touted. However, according to The Economist, this may not be the case at all for nearly every case, with the outlier being at the very top of the organisation,where women do indeed seem to be paid less.
The widely touted figure is that women earn 29% less than men, and on Slashdot, along with many other places on the internet, heated discussions have been commonplace, with all kinds of theories as to why it would be fair to have a woman sat next to a man doing exactly the same work, yet earning a third less for the effort. It seems that this doesn't actually happen. The average pay gap where it exists is approximately 1%. The article does further say that this does not mean that there isn't sex discrimination in the workplace, as women tend to be doing lesser paid roles on the whole. It does say that there are no clear signals as to why this occurs yet, indicating further research would be needed. The consultancy releasing the figures recommends that when submitting pay details (as required in the UK for large organisations), organisations further break the returns down by job role, such that identification of like work can be picked up for analysis.

Submission + - Is Google a Cult? (vortex.com)

Lauren Weinstein writes: Fired Google engineer James Damore, author of the infamous internal Google anti-diversity memo, and currently basking in the warm, apparently mutual embrace of the Nazi alt-right, seems to now be making something of a career out of spewing anti-Google propaganda, especially via right-wing media venues.

Amidst the accumulating pile of garbage claims that’s he’s been making, one in particular caught my eye, his statement that Google is “almost like a cult.”

Submission + - Best programming language for schoolchildren

SPopulisQR writes: New school year is approaching and I wanted to ask what are appropriate programming languages for children of various age. Specifically, 1) what coding languages should be considered then 2) are there are any self guided coding websites, that can be used by children to learn coding using guidance and help online? Let's say the ages are 8 and 12.

Submission + - Plex Not Allowing Users to OPT Out of Data Collection (www.plex.tv)

bigdogpete writes: Many users of Plex got an email that said they were changing their privacy policy which goes into effect on 20 September 2017. While most of the things are pretty standard, users found it odd that they were now not going to allow users to opt-out of data collection. Here is the part from their website explaining the upcoming changes.

"In order to understand the usage across the Plex ecosystem and how we need to improve, Plex will continue to collect usage statistics, such as device type, duration, bit rate, media format, resolution, and media type (music, photos, videos, etc.). We will no longer allow the option to opt out of this statistics collection, but we do not sell or share your personally identifiable statistics. Again, we will not collect any information that identifies libraries, files, file names, and/or the specific content stored on your privately hosted Plex Media Servers. The only exception to this is when, and only to the extent, you use Plex with third-party services such as Sonos, Alexa, webhooks, and Last.fm."

What do you all think?

Submission + - How The OPEC Crisis Killed 1970s Futuristic Plastic Dwellings (cnn.com)

dryriver writes: In the 1970s a number of architects designed futuristic houses, dwellings, chalets and beach shacks made out of a newly popular material — plastics. But before these plastic structures had a chance to become popular in any way, the OPEC crisis hit. Oil prices shot up. With them the price of making an entire human dwelling out of plastic also shot up. A new exhibition called Utopie Plastique (http://friche-escalette.com/en/programme/lutopie-plastique/) puts a number of surviving 1970s utopian plastic buildings, most of which were built in small quantities only, on display. The curator of the exhibition believes that if it weren't for the OPEC crisis, we might have seen far more plastic utopian dwellings dotting countrysides and beaches around the world than we do today.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Why Did Cars Never Get Joysticks Or Flight Yokes As An Option?

dryriver writes: We all know how you drive a car — with a circular steering wheel and foot operated pedals. 2 hands and 2 feet on the controls in other words. But other physical interfaces are possible for driving vehicles — joysticks, flight yokes, something like 3Dconnexion's SpaceMouse controller or other alternative driving interfaces that nobody has invented yet. Some of these controllers might actually improve the reaction time of a driver in a tricky situation. Twisting a joystick to the left or right sharply might allow a faster steering response when an obstacle that suddenly appears is to be avoided. Some people might brake quicker if it involved pulling a joystick or flight yoke towards themselves. Such "alternative driving interfaces" are actually available as retrofit option for vehicle drivers with a number of different disabilities. But it seems that virtually none of the big car companies will do things like having a conventional steering wheel AND an F16-style right-side-of-the-driver joystick fitted into a car by default. Why is this? Are joysticks and yokes no good for safe driving? Would one need special training or permits to drive this way? Or is it a cost issue, a "matter of convention" issue or a "lack of consumer demand" issue mostly?

Submission + - Researchers Win $100,000 for New Spear-Phishing Detection Method (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Facebook has awarded this year's Internet Defense Prize worth $100,000 to a team of researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, who came up with a new method of detecting spear-phishing attacks in closely monitored enterprise networks. The team created a detection system — called DAS (Directed Anomaly Scoring) — that identifies uncommon patterns in emails communications. They trained DAS by having it analyze 370 million emails from one single large enterprise with thousands of employees, sent between March 2013 and January 2017.

"Out of 19 spearphishing attacks, our detector failed to detect 2 attacks," the research team said. "Our detector [also] achieved an average false positive rate of 0.004%," researchers added, pointing out that this is almost 200 times better than previous research.

Honorable mentions went two other projects, one for using existing static analysis techniques to find a large number of vulnerabilities in Linux kernel drivers, and another for preventing specific classes of vulnerabilities in low-level code.

Submission + - Can porn revive a beloved Netflix series? (betanews.com)

BrianFagioli writes: "Sense8" is hardly Netflix's most popular television series, but it has developed a cult following and is beloved by many. After all, it was co-created by the Wachowskis (sisters Lilly and Lana) — writers and directors of the famous Matrix films.

That is why its cancellation by Netflix after only two seasons was heartbreaking for fans of the show. Even after an outpouring of feedback and emotion from fans, the streaming video service still declined to reverse course. There may still be a chance for "Sense8" to survive, however, thanks to an unlikely thing — porn. Wait, what?

You see, nude video website xHamster is offering to finance the series going forward. The now-canceled Netflix series would not be turned into pornography (total creative control is promised), but it would be effectively funded by porn. While it doesn't seem likely that this partnership will actually happen, it is still quite intriguing.

Submission + - Limits of Speech: How Trump's Nazis Forced the Internet to Grow Up (vortex.com)

Lauren Weinstein writes: Then came Charlottesville, and what already had been heavy surf turned into a tidal wave of concern.

In the last week, we’ve seen Internet-related firms and others finally reacting with the kind of strong, ethical actions that many of us have long been urging in the context of dealing with hate groups on the Net.

Various of Trump’s Nazis and hate sites have finally been banned, and even the ACLU yesterday announced that it would no longer support the “speech rights” of groups that bring firearms to demonstrations — a change of staggering significance for the venerable organization.

Submission + - When Exactly Will the Eclipse Happen? A Multimillenium Tale of Computation (wired.com)

rgh02 writes: Everyone across the US is gearing up for the solar eclipse. But do you know exactly when it will occur at your location? At Backchannel, esteemed mathematician Stephen Wolfram explains (and calculates) everything we need to know before August 21. Wolfram also delves into the long and fascinating history of humans computing the eclipse.

Submission + - 1.8 million Chicago voter records exposed online (cnn.com)

schwit1 writes: A voting machine company exposed 1.8 million Chicago voter records after misconfiguring a security setting on the server that stored them.

Election Systems & Software (ES&S), the Nebraska-based voting software and election management company, confirmed the leak on Thursday.

In a blog post, the company said the voter data leak contained names, addresses, birthdates, partial social security numbers and some driver's license and state ID numbers stored in backup files on a server. Authorities alerted ES&S to the leak on Aug. 12, and the data was secured.

A security researcher from UpGuard discovered the breach.

The data did not contain any voting information, like the results of how someone voted.

Jim Allen, a spokesman for the Chicago Board of Elections, said the leak did not contain or affect anyone's voting ballots, which are handled by a different vendor.

Submission + - Attackers Turn To Auto-Updating Links Instead Of Macros To Deliver Malware (helpnetsecurity.com)

Orome1 writes: SANS ISC handler Xavier Mertens has flagged and analyzed a malicious Word file that, somehow, is made to automatically download an additional malicious RTF file, ultimately leading to a RAT infection. What is curious about this particular attack is that it uses an approach that Mertens has never encountered before: the file exploits a Microsoft Word feature that can make files automatically update links included in them as soon as they are opened. The Word file tries to access the malicious RTF file and, if it succeeds, the latter downloads a JavaScript payload, which creates a shell object to spawn a PowerShell command and download a malicious PE file – the Netwire RAT.

Submission + - In Lieu of Taxes, Microsoft Gives a Nevada Schoolkid a Surface Laptop

theodp writes: The Official Microsoft Blog hopes a letter from a Nevada middle schooler advising Microsoft President Brad Smith to "keep up the good work running that company" will "inspire you like it did us." Penned as part of a math teacher's assignment to write letters to the businesses that they like, Microsoft says the letter prompted Smith to visit the Nevada school to meet 7th-grader Sky Yi in person as part of the company’s effort to draw attention to the importance of math and encourage students and teachers who are passionate about STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. In an accompanying video of the surprise meeting, Smith presents Yi with a new Surface Laptop that comes with Windows 10 S, a version of the OS that has been streamlined with schools in mind. "Not bad for a little letter," the Microsoft exec says. Speaking of Microsoft, Nevada, and education, Bing Maps coincidentally shows the school Smith visited is just a 43-minute drive from the software giant's Reno-based Americas Operations Center. According to the Seattle Times, routing sales through the Reno software-licensing office helps Microsoft minimize its tax bills (NV doesn’t tax business income) to the detriment, some say, of Washington State public schools.

Submission + - Computer Algorithm erases Photos Watermarks (googleblog.com)

AlejandroTejadaC writes: Research Scientists Tali Dekel, Michael Rubinstein, Ce Liu and Bill Freeman describe on their paper “On The Effectiveness Of Visible Watermarks” their findings about a Computer Algorithm that erases Photos Watermarks and suggest possible ways to make photos watermarks more effective and difficult to erase.

Submission + - A Global Fish War is Coming (usni.org)

schwit1 writes: The demand for fish as a protein source is increasing. The global population today is 7.5 billion people, and is expected to be 9.7 billion by 2050, with the largest growth coming in Africa and Asia. Fish consumption has increased from an average of 9.9 kilograms per person in the 1960s to 19.7 kilograms in 2013 with estimates for 2014 and 2015 above 20 kilograms. The ten most productive species are fully fished and demand continues to rise in regions generally with little governance and many disputed boundaries.

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