Submission + - Why Does Hollywood Remain Out of Step with The Body-Positive Movement? (nytimes.com)

cdreimer writes: According to a report on The New York Times, Hollywood continues to praise average-sized actresses in knockout roles and then reduce them to bit parts about physical weight.

The first thing Danielle Macdonald did at the Cannes Film Festival in May was break into a cold sweat: The airline had lost her luggage. She was already nervous enough. Ms. Macdonald, 26, had been plucked from obscurity to play the lead role in “Patti Cake$,” a drama about a rapper that was about to face the Cannes critics. Now she had to find something glamorous to wear — pronto — to the premiere. “As a bigger girl,” Ms. Macdonald told me recently, “where was I meant to find something that would fit?” Her story then veered in an unexpected direction — revealing her approach to Hollywood, which expects its lead actresses to be scarily skinny. “I gave myself a pep talk,” she said. “This situation is what it is. Find a way to work around it.” The red carpet crisis was resolved (another “Patti Cake$” star, Cathy Moriarty, lent her a black dress), but if the experiences of countless actresses before Ms. Macdonald are any indication, it will not be as easy to overcome the career obstacles that await her post-“Patti Cake$” (out on Friday, Aug. 18). For women — less so for men — weight is perhaps the most stubborn of the entertainment industry’s many biases. Have an average-sized body? Call us when you’ve starved yourself. In particular, Ms. Macdonald must avoid a cycle that plays out over and over in moviedom, one that some film agents coarsely call the fat flavor of the moment. A plus-size actress, almost always an unknown, lands the central role in a film and delivers a knockout performance. She is held up by producers and the entertainment news media as refreshing, long overdue evidence that Hollywood’s insistence on microscopic waistlines is ending. And then she is slowly but surely pushed into bit parts, many of which are defined by weight.


Submission + - Essential Phone will ship next week, shortly after breaking 1B valuation

cloud.pt writes: Andy Rubin's Essential Phone will be releasing next week according to 9to5google, just shy from its initial June mark. The company has been speculated to be worth around $1.2B, after giant Foxconn filling yesterday for a 0.25% acquisition at around 3 million dollars — clearing unicorn status as it hasn't shipped a single unit at the time.

According to Engadget, future and existing pre-orders will have a chance to switch to the Pure White version of the slab, despite initial shipments being scheduled to be of the Black Moon variety. Essential's site storefront orders will get the device unlocked, while the only parties offering the device will initially be Sprint, and rumor has it also Amazon as it invested in the company through its Alexa fund. No matter the contract attached, it will come with the full range of network capabilities unlocked.

Submission + - Google Lunar X-Prize extends deadline (parabolicarc.com)

schwit1 writes: The Google Lunar X-Prize has announced that it has extended its contest deadline from the end of 2017 to the end of March 2018 for the finalists to complete their lunar rover mission and win the grand prize of $30 million.

They also announced several additional consolation prizes that all of the remaining five contestants can win should they achieve lunar orbit ($1.75 million) or successfully achieve a soft landing ($3 million), even if they are not the first to do it.

At least one team, Moon Express, will be helped enormously by the extra three months. This gives Rocket Lab just a little extra time to test its rocket before launching Moon Express’s rover to the Moon.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Female Engineers, Could You Please Share Thoughts On Google Memo

joshtops writes: The widely circulated memo written by software engineer James Damore has become the talking point across companies in Silicon Valley, and elsewhere. In an interesting take, The Economist on Tuesday argued with the scientific or otherwise assumptions made by Damore. I was wondering what female engineers — or females in other STEM beats — think of the memo.

Submission + - The TapDance anti-censorship and circumvention app has been deployed at scale

An anonymous reader writes: Earlier this week, Professor Eric Wustrow, from the University of Colorado at Boulder, presented An ISP-Scale Deployment of TapDance at the USENIX Workshop on Free and Open Communications on the Internet. TapDance is an anti-censorship, circumvention application based on "refraction networking" (formerly known as "decoy routing") that has been the subject of academic research for several years. Now, with integration with Psiphon, 50,000 users, a deployment that spans two ISPs, and an open source release, it seems to have graduated to the real world.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: What would you pay to see open sourced?

jbrase writes: A couple weeks back, I noticed this story about a petition to Adobe to release Flash as open-source. This dovetails neatly with something that I have been thinking about recently:

It is in the interest of the open-source community to make open-source development as profitable as possible. One potential means of making money from open source is crowdfunding. However, heretofore proprietary vendors are not likely to be enthusastic about using their flagship product to try out a relatively untested business model.

Crowdfunding the open source release of legacy technologies of historical significance could provide a low-risk way for vendors to experiment with making money by crowdfunding: The product has already turned them a profit.

With that, I'd like to ask Slashdot readers, what would you pay to see open sourced?

Submission + - Australian Scientists Just Worked Out How Zinc-Air Batteries Can Replace Lithium (gizmodo.com.au)

labnet writes: "Up until now, rechargeable zinc-air batteries have been made with expensive precious metal catalysts, such as platinum and iridium oxide. In contrast, our method produces a family of new high-performance and low-cost catalysts."

These new catalysts are produced through the simultaneous control of the composition, size and crystallinity of metal oxides of earth-abundant elements like iron, cobalt and nickel. They can then be applied to build rechargeable zinc-air batteries.

Researcher Dr Li Wei, also from the University's Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies, said trials of zinc-air batteries developed with the new catalysts had demonstrated "excellent rechargeability" – including less than a 10 percent battery efficacy drop over 60 discharging/charging cycles of 120 hours.
https://www.gizmodo.com.au/201...

Submission + - Hacker Helps Family Recover Minivan After Losing One-Of-A-Kind Car Key (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A hacker and a mechanic have helped a family regain access to their hybrid car after they've lost their one-of-a-kind car key while on vacation. The car in question is a Toyota Estima minivan, which a Canadian family bought reused and imported from Japan. When they did so, they received only one key, which the father says he lost when he bent down to tie his son's shoelaces.

Because it was a hybrid and the on-board computer was synced to the battery recharge cycles, the car owner couldn't simply replace the car key without risking the car battery to overcharge and catch fire. After offering a reward, going viral on Facebook, in Canadian media, and attempting to find the lost keys using crows, the family finally accepted the help of a local hacker who stripped the car apart and reprogrammed the car immobilizer with new car keys. The whole ordeal cost the family two months of their lives and around $3,500.

Submission + - Scientists Finally Unlock the Recipe For Magic Mushrooms (gizmodo.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Aside from being a schedule 1 drug, scientists haven't fully understood the chemistry behind how mushrooms produce the chemical psilocybin — until now. A new study may finally lay the groundwork for a medical-grade psilocybin patients can take. Gizmodo reports: "Living things make molecules through a series of chemical reactions, similar to how car makers produce cars on assembly lines. Enzymes act as the workers/robots, speeding up the reactions by helping put the pieces together. Actually making psilocybin requires mapping the biological factory. A 1968 paper (obviously it was in 1968) offered a proposed order of events leading to a finished psilocybin molecule, by adding radioactive elements and watching what happened to them on the assembly line. The researchers thought that maybe tryptophan, the amino acid everyone wrongly says makes you sleepy, was the first piece, which then went through four successive steps to become the finished product. The new study shows that the 1968 paper got the order wrong, and introduces the responsible genes and enzymes, the workers that do the specific task to get the final product. This time around, mapping the factory required sequencing the genomes of two magic mushroom species, Psilocybe cubensis and Psilocybe cyanescens. Then, the researchers found exactly which genes produce the required enzymes and spliced them into E. coli bacteria. Using those enzymes, they were able to rebuild the factory and create their own psilocybin."

Submission + - Whoop! Guam radio stations conduct unscheduled emergency alert (facebook.com) 1

the_webmaestro writes: A couple of radio stations in Guam conducted an unscheduled test of the Emergency Alert Broadcast System, sending some residents--already on edge due to the back & forth between the North Korean Regime and the tweets made by the President of the United States--into a panic.

The Offices of Guam Homeland Security and Civil Defense (GHS/OCD), in conjunction with the Mariana Regional Fusion Center (MRFC), our federal and military partners, continue to monitor the recent events surrounding North Korea and their threatening actions.
[..]
Residents and visitors may have noticed at 12:25 a.m., an unscheduled test of the Emergency Alert Broadcast System (EAS) was triggered from KTWG/KSTO AM. The message read:
A BROADCAST STATION OR CABLE SYSTEM HAS ISSUED A CIVIL DANGER WARNING FOR THE FOLLOWING COUNTIES/AREAS:

Guam, Guam;
AT 12:25 AM
ON AUG 15, 2017
EFFECTIVE UNTIL 12:40 AM.
MESSAGE FROM KTWGKSTO.

The unauthorized test was NOT connected to any emergency, threat or warning. GHS/OCD has worked with KSTO to ensure the human error will not occur again. There is no scheduled test of the EAS or All Hazards Alert Warning System sirens today.

In addition, the Guam Power Authority (GPA) reported there were two scheduled outages, for emergency interruption of power, at 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., August 14...

Unrelated to the EAS unauthorized test, the Guam Power Authority (GPA) reported there were two scheduled outages, for emergency interruption of power, at 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., August 14 for customers located in Talofofo located along along Rte.17, Chalan J. Kindo, Vicente Borja Dr., Felix Dydasco St., Henry Simpson area to bus shelter by Bishop Street and other customers in these locations.


Submission + - Trump Justice Department Demands 1.3M IP Addresses Related to Anti-Trump Site (thehill.com)

PopeRatzo writes: The Department of Justice has requested information on visitors to a website used to organize protests against President Trump, the Los Angeles-based Dreamhost said in a blog post published on Monday.

Dreamhost, a web hosting provider, said that it has been working with the Department of Justice for several months on the request, which believes goes too far under the Constitution.

DreamHost claimed that the complying with the request from the Justice Department would amount to handing over roughly 1.3 million visitor IP addresses to the government, in addition to contact information, email content and photos of thousands of visitors to the website, which was involved in organizing protests against Trump on Inauguration Day.

Submission + - Popular Pesticides Keep Bumblebees From Laying Eggs (npr.org)

An anonymous reader writes: Wild bees, such as bumblebees, don't get as much love as honeybees, but they should. They play just as crucial a role in pollinating many fruits, vegetables and wildflowers, and compared to managed colonies of honeybees, they're in much greater jeopardy. A group of scientists in the United Kingdom decided to look at how bumblebee queens are affected by some widely used and highly controversial pesticides known as neonicotinoids. What they found isn't pretty. Neonics, as they're often called, are applied as a coating on the seeds of some of the most widely grown crops in the country, including corn, soybeans and canola. These pesticides are "systemic" — they move throughout the growing plants. Traces of them end up in pollen, which bees consume. Neonicotinoid residues also have been found in the pollen of wildflowers growing near fields and in nearby streams. The scientists, based at Royal Holloway University of London, set up a laboratory experiment with bumblebee queens. They fed those queens a syrup containing traces of a neonicotinoid pesticide called thiamethoxam, and the amount of the pesticide, they say, was similar to what bees living near fields of neonic-treated canola might be exposed to. Bumblebee queens exposed to the pesticide were 26 percent less likely to lay eggs, compared to queens that weren't exposed to the pesticide. The team published their findings in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution.

Submission + - Trump Can Block People On Twitter If He Wants, Administration Says (arstechnica.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The administration of President Donald Trump is scoffing at a lawsuit by Twitter users who claim in a federal lawsuit that their constitutional rights are being violated because the president has blocked them from his @realDonaldTrump Twitter handle. "It would send the First Amendment deep into uncharted waters to hold that a president's choices about whom to follow, and whom to block, on Twitter—a privately run website that, as a central feature of its social-media platform, enables all users to block particular individuals from viewing posts—violate the Constitution." That's part of what Michael Baer, a Justice Department attorney, wrote to the New York federal judge overseeing the lawsuit Friday. In addition, the Justice Department said the courts are powerless to tell Trump how he can manage his private Twitter handle, which has 35.8 million followers.

"To the extent that the President's management of his Twitter account constitutes state action, it is unquestionably action that lies within his discretion as Chief Executive; it is therefore outside the scope of judicial enforcement," Baer wrote. (PDF) Baer added that an order telling Trump how to manage his Twitter feed "would raise profound separation-of-powers concerns by intruding directly into the president's chosen means of communicating to millions of Americans."

Submission + - Dreamhost fighting order to identify 1.3 million visitor IP addresses (dreamhost.com)

davecb writes: The US DOJ has served a partially sealed warrent on the ISP of a political protest site, disruptj20.org "for 1.3 million visitor IP addresses — in addition to contact information, email content, and photos of thousands of people — in an effort to determine who simply visited the website."

Submission + - US Army walks back DJI decision (slightly) (suasnews.com)

garymortimer writes: News has reached me that another DJI memo was passed around on Friday the 11th of August. An exception to policy with recommendations from the asymmetric warfare group that will permit the use of DJI kit once some conditions have been met.

The Android Tactical Assault Kit will become the ground control station (GCS) of choice when a DJI plugin has passed OPSEC (Operational Security) scrutiny.

Submission + - From Google to Yahoo, Tech Grapples With White Male Discontent (bloomberg.com)

joshtops writes: Google isn’t the only Silicon Valley employer being accused of hostility to white men. Yahoo! Inc. and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. were already fighting discrimination lawsuits brought by white men before Google engineer James Damore ignited a firestorm — and got himself fired — with an internal memo criticizing the company’s diversity efforts and claiming women are biologically less suited than men to be engineers. The Yahoo case began last year when two men sued, claiming they’d been unfairly fired after managers allegedly manipulated performance evaluations to favor women. They claim Marissa Mayer approved the review process and was involved in their terminations, and last month a judge ordered the former chief executive be deposed. TCS, meanwhile, is fighting three men who claim the Mumbai-based firm discriminates against non-Indians at its U.S. offices. A growing backlash against diversity advocates has gained momentum with the election of Donald Trump and his embrace of right-wing media figures including Steve Bannon, who ran Breitbart News until joining Trump’s presidential campaign. Trump has ordered a review of affirmative action policies in higher education, proposed banning transgender people in the military and advocated curbing immigration of non-English speakers to the delight of conservatives who say they’ve been muzzled by liberals.

Submission + - DMCA Used to Remove Ad Server URL From Easylist Ad Blocklist (torrentfreak.com) 2

Joe_Dragon writes: Easylist, the popular adblock filter list used by millions of subscribers, appears to be under attack. Github, where the project is maintained, has recently received a DMCA notice requiring a domain URL to be removed from the list. That domain appears to be owned by US-based anti-adblocking company Admiral.

The default business model on the Internet is “free” for consumers. Users largely expect websites to load without paying a dime but of course, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. To this end, millions of websites are funded by advertising revenue.

Sensible sites ensure that any advertising displayed is unobtrusive to the visitor but lots seem to think that bombarding users with endless ads, popups, and other hindrances is the best way to do business. As a result, ad blockers are now deployed by millions of people online.

In order to function, ad-blocking tools – such as uBlock Origin or Adblock – utilize lists of advertising domains compiled by third parties. One of the most popular is Easylist, which is distributed by authors fanboy, MonztA, Famlam, and Khrinunder, under dual Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike and GNU General Public Licenses.

With the freedom afforded by those licenses, copyright tends not to figure high on the agenda for Easylist. However, a legal problem that has just raised its head is causing serious concern among those in the ad-blocking community.

Two days ago a somewhat unusual commit appeared in the Easylist repo on Github. As shown in the image below, a domain URL previously added to Easylist had been removed following a DMCA takedown notice filed with Github.

Domain text taken down by DMCA?

The DMCA notice in question has not yet been published but it’s clear that it targets the domain ‘functionalclam.com’. A user called ‘ameshkov’ helpfully points out a post by a new Github user called ‘DMCAHelper’ which coincided with the start of the takedown process more than three weeks ago.

A domain in a list circumvents copyright controls?

Aside from the curious claims of a URL “circumventing copyright access controls” (domains themselves cannot be copyrighted), the big questions are (i) who filed the complaint and (ii) who operates Functionalclam.com? The domain WHOIS is hidden but according to a helpful sleuth on Github, it’s operated by anti ad-blocking company Admiral.

Ad-blocking means money down the drain.

If that is indeed the case, we have the intriguing prospect of a startup attempting to protect its business model by using a novel interpretation of copyright law to have a domain name removed from a list. How this will pan out is unclear but a notice recently published on Functionalclam.com suggests the route the company wishes to take.

“This domain is used by digital publishers to control access to copyrighted content in accordance with the Digital Millenium Copyright Act and understand how visitors are accessing their copyrighted content,” the notice begins.

Combined with the comments by DMCAHelper on Github, this statement suggests that the complainants believe that interference with the ad display process (ads themselves could be the “copyrighted content” in question) represents a breach of section 1201 of the DMCA.

If it does, that could have huge consequences for online advertising but we will need to see the original DMCA notice to have a clearer idea of what this is all about. Thus far, Github hasn’t published it but already interest is growing. A representative from the EFF has already contacted the Easylist team, so this battle could heat up pretty quickly.

Submission + - Startup Races Google With Internet-Beaming Balloons

jeffengel writes: The solution to connecting the 4 billion people worldwide who lack Internet access could come from floating or flying broadband-beaming equipment in the sky. Google and Facebook are among the companies working on this, and their efforts---known as Project Loon and Aquila, respectively---are slowly making progress. Now comes Altaeros Energies, which announced a $7.5 million investment from SoftBank Group last week. The MIT spinout wants to help deliver broadband access to rural areas via tethered blimps, known as “aerostats,” that it will equip with wireless communications technologies. There are still plenty of issues, technical and otherwise, to work out before these various Internet-beaming aircraft get widely deployed. But if successful, they could help a lot of people in remote areas join the global economy.

Submission + - As if nuclear proliferation wasn't enough to worry about...

wisebabo writes: Now we have the spread of technologies that can DELIVER these weapons of mass destruction: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/0...

This article brought up something I (and doubtless most people) hadn't really thought about; that the crisis in the Ukraine may have driven this manufacturer of rocket engines (previously used for Soviet nuclear tipped ICBMs) into the arms of the North Koreans. It seeks to explain the sudden recent jump in the range and reliability of the North Korean missiles. (It also doesn't hurt that the "Dear Leader" had a picture taken in front of the engines which match the Ukrainian designs).

I thought that the program the U.S. had in place to hire scientists who were working in the (now) defunct Soviet nuclear weapons program was a good way to keep them gainfully employed so that they wouldn't be tempted to assist some bad actors. Unfortunately, I guess, this missile engine factory slipped through the cracks of that program with the result that North Korea can now lob a missile towards the U.S.

Let's just hope that whoever designed nuclear warhead re-entry vehicles for the Soviets isn't looking for work! :(

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