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Submission + - Gov't shutdown means more delays for the SpaceX Falcon Heavy (theverge.com)

ag144 writes: Seeing this at multiple information outlets at this point — the planned test fires of the Falcon Heavy engines are postponed until the Air Force at NASA's Kennedy Space Center can return to work after the federal government becomes open for business. This means no firm dates for launch can be set.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: What Is Your View On Forced Subscription-Only Software? 2

dryriver writes: All used to be well in the world of Digital Content Creation (DCC) until two very major DCC software makers — Adobe and Autodesk — decided to force a monthly subscription model on pretty much every software package they make to please Wall Street investors. Important 2D and 3D DCC software like Photoshop, After Effects, Premiere, InDesign, 3DMax, Maya, Mudbox is now only available to "rent" from these companies. You simply cannot buy a perpetual license or boxed copy for this software at all anymore, and what makes matters worse is that if you stop paying your subscription, the software locks itself down, leaving you unable to open even old files you created with the software for later review. Also annoying is that subscription software constantly performs "license validity" checks over the internet — subscription software cannot be run offline for any great length of time, or on an air-gapped PC — and that the software is increasingly tied into various cloud services these companies have set up. The DCC companies want you to save your — potentially confidential — project files on their servers, not on your own harddisk. There are millions of DCC professionals around the world who'd love to be able to buy a normal, perpetual, offline-use capable license for these software tools. That is no longer possible. Adobe and Autodesk no longer provide that. What is your view on this "forced subscription" model? And what would happen if all the major commercial software developers forced this model on everyone simultaneously? What if the whole idea of being able to "purchase" a perpetual license for ANY commercial software went away completely, and it was subscription-subscription-subscription only from that point on?

Submission + - Panicky Bitcoin investors struggle to withdraw cash from money exchanges (thesun.co.uk)

Templer421 writes: There are mounting fears that Bitcoin investors will struggle to get their cash out after the cryptocurrency's value fell 40 per cent in a single month.

Many are looking to put their money in gold instead, with some European gold traders reporting a "five fold increase" in demand amid fears Bitcoin could collapse entirely.
Bitcoin owners are flocking to invest in gold amid fears the cryptocurrency may collapse.

Submission + - Rupert Murdoch Pushes Facebook To Pay For News To Guarantee Quality (bloomberg.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Rupert Murdoch, the media billionaire who controls the Wall Street Journal, called on Facebook to begin paying publishers fees to carry the news that its users post and share online in a sign of the print industry’s growing frustration with social media. “If Facebook wants to recognize ‘trusted’ publishers then it should pay those publishers a carriage fee similar to the model adopted by cable companies,” Murdoch, the executive chairman of News Corp. said Monday in a statement. “The publishers are obviously enhancing the value and integrity of Facebook through their news and content but are not being adequately rewarded for those services.” “Facebook and Google have popularized scurrilous news sources through algorithms that are profitable for these platforms but inherently unreliable,” Murdoch said. “Recognition of a problem is one step on the pathway to cure, but the remedial measures that both companies have so far proposed are inadequate, commercially, socially and journalistically.” Murdoch, who also leads 21st Century Fox, called for a system similar to that in cable television, where large distributors like Comcast and AT&T pay fees to the TV network owners that attract their viewers.

Submission + - Montana Becomes First State To Implement Net Neutrality After FCC Repeal (thehill.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) signed an executive order on Monday requiring internet service providers with state contracts to abide by net neutrality principles. The order makes his state the first to push back on the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to repeal the open internet rules last month. The order says that in order to receive a contract with the state government, internet service providers must not engage in blocking or throttling web content or create internet fast lanes. Those practices were all banned under the Obama-era 2015 net neutrality order. Bullock’s office said the executive order goes into effect immediately, but there will be a six-month grace period for companies to ensure that they’re in compliance. The governor said on Monday that he is encouraging his counterparts and legislators in other states to follow suit, promising to personally email a copy of his order to any who ask for it.

Submission + - RocketLab successfully launches Electron rocket to orbit

necro81 writes: RocketLab, a US-based startup, has successfully launched is Electron rocket to orbit, carrying three small payloads. With a low-Earth orbit payload capacity of only about 150 kg, Electron is aimed squarely at the cubesat market, which generally has had to piggyback their payloads aboard much larger (and more expensive, and less-frequently flown) rockets. The Electron was also slated to deliver lunar payloads as part of the Google Lunar X-prize. Although a US-based company, most of the activity is in New Zealand, where the rockets are assembled and launched. The rocket is powered by RocketLab's Rutherford engine which, rather than using combustion to run the turbopumps, uses electric motors powered by batteries. The Rutherford engine is substantially made using 3D-printed metal.

Submission + - Car Manufacturers are Tracking Millions of Cars (boingboing.net)

Luthair writes: Cory Doctorow points out that car manufacturers have inserted vague clauses in sales agreements which allow them to track your movements. OnStar infamously has done this for some time, even if the vehicle's owner was not a subscriber of their services; though at least on some models one could disable the modem by disconnecting it or removing a fuse.

One also wonders about the legality of the tracking once the car hits the used car market as those individuals would not have agreed to the manufacturers sales agreement.

Submission + - China, Unhampered by Rules, Races Ahead in Gene-Editing Trials (wsj.com)

schwit1 writes: In a hospital west of Shanghai, Wu Shixiu since March has been trying to treat cancer patients using a promising new gene-editing tool.

U.S. scientists helped devise the tool, known as Crispr-Cas9, which has captured global attention since a 2012 report said it can be used to edit DNA. Doctors haven’t been allowed to use it in human trials in America. That isn’t the case for Dr. Wu and others in China.

In a quirk of the globalized technology arena, Dr. Wu can forge ahead with the tool because he faces few regulatory hurdles to testing it on humans. His hospital’s review board took just an afternoon to sign off on his trial. He didn’t need national regulators’ approval and has few reporting requirements.

Dr. Wu’s team at Hangzhou Cancer Hospital has been drawing blood from esophageal-cancer patients, shipping it by high-speed rail to a lab that modifies disease-fighting cells using Crispr-Cas9 by deleting a gene that interferes with the immune system’s ability to fight cancer. His team then infuses the cells back into the patients, hoping the reprogrammed DNA will destroy the disease.

In contrast, what’s expected to be the first human Crispr trial outside China has yet to begin.

Submission + - European Central Banks Start to Replace U.S. Dollar Reserves with Chinese Yuan (qz.com) 1

hackingbear writes: The Chinese yuan hit a two-year high against the US dollar this week, after the German Bundesbank (central bank) said that it would include the yuan in its reserves for the first time. “The notable development from the European point of view over the past few years has been the growing international role of the renminbi in global financial markets,” Andreas Dombret, a member of the central bank’s executive board. As most central banks’ reserves are held in dollars, any shift into other currencies, such as the yuan, will come at the expense of the greenback. In June, the European Central Bank announced that it had exchanged €500 million ($611 million) worth of US dollar reserves into yuan securities. This was a small shift—the ECB has €44 billion in foreign exchange reserves—but nonetheless it reflects China’s growing prominence in the global financial system. Chinese Yuan still faces several hurdles in competing the U.S. Dollar, including lack of regulatory transparency and capital control which the Chinese government has imposed over the years to prevent Yuan from falling down in value, but it has steadily making progress to become an international currency.

Submission + - SPAM: Is Go Daddy becoming a high pressure sales outfit

lagunastarman writes: Our email has been down for over 24 hours. Go Daddy has an expired certificate on their incoming email server(s?). They have no commitment on when they will be up. Their support person I spoke with told me (1) their current product is unreliable (even though I have used it for years) and (2) I really need to switch to their Microsoft products ASAP. I told them we had been considering the move but will not do it under extortion or bait and switch. Fix your service, then let's talk, I suggested.
Is anyone else having problems with Go Daddy doing high pressure sales?

Link to Original Source

Submission + - SPAM: The Effect Of A Government Shutdown On The IRS: Not What You Think

schwit1 writes: ... that what truly abuses taxpayers is unsupervised machine processing, because that’s often where errors creep in and it takes human employees to manually sort through the discrepancies. The short of it is that most adverse actions taken against taxpayers result from automated processing of taxpayer accounts: computers shoot first, and it is up to the taxpayer to ask questions later. When the computers get it wrong, adversely affected taxpayers must find a real, actual, live human to fix the problem. But who ya gonna call when there is no one there? When the already staggeringly understaffed IRS offices are completely emptied because of a government shutdown, there is no-one to stop the machines. And yet the computers keep on keeping on.

We saw this back in 2013, when the government shut down from October 1 to October 16. There were very, very few IRS employees working. Yet the machines kept whirring away. The National Taxpayer Advocate reported that during the shutdown – even with only a few employees – computers took a total of 301,807 adverse actions against taxpayers, including grabbing bank accounts, wages, Social Security benefits, filing Notices of Tax Liens, setting up deficiency assessments and more.

All of those actions were computer-generated. No human gave input or oversight. Let’s assume the computers got it 99% right. That still means more than 3,000 of the actions were in error, errors that could have devastating effects on taxpayers. Yet there were no humans to fix the mistakes.

Link to Original Source

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