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Submission + - EFF: Large ISPs Lying to Californians to Kill New Privacy Law (dslreports.com)

simkel writes: California is considering new broadband privacy protections after the GOP and President Trump voted to dismantle the FCC's consumer broadband privacy protections earlier this year at the behest of giant broadband providers. On June 19, California Assemblymember Ed Chau introduced AB 375 (pdf), which, like the FCC rules it's intended to replace, requires that large ISPs are very clear about what consumer data is being collected and sold to third parties.

Submission + - When pushed, Quantum particles can fight back... (phys.org)

slew writes: Who knew quantum particles were passive aggressive?

It's subtle, but researchers "have shown that backflow can always occur, even if a force is acting on the quantum particle while it travels. The backflow effect is the result of wave-particle duality and the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics, and it is already well understood in an idealised case of force-free motion."

"The backflow effect in quantum mechanics has been known for quite a while, but it has always been discussed in regards to 'free' quantum particles, i.e., no external forces are acting on the particle.

Obligatory pointer to paper pre-print...

Submission + - Michigan Government Blocks Hundreds of Twitter Accounts

randomErr writes: Nearly 800 Twitter accounts have been blocked or muted by Michigan state government accounts, which some argue violates First Amendment rights. The Lansing State Journal obtained records of the blocked users through a Freedom of Information Act request. The blocked Twitter handles include the official @POTUS presidential account now controlled by the Trump administration. Blocked users cannot access tweets from those agencies, which range from lighthearted memes to official announcements sometimes related to public safety.

Submission + - Please Prove You're Not a Robot (nytimes.com)

schwit1 writes: When science fiction writers first imagined robot invasions, the idea was that bots would become smart and powerful enough to take over the world by force, whether on their own or as directed by some evildoer. In reality, something only slightly less scary is happening. Robots are getting better, every day, at impersonating humans. When directed by opportunists, malefactors and sometimes even nation-states, they pose a particular threat to democratic societies, which are premised on being open to the people.

The problem is a public as well as private one, and impersonation robots should be considered what the law calls “hostis humani generis”: enemies of mankind, like pirates and other outlaws. That would allow for a better offensive strategy: bringing the power of the state to bear on the people deploying the robot armies to attack commerce or democracy.

The ideal anti-robot campaign would employ a mixed technological and legal approach. Improved robot detection might help us find the robot masters or potentially help national security unleash counterattacks, which can be necessary when attacks come from overseas. There may be room for deputizing private parties to hunt down bad robots. A simple legal remedy would be a “ Blade Runner” law that makes it illegal to deploy any program that hides its real identity to pose as a human. Automated processes should be required to state, “I am a robot.” When dealing with a fake human, it would be nice to know.

Submission + - SPAM: GOP Congress Calls Climate Change 'Direct Threat' to Security 1

Layzej writes: The Pentagon has been aware for years of the looming danger represented by climate change. But partisan infighting in Congress, budget sequestration, and the toxic nature of the climate debate have hamstrung the Defense Dept. from taking steps to protect key assets — or even identifying which facilities face the most serious threats.

This week, though, the Pentagon may have gotten a boost — from the unlikeliest of places. The Republican-controlled House retained an amendment to the 2018 defense funding bill affirming that “climate change is a direct threat to the national security of the United States.” It orders defense officials to draw up a report laying out which facilities would be most affected.

Link to Original Source

Comment Calling it "Rust" defeats acceptance. (Score 1) 496

The response of the postgresql folks was something like "how about we finish porting it from lisp, first?"

Hah!

Why do tech. people give things wacky names? Things that are rusty get thrown away. On the other hand, if they wanted a wacky name, why didn't they go all the way and call the Rust language "Feces"? Okay then, how about "Vomit"?

"Lisp" is a speech impediment.

"Gimp" is a person who limps or is lame.

But hey! Why voluntarily restrict technology names to only 1 alphabet? "LaTeX" LaTeX uses Greek letters, also, and requires two paragraphs in the Wikipedia article to explain the name.

Submission + - Ultimate Electronics Launches Interactive Online Basic Electronics Textbook (circuitlab.com)

compumike writes: The group that first brought schematics and circuit simulation to the browser has now released the first few chapters of Ultimate Electronics: Practical Circuit Design and Analysis, an interactive online textbook for people learning electronics. The materials released today cover about half of a first semester undergraduate electronics course.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: What else does IT do?

chadenright writes: On the same day that I was hired into a new IT position, my new employer also bought a pair of $1500 conference phones from a third-party vendor, which turned out to be defective; I've spent a chunk of the last two weeks arguing with the vendor. During the process I've learned that, as the IT guy, I'm also the antibody of the corporation and my job is to prevent not just malware and viruses but also junk hardware from entering my business's system. As a software engineer who is new to the IT side of things, I have to ask, what else have you learned about IT?

Submission + - Windows 10 is failing us (betanews.com)

BrianFagioli writes: While Windows 10 is arguably successful from a market share perspective, it is still failing in one big way — the user experience. Windows 8.x was an absolute disaster, and Microsoft's latest is certainly better than that, but it is still not an enjoyable experience. Quite frankly, the people clutching to Windows 7 aren't so crazy.

Windows 10 is certainly not a lost cause — the foundation is solid, and Microsoft has a lot of smart people working for it that can turn it around. Before the company tries to add new features (and misses deadlines) like Timeline and Cloud Clipboard, it should focus more on improving the existing user experience. Right now it is failing us and things are not getting better.

Come on, Microsoft — make Windows great again.

Submission + - Self-driving Taxis Will Become the Most Disgusting Spaces on Earth (thetruthaboutcars.com)

schwit1 writes: Animals are universally disgusting and humans are no exception. While we've mastered land, air, and sea, consider the spaces we occupy while we traverse those expanses. Rental cars are returned filled with candy wrappers, spilt soda, and human hair. Uber vehicles are routinely vomited in. The subway is a haven for disease. Airplane interiors experience havoc within the first hour of a flight as the worst of us begin defecating into the seats, too lazy and weak to control ourselves.

Autonomous taxis aren't likely to endure better treatment. Without a driver present, the urge to have drunken sex will be far too strong — and those odds only increase when you add a second occupant to the equation. With nobody watching, we'll leave half-consumed hamburgers and cans of sweetened tea on their floors that will roll around and turn the carpet into a sticky magnet for larger pieces of garbage.

Bloomberg speculates the never-ending process of cleaning other people's filth will cost large firms with autonomous fleets tens of millions of dollars annually. That number swells into the billions when you account for insurance, maintenance, storage, and the accelerated devaluation of such vehicles.

Submission + - Beneath Helsinki, Finns Prepare for Russian Threat (wsj.com)

schwit1 writes: Russia is planning its biggest military exercise in years, and its neighbor Finland is going underground.

A subterranean city beneath Helsinki forms a crucial line of defense for the capital. Finnish soldiers routinely train here, with a mission to keep Finland’s government running and city residents safe in a network that features more than 124 miles of tunnels, passageways and shelters.

Much of the network has been adapted over recent decades with defense in mind. Blast doors seal entrances. Passageways are adapted so the military—with a regiment dedicated to controlling the tunnels—can contain enemy infiltrators. Utility and subway tunnels provide arteries for communications, water supply and Wi-Fi. There is enough shelter space for all city’s more than 600,000 residents in the event of an attack or disaster.

The subterranean defenses have long been in place, but the Finns are now stepping up preparedness as Russia readies for Zapad 2017, the country’s largest military exercise since the end of the Cold War, in September.

Submission + - Be Skeptical About Young Men Giving Up Work for Video Games (bloomberg.com) 5

cdreimer writes: According to Bloomburg: "In our debate about unemployment last September, my Bloomberg View colleague Tyler Cowen put forward the hypothesis that many young American men are staying out of the workforce in order to indulge in electronic media. Tyler was probably referring to research by Chicago Booth School of Business economist Erik Hurst. Hurst, along with a number of co-authors, has been promoting the theory that advances in video games have made joblessness more enjoyable, inducing young men to go from workers to couch potatoes. Now, in a new paper with Mark Aguiar, Mark Bils and Kerwin Kofi Charles, Hurst argues forcefully for this thesis. Using data from the American Time Use Survey, they show that young men are spending more of their time playing video games compared with a decade ago."

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