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Government

FCC To Halt Rule That Protects Your Private Data From Security Breaches (arstechnica.com) 116

According to Ars Technica, "The Federal Communications Commission plans to halt implementation of a privacy rule that requires ISPs to protect the security of its customers' personal information." From the report: The data security rule is part of a broader privacy rulemaking implemented under former Chairman Tom Wheeler but opposed by the FCC's new Republican majority. The privacy order's data security obligations are scheduled to take effect on March 2, but Chairman Ajit Pai wants to prevent that from happening. The data security rule requires ISPs and phone companies to take "reasonable" steps to protect customers' information -- such as Social Security numbers, financial and health information, and Web browsing data -- from theft and data breaches. The rule would be blocked even if a majority of commissioners supported keeping them in place, because the FCC's Wireline Competition Bureau can make the decision on its own. That "full commission vote on the pending petitions" could wipe out the entire privacy rulemaking, not just the data security section, in response to petitions filed by trade groups representing ISPs. That vote has not yet been scheduled. The most well-known portion of the privacy order requires ISPs to get opt-in consent from consumers before sharing Web browsing data and other private information with advertisers and other third parties. The opt-in rule is supposed to take effect December 4, 2017, unless the FCC or Congress eliminates it before then. Pai has said that ISPs shouldn't face stricter rules than online providers like Google and Facebook, which are regulated separately by the Federal Trade Commission. Pai wants a "technology-neutral privacy framework for the online world" based on the FTC's standards. According to today's FCC statement, the data security rule "is not consistent with the FTC's privacy standards."
Android

Google Renames Messenger To Android Messages as the Company Pushes RCS (betanews.com) 90

We have come a long way from the age of flip phones and nine-key texting. Even as if group messaging and instant messengers took over, the SMS has largely retained its core standard over the years. Google wants to change that, and for this, it has been working with hundreds of carriers and manufacturers around the world to bring the text message into the 21st century. Using a standard called Rich Communications Services, the group plans to make a texting app that comes with your phone and is every bit as powerful as those dedicated messaging apps. This would make all the best features available to everyone with an Android phone. From a report on BetaNews: Just last week we were talking about Google's championing of RCS (Rich Communication Services), the successor to SMS. Now the company has renamed its Messenger app to Android Messages as it aims to become not just the default SMS app, but the default RCS app for Android users. Part of the reason for the name change is to convey the idea that the app is now about more than just one type of message. Google is betting big on RCS and this is hinted at in the app update description which says it adds "Simpler sign-up for enhanced features on supported carriers."

Comment Re:Quantity vs Quality (Score 1) 143

Depends not only on the person, but also the task. Implementing complex algorithms efficiently in code tends to require more attention and focus than sitting in hours long meetings listening for the occasional cue to speak for 30 seconds.

The latter is, without doubt, the most tiring.

When I've accomplished something at work, I come home far more alert than when it's spent on politics and communications.

Comment Re:"Toxic" comments huh? (Score 1) 194

Well, let's all bow down the moral arbiters of justice then. I'm sure that they'll be right on top of removing speech they disagree with.

Never attribute to opinion that which can be adequately explained by greed.

They may agree fully with what you said, but a comment that a company's customer support sucks is still going to be removed.
Preferably automatically, so they won't have to pay an outsourced minimum wage slave to do the job.

Comment Re:Maybe (Score 1) 200

The problem, as I see it, is that journalists have stopped translating, and echo the jargon even when it doesn't translate well.

Even worse than the astronomical definition for planet being out of touch with the rest of the world is the astronomical definitions of gas (only hydrogen and helium), metal (all other elements), and ice (any molecules comprising both "gas" and "metal" atoms). To an astronomer, nitrogen is a metal, and methane gas is an ice.

Comment Re:How many times will this story get repeated? (Score 1) 175

Yeah. While I don't expect editors here to go back and read the last five years (while that would have been nice to get a better understanding of Slashdot), I would expect them to be able to do a search. Especially for terms that won't give a boatload of false positive hits, like "ketchup".

It's not a hard job. But apparently too hard.

Science

Scientists Discover a Way To Get Every Last Drop of Ketchup Out of the Bottle (bbc.com) 175

Slashdot reader schwit1 quotes a report from BBC: Scientists in Boston have found a way to get every last drop of ketchup out of the bottle. They have developed a coating that makes bottle interiors super slippery. The coating can also be used to make it easier to squeeze out the contents of other containers, such as those holding toothpaste, cosmetics and even glue. The researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) believe that their innovation could dramatically reduce waste. In its manufacture, the container must first be coated on the inside with a rough surface. A very thin layer is then placed over this. And, finally, a liquid is added that fills in any troughs to form a very slippery surface -- like an oily floor. The ketchup hovers on top and just glides out of the bottle. According to Prof Kripa Varanasi, who developed the slippery surface, the technology is completely safe. "The cool thing about it is that because the coating is a composite of solid and liquid, it can be tailored to the product. So for food, we make the coating out of food-based materials and so you can actually eat it."

schwit1 adds: "Pretty slick."

Comment Re:Names for 7 planets orbiting a red dwarf star (Score 3, Interesting) 272

How about: Bashful, Doc, Dopey, Happy, Sleepy, Sneezy and Grumpy?

That's appropriate because by definition, they are dwarf planets, even if bigger than Earth. There are only 8 "real" planets according to the rules makers. Nothing orbiting a different star can qualify, according to the hastily made rules designed to exclude Pluto. But you can call pretty much anything that doesn't qualify a dwarf planet.

Comment Re:we've been stuck at 4 core for too long (Score 1) 279

with the rest of the die given over to GPUs that nobody who needs high performance graphics wants anyway.

That's certainly my biggest gripe with new CPUs. I don't want graphics. Or a kitchen sink. If I wanted a SoC, I'd go with an arm solution.

I want a pure CPU. One that doesn't need a nuclear power plant next door to drive. One that can run for a decade or more should it need to.

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