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Submission + - NASA Mission Asteroid for Metals Worth Ten Thousand Quadrillion Dollars

randomErr writes: NASA wants to uncover the mystery behind the asteroid “16 Psyche.” that may contain a priceless treasure trove of minerals. “We’ve been to all the different planets, we’ve been to other asteroids. But we’ve never visited a body that has been made of entirely metal,” said Carol Polanskey, project scientist for the Psyche mission. Now NASA, led by researchers at Arizona State University, plans to send an unmanned spacecraft to orbit 16 Psyche – an asteroid roughly the size of Massachusetts, made of iron and other precious metals. The mission’s leader estimates that the iron alone on today’s market would be worth $10,000 quadrillion.

Submission + - Carbon nanotube-based memory poised for commercialization in 2018 (computerworld.com)

Lucas123 writes: Nano-RAM, which is based on carbon nanotubes and is claimed to have virtually a limitless number of write cycles and can achieve up to 3.2 billion data transfers per second or 2.4Gbps — more than twice as fast as NAND flash — is now being produced in seven fabrication plants around the world. Fujitsu plans to develop a custom embedded storage-class memory module using a DDR4 interface by the end of 2018, with the goal of expanding its product line-up into a stand-alone NRAM product family. A new report from BCC Research states the NRAM will likely challenge all other memory types for market dominance and is expected to be used in everything from IoT sensors to smartphone memory and embedded ASICS for automobiles.

Submission + - Schoolyard fight between AV vendors

jetkins writes: It seems that two malware/antivirus companies are involved in a bit of a spat. In a nutshell, the sequence of events appears to be thus:
  • Malwarebytes does not take part in the three regularly-published AV tests, nor has it done for some time.
  • PC Pitstop, makers of PC Matic and other products, decided to commission its own test, which included Malwarebytes without their knowledge.
  • Malwarebytes' product scored poorly in the test.
  • Shortly thereafter, Malwarebytes started detecting PC Matic as a "Potentially Unwanted Program" and suggesting users remove it.

Here's PC Pitstop's take on the situation and here's Malwarebytes' spin on it.

I don't have a dog in this hunt, but the timing does seem a little suspect. What do y'all make of it?

Submission + - The Most Important Law in Tech Has a Problem (backchannel.com)

mirandakatz writes: The internet as we know it was created on the back of a law known as "Safe Harbor," or Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. That one statute is what gives online platforms legal immunity from most of the content posted by their users—but in recent years, it's become a defense for everything ranging from rampant abuse on Twitter to harmful one-star reviews on Yelp and housing scarcity spurred by Airbnb. At Backchannel, Chris Zara dives deep into the problems with Safe Harbor, and how it's starting to unravel in the courts—a process that could radically change the way we think about our lives online.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Dealing with gaslighting colleague 3

An anonymous reader writes: What's the best unofficial way to deal with a gaslighting colleague? For those not familiar, I mean the definition from this link:

Gaslighting occurs at the workplace in the form of bullies unscheduling things you’ve scheduled, misplacing files and other items that you are working on and co-workers micro-managing you and being particularly critical of what you do and keeping it under their surveillance. They are watching you too much, implying or blatantly saying that you are doing things wrong when, in fact, you are not. As you can see, this is a competitive maneuver, a way of making you look bad so that they look good;

In addition to above, I'd add Poring over every source-code commit, and then criticising it even if the criticism is contradictory to what he previously said.

Raising things through the official channels is out of the question, as is confronting the colleague in question directly as he is considered something of a superstar engineer who has been in the company for decades and has much more influence than any ordinary engineer.

So, what do slashdotters recommend (other than leaving or escalating via the official channels)?

Submission + - WikiLeaks: 2017 will 'blow you away' and, no, Russia didn't hack the US election (betanews.com)

Mark Wilson writes: The hatred WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange feels towards Hillary Clinton is far from being a secret. During the election campaign, the non-profit organization leaked Clinton emails in the hope that it would destroy her presidential hopes — and we all know the result of the election.

As we slide gently into 2017, the WikiLeaks Twitter account has turned on the ignition and is about to hit the accelerator. The tweet says: "If you thought 2016 was a big WikiLeaks year 2017 will blow you away". On top of this, Assange himself is due to appear in an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity, denying Russia's involvement in hacking DNC emails.

WikiLeak's tweet comes as part of a plea for donations, but it promises that this will be the year of a 'showdown'.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Why Are Some Great Games Panned And Some Inferior Games Praised? (soldnersecretwars.de) 2

dryriver writes: A few years ago I bought a multiplayer war game called Soldner that I had never heard of before. (The game is entirely community maintained now and free to download and play at www.soldnersecretwars.de) The professional reviews completely and utterly destroyed Soldner — buggy, bad gameplay, no singleplayer mode, disappointing graphics, server problems and so on. For me and many other players who did give it a chance beyond the first 30 minutes, Soldner turned out to be THE most fun, addictive, varied, sattisfying and multi-featured multiplayer war game ever. It had innovative features that AAA titles like Battlefield and COD did not have at all at the time — fully destructible terrain, walls and buildings, cool physics on everything from jeeps flying off mountaintops to Apache helicopters crashing into Hercules transport aircraft, to dozens of trees being blown down by explosions and then blocking an incoming tank's way. Soldner took a patch or three to become fully stable, but then was just fun, fun, fun to play. So much freedom, so much cool stuff you can do in-game, so many options and gadgets you can play with. By contrast, the far, far simpler — but better looking — Battlefield, COD, Medal Of Honor, CounterStrike war games got all the critical praise, made the tens of millions in profit per release, became longstanding franchises and are, to this day, not half the fun to play that Soldner is. How does this happen? How does a title like Soldner that tried to do more new stuff than the other war games combined get trashed by every reviewer, and then far less innovative and fun to play war games like BF, COD, CS sell tens of millions of copies per release and get rave reviews all around?

Submission + - H O W L: - I want my internet back 3

econnor writes: Longtime Slashdot drop-in reflectingly recalls olden days of panic-stricken publishers and broadcasters declaring themselves to be “digital”. (It was a long haul getting them to stop saying “electronic”.) Before this new frontier was colonised by big business with carefully crafted geek-friendly labels, there wasn’t a terrible lot of online content: but there was some of the most interesting shit I ever saw. Interesting because it was stuff I never came across before. These days, I mostly get this experience from reading reviews on Amazon.
Since I gave up facebook and linkedin and came back to slash – desperate for oxygen — I’ve been bookmarking the sources of Slash articles. How many bookmarks do you think I’ve got?
The determination of publishers to dominate all channels, through a strategy of recruiting “digital natives” caused me to fuck off out of the whole thing. (Most “digital natives” in my family know to put their iPhone in a bowl of rice after they drop it in the toilet, but don’t seem to know a lot of other shit.)
So — obviously ramblingly, due to being an old guy — what I want to know from slashdotters is: where do the cool kids hang out these days? Is getting a lot of likes for your ability to touch the “add elf ears” button on your phone camera really it? Is the cool action all in crime and pr0n? Is there anything interesting going on? Has the channel been colonised and it's time to find a new planet?
I used to just sit in my chair, click a few things, and get new perspectives. Now I just get what my mum thinks the day before she thinks it herself.
I’m considering booking a crane to haul my beardy lard ass out of the basement so I can go out and talk to people and do things. I want more. And a flying car.

Submission + - Orwell's toys

Presto Vivace writes: These Toys Don’t Just Listen To Your Kid; They Send What They Hear To A Defense Contractor

According to a coalition of consumer-interest organizations, the makers of two “smart” kids toys — the My Friend Cayla doll and the i-Que Intelligent Robot — are allegedly violating laws in the U.S. and overseas by collecting this sort of voice data without obtaining consent. ... ... In a complaint [PDF] filed this morning with the Federal Trade Commission, the coalition — made up of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD), and our colleagues at Consumers Union — argue that Genesis Toys, a company that manufactures interactive and robotic toys, and Nuance Communications, which supplies the voice-parsing services for these toys, are running afoul of rules that protect children’s privacy and prohibiting unfair and deceptive practices.

Submission + - Michigan court rules against civil forfeiture

schwit1 writes: The Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled that civil forfeiture denies citizens their due process rights under the Constitution. As the court wrote:

“Because of her indigency and inability to pay the required bond, [Kinnon] was excluded ‘from the only forum effectively empowered to settle [her] dispute.’ Ultimately, Michigan’s civil asset forfeiture scheme operated to deprive [Kinnon] of a significant property interest without according her the opportunity for a hearing, contrary to the requirements of the Due Process Clause.”

This shouldn’t be rocket science, as the language and intent of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution is quite plain.

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

The problem today is that this has become rocket science. Too many people either don’t know this plain language, or work dishonestly to distort it to empower government to oppress us.

Submission + - FBI says foreign hackers penetrated state election systems (yahoo.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The FBI has uncovered evidence that foreign hackers penetrated two state election databases in recent weeks, prompting the bureau to warn election officials across the country to take new steps to enhance the security of their computer systems, according to federal and state law enforcement officials.

The FBI warning, contained in a “flash” alert from the FBI’s Cyber Division, a copy of which was obtained by Yahoo News, comes amid heightened concerns among U.S. intelligence officials about the possibility of cyberintrusions, potentially by Russian state-sponsored hackers, aimed at disrupting the November elections.

Submission + - The coral die-off crisis is a climate crime and Exxon fired the gun (theguardian.com) 1

mspohr writes: An article published by Bill McKibben in The Guardian points the finger at Exxon for spreading climate change denial which led to lack of action to prevent widespread coral die-off.
"We know the biggest culprits now, because great detective work by investigative journalists has uncovered key facts in the past year. The world’s biggest oil company, Exxon, knew everything there was to know about climate change by the late 1970s and early 1980s. Its scientists understood how much and how fast it was going to warm, and how much damage that was going to do. And the company knew the scientists were right: that’s why they started “climate-proofing” their own installations, for instance building their drilling rigs to accommodate the sea level rise they knew was coming.

What they didn’t do was tell the rest of us. Instead, they – and many other players in the fossil fuel industry – bankrolled the rise of the climate denial industry, helping fund the “thinktanks” and front groups that spent the last generation propagating the phoney idea that there was a deep debate about the reality of global warming. As a result, we’ve wasted a quarter century in a phoney argument about whether the climate was changing."

Submission + - Attorney held liable for using "generic" E-Mail?

bbsguru writes: An attorney in New York is being sued for using an AOL email account. The plaintiffs accuse their Real Estate attorney of "negligently using a "notoriously vulnerable" AOL email account that was hacked by cybercriminals who then stole nearly $2 million".
Aside from this possible risk, what does it tell you when your [attorney | broker | accountant | financial advisor] has a generic email account?

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