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Comment Re:how about barcodes? (Score 0) 109

A blockchain is nothing more than a log of all transactions, including splits which would need to be 'attached' to a physical unit for the use described in this story. It's very much like a bar code, but individualized for each package and inclusive of the blockchains of ingredients rather than a pre-registered number dependent on individual company database for context. If properly done there are clear advantages in tracking ingredients from farm to table especially when it comes to recalled food, but it will take a tremendous effort throughout the supplier chain. However, Walmart has used its position for such leverage before.

Comment Re:TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP (Score -1, Offtopic) 209

So exactly which vague unworkable promise do you think that the public would notice that Trump won't complete first? Perhaps it will be the 10% growth or the promise of more manufacturing jobs, but I bet the first of his, nay the GOP's, great disappointments might be the wall mexico will pay for. Next up will likely be the deep recession in part caused by a trade war he picks with a tweet.

Comment Re:breaking news (Score 4, Insightful) 190

What are you even talking about?
These systems have been around forever, SpaceX is (once again) doing nothing new or special. They only work when there is forewarning, and that is unlikely to be had during a fueling mishap. This isn't a cartoon or action movie, you can't just outrun an explosion in progress by jumping fast and wearing cool shades.

Comment Re:Why is Slashdot anti-trade? (Score 4, Informative) 158

Read up on Investor State Tribunals in CETA here:

Basically it allows corporations to sue states in arbitrary "tribunals" if a state violates its Non Discriminatory Treatment obligations (CETA, section 3, p 156 f) or because of a violation of the guaranteed investment protection.

So corporations can claim that environmental protection laws are arbitrary and give unfair advantages to domestic companies that comply with those laws, while penalizing foreign companies that do not comply.

The fear is that corporations will claim, "You are only enacting those environmental, worker protection, and social justice laws to penalize us, it's just code for 'protect local business.'" This is a realistic fear because it has happened before.

Comment Re:When the employee was contacted... (Score 2) 48

A couple of years ago, a company for which I had been working was refreshing all the laptops. As part of the program, the USB ports were locked down so that only encrypted drives could be used. As soon as you plugged in a drive that was not encrypted, it insisted on encrypting the contents before allowing it to be used as a drive. In fact the company policy was that one could continue to use your personal thumb drives, but insisted that they be encrypted and password protected (which seemed odd to me at the time)

I suspect that he, like many people (but not me), had a bunch of his 'day to day' files on a thumb drive, perhaps even the data he wanted to 'keep safe' while getting new equipment, but may have been untouched in months if not years. As part of his 'departure plan' he uploaded all of the old data*, including that 'silly extra step' of encrypting his old thumb drive. However, that transaction was logged as an upload to the encrypted drive and at least one of those file names was later flagged as containing 'Personally Identifiable Information'. The thumb drive might not have even left the office, but clearly wasn't accounted for on his exit.

Not every blunder deserves handcuffs.


Amazon Looking To Abandon UPS, FedEx In Favor of Its Own Delivery Service ( 239

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: A report by The Wall Street Journal claims that Amazon is building its own shipping service to replace FedEx and UPS, giving it more control over its packages and possibly allowing it to ship packages from other retailers. Amazon has said its own delivery services would be meant to increase its capacity during busier times of the year, like the upcoming holiday season. However, "current and former Amazon managers and business partners" claim that the company's plans are bigger than that. The initiative dubbed "Consume the City" will eventually let Amazon "haul and deliver" its own packages and those of other retailers and consumers. That delivery network would also directly compete with the likes of UPS and FedEx. It makes sense that Amazon would want to sell, ship, and deliver orders on its own. The report estimates that the company spent $11.5 billion on shipping just last year, amounting to 10.8 percent of sales. The shipping process is currently a bit convoluted: packages from Amazon warehouses get sent to one of two shipping routes, either FedEx or UPS, or to a sorting facility that lumps all packages with similar zip codes together. FedEx and UPS handle its shipments and deliver them to customers, while the packages at the sorting facilities either get delivered via USPS or by Amazon employees themselves. If Amazon were to have control over its shipments over longer distances, it's estimated that the company could save about $3 per package -- about $1.1 billion annually.

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