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Comment The problem with "good" ideas... (Score 3, Insightful) 262

...is that the first thing people want to do with them - especially in the TED crowd - is use politics to force them on everyone.

And some of the ideas actually are good - for certain people in certain situations. The problem with using politics is that you're applying these ideas to everyone, by force. This usually results in an overall net negative impact.

We live in a world of incredibly diverse values, beliefs, and practices. Much of the goodness or badness in these areas is fairly subjective. For example, some people prefer more leisurely lifestyles and others value high productivity. Some people want to work and function in highly communal environments, and others are more individualistic. None of these things are wrong, but when you start building strict sets of societal rules around them then you create strong and completely unnecessary conflict.

There are less subjective areas that involve hard science and scientific experimentation, but these are relatively rare and usually uncontroversial. There are also plenty of ideas labeled as "science" that do not involve the scientific method; these tend to be extremely controversial and because the "science" label is misapplied their proponents tend to be very quick to pull out the political guns.

In any case, we also live in a world where far too many people want to force their beliefs and lifestyles on everyone else. The political left and right are fairly equally guilty of this - the left from an economic standpoint, and the right from a religious standpoint, and both from an overall values standpoint. It's deeply sad that virtually none of these people are capable of saying "Hey, it's OK that you're different - go be your crazy-ass self over there and as long as you're not in my face about it then we'll ignore each other and everything is fine." But instead, they demand strict enforcement. These days the left demands that we memorize sixty new gender pronouns a week, and the right loses their shit if you don't say "Merry Christmas."

We don't need 50 new TEDxasfaz talks a week. We need a planet full of people to chill the fuck out.

Submission + - Investigation Finds Inmates Built Computers, Hid Them In Prison Ceiling (cbs6albany.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The discovery of two working computers hidden in a ceiling at the Marion Correctional Institution prompted an investigation by the state into how inmates got access. In late July, 2015 staff at the prison discovered the computers hidden on a plywood board in the ceiling above a training room closet. The computers were also connected to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction's network. Authorities say they were first tipped off to a possible problem in July, when their computer network support team got an alert that a computer "exceeded a daily internet usage threshold." When they checked the login being used, they discovered an employee's credentials were being used on days he wasn't scheduled to work. That's when they tracked down where the connection was coming from and alerted Marion Correctional Institution of a possible problem. Investigators say there was lax supervision at the prison, which gave inmates the ability to build computers from parts, get them through security checks, and hide them in the ceiling. The inmates were also able to run cabling, connecting the computers to the prison's network.

Submission + - Google Ruins the Assistant's Shopping List, Turns It Into a Google Express Ad (arstechnica.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The Google Assistant, Google's voice assistant that powers the Google app on Android phones, tablets, and Google Home, has just gotten a major downgrade. In a move reminiscent of all the forced and user-hostile Google+ integrations, Google has gutted the Google Assistant's shopping list functionality in order to turn it into a big advertisement for Google's shopping site, Google Express. The shopping list has been a major feature of the Google Assistant. You can say "Add milk to my shopping list," and the Google Assistant would dutifully store this information somewhere. The shopping list used to live in Google Keep. Keep is Google's primary note-taking app, making it a natural home for the shopping list with lots of useful tools and management options. Now the shopping list lives in Google Express. Express is an online shopping site, and it has no business becoming a dedicated place to store a shopping list that probably has nothing to do with Google's online marketplace. Since Google Express is an online shopping site (and, again, has no business having a note-taking app grafted onto it), the move from Keep to Google Express means the Assistant's shopping list functionality loses the following features: Being able to reorder items with drag and drop.
Reminders; Adding images to the shopping list; Adding voice recordings to the shopping list; Real time collaboration with other users (Express has sharing, but you can't see other people as they type—you have to refresh.); Android Wear integration; Desktop keyboard shortcuts; Checkbox management: deleting all checked items, unchecking all items, hiding checkboxes. Alternatively, the move from Keep to Google Express means the Assistant shopping list gains the following features: Google Express advertising next to every list item; Google Express advertising at the bottom of the page.

Submission + - The Kodi development team wants to be legitimate and bring DRM to the platform. (torrentfreak.com)

pecosdave writes: The XBMC/ Kodi development team has taken a lot of heat over the years, mostly due to third party developers introducing piracy plugins to the platform, then in many cases cheap Android computers are often sold with these plugins pre-installed with the Kodi or XBMC name attached to them. The Kodi team is not happy about this, and has taken the fight to the sellers. The Kodi team is now trying to work with rights holders to introduce DRM and legitimate plugins to the platform. Is this the first step towards creating a true one-stop do it yourself Linux entertainment system?

Submission + - How Google Book Search Got Lost (backchannel.com)

mirandakatz writes: When Google started its Book Search project nearly 15 years ago, it seemed impossibly ambitious: An upstart tech company that had just tamed and organized the vast informational jungle of the web would now extend the reach of its search box into the offline world. It was the company's first real moonshot, aspiring to make all the world's books digitally accessible—and in doing so, somehow produce a phase-shift in human awareness. But between legal battles and a slowly dwindling sense of ambition, Google Books never achieved those great heights, and today, it's settled into a quiet middle age of sourcing quotes and serving up snippets of text from the 25 million-plus tomes in its database. At Backchannel, Scott Rosenberg chronicles the project's rise and fall, writing that "Google employees maintain this is all they ever intended to achieve. Maybe so. But they sure got everyone else’s hopes up."

Submission + - SPAM: Exploit Revealed For Remote Root Access Vulnerability Affecting Many Routers

Orome1 writes: Back in January 2013, researchers from application security services firm DefenseCode unearthed a remote root access vulnerability in the default installation of some Cisco Linksys (now Belkin) routers. The flaw was actually found in Broadcom’s UPnP implementation used in popular routers, and ultimately the researchers extended the list of vulnerable routers to encompass devices manufactured by the likes of ASUS, D-Link, Zyxel, US Robotics, TP-Link, Netgear, and others. Since there were millions of vulnerable devices out there, the researchers refrained from publishing the exploit they created for the flaw, but now, four years later, they’ve released their full research again, and this time they’ve also revealed the exploit.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Symantec says CIA hacking tools were used in 40 'Longhorn' cyberattacks (betanews.com)

Mark Wilson writes: The CIA's range of hacking tools revealed as part of WikiLeaks' Vault 7 series of leaks have been used to conduct 40 cyberattacks in 16 countries, says Symantec. The security firm alleges that a group known as Longhorn has been using tools that appear to be the very same ones used by the CIA.

While it would be obvious to jump to the conclusion that the CIA was itself responsible for the attacks — and that Longhorn is just a branch of the CIA — Symantec opts for a rather more conservative evaluation of things: "there can be little doubt that Longhorn's activities and the Vault 7 documents are the work of the same group."

In a post on the Symantec Security Response blog, the company provides what it says is the first evidence that the Vault 7 tools have actually been used in cyberattacks or cyberespionage.

Comment Re:A better question to ask (Score 1) 75

"Chad Rigetti, the startup's founder and CEO -- who declined to say whether the company is actually earning any revenue yet." who would also decline to say whether the company is doing proper quantum computing yet.

If he knew how much revenue he was getting, he wouldn't know whether the revenue growth rate was growing or shrinking. How the fark is he supposed to get Series A funding at a good valuation like that? Naw, man, he did it right - assume a given momentum sufficient to get the next round of funding, and who cares about the company's actual market position?

Comment Debunked yesterday (Score 5, Informative) 153

Geez, Slashdot is now so slow that they're posting rants that are already ancient news.

No, Apple is not putting out a new connector. They've had requests from industry groups to allow Apple-certified cables using this unusual somewhat connector, most likely for attaching professional cameras to IOS-based devices. Apple complied with these groups. End of story.

https://arstechnica.com/apple/...

Comment But does it scale? (Score 1) 155

Apple has the interesting problem of not only having to design products, but often build them in quantities that stretch the limits of production for new parts / technologies. It's one thing to be able to build a few hundred thousands or a million or two; tens of millions is another matter. There have been several speculations that Apple hasn't built phones with OLED screens because nobody can make enough of them...

Comment Well, duh. Google is in bed with the state. (Score 0) 171

Eric Schmidt had is nose firmly planted in Obama's and Clinton's behinds, and with the unexpected ascendency of Trump it's no surprise that he's being a good little marching boy for the new Back to Law and Order administration ("We know how to make all of our broken and stupid rules work: enforce them harder!").

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