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Transportation

Norway Is Building The World's First 'Floating' Underwater Tunnels (thenextweb.com) 59

An anonymous reader writes from a report via The Next Web: Norway plans to build "submerged floating bridges" to allow drivers to cross its bodies of water. The Next Web reports: "The 'submerged floating bridges' would consist of large tubes suspended by pontoon-like support structures 100 feet below water. Each will be wide enough for two lanes of traffic, and the floating structures should ease the congestion on numerous ferries currently required to get commuters from Point A to Point B. Each support pontoon would then be secured to a truss or bolted to the bedrock below to keep things stable." A trip from Kristiansand to Trondheim is roughly 680 miles and could take as long as 21 hours due to the seven ferry trips required along the way. While building normal bridges would cost significantly less than the $25 billion in funds required for the tunnel project, the fjords and difficult terrain make them unsuitable candidates. The pricey tunnel project could cut the trip time to just 10 hours when it's expected to be finished in 2035.

Comment EEE is not dead; look at systemd (Score 4, Insightful) 368

I guess he forgot about the old Microsoft motto: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish. It's still alive today, albeit a bit more subtle than it used to be.

The industry as a whole seems to have forgotten the events of 15-20 years ago (as is common in human society).

If it hadn't, we wouldn't have let systemd do the exact same thing with regards to compatibility with non-systemd distributions, let alone other Unices.

"Sure, all you have to do is add a hard dependency on our library!"
"They way you've been doing for 30 years is incorrect, here make a chance that will force mindshare onto your entire userbase."
"Distributions CAN use something other than the defaults, but we want them to use the defaults and there's no guarantee that not using the defaults will ever continue to work."

Security

'DNC Hacker' Unmasked: He Really Works for Russia, Researchers Say (thedailybeast.com) 563

The hacker who claimed to compromise the DNC swore he was Romanian, but new investigation shows he worked directly for Russia President Vladimir Putin's government in Moscow. The Daily Beast reports: The hacker who claims to have stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee and provided them to WikiLeaks is actually an agent of the Russian government and part of an orchestrated attempt to influence U.S. media coverage surrounding the presidential election, a security research group concluded on Tuesday. The researchers, at Arlington, Va.-based ThreatConnect, traced the self-described Romanian hacker Guccifer 2.0 back to an Internet server in Russia and to a digital address that has been linked in the past to Russian online scams. Far from being a single, sophisticated hacker, Guccifer 2.0 is more likely a collection of people from the propaganda arm of the Russian government meant to deflect attention away from Moscow as the force behind the DNC hacks and leaks of emails, the researchers found. ThreatConnect is the first known group of experts to link the self-proclaimed hacker to a Russian operation, amidst an ongoing FBI investigation and a presidential campaign rocked by the release of DNC emails that have embarrassed senior party leaders and inflamed intraparty tensions turning the Democratic National Convention. The emails revealed that party insiders plotted ways to undermine Sen. Bernie Sanders' presidential bid. The researchers at the aforementioned security firm are basing their conclusion on three signals: the hacker used Russian computers to edit PDF files, he also used Russian VPN -- and other internet infrastructure from the country, and that he was unable to speak Romanian.

Comment Re:Day job (Score 3, Interesting) 333

This sums things up perfectly. I keep seeing "news stories" about things that have been going on since mankind first drug itself out of whatever cave it was living in being rebranded as something that these newfangled kids are doing.

I don't get it.

The current generally has virtually no historical awareness for anything pre-2005. This is beyond the "normal" cyclic view of history and re-inventions, many of them have only the barest knowledge of life before YouTube. I grew up well after the '70s, but somehow I had cultural awareness of the Vietnam War and its influence on the then-present-day as I was a teen and into my twenties.

The current generation (I don't like the term "Millennial" since I find it to be too broad ... let's say the "Digital Natives" (vs. Generation Y, which was roughly born 1980-1992)) is living in the eternal present, unable to re-contextualize current events. Gen Y and Gen X are doing this too, but at least we're doing it ironically. We still remember the critical thinking thought processes we were raised on, whereas they never really got that to begin with.

Comment Re:Free time (Score 4, Interesting) 333

Fuck you.

For decades they have been telling kids to work hard and achieve all they can. To get a good job you need a degree, they said. And she enough, all the good jobs list a degree as a requirement.

Degrees used to be free of course, or at least quite cheap. And there were good jobs that paid the debt off.

Millennials made the decision to get an education based on the advice they had at the time. They were 18, younger even. And it worked out well for their parents.

But oh, sorry, we broke the economy and well, someone's gotta pay... And it won't be us, we've got ours.

I pity the H/S graduating classes of 2007 and 2008, who didn't really know any better but weren't in a position to change course. Anyone afterwards knew damn well that they had to think carefully about their major, about getting a job, and about vocational schooling as an option.

Anyone before then should have remembered the echo from the dot-com implosion and recession, and/or was old enough to know that their degree in Religious Studies and Art History was not going to pay the bills. I remember telling people that, but they continued anyway. That was a *conscious* choice for them that they had plenty of time to reconsider their huge incoming student loan debt -- and with a decent job market, they had options.

Comment Re:TFA is not terribly clear... (Score 3, Informative) 222

Or, more specifically, obstruction of justice.

If you refuse to give a legible fingerprint when your fingerprints are being taken at the jail, for example by trying to move your fingers back and forth so the ink smudges, the bailiff or other police official will just hold you down until they can get a valid read. You have no right to prevent that from being done.

If you do the same thing, but in a way that surreptitiously destroys the evidence on the phone in the process (knowledge of the switch, and your awareness that you're using the wrong finger to do it), you're destroying evidence. That's not just contempt, that's obstruction of justice .. and a nice federal jail sentence.

Comment Re:Headphone Jack is Pretty Crappy (Score 5, Insightful) 525

It wears out ridiculously fast. I've had to find the "sweet spot" on an untold number of 3.5mm jacks. You either have to twist the plug to the perfect angle or apply pressure on the correct side, or else you get no sound or severely diminished sound.

This has been my experience as well. Not every jack fails - but it still happens more often than for any other jack type that I commonly use.

This is cray. I've used tons of audio jacks over the years (being both an audio person and a mobile DJ). I've worn our FAR more micro-USB ports (and more expensively to replace) than I've ever had problems with headphone jacks. And the two times I've had problems with headphones, a tiny amount of solder fixed it.

More to the point -- simpler is better.

Comment Something off the rails (Score 5, Insightful) 117

Something has seriously gone off the rails when an ad/image designer either a) cares directly, and/or b) has insight into device power management and usage.

You're doing it wrong.

How about devices, firmware writers, OS writers, library writers, and application writers (browsers in this case) focus on the power management and we keep remote content creators out of the loop. If you need end-to-end awareness of things like this, it's a sign that your different layers are unable to make sane design choices or write sane platform specifications internally. It's also a sign that you don't care about leaking data far and wide to things that should have no need for that info. (cf. Uber and pricing changes when your battery is low.)

Comment Congrats, you've rediscovered Marx poorly (Score 4, Insightful) 504

If there's ever been a story worthy of the "whatcouldpossiblygowrong" slashdot tag, it's this.

Technological Solutionism didn't begin with oblivious Bay Area Millennials who never learned any history thinking that any problem can be solved if you just throw enough data, tech, money, cloud, systemd, Elon Musk, VC money, Obama, and Nate Silver's at it.

Unfortunately, that lack of awareness leads to the hubris in central planning, except that you've moved it from a technocratic paper pusher to a technocratic algorithm writer, an ethically oblivious data scientist, or -- scariest of all -- an app developer. That's how you get Giant Leaps Forward and jackboots.

Well, it’s a bit of an exaggeration to call it a failure.

Communism has killed far more people than all the 20th Century wars combined, while Western Capitalism has raised the standard of living. It was a failure. That's why the capitalists won and will continue to win. The ONLY thing that will change this will be a fundamental rewrite of the laws of economics and/or human nature. Humans don't change, and the laws of economics won't change globally until a replicator is invented along with locally-free energy and is actually distributed worldwide. *Then* we can talk about TNG-style post-scarcity. Anyone who thinks we're living in a post-scarcity economy in 2016 is confusing their parents' house for the real world.

The Almighty Buck

Maximizing Economic Output With Linear Programming...and Communism (medium.com) 504

Slashdot reader mkwan writes: Economies are just a collection of processes that convert raw materials and labour into useful goods and services. By representing these processes as a series of equations and solving a humongous linear programming problem, it should be possible to maximize an economy's GDP. The catch? The economy needs to go communist.
"[P]oorest members would receive a basic income that gradually increases as the economy becomes more efficient, plateauing at a level where they can afford everything they want to consume," argues the article, while "The middle classes wouldn't see much change. They would continue to work in a regular job for a regular -- but steadily increasing -- wage... Without the ability to own real-estate, companies, or intellectual property, it would be almost impossible to become rich, especially since the only legal source of income would be from a government job."
Government

Edward Snowden At Comic-Con: 'I Live a Surprisingly Free Life' (theguardian.com) 52

An anonymous reader writes from a report via The Guardian: Director Oliver Stone talked to whistleblower Edward Snowden in front of an audience at a question and answer session on Thursday evening. He compared Snowden's anxiety over his own appearance in his Snowden biopic film "Snowden" to that of Donald Trump, who was cut from one of his films six years before. Snowden replied: "I'd like to avoid that association." At the event, Snowden did also shed some light on his personal life, years after his revelation of the NSA's secret surveillance of the American public's internet activity resulted in criminal charges under the Espionage Act that led to his exile in Russia. "I can confirm that I am not living in a box," Snowden said. "I actually live a surprisingly free life. This was not the most likely outcome. I didn't actually expect to make it out of Hawaii. I thought it was incredibly risky. I had a lot of advantages in doing what I did; I worked for the CIA on the human intelligence side, I worked for the NSA on the signals intelligence side, and I taught counterintelligence. This is not something that's covered that well in the media. I was about as well placed as anybody could be, and I still thought I was going to get rolled up at the airport and that there were going to be knocks on the doors of the journalists." When asked what he thought about Gordon-Levitt's performance in the film where he plays Edward Snowden, Snowden responded: "This is one of the things that's kind of crazy and surreal about this kind of experience: I don't think anybody looks forward to having a movie made about themselves, especially someone who is a privacy advocate. Some of my family members have said, 'He sounds just like you!' I can't hear it myself but if he can pass the family test he's doing all right." Snowden agreed to participate on the film because he thought it could raise awareness in ways his own advocacy could not. Snowden was also in the news recently for developing a way for potentially imperiled smartphone users to monitor whether their devices are making any potentially compromising radio transmissions.
Security

Fortune 500 Company Hires Ransomware Gang To Hack the Competition (vice.com) 65

It's no secret that ransomware hackers are in the business to make money. But a new business arrangement hitting the news today may surprise many. Vice's Motherboard, citing research and investigation (PDF) from security firm F-Secure, is reporting that a Fortune 500 company, the name of which hasn't been unveiled, hired a ransomware gang to hack its competitors. From the article: In an exchange with a security researcher pretending to be a victim, one ransomware agent claimed they were working for a Fortune 500 company. "We are hired by [a] corporation to cyber disrupt day-to-day business of their competition," the customer support agent of a ransomware known as Jigsaw said, according to a new report by security firm F-Secure. "The purpose was just to lock files to delay a corporation's production time to allow our clients to introduce a similar product into the market first."In a statement to Motherboard, Mikko Hypponen said, "If this indeed was a case where ransomware was used on purpose to disrupt a competitor's operation, it's the only case we know of." F-Secure adds that the consumer representative noted that "politicians, governments, husbands, wives -- people from all walks of life contract [them] to hack computers, cell phones."

Comment Business is Business (Score 1, Informative) 412

Look, there's nothing wrong with being a rational actor on both sides here. The original contract is over and every single person on one of these plans is month to month. A partnership or business relationship not otherwise restricted will only exist for as long as it makes sense for both sides.

You idiots abusing a shared resource have pushed Verizon into accepting a PR hit in exchange for not having to deal with your douchebaggery any more. So be it. This is why we can't have nice things.

Anyone who's ever worked at an ISP knows about the predictions network engineers have to make when deciding how oversubscribed one network segment will be, and what kind of utilization can be allowed. These are consumer plans, not business SLA hookups, and if they can save themselves headaches by kicking the %.00001 off their network, it's fine by them. If you want to pay $500/month for 100GB of transfer, find a local ISP who can metro-link you an Ethernet hand-off and be done with it. Wireless networks were not meant for that level of individual usage.

Comment Re:Emergencies? (Score 2) 161

This might have been a troll, but it's a valid point. In the US, any phone that is turned on needs to be able to make an emergency 911 call, regardless of network access / bill payment / identity / SIM card / etc.

For a phone already turned on, you can do this from the lock screen. On my new LG G5 with PIN required on boot, you can do this from the PIN/boot entry screen.

It does raise the valid question: Is this a further check prior to the ... boot loader? PIN boot phase? If so, how much of the phone is and isn't running prior to the remainder of the OS load and what is or isn't "secure"... The meta has to bottom out somewhere, and unless the phone is actually broken, regs might require at least the phone connection to work.

Patents

Amazon Patents Way To Turn Lampposts, Church Steeples Into Drone Perches (consumerist.com) 87

An anonymous reader writes from a report via The Consumerist: Amazon has received a patent that shows what drones may be doing when they're not flying throughout the sky delivering packages: sitting on lampposts and church steeples. "Amazon was recently awarded a patent for docking and recharging stations that would be built on tall, existing structures like lampposts, cell towers, or church steeples," reports The Consumerist. "Once the drone is done making a delivery, it would be able to land on the station, recharge and refuel, as well as pick up additional packages." A "central control system" would then be able to control each docking station and connect the docked drone(s) with a local or regional packaged handling center or central facility. Based on weather or package data, the drones may be commanded accordingly. The patent says the system will not only provide directions based to the drone, but will have the ability to redirect the unmanned aerial vehicle based on the most favorable conditions, such as a route with less wind. The patent describes a system in which the drone delivers a package to the platform that then moves the item via a "vacuum tube, dumbwaiter, elevator, or conveyor to the ground level." From there, the package could be transferred to an Amazon Locker or a local delivery person. The docking stations could also act as cell towers that "provide local free or fee-based Wi-Fi services. This can enable cities to provide free Wi-Fi in public parks, buildings, and other public areas without bearing the burden of installing some, or all, of the necessary infrastructure."

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