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Submission + - NASA Launching Super Pressure Balloon - Wanaka, New Zealand (nzherald.co.nz)

rupert.applin writes: The NZ Herald is reporting the launch of another super pressure balloon from Wanaka Airport in New Zealand.

"A stadium-sized balloon launch conducted by Nasa is going ahead in Wanaka after seven failed attempts.

Nasa will be conducting a super-pressure balloon test flight from Wanaka on a planned 100-day journey.

After launch the balloon will ascend to an altitude of 33.5 kilometres where the stratospheric winds will propel it at speeds of at least 100 knots through the heating and cooling of the day-night cycle on a weeks-long journey around the Southern Hemisphere, said Debbie Fairbrother, Nasa's Balloon Programme Office chief."

Submission + - Leaked NSA hacking tools will be weaponized for years to come (cyberscoop.com)

Patrick O'Neill writes: Over 200,000 machines have been infected with NSA tools leaked by the ShadowBrokers. Security researchers, seeing as many as 25,000 new infections per day, say the “reliable and easy to use” tools will be workable in the wild for the next decade. There's precedent to back this up: The most exploited vulnerability in both 2015 and 2016 was the software flaw, first discovered in 2010, that allowed the famous Stuxnet virus to spread.

Comment Re:Unintended consequences (Score 1) 267

The problem still remains that "over-abundance" will only apply to labor. It won't apply to capacity nor to raw resources. We'll have lots of humans with not enough to do, whereas Marxism remains a "classical" economic system which still thinks in terms of scarcity of labor.

I don't think the future is Communist, but neither do I think it is strictly capitalist. I think we're still going to have a fundamentally consumer society, still at its core free market, it's just that labor will no longer be an issue. It will mean adjusting precisely how it is that society as a whole profits from the means of production. And remember that Marxism was always more than merely an economic theory, but was fundamentally a socio-political theory. It was innovative in that it viewed economics as the very core, but it proposed a good deal more than simply "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs", and involved revolution, dictatorship and what really does amount to a sort of single party state (because, after all, who needs more than one political movement when Marxism is perfect).

In the end, I expect we'll probably see a shift towards capital gains taxes, higher resource rents, transactional taxes (ie. taxes on the purchase or sale of bonds and shares) and other such mechanisms, and while lots of corporate interests will kick up a mighty storm, but there's little choice in the matter. At some point, robots will do a great deal of the work.

Comment Re: where does all this money come from? (Score 2) 267

Just because people pay you for your services doesn't mean you create more than you consume. Perhaps you have some sort of serious illness, which means your health insurance provider may be paying you more than you are paying them. Perhaps you have enough write offs to heavily reduce your actual taxable income, meaning others are actually paying more tax than you.

But do you really pay enough money in taxes that it covers the building of the road past your house, pay for the wages and equipment of the firefighters who may have to put out your fire? There's an entire infrastructure out there that is paid for by the economic output of an entire society, and the idea that somehow anyone, even a billionaire, can claim responsibility for a significant fraction of it is absurd.

Comment Re: Ontario, largest subnational debtor on the pla (Score 1) 267

It's called taxes. We can debate which taxes would be best, but presumably if someone is making something, whether it be with human beings, robots or some combination, they also have sales, which means there are any number of financial transactions which can be taxed. Pick your poison; corporate taxes, capital gains taxes, excise taxes, etc. etc. etc. In the end, money is just a means of counting value.

Submission + - Whoi is behind "Arkansas" trying to execute two inmates on Monday evening? (reuters.com)

Elixon writes: The state of Arkansas plans to execute two inmates on Monday. It will be the first U.S. state in 17 years to put a pair of convicts to death on the same day. With the recent appointment of Justice Neil Gorsuch in may really happen.

I have noticed that everywhere in news we read the names of convicts and the other party is just named "Arkansas". But we all know that there are government bureaucrats — real people — hiding behind that label "Arkansas".

I am European with very different views on this and I would be really interested in learning who really are those people behind "Arkansas" going extra mile to have somebody killed (because of some product's expiration) and what is their agenda — what are their convictions and motives. I just want to understand why somebody with a good job paid from people's taxes shows that much effort to kill somebody else.

Does anybody know who are they and what is their story?

Comment Slashdot comment shows one reaction to abuse: (Score 1) 214

Wow! Quotes from the parent comment:

"You're the laughingstock of the whole town."

"You're middle-aged now, alone and shunned."

"Your "call to arms" is a joke and we will laugh at it, as always."

"And you will end up with your pants pulled over your head and stuck heads-down in a trash can."

As I said in my comment that started this discussion of Slashdot reactions to abuse (+5), people who comment about abuse often don't respond in a manner guided by logic. Commenters often use these avoidances, and others:

1) Attack.

2) Change the subject. Respond to the new subject with an attack on that subject.

3) Give excuses.

4) Say that positive change is impossible.

Submission + - Reddit to deprecate custom stylesheets in upcoming redesign

An anonymous reader writes: Yesterday, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman announced that an upcoming redesign of the website will deprecae the use of custom stylesheets across all of its subreddits, in favor of limited customization options on a standardized template, and a new sidebar widget system. He argued CSS on Reddit was "difficult to learn", "error-prone", and "time consuming", made it harder to make changes to the site itself without risking breaking changes made by other subreddits, and were not compatible with the mobile version of Reddit,

Huffman stated that the site's staff planned to work with the community to "replicate as many of the existing uses that already exist, and to expand beyond as we evolve", and that the widget system would allow subreddits to add dynamic content to their sidebars more easily. However, said community is up in arms over the announced changes, as the moderators of many popular subreddits have created intricate stylesheets that add community-specific functionality and customizations that diversify the experience, and the exact level of customization that will be possible under the new system is still unclear.

Comment Common issue: Finding the most negative response (Score 1) 214

"So the proper response is to join the NRA and come out with all guns blazing?"

Why say something extremely negative and worthless, while ignoring suggested solutions? That's one of the ways Slashdot commenters don't handle abuse well.

Here are 2 solutions I mentioned in my grandparent comment:

1) One possible solution: All countries could support ReactOS so that the Windows OS can be eliminated.

2) No company should be allowed to have a virtual monopoly! Companies that are routinely abusive should be re-organized or eliminated.

See my comment below, Gov. leaders unsually have no technical knowledge, for initial ideas about how to cause the writing and adoption of new laws.

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