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Comment Re:oh no! (Score 1) 57

like pretty much every delivery person and warehouse worker in the country?

Their job description also includes knowing what to pick up with minimal instructions and an extremely low error rate, as well as where to take it and when and how to drop it off, the ability to work for up to 12 hours repeatedly and reliably, independence from wall power, and the ability to deviate from this routine where and when required in reasonable ways.

Submission + - If your TV rats you out, what about your car? (autoblog.com)

schwit1 writes: Nowadays, auto manufacturers seem to be tripping over each other pointing out that they offer Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto. And more recent phenomenon are announcements—from companies including Ford and Hyundai—that they are offering Amazon Alexa capabilities. You talk. It listens.

In late January, General Motors said it is releasing a next-generation infotainment software development kit (NGI SDK) to software developers to write apps for GM cars. The NGI SDK includes native Application Program Interfaces (APIs) that allow access to expected things — like oil life and tire pressure and whether lightbulbs are burned out — but unexpected things, as well. Like the presence of passengers in the vehicle.

Here's the thing. While it may seem appealing to have all manner of connectivity in cars, there is the other side of that. Without getting all tinfoil hat about this, when your TV set is ratting you out, isn't it likely that your car will?

It drives. And watches. And listens. And collects data the likes of which you might otherwise not have shared.

Submission + - Intel unofficially cuts prices for its x86 CPUs across the board 1

Artem Tashkinov writes: In an expected turn of events, now that AMD Ryzen is less than a week away from going public, Intel has unofficially cut prices for a long range of its CPUs. The biggest price cuts involve the following CPUs:
  • Intel Core i7-6850K, Broadwell, 3.6GHz, 6 cores (with HT), LGA 2011-3, was $700, now $550 (21% off)
  • Intel Core i7-6800K, Broadwell, 3.4GHz, 6 cores (with HT), LGA 2011-3, was $500, now $360 (28% off)
  • Intel Core i7-5820K, Haswell, 3.3GHz, 6 cores (with HT), LGA 2011-3, was $420, now $320 (24% off)
  • Intel Core i7-6700K, SkyLake, 4.0GHz, 4 cores (with HT), LGA 1151, was $400, now $260 (35% off)
  • Intel Core i7-6600K, SkyLake, 3.5GHz, 4 cores (with HT), LGA 1151, was $270, now $180 (33% off)

It's so good to finally have a competition in the x86 CPU market back after more than ten years since Intel released its Core 2 CPUs.

Submission + - Study Reveals Bot-On-Bot Editing Wars Raging On Wikipedia's Pages (theguardian.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A new study from computer scientists has found that the online encyclopedia is a battleground where silent wars have raged for years. Since Wikipedia launched in 2001, its millions of articles have been ranged over by software robots, or simply “bots," that are built to mend errors, add links to other pages, and perform other basic housekeeping tasks. In the early days, the bots were so rare they worked in isolation. But over time, the number deployed on the encyclopedia exploded with unexpected consequences. The more the bots came into contact with one another, the more they became locked in combat, undoing each other’s edits and changing the links they had added to other pages. Some conflicts only ended when one or other bot was taken out of action. The findings emerged from a study that looked at bot-on-bot conflict in the first ten years of Wikipedia’s existence. The researchers at Oxford and the Alan Turing Institute in London examined the editing histories of pages in 13 different language editions and recorded when bots undid other bots’ changes. While some conflicts mirrored those found in society, such as the best names to use for contested territories, others were more intriguing. Describing their research in a paper entitled Even Good Bots Fight in the journal Plos One, the scientists reveal that among the most contested articles were pages on former president of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf, the Arabic language, Niels Bohr and Arnold Schwarzenegger. One of the most intense battles played out between Xqbot and Darknessbot which fought over 3,629 different articles between 2009 and 2010. Over the period, Xqbot undid more than 2,000 edits made by Darknessbot, with Darknessbot retaliating by undoing more than 1,700 of Xqbot’s changes. The two clashed over pages on all sorts of topics, from Alexander of Greece and Banqiao district in Taiwan to Aston Villa football club.

Submission + - Valve release SteamVR for Linux (gamingonlinux.com)

JustNiz writes: Valve have put up SteamVR for Linux officially in Beta form and they are keen to stress that this is a development release.
You will need to run the latest Steam Beta Client for it to work at all, so be sure to opt-in if you want to play around with it.
VR on Linux will exclusively use Vulkan, so it's going to be a pretty good push for Vulkan if VR becomes more popular.

Comment Prohibition doesn't work (Score 5, Insightful) 159

Nature wrote a solid article on the dangers. IMO it's going to lead to some seriously damaged humans before it's closer to perfected. But IMO it will be improved until it's in common use, unless a different technique comes along. In the mean time there's little point to banning it.

Governments that fight markets never win. If Europe and the US ban this technology that just means progress will continue in other places. And there are other reasons than eliminating disease. I could argue the ethics, but that's not the point. Like it or not people are going to do it. We live in the last fully nature-made generation.

Submission + - Your Digital Life Can Be Legally Seized at the Border 3

Toe, The writes: Quincy Larson from freeCodeCamp relates some frightening stories from U.S. citizens entering their own country, and notes that you don't have fourth and fifth amendment rights at the border. People can and have been compelled to give their phone password (or be detained indefinitely) before entering the U.S and other countries. Given what we keep on our phones, he concludes that it is now both easy and legal for customs and border control to access your whole digital life. And he provides some nice insights on how easy it is to access and store the whole thing, how widespread access would be to that data, and how easy it would be for the wrong hands to get on it. His advice: before you travel internationally, wipe your phone or bring/rent/buy a clean one.

Comment Buck fridges (Score 1) 243

Sure we need some new bridges, and there are probably a thousand or so that actually need to be replaced. But our infrastructure is deficient in many more important ways. I just hope money needed for less sexy projects doesn't go to bridges. Her e are some of the things we need more than bridges:

Municipal water supplies. Flint wasn't just a case of local mismanagement, it was just the most visible. Local election reform is needed, but more importantly there are thousands of towns with aging, blocked-up pipes and waterworks. They don't get fixed until someone's house burns down because there wasn't enough mains pressure for the hydrant. Sewage overflows that cost millions to fix, inappropriate water savings programs, and high water taxes for businesses are just three of the symptoms of an aging water supply.

Research on longer-lasting roads. If we spend a billion on this now we'll save a billion per year from now on.

Better isolation and more intelligent routing for the high voltage mesh electrical network. We've spent a good deal on this, but shortcuts have been made. Sagging lines can cascade into regional failure. The most effective and least sexy way to deal with it is building more electrical transit capacity for cities that need it. A few places could definitely use municipal and larger power storage via hydroelectric, batteries, or whatever's clever.

And while we're talking about electricity it's time to reform municipal power to encourage user level solar power. Switch pricing to grid plus/minus usage with an instant rebate for the poor. I know that's not something the federal government regulates, but a study that strongly proves the economics should encourage local adoption of the plan. If it doesn't add in some bullshit grant to encourage it. After it's been working well and obviously saving money for a few dozen cities phase out the grants.

Nuclear power, and use the united house, congress, and prez to tell the NIMBY's to stuff it. Sell it politically by pointing out the fact that coal jobs are never coming back and jobs jobs jobs.

My 2 cents.

Submission + - A massive lake of molten carbon the size of Mexico is discovered under the US (dailymail.co.uk)

schwit1 writes: Situated under western US, 217 miles (350km) beneath the Earth's surface. Scientists used world's largest array of seismic sensors to map area. Melting carbon covers an area of 700,000 sq miles (1.8 million sq km). Upper mantle could contain up to 100 trillion metric tonnes of melted carbon. Its discovery challenges what researchers have assumed about how much carbon is trapped inside the planet.

Submission + - SPAM: Designer Babies on the way! 5

wisebabo writes: Looks like genetically editing human germ line cells is not longer completely verboten (yes the allusion to German Nazi era eugenics by use of the word "verboten" was deliberate). A National Academy of Sciences panel has approved, under narrow (for now) circumstances, genetically modified children. Now with CRISPR-cas9, it has become easier to precisely edit the human genome.

Even if they manage to keep the circumstances "narrow" it seems obvious that other nations will not be so cautious. For example China where they've created genetically modified "super dogs" [spam URL stripped]... and you can even buy genetically modified "micro pigs" that don't grow big! [spam URL stripped].... Of course China is not the only country doing this, New Zealand is pursuing an audacious project to use genetic engineering to WIPE OUT entire species (as I submitted earlier in slashdot).

Anyway, if you're bothered by the "narrow circumstances" clause in the NAS recommendation, go to Vietnam (or another one of many countries) where there are no particular regulations regarding genetic engineering.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - GM Salmonella destroys cancer (sandiegouniontribune.com) 1

schwit1 writes: Using mice and cultures of human cancer cells, a South Korean-led scientific team demonstrated that Salmonella typhimurium engineered to make a foreign protein caused immune cells called macrophages and neutralizes to mobilize against the cancer.

The bacterium came from an attenuated strain that has little infectious potential. Such strains have been tested as vaccines. The protein, called FlaB, is made by a gene in the estuarine bacterium Vibrio vulnificus, a close relative of the cholera bacterium, Vibrio cholerae.

Tumors shrank below detectable levels in 11 out of 20 mice injected with the modified Salmonella, said the study, published in Science Translational Medicine.

Submission + - Civ VI For Linux is here!!

Suchetha writes: On February 6th, 2017 Aspyr Media tweeted that Civilization VI will soon be available for Linux.

As of today (9th February, 2017) the long awaited Linux release of the game is available on Steam

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