By EditorDavid from Slashdot's dissing-by-disliking department
"YouTube is no stranger to viewers weaponizing the dislike button, as seen by the company's recent Rewind video, but the product development team is working on a way to tackle the issue," writes the Verge.
Suren Enfiajyan shares their report on a new video by Tom Leung, YouTube's director of project management.
"Dislike mobs" are the YouTube equivalent to review bombings on Steam -- a group of people who are upset with a certain creator or game decide to execute an organized attack and downvote or negatively review a game or video into oblivion. It's an issue on YouTube as well, and one that creators have spoken out against many times in the past.... Now, the company is planning to experiment with new ways to make it more difficult for organized attacks to be executed. Leung states that these are just "lightly being discussed" right now, and if none of the options are the correct approach, they may hold off until a better idea comes along.
Ironically, Leung's video itself drew 2,654 "dislike" votes -- nearly double its 1,377 upvotes.Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's great-first-languages department
Over 20,000 programmers from more than 150 different countries provided answers for the second annual Python Developers Survey (conducted by the Python Software Foundation and JeBrains).
An anonymous reader submitted this condensed version of their results:
When asked "What do you use Python for?" data analysis has become more popular than Web development, growing from 50% in 2017 to 58% in 2018. Machine learning also grew by 7 percentage points. These types of development are experiencing faster growth than Web development, which has only increased by 2 percentage points when compared to the previous year...
Almost two-thirds of respondents selected Linux as their development environment OS. Most people are using free or open source databases such as PostgreSQL, MySQL, or SQLite... Twenty-something was the prevalent age range among our respondents, with almost a third being in their thirties. [31% more were between the ages of 30 and 39.]Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's wisdom-versus-crowds department
CBS News reports that as Washington state confronts a measles outbreak which has sickened at least 56 people, "hundreds rallied to preserve their right not to vaccinate their children."
They packed a public hearing for a new bill making it harder for families to opt out of vaccination requirements, reports The Washington Post:
An estimated 700 people, most of them opposed to stricter requirements, lined up before dawn in the cold, toting strollers and hand-lettered signs, to sit in the hearing.... The Pacific Northwest is home to some of the nation's most vocal and organized anti-vaccination activists. That movement has helped drive down child immunizations in Washington, as well as in neighboring Oregon and Idaho, to some of the lowest rates in the country, with as many as 10.5 percent of kindergartners statewide in Idaho unvaccinated for measles. That is almost double the median rate nationally.... One activist who spoke Friday, Mary Holland, who teaches at New York University law school and said her son has a vaccine-related injury, warned lawmakers that if the bill passes, many vaccine opponents will "move out of the state, or go underground, but they will not comply."
The sponsor of a similar bill in Oregon says that anti-vaxxers "have every right to make a bad decision in the health of their child, but that does not give them the right to send an unprotected kid to public school. So if they want to homeschool their kid and keep them out of other environments, that's their decision."
But there are still 17 U.S. states that allow "personal or philosophic exemptions to vaccination requirements," reports the Post, "meaning virtually anyone can opt out." (Though some states are now considering changes.) "The enablers are state legislators in those states, that have allowed themselves to be played," complains Dr. Peter Hotez, a co-director of the Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
< article continued at Slashdot's wisdom-versus-crowds department
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By BeauHD from Slashdot's promising-findings department
"Researchers at Purdue University have developed a new chemical process that they say can convert approximately one-quarter of the world's plastic waste into gasoline and diesel-like fuels," writes Slashdot reader dmoberhaus. Motherboard explains how it works: As detailed in a paper published this week in Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, the chemists discovered a way to convert polypropylene -- a type of plastic commonly used in toys, medical devices, and product packaging like potato chip bags -- into gasoline and diesel-like fuel. The researchers said that this fuel is pure enough to be used as blendstock, a main component of fuel used in motorized vehicles. Polypropylene waste accounts for just under a quarter of the estimated 5 billion tons of plastic that have amassed in the world's landfills in the last 50 years.
To turn polypropylene into fuel, the researchers used supercritical water, a phase of water that demonstrates characteristics of both a liquid and a gas depending on the pressure and temperature conditions. Purdue chemist Linda Wang and her colleagues heated water to between 716 and 932 degrees Fahrenheit at pressures approximately 2300 times greater than the atmospheric pressure at sea level. When purified polypropylene waste was added to the supercritical water, it was converted into oil within in a few hours, depending on the temperature. At around 850 degrees Fahrenheit, the conversion time was lowered to under an hour. The byproducts of this process include gasoline and diesel-like oils. According to the researchers, their conversion process could be used to convert roughly 90 percent of the world's polypropylene waste each year into fuel.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's there's-more-where-that-came-from department
According to a new 16-month study of 1.5 billion tweets, researchers write that Twitter still isn't keeping up with the flood of automated accounts designed to spread spam, inflate follower counts, and game trending topics. Wired reports: In a 16-month study of 1.5 billion tweets, Zubair Shafiq, a computer science professor at the University of Iowa, and his graduate student Shehroze Farooqi identified more than 167,000 apps using Twitter's API to automate bot accounts that spread tens of millions of tweets pushing spam, links to malware, and astroturfing campaigns. They write that more than 60 percent of the time, Twitter waited for those apps to send more than 100 tweets before identifying them as abusive; the researchers' own detection method had flagged the vast majority of the malicious apps after just a handful of tweets. For about 40 percent of the apps the pair checked, Twitter seemed to take more than a month longer than the study's method to spot an app's abusive tweeting. That lag time, they estimate, allows abusive apps to cumulatively churn out tens of millions of tweets per month before they're banned.
The researchers say they've been sharing their results with Twitter for more than a year but that the company hasn't asked for further details of their method or data. When WIRED reached out to Twitter, the company expressed appreciation for the study's goals but objected to its findings, arguing that the Iowa researchers lacked the full picture of how it's fighting abusive accounts. "Research based solely on publicly available information about accounts and tweets on Twitter often cannot paint an accurate or complete picture of the steps we take to enforce our developer policies," a spokesperson wrote.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's toys-to-life department
David Aguila, a 19-year-old bioengineering student at the Universitat Internacional de Catulunya in Spain, has built himself a robotic prosthetic arm using Lego pieces. David was born with Poland syndrome that affects his right peck and right arm. From a report: Once his favorite toys, the plastic bricks became the building material for Mr Aguilar's first, still very rudimentary, artificial arm at the age of nine, and each new version had more movement than the one before. He uses the artificial arm only occasionally and is self-sufficient without it, with all the versions on display in his room in the university residence on the outskirts of Barcelona. In November 2017 Mr Aguilar, who uses Lego pieces provided by a friend, proudly displayed a fully functional red and yellow robotic arm, built when he was 18, bending it in the elbow joint and flexing the grabber.
The latest models are marked MK followed by the number -- a tribute to comic book superhero Iron Man and his MK armor suits. The MK II was a predominantly blue model built from a Lego plane set, including a motor, while MK III was created from a set for a piece of mining equipment. After graduating from university, he wants to create affordable prosthetic solutions for people who need them.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's new-and-improved department
Wave723 shares a report from IEEE Spectrum: A new kind of magnet, theorized for decades, may now have been experimentally proven to exist. And it could eventually lead to better data storage devices. In a normal magnet, the magnetic moments of individual grains align with each other to generate a magnetic field. In contrast, in the new "singlet-based" magnet, magnetic moments are temporary in nature, popping in and out of existence. Although a singlet-based magnet's field is unstable, the fact that such magnets can more easily transition between magnetic and non-magnetic states can make them well-suited for data storage application. Specifically, they could operate more quickly and with less power than conventional devices, says Andrew Wray, a materials physicist at New York University who led the research. Now, Wray and his colleagues have discovered the first example of a singlet-based magnet that is robust -- one made from uranium antimonide (USb2). "It ends up taking very little energy to create spin excitons for uranium antimonide," Wray says. "This is essential for the singlet-based magnet, because if it took a lot of energy, then there wouldn't be enough spin excitons to condense, stabilize one another, and give you a magnet." The research has been published in the journal Nature Communications.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's behind-the-scenes department
According to new job listings (first spotted by Android Police), it looks like Google may start building its own wearable devices. "A job listing posted two days ago on the Google Careers site calls for a Vice President of Hardware Engineering for Wearables," reports Android Police. The description reads, "As the VP of Hardware Engineering for Wearables, you'll work collaboratively with the Senior Leadership team for Google Hardware and will be responsible for the design, development, and shipment of all Google's Wearable products. You will lead and enable the effectiveness of a large engineering organization primarily based in Mountain View to develop multiple next-generation wearable products simultaneously." From the report: Google's only current wearable product is the Pixel Buds, which hasn't been a runaway success. It seems extremely unlikely that the company would want a Vice President dedicated to producing earbuds, so it's safe to assume Google has plans for other wearable products, like fitness trackers and/or smartwatches. Another listing is for a "Wearables Design Manager," but the description is more vague. "As the Design Manager of the Wearables design team within the award-winning Google Hardware Design organization, you will be a critical leader and contributor to guide the efforts in defining and evolving what it means to hold 'Google in your hand.'"Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's behind-the-scenes department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Apple will design its own modems in-house, according to sources that spoke with Reuters. In doing so, the company may hope to leave behind Intel modems in its mobile devices, which Apple has used since a recent falling out with Qualcomm. According to the sources, the team working on modem design now reports to Johny Srouji, Apple's senior vice president of hardware technologies. Srouji joined Apple back in 2004 and led development of Apple's first in-house system-on-a-chip, the A4. He has overseen Apple silicon ever since, including the recent A12 and A12X in the new iPhone and iPad Pro models.
Before this move, Apple's modem work ultimately fell under Dan Riccio, who ran engineering for iPhones, iPads, and Macs. As Reuters noted, that division was heavily focused on managing the supply chain and working with externally made components. The fact that the team is moving into the group focused on developing in-house components is a strong signal that Apple will not be looking outside its own walls for modems in the future. In recent years, Apple has been locked in a costly and complex series of legal battles with Qualcomm, the industry's foremost maker of mobile wireless chips. While Apple previously used Qualcomm's chips in its phones, the legal struggles led the tech giant to turn instead to Intel in recent iPhones.Read Replies (0)