By BeauHD from Slashdot's trust-the-process department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from NPR: The information operatives who worked out of the Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg did not stop at posing as American social media users or spreading false information from purported news sources, according to new details. They also created a number of Twitter accounts that posed as sources for Americans' hometown headlines. NPR has reviewed information connected with the investigation and found 48 such accounts. They have names such as @ElPasoTopNews, @MilwaukeeVoice, @CamdenCityNews and @Seattle_Post. "A not-insignificant amount of those had some sort of variation on what appeared to be a homegrown local news site," said Bret Schafer, a social media analyst for the Alliance for Securing Democracy, which tracks Russian influence operations and first noticed this trend. Another example: The Internet Research Agency created an account that looks like it is the Chicago Daily News. That newspaper shuttered in 1978. The Internet Research Agency-linked account was created in May 2014, and for years, it just posted local headlines, accumulating some 19,000 followers by July 2016.
Another twist: These accounts apparently never spread misinformation. In fact, they posted real local news, serving as sleeper accounts building trust and readership for some future, unforeseen effort. "They set them up for a reason. And if at any given moment, they wanted to operationalize this network of what seemed to be local American news handles, they can significantly influence the narrative on a breaking news story," Schafer told NPR. "But now instead of just showing up online and flooding it with news sites, they have these accounts with two years of credible history."Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's end-of-an-era department
After almost 30 years of overseeing the development of the world's most popular language, Python, its founder and "Benevolent Dictator For Life" (BDFL), Guido van Rossum, has decided to remove himself entirely from the decision process. From a report: Van Rossum isn't leaving Python entirely. He said, "I'll still be there for a while as an ordinary core dev, and I'll still be available to mentor people -- possibly more available." It's clear from van Rossum's note he's sick and tired of running the organization. He wrote, "I don't ever want to have to fight so hard for a PEP (Python Enhancement Proposals) [PEP 572 Assignment Expressions] and find that so many people despise my decisions." In addition, van Rossum hints he's not been well. "I'm not getting younger... (I'll spare you the list of medical issues.)" So, "I'm basically giving myself a permanent vacation from being BDFL, and you all will be on your own." From the email: I am not going to appoint a successor. So what are you all going to do? Create a democracy? Anarchy? A dictatorship? A federation? I'm not worried about the day to day decisions in the issue tracker or on GitHub. Very rarely I get asked for an opinion, and usually it's not actually important. So this can just be dealt with as it has always been. At Slashdot, we had the privilege of interviewing Guido van Rossum, a Computer History Museum honoree, in 2013.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's marching-forward department
What if, instead of a black and white X-ray picture, a doctor of a cancer patient had access to color images identifying the tissues being scanned? From a post: This is now a reality, thanks to a New-Zealand company that scanned, for the first time, a human body using a breakthrough color medical scanner based on the Medipix3 technology developed at CERN. Father and son scientists Professors Phil and Anthony Butler from Canterbury and Otago Universities spent a decade building and refining their product. Medipix is a family of read-out chips for particle imaging and detection. The original concept of Medipix is that it works like a camera, detecting and counting each individual particle hitting the pixels when its electronic shutter is open. This enables high-resolution, high-contrast, very reliable images, making it unique for imaging applications in particular in the medical field. Hybrid pixel-detector technology was initially developed to address the needs of particle tracking at the Large Hadron Collider, and successive generations of Medipix chips have demonstrated over 20 years the great potential of the technology outside of high-energy physics.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's first-movers department
An anonymous reader shares a report: Pornography has provided the first real boom in VR, and adult-entertainment companies like Naughty America are leading the way. In the 18 months after producing its first VR video, the San Diego-based studio released 108 more, making it one of the most prolific producers of VR content in the world. In 2017, the company operated a booth at the annual International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and became the first adult business allowed to exhibit in 19 years. It's not surprising that adult-entertainment companies are among the first movers in the nascent VR industry. After adult content helped popularize new media formats like VHS, Blu-ray and streaming video, the idea that porn drives digital innovation became a widely accepted truth. What is surprising is how big VR porn has become, and how quickly. In 2016, Samsung, HTC, Google, Sony and Facebook-owned Oculus sold just over 6.1 million headsets worldwide, according to an estimate from SuperData, a videogame market research firm. In December 2016 alone, Naughty America's customers downloaded more than 20 million VR videos, the company said. VR porn consumers are also more willing to pay for content than consumers of typical online porn.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's about-time department
Apple said on Thursday it is refreshing the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models. Neither machines are getting major redesigns, but the innards are getting a spec update. For starters, both the models are powered by the 8th-generation Intel processors and house more cores than before -- a maximum of six cores on the 15-inch model (compared to four in last year's models) and four in the 13-inch model (compared to two). That means faster performance for many use cases. Maximum SSD capacity is also doubled, and the MacBook Pro line offers DDR4 RAM for the first time. ArsTechnica: The laptops also borrow some features from the iMac Pro and the iPad Pro -- the T2 chip and True Tone, respectively -- and feature a revised butterfly keyboard, the third generation of the design Apple introduced in 2016 (the revision is a little more significant this time around). Apart from those tweaks to the keyboard, the basic design of the MacBook Pro is unchanged. The top configuration of the 15-inch model includes an 8th-generation, six-core Intel Core i9 CPU clocked at 2.9GHz. Six-core Intel Core i7 processors are also options. The 2017 iteration of the MacBook Pro featured DDR3 memory with a maximum configuration of 16GB. This time, it's DDR4, and the maximum is 32. The faster memory uses more energy, so a bigger battery is now included -- but Apple's battery life estimate remains the same as last year's. The GPU in the top standard configuration is listed as an AMD Radeon Pro 555X. The 13-inch model has different specs, of course. It still only offers integrated Intel graphics, for one thing -- Intel Iris Plus 655, this time with 128MB of eDRAM. But the maximum number of cores are again doubled -- in this case to four -- in 8th-generation Intel Core i5 or Core i7 CPUs, which run at up to 2.7GHz. Maximum SSD capacity is also doubled; it's now 2TB. The maximum memory is still 16GB. Apple claims the 13-inch model is up to twice as fast as its predecessor, though it will of course depend on the application. ArsTechnica says the keyboard on the new MacBook Pro models, though look similar to the one in the predecessor lineup, feel a little different to type on. The price of 13-inch starts at $1,799 while the 15-inch starts at $2,399.Read Replies (0)
'RSS Has Already Won'
Posted by News Fetcher on July 11 '18 at 06:41 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's he-says-she-says department
Brian Schrader, an independent software developer, writes: It's been a little over 5 years since Google Reader shut down and the world of RSS readers was tossed into the junk drawer of collective memory. But, looking back on it today, I'd actually argue that RSS and Feeds as a whole never really disappeared, only the Feed Readers did. In building Pine, and as a long time Feed Reader user, I've been pleasantly surprised over these last 5 years to see that most sites still have RSS feeds. Sure, Facebook and Twitter don't support them, but YouTube, Reddit, Squarespace, Wordpress and so many more do by default. Feeds of all kinds still exist, nearly forgotten, in the markup of most websites, and this means that Feed Readers can, and will, make a comeback someday. The foundations are already laid; the hard work is done. RSS Feeds became a standard, and were built into the tools we use to make the web today. It's almost as if we laid the tracks and built the trains for a trans-continental railroad, but we've just forgotten how to sell tickets.Read Replies (0)