By EditorDavid from Slashdot's better-than-a-lemonade-stand department
In 2018 the most-downloaded iPhone app was YouTube, reports USA Today, while Amazon's best-selling item was their Fire TV Stick for streaming video. "Sense a trend? We love to stream video."
If you're thinking of quitting your day job this year and looking to strike it big in the world of online video, maybe this will inspire you. The No. 1 earner on YouTube this year is.....7-year-old Ryan from Ryan Toys Review. For all those unboxing videos and playing with toys -- and his own new line of toys at Walmart -- he and his family will pull in a cool $22 million, according to Forbes.
Ryan launched the channel in 2015 -- when he was four -- and now has 17.3 million followers.
One viral video of the 7-year-old even racked up 1.6 billion views, though apparently Ryan actually has fewer subscribers than several of the game streamers among YouTube's top-ten earners.Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's measuring-wave-lengths department
"Strange waves rippled across earth and only one person spotted them," reported Forbes, noting that the seismologist then "quickly put out an alert to see if other systems detected the same unusual wave."
"Seismographs picked up the waves as they traveled as far as New Zealand, Chile, Hawaii and Canada. In total, the waves were detected as far as 11,000 miles from their origin, ringing for 20 minutes or more minutes as they passed... As these waves rippled across the globe there were surprisingly no reports of anyone feeling the rumbling."
The Weather Channel now reports that "There was no earthquake large enough to have started these low-frequency signals. Scientists believed a magma shift caused the rumblings," citing a recent interview with Stephen Hicks, a seismologist at the University of Southampton. The Guardian reports:
Hicks believes magma may suddenly have drained from a volcanic chamber about 10 miles under the seafloor near Mayotte, setting off the deep rumble that spread around the world. While strong enough to be picked up by sensitive seismometers, the vibrations would have been minuscule: far smaller than a millimetre. "It's something that you wouldn't perceive," he said. Pierre Briole, a geoscientist at Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, has reached a similar conclusion. He believes that a third of a cubic mile of magma may have drained from a volcanic chamber under the seafloor, unleashing deep vibrations when its roof collapsed.
Much of the seismic sleuthing played out on social media with professional and amateur scientists working together. "Overall, [it has been] a fascinating demonstration of open science on Twitter and engagement between scientists and citizen seismologists," said Hicks.Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's magic-dead-internet-money department
Cryptocurrency prices "fell sharply on Friday, as another bout of selling took digital currencies to fresh lows," reports MarketWatch, adding that Friday the price of Bitcoin "crashed through support at $3,500, falling more than 10% to a 15-month low at $3,230 on the Kraken exchange."
"What a difference a year makes," CNN Business quipped Friday, in an article headlined "Bitcoin's Epic Plunge Continues":
In December 2017, bitcoin prices hit a record high of just under $20,000... Bitcoin is at a 15-month low. But prices have really gotten whacked this week, falling nearly 20% in just the past five days alone. Bitcoin isn't the only cryptocurrency getting hit either. Ripple/XRP, ethereum, stellar, litecoin and numerous other cryptocurrencies have plunged in the past week.
Little tangible news can explain or justify the current crypto carnage. One possible reason is that a pro-crypto member of the Securities and Exchange Commission warned at a conference this week that she's fighting an uphill battle trying to convince the rest of the SEC to approve more bitcoin exchange traded funds.... Nearly two-thirds of money managers surveyed by asset management firm Natixis still thought that cryptocurrencies were a bubble, the firm reported this week.
"In my opinion, bitcoin is dead," wrote the CEO of one wealth management firm with more than $32 billion in assets.
It won't go quietly, but the recent precipitous drop may be the beginning of its inevitable and inexorable death spiral. Or there could be a dead cat bounce. Either way, I see bitcoin as a dead man walking. Future generations may read about bitcoin in a finance textbook as a curiosity and wonder what all the fuss was about. There are still some die-hard adherents espousing the virtues of bitcoin, desperate to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Unfortunately for them, the end may not be pretty when it comes.
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By EditorDavid from Slashdot's do-you-C-what-I-C? department
An anonymous reader quotes TechRepublic:
PHP 7.3, the newest update to the widespread server-side web development language, was released on Thursday, bringing with it a handful of new features, modernizations, and modest speed improvements.... The largest improvements in 7.3 include support for Foreign Function Interface (FFI), allowing programmers to write inline C code inside PHP scripts. Though this feature does not presently provide the same level of performance as native PHP code, it can under certain circumstances be used to reduce the memory footprint of a given task.
PHP 7.3 also includes flexible heredoc and nowdoc syntax, now no longer requiring closing markers to be followed by a semicolon or new line. The feature proposal for this notes that the previous rigid requirements "caused them to be, in-part, eschewed by developers because their usage in code can look ugly and harm readability...." PHP 7.3 does bring some backward incompatible changes and deprecated functions. The use of case-insensitive constraints is now deprecated, as is the use of case-insensitive constants with a case that differs from the declaration.
Phoronix reports that PHP 7.3 is nearly 10% faster than version 7.2, while it's 31% faster than PHP 7.0 and nearly three times faster than PHP 5.6.Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's conduct-of-code department
TIOBE's methodology "basically...comes down to counting hits for the search query +"<language> programming," TIOBE explains on its web page -- though its results don't always agree with other analysts.
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's seeing-you-in-court department
Uber's terms of service prohibit its drivers from joining class action lawsuits, Gizmodo writes, adding that over 12,000 drivers have now "found a way to weaponize the ridesharing platform's restrictive contract in what's possibly the funniest labor strategy of the year."
An anonymous reader summarizes their report:
Uber's contract requires that all driver lawsuits be arbitrated (instead of argued in open court), but "While arbitrating parties are responsible for paying for their own attorneys, the terms state that 'in all cases where required by law, [Uber] will pay the Arbitrator's and arbitration fees'... A group of 12,501 drivers opted to take Uber at its word, individually bringing their cases up for arbitration, overwhelming the infrastructure...." (Gizmodo calls it Uber's arbitration policy "coming back to bite it in the ass.") A petition in California's Northern District Court points out that Uber now is apparently overwhelmed. "Of those 12,501 demands, in only 296 has Uber paid the initiating filing fees necessary for an arbitration to commence [...] only 47 have appointed arbitrators, and [...] in only six instances has Uber paid the retainer fee of the arbitrator to allow the arbitration to move forward."
The drivers' lawyers are now complaining that Uber's delinquincies "make clear it does not actually support arbitration; rather, it supports avoiding any method of dispute resolution, no matter the venue... At this point, it is fair to ask whether Uber's previous statements to the 9th Circuit about its desire to facilitate arbitration with its drivers were nothing more than empty promises to avoid litigating a class action."Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's Rust-never-sleeps department
"The Rust programming language team has announced the first major edition of Rust since 1.0 was released in 2015," reports SD Times -- specifically, Rust 1.31, the first edition of "Rust 2018," described by Rust's developers as "the culmination of feature stabilization."
An anonymous reader writes:
The Rust team is working hard to maintain backwards compatibility, for example with the way they're handling the ongoing addition of an async/await feature. "Even though the feature hasn't landed yet, the keywords are now reserved," notes the Rust Team. "All of the breaking changes needed for the next three years of development (like adding new keywords) are being made in one go, in Rust 1.31." The keyword "try" has now also been reserved, but "Almost all of the new features are 100% compatible with Rust as it is. They don't require any breaking changes... New versions of the compiler will continue to support "Rust 2015 mode", which is what you get by default... [Y]ou could think of Rust 2018 as the specifier in Cargo.toml that you use to enable the handful of features that require breaking changes."
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By BeauHD from Slashdot's blast-from-the-past department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Rapid global warming caused the largest extinction event in the Earth's history, which wiped out the vast majority of marine and terrestrial animals on the planet, scientists have found. The mass extinction, known as the "great dying," occurred around 252m years ago and marked the end of the Permian geologic period. The study of sediments and fossilized creatures show the event was the single greatest calamity ever to befall life on Earth, eclipsing even the extinction of the dinosaurs 65m years ago. Up to 96% of all marine species perished while more than two-thirds of terrestrial species disappeared. The cataclysm was so severe it wiped out most of the planet's trees, insects, plants, lizards and even microbes.
The researchers used paleoceanographic records and built a model to analyze changes in animal metabolism, ocean and climate conditions. When they used the model to mimic conditions at the end of the Permian period, they found it matched the extinction records. According to the study, this suggests that marine animals essentially suffocated as warming waters lacked the oxygen required for survival. The great dying event, which occurred over an uncertain timeframe of possibly hundreds of years, saw Earth's temperatures increase by around 10C (18F). Oceans lost around 80% of their oxygen, with parts of the seafloor becoming completely oxygen-free. Scientists believe this warming was caused by a huge spike in greenhouse gas emissions, potentially caused by volcanic activity.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's first-time-in-history department
NASA's InSight lander, which touched down on Mars less than two weeks ago, has recorded vibrations -- low-pitched, guttural rumblings -- caused by wind blowing across the science instruments on the spacecraft's deck. NBC News reports: Unaltered, these vibrations are barely audible, because they were recorded at a frequency of 50 hertz, at the low end of what the human ear can detect, according to Thomas Pike, the lead scientist for InSight's Short Period Seismometer, one of two instruments that picked up the subtle movements. NASA also released a sample of the same audio file that was shifted up about six octaves, to within a range audible to humans. That recording -- which at times sounds like a regular blustery day on Earth and other times has the muted, hollow quality reminiscent of being underwater -- would essentially be what a person would hear if they were sitting on the InSight lander on Mars, said Don Banfield, the science lead for InSight's air pressure sensor and a planetary scientist at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. NASA believes the wind in the recordings was blowing at 10-15 miles per hour from northwest to southeast.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's seven-years-later department
Google is pulling support for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich more than seven years after it was first introduced. The company announced in a blog post that Google Play services will no longer provide updates for the APIs (14 and 15) used by applications running on ICS. VentureBeat reports: Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), as Android 4.0 to 4.0.4 is more affectionately known, was a landmark operating system in many ways, ushering in a whole new set of interface guidelines -- with a more minimalist design, not to mention groundbreaking features such as near-field communication (NFC), lockscreen support for camera and music controls, and facial recognition smarts for unlocking devices.
App developers who currently offer minimum support of API level 16 (Android 4.1 Jelly Bean) and over won't have to do anything as a result of these changes. However, if their apps currently support API level 14 or 15, they will encounter a build error when updating to a newer SDK version. Google is now recommending that all developers target API level 16 as the bare minimum, which means those still using Ice Cream Sandwich on their Android device won't even see the app update in Google Play, let alone be able to download it.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's trying-to-slide-under-the-radar department
"Today, a bail hearing was held for Huawei's chief financial officer, who was arrested in Canada on Saturday at the request of U.S. law enforcement," reports The Verge. "The CFO, Meng Wanzhou, is facing extradition to the U.S. for conspiring to defraud banking institutions, according to the Star Vancouver." The Verge reports that her main defense is "a PowerPoint presentation that Meng had once given to explain to a bank in Hong Kong that Huawei had not violated any U.S. sanctions." From the report: Many lined up to see Meng's bail hearing today, after the extremely high-profile arrest that signified the first major break in a U.S. probe that has mostly been kept from the public. The U.S. has an arrest warrant out for Meng that was issued by a New York court on August 22nd. It has 60 days from the time of Meng's arrest on Saturday to provide Canadian courts with evidence and intent.
Meng served on the board for a Hong Kong-based company called Skycom, which allegedly did business with Iran between 2009 and 2014. U.S. banks worked with Huawei at this time, so Iran sanctions were violated indirectly, and Meng therefore committed fraud against these banks. Skycom reportedly had connections to Huawei and at the bail hearing today, Gibb-Carsley argued that Skycom was an unofficial subsidiary of Huawei's, using the same company logo. "Huawei is SkyCom," he said, "This is the crux, I say, of the alleged fraud." The hearing also examined whether Meng would be a flight risk if she was granted the $1 million bail, part of the argument Gibb-Carsley was pushing. "Defense lawyer Martin responded by explaining the Chinese emphasis on saving face, and how Meng wouldn't want her father and Huawei to look bad. Even more than that, 'she would not embarrass China itself,' Martin said."Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's history-as-a-guide department
Stephen Mihm, Bloomberg contributor and associate professor of history at the University of Georgia, argues against the use of noncompete agreements (NCAs) because they limit the free flow of employees and discourage innovation. An anonymous Slashdot reader shares an excerpt from his report: The agreements, known as NCAs, forbid workers from taking valuable skills acquired from one employer to a competing firm. They first appeared in the Middle Ages, when master artisans required them of apprentices because they didn't want to face direct competition once their proteges set up shop on their own. Courts eventually sanctioned these restraints, provided they didn't harm the public interest, establish a monopoly or unduly restrain an employee's right to work. But this trend toward wider use of the contracts, which gathered steam from the late 18th century onward, conveniently omitted that they originally applied to skilled laborers operating in a pre-capitalist society. Yet employers increasingly used noncompete clauses to limit the mobility of unskilled wage laborers along with skilled workers.
Have NCAs helped or hindered economic growth? The most famous study looked at California, one of only a handful of states that do not permit NCAs. The de facto prohibition of the agreements affected skilled and non-skilled workers alike, and employees high and low could jump from job to job without any fear of legal reprisal. The mobility seems to have disseminated innovation very swiftly from company to company, creating the kind of dynamism and technological spillover that helps foster long-term success. The prohibition of NCAs clearly benefited Silicon Valley. Further proof was provided by the comparison to another claimant to high-tech supremacy: Route 128 in Massachusetts. The conclusion was that California's ban -- and the embrace of the agreements in Massachusetts -- helped tilt the balance of power to California.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's passing-the-baton department
"IBM has agreed to sell select software products to HCL Technologies," writes Slashdot reader virtig01. "Included among these is everyone's favorite email and calendaring tool, Lotus Notes and Domino." TechCrunch reports: IBM paid $3.5 billion for Lotus back in the day. The big pieces here are Lotus Notes, Domino and Portal. These were a big part of IBM's enterprise business for a long time, but last year Big Blue began to pull away, selling the development part to HCL, while maintaining control of sales and marketing. This announcement marks the end of the line for IBM involvement. With the development of the platform out of its control, and in need of cash after spending $34 billion for Red Hat, perhaps IBM simply decided it no longer made sense to keep any part of this in-house. As for HCL, it sees an opportunity to continue to build the Notes/Domino business. "The large-scale deployments of these products provide us with a great opportunity to reach and serve thousands of global enterprises across a wide range of industries and markets," C Vijayakumar, president and CEO at HCL Technologies, said in a statement announcing the deal.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's surprise-surprise department
William P. Barr, President Trump's pick to become the nation's next Attorney General, is a former chief lawyer for Verizon who has opposed net neutrality rules for more than a decade. "Barr, who served as attorney general under former President George H.W. Bush from 1991-93, warned in 2006 that 'network neutrality regulations would discourage construction of high-speed internet lines that telephone and cable giants are spending tens of billions of dollars to deploy,'" reports Fast Company. From the report: Barr's appointment would be welcome news for at least three major internet service providers and a trade organization -- including Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association -- that have spent more than $600 million lobbying on Capitol Hill since 2008, according to a MapLight analysis. Their lobbying on a key issue was rewarded last December, when the Federal Communications Commission, led by another former Verizon lawyer-turned-Trump appointee, overruled popular opinion by voting to scrap rules that banned internet companies from giving preferential treatment to particular websites or charging consumers more for different types of content.
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By BeauHD from Slashdot's dark-side-of-the-moon department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times: China is aiming to go where no one has gone before: the far side of the moon. A rocket carrying the Chang'e-4 lunar lander blasted off at about 2:23 a.m. local time on Saturday from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southern China. (In the United States, it was still midday Friday). Chinese authorities did not broadcast the launch, but an unofficial live stream recorded near the site showed the rocket rise from the launch pad until its flames looked like a bright star in the area's dark skies. Nearly one hour later, Xinhua, China's state-run news agency reported that Chang'e-4 had successfully launched. Exactly when it will set down at its destination has not yet been announced -- possibly in early January -- but Chang'e-4 will provide the first close-up look at a part of the moon that is eternally out of view from Earth. The rover will attempt to land in the 110-mile-wide Von Karman crater. The crater is within an area known as the South Pole-Aitken basin, a gigantic, 1,600-mile wide crater at the bottom of the moon, which has a mineralogy distinct from other locations. "That may reflect materials from the inside of the moon that were brought up by the impact that created the basin," reports The New York Times. The suite of instruments on the rover and the lander -- cameras, ground-penetrating radar and spectrometers -- "will probe the structure of the rocks beneath the spacecraft, study the effects of the solar wind striking the lunar surface," the report says. "Chang'e-4 will also test the ability of making radio astronomy observations from the far side of the moon, without the effects of noise and interference from Earth." It will also see if plant seeds will germinate and silkworm eggs will hatch in the moon's low gravity.Read Replies (0)