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Fans Are Spoofing Spotify With 'Fake Plays', And That's A Problem For Music Charts
Posted by News Fetcher on September 16 '18 at 02:52 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's gaming-the-system department:
An anonymous reader shares a report: The Billboard charts have long been the gold standard by which musicians measure their success, but as recent tantrums by the likes of Nicki Minaj have highlighted, the rising influence of streaming services is upending that model -- and giving die-hard fans a way to manipulate the data. A recent release by the Korean pop group BTS prompted its superfandom, millions strong across the globe, to do just that by launching a sophisticated campaign to make sure the boy band reached No. 1. The strategy employed by the so-called BTS Army went largely like this: Fans in the US created accounts on music streaming services to play BTS's music and distributed the account logins to fans in other countries via Twitter, email, or the instant messaging platform Slack. The recipients then streamed BTS's music continuously, often on multiple devices and sometimes with a virtual private network (VPN), which can fake, or "spoof," locations by rerouting a user's traffic through several different servers across the world. Some fans will even organize donation drives so other fans can pay for premium streaming accounts. "Superfans of pop acts have long been doing this sort of thing," said Mark Mulligan, managing director of the digital media analysis company MIDIA Research. "But if a superfan has decided to listen nonstop to a track, is that fake? If so, how many times do they have to listen to a track continuously before it is deemed
'fake'?" One BTS fan group claimed it distributed more than 1,000 Spotify logins, all to make it appear as though more people in the US were streaming BTS's music and nudge their album Love Yourself: Tear up the Spotify chart, which in turn factors into Billboard's metrics.

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India's Space Agency Successfully Launches 2 UK Earth Observation Satellites
Posted by News Fetcher on September 16 '18 at 02:52 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's up,-up,-and-away department:
The late-night dark skies at Sriharikota, India, lit up in bright orange hues as the PSLV-C42 lifted off and vanished into the thick black clouds, carrying two satellites from the United Kingdom -- NovaSAR and S1-4 from the first launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, SHAR. Local news outlet reports: The lightest version of the PSLV, flying in its core-alone version without the six strap-on motors, the PSLV-C-42 rose into the skies at 10.08 p.m. Almost 18 minutes later, the two satellites were placed in the desired orbit by ISRO. This was the 12th such launch of a core-alone version of the PSLV by ISRO. "This was a spectacular mission. We have placed the satellite in a very, very precise orbit," R. Hutton, Mission Director, said. The two satellites, owned by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) were placed in a circular orbit around the poles, 583 km (362 miles) from Earth. The commercial arm of ISRO, Antrix Corporation earned more than â220 crore ($30.5 million) on this launch. The NovaSAR is a technology demonstration mission designed to test the capabilities of a new low cost S-band SAR platform. It will be used for ship detection and maritime monitoring and also flood monitoring, besides agricultural and forestry applications. The S1-4 will be used for environment monitoring, urban management, and tackling disasters. On the sidelines, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) said it will launch three more satellites to provide high-speed bandwidth connectivity to rural areas as part of the government's Digital India programme, a local news agency reported.

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American Eating Habits Are Changing Faster than Fast Food Can Keep Up
Posted by News Fetcher on September 16 '18 at 01:31 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's closer-look department:
Home cooking would be making a comeback if it ever really went away. From a report: Restaurants are getting dinged by the convenience of Netflix, the advent of pre-made meals, the spread of online grocery delivery, plus crushing student debt and a focus on healthy eating. Eighty-two percent of American meals are prepared at home -- more than were cooked 10 years ago, according to researcher NPD Group. The latest peak in restaurant-going was in 2000, when the average American dined out 216 times a year. That figure fell to 185 for the year ended in February, NPD said. Don't be fooled by reports of rising U.S. restaurant sales at big chains like McDonald's. Increases have been driven by price hikes, not more customers. Traffic for the industry was down 1.1 percent in July, the 29th straight month of declines, according to MillerPulse data. "It's counterintuitive because you see a lot of things in the press about restaurant sales increasing," said David Portalatin, a food-industry adviser at NPD. "America does still cook at home." The shift is weighing on the fast-food industry. Eateries already are struggling with higher labor and rent costs that they're passing along to customers, which in turn makes home cooking more economical. McDonald's, Jack in the Box, Shake Shack and Wendy's have all raised prices in the past year.

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India's ISRO Successfully Launches 2 UK Earth Observation Satellites
Posted by News Fetcher on September 16 '18 at 12:12 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's up,-up,-and-away department:
The late-night dark skies at Sriharikota, India, lit up in bright orange hues as the PSLV-C42 lifted off and vanished into the thick black clouds, carrying two satellites from the United Kingdom -- NovaSAR and S1-4 from the first launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, SHAR. Local news outlet reports: The lightest version of the PSLV, flying in its core-alone version without the six strap-on motors, the PSLV-C-42 rose into the skies at 10.08 p.m. Almost 18 minutes later, the two satellites were placed in the desired orbit by ISRO. This was the 12th such launch of a core-alone version of the PSLV by ISRO. "This was a spectacular mission. We have placed the satellite in a very, very precise orbit," R. Hutton, Mission Director, said. The two satellites, owned by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) were placed in a circular orbit around the poles, 583 km (362 miles) from Earth. The commercial arm of ISRO, Antrix Corporation earned more than â220 crore ($30.5 million) on this launch. The NovaSAR is a technology demonstration mission designed to test the capabilities of a new low cost S-band SAR platform. It will be used for ship detection and maritime monitoring and also flood monitoring, besides agricultural and forestry applications. The S1-4 will be used for environment monitoring, urban management, and tackling disasters. On the sidelines, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) said it will launch three more satellites to provide high-speed bandwidth connectivity to rural areas as part of the government's Digital India programme, a local news agency reported.

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Survey Finds 85% of Underserved Students Have Access To Only One Digital Device
Posted by News Fetcher on September 16 '18 at 12:12 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's digital-divide department:
A new research [PDF] on students who took the ACT test, conducted by the ACT Center for Equity in Learning, found that 85% of underserved (meaning low income, minority, or first generation in college) students had access to only one device at home, most often a smartphone. From a blog post: American Indian/Alaskan, Hispanic/Latino, and African American students had the least access. White and Asian students had the most. Nearly a quarter of students who reported that family income was less that $36,000 a year had access to only a single device at home, a 19% gap compared to students whose family income was more than $100,000.

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For Decades, Some of the Atomic Matter in the Universe Had Not Been Located. Recent Papers Reveal Where It Has Been Hiding
Posted by News Fetcher on September 16 '18 at 10:51 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's closer-look department:
In a series of three recent papers, astronomers have identified the final chunks of all the ordinary matter in the universe. From a report: And despite the fact that it took so long to identify it all, researchers spotted it right where they had expected it to be all along: in extensive tendrils of hot gas that span the otherwise empty chasms between galaxies, more properly known as the warm-hot intergalactic medium, or WHIM. Early indications that there might be extensive spans of effectively invisible gas between galaxies came from computer simulations done in 1998. "We wanted to see what was happening to all the gas in the universe," said Jeremiah Ostriker, a cosmologist at Princeton University who constructed one of those simulations along with his colleague Renyue Cen. The two ran simulations of gas movements in the universe acted on by gravity, light, supernova explosions and all the forces that move matter in space. "We concluded that the gas will accumulate in filaments that should be detectable," he said. Except they weren't -- not yet. "It was clear from the early days of cosmological simulations that many of the baryons would be in a hot, diffuse form -- not in galaxies," said Ian McCarthy, an astrophysicist at Liverpool John Moores University. Astronomers expected these hot baryons to conform to a cosmic superstructure, one made of invisible dark matter, that spanned the immense voids between galaxies. The gravitational force of the dark matter would pull gas toward it and heat the gas up to millions of degrees. Unfortunately, hot, diffuse gas is extremely difficult to find. To spot the hidden filaments, two independent teams of researchers searched for precise distortions in the CMB, the afterglow of the Big Bang. As that light from the early universe streams across the cosmos, it can be affected by the regions that it's passing through. In particular, the electrons in hot, ionized gas (such as the WHIM) should interact with photons from the CMB in a way that imparts some additional energy to those photons. The CMB's spectrum should get distorted. Unfortunately the best maps of the CMB (provided by the Planck satellite) showed no such distortions. Either the gas wasn't there, or the effect was too subtle to show up. But the two teams of researchers were determined to make them visible. From increasingly detailed computer simulations of the universe, they knew that gas should stretch between massive galaxies like cobwebs across a windowsill. Planck wasn't able to see the gas between any single pair of galaxies. So the researchers figured out a way to multiply the faint signal by a million.

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The Linux Kernel Has Grown By 225,000 Lines of Code This Year, With Contributions From About 3,300 Developers
Posted by News Fetcher on September 16 '18 at 09:32 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's where-we-are department:
Here's an analysis of the Linux kernel repository that attempts to find some fresh numbers on the current kernel development trends. He writes: The kernel repository is at 782,487 commits in total from around 19.009 different authors. The repository is made up of 61,725 files and from there around 25,584,633 lines -- keep in mind there is also documentation, Kconfig build files, various helpers/utilities, etc. So far this year there has been 49,647 commits that added 2,229,836 lines of code while dropping 2,004,759 lines of code. Or a net gain of just 225,077 lines. Keep in mind there was the removal of some old CPU architectures and other code removed in kernels this year so while a lot of new functionality was added, thanks to some cleaning, the kernel didn't bloat up as much as one might have otherwise expected. In 2017 there were 80,603 commits with 3,911,061 additions and 1,385,507 deletions. Given just over one quarter to go, on a commit and line count 2018 might come in lower than the two previous years. Linus Torvalds remains the most frequent committer at just over 3% while the other top contributions to the kernel this year are the usual suspects: David S. Miller, Arnd Bergmann, Colin Ian King, Chris Wilson, and Christoph Hellwig. So far in 2018 there were commits from 3,320 different email addresses. This is actually significantly lower than in previous years.

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Amazon Says It is Investigating Claims That Its Employees Are Taking Bribes To Sell Internal Data To Merchants To Help Them Increase Their Sales on the Website
Posted by News Fetcher on September 16 '18 at 09:32 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's fighting-bad-guys department:
Amazon.com is investigating internal leaks as it fights to root out fake reviews and other seller scams from its website, the company told WSJ. From the report: Employees of Amazon, primarily with the aid of intermediaries, are offering internal data and other confidential information that can give an edge to independent merchants selling their products on the site, according to sellers who have been offered and purchased the data, brokers who provide it and people familiar with internal investigations. The practice, which violates company policy, is particularly pronounced in China, according to some of these people, because the number of sellers there is skyrocketing. As well, Amazon employees in China have relatively small salaries, which may embolden them to take risks. In exchange for payments ranging from roughly $80 to more than $2,000, brokers for Amazon employees in Shenzhen are offering internal sales metrics and reviewers' email addresses, as well as a service to delete negative reviews and restore banned Amazon accounts, the people said. Amazon is investigating a number of cases involving employees, including some in the U.S., suspected of accepting these bribes, according to people familiar with the matter. An internal probe began in May after Eric Broussard, Amazon's vice president who oversees international marketplaces, was tipped off to the practice in China, according to people familiar with the matter. Amazon has since shuffled the roles of key executives in China to try to root out the bribery, one of these people said.

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Automation: The Exaggerated Threat of Robots
Posted by News Fetcher on September 16 '18 at 08:11 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's how-about-that department:
It will take quite a lot of time before robots become cheaper than workers in emerging markets such as Africa, argues Nico Beckert of Flassbeck Economics, a consortium of researchers who aim to provide economics insights with a more realistic basis. From the post: All industrialized countries used low-cost labour to build industries and manufacture mass-produced goods. Today, labour is relatively inexpensive in Africa, and a similar industrialization process might take off accordingly. Some worry that industrial robots will block this development path. The reason is that robots are most useful when doing routine tasks -- precisely the kind of work that is typical of labour-intensive mass production. At the moment, however, robots are much too expensive to replace thousands upon thousands of workers in labour-intensive industries, most of which are in the very early stages of the industrialization process. Robots are currently best used in technologically more demanding fields like the automobile or electronics industry. Even a rapid drop in robot prices would not lead to the replacement of workers by robots in the short term in Africa where countries lag far behind in terms of fast internet and other information and communications technologies. They also lack well-trained IT experts. Other problems include an unreliable power supply, high energy costs and high financing costs for new technologies. For these reasons, it would be difficult and expensive to integrate robots and other digital technologies into African production lines.

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Why Edinburgh's Clock is Almost Never on Time
Posted by News Fetcher on September 16 '18 at 06:50 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's mysteries-of-life department:
Arrive in Edinburgh on any given day and there are certain things you can guarantee. One of which is, the time on the turret clock atop The Balmoral Hotel is always wrong. By three minutes, to be exact. From a report: While the clock tower's story is legendary in Edinburgh, it remains a riddle for many first-timers. To the untrained eye, the 58m-high landmark is simply part of the grand finale when surveyed from Calton Hill, Edinburgh's go-to city-centre viewpoint. There it sits to the left of the Dugald Stewart Monument, like a giant exclamation mark above the glazed roof of Waverley Train Station. Likewise, the sandstone baronial tower looks equally glorious when eyed from the commanding northern ramparts of Edinburgh Castle while peering out over the battlements. It is placed at the city's very centre of gravity, between the Old Town and the New Town, at the confluence of all business and life. Except, of course, that the dial's big hand and little hand are out of sync with Greenwich Mean Time. This bold irregularity is, in fact, a historical quirk first introduced in 1902 when the Edwardian-era building opened as the North British Station Hotel. Then, as now, it overlooked the platforms and signal boxes of Waverley Train Station, and just as porters in red jackets met guests off the train, whisking them from the station booking hall to the interconnected reception desk in the hotel's basement, the North British Railway Company owners wanted to make sure their passengers -- and Edinburgh's hurrying public -- wouldn't miss their trains. Given an extra three minutes, they reasoned, these travellers would have more time on the clock to collect their tickets, to reach their corridor carriages and to unload their luggage before the stationmaster's whistle blew. Still today, it is a calculated miscalculation that helps keep the city on time.

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How Tech Companies Responded To Hurricane Florence
Posted by News Fetcher on September 16 '18 at 02:50 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's dotcom-after-the-story department:
112-mph winds from Hurricane Florence battered the Carolinas on Saturday, resulting in at least 13 deaths and leaving more than 796,000 households with no electricity, according to CNN, with over 20,000 people evacuating to emergency shelters.

One Myrtle Beach resident spotted an alligator walking through their neighborhood, and the New York Post warns the hurricane "could displace venomous snakes from South Carolina's wetlands," uprooting "some 38 species of snakes -- including dangerous cottonmouths and copperhead vipers."

Cellphone carriers are offering free calling, texting, and data services to affected customers in the Carolinas, and Quartz reports that other tech companies are also trying to help:

People fleeing Florence can find hundreds of places on Airbnb to stay for free; the company will screen applicants and cover homeowners for any damage up to $1 million. Harmany is an app created specifically to connect people during natural disasters. It's set up so that people who have a place can list it, adding it to a map where those needing shelter can find them. Gas Buddy, which lets users search for gas prices and availability by zip code, has set up a special "Florence Live Updates" page and section on its app so users can identify which gas stations are out of fuel, diesel, or power....

The main federal disaster agency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), has an app that is supposed to provide up-to-the minute information about the storm, shelters, and evacuation routes. It is crashing constantly, according to Android users. (Quartz's didn't have the same problems, but hitting the "get directions" button to one North Carolina shelter inexplicably opened up Uber.) FEMA also recommends the Red Cross's Hurricane app, which shows location specific weather alerts, has a flashlight and an alarm, and allows users to connect with people in their contacts, but doesn't have information on shelters.
< article continued at Slashdot's dotcom-after-the-story department >

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Addiction To Fortnite Cited In Over 200 Divorce Petitions
Posted by News Fetcher on September 16 '18 at 12:10 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's end-game-strategies department:
An anonymous reader writes:
In just the last 35 weeks, one online divorce site received over 200 petitions citing addiction to Fortnite and other online games as one of the reasons someone wanted a divorce. "[T]he dawn of the digital revolution has introduced new addictions," said a spokesperson for the company, also citing online pornography and social media. "These numbers equate to roughly 5% of the 4,665 petitions we have handled since the beginning of the year and as one of the largest filers of divorce petitions in the UK, is a pretty good indicator."
On the other hand, the A.V. Club notes that the web site's creators "have a vested interest in making divorce seem sexy and cool in a way that only 'You walked in front of the screen and a 10-year-old in Wyoming shot me dead so now I'm taking the house' truly can."

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Research Proving People Don't RTFM, Resent 'Over-Featured' Products, Wins Ig Nobel Prize
Posted by News Fetcher on September 15 '18 at 09:30 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's at-least-read-the-research-paper department:
An anonymous reader writes:

Thursday the humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research held their 28th annual ceremony recognizing the real (but unusual) scientific research papers "that make people laugh, then think." And winning this year's coveted Literature prize was a paper titled "Life Is Too Short to RTFM: How Users Relate to Documentation and Excess Features in Consumer Products," which concluded that most people really, truly don't read the manual, "and most do not use all the features of the products that they own and use regularly..."
"Over-featuring and being forced to consult manuals also appears to cause negative emotional experiences."

Another team measured "the frequency, motivation, and effects of shouting and cursing while driving an automobile," which won them the Ig Nobel Peace Prize. Other topics of research included self-colonoscopies, removing kidney stones with roller coasters, and (theoretical) cannibalism. "Acceptance speeches are limited to 60 seconds," reports Ars Technica, "strictly enforced by an eight-year-old girl nicknamed 'Miss Sweetie-Poo,' who will interrupt those who exceed the time limit by repeating, 'Please stop. I'm bored.' Until they stop."
You can watch the whole wacky ceremony on YouTube. The awards are presented by actual Nobel Prize laureates -- and at least one past winner of an Ig Nobel Prize later went on to win an actual Nobel Prize.

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Does LinkedIn Suck?
Posted by News Fetcher on September 15 '18 at 06:50 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's professional-social-networks department:
"LinkedIn Sucks" writes TechCrunch's John Biggs:

I hate LinkedIn . I open it out of habit and accept everyone who adds me because I don't know why I wouldn't. There is no clear benefit to the social network. I've never met a recruiter on there. I've never gotten a job. The only messages I get are spam from offshore dev teams and crypto announcements. It's like Facebook without the benefit of maybe seeing a picture of someone's award-winning chili or dog. I understand that I'm using LinkedIn wrong. I understand I should cultivate a salon-like list of contacts that I can use to source stories and meet interesting people. But I have my own story-sourcing tools and my own contacts. It's not even good as a broadcast medium....
LinkedIn is a spam garden full of misspelled, grunty requests from international software houses that are looking, primarily, to sell you services. Because it's LinkedIn it's super easy to slip past any and all defenses against this spam.... I know people have used LinkedIn to find jobs. I never have. I know people use LinkedIn to sell products. It's never worked for me.
The article ends with advice for people trying to contact him on LinkedIn for promotional purposes. "LinkedIn isn't a game. It isn't an alternative to MailChimp. It's a conversational tool. Use it that way." But what do Slashdot's readers think? Is LinkedIn a valuable resource for finding recruiters and job offers, interesting perspectives, and updates on your friends' careers?
Or does LinkedIn suck?

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To Fight Climate Change, California Says 'We're Launching Our Own Damn Satellite'
Posted by News Fetcher on September 15 '18 at 04:11 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's up-up-and-away department:
An anonymous reader quotes the Los Angeles Times:
Jerry Brown closed his climate summit in San Francisco on Friday with a dramatic announcement: California will launch its own satellite into orbit to track and monitor the formation of pollutants that cause climate change. "With science still under attack and the climate threat growing, we're launching our own damn satellite," Brown said in prepared remarks. "This groundbreaking initiative will help governments, businesses and landowners pinpoint -- and stop -- destructive emissions with unprecedented precision, on a scale that's never been done before...."
The state will develop the satellite with the San Francisco-based Earth-imaging firm Planet Labs, a company founded by former NASA scientists in 2010. The state may ultimately launch multiple satellites into space, according to the governor's office.... Robbie Schingler, co-founder of Planet Labs, said the project will inform "how advanced satellite technology can enhance our ability to measure, monitor, and ultimately, mitigate the impacts of climate change..." Brown's announcement came in quickly delivered remarks at the close of the three-day gathering and received a standing ovation from many in the audience.
Governors from 17 states (and from both political parties) also pledged to spend $1.4 billion to lower auto emissions, using money from Volkwagen's legal settlement over falsifying clean-air performance data. New York City also announced that its pension fund would invest $4 billion in companies offering climate change solution over the next three years.

And 26 states, cities and businesses said they'd procure non-polluting vehicle fleets by 2030, while ChargePoint and EV Box pledged to build 3.5 million new charging stations around the world.

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Uber Glitch Stops Payments To Drivers, Prices Surge
Posted by News Fetcher on September 15 '18 at 02:52 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's no-such-thing-as-a-free-ride department:
Uber is still trying to fix a glitch that's been stopping its drivers from collecting the money they've earned for several days. An anonymous reader writes:
One Uber driver says the problem's lasted over a week, and he's owed more than $1,300. "They've been continually telling us that it would be corrected within 24 hours," he told a Bay Area news station. "We still can't access the money.... We're in a situation where for a lot of us we have bills every day, we pay tolls every day, we pay gas every single day."
Now the San Diego Reader reports the issue "is forcing San Diego drivers off the road," with the shortage of drivers triggering surge pricing throughout the entire region as much as triple the usual rate. Surge pricing is also hitting riders in Dallas, according to another Uber driver's tweet, who complains "It's a shame that a $48 billion 'tech' company can't get it together.
In a statement promising they'd still pay all their drivers, Uber acknowledged their payment system was still broken, "and we sincerely regret any inconvenience."
"The glitch in the payment system also means that trip and safety issues are unable to be reported, either by the passenger, or the driver," notes the San Diego Reader, adding that the city's Uber's drivers "continue to decline to work, either staying off the road of switching to another ride-sharing service."

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58% of Silicon Valley Tech Workers Delayed Having Kids Because of Housing Costs
Posted by News Fetcher on September 15 '18 at 02:52 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's planning-parenthood department:
An anonymous reader quotes the Mercury News:
Though some residents blame the area's highly paid tech workers for driving up the cost of housing, data increasingly shows that these days, even tech workers feel squeezed by the Bay Area's scorching prices. Fifty-eight percent of tech workers surveyed recently said they have delayed starting a family due to the rising cost of living, according to a poll that included employees from Apple, Uber, Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, Lyft, and other Bay Area companies.
The recently released poll, was conducted by Blind, an online social network designed to let people share anonymous opinions about their workplaces. Blind surveyed 8,284 tech workers from all over the world, with a large focus on the Bay Area and Seattle. Blind spokeswoman Curie Kim said the findings were "really surprising. In the Bay Area, tech employees are known to make one of the highest salaries in the nation," she said, "but if these people also feel that they can't afford housing and they can't start a family because of the rising cost of living, who can....?"

The average base salary for a software engineer at Apple is $121,083 a year, the article notes, yet the company also had the largest percentage of surveyed tech employees who said they'd been force to delay starting their families -- 69%.
"Anywhere else in the country, we'd be successful people who owned a home and didn't worry about anything," said one 34-year-old in a two-income family. "But here, that's not the case." While her husband helps Verizon deploy smart devices with IoT technology, they're raising two daughters in a rented Palo Alto apartment, "only to experience a $500 rent increase over two years."

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Slashdot Asks: Have You Ever Gotten Someone Else's Email?
Posted by News Fetcher on September 15 '18 at 01:32 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's return-to-sender department:
Wave723 shares an article from IEEE's Spectrum:
I was scrolling through emails on my phone one recent morning when a strange message appeared among the usual mix of advertisements and morning newsletters. It was a confirmation for an upcoming doctor's appointment in New York City, but came from an address I'd never seen before. And at the top, there was a friendly note: "I guess this is for you :)" The note, I would later learn, was written by a Norwegian named Andre Nordum whose email address is just a few letters different from my own... he'd Googled my name to try to track down my personal email address and forward the message to me.
All day, I thought about Andre's act of digital kindness and the heartwarming fact that a stranger had spent time and effort trying to send me a bit of important information. I also felt a twinge of guilt: I'd received emails in the past -- from car dealerships and daycares -- that were clearly meant for other people, and I'd never forwarded any of them along.
The 33-year-old Norwegian banker later joked that he did it because "I did not want to get emails about your dermatology history for the foreseeable future." But another Norwegian has been returning mis-directed emails for over a decade with mundane stories about the family dog and games of pickleball -- meant for another E. Nordrum.
"It's a little bit like sitting on the bus or overhearing somebody in the restaurant or something," he says, admitting that when they finally stopped coming, "I was a little bit sad, actually." In 2017 the other E. Nordrum flew from America to Norway on a vacation, finally meeting the man who'd been returning all his mis-addressed emails -- and they ended up talking for hours.
< article continued at Slashdot's return-to-sender department >

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Quantum Experiment Confirms Causality Is Fuzzy
Posted by News Fetcher on September 15 '18 at 12:11 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's if-B-then-A department:
"An experiment has confirmed that quantum mechanics allows events to occur with no definite causal order," reports an article shared by long-time Slashdot readers UpnAtom and jd. Researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia believe this could link Einstein's general theory of relativity to quantum mechanics, according to Physics World:

In classical physics -- and everyday life -- there is a strict causal relationship between consecutive events. If a second event (B) happens after a first event (A), for example, then B cannot affect the outcome of A. This relationship, however, breaks down in quantum mechanics because the temporal spread of a particles's wave function can be greater than the separation in time between A and B. This means that the causal order of A and B cannot be always be distinguished by a quantum particle such as a photon.

In their experiment, Romero, Costa and colleagues created a "quantum switch", in which photons can take two paths. One path involves being subjected to operation A before operation B, while in the other path B occurs before A. The order in which the operations are performed is determined by the initial polarization of the photon as it enters the switch.... The team did the experiment using several different types of operation for A and B and in all cases they found that the measured polarization of the output photons was consistent with their being no definite causal order between when A and B was applied. Indeed, the measurements backed indefinite causal order to a whopping statistical significance of 18 -- well beyond the 5 threshold that is considered a discovery in physics.
Science Magazine applauds the experiments for "obliterating our common sense notion of before and after and, potentially, muddying the concept of causality.

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Cryptocurrency App Mocks Competitor For Getting Hacked. Gets Hacked 4 Days Later
Posted by News Fetcher on September 15 '18 at 10:51 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's crypto-karma department:
An anonymous reader writes: A hacker going online by the pseudonym of "aabbccddeefg" has exploited a vulnerability to steal over 44,400 EOS coins ($220,000) from a blockchain-based betting app. The hack targeted a blockchain app that lets users bet with EOS coins in a classic dice game. The entire incident is quite hilarious because four days before it happened, the company behind the app was boasting on Twitter that every other dice betting game had been hacked and lost funds. "DEOS Games, a clone and competitor of our dice game, has suffered a severe hack today that drained their bankroll," the company said in a now deleted tweet. "As of now every single dice game and clone site has been hacked. We have the biggest bankroll, the best developers, and a superior UI. Play on." While the hack is somewhat the definition of karma police, it is also quite funny because the hacker himself didn't really care about hiding his tracks or laundering the stolen funds. "So this guy hacks EOSBET and what does he do? Play space invaders. I'm not even kidding...," a user analyzing the hacker's account said.

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