By msmash from Slashdot's closer-look department
Last year, when Donald Trump appointed Ajit Pai chairman of the F.C.C., Pai promised to "take aggressive action" to stamp out pirates. In early May, the Preventing Illegal Radio Abuse Through Enforcement, or PIRATE, Act was introduced in Congress; it would increase fines from a maximum of a hundred and forty-four thousand dollars to two million dollars. But the stations aren't going away, The New Yorker reports. From the article: Transmission equipment has only become cheaper and more sophisticated. "The problem, as I see it, is that the technology has gone beyond what the law has been able to do," said David Goren, a local resident who works as a producer on licensed radio shows. Between 87.9 and 92.1 FM, Goren counted eleven illegal stations, whose hosts mainly spoke Creole or accented English. Pirates, he said, "offer a kind of programming that their audiences depend on. Spiritual sustenance, news, immigration information, music created at home or in the new home, here."Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's up-next department
An anonymous reader shares a report: Homeland Security has served Twitter with a subpoena, demanding the account information of a data breach finder, credited with finding several large caches of exposed and leaking data. The New Zealand national, whose name isn't known but goes by the handle Flash Gordon, revealed the subpoena in a tweet last month. The pseudonymous data breach finder regularly tweets about leaked data, found on exposed and unprotected servers. Last year, he found a trove of almost a million patients' data leaking from a medical telemarketing firm. A recent find included an exposed cache of law enforcement data by ALERRT, a Texas State University-based organization, which trains police and civilians against active shooters. The database, secured in March but reported last week, revealed that several police departments were under-resourced and unable to respond to active shooter situations. Homeland Security's export control agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), served the subpoena to Twitter on April 24, demanding information about the data breach finder's account. ICE demanded Twitter turn over his screen name, address, phone number -- and any other identifying information about the account, including credit cards on the account. The subpoena also demanded the account's IP address history, member lists, and any complaints filed against the Twitter account.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's overachiever department
Elon Musk tweeted on Sunday that the company produced 7,000 cars last week, including 5,000 Model 3 electric sedans. "Beating a self-imposed deadline, the final car rolling off the assembly line on Sunday morning, several hours after the midnight goal set by Musk, two workers at the factory told Reuters on Sunday." CNBC reports: The 5,000th Model 3 finished final quality checks at the Fremont, California factory and was ready to go around 5 a.m. PDT (1200 GMT), one person told Reuters. It was not clear if Tesla could maintain that level of production for a longer period of time. Tesla had a goal of producing 5,000 Model 3s per week before the close of the second quarter on Saturday to demonstrate it could mass produce the battery-powered sedan.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's drop-in-the-bucket department
AT&T has been fined $5.25 million for an outage last year that resulted in 12,000 callers not being able to reach 911. The FCC's Enforcement Bureau made the announcement on Thursday, stating that "such preventable outages are unacceptable." Gizmodo reports: Aside from the fine -- which is really a drop in the bucket for the billion-dollar behemoth -- AT&T must also make changes and enhancements to its systems to mitigate and soften the blow of future outages, as well as "regularly file compliance reports with the FCC." According to FCC rules, AT&T was required to "transmit all wireless 911 calls" as well as let emergency call centers know about outages if they last longer than 30 minutes. The two AT&T 911 outages investigated by the FCC, which occurred on March 8 and May 1 of 2017, lasted about five hours and 47 minutes, respectively. Around 12,600 users were unable to complete 911 calls during the March outage, with 2,600 failed 911 calls during the May outage.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's under-pressure department
Some adult content creators on crowdfunding site Patreon are being suspended due to the suggestive material they produce. The platform said that they are increasing efforts to review content, due to payment processor pressure. Motherboard reports: In late 2017, Patreon expanded its adult content guidelines, to include stricter guidelines for "bestiality, incest, sexual depiction of minors, and suggestive sexual violence." At the time, it resulted in suspensions and bans of many adult content creators whose work Patreon previously permitted, but no longer fell in line with new guidelines. Now, many more adult content creators are reporting that they're experiencing a renewed wave of suspensions on the platform. Patreon's guidelines for adult content state that "all public content on your page be appropriate for all audiences," and "content with mature themes must be marked as a patron-only post." For several of these reports, Patreon warned that "implied nudity" was the reason for the suspension, where it appeared in public areas or publicly-visible patron tiers and banners. "You can't use Patreon to raise funds in order to produce pornographic material such as maintaining a website, funding the production of movies, or providing a private webcam session," the guidelines state.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's trendy-methods-of-transportation department
If you've ever visited San Jose, you may have noticed something rather unusual: there are electric scooters littering the streets. The scooters are placed randomly throughout the city and can be rented by users via an app. They're reportedly bothering pedestrians enough for the city to take notice and consider a number of possible restrictions, "including issuing revocable permits to a limited number of scooter companies such as Lime and Bird, requiring the companies to pay a deposit to cover potential scooter-involved damage to city property, and charging annual fees to operate in the city," reports The Mercury News. From the report: In recent weeks, the city has fielded complaints about people zooming down crowded sidewalks instead of riding in the street and parking scooters in front of driveways or leaving them tipped over outside stores. But the city currently doesn't have any rules governing the relatively new scooter-sharing industry, enabling both the companies and users to operate freely. In addition to paying operating fees, [...] the city wants the companies to provide multilingual customer service at all times, and to commit to addressing problems quickly. And like Ford GoBike -- which currently has an exclusive contract with San Jose to operate a docked bike sharing program in the city -- the city says scooter companies should be required to offer discounts to low-income residents and operate in what it calls "communities of concern."
To understand how and where people are riding scooters, the city says it also wants the companies to share their data, something they so far have been reluctant to part with, at least publicly. Most residents at the meeting seemed supportive of having scooters in San Jose, calling them an easy and environmentally friendly way to commute or run errands quickly.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's proof-of-concept department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: A team led by Martin Fussenegger of ETH Zurich in Basel has shown that caffeine can be used as a trigger for synthetic genetic circuitry, which can then in turn do useful things for us -- even correct or treat medical conditions. For a buzz-worthy proof of concept, the team engineered a system to treat type 2 diabetes in mice with sips of coffee, specifically Nespresso Volluto coffee. Essentially, when the animals drink the coffee (or any other caffeinated beverage), a synthetic genetic system in cells implanted in their abdomens switches on. This leads to the production of a hormone that increases insulin production and lowers blood sugar levels -- thus successfully treating their diabetes after a simple morning brew.
The system, published Tuesday in Nature Communications, is just the start, Fussenegger and his colleagues suggest enthusiastically. "We think caffeine is a promising candidate in the quest for the most suitable inducer of gene expression," they write. They note that synthetic biologists like themselves have long been in pursuit of such inducers that can jolt artificial genetics. But earlier options had problems. These included antibiotics that can spur drug-resistance in bacteria and food additives that can have side effects. Caffeine, on the other hand, is non-toxic, cheap to produce, and only present in specific beverages, such as coffee and tea, they write. It's also wildly popular, with more than two billion cups of coffee poured each day worldwide.Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's seeing-right-through-you department
"Suddenly, calls and texts went unreturned," writes LinkedIn's editor at large, describing a recruiter who suddenly discovered the candidate she'd wanted to hire failed to respond to 12 messages, including emails like "Please let me know that you have not been kidnapped by aliens. I'm worried about you," and even a snail-mailed greeting card. Recruiters complain that prospective employees are now borrowing a practice from dating -- and "ghosting" recruiters and employers to let them know that they're not interested.
"Candidates agree to job interviews and fail to show up, never saying more. Some accept jobs, only to not appear for the first day of work, no reason given, of course. Instead of formally quitting, enduring a potentially awkward conversation with a manager, some employees leave and never return. Bosses realize they've quit only after a series of unsuccessful attempts to reach them.... Meredith Jones, an Indianapolis-based director of human resources for a national restaurant operator, now overbooks interviews, knowing up to 50 percent of candidates for entry-level roles likely won't show up."
Long-time Slashdot reader NormalVisual writes, "It'd be interesting to hear Slashdotters' experience with this."
Have you ever ghosted a potential employer, or perhaps more relevant, have you ever been ghosted by a potential employer during the hiring process? Do you feel it's unprofessional, or simple justice for the behavior of some companies when the balance of power was more on their side?
Inc. magazine blames the low unemployment rate and "the effects technology have had on the communication style of younger generations." But leave your own thoughts in the comments.
Does ghosting show a lack of professionalism, or is it simple payback for the way corporations treated job-seekers in the past? And have you ever "ghosted" an employer?Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's I'll-be-seeing-you department
An anonymous reader quotes the Independent:
Millions of people face the prospect of being scanned by police facial recognition technology that has sparked human rights concerns. The controversial software, which officers use to identify suspects, has been found to be "staggeringly inaccurate", while campaigners have branded its use a violation of privacy. But Britain's largest police force is set to expand a trial across six locations in London over the coming months.
Police leaders claimed officers make the decision to act on potential matches with police records and images that do not spark an alert are immediately deleted. But last month The Independent revealed the Metropolitan Police's software was returning "false positives" -- images of people who were not on a police database -- in 98 percent of alerts... Detective Superintendent Bernie Galopin, the lead on facial recognition for London's Metropolitan Police, said the operation was targeting wanted suspects to help reduce violent crime and make the area safer. "It allows us to deal with persons that are wanted by police where traditional methods may have failed," he told The Independent, after statistics showed police were failing to solve 63 per cent of knife crimes committed against under-25s....
Det Supt Galopin said the Met was assessing how effective facial recognition was at tackling different challenges in British policing, which is currently being stretched by budget cuts, falling officer numbers, rising demand and the terror threat.
A policy officer from the National Council for Civil Liberties called the technology "lawless," adding "the use of this technology in a public place is not compatible with privacy, and has a chilling effect on society."
< article continued at Slashdot's I'll-be-seeing-you department
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By EditorDavid from Slashdot's not-so-cold-cases department
schwit1 tipped us off to new arrests made with genealogical evidence -- and growing interest in open source genealogy databases. Fast Company reports:
In the last week, police have arrested two suspects in unrelated cold cases thanks to data gleaned from open-source ancestry site GEDMatch, reports the New York Times. That's the same open-source ancestry site that was used to track down the alleged Golden State Killer earlier this year. One of the arrests this week was of a 66-year-old nurse who is suspected of killing a 12-year-old girl in 1986. The other arrest is of a 49-year-old DJ who strangled a schoolteacher in 1992. Thanks to data from GEDMatch, Texas law enforcement also thinks that a man who was executed in 1999 for killing a 9-year-old girl was now also behind the murder of a 40-year-old realtor in 1981.
It all reminds me of that scene in "The Circle" where they demo technology that finds "a randomly-selected fugitive from justice -- a proven menace to our global community" -- within 20 minutes.
Last month DNA-based investigations also led to the arrest of the suspected murderer of two vacationers in 1987, and helped identify a suicide cold case from 2001.
Now an Ohio newspaper reports:
Emboldened by that breakthrough, a number of private investigators are spearheading a call for amateur genealogists to help solve other cold cases by contributing their own genetic information to the same public database. They say a larger array of genetic information would widen the pool to find criminals who have eluded capture. The idea is to get people to transfer profiles compiled by commercial genealogy sites such as Ancestry.com and 23andMe onto the smaller, public open-source database created in 2010, called GEDmatch. The commercial sites require authorities to obtain search warrants for the information; the public site does not.
But the push is running up against privacy concerns.Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's making-the-web-Googley department
Long-time software guru Dave Winer is criticizing Google's plans to deprecate HTTP (by, for example, penalizing sites that use HTTP instead of HTTPS in search results and flagging them as "insecure" in Chrome). Winer writes:
A lot of the web consists of archives. Files put in places that no one maintains. They just work. There's no one there to do the work that Google wants all sites to do. And some people have large numbers of domains and sub-domains hosted on all kinds of software Google never thought about. Places where the work required to convert wouldn't be justified by the possible benefit. The reason there's so much diversity is that the web is an open thing, it was never owned....
If Google succeeds, it will make a lot of the web's history inaccessible. People put stuff on the web precisely so it would be preserved over time. That's why it's important that no one has the power to change what the web is. It's like a massive book burning, at a much bigger scale than ever done before.
"Many of these sites don't collect user data or provide user interaction," adds Slashdot reader saccade.com, "so the 'risks' of not using HTTPS are irrelevant." And Winer summarizes his position in three points.
The web is an open platform, not a corporate platform.
It is defined by its stability. 25-plus years and it's still going strong.
Google is a guest on the web, as we all are. Guests don't make the rules.
"The web is a social agreement not to break things," Winer writes. "It's served us for 25 years. I don't want to give it up because a bunch of nerds at Google think they know best."Read Replies (0)