Posted by EditorDavid from Slashdot
From the minimum-viable-payments department: In the areas where Amazon operates, "low-wage workers at other businesses have seen significant wage growth since 2018..." reports the New York Times, "and not because of new minimum-wage laws."

The gains are a direct result of Amazon's corporate decision to increase starting pay to $15 an hour three years ago, which appears to have lifted pay for low-wage workers in other local companies as well, according to new research from economists at the University of California, Berkeley, and Brandeis University... [T]he research illustrates how difficult it can be for low-wage workers to command higher pay in the modern American economy — until a powerful outside actor, like a large employer or a government, intervenes.

Most directly, there is little evidence in the paper that raising the minimum wage would lead to significant job loss, even in low-cost rural areas, a finding consistent with several recent studies. Other research, including a recent report from the Congressional Budget Office, has found a larger negative effect on jobs, although still smaller than many economists believed in the past.

The authors of the latest study — Ellora Derenoncourt of Berkeley and Clemens Noelke and David Weil of Brandeis — studied Amazon, Walmart and Target, which operate in areas where wages tend to be low. But even in those places, the researchers found, wage increases by the large corporate employers appear to drive up wages without driving down employment. "When you have major changes in the wage policies of large actors in the labor market, this has ripple effects," Dr. Derenoncourt said in an interview.

At the same time, Dr. Weil added, "the sky doesn't fall."
Posted by Chris Moyse from Destructoid
[Update: People Can Fly has applied a second update to the Outriders demo in response to complaints about the first. As noted by Eurogamer, the Gauss boss chest will have a chance of dropping Legendary items once again. Ledge gear will remain absent from other chests.]

A lot of people have been enjoying the demo for People Can Fly's team-shooter Outriders, with an amazing two million players logging in to battle over the wastelands of the planet Enoch over, and over, and over again.

In fact, people have replayed the demo so many times, that they're starting to build up a worryingly powerful arsenal of weaponry - so much so that the developer is stepping in to alter the ease with which mercs can bag this devastating firepower. The concern is that this intense method of "farming" top level gear and weaponry will leave players absolutely loaded-for-bear once the main game finally hits, and will see them endlessly cream the opposition throughout the main campaign.

Speaking in an official Reddit post, People Can Fly noted that it is well in the player's right to play the demo as often as they want, bagging whatever goodies they can along the way, but that this might serve to hamper their enjoyment of the main game, which will allow players to carry over their inventory and levels from the demo edition.

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Posted by EditorDavid from Slashdot
From the Linux-y-lists department: Slashdot reader b-dayyy quotes the Linux Security blog:

While all Linux 'distros' — or distributed versions of Linux software — are secure by design, certain distros go above and beyond when it comes to protecting users' privacy and security. We've put together a list of our favorite specialized secure Linux distros and spoken with some of their lead developers to find out first-hand what makes these distros so great.

This "favorites" list cites six "excellent specialized secure Linux distros." Some highlights from the article:

In a conversation with the LinuxSecurity editors, Qubes OS Community Manager Andrew David Wong elaborated, "Rather than attempting to fix all of the security bugs in software, Qubes assumes that all software is buggy and compartmentalizes it accordingly, so that when flaws are inevitably exploited, the damage is contained and the user's most valuable data is protected."

A Kali Linux contributor provides some insight into the distro's history and the benefits it offers users: "Named after a Hindu goddess, Kali has been around for a long time — but it's still updated weekly, can be run in live mode or installed to a drive, and can also be used on ARM devices like Raspberry Pi."

Obviously there's strong opinions among Slashdot readers. So share your own thoughts in the comments.

What's the best Linux distro for enhanced privacy and security?
Posted by EditorDavid from Slashdot
From the Wu-the-day department: Tim Wu coined the phrase "net neutrality". He's the author of The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age , and Bloomberg calls him an "outspoken advocate for aggressive antitrust enforcement against U.S. technology giants."

They add that now the Columbia University media law professor "is joining the White House an adviser, signaling that the Biden administration is preparing to square off against the industry's biggest companies."

Wu will join the National Economic Council as a special assistant on technology and competition policy, the White House said Friday. Wu's appointment elevates to a senior position in the administration a leading antitrust expert, favored by progressives, who has assailed the power of dominant tech companies like Alphabet Inc.'s Google and Facebook Inc. Both companies were sued by U.S. antitrust enforcers last year for allegedly abusing their monopoly power...

After the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general sued Facebook in December, Wu wrote a column in the New York Times comparing Facebook's strategy of buying competitors to Standard Oil's tactics in the 19th century. "What the federal government and states are doing is reasserting a fundamental rule for all American business: You cannot simply buy your way out of competition," Wu wrote. "Facebook, led by its chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, has taken that strategy to a smirking and egregious extreme, acquiring multiple companies to stifle the competitive threat they pose."

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Posted by EditorDavid from Slashdot
From the after-the-fox department: Last week Firefox's official blog responded to some viral misinformation about the Firefox logo. "People were up in arms because they thought we had scrubbed fox imagery from our browser. Rest easy knowing nothing could be further from the truth..."

Sure, it's stressful to have hundreds of thousands of people shouting things like "justice for the fox" in all-caps in your mentions for three days straight, but ultimately that means people are thinking about the brand in a way they might not have for years...

The logo causing all the stir is one we created a while ago with input from our users. Back in 2019, we updated the Firefox browser logo and added the parent brand logo as a new logo for our broader product portfolio that extends beyond the browser... which represents the family of Firefox products we make outside of just the Firefox browser, like Firefox Monitor. It's not an icon you're going to see on a dock, phone's home screen or desktop, though.

We didn't get rid of the fox then and have no plans to do so now, or ever. Plenty of folks jumped in to try and clear things up in the original thread, but once the "they killed the fox" meme caught momentum and became the "Firefox minimalist logo" meme, there was no stopping it. It spread to Instagram and then to Reddit. The memes became so pervasive that there were memes being made about how there were too many Firefox logo memes... Well, fear not, because no matter what you think you heard on the internet, the fox isn't leaving any time soon.

For our Firefox Nightly users out there, we're bringing back a very special version of an older logo, as a treat. Stay tuned.
Posted by Black Convoy from TFW2005

Via Serlent Pops and Funko Pop News on Twitter we have our first look at the upcoming 10-Inch Funko Pop Optimus Prime. This a special oversized version of the new Funko Pop Retro Toys G1 Optimus Prime. While it seems it was spotted in Philippines, there’s still not much information about the release of this new figure. We can spot a “Special Edition” sticker on the box which means it could be an upcoming store exclusive. Stay tuned with TFW2005 for more updates and an official reveal. Click on the bar to see the mirrored image on this » Continue Reading.

The post First Look At 10-Inch Funko Pop Optimus Prime appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.
Posted by EditorDavid from Slashdot
From the node-news department: InfoQ reports:
Deno 1.8 recently shipped with plenty of new features, including WebGPU support, internationalization APIs, stabilized import maps, support for fetching private modules, and more. The Deno permissions API is now stable. Deno 1.8 additionally ships with TypeScript 4.2.

The release note explained the motivation behind the support for the WebGPU APIs as follows:
These days, most neural networks are defined in Python with the computation offloaded to GPUs. We believe JavaScript, instead of Python, could act as an ideal language for expressing mathematical ideas if the proper infrastructure existed. Providing WebGPU support out-of-the-box in Deno is a step in this direction. Our goal is to run Tensorflow.js on Deno, with GPU acceleration. We expect this to be achieved in the coming weeks or months.
WebGPU is an API originally proposed by Apple that exposes the GPU computation functionality available on many devices. WebGPU may provide better performance than WebGL in tasks that benefit from parallel processing — as often occurs in scientific computing, machine learning, graphics and games development...

Deno users can upgrade by running deno upgrade in a terminal.
Posted by EditorDavid from Slashdot
From the unrelease-candidate department: "In a message to the Linux Kernel Mailing List Wednesday, founding developer Linus Torvalds warned the world not to use the 5.12-rc1 kernel in his public git tree..." writes Ars Technica:

As it turns out, when Linus Torvalds flags some code dontuse, he really means it — the problem with this 5.12 release candidate broke swapfile handling in a very unpleasant way. Specifically, the updated code would lose the proper offset pointing to the beginning of the swapfile. Again, in Torvalds' own words, "swapping still happened, but it happened to the wrong part of the filesystem, with the obvious catastrophic end results."

If your imagination is insufficient, this means that when the kernel paged contents of memory out to disk, the data would land on random parts of the same disk and partition the swapfile lived on... not as files, mind you, but as garbage spewed directly to raw sectors on the disk. This means overwriting not only data in existing files, but also rather large chunks of metadata whose corruption would likely render the entire filesystem unmountable and unusable.

Torvalds goes on to point out that if you aren't using swap at all, this problem wouldn't bite you. And if you're using swap partitions, rather than swap files, you'd be similarly unaffected...

Torvalds also advised anyone who'd already pulled his git tree to do a git tag -d v5.12-rc1 "to actually get rid of the original tag name..." — or at least, to not use it for anything.

"I want everybody to be aware..." Torvalds writes, "because _if_ it bites you, it bites you hard, and you can end up with a filesystem that is essentially overwritten by random swap data. This is what we in the industry call 'double ungood'."
Posted by Zack Zwiezen from Kotaku
Last week we got our first look at the new United States Postal Service mail trucks. To celebrate these new vehicles we made fun of them with strange images. We’ve been doing this for years now, this shouldn’t surprise anyone.

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Posted by Zack Zwiezen from Kotaku
Yesterday, Ubisoft announced that Watch Dogs Legion’s online mode on PC has been delayed indefinitely due to serious bugs that need to be fixed. And some parts of multiplayer on the console will also be delayed due to, you guessed it, more bugs.

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Posted by CJ Andriessen from Destructoid
Let me paint a picture for you of a quiet Sunday afternoon. I was in my living room playing with my Ripley figure as she explored a deserted town alongside Wolverine, a Stormtrooper, and Batman. Suddenly, we were attacked by a football player, Joker, a green army soldier, and Cable. It was a dramatic battle as everyone darted in and out of buildings, performed reckless jumps, and found perfect hiding spots to ambush their opponents. When the dust had settled and the fight was over, the Stormtrooper was dead, but so was everyone who’d attacked my group. The only thing those of us who remained could do was mourn the loss of our comrade and press on.

Now, what did I just describe: a game of Fortnite or me as a 10-year-old playing with my big collection of action figures?

Posted by EditorDavid from Slashdot
From the to-the-Mars department: schwit1 shares an article from Entrepreneur:
If anyone has the ability to surprise the world with his ambitious projects, it is Elon Musk . The billionaire announced that he is building a new city in Texas to be called Starbase, around the rocket launch site of his company SpaceX...

Later, he alluded to his project to colonize the red planet, hinting that Starbase would be just the beginning to go further. "From there to Mars. And hence the Stars," detailed the CEO of Tesla.

The tycoon, who is currently the second richest person in the world , said that his city will occupy an area "much larger" than Boca Chica , a place that houses a launch site for SpaceX and where the company is building its Starship rocket... Eddie Treviño, judge for Cameron County, Texas, confirmed that SpaceX informed the authorities of Elon Musk's intention: to incorporate Boca Chica into the city of Starbase . The official noted that the mogul and his company must comply with all state statutes of incorporation and clarified that the county will process any petition in accordance with the law.

Musk also tweeted that the leader of his new city "shall be The Doge," linking to a Wikipedia definition for the Venetian word doge (meaning either "military commander" or "spiritual leader".)

Musk made his remark in response to a Twitter user named Wootiez, who had asked him whether his new city would be dog friendly.
Fear The Cosmic Unicorn 2021-03-06 14:20:01
Posted by Zack Zwiezen from Kotaku
This week on Snapshots we have some colorful screenshots, some dead bodies, shadows, superheroes, darkness, and a big, cosmic unicorn.

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Posted by EditorDavid from Slashdot
From the more-than-one-way-to-do-it department: "For a week we lost control of the domain," a long-running site offering news and articles about the programming language, writes the site's senior editor, brian d foy.

"Now that the incident has died down, we can explain some of what happened and how we handled it."
This incident only affected the domain ownership of and there was no other compromise of community resources. This website was still there, but DNS was handing out different IP numbers...

Recovering the domain wasn't the end of the response though. While the domain was compromised, various security products had blacklisted and some DNS servers had sinkholed it. We figured that would naturally work itself out, so we didn't immediately celebrate the return of We wanted it to be back for everyone. And, I think we're fully back. However, if you have problems with the domain, please raise an issue so we at least know it's not working for part of the internet.

What we think happened

This part veers into some speculation, and wasn't the only victim. We think that there was a social engineering attack on Network Solutions, including phony documents and so on. There's no reason for Network Solutions to reveal anything to me (again, I'm not the injured party), but I did talk to other domain owners involved and this is the basic scheme they reported. John Berryhill provided some forensic work in Twitter that showed the compromise actually happened in September. The domain was transferred to the BizCN registrar in December, but the nameservers were not changed. The domain was transferred again in January to another registrar, Key Systems, GmbH. This latency period avoids immediate detection, and bouncing the domain through a couple registrars makes the recovery much harder...

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Posted by Zack Zwiezen from Kotaku
Good news for Division 2 players: Ubisoft and Massive have laid out plans for the future of the game, including a brand new mode later this year. Bad news: Don’t expect anything new for a while.

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Posted by CblogRecaps from Destructoid
Cblogs of 2/27 to 3/5/2021

-RedHeadPeak misses Dead Space like many of us.

-LaTerry shares the March Band of Bloggers prompt about what pulls you back into games.

-Gamingnerd looks at the history of Pokemon throughout the ages.

-Virtua Kazama sheds light on the top fighting games and DLC to look forward to in 2021.

-Black Red Gaming shares a list of his most anticipated games to be released in March.

-Captiosus shares his impression on the Final Outriders demo.

-Kerrik52 reviews Oddworld: Stranger's Worth as part of his Traveller in Playtime reviews series.

-Captiosus tries to define what "Games as a Service" means.

-Greglory13 reviews Cloud Garden.

-ThePacksHunt shares his thoughts on Vigor.

-Gamingnerd sheds light on some cool indie games.

-Eggs&BrewsterJr revisits Rayman 2.

-RedHeadPeak loves Link's Awakening so much he may not be yet ready for the Switch remake.

-Shoggoth2588 shares his gaming journal of February, his "birth-month".

-Samuel Dillinger shares his thoughts on his older Dtoid blogs.

-ChronoLynxx opens last week's TGIF open community forum.

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Posted by EditorDavid from Slashdot
From the back-to-the-future department: Long-time Slashdot reader AmiMoJo shares a report from The Drive:

In a surprising turn of events, the United States government is calling upon its country's industry to reverse engineer components for the Air Force's B-2 Spirit stealth bomber. An official call for this highly unusual kind of assistance was put out today on the U.S. government's contracting website Mark Thompson, a national-security analyst at the Project On Government Oversight, brought our attention to the notice, which seeks an engineering effort that will reverse engineer key parts for the B-2's Load Heat Exchangers. While it is not exactly clear what part of the aircraft's many complex and exotic subsystems these heat exchangers relate to, the bomber has no shortage of avionics systems, for example, which could require cooling...

While it's hard to say exactly why this approach is being taken now, it indicates that the original plans for these components are unavailable or the manufacturing processes and tooling used to produce them no longer exists... Indeed, as the average age of the Air Force fleet continues to increase, there are only likely to be more such requirements for parts that are long out of production. Before he stood down, the former Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, Will Roper, told Air Force Magazine of his desire for a "digital representation of every part in the Air Force inventory...."

All in all, the search for reverse-engineered components for the B-2 fleet is keeping with the Air Force's current trend of moving toward the latest digital engineering and manufacturing techniques to help ensure its aircraft can be sustained not just easier and more cheaply, but in some cases, possibly at all.
Posted by Zack Zwiezen from Kotaku
Genshin Impact’s next big update releases on March 17 and with it comes the start of a new event, the Windblume Festival, bringing new mini-games, a new playable character, the opportunity to go on dates with select characters, and some quality of life changes.

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Posted by AzT from TFW2005

TFNation announced The Big Broadcast of 2021, scheduled for this August in place of its in-person convention: The Big Broadcast of 2021 will take place over the weekend of the originally scheduled convention. More details about The Big Broadcast will follow in the coming weeks and months. We appreciate those of you who kindly rolled over your tickets from 2020 to 2021 to help support the convention may not be able to do so again this time. On Saturday 20 March 2021, we will provide guidance on how you can obtain a refund if this applies to you. Anyone » Continue Reading.

The post TFNation: The Big Broadcast of 2021 Announced appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.
Posted by EditorDavid from Slashdot
From the very-retro-computing department: Hackaday writes:

In the early years of personal computing there were a slew of serious contenders. A PC, a Mac, an Atari ST, an Amiga, and several more that all demanded serious consideration on the general purpose desktop computer market. Of all these platforms, the Amiga somehow stubbornly refuses to die. The Amiga 1200+ from [Jeroen Vandezande] is the latest in a long procession of post-Commodore Amigas, and as its name suggests it provides an upgrade for the popular early-1990s all-in-one Amiga model.

It takes the form of a well-executed open-source printed circuit board that's a drop-in replacement for the original A1200 motherboard... The catch: it does require all the custom Amiga chips from a donor board...

It's fair to say that this is the Amiga upgrade we'd all have loved to see in about 1996 rather than waiting until 2019.
Mike Bouma (Slashdot reader #85,252) shares a recent video showing the latest update of AmigaOS 4 by Hyperion Entertainment, and reminds us of two "also active" Amiga OS clones — AROS and MorphOS.

Further reading: Little Things That Made Amiga Great.
© Z-R0E