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Researchers Determine the 120 Most Surveilled (CCTV) Cities In the World

SlashDot - 1 hour 24 min ago
dryriver writes: Comparitech.com has published a report and spreadsheet laying out how many CCTV cameras are in operation in 120 different cities around the world, and data for the crime rates in these cities. The report notes "We found little correlation between the number of public CCTV cameras and crime or safety." 8 of the 10 most surveilled cities are in China, even though London and Atlana also make the cut, and the report says that — depending on what numbers you believe — China will have between 200 Million and 626 Million CCTV cameras, or possibly even more, in operation by 2020. That would be almost 1 CCTV camera per 2 citizens in the country, and the number could go up. Outside of China, the top most-surveilled cities in the world are: London - 68.40 cameras per 1,000 peopleAtlanta - 15.56 cameras per 1,000 peopleSingapore - 15.25 cameras per 1,000 peopleAbu Dhabi - 13.77 cameras per 1,000 peopleChicago - 13.06 cameras per 1,000 peopleSydney - 12.35 cameras per 1,000 peopleBaghdad - 12.30 cameras per 1,000 peopleDubai - 12.14 cameras per 1,000 peopleMoscow - 11.70 cameras per 1,000 peopleBerlin - 11.18 cameras per 1,000 peopleNew Delhi - 9.62 cameras per 1,000 people With 4,000 cameras, Washington D.C. is #29 on the list. Other American cities include San Francisco (#39 with 2,753 cameras), San Diego (#43 with 3,600 cameras), Boston (#47 with 1,552 cameras), and New York City (#58 with 11,000 cameras). And the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that at least for their city the total "is likely an undercount, considering that San Diego police officials said they recently installed surveillance sensors on about half of a planned 8,000 'smart' street lights." Also on the list are Chennai India (#33 with 50,000 cameras), Auckland (#36 with 5,577 cameras), and Toronto (#44 with 14,955 cameras).

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The best Alexa-compatible smart-home devices for Amazon Echo

Engadget - 1 hour 58 min ago
By Rachel Cericola This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter's independently chosen editorial picks, Wirecutter and Engadget may earn affiliate commission. Read the full guide to Alexa-compatible smart-...

As Criticism Grows After Crashes, Boeing Committee May Recommend Organizational Changes

SlashDot - 2 hours 24 min ago
McGruber summarizes an article in the New York Times: A small committee of Boeing's board is expected to call for several meaningful changes to the way the company is structured. The commitee may recommend that Boeing change aspects of its organizational structure, call for the creation of new groups focused on safety and encourage the company to consider making changes to the cockpits of future airplanes to accommodate a new generation of pilots, some of whom may have less training. Currently, Boeing's top engineers report primarily to the business leaders for each airplane model, and secondarily to the company's chief engineer. "Under this model, engineers who identify problems that might slow a jet's development could face resistance from executives whose jobs revolve around meeting production deadlines," reports the New York Times. "The committee recommends flipping the reporting lines, so that top engineers report primarily to Boeing's chief engineer, and secondarily to business unit leaders. "Another key recommendation calls for establishing a new safety group that will work across the company..." "Though the committee did not investigate the two crashes of Boeing's 737 MAX jet, their findings represent the company's most direct effort yet to reform its internal processes after the accidents, which killed 346 people." Meanwhile, a scathing article in the New Republic outlines the need for change, criticizing "pilot errorists" who have attempted to shift focus and blame from Boeing's own missteps in creating "a self-hijacking plane": In the now infamous debacle of the Boeing 737 MAX, the company produced a plane outfitted with a half-assed bit of software programmed to override all pilot input and nosedive when a little vane on the side of the fuselage told it the nose was pitching up. The vane was also not terribly reliable, possibly due to assembly line lapses reported by a whistle-blower, and when the plane processed the bad data it received, it promptly dove into the sea. It is understood, now more than ever, that capitalism does half-assed things like that, especially in concert with computer software and oblivious regulators... [T]here was something unsettlingly familiar when the world first learned of MCAS in November, about two weeks after the system's unthinkable stupidity drove the two-month-old plane and all 189 people on it to a horrific death. It smacked of the sort of screwup a 23-year-old intern might have made -- and indeed, much of the software on the MAX had been engineered by recent grads of Indian software-coding academies making as little as $9 an hour, part of Boeing management's endless war on the unions that once represented more than half its employees. Down in South Carolina, a nonunion Boeing assembly line that opened in 2011 had for years churned out scores of whistle-blower complaints and wrongful termination lawsuits packed with scenes wherein quality-control documents were regularly forged, employees who enforced standards were sabotaged, and planes were routinely delivered to airlines with loose screws, scratched windows, and random debris everywhere. The MCAS crash was just the latest installment in a broader pattern...

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The Ozone Layer Is On Track To Completely Repair Itself by the 2060s

SlashDot - 3 hours 24 min ago
pgmrdlm quotes a report from SBS: The world's ozone layer is on track to be completely healed by the 2060s, according to modelling by the UN's environmental agency (UNEP). In the past 19-years, parts of the ozone layer have recovered at a rate of one to three per cent every ten years, UNEP has found. If this continues, the Northern Hemisphere's ozone layer is set to heal completely by the 2030s, the Southern Hemisphere by the 2050s, and the polar regions in the following decade. As we rightly focus our energies on tackling climate change, we must be careful not to neglect the ozone layer and stay alert to the threat posed by the illegal use of ozone-depleting gases," UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement on Monday. "The recent detection of emissions of one such gas, CFC-11, reminds us that we need continued monitoring and reporting systems, and improved regulations and enforcement."

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After Math: Being better than being best

Engadget - 3 hours 28 min ago
As protesters taking part in the Global Climate Strike shut down cities last Friday, a number of tech industry firms announced their own efforts to decrease their carbon footprints and improve the environmental stewardship of their operations. Here a...

Did a Prehistoric Asteroid Breakup Shower Earth With Enough Dust To Change the Climate?

SlashDot - 4 hours 24 min ago
Applehu Akbar writes: CNN reports this week on a paper describing a hypothesis that the breakup of a large asteroid 466 million years ago generated enough dust in Earth's orbit to substantially change the terrestrial climate for an extended period. This would have triggered an 'Ordovician icehouse' climate event, with major effects on biology. "The 93-mile-wide asteroid was in the asteroid belt located between Mars and Jupiter when it collided with something else and broke apart, creating a wealth of dust that flooded the inner solar system..." CNN reports. "To understand how this process unfolded, the researchers found evidence of space dust locked in 466-million-year-old rocks that were once on the sea floor." The paper argues that to this day, that collision "still delivers almost a third of all meteorites falling on Earth."

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Earth may be in its hottest five-year period ever recorded - CNET

CNET News - 4 hours 43 min ago
Scientists sound the alarm ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit.

Debian May Need To Re-Evaluate Its Interest In 'Init System Diversity'

SlashDot - 5 hours 24 min ago
"Debian Project Leader Sam Hartman has shared his August 2019 notes where he outlines the frustrations and issues that have come up as a result of init system diversity with some developers still aiming to viably support systemd alternatives within Debian," reports Phoronix: Stemming from elogind being blocked from transitioning to testing and the lack of clarity into that, Hartman was pulled in to try to help mediate the matter and get to the bottom of the situation with a lack of cooperation between the elogind and systemd maintainers for Debian as well as the release team. Elogind is used by some distributions as an implementation of systemd's logind, well, outside of systemd as a standalone daemon. Elogind is one of the pieces to the puzzle for trying to maintain a modern, systemd-free Linux distribution. Various issues were raised that are trying to be worked through albeit many Debian developers face time limitations and other factors like emotional exhaustion. Hartman noted in his August notes, "I think we may be approaching a point where we need to poll the project -- to have a GR and ask ourselves how committed we are to the different parts of this init diversity discussion. Reaffirming our support for sysvinit and elogind would be one of the options in any such GR. If that option passed, we'd expect all the maintainers involved to work together or to appoint and empower people who could work on this issue. It would be fine for maintainers not to be involved so long as they did not block progress. And of course we would hold the discussions to the highest standards of respect."

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This week in tech history: Android turns 11

Engadget - 5 hours 58 min ago
At Engadget, we spend every day looking at how technology will shape the future. But it's also important to look back at how far we've come. That's what This Week in Tech History does. Join us every weekend for a recap of historical tech news, annive...

Amazon looks to expand Alexa's world amid growing privacy concerns - CNET

CNET News - 6 hours 58 min ago
The online retailer will hold a product launch Wednesday, with Alexa expected to go into earbuds and maybe even a robot.

Witness the technological triumph of Ford Simulator 7.0 - Roadshow

CNET News - 6 hours 58 min ago
Let's take a look back at how hard it used to be to shop for cars, or if you were a kid in the mid-1990s, even be an informed enthusiast.

Vote now: Who would win in this epic movie monster fight? - CNET

CNET News - 6 hours 58 min ago
Vote up on Pennywise. Vote down on Godzilla. Or vice versa! The Thing, Pennywise, Annabelle, Smaug -- it's your chance to see which movie monster belongs at the top of our list.

Monster smackdown: Vote to rank the fiercest movie beasts ever - CNET

CNET News - 6 hours 58 min ago
With Halloween around the corner, we want to know which movie monsters you think would win in a fight.

'Inside Bill's Brain: Decoding Bill Gates' Premieres on Netflix

SlashDot - 7 hours 24 min ago
hcs_$reboot shared this report about Inside Bill's Brain: Decoding Bill Gates, a new three-part documentary that debuted Friday on Netflix from Academy Award-winning director Davis Guggenheim: The Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist is asked what his worst fear is. It's not family tragedy or personal pain. "I don't want my brain to stop working," he responds... A portrait emerges of a visionary who gnaws on his eyeglasses' arms, downs Cokes and is relentlessly optimistic that technology can solve social ills. He is also someone who reads manically -- he'll scrutinize the Minnesota state budget for fun -- and who is a wicked opponent at cards... While the series is largely sympathetic toward its subject, Guggenheim nevertheless presses Gates on everything from the federal antitrust case against Microsoft in the 1990s to his relationship with his mother. In a phone interview, Gates acknowledged that he balanced the camera's intrusion with the chance to tell the world -- and recruit help -- about his efforts to help the planet and the poor... Each episode in the series introduces three huge global issues the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has tackled recently -- safe sanitation technology, polio eradication and nuclear power -- and then switches back in time to see how Gates solved other complex issues in his life as a younger man. "The series doesn't do a traditional cradle-to-grave portrait of him. He wasn't interested in that. I wasn't interested in that," said the filmmaker. Instead, he wanted to find out the source of his relentless optimism and his push to do all these great things.... Gates himself said he appreciated Guggenheim serving as a reality check for many of the seemingly intractable public health issues that his foundation has tackled. "I'm not that objective. It was interesting, through Davis' eyes, to have him say, 'Are you sure?' Well, I'm not sure," said Gates. "So I thought that was good. It made me step back." At one point, Gates admits to eating Tang straight out of the jar.

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Microsoft invites more people to test very rough Xbox features

Engadget - 8 hours 5 min ago
You've had to be part of a very exclusive club to try Xbox One features in their rawest form -- so exclusive the criteria has been "closely guarded," Microsoft said. Now, though, the company is loosening its restrictions ever so slightly. The Xbox...

The iPhone 11 has a few more features than we first thought - CNET

CNET News - 8 hours 28 min ago
We take a look at a few features you may have missed.

Pixel 4: 6 things Google needs to do to beat the iPhone 11 and Galaxy S10 - CNET

CNET News - 8 hours 58 min ago
Here's what the Pixel 4 needs to have to compete with Apple and Samsung.

Ask Slashdot: How Will 2019 Look To People 20 Years From Now?

SlashDot - 11 hours 24 min ago
Here's an interesting thought exercise from Slashdot reader dryriver : What is likely to be so different about living in 2039 that it makes our current present in 2019 feel badly dated in many ways? And can we learn lessons about what we are not doing particularly well today in 2019 -- in the technology field for example -- by imagining ourselves looking back at a long bygone 2019 from 20 years in the future...? Will everything from our current clothing, 4K 2D TVs and film VFX to our computer games, Internet, cars, medical care options and tech gadgets look "terribly dated" to them? Will people in 2039 look at us from their present and think "why couldn't they do X, Y, Z better in 2019?", just as we tend to look 20 years back and wonder "why couldn't they do X, Y, Z better in 1999?" The original submission argues that "If we could understand today how we look 'from 20 years in the future', including the mistakes we are making compared to how things are (possibly) done in 2039, we might get a better understanding of how we should be doing things today." So leave your own thoughts in the comments. How will 2019 look to people 20 years from now?

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Fitbit is reportedly in the early stages of exploring a sale

Engadget - 12 hours 29 min ago
Fitbit might be ready to cede some control of its destiny. Reuters sources said the company is talking to investment bank Qatalyst Partners about the possibility of shopping itself around to would-be acquirers. Qatalyst has reportedly been pressing F...

GNU's Former Kernel Maintainer Shares 'A Reflection on the Departure of Richard Stallman'

SlashDot - Sat, 2019-09-21 23:34
Thomas Bushnell, BSG, founded GNU's official kernel project, GNU Hurd, and maintained it from 1990 through 2003. This week on Medium he posted "a reflection on the departure of RMS." There has been some bad reporting, and that's a problem. While I have not waded through the entire email thread Selam G. has posted, my reaction was that RMS did not defend Epstein, and did not say that the victim in this case was acting voluntarily. But it's not the most important problem. It's not remotely close to being the most important problem. This was an own-goal for RMS. He has had plenty of opportunities to learn how to stfu when that's necessary. He's responsible for relying too much on people's careful reading of his note, but even that's not the problem. He thought that Marvin Minsky was being unfairly accused. Minsky was his friend for many many years, and I think he carries a lot of affection and loyalty for his memory. But Minsky is also dead, and there's plenty of time to discuss at leisure whatever questions there may be about his culpability. RMS treated the problem as being "let's make sure we don't criticize Minsky unfairly", when the problem was actually, "how can we come to terms with a history of MIT's institutional neglect of its responsibilities toward women and its apparent complicity with Epstein's crimes". While it is true we should not treat Minsky unfairly, it was not -- and is not -- a pressing concern, and by making it his concern, RMS signaled clearly that it was much more important to him than the question of the institution's patterns of problematic coddling of bad behavior. And, I think, some of those focusing themselves on careful parsing of RMS's words are falling into the same pitfall as he.... Minsky was RMS's protector for a long long time. He created the AI Lab, where I think RMS found the only happy home he ever knew. He kept the rest of the Institute at bay and insulated RMS from attack (as did other faculty that also had befriended RMS). I was around for most of the 90s, and I can confirm the unfortunate reality that RMS's behavior was a concern at the time, and that this protection was itself part of the problem... Bushnell also calls Stallman "a tragic figure. He is one of the most brilliant people I've met, who I have always thought desperately craved friendship and camaraderie, and seems to have less and less of it all the time. This is all his doing; nobody does it to him. But it's still very sad. As far as I can tell, he believes his entire life's work is a failure..." But Bushnell concludes that "It is time for the free software community to leave adolescence and move to adulthood, and this requires leaving childish tantrums, abusive language, and toxic environments behind."

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