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Trump's TRUTH Social May Violate Terms of Open-Source Code It's Built On

ISayWeOnlyToBePolite writes: The new social network founded by former President Trump may violate the terms of use of the software on which it is based. On Wednesday night, after Trump revealed the TRUTH social app, Twitter users began to note that the network appeared to be based on an open-source social networking software called Mastodon, which allows people to modify the underlying code so long as they abide by its license. But the Trump network appears to have taken the publicly available code for the website while violating the terms that make it free to use. Mastodon founder Eugen Rochko told TPM in an email that TRUTH appeared to violate the terms of use that the software sets forth: making the source code available, and having a copy of the general product license available to users. "I do intend to seek legal counsel on the situation though," Rochko told TPM, while declining to discuss any specific legal action he may be contemplating. "Compliance with our AGPLv3 license is very important to me as that is the sole basis upon which I and other developers are willing to give away years of work for free," Rochko added. The AGPL license mandates that software developed for free -- like Mastodon -- remain publicly available after its been modified. Under the license, TRUTH needs to share any modifications to Mastodon's code. The requirement allows developers to remain aware of how the software is being used so long as its run on public servers, continuing the chain by which different open-source developers continue to work on and further modify code that's been created. Former President Trump announced plans to launch the social media platform yesterday, saying his goal is to rival the tech companies that have denied him the megaphone that was paramount to his rise. TRUTH social will be open to "invited users" for a beta launch in November, with plans for it to launch publicly beginning early next year. With that said, the "invite only" system has already run into some problems, according to Slashdot reader slack_justyb. Some users were able to sign up to create accounts using a publicly available link, allowing them to generate their own handles, like @donaldtrump.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Vinyl Is Selling So Well That It's Getting Hard To Sell Vinyl

"Vinyl was nearly at death's door not that long ago. After CDs came out, the predictions of vinyl's demise were an every day occurrence," writes Slashdot reader smooth wombat. "And for a time it looked like the vinyl record, something which had been around since the 1930s, would meet its end as so many other yesteryear products have. Except the COVID-19 pandemic changed all that. Now, with the sudden resurgence and demand for vinyl records, the few remaining manufacturers are struggling to meet the growing demand." The New York Times reports: In the first six months of this year, 17 million vinyl records were sold in the United States, generating $467 million in retail revenue (PDF), nearly double the amount from the same period in 2020, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. Sixteen million CDs were also sold in the first half of 2021, worth just $205 million. Physical recordings are now just a sliver of the overall music business -- streaming is 84 percent of domestic revenue -- but they can be a strong indication of fan loyalty, and stars like Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo make vinyl an important part of their marketing. Yet there are worrying signs that the vinyl bonanza has exceeded the industrial capacity needed to sustain it. Production logjams and a reliance on balky, decades-old pressing machines have led to what executives say are unprecedented delays. A couple of years ago, a new record could be turned around in a few months; now it can take up to a year, wreaking havoc on artists' release plans. Music and manufacturing experts cite a variety of factors behind the holdup. The pandemic shut down many plants for a time, and problems in the global supply chain have slowed the movement of everything from cardboard and polyvinyl chloride -- the "vinyl" that records (and plumbing pipes) are made from -- to finished albums. In early 2020, a fire destroyed one of only two plants in the world that made lacquer discs, an essential part of the record-making process. But the bigger issue may be simple supply and demand. Consumption of vinyl LPs has grown much faster than the industry's ability to make records. The business relies on an aging infrastructure of pressing machines, most of which date to the 1970s or earlier and can be costly to maintain. New machines came along only in recent years, and can cost up to $300,000 each. There's a backlog of orders for those, too.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Steak Knife Made From Hardened Wood Is Three Times Sharper Than Steel

Scientists have used a new form of hardened wood to create a steak knife that is nearly three times sharper than a stainless steel dinner table knife. It can even be washed in the dishwasher! New Atlas reports: This hardy new form of wood is the handiwork of scientists at the University of Maryland, who set out to supercharge the material's natural strength, which lies in the cellulose packed inside. Cellulose is the primary component of wood, accounting for 40 to 50 percent of the material, and itself has a higher strength-to-density ratio than many engineered materials, including ceramics, metals and polymers. But the remainder of wood, made up of the binding materials hemicellulose and lignin, dilutes its overall strength and limits its applications. The authors of the study set out remove these weaker parts of the wood while preserving the cellulose structures. "It's a two-step process," says senior author Teng Li. "In the first step, we partially delignify wood. Typically, wood is very rigid, but after removal of the lignin, it becomes soft, flexible, and somewhat squishy. In the second step, we do a hot press by applying pressure and heat to the chemically processed wood to densify and remove the water." The hardened wood was then carved into a knife and coated in mineral oil, which counters the natural tendency of cellulose to absorb water, extending the lifespan of the material, preserving the blade's sharpness and making it dishwasher safe. According to the team, the hard wood knife is almost three times sharper than a stainless steel dinner table knife and is 23 times times harder than natural wood. It was used to cut through a medium-well done steak with ease. The team was also able to produce nails using the new hard wood. Not only were they rust-resistant but they were just as sharp as regular steel nails. The research was published in the journal Matter.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

GPSD Bug Will Switch Your Time-Keeping Systems To March 2002 This Weekend, Unless You Update

"Apparently a bug in GPSD, the daemon responsible for deriving time from the GPS system, is going to trigger on October 24, 2021, jumping the time back to March of 2002," writes Slashdot reader suutar. "There's a fix that's been committed since August, but of course not everything is up to date." ZDNet's Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols writes: This will be ugly. Or, as Stephen Williams, who uncovered the bug put it, "I have a feeling that there will be some 'interesting moments' in the early morning when a bunch of the world's stratum 1 NTP servers using GPSD take the long strange trip back to 2002." GPSD maintainer Gary E. Miller has acknowledged the problem, and a fix has been made to the code. To be exact, the fix is in August 2021's GPSD 3.23 release. So, what's the problem if the fix is already in? Well, there are two problems. First, it won't be backported to previous releases. If you're still using an older version, you may be out of luck. Second, as Miller observed, not all distros "pick up GPSD updates or upstream their patches. [This] is a very sore spot with me." So, just because your operating system is up to date does not mean that it will have the necessary GPSD fix. Miller suggests that you check it and do it yourself: "I [am] gonna fall back on Greg K_H's dictum: All users must update." Oh, wondering what the mysterious root cause of all this commotion GPS Week Rollover? It's a legacy GPS problem. The GPS signal GPS week number uses a 10-bit code with a maximum value of 1,023. This means every 19.7 years; the GPS week number rolls over to zero. Or, as Miller noted, "This code is a 1024 week time warp waiting to happen." So, check your systems now for this problem. And, if, like most of us, you're relying on someone upstream from you for the correct time, check with them to make sure they've taken care of this forthcoming trouble.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

PS3 Emulator Will Now Boot Every Game Ever Released On the Console

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Kotaku, written by Luke Plunkett: RPCS3, an emulator I've been writing about since 2016, but which first began in 2011, has come along way since it made its first tentative steps towards making PS3 games playable on a PC. From those humble beginnings, the team behind it have just announced a huge milestone: everything ever released on the PS3 will now boot up. Earlier today the RPCS3 team tweeted: "We're delighted to announce that RPCS3 now has a total of ZERO games in the Nothing status! This means that all known games and applications at least boot on the emulator, with no on-going regressions that prevent games from booting. We look forward to emptying out Loadable too!" There have been over 6,000 games and programs tracked over the emulator's lifespan, so to get every single one of them to some degree of booting up is an incredible achievement. It's important to note, though, that of the emulator's five tiers of playability, only one -- "Playable" -- is worth your time. The others are saddled with huge numbers of glitches, performance issues, or simply the fact they refuse to load past the title screens. [...] As of today, 63.53% of PS3 games are "playable" on the emulator, which means 36.47% are not; still a hugely impressive number, but just something to bear in mind!

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

 

 

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