An anonymous reader writes "A Google engineer visiting Vietnam discovered a large portion of Vietnamese high school students might be able to pass a Google interview. According to TFA (and his blog), students start learning computing as early as grade 2. According to the blogger and another senior engineer, about half of the students in an 11th grade class he visited would be able to make through their interview process. The blogger also mentioned U.S. school boards blocking computer science education. The link he posted backing up his claim goes to a Maryland Public Schools website describing No Child Left Behind technicalities. According to the link, computer science is not considered a core subject. While the blogger provided no substantial evidence of U.S. school boards blocking computer science education, he claimed that students at Galileo Academy had difficulty with the HTML image tag. According to the school's Wikipedia page, by California standards, Galileo seems to be one of the state's better secondary schools."
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hackingbear writes "The suspected cyberattack that struck South Korean banks and media companies this week didn't originate from a Chinese IP address, South Korean officials said Friday, contradicting their previous claim. The Korea Communications Commission said that after 'detailed analysis,' the IP address used in the attack is the bank's internal IP address — which is, coincidentally identical to a Chinese ISP's address, among the 2^32 address space available."
An anonymous reader writes "As expected, a new pre-public version of Windows Blue (build 9364) has leaked online and it reveals a handful of features that are coming in the next big Microsoft Windows 8 update." Several sites have screenshots from the build; Hot Hardware says "Assuming this is all completely legitimate, the most obvious change pertains to the Metro UI, including greater flexibility in sizing Live Tiles and customizing the Start screen, particularly as the Personalize setting (among others, including Devices and Share) is now under the Settings charm. The Name Group feature for the Start menu looks a little more polished, too."
New submitter F9rDT3ZE writes "Salon writer Andrew Leonard examines the U.S. Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network's (FinCEN) first 'guidance' regarding 'de-centralized virtual currencies,' noting that Bitcoin's supporters call it a 'currency of resistance,' while others suggest that 'the more popular Bitcoin gets, whether as a symbol of resistance or a perceived safe haven in financially troubled times, the more government attention it will inevitably draw, and the more inexorably it will be sucked into existing regulatory structures.'"
jrepin writes "On day two of the 2013 Embedded Linux Conference, Robert Rose of SpaceX spoke about the 'Lessons Learned Developing Software for Space Vehicles.' In his talk, he discussed how SpaceX develops its Linux-based software for a wide variety of tasks needed to put spacecraft into orbit—and eventually beyond. Linux runs everywhere at SpaceX, he said, on everything from desktops to spacecraft."
An anonymous reader writes "Archos have finally released their much anticipated touchscreen gamepad in the USA. The console boasts a Arm Cortex Dual-core A9 1.6GHz cpu, 1024MB Ram, 8GB internal storage and uses the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS. The Gamepad has 14 physical buttons and dual analog thumb-sticks as well as a touchscreen which means the latest 3D Android games should work great and for fans of emulation the traditional gamepad design and buttons will make N64/PS1 emulators work great on the gamepad." CNET UK was unimpressed, calling it "a bitter disappointment"; IGN was more optimistic, especially at its sub-$200 price.
hypnosec writes "UEFI guru Matthew Garrett, who cleared the Linux kernel in Samsung laptop bricking issues, has come to rescue beleaguered users by offering a survival guide enabling them to avoid similar issues. According to Garrett, storage space constraints in UEFI storage variables is the reason Samsung laptops end up bricking themselves. Garrett said that if the storage space utilized by the UEFI firmware is more than 50 percent full, the laptop will refuse to start and ends up being bricked. To prevent this from happening, he has provided a Kernel patch."
An anonymous reader writes "Last week, in a blow to the content industry, the Ninth Circuit granted Veoh a pyrrhic victory against Universal Music Group and clarified the scope of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's safe harbor provisions for online service providers. By adopting a position taken by the Second Circuit in Viacom v. YouTube, the decision harmonized the law in two intellectually influential jurisdictions and set the standard in New York and California, national hubs for content creation and technological innovation. Going forward, tech startups will have more room to innovate while facing decreased risk of crippling financial liability. An article by two IP lawyers published today in TechCrunch simplifies and explains the scope of safe harbor protection in light of these rulings.
An anonymous reader writes "I'm a very new user to Linux looking for a distro that allows me to control and customize, but I'm not sure where to start. I had a friend install Ubuntu 12.04 on my computer, with the E17 window manager and somehow I managed to crash it during the copying of some non-important files and now my computer won't boot (the hardware's fine though). I've found descriptions of Arch Linux to be spot on to what I'm looking for and want (Slashdot user serviscope_minor mentioned Arch a couple weeks ago and it caught my attention), but my experience in the terminal is literally about an hour. That said, I really want to learn more, don't mind hard work, enjoy challenges, and am perfectly willing to spend hours and hours for months on end to learn command line. Any suggestions, projects to start with, books to read, or tutorials to do to try would be appreciated."
First time accepted submitter Gerardo Zamudio writes with the news that Ur-distribution Slackware is replacing MySQL with MariaDB. From an update posted to the Slackware news feed yesterday: "This shouldn't really be a surprise on any level. The poll on LQ showed a large majority of our users were in favor of the change. It's my belief that the MariaDB Foundation will do a better job with the code, be more responsive to security concerns, and be more willing to work with the open source community. And while I don't think there is currently any issue with MySQL's licensing of the community edition for commercial uses, several threads on LQ showed that there is confusion about this, whereas with MariaDB the freedom to use the software is quite clear." (Here's a link to the mentioned poll.)
CNET reports that a British businessman named Jim McCormick is facing charges now for fraud; McCormick "charged 27,000 pounds (around $41,000) for devices that weren't quite what he said they were." That's putting it mildly; what he was selling as bomb detecting devices were actually souped-up (or souped-down, with non-functional circuitboards and other flim-flammery) golf-ball detectors. The Daily Mail has some enlightening pictures.
schwit1 writes "Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) wants to create a 'virtual Congress,' where lawmakers would leverage videoconferencing and other remote work technology to conduct their daily duties in Washington from their home districts. Under a resolution Pearce introduced on Thursday, lawmakers would be able to hold hearings, debate and vote on legislation virtually from their district offices. The big loser would be the DC area and K Street in particular. The change would also be a double-edged sword for security."
An anonymous reader writes with this snippet from CBC News: " It's not often that Canadian real estate listings make international headlines, but a mid-sized Alberta bungalow has people around the world buzzing today after its owner declared that he would like to sell it — for Bitcoins. If successful, 22-year-old entrepreneur Taylor More would be the first person ever to accept the fast-rising virtual currency in exchange for property. 'My home is being traded for Bitcoins!' reads the listing for More's 'quaint' two bedroom home in Crowsnest Pass, Alberta. ... The property is listed for $405,000 CDN, but More writes that 'the price can be reduced" if a buyer has some Bitcoins to spare.'"
New submitter RougeFemme writes with news of Friday's announcement that FCC chairman Julius Genachowski will step down in the next several weeks (also at Politico), and asks "Obama promised us the continuation of a free, open Internet. Will the resignation of the FCC chairman have any affect on that 'net neutrality'?"
Carewolf writes "Jeff Mitchell writes on his blog about what almost became 'The Great KDE Disaster Of 2013.' It all started as simple update of the root git server and ended up with a corrupt git repository automatically mirrored to every mirror and deleting every copy of most KDE repositories. It ends by discussing what the problem is with git --mirror and how you can avoid similar problems in the future."
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Gosia Wonzniacka reports that farmers in Fresno County, California, supported by university experts and a $5 million state grant, are set to start construction of the nation's first commercial-scale bio-refinery to turn beets into biofuel with farmers saying the so-called 'energy beets' can deliver ethanol yields more than twice those of corn per acre because beets have a higher sugar content per ton than corn. 'We're trying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to shift our transportation fuels to a lower carbon content,' says Robert Weisenmiller. 'The beets have the potential to provide that.' Europe already has more than a dozen such plants, so the bio-refinery would resurrect a crop that has nearly vanished. The birthplace of the sugar beet industry, California once grew over 330,000 acres of the gnarly root vegetable (PDF), with 11 sugar mills processing the beets but as sugar prices collapsed, the mills shut down. So what's the difference between sugar beets and energy beets? To produce table sugar, producers are looking for sucrose, sucrose and more sucrose. Energy beets, on the other hand, contain multiple sugars, meaning sucrose as well as glucose, fructose and other minor sugars, called invert sugars. To create energy beet hybrids, plant breeders select for traits such as high sugar yield, not just sucrose production. America's first commercial energy beet bio-refinery will be capable of producing 40 million gallons of ethanol annually but the bio-refinery will also bring jobs and investment, putting about 80 beet growers and 35,000 acres back into production."
An anonymous reader writes "Seven weeks ago, Dell announced a definitive agreement to be taken private by a group led by founder and CEO Michael Dell and the private equity firm Silver Lake Partners, assisted by a $2 billion loan from Microsoft and debt financing from a group of big banks. The deal was valued at $24.4 billion ($13.65 per share of Dell common stock), but allowed for a 45-day "go shop" period for alternative bids to be submitted to a special committee of Dell's board. Not all large shareholders were happy with the price, and early this month billionaire investor Carl Icahn threatened to tie up the buyout in court unless a large special dividend was paid to shareholders — without showing interest in buying the company himself. More recently, the private equity firm Blackstone Group jumped into the fray, and by Friday night's deadline both Blackstone and Icahn had submitted bids for Dell exceeding the original $13.65 per share agreement. Blackstone is said to be interested in installing Oracle's Mark Hurd as CEO, replacing Michael Dell. As Hurd was fired as Hewlett Packard's CEO in 2010 for alleged sexual misconduct involving an outside consultant named Jodie Fisher, he might have difficulty landing another CEO job at a publicly traded company; the Dell position could be an intriguing fit for both sides."
New submitter cloudozer writes "Virtual servers in the future may stop using OSes entirely. As recently demonstrated OS-less platforms may change our understanding of how long does it take to bring a server up. A demo server gets created, booted up, configured, runs an application and shuts down in under 1 second. Radically lower startup latency means that the computing infrastructure may be woven strictly on demand, during the processing window allotted for a given request. Currently cloud providers round an instance uptime to the full hour when calculating charges. They might need to switch to per-second billing if OS-less instances get traction. The demo uses a new Erlang runtime system capable of running directly on Xen hypervisor."