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+ - Debian Linux systemd maintainer resigns due to online bullying

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Tollef Fog Heen a Debian Linux systemd package maintainer resigns due to online harassing. From the blog post "Debian and its various maintainer teams are a bunch of tribes (with possibly Debian itself being a supertribe). Unlike many other situations, you can be part of multiple tribes. I'm still a member of the DSA tribe for instance. Leaving pkg-systemd means leaving one of my tribes. That hurts. It hurts even more because it feels like a forced exit.. Now, how did I, standing stout and tall, get forced out of my tribe? I've been a DD for almost 14 years, I should be able to weather any storm, shouldn't I? It turns out that no, the mountain does get worn down by the rain. It's not a single hurtful comment here and there. There's a constant drum about this all being some sort of conspiracy and there are sometimes flares where people wish people involved in systemd would be run over by a bus or just accusations of incompetence."

You are free to dislike systemd all you want, but harassing a package maintainer is not cool."

+ - Tor: This Onion Smells->

Submitted by MrBingoBoingo

+ - How to anesthetize an octopus->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Researchers have figured out how to anesthetize octopuses so the animals do not feel pain while being transported and handled during scientific experiments. In a study published online this month in the Journal of Aquatic Animal Health, researchers report immersing 10 specimens of the common octopus in seawater with isoflurane, an anesthetic used in humans. They gradually increased the concentration of the substance from 0.5% to 2%. The investigators found that the animals lost the ability to respond to touch and their color paled, which means that their normal motor coordination of color regulation by the brain was lost, concluding that the animals were indeed anesthetized. The octopuses then recovered from the anesthesia within 40 to 60 minutes of being immersed in fresh seawater without the anesthetic, as they were able to respond to touch again and their color was back to normal. (Video)"
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+ - More civilized method of coercion than bombs and guns? 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Ask Slashdot: how can internet standards bodies be used against rouge governments?

What if the internet community decided to take action against Russia. I am not talking DDOS or other peer to peer attacks, what could ICANN, ITEF etc do to take Russian computers off the internet? I am thinking seeding DNS root servers with incorrect IP addresses, or removing all Russian IP addresses from DNS authoritive servers. What about reallocating all IP addresses that were issued to Russian government/Russian companies to some IoT devices flooding Russian computers with IP address conflicts.

Ideally this would be a temporary measure (for a couple of hours or a couple of days) so that the population and corporations of the country speak up and get the government to back down from their evil ways.

Of course we could always just try to disconnect the cables that connect them with the outside world but with satellites and microwave transmitters they could just try rerouting traffic. If international companies like Verisign, Google, Apple, Microsoft got on board then there is a whole other level of disruption that is possible.
And the methods would need to stand up to judicial scrutiny – seizing the rightful property of another entity would be overturned by the courts —

But if you are not seizing it, you are just refusing to route to it – then the courts can’t “give it back”. If we want rouge countries like Russia to conform to proper standards, do we have more civilized methods than bombs and guns?"

+ - Alleged Satellite Photograph Says Ukraine Shootdown of MH17

Submitted by theshowmecanuck
theshowmecanuck (703852) writes "A group calling itself the Russian Union of Engineers has published a photograph, picked up by many news organizations (just picked one, Google it yourself to find more), claiming to show that MH17 was shot down by a Ukrainian fighter plane. The interesting thing is the very quick ad hoc crowd sourced debunking of the photograph using tools from Google maps, online photos/data, to their own domain knowledge backed up with the previous information. It would be interesting to understand who the "Russian Union of Engineers" are and why they in particular were chosen to release this information."

+ - U.S. Justice Department Using Fake Towers on Planes to Gather Data from Phones

Submitted by Tyketto
Tyketto (97265) writes "The US Department of Justice has been using fake communications towers installed in airplanes to acquire cellular phone data for tracking down criminals, reports The Wall Street Journal. Using fix-wing Cessnas outfitted with DRT boxes produced by Boeing, the devices mimic cellular towers, fooling cellphones into reporting "unique registration information" to track down "individuals under investigation." The program, used by the U.S. Marshalls Service, has been in use since 2007 and deployed around at least five major metropolitan areas, with a flying range that can cover most of the US population. As cellphones are designed to connect to the strongest cell tower signal available, the devices identify themselves as the strongest signal, allowing for the gathering of information on thousands of phones during a single flight. Not even having encryption on one's phone, like found in Apple's iPhone 6, prevents this interception.

While the Justice Department would not confirm or deny the existence of such a program, Verizon denies any involvement in this program, and DRT (a subsidiary of Boeing), AT&T, and Sprint have all declined to comment."

+ - Ubisoft Points Finger At AMD For Assassin's Creed Unity Poor Performance->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Life is hard when you're a AAA publisher. Last month, Ubisoft blamed weak console hardware for the troubles it had bringing Assassin's Creed Unity up to speed, claiming that it could've hit 100 FPS but for weak console CPUs. Now, in the wake of the game's disastrous launch, the company has changed tactics — suddenly, all of this is AMD's fault. An official company forum post currently reads: "We are aware that the graphics performance of Assassin's Creed Unity on PC may be adversely affected by certain AMD CPU and GPU configurations. This should not affect the vast majority of PC players, but rest assured that AMD and Ubisoft are continuing to work together closely to resolve the issue, and will provide more information as soon as it is available." There are multiple problems with this assessment. First, there's no equivalent Nvidia-centric post on the main forum, and no mention of the fact that if you own an Nvidia card of any vintage but a GTX 970 or 980, you're going to see less-than ideal performance. According to sources, the problem with Assassin's Creed Unity is that the game is issuing tens of thousands of draw calls — up to 50,000 and beyond, in some cases. This is precisely the kind of operation that Mantle and DirectX 12 are designed to handle, but DirectX 11, even 11.2, isn't capable of efficiently processing that many calls at once. It's a fundamental limit of the API and it kicks in harshly in ways that adding more CPU cores simply can't help with."
Link to Original Source

+ - Et tu Laura Poitras?->

Submitted by Nicola Hahn
Nicola Hahn (1482985) writes "Recently Laura Poitras, the documentary filmmaker who directed the movie Citizenfour, spoke with the Danish media outlet NRC Handelsblad. Near the end of her interview she told NRC:

"I think certainly a change in consciousness has come after Snowden. Google's servers are secure: that's a big change. This protects the privacy of people. Apple brings a secure phone on the market, that frustrates the FBI again"

There are recurring themes if one analyzes the basic talking points of Greenwald, Poitras, and Snowden: that corporations were victimized by a government run amok, that we can safeguard our civil liberties by going out and getting the latest app. Is it any surprise that all three of the above people are linked somehow to a man named Pierre Omidyar? Could a form of subtle manipulation be at work? Hints of betrayal?"

Link to Original Source

+ - Shift Work Dulls Brain Performance

Submitted by davidshenba
davidshenba (2536122) writes "Scientists warn that working in unusual shifts can prematurely age the brain and dull intellectual ability. Three thousand people in France were given tests of memory, speed of thought and wider cognitive ability. People with more than 10 years of shift work history had the same results as someone six and a half years older. The brain naturally dulls as we age, but the researchers said working antisocial shifts accelerated the process."

"You need tender loving care once a week - so that I can slap you into shape." - Ellyn Mustard