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Ubuntu

Ubuntu 15.04 Released, First Version To Feature systemd 458

Posted by Soulskill
from the onward-and-upward dept.
jones_supa writes: The final release of Ubuntu 15.04 is now available. A modest set of improvements are rolling out with this spring's Ubuntu. While this means the OS can't rival the heavy changelogs of releases past, the adage "don't fix what isn't broken" is clearly one 15.04 plays to. The headline change is systemd being featured first time in a stable Ubuntu release, which replaces the inhouse UpStart init system. The Unity desktop version 7.3 receives a handful of small refinements, most of which aim to either fix bugs or correct earlier missteps (for example, application menus can now be set to be always visible). The Linux version is 3.19.3 further patched by Canonical. As usual, the distro comes with fresh versions of various familiar applications.

Comment: Interesting double edge sword there. (Score 4, Insightful) 337

by allaunjsilverfox2 (#49300941) Attached to: German Vice Chancellor: the US Threatened Us Over Snowden
I can understand why they might have refused to take the risk. But it hardly seems like a smart idea to allow a country we value to be destabilized over one man. What affects the one, affects us all. If Germany became destabilized due to our childish antics, it wouldn't end well. Best case scenario, the euro zone would collapse. Worst case, nuclear power plants would be pilfered.

Comment: Re:Obvious (Score 1) 178

Wallet was hidden in a Mindcraft structure.

This would actually be quite fasinating. Something like that would imply a virtual structure acting as a stenographic hiding place. Which leads to some interesting ideas. I know the whole, "They don't need your computer, they just need a wrench" idea applies here. But just imagine, a hostile entity (FBI, Robbers, ex-wife) are attempting to take your bitcoins. So, to make a plausible case that you don't have access to it, you generate a minecraft world. Then make various structures based on the bitcoin string and then destroy the wallet. If anyone decides to look at your world, you can make the claim you were attempting art. Which would be hard to dispute, since art is subjective.

Crime

Kim Dotcom's Lawyer Plays Down Megaupload Worker's Guilty Plea 102

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-biug-deal dept.
mrspoonsi writes with the latest from Kim Dotcom. "Kim Dotcom's US lawyer has denied that a guilty plea by one of the Megaupload's former employees has major implications for his client's case. Andrus Nomm was sentenced to a year in jail after pleading guilty on Friday to conspiracy to commit copyright infringement while working for the now defunct file-sharing site. The US is currently trying to extradite Mr Dotcom, who founded Megaupload, from New Zealand to stand trial. Mr Dotcom denies wrongdoing. The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has alleged that Megaupload's staff had "operated websites that wilfully reproduced and distributed infringing copies of copyrighted works" over a period of five years, causing more than $400m (£260m) of harm to copyright owners. Nomm — a 36-year-old Estonian citizen — agreed to this damages estimate as part of his plea, according to a press release from the DoJ. He had been living in the Netherlands before he travelled to Virginia to make the deal with the US authorities. The DoJ added that Nomm had acknowledged that through his work as a computer programmer for Megaupload, he had become aware of copyright-infringing material being stored on its sites, including films and TV shows that had contained FBI anti-piracy warnings. It said he had also admitted to having downloaded copyright-infringing files himself. "This conviction is a significant step forward in the largest criminal copyright case in US history," said assistant attorney general Leslie Caldwell."
Wikipedia

One Man's Quest To Rid Wikipedia of Exactly One Grammatical Mistake 425

Posted by timothy
from the literally-exploding-with-rage dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this Fascinating profile of one particular Wikipedia editor Giraffedata (a 51-year-old software engineer named Bryan Henderson), who has spent the last seven years correcting only the incorrect use of "comprised of" on Wikipedia. Using a code to crawl for uses of "comprised of" throughout all of Wiki's articles, he'll then go in and manually correct them (for example, using "consists of" or "composed of") and has made over 47,000 edits to date.
Math

Mathematicians Uncomfortable With Ties To NSA, But Not Pulling Back 181

Posted by Soulskill
from the goose-that-lays-the-golden-ovoid dept.
An anonymous reader writes: When we talk about how the NSA operates, it's typically about the policymakers and what the agency should or should not do. It's worth remembering that the NSA is built upon the backs of world-class mathematicians, whom they aggressively recruit to make all their underlying surveillance technology work. A new piece in Science discusses how the relationship between mathematicians and the NSA has changed following the Snowden leaks (PDF). But as Peter Woit points out, these ethical conundrums are not actually spurring any change. This is perhaps due to the NSA's generous funding of mathematics-related research.

The article talks about the American Mathematical Society, which until recently was led by David Vogan: "...after all was said and done, no action was taken. Vogan describes a meeting about the matter last year with an AMS governing committee as 'terrible,' revealing little interest among the rest of the society's leadership in making a public statement about NSA's ethics, let alone cutting ties. Ordinary AMS members, by and large, feel the same way, adds Vogan, who this week is handing over the presidency to Robert Bryant, a mathematician at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. For now, U.S. mathematicians aren't willing to disown their shadowy but steadfast benefactor."

Comment: Re:If all goes well. . . (Score 1) 228

by allaunjsilverfox2 (#48889065) Attached to: Eric Schmidt: Our Perception of the Internet Will Fade

I completely agree. What hasn't happened is someone in politics being publicly humiliated by information that big data has collected. It'll happen and it'll be the fault of someone like Google. That will change things.

Not exactly big data per se, but a politician was recently linked to being at a white supremacist rally. Rep. Steve Scalise, the majority whip in the United States. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

Comment: Re:Crusty Hardware (Score 1) 189

by allaunjsilverfox2 (#48878635) Attached to: User Plea Means EISA Support Not Removed From Linux

Things like scanners and printers shouldn't require special drivers in 2015. When we plug a keyboard or mouse into our computers, it just works because they're standard devices with standard drivers.

I would argue a LOT of the Wal-Mart specials don't run without driver support. And before you say, "Then don't buy from Wal-Mart!", Your conjecture is all printers should run without intervention. This is simply not the case. Big box stores provide brands that prefer you have vendor lock in. They can't force you to view the, BUY X BRAND INK NOW! ads without the bundled driver.

Data Storage

The Importance of Deleting Old Stuff 177

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-don't-need-meeting-notes-from-2006 dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Bruce Schneier has codified another lesson from the Sony Pictures hack: companies should know what data they can safely delete. He says, "One of the social trends of the computerization of our business and social communications tools is the loss of the ephemeral. Things we used to say in person or on the phone we now say in e-mail, by text message, or on social networking platforms. ... Everything is now digital, and storage is cheap — why not save it all?

Sony illustrates the reason why not. The hackers published old e-mails from company executives that caused enormous public embarrassment to the company. They published old e-mails by employees that caused less-newsworthy personal embarrassment to those employees, and these messages are resulting in class-action lawsuits against the company. They published old documents. They published everything they got their hands on."

Schneier recommends organizations immediately prepare a retention/deletion policy so in the likely event their security is breached, they can at least reduce the amount of harm done. What kind of retention policy does your organization enforce? Do you have any personal limits on storing old data?
United States

Ted Cruz To Oversee NASA and US Science Programs 496

Posted by Soulskill
from the pi-is-exactly-3 dept.
romanval sends word that U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) will become the new chairman of the subcommittee that oversees NASA and government scientific research. Cruz has both spoken in favor of NASA and attempted to cut its budget, but he's most notable for his opposition to the science supporting climate change. From the article: His vociferous opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and his support of extreme budget cuts could spell trouble for NASA's less prominent programs, such as its own climate research and sophisticated supercomputers. His role on the front lines of the 2013 government shutdown, which critics say had lasting negative effects on public safety, NASA research and EPA scientists' ability to visit contaminated sites, also suggests at best a narrow focus on NASA's largest projects and at worst a disregard for agencies that require science funding.

Comment: Re:Criminals (Score 1) 78

by allaunjsilverfox2 (#48708107) Attached to: India Blocks Code Sharing Websites On Anti-Terror Advisory

When developing FOSS is a crime, only criminals will develop FOSS.

I would argue that may be true, but the level of output would drop at rather obvious rate. Since most FOSS work is paid work, it wouldn't be advantageous for a company to run the risk of legal issues. So if a company A is only sourced from region B, they will not risk their income on goodwill alone.

Fear is the greatest salesman. -- Robert Klein

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