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Submission + - Julian Assange might turn himself in to police on Friday (

peetm writes: Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has said he will turn himself over to UK police on Friday if a UN panel rules he has not been unlawfully detained.

He took refuge in London's Ecuadorian embassy in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over sexual assault claims.
In 2014 he complained to the UN that he was being "arbitrarily detained" as he could not leave without being arrested.

Submission + - Canada's Prime Minister Admits Intention to Sign TPP (

Dangerous_Minds writes: The first round of question period for Canada's new government turned out to be a rather revealing one. After months of denial, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau admitted he intends on signing off on the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership. The revelation came during questioning by NDP leader Thomas Mulcair who quizzed him on his position while citing evidence the agreement would result in major job losses in Canada. The TPP would lead to, among other things, criminal liability for the circumvention of copy protection, government mandated spying for the purpose of tracking copyright infringement online, and seizure of digital storage devices at the border for the purpose of enforcing copyright. Trudeau said that the reason he is going to sign off on the agreement was so that he could consult with Canadians on the agreement even though the agreement creates legal obligations to ratify as-is.

Submission + - San Francisco's Yellow Cab files for bankruptcy (

Applehu Akbar writes: Yellow Cab Cooperative, the largest taxi company in San Francisco, has filed Chapter 11. While competition from those newfangled ride-sharing services is a natural target for blame, a more proximate cause is Yellow Cab losing a $8 million accident liability suit by a passenger who is now paralyzed. Apparently the Yellow Cab drivers are...registered as independent contractors! So much for the medallion cab argument that they offer superior liability coverage.

Submission + - US OPM getting Out of the 'Background Checking business'

bbsguru writes: An article in the Register notes that, following last years' embarrassing and costly data breaches:

The US government is creating a new agency to process background checks for federal employees and contractors seeking security clearance.

The [...] Department of Defense (DoD)
[will] oversee the establishment of the National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB). The new agency will take over running the Federal Investigative Service (FIS) and will perform all background checks.

Currently, the FIS handles around 95 per cent of federal background checks on an estimated 600,000 people each year. Those duties, going forward, will still be handled by FIS, but will be done as part of the new NBIB and its proposed $95m annual (FY 2017) IT budget.

Previously, the FIS had operated as part of the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM), conducting background checks for those seeking positions within US government agencies or working on contracts for the government.

In other news, the barn doors are now closed. Horses are nowhere in sight.

Submission + - Wikipedia editors revolt, vote "no confidence" in newest board member (

An anonymous reader writes: Nearly 200 Wikipedia editors have taken the unprecedented step of calling for a member of the Wikimedia Foundation board of directors to be tossed out. The Wikimedia Foundation, which governs both the massive Wikipedia online encyclopedia and related projects, appointed Arnnon Geshuri to its board earlier this month. His appointment wasn't well received by the Wikipedia community of volunteer editors, however. And last week, an editor called for a 'vote of no confidence on Arnnon Geshuri.' The voting, which has no legally binding effect on the Wikimedia Foundation, is now underway. As of press time, 187 editors had voted in favor of this proposition: 'In the best interests of the Wikimedia Foundation, Arnnon Geshuri must be removed from his appointment as a trustee of the Wikimedia Foundation Board.' Just 13 editors have voted against, including Wikimedia board member Guy Kawasaki.

Submission + - Maths Present for Bright 10 Year Old 5

peetm writes: I have an above averagely bright nephew, aged 10, who’s into maths and whose birthday is coming up soon. I’d like to get him a suitable present – most likely one that’s mathematically centred. At Christmas we sat together while I helped him build a few very simple Python programs that ‘animated’ some simple but interesting maths, e.g., we built a factorial function, investigated the Collatz conjecture (3n + 1 problem) and talked about, but didn’t implement Eratosthenes’ Sieve – one step too far for him at the moment perhaps. I’ve looked about for books that might blend computing + maths, but haven’t really found anything appropriate for a 10 year old. I should be indebted to anyone who might suggest either a suitable maths book, or one that brings in some facet of computing. Or, if not a book, then some other present that might pique his interest.

Submission + - Stephen Hawking to give Reith lecture

peetm writes: This year’s BBC Reith Lecturer* is the UK's most famous scientist. His mind has probed the great mysteries of the universe. He’s Professor Stephen Hawking of course, and if you’ve got a question for him, now’s your chance.

He’ll be lecturing about black holes, and then taking questions from BBC Radio 4 listeners on any subject under the sun. Or well beyond it!

* The Reith Lectures is a series of annual radio lectures given by leading figures of the day, commissioned by the BBC and broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service.

Comment Getting on, but still hopeful (Score 1) 160

As the title says, I'm getting on now - and even thinking of properly retiring.

Ever since I was aware of such things, I was always very much more than hopeful - convinced really - that we would receive some signal (in a 'Contact' fashion) before I was placed into my box (cremate/inter :- hey surprise me!) An example of self-centred hubris in the ‘belief of ourselves’, including me of course!

Still, I live in hope.

Goodness knows what it would do to all those religious fundamentalists though!

Submission + - The Guardian's machine destroyed by GCHQ on show (

peetm writes: The remains of computers used to store top-secret documents leaked by the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, which were symbolically destroyed by Guardian editors while being watched by GCHQ representatives, are to be displayed at the V&A. Although I query whether it's the remains of a MacBook Air!

Submission + - What keyboard for a professional developer?

peetm writes: Christmas is coming, and as my PC's keyboard is near its end (as it is for many a Turkey and Goose), I'm thinking of asking Santa for a new one.

I often work late at night — always in low-light — and so a back-lit keyboard would be a bonus. I should add that I don't play games, and would be completely disinterested in any gaming-type feature on a keyboard.

Santa of course needs some advance warning, and I would very much welcome /. members' keyboard suggestions!

Submission + - The girlfriend of a student asks - what books for an M.Sc., ...

peetm writes: Having visited with me and my wife recently, the girlfriend of an ex-student of mine asks ..

"... He recently mentioned that he would love to have a home library, like the one you have, with variety of good, useful and must-have books from different authors. I wonder if you would be so kind to advise me on this. Mostly, I was thinking your advice would be priceless when it comes to computer science related books, but .. I would appreciate any sort of advice on books from you. ..."

This ex-student is now taking an M.Sc. in CS (pure), and whilst I could scan my own library for ideas, I doubt that I'm really that 'current' with what's good, or whether my favourites would be appropriate: I've not taught on the M.Sc. course for a while, and in some cases, and just given their price, I shouldn't really recommend such books that are just pet loves of mine — especially to someone who doesn't know whether they'd even be useful to her boyfriend.

And, before you ask: YES, we do have a reading list, but given that he'll receive this as part of this course requirement anyway, I'd like to tease readers to suggest good reads around the periphery of the subject.

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