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+ - June 30th Leap Second Could Trigger Unexpected Issues->

Submitted by dkatana
dkatana writes: On January 31, 2013, approximately 400 milliseconds before the official release of the EIA Natural Gas Report, trading activity exploded in Natural Gas Futures. It is believed that was the result of some fast computer trading systems being programmed to act, and have a one-second advance access to the report.

On June 30th a leap second will be added to the Network Time Protocol (NTP) to keep it synchronized with the slowly lengthening solar day.

In an article for InformationWeek Charles Babcock gives a detailed account of the issues, and some disturbing possibilities:

The last time a second needed to be added to the day was on June 30, 2012. For Qantas Airlines in Australia, it was a memorable event. Its systems, including flight reservations, went down for two hours as internal system clocks fell out of synch with external clocks.

The original author of the NTP protocol, Prof. David Mills at the University of Delaware, set a direct and simple way to add the second: Count the last second of June 30 twice, using a special notation on the second count for the record.

Google will use a different approach: Over a 20-hour period on June 30, Google will add a couple of milliseconds to each of its NTP servers' updates. By the end of the day, a full second has been added. As the NTP protocol and Google timekeepers enter the first second of July, their methods may differ, but they both agree on the time.

But that could also be problematic. In adding a second to its NTP servers in 2005, Google ran into timekeeping problems on some of its widely distributed systems. The Mills sleight-of-hand was confusing to some of its clusters, as they fell out of synch with NTP time.

Does Google's smear approach make more sense to you, or does Mills's idea of counting the last second twice work better? Do you have a better idea of how to handle this?

Link to Original Source

+ - Pirate Party founder Rick Falkvinge launches news service->

Submitted by lillgud
lillgud writes: Rick Falkvinge, the founder of the first Pirate Party, unveiled a news service to compete against "old media". The storys will be maximum three sentances and distributed as images, thus avoiding ad block. The service is targeted to be operational in Q3 and each writer will be payed in accordance to a revenue sharing model and the calculations points towards each writer targeted to receive €125/month for 12 sentances.
Link to Original Source

+ - Police scanning every face at UK Download festival

Submitted by AmiMoJo
AmiMoJo writes: Leicestershire Police have announced that they will be scanning every face at the popular UK Download music festival. The announcement article on Police Oracle (paywalled) reads, "the strategically placed cameras will scan faces at the Download Festival site in Donington before comparing it with a database of custody images from across Europe." The stated goal is to catch mobile phone thieves. Last year only 91 of the 120,000 visitors to the festival were arrested, and it isn't clear if the data will be deleted once checked against the database.

Comment: Re:Wtf?! (Score 1) 62 62

by stoborrobots (#49912413) Attached to: Online At Last: Comet Lander Philae Wakes Up

What i don't get is how and why these people then tryto talk back to it.

For the same reason that people talk to Eliza, Alice, and other such entities - because it makes us feel good.

We intuitively associate the machines with humanness... Even when we know we shouldn't:

  * https://philosopherdeveloper.wordpress.com/2011/02/05/the-anthropomorphization-of-computers/
  * http://www.therefinedgeek.com.au/index.php/2010/09/22/dont-anthropomorphize-computers-they-hate-it-when-you-do-that/
  * http://www.dwheeler.com/blog/2013/08/06/

Also: you get to feel like part of history if the social media flunky at the the other end of the feed decides to reply to your post.

+ - Cart Leads Horse for Years, Says Slashdot Reader

Submitted by mtrachtenberg
mtrachtenberg writes: Seriously, folks. This competition to develop the tiniest compute thing that can be plugged into a power brick and an HDMI port is a little ridiculous.

Can we please have HDMI monitors that include power and HDMI connectors to an internal pocket for compute units that will go inside their shells. Fans, too, that can be set on or off to cool the pocket. The companies can get together with a standard form factor or, if a company was Apple, it could do up proprietary shapes so only their "compute units" will fit in their monitors, and let the best approach win (or lose, as the case may be).

But seriously, if you need a screen that is 12" to 96" diagonal, and you are paying thousands for it, why are you worried about shrinking the thing that costs hundreds and generates images for that screen.

There. I feel better now.

+ - SourceForge Analysis of nmap project and data->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: A few days ago, the maintainer of nmap (an open source network mapping tool) complained that SourceForge had taken over the nmap project page. SourceForge has now responded with a technical analysis of the nmap project history. "We’ve confirmed conclusively that no changes were made to the project or data, and that all past download delivery by nmap on SourceForge was through our web hosting service where content is project-administered."

They detail the history of services used by the nmap project, and use screenshots from archive.org to show how long the project was empty. SourceForge: "The last update date in 2013 relates to the migration of the nmap project (along with all other projects on the site) from SourceForge’s sfx code base to the new Apache Allura-based code base. This migration was an automated operation conducted for all projects, and this platform change did not augment data in the Project Web service or File Release System. We therefore conclude that no content has been removed from the nmap project page. Look and feel of this page has changed over time, but the underlying data remains has remained unchanged by staff." They also confirm that nmap downloads were never bundled with ads: "Infosec professionals do not generally wish to install secondary offers."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Also-ran? (Score 4, Insightful) 40 40

by stoborrobots (#49820339) Attached to: Nokia Shifts To Selling Back-End Systems To Mobile Networks

Ericsson was a key provider of telecomunication equipment long before it was a mobile handset manufacturer - in the same way as Alcatel, Lucent and Nokia long provided back-end hardware. For all of them, handset production was a short-term dalliance in the late 90s and early 2000s, not the entire history of the company...

+ - SourceForge hijacks Win-Gimp, wraps installer in adware-> 1 1

Submitted by slashdice
slashdice writes: Ars Technica (and, well, everybody other than slashdot) is reporting on the reprehensible behavior by SourceForge, Slashdot sister sister site. "SourceForge, the code repository site owned by Slashdot Media, has apparently seized control of the account hosting GIMP for Windows on the service, according to e-mails and discussions amongst members of the GIMP community—locking out GIMP's lead Windows developer. And now anyone downloading the Windows version of the open source image editing tool from SourceForge gets the software wrapped in an installer replete with advertisements."
Link to Original Source

Comment: misnomer (Score 1) 7 7

by stoborrobots (#49581959) Attached to: 8 - Does Gnome depend on systemd, or just logind?

It makes a little more sense to me if I think of it as "whoisloggedind" rather than "letmelogind". (It gets used *AFTER* PAM has already logged the user in - it then tracks the login.)

As far as I can tell, the purpose of the various features is largely around being able to tell who is logged in where and what that implies about their hardware access. (Imagine a grown-up version of "/etc/shutdown.allow".)

As such, I don't see why it need to depend on systemd at all, and I've planned, but not got around to, writing a version that keeps the same state information, but doesn't use systemd. If I can get that working, I will be able to put policykit back on my machine, and get things like networkmanager running again without installing systemd.

The universe is like a safe to which there is a combination -- but the combination is locked up in the safe. -- Peter DeVries

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