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+ - AMAgeddon: Reddit mods are locking up the site's most popular pages In protest->

vivaoporto writes: As reported by The Independent, CNET, The Register, TechCrunch, The Verge and PC World moderators are locking up the site's most popular pages in protest against the dismissal of Victoria Taylor, a key member of the site's behind-the-scenes team.

Taylor, who was the main facilitator for the site's question-and-answer community 'Ask Me Anything' (graced by the presence of notables like Barack Obama, Jerry Seinfeld and regular folks like a line cook at Applebee's) was fired yesterday, causing all sorts of problems for Reddit's most mainstream offering.

Taylor's reported departure, which has been dubbed AMAgeddon, led other moderators of the marquee IAmA subreddit to switch the page's settings to private, rendering the Reddit userbase unable to view the page.

Since then, dozens of other subreddits including /r/askreddit, /r/videos, /r/gaming and /r/gadets — each with several million subscribers — have also been made private, instead re-directing readers to a static landing page.

Reddit’s cofounder and executive chairman Alexis Ohanian said in a post that “we don’t talk about specific employees. (...) We get that losing Victoria has a significant impact on the way you manage your community, (...) I’d really like to understand how we can help solve these problems, because I know r/IAMA thrived before her and will thrive after."

A full recap of the situation is available at the site itself, with the insight by the site's own members about the whole situation.

This comes in the wake of other highly controversial past events like the response to what became known as The Fappening, and the more recent ban of the controversial but populat FatPeopleHate subreddit.

Link to Original Source

+ - Google and Delphi self-driving cars have close call in California

vivaoporto writes: Two self-driving prototype cars, one operated by Google Inc and the other by Delphi Automotive Plc, had a close call on a Silicon Valley street earlier this week, a Delphi executive told Reuters on Thursday.

The incident occurred Tuesday on San Antonio Road in Palo Alto, said John Absmeier, director of Delphi's Silicon Valley lab and global business director for the company's automated driving program, who was a passenger in one of the cars.

As the Delphi vehicle prepared to change lanes, a Google self-driving prototype — a Lexus RX400h crossover fitted with similar hardware and software — cut off the Audi, forcing it to abort the lane change, Absmeier said.

No collision took place. Google declined to comment.

Both companies previously have reported minor collisions of self-driving cars with vehicles piloted by people. In most of those cases, the self-driving car was stopped, typically at an intersection, and was rear-ended by another vehicle.

In all cases, the self-driving prototype was not at fault, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles and the companies.

+ - No Boys Allowed in Apple, HUD-Backed Learn-to-Code Program for Low-Income Kids

theodp writes: In a press release Tuesday, the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) announced it was teaming with Lifetime Partner Apple and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on its Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to engage 10,000 girls in learning computing concepts. "Currently, just 25 states and the District of Columbia allow computer science to count as a math or science graduation requirement," explained the press release. "Because boys get more informal opportunities for computing experience outside of school, this lack of formal computing education especially affects girls and many youth of color." HUD, the press release added, has joined the Commitment to Action to help extend the program’s reach in partnership with public housing authorities nationwide and provide computing access to the 485,000 girls residing in public housing. "In this Information Age, opportunity is just a click on a keyboard away. HUD is proud to partner with NCWIT to provide talented girls with the skills and experiences they need to reach new heights and to achieve their dreams in the 21st century global economy," said HUD Secretary Julian Castro, who coincidentally is eyed as a potential running mate for Hillary Clinton, whose daughter Chelsea is the Clinton Foundation's point-person on computer science. Last year, Chelsea Clinton gave a keynote speech at the NCWIT Summit and appeared with now-U.S. CTO Megan Smith to help launch Google's $50 million girls-only Made With Code initiative.

+ - Samsung is disabling Windows Update without users' permission->

Mark Wilson writes: Windows Update has long been pushed as the way to make sure that Windows is fully patched and secure as possible. It is recommended that it be left in Automatic mode so updates are downloaded as they are released. Samsung, however, has different ideas.

The company has been found disabling Windows Update on a number of the computers it sells, channeling people to use its own SW Update tool instead. Microsoft MVP Patrick Barker noted the activity when he found a program called Disable_Windowsupdate.exe on his computer. The culprit was Samsung's crapware.

Writing on his blog, Barker transcribes a web chat with a Samsung customer service representative who confirmed that the company's own update tools disabled Windows update.

Link to Original Source

+ - Youtube takes custom url from user, gives to cosmetic company-> 1 1

vivaoporto writes: In a case reminiscent of the MikeRowSoftware.com debacle a popular video blogger has hit out at cosmetics brand Lush after he lost control of his YouTube address. Matthew Lush said fans seeking out his channel via https://www.youtube.com/Lush, an url used by him since 2005, were now being redirected to the beauty brand instead.

Lush cosmetic told the BBC it had not requested the change but would not say if it would give the address back. Mr Lush, who has 10 times as many YouTube subscribers as the soap brand, told the BBC he felt "betrayed".

I've been doing YouTube for a long time, but they've stripped this from me. I have that address on thousands of bracelets that I've sold, and it's embedded in my videos. I can't remake those now

Google said it was "sympathetic" to Mr Lush's situation and but the decision was made by an algorithm. They said Mr Lush was a "valued creator" and that it had offered to pay for new marketing materials for his channel.

They told Business Insider in a statement that Lush's URL (presumably the canonical one, https://www.youtube.com/user/lush) remains unchanged, and that the cosmetics company was given a different address:

We updated our URL system last year, allowing creators and brands alike to claim a custom YouTube URL that is consistent with their identity across Google. Based on a combination of relevancy factors, this new system algorithmically reserves certain URLs for creators to choose from. With this change, we are providing more than 5 thousand custom URLs on a daily basis to creators across the globe.


Link to Original Source

+ - Apple Says It Will Pay Taylor Swift For Free Streams, After All->

vivaoporto writes: As reported on Re/code Apple media boss Eddy Cue appears to have capitulated and Apple Music will be paying for streaming even during customer’s free trial period. He says that Swift’s letter, coupled with complaints from indie labels and artists, did indeed prompt the change.

Cue says Apple will pay rights holders for the entire three months of the trial period. He explains that it can’t be at the same rate that Apple is paying them after free users become subscribers, since Apple is paying out a percentage of revenues once subscribers start paying. Instead, he says, Apple will pay rights holders on a per-stream basis, which he won’t disclose.

No word from Swift or her camp about whether Apple’s move is enough to get her to put “1989”, her newest album, on Apple Music. On Twitter she says “I am elated and relieved. Thank you for your words of support today. They listened to us.”

Link to Original Source

+ - SourceForge suspends mirroring, creating Community Panel to review practices->

vivaoporto writes: In a reversal motivated by community concerns (like the high profile debacle over the distribution of ads-enabled installer of GIMP or the accusation by Fyodor of the hijacking of the nmap sourceforge project) SourceForge discontinued third-party bundling of mirrored content.

Along with that, as of June 18th, SourceForge started "removing SourceForge-maintained mirrored projects" and engaging "our newly-formed Community Panel to discuss site features and program policies including a redesigned mirror program" resulting in the removal of the 295 projects that were part of the mirrored catalog.

Somewhat buried in the announcement good news for those wanting to reach SourceForge for some constructive feedback: the Community Voice forum.

Link to Original Source

Comment: Was slashdot hacked today? (Score 4, Insightful) 1067 1067

Because it is not, and it would cause code like to fail for a = 1, b = 2 and c = 0:

if ((a/c) == (b/c)) {
// It is safe to assume that a == b
}

In a code as simple as that it is easy to spot but in more complex code this simple verification may be done in more steps or split in many different operations like:

speed1 = distance1 / time;
speed2 = distance2 / time;
some_function(speed1, speed2);

where some_function(speed1, speed2), built by other team has:

if (speed1 == speed2) {
// distance was the same, do something accordingly
}

Now, how this question was accepted as legitimate in an advanced forum like this it is amazing. Rock bottom.

Comment: Re:Slashdot layout (Score 1) 250 250

Fellow slashdot webdevs, please don't test in production. Below is how it looks like on Safari for Mac.

http://s7.postimg.org/5rhru2q6z/image.png
http://s7.postimg.org/qacnz544b/image.png

Not to spoil but the main problems are:

1. People that remained on classic Slashdot theme expects just that: the classic theme. Please don't change it. Considering that the main elements of the articles didn't change much (title, summary, number of comments, submitter, link, etc), the same going for the comments (title, score, commenter, date, etc) it shouldn't be hard to make a separate theme for this (admittedly stubborn) users and leave it alone.

2. The new "cartoon balloon" showing the number of comments is overlapping when the article is collapsed (see first screenshot above)

3. Seems like the old way to show the number of comments was forgotten below the cartoon balloon (see first screenshot above)

4. In the sidebar, seems like "This day on Slashdot" was completely forgotten in the new style (see second screenshot above)

5. It's really acceptable after being bought by Dice to show "Latest Tech Jobs" prominently in the sidebar, we understand that's one of the perks of being the owner. But at least put back the Poll above the fold and push Slashdot Deals and Featured Videos below the fold. 6. It may not have been the intention but it feels really underhanded to replace the (probable) most clicked link in the homepage (Read More) and replace it with the "Share" button. That will more likely to be the main complain, will cost Slashdot a lot of old timers and probably will be as loudly rejected as Beta.

And most important of all: please to eat the comments. I tried to post this exact comment, it went through and suddenly it disappeared (see below). As I had the submitted comments in another window I managed to take the screenshots and to save the text I wrote so carefully

http://s1.postimg.org/5e5aqjjnj/image.png

http://s1.postimg.org/3l2e27ygv/image.png

Comment: Re:Slashdot layout (Score 5, Insightful) 250 250

Fellow slashdot webdevs, please don't test in production. Below is how it looks like on Safari for Mac.

http://s7.postimg.org/5rhru2q6z/image.png
http://s7.postimg.org/qacnz544b/image.png

Not to spoil but the main problems are:

1. People that remained on classic Slashdot theme expects just that: the classic theme. Please don't change it. Considering that the main elements of the articles didn't change much (title, summary, number of comments, submitter, link, etc), the same going for the comments (title, score, commenter, date, etc) it shouldn't be hard to make a separate theme for this (admittedly stubborn) users and leave it alone.

2. The new "cartoon balloon" showing the number of comments is overlapping when the article is collapsed (see first screenshot above)

3. Seems like the old way to show the number of comments was forgotten below the cartoon balloon (see first screenshot above)

4. In the sidebar, seems like "This day on Slashdot" was completely forgotten in the new style (see second screenshot above)

5. It's really acceptable after being bought by Dice to show "Latest Tech Jobs" prominently in the sidebar, we understand that's one of the perks of being the owner. But at least put back the Poll above the fold and push Slashdot Deals and Featured Videos below the fold. 6. It may not have been the intention but it feels really underhanded to replace the (probable) most clicked link in the homepage (Read More) and replace it with the "Share" button. That will more likely to be the main complain, will cost Slashdot a lot of old timers and probably will be as loudly rejected as Beta.

Please put Read More back where it was, I'm sure you guys already realised we are not much a sharing bunch, privacy concerns and all that.

Comment: Re:Burning people? (Score 2) 219 219

Lifted from the wikipedia article on the US 2nd amendment to illustrate the point being made:

In 1792, Tench Coxe made the following point in a commentary on the Second Amendment:[121]

As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the next article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.

[121] "Remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution," Federal Gazette, June 18, 1792, at 2, col. 1

The 2nd amendment was not created to rectify a corrupt and unjust government but (along with the proposal of a weak "standing army") to prevent one from falling into corruption and injustice.

For all intents and purposes the current law enforcement apparatus is the equivalent of the standing army of that time. There was no public police force before the 19th century, the task of enforcing the law and keeping the peace war performed by the same forces that fought the wars.

See, for instance, the part played by the British Army in the 1768 Boston Massacre and compare to the current events:

British troops had been stationed in Boston, capital of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, since 1768 in order to protect and support crown-appointed colonial officials attempting to enforce unpopular Parliamentary legislation.

Amid ongoing tense relations between the population and the soldiers, a mob formed around a British sentry, who was subjected to verbal abuse and harassment. He was eventually supported by eight additional soldiers, who were subjected to verbal threats and thrown objects.

They fired into the crowd, without orders, instantly killing three people and wounding others. Two more people died later of wounds sustained in the incident.

The crowd eventually dispersed after Acting Governor Thomas Hutchinson promised an inquiry, but reformed the next day, prompting the withdrawal of the troops to Castle Island.

Eight soldiers, one officer, and four civilians were arrested and charged with murder. Defended by the lawyer and future American president, John Adams, six of the soldiers were acquitted, while the other two were convicted of manslaughter and given reduced sentences.

The second amendment is supposed to be a deterrent, the insurance that prevents a tyrannical government to defraud the "consent of the governed", the ticket to last option.

Option that, when redeemed, consists by definition in treason against ones government and the name for its use is revolution.

Advocating for giving the 2nd amendment rights to a country where corruption is already an issue, where the injustice of the government (at least in the level discussed in the article) is already present and where a standing army is already formed and loyal to the government (in the article case, the police force) is the exactly same as calling for a armed uprising against the government.

One should be very cautious of that because in some countries (India, for instance), it is a crime to incite or even support such revolutions, even online.

Comment: Re:simpler? exclusive ad channel? (Score 3, Informative) 161 161

That's not what's in play here. Here is the same story with more sources, more technical information and without the Google vs. Apple flamebait angle:

Adblocking is coming to the iPhone with iOS 9

The next version of Safari will let users block ads on iPhones and iPads.

With the roll-out of iOS 9, Apple is giving app developers an easy way to create mobile ad blockers for Safari on iPhones and iPads. The new "Content Blocking" feature allows developers to pass a JSON file with a set of rules for images, popups, cookies, resources and other elements in Safari.

Sources like The Next Web point out that such a feature would allow ad blocking and privacy apps "to exist on iOS for the first time since launch".

On the other hand the Marketing Land warns that this move "could chip away at Google's and other ad networks' mobile ad revenue from iOS devices", NiemanLab calls it "a blow for mobile advertising" and Cult of Mac asks if that is a good thing and proposes as an answer:

Is that a good thing? Well, maybe for the average user, for a period of time. But when you block ads on the web, you prevent content providers from earning any revenue from them. If we all did that, our favorite sites would have to find other sources of revenue, or stop supplying content altogether.

I have no idea why, in a technical and privacy oriented forum as ours, the focus of the accepted submission was not on the fact that this is an "Adblocker app enabler" move instead of a "Google killer move".

+ - Adblocking is coming to the iPhone with iOS 9

vivaoporto writes: The next version of Safari will let users block ads on iPhones and iPads.

With the roll-out of iOS 9, Apple is giving app developers an easy way to create mobile ad blockers for Safari on iPhones and iPads. The new “Content Blocking” feature allows developers to pass a JSON file with a set of rules for images, popups, cookies, resources and other elements in Safari.

Sources like The Next Web point out that such a feature would allow ad blocking and privacy apps "to exist on iOS for the first time since launch".

On the other hand the Marketing Land warns that this move "could chip away at Google's and other ad networks' mobile ad revenue from iOS devices", NiemanLab calls it "a blow for mobile advertising" and Cult of Mac asks if that is a good thing and proposes as an answer:

Is that a good thing? Well, maybe for the average user, for a period of time. But when you block ads on the web, you prevent content providers from earning any revenue from them. If we all did that, our favorite sites would have to find other sources of revenue, or stop supplying content altogether.

Comment: Also missing from the article (Score 4, Informative) 1032 1032

Also missing from the article but something potentially change your interpretation of it:

1. It's there implicitly but it's worth to make explicit: "when I was 17, I went with my mother to the local bank" means that this delightful anedote happened in 1974, a long time ago both in years and in differences in tuition prices and legislation around student loans.

2. There will be a lot of talk about federally guaranteed students loans but his loans where unsubsidized private loans with a private bank.

The whole article is flamebait because it piggybacks in the current perception that the student loan system in the U.S. is flawed but offers an anecdote from a very different time and background than ours.

Comment: Local charity (Score 5, Insightful) 235 235

This and many other examples like

- PETA euthanizing more animals than they shelter
- UNICEF expenses of 52 million dollars (pdf) in expenses related to management and fundraising (out of a 600 million dollars budget, and that's one of the best managed ones out there)

show that it is much more efficient to donate time or money locally instead of to big organizations.

Donate to your local food bank, soup kitchen, volunteer some time in the retirement home, the satisfaction will be the same and the effects will be much more efficient. Or, at the very least, don't screw people over, it is more than enough if you can do that.

Why should you donate anything to help someone in the other side of the world while people needs your help in your own neighbourhood?

I'm all for computer dating, but I wouldn't want one to marry my sister.

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