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Racism In Online Ad Targeting 474

An anonymous reader writes "Most of us are familiar with advertisements in online web searching, and by now we've grown accustomed to scrolling past the 'sponsored' results to get to the real responses to our query. And we know the ads are context-sensitive; for example, searching for our favorite Federation Starship will bring up ads for a similarly-named car-rental agency. But now a Harvard University professor has found a more disturbing trend in those contextual ads: racism. 'Sweeney says she has evidence that black identifying names are up to 25 per cent more likely to be served with an arrest-related ad. "There is discrimination in delivery of these ads," she concludes. Sweeney gathered this evidence by collecting over 2000 names that were suggestive of race. For example, first names such as Trevon, Lakisha and Darnell suggest the owner is black while names like Laurie, Brendan and Katie suggest the owner is white. She then entered these plus surnames into Google.com and Reuters.com and examined the ads they returned. Most names generated ads for public records. However, black-identifying names turned out to be much more likely than white-identifying names to generate ads that including the word "arrest" (60 per cent versus 48 per cent).'"

Comment Re:Windows is more open (Score 3, Interesting) 162

They're not going to do that. The director of Windows server development at Microsoft even gave us a quote for the Samba 4 press release.

https://www.samba.org/samba/news/releases/4.0.0.html

For the tl;dr crowd:

"Active Directory is a mainstay of enterprise IT environments, and Microsoft is committed to support for interoperability across platforms," said Thomas Pfenning, director of development, Windows Server. "We are pleased that the documentation and interoperability labs that Microsoft has provided have been key in the development of the Samba 4.0 Active Directory functionality."

Thanks a *lot* Thomas !

Comment Re:First posting? (Score 4, Informative) 162

No, I also know when it was first widely adopted. I was around and shepherded it through that remember. It really took off around 1994 when we had very wide use on SunOS and early Solaris use.

Wider Linux use really didn't start until about until 1996 or so. I remember tridge and I being amazed that making it work on Linux became more important than making it work on SunOS/Solaris/HPUX and other commercial UNIXes.

Jeremy.

Comment Re:First posting? (Score 5, Informative) 162

No, you're getting the history the wrong way around.

Samba was started in '92. The web wasn't on most companies radar until the late 90's.

Web and database on Linux came in the door opened by file servers :-).

Our original platform was SunOS (not even Solaris). When Samba started Linux was a toy, it didn't even have networking.

Jeremy.

Comment Re:Too bad SMB is so slow (Score 5, Informative) 162

It's all in how the server is configured, and if the client will pipeline requests.

I can easily saturate a gigabit network using modern Linux CIFSFS and Samba. Ensure you turn on pthread based aio on the server, and the client now issues multiple outstanding read/write requests.

SMB2 makes this easier as it does this by default even on Windows clients. Ensuring your server has the pthread-based aio is the key though (depending on server CPU availablilty - on low end systems some OEM's get more mileage by using zero-copy sendfile/recvfile instead).

Jeremy.

Data Storage

Ask Slashdot: Keeping Your Media Library Safe From Kids? 307

Serenissima writes "I've spent many hours building my Media Library in XBMC and scraping all the DVD Covers and Fanart. And I love it, I can pull up movies on any computer or device in the house. I played a movie for my son the other day so I could get some cleaning done without him being underfoot. I noticed shortly after that the sound coming from the other room was from a different movie than I played for him. I snuck up and watched for a few minutes and saw him use a trackpad to navigate to the stop and play buttons of different movies in his folder. I know it's only a matter of time before he realizes he can see all of the movies. I don't want him to have nightmares because he saw the T-1000 stab someone in the face. The quickest solution I can think is a screen saver with a password. It's mildly inconvenient to me, but would stop him from accessing anything. However, I remember how much more I knew about computers than my parents when I was a kid, and I have a feeling he's going to surprise me one day. There's a lot of ways out there to stop it, the way we do it now is to not let him watch anything unless we're there (but there are only so many times I can watch the same kid's movie). How do YOU guys find yourself dealing with the convenience of running your own server while keeping your media safe from prying eyes?"

Comment In the UK, debt collection is pretty easy (Score 3, Informative) 341

Step 1, send an invoice with clear payment terms.

Step 2, send one polite reminder maybe 7 days after the due date.

Step 3, send a Letter Before Action, with a further 7 day deadline (use a firm like thomashiggins.com to turn the legal wheels very cheaply)

Step 4, file a claim in the small claims court (again, thomashiggins.com are very good for this). It may take weeks but you can add interest and all the costs you've incurred.

The few times I've done this (as a consumer) the company has coughed up at some point just before or just after the court papers have gone in. For a truly hopelessly disorganised company this is the only escalation method that works.

The furthest it ever got was with Enterprise car rentals - I had a bailiff threaten to tow one of their vehicles before they would write a cheque.

This is all advice for uncontested debts - obviously if the company has a problem with the debt they may choose to represent themselves and argue the point, but if they were going to do that, they'd probably have engaged you first!

Communications

ITU To Choose Emergency Line For Mobiles: 911, or 112? 354

First time accepted submitter maijc writes "The International Telecommunication Union will determine the standard emergency phone numbers for new generations of mobile phones and other devices. AP reports that member states have agreed that either 911 or 112 should be designated as emergency phone numbers. 911 is currently used in North America, while 112 is standard across the EU and in many other countries worldwide."

Comment Re:No more job security :) (Score 5, Interesting) 343

You do realize that many enterprise storage servers made by companies like IBM, Symantec, EMC, Dell etc. are or have been based on Samba code, right ?

Nah, probably not... :-). After all, you know that only Windows storage servers work with Windows clients don't you :-).

Jeremy

Comment Re:GPLv3 (Score 3, Interesting) 343

/. is not what it was, but then again it never was :-).

I miss the .bruce.perens/bruce.perens/bruce.perens./ wars.. and the "information wants to be wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide" guy :-). And who could forget sig11's "will the real Bruce Perens please stand up" ?

But Tim Potter (old Samba Team member) and I loved the trolls :-).

Jeremy.

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