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Government

Fidel Castro Is Dead (nytimes.com) 269

Striek quotes the New York Times: Fidel Castro, the fiery apostle of revolution who brought the Cold War to the Western Hemisphere in 1959 and then defied the United States for nearly half a century as Cuba's maximum leader, bedeviling 11 American presidents and briefly pushing the world to the brink of nuclear war, died Friday. He was 90. His death was announced by Cuban state television.

In declining health for several years, Mr. Castro had orchestrated what he hoped would be the continuation of his Communist revolution, stepping aside in 2006 when he was felled by a serious illness. He provisionally ceded much of his power to his younger brother Raul, now 85, and two years later formally resigned as president. Raul Castro, who had fought alongside Fidel Castro from the earliest days of the insurrection and remained minister of defense and his brother's closest confidant, has ruled Cuba since then, although he has told the Cuban people he intends to resign in 2018.

Kebertson shares an AP article which remembers a book proclaiming "Castro's Last Hour" -- in 1982. And Miamicanes jokes there'll be celebrations among Castro-haters in Miami, sharing a CNN article which notes that in the end, Castro "lived long enough to see a historic thaw in relations between Cuba and the United States."

Submission + - Google interview process big turn off for experienced engineers (businessinsider.com)

mysterious_mark writes: There's an article in the Business Insider discussing how the interview process at Google is really just geared for recent CS grads, and makes no sense for experienced engineers. Apparently the only criteria to work at Google is one's ability to do white board code problems, actual engineering experience counts for nothing. This may explain why the average engineer at Google is under 30, the problem is partly due to age discrimination, and also because older and more experienced engineers simply don't want to deal with the interview process.
Science

Soylent Halts Sale of Bars; Investigation Into Illnesses Continues (arstechnica.com) 207

Beth Mole, reporting for ArsTechnica:Following online reports of customers becoming ill after eating Soylent's new snack bars, the company announced this afternoon that it has decided to halt all sales and shipments of the bars as a precautionary measure . The company is urging customers to discard remaining bars and will begin e-mailing customers individually regarding refunds. In a blog announcing the decision, the company said it is still investigating the cause of bouts of illnesses of customers linked to the bars, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. "After hearing from our customers, we immediately began investigating the cause of the issue and whether it was linked to a problem with the Bars," the company said. "So far we have not yet identified one and this issue does not appear to affect our other drinks and powder. Though our investigation into this matter continues, we have decided to err on the side of caution and take this preventative step."

Comment Re:Heh, 1 0 0 1 0 0 (Score 1) 89

YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

The Body Electric is Rush at their best. The bass and drums on the intro are instantly recognizable. It's one of several tracks on the Grace Under Pressure album (released in 1984) that showcase the classic Rush sound.

Few rock bands dare to address "heavy" topics, but Rush did it regularly, and with great success. Neal Peart's skill with lyrics is on full display here. Grace Under Pressure included songs about artificial life ("The Body Electric"), the holocaust ("Red Sector A"), and the cold war ("Distant Early Warning"). None are "preachy", and all are quite accessible to mainstream audiences. They all received a good amount of airplay on rock radio.

(Yes, I'm a huge Rush fan, and I'm proud to admit it!)

Censorship

India's Worrying Draft Encryption Policy 114

knwny writes: The government of India is working on a new National Encryption Policy the contents of which have raised a few alarms.Among other things, the policy states that citizens and businesses must save all encrypted messages (including personal or unofficial ones) and their plaintext copies for 90 days and make them available to law enforcement agencies as and when demanded. The policy also specifies that only the government of India shall define the algorithms and key sizes for encryption in India. The policy is posted on this website.
Advertising

Editor-in-Chief of the Next Web: Adblockers Are Immoral 618

lemur3 writes: Hot on the heels of the recent implementation of Canvas Ads (allowing advertisers to use the full page) Martin Bryant, the Editor-in-Chief of The Next Web, wrote a piece that, ostensibly, calls out mobile carriers in Europe for offering ad blocking as a service. He writes: "Display ads are still an important bread-and-butter income stream. Taking delight in denying publishers that revenue shows either sociopathic tendencies or ignorance of economic realities." While referring to those using ad blocking as sociopathic is likely not to win many fans, this mindset seems to be prevalent in certain circles, as discussed previously on Slashdot. Martin closes his piece with a warning: "For all their sins, ads fuel much of the Web. Cut them out and you're strangling the diversity of online voices and publishers – and I don't think consumers really want that."

Comment Re:libressl-2.1.3 (Score 1) 97

Just because one compiler for one platform fails to support a popular C extension doesn't mean the library isn't portable.

Except that the one platform is Windows, which accounts for the vast majority of desktop PC's and laptops, and a significant chunk of servers. And the one compiler is the standard for Windows, used by the vast majority of Windows developers.

You don't have to like this, but it is the truth.

In my opinion, any software that can't compile on Windows using the native toolchain doesn't qualify as "portable". That doesn't make it bad software. It just isn't "portable" software.

Comment Re:libressl-2.1.3 (Score 1) 97

libressl supports pretty much any unix-like OS

Oh good, both Country and Western.

I know there's a guy working on Windows support as well.

Let me know what the guy working on Windows support actually gets it working. Until then it doesn't count. And by "working", I mean working with the Microsoft toolchain, which like it or not, is the official and most widely used toolchain for Windows.

Comment Re:libressl-2.1.3 (Score 5, Insightful) 97

libressl is NOT portable. Supporting BSD and Linux is not the definition of "portable" (see also: "We play both types of music: Country and Western"). The libressl code depends on the non-standard #include_next preprocessor directive, so it can only build with GCC (and probably clang, which emulates many GCC-isms). Forget about building on Windows using Microsoft's C compiler.

OpenSSL remains the only portable SSL library that can be used by both open source and commercial developers alike. Which is really a shame, because OpenSSL sucks. All the bad things the libressl people have said about OpenSSL are absolutely true.

Communications

The Slow Death of Voice Mail 237

HughPickens.com writes: Duane D. Stanford reports at Bloomberg that Coca-Cola's Atlanta Headquarters is the latest big company to ditch its old-style voice mail, which requires users to push buttons to scroll through messages and listen to them one at a time. The change went into effect this month, and a standard outgoing message now throws up an electronic stiff arm, telling callers to try later or use "an alternative method" to contact the person. Techies have predicted the death of voice mail for years as smartphones co-opt much of the office work once performed by telephones and desktop computers. Younger employees who came of age texting while largely ignoring voice mail are bringing that habit into the workforce. "People north of 40 are schizophrenic about voice mail," says Michael Schrage. "People under 35 scarcely ever use it." Companies are increasingly combining telephone, e-mail, text and video systems into unified Internet-based systems that eliminate overlap. "Many people in many corporations simply don't have the time or desire to spend 25 minutes plowing through a stack of 15 to 25 voice mails at the end or beginning of the day," says Schrage.

In 2012, Vonage reported its year-over-year voicemail volumes dropped 8%. More revealing, the number of people bothering to retrieve those messages plummeted 14%. More and more personal and corporate voicemail boxes now warn callers that their messages are rarely retrieved and that they're better off sending emails or texts. "The truly productive have effectively abandoned voicemail, preferring to visually track who's called them on their mobiles," concludes Schrage. "A communications medium that was once essential has become as clunky and irrelevant as Microsoft DOS and carbon paper."
Google

Spanish Media Group Wants Gov't Help To Keep Google News In Spain 191

English-language site The Spain Report reports that Google's response to mandated payments for linking to and excerpting from Spanish news media sources — namely, shutting down Google News in Spain — doesn't sit well with Spanish Newspaper Publishers' Association, which issued a statement [Thursday] night saying that Google News was "not just the closure of another service given its dominant market position," recognising that Google's decision "will undoubtedly have a negative impact on citizens and Spanish businesses. Given the dominant position of Google (which in Spain controls almost all of the searches in the market and is an authentic gateway to the Internet), AEDE requires the intervention of Spanish and community authorities, and competition authorities, to effectively protect the rights of citizens and companies." Irene Lanzaco, a spokeswoman for AEDE, told The Spain Report by telephone that "we're not asking Google to take a step backwards, we've always been open to negotiations with Google" but, she said: "Google has not taken a neutral stance. Of course they are free to close their business, but one thing is the closure of Google News and quite another the positioning in the general index." Asked if the newspaper publishers' association had received any complaints from its members since Wednesday's announcement by Google, Mrs. Lanzaco refused to specify, but said: "Spanish publishers talk to AEDE constantly."

Comment Re:Thank you! (Score 2, Interesting) 125

... check out OpenBSD before checking out FreeBSD, and I cannot stress this enough. FreeBSD developers don't use their own operating system; they run it in a Virtual machine on their Macs, and it shows.

Citation needed.

Suspend/resume has been broken there since 2008, and drivers for any recent Intel graphics adapter will not run (you cannot switch from Xorg to a console and back) properly.

Yeah, it can suck to run a server-focused OS on a desktop/laptop.

FreeBSD devs do not care about their OS

This is objectively false. Any devs working for free must care, of they'd hack on something else. Any devs being paid must have an employer who cares. The problem is that the people hacking/funding FreeBSD don't care about the same parts of the system that you do.

Comment Re:are the debian support forums down? (Score 3, Informative) 286

... the way systemd has turned into something similar to the bloated beast that is the Windows 'svchost.exe' ...

+1 to the anti-systemd sentiment.

-1 to using svchost.exe to make your case. svchost is just a container process. The real issue is the Windows architecture/philosophy that encourages a proliferation of services.

(I like Unix and I like Windows. Each has their place. Trying to turn one into the other is a big mistake.)

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