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Submission + - The 32-Bit Dog Ate 16 Million Kids' CS Homework

theodp writes: Tech backed-Code.org explains in a blog post that it encountered technical difficulties Friday that temporarily made the work of 16 million K-12 students who have used the nonprofit's Code Studio offering disappear. Code.org CTO Jeremy Stone gave the kids an impromptu lesson on the powers of two with his explanation of why The Cloud ate their homework: "This morning, at 9:19 am PST, coding progress by students stopped saving on Code Studio, and the issue briefly brought the Code Studio site down. We brought the site back up shortly thereafter but student progress was still not being saved, and instead students saw an outdated message about the Hour of Code from December. [...] The way we store student coding activity is in a table that until today had a 32-bit index. What this means is that the database table could only store 4 billion rows of coding activity information. We didn’t realize we were running up to the limit, and the table got full. We have now made a new student activity table that is storing progress by students. With the new table, we are switching to a 64-bit index which will hold up to 18 quintillion rows of information. On the plus side, this new table will be able to store student coding information for millions of years. On the down side, until we’ve moved everything over to the new table, some students’ code from before today may temporarily not appear, so please be patient with us as we fix it."

Submission + - Microsoft to integrate VR directly into Windows 10

SmartAboutThings writes: Microsoft is preparing to set a new operating system standard and revolutionize the tech industry once again. The latest Windows 10 Creators Update build features a Holographic entry on the main page of Settings. This suggest that Microsoft has kicked off the transition to VR. We believe this is only the beginning and the Redstone 3 OS will be centered around VR, just as the Creators Update OS is centered around 3D.

Submission + - It Takes a Village to Produce Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook Page

theodp writes: Q. How many Facebook employees does it take to produce Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook page? A. More than a dozen! CNET's Ian Sherr offers his take on the news that Facebook has a team that handles Mark Zuckerberg's page: "Ever notice the photos, videos and posts on the profile page for Facebook's CEO are a lot nicer looking or better written than yours? Don't feel bad. Mark Zuckerberg has a team of people who are increasingly managing his public persona, according to a Wednesday report from Bloomberg Businessweek. Not only do they help write speeches and posts, but they also take photographs of his family and his travels, interspersing them with infographics about the company's user growth and sales. There're even people who delete harassing comments and spam for him. A Facebook spokeswoman said the company's service is an easy way for executives to connect with people." Wonder how many people it took to help craft the latest post, in which Zuck fired back at "some misleading stories going around" about "some land" he purchased in Hawaii (which another Zuck post noted also serves as a petting zoo of sorts for his daughter).

Submission + - Quimitchin: The First Mac Malware of 2017 Arrives

wiredmikey writes: Security researchers have a uncovered a Mac OS based espionage malware they have named "Quimitchin". The malware is what they consider to be "the first Mac malware of 2017" which appears to be a classic espionage tool. While it has some old code and appears to have existed undetected for some time, it works.

It was discovered when an IT admin noticed unusual traffic coming from a particular Mac, and has been seen infecting Macs at biomedical facilities.

Submission + - Facebook's 2016 EEO-1 Diversity Report Still MIA on MLK Day

theodp writes: EEO-1 reports for 2016 were due to be submitted to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by 9-30-2016. So, it's not too surprising that Microsoft, Apple, and Google have gotten around to posting theirs to company diversity sites, albeit with footnotes urging visitors not to pay much heed to the government-mandated raw numbers and to instead trust the tech company-provided as-seen-in-How-to-Lie-With-Statistics percentages. Move-fast-and-break-things Facebook, on the other hand, is still dragging its feet on disclosing its numbers. For all its talk of making the world more open and transparent, Facebook had to be dragged kicking-and-screaming to the EEO-1 disclosure table. Last year, Facebook didn't see fit to reveal its 2015 EEO-1 report until July 2016 (and oddly did so with a no-copy-and-paste-allowed .png), with a mea culpa for its lack of improved numbers and a $15 million pledge to Mark Zuckerberg-backed Code.org to make U.S. kids more CS-savvy. To be fair to (legally) H-1B visa-dependent Facebook, its Black employees may actually make up a higher percentage of U.S.-born (vs. U.S. payroll-based) Facebook employees than 1.72%, although one doesn't imagine Facebook — or Google or Microsoft or Apple for that matter — will be using that defense and voluntarily disclosing those numbers anytime soon.

Submission + - Most Common Passwords Used in 2016 (securityweek.com)

wiredmikey writes: Weak and commonly used passwords have long been one of the most used venues to compromise online accounts, yet people continue to utilize these incredibly weak password choices. What's scary, is that according to a new report compiled after the analysis of 10 million passwords leaked from data breaches, the top 25 most popular passwords are used to secure more than 50% of accounts. Sadly, this trend is not new, and continues to show how stupid people can be when it comes to passwords.

Specifically, the report (PDF) reveals that 123456, 123456789, qwerty, 12345678, and 111111 were the five most used passwords in 2016, as per analysis by security firm Keeper Security.

Submission + - Google-Funded ALA Project Envisions Nation's Librarians Teaching Kids to Code

theodp writes: Citing the need to fill "500,000 current job openings in the field of computer science," the American Library Association (ALA) argues in a new whitepaper (pdf) that "all 115,000 of the nation’s school and public libraries are crucial community partners to guarantee youth have skills essential to future employment and civic participation." As such, the ALA's Google-funded Libraries Ready to Code (RtC) project has entered Phase II, which aims to "equip MLIS [Master's in Library Science] students to deliver coding programs through public and school libraries and foster computational thinking skills among the nation’s youth." The RtC Phase II timeline (pdf) calls for a review of “lessons learned for national strategy” in Q4 of this year. "Particular attention will be paid to addressing challenges and opportunities for underrepresented groups in CS and related fields (e.g., Hispanic, Native American, African American, and girls)," explained the ALA. “Libraries play a vital role in our communities, and Google is proud to build on our partnership with ALA," added Hai Hong, who leads US outreach on Google's K-12 Education team. “We're excited to double down on the findings of Ready to Code 1 by equipping librarians with the knowledge and skills to cultivate computational thinking and coding skills in our youth. Given the ubiquity of technology and the half-a-million unfilled tech jobs in the country, we need to ensure that all youth understand the world around them and have the opportunity to develop the essential skills that employers — and our nation's economy — require.”

Submission + - Did President Obama Pad the K-12 Computer Science for All Bill by $3.6 Billion? 1

theodp writes: Back in January, President Obama's announcement of his $4 billion Computer Science for All initiative drew kudos from Microsoft, Facebook, Google, and tech-backed Code.org. But the President's budget request fell on deaf Congressional ears, so now it looks like Plan B for CS for All is Trump bucks. K-12 CS presents a trillion-dollar opportunity for America, suggest Code.org CEO Hadi Partovi and COO Cameron Wilson in a LinkedIn post that drew an 'amen' from LinkedIn chairman and Code.org Gold Supporter Reid Hoffman. In the "memo from @codeorg to @realDonaldTrump", Partovi and Wilson appeal to Trump's aversion to $4B projects, saying the President-elect can forget about that outrageous Obama budget request. "Provide federal funding for K-12 schools to teach computer science," the pair urge Trump. "Every school should teach computer science. President Obama suggested that this is a $4B problem. As a nonprofit that has been addressing this problem at a national scale for years, we disagree. A simple analysis shows the true cost is closer to $400M, as a one-time expense that could be spread over 4 years" (the Code.org execs also call for Trump to slash interest rates on student loans for CS majors). So, how much money would really be needed to provide "CS for All" for the nation's 55+ million K-12 students?

Comment Re:Whoah there (Score 1) 22

But in saying it this way, you're attempting to imply you can provide evidence. And I am simply pointing out that there is no reason to even consider that this is a possibility. Don't tell me you will do it later, because that's irrelevant. It's no different than saying nothing at all, or even saying "I have no evidence" or "I cannot provide evidence." They are all exactly equivalent in the end, except that the other methods do not have the implication that you might actually provide the evidence, despite you not giving us a reason to believe that, so it smacks of dishonesty.

Just say nothing at all, unless you have something to contribute. You'll be better off.

Comment Re:It's the media's fault (Score 1) 22

If not for you, then it's not difficult for anybody.

I make no claims about what is not hard for others. I do assert that most people do not do it, regardless of how hard it is.

In this case blaming the media is just doing the democrats' dirty work ...

Yawn. I am uninterested of your characterizations. Either actually make an argument against what I wrote, or do not. So far, you have not.

We all have the same power to turn our backs. You're not that special.

You are not, in any way, arguing against what I wrote.

In theory humans can make the choice.

Of course they can. So? Again: this, in no way whatsoever, implies that the media is not to blame. It just means that we have the power to ignore their bad behavior. But it's still their bad behavior. They are still to blame for it. Obviously.

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