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Submission + - At the End, Obama Administration Gave NSA Broad New Powers (pjmedia.com) 1

Tulsa_Time writes: This story, from the Jan. 12, 2017, edition of the New York Times, was little-remarked upon at the time, but suddenly has taken on far greater significance in light of current events:

In its final days, the Obama administration has expanded the power of the National Security Agency to share globally intercepted personal communications with the government’s 16 other intelligence agencies before applying privacy protections.

Submission + - Red Hat Container Platform OpenShift Dedicated Launches On Google Cloud

An anonymous reader writes: Red Hat has announced the general availability of OpenShift Dedicated across Google Cloud Platform, bringing the open source container platform as a managed service to customers using Google’s cloud infrastructure. Google product manager Martin Buhr said that the move will help accelerate the adoption of Kubernetes, containers and cloud-native application patterns. Users will be able to access Google’s platform which is already optimised for container technologies. There will also be the added benefit of tapping into Google’s portfolio of products, including data analytics tools, machine learning, compute, network and storage services.

Submission + - 5-Year-Old Critical Linux Vulnerability Patched (threatpost.com)

msm1267 writes: A critical, local code-execution vulnerability in the Linux kernel was patched more than a week ago, continuing a run a serious security issues in the operating system, most of which have been hiding in the code for years.

Details on the vulnerability were published Tuesday by researcher Philip Pettersson, who said the vulnerable code was introduced in August 2011. A patch was pushed to the mainline Linux kernel Dec. 2, four days after it was privately disclosed. Pettersson has developed a proof-of-concept exploit specifically for Ubuntu distributions, but told Threatpost his attack could be ported to other distros with some changes.

The vulnerability is a race condition that was discovered in the af_packet implementation in the Linux kernel, and Pettersson said that a local attacker could exploit the bug to gain kernel code execution from unprivileged processes. He said the bug cannot be exploited remotely.

Submission + - Apache Zeppelin open-source analytics startup reveals new name, fresh funding (networkworld.com)

alphadogg writes: The team behind the Apache Zeppelin open-source notebook for big data analytics visualization has renamed itself ZEPL and announced $4.1M in Series A funding. ZEPL, which swears a certain professional football organization had nothing to do with it ditching its former name (NFLabs), is one of numerous companies smelling blood in the water around Tableau, the $3.5 billion business intelligence and analytics software vendor that has stumbled financially in recent quarters and seen its stock price plummet accordingly.

Submission + - Maximizing economic output with linear programming ... and communism (medium.com)

mkwan writes: Economies are just a collection of processes that convert raw materials and labour into useful goods and services. By representing these processes as a series of equations and solving a humongous linear programming problem, it should be possible to maximize an economy's GDP. The catch? The economy needs to go communist.

Submission + - Sharkey: a service for managing ssh certificates (github.com)

alokmenghrajani writes: Sharkey is our team's intern summer project. We are open sourcing it today.

In the enterprise world, engineers often ssh into hosts for the first time on a daily basis. This trains them to acknowledge the trust on first use prompt on a daily basis. It's even worse when dealing with VMs which get regularly re-imaged/move around.

Sharkey removes the prompt by signing the openssh certificates.

Submission + - Software Freedom Conservancy: Distributing Linux with ZFS is illegal (phoronix.com)

LichtSpektren writes: Phoronix reports that Bradley M. Kuhn and Karen M. Sandler at the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFS) have posted a blog post today arguing that Canonical's plan to distribute Ubuntu 16.04 LTS "Xenial Xerus" with support for the ZFS file system violates the Linux kernel's GPLv2 license.

On February 18, Dustin Kirkland at Canonical wrote on his blog: "We at Canonical have conducted a legal review, including discussion with the industry's leading software freedom legal counsel, of the licenses that apply to the Linux kernel and to ZFS. And in doing so, we have concluded that we are acting within the rights granted and in compliance with their terms of both of those licenses...The CDDL cannot apply to the Linux kernel because zfs.ko is a self-contained file system module — the kernel itself is quite obviously not a derivative work of this new file system. And zfs.ko, as a self-contained file system module, is clearly not a derivative work of the Linux kernel but rather quite obviously a derivative work of OpenZFS and OpenSolaris. Equivalent exceptions have existed for many years, for various other stand alone, self-contained, non-GPL kernel modules. Our conclusion is good for Ubuntu users, good for Linux, and good for all of free and open source software."

The SFS's blog post of today states: "We are sympathetic to Canonical's frustration in this desire to easily support more features for their users. However, as set out below, we have concluded that their distribution of zfs.ko violates the GPL."

Submission + - Gravitational waves spotted for the first time. (sciencemag.org)

NecroBones writes: Long ago, deep in space, two massive black holes—the ultrastrong gravitational fields left behind by gigantic stars that collapsed to infinitesimal points—slowly drew together. The stellar ghosts spiraled ever closer, until, about 1.3 billion years ago, they whirled about each other at half the speed of light and finally merged. The collision sent a shudder through the universe: ripples in the fabric of space and time called gravitational waves. Five months ago, they washed past Earth. And, for the first time, physicists detected the waves, fulfilling a 4-decade quest and opening new eyes on the heavens.

Submission + - Man spanks himself to death

phrackthat writes: Clifford Ray Jones of Detroit died in a Darwin Award worthy fashion. In the ultimate case of distracted driving, he was spanking it to porn on his phone while negotiating a turn on a ramp and rolled his 1996 Toyota. He was partially ejected from his car's sunroof because he wasn't wearing a seat belt. He also wasn't wearing any pants. He died at the scene. Nothing in the story about whether the car was stick(y) shift or automatic. Additional details here.

Submission + - Chicago Professor's P vs. NP Breakthrough? (chicagomag.com) 1

djupedal writes: László Babai, a legendary mathematician and computer scientist at the University of Chicago, seems to have made “potentially the most important theoretical computer science advance in more than a decade."

He has proven that any two networks, no matter how complex, can be compared in “quasi-polynomial time"—not polynomial time, but not bad.

Submission + - Climate change is make the earth spin slower (www.cbc.ca) 1

jfbilodeau writes: With human-caused climate change, we puny creatures are having some powerful effects on our entire planet, including one you might not imagine was possible — making it spin more slowly. The melting of glaciers near the Earth's poles and the resulting rise in sea level is slowing down the Earth's rotation and making each day a little longer, a new study confirms.

Submission + - No More QA: Yahoo's Tech Leaders Say Engineers are Better Off Coding With No Net (ieee.org)

Tekla Perry writes: A year ago Yahoo eliminated its test and quality assurance team, as part of project Warp Drive, its move to continuous delivery of code. The shift wasn't easy, Yahoo tech execs say, and required some "tough parenting." But the result has been fewer errors because "when you have humans everywhere, checking this, checking that, they add so much human error into the chain that, when you take them out, even if you fail sometimes, overall you are doing better.” And the pain wasn't as great as expected. Yahoo's chief architect and SVP of science and technology discuss the transition.

Submission + - Google finds D-Wave machine to be 10^8 times faster than simulated annealing (blogspot.ca)

An anonymous reader writes: From Google Research blog:
We found that for problem instances involving nearly 1000 binary variables, quantum annealing significantly outperforms its classical counterpart, simulated annealing. It is more than 10^8 times faster than simulated annealing running on a single core. We also compared the quantum hardware to another algorithm called Quantum Monte Carlo. This is a method designed to emulate the behavior of quantum systems, but it runs on conventional processors. While the scaling with size between these two methods is comparable, they are again separated by a large factor sometimes as high as 10^8.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Buy or Build a high end gaming PC? 2

An anonymous reader writes: Looking at some Black Friday ads, I'm seeing some good deals on Alienware and other gaming rigs that would be cheaper than building them from scratch. If you built or were to build a high end gaming rig, what would you suggest? Or would you just get a prebuilt system and customize it to your needs? I'm not looking for cheap, I want best quality and performance, but not overkill that would rival supercomputers and at the same time break my bank account. It would be a Windows system to keep my family happy, but possibly dual boot with Linux to keep me happy. It will be located in the livingroom hooked up to a regular monitor and the big screen TV, replacing a budget PC that's in there now.

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