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Submission + - The Common Core Costs Billions and Hurts Students (nytimes.com)

schwit1 writes: Six years after the release of our first national standards, the Common Core, and the new federal tests that accompanied them, it seems clear that the pursuit of a national curriculum is yet another excuse to avoid making serious efforts to reduce the main causes of low student achievement: poverty and racial segregation.

The people who wrote the Common Core standards sold them as a way to improve achievement and reduce the gaps between rich and poor, and black and white. But the promises haven’t come true. Even in states with strong common standards and tests, racial achievement gaps persist. Last year, average math scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress declined for the first time since 1990; reading scores were flat or decreased compared with a decade earlier.

Submission + - Docker Images To Be Based On Alpine Linux (brianchristner.io)

Tenebrousedge writes: Docker container sizes continue a race to the bottom with a couple of environments weighing in at less than 10MB. Following on the heels of this week's story regarding small images based on Alpine Linux, it appears that the official Docker images will be moving from Debian/Ubuntu to Alpine Linux in the near future. How low will they go?

Submission + - Coin toss broke 6 Clinton-Sanders deadlocks in Iowa - and Hillary won each time (marketwatch.com)

schwit1 writes: While it was hard to call a winner between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders last night, it's easy to say who was luckier.

The race between the Democrat presidential hopefuls was so tight in the Iowa caucus Monday that in at least six precincts, the decision on awarding a county delegate came down to a coin toss. And Clinton won all six, media reports said.

Submission + - Some e-mails from Ms. Clinton's private server "too damaging for release"

mi writes: The intelligence community has now deemed some of Hillary Clinton’s emails “too damaging" to national security to release under any circumstances, according to a U.S. government official close to the ongoing review. A second source, who was not authorized to speak on the record, backed up the finding.

One wonders, what possible new damage can occur now from releasing them, if — as we were told — foreign spies have "almost certainly" already read it all anyway?

Submission + - Bitcoin Inventor Satoshi Nakamoto Nominated for Nobel Prize

HughPickens.com writes: Nobel Prizes are given for making important — preferably fundamental — breakthroughs in the realm of ideas and that just what Satoshi Nakamoto has done according to Bhagwan Chowdhry, a professor of finance at UCLA, who has nominated Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin, for a Nobel prize in economics. Chowdhry writes that Prize Committee for the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, popularly known as the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, has invited Chowdhry to nominate someone for the 2016 Prize and he started thinking about whose ideas are likely to have a disruptive influence in the twenty first century. "The invention of bitcoin — a digital currency — is nothing short of revolutionary," says Chowdhry. "It offers many advantages over both physical and paper currencies. It is secure, relying on almost unbreakable cryptographic code, can be divided into millions of smaller sub-units, and can be transferred securely and nearly instantaneously from one person to any other person in the world with access to internet bypassing governments, central banks and financial intermediaries." Satoshi Nakamoto's Bitcoin Protocol has also spawned exciting innovations in the FinTech space by showing how many financial contracts — not just currencies — can be digitized, securely verified and stored, and transferred instantaneously from one party to another.

There's only one problem. Who is Satoshi Nakamoto? Suppose that the Nobel Committee is convinced that Satoshi Nakamoto deserves the Prize. Now the problem it will face is how to contact him to announce that he has won the Prize. According to Chowdhry, Nakamoto can be informed by contacting him online just the same way people have communicated with him in the past and he has anonymously communicated with the computer science and cryptography community. If he accepts the award, he can verifiably communicate his acceptance. Finally, there is the issue of the Prize money. Nakamoto is already in possession of several hundred million U.S. dollars worth of bitcoins so the additional prize money may not mean much to him. "Only if he wants, the committee could also transfer the prize money to my bitcoin address, 165sAHBpLHujHbHx2zSjC898oXEz25Awtj," concludes Chowdhry. "Mr Nakamoto and I will settle later."

Submission + - Why It Was Easier to Be Skinny in the 1980s 2

schwit1 writes: A new study finds that people today who eat and exercise the same amount as people 20 years ago are still fatter.

A study published recently in the journal Obesity Research & Clinical Practice found that it's harder for adults today to maintain the same weight as those 20 to 30 years ago did, even at the same levels of food intake and exercise. The authors examined the dietary data of 36,400 Americans between 1971 and 2008 and the physical activity data of 14,419 people between 1988 and 2006. They grouped the data sets together by the amount of food and activity, age, and BMI.

They found a very surprising correlation: A given person, in 2006, eating the same amount of calories, taking in the same quantities of macronutrients like protein and fat, and exercising the same amount as a person of the same age did in 1988 would have a BMI that was about 2.3 points higher. In other words, people today are about 10 percent heavier than people were in the 1980s, even if they follow the exact same diet and exercise plans.

Submission + - Linus Torvalds Isn't Looking 10 years Ahead for Linux and That's OK (eweek.com)

darthcamaro writes: At the Linuxcon conference in Seattle today, Linus Torvalds responded to questions about Linux security and about the next 10 years of Linux. For security, Torvalds isn't too worried as he sees it just being about dealing with bugs. When it comes to having a roadmap he's not worried either as he just leaves that to others.

"I'm a very plodding, pedestrian person and look only about six months ahead," Torvalds said. "I look at the current release and the next one, as I don't think planning 10 years ahead is sane."


Submission + - Russia and China crack encrypted Snowden files. Britain responds

garyisabusyguy writes: According to Sunday Times:
RUSSIA and China have cracked the top-secret cache of files stolen by the fugitive US whistleblower Edward Snowden, forcing MI6 to pull agents out of live operations in hostile countries, according to senior officials in Downing Street, the Home Office and the security services.
http://www.thesundaytimes.co.u...

And this non-paywalled Reuters version:
http://www.reuters.com/article...

MI6 has decided that it is too dangerous to operate in Russia or China. This removes intelligence capabilities that have existed throughout the Cold War, and which may have helped to prevent a 'hot' nuclear war.

Have the actions of Snowden, and, apparently, the use of weak encryption, made the world less safe?

Submission + - Hacking of Federal Security Forms Much Worse Than Originally Thought

HughPickens.com writes: Adam Chandler writes in The Atlantic that last week it was revealed that all of the data on Standard Form 86— filled out by millions of current and former military and intelligence workers— is now believed to be in the hands of Chinese hackers. Form 86 requires that an applicant disclose everything from mental illnesses, financial interests, and bankruptcy issues to any brush with the law and major or minor drug and alcohol use. The application also requires a thorough listing of an applicant’s family members, associates, or former roommates so hackers may have troves of personal data about Americans with highly sensitive jobs, but also the contacts or family members of American intelligence employees living abroad who could potentially be targeted for coercion. At its worst, this cyberbreach also provides a basic roster of every American with a security clearance. "That makes it very hard for any of those people to function as an intelligence officer,” says Joel Brenner. “The database also tells the Chinese an enormous amount of information about almost everyone with a security clearance. That's a gold mine. It helps you approach and recruit spies."

Meanwhile the number of current and former federal employees compromised has ballooned from 4 million to as many as 14 million. The scope of the breach is remarkable, experts say, because the personnel office apparently learned little from earlier government data breaches like the WikiLeaks case and the surveillance revelations by Edward J. Snowden, both of which involved unencrypted data. “This is potentially devastating from a counterintelligence point of view,” concludes Brenner.

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