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Science

Bill Nye Explains That the Flooding In Louisiana Is the Result of Climate Change (qz.com) 405

Reader mspohr writes: Our favorite science guy has an interview (and video) in Quartz where he explains how Louisiana flooding is due to climate change:
"As the ocean gets warmer, which it is getting, it expands," Nye explained. "Molecules spread apart, and then as the sea surface is warmer, more water evaporates, and so it's very reasonable that these storms are connected to these big effects."
The article also notes that a National Academy of Sciences issued a report with the same findings: "Scientists from around the world have concurred with Nye that this is exactly what the effects of climate change look like, and that disasters like the Louisiana floods are going to happen more and more. According to a National Academy of Sciences report published earlier this year, extreme flooding can be traced directly to human-induced global warming. As the atmosphere warms, it retains more moisture, leading to bouts of sustained, heavy precipitation that can cause floods."

Desktops (Apple)

Apple Under Tim Cook: More Socially Responsible, Less Visionary (cnn.com) 147

Let's talk about Apple, unarguably one of the most remarkable companies on the face of the earth. (Remarkable doesn't necessarily mean great -- it just means that the company is something worth making a remark). You can like it, or hate it, but you can simply not ignore Apple. But what's the occasion, you ask? It's been five years since Tim Cook took over as Apple CEO. (Editor's note: auto-playing video ahead, which may annoy you) Under his leadership, Apple has grown to become the world's most successful company, doubling the stock price and registering a staggering 84 percent growth in its net worth. Media outlets are abuzz with articles, analysis, and over-analysis of Tim Cook's Apple today. Some excerpts from a CNN article: Apple's culture has changed noticeably, both for the better and the worse. [...] If Jobs put a dent in the universe through Apple's coveted products, Cook is making his mark by highlighting the importance of social efforts: LGBT rights, philanthropy, corporate diversity, renewable energy and improving manufacturing conditions abroad. Under Cook's leadership, Apple finally began matching charitable contributions from employees, which had long been a sore spot for staff. Apple had 110,000 full-time employees as of the end of September 2015, nearly doubling from the 60,400 employees it reported having in September 2011, shortly after Cook took over, according to annual filings with the SEC. [...] There's now a feeling among some Apple insiders that the company is just running the same product playbook that Jobs created in his final years at the helm. "For four or five years, the playbook is the same that's been done," says Amit Sharma, a former Apple exec on the online store team. But, he adds, "just because everybody is looking for new doesn't mean it's not working."

Comment Re:Here's the problem with stereo Bluetooth: (Score 1) 381

Agreed. I've used various Bluetooth headsets and car adapters and *none* of them seem to hold a candle to a regular audio cable.

For in-home speakers, I have a set (actually, more than a set... almost 5) old XtremeMac TangoAir speakers that use Apple's AirPlay for transmission, and the encoding that's done there is oodles better than even the best Bluetooth speaker quality I've heard.

And yeah, anyone who cared about audio quality enough to care about this was probably ripping at 320kbps 15 years ago. I've been slowly going through my CD collection upgrading them to ALAC lossless simply because disk space is beyond not an issue any more. I can't say I can hear the difference on most tracks, but definitely can't on a Bluetooth device.

Comment Re:RHEL - CentOS - Docker (Score 1) 538

We've had that discussion at work, with the pro-RHEL arguing that since prod machines would be RHEL, dev and test machines should be too in order to avoid bad surprises down the road. We even considered having the full-blown hardening done already in dev to make sure our friends the developers didn't do something that wouldn't work in prod. Turns out this approach causes a huge dip in productivity, especially when chasing those mysterious selinux denials. Exciting the first few times because you feel like you're "doing the rigth thing" but soon enough you get a nosebleed just by typing semanage. Ansible helps a lot, but only once you've got the right recipe.

Have you considered SELinux permissive everywhere in dev, with sign-off on QA? Depending on your app, of course, SELinux really does get easier once you get more and more used to it. audit2allow really is your friend... A day of letting your app run in permissive mode, then pipe the audit log for it through the policy maker and factor its needs into a coherent (and meaningful) policy, then just bump that as needed.

semanage can be a pain for booleans, but again it's mostly up-front work and then catching what breaks going forward.

Going back to the topic though, is there a significant difference between RHEL and CentOS in this regard? The vast majority of boxes I run on have been CentOS, but I typically dev on a RHEL in full SELinux enforcing and I haven't really noticed an issue except when there's a delay in a policy making it to the CentOS repos.

Comment Re:Linux is far worse than Microsoft (Score 1) 538

and run systemd as Just Another Daemon, akin to xinetd, supervise, or your cluster management software

This is dangerous, as systemd expects to be PID 1. If it expects to be the root of userspace and isn't, there will probably be complications.

It's better to build a distro without systemd entirely than to try to hack it into pieces without careful planning.

I'm not saying it's impossible, but it will be damn hard if it can be done. Already, the first attempt (by uselessd) has been abandoned.

Among the many other issues with systemd, this sticks out.

Literally the only thing unique about PID 1 as such (besides obviously being the first process launched) is that it gets ownership of double-forked / parentless processes and related signaling. There should be no reason that systemd couldn't function as a standard sub-process, albeit with the reduced functionality of not being able to track processes that intentionally escape.

The general unwillingness to gracefully fall back to reduced functionality when not all the Kool-Aid has been drunken is a fine example of EEE principles in action.

Democrats

FBI Finds 14,900 More Documents From Hillary Clinton's Email Server (go.com) 524

An anonymous reader quotes a report from ABC News: The FBI uncovered nearly 15,000 more emails and materials sent to or from Hillary Clinton as part of the agency's investigation into her use of private email at the State Department. The documents were not among the 30,000 work-related emails turned over to the State Department by her attorneys in December 2014. The State Department confirmed it has received "tens of thousands" of personal and work-related email materials -- including the 14,900 emails found by the FBI -- that it will review. At a status hearing Monday before federal Judge Emmett Sullivan, who is overseeing that case, the State Department presented a schedule for how it would release the emails found by the FBI. The first group of 14,900 emails was ordered released, and a status hearing on Sept. 23 "will determine the release of the new emails and documents," Sullivan said. "As we have previously explained, the State Department voluntarily agreed to produce to Judicial Watch any emails sent or received by Secretary Clinton in her official capacity during her tenure as secretary of state which are contained within the material turned over by the FBI and which were not already processed for FOIA by the State Department," said State Department spokesman Mark Toner in a statement issued Monday. "We can confirm that the FBI material includes tens of thousands of non-record (meaning personal) and record materials that will have to be carefully appraised at State," it read. "State has not yet had the opportunity to complete a review of the documents to determine whether they are agency records or if they are duplicative of documents State has already produced through the Freedom of Information Act" said Toner, declining further comment.

Comment Re:Systemd the distro (Score 1) 538

I think you summarize the problem pretty well. Systemd is a desktop solution for people who essentially want a Macbook.

What would be great? Having systemd only in specialized desktop distributions. Not on servers and not on desktop for power users. Even better: systemd should be a distribution itself, not be a part of other distributions. And it would also have the exclusivity of pulseaudio.

That's exactly it. If this were a GNOME or *DE toolkit focused on providing low level services for desktop environments, it'd be totally fine; well -- more accurately -- I wouldn't care. The problem is that by taking over PID 1 and forcing a paradigm shift or replacement of any number of other utilities, it's in the "core" instead of the desktop. It didn't need to be that way, and shouldn't have been. And if it *had* to, then it should have been a component of a new, forked, modern desktop distribution.

Instead it sucked up Fedora under subterfuge ("It'll be just like the upstart switch except 5.6% awesomer!") and Debian thanks to the bandwagon effect breaking a tie.

Comment My question is: (Score 3, Informative) 162

Have they fixed the rather major defect they introduced by forcing an unconfigurable doze on us all?

Any application which requires the device to remain active (ie. safety applications like marine anchor and AIS alarms) are not functional on Android 6.0+. Even if you add applications to the exception list, they'll still be suspended, and woken only every 15 minutes while dozing.

A simple "do not EVER interfere with this process under any circumstances" option would resolve it, and to be honest it's quite shocking it was ommitted.

Comment Re:Linux is far worse than Microsoft (Score 1) 538

CentOS and RHEL are functionally identical, except for the 12-36h delay in updates and the specifics of update channel management.

That was one of the points I (GP) was trying to make... Looking at just official RHEL subscription numbers doesn't take into account the broader "RedHat-led ecosystem" of releases which are broadly (if not ABI) compatible.

Many orgs pay for RHEL licenses on mission-critical boxes and a sample of their own servers, then run CentOS on fleet boxes. OTOH, people working in densely virtualized environments might consider the hypervisors the critical ones and be willing to pay for them, getting unlimited VM guest licenses for free with it.

Comment Wither LG? Good phones, no market share? (Score 1) 161

They are both scummy companies and shouldn't be trusted. It's Nexus or nothing.

Not sure why you're trusting Google here. Are you disassembling the binaries in your Android operating system*? If not, then you have no idea what Google's doing there to use the sensors you've got strapped to your body 24/7. The only safe smartphone is one that doesn't have sensors at all, and has a physically removable antenna and battery or physical off switches for both.

(*And face it, no body is. Even if, in principle, it's possible, no one is *actually* doing it before use except security researchers.)

Going back to the article, though... I'm surprised LG doesn't have a larger share of the market -- and isn't making more in the way of profit. I've been a fan of their phones since the EnV chiclet keyboard days, up through the touch feature phones, and have had the G2, G3, and G5. They've all for the most part been extremely reliable phones with good feature sets and a camera that's second-to-none at the price point for low light conditions.

Comment Re:Linux is far worse than Microsoft (Score 5, Interesting) 538

There are systemd-free distros of Linux, you know. I can pretty confidently state that it will remain that way unless systemd should start to integrate itself into the kernel.

Well, yes... Most importantly RHEL6 / CentOS6. Those of us using Linux in business/enterprise settings are mostly running that, and that's mostly what we care about. The time limit on that is what we're sweating.

RedHat (Inc.) seems to be undervaluing its Good Will in terms of building an enterprise platform that goes well beyond RHEL subscriptions. EL users don't care about most of the systemd "feature" set (with the possible exception of easy(-ier) cgroup management), since most of the rest either doesn't apply or attempts to re-solve and already mostly-solved problem (eg, service monitoring and restart scripts). The cost is using less mature, less modular, less tested code with more common failure points, which might cover 80% of your needs but makes the other 20% of system customization really, really difficult, because apparently shell scripting is a Sin now.

Oh, and most of your config management that worked pretty similarly between EL5 and EL6 has a *lot* more of a delta to work with EL7.

"Forking Fedora" doesn't seem like it will happen, even though there are fewer and fewer non Kool-Aid drinkers there who think keeping your options open is a good thing.

Do you know what I'd like for EL8? Fork EL6, update all the non-daemon RPM versions to their current Fedora level, and run systemd as Just Another Daemon, akin to xinetd, supervise, or your cluster management software.

We get more reliable and more deterministic startup and shutdown process using the previous initscripts toolset and regular /sbin/init, and those who want the management capabilities of systemd for services can still use it, albeit with it not functioning as PID 1. I'd pay for that.

Debian

Systemd Rolls Out Its Own Mount Tool (phoronix.com) 538

An anonymous Slashdot reader writes: I'm surprised this hasn't surfaced on Slashdot already, but yesterday Phoronix reported that systemd will soon be handling file system mounts, along with all the other stuff that systemd has encompassed. The report generated the usual systemd arguments over on Reddit.com/r/linux with Lennart Poettering, systemd developer and architect, chiming in with a few clarifications.
Lennart argued it will greatly improve the handling of removable media like USB sticks.
The Military

Japan Plans To Build Unmanned Fighter Jets (reuters.com) 117

Slashdot reader It's the tripnaut! quotes an article from Reuters: Japan aims to develop a prototype drone fighter jet in two decades with private sector help in a technology strategy that focuses on weapons communications and lasers, according to a document seen by Reuters... The military technology plan calls for first developing an unmanned surveillance aircraft in the next decade and then an unmanned fighter jet 10 years later, the document showed...

The ministry will also allocate budget funds to acquire an upgraded version of the F-35 stealth fighter, made by U.S. company Lockheed Martin Corp...as tension rises in the East China Sea and North Korea steps up its missile threat, government officials with direct knowledge of the matter said.

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