jones_supa writes: Finland is a hard place to find work. There are many who spend months on end sending out applications, networking, cold calling offices, and walking straight up to workplaces to ask what jobs are available. Most will turn you away, but eventually you might get the one "yes" you are looking for. After living in Finland for six months, a blogger called Hungry Gizmo did an experiment of applying to 500 positions selected from the Ministry of Labour's job board. A pie chart shows the results of the first half of the applications: 17.5% negative response, 1.7% positive response, 0.4% interview invitation, 0.0% job, 80.3% no response. He got four interviews. One of them was a scam. Two others simply didn't work out. But with the last one, albeit not in his field, he was working. However, the experiment should be taken with a grain of salt: the applications were sent to random targets, so many of them had little to no realistic chance of being accepted. Link to Original Source
jones_supa writes: BBC reports that because of heavy rains across Europe, some towns in central France are suffering their severest floods in decades. In Paris the river Seine continues to rise, prompting the closure of a metro line running through the city centre. Rail operator SNCF announced the closure of the RER C line, which runs alongside the river in central Paris. Emergency barriers are being put up along Seine, which burst its banks in places. Louvre, the most-visited museum in the world, is closing on Friday as a precaution. Another major attraction, the Musee d'Orsay, is also shutting its doors early on Thursday. About 25,000 people are without power in Paris and central France. In Nemours, 3,000 people have been evacuated from the town centre. The Loing river, a tributary of the Seine, now has levels not seen since the devastating floods of 1910. The list of disastrous events goes on. Baltimore Sun has a photo collection of the situation.
jones_supa writes: Finnish brewery Laitilan Wirvoitusjuomatehdas, the producer of the first gluten-free full-malt beer in the world, shipped the first delivery of its famous Kukko Pils to the United States in April. Around 20,000 litres of Kukko Pils arrived in Texas in May and immediately made its way into the hearts of thirsty people. "Every bottle that was placed on the shelves of the stores were sold out in one day. The whole batch hasn't been sold out yet, but it looks good anyway," says Rami Aarikka, the CEO of the brewery to Finnish daily Turun Sanomat. The brewery believes that the strong gluten-free and low-gluten trend in the US will boost demand for its gluten-free beer.
jones_supa writes: A 36-page report from Duo Security reveals the sorry state of security regarding laptop OEM bloatware, those programs that are usually called helper utilities or driver updaters, but most of the times referenced just as crapware, which come built-in with your newly purchased PC laptop. Despite the facts that OEM software is often low quality and a mere annoyance for a lot of people, manufacturers keep shipping it, year after year. The Duo team took a closer look from a security perspective, and found that the bundled software is also riddled with a large number of security problems that sometimes lead to the attacker taking over the computer. Duo adds that only a few vendors have clue on how to properly implement TLS encryption. As a positive surprise, Lenovo has recently improved the overall security of the Lenovo Solution Center, and the software faired generally well in the study. More details and in-depth analysis of all the security bugs that the Duo team discovered can be found in the company's Out-of-Box Exploitation: A Security Analysis of OEM Updaters (PDF) report.
jones_supa writes: Yonhap reports that to according to Japanese media, a possible ballistic missile launch by North Korea is in preparation and a launch might be imminent. South Korea is monitoring the situation closely and is prepared for any kind of provocation from North. NHK reported that the Japanese government has also ordered its military to be ready to intercept any ballistic missile. Under the order, Japan's military will deploy Aegis destroyers equipped with high-performing radars and intercept capabilities along with ground-based interception missile troops in a bid to step up surveillance. Kyodo News also reported that signs have been detected that the North is preparing a missile launch which it speculated might be a Musudan intermediate-range missile. North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test in January, followed by test launches of many types of missiles. In April, the North attempted to fire a Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile three times, but all of them failed.
jones_supa writes: Microsoft has recently announced a new round of job layoffs at its Mobile unit in Finland, as it moves forward with its restructuring and reorganization plan following the acquisition of Nokia's Devices and Services unit. The Finnish government has criticized Microsoft for turning to more job cuts in the country, pointing out that the company has a huge responsibility to help those who are being let go. Microsoft's latest job cut round included 1,850 people, 1,350 of which are said to be working in Finland. "I am disappointed because of the (initial) promises made by Microsoft," Finance Minister Alexander Stubb was quoted as saying by Reuters. "One example is that the data center did not materialize despite the company's promise." He refers to Microsoft's promise in 2013 to invest $250 million in a data center located in Finland that was specifically meant to provide services to European customers. All of these worries are not unfounded as the employment situation in Finland is still quite terrible, and the decline of Nokia's former phone business certainly excarberates the situation.
jones_supa writes: Investigators in France have raided Google's Paris headquarters amid a probe over the company's tax payments, Reuters reported. The French Finance Ministry is investigating €1.6 billion in back taxes. According to a report in French daily Le Parisien, at least 100 investigators are part of the raid at Google's offices. A source close to the finance ministry said that the raid at Google's offices has been ongoing in Tuesday since 03:00 GMT. In February, a source at the French Finance Ministry told Reuters that the government was seeking the €1.6B from Google. At the time, official spokespeople for Google France and the Finance Ministry refused to comment on the situation.
jones_supa writes: The tiny nation of Rwanda is pursuing a local technological revolution in a bid to transform its largely agrarian society into the equivalent of an African Singapore. After a genocide claimed as many as 800,000 lives and cut economic output in half, President Paul Kagame has led his Rwandan Patriotic Front to power in 1994, and the nation has invested in its ICT industry. The goal is for Rwanda to become a middle-income economy by 2020. The latest innovation was unveiled this week when the nation officially opened a methane-fired power plant on Lake Kivu to generate clean energy. The government's commitment to technological innovation has helped double the industry's contribution to the 1.53 trillion-franc ($1.97 billion) economy. The country has rolled out a national high-speed fiber-optic backbone in all 30 districts, while 4G LTE extends to 14 districts with plans to cover 95% of the population by 2017. During last week's World Economic Forum on Africa, which Rwanda hosted, the government announced plans for an "innovation city" in Kigali that will seek to attract and house technology companies and institutions to promote digital transformation in the country.
jones_supa writes: In a refreshing turn, Japan's economy grew at an annualized rate of 1.7% in the first quarter of 2016, easily beating expectations of a 0.3% rise. Rising Gross Domestic Product reverses a contraction in the fourth quarter of 2015 and means Japan has avoided another technical recession, defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth. The faster than expected pace of growth suggests the Japanese economy is managing to shake off the effects of a slowdown in China and a stronger yen — at least for now — with domestic demand having more momentum than previously thought. Robust growth data are likely to mean a smaller fiscal stimulus by the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which was poised to act if the data had been bad.
jones_supa writes: The storage services provider Backblaze has released its reliability report for Q1/2016 covering cumulative failure rates of mechanical hard disk drives by specific model numbers and by manufacturer. The company noted that as of this quarter, its 60,000 drives have cumulatively spun for over one billion hours (100,000 years). Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST) is the clear leader here, with an annual failure rate of just 1% for three years running. The second position is also taken by a Japanese company: Toshiba. Third place goes to Western Digital (WD), with the company's ratings having improved in the past year. Seagate comes out the worst, though it is suspected that much of that rating was warped by the company's crash-happy 3TB drive (WD30EFRX). Backblaze notes that 4 TB drives continue to be the sweet spot for building out its storage pods, but that it might move to 6, 8, or 10 TB drives as the price on the hardware comes down.
jones_supa writes: The United States military is bringing a number of F-15C fighter jets to Finland for joint exercises with the country's armed forces, which kick off as we speak. This is the first time that US military aircraft have engaged in such large scale maneuvers in Finland, even though the exercise would considered trivial by US standards. Between six to eight McDonnell Douglas F-15C Eagle aircraft and up to 100 servicemen from the US Oregon Air National Guard will take part in the joint air exercises, which include education and training operations. The exercises are organized by Karelian Air Command in Rissala, in eastern Finland. "Cooperation with the US is close and our cooperation on a practical level has been and will continue to remain tight," Mika Varvikko of Finland's Ministry of Defense told the national broadcaster YLE. In Finland, the arrival of the US military has stirred mixed reactions, with a number of advocates of the time-tested non-alignment policy threatening to organize protests.
jones_supa writes: In the Linux Kernel Mailing List, Jens Axboe has issued a patchset to address a long-time problem of the kernel not handling background buffered writeback smoothly. Instead of working in the background, the current architecture can actually hamper other tasks and interactivity greatly. Axboe gives an example of running the command dd if=/dev/zero of=foo bs=1M count=10k and trying to start Chrome at the same time. The web browser basically won't start before the buffered writeback is done. On server oriented workloads, an installation of a big software package can adversely impact database reads or sync writes. The new patchset adds some simple blk-wb code that keeps limits how much buffered writeback we keep in flight on the device end. Jens Axboe welcomes testing of the improvements. If you are sick of Linux bogging down when buffered writes are happening, then this is for you, laptop or server.
jones_supa writes: One of the reasons why someone might have a laptop to be able to do things like use it on battery, and power consumption is an important part of that. Intel Skylake CPU architecture continues the trend from Haswell of moving to an System on Chip -type model where clock and power domains are shared between components that were previously entirely independent. This means that the system cannot enter deep power saving states unless multiple components all have the correct power management configuration. Well, on Linux they do not, finds out Matthew Garrett. The deepest power saving state he can get into is PC3, despite Skylake supporting PC8. Because of this, he estimates using about 40% more power than should be necessary. Nobody seems to know what needs to be done to fix this, and public documentation on the power management dependencies on Skylake is missing.
jones_supa writes: Depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy US$1 trillion each year. However, a new study led by World Health Organization finds that every dollar invested in scaling up treatment for depression and anxiety leads to a return of four dollars in better health and ability to work. The study, published in The Lancet Psychiatry (PDF), provides a strong argument for boosting investments in mental health services in countries of all income levels. The new study calculated treatment costs and health outcomes in 36 low-, middle- and high-income countries for the 15 years from 2016-2030. The estimated costs of scaling up treatment, primarily psychosocial counselling and antidepressant medication, amounted to US$ 147 billion. Yet the returns far outweigh the costs. A 5% improvement in labour force participation and productivity is valued at US$ 399 billion, and improved health adds another US$ 310 billion in returns.