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Submission + - Book torrent released before its release date: Linux C Programming 1

internet-redstar writes: Before its release date, the book "Linux C Programming" is available for download in its DRM-free format through bittorrent.
Author, Jasper Nuyens, a Linux veteran was asked about his feelings. "Well, this is a strange situation", he replied, "like the movie from Quentin Tarantino, it is occurring more and more that works are distributed online even before they are available for purchase through the normal sales channels".

The author, however indicated that he isn't that sad with this event. "I don't make my living from selling books. If more people attend our courses based upon the books, than that's great, if more learn to program in C on Linux, that's great too." Mr. Tarantino might not share his feelings, but in the music industry too, some artists shift away their focus from selling CDs to selling tickets for their performances.

"Maybe a similar model is possible for book distribution", Mr Nuyens continued. He added that he will not be taking steps against further distribution of his book. "The sharing through BitTorrent of the book actually helps its distribution, so I don't see it as a bad thing at all."

Here is the magnet link:

Submission + - Sweden's Cash-Free Future Looms - and Not Everyone is Happy About It writes: Liz Alderman writes in the NYT that bills and coins now represent just 2 percent of Sweden’s economy, compared with 7.7 percent in the United States and 10 percent in the euro area and this year only about 20 percent of all consumer payments in Sweden have been made in cash, compared with an average of 75 percent in the rest of the world. “Sweden has always been at the forefront of technology, so it’s easy to embrace this,” said Jacob de Geer, a founder of iZettle, which makes a mobile-powered card reader. In Sweden parishioners text tithes to their churches, homeless street vendors carry mobile credit-card readers, and even the Abba Museum, despite being a shrine to the 1970s pop group that wrote “Money, Money, Money,” considers cash so last-century that it does not accept bills and coins. "We don’t want to be behind the times by taking cash while cash is dying out,” says Bjorn Ulvaeus, a former Abba member who has leveraged the band’s legacy into a sprawling business empire, including the museum.

But not everyone is pleased with the process. Remember, Sweden is the place where, if you use too much cash, banks call the police because they think you might be a terrorist or a criminal. Swedish banks have started removing cash ATMs from rural areas, annoying old people and farmers. Credit Suisse says the rule of thumb in Scandinavia is: "If you have to pay in cash, something is wrong." Sweden’s embrace of electronic payments has alarmed consumer organizations and critics who warn of a rising threat to privacy and increased vulnerability to sophisticated Internet crimes. Last year, the number of electronic fraud cases surged to 140,000, more than double the amount a decade ago, according to Sweden’s Ministry of Justice. Older adults and refugees in Sweden who use cash may be marginalized, critics say, and young people who use apps to pay for everything or take out loans via their mobile phones risk falling into debt. “It might be trendy,” says Bjorn Eriksson, a former director of the Swedish police force and former president of Interpol. “But there are all sorts of risks when a society starts to go cashless.”

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: State-of-the-Art In Amateur Book Scanning?

An anonymous reader writes: I have a shelf full of books and other book-like things ranging from old to very old that I would like to turn into PDFs (or other similarly portable format), and have been on a slow-burn quest for the right hardware and method to do so on a budget. These are mostly sentimental — things handed down over generations, and they include family bibles, notebooks, and photo albums, as well as some conventional — published, bound — books from the late 19th and early 20th Century. None of them are especially valuable as antiques, as far as I know; my goals in preserving them are a) to make them available to other people in my family who are into geneology, and b) so I can read some of those old, interesting books (et cetera) without endangering them. I was intrigued by the (funded, but not yet available) scanner mentioned earlier this year on Slashdot; it seems to do a lot of things right, but like any crowdfunded project, the proof is in the pudding, and the pudding hasn't yet arrived. It's also cheap, and that fits my household budget. What methods and hardware are you using to scan old documents? Any tips you have from a similar project, with regard to hardware, treatment of the materials being scanned, light sources, file formats, clean-up and editing tools, file-size-vs-resolution tradeoffs? In the end, I'm likely to err toward high-resolution scans, since they can be knocked down to size later if need be, but I'd be interested in hearing about what tradeoffs you've found to work for you.

One big question that I'd like to have answered: Is there free software (I am mostly on Linux, by choice, but won't leap onto a sword to keep my Free Software purity) that makes for easy correction of the distortion introduced by camera-based imaging? If I could easily uncurl and keystone-correct pages, then a lot of input methods (even my phone) are suddenly much more attractive. My old Casio camera could do this 10 years ago, but I haven't found a free software desktop utility that lets me turn photos into nicely squared-up pages.

Submission + - Red Star: North Korea's operating system revelaed (

rippeltippel writes: Linux-based and with a stylish OSX-like interface, it tackles illegal file exchanges by watermarking your data and reboots itself when you try to tamper with the OS.

From the article:
"If a user makes any changes to core functions, like trying to disable its antivirus checker or firewall, the computer will display an error message or reboot itself. [...] Illegal media is usually passed person-to-person in North Korea using USB sticks and microSD cards, making it hard for the government to track where they come from. Red Star tackles this by tagging, or watermarking, every document or media file on a computer or on any USB stick connected to it"

Submission + - Secret trade agreement covering 68% of world services published by WikiLeaks (

schwit1 writes: The text of a 19-page, international trade agreement being drafted in secret was published by WikiLeaks on Thursday as the transparency group’s editor commemorated his two-year anniversary confined to the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

Fifty countries around the globe have already signed on to the Trade in Service Agreement, or TISA, including the United States, Australia and the European Union. Despite vast international ties, however, details about the deal have been negotiated behind closed-doors and largely ignored by the press.

In a statement published by the group alongside the leaked draft this week, WikiLeaks said “proponents of TISA aim to further deregulate global financial services markets,” and have participated in “a significant anti-transparency manoeuvre” by working secretly on a deal that covers more than 68 percent of world trade in services, according to the Swiss National Center for Competence in Research.

Submission + - NIgerian born UK TV repairman sentenced 16 months prison for 91% reuse ( 1

retroworks writes: The Guardian uses a stock photo of obvious electronic junk in its coverage of the sentencing of Joseph Benson of BJ Electronics. But film of the actual containers showed fairly uniform, sorted televisions which typically work for 20 years. In 2013, the Basel Convention Secretariat released findings on a two-year study of the seized sea containers containing the alleged "e-waste", including Benson's in Nigeria, and found 91% working and repaired product. The study, covered in Slashdot last February, declared the shipments legal, and further reported that they were more likely to work than new product sent to Africa (which may be shelf returns from bad lots, part of the reason Africans prefer used TVs from nations with strong warranty laws).

Director of regulated industry Harvey Bradshaw of the UK tells the Guardian: "This sentence is a landmark ruling because it's the first time anyone has been sent to prison for illegal waste exports." But 5 separate university research projects question what the crime was, and whether prohibition in trade is really the best way to reduce the percentage of bad product (less than 100% waste). Admittedly, I have been following this case from the beginning and interviewed both Benson and the Basel Secretariat Executive Director, and am shocked that the UK judge went ahead with the sentencing following the publication of the E-Waste Assessment Study last year. But what do Nerds at Slashdot think about the campaign to arrest African geeks who pay 10 times the value of scrap for used products replaced in rich nations?

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Replicated filesystem for linux - disconnected use

TarpaKungs writes: There are many clustered filesystems for linux — most seem to have HPC clustering or failover in mind and assume there is relatively continuous network connectivity between the hosts.

I'm after one that would suit multiple clients (laptops typically) in a "business/home" usage scenario with very intermittent connectivity.

Right now, I have a central fileserver at home which is backed up properly and similar at work. I work mostly on a laptop (which is the way everyone in my family and most of my work colleagues are going. I occasionally sync back to my home server and work servers with unison over ssh, which is a great tool.

I'm not looking for a caching solution that depends on the network being there — I'm after a full on replicated (at the file level, not the block) filesystem preferably with no concept of a master (unison handles this quite well).

So there seem to be a couple of directions I could take:

1) Run unison as root from a script with a carefully chosen config file per FS area. Write a script runs when (say) at-home WiFi is detected, so as to avoid syncing over a mobile link. Email errors to me for manual fixing (unison generally "does the right thing" and baulks before doing something that is not provably correct).


2) Find a more elegant solution that works at the kernel or daemon level.


1 — Anyone done this and did it work out?

2 — Are there any well maintained linux network filesystems worth looking at that would behave well in a WAN-with-intermittent-connectivity context?



Submission + - EFF to unveil Open Wireless Router for Open Wireless Movement (

hypnosec writes: A new movement dubbed the Open Wireless Movement is asking users to open up their private Wi-Fi networks for total strangers – a random act of kindness – with an aim of better securing networks and facilitating better use of finite broadband resources. The movement is supported by non-profit and pro-internet rights organisations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Mozilla, Open Rights Group, and Free Press among others. EFF is planning to unveil one such innovation – Open Wireless Router – at the Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE X) conference to be held next month on New York. This firmware will allow individuals to share their private Wi-Fi to total strangers to anyone without a password.

Submission + - Teaching College Is No Longer a Middle Class Job (

An anonymous reader writes: When you think of somebody who teaches at a college, you typically bring to mind moderately affluent professors with nice houses and cars. All that tuition has to go into big salaries, right? Unfortunately, it seems being a college instructor is becoming less and less lucrative, even to the point of poverty. From the article: "Most university-level instructors are ... contingent employees, working on a contract basis year to year or semester to semester. Some of these contingent employees are full-time lecturers, and many are adjunct instructors: part-time employees, paid per class, often without health insurance or retirement benefits. This is a relatively new phenomenon: in 1969, 78 percent of professors held tenure-track positions. By 2009 this percentage had shrunk to 33.5." This is detrimental to learning as well. Some adjunct faculty, desperate to keep jobs, rely on easy courses and popularity with students to stay employed. Many others feel obligated to help students beyond the limited office hours they're paid for, essentially working for free in order to get the students the help they need. At a time when tuition prices are rising faster than ever, why are we skimping on the most fundamental aspect of college?

Submission + - Google's Nest buys Home Monitoring Camera Company Dropcam

rtoz writes: The popular home monitoring camera startup "Dropcam" will be acquired by Nest Labs, the maker of smart thermostats and smoke detectors.

The deal is worth $555 million in cash.

Nest itself was purchased by Google just four months ago for $3.2 billion.

Dropcam is a cloud-based Wi-Fi video monitoring service. It was founded in 2009. Dropcam lets users place cameras throughout a home for live-viewing and recording. The cameras also include options for night vision and two-way talking with built-in microphones.

Dropcam has never disclosed sales, but it is routinely the top-selling security camera on Amazon, and it recently branched into selling in retail stores like Apple and Best Buy.

People concerned about the privacy implications of Google’s acquisition of Nest may be further unsettled by Nest’s purchase of a home surveillance company. Nest's founder Matt Rogers anticipated this issue , insisted that there’s no reason to worry. In his blog post, he says that data won’t be shared with anyone, including Google, without a customer’s permission.

Nest has run into product challenges recently. In April, Nest said it was suspending sales of its smoke alarms after it determined the units could be switched off unintentionally. The products are now back on the market.

Submission + - BlackBerry back in profit (

An anonymous reader writes: Upon arrival at the controls of BlackBerry last November, CEO John Chen seemed determined to turn things around. In only four months, it has already achieved its objectives, namely reducing operational costs by 30%. To do this, he has had to continue to cut in the workforce, reduced by half in two years.

John Chen estimated that BlackBerry has 80% chance of escape, against 50% a year ago. First positive sign. Results for the first quarter of 2014 During this period, it reported net income of $ 23 million against a loss of 84 million a year ago. However, these results take into account the sale of a building complex sold 500 million. Thus excluding exceptional items, BlackBerry still recorded a loss of $ 60 million, which is still two times lower than analysts' forecasts.

Submission + - ICANN CEO Wants To Make Progress On US Split At London Meeting (

itwbennett writes: ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé hopes to make progress on preparations to take over running the world's central DNS servers from the U.S. government's National Telecommunications and Information Agency when the organization meets in London next week. 'I think this is a meeting where the ICANN community has to deal with the fact, the good fact, that its relationship with the U.S. government, which characterized its birth, its existence and growth, has now run its course,' Chehadé said.

Submission + - MIT and Caltech's coding breakthrough could accelerate mobile network speeds (

smaxp writes: What if you could transmit data without link layer flow control bogging down throughput with retransmission requests, and also optimize the size of the transmission for network efficiency and application latency constraints? Researchers from MIT, Caltech and the University of Aalborg claimed to have accomplished this with stateless transmission using Random Linear Network Coding, or RLNC. The universities have collaborated to commercialize this promising technology through joint venture called Code On Technologies.

Submission + - White House threatened Bob Woodward for Obama expose (

An anonymous reader writes: On Wednesday, the White House sent a threatening email to Washington Post editor Bob Woodward in response to a column in which the veteran journalist suggested that President Barack Obama and cabinet official Jack Lew lied about the sequestration cuts. In a Feb. 27 appearance on CNN's "Situation Room," Woodward declined to identify the senior administration official who had threatened him.

"They're not happy at all," said Woodward. "It was said very clearly, you will regret doing this. He added that he was "very uncomfortable to have the White House telling reporters you're going to regret doing something. Let's hope it's not the strategy."

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