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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 284 declined, 68 accepted (352 total, 19.32% accepted)

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Submission + - Google Fiber reportedly told to cut half its staff to offset subscriber shortfal (zdnet.com)

walterbyrd writes: Alphabet CEO Larry Page is not happy with the speed of Google Fiber's rollout and last month told the unit's chief Craig Barratt to halve the unit's headcount to 500 and cut costs, sources told The Information.
Yet for all the costs sunk into Google Fiber, the service only had around 200,000 subscribers by the end of 2014, according to The Information, a figure that is well short of the five million hoped for within five years.

Submission + - 'Star Trek' actor Anton Yelchin dies in freak car accident (cnn.com) 1

walterbyrd writes: Actor Anton Yelchin, 27, who played Chekov in recent "Star Trek" movies, was killed in a freak accident early Sunday morning, police told CNN.

Yelchin stepped out of his car in the driveway of his Studio City home at around 1:10 a.m. PT when the car slid backwards and pinned him against a brick pillar and a security fence, causing trauma that led to his death, said Jennifer Houser with the Los Angeles Police Department.

Submission + - Court upholds 'net neutrality' rules for equal internet access (chicagotribune.com)

walterbyrd writes: In a big win for the Obama administration, a federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld the government's "net neutrality" rules that require internet providers to treat all web traffic equally.

The 2-1 ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is a victory for consumer groups and content companies such as Netflix that want to prevent online content from being blocked or channeled into fast and slow lanes.

Submission + - Systemd now kills processes when you sign out (pcworld.com) 4

walterbyrd writes: The initialization software systemd has now been integrated into most popular Linux distributions, including the latest versions of Ubuntu. But a change in systemd 230 alters the way Linux and other UNIX-like operating systems have worked for decades, and some Linux users aren’t pleased.

Systemd now kills processes when you sign out Thanks to a new change, systemd will automatically kill a user’s processes when that user logs out. Previously, it was possible to start long-running processes that remained running, even when you signed out. You could use the tmux, screen, or nohup commands to ensure that a process remained running. Systemd will now kill all those leftover processes to clean things up.

This change is being debated in Debian’s bug tracker, and on Fedora’s mailing list. On Fedora’s mailing list, systemd’s Lennart Poettering explained that systemd is designed to be “a process babysitter.” Red Hat’s DJ Delorie expressed why he and some other Linux users are frustrated: “It’s becoming a user nanny instead. I wish it would stop trying to enforce its ‘my way or the highway’ approach to system rules. I’ve been playing whack-a-mole trying to keep up with all the tweaks I need (assuming I can find them) to let me do what I want to do with my own machine.”

There’s a new secret handshake Of course, systemd provides a way to disable this behavior and keep processes running, if that’s what you want. To do this, a system administrator can set the “KillUserProcesses=no” option in systemd’s configuration file at /etc/systemd/logind.conf. Linux distributions could also choose to disable this systemd feature for all their users, which is what some Debian and Fedora users are asking for. In both cases, the feature would be disabled systemwide.

If just a specific user wants to run processes that are left alone by systemd, that user has to enable “lingering” for their account, with the systemd-run command preceding the tmux, screen, or nohup commands. So, if you end up using a Linux distribution with systemd 230 or newer that has this option enabled, you’ll need to run tmux, screen, and nohup commands in a systemd-specific way. It would make sense for these tools to become systemd-aware to negate this new secret handshake, but they aren’t, and users will therefore need to use this new workaround.

Submission + - Google beats Oracle: Android makes "fair use" of Java APIs (arstechnica.com)

walterbyrd writes: Following a two-week trial, a federal jury concluded Thursday that Google's Android operating system does not infringe Oracle-owned copyrights because its re-implementation of 37 Java APIs is protected by "fair use." The verdict was reached after three days of deliberations.
Oracle, however, vowed to appeal.

Submission + - EPA's Ties to Monsanto Could Be Disastrous for the US (truth-out.org)

walterbyrd writes: Dozens of papers cited in the retracted EPA report on glyphosate are "unpublished regulatory studies," meaning that they weren't peer-reviewed and it's unclear how the data was collected or tested. As Nathan Donley with the Center for Biological Diversity wrote in a press release, "The EPA's analysis relied heavily on industry-funded studies that have not undergone public scrutiny, while the WHO used publicly available research for its analysis."

Submission + - Climatologist Richard Lindzen claims climate change is bunk (youtube.com)

walterbyrd writes: Richard Lindzen claims to be an MIT atmospheric physicist and one of the world's leading climatologists. He claims that climate change is bunk. He further claims that those supporting the idea of climate change, only do so for money.

Lindzen received $2,500 a day to consult with coal and oil interests here and abroad in the 1990s, a fact Lindzen does not refute.

Submission + - IT employees at EmblemHealth fight to save jobs (computerworld.com)

walterbyrd writes: IT employees at EmblemHealth are organizing to stop the New York-based employer from outsourcing their jobs to offshore provider Cognizant.

Employees say the insurer is on the verge of signing a contract with Cognizant, an IT services firm and one of the largest users of H-1B workers. They say the contract may be signed as early as this week.

They fear what a contract with an IT services offshore firm may mean: Humiliation as part of the "knowledge transfer" process, loss of their jobs or a "rebadging" to Cognizant, which they see as little more than temporary employment. Many of the workers, about 200 they estimate, are older, with 15-plus-year tenures. This means a hard job search for them.

The IT employees have decided not go quietly.

Submission + - Bill Nye wants climate change deniers jailed (washingtontimes.com) 1

walterbyrd writes: “Was it appropriate to jail the guys from Enron?” said Mr. Nye in a video interview with Climate Depot’s Marc Morano. “We’ll see what happens. Was it appropriate to jail people from the cigarette industry who insisted that this addictive product was not addictive, and so on.”

“In these cases, for me, as a taxpayer and voter, the introduction of this extreme doubt about climate change is affecting my quality of life as a public citizen,” Mr. Nye said. “So I can see where people are very concerned about this and they’re pursuing criminal investigations as well as engaging in discussions like this.”

Submission + - When Charities Collaborate With the Food Industry (nutritionfacts.org)

walterbyrd writes: Save the Children, an organization aiming to positively change the lives of children, was initially a staunch supporter of soda taxes. Recently, however, the organization withdrew its support, saying that support of the soda taxes did not fit the way Save the Children works. Perhaps it is only a coincidence that it was seeking a grant from Coca-Cola and had accepted a $5 million grant from Pepsi.

Submission + - Newly discovered bacteria can eat plastic bottles (latimes.com)

walterbyrd writes: A team of Japanese scientists has found a species of bacteria that eats the type of plastic found in most disposable water bottles.

The discovery, published Thursday in the journal Science, could lead to new methods to manage the more than 50 million tons of this particular type of plastic produced globally each year.

Submission + - Cringley: IBM is dying (betanews.com)

walterbyrd writes: Things aren't going well at all in cloud, analytics, mobile, social and security land. When those kick-in (if they kick-in) IBM will be just one company in a crowd with no particular advantage over the others.

IBM used to be able to count on its size, its people, its loyal customers, but all of those are going or gone. Apple or Google could buy IBM with cash on hand, so it’s no longer the Big Kahuna. IBMers of yore are all gone and for the current breed it’s just another job. IBM customers are leaving in droves, too. Of the whole CAMSS suite only security is an obvious success and the world isn’t ready for a $100 billion security company.

Submission + - Matloff: An Open Letter to the Laid-Off Disney Workers (wordpress.com)

walterbyrd writes: I have stated here before that I believe that Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are the only ones who would have substantial likelihood of addressing the problem of foreign tech workers. I still believe that. (I do have some hope for Cruz in this regard, but don’t see that this is a big issue for him.) But the industry lobbyists and their allies are very, very slick. Beware of lobbyists bearing placebos.

Submission + - Ray Tomlinson, the creator of email, has died (cnn.com)

walterbyrd writes: Ray Tomlinson, widely credited as the creator of email, has died, his employer, Raytheon, told CNN on Sunday. He was 74.

Tomlinson invented direct email messages in 1971. Before his invention, electronic messages could be shared only on a very limited network.

Among those paying tribute was Gmail, one of many offshoots of Tomlinson's creation.

Submission + - IBM added 70,000 people to its ranks in 2015, and lost that many, too (businessinsider.com)

walterbyrd writes: Even with adding 70,000 people to IBM's payroll in 2015, IBM actually ended the year with slightly lower headcount than when it started, according to an SEC filing.

IBM is always very careful when talking about its global headcount, which has been going through major shifts for years.

It won't say many people it lays off each year, or how old they are or in what areas they work. It only talks only about "resource actions" or "workforce rebalancing" in terms of the total amount of money it spends on them. It spent $587 million on such things in 2015 (and nearly $1.5 billion in 2014), it said.

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