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President Trump's Budget Includes a $2 Trillion Math Error

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader quotes a report from TIME: President Trump's budget includes a simple accounting error that adds up to a $2 trillion oversight. Under the proposed budget released Tuesday, the Trump Administration's proposed tax cuts would boost economic growth enough to pay for $1.3 trillion in spending by 2027. But the tax cuts are also supposed to be revenue-neutral, meaning that trillion dollars is already supposed to pay for the money lost from the tax cuts. Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers called the oversight an "elementary double count" and "a logical error of the kind that would justify failing a student in an introductory economics course" in an op-ed in the Washington Post.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Engineer At Boeing Admits Trying To Sell Space Secrets To Russians

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader shares an ArsTechnica report: Gregory Allen Justice, a 49-year-old engineer living in Culver City, Calif., has pleaded guilty to charges of attempted economic espionage and attempted violation of the Export Control Act. Justice, who according to his father worked for Boeing Satellite Systems in El Segundo, Calif., was arrested last July after selling technical documents about satellite systems to someone he believed to be a Russian intelligence agent. Instead, he sold the docs to an undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation employee. The sting was part of a joint operation by the FBI and the US Air Force Office of Special Investigations. The documents provided by Justice to the undercover agent included information on technology on the US Munitions List, meaning they were regulated by government International Trade in Arms regulations (ITAR). "In exchange for providing these materials during a series of meeting between February and July of 2016, Justice sought and received thousands of dollars in cash payments," a Justice Department spokesperson said in a statement. "During one meeting, Justice and the undercover agent discussed developing a relationship like one depicted on the television show 'The Americans.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

'Sony Needs a Fresh Hit'

Slashdot -

Even as Sony's CEO Kazuo Hirai has done a remarkable job over the past five years -- taking bold decisions on the areas the company should be focusing on, and cutting efforts on those that aren't working -- his company desperately needs a fresh hit to boost its revenue and to become relevant in the mind of most, writes columnist Tim Culpan for Bloomberg. An except from his article: According to a company statement Tuesday for investors' day, the key will be to "remain the 'last one inch' that delivers a sense of 'wow' to customers," expand recurring revenue, and pursue new businesses.Those three strategies are closely linked. With TV sales in decline, its Vaio PC business spun off, and its smartphones barely a blip on the radar, Sony's last inch is heavily dependent on the PlayStation. Sony's Game & Network Services business has grown at both the top and bottom lines over the past five years, but the games console business is stuck in time. [...] Sony needs to build a device that will be far more ubiquitous and can appeal to consumers beyond the current male-skewed slowly aging hard-core gamer base. Amazon and Alphabet, with Echo and Home, are two such examples, and Apple will probably follow suit. With its background in audio, video, sensors and entertainment, Sony has all the right parts to make it happen. For the company that invented the Walkman, dreaming up another hit shouldn't be so hard.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

At Google, an Employee-Run Email List Tracks Harassment and Bias Complaints

Slashdot -

A group of Google employees have begun a message board for employees to submit worker complaints that's then emailed weekly as a digest, according to a report on Bloomberg. The email list -- called "Yes, at Google" -- has been around since October and allows employees to talk openly about work situations in which they felt uncomfortable; most submissions are anonymized. From the article: Google management is aware of the list. "We work really hard to promote and preserve a culture of respect and inclusion," a Google spokesperson said in a statement. "Our employees have numerous ways to raise issues -- both negative and positive -- with us, including through grassroots transparency efforts like this one. We take concerns seriously and take appropriate measures to address them." The list is run by a group of workers across different product areas, according to a person familiar with the list, though it's not clear who runs the list and how or whether the submissions are vetted before being distributed. Usually, the people in the complaints are not named, though one submission described an instance when, during a large company meeting in late April, Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt allegedly interrupted Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat when she had a question addressed to her, which the post categorized as a "gender-related" complaint. A person who attended the meeting said Schmidt answered the question to make a joke. Messages sometimes include job titles and other details.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Comcast Proves Need For Net Neutrality By Trying To Censor Advocacy Website

Slashdot -

Reader mrchaotica writes: As most Slashdot readers are probably aware, the FCC, under the direction of Trump-appointed chairman Ajit Pai, is trying to undo its 2015 decision to protect Net Neutrality (PDF) by classifying ISPs as common carriers. During the recent public comment period, the FCC's website was flooded with pro-Net-Neutrality comments from actual people (especially those who heeded John Oliver's call to arms) as well as anti-Net-Neutrality comments posted by bots using the names and addresses of people without their consent. The fake comments use boilerplate identical to that used in a 2010 press release by the conservative lobbying group Center for Individual Freedom (which is funded by Comcast, among other entities), but beyond that, the entities who perpetrated and funded the criminal acts have not been conclusively identified. In response to this brazen attempt to undermine the democratic process, the Internet freedom advocacy group Fight for the Future (FFTF) created the website Comcastroturf.com to call attention to the fraud and allow people to see if their identity had been misappropriated. Comcast, in a stunning display of its tone-deaf attitude towards free speech, has sent a cease-and-desist order to FFTF, claiming that Comcastroturf.com violates its "valuable intellectual property[sic]." According to the precedent set in Bosley Medical Institute, Inc. v. Kremer , websites created for the purpose of criticizing an organization can not be considered trademark infringement. As such, FFTF reportedly has no intention of taking down the site."This is exactly why we need Title II net neutrality protections that ban blocking, throttling, and censorship," said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, "If Ajit Pai's plan is enacted, there would be nothing preventing Comcast from simply blocking sites like Comcastroturf.com that are critical of their corporate policies," she added. "It also makes you wonder what Comcast is so afraid of? Are their lobbying dollars funding the astroturfing effort flooding the FCC with fake comments that we are encouraging Internet users to investigate?"Could there be a better example to illustrate why ensuring strong Net Neutrality protections by regulating ISPs as common carriers is so important?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

LibreOffice leverages Google’s OSS-Fuzz to improve quality of office suite

LWN Headlines -

The Document Foundation looks at the progress made in improving the quality and reliability of LibreOffice's source code by using Google's OSS-Fuzz. "Developers have used the continuous and automated fuzzing process, which often catches issues just hours after they appear in the upstream code repository, to solve bugs - and potential security issues - before the next binary release. LibreOffice is the first free office suite in the marketplace to leverage Google's OSS-Fuzz. The service, which is associated with other source code scanning tools such as Coverity, has been integrated into LibreOffice's security processes - under Red Hat's leadership - to significantly improve the quality of the source code."

'Coding Is Not Fun, It's Technically and Ethically Complex'

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader shares an article: For starters, the profile of a programmer's mind is pretty uncommon. As well as being highly analytical and creative, software developers need almost superhuman focus to manage the complexity of their tasks. Manic attention to detail is a must; slovenliness is verboten. Coding isn't the only job that demands intense focus. But you'd never hear someone say that brain surgery is "fun," or that structural engineering is "easy." When it comes to programming, why do policymakers and technologists pretend otherwise? For one, it helps lure people to the field at a time when software (in the words of the venture capitalist Marc Andreessen) is "eating the world" -- and so, by expanding the labor pool, keeps industry ticking over and wages under control. Another reason is that the very word "coding" sounds routine and repetitive, as though there's some sort of key that developers apply by rote to crack any given problem. It doesn't help that Hollywood has cast the "coder" as a socially challenged, type-first-think-later hacker, inevitably white and male, with the power to thwart the Nazis or penetrate the CIA. Insisting on the glamor and fun of coding is the wrong way to acquaint kids with computer science. It insults their intelligence and plants the pernicious notion in their heads that you don't need discipline in order to progress. As anyone with even minimal exposure to making software knows, behind a minute of typing lies an hour of study. It's better to admit that coding is complicated, technically and ethically. Computers, at the moment, can only execute orders, to varying degrees of sophistication. So it's up to the developer to be clear: the machine does what you say, not what you mean. More and more "decisions" are being entrusted to software, including life-or-death ones: think self-driving cars; think semi-autonomous weapons; think Facebook and Google making inferences about your marital, psychological, or physical status, before selling it to the highest bidder. Yet it's rarely in the interests of companies and governments to encourage us to probe what's going on beneath these processes.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Hackers Unlock Samsung Galaxy S8 With Fake Iris

Slashdot -

From a Motherboard report: Despite Samsung stating that a user's irises are pretty much impossible to copy, a team of hackers has done just that. Using a bare-bones selection of equipment, researchers from the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) show in a video how they managed to bypass the scanner's protections and unlock the device. "We've had iris scanners that could be bypassed using a simple print-out," Linus Neumann, one of the hackers who appears in the video. The process itself was apparently pretty simple. The hackers took a medium range photo of their subject with a digital camera's night mode, and printed the infrared image. Then, presumably to give the image some depth, the hackers placed a contact lens on top of the printed picture.And, that's it. They're in.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Chinese Giant Huawei Gets Serious About PC Business, Announces Plans For Global Expansion

Slashdot -

Speaking of new laptops, Chinese conglomerate Huawei plans a global expansion into computers, it said on Tuesday, posing a fresh challenge to established PC players in a market that has suffered two years of falling sales volumes and pressure on margins. From a report: At a news conference in Berlin, the Shenzhen-based company introduced its first line-up of three personal computer models, including a 15.6-inch screen notebook, a 2-in-1 tablet and notebook hybrid and an ultra slim, metallic 13-inch notebook. Initially, Huawei plans to target the premium-priced consumer market, competing with Lenovo, HP and Dell, which together sell more than 50 percent of all PCs. To a lesser extent, it will also go up against Apple's high-end, but shrinking, Mac computer business. Huawei's Matebook X is a fanless notebook with splash-proof screen and combined fingerprint sign-on and power button, priced between 1,399 and 1,699 euros ($1,570-$1,900). Its Matebook E 2-in-1 hybrid will run from 999 to 1,299 euros while the Matebook D with 15.6-inch display is priced at 799 to 999 euros, it said. Huawei said it aims to offer the new PCs in 12 countries in Europe, North America, Asia, and the Middle East in early June.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Dries Buytaert: Acquia's next phase

Drupal Planet -

In 2007, Jay Batson and I wanted to build a software company based on open source and Drupal. I was 29 years old then, and eager to learn how to build a business that could change the world of software, strengthen the Drupal project and help drive the future of the web.

Tom Erickson joined Acquia's board of directors with an outstanding record of scaling and leading technology companies. About a year later, after a lot of convincing, Tom agreed to become our CEO. At the time, Acquia was 30 people strong and we were working out of a small office in Andover, Massachusetts. Nine years later, we can count 16 of the Fortune 100 among our customers, saw our staff grow from 30 to more than 750 employees, have more than $150MM in annual revenue, and have 14 offices across 7 countries. And, importantly, Acquia has also made an undeniable impact on Drupal, as we said we would.

I've been lucky to have had Tom as my business partner and I'm incredibly proud of what we have built together. He has been my friend, my business partner, and my professor. I learned first hand the complexities of growing an enterprise software company; from building a culture, to scaling a global team of employees, to making our customers successful.

Today is an important day in the evolution of Acquia:

  • Tom has decided it's time for him step down as CEO, allowing him flexibility with his personal time and act more as an advisor to companies, the role that brought him to Acquia in the first place.
  • We're going to search for a new CEO for Acquia. When we find that business partner, Tom will be stepping down as CEO. After the search is completed, Tom will remain on Acquia's Board of Directors, where he can continue to help advise and guide the company.
  • We are formalizing the working relationship I've had with Tom during the past 8 years by creating an Office of the CEO. I will focus on product strategy, product development, including product architecture and Acquia's roadmap; technology partnerships and acquisitions; and company-wide hiring and staffing allocations. Tom will focus on sales and marketing, customer success and G&A functions.

The time for these changes felt right to both of us. We spent the first decade of Acquia laying down the foundation of a solid business model for going out to the market and delivering customer success with Drupal – Tom's core strengths from his long career as a technology executive. Acquia's next phase will be focused on building confidently on this foundation with more product innovation, new technology acquisitions and more strategic partnerships – my core strengths as a technologist.

Tom is leaving Acquia in a great position. This past year, the top industry analysts published very positive reviews based on their dealings with our customers. I'm proud that Acquia made the most significant positive move of all vendors in last year's Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management and that Forrester recognized Acquia as the leader for strategy and vision. We increasingly find ourselves at the center of our customer's technology and digital strategies. At a time when digital experiences means more than just web content management, and data and content intelligence play an increasing role in defining success for our customers, we are well positioned for the next phase of our growth.

I continue to love the work I do at Acquia each day. We have a passionate team of builders and dreamers, doers and makers. To the Acquia team around the world: 2017 will be a year of changes, but you have my commitment, in every way, to lead Acquia with clarity and focus.

To read Tom's thoughts on the transition, please check out his blog. Michael Skok, Acquia's lead investor, also covered it on his blog.

Nokia Uses Lawsuit To Make Apple Its Friend

Slashdot -

Apple has settled a patent dispute with Finnish telecom equipment maker Nokia and agreed to buy more of its network products and services. The deal means Nokia will get bigger royalties from Apple for using its mobile phone patents, helping offset the impact of waning demand for its mobile network hardware. Nokia's shares were up by seven percent following the announcement. WSJ puts things into perspective: Nokia's deal with Apple follows a highly unusual playbook: using a lawsuit to win business from your adversary (could be paywalled). When the first iPhone was unveiled a decade ago, Apple became a major competitor to the Finnish group, which was then the world's leading mobile-phone maker. As Nokia's business dwindled, the companies became legal antagonists. Now they are set to become business partners. The settlement announced Tuesday involves Apple paying Nokia a lump sum plus royalties for each device it sells using Nokia's technology. This is broadly the same kind of agreement the two sides reached in 2011 following a two-year lawsuit. The previous deal expired last year, which is why both sides launched fresh suits in December. In the aftermath of the lawsuit last year, Apple had pulled all Withings products from its stores. As part of the settlement, Apple said it will reverse that move.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Security updates for Tuesday

LWN Headlines -

Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (lynis), CentOS (kdelibs, libtirpc, rpcbind, and samba), Debian (miniupnpc), Fedora (chromium, chromium-native_client, and kernel), Oracle (kdelibs and samba), Red Hat (libtirpc and rpcbind), and Scientific Linux (kdelibs, libtirpc, rpcbind, and samba).

Google's AlphaGo AI Defeats the World's Best Human Go Player

Slashdot -

It isn't looking good for humanity. Google's AI AlphaGo on Tuesday defeated Ke Jie, the world's number one Go player, in the first game of a three-part match. The new win comes a year after AlphaGo beat Korean legend Lee Se-dol 4-1 in one of the most potent demonstrations of the power of AI to date. Adding insult to the injury, AlphaGo scored the victory over humanity's best candidate in China, the place where the abstract and intuitive board game was born. Engadget adds: After the match, Google's DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis explained that this was how AlphaGo was programmed: to maximise its winning chances, rather than the winning margin. This latest iteration of the AI player, nicknamed Master, apparently uses 10 times less computational power than its predecessor that beat Lee Sedol, working from a single PC connected to Google's cloud server. [...] The AI player picked up a 10-15 point lead early on, which limited the possibilities for Jie to respond. Jie was occasionally winning during the flow of the match, but AlphaGo would soon reclaim the lead, ensuring that his human opponent had limited options to win as the game progressed.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Vardot: Time to level up - Ditch Drupal 6 for the all new Drupal 8

Drupal Planet -

News Read time: 4 minutes

Drupal 6 kicked off way back in 2008. For the time it was a major breakthrough in technology, and the platform supported many major websites including whitehouse.gov. Over its lifespan Drupal 6 had more than 700 contributed modules and 600 custom themes. It boasted a nicer menu structure and an easier installation process than its predecessors, as well as improved security and a handy drag and drop menu. Drupal 6 was well ahead of its time. Now it is unsupported, outdated and frankly, old. It’s time for you and your website to move on.

The complete history of Drupal

 

What’s new in Drupal?

Drupal 8 (released November 2015) comes with a whole set of new built-in gadgets, including mobile responsive themes, built in web services to make it an API-first CMS, improved editorial experience, accessibility, powerful multilingual tools (at last), improved performance, HTML5, and better SEO and analytics tools. With over 18 months since releasing, it has become reliably stable, secure, and ready for you to make the switch.

Check out our 7 Reasons why Now is the Right Time to Move to Drupal 8

 

Why Drupal 6 isn’t a safe bet anymore

Without support from the community, Drupal 6 is going to be opened to more and more security risks. It’s modules will become outdated and unwieldy, and users will struggle to be able to get the performance they’ve come to expect with modern websites. While upgrading may seem like a daunting task, the business risks of remaining with Drupal 6 are far higher.

 

Migrations - easier than you think?

 

Believe it or not, Drupal 8 is stacked full of migration modules and toolsets to help you move your content from one platform to another. While many of these focus simply on moving a site between completely different platform, there are some that are designed to assist with moving between versions of Drupal. Depending on how your website was developed these can be tricky to use, and can lead to many hours of rework ‘rebuilding’ your website at the other end. If your website is stacked full of custom features, you may find that stock migration modules don’t quite provide the service you need.

 

Partners in Migration

If you’re a tech-whizz with a small website and plenty of time, you might find migrating your site on your own an exciting and economically sound venture. However, Drupal has become such a user friendly platform that many of its users skillsets are in marketing, communications and social relations. If that’s you, perhaps the thought of trying to move all your web content to another platform is so daunting you’ve been carefully looking the other way while Drupal 8 was released and took the world by storm.

With our assistance, your migration can not only be smooth and painless, but an opportunity to resolve some of those niggling website issues, and take a step forward into greater customer engagement. A shift to Drupal 8 can help you improve your conversions whilst making site maintenance easier.

 

Vardot - Drupal experts since 2011

Here at Vardot we’ve been supporting people since 2011. With our specialist team of Drupal experts we’re prepared to help migrate anything from a small two-page website, to a large scale page with multiple custom modules and integrations. Working with our team you’ll be on first name basis with our staff, and there is no shuffling between departments.

We believe in empowering our customers and our community - by giving back to the open source community. We promote a vibrant culture that benefits everyone involved. Working with us goes hand in hand with giving back, and you can be sure we’ll equip you with the skills and knowledge you need for the day-to-day management of your website moving forward.

If you have a site that needs migrating, or just a refresh, get in touch with us, we can’t wait to hear from you.

Tags:  drupal 8 Drupal Planet Title:  Time to level up - Ditch Drupal 6 for the all new Drupal 8

Hughes: Updating Logitech Hardware on Linux

LWN Headlines -

Richard Hughes describes his work to address the MouseJack vulnerability in Logitech (and other) receivers. This vulnerability allows an attacker to pair new devices with the receiver with no user interaction or awareness, and, thus, take over the machine. "This makes sitting in a café quite a dangerous thing to do when any affected hardware is inserted, which for the unifying dongle is quite likely as it’s explicitly designed to remain in an empty USB socket."

Logitech has provided firmware updates, but not for "unsupported" platforms like Linux. Hughes has filled that gap by getting documentation and a fixed firmware image from Logitech and adding support for these devices to fwupd. He is now looking for testers to ensure that the whole thing works across all devices. This is important work that is well worth supporting.

Microsoft's New Surface Pro Features Faster Intel Kaby Lake Processor, 13.5 Hours of Battery Life

Slashdot -

On the sidelines of Windows 10 China Government Edition release, Microsoft also announced a new Surface two-in-one laptop. The latest addition to company's hybrid computing line up, the "new Surface Pro" sports an improved design, and houses a newer processor from Intel. From an article: The new Surface Pro features the same 3:2 12.3-inch PixelSense display as its predecessor, providing a resolution of 2736 x 1824 (267 ppi) and 10 point multi-touch capabilities. Surface Pro is based on faster and more reliable Intel "Kaby Lake" chipsets in Core m3-7Y30 with HD Graphics 615, Core i5-7300U with HD Graphics 620, and Core i7-7660U with Iris Plus Graphics 640 variants, which should make for a better experience. As with the previous version, the Core m3 version of the new Surface Pro is fanless and thus silent. But this is new: The Core i5 versions of the new Surface Pro are also fanless and silent. And a new thermal design helps Microsoft claim that the i7 versions are quieter than ever, too. The new Surface Pro is rated at 13.5 hours of battery life (for video playback), compared to just 9 hours for Surface Pro 4. That's a 50 percent improvement. urface Pro can be had with 4, 8, or 16 GB of 1866Mhz LPDDR3 RAM. The new Surface Pro is built around the USB 3-based Surface Connect connector and features one full-sized USB 3 port and one miniDisplayPort port. Microsoft also announced a new Surface Pen (sold separately), and claims that the new pen is twice as accurate (compared to the previous version). No word on the pricing but it will be available in all major global markets in the "coming weeks." The new Surface ships with Windows 10 Pro. (Side note: Earlier Microsoft used to market the Surface Pro devices as tablets that could also serve as laptops. The company is now calling the Surface Pro laptops that are also tablets.)

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Drupal core announcements: Midwest Developer Summit 2017-08-11 -- 2017-08-13 -- Register Now!

Drupal Planet -

Make your plans to join us for the Drupal Midwest Developer Summit, August 11-13, on the University of Michigan campus, in Ann Arbor MI.

Register here

The Event
Join us for 3 days this summer in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for the 2017 Midwest Drupal Summit.
For this year’s Summit, we’ll gather on the beautiful University of Michigan campus for three days of code sprints, working on issues such as porting modules and writing, updating documentation and informal presentations. We will start around 10AM and finish around 5PM each day.
Food
Lunch, Coffee and Snacks will be provided each day.

What’s New This Year at MWDS?
This year, we’re adding lightning talks (more Drupal learnings!) and a social outing (more Drupal fun!)

What’s The Same?

Relaxed, low-key sprinting and socializing with Drupal core contributors and security team members.

What you can expect:

  • An opportunity to learn from Drupal core contributors and mentors, including Angie “webchick” Byron, Michael Hess, Peter Wolanin, Neil Drumm and xjm.
  • Code sprints. Let’s clear out some queues!
  • Help Porting modules to Drupal 8.
  • Lighting talks
  • Security issue sprints
  • Documentation writing
  • Good food and good community.

Location

Ann Arbor is about 30 minutes by car from Detroit Metro Airport. Ann Arbor is also served by Amtrak.
Questions? Contact [email protected]

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