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Mediacurrent: Blockchain: Long Thoughts

Drupal Planet -

First thoughts...

It has always been said that “the book is better than the movie.” This blog post gives a behind-the-scenes look at the writing that inspired the Friday 5 video.

Why?

Due to the Mediacurrent Friday 5 being a series that lasts 5 minutes, and the unfortunate absence of a suitable ”Friday half hour to 45 minutes” show, the content would be again, reimagined.

Mexico's Strongest Quake in Century Strikes Off Southern Coast

Slashdot -

An earthquake described by Mexico's president as the country's strongest in a century has struck off the southern coast, killing at least 33 people. From a report: The quake, which President Enrique Pena Nieto said measured 8.2, struck in the Pacific, about 87km (54 miles) south-west of Pijijiapan. Severe damage has been reported in Oaxaca and Chiapas states. A tsunami warning was initially issued for Mexico and other nearby countries, but later lifted. The quake, which struck at 23:50 local time on Thursday (04:50 GMT Friday), was felt hundreds of miles away in Mexico City, with buildings swaying and people running into the street. The tremors there were reported to have lasted up to a minute. President Pena Nieto said about 50 million Mexicans would have felt the tremor and that the death toll might rise.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Equifax Breach is Very Possibly the Worst Leak of Personal Info Ever

Slashdot -

The breach Equifax reported Thursday is very possibly is the most severe of all for a simple reason: the breath-taking amount of highly sensitive data it handed over to criminals. Dan Goodin of ArsTechnica writes: By providing full names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and, in some cases, driver license numbers, it provided most of the information banks, insurance companies, and other businesses use to confirm consumers are who they claim to be. The theft, by criminals who exploited a security flaw on the Equifax website, opens the troubling prospect the data is now in the hands of hostile governments, criminal gangs, or both and will remain so indefinitely. Hacks hitting Yahoo and other sites, by contrast, may have breached more accounts, but the severity of the personal data was generally more limited. And in most cases the damage could be contained by changing a password or getting a new credit card number. What's more, the 143 million US people Equifax said were potentially affected accounts for roughly 44 percent of the population. When children and people without credit histories are removed, the proportion becomes even bigger. That means well more than half of all US residents who rely the most on bank loans and credit cards are now at a significantly higher risk of fraud and will remain so for years to come. Besides being used to take out loans in other people's names, the data could be abused by hostile governments to, say, tease out new information about people with security clearances, especially in light of the 2015 hack on the US Office of Personnel Management, which exposed highly sensitive data on 3.2 million federal employees, both current and retired. Meanwhile, if you accept Equifax's paltry "help" you forfeit the right to sue the company, it has said. In its policy, Equifax also states that it won't be helping its customers fix hack-related problems. Bloomberg reported on Friday that a class action seeking to represent 143 million consumers has been filed, and it alleges the company didn't spend enough on protecting data. The class-action -- filed by the firm Olsen Daines PC along with Geragos & Geragos, a celebrity law firm known for blockbuster class actions -- will seek as much as $70 billion in damages nationally.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Security updates for Friday

LWN Headlines -

Security updates have been issued by Debian (icedove, libarchive, and unrar-free), Fedora (thunderbird), openSUSE (kernel), and Ubuntu (file).

Google Is Apparently Ready To Buy Smartphone Maker HTC

Slashdot -

According to a Taiwanese news outlet called Commercial Times, Google is in the final stages of acquiring all or part of smartphone maker HTC. CNBC reports: The report seems fishy, since Google has already been down this road, but there's a reason why Google might be interested in HTC. The Taiwanese company builds the Google Pixel, which means it could be a good fit for Google as it continues to cater to consumers with its "Pixel" smartphone brand. Here's where it sounds off base: Google acquired Motorola Mobility and then sold it off just a couple of years later. Why repeat that move? Commercial Times said HTC's poor financial position and Google's desire to "perfect [the] integration of software, content, hardware, network, cloud, [and] AI," is the driving force behind Google's interest. The news outlet said Google may make a "strategic investment" or "buy HTC's smartphone R&D team" which suggests that the VR team would exist as its own.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Error'd: The Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Single Error

The Daily WTF -

Drew W. writes, "If I'm already at (undefined), why should I pay $389.99 to fly to (undefined)?"

 

"I'm glad I got this warning! I was planning on going to location near impacted roads," wrote Kelly G.

 

This submission is different - Peter G. included the perfect caption in the image as a response to Air New Zealand's in-flight survey.

 

"I have to admit, saving {{slider.total().discount}}% is tempting, but the discounted titles don't seem very interesting," Filippo wrote.

 

"Yes, YouTube app, I understand that maps without New Zealand exist. I'm not sure what else you're trying to tell me however," Robin S. writes.

 

Rebecca wrote, "I was asked to look at a user's personal laptop and started with updates. I knew Windows 8 was bad, but that bad?!"

 

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IBM To Invest $240 Million To Develop AI Research Lab With MIT

Slashdot -

IBM will spend $240 million over 10 years to develop an artificial intelligence research lab with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, pooling the organizations' resources as competition intensifies to produce breakthroughs in the field. Bloomberg reports: The MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab will fund projects in four broad areas, including creating better hardware to handle complex computations and figuring out applications of AI in specific industries, the Armonk, New York-based company said Thursday in a statement. While IBM has always conducted long-term research internally, it decided AI was such a vast field that it needed to reach out for talent and ideas, said John Kelly, the head of International Business Machines Corp.'s research and cognitive solutions groups, which includes Watson products. While researchers will focus on long-term innovations in artificial intelligence, IBM will also be looking for developments -- a new medical imaging algorithm, say -- that it can immediately plug into its existing products. Big Blue expects to see results that boost its Watson-branded AI business in the next year or two, Kelly said. The plan is to change the focus and number of teams as needed to produce results, he said. The partnership underscores IBM's focus on building a business selling AI software, a strategy that requires clients to adopt such products and the company to develop offerings that add actual business value and are competitive with juggernauts in artificial intelligence, including Microsoft Corp. and Alphabet. IBM and MIT will jointly own the intellectual property that results from the projects conducted together. The company also has the option to buy out MIT for full ownership, Kelly said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

hussainweb.me: Vagrant 2.0 and DrupalVM

Drupal Planet -

Vagrant 2.0 has just been released. Being who I am, I jumped at trying this out and testing if it worked well with my vagrant setup. I have entirely moved to DrupalVM since some time and wanted to see if it worked properly.

SpaceX Rocket Launches X-37B Space Plane On Secret Mission, Aces Landing

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Space.com: The fifth mystery mission of the U.S. Air Force's X-37B space plane is now underway. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the robotic X-37B lifted off today (Sept. 7) at 10 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT) from historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. About 2.5 minutes into the flight, the Falcon 9's two stages separated. While the second stage continued hauling the X-37B to orbit, the first stage maneuvered its way back to Earth, eventually pulling off a vertical touchdown at Landing Zone 1, a SpaceX facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, which is next door to KSC. The Air Force is known to possess two X-37Bs, both of which were built by Boeing. The uncrewed vehicles look like NASA's now-retired space shuttle orbiters, but are much smaller; each X-37B is 29 feet (8.8 meters) long and 9.6 feet (2.9 m) tall, with a payload bay the size of a pickup truck bed. For comparison, the space shuttles were 122 feet (37 m) long, with 78-foot (24 m) wingspans. Like the space shuttle, the X-37B launches vertically and comes to back to Earth horizontally, in a runway landing. Together, the two X-37Bs have completed four space missions, each of which has set a new duration standard for the program. Exactly what the X-37B did during those four missions, or what it will do during the newly launched OTV-5, is a mystery; most X-37B payloads and activities are classified.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Bug In Windows Kernel Could Prevent Security Software From Identifying Malware

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader writes: "Malware developers can abuse a programming error in the Windows kernel to prevent security software from identifying if, and when, malicious modules have been loaded at runtime," reports Bleeping Computer. "The bug affects PsSetLoadImageNotifyRoutine, one of the low-level mechanisms some security solutions use to identify when code has been loaded into the kernel or user space. The problem is that an attacker can exploit this bug in a way that PsSetLoadImageNotifyRoutine returns an invalid module name, allowing an attacker to disguise malware as a legitimate operation. The issue came to light earlier this year when enSilo researchers were analyzing the Windows kernel code. Omri Misgav, Security Researcher at enSilo and the one who discovered the issue, says the bug affects all Windows versions released since Windows 2000. Misgav's tests showed that the programming error has survived up to the most recent Windows 10 releases." In an interview, the researcher said Microsoft did not consider this a security issue. Bug technical details are available here.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Spinning Metal Sails Could Slash Fuel Consumption, Emissions On Cargo Ships

Slashdot -

sciencehabit shares a report from Science Magazine: U.K. soccer star David Beckham was known for "bending" his free kicks over walls of defenders and around sprawling goal tenders, thanks to a physical force called the Magnus effect. Now, the physics behind such curving kicks is set to be used to propel ocean ships more efficiently. Early next year, a tanker vessel owned by Maersk, the Danish transportation conglomerate, and a passenger ship owned by Viking Line will be outfitted with spinning cylinders on their decks. Mounted vertically and up to 10 stories tall, these "rotor sails" could slash fuel consumption up to 10%, saving transportation companies hundreds of thousands of dollars and cutting soot-causing carbon emissions by thousands of tons per trip. Rotor sails rely on a bit of aerodynamics known as the Magnus effect. In the 1850s, German physicist Heinrich Gustav Magnus noticed that when moving through air a spinning object such as a ball experiences a sideways force. The force comes about as follows. If the ball were not spinning, air would stream straight past it, creating a swirling wake that would stretch out directly behind the ball like the tail of a comet. The turning surface of a spinning ball, however, drags some air with it. The rotation deflects the wake so that it comes off the ball at an angle, closer to the side of the ball that's rotating into the oncoming air. Thanks to Isaac Newton's third law that every action must have an equal and opposite reaction, the deflected wake pushes the ball in the opposite direction, toward the side of the ball that's turning away from the oncoming air. Thus, the spinning ball gets a sideways shove.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

The Google Drive App For PC, Mac Is Being Shut Down In March

Slashdot -

Google announced in a blog post today that the Google Drive app for desktop will be shut down. The Verge reports: Support will be cut off on December 11th and the app will shut down completely on March 12th, 2018. Users who are still running the Drive app will start seeing notifications in October that it's "going away," and the company will steer customers towards one of two replacements depending on whether they're a consumer or business user. Google Drive the service isn't going anywhere. You can still access it from the web, smartphone apps, and either of the software options mentioned below. Google now has two fairly new software tools for backing up your data and/or accessing files in the cloud. There's Backup and Sync, the all-encompassing consumer app that replaces both the standalone Google Drive and Google Photos Uploader apps. It offers essentially the same functionality as Drive and works much the same way. And on the enterprise side, Google has rolled out Drive File Streamer, which saves space on your local drive while providing access to "all of your Google Drive files on demand, directly from your computer."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Nextide Blog: Maestro D8 Concepts Part 2: The Workflow Engine's Internals

Drupal Planet -

The Maestro Engine is the mechanism responsible for executing a workflow template by assigning tasks to actors, executing tasks for the engine and providing all of the other logic and glue functionality to run a workflow.  The maestro module is the core module in the Maestro ecosystem and is the module that houses the template, variable, assignment, queue and process schema.  The maestro module also provides the Maestro API for which developers can interact with the engine to do things such as setting/getting process variables, start processes, move the queue along among many other things.

As noted in the preamble for our Maestro D8 Concepts Part 1: Templates and Tasks post, there is jargon used within Maestro to define certain aspects of the engine and data.  The major terms are as follows:

Nextide Blog: Decoupled Drupal and Ember - Authentication

Drupal Planet -

This is part 2 of our series on developing a Decoupled Drupal Client Application with Ember. If you haven't yet read Part 1, it would be best to review Part1 first, as this article continues on with adding authentication and login form to our application. Shortly, we will explore how to create a new article but for that we will need to have authentication working so that we can pass in our credentials when posting our new article.

Nextide Blog: Maestro D8 Concepts Part 1: Templates and Tasks

Drupal Planet -

Templates and tasks make up the basic building blocks of a Maestro workflow.  Maestro requires a workflow template to be created by an administrator.  When called upon to do so, Maestro will put the template into "production" and will follow the logic in the template until completion.  The definitions of in-production and template are important as they are the defining points for important jargon in Maestro.  Simply put, templates are the workflow patterns that define logic, flow and variables.  Processes are templates that are being executed which then have process variables and assigned tasks in a queue.

Once created, a workflow template allows the Maestro engine to follow a predefined set of steps in order to automate your business process.  When put into production, the template's tasks are executed by the Maestro engine or end users in your system.  This blog post defines what templates and tasks are, and some of the terms associated with them.

 

Nextide Blog: Decoupled Drupal and Ember

Drupal Planet -

This is the first in a series of articles that will document lessons learned while exploring using Ember as a decoupled client with Drupal.

You will need to have Ember CLI installed and a local Drupal 8 (local development assumed). This initial series of articles is based on Ember 2.14 and Drupal 8.3.5 but my initial development was over 6 months ago with earlier versions of both Ember so this should work if you have an earlier ember 2.11 or so installed.

You should read this excellent series of articles written by Preston So of Acquia on using Ember with Drupal that provides a great background and introduction to Ember and Drupal.

Nextide Blog: Maestro Overview Video

Drupal Planet -

We've put together a Maestro overview video introducing you to Maestro for Drupal 8.  Maestro is a workflow engine that allows you to create and automate a sequence of tasks representing any business process. Our business workflow engine has existed in various forms since 2003 and through many years of refinements, it was released for Drupal 7 in 2010. 

If it can be flow-charted, then it can be automated

Now, with the significant updates for Drupal 8, maestro was has been rewritten to take advantage of the Drupal 8 core improvements and module development best practices. Maestro now provides a tighter integration with native views and entity support.

Maestro is a solution to automate business workflow which typically include the movement of documents or forms for editing and review/approval. A business process that would require conditional tests - ie: IF this Then that.

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