Feed aggregator

Eudyptula Challenge Status report

LWN Headlines -

The Eudyptula Challenge is a series of programming exercises for the Linux kernel. It starts from a very basic "Hello world" kernel module, moves up in complexity to getting patches accepted into the main kernel. The challenge will be closed to new participants in a few months, when 20,000 people have signed up. LWN covered the Eudyptula Challenge in May 2014, when it was fairly new. At this time over 19,000 people have signed up and only 149 have finished.

Samsung's Calls For Industry To Embrace Its Battery Check Process as a New Standard Have Been Ignored

Slashdot -

Months after the Galaxy Note 7 debacle, the topic remains too hot for the rest of the wireless industry to handle. From a report on CNET: With Samsung's Galaxy S8 to launch next week, a renewed discussion of the Note 7, which had an unhealthy tendency to catch fire and which had to be recalled, is inevitable. Samsung opened that door in January when it embarked on a mea culpa tour. Beyond spelling out the cause of the overheating problem in its popular phone, the company unveiled an eight-point battery check system it said surpassed industry practices, and it invited rivals to follow its model. But two months after the introduction, what's the industry response? A collective shrug. Interviews with phone makers and carriers found that while all placed a high priority on safety, few would talk specifically about Samsung's new battery check process or the idea of adopting it for themselves.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Blinking Cursor Devours CPU Cycles in Visual Studio Code Editor

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader shares a report on The Register: Microsoft describes Visual Studio Code as a source code editor that's "optimized for building and debugging modern web and cloud applications." In fact, VSC turns out to be rather inefficient when it comes to CPU resources. Developer Jo Liss has found that the software, when in focus and idle, uses 13 percent of CPU capacity just to render its blinking cursor. Liss explains that the issue can be reproduced by closing all VSC windows, opening a new window, opening a new tab with an empty untitled file, then checking CPU activity. For other macOS applications that present a blinking cursor, like Chrome or TextEdit, Liss said, the CPU usage isn't nearly as excessive. The issue is a consequence of rendering the cursor every 16.67ms (60 fps) rather than every 500ms.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Alcohol Is Good for Your Heart -- Most of the Time

Slashdot -

Alcohol, in moderation, has a reputation for being healthy for the heart. Drinking about a glass of wine for women per day, and two glasses for men, is linked to a lower risk of heart attack, stroke and death from heart disease. From a report on Time: A new study of nearly two million people published in The BMJ adds more evidence that moderate amounts of alcohol appear to be healthy for most heart conditions -- but not all of them. The researchers analyzed the link between alcohol consumption and 12 different heart ailments in a large group of U.K. adults. None of the people in the study had cardiovascular disease when the study started. People who did not drink had an increased risk for eight of the heart ailments, ranging from 12 percent to 56 percent, compared to people who drank in moderation. These eight conditions include the most common heart events, such as heart attack, stroke and sudden heart-related death.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

App That Lets People Make Personalized Emojis Is the Fastest Growing App In Past Two Years

Slashdot -

From a report on Axios: Bitmoji is the fastest-growing app in America, per comScore, with a more than 5000 percent increase in monthly unique visitors over the past two years. E-commerce apps OfferUp and Letgo are the 2nd and 3rd fastest-growing apps. The findings from comScore's latest study highlight three of the fastest-growing mobile market trends: E-commerce: Letgo (3), OfferUp (2), Flipp (4), Venmo (5) and Wish (7), are facilitating real-world marketplace transactions. Travel: Uber (6), Waze (8) and Lyft (9) all help users travel from one point to another via auto. Social connectivity: Tinder (10), Bitmoji (1) and GroupMe (11) all facilitate gatherings and social interaction. FastCompany wrote a profile of Bitmoji and why so many people seem to be a big fan of it.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Americans' Shift To The Suburbs Sped Up Last Year

Slashdot -

Jed Kolko, writing for FiveThirtyEight: The suburbanization of America marches on. Population growth in big cities slowed for the fifth-straight year in 2016, according to new census data, while population growth accelerated in the more sprawling counties that surround them. The Census Bureau on Thursday released population estimates for every one of the more than 3,000 counties in the U.S. I grouped those counties into six categories: urban centers of large metropolitan areas; their densely populated suburbs; their lightly populated suburbs; midsize metros; smaller metro areas; and rural counties, which are outside metro areas entirely. The fastest growth was in those lower-density suburbs. Those counties grew by 1.3 percent in 2016, the fastest rate since 2008, when the housing bust put an end to rapid homebuilding in these areas. In the South and West, growth in large-metro lower-density suburbs topped 2 percent in 2016, led by counties such as Kendall and Comal north of San Antonio; Hays near Austin; and Forsyth, north of Atlanta.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Security updates for Friday

LWN Headlines -

Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (libpurple), Debian (audiofile, cgiemail, and imagemagick), Fedora (cloud-init, empathy, and mupdf), Mageia (firefox and thunderbird), Scientific Linux (icoutils and openjpeg), Slackware (mcabber and samba), and Ubuntu (eglibc).

Some Of Hacker Group's Claims Of Having Access To 250M iCloud Accounts Aren't False

Slashdot -

Earlier this week, a hacker group claimed that it had access to 250 million iCloud accounts. The hackers, who called themselves part of Turkish Crime Family group, threatened to reset passwords of all the iCloud accounts and remotely wipe those iPhones. Apple could stop them, they said, if it paid them a ransom by April 7. In a statement, Apple said, "the alleged list of email addresses and passwords appears to have been obtained from previously compromised third-party services," and that it is working with law enforcement officials to identify the hackers. Now, ZDNet reports that it obtained a set of credentials from the hacker group and was able to verify some of the claims. From the article: ZDNet obtained a set of 54 credentials from the hacker group for verification. All the 54 accounts were valid, based on a check using the site's password reset function. These accounts include "icloud.com," dating back to 2011, and legacy "me.com" and "mac.com" domains from as early as 2000. The list of credentials contained just email addresses and plain-text passwords, separated by a colon, which according to Troy Hunt, data breach expert and owner of notification site Have I Been Pwned, makes it likely that the data "could be aggregated from various sources." We started working to contact each person, one by one, to confirm their password. Most of the accounts are no longer registered with iMessage and could not be immediately reached. However, 10 people in total confirmed that their passwords were accurate, and as a result have now been changed.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Some Of Hacker Group's Claim Of Having Access To 250M iCloud Account Aren't False

Slashdot -

Earlier this week, a hacker group claimed that it had access to 250 million iCloud accounts. The hackers, who called themselves part of Turkish Crime Family group, threatened to reset passwords of all the iCloud accounts and remotely wipe those iPhones. Apple could stop them, they said, if it paid them a ransom by April 7. In a statement, Apple said, "the alleged list of email addresses and passwords appears to have been obtained from previously compromised third-party services," and that it is working with law enforcement officials to identify the hackers. Now, ZDNet reports that it obtained a set of credentials from the hacker group and was able to verify some of the claims. From the article: ZDNet obtained a set of 54 credentials from the hacker group for verification. All the 54 accounts were valid, based on a check using the site's password reset function. These accounts include "icloud.com," dating back to 2011, and legacy "me.com" and "mac.com" domains from as early as 2000. The list of credentials contained just email addresses and plain-text passwords, separated by a colon, which according to Troy Hunt, data breach expert and owner of notification site Have I Been Pwned, makes it likely that the data "could be aggregated from various sources." We started working to contact each person, one by one, to confirm their password. Most of the accounts are no longer registered with iMessage and could not be immediately reached. However, 10 people in total confirmed that their passwords were accurate, and as a result have now been changed.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Amazon Wins $1.5 Billion Tax Dispute Over IRS

Slashdot -

Amazon.com on Thursday won a more than $1.5 billion tax dispute with the Internal Revenue Service over transactions involving a Luxembourg unit more than a decade ago. From a report: Judge Albert Lauber of the U.S. Tax Court rejected a variety of IRS arguments, and found that on several occasions the agency abused its discretion, or acted arbitrarily or capriciously. Amazon's ultimate tax liability from the decision was not immediately clear. The world's largest online retailer has said the case involved transactions in 2005 and 2006, and could boost its federal tax bill by $1.5 billion plus interest. It also said a loss could add "significant" tax liabilities in later years. Amazon made just $2.37 billion of profit in 2016, four times what it made in the four prior years combined, on revenue of $136 billion.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Hollywood Producer Blames Rotten Tomatoes For Convincing People Not To See His Movie

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader shares a VanityFair report: These days, it takes less than 60 seconds to know what the general consensus on a new movie is -- thanks to Rotten Tomatoes, the review aggregator site that designates a number score to each film based on critical and user reviews. Although this may be convenient for moviegoers not necessarily interested in burning $15 on a critically subpar film, it is certainly not convenient for those Hollywood directors, producers, backers, and stars who toiled to make said critically subpar film. In fact, the site may be "the worst thing that we have in today's movie culture" -- at least according to Brett Ratner, the Rush Hour director/producer who recently threw the financial weight of his RatPac Entertainment behind Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Sure, the blockbuster made over $850 million worldwide in spite of negative reviews ... but just think of how much more it could have made had it not had a Rotten Tomatoes score of 27 percent! Last week, while speaking at the Sun Valley Film Festival, Ratner said, "The worst thing that we have in today's movie culture is Rotten Tomatoes. I think it's the destruction of our business."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Sea Ice Extent Sinks To Record Lows At Both Poles

Slashdot -

According to NASA, Arctic sea ice appears to have reached on March 7 a record low wintertime maximum extent. On the opposite side of the planet, Antartica ice hit its lowest extent ever recorded by satellites (since satellites began measuring sea ice in 1979) on March 3 at the end of summer in the Southern Hemisphere. Science Daily reports: Total polar sea ice covered 6.26 million square miles (16.21 million square kilometers), which is 790,000 square miles (2 million square kilometers) less than the average global minimum extent for 1981-2010 -- the equivalent of having lost a chunk of sea ice larger than Mexico. The ice floating on top of the Arctic Ocean and surrounding seas shrinks in a seasonal cycle from mid-March until mid-September. As the Arctic temperatures drop in the autumn and winter, the ice cover grows again until it reaches its yearly maximum extent, typically in March. The ring of sea ice around the Antarctic continent behaves in a similar manner, with the calendar flipped: it usually reaches its maximum in September and its minimum in February. This winter, a combination of warmer-than-average temperatures, winds unfavorable to ice expansion, and a series of storms halted sea ice growth in the Arctic. This year's maximum extent, reached on March 7 at 5.57 million square miles (14.42 million square kilometers), is 37,000 square miles (97,00 square kilometers) below the previous record low, which occurred in 2015, and 471,000 square miles (1.22 million square kilometers) smaller than the average maximum extent for 1981-2010.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Relicensing OpenSSL

LWN Headlines -

Back in 2015, the OpenSSL project announced its intent to move away from its rather quirky license. Now it has announced that the change is moving forward. "After careful review, consultation with other projects, and input from the Core Infrastructure Initiative and legal counsel from the SFLC, the OpenSSL team decided to relicense the code under the widely-used ASLv2." It is worth noting that this change and the way it is being pursued are not universally popular, in the OpenBSD camp, at least.

Error'd: {{$Errord_title = null}}

The Daily WTF -

"Wow! Those folks from null and undefined must be big fans! I mean, just look at that voting turnout!" Kayleigh wrote.

 

"Ah, Google News, you never fail to find the bugs in news sites' pages," wrote Paul B.

 

Geof writes, "Based on the reservation name, I hope that I won't be eating alone."

 

"Viber blocks 'null' friends because no one needs friends that are never there when you need them," Chizzy wrote.

 

"Thanks AT&T for the personalized video tour of, apparently, nobody's bill," writes Zach K.

 

Kevin L. writes, "So...will I have to hold the deposit, and null deposit to enter the lease?"

 

"Looks like little Bobby Tables signed up for an account with Vodafone NZ just before my mother tried to," wrote Peter G.

 

[Advertisement] Onsite, remote, bare-metal or cloud – create, configure and orchestrate 1,000s of servers, all from the same dashboard while continually monitoring for drift and allowing for instantaneous remediation. Download Otter today!

Molecule Kills Elderly Cells, Reduces Signs of Aging In Mice

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader shares an excerpt from a Science Magazine report: Even if you aren't elderly, your body is home to agents of senility -- frail and damaged cells that age us and promote disease. Now, researchers have developed a molecule that selectively destroys these so-called senescent cells. The compound makes old mice act and appear more youthful, providing hope that it may do the same for us. As we get older, senescent cells build up in our tissues, where researchers think they contribute to illnesses such as heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes. In the past, scientists have genetically modified mice to dispatch their senescent cells, allowing the rodents to live longer and reducing plaque buildup in their arteries. Such genetic alterations aren't practical for people, but researchers have reported at least seven compounds, known as senolytics, that kill senescent cells. A clinical trial is testing two of the drugs in patients with kidney disease, and other trials are in the works. However, current senolytic compounds, many of which are cancer drugs, come with downsides. They can kill healthy cells or trigger side effects such as a drop in the number of platelets, the cellular chunks that help our blood clot. Cell biologist Peter de Keizer of Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and colleagues were investigating how senescent cells stay alive when they uncovered a different strategy for attacking them. Senescent cells carry the type of DNA damage that should spur a protective protein, called p53, to put them down. Instead, the researchers found that a different protein, FOXO4, latches onto p53 and prevents it from doing its duty. To counteract this effect, De Keizer and colleagues designed a molecule, known as a peptide, that carries a shortened version of the segment of FOXO4 that attaches to p53. In a petri dish, this peptide prevented FOXO4 and p53 from hooking up, prompting senescent cells to commit suicide. But it spared healthy cells. The researchers then injected the molecule into mutant mice that age rapidly. These rodents live about half as long as normal mice, and when they are only a few months old, their fur starts to fall out, their kidneys begin to falter, and they become sluggish. However, the peptide boosted the density of their fur, reversed the kidney damage, and increased the amount of time they could scurry in a running wheel, the scientists report online today in Cell. When the researchers tested the molecule in normal, elderly mice, they saw a similar picture: In addition to helping their kidneys and fur, the molecule also increased their willingness to explore their surroundings.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Red-Light Camera Grace Period Goes From 0.1 To 0.3 Seconds, Chicago To Lose $17 Million

Slashdot -

The Chicago Department of Transportation announced a new policy earlier this week that will increase the "grace period" -- the time between when a traffic light turns red to when a ticket is automatically issued. The decision has been made to increase the time from 0.1 seconds to 0.3 seconds, following recommendations part of a recent study of its red-light cameras. Ars Technica reports: This will bring the Windy City in line with other American metropolises, including New York City and Philadelphia. In a statement, the city agency said that this increase would "maintain the safety benefits of the program while ensuring the program's fairness." On Tuesday, the Chicago Tribune reported that the city would lose $17 million in revenue this year alone as a result of the expanded grace period. Michael Claffey, a CDOT spokesman, confirmed that figure to Ars. "We want to emphasize that extending this enforcement threshold is not an invitation to drivers to try to beat the red light," CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld also said in the statement. "By accepting the recommendation of the academic team, we are giving the benefit of the doubt to well-intentioned drivers while remaining focused on the most reckless behaviors."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

tanay.co.in: Drupal Community Deadlock - The way for Drupal Association to restore normalcy and come out clean

Drupal Planet -

Drupal Community is in a tough situation. A series of events had led to a popular contributor and leader from the Drupal community, Larry Garfield, to be asked to step down. Apparently, there was some incriminating evidence against Larry, that have led Drupal Association (DA) to take this decision.

 

I am not going into the details of the issue, which you can understand from here, here, here and here.

 

Several people, over the past day, have asked me if I approve of DA’s decision and Dries’ actions. I had chosen to not take a side, for I believe there has been an imbalance of information available to me from both perspectives to be able to form a sound opinion about the issue.

 

I see the current situation in a deadlock.

  1. A large section of the Drupal community has expressed displeasure and disapproval of DA/CWG’s decision, demanding that any evidence that can prove in any way that Larry has violated the Code of Conduct, or in anyway abused anyone, or used his position in the Drupal community to force his ways of life on anyone, be made public, justifying DA’s decision.

  2. DA/CWG has so far refused to disclose any evidence or supporting details, apparently in the interest of protecting the privacy of the other members who provided the evidence, as well as in the interest of Larry.

 

It is difficult to restore normalcy and trust in DA without releasing more information and evidence. And DA would not want to do it to protect the members who shared the evidence to DA. Hence the deadlock.

 

Drupal Community, as I have known it, has always been the most open and embracing community to people of all races, gender, orientation and ways of life. And I strongly believe it still remains the same.

 

To see something like this break the trust that the community and Drupal Association has earned over the years, is disheartening.

 

Here are a couple of ways, I believe, in which DA can restore the faith of the community on the association and CWG:

 

  1. Release the evidence, withholding any personal details of any of the personnel who provided the evidence, masking any data that could either directly or indirectly lead to any specific individuals from being recognized.

     

  2. If the evidence has such personal information scattered all over, making it difficult for DA to make the evidence public, DA could invite a panel of five prominent leaders from Drupal or Opensource communities all over, who have publicly expressed their disapproval of DA’s decision. DA can then share the evidence with the panel, who could then review the decision and express their opinion about if DA’s decision to ask Larry to step down was reasonable, considering the evidence. The panel members, before being able to access the evidence, should agree to ensure they will keep all evidence shared with them extremely confidential, and will not disclose anything from the evidence, except their opinion about whether the decision taken by DA was reasonable.

     

Another idea for building such Panel easier would be - DA’s elections for Position of Director at Large have just ended. The list of candidates is here -  Inviting the top 5 contestants, who won the maximum votes, could make such panel formation pretty quick.

 

DA might not be technically accountable to validate every decision of their board by some external panel. However the onus is on DA to restore any lost confidence of the community on DA/CWG and to come out clean.  

 

If there is anything that DA could do, to restore the lost trust and confidence that the community has vested so far on DA, and lost significantly over the past couple of days, I think this would be it.

 

DA/CWG still has my confidence and trust. However, with the data available in front of me, I am inclined to believe that the decision taken by DA was not reasonable or justified. Although I still believe this is because DA hasn’t made public, their perspective of things and events. Would love to see DA go the extra mile to restore everyone’s confidence on the association.

 

Thumbnail Image: Source

 

US Ordered 'Mandatory Social Media Check' For Visa Applicants Who Visited ISIS Territory

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has ordered a "mandatory social media check" on all visa applicants who have ever visited ISIS-controlled territory, according to diplomatic cables obtained by Reuters. The four memos were sent to American diplomatic missions over the past two weeks, with the most recent issued on March 17th. According to Reuters, they provide details into a revised screening process that President Donald Trump has described as "extreme vetting." A memo sent on March 16th rescinds some of the instructions that Tillerson outlined in the previous cables, including an order that would have required visa applicants to hand over all phone numbers, email addresses, and social media accounts that they have used in the past. The secretary of state issued the memo after a Hawaii judge blocked the Trump administration's revised travel ban on citizens from six predominantly Muslim countries. In addition to the social media check, the most recent memo calls for consular officials to identify "populations warranting increased scrutiny." Two former government officials tell Reuters that the social media order could lead to delays in processing visa applications, with one saying that such checks were previously carried out on rare occasions.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

PreviousNext: Migrating Drupal 7 File Entities to Drupal 8 Media Entities

Drupal Planet -

The Drupal 8.3.x branch is getting ready to introduce a new experimental media module. This will bring enhanced media handling in Drupal 8. The closest solution in Drupal 7 to handle media is the file entity module. Now is the time to discuss migrations from file entity in Drupal 7 to media entities in Drupal 8. For core, there is already an issue for this, but for contrib... there is no migration. So, I wrote one.

Pages

Subscribe to Heydon Consulting aggregator