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Pittsburgh Is Falling Out of Love With Uber's Self-Driving Cars

Slashdot -

A worn-out welcome: The city rolled out the red carpet as a host to Uber's driverless car experiments, but nine months later its mayor and residents have built up a list of grievances with the public-private partnership. From a report: While our experience in one of the autonomous vehicles was thankfully pretty safe, it wasn't long before reports of accidents and wrong-way driving began to surface during the first month of the operation. Nine months later, the relationship continues to sour, according to a report in the New York Times. The things Uber promised in return for the city's support -- including free rides in driverless cars, backing the city's $50 million federal transportation grant and jobs for a neighborhood nearby Uber's testing track -- have not materialized. The situation was an issue during the mayoral primary, too, with critics calling out incumbent Bill Peduto for not getting these agreements in writing from the ride-sharing company.

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GNU Guix & GuixSD 0.13.0 released

LWN Headlines -

GNU Guix and GuixSD 0.13.0 have been released. GNU Guix is a transactional package manager for the GNU system and the Guix System Distribution, GuixSD, is an advanced distribution of the GNU system. A couple of highlights in this version: Guix can now be used on aarch64 systems, and GuixSD now supports Btrfs and adds the LXDE desktop as an option. See the announcement for more information.

Mark Zuckerberg Is Working On a Way To Connect You To People You 'Should' Know

Slashdot -

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Sunday shared some of what he has learned from his early trips around the country. Recode adds: The actual crux of the post comes later when Zuckerberg writes why he's taking on this new challenge. Basically: He's not running for office, he wants to find ways to strengthen Facebook's "community." Mark said, "I also think this is an area where Facebook can make a difference. Some of you have asked if this challenge means I'm running for public office. I'm not. I'm doing it to get a broader perspective to make sure we're best serving our community of almost 2 billion people at Facebook and doing the best work to promote equal opportunity at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. In many ways, relationships are the most important things in our lives -- whether we're trying to form healthy habits, stay out of trouble, or find better opportunities. And yet, research shows the average American has fewer than three close friends we can turn to for support." To make that difference Zuckerberg is talking about, he said that Facebook is helping people find people they already know but is also working on a way to connect you with people that you should know like mentors.

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Ford Ousted Its CEO And Is Doubling Down On Self-Driving Cars

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader shares a report: At a press conference today, Ford announced that it had replaced CEO Mark Fields with Jim Hackett, director of the company's autonomous-car research. Previously the CEO of furniture company Steelcase (and a former athletic director at the University of Michigan), Hackett took a seat on Ford's board in 2013. He has been running the company's Smart Mobility subsidiary since March 2016. Smart Mobility is tasked with securing Ford's long-term future. The division houses Ford's self-driving car program, which plans to start ferrying employees around its Dearborn, Michigan campus in 2018. Outgoing CEO Mark Fields previously said that Ford would sell autonomous vehicles to consumers by 2025. [...] Hackett is expected to continue the push into self-driving cars. "We have to re-energize our business, we need to modernize our business," executive chairman Bill Ford said about the company's initiatives into new technologies at the conference.

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Valuebound: How to set the right expectations for project delivery?

Drupal Planet -

Setting a clear list of expectation to the client for a project delivery goes a long way to great client relationships. A mismatched and misunderstood project goal and target always leads to dissatisfaction among team members, account head, and all other stakeholders.

I manage a team of a few developers who build web applications in Drupal. While working on projects with my team, I have had the chance to practice a few of the points that I have mentioned in the article. It has not only kept us on track but also kept people happy and motivated.

What should you do? Be involved from the beginning

When you begin a project makes sure that you and your team members are involved in the project from the beginning. There are times when the team would expand…

Facebook Flooded With 'Sextortion' and Revenge Porn, Files Reveal

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader writes: Facebook had to assess nearly 54,000 potential cases of revenge pornography and "sextortion" on the site in a single month, according to a leaked document. Figures shared with staff reveal that in January Facebook had to disable more than 14,000 accounts related to these types of sexual abuse -- and 33 of the cases reviewed involved children. The company relies on users to report most abusive content, meaning the real scale of the problem could be much greater. But the Guardian has been told that moderators find Facebook's policies on sexual content the hardest to follow. "Sexual policy is the one where moderators make most mistakes," said a source. "It is very complex." Facebook admitted this was a high priority area and that it was using "image-matching" software to stop explicit content getting on to the site. It also acknowledged it was difficult to draw a line between acceptable and unacceptable sexual content.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

FreeBSD quarterly status report

LWN Headlines -

FreeBSD has released its status report for the first quarter of 2017. As usual there are reports from the FreeBSD Core Team, the FreeBSD Foundation, the FreeBSD Ports Collection, and the FreeBSD Release Engineering Team, followed by more information about ongoing projects, and more.

Appnovation Technologies: The Future of Drupal

Drupal Planet -

The Future of Drupal *Cross-posted from Millwood Online.  Over the past month there has been a lot of focus on Drupal, the community. More recently it seems people are back to thinking about the software. Dave Hall and David Hernandez both posted eye opening posts with thoughts and ideas of what needs doing and how we can more forward. A one line summary of those posts would be "...

The Supreme Court Is Cracking Down on Patent Trolls

Slashdot -

The Supreme Court on Monday limited the ability of patent holders to bring infringement lawsuits in courts that have plaintiff friendly reputations, a notable decision that could provide a boost to companies that defend against patent claims. The high court, in an opinion by Justice Clarence Thomas, ruled unanimously that a lower court has been following an incorrect legal standard for almost 30 years that made it possible for patent holders to sue companies in almost any U.S. jurisdiction. From a report: The justices sided 8-0 (PDF) with beverage flavoring company TC Heartland in its legal battle with food and beverage company Kraft Heinz, ruling that patent infringement suits can be filed only in courts located in the jurisdiction where the targeted company is incorporated. Justice Neil Gorsuch did not participate in the decision. The decision overturned a ruling last year by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, a Washington-based patent court, that said patent suits are fair game anywhere a defendant company's products are sold.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Security updates for Monday

LWN Headlines -

Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (fop), Debian (dropbear, icu, and openjdk-7), Fedora (chicken, cinnamon-settings-daemon, jbig2dec, libtirpc, sane-backends, and smb4k), Mageia (flash-player-plugin, vlc, and webmin), Oracle (libtirpc and rpcbind), Red Hat (kdelibs, libtirpc, rpcbind, and samba), and SUSE (kernel).

'Science Must Clean Up Its Act'

Slashdot -

Our science community still struggles with diversity, equity, and inclusion issues, including systemic bias, harassment, and discrimination among other things, writes Heather Metcalf, mathematician, computer scientist, social scientist, and also the director of research for the Association for Women in Science. From her piece, in which she has shared both personal anecdotes and general examples, for the Scientific American: [...] Take the recent March for Science. Nearly two weeks ago, scientists and science supporters gathered in Washington, D.C, and around the globe to stand up for "robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity" and put forth a vision of science that "serves the interests of all humans, not just those in power." However, in its attempts to remain apolitical and objective, the march focused primarily on funding and communication aspects of its mission while losing sight of the need for a science that addresses human freedom and prosperity for all, not just the privileged. [...] In the early days of its organizing, the march offered up a strong statement of solidarity acknowledging the complacency with which the scientific community as a whole has handled issues that primarily impact marginalized communities: "many issues about which scientists as a group have largely remained silent -- attacks on black and brown lives, oil pipelines through indigenous lands, sexual harassment and assault, ADA access in our communities, immigration policy, lack of clean water in several cities across the country, poverty wages, LGBTQIA rights, and mass shootings are scientific issues. Science has historically -- and generally continues to support discrimination. In order to move forward as a scientific community, we must address and actively work to unlearn our problematic past and present, to make science available to everyone." This messaging was removed and replaced after much pushback, largely from white men, about the need to remain apolitical and objective. These debates resulted in many women, people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+ scientists, and their allies feeling ostracized and even receiving disrespectful and hateful messages about their place in science generally and in M4S specifically. Rather than standing up for a science that is available to everyone, these conversations and the march itself merely served represent an exclusionary science by reinforcing longstanding, divisive norms within the scientific community, all in the name of objectivity..

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Hackers Hit Russian Bank Customers, Planned International Cyber Raids

Slashdot -

Russian cyber criminals used malware planted on Android mobile devices to steal from domestic bank customers and were planning to target European lenders before their arrest, investigators and sources with knowledge of the case told Reuters. From the report: Their campaign raised a relatively small sum by cyber-crime standards -- more than 50 million roubles ($892,000) -- but they had also obtained more sophisticated malicious software for a modest monthly fee to go after the clients of banks in France and possibly a range of other western nations. Russia's relationship to cyber crime is under intense scrutiny after U.S. intelligence officials alleged that Russian hackers had tried to help Republican Donald Trump win the U.S. presidency by hacking Democratic Party servers. The Kremlin has repeatedly denied the allegation. The gang members tricked the Russian banks' customers into downloading malware via fake mobile banking applications, as well as via pornography and e-commerce programs, according to a report compiled by cyber security firm Group-IB which investigated the attack with the Russian Interior Ministry.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

The end of Parsix GNU/Linux

LWN Headlines -

The Debian-based Parsix distribution has announced that it will be shutting down six months after the Debian "Stretch" release. "Parsix GNU/Linux 8.15 (Nev) will be fully supported during this time and users should be able to upgrade their installations to Debian Stretch without any significant issues. We will make all necessary changes, and updates to ensure a smooth transition to Debian Stretch."

Bitcoin Price Hits Fresh Record High Above $2,200

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader writes: Monday marks the seven-year anniversary of Bitcoin Pizza Day -- the moment a programmer named Laszlo Hanyecz spent 10,000 bitcoin on two Papa John's pizzas. More important than the episode being widely recognized as the first transaction using the cryptocurrency is what it tells us about the bitcoin rally that saw it break through the $2,100 mark on Monday. Bitcoin was trading as high as $2,185.89 in the early hours of Monday morning, hitting a fresh record high, after first powering through the $2,000 barrier over the weekend, according to CoinDesk data. Throughout the weekend, the value of cryptocurrency was looming around $2,000.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Privacy-Focused Debian-Based Tails 3.0 Reaches RC Status

Slashdot -

BrianFagioli quotes BetaNews: Today, Tails achieves an important milestone. Version 3.0 reaches RC status -- meaning the first release candidate (RC1). In other words, it may soon be ready for a stable release -- if testing confirms as much. If you want to test it and provide feedback, you can download the ISO now. This is quite the significant upgrade, as the operating system is moving to a new base — Debian 9 "Stretch." The Debian kernel gets upgraded to 4.9.0-3, which is based on Linux kernel 4.9.25. As previously reported back in February, Tails 3.0 will drop 32-bit processor support too. Using Tor is a huge part of the privacy aspect of Tails, and the tor web browser sees an update to 7.0a4. Tor itself is updated to 0.3.0.7-1. Less important is the move from Icedove to Thunderbird for email. This is really in name only, as Debian has begun using the "Thunderbird" branding again. From a feature perspective, it is inconsequential.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

CodeSOD: Hard Reboot

The Daily WTF -

Every day in IT, each one of us walks the fine line between "brilliant" and "appalling." We come across things that make our jaws drop, and we're not sure whether we're amazed or horrified or both. Here's a PHP sample that Brett P. was lucky—or unlucky—enough to discover:

This comes from circa 2001, back when there were MySQL stability issues on a server. If in response to the end user's request the script couldn't connect to the session database, PHP would shell out to a VB6 .EXE that rebooted the machine. Ta dum! No more connection error!

if (strpos(mysql_error(), "connect to MySQL server on 'localhost' (10061)")) {     // The MySQL Error: Can't connect to MySQL server on 'localhost' (10061)     // means that the MySQL database is not running. This is caused by a failed     // reboot. Since MySQL is not running, it is safe to execute a hard boot.     echo "Currently rebooting the server. Please try again in two minutes.";     flush();     exec("c:\Progra~1\progs\hardboot.exe"); }

That comment block full of flimsy assumptions and unwarranted confidence makes my insides knot up with dread. I'm leaning toward "appalling" on this one. Anyone else?

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Linux 4.10 Kernel Reaches End of Life

Slashdot -

prisoninmate quotes Softpedia: As it's not an LTS (Long Term Support) branch, the Linux 4.10 kernel series was doomed to reach end of life sooner or later, and it happened this weekend with the release of the Linux kernel 4.10.17 patch, which is a major one changing a total of 103 files, with 981 insertions and 538 deletions. Therefore, users are now urged to move to the Linux 4.11 kernel series. If you're using a GNU/Linux distribution powered by a kernel from the Linux 4.10 series you need to update to version 4.10.17 as soon as it makes its way into the stable repositories. However, please inform your OS vendor that they need to upgrade the kernel packages to the Linux 4.11 series immediately.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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