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Sindhu Sundar: Hacker School

Planet GNOME - Dje, 20/04/2014 - 8:30md

I am very pleased to tell you that I am going to attend Hacker School this fall :-) The process was short and fast with a application form, two short Skype interviews and voila! I was in :)

To all those who asked me, "How was it?", I tell you, you should apply too :) If programming pikes your curiosity enough to spend hours at a stretch at it chasing a bug, building something and deriving satisfaction out of understand how software (and a bunch of them mashed together) work, then Hacker School is for you!

When I was asked what is the most fascinating thing I learnt recently I mentioned: Docker project - this thing can eliminate the need for VMs...well almost :) Related to it is an issue I faced when I messed up my existing Arch Linux installation and the kernel could find no hard disk to boot from and then I learnt this and it lead to me reading http://kernelnewbies.org/RootFileSystem.

So, at Hacker School, I intend to...

Focus Areas: The Linux Kernel, Web Programming/Dev Operations Focus platforms/languages:

  • [Web]: Python, Rails/Ruby, Databases(What?Why?How?)
  • [Systems]: C, Go (or Rust?)

Currently

  • Counting days left for NYC
  • Lots of meta Hacker School planning (grant, accomodation et al)
  • Setting up stuff to learn about Kernel
  • Reading Apprenticeship patterns by Hoover and Oshineye.
  • Mentoring for Outreach Program for Women (Documentation)

Sindhu Sundar: Gist it!

Planet GNOME - Dje, 20/04/2014 - 8:30md

So I wrote a script for gEdit's External Tools plugin called Gist it!. The code is here. Like all things recursive, I dogfooded the script of my accounbt :) Watch how it works in this screencast video.

I came up with the idea for Hacker School interview round 2. It was based on the fpaste script for the same project. The code is mainly for use inside gEdit editor with the External Tools plugin enabled. The code has three external dependencies that may not be available by default on your computer even if you have GNOME desktop installed. It's a python3 script so make sure you pip3 install requests module, gi.repository module. Install zenity via your system's package manager.

I could have removed the dependency on zenity by simply using gi.repository's function to build Dialogs but that means longer code and eyesore reducing reability. Zenity is concise and pretty :)

3.15-rc2: mainline

Kernel Linux - Dje, 20/04/2014 - 8:08md
Version:3.15-rc2 (mainline) Released:2014-04-20 Source:linux-3.15-rc2.tar.xz PGP Signature:linux-3.15-rc2.tar.sign Patch:patch-3.15-rc2.xz
Kategoritë: Kernel Linux

Google Aids Scientology-Linked Group CCHR With Pay-Per-Click Ads

Slashdot.org - Dje, 20/04/2014 - 7:59md
An anonymous reader writes "The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), a Scientology front group, has received a 'grant from Google in the amount of $10,000 per month worth of Pay Per Click Advertising to be used in our Orange County anti-psych campaigns.' CCHR believes that ALL psychiatrists are evil. They believe that psychiatrists were behind the holocaust, and these shadow men were never brought to justice. CCHR also believes that psychiatrists were behind the 911 attacks. Scientologists believe that psychiatrists have always been evil, and their treachery goes back 75 million years when the psychiatrists assisted XENU in killing countless alien life forms. Thanks Google! We may be able to stop these evil Psychs once and for all!"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Cody Wilson Interview at Reason: Happiness Is a 3D Printed Gun

Slashdot.org - Dje, 20/04/2014 - 6:45md
An anonymous reader writes "Cody Wilson details his conflict with the State Department over 3-D printable guns in this new interview with ReasonTV. In this video, he discusses how 3-D printing will render gun control laws obsolete and unenforceable; why Dark Wallet, his new crypto-currency, is much more subversive than Bitcoin; his legal defense, headed by Alan Gura (attorney in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago); and his forthcoming book about anarchy and the future."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Google and Facebook: Unelected Superpowers?

Slashdot.org - Dje, 20/04/2014 - 5:48md
theodp (442580) writes "'The government is not the only American power whose motivations need to be rigourously examined,' writes The Telegraph's Katherine Rushton. 'Some 2,400 miles away from Washington, in Silicon Valley, Google is aggressively gaining power with little to keep it in check. It has cosied up to governments around the world so effectively that its chairman, Eric Schmidt, is a White House advisor. In Britain, its executives meet with ministers more than almost any other corporation. Google can't be blamed for this: one of its jobs is to lobby for laws that benefit its shareholders, but it is up to governments to push back. As things stand, Google — and to a lesser extent, Facebook — are in danger of becoming the architects of the law.' Schmidt, by the way, is apparently interested in influencing at least two current hot-button White House issues. Joined by execs from Apple, Oracle, and Facebook, the Google Chairman asserted in a March letter to Secretary of State John Kerry that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline is not in the economic interests of the U.S.; the Obama administration on Friday extended the review period on the pipeline, perhaps until after the Nov. 4 congressional elections. And as a 'Major Contributor' to Mark Zuckerberg's FWD.us PAC, Schmidt is also helping to shape public opinion on the White House's call for immigration reform; FWD.us just launched new attack ads (videos) and a petition aimed at immigration reform opponent Rep. Steve King. In Dave Eggers' The Circle, politicians who impede the company execs' agenda are immediately brought down. But that's fiction, right?"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Why Tesla Really Needs a Gigafactory

Slashdot.org - Dje, 20/04/2014 - 4:56md
Hodejo1 (1252120) writes "Tesla has already put over 25,000 cars on the road with more to come and, presumably, most will still be running well past the 8-year battery warranty. What would happen if it is time to replace the battery pack on an old Model S or X and the cost is $25K? Simple, it would destroy the resale value of said cars, which would negatively affect the lease value of new Tesla automobiles. That's a big part of the real reason why Tesla is building its own battery factory. They not only need to ensure enough supply for new cars, but they have to dramatically bring down the price of the replacement batteries low enough so owners of otherwise perfectly running old Teslas don't just junk them. The Tesla Roadster was not a mass produced vehicle, so the cost of replacing its battery is $40K. The economies of scale of a gigafactory alone will drop battery costs dramatically. Heavy research could drop it further over the next decade or so."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








LADEE Probe Ends Its Mission On the Far Side Of the Moon

Slashdot.org - Dje, 20/04/2014 - 3:27md
The mission of NASA's LADEE probe was brought to an intentional violent end yesterday, when it smashed into the far side of the moon. As the Ars Technica report explains, "NASA's policy is to treat the locations of the Moon landings as historical sites, and it takes pains to preserve them from possible damage. LADEE didn't have the fuel to control its orbit indefinitely. As a result, the controllers had been preparing to terminate the probe for several weeks. ... The exact moment of impact isn't clear, since the precise terrain it hit couldn't be determined in advance. (If it hit a ridge, it would have happened earlier than if LADEE plowed across a plain. What is clear is that the impact destroyed the probe." Before the end of LADEE's mission, besides close up observations, the craft was used to test a new laser-based communication system.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Obama Delays Decision On Keystone Pipeline Yet Again

Slashdot.org - Dje, 20/04/2014 - 2:29md
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "The Christian Science Monitor reports that once again, the Obama administration has pushed back a final decision on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline possibly delaying the final determination until after the November midterm elections. In announcing the delay, the State Department cited a Nebraska Supreme Court case that could affect the route of the pipeline that may not be decided until next year, as well as additional time needed to review 2.5 million public comments on the project. Both supporters and opponents of the pipeline criticized the delay as a political ploy. Democratic incumbents from oil-rich states have urged President Obama to approve the pipeline but approving the pipeline before the election could staunch the flow of money from liberal donors and fund-raisers who oppose the project. The Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell said in a statement that "at a time of high unemployment in the Obama economy, it's a shame that the administration has delayed the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline for years." Activists say its construction could devastate the environment, but several State Department reviews have concluded that the pipeline would be safe and was unlikely to significantly increase the rate of carbon pollution in the atmosphere. Even if the pipeline was canceled, it said, the oil sands crude was likely to be extracted and brought to market by other means, such as rail, and then processed and burned."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








OpenSSL Cleanup: Hundreds of Commits In a Week

Slashdot.org - Dje, 20/04/2014 - 12:37md
New submitter CrAlt (3208) writes with this news snipped from BSD news stalwart undeadly.org: "After the news of heartbleed broke early last week, the OpenBSD team dove in and started axing it up into shape. Leading this effort are Ted Unangst (tedu@) and Miod Vallat (miod@), who are head-to-head on a pure commit count basis with both having around 50 commits in this part of the tree in the week since Ted's first commit in this area. They are followed closely by Joel Sing (jsing@) who is systematically going through every nook and cranny and applying some basic KNF. Next in line are Theo de Raadt (deraadt@) and Bob Beck (beck@) who've been both doing a lot of cleanup, ripping out weird layers of abstraction for standard system or library calls. ... All combined, there've been over 250 commits cleaning up OpenSSL. In one week.'" You can check out the stats, in progress.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








RIP, NASA Moon Landing Engineer John C. Houbolt

Slashdot.org - Dje, 20/04/2014 - 9:46pd
The Houston Chronicle reports the death of John C. Houbolt, whose ideas helped guide the U.S. moon-landing programs. Houbolt died on Tuesday at the age of 95, in a nursing home in Maine. Says the Chronicle's obituary: "His efforts in the early 1960s are largely credited with convincing NASA to focus on the launch of a module carrying a crew from lunar orbit, rather than a rocket from earth or a space craft while orbiting the planet. Houbolt argued that a lunar orbit rendezvous, or lor, would not only be less mechanically and financially onerous than building a huge rocket to take man to the moon or launching a craft while orbiting the earth, but lor was the only option to meet President John F. Kennedy's challenge before the end of the decade."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Closing Surgical Incisions With a Paintbrush and Nanoparticles

Slashdot.org - Dje, 20/04/2014 - 6:55pd
New submitter BiancaM (3582365) writes "A group of chemists has shown the power of nanoparticles for closing and healing surgical wounds [abstract]. Using no more than a paintbrush they are able to close surgical openings as well as classical techniques such as sutures. However in fragile deep tissues such as liver even more remarkable results were found- normally fatal damage to internal organs is repaired in seconds using a nanoparticle glue. The results show that closing after surgery can be faster and simpler using nanomaterials to glue wounds shut." For something between the above linked abstract and the research paper, there's this write-up at PhysOrg, and a video of the technique in action.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Ubuntu Classroom: Ubuntu Open Week for Trusty: Starting Soon!

Planet UBUNTU - Dje, 20/04/2014 - 5:15pd

And the Ubuntu Open Week for this cycle is just around the corner! This will be three days full of excitement, where you will be able to know what different teams and people in the community do. Whether you are a developer, a designer, a tester or a community member, this is the right event if you want to get involved with the community and are looking for a starting point.

The event will take place from April 22nd to April 24th 2014, from 15 to 19 UTC each day. During these three days we will have people from various teams, such as the Server, Documentation, and Juju teams. There are twelve different sessions scheduled, so make sure to find which ones interest you and write the times down in your calendars! The full schedule can be found at the Open Week Wiki page.

All sessions will take place at #ubuntu-classroom and #ubuntu-classroom-chat on irc.freenode.net (click here to join from your web browser). There are three sessions in the schedule which are labeled with the [ON AIR!] tag, which means the session will be streamed live at the Ubuntu on Air! webpage.

In the case you can not attend the event, logs will be linked in the schedule as soon as they become available. For On Air! sessions, they will be available at the Ubuntu on Air! YouTube Channel. Hope to see you all there!


Russell Coker: Sociological Images 2012

Planet Debian - Dje, 20/04/2014 - 4:00pd

In 2011 I wrote a post that was inspired by the Sociological Images blog [1]. After some delay here I’ve written another one. I plan to continue documenting such things.

Playground

In 2011 I photographed a plaque at Flagstaff Gardens in Melbourne. It shows a picture of the playground in 1918 with segregated boys and girls sections. It’s interesting that the only difference between the two sections is that the boys have horizontal bars and a trapeze. Do they still have gender segregated playgrounds anywhere in Australia? If so what is the difference in the sections?

Aborigines

The Android game Paradise Island [2] has a feature where you are supposed to stop Aborigines from stealing, it plays on the old racist stereotypes about Aborigines which are used to hide the historical record that it’s always been white people stealing from the people that they colonise.

There is also another picture showing the grass skirts. Nowadays the vast majority of Aborigines don’t wear such clothing, the only time they do is when doing some sort of historical presentation for tourists.

I took those pictures in 2012, but apparently the game hasn’t changed much since then.

Lemonade

Is lemonade a drink or a flavour? Most people at the party where I took the above photo regard lemonade as a drink and found the phrase “Lemonade Flavoured Soft Drink” strange when it was pointed out to them. Incidentally the drink on the right tastes a bit like the US version of lemonade (which is quite different from the Australian version). For US readers, the convention in Australia is that “lemonade” has no flavor of lemons.

Not Sweet

In 2012 an apple cider company made a huge advertising campaign featuring people who might be gender queer, above is a picture of a bus stop poster and there were also TV ads. The adverts gave no information at all about what the drink might taste like apart from not being “as sweet as you think”. So it’s basically an advertising campaign with no substance other than a joke about people who don’t conform to gender norms.

Also it should be noted that some women naturally grow beards and have religious reasons for not shaving [3].

Episode 2 of the TV documentary series “Am I Normal” has an interesting interview of a woman with a beard.

Revolution

A violent political revolution is usually a bad thing, using such revolutions to advertise sugar drinks seems like a bad idea. But it seems particularly interesting to note the different attitudes to such things in various countries. In 2012 Schweppes in Australia ran a marketing campaign based on imagery related to a Communist revolution (the above photo was taken at Southern Cross station in Melbourne), I presume that Schweppes in the US didn’t run that campaign. I wonder whether global media will stop such things, presumably that campaign has the potential to do more harm in the US than good in Australia.

Racist Penis Size Joke at Southbank

The above advert was in a free newspaper at Southbank in 2012. Mini Movers thought that this advert was a good idea and so did the management of Southbank who approved the advert for their paper. Australia is so racist that people don’t even realise they are being racist.

Related posts:

  1. Sociological Images I’ve recently been reading the Sociological Images blog [1]. That...
  2. LCA 2012 LCA 2013 [1] is starting so it seems like time...
  3. Links July 2012 The New York Times has an interesting article about “hacker...

Preventative Treatment For Heartbleed On Healthcare.gov

Slashdot.org - Dje, 20/04/2014 - 3:59pd
As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, "People who have accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the confounding Heartbleed Internet security flaw." Take note, though; the article goes on to immediately point out this does not mean that the HealthCare.gov site has been compromised: "Senior administration officials said there is no indication that the HealthCare.gov site has been compromised and the action is being taken out of an abundance of caution. The government's Heartbleed review is ongoing, the officials said, and users of other websites may also be told to change their passwords in the coming days, including those with accounts on the popular WhiteHouse.gov petitions page." Also at The Verge

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








New 'Google' For the Dark Web Makes Buying Dope and Guns Easy

Slashdot.org - Dje, 20/04/2014 - 1:44pd
First time accepted submitter turkeydance (1266624) writes "The dark web just got a little less dark with the launch of a new search engine that lets you easily find illicit drugs and other contraband online. Grams, which launched last week and is patterned after Google, is accessible only through the Tor anonymizing browser (the address for Grams is: grams7enufi7jmdl.onion) but fills a niche for anyone seeking quick access to sites selling drugs, guns, stolen credit card numbers, counterfeit cash and fake IDs — sites that previously only could be found by users who knew the exact URL for the site."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Valorie Zimmerman: Weeeee, Kubuntu 14.04 is out! and already looking to the future

Planet UBUNTU - Dje, 20/04/2014 - 12:35pd
The past week has been exhilarating and exhausting for our Kubuntu crew. I'm sure the other *buntu teams were working just as hard. Not just packaging, because that goes on all the time, though not at this intense pace. But the attention to detail, the testing, polishing, patching, discussion with developers to get those patches upstream, coordination with Debian, cleaning up copyright files, man pages and other documentation, making screen shots, our user docs and new website, more testing, more polish.... it was truly an amazing effort.

I used `ubuntu-bug` from the cli more than I ever have before, testing out the betas. It was an amazing experience to file the bug, and then see it fixed within the day! This happened again and again. The entire Ubuntu ecosystem really works well together. My thanks to those developers who read and respond to those bug reports.

What I love about Kubuntu is how everyone pitches in. All of us try to maintain balance in our lives, so that there is time for leisure and enrichment, along with work. Also, the work is fun, because the team enjoys one another, posting fun links, joking around, but continuing to work away on our todo lists. Even those who didn't have time for packaging, often stopped by the devel channel to find out what needed testing. It all helped!

Since I'm not a devel, all this was inspiring rather than exhausting. So I had the time and energy to spend time helping out folks with questions and trouble in #kubuntu and #kde. That felt great! We were able to answer most of the questions, and overcome most of the difficulties.

One issue that came up quite a few times in the last couple of days, was PPAs. On a clean install, of course all old PPAs are blown away. On an upgrade, however, they can linger and cause lots of perplexing problems. Official PPAs like backports are fine, but specialty ones should be removed before upgrading. If you need them, you can always re-add after the upgrade. For the same reason, unpin any packages you have pinned.

It is really fabulous to be able to present the latest KDE software into our Kubuntu LTS. This will give us the freedom to try out the newest stuff from KDE based on the sparkly new Frameworks, Plasma Next and so forth, in our next release. So, our users will be able to use software supported for five years if they want, while also having the option to install 14.10 (if all goes well) and check out the newest.

3 Former Astronauts: Earth-Asteroid Collisions Are a Real But Preventable Danger

Slashdot.org - Sht, 19/04/2014 - 11:28md
Three former astronauts — Ed Lu, Tom Jones, and Bill Anders — say that reassuring figures about the rarity of asteroid collisions with Earth are perhaps too reassuring. The B612 Foundation, of which Lu is a director, has been established to draw public awareness to the risks of a large asteroid hitting a population center -- which these three men say is a far more serious public danger than has been acknowledged by NASA and other agencies. And beyond awareness, the Foundation's immediate goal is to raise money to " design and build an asteroid-finding space telescope and launch it by 2017," and then, Armageddon-style, to follow that up with technology to divert any asteroids whose path would threaten earth.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Ask Slashdot: Hungry Students, How Common?

Slashdot.org - Sht, 19/04/2014 - 11:00md
Gud (78635) points to this story in the Washington Post about students having trouble with paying for both food and school. "I recall a number of these experiences from my time as grad student. I remember choosing between eating, living in bad neighborhoods, putting gas in the car, etc. Me and my fellow students still refer to ourselves as the 'starving grad students.' Today we laugh about these experiences because we all got good jobs that lifted us out of poverty, but not everyone is that fortunate. I wonder how many students are having hard time concentrating on their studies due to worrying where the next meal comes from. In the article I found the attitude of collage admins to the idea of meal plan point sharing, telling as how little they care about anything else but soak students & parents for fees and pester them later on with requests for donations. Last year I did the college tour for my first child, after reading the article, some of the comments I heard on that tour started making more sense. Like 'During exams you go to the dining hall in the morning, eat and study all day for one swipe' or 'One student is doing study on what happens when you live only on Ramen noodles!' How common is 'food insecurity in college or high school'? What tricks can you share with current students?"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Google's New Camera App Simulates Shallow Depth of Field

Slashdot.org - Sht, 19/04/2014 - 9:30md
New submitter katiewilliam (3621675) writes with a story at Hardware Zone about a new feature that Google's working on for Android phones' built-in cameras: the illusion of shallow depth of field in phone snapshots, which typically err on the side of too much in focus, rather than too little. Excerpting: "The Google Research Blog [note: here's a direct link] revealed that there's quite a fair bit of algorithms running to achieve this effect; to put it in a nutshell, computer vision algorithms create a 3D model of the world based on the shots you have taken, and estimate the depth to every point in the scene."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








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