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Lars Wirzenius: Obnam 4.1 released

Planet Debian - Wed, 01/04/2015 - 03:20

It is with great pleasure and satisfaction that I release version 4.1 of Obnam, my backup program. This version includes a radically innovative approaches to data compression and de-duplication, as well as some other changes and bug fixes.

Major user-visible changes:

  • Obnam now recognises most common image types, and de-duplicates them by substituting a standard picture of a cat or a baby. Statistical research has shown that almost all pictures are of either cats of babies, and most people can't tell cats or babies apart. If you have other kinds of pictures, use the --naughty-pictures option to disable this new feature.

  • Obnam now compresses data by finding a sequence in the value of pi (3.14159...) that matches the data, and stores the offset into pi and the length of the data. This means almost all data can be stored using two BIGNUM integers, plus some computation time to compute the value of pi with necessary precision. The extreme compression level is deemed worth the somewhat slower speed. To disable this new feature, use the --i-like-big-bits-and-i-cannot-lie option.

  • Obnam now uses one-time pad encryption in the repository. It is a form of encryption that is guaranteed to be unbreakable. Given the large amounts of data Obnam users have, the infinitely long value of the mathematical constant e is used as the encryption pad, since it would be bad security practice to use a pad that's shorter than the data being encrypted. To disable this new feature and use the old style encryption using GnuPG, use --i-read-schneier.

Minor user-visible changes:

  • There is a new subcommand obnam resize-disk, which resizes the filesystem on which the backup repository resides. In this version, it works on LVM logical volumes and RAID-0, RAID-5, and RAID-6 drive arrays using mdadm. The subcommand optionally arranges more space by deleting live data files and reducing corresponding LV sizes to make more space for backups. If live data is deleted, the backup generations containing the data is tagged as un-removeable so it's not lost. In the future, the subcommand may get support for purchasing more disk space from popular online storage providers.

  • To reduce unnecessary bloat, the obnam restore subcommand has been removed. It was considered unnecessary, since nobody ever reported any problems with it.

  • Obnam now has a new repository option, --swap-in-repository, which starts a daemon process that holds all backup data in memory. Once the process grows enough, this will result in most of the data to be written to the swap partition. This makes excellent use of the excessively large swap partitions on many Linux systems. This feature does not work on Windows.

Bug fixes:

  • The obnam donate command to send the Obnam developers some money now again works with Bitcoin. There was a bug that broke Obnam's built-in Bitcoin mining software from working.

  • The obnam help command again speaks the user's preferred language (LC_MESSAGES locale setting), rather than Finnish, despite pressure from the Finnish government's office for language export.

First look at Project Spartan, Microsoft’s take on the modern browser

Ars Technica - Wed, 01/04/2015 - 02:45

ars.AD.queue.push(["xrailTop", {sz:"300x250", kws:[], collapse: true}]);When announcing that a Windows 10 Preview with the new Project Spartan browser was available, Microsoft made clear that the browser ain't done yet. What we have now is an early iteration of the company's take on a legacy-free forward-looking browser—a browser that's going to ditch the venerable Internet Explorer name.

Superficially, everything about the browser is new. Its interface takes cues from all the competition: tabs on top, in the title bar, the address bar inside each tab. The look is simple and unadorned; monochrome line-art for icons, rectangular tabs, and a flat look—the address bar, for example, doesn't live in a recessed pit (as it does in Chrome) and is integral with the toolbar (unlike Internet Explorer).

The design concept works well for me, though I doubt this will be universal. As is so often the case on Windows, it doesn't really fit with the rest of the operating system. While parts of Windows 10 have a similar appearance—most notably the Settings app—Windows overall remains an inconsistent mish-mash of looks and feels, to its detriment.

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Amazon wants you to place product buttons around your home

Ars Technica - Wed, 01/04/2015 - 02:30

Remember writing grocery lists and sticking them to your fridge? Amazon thinks you should now leave the task of restocking food and household supplies to a button.

The company announced a new device on Tuesday called the Dash Button, which connects to your smartphone using a Wi-Fi network. With one touch, the button will automatically reorder a product. There are buttons for a variety of products that Amazon sells, from Bounty paper towels to Glad trash bags to Larabar energy bars. The device is only available to Prime members.

Amazon’s video on the Dash Button (see above) shows that each button is emblazoned with the brand’s logo. (How’s that for brand loyalty?) The buttons are hangable and stickable, and it seems like the idea is to place the device in an area where you normally stock the product, like a cabinet. Then, you can press the button when you’re running low on a product.

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Energy companies around the world infected by newly discovered malware

Ars Technica - Wed, 01/04/2015 - 00:05

Researchers have uncovered an ongoing espionage campaign that uses custom-developed malware to siphon confidential data out of energy companies around the world.

Trojan.Laziok, as the malware has been dubbed, acts as a reconnaissance tool that scours infected computers for data including machine name, installed software, RAM size, hard disk size, GPU details, CPU details, and installed antivirus software, according to a blog post published Monday by researchers from security firm Symantec. The attackers then use the data to decide how to infect the computer with additional malware, including versions of Backdoor.Cyberat and Trojan.Zbot that are tailored for a specific compromised computer.

"The detailed information enables the attacker to make crucial decisions about how to proceed further with the attack, or to halt the attack," Symantec researcher Christian Tripputi wrote. "During the course of our research, we found that the majority of the targets were linked to the petroleum, gas and helium industries, suggesting that whoever is behind these attacks may have a strategic interest in the affairs of the companies affected."

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US offers the UN its plan for meeting climate obligations

Ars Technica - Tue, 31/03/2015 - 23:27

Earlier today, the US submitted its plan for controlling greenhouse gas emissions, part of the effort to forge an international climate agreement at a summit meeting in Paris later this year. In doing so, the US becomes one of only a handful of nations to have joined the EU in submitted anything by the end of March, the intended deadline for countries to have a plan formulated.

The document is termed an INDC, for Intended Nationally Determined Contributions. Under the current United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations, the INDCs are intended to show how nations will track their greenhouse gas emissions, and the measures they will take to control them in the future. These documents will serve as part of the process that is intended to produce a binding agreement that will help limit climate change to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures.

The US' documentation is pretty sparse, coming in at four pages (one of which is largely empty). In it, the US describes its goals: relative to a baseline of 2005 emissions levels, it intends to be 17 percent lower in 2020, and 26-28 percent lower in 2025. These are the same goals laid out in the recent agreement forged between the Obama administration and China. The US is currently close to its 2020 goal already, but will need to accelerate progress further in order to reach the 2030 target.

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Zlatan Todorić: Fruit flies like a banana

Planet Debian - Tue, 31/03/2015 - 23:25

I started working for Valve as a community manager.

Lasers Map the Earth That Moved in Colorado’s Epic Floods

Wired - Tue, 31/03/2015 - 22:33

Lasers and radioactive dating help scientists figure out how much muck the 2013 storms scraped out of the Colorado Rockies.

The post Lasers Map the Earth That Moved in Colorado’s Epic Floods appeared first on WIRED.

Google unveils lots of new ChromeOS devices

OS news - Tue, 31/03/2015 - 22:26
Google has unveiled a whole lot of new Chrome OS devices today - mostly laptops - but there's also a small Chromecast-like dongle that you can slip into any HDMI port and turn that display into a full-on Chrome OS machine. It's only $99, which puts it right into impulse-buy territory. One of the laptops is a convertible with a touchscreen, which seems odd at first because Chrome OS isn't really built with touch in mind. It starts to make more sense, however, when you combine with the news that Google is opening up the App Runtime for Chrome to all Android developers, allowing them to get their Android applications ready for Chrome OS. It seems Google's vision for Chrome OS and Android is becoming clear. A few years from now, Chrome OS or Android will be a distinction without a difference for most people.

Stupid Patent of the Month: GPS Tracking, or Something

EFF Breaking News - Tue, 31/03/2015 - 21:41

GPS technology has been around for a while. Wikipedia puts the start of development at 1973. But it wasn’t until the 1990s that it became available for consumer use. And even then, it took some time before the government removed restrictions on accuracy that it had on its use by civilians. (The government had added an intentional error to the signal that made GPS variably inaccurate up to 50 meters.)

With the loosening of restrictions on GPS came furious development in consumer applications—and a flurry of patents.

Which brings us to this month’s Stupid Patent of the Month. The dubious honor goes to U.S. Patent No. 6,442,485, “Method and apparatus for an automatic vehicle location, collision notification, and synthetic voice,” filed in 1999. The “Background of the Invention” talks about a need for an automatic voice systems that could speak for a driver involved in a collision and transmit location details to 911. For example, the patent says that “[i]t would be desirable to have an automatic vehicle location and collision notification system that would ascertain if a vehicular collision had occurred and communicate directly with an emergency facility.”

But after this background, the patent devolves into a wilderness of made-up words and technobabble. The patent includes fabricated phrases such as “Location Comparator-Indicator Module” and “Automatic Speed Controlled Location Detection Module.” (Google searches of these phrases turns up nothing other than results related to the patent.) Reading the patent to try to figure out what it means becomes an exercise in cross-referencing and guesswork. Even worse, key terms in the claims (this is the part of the patent that is supposed to clearly explain what that patent covers) don’t even appear in the description of the purported invention. This means  that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to understand what the claims mean and to guess how a court might interpret them.

This sort of made-up gobbledygook is likely what has allowed NovelPoint Tracking LLP, the owner of this month’s Stupid Patent, to sue over 90 companies for infringement. The latest round of lawsuits, filed on March 27, 2015, includes companies such as Subway (the sandwich artists, not a company related to transportation), McDonald’s, and Burger King.

And what do these fast food franchises have to do with vehicle location, collisions, and synthetic voices? With respect to Subway, NovelPoint claims that Subway’s Windows phone mobile application infringes NovelPoint’s patent.

Here’s the description of Subway’s app from Microsoft’s website:

Don't know where to find a local Subway? We're here to help. This app will display a list of local Subway locations along with the ability to get directions and let your friends know where to meet you.

We don’t know what, exactly, NovelPoint thinks it owns, but it looks like it is accusing Subway of infringing because it has an app that shows a map with directions. And given the incomprehensibility of its patent, it can get away with this, at least enough to secure a quick settlement and get out before a court rules that no, in fact, it doesn’t own a map with directions.

And indeed that is what appears to have happened. Of the almost 100 cases NovelPoint has filed, exactly none of the cases has had a decision on the merits of NovelPoint’s claims. From what we can see, all of the cases have settled very quickly, most likely for small nuisance sums.

Patent owners shouldn't be able to get away with this. Patents should be clear and understandable. If new words are used, they should be defined. And if words already exist in the relevant art, they should be used. NovelPoint’s patent is a great example of how using fake terms can be used to obfuscate what the patent actually claims, and then used to claim infringement by something no one would have considered the patent owner to have invented. We have laws that should prevent this sort of gaming. The Patent Office and courts need to start actually enforcing them. 

Files:  novelpoint_v_subway.pdfRelated Issues: PatentsPatent TrollsInnovation
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Gmail Update Will Wrangle All Your Accounts Into One Inbox

Wired - Tue, 31/03/2015 - 21:41

An updated version of Gmail for Android adds a universal inbox with conversation view for external accounts.

The post Gmail Update Will Wrangle All Your Accounts Into One Inbox appeared first on WIRED.

Firefox 37.0

LWN.net - Tue, 31/03/2015 - 21:24
Firefox 37.0 has been released. This release features improved protection against site impersonation via OneCRL centralized certificate revocation, Bing search now uses HTTPS for secure searching, opportunistic encrypting of HTTP traffic where the server supports HTTP/2 AltSvc, and more. See the release notes for details.

The Oddly Compelling Spaceship Commercials of Star Citizen

Wired - Tue, 31/03/2015 - 21:00

The commercials are the closest thing Star Citizen has to a conventional advertising campaign.

The post The Oddly Compelling Spaceship Commercials of Star Citizen appeared first on WIRED.

Details surface about Intel’s 14nm Celeron and Pentium chips for cheap PCs

Ars Technica - Tue, 31/03/2015 - 21:00

Earlier this month, Intel officially announced new Atom x3, x5, and x7 chips aimed primarily at Android and Windows tablets. Those chips are all part of Intel's Cherry Trail platform, which combines CPU cores based on the Airmont architecture with a cut-down version of the integrated GPU used in the Broadwell family of chips. Cherry Trail replaces Bay Trail, and we're already beginning to see it in products like the Surface 3.

Intel will also be offering versions of the same chips aimed at cheap desktops and laptops, sold under the venerable Celeron and Pentium brand names. The Bay Trail versions of these chips were just called "Bay Trail-D," but the Cherry Trail versions get a new codename: Braswell. Today, CPU World published details on four of these new Braswell chips.

Braswell chips have the same CPUs and GPUs as the Cherry Trail Atoms, but they come with a few extra features necessary for mainstream PCs—for Bay Trail chips this included SATA ports and higher RAM limits—and higher TDPs. Chips in laptops and desktops will have more room to stretch their legs than they would in tablets, and higher TDP levels will let them run at their maximum rated frequencies for longer periods of time.

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Fan-made Super Mario 64 game pulled after Nintendo cries foul

Ars Technica - Tue, 31/03/2015 - 20:50
Super Mario 64 HD Remake!—In Unity.

Just a couple of days after computer science student Erik Roystan Ross released a free recreation of the first level of Nintendo's 1996 Super Mario 64 in Unity, the game's original creator stepped in to put “No” in “N(intend)o.”

Ross, who released his high-definition version of the Bob-Omb Battlefield for play in a browser, or on a computer running Windows, Mac, or Linux, didn't have any intention of selling the game and made it available for free.

Still, Nintendo sent Content Delivery Network (CDN) Cloudflare a complaint under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) this week demanding that the fan recreation be taken down:

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Massive denial-of-service attack on GitHub tied to Chinese government

Ars Technica - Tue, 31/03/2015 - 20:47

The massive denial-of-service attacks that have intermittently shut down GitHub for more than five days is the work of hackers with control over China's Internet backbone, according to two technical reports published Tuesday that build a strong case that government authorities are at least indirectly responsible.

GitHub officials have said the torrent of junk data pummeling their servers is the biggest they have ever seen. As previously reported, the two GitHub pages are constantly loaded and reloaded by millions of computer users inside and outside of China, an endless loop that left unmitigated outages not just on the two targeted pages but throughout GitHub's entire network. Exhibit A in the case in which China is involved are the two specific GitHub pages targeted: one hosts anti-censorship service GreatFire.org while the other hosts a mirror site of The New York Times' Chinese edition. The targets suggest the attackers are sympathetic to the vast censorship apparatus known as the Great Firewall of China.

Now researchers have unearthed additional evidence implicating China that goes beyond motive. Specifically, the computers hammering GitHub servers are all running a piece of malicious code that surreptitiously makes them soldiers in a massive DDoS army. The JavaScript gets silently injected into the traffic of sites that use an analytics service that China-based search engine Baidu makes available so website operators can track visitor statistics. About one percent of people visiting such sites don't receive the true Baidu analytics JavaScript but instead get code that forces their browser to constantly reload the two targeted GitHub pages.

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Zlatan Todorić: Interviews with FLOSS developers: Francesca Ciceri

Planet Debian - Tue, 31/03/2015 - 20:46

Debian and FLOSS community don't only occupy coding developers. They occupy people who write news, who talk about FLOSS, who help on booths and conferences, who create artistic forms of the community and so many others that contribute in countless ways. A lady, that is doing many of that is Francesca Ciceri, known in Debian as MadameZou. She is non-packaging Debian Developer, a fearless warrior for diversity and a zombie fan. Although it sounds intimidating, she is deep caring and great human being. So, what has MadaZou to tell us?

Who are you?

My name is Francesca and I'm totally flattered by your intro. The fearless warrior part may be a bit exaggerated, though.

What have you done and what are you currently working on in FLOSS world?

I've been a Debian contributor since late 2009. My journey in Debian has touched several non-coding areas: from translation to publicity, from videoteam to www. I've been one of the www.debian.org webmasters for a while, a press officer for the Project as well as an editor for DPN. I've dabbled a bit in font packaging, and nowadays I'm mostly working as a Front Desk member.

Setup of your main machine?

Wow, that's an intimate question! Lenovo Thinkpad, Debian testing.

Describe your current most memorable situation as FLOSS member?

Oh, there are a few. One awesome, tiring and very satisfying moment was during the release of Squeeze: I was member of the publicity and the www teams at the time, and we had to pull a 10 hours of team work to put everything in place. It was terrible and exciting at the same time. I shudder to think at the amount of work required from ftpmaster and release team during the release. Another awesome moment was my first Debconf: I was so overwhelmed by the sense of belonging in finally meeting all these people I've been worked remotely for so long, and embarassed by my poor English skills, and overall happy for just being there... If you are a Debian contributor I really encourage you to participate to Debian events, be they small and local or as big as DebConf: it really is like finally meeting family.

Some memorable moments from Debian conferences?

During DC11, the late nights with the "corridor cabal" in the hotel, chatting about everything. A group expedition to watch shooting stars in the middle of nowhere, during DC13. And a very memorable videoteam session: it was my first time directing and everything that could go wrong, went wrong (including the speaker deciding to take a walk outside the room, to demonstrate something, out of the cameras range). It was a disaster, but also fun: at the end of it, all the video crew was literally in stitches. But there are many awesome moments, almost too many to recall. Each conference is precious on that regard: for me the socializing part is extremely important, it's what cements relationships and help remote work go smoothly, and gives you motivation to volunteer in tasks that sometimes are not exactly fun.

You are known as Front Desk member for DebConf's - what work does it occupy and why do you enjoy doing it?

I'm not really a member of the team: just one of Nattie's minions!

You had been also part of DebConf Video team - care to share insights into video team work and benefits it provides to Debian Project?

The video team work is extremely important: it makes possible for people not attending to follow the conference, providing both live streaming and recording of all talks. I may be biased, but I think that DebConf video coverage and the high quality of the final recordings are unrivaled among FLOSS conferences - especially since it's all volunteer work and most of us aren't professional in the field. During the conference we take shifts in filming the various talks - for each talk we need approximately 4 volunteers: two camera operators, a sound mixer and the director. After the recording, comes the boring part: reviewing, cutting and sometimes editing the videos. It's a long process and during the conference, you can sometimes spot the videoteam members doing it at night in the hacklab, exhausted after a full day of filming. And then, the videos are finally ready to be uploaded, for your viewing pleasure. During the last years this process has become faster thanks to the commitment of many volunteers, so that now you have to wait only few days, sometimes a week, after the end of the conference to be able to watch the videos. I personally love to contribute to the videoteam: you get to play with all that awesome gear and you actually make a difference for all the people who cannot attend in person.

You are also non-packaging Debian Developer - how does that feel like?

Feels awesome! The mere fact that the Debian Project decided - in 2009 via a GR - to recognize the many volunteers who contribute without doing packaging work is a great show of inclusiveness, in my opinion. In a big project like Debian just packaging software is not enough: the final result relies heavily on translators, sysadmins, webmasters, publicity people, event organizers and volunteers, graphic artists, etc. It's only fair that these contributions are deemed as valuable as the packaging, and to give an official status to those people. I was one of the firsts non-uploading DD, four years ago, and for a long time it was just really an handful of us. In the last year I've seen many others applying for the role and that makes me really happy: it means that finally the contributors have realized that they deserve to be an official part of Debian and to have "citizenship rights" in the project.

You were the leading energy on Debian's diversity statement - what gave you the energy to drive into it?

It seemed the logical conclusion of the extremely important work that Debian Women had done in the past. When I first joined Debian, in 2009, as a contributor, I was really surprised to find a friendly community and to not be discriminated on account of my gender or my lack of coding skills. I may have been just lucky, landing in particularly friendly teams, but my impression is that the project has been slowly but unequivocally changed by the work of Debian Women, who raised first the need for inclusiveness and the awareness about the gender problem in Debian. I don't remember exactly how I stumbled upon the fact that Debian didn't have a Diversity Statement, but at first I was very surprised by it. I asked zack (Stefano Zacchiroli), who was DPL at the time, and he encouraged me to start a public discussion about it, sending out a draft - and helped me all the way along the process. It took some back and forth in the debian-project mailing list, but the only thing needed was actually just someone to start the process and try to poke the discussion when it stalled - the main blocker was actually about the wording of the statement. I learned a great deal from that experience, and I think it changed completely my approach in things like online discussions and general communication within the project. At the end of the day, what I took from that is a deep respect for who participated and the realization that constructive criticism does require certainly a lot of work for all parts involved, but can happen. As for the statement in itself: these things are as good as you keep them alive with best practices, but I think that are better stated explicitly rather than being left unsaid.

You are involved also with another Front Desk, the Debian's one which is involved with Debian's New Members process - what are tasks of that FD and how rewarding is the work on it?

The Debian Front Desk is the team that runs the New Members process: we receive the applications, we assign the applicant a manager, and we verify the final report. In the last years the workflow has been simplified a lot by the re-design of the nm.debian.org website, but it's important to keep things running smoothly so that applicants don't have too lenghty processes or to wait too much before being assigned a manager. I've been doing it for a less more than a month, but it's really satisfying to usher people toward DDship! So this is how I feel everytime I send a report over to DAM for an applicant to be accepted as new Debian Developer:

How do you see future of Debian development?

Difficult to say. What I can say is that I'm pretty sure that, whatever the technical direction we'll take, Debian will remain focused on excellence and freedom.

What are your future plans in Debian, what would you like to work on?

Definetely bug wrangling: it's one of the thing I do best and I've not had a chance to do that extensively for Debian yet.

Why should developers and users join Debian community? What makes Debian a great and happy place?

We are awesome, that's why. We are strongly committed to our Social Contract and to users freedom, we are steadily improving our communication style and trying to be as inclusive as possible. Most of the people I know in Debian are perfectionists and outright brilliant in what they do. Joining Debian means working hard on something you believe, identifying with a whole project, meeting lots of wonderful people and learning new things. It ca be at times frustrating and exhausting, but it's totally worth it.

You have been involved in Mozilla as part of OPW - care to share insights into Mozilla, what have you done and compare it to Debian?

That has been a very good experience: it meant have the chance to peek into another community, learn about their tools and workflow and contribute in different ways. I was an intern for the Firefox QA team and their work span from setting up specific test and automated checks on the three version of Firefox (Stable, Aurora, Nightly) to general bug triaging. My main job was bug wrangling and I loved the fact that I was a sort of intermediary between developers and users, someone who spoke both languages and could help them work together. As for the comparison, Mozilla is surely more diverse than Debian: both in contributors and users. I'm not only talking demographic, here, but also what tools and systems are used, what kind of skills people have, etc. That meant reach some compromises with myself over little things: like having to install a proprietary tool used for the team meetings (and getting crazy in order to make it work with Debian) or communicating more on IRC than on mailing lists. But those are pretty much the challenges you have to face whenever you go out of your comfort zone .

You are also volunteer of the Organization for Transformative Works - what is it, what work do you do and care to share some interesting stuff?

OTW is a non profit organization to preserve fan history and cultures, created by fans. Its work range from legal advocacy and lobbying for fair use and copyright related issues, developing and maintaining AO3 -- a huge fanwork archive based on open-source software --, to the production of a peer-reviewed academic journal about fanworks. I'm an avid fanfiction reader and writer, and joining the OTW volunteers seemed a good way to give back to the community - in true Debian fashion . As a volunteer, I work for the Translation Committee: we are more than a hundred people - divided in several language teams - translating the OTW website, the interface of AO3 archive, newsletter, announcements and news posts. We have a orga-wide diversity statement, training for recruits, an ever growing set of procedures to smooth our workflow, monthly meetings and movie nights. It's an awesome group to work with. I'm deeply invested in this kind of work: both for the awesomeness of OTW people and for the big role that fandom and fanworks have in my life. What I find amazing is that the same concept we - as in the FLOSS ecosystem - apply to software can be applied to cultural production: taking a piece of art you love and expand, remix, explore it. Just for the fun of it. Protect and encourage the right to play in this cultural sandbox is IMO essential for our society. Most of the participants in the fandom come from marginalised group or minorities whose point of view is usually not part of the mainstream narratives. This makes the act of writing, remixing and re-interpreting a story not only a creative exercise but a revolutionary one. As Elizabeth Minkel says: "My preferred explanation is the idea that the vast majority of what we watch is from the male perspective – authored, directed, and filmed by men, and mostly straight white men at that. Fan fiction gives women and other marginalised groups the chance to subvert that perspective, to fracture a story and recast it in her own way." In other words, "fandom is about putting debate and conversation back into an artistic process".

On a personal side - you do a lot of DIY, handmade works. What have you done, what joy does it bring to you and share with us a picture of it?

I like to think that the hacker in me morphs in a maker whenever I can actually manipulate stuff. The urge to explore ways of doing things, of create and change is probably the same. I've been blessed with curiousity and craftiness and I love to learn new DIY techniques: I cannot describe it, really, but if I don't make something for a while I actually feel antsy. I need to create stuff. Nowadays, I'm mostly designing and sewing clothes - preferably reproductions of dresses from the 40s and the 50s - and I'm trying to make a living of that. It's a nice challenge: there's a lot of research involved, as I always try to be historically accurate in design, sewing tecniques and material, and many hours of careful attention to details. I'm right in the process of make photoshoots for most of my period stuff, so I'll share with you something different: a t-shirt refashion done with the DebConf11 t-shirt! (here's the tutorial)

Niels Thykier: Jessie is coming the 2015-04-25

Planet Debian - Tue, 31/03/2015 - 20:28

Indeed, we settled on a release date for Jessie – and pretty quick too.  I sent out a poll on the 28th of March and yesterday, it was clear that the 25th of April was our release date. :)

With that said, we still have some items left that needs to be done.

  • Finishing the release notes.  This is mostly pending myself and a few others.
  • Translation of the release-notes.  I sent out a heads up earlier today about what sections I believe to be done.
  • The d-i team got another release planned as well.
  • All the RC bugs you can manage to fix before the 18th of April. :)

Filed under: Debian, Release-Team

Teens hit with child porn charges after tweeting their group-sex video

Ars Technica - Tue, 31/03/2015 - 20:25

Four suburban Illinois teenagers were being held Tuesday on child pornography charges for allegedly producing a group-sex video of themselves and posting it to Twitter.

The youths, whose names were not released because of their age, include a 15-year-old girl and boys 14, 15, and 16. They were arrested Friday and charged with distributing child pornography online.

"The child pornography offense that was charged is in place for a reason, because we don't want to accept that type of behavior as a society. So I think it's making a strong statement, and I think it's important to do so to send the message to others: that kids shouldn't be involved in this type of behavior, and hopefully this will serve as a deterrent," Joliet Police Chief Brian Benton said.

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Feds subpoena reddit in effort to learn about users behind Dark Web chatter

Ars Technica - Tue, 31/03/2015 - 20:10

An Immigrations and Customs Agency (ICE) special agent, who previously was involved with the investigation into Mt. Gox, has issued a subpoena to reddit in an attempt to learn more about five redditors active on /r/darknetmarkets.

That subreddit has been very active as a “clearnet” (eg, not on Tor) discussion for various Dark Market websites over at least the last several months.

Neither ICE nor the Department of Justice immediately responded to Ars' request for comment.

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An Invisible Spray-On Paint to Keep Bikers Safe at Night

Wired - Tue, 31/03/2015 - 20:07

With a spray-on reflective coating called Life Paint, Volvo wants to make cyclists more visible to drivers at night.

The post An Invisible Spray-On Paint to Keep Bikers Safe at Night appeared first on WIRED.

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