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WhatsApp does about face, will serve ads in Facebook-owned app

Ars Technica - Fri, 26/08/2016 - 13:58

(credit: Andrew Cunningham)

WhatsApp will do what it once said would never happen: let businesses use the messaging app to serve ads to users.

In a move that was inevitable once it was acquired by Facebook for $22 billion in 2014, WhatsApp has put its users on notice that it will soon begin sharing their phone numbers, and selected other data, with its parent company.

This information will then be used to offer customers "more relevant" Facebook ads, new "ways for people to communicate with businesses" via the app, and new friend suggestions, the blurb reads.

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OpenSSL 1.1.0 released

LWN.net - Fri, 26/08/2016 - 13:24
Version 1.1.0 of the OpenSSL TLS library is available. A list of changes can be found on this page; they include a new threading API, a number of new algorithms and the removal of a number of older ones, pipelining (parallel processing) support, extended master secret support, and more.

Meet Luigi the PoopBot. He’s Here to Scrape Your Sewers

Wired - Fri, 26/08/2016 - 13:00
MIT is studying waste to understand everything from heroin use to antibiotic-resistant bacteria—and all with the help of a sewer-slurping robot named Luigi. The post Meet Luigi the PoopBot. He’s Here to Scrape Your Sewers appeared first on WIRED.

Where Are Trump’s and Clinton’s Biggest Donations Coming From? We Made a Map

Wired - Fri, 26/08/2016 - 12:00
The 10 zip codes donating the most money to the Clinton campaign are located in just three metropolitan areas: New York, Washington D.C., and San Francisco. The post Where Are Trump’s and Clinton’s Biggest Donations Coming From? We Made a Map appeared first on WIRED.

Could This Be the Year Movies Stopped Mattering?

Wired - Fri, 26/08/2016 - 12:00
There are great films out there, and people who want to see them. But in a year of endless pop-cultural distractions, movies have never felt less important. The post Could This Be the Year Movies Stopped Mattering? appeared first on WIRED.

Why Dropping Music on Friday Is Pivotal (Hint: It’s Not Sales)

Wired - Fri, 26/08/2016 - 12:00
For 25 years in the U.S., albums came out on Tuesday. Last year, in the face of piracy and declining sales, that changed to Friday. Did the move help? The post Why Dropping Music on Friday Is Pivotal (Hint: It's Not Sales) appeared first on WIRED.

Galaxy Note 7 review: What’s the opposite of “bang for your buck?”

Ars Technica - Fri, 26/08/2016 - 12:00
  • The Galaxy Note 7. It still has an S Pen.

Samsung is back with the Galaxy Note 7, the sixth version of its flagship Galaxy Note handset. Wait—did Samsung forget how to count? The Note series skipped a number this year, apparently so that the Note 7 would look more like a sibling to the already-released Galaxy S7. The unified branding feels appropriate since—despite five months of development time between them—the Note 7 is more like the Galaxy S line than ever. You're getting the same Snapdragon 820 SoC, the same 4GB of RAM, and the same camera.

So what do you get in the Note 7 after five additional months of waiting? Beyond the usual 5.7-inch, 1440p display and the S-Pen, the Note 7 series brings an upgrade to USB Type-C, adds another biometric ID system in the form of an iris scanner, and comes with a really, really fat price tag. You're going to pay at least $850 for the 64GB version, the only version for sale in the US.

SPECS AT A GLANCE: Galaxy Note 7 SCREEN 5.7" 2560×1440 (515 ppi) AMOLED OS Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with TouchWiz CPU US: Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 (two 2.15 GHz Kryo cores and two 1.6 GHz Kyro cores)

Int'l: Eight-core Exynos 8890 (four 2.3 GHz Mongoose cores and four 1.6 GHz Cortex-A53 cores)

RAM 4GB GPU US: Adreno 530

Int'l: Mali-T880 MP12

STORAGE 64GB with MicroSD slot NETWORKING Dual band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2 GPS, NFC Cellular Bands GSM: 800, 1900
CDMA: 800, 1900
UMTS: 850, 900, 1700, 1900, 2100
TD-SCDMA: 1880, 2010
LTE Bands: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 29, 30, 38, 39, 40, 41 PORTS USB Type C, 3.5mm headphone jack CAMERA 12MP rear camera with phase detection autofocus and OIS, 5MP front camera SIZE 153.5 x 73.9 x 7.9 mm (6.04 x 2.91 x 0.31 in) WEIGHT 169 g (5.96 oz) BATTERY 3500mAh STARTING PRICE $860 OTHER PERKS quick charging, wireless charging, heart rate sensor, notification LED, IP68 water resistance, Iris scanner, Samsung Pay Design and build quality

Seen a Samsung phone in the last few years? If so, you know what to expect here. The Note 7 has a metal frame with a glass back and highly reflective metallic coloring underneath.

Read 37 remaining paragraphs | Comments

FBI’s stingray quickly found suspect after local cops’ device couldn’t

Ars Technica - Fri, 26/08/2016 - 12:00

Enlarge (credit: nereocystis)

OAKLAND, Calif.—According to new government affidavits filed earlier this week, the Oakland Police Department (OPD) used its stingray without a warrant in 2013 for several hours overnight as a way to locate a man accused of being involved in shooting a local police officer. The OPD called in the FBI when that effort was unsuccessful. The FBI was somehow able to locate the suspect in under an hour, and he surrendered to OPD officers.

That suspect, Purvis Ellis, is the lead defendant in the case of United States v. Ellis et al. The case involves four men who are charged with the January 21, 2013 attempted murder of local police officer Eric Karsseboom in the parking area in front of a Seminary Avenue apartment complex in East Oakland. The men are also charged with running an alleged local gang, centered around Seminary Avenue (known as "SemCity").

While these new filings fill out the timeline a bit more, they also raise new questions in Ellis. The case has provided rare insight into how this surveillance device, also known as a cell-site simulator, is used in practice to find suspects and the seeming lengths the government is willing to go to keep it quiet. The tool has come under increasing scrutiny by lawmakers and activists in recent years. Since this case began, the Department of Justice, which oversees the FBI, and the State of California now require a warrant when a stingray is used in most circumstances.

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Norbert Preining: ESSLLI 2016 Course: Algebraic Specification and Verification with CafeOBJ

Planet Debian - Fri, 26/08/2016 - 10:35

During this year’s ESSLLI (European Summer School in Logic, Language and Information) I was teaching a course on Algebraic Specification and Verification with CafeOBJ. Now that the course is over I can relax a bit and enjoy the beauty of the surrounding North Tyrol.

For those who couldn’t attend the ESSLLI or the course, here are the course materials:

Thanks to the participants for the interesting questions and participation.

What follows is the original description of the course.


Ensuring correctness of complex systems like computer programs or communication protocols is gaining ever increasing importance. For correctness it does not suffice to consider the finished system, but correctness already on the level of specification is necessary, that is, before the actual implementation starts. To this aim, algebraic specification and verification languages have been conceived. They are aiming at a mathematically correct description of the properties and behavior of the systems under discussion, and in addition often allow to prove (verify) correctness within the same system.

This course will give an introduction to algebraic specification, its history, logic roots, and actuality with respect to current developments. Paired with the theoretical background we give an introduction to CafeOBJ, a programming language that allows both specification and verification to be carried out together. The course should enable students to understand the theoretical background of algebraic specification, as well as enable them to read and write basic specifications in CafeOBJ.


CafeOBJ is a specification language based on three-way extensions to many-sorted equational logic: the underlying logic is order-sorted, not just many-sorted; it admits unidirectional transitions, as well as equations; it also accommodates hidden sorts, on top of ordinary, visible sorts. A subset of CafeOBJ is executable, where the operational semantics is given by a conditional order-sorted term rewriting system.

The language system CafeOBJ has been under constant development at the institute of the lecturers since the late 80ies. It is closely related to other algebraic specification languages in the OBJ family, including Maude. The CafeOBJ language and the range of verification methods and tools it supports – including its support for inductive theorem proving, verification of behavioral specifications, deductive invariant proof, and reachability analysis of concurrent systems – has played a key role in both extending and bringing algebraic specification techniques into contact with many software engineering applications.

The following topics will be discussed:

  • algebraic foundations: many-sorted algebras, order-sorted algebras, behavioral specification
  • computational foundations: rewriting
  • programming with CafeOBJ: language elements, modules, simple programs
  • CloudSync: presentation of an example cloud synchronization protocol and its verification

To make the lectures not too `heavy’, we will structure each lecture into two parts: A first part providing an introduction of some theoretical concept, or framework, and a second part dealing with actual programming and implementation. Especially for the second part of each lecture students are encouraged to use their laptops to try out code and experiment.

Michal Čihař: CI coverage from Windows, Linux and OSX

Planet Debian - Fri, 26/08/2016 - 05:00

Once I got CI working on multiple platforms the obvious next step was to be able to aggregate coverage reports across them. This should not be that hard, right? Well I've spent couple of hours on that during last few days.

On Linux and OSX it was pretty much straightforward. Both GCC and Clang do support coverage, so it's just matter of configuring them properly and collect the coverage reports. I've used own solution for that in past and that was really far from working well (somehow I never managed to get coverage fully uploaded to Codecov). Fortunately there exists CMake script called CMake-codecov which does all needed work and works out of the box on GCC and Clang (even on OSX). Well it works on Travis only once you update the compilers and install llvm-cov tool.

The Windows part on AppVeyor was much harder for me. This can be heavily accounted to lack of my experience with Windows and especially development on Windows in past ten years (probably even more). First challenge was to find something what can generate code coverage there.

After lot of googling I've settled down on OpenCppCoverage what seems to be the only free solution I was able to find. The good thing is that it can generate coverage in Cobertura format that Codecov undestands. There are also bad things that I've learned. First of all it's quite hard to integrate this with CTest. There is no support for wrapping test calls in custom commands, so I've misused the memory checks for that purpose. I've written small python script which pretends the valgrind interface and does call OpenCppCoverage in the background.

Now I had around 800 coverage files (one for each test case) and we need to deal with them somehow. The Codeconv command line client doesn't deal wit this out of the box so the obvious choice was to merge them before upload. There even seems to be script doing that, but unfortunately trying that on our coverage data make it nowhere near completion within hour, so that's not really good choice. Second thing I've tried was merging binary coverage in OpenCppCoverage and then exporting to Cobertura format. Obviously Gammu is special project as all I got from this attempt was crashing OpenCppCoverage (it did merge some of the coverages, but it failed in the end without indicating any error).

In the end I've settled down to uploading files in chunks to Codecov. This seems to work quite okay, though is a bit slow, mostly due to way how Codecov bash uploader prepares data to upload (but this will be hopefully fixed soon).

Anyway the goal has been reached, both Windows and Linux code shows in coverage reports.

Filed under: Debian English Gammu | 0 comments

Google begins posting Nexus images for the Android 7.0 Nougat update [Updated]

Ars Technica - Fri, 26/08/2016 - 04:45

Enlarge / If you're impatient and your Nexus phone or tablet isn't already downloading Nougat, these files can help you out. (credit: Ron Amadeo)

Google released the final version of Android 7.0 Nougat yesterday after months of public beta testing, and people with supported Nexus phones and tablets should all be able to download it soon. But Google favors a staggered rollout for its updates so it can find and squash early bugs, and it may be several days before your phone or tablet actually offers to download and install the update for you.

Impatient early adopters have a couple of options. You can download full system images that require you to wipe your device when you install them or OTA update files that can patch the operating system in place without data loss (the official OTA option is relatively new, and this is the first time Google has offered these downloads for a major update directly).

Both methods require the use of the command line adb and fastboot tools and a little bit of knowhow, and you can follow the directions on those pages if you would like to give it a try. As of this writing, only the Pixel C, Wi-Fi Nexus 9, and Nexus Player files have been posted, but we'll link all the images below as they post for your convenience. These are coming directly from Google's servers, the same as they would if you were using the pages above.

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Dirk Eddelbuettel: RcppArmadillo 0.7.400.2.0

Planet Debian - Fri, 26/08/2016 - 02:03

Another Armadillo 7.* release -- now at 7.400. We skipped the 7.300.* serie release as it came too soon after our most recent CRAN release. Releasing RcppArmadillo 0.7.400.2.0 now keeps us at the (roughly monthly) cadence which works as a good compromise between getting updates out at Conrad's sometimes frantic pace, while keeping CRAN (and Debian) uploads to about once per month.

So we may continue the pattern of helping Conrad with thorough regression tests by building against all (by now 253 (!!)) CRAN dependencies, but keeping release at the GitHub repo and only uploading to CRAN at most once a month.

Armadillo is a powerful and expressive C++ template library for linear algebra aiming towards a good balance between speed and ease of use with a syntax deliberately close to a Matlab.

The new upstream release adds new more helper functions. Detailed changes in this release relative to the previous CRAN release are as follows:

Changes in RcppArmadillo version 0.7.400.2.0 (2016-08-24)
  • Upgraded to Armadillo release 7.400.2 (Feral Winter Deluxe)

    • added expmat_sym(), logmat_sympd(), sqrtmat_sympd()

    • added .replace()

Changes in RcppArmadillo version 0.7.300.1.0 (2016-07-30)
  • Upgraded to Armadillo release 7.300.1

    • added index_min() and index_max() standalone functions

    • expanded .subvec() to accept size() arguments

    • more robust handling of non-square matrices by lu()

Courtesy of CRANberries, there is a diffstat report. More detailed information is on the RcppArmadillo page. Questions, comments etc should go to the rcpp-devel mailing list off the R-Forge page.

This post by Dirk Eddelbuettel originated on his Thinking inside the box blog. Please report excessive re-aggregation in third-party for-profit settings.

Justice Department Pressed to Intervene When Police Arrest Grassroots Journalists

EFF Breaking News - Fri, 26/08/2016 - 01:11

Across the country, civilian journalists have documented government violence using cell phones to record police activities, forcing a much-needed national discourse. But in case after case after case after case, the people who face penalties in the wake of police violence are the courageous and quick-witted residents who use technology to enable transparency.

Earlier this month, the International Documentary Association launched an online petition to the Department of Justice asking the federal government to intervene when local police arrest or otherwise harass civilians who document and record police violence. EFF was proud to sign the petition, since this is an issue on which we have been increasingly active.

Led by film makers Laura Poitras and David Felix Sutcliffe, the petition also calls for an official investigation exploring "the larger pattern of abuse that has emerged on a federal, state, and local level, and the threat it poses to free speech and a free press." Finally, the petition urges "our peers in the journalistic community to investigate and report on these abuses."

Poitras' film Citizenfour, documenting the Edward Snowden revelations, won the 2015 Oscar award for Best Documentary. Sutcliffe directed (T)error, which is the first film ever to document an FBI sting operation as it unfolds (and in the interest of full disclosure, briefly features the author of this post).

While the First Amendment protects freedom of the press, and applies to grassroots journalists in addition to their professional counterparts, those protections have often been disregarded by police officers unable to accept civilian oversight and the public exposure of their violence.

Meanwhile, despite well-settled jurisprudence establishing the right to observe and record police activities, even the federal judiciary has occasionally failed to vindicate these principles.

Arrests of grassroots journalists who record police activities implicate not only the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, but also the very legitimacy of our legal system, which grounds its claim to power in impartiality. Yet, around the country, the law has subjected to penalties people pursuing constitutionally protected activities that enhance transparency, while turning a blind eye to the violence prompting residents to place themselves at risk.

At issue is not merely a fundamental constitutional right, nor the transparency on which democracy rests, but the ability for community residents to use technology to document violence endured by their neighbors.

The monitoring of public servants who have pledged to "protect and serve" should not represent a risk in a free society. That's why EFF is proud to sign and support the International Documentary Association's petition.

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Matthew Garrett: Priorities in security

Planet Debian - Fri, 26/08/2016 - 01:02
I read this tweet a couple of weeks ago:

to me, an inclusive security community would focus as much (or at all) on surveillance of women by abusive partners as it does the state

— kelsey ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ (@_K_E_L_S_E_Y) August 2, 2016
and it got me thinking. Security research is often derided as unnecessary stunt hacking, proving insecurity in things that are sufficiently niche or in ways that involve sufficient effort that the realistic probability of any individual being targeted is near zero. Fixing these issues is basically defending you against nation states (who (a) probably don't care, and (b) will probably just find some other way) and, uh, security researchers (who (a) probably don't care, and (b) see (a)).

Unfortunately, this may be insufficient. As basically anyone who's spent any time anywhere near the security industry will testify, many security researchers are not the nicest people. Some of them will end up as abusive partners, and they'll have both the ability and desire to keep track of their partners and ex-partners. As designers and implementers, we owe it to these people to make software as secure as we can rather than assuming that a certain level of adversary is unstoppable. "Can a state-level actor break this" may be something we can legitimately write off. "Can a security expert continue reading their ex-partner's email" shouldn't be.


Song Exploder: The Guy Behind Silicon Valley’s Theme Still Records on Cassette

Wired - Thu, 25/08/2016 - 22:30
In the latest 'Song Exploder' podcast Tom Fec (aka Tobacco), who composed the theme for HBO's 'Silicon Valley,' breaks down a track from his fourth album. The post Song Exploder: The Guy Behind Silicon Valley's Theme Still Records on Cassette appeared first on WIRED.

How to Stop WhatsApp From Giving Facebook Your Phone Number

Wired - Thu, 25/08/2016 - 22:21
You may never have read a terms and conditions update before, but you'll want to this time. The post How to Stop WhatsApp From Giving Facebook Your Phone Number appeared first on WIRED.

WIRED Book Club: Too Like the Lightning Is Teasing Us, and We Love It

Wired - Thu, 25/08/2016 - 21:55
Even the grumpiest among us are won over by the book's breathtaking final act---despite it leaving us hanging. The post WIRED Book Club: Too Like the Lightning Is Teasing Us, and We Love It appeared first on WIRED.

Alphabet CEO ordered Google Fiber to downsize, report claims

Ars Technica - Thu, 25/08/2016 - 21:47

Enlarge / Google Fiber's tentative expansion plans. (credit: Google Fiber)

Google Fiber has reportedly fallen "well short" of its goal of signing up 5 million subscribers and may be on the verge of making significant staff cuts.

"Last month, Alphabet CEO Larry Page ordered Google Fiber’s chief, Craig Barratt, to halve the size of the Google Fiber team to 500 people," according to a paywalled report from The Information that quotes people "close to Alphabet."

The report does not say whether any staff cuts have already occurred.

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Rintel: NetworkManager 1.4: with better privacy and easier to use

LWN.net - Thu, 25/08/2016 - 21:30
Lubomir Rintel takes a look at new features in NetworkManager 1.4. "It is now possible to randomize the MAC address of Ethernet devices to mitigate possibility of tracking. The users can choose between different policies; use a completely random address, or just use different addresses in different networks. For Wi-Fi devices, the same randomization modes are now supported and does no longer require support from wpa-supplicant." Also a newly added API for using configuration snapshots that automatically roll back after a timeout, IPv6 tokenized interface identifiers can be configured, new features in nmcli, and more are covered. (Thanks to Paul Wise)

Want to Hang Out with POTUS in VR? You Can!

Wired - Thu, 25/08/2016 - 21:30
A new virtual reality experience from Felix & Paul Studios lets you visit Yosemite National Park with President Obama. Check it out here. The post Want to Hang Out with POTUS in VR? You Can! appeared first on WIRED.
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