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CivilizationEDU will make high school totally radical next year

Ars Technica - Fri, 24/06/2016 - 15:40

Now I can learn about the pyramids while having fun (credit: civilization.com)

Hey, kids! Put away those boring old history books. There's a new way to learn about geopolitical conflict. It's a video game!

*Record scratch sound effect*

That's right, it's CivilizationEDU, the new education-focused version of the hit simulation series that will make learning fun! This isn't your daddy's old "Oh no, I died of dysentery" educational gaming, either! Starting next year, The Games for Change Conference and GlassLab Inc. will partner with 2K Games to "provide students with the opportunity to think critically and create historical events, consider and evaluate the geographical ramifications of their economic and technological decisions, and to engage in systems thinking and experiment with the causal/correlative relationships between military, technology, political and socioeconomic development."

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Friday's security updates

LWN.net - Fri, 24/06/2016 - 15:18

CentOS has updated kernel (C7: multiple vulnerabilities), libxml2 (C6; C7: multiple vulnerabilities), ocaml (C7: information leak), setroubleshoot (C7: multiple vulnerabilities), and setroubleshoot-plugins (C7: multiple vulnerabilities).

Fedora has updated python (F24: startTLS stripping), setroubleshoot (F24: code execution), and setroubleshoot-plugins (F24: code execution).

Oracle has updated kernel (O7: multiple vulnerabilities), libxml2 (O6; O7: multiple vulnerabilities), ocaml (O7: information leak), and setroubleshoot and setroubleshoot-plugins (O7: multiple vulnerabilities).

Red Hat has updated kernel (RHEL7: multiple vulnerabilities), kernel-rt (RHEL7: multiple vulnerabilities), and ocaml (RHEL7: information leak).

Scientific Linux has updated libxml2 (SL 6,7: multiple vulnerabilities) and setroubleshoot and setroubleshoot-plugins (SL7; SL6: multiple vulnerabilities).

SUSE has updated kernel (SLE11: multiple vulnerabilities).

Forget the Multiplex: 6 Franchise-Free Movies You Need to See this Summer

Wired - Fri, 24/06/2016 - 15:00
Need a break from superheroes and wise-cracking cartoons? Here are some primo indie-flick picks for the summer, from docs to dramas to (neon) demons. The post Forget the Multiplex: 6 Franchise-Free Movies You Need to See this Summer appeared first on WIRED.

FBI’s use of Tor exploit is like peering through “broken blinds”

Ars Technica - Fri, 24/06/2016 - 14:57

(credit: Billie)

Law enforcement does not need a warrant to hack someone’s computer, according to a just-unsealed court order written by a federal judge in Virginia.

This case, United States v. Matish, is one of at least 135 cases currently being prosecuted nationwide stemming from the FBI’s investigation of the Tor-hidden child pornography site called "Playpen."

US District Judge Henry Coke Morgan, Jr. further explained in the order on Thursday that warrantless government-sanctioned hacking "resembles" law enforcement looking through broken blinds. In this case, however, a warrant was sought and obtained. Judge Morgan found that even if the warrant did not exist—or was found to be invalid—the search would have been valid.

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Joey Hess: twenty years of free software -- part 5 pristine-tar

Planet Debian - Fri, 24/06/2016 - 14:38

I've written retrospectively about pristine-tar before, when I stopped maintaining it. So, I'll quote part of that here:

[...] a little bit about the reason I wrote pristine-tar in the first place. There were two reasons: 1. I was once in a talk where someone mentioned that Ubuntu had/was developing something that involved regenerating orig tarballs from version control. I asked the obvious question: How could that possibly be done technically? The (slightly hung over) presenter did not have a satesfactory response, so my curiosity was piqued to find a way to do it. (I later heard that Ubuntu has been using pristine-tar..) 2. Sometimes code can be subversive. It can change people's perspective on a topic, nudging discourse in a different direction. It can even point out absurdities in the way things are done. I may or may not have accomplished the subversive part of my goals with pristine-tar. Code can also escape its original intention. Many current uses of pristine-tar fall into that category. So it seems likely that some people will want it to continue to work even if it's met the two goals above already.

For me, the best part of building pristine-tar was finding an answer to the question "How could that possibly be done technically?" It was also pretty cool to be able to use every tarball in Debian as the test suite for pristine-tar.

I'm afraid I kind of left Debian in the lurch when I stopped maintaining pristine-tar.

"Debian has probably hundreds, if not thousands of git repositories using pristine-tar. We all rely now on an unmaintained, orphaned, and buggy piece of software." -- Norbert Preining

So I was relieved when it finally got a new maintainer just recently.

Still, I don't expect I'll ever use pristine-tar again. It's the only software I've built in the past ten years that I can say that about.

Next: ?twenty years of free software -- part 6 moreutils

The Turing Test: A puzzle game that asks if machines can think

Ars Technica - Fri, 24/06/2016 - 14:00

Can machines think? This is the question posed by Alan Turing's 1950 paper, Computer Machinery and Intelligence. Turing believed that by the year 2000, our understanding of computers would have evolved to the point where machines could think, work out problems, and be able to imitate a human. As of today, Turing's predictions might not have all come true, but humans are sometimes duped in small ways every day, not least through the many online chat and help bots that make you think you're talking to a human.

What does it mean to be human in a world in which machines can imitate humans? Where does the human component begin and end? What does the human component even consist of? Bulkhead Interactive's The Turing Test explores these questions.

At its core, The Turing Test is a first-person puzzle game in which you explore a research base on Europa, a moon of Jupiter. The puzzles are supposedly designed in such a way so as to make them impossible for a computer to solve. Only a human mind can unlock the puzzles, thus setting up a potential answer for the riddle of what it means to be human.

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Many UK voters didn’t understand Brexit, Google searches suggest

Ars Technica - Fri, 24/06/2016 - 13:43

(credit: Mark Walton)

In the wee hours of Friday morning, the people of the UK voted to leave the European Union with a majority of 52 percent—and according to Google, they don't really know why. Two hours after the referendum polls closed, roughly midnight UK time, the Google Trends Twitter account reported a 250 percent increase in people searching "what happens if we leave the EU." "Are we in or out of the EU?" spiked by 2,450 percent.

Other search terms that peaked following the result include "what happens to foreigners if we leave the EU," "what happens if we stay in the EU," and—perhaps most worryingly considering the gravity of the decision—"what is Brexit?"

Earlier in the evening, the top search in Sunderland (one of the first cities to declare its results) was "How do I vote in the EU referendum?"

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Kevin Avignon: Tech questions 10-17: FP questions

Planet Debian - Fri, 24/06/2016 - 13:07
Hey guys, Today’s post is to make you understand that even is oriented-object programming (OOP) feels now finally natural and exquisite, they are better ways to design and implement your solutions to make them better and of course, safer. My goal today is to make you want to adopt a functional mindset when creating software … Continue reading Tech questions 10-17: FP questions →

From file-sharing to prison: A Megaupload programmer tells his story

Ars Technica - Fri, 24/06/2016 - 13:00

Andrus Nõmm is the only Megaupload criminal copyright defendant to have gone to prison. (credit: Toivo Tänavsuu )

Soon after the domain was registered in Hong Kong, the now-defunct Megaupload.com grew into one of the world's most popular file-sharing sites. At its peak, the site engaged nearly 50 million users a day and took up around four percent of the world's Internet traffic. Users uploaded nearly 12 billion files overall.

But the infamy of the site's rise is only matched by the infamy of its fall. In January 2012, US authorities closed down Megaupload.com and the network related to it. The feds arrested seven people and froze $50 million in assets. The FBI claims that the site not only failed to take down illegal material, Megaupload also helped to spread it. Perhaps it was simply a case of brazen arrogance. When the authorities finally raided founder Kim Dotcom's large villa in New Zealand, they found a number of luxury cars (Lamborghini, Maserati, Rolls Royce) with the license plates "God," "Mafia," "Hacker," "Evil," and "Police."

In total, seven men associated with the site were arrested and indicted on 13 charges (including copyright infringement and money laundering). Dotcom remains notably free and has been continually fighting in New Zealand against his extradition to the USA. Others were not as lucky.

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Ad firm: It doesn’t matter that migrant app doesn’t work, it’s the idea that counts

Ars Technica - Fri, 24/06/2016 - 12:00

(credit: Rosyna Keller)

Grey Group has continued to defend its widely criticized smartphone app, "I Sea," after it was pulled from the Apple App Store earlier this week when two security researchers exposed it as a fraud.

The app purported to be a crowdsourced way for people to help migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea by spotting satellite images in "real-time." It won third place prize at a major global advertising industry competition held in Cannes, France.

On Thursday, a Grey Group spokesman, Owen Dougherty, insisted to Ars that "the app is real… the attack on us by [an] unnamed ‘tech blogger’ is the fraud in all of this. [It's] not worthy of comment let alone coverage."

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iOS 10 and macOS Sierra: Networking for the modern Internet

Ars Technica - Fri, 24/06/2016 - 11:06

Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference starts with a keynote, but the rest of the week is about sessions that go into much more depth with Apple's software. During a session named Networking for the Modern Internet (video requires Safari, or you can look it up in the iOS WWDC app), Apple Distinguished Engineer, Scientist, and Technologist Stuart Cheshire took the stage to explain new networking features in iOS 10 and macOS Sierra. Soon the engineer revealed what developers can do to take full advantage of ECN, IPv6, international text in networking, cellular versus Wi-Fi, and network quality of service.

IPv6

Last year, Apple told iOS developers that IPv6-only cell service is coming soon, get your apps ready. As of June 2015, iOS applications were required to support IPv6. Apparently iOS developers are taking Apple's advice to heart: use higher level APIs, because those automatically use either IPv4 or IPv6 depending on what's appropriate.

Apple says that as many as 70 percent of connections to www.apple.com from certain ISPs (like Verizon Wireless) come in over IPv6. About 40 percent of connections from Belgium, the world leader in IPv6 deployment, come in over IPv6. More and more big websites are finding that page load times over IPv6 are faster than over IPv4. For instance, Facebook is seeing 45 percent IPv6 HTTP requests, which complete 15 to 30 percent faster than IPv4 requests.

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Apple retires the Thunderbolt Display without announcing a replacement

Ars Technica - Fri, 24/06/2016 - 06:56

Enlarge (credit: iFixit)

Apple has yet to announce an updated version of 2011's Thunderbolt Display, but pretty soon it won't be selling the old one either. The company will sell through any existing stock in the online and brick-and-mortar Apple Stores, but it doesn't plan to continue manufacturing the current model.

According to a statement given to TechCrunch, Apple is pointing its users toward third-party monitors. There are plenty of these, and they come in all different sizes, screen resolutions, panel qualities, and prices, though few offer actual Thunderbolt activity; regular USB hubs are far more common.

Some pre-WWDC scuttlebutt indicated that Apple is working on a 5K Retina version of the Thunderbolt Display, possibly with its own dedicated GPU to work around bandwidth limitations of the DisplayPort 1.2 spec. That monitor never materialized, but it could still show up as part of a Mac-related push when Apple updates its MacBook Pros and other computers. These refreshes are said to be coming later this year.

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Norbert Preining: Rest in peace UK

Planet Debian - Fri, 24/06/2016 - 05:22

I am mourning for the UK. I feel so much pain and pity for all my good friends over there. Stupidity has won again. Good bye UK, your long reign has found its end. The rest is silence.

RIP.

(Graphic from The Guardian – EU referendum results in full)

Norbert Preining: Debian/TeX Live 2016.20160623-1

Planet Debian - Fri, 24/06/2016 - 03:33

About one month has passed since we did release TeX Live 2016, and more than a month since the last Debian packages, so it is high time to ship out a new checkout of upstream. Nothing spectacular new here, just lots and lots of updates since the freeze.

I am dedicating this release to those intelligent beings who voted against the stupid Brexit and for remaining in the EC! – I am still optimist!

New packages

aucklandthesis, autobreak, cquthesis, getargs, hustthesis, ietfbibs, linop, markdown, olsak-misc, optidef, sanitize-umlaut, umbclegislation, wordcount, xcntperchap.

Updated packages

academicons, achemso, acmart, acro, animate, apa6, arabluatex, archaeologie, babel-hungarian, beamertheme-epyt, beebe, biblatex-abnt, biblatex-anonymous, biblatex-bookinother, biblatex-caspervector, biblatex-chicago, biblatex-manuscripts-philology, biblatex-morenames, biblatex-opcit-booktitle, biblatex-philosophy, biblatex-realauthor, biblatex-source-division, biblatex-subseries, bidi, bookcover, bxjscls, caption, chemformula, chemmacros, circuitikz, cloze, cochineal, context, csplain, cstex, datetime2, denisbdoc, dvipdfmx-def, epstopdf, erewhon, exsol, fbb, fibeamer, fithesis, fontawesome, fontspec, fonts-tlwg, geschichtsfrkl, getmap, glossaries, glossaries-extra, graphics, graphics-cfg, gregoriotex, gzt, he-she, hook-pre-commit-pkg, hyperref, ifluatex, keyvaltable, koma-script, l3build, latex, latex-bin, limap, lollipop, lshort-chinese, luaotfload, luatex85, luatex-def, luatexja, lua-visual-debug, marginnote, mcf2graph, media9, minted, mptopdf, msu-thesis, musixtex, navigator, nwejm, oberdiek, patchcmd, pdfcomment, pdftex-def, pdfx, pkuthss, platex, pstricks, ptex, ptex2pdf, ptex-base, ptex-ng, reledmac, repere, scheme-xml, sduthesis, showlabels, tableaux, tcolorbox, tex4ht, texinfo, texlive-scripts, tex-overview, textpos, tools, translations, tudscr, unicode-data, uplatex, uptex, xassoccnt, xcharter, xetex, xindy, yathesis, ycbook.

Enjoy.

macOS Sierra developer preview: different name, same ol' Mac

OS news - Fri, 24/06/2016 - 02:11
It's tempting to read the "macOS" rebranding as some grand statement about the Mac, but, truth be told, "Sierra" is more indicative of what we're getting. The name comes from a mountain range that encompasses Yosemite and El Capitan rather than moving away from them. It's another year of building on Yosemite's foundation, another year of incremental change, and another year of over-saturated mountain wallpapers. Like El Capitan before it, Sierra focuses on a few marquee features, a couple of under-the-hood changes, a smattering of smaller tweaks, and one or two signposts pointing toward future development. It's the next release of OS X, new name or not. And we've spent a week with the first developer beta to dig into some of the new features ahead of the public beta in July and the public release in the fall. Insights into the developer preview.

Huawei is working on its own mobile OS

OS news - Fri, 24/06/2016 - 02:04
Huawei, the world's third-largest smartphone manufacturer, is reportedly developing its own mobile OS. Phones made by the Chinese manufacturer currently run on the company's Android skin, EMUI, but according to a report from The Information Huawei is building an alternative OS in case its relationship with Google sours. The company reportedly has a team working on the mobile OS in Scandinavia, with the engineers including ex-Nokia employees. But although Huawei isn't the only Android phone maker exploring alternatives (Samsung has its own Linux-based Tizen OS, although that's mainly been deployed in IoT devices so far), sources speaking to The Information say the company's operating system "isn't far along." That ship has sailed. It's probably in Fiji by now.

A Free and Open Internet Under Assault in Congress

EFF Breaking News - Thu, 23/06/2016 - 23:21
Net Neutrality’s Opponents in Congress Are Determined to Defund, Stall, and Hamstring the FCC

Internet users recently enjoyed a historic victory in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit where the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Open Internet Order was upheld as lawful. The court swatted down every legal argument made by the cable and telephone industries opposed to a free and open Internet. But in the last few weeks, Congress has relentlessly tried to defund, stall, and hamstring the FCC—even though four million Americans spoke out in favor of the FCC using its legal authority to protect a free and open Internet.

Tell Congress: Don’t sabotage net neutrality.

If You Can’t Beat Them, Defund Them

The House Appropriations Committee has cut the FCC’s budget by $69 million, and its current bill would prohibit the FCC from using federal funds to enforce its Open Internet Order until the cable and telephone industries’ legal challenges are resolved. That’s ironic, because the D.C. Circuit opinion is so favorable to the FCC that the agency will likely defeat any further challenge to its legal authority. In fact, the Supreme Court is probably not going to take up the case because there is no split among the circuit courts. Even the dissenting judge in the D.C. Circuit’s 2-1 decision agreed that the FCC has the legal authority it needs to pass the Open Internet rules. Why would Congress bother placing these conditions on the FCC when the courts have effectively given the agency the go-ahead?

If You Can’t Defund Them, Stall Them (and Cost Consumers a Ton of Money)

One of the central principles of a free and open Internet is your right to connect any device to the network so long as it does not harm the network. We take that idea for granted when connecting computers to the Internet, but the markets for some types of personal devices lag far behind.

Congress tried to bring competition and diversity to the market for pay-TV set-top boxes when it enacted Section 629 of the Telecommunications Act, which ordered the FCC to break up the cable set-top box monopoly. That was 1996.

Twenty years later, after three attempts, the FCC is actually moving forward to carry out that law. But pay-TV companies and their allies in the entertainment industry are pushing hard for the FCC to repeat its past mistakes. Therefore, the cable industry and its allies are taking their case to Congress. Both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees inserted a provision that would require the FCC to produce a “study” on the impacts of breaking up the set-top box monopoly and then wait another six months before actually breaking up the monopoly.

You don’t need to be an economist to know that breaking up a monopoly is usually a good thing for everyone but the monopolists (in this case, cable and satellite companies, who provide 99% of all set-top boxes). Not to mention that the FCC’s process for creating new rules already requires the agency to study the issue and invite thorough public comment and discussion. The FCC's own rulemaking process is the appropriate way to discuss the implications of a proposed rule. It’s easy to see that piling on additional "studies” is just intended to slow the process, potentially forever.

What makes this provision particularly offensive is that Congress seems oblivious to the cost to ordinary consumers. Our colleagues at Public Knowledge have calculated to the second how much the delay costs consumers. If lawmakers now regret ordering the FCC to end the set-top box monopoly, they could change the Telecommunications Act. Instead, this stall tactic allows them to pretend they favor competition while really protecting the monopolists’ profits.

And If You Can’t Stall Them, Hamstring Them

We’ve raised this issue before: H.R. 2666, the “No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access Act,” is an attempt to hamstring the agency’s ability to enforce net neutrality. Given that the bill faced strong opposition in the House of Representatives (thanks to your willingness to call your House Rep) the bill is unlikely to move forward in the Senate as a standalone package. That means supporters of H.R. 2666 will need to try to squeeze it into a larger must-pass package bill as a last resort. If all the new lines of attack are any indication, we will need to stay vigilant.

Time To Make Your Voice Heard in Congress

We must make it clear that further attempts to move any bill or provisions tucked into other bills that would defund, stall, or hamstring the FCC from preserving a free and open Internet are a non-starter. There are still many members of Congress who are undecided on this issue. Take a moment to make sure your Senators and your Representative know where you stand. Opponents will continue to seek out ways to undo our victories, and the Internet user community must respond firmly.

Tell Congress: Don’t sabotage net neutrality.

Related Cases: Net Neutrality Lobbying
Share this: Join EFF

Defending Our Brand (Let's Encrypt)

LWN.net - Thu, 23/06/2016 - 22:37
It seems that the Comodo TLS certificate authority (CA) has filed for three trademarks using variations of "Let's Encrypt". As might be guessed, the Let's Encrypt project is less than pleased by Comodo trying to coopt its name. "Since March of 2016 we have repeatedly asked Comodo to abandon their “Let’s Encrypt” applications, directly and through our attorneys, but they have refused to do so. We are clearly the first and senior user of “Let’s Encrypt” in relation to Internet security, including SSL/TLS certificates – both in terms of length of use and in terms of the widespread public association of that brand with our organization. If necessary, we will vigorously defend the Let’s Encrypt brand we’ve worked so hard to build. That said, our organization has limited resources and a protracted dispute with Comodo regarding its improper registration of our trademarks would significantly and unnecessarily distract both organizations from the core mission they should share: creating a more secure and privacy-respecting Web. We urge Comodo to do the right thing and abandon its “Let’s Encrypt” trademark applications so we can focus all of our energy on improving the Web." [Thanks to Paul Wise.]

Infographic: Netflix’s New ‘N’ and the State of Logo Design

Wired - Thu, 23/06/2016 - 22:23
What’s interesting is how minimal, even abstract, many of these icons have become. The post Infographic: Netflix’s New 'N' and the State of Logo Design appeared first on WIRED.

Dealmaster: Get a Dell Inspiron 3650 desktop with Core i7 for just $579

Ars Technica - Thu, 23/06/2016 - 22:17

Greetings, Arsians! Courtesy of our partners at TechBargains, we have a bunch of deals to share today. Of note, we have a bestseller from earlier this month—you can still get the redesigned Dell Inspiron 3650 PC with Core i7 Skylake processor, 16GB of RAM, and an AMD R9 360 GPU for just $579. That's over $300 off its original price of $899, so if you're on the market for a new desktop, this is one you should consider.

Also check out the rest of the deals below.

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