SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

New developments in research etc.

Linux Turned 25 This Year: 25 stunning facts about Linux.

Today, Linux is the dominant operating system for servers. It’s also the basis for Android, which is the dominant operating system for phones. And it’s 100% free and open source.

Let’s put the last 25 years of Linux in perspective with these 25 stunning facts about Linux:

Fact #1: There are 115 million lines of code in The Linux Foundation’s collaborative projects. Compare this to the 45 million lines of code in Windows XP.
READ MORE: https://medium.freecodecamp.com/linux-is-25-yay-lets-celebrate-with-25-r...

FBI Director Says Prolific Default Encryption Hurting Government Spying Efforts

FBI Director James Comey warned again Tuesday about the bureau's inability to access digital devices because of encryption and said investigators were collecting information about the challenge in preparation for an "adult conversation" next year.

Widespread encryption built into smartphones is "making more and more of the room that we are charged to investigate dark," Comey said in a cybersecurity symposium.

The remarks reiterated points that Comey has made repeatedly in the last two years, before Congress and in other settings, about the growing collision between electronic privacy and national security.
READ MORE: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/comey-fbi-adult-conversation-...

Researchers from Princeton University found that artificial intelligence systems may show signs of racism.

During the study, the robot found the names of white Americans “pleasant”, while considering the names of black Americans “unpleasant,” according to the study. The study involved a self-learning artificial intelligence system, GloVe. It has the ability to read and interpret online text.
Read more: http://sputniknews.com/us/20160829/1044742350/intelligent-robot-became-r...

Your 'Smart' Power Outlets Are Now Botnets Thanks To The Internet Of Broken Things

The latest gift of the Internet of Things industry, revealed last week by security researchers at Bitdefender, is smart electrical sockets that can be hacked to hand over e-mail credentials, create a botnet, or (potentially) burn your house down by firing up connected appliances. The devices are sold as an amazing new tool to help create a connected home, allowing users to manage any device plugged into them via a smartphone and/or the internet. The problem, as usual, is an (unspecified) company that treated security as an afterthought.
READ MORE: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20160819/07473935285/your-smart-power-...

The NSA Hacking Team Known as the "Equation Group" Appears to Have Been Hacked and Their Advanced Hacking Tools Have Been Leaked Online

The leak over the weekend of advanced hacking tools contains digital signatures that are almost identical to those in software used by the state-sponsored Equation Group, according to a just-published report from security firm Kaspersky Lab.

Group claims to hack NSA-tied hackers, posts exploits as proof "While we cannot surmise the attacker's identity or motivation nor where or how this pilfered trove came to be, we can state that several hundred tools from the leak share a strong connection with our previous findings from the Equation group," Kaspersky researchers wrote in a blog post published Tuesday afternoon.
READ MORE: http://arstechnica.com/security/2016/08/code-dumped-online-came-from-omn...

How the father of the World Wide Web plans to reclaim it from Facebook and Google

When the World Wide Web first took off in the mid 1990s, the dream wasn’t just big, it was distributed: Everyone would have their own home page, everyone would post their thoughts – they weren’t called “blogs” until 1999 – and everyone would own their own data, for there was no one around offering to own it for us. The web consisted of nodes joined by links, with no center.

Now a handful of companies own vast swaths of web activity – Facebook for social networking, Google for searching, eBay for auctions – and quite literally own the data their users have provided and generated.
READ MORE: http://www.digitaltrends.com/web/ways-to-decentralize-the-web/

Mint 18 review: “Just works” Linux doesn’t get any better than this


Mint 18.x is well poised to continue to drive Mint's popularity. It's a solid release with some big changes, most of which won't cause the average user any problems. Both Cinnamon and MATE look and behave more or less as they always have with a number of incremental improvements.

Mint 18 has a lot of updates under the hood, most of which the average desktop user can safely ignore. However, there is one change that will mean an extra installation step for many users. Mint 18 is the first Mint release to ship without patent-encumbered codecs and plugins. The change is a result of legal and copyright issues in some countries, particularly the United States.
READ MORE: http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/08/mint-18-review-jus...

The Tragedy of the Google

In 1833 the Victorian economist William Forster Lloyd published Two Lectures on the Checks to Population, which introduced an idea we later understood as the Tragedy of the Commons. The example used was of a common grazing area and how the interests of the people using this “free” public land would inevitably work at odds with one another in maintaining the public land. Everyone had an incentive to take as much as they could, as quickly as they could, but no one had an incentive to put back.

Today this is best understood in the management of fisheries. You can’t own parcels of the ocean and even if you can assign areas to particular fishermen, the fish don’t pay attention to these boundaries. The fisherman has no incentive to limit his cod harvest because the fish he does not catch will simply swim over to the next guy, who will catch them.
READ MORE: http://thezman.com/wordpress/?p=8222

Are piracy kill switches in operating systems the key to stopping illegal downloads?

In order to combat the issue proactively, a new report published by Black Market Watch and the Global Initiative against Transnational Organised Crime has detailed an approach just so wild it might actually work.

Rather than trying to combat the issue online, the report suggests there should be mandatory blocking of pirated content on the operating system level.

“Other players that possess the potential ability to limit piracy are the companies that own the major operating systems which control computers and mobile devices such as Apple, Google and Microsoft,” the report reads.
READ MORE: http://www.news.com.au/technology/online/piracy/are-piracy-kill-switches...

Windows 10 Anniversary Update Borks Dual-Boot Partitions

Windows 10 Anniversary Update may affect and even delete other partitions on the same disk, OMGUbuntu is reporting, citing several complaints by users. "Broken boot loaders on an update are one thing but losing data, even entire partitions?" asks the author. Microsoft-centric news blog WindowsReport is corroborating on the report, adding that in some cases, the new OS was not able to detect some partitions.
READ MORE: http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2016/08/windows-10-anniversary-update-delete-...

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