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08.20.15

Links 20/8/2015: Fedora 24 Plans, Ubuntu Phones in India

Posted in News Roundup at 5:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Dear Amazon: Your work culture really is terrible

    In response to the New York Times much-read takedown of Amazon’s harsh workplace culture, CEO Jeff Bezos asked employees for stories that might reflect the alleged abusive practices — and one person has taken up his offer.

    Beth Anderson, a spouse of a former Amazon AMZN staff member who worked at the company from 2007 to 2013, wrote a public letter on Quartz, and unfortunately for Bezos, Anderson agrees with much of the details in the NYT story: “Many scenarios and anecdotes detailed in the article hit very close to home,” she wrote.

    Specifically, Anderson takes issue with the constant need for her husband to be at the beck and call of the company. Working in a team that manages shipping warehouse software, Anderson’s husband was expected to respond to his pager within 15 minutes, or face repercussions from his manager: “If something came directly from you, Jeff, it was all hands on deck until that problem got figured out. No matter the emotional or physical toll,” Anderson wrote.

  • Science

    • The Town That Decided to Send All Its Kids to College

      College was never much of an option for most students in this tiny town of 1,200 located in the woods of the Manistee National Forest. Only 12 of the 32 kids who graduated high school in 2005 enrolled in college. Only two of those have gotten their bachelor’s degree.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Cleveland Clinic boots McDonald’s from US hospital

      The Cleveland Clinic health center will be getting rid of a McDonald’s franchise after nearly a decade of trying to push the fast-food giant out of its hospital, a spokeswoman said Tuesday.

      The renowned US hospital said the move is part of a series of reforms aimed at helping its 44,000 workers and millions of patients make healthier choices.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Who Killed the Venus Flytrap?

      At the height of summer, in this part of North Carolina, the heat can be suffocating. It swells with the humidity, sticks your shirt to your back in seconds. When you lie belly-down on the dry land, every scratch and flicker of grass is a reminder of the life crawling beneath your body: the grasshoppers and mayflies, the ticks and bark lice. She can’t move.

      [...]

      The flytrap only grows wild in one location: a 100-mile range surrounding Wilmington, a city of about 111,000 people, 10 miles from the North Carolina coast.

  • Finance

    • Is Bitcoin facing an existential split?
    • Bitcoin Is Having an Identity Crisis
    • Fork Release Intensifies Bitcoin Community Bitterness
    • Google Went Public 11 Years Ago Today

      historically, one of the best performers in the stock market over the last decade. But 11 years ago to this day, Google’s IPO was considered a disappointment.

      On August 19, 2004, Google went public with a price of $85 for its roughly 19.6 million shares, which as CNBC’s Bob Pisani noted, was at the low end of expectations. The reason was manifold, starting with Google’s choice to sell their shares through a Dutch auction, where buyers went online to indicate the price and amount of shares they wanted until Google determined a fair price for their shares. As USA Today recounts, this didn’t please those who wanted the option of offering first dips at these shares to their interested clients.

    • Loss of Manufacturing Jobs Isn’t ‘Tectonic’–It’s a Policy Choice

      Wall Street executive Steve Rattner had a column (8/14/15) in the New York Times in which he derided Donald Trump’s economics by minimizing the impact of trade on the labor market. While much of Trump’s economics undoubtedly deserve derision, Rattner is wrong in minimizing the impact that trade has had on the plight of workers.

    • Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras resigns, calls for snap elections

      GREEK Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has announced his resignation and called for snap elections, as he went on the offensive to defend the country’s massive bailout after it triggered a rebellion within his own party.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Iowa Radio Host Stands By Plan To Enslave Undocumented Immigrants If They Don’t Leave

      Influential Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson — whose show is a frequent destination for Republican presidential candidates — is standing by his plan to make undocumented immigrants “property of the state” if they refuse to leave the country after an allotted period of time. In comments to Media Matters, Mickelson described his plan as “constitutionally defensible, legally defensible, morally defensible, biblically defensible and historically defensible.”

    • Standards of Political Civility and Darwin’s Finches

      One hallmark of this year’s political “discourse” (to abuse a term) has been the number of astonishingly angry and ill-informed accusations made by some candidates against their opponents (and others). Nothing unusual about that, sad to say. But what is different is the degree of acceptance, and even approval, exhibited by many voters that in earlier years might have rejected these candidates as well as their statements.

    • Critical blogger banned from voting in Labour leadership election

      Labour have been accused of ‘purging’ critical voices from the party after a Labour-supporting blogger was banned from voting in the leadership race, after criticising his local council.

      Lambeth Councillor Alex Bigham sent a dossier to his party recommending that website editor Jason Cobb, be excluded from voting, due to “possible entryism”

      The document, seen by Politics.co.uk, included a series of screen-grabbed tweets in which Cobb accused some Labour councils of “social cleansing” in London as well as a link to a 2010 article he wrote for the Guardian in which he criticised Lambeth council.

  • Censorship

    • Facebook has taken over from Google as a traffic source for news

      Anyone who works for a major news website or publisher knows that social referrals—that is, links that are shared on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter—have become a crucial source of incoming traffic, and have been vying with search as a source of new readers for some time. Now, according to new numbers from the traffic-analytics service Parse.ly, Facebook is no longer just vying with Google but has overtaken it by a significant amount.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • The End of the Internet Dream

      It doesn’t have to be this way. But to change course, we need to ask some hard questions and make some difficult decisions.

    • Sprint getting rid of phone contracts, calls them a “thing of the past”

      Sprint is getting rid of two-year smartphone contracts, following a move made previously by T-Mobile US and Verizon Wireless.

      “By the end of the year, customers of the No. 4 wireless company will have to pay the full price for their phones or spread the payments out by leasing the device, an option that started last year,” CNBC reported.

      Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure explained the move in an interview with CNBC. Buying a new phone at the subsidized rate of $199 is “a thing of the past, the industry has changed,” he said.

    • BREAKING: Netneutrality more complex than you thought!

      Interestingly, when zero-rating is squashed, the opposite happens. When the government forbade zero rating in the Netherlands, its largest provider KPN responded by doubling their users’ data caps without a price hike.

      Thus, my suggestion to the Brazil government would be: work with providers to get indiscriminate data bundles to more users, rather than empowering providers to control their users’ Internet usage.

  • DRM

    • Apple Music boasted of 11 million users – but half have already tuned out

      Just over half the people who sampled Apple Music have stuck around to use the service regularly, a study by music industry analytics firm MusicWatch has found. Apple recently took a victory lap for hitting the 11 million user mark among people who had sampled its new service, which is meant to compete with similar offerings from Spotify and Pandora. But 48% of those users aren’t there any more.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Rightscorp’s DMCA Subpoena Effort Crashes and Burns

        Rightscorp’s efforts to unmask file-sharers using the DMCA has crashed and burned. After a federal judge ruled in favor of ISP Birch Communications and quashed the anti-piracy firm’s subpoena, Rightscorp appealed the decision. Now the company has backed down, handing the ISP and privacy a big win.

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