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Chris Wanstrath will lead the search for his replacement, then do product dev and test

Chris Wanstrath plans to end his second stint as GitHub CEO by leading the search for his replacement.…

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New status puts cyber-ops on same plane as regional commands and global special ops efforts

United States president Donald Trump upgraded the U.S. Cyber Command to the status of a “Unified Combatant Command”.…

Everyone Else Should Be A Hero

Aug. 21st, 2017 12:06 am
[syndicated profile] atrios_feed
We can question the efficacy of speaking out, but I'm pretty sure the largely silly norms of journalism (conventions that make it work, not exactly commandments on a holy tablet) are less important than the fate of the nation. If all those people think this and are not saying it, maybe you should tell us who they are and why specifically they think it? It's pretty important!

"Republicans in Congress, the highest of intelligence officials, the highest of military officers in our country, leaders of the business community -- all of whom have dealt with the White House, and many of them dealt personally with Donald Trump -- have come to believe that he is unfit for the presidency," Bernstein told CNN's Brian Stelter on Sunday.

He said those people are "raising the very question of his stability and his mental fitness."
That's a big story! Probably bigger than "oh boo hoo nobody will ever talk off the record with Carl Bernstein again."
[syndicated profile] digbysblog_feed

Posted by digby

The Day the Clowns Cried: R.I.P Jerry Lewis

by Dennis Hartley

“Jerry Lewis is never just OK or adequate; he’s either very funny or he’s awful.” – Jerry Lewis, commenting on his film oeuvre.
Yes, I used “Jerry Lewis” and “oeuvre” in the same sentence. “Ouevre” is fancy French word that means “Hey, LAAY-DEE!”

I’m kidding. Mirriam-Webster defines it as “…a substantial body of work constituting the life work of a writer, an artist, or a composer.”

Jerry Lewis, who died this morning in Las Vegas, certainly left behind a substantial body of work. From 1949 to 2016, he acted in over 50 films; out of those he directed 23, and wrote 20 of them. And, as Lewis himself observed, some were very funny, others not so much.

Some of Lewis’ early, funnier movies include 1952’s The Stooge, 1955’s Artists and Models, 1959’s Don’t Give Up the Ship (those three co-starring his decade-long stage and screen comedy partner Dean Martin), The Bellboy (1960), Cinderfella (1960), The Ladies Man (1961), The Nutty Professor (1963), and The Disorderly Orderly (1964).

Martin Scorsese gave Lewis a second wind when he offered him a juicy part in his brilliant 1982 show biz satire The King of Comedy (highly recommended). It not only introduced Lewis to a new generation of fans, but allowed him to demonstrate that he had chops as a dramatic actor (when he wasn’t pulling faces, that is). Two more post-Scorsese Lewis performances worth a rental are Emir Kusturica’s 1993 off-the-wall sleeper Arizona Dream, and Peter Chelsom’s 1995 dramedy Funny Bones.

While he had continued writing, directing and starring in films through the early 70s, Lewis floundered at the box office as his particular brand of shtick went out of vogue in Hollywood. “Hollywood” is the key word here; as everyone and their grandmother knows, it was the undying admiration by the French that ultimately kept Lewis’ rep as a film maker afloat during his wilderness years (they gave him the Legion of Honor award in 1983).

Despite all the joking and ridicule spawned by France’s love affair with Jerry Lewis, they were on to something. He was, by definition, an auteur, having written, directed and starred in so many films. A lot of people are not aware that he was also an innovator. He essentially invented the “video tap”, a signal-splitting device that attaches to a movie camera and allows the director to share the camera operator’s view in real time, via a separate video monitor.

I am aware that Lewis’ self-appraisal as being either “very funny or awful” as an artist could apply on occasion to his off-stage life. He didn’t always think before he spoke. That noted, stepping back to look at the big picture, this was a human being who devoted well over 70 years of his long and productive life to making people laugh.

And that’s a good thing. Going up?

[syndicated profile] theregister_feed

Merchants share too much tracking information? Colour us un-surprised

Bitcoin transactions might be anonymous, but on the Internet, its users aren't – and according to research out of Princeton University, linking the two together is trivial on the modern, much-tracked Internet.…

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CEO says he's made 'right decision for the human race' but created 'an existential threat for our company'

White supremacist web site The Daily Stormer has been booted off the internet, again.…

Edit the NYTimes yourself.

Aug. 20th, 2017 10:18 pm
[syndicated profile] metafilter_feed

Posted by zardoz

Think you have the editing skills to work for the New York Times? With the feature Copy Edit This!, Philip B. Corbett, The Times's standards editor, has a number of editing challenges. Even better, there are point-and-click challenges every few weeks. Week 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

And they call us snowflakes

Aug. 20th, 2017 03:30 pm
[syndicated profile] digbysblog_feed

Posted by digby

And they call us snowflakes

by digby

Why are young white men radicalized by white supremacy? German Lopez at Vox delves into the question and it's interesting. But it always comes back to this, doesn't it?
If radicalization is a result of messaging that extremists deploy to attract people with specific grievances, then one way to prevent radicalization may be to develop countermessaging that addresses those grievances in a way that avoids radicalization.

In the context of white supremacists, part of addressing this may mean expanding the Overton window — meaning what’s acceptable to talk about in public discourse. “The more we put things off limits, the more we empower bad actors who will talk about things other people aren’t willing to,” Gartenstein-Ross said.

For instance, right now it’s difficult for a white man to bring up concerns about changing racial demographics without getting labeled as racist. But maybe his concerns don’t have anything to do with race. He may be concerned that as the group he belongs to loses status, he will as well — economically, socially, and so on. A good response to this could point out that, for example, New York City is very diverse and still people, including white men, lead prosperous lives (and it has a below-average crime rate, contrary to what some dog whistles may suggest).

But if that person never has that kind of discussion because he’s dismissed as a racist, his concerns about changing demographics won’t go away. So he might search for answers outside the mainstream, and that might lead him to an extremist group. That is especially true if he experiences what sociologists call “white fragility”: When white people are asked to answer for potential racism, some become defensive — pushing them into denial that they’ve done anything wrong and, in some cases, hardening their racist attitudes. (Much more on that in a previous piece I wrote about this research.)

I know I'm supposed to be empathetic toward all this. But racism has been with us forever and it's really hard for me to believe that if we only allow racists to express their hatred without passing judgment and then offer them some statistics about how they're wrong, they'll come over to the light. But that's just me --- I'm not terribly tolerant of this idea that we have to be kind to racists because nobody know the trouble they've seen.

When I see these young dudes sneering at the Korean immigrants who work 14 hour days 7 days a week down at the corner store in my neighborhood or condemning Latina maids sending most of their paychecks home to their families or treating hard working middle class African American men like lackeys I'm not inclined to feel sorry for them because their granddads lost their factory job back in the 1970s. We are at 4% unemployment right now. I know there are still places where the jobs are scarce but those white college boys and their KKK pals shouting "Jews will not replace us" the other night don't live there.

Maybe we could offer more mental health care, better schools, and drug treatment to communities full of hopeless, directionless people. I've always been for that. But racism didn't cause those problems and coddling people in their belief that their lives have gone to hell because people of color, foreigners and uppity women have ruined everything isn't going solve them.


He was always a hawk, folks

Aug. 20th, 2017 02:00 pm
[syndicated profile] digbysblog_feed

Posted by digby

He was always a hawk, folks

by digby

I've been reading a lot about how Trump firing Bannon means that his alleged isolationism will now be subsumed by the generals' hawkish desire to take over the world. I thought it might be a good idea to reprise this piece I did at the beginning of Trump's term to explain why I think that's nonsense. Trump was never an isolationist and to the extent Bannon had an influence it wasn't in this regard, no matter how much he claimed it was:

Donald Trump’s inaugural address produced yet another torrent of commentary about his “populist, isolationist” ideology and what it means for the future of the republic and the world. Unfortunately, he is all about neither of those things.

It’s true that he deployed the voice of a demagogue to rant about elites and powerful politicians and repeatedly evoked “the people.” But considering that his hires include six Goldman Sachs alums, three billionaires and several more vastly wealthy multimillionaires for his Cabinet, his alleged populism seems a bit strained. After all, to the extent the hellscape he described in that speech exists, it was created by the very people he is now empowering.

Calling Trump an isolationist rests mostly on his use of the archaic term “America First,” which was associated with attempts to keep America out of World War II (and also came with strong undercurrents of anti-Semitism.) But there is no evidence that Trump had a clue about that association when he started using the phrase.

Recall that when journalist Michael Wolff interviewed him in June, just before the big vote in the U.K., Trump clearly hadn’t heard of Brexit. Granted, he subsequently become fast friends with Brexit architect and right-wing provocateur Nigel Farage. But his idea of “isolationism” in this case is a simplistic belief that any nation “run by smart guys” can “make better deals” without having other countries represented at the table.

As far as security is concerned, Trump’s threats to withdraw from NATO and other alliances aren’t really about wanting to pull America to remain within its borders. He never says that. In fact, he wants a huge military and wants to show it off so everyone in the world will be in awe of American power. He just wants NATO and other alliances to pay protection money to the U.S. for whatever price he sets.

Trump has repeatedly made the fatuous claim that he’s going to make the military so massive that “no one will ever want to mess with us” but never has actually suggested that he would have any reluctance to use it. Indeed, he’s made it clear that he intends to do just that, telling his rowdy crowds during the campaign:

ISIS is making a tremendous amount of money because of the oil that they took away, they have some in Syria, they have some in Iraq, I would bomb the shit out of them. 
I would just bomb those suckers, and that’s right, I’d blow up the pipes. I’d blow up the refineries. I’d blow up ever single inch. There would be nothing left. 
And you know what, you’ll get Exxon to come in there, and in two months — you ever see these guys? How good they are, the great oil companies. They’ll rebuild it brand new. . . . And I’ll take the oil.

This has been his promise from Day One. Yesterday, press secretary Sean Spicer, reacting to Russian reports that the U.S. military was already engaged with Russia’s forces in bombing Syria, offered up this startling answer:

Spicer: I know it’s still developing and I would refer you back to the Department of Defense. I know that they’re — they’re currently monitoring this and I would refer you back to them on that. And I think . . . 
Question: Generally open? 
Spicer: I think, the president has been very clearly. [sic] He’s gonna work with any country that shares our interest in defeating ISIS. Not just on the national security front, but on the economic front. If we can work with someone to create greater market access and spur economic growth and allow U.S. small businesses and companies to . . .
Question: [inaudible] to doing joint military actions with Russia in Syria? 
Spicer: I — I think if there’s a way that we can combat ISIS with any country, whether it’s Russia or anyone else, and we have a shared national interest in that, sure we’ll take it

The Pentagon adamantly denied that the U.S. military was currently helping Russia in Syria, where the Russian military has been accused by the U.N. of committing war crimes by using bunker-busting and incendiary bombs on civilian populations. Spicer didn’t mention any of that, but Trump is undoubtedly unconcerned since his strategy is the same: “Bomb the shit out of them.”

As for “taking the oil,” which is a suggestion Trump has repeated for months (including as recently as Saturday when he told the CIA officials they “might get another chance at it”) even conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer was taken aback, correctly noting that “seizing the oil is a war crime.”

If you have listened to Trump talk about China over the past 18 months, it is clear that he is not simply talking about a potential trade war but is prepared to confront the world’s largest nation militarily. In his confirmation hearings, secretary of state-designate Rex Tillerson made it clear that he agreed with Trump that the U.S. would not allow China to build military bases on islands in the South China Sea, and Spicer made that official yesterday:
I think the U.S. is going to make sure that we protect our interests there. If those islands are in fact in international waters and not part of China proper, then yes, we’re going to make sure that we defend international territories from being taken over by one country.
Does that sound like any definition of “isolationism” you’ve ever heard?

When Donald Trump says “America First,” he really means “We’re No. 1.” He talks incessantly about “winning,” so much we’ll be begging him to stop. He openly declares that he believes in the old saying “to the victors belong the spoils,” either suggesting that he has no clue about the West’s colonial past and how that sounds to people around the world or simply doesn’t care. He’s not talking about isolationism but the exact opposite — American global dominance without all those messy institutions and international agreements standing in the way of taking what we want.

No, Trump is not an isolationist. He’s not a “realist.” Neither is he a liberal interventionist or a neoconservative idealist. He’s an old-fashioned imperialist. He wants to Make America great again by making it the world’s dominant superpower, capable of bullying other countries into submission and behaving however we like. He doesn’t seem to understand that the world won’t put up with that.

RcppArmadillo 0.7.960.1.1

Aug. 20th, 2017 07:20 pm
[syndicated profile] planet_debian_feed

Posted by Dirk Eddelbuettel

armadillo image

On the heels of the very recent bi-monthly RcppArmadillo release comes a quick bug-fix release 0.7.960.1.1 which just got onto CRAN (and I will ship a build to Debian in a moment).

There were three distinct issues I addressed in three quick pull requests:

  • The excellent Google Summer of Code work by Binxiang Ni had only encountered direct use of sparse matrices as produced by the Matrix. However, while we waited for 0.7.960.1.0 to make it onto CRAN, the quanteda package switched to derived classes---which we now account for via the is() method of our S4 class. Thanks to Kevin Ushey for reminding me we had is().
  • We somehow missed to account for the R 3.4.* and Rcpp 0.12.{11,12} changes for package registration (with .registration=TRUE), so ensured we only have one fastLm symbol.
  • The build did not take not too well to systems without OpenMP, so we now explicitly unset supported via an Armadillo configuration variable. In general, client packages probably want to enable C++11 support when using OpenMP (explicitly) but we prefer to not upset too many (old) users. However, our configure check now also wants g++ 4.7.2 or later just like Armadillo.

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. RcppArmadillo integrates this library with the R environment and language--and is widely used by (currently) 382 other packages on CRAN---an increase of 52 since the CRAN release in June!

Changes in this release relative to the previous CRAN release are as follows:

Changes in RcppArmadillo version 0.7.960.1.1 (2017-08-20)

  • Added improved check for inherited S4 matrix classes (#162 fixing #161)

  • Changed fastLm C++ function to fastLm_impl to not clash with R method (#164 fixing #163)

  • Added OpenMP check for configure (#166 fixing #165)

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.

Random codec notes

Aug. 20th, 2017 07:15 pm
[syndicated profile] planet_debian_feed

Posted by Steinar H. Gunderson

Post-Solskogen, there hasn't been all that many commits in the main Nageru repository, but that doesn't mean the project is standing still. In particular, I've been working with NVIDIA to shake out a crash bug in their drivers (which in itself uncovered some interesting debugging techniques, although in the end, the bug turned out just to be uncovered by the boring standard technique of analyzing crash dumps and writing a minimal program to reproduce). But I've also been looking at intraframe codecs; my sort-of plan was to go to VideoLAN Dev Days to present my findings, but unfortunately, there seems to be a schedule conflict, so instead, you can have some scattered random notes:

  • JPEG is really impressive technology. It's made in 1992, and it's still frighteningly close to state of the art! Beating it without getting a lot slower isn't trivial at all; witness that even with WebP etc., we still don't have a JPEG-killer because it's just so incredibly good. (Granted, in 1992, decompressing a JPEG would easily take half a minute or more.)
  • rANS is pretty neat; it gives you almost all the advantages of arithmetic coding, but does without divisions in the decoder (and if you have static probabilities and fast high multiplies, also in the encoder). I still don't feel like I understand it fully, though. And it has the odd property of having to encode and decode in different directions, which may or may not be a problem to you. But ryg's interleaving tricks to get SIMD are pretty nice; I won't claim to fully understand those either. Maybe I will need to eventually.
  • GPU performance models continue to bend my head. GPUs may have managed to make a parallel programming model that people actually manage to use, but getting really high performance out of compute shaders is still hard to get use to.
  • It really annoys me that Quick Sync doesn't support luma-only encoding (ie. 4:0:0); the best you can do is seemingly 4:2:0 and then have empty chroma planes, which wastes resources. It would have been a nice way to hack around the limitation that you can't have 4:2:2 or alpha.
  • Time-frequency switching is the solution to a problem that sounds trivial if you're a DSP beginner and nearly impossible if you've actually done some DSP. I'm not intuitively convinced it's worth it if you have fast float muladds, but it's pretty neat. Allowing multiple block sizes to an intraframe codec has a cost in that you'll need a size decision heuristic, though, which pretty much instantly complicates the encoder.

Work in progress :-) Maybe something more coherent will come out eventually.

Edit: Forgot about TF switching!

Compose Conference talk video online

Aug. 20th, 2017 06:50 pm
[syndicated profile] planet_debian_feed

Posted by Joachim Breitner

Three months ago, I gave a talk at the Compose::Conference in New York about how Chris Smith and I added the ability to create networked multi-user programs to the educational Haskell programming environment CodeWorld, and finally the recording of the talk is available on YouTube (and is being discussed on reddit):

It was the talk where I got the most positive feedback afterwards, and I think this is partly due to how I created the presentation: Instead of showing static slides, I programmed the complete visual display from scratch as an “interaction” within the CodeWorld environment, including all transitions, an working embedded game of Pong and a simulated multi-player environments with adjustable message delays. I have put the code for the presentation online.

Chris and I have written about this for ICFP'17, and thanks to open access I can actually share the paper freely with you and under a CC license. If you come to Oxford you can see me perform a shorter version of this talk again.

Jerry Lewis is dead.

Aug. 20th, 2017 07:05 pm
[syndicated profile] metafilter_feed

Posted by shockingbluamp

He was 91. Joseph or Jerome Levitch March 16, 1926
An American actor, comedian, singer, film producer, film director, screenwriter and humanitarian. He is known for his slapstick humor in film, television, stage and radio. He and Dean Martin were partners as the hit popular comedy duo of Martin and Lewis. Following that success, he was a solo star in motion pictures, nightclubs, television shows, concerts, album recordings and musicals.

Lewis served as national chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and hosted the live Labor Day broadcast of the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon for 44 years. Lewis received several awards for lifetime achievements from the American Comedy Awards, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Venice Film Festival, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and was honored with two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
[syndicated profile] metafilter_feed

Posted by Fizz

Nintendo Switch owners weigh in on an iconic debate: Are hot dogs sandwiches? [Polygon] "Nintendo posed an important question to Switch owners several weeks ago: Is a hot dog a sandwich? It's one of society's most contentious debates, one with no clear-cut answer. But the results of the company's poll are in — and Nintendo doesn't seem so happy about them. In a June Ask Me Anything session on Reddit with Super Mario Odyssey producer Yoshiaki Koizumi, fans first prompted the polarizing debate. When asked if Koizumi thought that a hot dog "counts as a sandwich," his response was a flat "no.""

GSoC/GUADEC: Wrapping Things Up

Aug. 20th, 2017 06:26 pm
[syndicated profile] gnomeplanet_feed

Posted by Lucie

The Google Summer of Code is slowly but surely coming to an end and it’s time to start wrapping thing up for the final evaluation. The documentation cards have been officially pushed to the master of the GNOME Builder and last couple of days were spent just tweaking the feature and going through the code reviews.

I would also like to take a quick look back at the amazing GUADEC that was held in Manchester this summer and share some of my photos. I was so glad I could attend and connect the faces with the people I have only met online.


GUADEC kicked of at MMU’s Birley Campus with series of talks varying from technical updates of tools to strengthening the community and the principles which it stands for.


The social calendar was packed as well, making it very easy to meet and get to know a bit all the amazing people who have been part of the for years. Including, for me the highpoint of the events, the GNOME’s 20th birthday celebration held in Museum of Science and Industry. If you haven’t yet, don’t forget to checkout the GNOME’s birthday page.

The last days in Manchester were spent in nearby Shed providing space to discuss and work on ideas surrounding GNOME.

Hope to see you all next year!


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