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Putin: Russia’s plans to solve Ukraine’s debt problem rejected

RT -

Talking about Russian gas delivery to Europe at the Valdai international discussion club meeting on Friday the President explained all the concessions Russia has made and is ready to make to see gas flow into Ukraine and urged the Western partners to co-operate.

Ukraine’s debt to Russia is 5.6 billion dollars for gas delivery and 3 billion dollars of credit. Russia has revised the sum of the debt and now demands only 4.5 billion. In January Ukraine is to receive a tranche from the IMF. The final sum will be reconsidered by the IMF after October, 26.

Putin said Russia suggested several variants to Kiev and IMF of how the debt should be covered.

The first option, that was voiced by Russia, is the IMF credit approved for January should be transferred in December. In this case Ukraine would be able to process pre-payment for gas. But the answer of the IMF was negative because of the complicated procedure of taking decisions.

It was the same answer for another proposition to provide Ukraine a 1.5 billion dollars bridge credit or a high rank bank guarantee.

The third idea proposed by the President also involves bridge credit from the West.

The Russian president compared Ukraine with a girl.

“In Ukraine and in Russia if a man invites a girl to a restaurant he generally pays for her,” he said. “With you it is Hamburg reckoning, everybody should pay for oneself. But in this case it is another situation. The European Union offered an association with Ukraine and took certain responsibilities. So, help Ukraine! At least a month! Give it a bridge credit.”

Unfortunately IMF officials rejected this idea saying it was impossible.

The president recalled last year’s situation. Russia offered to grant Ukraine a credit and to keep the gas price low for the first quarter of the year. The price could be frozen if the Ukrainian part kept on paying punctually and paying the whole debt. But it did not happen.

Recently, Ukrainian officials stated they have only 3.1 billion dollars though the current debt for Russia is 4.5 billion. Kiev officials suggested Ukraine should pay only a part of the debt but then it would not be able to process pre-payment. Or Ukrainians could process pre-payment and pay the debt later in March or April. The Russian president considered both variants unacceptable because he was sure Russia would not get the money.

“We have passed this already many times,” he said. “So we are not going to do it like that anymore.”

President Putin has also turned down plan presented by the European Commission. According to it, Russia should provide gas to Ukraine at the credit of future gas transit costs or without pre-payment which is also a commercial credit.

“We told our friends in Ukraine and in European Commission we were not doing it like this anymore,“ added the president.

Finally, President Putin said he still believed the problem would be solved in the near future.

The next trilateral talks are to be on October, 29.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso stated the EC was ready to provide 790 million euros to help pay debt to Russia, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

Anti-Facebook social site Ello gets millions in funding, promises to stay ad-free forever

RT -

After initially guaranteeing users a social media site devoid of paid content and other adverts, Ello’s execs say new measures will make sure that their promise stays in place: the company has not only managed to increase its funding more than ten-times over from an original $450,000, but has also made its founders and investors alike sign a charter prohibiting Ello from selling user data or ads.

“We’re really creating a way to enshrine Ello, legally, as what we intend it to be,” Ello CEO Paul Budnitz told Wired this week. “The bottom line is we’re not going to sell out and no one can make us sell out.”

In a statement dated October 20, the signees of the agreement explain their reasoning:

“Ello’s explosive growth over the last few months proves that there is a hunger to connect with friends and see beautiful things — without being manipulated by ad salesmen, boosted posts and computer algorithms that don’t always have our best interests at heart. On an ad-driven social network, the advertiser is the customer and you’re the product that’s bought and sold,” the memo reads in part.

“To assure in the strongest possible way that Ello stays focused on its mission to be a different kind of social network, Ello has converted to a State of Delaware Public Benefit Corporation,” or PBC, it continues, meaning “Ello is legally obligated to take its impact on society into account in every decision in makes.”

Specifically, the charter says that Ello can never sell user-specific data to a third-party or enter into an agreement to display paid ads on behalf of a third-party; additionally, a caveat is included that prohibits any future owners or investors at Ello from doing the same in the event of an acquisition or asset transfer.

“We really cannot be forced by our investors to break the basic principles,” Budnitz, the CEO, said to Betabeat.

Already the charter has garnered the signatures of venture capitalists from three firms that recently agreed to back Ello as the company continues to try and take on social media giants like Facebook. According to Wired, the new $5.5 million raised by Ello’s Series A funding round was made possible thanks to contributions from the Foundry Group, Techstars'Bullet Time Ventures and FreshTracks Capital.

“Foundry Group is completely supportive of the Ello mission,” the Colorado-based investors said in a statement. “We’ll either build a business that doesn’t rely on third party advertising or the selling of user data or we won’t build a business. Our belief is that there are products and features that Ello can develop that users will be willing to pay for. While the price points may be low, as part of a much larger ecosystem with millions of users, will provide an economic model for the company which supports the business and our investment.”

"Signing the Ello charter was a no-brainer for us as investors," added Techstars managing partner Mark Solon said in a statement. "We believe in the mission, and the (B corp status) further enforces the manifesto and Ello's vision to never market their users to third parties."

In under two months, Ello has acquired 1 million members up from less than 100 and, according to Wired, an additional 3 million are waiting to join. Previously, the site has been billed as being thje “Anti-Facebook” because of the stark contrast between its own stated policies and that of the social networking behemoth that relies on ads.

Michelle Obama hits campaign trail, confuses Democratic candidate for his Republican opponent (VIDEO)

RT -

In Colorado on Thursday to campaign for the Democratic incumbent running to keep his US Senate seat, the First Lady said Sen. Mark Udall was a “fifth-generation Coloradan.” In fact, Udall, son of longtime former congressman Morris Udall, was born in Arizona.

Udall’s challenger, US Rep. Cory Gardner, is the fifth-generation Coloradan,according to The Weekly Standard.

Earlier this month, the First Lady was a guest speaker at a rally at Drake University in Iowa to lend support to US Senate candidate Bob Braley, whom she repeatedly called "Bailey" before participants shouted out the correct pronunciation.

"Braley. What did I say?" she asked, taking the mistake in stride. "I'm losing it. I'm getting old. I've been traveling too much."

"I know where I am. I know what I'm doing," she told the crowd.

However, Michelle Obama’s flubs on the campaign trail are the least of problems currently facing the Democratic Party. The party’s candidates and incumbents across the US have largely avoided much of any association with President Barack Obama, who is seen as politically unpopular with many undecided and battleground-state voters.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, struggled in a recent interview with Bloomberg to name candidates that President Obama had campaigned for.

“There are races that the president is campaigning in around the country, and he's also governing,” she insisted without offering specifics. “He's doing his job, and he's also spending time recording robo-calls and doing radio spots.”

RT previouslyreported that the president has taken to more clandestine ways to campaign for candidates ahead of Nov. 4, participating in radio interviews and taping ads for specific races.

In an interview with MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe,’ Wasserman Schultz refused to say whether a vote for Democratic candidates in November is a vote for a continuation of Obama’s policies.

“Barack Obama was on the ballot in 2012 and 2008,” she said.

The Democratic Party is expected to lose control of the US Senate in November, though Wasserman Schultz said on MSNBC that she believes the party will lose fewer Senate seats than Republicans will lose in gubernatorial races across the nation.

MozFest 2014 begins today

LXer -

Today marks the beginning of the fifth annual Mozilla Festival, one of the world’s biggest celebrations of the open web. More than 1,600 participants from countries around the globe will gather at Ravensbourne in East London for a weekend of collaborating, building prototypes, designing innovative web literacy curricula and discussing how the ethos of the open web can contribute to the fields of science, journalism, advocacy and more.

Computer Scientist Parachutes From 135,908 Feet, Breaking Record

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader writes: The NY Times reports that Alan Eustace, a computer scientist and senior VP at Google, has successfully broken the record for highest freefall jump, set by Felix Baumgartner in 2012. "For a little over two hours, the balloon ascended at speeds up to 1,600 feet per minute to an altitude of 135,908 feet, more than 25 miles. Mr. Eustace dangled underneath in a specially designed spacesuit with an elaborate life-support system. He returned to earth just 15 minutes after starting his fall. ... Mr. Eustace cut himself loose from the balloon with the aid of a small explosive device and plummeted toward the earth at a speeds that peaked at more than 800 miles per hour, setting off a small sonic boom heard by observers on the ground. ... His technical team had designed a carbon-fiber attachment that kept him from becoming entangled in the main parachute before it opened. About four-and-a-half minutes into his flight, he opened the main parachute and glided to a landing 70 miles from the launch site."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Walmart Is Killing the Rest of Corporate America in Solar Power Adoption

Socialism OnLine! -

URL: http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2014/10/21/walmart_green_energy_it_can_produce_more_solar_power_than_35_states.html

Walmart Is Killing the Rest of Corporate America in Solar Power Adoption. Walmart might be an unadulterated, union-busting evildoer in the eyes of organized labor. But when it comes to another liberal priority, green energy, it's becoming something of a corporate hero. For a few years now, Walmart has been installing solar panels on its stores’ capacious rooftops to improve its corporate image while controlling energy costs. Other big-box retailers such as Ikea, Costco, and Kohl’s have done the same. But thanks to its huge real-estate footprint, Walmart’s efforts are reaching enormous scale...

Topic(s): Geography:  Vote Up/Down

Asus introduces the MeMO Pad 10 ME103K budget tablet

Liliputing -

Last month an unannounced 10 inch Android tablet from Asus started showing up at European retail sites. Now Asus has finally gotten around to officially introducing the tablet. As expected, the Asus MeMO Pad 10 ME103K features a 10 inch, 1280 x 800 pixel display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, and Android 4.4 KitKat […]

Asus introduces the MeMO Pad 10 ME103K budget tablet is a post from: Liliputing

Reagan nation: Former presidential aide urges southern states to secede over gay rights

RT -

Former presidential aide Douglas MacKinnon told radio interviewer Janet Mefferd that he has authored a new book he believes is a blueprint for southern states to secede from the US in order to defend so-called traditional values. He said the new nation - led by the states of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida - should be named ‘Reagan,’ after his former boss, the 40th president of America.

"If you do believe in the Golden Rule, then you're seeing all of this unravel before our eyes daily, unfortunately," he said of supposed repression faced by those who are anti-equality.

"If you happen to make a donation in favor of traditional marriage, you can lose your job. If you happen to refuse to bake a cake for a gay couple because it goes against your religious beliefs, you can be driven out of business."

According to Right Wing Watch, MacKinnon spoke during the interview of a South during the Civil War that had “seceded legally” and “peacefully” but that President Abraham Lincoln had “waged an illegal war that was in fact not declared against the South after the South basically did what we’re talking about in this book now in terms of peacefully, legally and constitutionally leaving the union.”

Calling for the Religious Right to embrace the secessionist movement, MacKinnon lamented the invective aimed at former NFL coach Tony Dungy, who said earlier this year that he would think twice about drafting Michael Sam, the first openly gay man to be drafted into the league.

"If you're a football commentator and you happen to just say, innocently, that maybe I wouldn't have drafted a gay football player because I wouldn't want to deal with the distraction, many people on the left would try to drive you out of your job as well,” MacKinnon said.

As The Huffington Post pointed out, MacKinnon wrote an editorial earlier this year in which he alleged that the Walt Disney Company followed a “pro-gay agenda” and was trying to “indoctrinate” children.

MacKinnon cited a Disney executive when he said the world-famous entertainment company and theme park was "introducing openly gay characters and couples in its children's programming" and "[incorporating] the colors of the gay pride flag in as many shots as possible."

MacKinnon, now a syndicated columnist, is also a former spokesman for the US Department of Defense, according to his own biography.

How to install Puppet master and client in Ubuntu 14.04

HowtoForge - Linux Howtos and Tutorials -

How to install Puppet master and client in Ubuntu 14.04

This document describes how to install and configure Puppet on Ubuntu 14.04 server, I will also connect a puppet client with Ubuntu 14.04 desktop. Puppet is a configuration management system that allows you to define the state of your IT infrastructure, then automatically enforces the correct state. Whether you're managing just a few servers or thousands of physical and virtual machines, Puppet automates tasks that sysadmins often do manually, freeing up time and mental space so sysadmins can work on the projects that deliver greater business value.

Researcher Finds Tor Exit Node Adding Malware To Downloads

Slashdot -

Trailrunner7 writes: A security researcher has identified a Tor exit node that was actively patching binaries users download, adding malware to the files dynamically. The discovery, experts say, highlights the danger of trusting files downloaded from unknown sources and the potential for attackers to abuse the trust users have in Tor and similar services. Josh Pitts of Leviathan Security Group ran across the misbehaving Tor exit node while performing some research on download servers that might be patching binaries during download through a man-in-the middle attack. What Pitts found during his research is that an attacker with a MITM position can actively patch binaries–if not security updates–with his own code. In terms of defending against the sort of attack, Pitts suggested that encrypted download channels are the best option, both for users and site operators. "SSL/TLSis the only way to prevent this from happening. End-users may want to consider installing HTTPS Everywhere or similar plugins for their browser to help ensure their traffic is always encrypted," he said via email.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Rise of Linux – a hacker’s history

LXer -

The original code of Linux was written for fun, or in Eric Raymond’s phrase, to ‘scratch the itch’ of Linus Torvalds, and later to satisfy the enthusiasm and programming itch of an assortment of hackers and hobbyists who, for the most part, had grown up in the age of the ZX80 and the BBC Micro, Acorns and Apricots, for which the code was often available – and hackable.

Two dead from high school shooting in Washington state

RT -

Emergency calls were made late Friday morning local time at around 10:45 a.m. by individuals reporting a suspected shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School.

Around 75 minutes later, Marysville Police Commander Robert Lamoureux told reporters: “We are confirming that there is one deceased, and that is the shooter.”

The shooter has since been identified as Jaylen Fryberg, a ninth-grader at the school. According to The Seattle Times, another student said Fryberg was angry at a girl who wouldn't date him.

CNN and CBS have since reported that at least two people have died, including the suspected shooter. Dr. Joanne Roberts, the chief medical officer at Providence Hospital, told King 5 News that three students were at the facility in critical condition following the shooting.

According to preliminary, unconfirmed reports, as many as six people were shot at the school by a gunman equipped with a handgun.

During an early afternoon press conference, Lamoureux said that the shooter was a student at the school, but declined to release any identifying information. The Seattle Times reported that two law enforcement sources confirmed to the paper that individual had died from a “self-inflicted gunshot wound.” Citing anonymous students, CNN said the suspected shooter was a popular student who recently became the victim of bullying despite being named the school's homecoming prince.

News from the Seattle suburb reverberated across the nation on Friday as eyewitnesses to the tragedy took to the internet to report what was happening from inside the school.

"The Marysville-Pilchuck High School is currently in lock down due to an emergency situation,” the school said. “Police and emergency services have responded. The Marysville School District lock down procedures will remain in effect at Marysville Pilchuck until further notice from law enforcement. We will continue to forward communication in cooperation with law enforcement."

An unnamed teacher reportedly told local television network KIRO 7 that people were locked down inside of the building following what the educator described as “chaos.”

“We are locked down…first the alarm went off any everyone thought it was a fire drill,” the teacher said, “then chaos.” Parents have since been warned not to approach the school as authorities continue to make sense of the scene, but rather to report to a nearby church at 116th and 51st.

Marysville-Pilchuck is a large school with roughly 2,500 students. The shooter was reportedly in the cafeteria, according from tweets sent by individuals purported to have been at the school at the time. “The gunman in the lunchroom opened fire on several students,” one mother reported her child saying to local station KOMO News.

Aerial footage showed students being evacuated, with some parents reporting knowledge that their children were safe.

We have confirmed from #Marysville School District "lockdown for an emergency situation." Teacher inside tells @JoannaKIRO7 shots fired.

— KIRO 7 (@KIRO7Seattle) October 24, 2014

Developing: Reported school shooting in Marysville, WA at Pilchuck High School. Live report: http://t.co/Tdf1TryJn7 pic.twitter.com/R4f9RdfWom

— Circa (@Circa) October 24, 2014

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