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News: Linux 3.17 Release Cycle Begins as LinuxCon Opens

LXer -

Big week on the Linux Planet as a new Linux kernel release cycle begins and Kernel developers congregate in Chicago for LinuxCon. "I'm going to be on a plane much of tomorrow, and am not really supportive of last-minute pull requests during the merge window anyway, so I'm closing the merge window one day early, and 3.17-rc1 is out there now," Linus Torvalds wrote in his Linux 3.17 rc1 release announcement.

Comcast Training Materials Leaked

Slashdot -

WheezyJoe writes: The Verge reports on leaked training manuals from Comcast, which show how selling services is a required part of the job, even for employees doing tech support. The so-called "4S training material" explicitly states that 20 percent of a call center employee's rating for a given call is dependent on effectively selling the customer new Comcast services. "There are pages of materials on 'probing' customers to ferret out upsell opportunities, as well as on batting aside customer objections to being told they need to buy something. 'We can certainly look at other options, but you would lose which you mentioned was important to you,' the guide suggests clumsily saying to an angry customer who doesn't want to buy any more Comcast services." Images of the leaked documents are available on the Verge, making for fun reading.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Russian troops put advanced anti-aircraft systems to the test

RT -

“Three armed regiments carried out test fires of S-400 ‘Triumph’ and S-300 ‘Favorit’ surface-to-air missiles,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Col. Igor Klimov said on Tuesday.

Target missiles Kaban and Pischal were used to simulate the high-speed targets during the drill, he added.

S-400 Triumph is the next generation upgrade to the S-300 anti-aircraft weapon system family, which was deployed around Moscow back in 2011. It has an operational range of up to 400 kilometers, depending on the missiles it is using, and can destroy up to 36 targets simultaneously.

Over 800 servicemen and more than 200 military vehicles are taking part in the war games at the Ashuluk Range, Klimov said. The summoned troops are responsible for 13 regions in Russia’s west, including Moscow.

Ashuluk firing range was a subject of a recent exchange between Washington and Moscow.

Earlier this month, the drills area housed over 100 warplanes and helicopters, which took part in the joint drill by Russia’s air force and air defense forces. Following the drill, US Department of State spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that Washington is “deeply concerned” by the maneuvers of the Russian military, which are “provocative and only serve to escalate tensions” on the border with Ukraine.

The Russian Defense Ministry was quick to point to the large distance between Ashuluk and the conflict zone in Ukraine, almost 1,000 kilometers away bordering Kazakhstan in Central Asia. The ministry thus voiced “concerns over the lack of basic geography knowledge expressed by Jen Psaki.”

In March and April, the Russian military did conduct separate mass ground exercises, which Moscow explicitly linked to the growing unrest in south-eastern Ukraine.

In April, the Ukrainian army began a military campaign to bring to heel the protesters in the country’s Donetsk and Lugansk regions, who refused to recognize the coup-imposed authorities in Kiev and demanded federalization. Over the summer, the operation started gradually spilling over the border, with Russian checkpoints and refugee camps coming under fire from the Ukrainian side.

LAPD delays release of autopsy report in controversial shooting

RT -

According to the Huffington Post, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) have placed an “investigative hold” on the report detailing Ezell Ford’s cause of death in order to preserve the integrity of witness testimony, which is still being gathered.

"Pending further investigative and forensic analysis, the LAPD Force Investigation Division investigators have requested that The Los Angeles County Coroner place an investigative hold on the pending autopsy report," the police department said on Monday.

Speaking with NBC Los Angeles, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said the department is looking for additionally witnesses before the report is out in the public eye, adding that its release could potentially influence any statements given.

“The witness pool is very shallow at this point,” he said. “I want to make sure we can get folks, we can get their unvarnished statements.”

Though this type of delay is not uncommon, the LAPD has already been criticized by the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable, which connected the decision to the Michael Brown case unfolding in Ferguson, Missouri. Brown was killed by a police officer just two days before Ford, and his death has triggered continuing protests against police brutality and excessive force.

"The blocking of the autopsy report of Ford comes on the heels of the release of the autopsy report on Michael Brown which contradicted the police version of how Brown was killed," the roundtable’s Earl Ofari Hutchinson said on Monday. "The blocking of the release Ford autopsy report further fuels suspicions about the LAPD's version of the Ford killing."

As RT reported previously, the 25-year-old Ford was fatally shot by police after an “investigative stop” by police resulted in a “struggle” that saw Ford end up face down on the ground. Ford, who suffered from mental problems and was unarmed, was then reportedly shot in the back multiple times despite witnesses claiming he was complying with police.

"They laid him out and for whatever reason, they shot him in the back, knowing mentally, he has complications. Every officer in this area, from the Newton Division, knows that -- that this child has mental problems," an unnamed man claiming to be Ford’s cousin told local KTLA News.

"The excessive force ... there was no purpose for it. The multiple shootings in the back while he's laying down? No.”

The LAPD disputes this version of events, and has said Ford attempted to take an officer’s gun as he struggled with police.

Core Infrastructure Initiative adds New Members to Fund and Support Critical Open Source Projects

LXer -

The Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII), a project hosted by The Linux Foundation that enables technology companies, industry stakeholders and esteemed developers to collaboratively identify and fund open source projects that are in need of assistance, today announced new backers. Hitachi and NEC will work with existing CII members to collaboratively identify and support the critical infrastructure projects most in need of support.

Netflix CEO On Net Neutrality: Large ISPs Are the Problem

Slashdot -

KindMind writes: At Wired, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has posted his take on net neutrality. He lays the problem at the feet of the large ISPs. Hastings says, "Consider this: A single fiber-optic strand the diameter of a human hair can carry 101.7 terabits of data per second, enough to support nearly every Netflix subscriber watching content in HD at the same time. And while technology has improved and capacity has increased, costs have continued to decline. A few more shelves of equipment might be needed in the buildings that house interconnection points, but broadband itself is as limitless as its uses. We'll never realize broadband's potential if large ISPs erect a pay-to-play system that charges both the sender and receiver for the same content. ... It's worth noting that Netflix connects directly with hundreds of ISPs globally, and 99 percent of those agreements don't involve access fees. It is only a handful of the largest U.S. ISPs, which control the majority of consumer connections, demanding this toll. Why would more profitable, larger companies charge for connections and capacity that smaller companies provide for free? Because they can."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.


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