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Can a New Type of School Churn Out Developers Faster?

Slashdot -

Nerval's Lobster writes: Demand for software engineering talent has become so acute, some denizens of Silicon Valley have contributed to a venture fund that promises to turn out qualified software engineers in two years rather than the typical four-year university program. Based in San Francisco, Holberton School was founded by tech-industry veterans from Apple, Docker and LinkedIn, making use of $2 million in seed funding provided by Trinity Ventures to create a hands-on alternative to training software engineers that relies on a project-oriented and peer-learning model originally developed in Europe. But for every person who argues that developers don't need a formal degree from an established institution in order to embark on a successful career, just as many people seem to insist that a lack of a degree is an impediment not only to learning the fundamentals, but locking down enough decent jobs over time to form a career. (People in the latter category like to point out that many companies insist on a four-year degree.) Still others argue that lack of a degree is less of an issue when the economy is good, but that those without one find themselves at a disadvantage when the aforementioned economy is in a downturn. Is any one group right, or, like so many things in life, is the answer somewhere in-between?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

BackBox Linux 4.4 Screenshot Tour

LXer -

The BackBox Team is pleased to announce the updated release of BackBox Linux, the version 4.4! In this release we have some special new features included to keep BackBox up to date with last developments in security world. Tools such as OpenVAS and Automotive Analysis will make a big difference. BackBox 4.4 comes also with Linux kernel 3.19. What's new: Preinstalled Linux kernel 3.19, new Ubuntu 14.04.3 base, Ruby 2.1, installer with LVM and full disk encryption options, handy Thunar custom actions, RAM wipe at shutdown/reboot..

Star Trek: New Voyages, The Fan-Based Star Trek Series

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader writes: The New York Times has published an article on Star Trek: New Voyages, a fan production that's based on TOS. “People come from all over the world to take part in this — Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia and every state in the union,” said James Cawley, the show’s executive producer. “That’s the magic of Star Trek. It’s spawned this whole generation of fans who went on to professional careers — doctors, lawyers, engineers — who are now participating in that shared love here.” With TOS fans generally being less than enamored with the movie reboots, are fan produced web series the wave of the future?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

"Minimalist" stainless steel teabag

Boing Boing -

Does the idea of inexpensive, biodegradable, everyday teabags horrify and disgust you? Ensure your tea drinking has a chain of environmental destruction all the way back to the bowels of the Earth itself with the Eva Solo Stainless Steel Tea Bag. It comes in small (10g of leaves) or large sizes, is dishwasher safe, and can be re-used indefinitely, thereby paying for itself in only 700 years. [via Uncrate]

One Year Later, Hundreds of Tor Challenge Relays Still Active

EFF's Deeplinks -

As of this month, 567 relays from our 2014 Tor Challenge are still up and running—more than were established during the entire inaugural Tor Challenge back in 2011. To put that number in perspective, these nodes represent more than 8.5% of the roughly 6,500 public relays currently active on the entire Tor network, a system that supports more than 2-million directly connecting clients worldwide.

Tor is a tool that protects privacy on the Internet by routing web traffic through a series of nodes, or “relays,” creating a network of servers that act as way stations on data’s journey from point A to point B. By providing an indirect, randomized path for Web traffic, the Tor network divorces the user’s IP address (and therefore their location) from the content they are viewing. Picture a kid passing notes in class through a random series of students, as opposed to a letter sent straight to its destination: traffic routed through Tor isn’t stamped with a return address and is difficult to trace back to its sender if it’s intercepted.

The more relays present in the Tor network, the better traffic will be disguised as it travels through that network. This service has helped to ensure anonymity for whistleblowers and journalists handling sensitive information, domestic abuse survivors whose safety might be compromised by revealing their whereabouts, citizens of countries that actively censor the Internet, and others who don’t want to be tracked or traced online.

The 2014 Tor Challenge campaigned to strengthen the Tor network by encouraging people to set up new Tor nodes. We joined forces with the Free Software Foundation, Freedom of the Press Foundation, and the Tor Project, ultimately inspiring the creation of more than 1,600 new relays over a period of three months.

We extend our thanks and congratulations to the individuals behind the 567 relays still active more than a year after the Tor Challenge’s conclusion.

As promised, we’re celebrating these privacy guardians with limited-edition t-shirts and stickers. If you see someone sporting one of these, you can thank them for helping to protect privacy on the Internet:

And here are the stickers that folks who still have Tor nodes up will be receiving:

Inspired to use the Tor network? You can download and install the Tor Browser Bundle, which includes the Tor browser itself and the software needed to run it, through our handy Surveillance Self-Defense guide. The guide also has plenty of other useful information on protecting your data, secure deletion, safely attending protests, and more. Even if you’re not worried about anonymizing your own online activity, you can still set up your own Tor relay to make everyone on the network—including some of the Internet’s most vulnerable users—a little safer.

Related Issues: Privacy
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California bans use of "Redskins" as a team name at public schools

Boing Boing -

Sponsored by Assemblymember Luis Alejo, today California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB30, a bill barring schools from naming teams or mascots "redskins."

NBC News shares:

The state Assembly overwhelmingly approved the California Racial Mascots Act in May, about a month before the Obama administration went on record telling the Washington Redskins that they would have to change their name before they would be allowed to move to a stadium in Washington, D.C., from their current home in suburban Maryland.

In a joint statement with the nonprofit group Change the Mascot, the National Congress of American Indians praised California for "standing on the right side of history by bringing an end to the use of the demeaning and damaging R-word slur in the state's schools."

A Conversation with First Latino U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera (Part 2)

Democracy Now! Videos -

United States Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera made history when he became the first Latino named to the position. A son of Mexican migrant farm workers, Herrera has been celebrated for bringing energy, humor and emotion to work that captures the consciousness of a cross-section of America. In Part 2 of our conversation, Herrera discusses his book "187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross the Border," the Chicano movement in the United States, and reads the poem "Almost Livin', Almost Dyin'" from his most recent book, "Notes on the Assemblage." The poem was dedicated to the memory of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.

Watch Part 1 of Interview

Game the real world with this deck of social interaction mission cards

Boing Boing -

See sample pages from this book at Wink.
$9 Buy a copy on Amazon

It is perhaps a sad testament to our disembodied lives that we need a deck of cards to coax us into interacting with strangers in meatspace, but that's exactly what Sneaky Cards: Play It Forward are designed to do. And they make their game of social interaction and random acts of kindness surprisingly fun.

Sneaky Cards began life in 2009 as a winning submission, by a 16-year-old kid, to a contest held by Boing Boing and the Institute for the Future. The game became a free online download. You printed and cut out your cards, then played them in the real world. The creator, Harry Lee, described the game as being about “creating fun and creative social interactions,” and for “breaking up the tedium of everyday life.”

This current commercial version, from the wonderful folks at Gamewright, sports all new card designs, new card “missions,” unique card-tracking numbers, and a website where you can register your cards and find out what becomes of them as they circulate. This “Play It Forward” version was designed by Cody Borst, with the blessing of Harry Lee.

The Play It Forward deck consists of 53 cards divided up into six different mission categories: Engage (tests of audacity), Connect (finding people and things), Grow (self-challenges and learning experiences), Surprise (hide things for discovery), Care (do-gooder tasks), and Create (socially shared art challenges). The cards come in a handsome and sturdy flip box with a magnetic catch. Each card has a unique ID. As does each deck. You register the deck and then each of the cards that you wish to play. When you play a registered card, say “Give this card to someone without them knowing it,” by sticking it in your friend Peter's jacket pocket, when he discovers it, he can go to the address on the card, enter the number, and see where the card came from. And if he wants, he can be alerted (along with me and anyone else who registers the tracking code) when the card travels to a new owner.

It's really surprisingly exciting when one of the cards gets “played.” You get an email alert and you can see its location and travel path on the card's unique webpage. I left “Hide this card where it can be found” in the creases of a newspaper box at 39th and Prince in Flushing, NY and one in the drawer of my hotel room in Flushing. I'm going to be particularly tickled if these two cards ever end up back on my Sneaky radar.

I really like this concept a lot and have already had some great interactions with the deck. For instance, I gave the smile card seen above to Nick Normal of Maker Media while we were on the dance floor of the World Maker Faire wrap party in NY. He passed it on to someone else that night and it's currently recovering from all of the excitement in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Hopefully the great smile exchange will begin again soon.

The one thing I don't like about the game is that (currently) the website only tracks card location. It would be great if there was a way of attaching photos and sharing anecdotes about each of the tracked cards. I tracked Where's George? dollar bills years ago, and it was so much fun to read about the bills that I found, not just see their circulation route.

This was one of those rare products where, as soon as I started interacting with it, I began to think of so many other people, especially creative and courageous teens, who might really be inspired by this deck. I've already begun buying copies for them. If you know a creative teen who might need just a tiny nudge outside of his or her social comfort zone, or a precocious teen in need of outlets for their rambunctious energy, play it forward and get them this deck.

Sneaky Cards: Play it Forward
by Indie Boards and Cards
Ages 10 and up, 1-5,000,000,000 players, 55 cards

TI “Processor SDK” initially targets Sitara with Yocto and U-Boot

LXer -

TI has launched a “Processor SDK” based on a mainline LTS Linux kernel, U-Boot, a Yocto file system and Linaro tool chain, initially covering Sitara SoCs. Texas Instruments has introduced a Processor Software Development Kit based on Linux as well as its own TI-RTOS, that will eventually scale across multiple Sitara and DSP processors families. […]

w00t! Google OnHub Router actually Runs on Chrome OS; Here's How to Root it

The Hacker News -

Are you intrigued with the idea of disassembling things and making them work your ways? Then you’ll find this coverage to be one of its kind! Google OnHub Router runs ChromiumOS (Chrome OS), the same Linux-based operating system that powers Google Chromebook laptops and desktops. Yeah, It's True. A Group of researchers has revealed that Google OnHub Router is actually a modified

Does a Threatened Economy Put Bitcoin at Risk?

Bitcoin feeds -

What will Happen to Bitcoin when the Economy goes Bust? Written by: Evan Faggart Many people interested in Bitcoin have a less than optimistic view about the health of the global economy. This skepticism — in some cases pessimism — is fueled by a controversial business cycle theory that is fairly popular in Bitcoin circles. This theory holds that the easy money created by central and fractional reserve […]


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