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Sean Davis: Xubuntu 16.10 “Yakkety Yak” Released

Planet UBUNTU - Pre, 14/10/2016 - 12:30pd
Another six months have come and gone, and it’s been a relatively slow cycle for Xubuntu development.  With increased activity in Xfce as it heads towards 4.14 and full GTK+3 support, few changes have...

Kubuntu: Kubuntu 16.10 Released!

Planet UBUNTU - Enj, 13/10/2016 - 10:10md

\o/ \o/ \o/ \o/ \o/

We, the Kubuntu Team are very happy to announce that Kubuntu 16.10 is finally here!

After 6 months of hard but fun work we have a bright new release for you all!

We packaged some great updates from the KDE Community such as:

– Plasma 5.7.5
– Applications 16.04.3
– Frameworks 5.26.0

We also have updated to version 4.8 of the Linux kernel with improvements across the board such as Microsoft Surface 3 support.

For a list of other application updates, upgrading notes and known bugs be sure to read our release notes!

Download 16.10

Xubuntu: Xubuntu 16.10 Released

Planet UBUNTU - Enj, 13/10/2016 - 6:43md

The Xubuntu team is pleased to announce the immediate release of Xubuntu 16.10. Xubuntu 16.10 is a normal release and will be supported for 9 months.

This release has seen little visible change since April’s 16.04, however much has been done towards supplying Xubuntu with Xfce packages built with GTK3, including the porting of many plugins and Xfce Terminal to GTK3. Those GTK3 ports can, if one wishes to test them, be installed from one of the team’s development PPAs

The final release images are available as Torrents and direct downloads from

As the main server will be very busy in the first few days after release, we recommend using the Torrents wherever possible.


For support with the release, navigate to Help & Support for a complete list of methods to get help.

Known Issues
  • Thunar is still the subject of a few bugs, though they all appear to revolve around similar issues. A further patch has been applied since 16.04.
  • On some hardware the password is sometimes required twice when returning from suspend.

For more information on affecting bugs please refer to the Release Notes.

Thanks to all who have contributed to Xubuntu, not least those who test for us when called upon, and generally anyone can do that for us all. We will name you all in time – you deserve one last mention. Thank you on behalf of all installing Xubuntu – you all rock!

The Fridge: Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) released

Planet UBUNTU - Enj, 13/10/2016 - 6:10md

Codenamed “Yakkety Yak”, Ubuntu 16.10 continues Ubuntu’s proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution. The team has been hard atwork through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs.

Under the hood, there have been updates to many core packages, including a new 4.8-based kernel, a switch to gcc-6, and much more. Ubuntu Desktop has seen incremental improvements, with newer versions of GTK and Qt, updates to major packages like Firefox and LibreOffice, and stability improvements to Unity.

Ubuntu Server 16.10 includes the Newton release of OpenStack, alongside deployment and management tools that save devops teams time when deploying distributed applications – whether on private clouds, public clouds, x86, ARM, or POWER servers, z System mainframes, or on developer laptops. Several key server technologies, from MAAS to juju, have been
updated to new upstream versions with a variety of new features.

The newest Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME, Ubuntu Kylin, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Studio, and Xubuntu are also being released today. More details can be found for these at their individual release notes:

Maintenance updates will be provided for 9 months for all flavours releasing with 16.10.

To get Ubuntu 16.10

In order to download Ubuntu 16.10, visit:

Users of Ubuntu 16.04 will be offered an automatic upgrade to 16.10 if they have selected to be notified of all releases, rather than just LTS upgrades. For further information about upgrading, see:

As always, upgrades to the latest version of Ubuntu are entirely free of charge.

We recommend that all users read the release notes, which document caveats, workarounds for known issues, as well as more in-depth notes on the release itself. They are available at:

Find out what’s new in this release with a graphical overview:

If you have a question, or if you think you may have found a bug but aren’t sure, you can try asking in any of the following places:

Help Shape Ubuntu

If you would like to help shape Ubuntu, take a look at the list of ways you can participate at:

About Ubuntu

Ubuntu is a full-featured Linux distribution for desktops, laptops, netbooks and servers, with a fast and easy installation and regular releases. A tightly-integrated selection of excellent applications is included, and an incredible variety of add-on software is just a few clicks away.

Professional services including support are available from Canonical and hundreds of other companies around the world. For more information about support, visit:

More Information

You can learn more about Ubuntu and about this release on our website listed below:

To sign up for future Ubuntu announcements, please subscribe to Ubuntu’s very low volume announcement list at:

Originally posted to the ubuntu-announce mailing list on Thu Oct 13 15:14:49 UTC 2016 by Adam Conrad, on behalf of the Ubuntu Release Team

Ubuntu Insights: Unity 8 preview session in Ubuntu 16.10 Yakkety Yak

Planet UBUNTU - Enj, 13/10/2016 - 5:01md

Ubuntu 16.10 Yakkety Yak has landed and brings with it the Unity 8 technical preview desktop session. Unity 8 has been the face of the Ubuntu phone and tablet for a few years and has quickly evolved its convergence feature set to allow it to work seamlessly between form factors such as phones, tablets and desktops. You can now chose to log in to a Unity 8 session directly from the greeter.

The current experience comes with a minimal set of applications; a browser, terminal and systems settings.  Here are a few things you might like to try to flesh out your Unity 8 session and get the most from it.

Window Management

Unity 8 is designed from the ground up to work well with touch based displays. Try pressing three fingers on a window to open the touch friendly controls. You can move and resize windows with controls which work well for a touchscreen.

Enable More Scopes

Unity 8 ships with only the Apps scope enabled by default. There are many others installed and you can enable them by:

  1. Click on the up arrow at the bottom of the Apps Scope (or if you are using a touch screen drag it up)

  1. Browse the list of available scopes and enable them by clicking on the star icon
    When you click the star you will notice the scope move to the top of the list in the Home section
  2. When you are done you can return to the main scope by clicking on the left arrow next to “Manage”
  3. You can now swipe left and right between the scopes you have enabled
Enable Rich Multi-Media Scopes

You can browse and play your media directly from Scopes or launch the Media Player app. Make sure you have some supported media in your Music and Videos directories first.

  1. Open the Terminal App and install the required software:
  2. sudo apt install mediaplayer-app mediascanner2.0 unity-scope-mediascanner2 ubuntu-restricted-extras
  3. Open the Manage Scopes menu as in the previous step and enable the My Music, Music and My Videos scopes.
  4. The Media Scanner may take a few minutes to index your media. Try logging out and logging back in again if nothing appears in the Scopes.
  5. Scroll through to the Music scope and you should see your media complete with artwork where available.

  1. You can click play directly from the Scope to listen.

  1. If you have Videos available as well, scroll through to the My Videos scope, find a video and click Play. The Media Player app will open and play your video.

Add More Apps

It wasn’t possible to include all the Unity 8 core apps in the 16.10 image but you can easily install some additional apps as Snaps and from a PPA.

Snappy Apps!

These Snap apps are cutting edge and will be updated frequently. Because they are packaged as Snaps you will not be stuck with the version of the app which shipped with 16.10, they will be frequently updated and you will benefit from the freshest version as soon as they are available. (There is a known issue with Snaps opening two windows.  This will be fixed soon.) Once you have installed the apps pull down the Apps Scope to refresh.

  • Gallery App
    • sudo snap install --edge --devmode gallery-app
  • Camera App
    • sudo snap install --edge --devmode camera-app
  • Address Book App
    • sudo snap install --edge --devmode address-book-app
  • Calendar App
    • sudo snap install --edge --devmode ubuntu-calendar-app

PPA Apps

You can also add this PPA to give you access to other Unity 8 apps which are built as .deb packages:

  • To add the PPA open the Terminal app and run:
    • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:convergent-apps/testing
  • Then run:
    • sudo apt update
  • Music App
    • sudo apt install music-app
  • Calculator
    • sudo apt install ubuntu-calculator-app
  • Doc Viewer
    • sudo apt install ubuntu-docviewer-app

Enable Xorg dependent Applications

Unity 8 uses the Mir display server but many older applications need the Xorg display server to work. To support these applications you can install Libertine which will create a container to host the applications and Xmir to provide the Xorg display server. Install the Libertine packages from the archive by typing:

sudo apt install libertine libertine-scope libertine-tools

Once installed you will see the Libertine manager icon in the Apps Scope.

  • Open Libertine and click on Install
  • Leave the input boxes blank and click OK
  • Wait while Libertine creates the container and installs the necessary packages. This will take a few minutes.
  • Once this is complete click on the “Ubuntu ‘Yakkety Yak’” text and then click on the plus symbol
  • Click “Enter package name” and enter “gimp” and click OK
  • Wait while The Gimp is installed.
  • Once complete you should see a Gimp icon in the Apps Scope, click on this and you’re running Gimp under Unity 8 and Mir.
Points to note

Mir runs on vty8, whereas Xorg runs on vty7. If you switch to a text console (e.g. vty1) and want to get back to your Unity 8 graphical session press ctrl-alt-f8.

Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S09E33 – Emma’s Clown Car - Ubuntu Podcast

Planet UBUNTU - Enj, 13/10/2016 - 4:00md

It’s Episode Thirty-Three of Season-Nine of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson, Martin Wimpress and Emma Marshall are connected and speaking to your brain.

We are four once more!

In this week’s show:

That’s all for this week! If there’s a topic you’d like us to discuss, or you have any feedback on previous shows, please send your comments and suggestions to or Tweet us or Comment on our Facebook page or comment on our Google+ page or comment on our sub-Reddit.

Ubuntu Insights: Canonical releases Ubuntu 16.10

Planet UBUNTU - Enj, 13/10/2016 - 3:00md
Ubuntu 16.10 released with Hybrid Cloud Operations and Unity 8 developer preview, from Canonical
  • MAAS 2.0 delivers robust, highly-available IPAM and bare-metal provisioning
  • Hybrid cloud operations with Juju 2.0
  • Developer preview of Unity 8 includes desktop, tablet and phone UX convergence
  • OpenStack Newton with secure bare metal performance and containers
  • Snapd 2.16 delivers apps to a wide range of Linux servers, devices, and desktops
  • More than 500 snaps published, with updates directly to end-users from ISVs
  • Performance improvements in network and virtualisation for throughput, latency

LONDON 13th October 2016: Ubuntu, the platform used in the majority of cloud deployments worldwide, today released version 16.10 with hybrid cloud operations, bare-metal cloud performance, the ability to lift-and-shift 80% of Linux VMs to machine containers, Kubernetes for world-leading process-container coordination, full container support in OpenStack, and telco-grade networking latency enhancements.

“The world’s fastest hypervisor, LXD, and the world’s best cloud operating system, Ubuntu, together with the latest OpenStack and Kubernetes make for the world’s fastest and best private cloud infrastructure” said Mark Shuttleworth, who leads Canonical’s product team and the Ubuntu project. “Our focus is to enable true hybrid cloud operations, and this release further enhances the tools and platform that most companies depend on to operate effectively across all major public clouds and in one’s own data center, from bare metal to cloud container.”

Universal ‘snap’ Linux packages that merge container and packaging technology give developers a single format to distribute their apps and services from cloud to IoT. Snaps work on Ubuntu 16.10, 16.04 LTS and 14.04 LTS, and a range of Linux operating systems.

Rocket.Chat, the open source web chat platform had to support over 30 deployment platforms across many different on-premises and cloud solutions. Making Rocket.Chat available as a snap was a simple process which now means any user can install the service in a few minutes as opposed to requiring hours of configuration by a system administrator. This is definitely one of the easiest distribution methods we have ever used.” said Gabriel Engel, CEO of Rocket.Chat.

MAAS 2.0 – the “physical cloud” featuring IPAM and bare metal provisioning of Ubuntu, CentOS and Windows hosts is now highly available in standard configurations. MAAS enables a physical data centre to “feel like a cloud”, with on-demand availability of machines with custom images through a web or REST API. Total automation from the moment racks enter the building to the moment apps are running is the goal of MAAS.

The GA release of Juju 2.0 enables organisations to operate ‘big software’ applications like Hadoop and Kubernetes in a consistent, model-driven fashion across multiple public clouds and private infrastructure. Model-driven operations provide an ‘open source SAAS’ experience, transforming the process for application onboarding and with shared and crowdsourced operational code. Juju 2.0 added support for vSphere infrastructure, enabling private clouds on both OpenStack and VMware.

Network performance is a primary focus of this release, with updated versions of Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK), OpenVSwitch (OVS) and virtualization technologies, all able to handle critical application traffic  for lower latency and greater throughput. Ubuntu 16.10 and the corresponding updates to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS further enhance Ubuntu’s position as the leading private cloud infrastructure operating system, with OpenStack Newton, DPDK, enhanced OpenVSwitch and LXD machine containers alongside regular KVM based VM guests.

Ubuntu 16.10 previews Canonical’s device convergence vision. Unity 8 developer preview includes apps that scale from phone to desktop, from mouse to touch screen, setting a precedent for the next wave of Linux devices.

Full range of containers

Ubuntu 16.10 features all types of containers: process containers (Docker 1.12), machine containers (LXD 2.4), and application containers (Snapd 2.16).

The Canonical Distribution of Kubernetes provides high-level coordination of process containers like Docker, OCID and Rkt. Kubernetes is supported on all major public clouds, bare metal, and OpenStack.

Canonical OpenStack with the LXD pure-container hypervisor provides high-level management for lightweight machine containers at scale. Machine containers look, feel and operate like virtual machines, enabling companies to lift-and-shift virtual machine to containers with no modifications to the app or operations.

On the desktop, Libreoffice, Krita, and VLC have all published snaps to distribute a universal package across Linux distributions. Nextcloud, an open solution for hosting and file sharing, are leveraging snaps on the Nextcloud box,  a private cloud solution for home users, running from a Raspberry Pi.

All Canonical server, cloud and container products are available on Intel/AMD64, x86, IBM LinuxONE, Z Systems, POWER and ARMv8-A.


Scientists Unveil Plans For First Space Nation 'Asgardia,' Open Citizenship Applications - Enj, 13/10/2016 - 9:00pd
Scientists and legal experts have unveiled plans for the "first nation state in space." The state is called "Asgardia" after one of the mythical worlds inhabited by the Norse gods, and it will eventually become a member of the United Nations -- complete with its own flag and anthem. The Guardian reports: According to the project website, Asgardia "will offer an independent platform free from the constraint of a land-based country's laws. It will become a place it in orbit which is truly 'no man's land.'" Initially, it would seem, this new nation will consist of a single satellite, scheduled to be launched next year, with its citizens residing firmly on terra firma. Speaking to the Guardian through an interpreter, the project lead Igor Ashurbeyli, said: "Physically the citizens of that nation state will be on Earth; they will be living on different countries on Earth, so they will be a citizen of their own country and at the same time they will be citizens of Asgardia." "When the number of those applications goes above 100,000 we can officially apply to the UN for the status of state," he added. According to the project website, "Any human living on Earth can become a citizen of Asgardia," with the site featuring a simple registration form. At the time of writing more than 1000 individuals had already signed up. At present, the Outer Space Treaty that underpins international space law states that responsibility and liability for objects sent into space lies with the nation that launched them. But the project team claims that Asgardia will set a new precedent, shifting responsibility to the new "space nation" itself. "The existing state agencies represent interests of their own countries and there are not so many countries in the world that have those space agencies," said Ashurbeyli. "The ultimate aim is to create a legal platform to ensure protection of planet Earth and to provide access to space technologies for those who do not have that access at the moment."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Doctors Perform Better Than Internet Or App-Based Symptoms Checkers, Says Study - Enj, 13/10/2016 - 5:30pd
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Science Daily: Increasingly powerful computers using ever-more sophisticated programs are challenging human supremacy in areas as diverse as playing chess and making emotionally compelling music. But can digital diagnosticians match, or even outperform, human physicians? The answer, according to a new study led by researchers at Harvard Medical School, is "not quite." The findings, published Oct. 10 in JAMA Internal Medicine, show that physicians' performance is vastly superior and that doctors make a correct diagnosis more than twice as often as 23 commonly used symptom-checker apps. The analysis is believed to provide the first direct comparison between human-made and computer-based diagnoses. Diagnostic errors stem from failure to recognize a disease or to do so in a timely manner. Physicians make such errors roughly 10 to 15 percent of the time, researchers say. In the study, 234 internal medicine physicians were asked to evaluate 45 clinical cases, involving both common and uncommon conditions with varying degrees of severity. For each scenario, physicians had to identify the most likely diagnosis along with two additional possible diagnoses. Each clinical vignette was solved by at least 20 physicians. The physicians outperformed the symptom-checker apps, listing the correct diagnosis first 72 percent of the time, compared with 34 percent of the time for the digital platforms. Eighty-four percent of clinicians listed the correct diagnosis in the top three possibilities, compared with 51 percent for the digital symptom-checkers. The difference between physician and computer performance was most dramatic in more severe and less common conditions. It was smaller for less acute and more common illnesses.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Svetlana Belkin: Ohio Linux Fest 2016

Planet UBUNTU - Enj, 13/10/2016 - 3:10pd

For the last few years, I always wanted to go Ohio Linux Fest (OLF), partly because it’s only two (2) hours away from where I live and one way to meet my fellow Ubuntu Ohio Team members. But what kept me from not coming is my old job before my new one (that I started the week of October 3rd, 2016. So, this year, I finally was able to go!

First Day

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it because I had to work ten hours at my work plus the two(2) hour drive from Blue Ash, Ohio to Columbus where I arrived at eight (8) to my hotel room. I was very tired and ended up taking a small walk, a bath, and went to sleep for the night.

Second Day

I woke up and took a small walk around the Arena District of Columbus an hour before the second (and final) day of OLF. I didn’t go to the keynote, but I meet up with José Antonio Rey and helped set up the Ubuntu booth. I was lucky enough to man the booth and I enjoyed it! I also brought my Nexus 7 2013 tablet with Ubuntu and allowed people to try it with the two Nexus 4’s that we had.

CC Elizabeth K. Joseph

Most of the day was manning the booth but I also went to Elizabeth K. Joseph’s, Nathan Handler’s, Stephen McLaughlin’s talks, and the final keynote by Joe and Lily Born. The first two talks I went was mostly for support for my fellow Ubuntu Community Members, as I’m just a basic end user with some Linux command line skills. Plus, I don’t really know what do with Linux as a hobby, but that is slowly changing.

But Stephen McLaughlin’s talk on how (Raspberry) Pi’s are the future sparked my interest very well. As some of you know that I collect data on two ponds at Grailville in order to find out how to organically maintain it. One of the problems is layer temperature inversion in the small pond which means that if fish are placed in, they could die. While I was collecting data, I noticed that the values for pH, ammonia, and phosphate were high. High values equals layer temperature inversion.

I got the idea for using a Pi during Stephen’s talk and I told him it. He liked it and give me a free Pi Zero! Because of this gift, I gave myself a project and a next step for the pond project. I will using the Pi along with a solar panel as the power supply, a waterproof temperature sensor, and maybe a rain sensor to see when it rains and/or tell the Pi to record a few weeks after it rains. I plan to float it in the middle of the pond and data collect during the spring into the fall of next year. Before the spring, I will build and test this before trying to collect data. I will have another post as an update.

I also meet three(3) Ohio Team members including the everyone-thinks-that-he-is-a-robot Unit193. Ohio Team members! Please tell who you are, because I forgot, thanks!!!!

The Ubuntu Booth crew CC Elizabeth K. Joseph

At the end of day, I went to the after party where I played Cards Against Humanity for the first time and had cake with gummy Tux’s:


— Svetlana Belkin (@senseopenness) October 9, 2016

Third Day

On the last day, I went to the Columbus Zoo* with Elizabeth and David. It was a nice and fun zoo. I also had bison for lunch for the first time. After I dropped of the two off back to their hotel, I drove back home.

*CC to Elizabeth K. Joseph

Yahoo Patents Smart Billboard That Would Deliver Targeted Ads To Passersby or Motorists - Enj, 13/10/2016 - 3:10pd
An anonymous reader writes: Yahoo has filed a patent for advertising billboards outfitted with a wide array of sensors -- including drone-based cameras -- which would use facial and vehicle recognition, data brokers, cell-tower information and social network information to attempt to identify worthwhile advertising targets and aim personalized ads at them as they pass on foot or in cars. The scheme, which was submitted on October 6th, anticipates using the same kind of micro-auction processes that currently determine which ads users see in webpages and mobile apps. The implementation of public ad-targeting brings up some fascinating and chilling prospects, as users find that the ads which "bloom" around them betray much about their private lives. Yahoo provides an example via its patent application: "According to one example, a digital billboard adjacent a busy freeway might be instrumented with or located near traffic sensors that detect information about the context of the vehicles approaching the billboard, e.g., the number and average speed of the vehicles. Such information might be used in conjunction with information about the time of day and/or the day of the week (e.g., Monday morning rush hour) to select advertisements for display that would appeal to an expected demographic and to display the advertisements for durations that are commensurate with the level of traffic congestion." The patent application also mentions how it will gather required information from individuals: "Various types of data (e.g., cell tower data, mobile app location data, image data, etc.) can be used to identify specific individuals in an audience in position to view advertising content. Similarly, vehicle navigation/tracking data from vehicles equipped with such systems could be used to identify specific vehicles and/or vehicle owners. Demographic data (e.g., as obtained from a marketing or user database) for the audience can thus be determined for the purpose of, for example, determining whether and/or the degree to which the demographic profile of the audience corresponds to a target demographic."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

ISIS Is Using Exploding Consumer Drones To Kill Enemy Fighters - Enj, 13/10/2016 - 2:30pd
According to The New York Times, the Islamic State is using small consumer drones rigged with explosions to fight Kurdish forces in Iraq. As a result, American commanders in Iraq have issued a warning to forces fighting ISIS to treat any type of small flying aircraft as potential explosive devices. The Verge reports: The small, commercially available drone was shot down in Northern Iraq and taken back to an outpost, the Times writes. But during disassembly, the drone exploded, killing the two fighters. Le Monde reports that two members of French forces were also injured by the explosion. The technique used by ISIS in the attack may have been a simple one -- ultimately only combining two widely available pieces of tech -- but videos available online have purportedly shown other recent instances of drones used as explosives, suggesting the move may be one we see more of in the future.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Ford's Buggy Infotainment System Referred To By Engineers As 'Polished Turd' and 'Unsaleable' - Enj, 13/10/2016 - 1:50pd
Lucas123 writes: A class-action lawsuit against Ford and its MyFord Touch in-vehicle infotainment system -- originally based on a Microsoft platform -- has brought to light corporate documents that show engineers at the Dearborn carmaker referred to the problematic technology as a "polished turd" that they feared would be "unsaleable." The documents even reveal that Henry Ford's great grandson experienced significant problems with MyFord Touch. In one incident, Edsel Ford was forced to wait on a roadside for the system to reset and could not continue to drive because he was unable to use the IVI's navigation system. The lawsuit describes an IVI screen that would freeze or go blank; generate error messages that wouldn't go away; voice recognition and navigation systems that failed to work, problems wirelessly pairing with smartphones, and a generally slow system. Ford's CEO Mark Fields even described his own travails with the SYNC IVI, referring to it as having crashed on several occasions, and that he was so frustrated with the system he may have damaged his car's screen out of aggravation. The civil suit is expected to go to trial in 2017.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Senator Wants Nationwide, All-Mail Voting To Counter Election Hacks - Enj, 13/10/2016 - 1:10pd
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: In the wake of the Obama administration's announcement that the Russian government directed hacks on the Democratic National Committee and other institutions to influence U.S. elections, a senator from Oregon says the nation should conduct its elections like his home state does: all-mail voting. In an e-mail, Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat, told Ars: "We should not underestimate how dangerous... attacks on election systems could be. If a foreign state were to eliminate registration records for a particular group of Americans immediately before an election, they could very likely disenfranchise those Americans and swing the results of an election. Recent efforts by some states to make it more difficult to vote only serves to increase the danger of such attacks. This is why I have proposed taking Oregon's unique vote-by-mail system nationwide to protect our democratic process against foreign and domestic attacks." The only states to hold all elections entirely by mail are Oregon, Washington, and Colorado, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. More than a dozen others have various provisions for mail voting. The National Conference of State Legislatures has a breakdown here on how Americans cast their votes across the union. Wyden co-sponsored the Vote By Mail Act in July, and he did so for reasons at the time that were unconnected to cybersecurity. Instead, the measure was originally proposed to help minorities and others cast ballots. The plan requires the U.S. Postal Service to deliver ballots to all registered voters. Voters could also register to vote when applying for driver's licenses, too. The measure fell on deaf ears this year and didn't even get a committee vote. A Wyden spokesperson said the proposal will have a "better chance" next year if Democrats win a majority of Senate seats.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Amazon Launches New 'Music Unlimited' Service, Starts At $4/Month For Use On Just One Echo - Enj, 13/10/2016 - 12:50pd
Speaking of giant ecommerce companies, Amazon has launched a streaming music service dubbed, Amazon Music Unlimited, that starts at $3.99 (cheaper than Spotify or Apple Music) and has tens of millions of songs. There's a catch, however. The service has three payment tiers, but the lowest one -- which again, costs $3.99 -- only works with company's Amazon Echo, or Echo Dot, or Amazon Tap speakers. GeekWire adds: To use Amazon Music Unlimited on multiple devices, including smartphones, you'll need to pay $7.99 if you're an Amazon Prime member, or $9.99 if you're not. In a world where people increasingly expect everything to work everywhere, the Echo-only tier might seem out of place, even at less than $4 a month. But Amazon is pitching the option as an add-on experience for Echo owners, going beyond the 2 million tracks available in the existing Amazon Prime Music service that comes with the $99/year Amazon Prime subscription. The company is also using some smart computing behind the scenes to differentiate the experience. For example, Echo users will be able to ask Alexa to "play the new song by Adele."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Star Wars Production Company Fined Almost $2 Million For Harrison Ford's Injury - Enj, 13/10/2016 - 12:30pd
New submitter Shimbo writes: Foodles Production (UK) Ltd was fined 1.6 million British pounds (almost $2 million) at Aylesbury Crown Court today after pleading guilty to two charges under the Health and Safety at Work Act at an earlier hearing. Judge Francis Sheridan said, "The greatest failing of all on behalf of the company is a lack of communication, a lack because, if you have a risk assessment and you do not communicate it, what is the point of having one?" The fine is a result of an unfortunate incident while filming Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Harrison Ford was reportedly knocked to the ground and crushed beneath a heavy hydraulic door when he walked on to the set of the Millennium Falcon -- not believing it to be live. The 71-year-old actor suffered a broken left leg. Prosecutor Andrew Marshall said, according to Britain's Press Association, the door acted like a "blunt guillotine," coming down "millimeters from his face." The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) told the court that Ford was hit with a force similar to the weight of a small car.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

China's Alibaba Has a New Payment System That Lets Virtual Reality Shoppers Pay By Nodding - Mër, 12/10/2016 - 11:50md
If providing your credit card details (or a few clicks) is too much a hassle for you, China's Alibaba may have a solution. The company today demonstrated a payment service called VR Pay, that allows virtual reality shoppers to pay for things just by nodding their heads. Reuters reports: VR Pay, the new payment system, is part of Alibaba's efforts to capitalize on the latest technology in online shopping. In 2015, for example, it introduced a facial recognition technology for Alipay mobile payments service advertised as "pay with a selfie." The VR payment technology means people using virtual reality goggles to browse virtual reality shopping malls will be able pay for purchases without taking off the goggles. They can just nod or look instead. Lin Feng, who is in charge of Ant Financial's incubator F Lab that has been developing the payment service over the past few months, told Reuters: "It is very boring to have to take off your goggles for payment. With this, you will never need to take out your phone."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Netflix Now Only Has 31 Movies From IMDB's Top 250 List - Mër, 12/10/2016 - 11:10md
According to Streaming Observer News, the quality and quantity of Netflix's movie library has declined over the last two years when cross-referenced with IMDB's Top 250 movies list. From the report: Well, it's a pretty common fact at this point that Netflix's library is shrinking. Of course, what Netflix needs to do as it shrinks its licensed movie library is make sure that movies it does have are good ones. But according to our analysis, it's going backwards, unfortunately. A while back we noticed a post from this Reddit member who, two years ago, cross-referenced the IMDB (Internet Movie Database) top 250 movies list with Netflix's movie library to find out how many of the top movies Netflix carried. When u/clayton_frisbie posted his list on Reddit, Netflix had 49 of the Top 250 movies on the IMDB list. That's just under 20 percent, which isn't terrible. But we wondered how that number has held up over the last two years in the face of a quickly shrinking library. So we reran the analysis. How many of the top 250 movies does Netflix now have? As of September 2016, that number has dropped to 31, or about 12 percent. [You can view the list via Streaming Observer News.]

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Most Drivers Who Own Cars With Built-in GPS Systems Use Phones For Directions - Mostly Out of Frustration - Mër, 12/10/2016 - 10:30md
According to a new survey, many new car owners use their phones for directions despite their cars coming with built-in navigation systems. These users do it out of frustration, the survey added. CNN adds: The market research firm J.D. Power and Associates surveyed owners of new vehicles after the first 90 days of ownership. They were asked about all kinds of new in-vehicle technology including navigation, entertainment and safety technologies like lane-keeping assistance and automatic braking. For the most part, the survey found, people are relatively satisfied with the technology in their cars. On a 1,000 point scale, the average satisfaction score was 730. Navigation systems rated the worst with an average score of 687. Almost two-thirds of new vehicle owners with a built-in navigation reported using their smartphone or a portable navigation device to find their way at least some of the time. Nearly a third of those with built-in navigation used it for less than two weeks before giving up on it and using their phone or another portable device, according to J.D. Power. And more than half of people with built-in navigation systems never used them at all, according to the survey.

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The Washington Post Tracked Facebook's Trending Topics For 3 Weeks, Found 5 Fake Stories and 3 Inaccurate Articles - Mër, 12/10/2016 - 9:50md
An alarming number of people rely on social media, including and especially Facebook, for news. Over the past few months, we have seen how Facebook's Trending Topics feature is often biased, and moreover, how sometimes fake news slips through its filter. The Washington Post monitored the website for over three weeks and found that Facebook is still struggling to get its algorithm right. From the report: The Megyn Kelly incident was supposed to be an anomaly. An unfortunate one-off. A bit of (very public, embarrassing) bad luck. But in the six weeks since Facebook revamped its Trending system -- and a hoax about the Fox News Channel star subsequently trended -- the site has repeatedly promoted "news" stories that are actually works of fiction. As part of a larger audit of Facebook's Trending topics, the Intersect logged every news story that trended across four accounts during the workdays from Aug. 31 to Sept. 22. During that time, we uncovered five trending stories that were indisputably fake and three that were profoundly inaccurate (Editor's note: the link could be paywalled; alternate source). On top of that, we found that news releases, blog posts from sites such as Medium and links to online stores such as iTunes regularly trended. Facebook declined to comment about Trending on the record. "I'm not at all surprised how many fake stories have trended," one former member of the team that used to oversee Trending told the Post. "It was beyond predictable by anyone who spent time with the actual functionality of the product, not just the code."The Post adds that "there's no guarantee" that it was able to catch every hoax, since it looked at Trending feature only once every hour.

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