By yaelk from Slashdot's how-to-do-it-anyways department
tedlistens writes: When Ugandans went to the polls last Thursday in presidential and parliamentary elections, they participated in the most heavily-contested political battle since multiparty democracy began in 2005. As reports swirled of vote buying and excessive use of force by the police on opposition protesters, it was the attempt to block access to Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and mobile phone-based money services that produced the loudest reactions. In a country with the youngest population in the world, where 77 percent of the population is under 30 years of age, mobile apps have become vital to communication and commerce. During the three-day ban, an estimated 1.5 million citizens, or 15 percent of the internet-using populace, downloaded VPN software and Tor to reroute their internet connections and return to social media, where discussion about the election continued to rage.Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's only-one-with-starbucks-at-least department
MarkWhittington writes: The conventional wisdom has been among scientists is that a myriad of Earth-like planets exist in the universe, some of which have to be the abode of life, even intelligent life. However, Astrophysicist Erik Zackrisson from Uppsala University in Sweden has run a computer simulation of the universe, incorporating what we know about exoplanets thanks to the Kepler Space Telescope, the laws of physics, and the state of the early universe. The computer simulation came up with exactly one Earth, which is to say the one we live on. Every other planet in the universe does not have the conditions necessary to sustain life. Indeed, strictly speaking, Earth itself should not exist, according to the computer model, according to the story in Discover Magazine.Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's smart-people-vary-in-their-conclusions department
LichtSpektren writes: Phoronix reports that Bradley M. Kuhn and Karen M. Sandler at the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFS) have posted a blog post today arguing that Canonical's plan to distribute Ubuntu 16.04 LTS "Xenial Xerus" with support for the ZFS file system violates the Linux kernel's GPLv2 license.
On February 18, Dustin Kirkland at Canonical wrote on his blog: "We at Canonical have conducted a legal review, including discussion with the industry's leading software freedom legal counsel, of the licenses that apply to the Linux kernel and to ZFS. And in doing so, we have concluded that we are acting within the rights granted and in compliance with their terms of both of those licenses...The CDDL cannot apply to the Linux kernel because zfs.ko is a self-contained file system module — the kernel itself is quite obviously not a derivative work of this new file system. And zfs.ko, as a self-contained file system module, is clearly not a derivative work of the Linux kernel but rather quite obviously a derivative work of OpenZFS and OpenSolaris. Equivalent exceptions have existed for many years, for various other stand alone, self-contained, non-GPL kernel modules. Our conclusion is good for Ubuntu users, good for Linux, and good for all of free and open source software."
The SFS's blog post of today states: "We are sympathetic to Canonical's frustration in this desire to easily support more features for their users. However, as set out below, we have concluded that their distribution of zfs.ko violates the GPL."Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's government-force-cs department
theodp writes: Less than 48 hours after the Chicago Public Schools hosted a three-hour "soiree" at Google's brand-new Chicago HQ, the CPS Board of Education voted unanimously to make computer science a graduation requirement for all high school students in the nation's third largest school district. Starting with next school year's freshman class, CPS students will be required to complete curriculum around computer science before graduating. "Requiring computer science as a core requirement will ensure that our graduates are proficient in the language of the 21st century so that they can compete for the jobs of the future," said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. CPS is working with tech bankrolled and led Code.org and other organizations to further develop a CS education curriculum to implement across all its high schools. Nationwide, President Obama has a $4B proposal on the table to bring CS education to all K-12 schools across the nation, which is also spurring action at the state level, Officials from Code.org, Microsoft and Google joined Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee at the National Governors Association winter meeting in Washington D.C. on Sunday to kick off a new partnership aimed at promoting CS. The new GovsForCS website notes that the Governors will be relying on Code.org for advice, explaining that the nonprofit "will provide the Partnership with resources related to best practices in policy and programs, and will facilitate collaboration among Governors and their staff, in person and virtually."Read Replies (0)