GitHub’s New CEO Did a Reddit AMA, This is What he Said

It’s been a crazy week. News that Microsoft is buying GitHub has shocked and stunned the developer community, with reverberations of the deal being mostly keenly felt by those involved with open source projects. Folks are scared and suspicious of Microsoft — bleedin’ Microsoft! — and of it’s motives. Is the GitHub that developers know and love about to […]

This post, GitHub’s New CEO Did a Reddit AMA, This is What he Said, was written by Joey Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

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How to Use GNOME Shell’s Secret Screen Recorder

So you want to record your Ubuntu desktop, but you don’t know which desktop screen recorder to use? Well, have you considered not using one at all? Don’t look at me strangely: I promise this makes sense. You’ve likely seen videos on YouTube where people share a screencast of their Linux desktops. Perhaps you want […]

This post, How to Use GNOME Shell’s Secret Screen Recorder, was written by Joey Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

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Our Immodest Ambitions

Some guidance along our road to greatness.

In a February 2018 post titled “Worth Saving”,
I said I’d like Linux Journal to be
for technology what The New Yorker is for New York and National

is for geography. In saying this, I meant it should be two things: 1) a magazine readers
value enough not to throw away and 2) about much more than what the name
says, while staying true to the name as well.

The only push-back I got was from a guy whose comment called both those
model pubs “fanatically progressive liberal whatever” and said he hoped
we’re not “*planning* to emulate those tainted styles”. I told him we
And, in case that’s not clear, I’m saying it here again. (For what it’s
worth, I think The New Yorker has some of the best writing anywhere, and
I’ve hardly seen a National Geographic outside a doctor’s office in

Another commenter asked, “Is there another publication that you’d offer up
as an example to emulate?” I replied, “Three come quickly to mind:
, the late
Dr. Dobb’s
and Byte. Just think of all three
when they were at their best. I want Linux Journal to honor those and be
better as well.”

Scientific American is the only one of those three that’s still alive. Alas,
it’s not what it once was: the most authoritative yet popular science
magazine in the world—or at least, that’s how it looked when my parents gave
me a subscription when I was 12. Back then I wanted to read everything I
could about science—when I wasn’t beeping code to other ham radio
operators from my bedroom or otherwise avoiding homework assignments.

Today, Scientific American is probably as close as it can get to that legacy
ideal while surviving in the mainstream of magazine publishing—meaning
it persists in print and digital form while also maintaining a constant
stream of topical stories on its website.

That last thing is the main work of most magazines these days—or so it
seems. As a result, there isn’t much difference between Scientific
Smithsonian, Wired, Ars Technica and Inverse. To demonstrate what I mean,
here are stories from those five publications’ websites. See if you can
guess (without clicking on the links) where each one ran—and which one
is a fake headline:

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Let's Solve the Deeper Problem That Makes Facebook's Bad Acting Possible

The New York Times reports that Facebook has “data sharing partnerships” with “at least sixty device makers”. That Facebook formed these partnerships in apparent violation of its own 2011 consent agreement with the FTC is also no surprise. 

The simple fact is that Facebook is in the personal data farming business. Finding a zillion ways to use personal data is a design feature of Facebook’s service infrastructure, and as unsurprising as finding out that there are a zillion ways to use wheat or corn.

This is why contractual limits on data use by Facebook and its partners won’t exclude countless other first, second and third-order uses—especially when the appetite for personal data is flat-out boundless in the direct marketing industry that advertising has become in our digital age.

The GDPR didn’t happen in a vacuum. Bad acting with personal data in the adtech business (the one that aims advertising with personal data) is the norm, not the exception. Promises by perpetrators of that business to respect personal privacy don’t just ring hollow. They scream absolute disrespect straight at your eyeballs every time they interrupt your “experience” (as the marketers like to call it) and require “consent” to being tracked by them and the posse of spies that are invited to invade and set up house your browser every time you visit.

This is why the real fight here is not just for privacy. It’s for human agency: the power to act with full effect in the world. The only way we get full agency is by operating as first parties at scale across all the entities we deal with online.

For that we need standard ways to signal what’s okay and what’s not okay, and to reach agreements on our terms, as first parties. It is as second parties that we click “accept” dozens of times every day, acquiring cookies with every one of those clicks, each recording certifications of acquiescence rather than of consent.

With full personal agency, the whole consent system goes the other way, at scale.

This is both long overdue and totally do-able, with work already started.

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Google's Seven Principles for AI, Psychopathic AI, GitLab Ultimate and Gold Free for Education and Open Source and More

News briefs for June 8, 2018.

Google has announced
its seven principles
for AI development moving forward: “be socially
beneficial; avoid creating or reinforcing unfair bias; be built and tested
for safety; be accountable to people; incorporate privacy design principles;
uphold high standards of scientific excellence; and be made available for
uses that accord with these principles.”

In other AI news, Engadget
that scientists have created a psychopathic AI called Norman using images from
Reddit. Scientists from MIT exposed Norman (named after the Psycho
movie character) “to a constant stream of violent and gruesome images from
the darkest corners of Reddit, and then presented it with Rorschach ink blot
tests. The results were downright chilling.”

Earlier this week, GitLab announced
its GitLab Ultimate and Gold are now free for education and open source.
Go here
for more info on how open-source projects can apply.

Fedora is asking users to help test Linux kernel 4.17 on its next Test
Day, which is Tuesday,
June 12. See the wiki
for more info if you’re interested in helping.

See Nico’s
for an update on KDE Connect on Plasma Mobile. He notes that there is
a suitable UI for Plasma Mobile in the git tree, which he was able to run on
Plasma Mobile. The post also notes that “With Plasma Mobile the KDE community
is envisioning a mobile experience that is giving you maximal freedom while
ensuring your privacy.” If you want to help, he has created a Meta-Task list for the project on Phabricator.

Finally, here’s a reminder that today is the last day to participate in
Phoronix’s 14th
Birthday Special

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Facebook Bug Sets 14 Million Users' Private Posts Public

For a period of four days in May, 14 million Facebook users had their default sharing setting for all new posts set to public, the company announced on Thursday. 

CNN reports affected users will “see a message from Facebook urging users to “Please Review Your Posts” and a link to a list of what they shared on Facebook while the bug was active.”

The error happened when Facebook was testing a new feature. Facebook officials have turned affected posts back to private. 


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