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Comic for September 23, 2019

Dilbert - September 24, 2019 - 12:59am
Categories: Geek

Do Coders Crave a Sense of Control?

Slashdot - 1 hour 28 min ago
Categories: Geek, Opinion

Coder deletes open source add-on for Chef in protest over ICE contract

Ars Technica - 1 hour 43 min ago

Enlarge / Open source ingredients borked some Chef users' systems because of an ICE protest by one developer. (credit: Kelsey McNeal / Getty Images)

On September 17, Seth Vargo—a former employee of Chef, the software deployment automation company—found out via a tweet that Chef licenses had been sold to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) under a $95,500, one-year contract through the approved contractor C&C International Computers & Consultants. In protest, Vargo decided to "archive" the GitHub repository for two open source Chef add-ons he had developed in the Ruby programming language. On his GitHub repository page, Vargo wrote, "I have a moral and ethical obligation to prevent my source from being used for evil."

That move, according to an all-hands email sent out by Chef CEO Barry Crist—later published on the company's website—"impact[ed] production systems for a number of our customers. Our entire team has worked to minimize customer downtime and will continue to do so until we restore services to 100% operation."

Crist faced backlash internally from employees over the deal. The work, he pointed out, had begun in 2014, well before the current administration implemented the child detention policies that Vargo was protesting. "For context, we began working with DHS-ICE during the previous administration to modernize their IT practices with agile and DevOps," Crist wrote.

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Google launches Play Pass apps subscription package

BBC Technology News - 1 hour 54 min ago
It will charge $4.99 a month for access to more than 350 apps, posing a challenge to Apple Arcade.

Snapchat reportedly has “Project Voldemort” dossier on Facebook’s bad behavior

Ars Technica - 2 hours 33 min ago

Enlarge / Mark Zuckerberg testifying before Congress in April, 2018. (credit: Bloomberg | Getty Images)

Facebook is only 15 years old, yet in that time it has become the world's dominant social media platform, boasting more than 2.4 billion users. It has also become the world's second-largest digital advertising platform, effectively the runner-up in a worldwide duopoly dominated by Google. Now, it is under a baker's dozen of investigations alleging that it rose to the top by using unfair, anticompetitive tactics—and at least one competitor kept records.

Snap, parent company of Snapchat, kept a dossier "for years" detailing Facebook's attempts to thwart it, sources told The Wall Street Journal. The file, dubbed "Project Voldemort" after the just-doesn't-know-when-to-stay-dead villain of Harry Potter fame, "chronicled Facebook's moves that threatened to undermine Snap's business."

According to the WSJ, Snap's legal team recorded instances where Facebook discouraged prominent social media influencers with a presence on multiple platforms from mentioning Snap on their Instagram accounts. Snap executives also suspected Facebook was suppressing content that originated on Snap from trending on Instagram, when such content was shared there.

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Yahoo data-breach settlement: You’ll get $100, if you’re lucky

Ars Technica - 2 hours 52 min ago

Enlarge / A Yahoo logo on a smartphone. (credit: Getty Images | SOPA Images )

People who had Yahoo accounts between 2012 and 2016 can now apply for a cash payment of $100, but the final amount you receive could be more or less than $100 depending on how many people file claims.

It's also possible to file claims for up to $25,000 if you can document actual out-of-pocket losses and lost time due to the breach. However, actual payouts for all claims could be much lower if the total amount claimed exceeds what's available from the $117.5 million settlement. The settlement class potentially includes up to 194 million people, so these amounts would be paid in full only if the vast majority of eligible people don't ask for money.

The settlement website lets all class members choose from at least two years of free credit monitoring services or the $100 cash payment. While that amount isn't guaranteed, just like in the Equifax settlement, at least the Yahoo settlement website makes that clear up front.

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