Girl, 15, found safe after disturbing video of her seen on Facebook Live (WGN-TV)

The day’s must-read political news and opinion pieces
are scattered across hundreds of news outlets and blogs,
too many for any one person to read.

Fortunately, memeorandum arranges all of these links in a single, easy-to-scan page. It auto-generates a news summary every 5 minutes, drawing on experts and pundits, insiders and outsiders, media professionals and amateur bloggers.

via http://bit.ly/2bb39XC http://bit.ly/2ndZpgY

OpenSignal’s Meteor App Takes Internet Speedtest Beyond Numbers

Internet speed testing apps have been around for a while. None of them, though, ever got past that geeky circular dial interface and the bleak ambiance. OpenSignal, the company responsible for mapping cell phone signal coverages worldwide wants to change that and it’s doing so with a smartphone app called “Meteor”.

meteor-android-header-2

Like all of its counterparts, Meteor can estimate your download and upload speeds along with the ping of your mobile data or WiFi connection. The process too has been kept identical, fire up the app and tap the big colorful button on the landing page. The outcomes too, are on par with other applications such as Ookla’s Speedtest. But the cornerstone of Meteor lies in what comes after evaluating the bandwidth.

The app will represent the data in a neat interface. Below, you’ll find a row of third-party applications installed on your phone and an average metric depicting how each of them will function on the connection. For instance, if your WiFi is slow (like the one shown in screenshots), it will write “poor” under resource hungry titles like Facebook, Instagram. On the contrary, lightweight apps like WhatsApp will have an “Ok” mark. Furthermore, tapping on either of these apps will reveal a more detailed page mentioning the performance of individual activities such as various streaming qualities on YouTube, viewing timeline/sending a message on Facebook, search/loading a web page on Chrome and more. You can swipe to view others.

Meteor only allows a total of six apps at a time and you can configure which ones to calculate in the “select apps” option. However, its compatibility is quite limited (twenty-four to be precise) right now, although it does support most of the leading names like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, WhatsApp, Skype, and others.

The “dashboard” tab is where you’ll find statistics about your previous tests including best and worst locations. And of course, there’s a history section holding of your past data. You can personalize a couple of items in the settings, the most important one is obviously the “data contribution” tweak that allows you to disable or enable sending anonymous data to OpenSignal for research purposes.

Meteor is completely free of cost and definitely worth a try. Unfortunately, it is limited to Android right now, you can download it from this link.

via Technically Personal! http://bit.ly/2nReQtH

Uh oh, the Curiosity rover’s wheels are starting to fall apart

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has been cruising along the martian surface for some time now. It doesn’t move particularly fast, and in the years that it’s been exploring Mars it’s only tallied about ten miles of actual distance, but the red planet is a particularly unforgiving place for a robot with metal wheels and not much tread. Thanks to a recent examination of Curiosity’s aluminum feet it’s become abundantly clear just how brutal the rocky surface has been, and NASA has discovered that two pieces of the bot’s left middle wheel are totally busted.

Curiosity’s wheels have raised treads that give it a firm grip on the rocky, dusty Mars surface. They’re called grousers, and since the rover can take some pretty fantastic selfies to show NASA what condition it’s in, we now know that two of the grousers on one of the bot’s wheels are busted (the raised chunk of metal on the top of the wheel in the photo below is one of them).

Having a partially bum wheel isn’t the end of the road for Curiosity, however, and NASA expected and planned for just this type of news. The agency says that, based on Earth testing of the longevity of the rover’s wheels, losing three grouser on a wheel means that it has about 40 percent of life left before it gives out completely. And, since Curiosity has already passed the 60 percent mark in its overall mission, finding a pair of busted treads at this stage of the game isn’t great news, but it’s also nothing to panic over.

via BGR http://bit.ly/2mT82Ls

Twitter: CEO Dorsey Facing Calls to Step Down

Twitter Inc. (TWTR) Chief Executive Jack Dorsey is facing calls to relinquish his role as CEO of the embattled social media network amid a bot scandal and a lack of robust user growth. (See also: Twitter May Have 45 Million Bots on Its Hands.)

Over the weekend, the U.K.’s Sunday Times reported that Dorsey is facing mounting pressure to step down as CEO after a study surfaced showing that at least 48 million user accounts are bots and not people. Earlier this month the University of Southern California and Indiana University issued a research report that showed as many as 15% of Twitter accounts are actually algorithms doing all that tweeting and retweeting. Given that Twitter has 319 million monthly active users, 15% comes to 48 million accounts not opened by humans.

The 15% figure is nearly double Twitter’s own estimate that as many as 8.5% of its user accounts are bots. That’s is particularly troublesome for Twitter since its already having a tough time with advertisers.

Dorsey Returned to Turn Company Around

Dorsey returned to the helm in 2015 with a charge to turn around the struggling social media network, and since then there’s been more bad news for Twitter. Take its fourth-quarter earnings, which the company reported earlier this year. Twitter reported adjusted earnings of 16 cents per share on revenue of $717 million, which beat Wall Street’s expectations for earnings per share of 12 cents but missed revenue forecasts of $740.14 million, according to Thomson Reuters. Aside from missing on the top line, this amounts to less than 1% revenue growth, and even the beat on the bottom line translates to flat growth year over year (YOY).

Twitter’s revenue was hurt by weak advertising sales, totaling just $638 million, marking a slight YOY decline. The poor earnings results and the bot scandal comes amid concerns by advertisers about the placements of ads on Twitter. According to the Times, the sister publication of the Sunday Times, a series of investigations have shown online advertisements for blue-chip​ companies are being placed alongside offensive or racist material including jihadi recruitment videos, according to the report. It’s not just Twitter’s reputation and user base that is hurting and resulting in calls for Dorsey to step down. The stock has been sinking and is down more than 19% since the beginning of February.

Investors in the U.K. aren’t the only ones that appear to be unhappy with Dorsey. Last week billionaire investor Chris Sacca, one of the social network’s earliest investors, said he “hates” Twitter’s stock and took issue with the fact that millions of Twitter’s accounts are bots. The investor hasn’t owned shares of Twitter for a couple of years, saying he “lost hope” after Twitter failed to bring back co-founder Evan Williams. “Love the service, hate the stock,” the host of ABC’s “Shark Tank” tweeted in response to a question from a fan.

via Hacker News http://bit.ly/2mTfFl6

The Immigrant Entrepreneurs Behind Major American Companies #Infographic

The Immigrant Entrepreneurs Behind Major American Companies

America has long been a magnet for the world’s most ambitious and innovative entrepreneurs. It should not be surprising, then, that some of America’s most successful businesses were started by individuals born outside the United States. In fact, more than 40 percent of U.S. Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or children of immigrants. Here’s a look at a few of those American businesses and the immigrant entrepreneurs behind them.

via Visualistan http://bit.ly/2nAcRNc

Satellite Navigation ‘Switches Off’ Parts of Brain Used For Navigation, Study Finds

A new study published today in the journal Nature Communications reveals some of the drawbacks of using satellite navigation (SatNav) technology. After scanning the brains of 24 volunteers as they explored a simulation through the streets of London’s Soho district, researchers from the University of London found that listening to a satellite navigation’s instructions "switches off" activity in parts of the brain used for navigation. Scientific American reports: The researchers found that a brain structure called the hippocampus, which is involved in both memory and spatial navigation, appears to encode two different maps of the environment: One tracks the distance to the final destination as the crow flies and is encoded by the frontal region of the hippocampus, the other tracks the "true path" to the goal and is encoded by its rear region. During the navigation tasks, the hippocampus acts like a flexible guidance system, flipping between these two maps according to changing demands. Activity in the hippocampal rear region acts like a homing signal, increasing as the goal gets closer. Analysis of the brain-scanning data revealed activity in the rear right of the hippocampus increased whenever the participants entered a new street while navigating. It also varied with the number of new path options available. The more alternatives there were, the greater the brain activity. The researchers also found that activity in the front of the hippocampus was associated with a property called centrality, defined by the proximity of each new street to the center of the network. Further, they observed activity in the participants’ prefrontal cortices when they were forced to make a detour and had to replan their route — and this, too, increased in relation to the number of options available. Intriguingly, when participants followed SatNav instructions, however, brain activity in these regions "switched off." Together, the new findings suggest the rear portion of the hippocampus reactivates spatial memories of possible navigation paths, with more available paths evoking more activity, and that the prefrontal cortex may contribute to path-planning by searching though different route options and selecting the best one.



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5 Things to learn how to do in GNU/Linux via Command-Line

GNU/Linux is powerful, very powerful, but truth be told it can also be a daunting experience when trying to learn to utilize the true power behind a GNU/Linux system; the terminal.

Using the CLI, or Command Line Interface, can speed up MANY processes and tasks, once you know how to use it and some of the basic commands for it. This tutorial is not meant to transform you from scared first timer into Linuxbeard poweruser, but rather to give you your first babysteps into the deeper world of your system.

So, let’s just jump right into this. This tutorial is assuming you already have a GNU/Linux system installed, and you can access your terminal with su/sudo permissions. If you DO NOT have sudo permissions at the least, you need to contact your systems administrator and get sudo access otherwise certain parts of this tutorial will be impossible for you to follow.

Wait..wait..what ARE sudo permissions?

sudo means "Superuser do". In other words, it’s how you perform an action as an administrator, without actually logging into your root account by using the command ‘su’

So, if you have sudo permissions (which unless it’s a company machine or something…) you will, and can do sudo things.

1. Changing folders, copying, pasting, moving, and renaming files/folders via CLI

linux command

So, you have a computer, you installed Ubuntu/Debian/Manjaro/Redhat/OpenSUSE/Gentoo or whatever your flavour of choice is, on it. Great! But don’t you find it annoying when you have to open your file manager such as Dolphin or Caja, click fifty times to get to the directory you want, then click a bunch more times to copy some files, then navigate to where you want them to go, and click some more to paste them? Yeah, you can use keyboard shortcuts for copy/paste, but you’re still clicking like a maniac…So, let’s speed this process up!

Open your terminal of choice. Depending on your Desktop Environment this could be one of a few different options, and also located in a few different places…So, dig it out, and open it.

Now, typically you are starting in your home folder…So, let’s change that. Let’s navigate to a different folder!

Hint: If you ever used MSDOS back in the day, this first command will be either nostalgia, or an annoyance.

cd Documents

Ta-Da! You are now in your Documents folder!

The cd command, which stands for ‘change directory’ itself can also be quite powerful however. You do not need to be in the parent folder of a directory you wish to enter. For example. I can be inside my Documents folder which is located at /home/username/Documents, and then I can visit an entirely different folder without having to go back to my Home folder. This can be done by typing the exact path you wish to cd into.

For example

cd /home/username/Downloads

This can be typed from ANYWHERE, and you will pop directly into your Downloads folder. This rule applies to all things, from changing directories (cd) to copying/pasting/moving/deleting/creating/executing files as well!

Moving, copying, renaming files

linux shell touch ls

But what now? Well, let’s make a file, and then move it somewhere else…

To do this, we are going to use a command called ‘touch’ that simply creates a blank file. You could use any file you wanted really, but let’s just make a blank file for this tutorial, so we aren’t moving important things all over the place.

But first, let’s see what files are currently already IN our documents folder!

ls

As you can see, the ‘ls’ command, lists all files and folders in your current directory. And then we will make our blank file…

touch tutorial

And then list the files again…

ls

And as you can see, you now have a file called ‘tutorial’

Okay, so we now know how to navigate into directories…But what do we do with files? Let’s try a few things. We are going to be utilizing a few different commands here, so I’ll break them down before we start.

  • cp – copy
  • mv – move
  • rm – remove

So, let’s play with our tutorial file. Make sure you are in the Documents folder

cd /home/username/Documents

Be sure you replace username with your exact CaSe SeNsItIvE username!

Now let’s move that file somewhere else:

The syntax for this usually goes as follows for simple commands: COMMAND [LOCATION OF ITEM] [LOCATION DESIRED]

However, if your terminal session is currently inside the folder of the file/item you wish to interact with, you do not need to state the specific source of the root item, only the desired location you wish to copy/move it to.

mv tutorial /home/username/Downloads
cd /home/username/Downloads
ls

You should now find the file inside your Downloads location. Next, we will copy that file back to our Documents folder.

cp tutorial /home/username/Documents

Then remove the one in our Downloads folder:

rm tutorial

And finally cd back to the Documents

cd /home/username/Documents
ls

And voila, our file is back here again, with the other copy gone.

This is the basis of moving things around!

Renaming in Linux

In order to rename a file, you must move it using the mv command, and giving it the new name, or copy it with the cp command and giving it the new name.

Working with folders is slightly different, we must change our command a little. For example:

rm -r /home/username/Documents will remove the entire folder Documents and everything within it.

mv /home/username/stuff will however move the folder ‘stuff’ and everything within it.

If you ever see the error, "-r not specified; omitting directory" then you must add -r after the initial command, to include other files within the directory. You must also add -r to remove directories.

Creating folders

create folder

The last thing we will cover in this part, is making a new folder. Simply, it is the command ‘mkdir’

Using it could be done for example, like:

mkdir stuff

or

mkdir /home/username/stuff

That’s it for the basics of file management within the CLI. It may seem like a hassle now, but given time and practice, it becomes much faster and easier to navigate and do system tasks this way. For example.

cp -r ~/stuff2/* ~/Downloads/ && mv ~/Downloads/* ~/Stuff

The above example uses a couple of shortcuts not explained yet, so I’ll give a super quick breakdown to show just how fast you can do things.

  • Firstly, ~ can be used to substitute for ‘/home/username/ to shorten how much you need to type.
  • Secondly, && is used when we want to put multiple commands in one line, via CLI.
  • Lastly, * is used in CLI as a wildcard. It must be used very carefully, as it tells the your system to include EVERYTHING.

Let’s assume that the folder "stuff2" has 400 files inside of it. I just moved all of the files out of stuff2, into the downloads folder, and then move everything inside the Downloads folder into the stuff folder. Obviously, I could have skipped a step and just gone directly from the stuff2 to stuff folders, but for example sake, that line took me about 7 seconds to type out, and did what would have taken a minute or two to click around and do!

2. Creating a new user

linux add user

Making a new user is extremely simple via Command Line. Yes, you could click through your Desktop Environment, find the settings, the user accounts area, and click through the procedure of setting up a new user…or….

sudo useradd -m bob

Done. Yes, really, that’s it. You could now theoretically log out and change accounts over to ‘bob’.

The -m (LOWER CASE!) gives bob a home directory.

useradd makes the user

And obviously bob is the username.

3. Change passwords for a user

change user password linux

So, we made bob. But what if bob wants to add or change a password? Or what if you want to change your password, or change bobs password FOR him?

passwd

passwd is the command we use. It can be used a couple different ways for these examples.

If you are logged in as the user you wish to change the password for, simply enter

passwd and follow the instructions the CLI will give you.

However, if you want to change a different users password, you need to add two things.

sudo passwd bob

sudo, because only an administrator or the user themselves can change someones account (if it’s not yours), our passwd command, and the username of the password we are changing.

Simple stuff!

4. Kill processes (And actually kill them dead!…I’m looking at you, Windows Task Manager!

ps aux

So, you were surfing websites that maybe you should avoid in the future, got a popup that won’t close, and won’t stop playing an 8bit melody of ‘It’s a small world’ repeatedly? No problem, we can just kill Firefox and that’s that.

the commands we are going to be using are:

ps aux
kill

The ps aux command is going to list everything running on your machine for you, program and services wise, for ALL users.

putting in the command will spit out a bunch of lines of text for you. One such line, may look like this:

usernam+ 4022 6.3 4.6 2299028 373428 ? Sl 17:33 0:17 /usr/lib/firefox/firefox

The part we want to focus on is called the PID, its the process identfication number. The PID is the FIRST set of numbers you will see on the left.

Once you have figured out which process you want to kill, such as Firefox, and the PID of the process, now we need to kill it.

The command we want to use is the kill command. Most of the time, using it without any options will work fine. However, I’ve grown to absolutely love the -9 option, with forces the application to kill, forcibly if need be.

So, what we need to do to kill Firefox, is:

kill -9 ####

Replace ##### with the PID of the process and BAM, Firefox for example, is gone!

5. How to check disc space

df linux

Okay, this one is super simple, and requires about…actually, you could have already been done before you even read this far.

df

BAM. Disc space is listed in detail for you. Well, since that was SO easy, you should have no issues, right?

Stay tuned for more CLI tutorials and ‘things every GNU/Linux user should know how to do’ type tutorials to come!

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