Items tagged with: once
HN Discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19957405
Posted by hairytrog (karma: 267)
Post stats: Points: 132 - Comments: 54 - 2019-05-20T03:53:13Z
#HackerNews #2017 #garden #once #sealed #that #was #watered #years
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Open-source infrastructure and application delivery vendor Suse — the company behind one of the oldest Linux distributions — today announced that it is once again an independent company. The company…
Article word count: 426
HN Discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19411336
Posted by bsg75 (karma: 4687)
Post stats: Points: 147 - Comments: 50 - 2019-03-17T00:21:52Z
#HackerNews #again #company #independent #once #suse
Open-source infrastructure and application delivery vendor Suse — the company behind one of the oldest Linux distributions — today announced that it is once again an independent company. The company today finalized its $2.5 billion acquisition by growth investor EQT from Micro Focus, which itself had acquired it back in 2014.
Few companies have changed hands as often as Suse and yet remained strong players in their business. Suse was first acquired by Novell in 2004. Novell was then acquired by Attachmate in 2010, which Micro Focus acquired in 2014. The company then turned Suse into an independent division, only to then announce its sale to EQT in the middle of 2018.
It took a while for Micro Focus and EQT to finalize the acquisition, though, but now, for the first time since 2004, Suse stands on its own.
Micro Focus says that when it acquired Attachmate Group for $2.35 billion, Suse generated just 20 percent of the group’s total revenues. Since then, Suse has generated quite a bit more business as it expanded its product portfolio well beyond its core Linux offerings and into the more lucrative open-source infrastructure and application delivery business by, among other things, offering products and support around massive open-source projects like Cloud Foundry, OpenStack and Kubernetes.
Suse CEO Nils Brauckmann will remain at the helm of the company, but the company is shaking up its executive ranks a bit. Enrica Angelone, for example, has been named to the new post of CFO at Suse, and Sander Huyts is now the company’s COO. Former Suse CTO Thomas Di Giacomo is now president of Engineering, Product and Innovation. All three report directly to Brauckmann.
SUSE buys HPE’s OpenStack and Cloud Foundry assets
“Our genuinely open, open source solutions, flexible business practices, lack of enforced vendor lock-in and exceptional service are more critical to customer and partner organizations, and our independence coincides with our single-minded focus on delivering what is best for them,” said Brauckmann in today’s announcement. “Our ability to consistently meet these market demands creates a cycle of success, momentum and growth that allows SUSE to continue to deliver the innovation customers need to achieve their digital transformation goals and realize the hybrid and multi-cloud workload management they require to power their own continuous innovation, competitiveness and growth.”
Since IBM recently bought Red Hat for $34 billion, though, it remains to be seen how long Suse’s independent future will last. The market for open source is only heating up, after all.
Micro Focus sells Suse for $2.5B
IBM acquires Red Hat
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Oh snap. UK netizens better hope they don't have twitchy mouse-click finger
Article word count: 588
HN Discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19152701
Posted by sohkamyung (karma: 22855)
Post stats: Points: 108 - Comments: 99 - 2019-02-13T13:03:51Z
\#HackerNews #even #makes #offence #once #propaganda #terrorist #view
It will be an offence to view terrorist material online just once – and could incur a prison sentence of up to 15 years – under new UK laws.
The Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill was granted Royal Assent yesterday, updating a previous Act and bringing new powers to law enforcement to tackle terrorism.
But a controversial inclusion was to update the offence of obtaining information "likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism" so that it now covers viewing or streaming content online.
The rules as passed into law are also a tightening of proposals that had already been criticised by human rights groups and the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, Max Hill.
Originally, the proposal had been to make it an offence for someone to view material three or more times – but the three strikes idea has been dropped from the final Act.
The law has also increased the maximum penalty for some types of preparatory terrorism offences, including the collection of terrorist information, to 15 yearsʼ imprisonment.
Under Section 58(1) of the 2000 Act, it was an offence to collect or make a record of information that is likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.
But the government argued in the impact assessment for the 2019 Act (PDF) that this "would not capture a situation where a person viewed such material over the internet without obtaining a permanent access to it", such as by streaming or viewing it online.
It said that the existing laws didnʼt capture the "nuance" in "changing methods" for distribution and consumption of terrorist content – and so added a new clause into the 2019 Act (PDF), making it an offence to "view (or otherwise access) any terrorist material online".
This means that, technically, anyone who clicked on a link to such material could be caught by the law – and rights groups are concerned about the potential for abuse.
In the summer, when the proposals were for multiple clicks, terrorism law reviewer Max Hill (no relation to your correspondent) told the Joint Committee on Human Rights that the "the mesh of the net the government is creating... is far too fine and will catch far too many people".
He also pointed out that the offence could come with a long sentence as the draft bill also extends the maximum penalties to 15 yearsʼ imprisonment.
Corey Stoughton of rights campaigner Liberty echoed these concerns, and said the law should not cover academics and journalists, but should also exempt people who were viewing to gain a better understanding of the issues, or did so "out of foolishness or poor judgement".
The UNʼs special rapporteur on privacy, Joseph Cannataci, has also slammed the plans, saying the rule risked "pushing a bit too much towards thought crime".
At an event during his visit to the UK, Cannataci said "the difference between forming the intention to do something and then actually carrying out the act is still fundamental to criminal law… here youʼre saying: ʼYouʼve read it three times so you must be doing something wrongʼ."
The government said the law still provides for the existing "reasonable excuse defence", which includes circumstances where a person "did not know, and had no reason to believe" the material acccessed contained terrorist propaganda.
"Once a defendant has raised this defence, the burden of proof (to the criminal standard) to disprove this defence will rest with the prosecution," the Home Officeʼs impact assessment said. ®
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Plus, merchants will be required to send you monthly updates
Article word count: 201
HN Discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18927650
Posted by hbcondo714 (karma: 603)
Post stats: Points: 158 - Comments: 63 - 2019-01-17T01:58:23Z
\#HackerNews #automatically #billing #free #from #its #mastercard #once #over #stop #trials #will #you
Mastercard announced a new policy today for merchants who retain your card information after you sign up for a free trial. Soon, Mastercard will require those merchants to request an official authorization for any recurring subscriptions.
This is great news for forgetful or busy people who might not want to continue paying for a service or product that they just wanted to test out. For example, if you signed up for a new streaming service with your card info, then forgot you had the subscription, the merchant will send you an email or text notice before the next payment is due.
Once you receive the merchant’s message, you’ll find it includes the transaction amount, payment date, and merchant name, plus explicit instructions on how to cancel your trial. But it gets better: for every payment thereafter, the merchant will continue sending receipts (again, by email or text) containing the payment amount and how to cancel service — because maybe you liked the product for the first month or so, but have since decided otherwise.
Personally, I can think of a few scenarios where Mastercard’s new feature would have come in handy for avoiding unwanted charges. But, it’s better late than never.
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A lawsuit accusing one of the country’s most selective universities of discriminating against Asian-Americans is providing a glimpse into how admissions officers decide “yea” or “nay.”
Article word count: 1660
HN Discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18260972
Posted by skolos (karma: 816)
Post stats: Points: 96 - Comments: 108 - 2018-10-20T00:12:05Z
\#HackerNews #admissions #court #federal #harvards #once #process #secret #unveiled
A trial examining whether Harvard University discriminates against Asian-American applicants has revealed a number of secrets about its admissions process.CreditCreditScott Eisen/Getty Images
BOSTON — The deliberations that take place inside 86 Brattle Street, a red brick building where Harvard University’s admissions committee convenes, have very much stayed inside 86 Brattle Street.
A federal trial that began this week accusing Harvard of stacking the deck against Asian-American applicants is providing a rare glimpse into the secretive selection process at one of the country’s most elite universities. It is as if those sitting on the wood benches before Judge Allison D. Burroughs of Federal District Court in Boston have been invited inside the inner sanctum of the Harvard Office of Admissions and Financial Aid.
There is the longtime dean of admissions, William Fitzsimmons (Harvard Class of 1967), on the stand, grilled on whether rural students receive a leg up over urban students. They do.
There on a big screen are his emails with the university’s fund-raisers, suggesting special consideration for the offspring of big donors, those who have “already committed to a building” or have “an art collection which could conceivably come our way.”
Grades, test scores, intended major, personality ratings, ethnicity — all the various factors that can help turn an anonymous high school student into a Harvard man or Harvard woman are being dissected for all to see.
Actual student files have been introduced into evidence, with Thang Q. Diep’s family history being pored over alongside Sally Chen’s test scores.
[The Harvard case, explained.]
Court documents and trial testimony have introduced Harvard admissions jargon: “tips” are bumps given to applicants, the “dean’s interest list” is a compendium of applicants with clout, and the “Z-list” is a sort of back door into the college for students who are borderline academically. For everyone, the odds are long, as nearly 43,000 applicants sought spots in the Class of 2022 and just 2,024 received letters prompting high-fives and teary phone calls.
Although many selective colleges are known to engage in the same admissions tactics, Harvard’s lawyers lamented in pretrial papers that being forced to produce application materials would be like divulging trade secrets, and would allow students and college counselors to game the process, which is in full swing right now. The judge even likened Harvard’s formula to the recipe for Coke.
In the end, however, Harvard’s lead counsel, Bill Lee (Harvard Class of 1972), said this week that it had been necessary to spill some secrets.
“I’ve definitely not revealed the secret of Coke,” said Mr. Lee, who represented Apple in a patent suit against Samsung — another trial that exposed closely guarded secrets. But, he acknowledged, “you’re learning a lot about the admissions process that never would have been public otherwise. We want you to know. Once you understand it, you can understand how decisions are made.”
Some, but not all, of the secrets have buttressed Harvard’s elite reputation.
It casts a wide net for students, aggressively recruiting those in “sparse country,” predominantly rural areas that yield few applications. It considers a dizzying array of factors, from SAT scores (the higher the better) to athletic ability (recruited athletes receive a big advantage) to interviews (be “effervescent,” “fun,” but “mature”) and more. A lack of deep pockets won’t hinder a hopeful and might even help one’s chances, testimony showed.
But there were other disclosures suggesting that admissions decisions are somewhat arbitrary.
There is the special list for those whom the admissions dean has taken an interest in, some of whom are the relatives of wealthy donors. There is the vague “personal” rating, which can lift or hurt an applicant’s chances based on an assessment of character traits and background, from “outstanding” to “bland or somewhat negative or immature” to “questionable personal qualities.” And the trial this week has raised questions about whether unconscious bias affects the process, either on the part of admissions officials or the teachers and counselors who write letters on applicants’ behalf.
More important than numerical ratings — Harvard uses a scale of 1 (top of the heap) to 6 (no chance) to measure the many aspects of a student’s profile — is “the description and the complexity of the description” provided by those assessing the applicant, Mr. Fitzsimmons said this week in testimony.
A rare look inside a student’s admissions file this week has shined a light on what that means. Harvard referred the court to Thang Q. Diep (Harvard Class of 2019), who had only middling test scores but was admitted to the college by showing a strong work ethic and “infectiously happy personality,” as his admissions file says. Mr. Diep, who was born in Vietnam, submitted part of his file in court to help Harvard fight charges of discrimination.
“Here’s a person who until the fourth grade was in another country and English was not his first language,” Mr. Fitzsimmons said.
Mr. Fitzsimmons quoted an admissions interviewer as saying that what was most striking about Mr. Diep was “his fun, casual nature, but impressive, understated maturity.”
Mr. Diep’s admissions file noted he would be a likely candidate for the Harvard Financial Aid Initiative, which offers full rides to low-income families. In summing up Mr. Diep’s personal essay, one reviewer highlighted his “immigrant Vietnamese identity” and that Mr. Diep was “grappling with sexual identity.” The reviewer mentioned a “filmmaking summit” as an extracurricular activity of note.
Other admissions files have offered insights into how reviewers distill personal traits from the accomplishments and activities listed. Erica Bever, an admissions officer, testified Friday morning about a student whose application she had reviewed, Sally Chen. She went to a highly competitive high school, but her scores were “a little bit lower than many of her peers,” Ms. Bever said.
Her father was a chef, her mother a homemaker, which Ms. Bever said made her consider whether this applicant had had the same opportunities as some others. She played first violin in an orchestra and was student association president, both characteristics that Ms. Bever said showed leadership. She was doing research, mentoring and web design.
But what particularly moved Ms. Bever were the teacher and guidance counselor ratings, she said, one of which said that Ms. Chen was “a well spoken, ambitious and humorous person.”
Ms. Chen was admitted to the Class of 2019, and is now on the witness list for this trial.
“We have to reject students who are exceptional,” Ms. Bever testified. “But we make choices.”
The group suing Harvard, Students for Fair Admissions, has also used application files as evidence, but points to what it says are patterns of stereotypical descriptions for Asian-Americans that bring down their personal ratings.
Harvard also looks at factors like parental occupation, which Mr. Fitzsimmons said offer clues about financial hardship, and intended major, to avoid having too many students with the same educational interests.
For instance, he said this week, there had been huge increases in would-be engineers and computer scientists, but Harvard had to be wary of admitting too many, because “a whole bunch” of them “will end up happily ever after at M.I.T. or Caltech.”
“One thing we always want is humanists,” Mr. Fitzsimmons said, adding that there were “fewer and fewer” of them.
An applicant might also be given credit for babysitting siblings, he added, “which I did myself.”
College-prep professionals and guidance counselors around the world are following the case, a veritable gold mine of insider information.
Belinda Wilkerson is a private admissions counselor in Fayetteville, N.C., whose very business involves getting students into schools like Harvard. She said that when working with Asian clients, she discusses with them a “perception” that there are too many qualified, and similar, Asian applicants — an issue at the core of the Harvard case. She encourages students to cast a wide net to avoid “getting so focused on a select few schools,” she said.
Harvard has testified that race, when considered in admissions, can only help, not hurt, a student’s chances of getting in.
Mr. Fitzsimmons said this week that one factor that could explain why Asian-American applicants get lower personal ratings may be the content of teacher and guidance counselor recommendations.
Mark Sklarow, the chief executive of the Independent Educational Consultants Association, which represents private admissions counselors, said many guidance counselors are simply unable to get to know students in depth, and could very well introduce stereotypes. Indeed, one industry report found that in 2015, the typical counselor advised nearly 500 students.
“If a school counselor is spending eight minutes per year with a student, it’s so much easier for those biases to play in, because you don’t know that individual very well,” Mr. Sklarow said.
Mr. Fitzsimmons and other admissions officers testified that reviewers receive extensive training when they begin working for Harvard. But under questioning by the plaintiffs, they said that they did not receive written instructions on how to consider race.
Judge Burroughs seemed to be looking for evidence of unconscious bias. “Are there times when you don’t realize that you’re tipping for something,” she asked Ms. Bever on Friday, “and you go to the data and you realize that there really is a tip that you didn’t intend or know about?”
“No, never,” Ms. Bever said.
Mr. Fitzsimmons emphasized that any advantage given to a candidate for their background would not outweigh all other application factors. “The committee never gives enough of a tip to admit an average candidate at the expense of a first-rate one,” he said.
One important aspect of a diverse class, he said, is that students learn from one another.
That is especially important today, he said, “in a country that is so segregated economically and, in some ways, with our social classes coming further apart.”
An earlier version of this article misstated the job title of William Fitzsimmons, a Harvard official who testified in a lawsuit against the university. Mr. Fitzsimmons is the dean, not director, of admissions.
Dana Goldstein contributed reporting from New York.
A version of this article appears in print on , on Page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: A Peek Behind the Ivy: How to Get Into Harvard. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe
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