Tag Archives: sweden

Swiss-Swedish Diplomatic Row Over Crypto AG

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2020/10/swiss-swedish-diplomatic-row-over-crypto-ag.html

Previously I have written about the Swedish-owned Swiss-based cryptographic hardware company: Crypto AG. It was a CIA-owned Cold War operation for decades. Today it is called Crypto International, still based in Switzerland but owned by a Swedish company.

It’s back in the news:

Late last week, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said she had canceled a meeting with her Swiss counterpart Ignazio Cassis slated for this month after Switzerland placed an export ban on Crypto International, a Swiss-based and Swedish-owned cybersecurity company.

The ban was imposed while Swiss authorities examine long-running and explosive claims that a previous incarnation of Crypto International, Crypto AG, was little more than a front for U.S. intelligence-gathering during the Cold War.

Linde said the Swiss ban was stopping “goods” — which experts suggest could include cybersecurity upgrades or other IT support needed by Swedish state agencies — from reaching Sweden.

She told public broadcaster SVT that the meeting with Cassis was “not appropriate right now until we have fully understood the Swiss actions.”

EDITED TO ADD (10/13): Lots of information on Crypto AG.

These loo rolls formed a choir

Post Syndicated from Ashley Whittaker original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/these-loo-rolls-formed-a-choir/

Have all of y’all been hoarding toilet roll over recent weeks in an inexplicable response to the global pandemic, or is that just a quirk here in the UK? Well, the most inventive use of the essential household item we’ve ever seen is this musical project by Max Björverud.

Ahh, the dulcet tones of wall-mounted toilet roll holders, hey? This looks like one of those magical ‘how do they do that?’ projects but, rest assured, it’s all explicable.

Max explains that Singing Toilet is made possible with a Raspberry Pi running Pure Data. The invention also comprises a HiFiBerry Amp, an Arduino Mega, eight hall effect sensors, and eight magnets. The toilet roll holders are controlled with the hall effect sensors, and the magnets connect to the Arduino Mega.

In this video, you can see the hall effect sensor and the 3D-printed attachment that holds the magnet:

Max measures the speed of each toilet roll with a hall effect sensor and magnet. The audio is played and sampled with a Pure Data patch. In the comments on his original Reddit post, he says this was all pretty straight-forward but that it took a while to print a holder for the magnets, because you need to be able to change the toilet rolls when the precious bathroom tissue runs out!

Max began prototyping his invention last summer and installed it at creative agency Snask in his hometown of Stockholm in December.

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Happy birthday to us!

Post Syndicated from Eben Upton original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/happy-birthday-2018/

The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed that today is 28 February, which is as close as you’re going to get to our sixth birthday, given that we launched on a leap day. For the last three years, we’ve launched products on or around our birthday: Raspberry Pi 2 in 2015; Raspberry Pi 3 in 2016; and Raspberry Pi Zero W in 2017. But today is a snow day here at Pi Towers, so rather than launching something, we’re taking a photo tour of the last six years of Raspberry Pi products before we don our party hats for the Raspberry Jam Big Birthday Weekend this Saturday and Sunday.

Prehistory

Before there was Raspberry Pi, there was the Broadcom BCM2763 ‘micro DB’, designed, as it happens, by our very own Roger Thornton. This was the first thing we demoed as a Raspberry Pi in May 2011, shown here running an ARMv6 build of Ubuntu 9.04.

BCM2763 micro DB

Ubuntu on Raspberry Pi, 2011-style

A few months later, along came the first batch of 50 “alpha boards”, designed for us by Broadcom. I used to have a spreadsheet that told me where in the world each one of these lived. These are the first “real” Raspberry Pis, built around the BCM2835 application processor and LAN9512 USB hub and Ethernet adapter; remarkably, a software image taken from the download page today will still run on them.

Raspberry Pi alpha board, top view

Raspberry Pi alpha board

We shot some great demos with this board, including this video of Quake III:

Raspberry Pi – Quake 3 demo

A little something for the weekend: here’s Eben showing the Raspberry Pi running Quake 3, and chatting a bit about the performance of the board. Thanks to Rob Bishop and Dave Emett for getting the demo running.

Pete spent the second half of 2011 turning the alpha board into a shippable product, and just before Christmas we produced the first 20 “beta boards”, 10 of which were sold at auction, raising over £10000 for the Foundation.

The beginnings of a Bramble

Beta boards on parade

Here’s Dom, demoing both the board and his excellent taste in movie trailers:

Raspberry Pi Beta Board Bring up

See http://www.raspberrypi.org/ for more details, FAQ and forum.

Launch

Rather to Pete’s surprise, I took his beta board design (with a manually-added polygon in the Gerbers taking the place of Paul Grant’s infamous red wire), and ordered 2000 units from Egoman in China. After a few hiccups, units started to arrive in Cambridge, and on 29 February 2012, Raspberry Pi went on sale for the first time via our partners element14 and RS Components.

Pallet of pis

The first 2000 Raspberry Pis

Unboxing continues

The first Raspberry Pi from the first box from the first pallet

We took over 100000 orders on the first day: something of a shock for an organisation that had imagined in its wildest dreams that it might see lifetime sales of 10000 units. Some people who ordered that day had to wait until the summer to finally receive their units.

Evolution

Even as we struggled to catch up with demand, we were working on ways to improve the design. We quickly replaced the USB polyfuses in the top right-hand corner of the board with zero-ohm links to reduce IR drop. If you have a board with polyfuses, it’s a real limited edition; even more so if it also has Hynix memory. Pete’s “rev 2” design made this change permanent, tweaked the GPIO pin-out, and added one much-requested feature: mounting holes.

Revision 1 versus revision 2

If you look carefully, you’ll notice something else about the revision 2 board: it’s made in the UK. 2012 marked the start of our relationship with the Sony UK Technology Centre in Pencoed, South Wales. In the five years since, they’ve built every product we offer, including more than 12 million “big” Raspberry Pis and more than one million Zeros.

Celebrating 500,000 Welsh units, back when that seemed like a lot

Economies of scale, and the decline in the price of SDRAM, allowed us to double the memory capacity of the Model B to 512MB in the autumn of 2012. And as supply of Model B finally caught up with demand, we were able to launch the Model A, delivering on our original promise of a $25 computer.

A UK-built Raspberry Pi Model A

In 2014, James took all the lessons we’d learned from two-and-a-bit years in the market, and designed the Model B+, and its baby brother the Model A+. The Model B+ established the form factor for all our future products, with a 40-pin extended GPIO connector, four USB ports, and four mounting holes.

The Raspberry Pi 1 Model B+ — entering the era of proper product photography with a bang.

New toys

While James was working on the Model B+, Broadcom was busy behind the scenes developing a follow-on to the BCM2835 application processor. BCM2836 samples arrived in Cambridge at 18:00 one evening in April 2014 (chips never arrive at 09:00 — it’s always early evening, usually just before a public holiday), and within a few hours Dom had Raspbian, and the usual set of VideoCore multimedia demos, up and running.

We launched Raspberry Pi 2 at the start of 2015, pairing BCM2836 with 1GB of memory. With a quad-core Arm Cortex-A7 clocked at 900MHz, we’d increased performance sixfold, and memory fourfold, in just three years.

Nobody mention the xenon death flash.

And of course, while James was working on Raspberry Pi 2, Broadcom was developing BCM2837, with a quad-core 64-bit Arm Cortex-A53 clocked at 1.2GHz. Raspberry Pi 3 launched barely a year after Raspberry Pi 2, providing a further doubling of performance and, for the first time, wireless LAN and Bluetooth.

All our recent products are just the same board shot from different angles

Zero to hero

Where the PC industry has historically used Moore’s Law to “fill up” a given price point with more performance each year, the original Raspberry Pi used Moore’s law to deliver early-2000s PC performance at a lower price. But with Raspberry Pi 2 and 3, we’d gone back to filling up our original $35 price point. After the launch of Raspberry Pi 2, we started to wonder whether we could pull the same trick again, taking the original Raspberry Pi platform to a radically lower price point.

The result was Raspberry Pi Zero. Priced at just $5, with a 1GHz BCM2835 and 512MB of RAM, it was cheap enough to bundle on the front of The MagPi, making us the first computer magazine to give away a computer as a cover gift.

Cheap thrills

MagPi issue 40 in all its glory

We followed up with the $10 Raspberry Pi Zero W, launched exactly a year ago. This adds the wireless LAN and Bluetooth functionality from Raspberry Pi 3, using a rather improbable-looking PCB antenna designed by our buddies at Proant in Sweden.

Up to our old tricks again

Other things

Of course, this isn’t all. There has been a veritable blizzard of point releases; RAM changes; Chinese red units; promotional blue units; Brazilian blue-ish units; not to mention two Camera Modules, in two flavours each; a touchscreen; the Sense HAT (now aboard the ISS); three compute modules; and cases for the Raspberry Pi 3 and the Zero (the former just won a Design Effectiveness Award from the DBA). And on top of that, we publish three magazines (The MagPi, Hello World, and HackSpace magazine) and a whole host of Project Books and Essentials Guides.

Chinese Raspberry Pi 1 Model B

RS Components limited-edition blue Raspberry Pi 1 Model B

Brazilian-market Raspberry Pi 3 Model B

Visible-light Camera Module v2

Learning about injection moulding the hard way

250 pages of content each month, every month

Essential reading

Forward the Foundation

Why does all this matter? Because we’re providing everyone, everywhere, with the chance to own a general-purpose programmable computer for the price of a cup of coffee; because we’re giving people access to tools to let them learn new skills, build businesses, and bring their ideas to life; and because when you buy a Raspberry Pi product, every penny of profit goes to support the Raspberry Pi Foundation in its mission to change the face of computing education.

We’ve had an amazing six years, and they’ve been amazing in large part because of the community that’s grown up alongside us. This weekend, more than 150 Raspberry Jams will take place around the world, comprising the Raspberry Jam Big Birthday Weekend.

Raspberry Pi Big Birthday Weekend 2018. GIF with confetti and bopping JAM balloons

If you want to know more about the Raspberry Pi community, go ahead and find your nearest Jam on our interactive map — maybe we’ll see you there.

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The Challenges of Opening a Data Center — Part 1

Post Syndicated from Roderick Bauer original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/choosing-data-center/

Backblaze storage pod in new data center

This is part one of a series. The second part will be posted later this week. Use the Join button above to receive notification of future posts in this series.

Though most of us have never set foot inside of a data center, as citizens of a data-driven world we nonetheless depend on the services that data centers provide almost as much as we depend on a reliable water supply, the electrical grid, and the highway system. Every time we send a tweet, post to Facebook, check our bank balance or credit score, watch a YouTube video, or back up a computer to the cloud we are interacting with a data center.

In this series, The Challenges of Opening a Data Center, we’ll talk in general terms about the factors that an organization needs to consider when opening a data center and the challenges that must be met in the process. Many of the factors to consider will be similar for opening a private data center or seeking space in a public data center, but we’ll assume for the sake of this discussion that our needs are more modest than requiring a data center dedicated solely to our own use (i.e. we’re not Google, Facebook, or China Telecom).

Data center technology and management are changing rapidly, with new approaches to design and operation appearing every year. This means we won’t be able to cover everything happening in the world of data centers in our series, however, we hope our brief overview proves useful.

What is a Data Center?

A data center is the structure that houses a large group of networked computer servers typically used by businesses, governments, and organizations for the remote storage, processing, or distribution of large amounts of data.

While many organizations will have computing services in the same location as their offices that support their day-to-day operations, a data center is a structure dedicated to 24/7 large-scale data processing and handling.

Depending on how you define the term, there are anywhere from a half million data centers in the world to many millions. While it’s possible to say that an organization’s on-site servers and data storage can be called a data center, in this discussion we are using the term data center to refer to facilities that are expressly dedicated to housing computer systems and associated components, such as telecommunications and storage systems. The facility might be a private center, which is owned or leased by one tenant only, or a shared data center that offers what are called “colocation services,” and rents space, services, and equipment to multiple tenants in the center.

A large, modern data center operates around the clock, placing a priority on providing secure and uninterrrupted service, and generally includes redundant or backup power systems or supplies, redundant data communication connections, environmental controls, fire suppression systems, and numerous security devices. Such a center is an industrial-scale operation often using as much electricity as a small town.

Types of Data Centers

There are a number of ways to classify data centers according to how they will be used, whether they are owned or used by one or multiple organizations, whether and how they fit into a topology of other data centers; which technologies and management approaches they use for computing, storage, cooling, power, and operations; and increasingly visible these days: how green they are.

Data centers can be loosely classified into three types according to who owns them and who uses them.

Exclusive Data Centers are facilities wholly built, maintained, operated and managed by the business for the optimal operation of its IT equipment. Some of these centers are well-known companies such as Facebook, Google, or Microsoft, while others are less public-facing big telecoms, insurance companies, or other service providers.

Managed Hosting Providers are data centers managed by a third party on behalf of a business. The business does not own data center or space within it. Rather, the business rents IT equipment and infrastructure it needs instead of investing in the outright purchase of what it needs.

Colocation Data Centers are usually large facilities built to accommodate multiple businesses within the center. The business rents its own space within the data center and subsequently fills the space with its IT equipment, or possibly uses equipment provided by the data center operator.

Backblaze, for example, doesn’t own its own data centers but colocates in data centers owned by others. As Backblaze’s storage needs grow, Backblaze increases the space it uses within a given data center and/or expands to other data centers in the same or different geographic areas.

Availability is Key

When designing or selecting a data center, an organization needs to decide what level of availability is required for its services. The type of business or service it provides likely will dictate this. Any organization that provides real-time and/or critical data services will need the highest level of availability and redundancy, as well as the ability to rapidly failover (transfer operation to another center) when and if required. Some organizations require multiple data centers not just to handle the computer or storage capacity they use, but to provide alternate locations for operation if something should happen temporarily or permanently to one or more of their centers.

Organizations operating data centers that can’t afford any downtime at all will typically operate data centers that have a mirrored site that can take over if something happens to the first site, or they operate a second site in parallel to the first one. These data center topologies are called Active/Passive, and Active/Active, respectively. Should disaster or an outage occur, disaster mode would dictate immediately moving all of the primary data center’s processing to the second data center.

While some data center topologies are spread throughout a single country or continent, others extend around the world. Practically, data transmission speeds put a cap on centers that can be operated in parallel with the appearance of simultaneous operation. Linking two data centers located apart from each other — say no more than 60 miles to limit data latency issues — together with dark fiber (leased fiber optic cable) could enable both data centers to be operated as if they were in the same location, reducing staffing requirements yet providing immediate failover to the secondary data center if needed.

This redundancy of facilities and ensured availability is of paramount importance to those needing uninterrupted data center services.

Active/Passive Data Centers

Active/Active Data Centers

LEED Certification

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a rating system devised by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) for the design, construction, and operation of green buildings. Facilities can achieve ratings of certified, silver, gold, or platinum based on criteria within six categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design.

Green certification has become increasingly important in data center design and operation as data centers require great amounts of electricity and often cooling water to operate. Green technologies can reduce costs for data center operation, as well as make the arrival of data centers more amenable to environmentally-conscious communities.

The ACT, Inc. data center in Iowa City, Iowa was the first data center in the U.S. to receive LEED-Platinum certification, the highest level available.

ACT Data Center exterior

ACT Data Center exterior

ACT Data Center interior

ACT Data Center interior

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Data Center

There are numerous factors to consider when deciding to build or to occupy space in a data center. Aspects such as proximity to available power grids, telecommunications infrastructure, networking services, transportation lines, and emergency services can affect costs, risk, security and other factors that need to be taken into consideration.

The size of the data center will be dictated by the business requirements of the owner or tenant. A data center can occupy one room of a building, one or more floors, or an entire building. Most of the equipment is often in the form of servers mounted in 19 inch rack cabinets, which are usually placed in single rows forming corridors (so-called aisles) between them. This allows staff access to the front and rear of each cabinet. Servers differ greatly in size from 1U servers (i.e. one “U” or “RU” rack unit measuring 44.50 millimeters or 1.75 inches), to Backblaze’s Storage Pod design that fits a 4U chassis, to large freestanding storage silos that occupy many square feet of floor space.

Location

Location will be one of the biggest factors to consider when selecting a data center and encompasses many other factors that should be taken into account, such as geological risks, neighboring uses, and even local flight paths. Access to suitable available power at a suitable price point is often the most critical factor and the longest lead time item, followed by broadband service availability.

With more and more data centers available providing varied levels of service and cost, the choices increase each year. Data center brokers can be employed to find a data center, just as one might use a broker for home or other commercial real estate.

Websites listing available colocation space, such as upstack.io, or entire data centers for sale or lease, are widely used. A common practice is for a customer to publish its data center requirements, and the vendors compete to provide the most attractive bid in a reverse auction.

Business and Customer Proximity

The center’s closeness to a business or organization may or may not be a factor in the site selection. The organization might wish to be close enough to manage the center or supervise the on-site staff from a nearby business location. The location of customers might be a factor, especially if data transmission speeds and latency are important, or the business or customers have regulatory, political, tax, or other considerations that dictate areas suitable or not suitable for the storage and processing of data.

Climate

Local climate is a major factor in data center design because the climatic conditions dictate what cooling technologies should be deployed. In turn this impacts uptime and the costs associated with cooling, which can total as much as 50% or more of a center’s power costs. The topology and the cost of managing a data center in a warm, humid climate will vary greatly from managing one in a cool, dry climate. Nevertheless, data centers are located in both extremely cold regions and extremely hot ones, with innovative approaches used in both extremes to maintain desired temperatures within the center.

Geographic Stability and Extreme Weather Events

A major obvious factor in locating a data center is the stability of the actual site as regards weather, seismic activity, and the likelihood of weather events such as hurricanes, as well as fire or flooding.

Backblaze’s Sacramento data center describes its location as one of the most stable geographic locations in California, outside fault zones and floodplains.

Sacramento Data Center

Sometimes the location of the center comes first and the facility is hardened to withstand anticipated threats, such as Equinix’s NAP of the Americas data center in Miami, one of the largest single-building data centers on the planet (six stories and 750,000 square feet), which is built 32 feet above sea level and designed to withstand category 5 hurricane winds.

Equinix Data Center in Miami

Equinix “NAP of the Americas” Data Center in Miami

Most data centers don’t have the extreme protection or history of the Bahnhof data center, which is located inside the ultra-secure former nuclear bunker Pionen, in Stockholm, Sweden. It is buried 100 feet below ground inside the White Mountains and secured behind 15.7 in. thick metal doors. It prides itself on its self-described “Bond villain” ambiance.

Bahnhof Data Center under White Mountain in Stockholm

Usually, the data center owner or tenant will want to take into account the balance between cost and risk in the selection of a location. The Ideal quadrant below is obviously favored when making this compromise.

Cost vs Risk in selecting a data center

Cost = Construction/lease, power, bandwidth, cooling, labor, taxes
Risk = Environmental (seismic, weather, water, fire), political, economic

Risk mitigation also plays a strong role in pricing. The extent to which providers must implement special building techniques and operating technologies to protect the facility will affect price. When selecting a data center, organizations must make note of the data center’s certification level on the basis of regulatory requirements in the industry. These certifications can ensure that an organization is meeting necessary compliance requirements.

Power

Electrical power usually represents the largest cost in a data center. The cost a service provider pays for power will be affected by the source of the power, the regulatory environment, the facility size and the rate concessions, if any, offered by the utility. At higher level tiers, battery, generator, and redundant power grids are a required part of the picture.

Fault tolerance and power redundancy are absolutely necessary to maintain uninterrupted data center operation. Parallel redundancy is a safeguard to ensure that an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) system is in place to provide electrical power if necessary. The UPS system can be based on batteries, saved kinetic energy, or some type of generator using diesel or another fuel. The center will operate on the UPS system with another UPS system acting as a backup power generator. If a power outage occurs, the additional UPS system power generator is available.

Many data centers require the use of independent power grids, with service provided by different utility companies or services, to prevent against loss of electrical service no matter what the cause. Some data centers have intentionally located themselves near national borders so that they can obtain redundant power from not just separate grids, but from separate geopolitical sources.

Higher redundancy levels required by a company will of invariably lead to higher prices. If one requires high availability backed by a service-level agreement (SLA), one can expect to pay more than another company with less demanding redundancy requirements.

Stay Tuned for Part 2 of The Challenges of Opening a Data Center

That’s it for part 1 of this post. In subsequent posts, we’ll take a look at some other factors to consider when moving into a data center such as network bandwidth, cooling, and security. We’ll take a look at what is involved in moving into a new data center (including stories from Backblaze’s experiences). We’ll also investigate what it takes to keep a data center running, and some of the new technologies and trends affecting data center design and use. You can discover all posts on our blog tagged with “Data Center” by following the link https://www.backblaze.com/blog/tag/data-center/.

The second part of this series on The Challenges of Opening a Data Center will be posted later this week. Use the Join button above to receive notification of future posts in this series.

The post The Challenges of Opening a Data Center — Part 1 appeared first on Backblaze Blog | Cloud Storage & Cloud Backup.

Brand new and blue: our Brazilian Raspberry Pi 3

Post Syndicated from Mike Buffham original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/raspberry-pi-brazil/

Programa de revendedor aprovado agora no Brasil — our Approved Reseller programme is live in Brazil, with Anatel-approved Raspberry Pis in a rather delicious shade of blue on sale from today.

A photo of the blue-variant Raspberry Pi 3

Blue Raspberry is more than just the best Jolly Ranger flavour

The challenge

The difficulty in buying our products — and the lack of Anatel certification — have been consistent points of feedback from our many Brazilian customers and followers. In much the same way that electrical products in the USA must be FCC-approved in order to be produced or sold there, products sold in Brazil must be approved by Anatel. And so we’re pleased to tell you that the Raspberry Pi finally has this approval.

Blue Raspberry

Today we’re also announcing the appointment of our first Approved Reseller in Brazil: FilipeFlop will be able to sell Raspberry Pi 3 units across the country.

Filipeflop logo - Raspberry Pi Brazil

A big shout-out to the team at FilipeFlop that has worked so hard with us to ensure that we’re getting the product on sale in Brazil at the right price. (They also helped us understand the various local duties and taxes which need to be paid!)

Please note: the blue colouring of the Raspberry Pi 3 sold in Brazil is the only difference between it and the standard green model. People outside Brazil will not be able to purchase the blue variant from FilipeFlop.

More Raspberry Pi Approved Resellers

Raspberry Pi Approved Reseller logo - Raspberry Pi Brazil

Since first announcing it back in August, we have further expanded our Approved Reseller programme by adding resellers for Austria, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the US. All Approved Resellers are listed on our products page, and more will follow over the next few weeks!

Make and share

If you’re based in Brazil and you’re ordering the new, blue Raspberry Pi, make sure to share your projects with us on social media. We can’t wait to see what you get up to with them!

The post Brand new and blue: our Brazilian Raspberry Pi 3 appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

In the Works – AWS Region in the Middle East

Post Syndicated from Jeff Barr original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/in-the-works-aws-region-in-the-middle-east/

Last year we launched new AWS Regions in Canada, India, Korea, the UK, and the United States, and announced that new regions are coming to China, France, Hong Kong, Sweden, and a second GovCloud Region in the US throughout 2017 and 2018.

Middle East Region by Early 2019
Today, I am happy to announce that we will be opening an AWS Region in the Middle East by early 2019. The new Region will be based in Bahrain, will be comprised of three Availability Zones at launch, and will give AWS customers and partners the ability to run their workloads and store their data in the Middle East.

AWS customers are already making use of 44 Availability Zones across 16 geographic regions. Today’s announcement brings the total number of global regions (operational and in the works) up to 22.

UAE Edge Location in 2018
We also plan to open an edge location in the UAE in the first quarter of 2018. This will bring Amazon CloudFront, Amazon Route 53, AWS Shield, and AWS WAF to the region, adding to our existing set of 78 points of presence world-wide.

These announcements add to our continued investment in the Middle East. Earlier this year we announced the opening of AWS offices in Dubai, UAE and Manama, Bahrain. Prior to this we have supported the growth of technology education in the region with AWS Educate and have supported the growth of new businesses through AWS Activate for many years.

The addition of AWS infrastructure in the Middle East will help countries across the region to innovate, grow their economies, and pursue their vision plans (Saudi Vision 2030, UAE Vision 2021, Bahrain Vision 2030, and so forth).

Talk to Us
As always, we are looking forward to serving new and existing customers in the Middle East and working with partners across the region. Of course, the new Region will also be open to existing AWS customers who would like to serve users in the Middle East.

To learn more about the AWS Middle East Region feel free to contact our team at [email protected] .

If you are interested in joining the team and would like to learn more about AWS positions in the Middle East, take a look at the Amazon Jobs site.

Jeff;

Dialekt-o-maten vending machine

Post Syndicated from Janina Ander original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/dialekt-o-maten-vending-machine/

At some point, many of you will have become exasperated with your AI personal assistant for not understanding you due to your accent – or worse, your fantastic regional dialect! A vending machine from Coca-Cola Sweden turns this issue inside out: the Dialekt-o-maten rewards users with a free soft drink for speaking in a Swedish regional dialect.

The world’s first vending machine where you pay with a dialect!

Thirsty fans along with journalists were invited to try Dialekt-o-maten at Stureplan in central Stockholm. Depending on how well they could pronounce the different phrases in assorted Swedish dialects – they were rewarded an ice cold Coke with that destination on the label.

The Dialekt-o-maten

The machine, which uses a Raspberry Pi, was set up in Stureplan Square in Stockholm. A person presses one of six buttons to choose the regional dialect they want to try out. They then hit ‘record’, and speak into the microphone. The recording is compared to a library of dialect samples, and, if it matches closely enough, voila! — the Dialekt-o-maten dispenses a soft drink for free.

Dialekt-o-maten on the highstreet in Stockholm

Code for the Dialekt-o-maten

The team of developers used the dejavu Python library, as well as custom-written code which responded to new recordings. Carl-Anders Svedberg, one of the developers, said:

Testing the voices and fine-tuning the right level of difficulty for the users was quite tricky. And we really should have had more voice samples. Filtering out noise from the surroundings, like cars and music, was also a small hurdle.

While they wrote the initial software on macOS, the team transferred it to a Raspberry Pi so they could install the hardware inside the Dialekt-o-maten.

Regional dialects

Even though Sweden has only ten million inhabitants, there are more than 100 Swedish dialects. In some areas of Sweden, the local language even still resembles Old Norse. The Dialekt-o-maten recorded how well people spoke the six dialects it used. Apparently, the hardest one to imitate is spoken in Vadstena, and the easiest is spoken in Smögen.

Dialekt-o-maten on Stockholm highstreet

Speech recognition with the Pi

Because of its audio input capabilities, the Raspberry Pi is very useful for building devices that use speech recognition software. One of our favourite projects in this vein is of course Allen Pan’s Real-Life Wizard Duel. We also think this pronunciation training machine by Japanese makers HomeMadeGarbage is really neat. Ideas from these projects and the Dialekt-o-maten could potentially be combined to make a fully fledged language-learning tool!

How about you? Have you used a Raspberry Pi to help you become multilingual? If so, do share your project with us in the comments or via social media.

The post Dialekt-o-maten vending machine appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

In the Works – AWS Region in Hong Kong

Post Syndicated from Jeff Barr original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/in-the-works-aws-region-in-hong-kong/

Last year we launched new AWS Regions in Canada, India, Korea, the UK (London), and the United States (Ohio), and announced that new regions are coming to France (Paris), China (Ningxia), and Sweden (Stockholm).

Coming to Hong Kong in 2018
Today, I am happy to be able to tell you that we are planning to open up an AWS Region in Hong Kong, in 2018. Hong Kong is a leading international financial center, well known for its service oriented economy. It is rated highly on innovation and for ease of doing business. As an evangelist, I get to visit many great cities in the world, and was lucky to have spent some time in Hong Kong back in 2014 and met a number of awesome customers there. Many of these customers have given us feedback that they wanted a local AWS Region.

This will be the eighth AWS Region in Asia Pacific joining six other Regions there — Singapore, Tokyo, Sydney, Beijing, Seoul, and Mumbai, and an additional Region in China (Ningxia) expected to launch in the coming months. Together, these Regions will provide our customers with a total of 19 Availability Zones (AZs) and allow them to architect highly fault tolerant applications.

Today, our infrastructure comprises 43 Availability Zones across 16 geographic regions worldwide, with another three AWS Regions (and eight Availability Zones) in France, China, and Sweden coming online throughout 2017 and 2018, (see the AWS Global Infrastructure page for more info).

We are looking forward to serving new and existing customers in Hong Kong and working with partners across Asia-Pacific. Of course, the new region will also be open to existing AWS customers who would like to process and store data in Hong Kong. Public sector organizations such as government agencies, educational institutions, and nonprofits in Hong Kong will be able to use this region to store sensitive data locally (the AWS in the Public Sector page has plenty of success stories drawn from our worldwide customer base).

If you are a customer or a partner and have specific questions about this Region, you can contact our Hong Kong team.

Help Wanted
If you are interested in learning more about AWS positions in Hong Kong, please visit the Amazon Jobs site and set the location to Hong Kong.

Jeff;

 

250,000 Pi Zero W units shipped and more Pi Zero distributors announced

Post Syndicated from Mike Buffham original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/pi-zero-distributors-annoucement/

This week, just nine weeks after its launch, we will ship the 250,000th Pi Zero W into the market. As well as hitting that pretty impressive milestone, today we are announcing 13 new Raspberry Pi Zero distributors, so you should find it much easier to get hold of a unit.

Raspberry Pi Zero W and Case - Pi Zero distributors

This significantly extends the reach we can achieve with Pi Zero and Pi Zero W across the globe. These new distributors serve Australia and New Zealand, Italy, Malaysia, Japan, South Africa, Poland, Greece, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland. We are also further strengthening our network in the USA, Canada, and Germany, where demand continues to be very high.

Pi Zero W - Pi Zero distributors

A common theme on the Raspberry Pi forums has been the difficulty of obtaining a Zero or Zero W in a number of countries. This has been most notable in the markets which are furthest away from Europe or North America. We are hoping that adding these new distributors will make it much easier for Pi-fans across the world to get hold of their favourite tiny computer.

We know there are still more markets to cover, and we are continuing to work with other potential partners to improve the Pi Zero reach. Watch this space for even further developments!

Who are the new Pi Zero Distributors?

Check the icons below to find the distributor that’s best for you!

Australia and New Zealand

Core Electronics - New Raspberry Pi Zero Distributors

PiAustralia Raspberry Pi - New Raspberry Pi Zero Distributors

South Africa

PiShop - New Raspberry Pi Zero Distributors

Please note: Pi Zero W is not currently available to buy in South Africa, as we are waiting for ICASA Certification.

Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Norway

JKollerup - New Raspberry Pi Zero Distributors

electro:kit - New Raspberry Pi Zero Distributors

Germany and Switzerland

sertronics - New Raspberry Pi Zero Distributors

pi-shop - New Raspberry Pi Zero Distributors

Poland

botland - New Raspberry Pi Zero Distributors

Greece

nettop - New Raspberry Pi Zero Distributors

Italy

Japan

ksy - New Raspberry Pi Zero Distributors

switch science - New Raspberry Pi Zero Distributors

Please note: Pi Zero W is not currently available to buy in Japan as we are waiting for TELEC Certification.

Malaysia

cytron - New Raspberry Pi Zero Distributors

Please note: Pi Zero W is not currently available to buy in Malaysia as we are waiting for SIRIM Certification

Canada and USA

buyapi - New Raspberry Pi Zero Distributors

Get your Pi Zero

For full product details, plus a complete list of Pi Zero distributors, visit the Pi Zero W page.

Awesome feature image GIF credit goes to Justin Mezzell

The post 250,000 Pi Zero W units shipped and more Pi Zero distributors announced appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

Coming in 2018 – New AWS Region in Sweden

Post Syndicated from Jeff Barr original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/coming-in-2018-new-aws-region-in-sweden/

Last year we launched new AWS Regions in Canada, India, Korea, the UK (London), and the United States (Ohio), and announced that new regions are coming to France (Paris) and China (Ningxia).

Today, I am happy to be able to tell you that we are planning to open up an AWS Region in Stockholm, Sweden in 2018. This region will give AWS partners and customers in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden low-latency connectivity and the ability to run their workloads and store their data close to home.

The Nordics is well known for its vibrant startup community and highly innovative business climate. With successful global enterprises like ASSA ABLOY, IKEA, and Scania along with fast growing startups like Bambora, Supercell, Tink, and Trustpilot, it comes as no surprise that Forbes ranks Sweden as the best country for business, with all the other Nordic countries in the top 10. Even better, the European Commission ranks Sweden as the most innovative country in EU.

This will be the fifth AWS Region in Europe joining four other Regions there — EU (Ireland), EU (London), EU (Frankfurt) and an additional Region in France expected to launch in the coming months. Together, these Regions will provide our customers with a total of 13 Availability Zones (AZs) and allow them to architect highly fault tolerant applications while storing their data in the EU.

Today, our infrastructure comprises 42 Availability Zones across 16 geographic regions worldwide, with another three AWS Regions (and eight Availability Zones) in France, China and Sweden coming online throughout 2017 and 2018, (see the AWS Global Infrastructure page for more info).

We are looking forward to serving new and existing Nordic customers and working with partners across Europe. Of course, the new region will also be open to existing AWS customers who would like to process and store data in Sweden. Public sector organizations (government agencies, educational institutions, and nonprofits) in Sweden will be able to use this region to store sensitive data in-country (the AWS in the Public Sector page has plenty of success stories drawn from our worldwide customer base).

If you are a customer or a partner and have specific questions about this Region, you can contact our Nordic team.

Help Wanted
As part of our launch, we are hiring individual contributors and managers for IT support, electrical, logistics, and physical security positions. If you are interested in learning more, please contact [email protected].

Jeff;

 

ЕСПЧ: право на справедлив процес при трансгранично тв излъчване

Post Syndicated from nellyo original https://nellyo.wordpress.com/2017/03/20/6_echr/

Интересно решение, въпросът точно по този начин не е третиран още в съдебната практика на ЕСПЧ – Arlewin v. Sweden (application no. 22302/10).

Шведски бизнесмен е обсъждан като фигура от сенчестия бизнес в  телевизионно предаване изключително за аудиторията в Швеция,  на шведски и  с шведски водещ. Оказва се обаче, че редакционната отговорност (с езика на директивата, но за яснота)  е на доставчик на медийна услуга в Обединеното кралство.

Бизнесменът подава иск в Швеция, но от него се изисква да обжалва в съд  в Обединеното кралство.

Според ЕСПЧ, Швеция е имала задължението по член 6 от ЕКПЧ за осигуряване на   ефективен достъп до справедлив процес.  Не може да се каже, че насочването към съд в ОК е  била разумна  практическа алтернатива за лицето. По мнение на Съда, налице е ограничение на  правото на справедлив съдебен процес, нарушение на чл.6 ЕКПЧ.

Filed under: Media Law Tagged: еспч

ЕСПЧ: след решението Делфи

Post Syndicated from nellyo original https://nellyo.wordpress.com/2017/03/20/echr_delfi-2/

Делфи срещу Естония беше и ключово, и шоково решение на ЕСПЧ, впрочем решения – като се вземе предвид и решението на Голямата камара.

Както и се очакваше, по ред причини ( като правото на ЕС по темата) ЕСПЧ ще има шлейф от доизясняващи решения, ето първото – Index.Hu – носи сe отговорност от сайтовете за коментари на трети лица във форумите, но решението Index.Hu показва, че не винаги.

Ето и нова практика – Pihl v. Sweden (application no. 74742/14)

В блог се появява коментар, според който шведски гражданин – Mr Rolf Anders Daniel Pihl – има нацистки прояви. В блога е отбелязано, че авторите на коментарите носят отговорност за твърденията си, че това не са позиции на блога и коментаторите се призовават да спазват определени правила. Скоро след това засегнатото лице също в коментар оспорва казаното и иска заличаване на твърдението. Така и става – коментарът е заличен с бележка, че твърдението е невярно, и извинение.

Въпреки това засегнатото лице настоява да получи обезщетение за вреди по силата на – както лицето смята – позитивното задължение на държавата да гарантира прилагането на чл.8 ЕКПЧ и да привлече към отговорност издателя – малка неправителствена организация – към отговорност. След като получава отказ в Швеция, лицето се обръща към ЕСПЧ.

Съдът в [27] се позовава на известния вече баланс на чл.8 и чл.10 ЕКПЧ, включително на известните вече критерии от решението Фон Хановер, и накрая достига до решението Делфи:

27. В това отношение, що се отнася до конкуриращи се интереси по член 8 и член 10 от Конвенцията, Съдът е установил следното, както е обобщено в Делфи AS [139]: Съдът е установил, че, както е въпрос на принципи, правата, гарантирани в съответствие с членове 8 и 10 заслужават еднакво уважение, и резултатът не трябва, по принцип, да варира в зависимост от това дали жалбата е била подадена в Съда на основание член 10 от Конвенцията от издателя или по силата на член 8 от Конвенцията от лицето, което е било предмет на тази статия.

28. …за конкретната оценка на въпросната намеса се вземат предвид: контекст  на коментарите; мерките, прилагани от дружеството, за да се предотврати или премахне клеветнически коментар; отговорността на авторите на коментарите и др.

и след обсъждане Съдът заключава, че

  • с оглед най-вече на факта, че коментарът  не съдържа подбуждане към насилие и е публикуван в един малък блог, управляван от сдружение с нестопанска цел, който прекратява  достъпа в деня след искане на заявителя и девет дни, след като е бил публикуван коментарът,
  • и че националните съдилища са действали в рамките на своята свобода на преценка и при справедлив баланс между правата на жалбоподателя по силата на член 8, и  свобода на изразяване по член 10 ЕКПЧ.

Жалбата на Mr Rolf Anders Daniel Pihl е недопустима.

Filed under: Media Law Tagged: еспч

Using Pi to experience another’s reality

Post Syndicated from Alex Bate original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/using-pi-experience-anothers-reality/

Have you ever fancied being part of a real-life version of Being John Malkovich, without the danger of becoming trapped in a portal into the mind of an actor? This project helps you experience just that.

European telecoms operator Tele2 recently relaunched their phone and internet service with a particularly hefty data plan offering 100GB that customers can use across nine different devices, and they asked creative agency Your Majesty to market the new offering. The agency had a novel take on the brief:

In Sweden, a lot of discussion around connectivity tends to be negative, especially when it comes to controlling our exposure to media that can alter our outlook on our surroundings and the world. What if we made a campaign to show limitless connectivity in a way that changes our perspective?

Striving to alter that negative viewpoint, they didn’t focus on anything as simple as nine devices all working at once, but rather went in a very different direction.

Tele2: Settle For More – Case Film

Tele2 is a Swedish telecom company that provides phone and Internet services. They are re-launching in a big way to become the best data provider in the country and asked us to create a campaign to showcase a killer offer.

The final outcome was an immersive online experience, allowing viewers the chance to ‘step inside the minds’ of nine Swedish celebrities, including actor Joel Kinnaman and our favourite Queen of – ahem! – shoddy robots, Simone Giertz.

Users of the Pi-powered device

A custom backpack housed a 3D-printed rig to support a Raspberry Pi 3 for collection of sensor data, and a colour-grading box for footage recorded by a GoPro-equipped helmet.

Image of components

“Wait: did she just say ‘collection of sensor data’?” Yes. Yes, I did. Along with the video and audio streams from the on-board GoPro and microphone, the system collected data on heart rate, emotional state, and even sweat. Delicious.

screenshots from the device

The brain sensor data collected from the EEG then controls the colour of the footage as it’s relayed back to the audience: green for calm, yellow for happy, red for angry, and blue for sad. We can confirm that Simone’s screen turned a deep shade of purple on more than one occasion, and her heart rate actually shot up when she thought she had burned out some servos.

Videos from the various participants can be viewed at the Tele2 YouTube channel, including Joel, Simone, entrepreneur Cristina Stenbeck, and altitude instructor Anna Lundh.

Working with marketing agency Edelman Deportivo and digital studio Wolfmother Co., Your Majesty documented the impact of the campaign on Bēhance, so check it out.

The post Using Pi to experience another’s reality appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

No, Trump’s losses doesn’t allow tax avoidance

Post Syndicated from Robert Graham original http://blog.erratasec.com/2016/10/no-trumps-losses-doesnt-allow-tax.html

The New York Times is reporting that Tump lost nearly a billion dollars in 1995, and this would enable tax avoidance for 18 years. No, it doesn’t allow “avoidance”. This is not how taxes work.

Let’s do a little story problem:

  • You invest in a broad basket of stocks for $100,000
  • You later sell them for $110,000
  • Capital gains rate on this is 20%
  • How much taxes do you owe?

Obviously, since you gained $10,000 net, and tax rate is 20%, you then owe $2,000 in taxes.

But this is only because losses offset gains. All the stocks in your basket didn’t go up 10%. Some went up more, some actually lost money. It’s not unusual that the losing stocks might go down $50,000, while the gainers go up $60,000, thus giving you the 10% net return, if you are investing in high-risk/high-reward stocks.

What if instead we change the tax code to only count the winners, ignoring the losing stocks. Now, instead of owing taxes on $10,000, you owe taxes on $60,000. At 20% tax rate, this comes out to $12,000 in taxes — which is actually more than you earned on your investments.

Taxing only investments that win, while ignoring losers, is bad tax policy. It would mean, essentially, taxing investments at greater than 100% rate. This would mean people would stop investing, because it would only lose money. It’s a stupid tax policy, which is why no country does it. All countries tax the net gain on investments, gains minus losses.

In the above story problem, we bought and sold the stock all at once. In the real world, people buy and sell a little bit at time over the years. It doesn’t change the basic math. For that reason, losses in one year can be carried forward to offset gains in later years. You can’t (easily) do the reverse, offset previous years, because you’ve already paid the taxes. You don’t want the government giving Trump a $200-million tax refund check when he loses $1-billion.

Thus, there’s nothing wrong with offsetting $1 billion gains in later years with $1 billion in losses. He’s not avoiding taxes on the gains for 18 years — it instead means that he has no gains over that 18 year period (assuming after the loss, he fails to earn $1 billion to catch back up). That he might have been earning no money, net, for 20 years is the big story — not that he’s taking advantage of some loophole in the tax law.

Offsetting future gains with past losses is not a loophole. Everybody who invests, and hence sometimes has losses, does it. Every country’s tax code, like France, Sweden, or any socialist paradise you care to name, works the same way.

That’s why Trump is going to win this election. The press knows how taxes work, but they intentionally twist the story to make Trump look bad. The real story with these returns is that Trump is, in fact, a shitty investor, not that he’s a tax cheat.


By the way, I am a tax cheat. I had losses in the 2009 crash. Instead of immediately using those losses to offset gains in 2010 and 2011, I waited until Obamacare came into effect, which raised my tax rates. Only then did I claim the losses against gains, saving an extra few percent on my tax bill, and screwing the government out of a few thousand dollars (in a totally legal way).

There’s a few bad tax loopholes in the system, like the ones hedge fund managers use, but overall, you really can’t avoid paying taxes. You can shift things around a bit to change which taxes you pay, such as the above example, but that the rich use tax loopholes to avoid taxes is a myth. Indeed, in terms of taxes payments received by the government, most of them come from the rich — at a higher rate than they come from the poor — minus the odd hedge fund manager.

Organizational Doxing and Disinformation

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2016/09/organizational_1.html

In the past few years, the devastating effects of hackers breaking into an organization’s network, stealing confidential data, and publishing everything have been made clear. It happened to the Democratic National Committee, to Sony, to the National Security Agency, to the cyber-arms weapons manufacturer Hacking Team, to the online adultery site Ashley Madison, and to the Panamanian tax-evasion law firm Mossack Fonseca.

This style of attack is known as organizational doxing. The hackers, in some cases individuals and in others nation-states, are out to make political points by revealing proprietary, secret, and sometimes incriminating information. And the documents they leak do that, airing the organizations’ embarrassments for everyone to see.

In all of these instances, the documents were real: the email conversations, still-secret product details, strategy documents, salary information, and everything else. But what if hackers were to alter documents before releasing them? This is the next step in organizational doxing­ — and the effects can be much worse.

It’s one thing to have all of your dirty laundry aired in public for everyone to see. It’s another thing entirely for someone to throw in a few choice items that aren’t real.

Recently, Russia has started using forged documents as part of broader disinformation campaigns, particularly in relation to Sweden’s entering of a military partnership with NATO, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Forging thousands — or more — documents is difficult to pull off, but slipping a single forgery in an actual cache is much easier. The attack could be something subtle. Maybe a country that anonymously publishes another country’s diplomatic cables wants to influence yet a third country, so adds some particularly egregious conversations about that third country. Or the next hacker who steals and publishes email from climate change researchers invents a bunch of over-the-top messages to make his political point even stronger. Or it could be personal: someone dumping email from thousands of users making changes in those by a friend, relative, or lover.

Imagine trying to explain to the press, eager to publish the worst of the details in the documents, that everything is accurate except this particular email. Or that particular memo. That the salary document is correct except that one entry. Or that the secret customer list posted up on WikiLeaks is correct except that there’s one inaccurate addition. It would be impossible. Who would believe you? No one. And you couldn’t prove it.

It has long been easy to forge documents on the Internet. It’s easy to create new ones, and modify old ones. It’s easy to change things like a document’s creation date, or a photograph’s location information. With a little more work, pdf files and images can be altered. These changes will be undetectable. In many ways, it’s surprising that this kind of manipulation hasn’t been seen before. My guess is that hackers who leak documents don’t have the secondary motives to make the data dumps worse than they already are, and nation-states have just gotten into the document leaking business.

Major newspapers do their best to verify the authenticity of leaked documents they receive from sources. They only publish the ones they know are authentic. The newspapers consult experts, and pay attention to forensics. They have tense conversations with governments, trying to get them to verify secret documents they’re not actually allowed to admit even exist. This is only possible because the news outlets have ongoing relationships with the governments, and they care that they get it right. There are lots of instances where neither of these two things are true, and lots of ways to leak documents without any independent verification at all.

No one is talking about this, but everyone needs to be alert to the possibility. Sooner or later, the hackers who steal an organization’s data are going to make changes in them before they release them. If these forgeries aren’t questioned, the situations of those being hacked could be made worse, or erroneous conclusions could be drawn from the documents. When someone says that a document they have been accused of writing is forged, their arguments at least should be heard.

This essay previously appeared on TheAtlantic.com.

Poland vs the United States: crime and punishment

Post Syndicated from Michal Zalewski original http://lcamtuf.blogspot.com/2015/07/poland-vs-united-states-crime-and.html

This is the tenth article in a short series about Poland, Europe, and the United States. To explore the entire series, start here.

Throughout much of its history, the United States has been a comparatively violent nation. From the famed lawlessness of the western frontier, to the brawling biker gangs, to the iconic Italian Mafia and the fearsome Mexican drug cartels, the thirst for blood has left a mark on the American psyche – and profoundly influenced many of the country’s most cherished works of literary and cinematic art.

But sooner or later, a line gets drawn. And so, when a tidal wave of violent crime swept the nation in the late 80s, the legislators and the executive branch felt obliged to act. Many wanted to send a message to the criminal underworld by going after it with relentless and uncompromising zeal – kicking off the multi-decade War on Drugs and rolling out policies such as the three strikes law in California or stop-and-frisk in New York City. Others saw the root of all evil in the pervasive gun culture of the United States – successfully outlawing the possession or carry of certain classes of firearms and establishing a nation-wide system of background checks.

And then, in the midst of these policy changes, something very interesting started to unfold: the crime rate plunged like a rock, dropping almost 50% over the course of twenty years. But why? Well, the funny thing is, nobody could really tell. The proponents of tough policing and the War on Drugs tooted their own horns; but less vindictive municipalities that adopted programs of community engagement and proactive policing heralded broadly comparable results. Gun control advocates claimed that getting AR-15s and handguns off the streets made a difference; gun rights activists found little or no crime gap between the gun-friendly and the gun-hostile states. Economists pointed out that people were living better, happier, and longer lives. Epidemiologists called out the elimination of lead – an insidious developmental neurotoxin – from paints and gasoline. Some scholars have gone as far as claiming that easy access to contraception and abortion caused fewer children to be born into multi-generational poverty and to choose the life of crime.

Europe certainly provided an interesting contrast; the old continent, having emerged from two unspeakably devastating and self-inflicted wars, celebrated its newly-found pacifist streak. Its modern-day penal systems reflected the philosophy of reconciliation – abolishing the death penalty and placing greater faith in community relationships, alternative sentencing, and the rehabilitation of criminals. A person who served a sentence was seen as having paid the dues: in Poland and many other European countries, his or hers prospective employers would be barred from inquiring about the criminal record, and the right to privacy would keep the indictments and court records from public view.

It’s hard to say if the European model worked better when it comes to combating villainy; in the UK, crime trends followed the US trajectory; in Sweden, they did the opposite. But the utilitarian aspect of the correctional system aside, the US approach certainly carries a heavy humanitarian toll: the country maintains a truly astronomical prison population, disproportionately comprised of ethnic minorities and the poor; recidivism rates are high and overcrowding in some penitentiary systems borders on the inhumane.

Untangling this mess is not easy; most Americans seriously worry about crime and see it as a growing epidemic, even if their beliefs are not substantiated by government-published stats. Perhaps because of this, they favor tough policing; reports of potential prosecutorial oversight – such as the recent case of a tragic homicide in San Francisco – tend to provoke broader outrage than any comparable claims of overreach. Similarly, police brutality or prison rape are widely acknowledged and even joked about – but are seen as something that only ever happens to the bad folks.

For the next article in the series, click here.

Poland vs the United States: crime and punishment

Post Syndicated from Michal Zalewski original http://lcamtuf.blogspot.com/2015/07/poland-vs-united-states-crime-and.html

This is the tenth article in a short series about Poland, Europe, and the United States. To explore the entire series, start here.

Throughout much of its history, the United States has been a comparatively violent nation. From the famed lawlessness of the western frontier, to the brawling biker gangs, to the iconic Italian Mafia and the fearsome Mexican drug cartels, the thirst for blood has left a mark on the American psyche – and profoundly influenced many of the country’s most cherished works of literary and cinematic art.

But sooner or later, a line gets drawn. And so, when a tidal wave of violent crime swept the nation in the late 80s, the legislators and the executive branch felt obliged to act. Many wanted to send a message to the criminal underworld by going after it with relentless and uncompromising zeal – kicking off the multi-decade War on Drugs and rolling out policies such as the three strikes law in California or stop-and-frisk in New York City. Others saw the root of all evil in the pervasive gun culture of the United States – successfully outlawing the possession or carry of certain classes of firearms and establishing a nation-wide system of background checks.

And then, in the midst of these policy changes, something very interesting started to unfold: the crime rate plunged like a rock, dropping almost 50% over the course of twenty years. But why? Well, the funny thing is, nobody could really tell. The proponents of tough policing and the War on Drugs tooted their own horns; but less vindictive municipalities that adopted programs of community engagement and proactive policing heralded broadly comparable results. Gun control advocates claimed that getting AR-15s and handguns off the streets made a difference; gun rights activists found little or no crime gap between the gun-friendly and the gun-hostile states. Economists pointed out that people were living better, happier, and longer lives. Epidemiologists called out the elimination of lead – an insidious developmental neurotoxin – from paints and gasoline. Some scholars have gone as far as claiming that easy access to contraception and abortion caused fewer children to be born into multi-generational poverty and to choose the life of crime.

Europe certainly provided an interesting contrast; the old continent, having emerged from two unspeakably devastating and self-inflicted wars, celebrated its newly-found pacifist streak. Its modern-day penal systems reflected the philosophy of reconciliation – abolishing the death penalty and placing greater faith in community relationships, alternative sentencing, and the rehabilitation of criminals. A person who served a sentence was seen as having paid the dues: in Poland and many other European countries, his or hers prospective employers would be barred from inquiring about the criminal record, and the right to privacy would keep the indictments and court records from public view.

It’s hard to say if the European model worked better when it comes to combating villainy; in the UK, crime trends followed the US trajectory; in Sweden, they did the opposite. But the utilitarian aspect of the correctional system aside, the US approach certainly carries a heavy humanitarian toll: the country maintains a truly astronomical prison population, disproportionately comprised of ethnic minorities and the poor; recidivism rates are high and overcrowding in some penitentiary systems borders on the inhumane.

Untangling this mess is not easy; most Americans seriously worry about crime and see it as a growing epidemic, even if their beliefs are not substantiated by government-published stats. Perhaps because of this, they favor tough policing; reports of potential prosecutorial oversight – such as the recent case of a tragic homicide in San Francisco – tend to provoke broader outrage than any comparable claims of overreach. Similarly, police brutality or prison rape are widely acknowledged and even joked about – but are seen as something that only ever happens to the bad folks.

For the next article in the series, click here.

MariaDB Foundation achivements 2012-12 – 2013-09

Post Syndicated from Michael "Monty" Widenius original http://monty-says.blogspot.com/2013/10/mariadb-foundation-achivements-2012-12.html

I recently read some comments that we at the MariaDB Foundation have not been very open about what we are doing.We are very sorry about this. The problem is not that we are secret about what we are doing, the problem is that not many of us working at the MariaDB Foundation are very active bloggers.I will try to address this concern by starting a monthly blog about the MariaDB development that MariaDB Foundation employees are doing. This together with Simon Phipps’ state of the sea lion blog, which is published on the MariaDB Foundation blog, should hopefully give everyone a better idea of what we are doing.At the MariaDB Foundation we are now 4 people working full time on code, documentation, and spreading MariaDB. Here are the things we have done since the Foundation was formed in December 2012:Major development efforts based on code from the community: MDEV-4568 Port Percona response time distribution as audit pluginMDEV-4911 Add KILL query id, and add query id information to process listMDEV-4684 Enhancement request: –init-command support for mysqlslapMajor new development efforts: MDEV-4702 Reduce usage of LOCK_openMDEV-4011 Per thread memory usageMDEV-4902 sql_yacc.yy incompatible with bison 3MDEV-4950 mysql_upgrade fails with disabled InnoDB (a bug that is not fixed in MySQL)MDEV-21 LGPL C client libraryLGPL Java client library.Some work on a new LGPL ODBC driver for MySQL and MariaDB.Better error messages (the error code in an error message now has descriptive text)Faster connect (lots of small fixes).MDEV-3941 CREATE TABLE xxx IF NOT EXISTS should not block if table exists.The MariaDB Foundation has also done a lot of work on the merge of MySQL 5.6 to MariaDB 10.0. The most notable features done by the Foundation are: All InnoDB changesAll performance schema changesCleaned up the HANDLER interfaces (to make life easier for storage engine writers).TRANSACTION READ ONLY | READ WRITEMySQL-5.6 TIME/TIMESTAMP/DATETIME data types with fractional secondsMySQL-5.6 temporal literalsutf16le character setTO_BASE64 and FROM_BASE64 SQL functionsMySQL-5.6 collation customization improvements (in progress)Note that the above is not a complete list of what is in MariaDB 10.0!We are working with external entities and contributors to get features into MariaDB. Some of these have required a lot of work on the MariaDB Foundation side: CONNECT storage enginePorting to various operating systems (*BSD, Linux flavors, Solaris)Porting to unixODBCFixing compiler warningsTesting and writing mtr testsChecking, reporting and fixing valgrind warningsReviewing the author’s codeAdding MySQL/MariaDB security support (FILE privilege and secure_file_priv)Adding ConnectSE support in embedded serverGlobalization: making ConnectSE support multiple MariaDB character setsDiscussing many aspects of better integration of ConnectSE into MariaDB with the author.Packaging (RPMs, DEBs, MSI)TokuDB storage engineReview of codeSome small integration changes.Parallel slaveMulti source replication Worked closely with the original author to extend the code from a working proof of concept to production level code.MDEV-4438 Spider storage engine Continuously working with KentokuMDEV-4425 REGEXP enhancements (a Google Summer of Code project, in progress) Mentoring Sudheera Palihakkara (the student)Student’s code reviews (for RLIKE and RLIKE_REPLACE)Code enhancements proposalsCMake related enhancementsWrote RLIKE_SUBSTR and RLIKE_INSTR functionsAdded support for –crash-script in mysqld_safe.A lot of basic system maintenence: Reported a lot of bugs (this is not a full list): MDEV-4489 Replication of big5, cp932, gbk, sjis strings makes wrong values on slaveMDEV-4634 Crash in CONVERT_TZMDEV-4635 Crash in UNIX_TIMESTAMP(STR_TO_DATE(‘2020′,’%Y’))MDEV-4651 Crash in my_decimal2decimal in a ORDER BY query MDEV-4652 Wrong result for CONCAT(GREATEST(TIME(’00:00:01′),TIME(’00:00:00′))MDEV-4653 Wrong result for CONVERT_TZ(TIME(’00:00:00′),’+00:00′,’+7:5′)MDEV-4654 Wrong warning for CAST(TIME(’10:20:30′) AS DATE) + INTERVAL 1 DAYMDEV-4655 Difference in how GREATEST and COALESCE process argumentsMDEV-4714 Wrong TIME value from a long stringMDEV-4724 MAKETIME does not preserve microsecondsMDEV-4838 Wrong metadata for DATE_ADD(‘string’, INVERVAL)MDEV-4841 “Wrong character set of ADDTIME() and DATE_ADD()”MDEV-4842 STR_TO_DATE does not work with UCS2/UTF16/UTF32MDEV-4843 Wrong data type for TIMESTAMP(‘2001-01-01′,’10:10:10’)MDEV-4844 Redundant warning in SELECT TIME(’00:00:00.’)MDEV-4848 Wrong metadata or column type for LEAST(1.0,’10’)MDEV-4850 MATCH uses a wrong fulltext index with mismatching collationMDEV-4857 Wrong result of HOUR(‘1 00:00:00’)MDEV-4858 Wrong error message for a huge unsigned value inserted into a TIME columnMDEV-4859 Wrong value and data type of “SELECT MAX(time_column) + 1 FROM t1”MDEV-4861 TIME/DATETIME arithmetics does not preserve INTERVAL precisionMDEV-4862 Wrong result of MAKETIME(0, 0, 59.9)MDEV-4863 COALESCE(time) returns wrong results in numeric contextMDEV-4868 Length of CURRENT_TIME is too longMDEV-4869 Wrong result of MAKETIME(0, 0, -0.1)MDEV-4870 Wrong values of CASE, COALESCE, IFNULL on a combination of different temporal typesMDEV-4871 Temporal literals do not accept nanosecondsMDEV-4872 Inserting a huge number into a TIME column produces a wrong resultMDEV-4898 Too many warnings when inserting a bad value into a TIMESTAMP columnMDEV-4900 Bad value inserted into a TIME field on truncationFixed a LOT of bugs (the following is not a full list): MDEV-4489 Replication of big5, cp932, gbk, sjis strings makes wrong values on slaveMDEV-4512 Valgrind warnings in my_long10_to_str_8bit on INTERVAL and DATE_ADD with incorrect typesMDEV-4518 Server crashes in is_white_space when it’s run with query cache…MDEV-4634 Crash in CONVERT_TZMDEV-4635 Crash in UNIX_TIMESTAMP(STR_TO_DATE(‘2020′,’%Y’))MDEV-4639 my_datetime_to_str: Conditional jump or move depends on uninitialized valueMDEV-4651 Crash in my_decimal2decimal in a ORDER BY query MDEV-4652 Wrong result for CONCAT(GREATEST(TIME(’00:00:01′),TIME(’00:00:00′))MDEV-4653 Wrong result for CONVERT_TZ(TIME(’00:00:00′),’+00:00′,’+7:5′)MDEV-4724 MAKETIME does not preserve microsecondsMDEV-4804 Date comparing false resultMDEV-4819 Upgrade from MySQL 5.6 does not workMDEV-4841 “Wrong character set of ADDTIME() and DATE_ADD()”MDEV-4843 Wrong data type for TIMESTAMP(‘2001-01-01′,’10:10:10’)MDEV-4863 COALESCE(time) returns wrong results in numeric contextMDEV-4871 Temporal literals do not accept nanosecondsFixed MySQL bug #69861 LAST_INSERT_ID is replicated incorrectly if replication filters are used.Fixed issues with partitions and create temporary table SELECTIf one declared several continue handler for the same condition on different level of stored procedures, all of them where executed. Now we only execute the innermost of them (the most relevant).Don’t abort InnoDB if one can’t allocate resources for AIOAdded some fixes that should make MyISAM & Aria REPAIR work with more than 4G records.MDEV-4352 LOAD DATA was not multi-source safeMDEV-4394 Sporadic failures in multi_source testsMDEV-4033 Unable to use slave’s temporary directory /tmp – Can’t create/write to file ‘/tmp/SQL_LOAD-‘ (Errcode: 17 “File exists”)Increase default value of max_binlog_cache_size and max_binlog_stmt_cache_size to ulonglong_max.MDEV-4319 mysqlbinlog output ambiguous escaping (patch by Ian Good)OPTION is now a valid identifier (not a reserved word)Fixed issue with LOCK TABLE + ALTER TABLE ENABLE KEYS + SHOW commands.MDEV-628 Querying myisam table metadata may corrupt the table.Replace with an auto_increment primary key and another unique key didn’t replicate correctly with REPLACE.BUG#51763 Can’t delete rows from MEMORY table with HASH key.MDEV-389 Server crash inserting record on a temporary table after truncating it.Fixed crashing bug in GROUP_CONCAT with ROLLUPMDEV-4013 Password length in replication setupMDEV-4009 main.delayed sporadically fails with “query ‘REPLACE DELAYED t1 VALUES (5)’ failed: 1317: Query execution was interrupted”Fixed CREATE TABLE IF EXIST generates warnings instead of errorsRemoved lock wait timeout warning when using CREATE TABLE IF EXISTSCode cleanups and code rewrites.Continued work to ensure that MariaDB works on many operating systems.Did lots of small fixes for Solaris.Review of code from the community.Removed valgrind and compiler warnings.Added new test cases.QA & benchmarking.Talked about MariaDB and Open Source/Free Software at a lot of conferences: Percona Live London 2012SkySQL Roadshow, StuttgartVista developer Conference, RigaPHP Conference, Pasila, FinlandSkySQL Roadshow, AmsterdamPercona Live, Santa ClaraSkySQL Roadshow, LondonMySQL Meetup, NYCSuomen Arkistointi Seminaari, Mikkeli, FinlandSkySQL Roadshow, BerlinAli Baba Conference, Hangzhou, ChinaOSCON, PortlandDebconf, SwitzerlandFroscon, St Augustin, GermanyHaaga-Helia Talks, FinlandIDCEE Conference, UkrainaLatinux, Brazil & PeruHighload Conference, MoscowFoscon, Gotenburg, SwedenPercona Live 2013, LondonOther things people from the MariaDB foundation have done:Created +200 and updated +3000 articles in the MariaDB Knowledge Base. Some of the notable things are:Complete documentation of all system variablesComplete documentation of all status variablesClients and utilitiesGeographic functionsPerformance schemaLog filesInternationalization, character sets, collationXtraDB and InnoDB contentGlobal Transaction ID (from Kristian’s content)TriggersStored FunctionsStored ProceduresViewsDynamic ColumnsFulltext indexesReplicationDate and timeUpdating fill_help_tables.sql so that MariaDB HELP output will point the Knowledge BaseReformatted most articles for improved readabilityReplaced many of the external links with links to newly created internal articlesVisited a lot of companies to talk about the MariaDB Foundation.Worked closely with OS distributions to get MariaDB accepted as a standard part of their distributions. Partly thanks to the MariaDB Foundation, the following distributions now have MariaDB packages: GNU/Linux KDuMageiaGentooopenSUSESlackwareArch LinuxALTLinuxMariaDB Debian Live ImagesParabola GNU/LinuxTurboLinuxThe Chakra ProjectFedoraRed Hat Enterprise LinuxFreeBSDOpenBSDDebian now has MariaDB packages in ‘unstable’.For a full list and to see which distributions are replacing MySQL with MariaDB, see this page.Updated SHOW AUTHORS and SHOW CONTRIBUTORS to give more merit to active contributors and sponsors.We are very thankfull to the MariaDB Foundation members and supporters that have made this work possible!The current members are:Booking.comSkySQLParallelsIf you want the MariaDB foundation to do even more work like the above, you should ensure that your company becomes member in the MariaDB Foundation! You can also sponsor the foundation as a private person!

MariaDB Foundation achivements 2012-12 – 2013-09

Post Syndicated from Michael "Monty" Widenius original http://monty-says.blogspot.com/2013/10/mariadb-foundation-achivements-2012-12.html

I recently read some comments that we at the MariaDB Foundation have not been very open about what we are doing.We are very sorry about this. The problem is not that we are secret about what we are doing, the problem is that not many of us working at the MariaDB Foundation are very active bloggers.I will try to address this concern by starting a monthly blog about the MariaDB development that MariaDB Foundation employees are doing. This together with Simon Phipps’ state of the sea lion blog, which is published on the MariaDB Foundation blog, should hopefully give everyone a better idea of what we are doing.At the MariaDB Foundation we are now 4 people working full time on code, documentation, and spreading MariaDB. Here are the things we have done since the Foundation was formed in December 2012:Major development efforts based on code from the community: MDEV-4568 Port Percona response time distribution as audit pluginMDEV-4911 Add KILL query id, and add query id information to process listMDEV-4684 Enhancement request: –init-command support for mysqlslapMajor new development efforts: MDEV-4702 Reduce usage of LOCK_openMDEV-4011 Per thread memory usageMDEV-4902 sql_yacc.yy incompatible with bison 3MDEV-4950 mysql_upgrade fails with disabled InnoDB (a bug that is not fixed in MySQL)MDEV-21 LGPL C client libraryLGPL Java client library.Some work on a new LGPL ODBC driver for MySQL and MariaDB.Better error messages (the error code in an error message now has descriptive text)Faster connect (lots of small fixes).MDEV-3941 CREATE TABLE xxx IF NOT EXISTS should not block if table exists.The MariaDB Foundation has also done a lot of work on the merge of MySQL 5.6 to MariaDB 10.0. The most notable features done by the Foundation are: All InnoDB changesAll performance schema changesCleaned up the HANDLER interfaces (to make life easier for storage engine writers).TRANSACTION READ ONLY | READ WRITEMySQL-5.6 TIME/TIMESTAMP/DATETIME data types with fractional secondsMySQL-5.6 temporal literalsutf16le character setTO_BASE64 and FROM_BASE64 SQL functionsMySQL-5.6 collation customization improvements (in progress)Note that the above is not a complete list of what is in MariaDB 10.0!We are working with external entities and contributors to get features into MariaDB. Some of these have required a lot of work on the MariaDB Foundation side: CONNECT storage enginePorting to various operating systems (*BSD, Linux flavors, Solaris)Porting to unixODBCFixing compiler warningsTesting and writing mtr testsChecking, reporting and fixing valgrind warningsReviewing the author’s codeAdding MySQL/MariaDB security support (FILE privilege and secure_file_priv)Adding ConnectSE support in embedded serverGlobalization: making ConnectSE support multiple MariaDB character setsDiscussing many aspects of better integration of ConnectSE into MariaDB with the author.Packaging (RPMs, DEBs, MSI)TokuDB storage engineReview of codeSome small integration changes.Parallel slaveMulti source replication Worked closely with the original author to extend the code from a working proof of concept to production level code.MDEV-4438 Spider storage engine Continuously working with KentokuMDEV-4425 REGEXP enhancements (a Google Summer of Code project, in progress) Mentoring Sudheera Palihakkara (the student)Student’s code reviews (for RLIKE and RLIKE_REPLACE)Code enhancements proposalsCMake related enhancementsWrote RLIKE_SUBSTR and RLIKE_INSTR functionsAdded support for –crash-script in mysqld_safe.A lot of basic system maintenence: Reported a lot of bugs (this is not a full list): MDEV-4489 Replication of big5, cp932, gbk, sjis strings makes wrong values on slaveMDEV-4634 Crash in CONVERT_TZMDEV-4635 Crash in UNIX_TIMESTAMP(STR_TO_DATE(‘2020′,’%Y’))MDEV-4651 Crash in my_decimal2decimal in a ORDER BY query MDEV-4652 Wrong result for CONCAT(GREATEST(TIME(’00:00:01′),TIME(’00:00:00′))MDEV-4653 Wrong result for CONVERT_TZ(TIME(’00:00:00′),’+00:00′,’+7:5′)MDEV-4654 Wrong warning for CAST(TIME(’10:20:30′) AS DATE) + INTERVAL 1 DAYMDEV-4655 Difference in how GREATEST and COALESCE process argumentsMDEV-4714 Wrong TIME value from a long stringMDEV-4724 MAKETIME does not preserve microsecondsMDEV-4838 Wrong metadata for DATE_ADD(‘string’, INVERVAL)MDEV-4841 “Wrong character set of ADDTIME() and DATE_ADD()”MDEV-4842 STR_TO_DATE does not work with UCS2/UTF16/UTF32MDEV-4843 Wrong data type for TIMESTAMP(‘2001-01-01′,’10:10:10’)MDEV-4844 Redundant warning in SELECT TIME(’00:00:00.’)MDEV-4848 Wrong metadata or column type for LEAST(1.0,’10’)MDEV-4850 MATCH uses a wrong fulltext index with mismatching collationMDEV-4857 Wrong result of HOUR(‘1 00:00:00’)MDEV-4858 Wrong error message for a huge unsigned value inserted into a TIME columnMDEV-4859 Wrong value and data type of “SELECT MAX(time_column) + 1 FROM t1”MDEV-4861 TIME/DATETIME arithmetics does not preserve INTERVAL precisionMDEV-4862 Wrong result of MAKETIME(0, 0, 59.9)MDEV-4863 COALESCE(time) returns wrong results in numeric contextMDEV-4868 Length of CURRENT_TIME is too longMDEV-4869 Wrong result of MAKETIME(0, 0, -0.1)MDEV-4870 Wrong values of CASE, COALESCE, IFNULL on a combination of different temporal typesMDEV-4871 Temporal literals do not accept nanosecondsMDEV-4872 Inserting a huge number into a TIME column produces a wrong resultMDEV-4898 Too many warnings when inserting a bad value into a TIMESTAMP columnMDEV-4900 Bad value inserted into a TIME field on truncationFixed a LOT of bugs (the following is not a full list): MDEV-4489 Replication of big5, cp932, gbk, sjis strings makes wrong values on slaveMDEV-4512 Valgrind warnings in my_long10_to_str_8bit on INTERVAL and DATE_ADD with incorrect typesMDEV-4518 Server crashes in is_white_space when it’s run with query cache…MDEV-4634 Crash in CONVERT_TZMDEV-4635 Crash in UNIX_TIMESTAMP(STR_TO_DATE(‘2020′,’%Y’))MDEV-4639 my_datetime_to_str: Conditional jump or move depends on uninitialized valueMDEV-4651 Crash in my_decimal2decimal in a ORDER BY query MDEV-4652 Wrong result for CONCAT(GREATEST(TIME(’00:00:01′),TIME(’00:00:00′))MDEV-4653 Wrong result for CONVERT_TZ(TIME(’00:00:00′),’+00:00′,’+7:5′)MDEV-4724 MAKETIME does not preserve microsecondsMDEV-4804 Date comparing false resultMDEV-4819 Upgrade from MySQL 5.6 does not workMDEV-4841 “Wrong character set of ADDTIME() and DATE_ADD()”MDEV-4843 Wrong data type for TIMESTAMP(‘2001-01-01′,’10:10:10’)MDEV-4863 COALESCE(time) returns wrong results in numeric contextMDEV-4871 Temporal literals do not accept nanosecondsFixed MySQL bug #69861 LAST_INSERT_ID is replicated incorrectly if replication filters are used.Fixed issues with partitions and create temporary table SELECTIf one declared several continue handler for the same condition on different level of stored procedures, all of them where executed. Now we only execute the innermost of them (the most relevant).Don’t abort InnoDB if one can’t allocate resources for AIOAdded some fixes that should make MyISAM & Aria REPAIR work with more than 4G records.MDEV-4352 LOAD DATA was not multi-source safeMDEV-4394 Sporadic failures in multi_source testsMDEV-4033 Unable to use slave’s temporary directory /tmp – Can’t create/write to file ‘/tmp/SQL_LOAD-‘ (Errcode: 17 “File exists”)Increase default value of max_binlog_cache_size and max_binlog_stmt_cache_size to ulonglong_max.MDEV-4319 mysqlbinlog output ambiguous escaping (patch by Ian Good)OPTION is now a valid identifier (not a reserved word)Fixed issue with LOCK TABLE + ALTER TABLE ENABLE KEYS + SHOW commands.MDEV-628 Querying myisam table metadata may corrupt the table.Replace with an auto_increment primary key and another unique key didn’t replicate correctly with REPLACE.BUG#51763 Can’t delete rows from MEMORY table with HASH key.MDEV-389 Server crash inserting record on a temporary table after truncating it.Fixed crashing bug in GROUP_CONCAT with ROLLUPMDEV-4013 Password length in replication setupMDEV-4009 main.delayed sporadically fails with “query ‘REPLACE DELAYED t1 VALUES (5)’ failed: 1317: Query execution was interrupted”Fixed CREATE TABLE IF EXIST generates warnings instead of errorsRemoved lock wait timeout warning when using CREATE TABLE IF EXISTSCode cleanups and code rewrites.Continued work to ensure that MariaDB works on many operating systems.Did lots of small fixes for Solaris.Review of code from the community.Removed valgrind and compiler warnings.Added new test cases.QA & benchmarking.Talked about MariaDB and Open Source/Free Software at a lot of conferences: Percona Live London 2012SkySQL Roadshow, StuttgartVista developer Conference, RigaPHP Conference, Pasila, FinlandSkySQL Roadshow, AmsterdamPercona Live, Santa ClaraSkySQL Roadshow, LondonMySQL Meetup, NYCSuomen Arkistointi Seminaari, Mikkeli, FinlandSkySQL Roadshow, BerlinAli Baba Conference, Hangzhou, ChinaOSCON, PortlandDebconf, SwitzerlandFroscon, St Augustin, GermanyHaaga-Helia Talks, FinlandIDCEE Conference, UkrainaLatinux, Brazil & PeruHighload Conference, MoscowFoscon, Gotenburg, SwedenPercona Live 2013, LondonOther things people from the MariaDB foundation have done:Created +200 and updated +3000 articles in the MariaDB Knowledge Base. Some of the notable things are:Complete documentation of all system variablesComplete documentation of all status variablesClients and utilitiesGeographic functionsPerformance schemaLog filesInternationalization, character sets, collationXtraDB and InnoDB contentGlobal Transaction ID (from Kristian’s content)TriggersStored FunctionsStored ProceduresViewsDynamic ColumnsFulltext indexesReplicationDate and timeUpdating fill_help_tables.sql so that MariaDB HELP output will point the Knowledge BaseReformatted most articles for improved readabilityReplaced many of the external links with links to newly created internal articlesVisited a lot of companies to talk about the MariaDB Foundation.Worked closely with OS distributions to get MariaDB accepted as a standard part of their distributions. Partly thanks to the MariaDB Foundation, the following distributions now have MariaDB packages: GNU/Linux KDuMageiaGentooopenSUSESlackwareArch LinuxALTLinuxMariaDB Debian Live ImagesParabola GNU/LinuxTurboLinuxThe Chakra ProjectFedoraRed Hat Enterprise LinuxFreeBSDOpenBSDDebian now has MariaDB packages in ‘unstable’.For a full list and to see which distributions are replacing MySQL with MariaDB, see this page.Updated SHOW AUTHORS and SHOW CONTRIBUTORS to give more merit to active contributors and sponsors.We are very thankfull to the MariaDB Foundation members and supporters that have made this work possible!The current members are:Booking.comSkySQLParallelsIf you want the MariaDB foundation to do even more work like the above, you should ensure that your company becomes member in the MariaDB Foundation! You can also sponsor the foundation as a private person!