Keeping it clean: Can blockchain change the nature of land registry in developing countries?

The global economy is constantly exposed to disruptive technologies. Take the example of telecommunications: it was not long ago that everything revolved around landlines. Households would go to great lengths to ensure they were well-serviced with fixed-line infrastructure, while those left out endured long travel times for everyday activities like managing a business or connecting with family and friends. Those days are a bygone era. The mobile phone changed everything.  

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Robo-advisors: Investing through machines

Technological innovation in the financial industry has reached the wealth management services industry where automated financial advisors, known as robo-advisors, are starting to compete with human advisors. In a new policy brief, we examine the benefits and limitations of robo-advisors, as well as their potential to foster financial inclusion.

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Energy prices rose in March—Pink Sheet

Energy commodity prices rebounded in more than 3 percent in March, led by oil (+4 percent), the World Bank Pink Sheet reported. Coal and natural gas prices (Europe) declined 4 and 14 percent, respectively.

Non-energy prices declined marginally, with losses in beverages and food balanced by gains in raw material and metals.

Agricultural prices declined nearly one percent, with drops in beverages (-2.5 percent) and food (-1.5 percent) partly balanced by increases in raw materials (+1.4 percent).

Fertilizer prices declined almost one percent, reflecting losses in TSP and DAP (-6.7 and -6.2 percent, respectively) and gains in potassium (+14 percent).

Metals prices gained 1.2 percent, led by increases in zinc (+5.3 percent) and copper (+2.2 percent).

Precious metals prices declined nearly 2 percent in response to declines in silver (-3.3 percent) and gold (-1.5 percent).

The Pink Sheet is a monthly report that monitors commodity price movements.
 
Nominal price indexes, percent changes, March over February
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ArkaHosting – Shared, Reseller & SSD VPS Specials from $3.79/year in Los Angeles & NY!

Ted from ArkaHosting submitted their first ever offer to us recently. They are offering DDoS Protected Shared & Reseller hosting accounts starting at just $3.79/year, and VPS hosting services in LA from just $14/year.

Their WHOIS is public, and you can find their ToS/Acceptable Use Policy here. They accept PayPal, Credit Cards, Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum as accepted payment methods for their services.

Here’s what they had to say:

“arkaHosting is the ultimate infrastructure as a service provider, servicing customers from all across the world with shared, reseller, VPS and dedicated server solutions. Our mission is to provide a quality and well performing hosting service. We strive to be a name of trust, while providing economic-friendly packages for all.

Please find our exclusive LEB offers on Shared Hosting, Reseller Hosting, and VPS Hosting below!”

Here’s the offers:

Shared Hosting Offers:

15GB Shared Hosting

  • 15GB SSD Storage
  • 500GB Monthly Bandwidth
  • Host 3 Domains
  • Unlimited Email Accounts
  • Free SSL Certificates
  • cPanel Control Panel
  • Softaculous One Click Installs
  • Free Website Migration
  • New York Datacenter
  • $3.79/yr
  • [ORDER]

50GB Shared Hosting

  • 50GB SSD Storage
  • 2500GB Monthly Bandwidth
  • Host 10 Domains
  • Unlimited Email Accounts
  • Free SSL Certificates
  • cPanel Control Panel
  • Softaculous One Click Installs
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300GB Shared Hosting

  • 300GB SSD Storage
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More deals after the break.

Reseller Hosting Offers:

100GB Reseller Account

  • 100GB SSD Storage
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  • Create Unlimited Accounts
  • Unlimited Email Accounts
  • Free SSL Certificates
  • cPanel/WHM Control Panel
  • Softaculous One Click Installs
  • Free Website Migration
  • New York Datacenter
  • $14/yr
  • [ORDER]

200GB Reseller Account

  • 200GB SSD Storage
  • 5000GB Monthly Bandwidth
  • Shared IP Address
  • Create Unlimited Accounts
  • Unlimited Email Accounts
  • Free SSL Certificates
  • cPanel/WHM Control Panel
  • Softaculous One Click Installs
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  • New York Datacenter
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  • [ORDER]

400GB Reseller Account

  • 400GB SSD Storage
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VPS Hosting Offers:

1GB SSD VPS

  • 1 CPU Core
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  • 30GB SSD
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3GB SSD VPS

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  • 4 CPU Cores
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NETWORK INFO:

Los Angeles (California), USA – LA Telecom Center
Test IPv4: 107.175.180.6
Test file: //107.175.180.6/100MB.test

New York (Buffalo), USA – ColoCrossing
Test IPv4: 192.3.180.103
Test file: //192.3.180.103/100MB.test


Minimum Host Node Specifications:
– Intel Xeon E3-1240v2
– 32GB DDR3 RAM
– 4x 2TB Samsung 860 PRO SSD’s
– Hardware RAID thru LSI 9271-4i
– 1Gbps Network Uplink

Please let us know if you have any questions/comments and enjoy!

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Linode Community Update – November 2018

At Linode, we consider our user community to be one of our greatest assets. If you’ve been following our journey since the launch of the Linode Community Site, you’ve probably seen and felt the ways in which our user community is growing. We want to take some time to talk about some of the great things that have come since, and recognize your contributions to its value and success.

To start, since launch, we have over 18,000 established user profiles on the Community Site, which includes over 15,000 user profiles that we migrated from the phpBB community forum. As we mentioned in our initial blog post, we migrated 15 years of forum history to the Community Site, which included over 10,000 posts and over 50,000 responses. Since then, we’ve seen thousands more questions and answers posted by users like yourself, having conversations on topics ranging from general Linode-related questions to more specific questions about Linux and related applications.

We also want to mention some of the newer features that we’ve added to the Community Site since it launched.

In March, we improved the Markdown functionality, which allows users to better format questions and answers. In April, we added new sorting options, and in May we improved further, allowing users to find unanswered questions and be the first to share their own knowledge on the wide range of topics being discussed. Linode Staff can now pin topics, making recent, more relevant discussions easily discoverable. In June, we added the ability for users to @mention others, similar to what you’d find in popular chat applications and social networks. Users that are mentioned will receive a notification within the new Linode Cloud Manager, and from there, they will be able to jump right into the conversation. Most recently, in September, we added the ability for users to share a little love in the form of “likes” for questions and answers posted by others. We’ve also included the Community Site as a resource in the “Get Help” page of the new Linode Cloud Manager.

We’ve come a long way since launch and we have even bigger plans for the Community Site that we’ll be revealing in the coming months. In the short term, look for changes to the search functionality, which we’re looking to enhance using predictive search. We’re also planning to integrate Community Site search within the “Get Help” page of the new Linode Cloud Manager, as well as likes and email notifications to keep you in the loop with conversations that are important to you.

Our foundation here at Linode has been built in large part by your conversations with us, your enthusiasm for being a part of our journey and your insight into ways we can do better. This Community Site is our way to give back and help you grow too. We hope this resource will be a place for you to ask questions, find answers, and exchange ideas and information with other users like yourself. We’re really excited about the progress we’ve made so far, and we want to thank you for being a big part of that.

So, thank you!

As always, we welcome your feedback about how we can improve the Community Site and our platform further.

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3 Ways to Debug Tech’s Diversity Gap in 2019

Coding is struggling with a bit of an image problem. That image? Straight, white, male.

In 2018, women filled only 25 percent of all computing-related occupations — which is about the same percentage that we saw in the 1960s. For African-American and Hispanic populations, the representation in these fields is far below the national distribution.

And at the intersection of race and gender, the state of women in tech is even bleaker: 65 percent of women in computing occupations are white, 19 percent are Asian/Pacific Islander, only 7 percent are African-American, and 7 percent are Latina.

In 2019, computer programmers are no longer high-school geeks, but meritocratic winners who wield considerable power in society. Engineers at Facebook — or more precisely, the algorithms they program — decide what news we see and what ads we get served. (If you think that ads aren’t linked to economic opportunity, think again.)

Many formerly analog tasks — hailing a taxi, dimming the lights — now rely on code that only programmers can hope to understand fully. If women and minorities are left out of coding jobs now, that omission could have ramifications on the structure of our society for years to come.

It’s clear by now that social and environmental forces contribute to the differences in earning potential for women and minorities, and that these forces also hold the same people back from careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). What needs to be done? Let’s take a look at how to debug the diversity gap.

1. Offer More Computer Science Classes in Public Schools

Early exposure to skills is crucial for securing a job in one of the best-paid and fastest-growing industries around. Yet only 35 percent of high schools nationwide are currently teaching computer science classes. Some schools in the U.S. are exposing young people to the basics of programming, which serves to improve their familiarity and comfort with these subjects. But to open the doors of the tech meritocracy to the underprivileged, coding needs to be taught in public schools, as early as possible — even in elementary school.

There are a lot of barriers to this.

Because the public education system in the U.S. depends heavily on local control, it’s impossible to design and implement sweeping changes to curricula in one fell swoop. National standards like Common Core and testing-focused federal programs like No Child Left Behind often leave little room for enrichment classes or electives.

In some cases, nonprofits and businesses are stepping in to fill the gap; for instance, this year Google pledged $25 million to support programs that help black and Latino students have access to computer science education. But a charity initiative here or there isn’t likely to create broad-based change.

It also won’t be enough for schools just to offer coding classes: the coding gap will only close with specific outreach to marginalized groups. There is substantial data to suggest that a learned lack of confidence can discourage minority groups from choosing certain subjects in school. And one 2016 study found that boys and girls begin school achieving in math at similar rates, with a gender gap appearing as early as third grade — this is significant, as previous research suggests that early achievement in math predicts interest and confidence in the subject in middle and high school.

Even more concerning, the study indicated that elementary school teachers perceive girls with nearly identical math scores (and classroom behavior) to be less proficient in math than boys.

This unconscious bias contributes to female students lacking confidence and performing worse in future math classes.  Unless teachers work to recruit girls and minorities to coding classes, and to overcome their own perceptions that girls aren’t as good at math, such biases will continue to keep their numbers in the tech industry low.

2. Expand the Scope of Nonprofits

We’ve certainly been entering the Era of the Nonprofit for the past few years, and nonprofits that aim to teach coding to women and people of color abound. (A few examples: #YesWeCode. Girls Who Code. Black Girls Code.)

Lack of access to training isn’t the only issues these groups face. In the case of underprivileged youth, for instance, a major challenge is the limited access some of these students have to computers.

But the challenges extend beyond the physical, especially when it comes to connecting students with jobs that utilize their training. Limitations experienced in this realm — such as the absence of a professional network or an unfriendly corporate culture — can prevent any would-be software engineer or developer from thriving. Successful nonprofit coding programs will be those that succeed in the final stretch: job placement, hiring, and support during the transition.

3. Retain Diverse Talent

It’s not just a lack of candidates in the pipeline that’s keeping representation low; it’s also a lack of retention. Support needs to continue after coders become established in their careers. At 10 to 20 years into their tech careers,  56 percent of women leave the field, at a quit-rate double that of men.

Why are they leaving? One small study found that the most common reasons women leave tech jobs are a lack of opportunity for career growth, poor management, and the gender pay gap. Older research cites poor workplaces including few opportunities for development and training, little support for outside-of-work responsibilities, and undermining bosses.

A 2019 study published in Nature found that nearly half of women in science leave after having their first child, compared to 23 percent of men. Clearly, something needs to be done to better support parents in STEM fields, and working mothers in particular.

There are a number of ways to support and retain female and minority coders, starting with simply calling out their accomplishments and good ideas. Nonprofits that encourage professional networking, like Women Who Code, can certainly help women find their tribe in the industry, but in the end, it will be up to tech companies themselves to enact policies to retain female talent.

The Reality of the Diversity Gap

The tech industry is booming, which, in theory, should mean more demand for programming labor. But with barriers to intercontinental communication quickly vanishing, more and more programming and web-design jobs based in the U.S. are being outsourced to lower-paid workers in other countries. In fact, computer programming jobs are projected to decrease by 7 percent next year in the U.S., even as the computer technology industry is expected to grow by 13 percent over the next 10 years.

Whether computer programming serves to be an equalizer or perpetuator of inequality in the U.S. may depend on how fast minority groups can participate and get a “piece of the pie,” so to speak, before the available opportunities shrink.

The bad news is that it’s looking like underrepresented people groups will still have to try twice as hard for a shot at the same jobs, which is truly unfair.

The good news is that people are certainly ever more aware that the diversity gap in tech is a real problem. Ultimately, the U.S. education system will adapt, nonprofits will grow, and more female and minority students will find — and stay in — careers in computing-related tasks.

After all, diverse teams are the only way companies will keep up with the changing demands of a world where computers are not going away.

The post 3 Ways to Debug Tech’s Diversity Gap in 2019 appeared first on Welcome to the Official DreamHost Blog.

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What is FRINGE star Michael Cerveris’ ideal vacation?

Rick Yaeger: Hello everyone. It’s Rick Yaeger here with “One Question Interviews,” the show where I get to golden opportunity to talk to a celebrity, and then I waste on some totally random question. Sitting across the Internet from me this day is a two-time Tony Award winner, who TV audiences may recognize as September, […]

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What was the first record Daredevil’s Vondie Curtis-Hall bought with his own money?

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The Priority of Constituencies

Lawrence Lessig wrote in Code is Law that the choices we make in writing code embody our values.  This observation is especially true when building a browser because the browser mediates interactions between many distinct entities.  Because the browser's security policy is at the heart of mediating those interactions, we should ask ourselves what values the browser's security policy embodies.

One key value is the priority of constituencies, which is enshrined in the HTML Design Principles:

In case of conflict, consider users over authors over implementors over specifiers over theoretical purity.
To better understand this principle, let's consider a specific example: whether the browser's password manager should be enabled for a given web site.

The password manager is a source of conflict for these competing interests.  Implementors (myself included) believe that password managers improve security by reducing the costs of using a large number of more complex passwords.  Many banks, however, disagree.  They believe that password managers reduce security because passwords stored in password managers can be stolen by miscreants.

How do browser vendors resolve this conflict?  By default, we enable the password manager.  Because users have a higher priority than implementors (i.e., browser vendors), browsers let users turn the password manager off.  Because authors (i.e., site operators) also have a higher priority than browser vendors, browsers let authors disable the password manager on their own web sites by setting autocomplete=off.

The careful reader will have noticed that the scheme above violates the priority of constituencies in one case.  What if the user wants to use the password manager on a web site sets autocomplete=off?  Because users have a higher priority than authors, the browser should resolve this conflict in favor of the user.  Typically, browsers handle this case via their extension system.  For example, the autocomplete=on extension lets users override authors who want to disable the password manager.

How, then, should we respond to web site operators who wish to block or override these sorts of extensions?  As long as we believe that these extensions faithfully enact the user's will, we're hard-pressed to let authors block these extensions because that would violate the priority of constituencies.  Instead, we ask authors to be humble and accept the user as sovereign.

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Linux Blackhole Tutorial – Adding and Removing A Null Route

In the world of systems administration, having the commands to add or remove a blackhole / nullroute a host or problematic IP address can be very useful. So in this simple, yet useful tutorial, we’ll cover how to exactly go about doing this on nearly any type of Linux OS!

How to add a blackhole nullroute:

For this example, let’s assume that we are receiving unwanted SSH login attempts from 192.168.0.195 .

root@server:~# netstat -na | grep :22
tcp 0 0 0.0.0.0:22 0.0.0.0:* LISTEN
tcp 0 0 192.168.0.197:22 192.168.0.195:57776 ESTABLISHED

To add the blackhole for 192.168.0.195:

root@server:~# ip route add blackhole 192.168.0.195/32

To verify the route is in place will will use “ip route show “:

root@server:~# ip route show
default via 192.168.0.1 dev eth0 metric 100
blackhole 192.168.0.195

Subsequently, connections to and from that IP will fail:

root@attacker:~$ ssh 192.168.0.2
ssh: connect to host 192.168.0.2 port 22: No route to host

Removing a blackhole:

Typically, blackholes are useful when your server is under attack. After the attack has subsided, or you wish to remove the blackhole you can do so as follows:

root@server:~# ip route del 192.168.0.195
root@server:~# ip route show
default via 192.168.0.1 dev eth0 metric 100

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