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Michael Gebetsroither
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This is my final post here on google plus.

gebi@pluspora.com is where you can find me in the future.

Thx for all the awesome discussions over the years, it was a lot of fun while it lasted!
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Best explanation I've seen of the Mueller investigation.

Heather Cox Richardson is an historian. Her below post readily explains what is going on in the Mueller investigation and the serious, international implications that triggered it.

Heather Cox Richardson
December 27 at 5:20 PM ·
"Over the holiday, someone asked me to explain what is happening with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Russian government's attempt to interfere in the 2016 election. Perfect timing, because I stumbled across something a few weeks ago that frames the whole investigation nicely.

In 2011, when Mueller was FBI Director, he gave a speech in New York. He explained that globalization and modern technology had changed the nature of organized crime. Rather than being regional networks with a clear structure, he said, organized crime had become international, fluid, sophisticated, and had stakes in the multi-billion dollar range. Its operators were cross-pollinating across countries, religions, and political affiliations, sharing only their greed. They did not care about ideology; they cared about money. They would do anything for a price.

These criminal enterprises, he noted, were working to corner the market on oil, gas, and precious metals. And to do so, Mueller explained, they "may infiltrate our businesses. They may provide logistical support to hostile foreign powers. They may try to manipulate those at the highest levels of government. Indeed, these so-called 'iron triangles' of organized criminals, corrupt government officials, and business leaders pose a significant national security threat."

To combat that threat, Mueller said, the FBI had shifted focus "from a law-enforcement agency to a national security service that is threat-driven and intelligence-led."

It appears that various members of the 2016 GOP campaign were part of such an iron triangle.

Donald Trump had sought Russian business since 1996, but his financial connections with Russians really took off in 2008, when wealthy Russians poured money into Trump's US properties at a time when few others were interested in working with Trump. In September 2008, Don Jr. told a reporter: "Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets.... We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia." Trump pursued the idea of a Trump Tower in Moscow, and in 2013, took the Miss Universe pageant there.

Then, in 2014, in response to Russian efforts to destabilize and absorb Ukraine, the US put sanctions on a number of Russian oligarchs close to Vladimir Putin, freezing their assets and denying them visas. (Interestingly, at the time, GOP congresspeople complained that President Obama did not hit Putin more harshly.)

Now, it appears that Russia offered to help Trump get elected in 2016 in exchange for-- among other things-- an end to sanctions. And a Russian spy, Maria Butina, has recently admitted to infiltrating the NRA, which poured more than $400 million-- an unprecedented sum-- behind GOP candidates in the 2016 election.

It is this iron triangle of business, government, and criminals that Mueller is chasing down. It is taking a huge amount of time as he and his staff look at money laundering, cyber-hacking, blackmail, and what is popularly (but not legally) known as treason. It seems to me that he is aiming not at any one person, but rather at a criminal organization that is attempting to destroy NATO and turn the world over to an international cabal of oligarchs.

Mueller is spreading his evidence out in the court records he is filing, making it almost impossible for the president to stifle his discoveries, and he is spreading out cases amongst different agencies for similar reasons. And he is getting results. As of November, Mueller had indicted 33 people or entities, and 7 of them have pled guilty (5 were aides to Trump). There are also more than 3 dozen sealed indictments at the DC federal court, and it is likely that many, or most, or all, of them are related the Mueller investigation.

Mueller is the man who took down the Gambino crime family when no one else could make anything stick. He is thorough and he is tough. Sadly, I expect his final conclusions are going to be shocking: it seems to me that we will discover that not simply administration officials, but also a number of congresspeople and prominent business leaders are part of that iron triangle of international criminality Mueller warned about back in 2011, when the rest of us were still naive.”

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Request for Clarifications from Google on the Google+ Shutdown

I have developed a backchannel for getting feedback to the Google+ development team and am working with an informal team of volunteers to improve the flow of communications on Google+ shutdown priorities. This is the first public post regarding that process.

Our first priority -- and the focus of this post -- is getting clarification on a number of open issues having to do with the shutdown. Next up will be a focus on specific feature requests to improve Takeout and the resulting exported Google+ data. After that, we will turn to specific bugs that people are experiencing with Google+ Takeout data.

Your Feedback:
The Google Doc document linked to at the bottom of this post outlines a number of open questions for Google on the Google+ shutdown process as well as Google+ Takeout data. Please review it. If, after reading it, you have additional questions that you believe would benefit the broader Google+ community, please feel free to add that in a comment here.

To help us assess priorities, please plus others' comments that you believe are important.

I will be strictly moderating comments to keep the feedback on topic. To help us with this process, please keep your feedback pragmatic and focused on just the most important issues. The Google+ team is no doubt overwhelmed balancing many priorities right now, so we increase the odds of fixing things if we try to stay focused on what matters most. In describing your issue, please be concise and clear with your description (try to use the bullets in the document below as a model format). This will make it easier for us to incorporate your feedback for the Google+ team.

Sharing this post:
If you decide to share this post, (which I encourage you to do to help get the word out) please disable comments on your share and direct people back to this original post for their comments. It's just too much work to monitor and track feedback on lots and lots of different shares of this post. We will also have a few people sharing this post on a handful of communities and monitoring and incorporating comments from there.

Limitations:
To be clear, there is no guarantee that Google will be able to resolve all the issues that this feedback process identifies. With that said, I have reason to believe that the team is listening and that this informal feedback process is a worthwhile expenditure of energy.

It takes a community...
This process has taken, and will continue to take, a bunch of work by me and people like +Julian Bond, +Luc Jallois, +Michael K Johnson, +John Lewis, +Edward Morbius, +Bernhard Suter, and +Filip H.F. Slagter. If you’re interested in helping, please let us know. We are particularly interested in people who have spent time digging into the Takeout data, but could also just use help getting the word out as we gather input from Google+ users.

The Document:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1SgtZFp2qUgHF0T4GG4n_ukJ70wg0lON_HqWbiYR1nns/edit?usp=sharing
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Posted without comment, other than to note that for those who only look at the headline, this is not simply a regurgitation of the recent news stories.

https://medium.com/@jeremy.noring/did-google-cripple-edges-youtube-performance-ce5169d3e5f4
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The Voyager 2 probe no longer feels the solar wind and is flying through the interstellar space between the stars. It carries a working instrument providing first-of-its-kind observations of the nature of this gateway. Mission operators still can communicate with the probe as it enters this new phase of its journey, but information – moving at the speed of light – takes about 16.5 hours to travel from the spacecraft to Earth. Here's a look at this incredible mission by the numbers: https://go.nasa.gov/2GjpeaS #AGU18
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Libcamera successor to V4L2 hopes to ease embedded Linux camera headaches -- At ELC Europe, Linux kernel developer Laurent Pinchart unveiled a follow-on to the V4L2 stack for embedded cameras. The open source "libcamera" eases the burden on userspace developers, offers improved per-frame and 3A controls, and sandboxes proprietary camera code. The V4L2 (Video for Linux 2) API has long offered an open source alternative to proprietary…
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This takes a merchant-focused view on the matter, and I can see why it bothers them. But as a customer, this mostly looks like a good thing. When shopping on Amazon, the most annoying part is to always have to make sure your items are either from just Amazon, or a brand store + Fulfilment by Amazon (eg with Anker). And most definitely not some Marketplace scammer.

If Amazon can get the tire fire that is Marketplace under control, that's good for consumers. Nobody will miss the scammers. And the big brands who think they need "more control" over the shopping experience and don't need Amazon: good luck with that.

Next up, hopefully: a big push for catalog quality, that is, categorization, descriptions, photos. Less Marketplace junk should help with that as well.
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I know, this is already a few days old, but I just got around to read it. And I have to say: I really love such blog entries, wish more product teams at Google and also other companies would do similar technical deep dives.
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Hiding Through a Maze of IoT Devices

How to create the perfect anonymizing botnet by abusing UPnP features — and without any infection



x0rz

Nov 29

Inception Framework

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