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How Google plans to solve the Android update situation
The latest episode of the Android Developers Backstage [1] contains lots of interesting info about Project Treble. To summarize a few highlights (you might also want to head over to my linked article! - at least if you can read german):
# This is really just a first step. The long term plan is to modularize Android further and further to provide OEMs ways to modify Android to their liking without making huge, invasive changes. Basically continually reducing the (relevant) delta between AOSP and OEM Android versions.
# Treble shifts the Android update situation closer to the PC model. Thanks to stable interfaces Google is now focused on working with the chipset vendors to provide universal drivers for their chips - that should work with all devices that are using them. This should reduce complexity in the update process considerably (and hopefully bring more significant updates to drivers during their lifetime)
# All those interfaces between vendor parts and Android Framework are versioned and can tell you about the capabilities of a certain device.
# Google had to do a lot of reshuffling to make Android more flexible. After all they now have to make sure that new Android releases work with all the older vendor parts.
# Having all the communication between vendor parts and Android Framework being handled by Binder is great for security (because of isolation), not so much for performance (because of the overhead it generates). So they also had to shuffle stuff around to make that impact minimal.
# There was a last-minute change in Android 8 for the Pixel devices to prevent a significant performance regression (at least in all the micro-benchmarks) caused by Treble.
# Talks about treble started in May 2015, development took most of the second half of 2016 until now, more than 300 developers worked on it.
[1] http://androidbackstage.blogspot.co.at/2017/08/episode-75-project-treble-for-hal-of-it.html

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NASA's ambitious plan to save Earth from a supervolcano | BBC News
With an supervolcano eruption brewing, it may be the only way to prevent the extinction of the human race...
August 17, 2017: Lying beneath the tranquil settings of Yellowstone National Park in the U.S. lies an enormous magma chamber. It’s responsible for the geysers and hot springs that define the area, but for scientists at Nasa, it’s also one of the greatest natural threats to human civilisation as we know it: a potential supervolcano.

Following an article we published about supervolcanoes last month, a group of Nasa researchers got in touch to share a report previously unseen outside the space agency about the threat—and what could be done about it.

“I was a member of the NASA Advisory Council on Planetary Defense which studied ways for NASA to defend the planet from asteroids and comets,” explains Brian Wilcox of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at the California Institute of Technology. “I came to the conclusion during that study that the supervolcano threat is substantially greater than the asteroid or comet threat.”

"There are around 20 known supervolcanoes on Earth, with major eruptions occurring on average once every 100,000 years...."

Click on article link below to read more...
http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170817-nasas-ambitious-plan-to-save-earth-from-a-supervolcano

Credit: +BBC News
Release Date: August 17, 2017

+NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
+NASA Earth Observatory
+NASA Solar System Exploration
+American Geophysical Union (AGU)
+USGS News: Everything We've Got
+USGS News: Natural Hazards

#NASA #Earth #Science #Geology #Geoscience #Supervolcano #Volcano #Planet #Defense #JPL #Pasadena #California #Yellowstone #NationalPark #UnitedStates #STEM #Education

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With the rise of cloud services, more of us are now encountering Linux at work. People know it’s great for developers and does a good job of keeping the internet up and running, but why would anyone want to use Linux at home?
At best, mentioning you run Linux might make people think you’re a hacker. More than likely, they might think you’re a bit weird.
At least that’s how it is in the much of the U.S., where Windows is king and macOS is the only other option most people know exist.
But Linux is a great desktop operating system, and I don’t mean only for power users. I would give my parents a PC running Linux with much more peace of mind than one running Windows. One I know they can figure out without breaking anything or getting into trouble. The other? Not so much.
If you know how to use a smartphone or tablet, then you can use Linux. Here are a few reasons why.

1. What You Need Is in an App Store
On a mobile device, you get all of your software from an app store. The same is true on Linux. You may be surprised to know that Linux operating system have been distributing software this way long before smartphones even hit the scene! Though, back in those days, you would find apps in something that looked like this.
On Linux, software is distributed in bundles called packages. Package managers like the ones pictured above were how you downloaded what you wanted. They required you to know the exact name of a package, which didn’t always match the name of the application itself.
Newer package managers look more like app stores. You can browse or search for apps by name, look at screenshots, and view ratings or reviews. Some highlight useful apps on the home page, so you don’t need to already know what software is good.
You no longer need to select check boxes, mark packages for installation, and tell the manager to apply changes. Now you tap the giant install button and enter your password. Done.

2. The Basics Are Covered
Need to write a paper for school? LibreOffice is reason not to pay for an office suite whether you’re a Linux user or not. There are plenty of apps for managing photos and listening to music. You can continue to use VLC for watching video. Plus Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome are as easy to use on Linux as they are on Windows and macOS.
Are you a gamer? Linux doesn’t have the library Windows has, but between GOG, Steam, and Humble Bundle, there is now plenty to play. This doesn’t even consider the free and open source games waiting in your app store, or all the old classic DOS games you can fire up too.
Linux is great for a home office. Simple Scan is the easiest way to scan documents from a printer I’ve ever seen. Apps like Skrooge and GnuCash are great for managing your finances. In addition to LibreOffice, there’s the Calligra Suite and a spattering of other office-related apps. Creatives have image editors and video editors to help them get their content out.
Linux won’t have most of the commercial apps you’re familiar with, but there are alternatives to most everything.
Someone who is already dependent on a Windows-only piece of software may not be able to switch. If you already know a particular OS inside and out, then Linux may be harder for you than it would an absolute newcomer. Because now, Linux is a great way to fall in love with a computer.

3. Updates Are Free and Easy
Updates aren’t a pleasant part of the Windows experience. Sometimes we don’t know what they do. Sometimes the updates kick in at the worst possible time, and you have no choice but to wait. Staying updated is considered a good security practice, yet Windows 10 still has users resisting the update button. And that isn’t even considering the massive expense that used to be upgrading from one version of Windows to another.
Linux users have a different relationship with updates. They’re easy to install, with update managers often providing a description of what’s changing.
Even when you’re only told which apps are receiving updates, you still have control over when to download them. These changes are always free, even when switching from one version of an operating system to the next.
Yes, sometimes updates introduce problems. You can never be 100 percent sure that no users will experience bugs.
In that situation, a non-technical user will still need help undoing the changes, but they can at least be sure they won’t have to spend money if they need to reinstall the entire OS. Fortunately, it’s rare that something that serious arises, with frustrations like these most likely to occur when upgrading between major versions of Linux.

4. The Interfaces Are Simple
People recognize Windows. Its biggest strength isn’t that it’s easy or intuitive, it’s that it’s familiar. Even if it isn’t recognizable to you, it’s familiar to someone you know.
For newcomers to Windows 10, there’s a lot going on. The start menu is loaded with options. So is the file manager. This is immediately apparent when you compare Windows to a Chromebook.
Unlike Windows and Chrome OS, most distributions of Linux aren’t limited to any one interface. There are many to choose from, and a number of the more modern options offer the simplicity of a Chromebook but the power of a full-featured PC.
And don’t worry, you don’t have to worry about knowing which interface to choose. Chances are that your Linux operating system will come with a relatively simple interface like GNOME.
Even if that’s too complicated, just wait until you see Elementary OS.

5. Linux Now Comes Pre-Installed
Most people don’t install operating systems. Say all you want about the marketing dollars that go into Windows and macOS, but neither has that much of an effect on this simple fact — the operating system that comes on their computer is the one people are likely to keep.
Things are starting to change. You can now buy a PC with Linux pre-installed. You won’t find them in big box stores, but you were probably going to buy your next computer online anyway, right?
ZaReason will sell you a desktop or laptop with a Linux operating system of your choice installed. So does Think Penguin.
Meanwhile, System76 is even going so far as to sell laptops with its own customized Linux distribution. All you have to do is take the laptop out of the box and start using Linux.

Is Linux Perfect for Everyone?
No, but neither is any other operating system. As good as Linux is, there are certain apps that are only for Windows or macOS. There are ways to get some of them to run under Linux using Wine, but that’s often less than ideal.
Still, this same problem exists when considering a Chromebook or buying an Android tablet instead of a PC.
All I’m saying is that Linux has reached a point where you can add it to the list of considerations. It’s no longer just for developers and hackers. Linux has evolved into a pretty great place to be a newbie too.

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The human brain has a region of cells responsible for linking sensory cues to actions and behaviors and cataloging the link as a memory. Cells that form these links have been deemed highly stable and fixed.
Now, the findings of a Harvard Medical School study challenge that model, revealing that the neurons responsible for such tasks may be less stable, yet more flexible than previously believed.
The results, published Aug. 17 in the journal Cell, cast doubt on the traditional notion that memory formation involves hardwiring information into the brain in a fixed and highly stable pattern.
The researchers say their results point to a critical plasticity in neuronal networks that ensures easier integration of new information. Such plasticity, the researchers said, allows neuronal networks to more easily incorporate new learning, eliminating the need to form new links to separate neurons every time. Furthermore, they said, once a memory is no longer needed, neurons can be more easily reassigned to other important tasks.
Our experiments point to far less stability in neurons that link sensory cues to action than we would have expected and suggest the presence of much more flexibility, and indeed a sort of neuronal efficiency said study senior author Chris Harvey an assistant professor of neurobiology at Harvard Medical School. We believe this trade-off ensures the delicate balance between the ability to incorporate new information while preserving old memories.
The Harvard Medical School study involved experiments with mice repeatedly running through a virtual maze over the course of a month.
Analyzing images of brain activity in a brain region involved in navigational decision making, the researchers noted that neurons did not stabilize into a pattern.
Instead, the set of neurons forming the mice’s maze-running memories kept changing for the duration of the study.
In fact, neurons kept switching roles in the memory pattern or left it altogether, only to be replaced by other neurons.
Individual neurons tended to have streaks where they’d do the same thing for a few days, then switch Harvey said. Over the course of weeks, we began to see shifts in the overall pattern of neurons.

The experiments are part of the research team’s ongoing efforts to unravel the mysteries of memory formation and, specifically, how the brain captures external cues and behaviors to perform recurring tasks such as navigating a space using landmarks. Imagine a person driving a familiar route to the grocery store who sees the bank and turns right at that corner without even having to think about it consciously.
To mimic that process, mice in the study were trained to run down a virtual passage, a computer-generated maze displayed on large screens in front of a treadmill, and turn right if they were given a black cue or left if they were given a white cue.
Researchers imaged hundreds of neurons in the part of the brain responsible for spatial decision making as the mice were galloping down the virtual maze.
Once the navigational links were firmly established in the mice’s brains over the course of a few weeks, the researchers expected the activity of the neurons to look the same from day to day. During maze runs that occurred within 24 hours of each other that was, indeed, the case.
Neurons that activated in response to the white cue could be distinguished from neurons that activated in response to the black cue.
However, over the course of several weeks the line between cues in individual neurons blurred and the memory pattern began to drift across neurons, the researchers observed.
A neuron that had been associated with the black cue would lose its specialization and be replaced by another, or it might even become associated with the opposite white cue. This came as a surprise to the researchers.

We were so sure that the neurons would be doing the same thing every day that we designed the study expecting to use the stable pattern as a baseline said study first author Laura Driscoll a graduate student in the neurobiology department. After we realized the neurons were changing roles, we had to rethink parts of the study.
The researchers tested how the pattern changed when they added shapes as a third cue while the mice were navigating the maze. After some reassignment of individual neurons as the mice learned the new cue, the researchers found very little change to the overall activity pattern.
This finding supports the idea that networks of neurons storing memories stay flexible in order to incorporate new learning, the researchers say.
The researchers hypothesize that neuronal stability may differ across various brain regions, likely depending on how often the skill or memory they encode needs to be modified. For a task like navigation, which frequently requires the brain to incorporate new information, it would make sense that the neurons remain flexible, Harvey said. However, more instinctual physical responses, such as blinking, may be hardwired with little neuronal drift over time.
The results provide a fascinating early glimpse into the complexities of memory formation, Driscoll said. To elucidate the big picture of memory formation and storage across brain regions, researchers say they hope to study other areas of the brain involved with different types of decision-making and memories.
I hope this research inspires people to think of memory as something that is not static Harvey said. Memories are active and integrally connected to the process of learning.

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Gigi Hadid Does Her Own Makeup Tutorial

It was such a lovely experience watching Gigi creating a beauty look herself, we hope, with all our heart that she takes her beauty Vlogger career ahead and delights us with some more tips and tricks.

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with entries to the A' design award & competition 2017-2018 now open, we highlight 20 top winners from previous editions of the award, encompassing multiple disciplines and designers.

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Solar eclipse will reveal the roiling fog of plasma we call home

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Pos Malaysia Bhd’s net profit for the first quarter ended June 30 rose by 19.1% year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM37.9mil on the back of revenue jumping 47.1% y-o-y to RM611.6mil.

The company said the boost was due to the inclusion of the newly acquired logistics business and the strong growth seen in its courier business.

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A dash of advice regarding remodeling that can increase property value:
http://www.handymantips.org/remodeling-property-value/

If you have lived in your home for an extended period of time, it is likely that your house could use an update or a remodel.

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Could Kevin King end up being the Alex Smith of the Packers? Killed me to see them not get Watt.

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"Southpaw Regional Wrestling" will return to the WWE website and YouTube on Friday morning at 10am EST.

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PhotoPhotoPhoto
18/08/2017
3 Photos - View album
Morning all...

Well, having got a little breakfast inside me, and apart from a break around lunchtime for an errand I need to run, I intend to devote the rest of the day to watching the first 8 episodes of The Defenders - the new Netflix series, featuring DareDevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones & Iron Fist and many of the peripheral characters from each of their four respective series; (also later on: The Punisher if the trailers are anything to go by, is also featured, though this might be just a guest appearance to promote his own series - coming soon.)

This promises to be one of the better Marvel spin-off TV series, on a par with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. with seriously complex plot lines and a vein of humour throughout.

I'll see you all when I come up for air around lunchtime; meanwhile, anyone who fancies this and hasn't had chance to see each of the individual series yet, it might be a good idea to start watching them now for a little background.

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Shakur Stevenson “I Am Prepared For A Six Round Massacre”

VIDEO: http://www.boxingchannel.tv/shakur-stevenson-prepared-massacre/

#boxing #boxeo #CrawfordIndongo

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.@PaulMalignaggi reveals ‘dirty’ habits from sparring that could affect the outcome of #Mayweather vs #McGregor
#UFC
http://bit.ly/2iakE2V

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Google has updated its Android app and Google Now cards, introducing some small, but significant changes — not all of which are going down well with fans. #News #Google #GoogleApp

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Cosmonauts Prep for Spacewalk | International Space Station
Expedition 52 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin (left) and Flight Engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy (right), of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, have completed a seven hour and 34 minute spacewalk. They re-entered the airlock at 6:10 p.m. EDT.

The two spacewalkers exited the Pirs Docking Compartment Station at 10:36 a.m. EDT. Among their accomplishments was manual deployment of five nanosatellites from a ladder outside the airlock.

One of the satellites, with casings made using 3D printing technology, will test the effect of the low-Earth-orbit environment on the composition of 3D printed materials. Another satellite contains recorded greetings to the people of Earth in 11 languages. A third satellite commemorates the 60th anniversary of the Sputnik 1 launch and the 160th anniversary of the birth of Russian scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky.

They also collected residue samples from various locations outside the Russian segment of the station.

Credit: Roscosmos/JSC
Release Date: August 17, 2017

+NASA Earth Observatory
+European Space Agency, ESA
+NASA Johnson Space Center

#NASA #ISS #Earth #Science #Spacewalk #EVA #Cosmonaut #Commander #FyodorYurchikhin #FlightEngineer #SergeyRyazanskiy #космонавт #Роскосмос #Roscosmos #Russia #Россия #Human #Spaceflight #Expedition52 #UnitedStates #JSC #STEM #Education

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*"The Night Aglow, Lake Wakatipu"

Lake Wakatipu's calm water glows under the light of the Milky Way and of the distant Aurora Australis...

I took this image on holiday in Queenstown a few months ago but have only processed it this week. I'm glad I took my time; I think this one will make a superb large print :)

Jonathan

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Tetons and Milky Way

The Milky Way shines in the night sky over the Snake River, fog and the Tetons. Wyoming has some incredible locations to see and photograph. On a dark night I set up to get the Milky Way over Grand Teton. I was able to make a few images like this but within the hour, the whole valley was filled with fog.

Sony A7R with Samyang 24mm lens

#wildernessphotographer #wyoming #tetons #grandteton #nationalpark #landscape #landscapephotography #astrophotography #nightscape #sonya7r #samyang

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Kedumba Tributary, Blue Mountains

In driving rain, the Kedumba Creek splits and overflows into many small streams. The Katoomba Falls becomes a raging torrent and smaller waterfalls appear along the escarpment. In dry times, the paths cut by these streams may be mistaken as walking trails with dangerous results.

A panorama toned for structure and output sharpened.

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Dramatic daisy

My flowers in colors https://www.paolodalprato.com/macro-a-colori

#macrophotography #hqspmacro #hqspflowers #fotomaniaitalia #daisy #macroaddict #ilovephotography 

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faded © Holger Nimtz
https://www.holge.de

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Elegant dispersal

Bloody crane's-bill (Geranium sanguineum)

Svartskog, Norway

Taking the time to observe the development of the seeds of the many plant species is perhaps not remotely as interesting as watching the colorful blossoms of summer. Yet many know and love the seeds of the dandelions, and you definitely have some other plant species in your garden, then it is easy to just take a regular glance at one or more flowers and see how each slowly transforms to a fruit. And what kind of fruit it develops can be truly amazing and sometimes requires a magnifying glass. Or a macro lens.

This species got its name from the long beak-shaped fruit, and looks really amazing long before the seeds are ripe and ready to be transported as far from the plant as possible. Some species rely on attaching their seeds to fur or feathers, others to be carried by the wind, and some simply eject the seeds into the air.

Although I have plenty of this species growing around my house, I rarely find such beautiful specimens like this one. I still am looking for one where all four are ejected, but this one will most definitely do in the meantime.

Image Copyright © 2017 +Morten Ross
Image Capture Date: 13 August 2017 19:09
Altitude: 10 meters

#flowers #plant #summer #svartskog #norway

#hqspflowers +HQSP Flowers
#BTPFlowerPro+BTP Flower Pro , owned by +Nancy Dempsey , curated by +Иванка Гущерова
#flowerpower +FLOWER POWER

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Open thread for night owls: Trump has plenty of power to wreck the final version of climate report

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The Massive Stars in Westerlund 1.
Image Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA
Explanation: Star cluster Westerlund 1 is home to some of the largest and most massive stars known. It is headlined by the star Westerlund 1-26, a red supergiant star so big that if placed in the center of our Solar System, it would extend out past the orbit of Jupiter. Additionally, the young star cluster is home to 3 other red supergiants, 6 yellow hypergiant stars, 24 Wolf-Rayet stars, and several even-more unusual stars that continue to be studied. Westerlund 1 is relatively close-by for a star cluster at a distance of 15,000 light years, giving astronomers a good laboratory to study the development of massive stars. The featured image of Westerlund 1 was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope toward the southern constellation of the Altar (Ara). Although presently classified as a "super" open cluster, Westerlund 1 may evolve into a low mass globular cluster over the next billion years.
Original link: https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap170620.html
===
#NASA #напозитиве #УлыбкаКотаШрёдингера

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#NASCAR Brad Keselowski Racing to shut down at the conclusion of 2017 season https://www.motorsport.com/nascar-truck/news/nascar-brad-keselowski-racing-shutting-down-942188/ via @motorsport

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Red Supergiant Star Antares: Unknown Force Pulling Parts of the Star's Surface into Space

Classified as a red supergiant of spectral type M1.5Iab, Antares is one of the largest known stars. It is the brightest, most massive, and most evolved stellar member of the nearest OB association (the Scorpius–Centaurus Association).

Antares (/ænˈtɑːriːz/), also designated Alpha Scorpii (α Scorpii, abbreviated Alpha Sco, α Sco), is on average the fifteenth-brightest star in the night sky, and the brightest star in the constellation of Scorpius.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antares

A trio of researchers with Universidad Catolica del Norte and the Max-Planck-Institut fur Radioastronomie has found evidence that suggests that convection alone cannot account for the amount of material that is pulled from the surface of a red supergiant.

In their paper published in the journal Nature, K. Ohnaka, G. Weigelt and K.-H. Hofmann describe their study of the supergiant Antares, what they found and why they now believe there is an unknown force pulling some parts of the star's surface into space.

The red supergiant Antares is familiar to stargazers as the heart of the scorpion in the Scorpius constellation. It is thought to be between 15 and 18 times as massive as the Sun, and have around 883 times its radius. Hence, if placed in the center of the Solar System, its outer surface would lie between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter—it is also at the end stages of its existence.

Prior research has also shown that red giants have atmospheres that extend far from their surface—Antares, for example, has some regions that would extend all the way to Mars if it were in our solar system.

The prevailing theory explaining such far-reaching regions has been convection cells carrying the material away from the star. But now, that theory might have to be changed as the researchers with this new effort have found evidence that suggests convection alone could not lift as much material from Antares as they have measured.

Phys.org
Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-08-closer-red-supergiant-antares-convection.html#jCp

Clips, images credit: ESO, ESA/HUBBLE, NASA & Sakurambo at English WikipediaRed Supergiant Antares: Unknown Force Pulling Parts of the Star's Surface into Space

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Apple’s ‘cop button’ won’t keep your iPhone safe from the police http://tnw.me/gYzv2fq

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Is Justin Bieber's New Song 'Friends' about Selena Gomez? Here's what we Dug Up! #celebs #celebrities #entertainment #music

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3 tools — RabbitVCS-git, Dolphin, and SparkleShare — to help you easily integrate Git into your Linux desktop:

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Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he fears the nation will be in peril unless Trump makes radical changes at the White House.

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A writer who has known Donald Trump for three decades believes the US president will resign from office before the end of the year.

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FINAL: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers win! #TBvsJAX

#Sports #NFL

(Credit: NFL)

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People close to Steve Bannon tell NBC News he feels on safe ground amid White House infighting stemming from President Donald Trump’s divisive response to the violence in Charlottesville.

Bannon, who has rarely given on-the-record interviews since assuming his position as Trump’s chief White House strategist, reached out to speak with three news outlets in the past 48 hours, using those conversations to criticize colleagues, threaten to fire others and appearing to relish the ongoing national racial tensions.

His comments signal that Bannon, the former head of Breitbart News, is digging in for the long haul amid the turmoil and turnover that has roiled Trump’s cohort of top advisers in recent weeks.

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Planet Nomads has a huge update named "Awakening" adding more animals, crash sites and more http://bit.ly/2vJ4fav #Linux

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Obonu TV Homowo Health Walk On Saturday - The 2017 Obonu TV Homowo Health Walk comes off on Saturday August 18, 2017. According to the organisers, the programme starts at 6:00am from James Town (Manste Agbona), where selected Keep Fit Clubs will converge and march through the principal streets to the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation at Kanda. Theo Armah, Sports Producer and Presenter on Obonu TV and Radio said the programme ...

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James Murdoch Says There Are ‘No Good Nazis,’ Pledges $1 Million to Anti-Defamation League http://nym.ag/2iaOXq0
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