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Inside Dev

A thoughtful roundup of news and links for developers

1. Hundreds of Amazon employees penned a letter protesting the company's decision to sell facial recognition software, Rekognition, to law enforcement. In the letter, Amazon workers expressed concern the tech giant is "designing, marketing and selling a system for dangerous mass surveillance" that the ACLU says has a history of showing racial discrimination. "The product we're selling is a flawed technology that reinforces existing bias," Amazon employees write in the letter. "The use of facial recognition will only reproduce and amplify existing systems of oppression." - US NEWS


2. Repl.it -- a leading online compiler, IDE, interpreter, and REPL -- raised $4.5 million from investors Andreessen Horowitz, Marc Andreessen, Andrew Chen, Paul Graham, and others. With these funds, they hope to launch new features that'll help them make Repl.it a primary software development platform where everybody, regardless of how experienced they are, can develop, ship, and acquire users for their apps. The company also revealed that over a million users have used Repl.it in the last month and that its developers have shipped 250,000 websites and apps since they launched their hosting platform in March 2018. - REPL.IT


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1. GitHub suffered a major outage on Sunday, October 21, 2018 and is still undergoing repair. According to the GitHub team, the site was "affected by a network partition and subsequent database failure" and readers can monitor status updates here. In response, the platform paused internal processing systems such as webhook events, but the team reassures users that no data was lost. While GitHub.com was affected by the incident, the self-hosted GitHub Enterprise server was not, so enterprise repositories were unaffected.  - GITHUB


2. Hackers managed to breach HealthCare.gov, thus compromising the data of roughly 75,000 people and shutting down the system linked to the website. Technicians are currently working to repair and restore the hacked system before Americans start signing up for health care coverage on November 1, 2018. Customers affected by the breach will be notified and receive credit protection. The front-facing portal of the public website is working fine, however, and open enrollment will not be affected. - TECH CRUNCH


Want to learn React Native? Join our online, small-group workshop on Dec 4, 2018.

Join Infinite Red, creators of Ignite and Reactotron, on Dec 4, 2018 for React Native Fundamentals, an online, small-group workshop. You’ll get engaging, hands-on training from our experienced engineers-slash-instructors and build your first app in class. Space is limited--book your seat today!


3. Mozilla established an experimental partnership with ProtonVPN, thus allowing a select few to protect their privacy on public networks on October 24, 2018. As part of the experiment, the team will be offering a private VPN monthly subscription service to a small random group of users who can turn the VPN on-and-off whenever they'd like. According to the team, Firefox users have often asked for such protections. Through this trial, Mozilla will explore how users and the community respond to such services while diversifying the company's sources of revenue.   - MOZILLA


4. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security reveals an increasing amount of attackers are attempting to hack U.S. election systems. "Numerous actors are regularly targeting election infrastructure, likely for different purposes, including to cause disruptive effects, steal sensitive data, and undermine confidence in the election," explains the department's Cyber Mission Center. While all attempts so far have been prevented or mitigated, authorities admit they don't know who is behind the attacks.  - NBC NEWS


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5. SQLite's monastic Code of Conduct, released in February 2018, recently sparked controversy for being based on a 1500-year-old book of rules for Christian monks. The code tells software developers it expects them to "prefer nothing more than the love of Christ", in addition to clothing the naked, abstaining from sleeping with their colleagues' spouses and more. While many found the code amusing and assumed it's a piece of satire, the original author of SQLite and its main administrator, D. Richard Hipp, says it's not a joke. The Christian Hipp adds, however, nobody will be kicked out on the basis of their religious faith, and that he does not expect developers to abide by the less relevant rules. - THE REGISTER


6. GitLab 11.4 is now available. This latest version features Merge Request Reviews, a file tree for difs that will make large merge requests faster, an alpha version of Feature Flags. Check out GitLab's post for further details about new features. - GITLAB


7. GitHub announced its annual game jam, Game Off, will return in November. Participants are required to code up a game according to a theme GitHub will announce on November 1, 2018, at 13:37 pm PDT, and they will have 30 days to complete it. - GITHUB


3. Angular 7.0.0 is now available. This latest release introduces new components for the framework's tool chain, dependency updates, and more. Angular also partnered with the likes of NativeScript and others to launch a variety of new features, such as nativescript-schmatics, a "schematic collection that enables you to build both web and mobile apps" from one project. For further details, readers can check out the release notes here. - GITHUB


4. Linux announced the release of Linux 4.19, codenamed the "People's front." The community also revealed its founder, Linus Torvalds, will be back to work on Linux 4.20 after taking a break to work on improving his relationship skills upon continuously exhibiting "bad behavior." To learn about Linux 4.19's new features, click here.  - FOSSBYTES


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Be our guest on October 25 at SuiteConnect West for a day of learning, networking and professional growth. Don’t miss this chance to hear from Golden State Warriors executives. This is just one of the many great sessions you can experience for free.

To receive your complimentary pass, enter code CSCINS18 when you register.


5. The jQuery team is taking steps to address a zero-day exploited by hackers in the jQuery File Upload. Attackers abused the vulnerability, which affects all jQuery File Upload versions 9.22.1, for at least three years now in an attempt to control web servers. While the team recently released a fix, security experts remain concerned as patching could take a long time given how widely used the plugin is. American Homeland Security center, the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team -- also known as US Cert -- has also been alerted of the issue. - ZDNET


JARGON WATCH:

11. Daemon: Refers to those multi-tasking operating system activities taking place in the background.


1. Apple launched an online privacy portal that allows American users to download a copy of all the data they have stored with the tech giant. Before creating the portal, US consumers had to contact Apple directly for such information. Apple also released a privacy website revealing which of its user's data it stores. - BLOOMBERG


2. Firefox Nightly now supports encryption for the TLS Server Name Indication (SNI) extension. By introducing this feature, Firefox users can better protect their browsing history from network attackers. At present, only sites hosted by Cloudflare can enable the encryption. - MOZILLA


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