Mac Users Reporting Widespread System Freezes With OS X El Capitan 10.11.4 Update

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Mac Rumors: A large number of MacBook Pro owners running OS X El Capitan are reporting widespread system freezes since installing the 10.11.4 update to Apple’s Mac OS. The problem appears to be concentrated on 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros (Early 2015) running 10.11.4. Users report that their system becomes totally unresponsive at seemingly random times, with no way to regain access to their Mac other than to force a hard reboot. The issue was initially reported by MacRumors forum member Antonnn on March 25, four days after Apple released what is the third update to the Mac OS. In Antonnn’s case, the freezes have been occurring “about once a week,” first when browsing in Safari, but then also during the use of other Mac apps, including Adobe Photoshop and several third-party browsers. The freeze seems to affect not only the screen and mouse cursor but also the Mac’s Force Touch trackpad, which completely loses feedback. Apple Support is apparently aware of the issue but have so far offered no concrete solution. Meanwhile, some users have resorted to downgrading their system to 10.11.3 by restoring from a Time Machine backup or performing a clean install. Hundreds of others have posted to a dedicated thread discussing the issue. Bill Mattheis posted a video on YouTube of the freezing he has experienced on his MacBook Pro.


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Allowing devices in the classroom hurts academic performance, study finds

When faculty members at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point took away students’ computers and tablets in an introductory economics courses, their students’ grades jumped.

The study of those faculty members’ findings, published this month by the School Effectiveness and Inequality Initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, suggests that male students and students with high grade point averages at the beginning of their college careers are most susceptible to their grades suffering from device-induced distraction.

Susan Payne Carter, Kyle Greenberg and Michael Walker, three faculty members in economics at West Point, last year separated students in the course into three sections to determine the effect Internet-connected devices have on academic performance. One section was strictly technology-free, while a second allowed students to use laptops and tablets (though professors were free to discipline “blatantly distracted” students). A third section struck a compromise, allowing students to use tablets as long as the devices lay flat on the desk so that professors could see what was on the screen. The study does not address cell phone use.

The different formats had a marked effect on device use. Students in the third section, which the researchers created to mimic an ideal example of how devices should be used in the classroom, used tablets much less frequently than those in the technology-filled classroom. While 80 percent of the students in that section said they used a device at some point during the semester, only 41 percent in the tablet-only class did.

However, the percentage of students who brought their laptops and tablets to class didn’t make a difference in their sections’ academic performance. On a computer-based final exam, students in the sections that allowed some form of device use scored 18 percent of a standard deviation lower than students in the section where devices were banned. On a test with a maximum score of 100, that means the students who used computers and tablets in the classroom — even specifically for class purposes — scored 1.7 points lower than students who didn’t.

“By way of comparison, this effect is as large as the average difference in exam scores for two students whose cumulative GPAs at the start of the semester differ by one-third of a standard deviation,” the report said.

On a final exam that accounted for 25 percent of students’ grade in the class, such a difference can tip a score from pass to fail. And in the case of the West Point students, failing the final exam could mean failing the entire class.

The findings carry implications for higher education broadly. By some measures, the use of devices in the classroom is on the rise, and while the occasional study has found beneficial uses, there is plenty of literature that argues the contrary.

The report presents a handful of potential reasons why using a device in the classroom might lead to lower grades. It could be that digital note taking isn’t as effective as writing by hand, which other studies have sought to explore. Perhaps professors change the way they teach courses when laptops and tablets are introduced to their classrooms. Or it could just have something to do with the endless distractions that are available to students online.

“We further cannot test whether the laptop or tablet leads to worse note taking, whether the increased availability of distractions for computer users (email, Facebook, Twitter, news, other classes, etc.) leads to lower grades or whether professors teach differently when students are on their computers,” the report reads. “Given the magnitude of our results, and the increasing emphasis of using technology in the classroom, additional research aimed at distinguishing between these channels is clearly warranted.”

The co-authors were open about the study’s limitations. West Point, after all, is obviously not the picture of an average college. It attracts students interested in pursuing a career as a military officer, has a gender gap of about 60 percentage points and tends to enroll fewer students with minority backgrounds. Academically, however, West Point students compare somewhat to students at selective, smaller four-year institutions and liberal arts colleges.

“Although many aspects of West Point differ from typical four-year undergraduate institutions, there are many reasons to believe that permitting computers in traditional lecture-style classrooms could have even more harmful effects than those found in this study,” the report reads. “Students at West Point are highly incentivized to earn high marks, professors are expected to interact with their students during every lesson and class sizes are small enough that it is difficult for students to be completely distracted by their computer without the professor noticing.”

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Original URL: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/05/13/allowing-devices-classroom-hurts-academic-performance-study-finds

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How to install ProFTPd with TLS support on Ubuntu 16.04

This tutorial shows how to install and use FTP with ProFTPd securely. FTP without TLS is an insecure protocol because all passwords and all data are transferred in clear text. By using TLS, the whole communication can be encrypted, thus making FTP much more secure. This article explains how to set up ProFTPd with TLS on an Ubuntu 16.04 server, how to add an FTP user and to use FileZilla to connect securely with TLS.


Original URL: https://www.howtoforge.com/tutorial/install-proftpd-with-tls-on-ubuntu-16-04/

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Despite FCC Rules, Linksys Will Keep Its Routers Open and Let You Hack Them

Back in 2015, the FCC introduced new guidelines that looked like a threat to anyone wanting to hack and install open firmwares on their routers. They backed off
, but a lot of manufacturers are still locking their devices down
, just in case. Linksys, the company just announced, isn’t one of them.

Read more…


Original URL: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/lifehacker/full/~3/JK_dX_NwHAc/despite-fcc-rules-linksys-will-keep-its-routers-open-a-1776469612

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Own a Raspberry Pi? You need to download this Raspbian Linux OS update — here’s what’s new

No matter how great hardware is, you need software to make it have any value. After all, what good is a computer without an operating system? Who would want a powerful graphics card without drivers? A good computing experience is the successful marriage between hardware and software. A great example of this is the Raspberry Pi. At first, the specs and diminutive size pull you in, but then you must ask, what can you do with it? You will need to install an operating system to get started, and one of the most popular is Raspbian. Today, that lightweight Linux distro gets… [Continue Reading]


Original URL: http://feeds.betanews.com/~r/bn/~3/pEFwM17PMAo/

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Linksys WRT Routers Won’t Block Open Source Firmware, Despite FCC Rules

The FCC requires all manufacturers to prevent users from having any direct ability to change RF parameters (frequency limits, output power, country codes, etc). The easiest way for a router manufacturer to comply with FCC’s guideline is to block the open source router firmware — which is what TP-Link has been doing. But thankfully, at least one router manufacturer doesn’t think blocking the firmware is the right way to go about it. Ars Technica reports: Linksys has been collaborating with chipmaker Marvell and the makers of OpenWrt to make sure its latest WRT routers can comply with the new rules without blocking open source firmware, company officials told Ars. Linksys’ effort stands in contrast with TP-Link, which said it would entirely prevent loading of open source firmware on its routers to satisfy the new Federal Communications Commission requirements. “They’re named WRT… it’s almost our responsibility to the open source community,” Linksys router product manager Vince La Duca told Ars. Cybersecurity experts have urged the router manufacturers to not block open source firmware.


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