Oracle Asked To Help Low-Income Residents Evicted For Its New Cloud Campus

itwbennett writes: Roughly 100 low-income families were evicted from an apartment complex on the land in Austin, Texas where Oracle plans to build a new 560,000 sq. foot cloud-computing campus. Some of the former tenants of Lakeview Apartments had leases through the end of the year, but were reportedly forced by owner Cypress Real Estate Advisors to move out early. Some have said their security deposits were not returned, and they have had no assistance as they’ve struggled to find comparably priced housing. Last week, some of those residents gathered near the site of their former home to protest and to appeal to Oracle for assistance.

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Dissecting a $231 Million High-Tech Boondoggle

The L.A. Times takes to task the U.S. Congress, the Obama administration, and various military agencies for their combined role in supporting the expenditure of vast amount of money on a system called the Precision Tracking Space System. All told, according to the paper, the PTSS program — which was to have provided early warning of missile launches, and precision tracking of the missiles themselves — ended up blowing through more than $ 230 million before being cancelled. After talking to defense experts and reviewing hundreds of documents, the Times comes to what probably sounds like an easy conclusion for any big-budget military program that never reaches operation: it shouldn’t have even left the drawing board.

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Twitter Says It’s Beating the Trolls

Mark Wilson writes: After making it easier to report abusive tweets and increasing the size of its anti-troll team, Twitter believes it is getting ‘bad behavior’ under control. As well as bullying of acquaintances and work colleagues, Twitter has also been used to attack celebrities, the gay community, religious groups, and more, with many people feeling driven from the site. It seems that the decision to take a very hands-on approach to troll tackling is starting to pay off. The head of Twitter in Europe, Bruce Daisley, says that the tools that have been introduced have had a real impact on trolling. He goes further, saying that there is a direct correlation between the release of new safety tools and reporting mechanisms, and the drop in unacceptable behavior.

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Sci-Fi Screenwriter and Author George Clayton Johnson Dead At 86

George Clayton Johnson, writer of the first-aired episode of Star Trek, and co-author of Logan’s Run, died on Christmas Day of cancer, at the age of 86. Johnson was a prolific television writer, penning several episodes of The Twilight Zone, and writing for several series as well; he was also a nominee for both the Nebula and Hugo awards. His first-published story, Oceans 11, was turned into a movie, and then revived as a the kernel for a film franchise. Johnson wrote comics as well as screenplays, short stories, and novels; he was originally slated to appear at the upcoming San Diego Comic Fest.

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Eight killed in Dallas area amid tornadoes, flooding

Traffic goes across the bridge on Alabama hwy 87 at the Pea River in ElbaBy Lisa Maria Garza DALLAS (Reuters) – Eight people died in the greater Dallas area as a storm system brought tornadoes and flooding on Saturday, increasing the death toll from harsh weather in the southern United States this week to 26, according to officials and local media. Authorities in Garland confirmed that five people died after a tornado struck the city, some 15 miles (24 km) northeast of downtown Dallas. Homes, apartments and vehicles were also damaged, police said, but it was not clear how many people were hurt.



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Wildfire burns 1,200 acres outside Los Angeles, closes highway

A burnt bed frame stands in a makeshift encampment in the aftermath of a wildfire in the Solimar Beach area of Ventura County, CaliforniaBy Patrick T. Fallon VENTURA, Calif. (Reuters) – Firefighters on Saturday gained the upper hand on a wildfire northwest of Los Angeles that burned about 1,240 acres of land, forced the closure of parts of a major highway and led to evacuations, fire officials said. Hundreds of firefighters battled the blaze in the Solimar Beach area of Ventura County and were able to draw containment lines around 60 percent of the conflagration by Saturday evening, county fire officials said. Two firefighters suffered minor injuries, they said, and there were no reports of damage to structures.



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Chicago Police: Woman accidentally killed by officer fire

A Chicago police sergeant speaks with a relative of a man who was killed by a police officer in the West Garfield Park neighborhood in Chicago, early Saturday, Dec. 26, 2015. A Chicago police officer shot and killed two people while responding to a domestic disturbance call in the neighborhood on the city's West Side, police said. (Megan Crepeau/Chicago Tribune via AP)CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago police officer responding to a domestic disturbance call accidentally shot and killed a 55-year-old woman, who was among two people fatally wounded by police gunfire, the department said late Saturday.



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