MIAMI – Casting more uncertainty over the presidential nominating process for 2008, the Florida Legislature on Thursday moved the state’s primary up to Jan. 29, ignoring the threat of sanctions from the national Republican and Democratic parties. The new date puts the Florida primary ahead of all but four states. State party leaders hope that it will give Florida, the most populous swing state, a bigger role in choosing presidential nominees. But officials in other states said Florida’s move would only create more chaos around the nominating process, which has already been upended by other states’ decisions to hold earlier primaries. New Hampshire may move up its primary as a result – possibly even to this year, political leaders in other states said. And in South Carolina, Republican officials said they, too, would advance the date of their own primary. “South Carolina will name a date that keeps us first in the South,” said the chairman, Katon Dawson. “It could be as early as Halloween and our version of trick-or-treat, if we have to.” He added, “At the end of the day, the truth of the matter is that the nominee of either party is going to want to make sure they have not offended the big donors and the biggest activists in the most important state in the country that is electorally available.” Some of the states that have moved up their primaries to Feb.5, including California, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York, said they did not expect to seek even earlier dates. “I just don’t see it as likely,” said Ron Nehring, chairman of the California Republican Party. “California is going to be relevant, regardless of what other states choose to do.” In addition to New Hampshire, the states with contests before Jan.29 are Iowa and Nevada. In recent presidential election years, Florida’s primary has taken place in March. The Florida House voted unanimously for the change on Thursday, a week after the Senate approved the measure. In the same legislation, they approved Gov. Charlie Crist’s plan to replace the touch-screen voting machines used in many of Florida’s counties with paper ballots counted by scanning machines. Spokesmen for two Democratic presidential candidates, Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois, indicated they would not hold back from campaigning in Florida. “The DNC and the Florida state party will arbitrate this, and we will compete on the final field vigorously,” said Bill Burton, a spokesman for Obama. Stacie Paxton, press secretary for the Democratic National Committee, said the party would hold fast to its rules but suggested that Florida’s primary could be nonbinding. Its delegates could still be allowed at the nominating convention, she said, if the state agreed to hold a caucus later in the year. “This is not the first time that a state Legislature has set its primary on a date outside DNC party rules,” she said, adding that the committee is working with the state party to find alternatives that comply with the rules.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Choosing primary dates has always been contentious, with states that held primaries late in the season feeling marginalized. But frustration soared this year, and dozens of states began to jostle for position, with more than 20 so far settling on Feb.5, or considering it. The shifting dates have forced the presidential campaigns to reconsider every aspect of their nominating strategy – where to compete, how to spend money, when to start television advertising. Both parties have been trying to put a halt to the leapfrogging. They have said they would penalize all but a handful of states if they hold a primary before Feb.5, stripping them of half their delegates to the national nominating conventions. Under Democratic Party rules, the candidates can also be penalized, losing the delegates they won in the rule-breaking state. But Florida officials scoffed at those threats, calling the conventions little more than a formality. “We have people who get invited to a big party where they drop a balloon and people wear funny hats,” said Marco Rubio, the Republican speaker of the state House of Representatives. “But they don’t have any role to play.”
There are some minor backward-compatibility deprecations.GitHub addresses January incidentLast week, GitHub was unavailable for two hours and six minutes. The organization released an incident report yesterday expressing apologies to the community, as well as detailing what happened on Jan. 28 that made GitHub unavailable.According to the report, the primary data center experienced a brief disruption in the systems that supply power to the servers and equipment. Slightly more than 25% of its servers and several network devices rebooted as a result. This left the infrastructure in a partially operational state. Later investigation revealed that a DDoS attack was not the underlying problem.Over the past week, GitHub has devoted some time to understanding the nature of the failure, and it wrote that it plans to take steps to “mitigate the negative impact of these events on our users.” GitHub will be updating the applications’ test suite to make sure the application processes start even when certain external systems are unavailable. It is also improving its circuit breakers so they can degrade functionality when back-end services are down. After the December announcement made by Mozilla’s senior vice president of connected devices, Ari Jaaksi, Mozilla shared its decisions about Firefox OS, with changes to Marketplace, foxfooding, and the product innovation process.Mozilla will be focusing on exploring new product innovations in Internet of Things, according to an e-mail that was shared to the Firefox community. As such, four decisions have been made:Mozilla will end development on Firefox OS for smartphones after version 2.6 is released.As of March 29, Marketplace will no longer accept submissions for Android, Desktop and Tablet. It will remove all apps that don’t support Firefox OS. Firefox OS apps will continue to be accepted into 2017.The connected devices team is testing a new product.The foxfooding program will continue and focus on these new products.The main reason for these decisions is to ensure Mozilla is focusing its energy and resources on bringing Web capabilities to IoT, according to the e-mail.Latest Apache Mesos releaseApache Mesos 0.27.0 was released earlier this week. It comes with improved performance for the state endpoint for large clusters. Multiple disk support will allow for disk IO-intensive applications to achieve reliable performance. Additionally, more than 167 bugs were fixed.
Google has introduced a new design specification for app icons. App developers will be able to submit new icons to the Google Play Console starting in early April. After May 1, developers will no longer be able to submit icons that do not meet the new specifications. By June 24, all icons, new and old, will need to meet this new specification, the team explained.Some requirements of the new specification are that transparent backgrounds are not allowed and Google Play will apply rounded corners and drop shadows to icons.Google reveals restrictions on how Android Q apps access location and network informationLast week, Google revealed that it will provide new capabilities that will give users more control over their location data. It will also be placing further restrictions on how apps can access location and network information.Changes that affect all Android Q apps are that access to camera information requires permission and apps can no longer enable or disable WI-Fi. Apps that target Android Q will need additional location permissions in order to use methods within telephone, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth APIs. Manual configuration of the list of Wi-Fi networks is also now restricted to system apps.SUSE is now an independent companySUSE has officially been split off from Micro Focus after being acquired by EQT. SUSE is now an independent company, which will allow it to better meet the needs of its customers and partners. It will expand its executive team with new leaderships roles, such as a new chief financial officer and chief operations officer.SAS to invest $1 billion in AI over the next three yearsAnalytics provider SAS has announced that it is investing $1 billion in AI over the course of the next three years. According to the company, this investment will be spread throughout areas such as software innovation, education, expert services and more. The company believe that education and expert services will provide business leaders and data scientists with the skills and technology needed to transform their organizations.“At SAS, we remain dedicated to our customers and their success, and this investment is another example of that commitment,” said Jim Goodnight, CEO of SAS. “With our innovative capabilities in AI, SAS helps businesses deter damaging fraud, fight deadly disease, better manage risk, provide exemplary service to customers and citizens, and much more.”Khronos Group releases the OpenXR 0.90 specificationThe Khronos Group has announced the release of the OpenXR 0.90 specification, which is a “unifying, royalty-free, open standard that provides high-performance access to augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR)— collectively known as XR—platforms and devices.”“OpenXR seeks to simplify AR/VR software development, enabling applications to reach a wider array of hardware platforms without having to port or re-write their code and subsequently allowing platform vendors supporting OpenXR access to more applications,” said Brent Insko, lead VR architect at Intel and OpenXR working group chair. “The OpenXR provisional specification—together with the runtimes publicly available at launch and coming in the next few weeks—will enable hands-on, cross-platform testing by application and engine developers. The working group welcomes developer feedback to ensure an OpenXR 1.0 specification that truly meets the needs of the XR industry.”