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The Rust programming language just took a huge step forwards – ZDNet

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Programming language Rust now has the backing of the Rust Foundation, an independent organization that will steward the language’s future as more developers begin using it. 

Rust, hatched at Mozilla as a safer alternative to C and C++, has quickly become one of the most favored languages for system development, even though it’s not widely used for application development.

Google is backing Rust for a key component of the the Apache HTTP web server project, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is investing in the Rust community and is a key sponsor, while Microsoft is eyeing it to replace some components of Windows written in C/C++ and to develop components for the Azure cloud. 

Rust only reached version 1.0 in 2015, so it’s a relatively young language compared to the likes of Python, Java and JavaScript. 

The language allowed Mozilla engineers to remove memory-related security bugs in Firefox’s Gecko rendering engine that were written in C++. Developers replaced about 160,000 lines of C++ code in Firefox with 85,000 lines of Rust. The language was critical for Mozilla’s Servo browser engine.  

Establishing the Rust Foundation is an important milestone for the language. As Niko Matsakis, an ex-Mozilla engineer, core Rust contributor and now AWS engineer pointed out recently, there is a misperception that Rust is owned by Mozilla. 

The foundation creates a vehicle to accept financing from organizations beyond Mozilla, such as AWS and Microsoft Azure. 

“Unfortunately, there is sometimes a lingering perception that Mozilla “owns” Rust, which can discourage companies from getting invested, or create the perception that there is no need to support Rust since Mozilla is footing the bill. Establishing a foundation will make official what has been true in practice for a long time: that Rust is an independent project,” Matsakis wrote recently

“We have also heard a few times from companies, large and small, who would like to support Rust financially, but right now there is no clear way to do that. Creating a foundation creates a place where that support can be directed.”

Mozilla will continue to support Rust, but it won’t sponsor the project alone. The Rust Foundation will hold its first board meeting February 9th. 

The board of directors includes representatives from AWS, Huawei, Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla.

Over the past year Microsoft has footed Rust’s continuous integration (CI) bills, while AWS has supported its storage costs through S3 for several years.  

Until now, the Rust did not operate as a distinct legal entity, which was previously Mozilla’s responsibility. These issues affected the project in various ways, including Rust trademarks and Rust’s package management system, crates.io. Mozilla was also responsible for handling copyright takedown requests under The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).  

The Rust team couldn’t do simple things like signing a contract and or establish a bank account from which to manage funds from sponsors like Microsoft and AWS. 

“One common example that arises is the need to have some entity that can legally sign contracts “for the Rust project”. For example, we wished recently to sign up for Github’s Token Scanning program, but we weren’t able to figure out who ought to sign the contract,” notes Matsakis. 

As part of the new arrangement, Mozilla transferred all trademark and infrastructure assets to the Rust Foundation, including the crates.io package registry

“This marks a huge step in the growth of Rust on several axes; not the least of which, a formal, financial commitment from a set of global industry leading companies, heralding Rust’s arrival as an enterprise production-ready technology,” said Ashley Williams, interim executive director of the Rust Foundation. 

“I am personally moved, and motivated, by the sense of responsibility that comes from this commitment. Our founding sponsors’ eager and enthusiastic participation is not only a promise to maintain and sustain Rust as what it is today, but an endorsement of Rust’s values and a dedication to share the responsibility of cultivating the future that Rust aspires to.”

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'It’s flagrant and wanton disregard for the public health measures' – The North Bay Nugget

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Cluster of COVID cases traced to Renfrew house party

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By Aedan Helmer

A “flagrant disregard” for public health orders in Renfrew County has led to a cluster of infections officials have traced a group of people who attended a house party, then multiple other homes and businesses while infected with COVID-19.

Acting medical officer of health Dr. Robert Cushman said the spike in cases — there are 14 known cases linked to the spreader event, and officials are still tracing high-risk contacts — could jeopardize the county’s return to the Green (Prevent) level of the province’s colour-coded framework.

Officials could also decide to extend shutdown orders only to the Arnprior and McNabb-Braeside area of the county, where the spread has been identified.

“I think (Friday), in fact, was the worst day since we started this (pandemic) last March for the Renfrew County and district health unit,” Cushman said in his daily video address.

“Many of these cases attended the same social gathering and then they went to four different households, and they went to seven different businesses and workplaces, and in fact some of these businesses have been shut down.

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“And then after that, one or two of them went to an additional private social gathering and spread the disease even further,” Cushman said.

“I’m very concerned about this, because clearly people aren’t paying attention to their social network,” Cushman said.

While public health measures like hand-washing, masking and distancing are crucial, Cushman said the “key” is avoiding travel and “keeping your network very small — confined to your household or to your workplace.”

“But having a carefree party outdoor activity and later indoor activity — during this time, during this winter — is just not on. It’s flagrant and wanton disregard for the public health measures, which are so important to keep us, our families, our loved ones and our community safe.”

Renfrew County was one of the first regions in the province to return to the “Green” following the province-wide lockdown, and Cushman said, “This is going to jeopardize that, very possibly.

“But why should all of Renfrew County suffer if (the cases are) confined to the Arnprior area?” Cushman said, suggesting officials could “levy stricter restrictions on just that area.”

“I’m very concerned about this last event, because it’s flagrant disregard and disrespect for what we’re trying to do,” Cushman said.

He said there was also some positive news for the region.

“The vaccines are starting to roll, we are starting to immunize staff and families that provide essential care, and in a few days will be doing second doses for long-term care home residents,” Cushman said. “In the meantime, we need to really behave and be extremely careful.”

He asked residents to speak up if they witness others engaging in “egregious misbehaviours.”

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The latest 'Valorant' agent controls space and time – Yahoo News Canada

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The Canadian Press

What’s in an adjective? ‘Democrat Party’ label on the rise

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Two days before the assault on the U.S. Capitol, Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano, a Republican, said supporters of then-President Donald Trump’s claims of election fraud were basically in a “death match with the Democrat Party.” A day later, right-wing activist Alan Hostetter, a staunch Trump supporter known for railing against California’s virus-inspired stay-at-home orders, urged rallygoers in Washington to “put the fear of God in the cowards, the traitors, the RINOs, the communists of the Democrat Party.” The shared grammatical construction — incorrect use of the noun “Democrat” as an adjective — was far from the most shocking thing about the two men’s statements. But it identified them as members of the same tribe, conservatives seeking to define the opposition through demeaning language. Amid bipartisan calls to dial back extreme partisanship following the insurrection, the intentional misuse of “Democrat” as an adjective remains in nearly universal use among Republicans. Propelled by conservative media, it also has caught on with far-right elements that were energized by the Trump presidency. Academics and partisans disagree on the significance of the word play. Is it a harmless political tactic intended to annoy Republicans’ opponents, or a maliciously subtle vilification of one of America’s two major political parties that further divides the nation? Thomas Patterson, a political communication professor at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, said using “Democrat” as an adjective delivers a “little twist” of the knife with each usage because it irritates Democrats, but sees it as little more than that. “This is,” he says, “just another piece in a big bubbling kettle of animosities that are out there.” Others disagree. Purposely mispronouncing the formal name of the Democratic Party and equating it with political ideas that are not democratic goes beyond mere incivility, said Vanessa Beasley, an associate professor of communications at Vanderbilt University who studies presidential rhetoric. She said creating short-hand descriptions of people or groups is a way to dehumanize them. In short: Language matters. “The idea is to strip it down to that noun and make it into this blur, so that you can say that these are bad people — and my party, the people who are using the term, are going to be the upholders of democracy,” she said. To those who see the discussion as an exercise in political correctness, Susan Benesch, executive director of the Dangerous Speech Project, said to look deeper. “It’s just two little letters — i and c — added to the end of a word, right?” she said. “But the small difference in the two terms, linguistically or grammatically, does not protect against a large difference in meaning and impact of the language.” During the “Stop the Steal” rallies that emerged to support Trump’s groundless allegations that the 2020 election was stolen from him, the construction was everywhere. Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel accused “Democrat lawyers and rogue election officials” of “an unprecedented power grab” related to the election. Demonstrators for the president’s baseless cause mirrored her language. After Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia was removed from her House committees for espousing sometimes dangerous conspiracy theories, she tweeted: “In this Democrat tyrannical government, Conservative Republicans have no say on committees anyway.” Trump’s lawyers used the construction frequently during his second impeachment trial, following the lead of the former president, who employed it routinely while in office. During a campaign rally last October in Wisconsin, he explained his thinking. “You know I always say Democrat. You know why? Because it sounds worse,” Trump said. “Democrat sounds lousy, but you know what? That’s actually their name, the Democrat Party. Right? The Democrat Party. So I always say Democrat.” In fact, “Democratic” to describe some version of a U.S. political party has been around since Thomas Jefferson and James Madison formed the Democratic-Republican Party in the 1790s. Modern Democrats are loosely descended from a split of that party. The precise origins of Republicans’ truncated phrasing are difficult to pin down, but the Republican National Committee formalized it in a vote ahead of the 1956 presidential election. Then-spokesman L. Richard Guylay told The New York Times that “Democrat Party” was “a natural,” because it was already in common use among Republicans and better reflected the “diverse viewpoints” within the opposing party — which the GOP suggested weren’t always representative of small-d democratic values. Wisconsin Sen. Joseph McCarthy, who had just led his notorious campaign against alleged communists, Soviet spies and sympathizers, was the most notable user of the phrase “Democrat Party” ahead of the vote. The current RNC did not respond to emails and phone messages seeking comment for this story. The construction was used sparsely in the following decades, but in recent times has spread to become part of conservatives’ everyday speech. At the height of last summer’s racial justice protests, the group representing state attorneys general criticized “inaction by Democrat AGs” to support law enforcement. In explaining its rules for cleaning Georgia’s voter roles, the office of Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said it was following a process started in the 1990s under “a Democrat majority General Assembly and signed into law by a Democrat Governor.” Asked recently what he would think of his former health director running for the U.S. Senate in Ohio, Republican Gov. Mike DeWine responded, “I’m going to stay out of Democrat primaries.” Using Democrat as a pejorative is now so common that it’s almost jarring to hear a Republican or conservative commentator accurately say “Democratic Party.” Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor said she wishes both parties would abandon their heightened rhetoric toward each other. She spoke out forcefully in September after the Ohio Republican Party maligned a “Democrat common pleas judge” who had ruled against them. The party later apologized. Her objection was the politicization of the judiciary, which she has fought against, and not specifically the GOP’s misuse of the word “Democrat.” But in a later interview, she said the language was a reflection of today’s hyperpartisan political environment. “It’s used as almost like a curse word,” said O’Connor, a Republican. “It’s not being used as a compliment or even for purposes of being a benign identifier. It’s used as a condemnation, and that’s not right.” For their part, Democrats rarely push back, even when the phrase is used in state legislative chambers or on the floor of Congress. It wasn’t always that way. Then-President George W. Bush departed from his written remarks and used the phrase “Democrat majority” in his 2007 State of the Union address. He was swiftly rebuked and apologized. “Now look, my diction isn’t all that good,” a rueful Bush said. “I have been accused of occasionally mangling the English language, so I appreciate you inviting the head of the Republic party.” Bush’s self-deprecating joke highlighted a key issue around Republicans’ use of “Democrat” as an epithet, says political scientist Michael Cornfield, an associate professor at George Washington University. Democrats don’t have a comparable insult for Republicans. “It’s a one-way provocation,” he said. In the 1950s, Democrats toyed with a tit-for-tat approach in which they would refer to Republicans as “Publicans,” the widely despised toll collectors of ancient Rome. Republicans scoffed at the effort, which they rightly noted no one would understand. Republicans also could turn it around as a way to burnish their brand: In British usage, a publican is someone who owns a pub. Meanwhile, “Republic” — without the “a-n” — isn’t derogatory. It’s known as a “God word” in American politics, just as small-d “democratic” is, meaning a revered cultural concept that’s universally understood. The truncated “Democrat,” on the other hand, “rhymes with rat, bureaucrat, kleptocrat, plutocrat,” Cornfield said. “‘Crats’ are bad. So you can see why they do it.” David Pepper, a former Democratic Party chairman in Ohio, says Republicans’ phrasing has “clearly been thought about.” Even so, he doesn’t see trying to erase it as a good use of Democrats’ time as the party seeks to reset the national agenda after four years of Trump. He said that while President Joe Biden has pledged national unity, “the other side is literally trying to make the other party sound like rodents.” “To me,” Pepper said, “that’s absurd and disturbing at the same time.” ___ AP news researcher Jennifer Farrar in New York contributed to this report. Julie Carr Smyth, The Associated Press

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Abbotsford Airport had 4th highest traffic in Canada in 2020, and its number are down – Chilliwack Progress – Chilliwack Progress

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Abbotsford International Airport (YXX) became the fourth most active airport in Canada during the pandemic – and its total traffic was down from 2019.

December ended what was described as a “devastating year” for air travel, according to a Statistics Canada report (Feb. 25) on the total air movements at the 90 airports under NAV Canada.

Statistics Canada defines air movements as any “take-off, landing, or simulated approach by an aircraft as defined by NAV Canada.” The numbers show Canada’s major international airports are seeing comparable runway activity as smaller airports.

Total aircraft movements at top 10 Canadian airports, 2020. Statistics Canada report.

Vancouver International Airport, for instance, had the third most traffic with 156,540 total aircraft movements in 2020 (down 53 per cent from 2019), while YXX had 137,265 (down just 17 per cent).

Month-over-month since May, Abbotsford Airport has consistently been in the top five for aircraft movements, even reaching number two for July and August when their traffic surpassed 2019’s numbers.

Other international airports are seeing similar declines. Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson Airport – Canada’s busiest airport historically – experienced the largest drop at 62 per cent, having over 280,000 fewer take-offs and landings in 2020.

“As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, other international take-offs and landings nosedived to levels not seen in 20 years,” the report says.

Across the country, international flights were down 58 per cent for the year, flights to the U.S. fell by 68 per cent, while domestic movements declined 36 per cent, according to the report.

Year-over-year change in aircraft movements, by sector. Graph from Statistics Canada.

More restrictions were announced by the federal government on Jan. 29, 2021 to curb the spread of COVID-19 and the new variants. Airlines have since suspended all flights to and from Mexico and other Caribbean countries until April 30.

As of February, all international flights are being funnelled through four Canadian airports, and passengers have to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test before departure, and must quarantine for three days at a government approved hotel.

RELATED: New travel rules leave flight options on U.S. airlines for Canadian sun seekers

RELATED: Abbotsford Airport hit hard by COVID-19 pandemic


@portmoodypigeon
patrick.penner@missioncityrecord.com

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