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LinuxSecurity.com - Security Advisories

  • RedHat: RHSA-2018-0629:01 Important: Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application
    `bbLinuxSecurity.com`/bb: An update is now available for Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform 7.1 for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. Red Hat Product Security has rated this update as having a security impact of Important. A Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) base score,


  • RedHat: RHSA-2018-0630:01 Important: Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application
    `bbLinuxSecurity.com`/bb: Updated packages that provide Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform 6.4 and fix three security issues, several bugs, and add various enhancements are now available from the Red Hat Customer Portal. Red Hat Product Security has rated this update as having a security impact



  • Debian LTS: DLA-1338-1: beep security update
    `bbLinuxSecurity.com`/bb: It was discovered that there was a local privilege escalation vulnerability in beep, an "advanced PC speaker beeper". For Debian 7 "Wheezy", this issue has been fixed in beep version


  • Debian LTS: DLA-1337-1: jruby security update
    `bbLinuxSecurity.com`/bb: Multiple vulnerabilities were found in the rubygems package management framework, embedded in JRuby, a pure-Java implementation of the Ruby programming language.


  • Debian: DSA-4163-1: beep security update
    `bbLinuxSecurity.com`/bb: It was discovered that a race condition in beep (if configured as setuid via debconf) allows local privilege escalation. For the oldstable distribution (jessie), this problem has been fixed






  • Debian: DSA-4162-1: irssi security update
    `bbLinuxSecurity.com`/bb: Multiple vulnerabilities have been discovered in Irssi, a terminal-based IRC client which can result in denial of service. For the stable distribution (stretch), these problems have been fixed in



LWN.net

  • [$] Containers as kernel objects — again
    Linus Torvalds once famously saidthat there is no design behind the Linux kernel. That may be true, butthere are still some guiding principles behind the evolution of the kernel;one of those, to date, has been that the kernel does not recognize"containers" as objects in their own right. Instead, the kernel providesthe necessary low-level features, such as namespaces and control groups, toallow user space to create its own container abstraction. This refusal todictate the nature of containers has led to a diverse variety of containermodels and a lot of experimentation. But that doesn't stop those who wouldstill like to see the kernel recognize containers as first-classkernel-supported objects.


  • Security updates for Friday
    Security updates have been issued by Mageia (libreoffice, libtiff, spice, and spice-gtk), openSUSE (build, mosquitto, and nodejs6), Red Hat (firefox, flatpak, and systemd), Scientific Linux (firefox, flatpak, and systemd), SUSE (kernel-firmware and texlive), and Ubuntu (bind9 and ghostscript).


  • The Linux Foundation Launches ELISA Project Enabling Linux In Safety-Critical Systems
    The Linux Foundation has announced the formation of the Enabling Linux in Safety Applications (ELISA) project to create tools and processes for companies to use to build and certify safety-critical Linux applications. "Building off the work being done by SIL2LinuxMP project and Real-Time Linux project, ELISA will make it easier for companies to build safety-critical systems such as robotic devices, medical devices, smart factories, transportation systems and autonomous driving using Linux. Founding members of ELISA include Arm, BMW Car IT GmbH, KUKA, Linutronix, and Toyota.To be trusted, safety-critical systems must meet functional safety objectives for the overall safety of the system, including how it responds to actions such as user errors, hardware failures, and environmental changes. Companies must demonstrate that their software meets strict demands for reliability, quality assurance, risk management, development process, and documentation. Because there is no clear method for certifying Linux, it can be difficult for a company to demonstrate that their Linux-based system meets these safety objectives."


  • [$] Development statistics for the 5.0 kernel
    The announcement of the 5.0-rc7 kernelprepatch on February 17 signaled the imminent release of the final 5.0kernel and the end of this development cycle. 5.0, as it turns out,brought in fewer changesets than its immediate predecessors, but it wasstill a busy cycle with a lot of developers participating. Read on for anoverview of where the work came from in this release cycle.


  • Security updates for Thursday
    Security updates have been issued by CentOS (firefox, flatpak, and systemd), Fedora (createrepo_c, dnf, dnf-plugins-core, dnf-plugins-extras, docker, libcomps, libdnf, and runc), Mageia (giflib, irssi, kernel, kernel-linus, libexif, poppler, tcpreplay, and zziplib), and SUSE (php5, procps, and qemu).



  • Yaghmour: gitgeist: a git-based social network proof of concept
    On his blog, Karim Yaghmour writes about an experimental social network that he and a colleague cobbled together using Git. While it is simply a proof of concept at this point, he is looking for feedback and, perhaps, collaborators to take it further. "It turns out that git has practically everything that's needed to act both as storage and protocol for a social network. Not only that, but it's very well-known within and used, deployed and maintained in the circles I navigate, it scales very well (see github), it's used for critical infrastructure (see kernel.org), it provides history, it's distributed by nature, etc. It's got *almost* everything, but not quite everything needed.So what's missing from git? A few basic things that it turns out aren't very hard to take care of: ability to 'follow', getting followee notifications, 'commenting' and an interface for viewing feeds. And instead of writing a whole online treatise of how this could be done, I asked my colleague Francois-Denis Gonthier to implement a proof and concept of this that we called 'gitgeist' and just published on github [https://github.com/opersys/gitgeist-poc]."


  • [$] Producing an application for both desktop and mobile
    These days applications are generally moving away from the desktop andtoward the mobile space. But taking a multi-platform desktop application and addingtwo mobile platforms into the mix is difficult to do, as Dirk Hohndeldescribed in his linux.conf.au2019 talk. Hohndel maintains the Subsurface dive log application,which has added mobile support over the past few years; he wanted to explain the processthat the project went through to support all of those platforms.As the subtitle of the talk, "Developing for multiple platforms withoutlosing your mind", indicates, it is a hard problem to solve sanely.


  • Stable kernel updates
    Stable kernels 4.20.11, 4.19.24, 4.14.102, 4.9.159, 4.4.175, and 3.18.135 have been released. They all containimportant fixes and users should upgrade.


  • Security updates for Wednesday
    Security updates have been issued by Debian (ansible, drupal7, and systemd), Fedora (botan2, ceph, and firefox), Oracle (firefox, flatpak, and systemd), Red Hat (firefox), SUSE (gvfs, kernel, libqt5-qtbase, python-numpy, and qemu), and Ubuntu (gdm3).


  • digiKam 6.0.0 released
    The digiKam team has announcedthe release of digiKam 6.0.0. New features include full support ofvideo files management working as photos; an integration of allimport/export web-service tools in LightTable, Image editor, and Showfoto;raw file decoding engine supporting new cameras; similarity data is nowstored in a separate file; simplified web-service authentication usingOAuth protocol; and more.


  • [$] Patent exhaustion and open source
    When patents and free software crop up together, theusual question is about patent licensing. Patent exhaustion —the principle that patent rights don't reach past the firstsale of a product — is muchless frequently discussed. At FOSDEM 2019,US lawyer Van Lindberg argued that several US courtdecisions related to exhaustion, most of them recent but some less so,could come togetherto have surprising beneficial effects for free software. He was clear that theargument applied only in the US but, since court systems tend tolook to each other for consistency's sake, and because Lindberg is anengaging speaker, the talk was of great interest even in Brussels.


  • Security updates for Tuesday
    Security updates have been issued by Debian (chromium, rdesktop, rssh, systemd, and uriparser), Fedora (bouncycastle, eclipse-jgit, eclipse-linuxtools, jackson-annotations, jackson-bom, jackson-core, jackson-databind, jackson-dataformat-xml, jackson-dataformats-binary, jackson-dataformats-text, jackson-datatype-jdk8, jackson-datatype-joda, jackson-datatypes-collections, jackson-jaxrs-providers, jackson-module-jsonSchema, jackson-modules-base, jackson-parent, moby-engine, and subversion), openSUSE (chromium, docker-runc, firefox, GraphicsMagick, kernel, LibVNCServer, php7, pspp, spread-sheet-widget, and runc), SUSE (kernel-firmware, qemu, and systemd), and Ubuntu (nss and systemd).


  • Debian 9.8 released
    The Debian project has announced the eighth update of Debian 9"stretch". As a stable point release, this version mainly adds bugfixes forsecurity issues and other serious problems. Click below for a list of changes.


  • [$] The case of the supersized shebang
    Regressions are an unavoidable side effect of software development; thekernel is no different in that regard. The 5.0 kernel introduced a changein the handling of the "#!" (or "shebang") lines used to indicatewhich interpreter should handle an executable text file. The problem hasbeen duly fixed, but the incident shows how easy it can be to introduceunexpected problems and highlights some areas where the kernel'sdevelopment process does not work as well as we might like.



LXer Linux News

  • How to Install and Use Docker on CentOS 7
    Docker is an application used to manage application processes in containers. Containers run applications in resource-isolated process. By using docker you can build, test and deploy applications that can run anywhere as portable and self-sufficient containers.


  • WriteFreely: Start a blog, build a community
    As more of our lives move online, we become dependent on large services with millions (or billions) of users to communicate with each other. Although we tend to notice problems only when these platforms change a policy, erect a paywall, or suffer a data breach, we can often feel how these mass-broadcast platforms don't always have our best interests in mind and often don't "connect" us in the ways they purport to.read more




  • 5 things to master to be a DevOps engineer
    There's an increasing global demand for DevOps professionals, IT pros who are skilled in software development and operations. In fact, the Linux Foundation's Open Source Jobs Report ranked DevOps as the most in-demand skill, and DevOps career opportunities are thriving worldwide.read more


  • How to install Vagrant on Debian 9
    Vagrant is an open source command line tool for building and managing virtual machine environments. By default Vagrant can provision machines on top of VirtualBox, Hyper-V and Docker but many other providers such as Libvirt (KVM), VMware and AWS can be installed via the Vagrant plugin system.



  • How To Install FFmpeg on Ubuntu 18.04 / Ubuntu 16.04 & Linux Mint 19
    FFmpeg is an open source software (also a command line tool) for transcoding multimedia files. It is a suite, contains a set of shared libraries such as libswresample, libavcodec, libavformat, and libavutil and programs for handling video, audio, and other multimedia files and streams.


  • Developer happiness: What you need to know
    A person needs the right tools for the job. There's nothing as frustrating as getting halfway through a car repair, for instance, only to discover you don't have the specialized tool you need to complete the job. The same concept applies to developers: you need the tools to do what you are best at, without disrupting your workflow with compliance and security needs, so you can produce code faster.read more




  • Using the NetworkManager’s DNSMasq plugin
    The dnsmasq plugin is a hidden gem of NetworkManager. When using the plugin, instead of using whatever DNS nameserver is doled out by DHCP, NetworkManager will configure a local copy of dnsmasq that can be customized. You may ask, why would you want to do this? For me personally, I have two use cases: First, […]


  • qoob – excellent foobar-like music player
    Are you debilitated by the countless music players that use web technologies with a massive RAM footprint? Maybe you want a lean yet slick audio player with a good range of features?



  • How to Install Wiki.js on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
    In this tutorial, we will walk you through the Wiki.js version 1 installation process on a Ubuntu 18.04 LTS operating system by using NGINX as a reverse proxy server, MongoDB as a database server, PM2 as a process manager and optionally you can secure transport layer by using acme.sh client and Let's Encrypt certificate authority to add SSL support.


  • Tiny, $29 IoT gateway SBC packs in WiFi and dual LAN ports
    FriendlyElec’s open-spec, 60 x 55.5mm “NanoPi R1” SBC runs mainline Linux on a quad -A7 Allwinner H3 and offers GbE and Fast Ethernet ports, WiFi/BT, 3x USB ports, and a standard metal case with antenna. FriendlyElec has launched a hacker board aimed at low-cost IoT gateway duty. The open-spec, Linux-driven NanoPi R1 combines 10/100 and […]




  • How to Install MySQL on Ubuntu 18.04
    In this tutorial, we will show you how to install and improve the security of MySQL on Ubuntu 18.04. MySQL is one of the most popular and widely-used open-source relational database management systems. It is used for building web applications such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and Magento, and is an important part of the LAMP/LEMP open-source web application software stacks. At the moment of writing this tutorial, the latest supported version from the official Ubuntu package repository is MySQL 5.7.


  • ST announces Cortex-A7/M4 hybrid SoC and OpenSTLinux distro
    ST unveiled a Linux-driven “STM32MP1” SoC, which is its first Cortex-A chip and the first to run Linux. The STM32MP1 combines dual -A7 cores with a Cortex-M4 and will be available with several RPi compatible dev boards. STMicroelectronics announced its first Cortex-A SoC and first Linux- and Android-driven processor. The STM32MP1 SoC intends to ease [[he]#8230[/he]]


[[LinuxInsider

	Copyright 2019
	http://www.linuxinsider.com|Linux Insider"LinuxInsider"]]
  • GhostBSD: A Solid Linux-Like Open Source Alternative
    The subject of this week's Linux Picks and Pans is a representative of a less well-known computing platform that coexists with Linux as an open source operating system. If you thought that the Linux kernel was the only open source engine for a free OS, think again. BSD shares many of the same features that make Linux OSes viable alternatives to proprietary computing platforms.


  • Redcore Linux Gives Gentoo a Nice Facelift
    Working with the Linux operating system offers a never-ending series of alternatives. One of the greatest benefits of using the Linux desktop is that you are never at risk of vendor lock-in or of being stranded if your chosen distro flavor suddenly sours. Take Redcore Linux, for example. Redcore is not a household name among typical Linux users. Neither was its predecessor, Kogaion Linux.


  • Linux Task Apps: Plenty of Goodies in These Oldies
    If you need a task manager application to run on your Linux operating system, tap into a software category filled with options that go far beyond the to-do list app you have stuffed into your smartphone. Keeping up to date with multiple daily activity calendars, tons of information, and never-ending must-do lists can become a never-ending challenge.


  • Endless OS Functionality Controls Simplify Computing
    Endless OS is an unusual Linux distro in that its user interface is more like an Android smartphone or tablet than a Linux desktop computer platform. Version 3.5.4, released on Jan. 17, brings parental controls and other refinements that make this distro a cool alternative to the Chromebook for home, educational and community use. Endless OS goes a long way to eliminating the Linux learning curve.


  • MakuluLinux Core OS Debuts With Impressive Desktop Design
    A new Linux OS gets to the core of Linux computing with a revamped desktop environment and a new way to have fun with your daily computing tasks. Developer Jacque Montague Raymer has debuted the MakuluLinux Core OS, and hopes it becomes the crown jewel of the Series 15 release family. MakuluLinux released the latest versions of family members LinDoz and Flash several months ago.


  • The Rise of Activism in Tech Companies
    Things have been changing at an almost unprecedented rate with regard to power structures. The last time I saw this happen was in the 1970s, when the EEOC took off. Suddenly a lot of the off-color, sexist and racist jokes that many executives regularly told could get them fired. A surprisingly large number of people got reassigned, fired, demoted, or otherwise punished.


  • Netrunner's Unique Blackbird Soars to New Heights
    Blackbird, Netrunner's version 19.01 release, hit the download servers on Jan. 14, and this distro deserves to be considered bleeding-edge. Netrunner is a step ahead of other KDE distros, thanks to its solid integration of classic KDE desktop performance with Web-based applications and cloud services. That said, if you aren't fondness of the K Desktop, Netrunner may leave you wanting more desktop simplicity.


  • Should You Run Linux Apps on Your Chromebook?
    Linux apps now can run in a Chromebook's Chrome OS environment. However, the process can be tricky, and it depends on your hardware's design and Google's whims. It is somewhat similar to running Android apps on your Chromebook, but the Linux connection is far less forgiving. If it works in your Chromebook's flavor, though, the computer becomes much more useful with more flexible options.


  • Blue Collar Linux: Something Borrowed, Something New
    Sometimes it takes more than a few tweaks to turn an old-style desktop design into a fresh new Linux distribution. That is the case with the public release of Blue Collar Linux. Blue Collar Linux has been under development for the last four years. Until its public release this week, it has circulated only through an invitation for private use by the developer's family, friends and associates looking for an alternative to the Windows nightmare.


  • Top Open Source Tools for Staying on Time and on Task
    Keeping up to date with multiple daily activity calendars, tons of information, and long must-do lists can be a never-ending challenge. This week's Linux Picks and Pans reviews the best open source Personal Information Managers that will serve you well on whatever Linux distribution you run. In theory, computer tools should make managing a flood of personal and business information child's play.


  • Where Linux Went in 2018 - and Where It's Going
    For those who try to keep their finger on the Linux community's pulse, 2018 was a surprisingly eventful year. Spread over the last 12 months, we've seen various projects in the Linux ecosystem make great strides, as well as suffer their share of stumbles. All told, the year wrapped up leaving plenty to be optimistic about in the year to come, but there is much more on which we can only speculate.


  • Kodachi Builds Privacy Tunnel for Linux
    Online and Internet security are not topics that typical computer users easily comprehend. All too often, Linux users put their blind trust in a particular distribution and assume that all Linux OSes are equally secure. However, not all Linux distros are created with the same degree of attention to security and privacy control. Kodachi Linux offers an alternative to leaving them to chance.


  • Breaking Up the Crypto-Criminal Bar Brawl
    As if e-commerce companies didn't have enough problems with transacting securely and defending against things like fraud, another avalanche of security problems -- like cryptojacking, the act of illegally mining cryptocurrency on your end servers -- has begun. We've also seen a rise in digital credit card skimming attacks against popular e-commerce software such as Magento.


  • Q4OS: A Diamond in the Rough Gets Some Polish
    Sometimes working with Linux distros is much like rustling through an old jewelry drawer. Every now and then, you find a diamond hidden among the rhinestones. That is the case with Q4OS. I took a detailed first look at this new distro in February 2015, primarily to assess the Trinity desktop. That was a version 1 beta release. Still, Trinity showed some potential. I have used it on numerous old and new computers.


  • Pantheon Desktop Makes Linux Elementary
    Developers of U.S.-based Elementary OS recently released the community's annual major update, Juno 5. What makes this distro so nontraditional is its own desktop interface, called "Pantheon." This desktop interface is somewhat of a hybrid, inspired by Apple's Debian Ubuntu-based OS X. It combines some similarities of the GNOME 3 Shell with the visual finesse of the OS X dock.


  • The Road Ahead for Open Source
    Linux and the open source business model are far different today than many of the early developers might have hoped. Neither can claim a rags-to-riches story. Rather, their growth cycles have been a series of hit-or-miss milestones. The Linux desktop has yet to find a home on the majority of consumer and enterprise computers. However, Linux-powered technology has long ruled the Internet.


  • Deepin Builds a Better Linux Desktop
    Deepin 15.8, released last month, is loaded with more efficient layout tweaks that give the distribution greater functionality and maturity. Deepin, based in China, shed its Ubuntu base when with the 2015 release of version 15, which favored Debian Linux. That brought numerous subtle changes in the code base and software roots. Ubuntu Linux itself is based on Debian.


  • How to Use a VPN for Safer Online Shopping
    With the holidays fast approaching, are you looking to buy presents online? The holiday season has become synonymous with online shopping. This isn't really surprising as physical stores usually attract crowds of deal hunters. This often conjures up images of throngs of people waiting in line outside the store, some even camping out. This activity is tolerable for some and even fun for others.


  • Void Linux: Built From Scratch for Full Independence
    Void Linux is a bit out of the ordinary. It offers an unusually interesting alternative to many of the traditional Linux distros affiliated with a larger Linux family such as Debian or Ubuntu or Arch. Void Linux is an independently developed, rolling-release, general-purpose operating system. That means that its software is either homegrown or plain-vanilla compiled.


  • Free Personal Finance Apps You Can Take to the Bank
    Today's Linux platform accommodates a number of really good financial applications that are more than capable of handling both personal and small-business accounting operations. That was not always the case, however. Not quite 10 years ago, I scoured Linux repositories in a quest for replacement applications for popular Microsoft Windows tools. Back then, the pickings were mighty slim.


  • Acumos Project's 1st Software, Athena, Helps Ease AI Deployment
    The LF Deep Learning Foundation has announced the availability of the first software from the Acumos AI Project. Dubbed "Athena," it supports open source innovation in AI, ML and DL. The goal is to make critical new technologies available to developers and data scientists everywhere. Launched earlier this year, Acumos is part of a Linux Foundation umbrella organization.



Slashdot

  • Japan's Hayabusa 2 Successfully Touches Down On Ryugu Asteroid, Fires Bullet Into Its Surface
    Japan's Hayabusa 2 spacecraft has successfully touched down on the asteroid Ryugu at around 11:30 GMT on Thursday. "Data from the probe showed changes in speed and direction, indicating it had reached the asteroid's surface, according to officials from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)," reports The Guardian. From the report: The probe was due to fire a bullet at the Ryugu asteroid, to stir up surface matter, which it will then collect for analysis back on Earth. The asteroid is thought to contain relatively large amounts of organic matter and water from some 4.6 billion years ago when the solar system was born. The complicated procedure took less time than expected and appeared to go without a hitch, said Hayabusa 2 mission manager Makoto Yoshikawa. The spacecraft is seeking to gather 10g of the dislodged debris with an instrument named the Sampler Horn that hangs from its underbelly. Whatever material is collected by the spacecraft will be stored onboard until Hayabusa 2 reaches its landing site in Woomera, South Australia, in 2020 after a journey of more than three billion miles. UPDATE: JAXA says it successfully fired a "bullet" into Ryugu, collecting the disturbed material. "JAXA scientists had expected to find a powdery surface on Ryugu, but tests showed that the asteroid is covered in larger gravel," reports CNN. "As a result the team had to carry out a simulation to test whether the projectile would be capable of disturbing enough material to be collected by [the Sampler Horn]. The team is planning a total of three sampling events over the next few weeks."
            

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Researchers Make Coldest Quantum Gas of Molecules
    An anonymous reader quotes a report from Phys.Org: JILA researchers have made a long-lived, record-cold gas of molecules that follow the wave patterns of quantum mechanics instead of the strictly particle nature of ordinary classical physics. The creation of this gas boosts the odds for advances in fields such as designer chemistry and quantum computing. As featured on the cover of the Feb. 22 issue of Science, the team produced a gas of potassium-rubidium (KRb) molecules at temperatures as low as 50 nanokelvin (nK). That's 50 billionths of a Kelvin, or just a smidge above absolute zero, the lowest theoretically possible temperature. The molecules are in the lowest-possible energy states, making up what is known as a degenerate Fermi gas.   In a quantum gas, all of the molecules' properties are restricted to specific values, or quantized, like rungs on a ladder or notes on a musical scale. Chilling the gas to the lowest temperatures gives researchers maximum control over the molecules. The two atoms involved are in different classes: Potassium is a fermion (with an odd number of subatomic components called protons and neutrons) and rubidium is a boson (with an even number of subatomic components). The resulting molecules have a Fermi character. Before now, the coldest two-atom molecules were produced in maximum numbers of tens of thousands and at temperatures no lower than a few hundred nanoKelvin. JILA's latest gas temperature record is much lower than (about one-third of) the level where quantum effects start to take over from classical effects, and the molecules last for a few seconds -- remarkable longevity. These new ultra-low temperatures will enable researchers to compare chemical reactions in quantum versus classical environments and study how electric fields affect the polar interactions, since these newly created molecules have a positive electric charge at the rubidium atom and a negative charge at the potassium atom. Some practical benefits could include new chemical processes, new methods for quantum computing using charged molecules as quantum bits, and new precision measurement tools such as molecular clocks.
            

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Frontier Demands $4,300 Cancellation Fee Despite Horribly Slow Internet
    Frontier Communications reportedly charged a cancellation fee of $4,302.17 to the operator of a one-person business in Wisconsin, even though she switched to a different Internet provider because Frontier's service was frequently unusable. From the report: Candace Lestina runs the Pardeeville Area Shopper, a weekly newspaper and family business that she took over when her mother retired. Before retiring, her mother had entered a three-year contract with Frontier to provide Internet service to the one-room office on North Main Street in Pardeeville. Six months into the contract, Candace Lestina decided to switch to the newly available Charter offering "for better service and a cheaper bill," according to a story yesterday by News 3 Now in Wisconsin. The Frontier Internet service "was dropping all the time," Lestina told the news station. This was a big problem for Lestina, who runs the paper on her own in Pardeeville, a town of about 2,000 people. "I actually am everything. I make the paper, I distribute the paper," she said. Because of Frontier's bad service, "I would have times where I need to send my paper -- I have very strict deadlines with my printer -- and my Internet's out."   Lestina figured she'd have to pay a cancellation fee when she switched to Charter's faster cable Internet but nothing near the $4,300 that Frontier later sent her a bill for, the News 3 Now report said. Charter offered to pay $500 toward the early termination penalty, but the fee is still so large that it could "put her out of business," the news report said. [...] Lestina said the early termination fee wasn't fully spelled out in her contract. "Nothing is ever described of what those cancellation fees actually are, which is that you will pay your entire bill for the rest of the contract," she said. Lestina said she pleaded her case to Frontier representatives, without success, even though Frontier had failed to provide a consistent Internet connection. "They did not really care that I was having such severe problems with the service. That does not bother them," she said. Instead of waiving or reducing the cancellation fee, Frontier threatened to send the matter to a collections agency, Lestina said.
            

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • NVIDIA Turing-Based GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Launched At $279
    MojoKid writes: NVIDIA has launched yet another graphics card today based on the company's new Turing GPU. This latest GPU, however, doesn't support NVIDIA's RTX ray-tracing technology or its DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) image quality tech. The new GeForce GTX 1660 Ti does, however, bring with it all of the other GPU architecture improvements NVIDIA Turing offers. The new TU116 GPU on board the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti supports concurrent integer and floating point instructions (rather than serializing integer and FP instructions), and it also has a redesigned cache structure with double the amount of L2 cache versus their predecessors, while its L1 cache has been outfitted with a wider memory bus that ultimately doubles the bandwidth. NVIDIA's TU116 has 1,536 active CUDA cores, which is a decent uptick from the GTX 1060, but less than the current gen RTX 2060. Cards will also come equipped with 6GB of GDDR6 memory at 12 Gbps for 288GB/s of bandwidth. Performance-wise, the new GeForce GTX 1660 Ti is typically slightly faster than a previous gen GeFore GTX 1070, and much faster than a GTX 1060. Cards should be available at retail in the next few days, starting at $279.
            

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Microsoft Workers' Letter Demands Company Drop $479 Million HoloLens Military Contract
    A group of Microsoft workers have addressed top executives in a letter demanding the company drop a controversial contract with the U.S. army. The Verge reports: The workers object to the company taking a $479 million contract last year to supply tech for the military's Integrated Visual Augmentation System, or IVAS. Under the project, Microsoft, the maker of the HoloLens augmented reality headset, could eventually provide more than 100,000 headsets designed for combat and training in the military. The Army has described the project as a way to "increase lethality by enhancing the ability to detect, decide and engage before the enemy." "We are alarmed that Microsoft is working to provide weapons technology to the US Military, helping one country's government 'increase lethality' using tools we built," the workers write in the letter, addressed to CEO Satya Nadella and president Brad Smith. "We did not sign up to develop weapons, and we demand a say in how our work is used."   The letter, which organizers say included dozens of employee signatures at publication time, argues Microsoft has "crossed the line into weapons development" with the contract. "Intent to harm is not an acceptable use of our technology," it reads. The workers are demanding the company cancel the contract, stop developing any weapons technology, create a public policy committing to not build weapons technology, and appoint an external ethics review board to enforce the policy. While the letter notes the company has an AI ethics review process called Aether, the workers say it is "not robust enough to prevent weapons development, as the IVAS contract demonstrates." "As employees and shareholders we do not want to become war profiteers," the letter sent today concludes. "To that end, we believe that Microsoft must stop in its activities to empower the U.S. Army's ability to cause harm and violence."
            

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Instagram Code Reveals Public 'Collections' Feature To Take On Pinterest
    An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: Instagram is threatening to attack Pinterest just as it files to go public the same way the Facebook-owned app did to Snapchat. Code buried in Instagram for Android shows the company has prototyped an option to create public "Collections" to which multiple users can contribute. Instagram launched private Collections two years ago to let you Save and organize your favorite feed posts. But by allowing users to make Collections public, Instagram would become a direct competitor to Pinterest. Instagram public Collections could spark a new medium of content curation. People could use the feature to bundle together their favorite memes, travel destinations, fashion items, or art. That could cut down on unconsented content stealing that's caused backlash against meme "curators" like F*ckJerry by giving an alternative to screenshotting and reposting other people's stuff. Instead of just representing yourself with your own content, you could express your identity through the things you love -- even if you didn't photograph them yourself.   The "Make Collection Public" option was discovered by frequent TechCrunch tipster and reverse engineering specialist Jane Manchun Wong. It's not available to the public, but from the Instagram for Android code, she was able to generate a screenshot of the prototype. It shows the ability to toggle on public visibility for a Collection, and tag contributors who can also add to the Collection. Previously, Collections was always a private, solo feature for organizing your bookmarks gathered through the Instagaram Save feature Instagram launched in late 2016. Currently there's nothing in the Instagram code about users being able to follow each other's Collections, but that would seem like a logical and powerful next step.
            

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Once Hailed As Unhackable, Blockchains Are Now Getting Hacked
    schwit1 shares a report from MIT Technology Review: Early last month, the security team at Coinbase noticed something strange going on in Ethereum Classic, one of the cryptocurrencies people can buy and sell using Coinbase's popular exchange platform. Its blockchain, the history of all its transactions, was under attack. An attacker had somehow gained control of more than half of the network's computing power and was using it to rewrite the transaction history. That made it possible to spend the same cryptocurrency more than once -- known as "double spends." The attacker was spotted pulling this off to the tune of $1.1 million. Coinbase claims that no currency was actually stolen from any of its accounts. But a second popular exchange, Gate.io, has admitted it wasn't so lucky, losing around $200,000 to the attacker (who, strangely, returned half of it days later).   Just a year ago, this nightmare scenario was mostly theoretical. But the so-called 51% attack against Ethereum Classic was just the latest in a series of recent attacks on blockchains that have heightened the stakes for the nascent industry. [...] In short, while blockchain technology has been long touted for its security, under certain conditions it can be quite vulnerable. Sometimes shoddy execution can be blamed, or unintentional software bugs. Other times it's more of a gray area -- the complicated result of interactions between the code, the economics of the blockchain, and human greed. That's been known in theory since the technology's beginning. Now that so many blockchains are out in the world, we are learning what it actually means -- often the hard way.
            

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • YouTube Is Heading For Its Cambridge Analytica Moment
    Earlier this week, Disney, Nestle and others pulled its advertising spending from YouTube after a blogger detailed how comments on Google's video site were being used to facilitate a "soft-core pedophilia ring." Some of the videos involved ran next to ads placed by Disney and Nestle. With the company facing similar problems over the years, often being "caught in a game of whack-a-mole to fix them," Matt Rosoff from CNBC writes that it's only a matter of time until YouTube faces a scandal that actually alienates users, as happened with Facebook in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. From the report: To be fair, YouTube has taken concrete steps to fix some problems. A couple of years ago, major news events were targets for scammers to post misleading videos about them, like videos claiming shootings such as the one in Parkland, Florida, were staged by crisis actors. In January, the company said it would stop recommending such videos, effectively burying them. It also favors "authoritative" sources in search results around major news events, like mainstream media organizations. And YouTube is not alone in struggling to fight inappropriate content that users upload to its platform. The problem isn't really about YouTube, Facebook or any single company. The problem is the entire business model around user-generated content, and the whack-a-mole game of trying to stay one step ahead of people who abuse it.   [T]ech platforms that rely on user-generated content are protected by the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which says platform providers cannot be held liable for material users post on them. It made sense at the time -- the internet was young, and forcing start-ups to monitor their comments sections (remember comments sections?) would have exploded their expenses and stopped growth before it started. Even now, when some of these companies are worth hundreds of billions of dollars, holding them liable for user-generated content would blow up these companies' business models. They'd disappear, reduce services or have to charge fees for them. Voters might not be happy if Facebook went out of business or they suddenly had to start paying $20 a month to use YouTube. Similarly, advertiser boycotts tend to be short-lived -- advertisers go where they get the best return on their investment, and as long as billions of people keep watching YouTube videos, they'll keep advertising on the platform. So the only way things will change is if users get turned off so badly that they tune out. Following Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal, people deleted their accounts, Facebook's growth largely stalled in the U.S., and more young users have abandoned the platform. "YouTube has so far skated free of any similar scandals. But people are paying closer attention than ever before, and it's only a matter of time before the big scandal that actually starts driving users away," writes Rosoff.
            

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Apple To Close Retail Stores In the Patent Troll-Favored Eastern District of Texas
    An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: Apple has confirmed its plans to close retail stores in the Eastern District of Texas -- a move that will allow the company to better protect itself from patent infringement lawsuits, according to Apple news sites 9to5Mac and MacRumors which broke the news of the stores' closures. Apple says that the impacted retail employees will be offered new jobs with the company as a result of these changes. The company will shut down its Apple Willow Bend store in Plano, Texas as well as its Apple Stonebriar store in Frisco, Texas, MacRumors reported, and Apple confirmed. These stores will permanently close up shop on Friday, April 12. Customers in the region will instead be served by a new Apple store located at the Galleria Dallas Shopping Mall, which is expected to open April 13. "The Eastern District of Texas had become a popular place for patent trolls to file their lawsuits, though a more recent Supreme Court ruling has attempted to crack down on the practice," the report adds. "The court ruled that patent holders could no longer choose where to file." One of the most infamous patent holding firms is VirnetX, which has won several big patent cases against Apple in recent years. A spokesperson for Apple confirmed the stores' closures, but wouldn't comment on the company's reasoning: "We're making a major investment in our stores in Texas, including significant upgrades to NorthPark Center, Southlake and Knox Street. With a new Dallas store coming to the Dallas Galleria this April, we've made the decision to consolidate stores and close Apple Stonebriar and Apple Willow Bend. All employees from those stores will be offered positions at the new Dallas store or other Apple locations."
            

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • A Philosopher Argues That an AI Can't Be an Artist
    Sean Dorrance Kelly, a philosophy professor at Harvard, writes for MIT Technology Review: Human creative achievement, because of the way it is socially embedded, will not succumb to advances in artificial intelligence. To say otherwise is to misunderstand both what human beings are and what our creativity amounts to. This claim is not absolute: it depends on the norms that we allow to govern our culture and our expectations of technology. Human beings have, in the past, attributed great power and genius even to lifeless totems. It is entirely possible that we will come to treat artificially intelligent machines as so vastly superior to us that we will naturally attribute creativity to them. Should that happen, it will not be because machines have outstripped us. It will be because we will have denigrated ourselves.   [...] My argument is not that the creator's responsiveness to social necessity must be conscious for the work to meet the standards of genius. I am arguing instead that we must be able to interpret the work as responding that way. It would be a mistake to interpret a machine's composition as part of such a vision of the world. The argument for this is simple. Claims like Kurzweil's that machines can reach human-level intelligence assume that to have a human mind is just to have a human brain that follows some set of computational algorithms -- a view called computationalism. But though algorithms can have moral implications, they are not themselves moral agents. We can't count the monkey at a typewriter who accidentally types out Othello as a great creative playwright. If there is greatness in the product, it is only an accident. We may be able to see a machine's product as great, but if we know that the output is merely the result of some arbitrary act or algorithmic formalism, we cannot accept it as the expression of a vision for human good.
            

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • 'Netflix Is the Most Intoxicating Portal To Planet Earth'
    Instead of trying to sell American ideas to a foreign audience, it's aiming to sell international ideas to a global audience. From an op-ed: In 2016, the company expanded to 190 countries, and last year, for the first time, a majority of its subscribers and most of its revenue came from outside the United States. To serve this audience, Netflix now commissions and licenses hundreds of shows meant to echo life in every one of its markets and, in some cases, to blend languages and sensibilities across its markets. In the process, Netflix has discovered something startling: Despite a supposed surge in nationalism across the globe, many people like to watch movies and TV shows from other countries. "What we're learning is that people have very diverse and eclectic tastes, and if you provide them with the world's stories, they will be really adventurous, and they will find something unexpected," Cindy Holland, Netflix's vice president for original content, told me.   The strategy may sound familiar; Hollywood and Silicon Valley have long pursued expansion internationally. But Netflix's strategy is fundamentally different. Instead of trying to sell American ideas to a foreign audience, it's aiming to sell international ideas to a global audience. A list of Netflix's most watched and most culturally significant recent productions looks like a Model United Nations: Besides Ms. Kondo's show, there's the comedian Hannah Gadsby's "Nanette" from Australia; from Britain, "Sex Education" and "You"; "Elite" from Spain; "The Protector" from Turkey; and "Baby" from Italy. I'll admit there's something credulous and naive embedded in my narrative so far. Let me get this straight, you're thinking: A tech company wants to bring the world closer together? As social networks help foster misinformation and populist fervor across the globe, you're right to be skeptical. But there is a crucial difference between Netflix and other tech giants: Netflix makes money from subscriptions, not advertising.
            

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Linus Torvalds on Why ARM Won't Win the Server Space
    Linus Torvalds: I can pretty much guarantee that as long as everybody does cross-development, the platform won't be all that stable. Or successful. Some people think that "the cloud" means that the instruction set doesn't matter. Develop at home, deploy in the cloud. That's bullshit. If you develop on x86, then you're going to want to deploy on x86, because you'll be able to run what you test "at home" (and by "at home" I don't mean literally in your home, but in your work environment). Which means that you'll happily pay a bit more for x86 cloud hosting, simply because it matches what you can test on your own local setup, and the errors you get will translate better. This is true even if what you mostly do is something ostensibly cross-platform like just run perl scripts or whatever. Simply because you'll want to have as similar an environment as possible.   Which in turn means that cloud providers will end up making more money from their x86 side, which means that they'll prioritize it, and any ARM offerings will be secondary and probably relegated to the mindless dregs (maybe front-end, maybe just static html, that kind of stuff). Guys, do you really not understand why x86 took over the server market? It wasn't just all price. It was literally this "develop at home" issue. Thousands of small companies ended up having random small internal workloads where it was easy to just get a random whitebox PC and run some silly small thing on it yourself. Then as the workload expanded, it became a "real server". And then once that thing expanded, suddenly it made a whole lot of sense to let somebody else manage the hardware and hosting, and the cloud took over. Do you really not understand? This isn't rocket science. This isn't some made up story. This is literally what happened, and what killed all the RISC vendors, and made x86 be the undisputed king of the hill of servers, to the point where everybody else is just a rounding error. Something that sounded entirely fictional a couple of decades ago. Without a development platform, ARM in the server space is never going to make it. Trying to sell a 64-bit "hyperscaling" model is idiotic, when you don't have customers and you don't have workloads because you never sold the small cheap box that got the whole market started in the first place.
            

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Norwich's Fortnite Live Festival Was a Complete Disaster
    An anonymous reader shares a report: A festival designed to recreate Fortnite on the outskirts of Norwich has, somewhat predictably, not lived up to expectations. Event organisers flogged 2500 tickets to kids and parents. Entry cost upwards of $15 and unlimited access wristbands a further $26. In return, families got what amounted to a few fairground attractions. Photos from the event show a climbing wall for three people, archery for four people, and four go-karts. An attraction dubbed a "cave experience" was a lorry trailer with tarpaulin over it. An indoors area where you could play actual Fortnite was probably the best thing there -- although it cost money to access and you had to queue to do so. So much for free-to-play. And all of that was if you could actually get into the event to start with. Hundreds of people were left queuing for hours due to staff shortages.
            

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Inside Elizabeth Holmes's Chilling Final Months at Theranos
    In the final months of Theranos, before the blood testing start-up was debunked and its founders charged with fraud, then-CEO Elizabeth Holmes brought a puppy, who she insisted was a wolf to others, with a penchant for peeing into the mix, according to Vanity Fair, which has detailed the chaos that ensued in the waning days of the startup, once valued at $9 billion. The 35-year-old Stanford University dropout has also met with filmmakers who she hopes would make a documentary about her "real story," the outlet reported. She also "desperately wants to write a book." An excerpt from the story: Holmes brushed it off when the scientists protested that the dog hair could contaminate samples. But there was another problem with Balto (name of the dog), too. He wasn't potty-trained. Accustomed to the undomesticated life, Balto frequently urinated and defecated at will throughout Theranos headquarters. While Holmes held board meetings, Balto could be found in the corner of the room relieving himself while a frenzied assistant was left to clean up the mess. [...]   By late 2017, however, Holmes had begun to slightly rein in the spending. She agreed to give up her private-jet travel (not a good look) and instead downgraded to first class on commercial airlines. But given that she was flying all over the world trying to obtain more funding for Theranos, she was spending tens of thousands of dollars a month on travel. Theranos was also still paying for her mansion in Los Altos, and her team of personal assistants and drivers, who would become regular dog walkers for Balto. But there were few places she had wasted so much money as the design and monthly cost of the company's main headquarters, which employees simply referred to as "1701," for its street address along Page Mill Road in Palo Alto. 1701, according to two former executives, cost $1 million a month to rent. Holmes had also spent $100,000 on a single conference table. Elsewhere in the building, Holmes had asked for another circular conference room that the former employees said "looked like the war room from Dr. Strangelove," replete with curved glass windows, and screens that would come out of the ceiling so everyone in the room could see a presentation without having to turn their heads.
            

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Lessons From Six Software Rewrite Stories
    A new take on the age-old question: Should you rewrite your application from scratch, or is that "the single worst strategic mistake that any software company can make"? Turns out there are more than two options for dealing with a mature codebase. Herb Caudill: Almost two decades ago, Joel Spolsky excoriated Netscape for rewriting their codebase in his landmark essay Things You Should Never Do . He concluded that a functioning application should never, ever be rewritten from the ground up. His argument turned on two points: The crufty-looking parts of the application's codebase often embed hard-earned knowledge about corner cases and weird bugs. A rewrite is a lengthy undertaking that keeps you from improving on your existing product, during which time the competition is gaining on you.   For many, Joel's conclusion became an article of faith; I know it had a big effect on my thinking at the time. In the following years, I read a few contrarian takes arguing that, under certain circumstances, it made a lot of sense to rewrite from scratch. For example: Sometimes the legacy codebase really is messed up beyond repair, such that even simple changes require a cascade of changes to other parts of the code. The original technology choices might be preventing you from making necessary improvements. Or, the original technology might be obsolete, making it hard (or expensive) to recruit quality developers.   The correct answer, of course, is that it depends a lot on the circumstances. Yes, sometimes it makes more sense to gradually refactor your legacy code. And yes, sometimes it makes sense to throw it all out and start over. But those aren't the only choices. Let's take a quick look at six stories, and see what lessons we can draw.
            

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


The Register






























  • Big names hurl millions of pounds at scheme to hoist UK's AI knowhow
    We're Europe's tech hub, crows minister, but investment weedy compared to the US and China
    Google's DeepMind is among 11 companies to fund artificial intelligence masters degrees in the UK under a government-backed range of training programmes, including fellowships and PhD centres.…











  • Software development and deployment? Yeah, we can help you with that...
    Just one week to save a bundle with our early bird tickets
    Events If you're gearing up supercharge your software development and deployment operations, whether by adopting DevOps, getting serious about containers, or adding serverless into the mix, you should be joining us at Continuous Lifecycle London in May.…













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Phoronix

  • Linux 5.0 Kernel Performance Is Sliding In The Wrong Direction
    With the Linux 5.0 kernel performance approaching the finish line, the past few days I've been ramping up my tests of this new kernel in our benchmarking farm. Unfortunately, when looking at the results at a macro level it's pointing towards Linux 5.0 yielding lower performance than previous kernel releases.




  • GCC 8.3 Released With 153 Bug Fixes
    While the GCC 9 stable compiler release is a few weeks away in the form of GCC 9.1, the GNU Compiler Collection is up to version 8.3.0 today as their newest point release to last year's GCC 8 series...





  • GCC 9 Compiler Picks Up Official Support For The Arm Neoverse N1 + E1
    Earlier this week Arm announced their next-generation Neoverse N1 and E1 platforms with big performance potential and power efficiency improvements over current generation Cortex-A72 processor cores. The GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) ahead of the upcoming GCC9 release has picked up support for the Neoverse N1/E1...





  • Early Intel i965 vs. Iris Gallium3D OpenGL Benchmarks On UHD Graphics 620 With Mesa 19.1
    With yesterday's somewhat of a surprise announcement that Intel is ready to mainline their experimental Iris Gallium3D driver as their "modern" Linux OpenGL driver with numerous design advantages over their long-standing "classic" i965 Mesa driver, here are some fresh benchmarks of that latest driver compared to the current state of their OpenGL driver in Mesa 19.1.


  • Intel Iris Gallium3D Driver Merged To Mainline Mesa 19.1
    Well that sure didn't take long... Less than 24 hours after the merge request to mainline the Intel "Iris" Gallium3D driver was sent out, it's now been merged into the mainline code-base! The Intel Gallium3D driver is now in Mesa Git for easy testing of their next-generation OpenGL Linux driver...



  • Librem 5 Smartphone Specs Firmed Up, But Now Delayed To Q3
    The Librem 5 Linux-powered smartphone originally planned to ship in January 2019 but last year was delayed to April to allow for more time to finish up work on the hardware and software. Today Purism is announcing that the Librem 5 is being delayed to "Q3" but they have been making progress particularly on the hardware side...


  • Clear Linux Has A Goal To Get 3x More Upstream Components In Their Distro
    For those concerned that running Clear Linux means less available packages/bundles than the likes of Debian, Arch Linux, and Fedora with their immense collection of packaged software, Clear has a goal this year of increasing their upstream components available on the distribution by three times...


  • GNOME 3.32 Beta 2 Released
    Released earlier this month was the GNOME 3.32 beta which also marked the feature/UI/API freeze. Out today is the second beta for the upcoming GNOME 3.32 and now the string freeze is also in effect...






  • Preliminary Support Allows Linux KVM To Boot Xen HVM Guests
    As one of the most interesting patch series sent over by an Oracle developer in quite a while at least on the virtualization front, a "request for comments" series was sent out on Wednesday that would enable the Linux Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) to be able to boot Xen HVM guests...




  • Intel Ready To Add Their Experimental "Iris" Gallium3D Driver To Mesa
    For just over the past year Intel open-source driver developers have been developing a new Gallium3D-based OpenGL driver for Linux systems as the eventual replacement to their long-standing "i965 classic" Mesa driver. The Intel developers are now confident enough in the state of this new driver dubbed Iris that they are looking to merge the driver into mainline Mesa proper...




  • Extensive Benchmarks Looking At AMD Znver1 GCC 9 Performance, EPYC Compiler Tuning
    With the GCC 9 compiler due to be officially released as stable in the next month or two, we've been running benchmarks of this near-final state to the GNU Compiler Collection on a diverse range of processors. In recent weeks that has included extensive compiler benchmarks on a dozen x86_64 systems, POWER9 compiler testing on the Talos II, and also the AArch64 compiler performance on recent releases of GCC and LLVM Clang. In this latest installment of our GCC 9 compiler benchmarking is an extensive look at the AMD EPYC Znver1 performance on various releases of the GCC compiler as well as looking at various optimization levels under this new compiler on the Znver1 processor.


  • TuxClocker: Another GPU Overclocking GUI For Linux
    Adding to the list of third-party GPU overclocking utilities for Linux is TuxClocker, a Qt5-based user-interface currently with support for NVIDIA graphics cards and experimental support for AMD GPUs...




  • Gallium Nine With NIR Is Now Running Most D3D9 Games "Flawlessly"
    Towards the beginning of the month we reported on the Gallium Nine state tracker working on NIR support as an alternative to its original focus on the common TGSI intermediate representation to Gallium3D. That NIR-ified version of Gallium Nine is now working and beginning to run most Direct3D 9 games fine...



Engadget"Engadget RSS Feed"

  • YouTube prevents anti-vaccine channels from running ads
    YouTube is killing anti-vaccine channels' ability to earn from advertisements following a vaccine hesitancy" that clearly describes it as "one of the top ten global health threats of 2019." The platform received a lot flak of after the original report was published, especially since Facebook already started "exploring additional measures" to fight the spread of anti-vaccine disinformation by then. Facebook was under tremendous pressure to squash the rampant spread of anti-vax sentiments in Groups, seeing as it may have contributed to a measles outbreak in the US.

    The original report also found that the platform tends to add anti-vaccine videos to the "Up Next" section and to auto-play them right after pro-vaccination content. Due to the fact that pro-vaccination videos aren't as common -- people who've never had measles or any vaccine-preventable illness won't be shooting videos extolling the benefits of vaccination, after all -- YouTube's algorithm lines up anti-vax content instead. The company told TechCrunch

    Source: BuzzFeed News


  • Japanese safety video teaches cats the rules of the road
    As a species, we've done a pretty bang up job making the rest of the planet incredibly dangerous for other animals. Ask any badger and they'll tell you, "humans are the worst." Roadways are particularly treacherous to the rest of the animal kingdom. But a Japanese auto parts and service chain, Yellow Hat is doing its part to help some of our four-legged companions on this big blue orb navigate the dangers of the streets.

    In a video that according to Yellow Hat has gone to great lengths to share with felines the dangers of the road. While I don't speak Japanese (or cat, but I'm taking classes), I think I have the general gist of what's happening.



    A police cat (probably a captain), lectures three cats about what you shouldn't do (as a cat) on the road. Officer Whiskers (I'm guessing that's the cat's name. If it isn't, it should be) warns the assembled kittens via meows that, "there are many dangers."

    The kitty constable then shares important pearls of wisdom like "don't jump out into the street!" which are accompanied by videos of cats behaving badly on and near roadways. Some of these felines are played by people dressed as cats and some are puppets. I know, I'm also disappointed in Yellow Hat for giving cat roles to humans.

    According to the fine humans over at Fast Company, Sora News24

    Source: Yellow Hat


  • Virgin Galactic sends its first passenger to the edge of space
    Virgin Galactic sent its first test passenger into sub-space today. The company's chief astronaut instructor Beth Moses accompanied two pilots on a flight 55.85 miles above the Earth, just a few miles below the internationally recognized space boundary, 62 miles. This will likely come as good news to the more than 600 people from 58 countries who have paid or put down deposits for suborbital flights with Virgin Galactic -- some of those passengers have been queuing for as many as 14 years.
    SpaceShipTwo in its natural habitat 🚀 🌎 pic.twitter.com/P5cUiwFg0b
    — Virgin Galactic (@virgingalactic) February 22, 2019
    Moses and the company's pilots took off just after 11am ET onboard the SpaceShipTwo VSS Unity. Moses, who will train future space tourists, was there to evaluate customer experience and the cabin, actively pushing the boundaries, flying higher and faster with heavier loads to simulate the weight of passengers. Just a few months ago, SpaceShipTwo reached space for the first time. And as Reuters notes, Branson hopes to be the first passenger on SpaceShipTwo's inaugural commercial flight as early as this summer. If the company succeeds, it will offer 90-minute flights at the bargain price of $250,000.
    Our Chief Astronaut Trainer, Beth Moses, experienced zero-g float time as SpaceShipTwo reached apogee today. Three new @virgingalactic Commercial Astronauts. pic.twitter.com/OrVSm1PAvE
    — Virgin Galactic (@virgingalactic) February 22, 2019
    Via: Reuters

    Source: Virgin Galactic


  • Huawei’s billboard may have just leaked its foldable phone
    Huawei's big reveal at next week's Mobile World Congress may have been scooped by a billboard. An advertisement on display at the event, spotted by Twitter user @gimme2pm, shows a yet-to-be-announced folding smartphone called the Huawei Mate X. Engadget has reached out to Huawei to confirm the advertisement is from Huawei and the product in it is real. We will update this story if we hear back.
    #Huawei #MWC2019 #MWC19 huawei Mate X pic.twitter.com/cUV7POgF6r
    — 红军第十九冠 (@gimme2pm) February 22, 2019
    Even without the billboard apparently outing Huawei's plans, a folding smartphone from the company was expected at MWC 2019. Rumors of the device have been floating around since the start of the year, and Huawei said last October that it planned to release a folding device at some point during 2019. At a meeting with investors last month, Huawei CEO Richard Yu confirmed the company's plans to bring a folding smartphone to the annual event. "We look forward to seeing you in Barcelona in February, where we will launch the world's first 5G smartphone with foldable screen," he said.

    Huawei's folding smartphone will be revealed just days after Samsung showed off its first ever folding device, the Galaxy Fold. Folding screens are expected to be the next big trend in smartphones, with companies like LG and Xiaomi also experimenting with the feature. Royole, meanwhile, have already revealed its efforts to the public -- earlier than everyone else.

    Source: Gimme2pm


  • Intel's 5G modems won't be in phones until 2020
    Intel has said that while it will send out sample versions of its 5G modems to its clients this year, the chips won't be in phones before 2020. Apple uses Intel modems in its iPhones, so the timeline suggests we might not see a 5G iPhone until next year, which falls in line with previous reports.

    Apple has spoken with Samsung and MediaTek about using their 5G modems in this year's slate of iPhones, according to Reuters, but it's not clear whether those discussions resulted in any concrete agreements. If it sticks with Intel, Apple's initial 5G iPhone may arrive more than a year after some of its rivals start selling 5G-ready phones.

    Samsung revealed its first 5G phone this week, and the Galaxy S10 5G will start shipping in the next few months. We'll almost certainly learn about more 5G phones from Mobile World Congressover the next week too.

    Source: Reuters


  • Snapchat is in the middle of an identity crisis
    There was a time a year or so ago when, if a friend wanted to send me a meme or a funny selfie, it would be on Snapchat. But I don't remember the last time that happened; at some point Instagram became our go-to messaging app. And apparently I'm not alone: Snapchat lost as many as 3 million daily users in 2018. Meanwhile, Instagram has grown so fast over the past two years that its Stories feature alone is much bigger than Snapchat, with more than 500 million daily users. This has arguably come at Snapchat's expense. But it's not as if Snap isn't looking to turn things around. The company wants to reinvent itself by trying a bunch of different things, like augmented reality shopping, being more open and teaming up with brands such as Nike on AR workshops.
    Snap Inc.'s struggles have been well-documented. From Snapchat's sluggish Android app to a revolving door of executives, it's easy to see why the app's user base has remained flat since 2017. Its biggest problem right now, though, is that it seems to be having an identity crisis. It's hard to tell what it wants to be: One day Snapchat reveals augmented reality lenses for dogs, the next it adds more hockey highlights to its app.

    Snapchat is still making amajor push into short-form original content too, an effort that began with the launch of Discover in 2015. Just last month, it announced a new show called Bringing Up Bhabie, featuring 15-year-old rapper Bhad Bhabie (whose real name is Danielle Bregoli). Bhad Bhabie became an internet celebrity after an appearance on Dr. Phil in 2017, where her family troubles were aired and she dared the taunting audience to "cash me ousside, how 'bout dat?" if they had something to say to her face. Since then, she's been in videos with controversial YouTube star Logan Paul and was nominated for a Billboard Music Award.



    For Snapchat, having a show with Bhad Bhabie means reaching the young audiences it desperately needs, and so far that bet seems to be paying off. Bringing Up Bhabie racked up 10 million viewers in 24 hours during its debut in January, making it the biggest premiere in Snapchat's history. For comparison, E!'s Keeping Up With The Kardashians brings in about 1.5 million viewers per episode, and that's a popular series going into its 16th season.

    The viewership numbers from Bringing Up Bhabie bode well for Snap, especially as it continues to invest heavily in original scripted shows. With the launch of Snapchat Originals in 2018, the company plans to roll out a slate of programming that offers one five-minute episode a day for every title it launches, including Bringing Up Bhabie. There are also others like Class of Lies, Co-Ed and Endless Summer, for people who are interested in romance or true crime stories instead of a a 15-year-old rapper.

    Of course, those originals are on top of what Snapchat is already doing with shows, such as during an earnings call in February that "30 percent more people" are now watching Snapchat Shows compared to last year. He said a series like Dead Girls Detective Agency, created by Snapchat and NBCUniversal, is reaching 14 million unique viewers on its own.



    Still, if Snapchat hopes to grow its user base in the years to come, original video alone won't be its saving grace. Although Spiegel's hope is that these efforts will help Snap "get back on track and achieve its goal of full-year profitability" in 2019, only time will tell if his strategy will work. Jason Keath, Founder and CEO of SocialFresh (a social media training and analytics firm), told Engadget that at this moment Snapchat is "on the precipice of whether it will survive" as a public company. "[Snapchat] has seen Facebook and Instagram [do what works], but it believes it can go its own path, and that's hurt it," he said.

    There are many reasons why Snapchat hasn't caught up to Facebook or Instagram, Keath said, but the lack of public profiles and embeddable content on the web are the main ones to blame for its growth troubles. Another big issue has been the app's janky user interface, particularly on Android, which Snapchat has been vowing to fix for a couple of years now.

    "[Snapchat] is the best free R&D department Facebook could have ever asked for."

    Then there's Snapchat's dependence on ephemeral posts, though rumors suggest it may soon allow public Stories that don't disappear. If Snapchat were to come up with a way to make Stories last longer or be permanent on someone's account, it could help it better compete with Instagram and other social networks.

    "You can never deny Snapchat is a huge innovator when it comes to social platforms," Keath said. "If it had gotten a larger scale [audience] more quickly before it started to hit some of these roadblocks, it might be in a better position." What's helped Snapchat, he added, is that it's managed to hold onto its younger demographics. But Snapchat can't get too comfortable there, because newcomer social media apps like TikTok are increasingly becoming the first choice for millions of teenagers.
    Snap Camera
    Snap Inc.

    It's no surprise, then, that Snap is also trying to lure in new users with standalone products that feature what made Snapchat popular in the first place: augmented reality. With the launch of Lens Studio in 2017, Snapchat basically made it easy for anyone to create their own AR filters in a matter of minutes, no coding required. That free-to-use software has been quite a hit: Snapchat says there are now more than 300,000 Lenses created by independent users, and those have been viewed over 35 billion times.

    The goal with projects like this, according to Snapchat, is to educate people on augmented reality and make it easy for them to personalize filters or lenses. By using Lens Studio to team up with brands such as Nike on AR workshops, the first of which we saw at NBA All-Star Weekend 2019, Snapchat believes it can reach fresh audiences. Beyond that, Snapchat told Engadget that the partnership with Nike could pave the way for similar augmented reality studios with other brands in the future.

    Snap is also focusing on launching standalone products like Snap Camera, a free application that brings Snapchat Lenses to the Mac and Windows desktop. One of the most interesting parts about Snap Camera, which works with video-chatting apps including Google Hangouts and Skype, is that it doesn't require a Snapchat login to use. Snap Camera, the company said, is part of its vision to become more open and expand its AR ecosystem beyond smartphones.

    Now the challenge for Snapchat is to connect all these dots, which seem to be part of its master plan to grow and keep competing with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok -- a task that hasn't been easy thus far. Whether doubling down on original shows or becoming more open will actually work for Snapchat -- and Snap Inc. as a whole -- that remains to be seen. Right now, it just doesn't seem as if it has a clear, coherent strategy: It wants to be a social network and, at the same time, a video entertainment platform.
    There's no doubt the company is at a crucial point, and it needs to quickly figure out who is its ideal demographic. Is it teenagers? Is it millennials? Both? "Snapchat is tweens," said Jasmine Sandler, CEO of JS Media (a digital social media marketing agency). "High schoolers are on Instagram." She said Snapchat needs to realize this fast and "create a user experience just for [tweens]." Considering the success of Bringing Up Bhabie, you'd think Snapchat would want to keep going after younger kids.

    That said, you can't blame it for working with Nike and Adidas to try to connect with older generations who are into the NBA or sneakers. After all, these are the people more likely to buy whatever Snapchat wants to sell with an AR ad. But there's no more time for Snapchat to waste. Otherwise, as Keath puts it, the company may just end up being "the best free R&D department Facebook could have ever asked for."

    Images: Snap Inc./Bhad Bhabie ("Bringing Up Bhabie"); Chesnot via Getty Images (Social media apps); Engadget (Snap/Nike)


  • Analogue’s mini-Genesis will include an unreleased game from 1994
    If you needed another reason to consider buying Analogue's Mega SG console, you might just have one: the chance to play Hardcore, a 1994 Sega Genesis game that was previewed but never published. After 25 years in the dark, Hardcore will see the light of day, now that Analogue has chosen to bundle the game with its upcoming hardware.

    Analogue, the company behind the 2017 Super NT SNES clone, announced plans to release a Sega Genesis clone last fall. The console will simulate Sega Genesis hardware, while adding HD-output and audio that meets today's standards. Now, it's as if they said to themselves, "Why not throw in a spruced-up version of an original Sega Genesis game?" And better yet, one that few ever got to play.

    The publisher Strictly Limited planned to bring Hardcore, a run-and-gun or shoot-'em-up game, to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita this year, but now, following Analogue's announcement, it looks like we'll see the game in April, when the Mega SG ships. This isn't the first time Analogue has bundled a never-released game with its hardware -- as Polygon notes, Super NT revived Super Turrican Director's Cut, around this time last year. Considering Analogue's focus on revitalizing the bygone 16-bit era, Hardcore feels like a fitting choice for its latest act of video game necromancy.

    Source: Polygon


  • YouTube is proactively blocking ads on videos prone to predatory comments
    Earlier this week, multiple brands pulled their advertisements from YouTube in response to what one YouTuber called a "soft-core pedophilia ring" being fostered via video comments. In response, YouTube removed hundreds of channels and disabled comments on millions of videos, but it appears the company doesn't have a handle on things just yet — and its latest move has angered some creators.

    A tweet from the company last night noted that even if a user's video was "suitable for advertisers," YouTube might still make it so it received "limited or no ads" if the video fostered inappropriate comments. That caused an immediate backlash among YouTubers, given that bad actors could simply trash a video's comment section with the hopes that YouTube would pull ads, costing that creator revenue. Given how online cesspools like 4Chan have banded together in the past to troll others online, it's easy to imagine this being used to attack innocent videos that some simply don't agree with.

    Engadget reached out to YouTube and a spokesperson said that the company is proactively limiting ads on videos that it has identified as being particularly at risk for predatory comments. The company also pointed out that this was being done to specific videos, not across entire channels. It would seem this confirms some creators' worries; indeed, some videos are losing monetization before bad comments sections have appeared. YouTube said it's doing so as a precautionary measure, and it seems this won't be the new permanent policy, but that's of little help to those losing money from something that may or may not take place.

    On the positive side, it sounds like YouTube is making this determination based on posts that are at risk for these specific types of predatory comments. That means that trolls might not be able to simply wade into a video they disagree with, muck up the comments and have ads removed from a video. Unfortunately, YouTube has yet to issue a clear, declarative statement about the issue and what specifically it's doing, opting instead for a few tweets and brief, somewhat vague statements. Here's hoping that the company gets a handle on the issue quickly and does a better job of communicating with it users.

    Source: YouTube (Twitter)



  • Here's Bethesda's plan to keep 'Fallout 76' relevant in 2019
    After a few very rough months, Bethesda is ready to show where Fallout 76 is headed next... and it might just inject some needed variety into the online action RPG. The company has published a 2019 roadmap that starts on March 12th with Wild Appalachia, a bundle of features, modes and quests to mark the spring. I'll start out modestly with a quest that opens up brewing and distilling at your home base, but it'll also include a seasonal event (the Fasnacht Parade on March 19th), the high-stakes Survival mode (March 26th), base decoration and player vending (April 9th), the Shear Terror storyline (also April 9th) and an Ever Upwards quest (May 7th) that includes Scouts-style merit badges and a customizable backpack. On May 23rd, a Purveyor vendor will scrap your legendary gear in return for fresher equipment.

    The company's strategy for later in the year is vague, but still offers some promise. The Nuclear Winter update due this summer will include a namesake mode that aims to change "the rules of the Wasteland," new raids on Vaults 94 and 96 and a prestige system that lets players above level 50 achieve a Legendary status with new abilities. The fall update, Wastelanders, will be the "biggest and most ambitious update" yet with a new main story line as well as more events, factions and features.

    It's too soon to say if this will help Fallout 76 turn a corner and entice people put off by the game's early reputation. The greater variety in gameplay might help address common complaints about a lack of things to do, though. If nothing else, Bethesda appears to be learning a lesson or two Bethesda


  • Multiple iOS apps are reportedly sharing sensitive data with Facebook
    At least 11 popular apps are reportedly sharing people's sensitive data with Facebook, even if they don't have an account on the social network. The Wall Street Journal found that apps which can help track personal information such as body weight, menstrual cycles and pregnancy are sending such details to Facebook.

    The apps that were found to share personal data include Flo Period & Ovulation Tracker, BetterMe: Weight Loss Workouts, Breethe, Realtor.com and Instant Heart Rate: HR Monitor. The report suggests none of these apps had an option for users to prevent them from sharing personal data with Facebook, nor do they necessarily make it clear to people their data is making its way to Facebook's servers. The publication was only able to specifically decipher the types of data that iOS apps send Facebook, but a third-party test determined at least one Android fitness app shares weight and height data too.

    Thousands of apps use a Facebook analytics tool called App Events that lets developers track user activity. Developers can set up "custom app events," which can be used for ad targeting. That's how the apps identified in the report are sending data to Facebook. While the data is apparently anonymized in some cases, there are sometimes markers that could let Facebook match some of it to users.

    The social network doesn't seem to be directly at fault here. It instructs developers not to share "health, financial information or other categories of sensitive information" with it. The company told the WSJ developers have to make it clear to users what data they're handing Facebook, and that some of the reported information-sharing practices seem to violate its terms.

    Facebook said it will force the apps mentioned in the report to stop sharing sensitive data and take action against developers if they don't comply. It also claimed it doesn't use sensitive data captured in custom app events to personalize products like ads and the News Feed, and it automatically deletes some types of intimate data it receives, including social security numbers.

    Meanwhile, Apple requires app developers to obtain consent from users before collecting their data and to take measures to stop unauthorized third parties from gaining access to that information. Google's policies state apps have to "disclose the type of parties to which any personal or sensitive user data is shared." The app-makers might also face repercussions under privacy rules like the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation.

    Source: The Wall Street Journal


  • Tune in to our Microsoft MWC liveblog Sunday at 12PM ET!
    MWC doesn't officially begin until Monday, but a few companies are revealing the goods this weekend ahead of the show. Microsoft is one of those, and we'll be there on Sunday (February 24th) to bring you all the news as it's announced in liveblog form. Tune into our live coverage right here at 12PM ET/6PM CET as we find out what CEO Satya Nadella and HoloLens creator and Microsoft technical fellow Alex Kipman have to discuss here in Barcelona. We could see the official introduction of HoloLens 2, or perhaps some Windows Mixed Reality news. But no matter what's on tap, we'll have the details from Spain as they're unveiled on stage. If you want to watch live, head over to Microsoft's event page for the livestream when the time comes.


  • BMW and Daimler invest $1 billion in their joint mobility services
    German automakers BMW and Daimler AG provided a host of details on their partnerhsip that will that will invest more than $1 billion into mobility services. The companies, which agreed to pool their services last year, plan to invest in handful of programs designed to help simplify and improve transportation in urban areas. The pair have created five joint ventures focused on everything from ride sharing to parking and expect the initiatives will produce around 1,000 new jobs.

    The five programs that will be operated by BMV and Daimler AG include Reach Now, Charge Now, Free Now, Park Now and Share now. Reach Now is a service that shows users different ways to get to their destination when traveling, including public transportation, car sharing, and bike rentals. Charge Now will create a massive network of charging stations designed to improve access for electric vehicles. A competitor to Uber and Lyft, Free Now is a ride-hailing app that is already offering services in 17 countries in Europe and Latin America. Park Now lets people plan and pay for parking spots in advance to cut down on time spent driving around looking for open spaces. Finally, Share Now offers shared electric vehicles that serve as an alternative to owning a car.

    Most of the ventures under the umbrella of BMV and Daimler are already up and running in some capacity, and the companies claim they already serve more than 60 million customers. Last year, BMV and Daimler decided to operate their mobility services as a 50/50 joint venture to expand their reach and help to future-proof their business models. The automakers won approval from regulators for their plan in December. The initiatives should expand considerably with the new influx of cash as the automakers focus on what the future of transportation might look like.

    Source: BMW Group


  • The best bag and cable organizers
    By Kaitlyn Wells

    This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter's independently chosen editorial picks, Wirecutter and Engadget may earn affiliate commission. Read the full bag and cable organizers guide here.

    Whether you commute to the office or the coffee shop, you probably need a way to organize the pens, tech accessories, and toiletries you take with you every day. To find the best options to carry what different people might need with them, we spent over a week researching 65 bag organizers and testing 27 of them, and we found seven organizers we liked for their style, durability, and usability.

    Some backpacks and purses come with all the pockets and loops you'd need, but others are black holes, swallowing charging cables and tubes of lip balm. For those people (and I count myself among them), the right bag organizer simplifies grabbing accessories while on the go, or moving gear from one bag to another. But everyone has different carrying needs, which is why we have picks to suit a variety of situations: a tech-forward cable organizer that zips closed, a customizable mesh-pouch setup, picks that prioritize toiletries (while making room for tech), and a stylish duo of cosmetic travel pouches made of premium materials—as well as some alternatives where applicable.
    Best for chargers and cables: Incase Nylon Accessory Organizer
    Photo: Michael Hession
    Get this if: You want a sturdy, lightweight, waterproof organizer to corral all of your gadgets and chargers as well as some toiletries or cosmetics in one place.

    Why it's great: The Incase Nylon Accessory Organizer has plenty of room for everyday gear; it zips closed, so items won't get lost or fall out; and it's water-repellent.

    The Incase bag is roughly the size and shape of a large paperback, and like a book it opens flat from a spine. It's 2 inches thick, which is among the slimmest we found for this type of bag, but it still has enough space to stash most of what we carried for a day. It has two medium-sized loops that can hold two 5 W USB power adapters or multiple pens. It has an external zip pocket with a cable-sized hole leading to the inside. We love this feature because it's great for charging a phone without removing the external battery pack from the main compartment. It also has a large, padded pocket lined in faux fur that won't scratch delicate phone screens. The bag's inside flaps have a mesh pocket that is big enough to store a MacBook power adapter (with the cord in a different pocket), five more mesh or solid pockets of various sizes, a small zip pocket ideal for SD cards, a pen loop, and three small elastic loops that are the right size for earbuds.

    The Incase Accessory Organizer has a loop or pocket for everything you need to carry for a day. Photo: Michael Hession
    With all of the organization slots, your gear stays neatly in place, even if you drop your bag. None of the items got tangled or moved about when we shook and flipped this Incase bag around. This wasn't the largest bag we looked at, due to its slim design, but it will hold most of what you need for the course of a day.

    The combination of mesh and opaque pockets are a good match for carrying a variety of objects. Photo: Michael Hession
    This bag is a poly-nylon blend, so it's durable. In our tests, some bags, like one from Bagsmart, ended up scuffed and discolored from rubbing against the cables we loaded into the bags—but the Incase stayed pristine. The Incase was one of two cable-organizer bags we tested for our 2019 update that successfully repelled water—not just from the exterior material, but also along the piping, which is where other cases often failed and liquid soaked through, potentially damaging your important gear.

    Flaws but not dealbreakers: The Incase cable organizer is a soft-shell bag, so its contents can distort the bag's shape when full. But the bag's edges remain rigid—so the seams don't pucker—it's contents don't fall out, and zipping and unzipping the bag is still easy.

    Sizes: 9½ by 6 by 2 inches

    Colors: mulberry, olive
    Also consider: Aer Cable Kit
    Photo: Sarah Kobos
    Get this if: You want to keep smaller tech gear organized while having the freedom to stash power adapters, unruly cables, and cosmetics in an open compartment.

    Why we like it: The Aer Cable Kit has dual padded compartments that hold more accessories than similar designs like the Incase Nylon Accessory Organizer or Bagsmart tech bags, it's also tough, and it repels water.

    This bag has plenty of loops and pockets for packing delicate gear, as well as a large open compartment for bulky items. One side opens flat, like the Incase Nylon Accessory Organizer, and has six elastic loops; five open pockets that can hold a mobile phone or Bluetooth earbuds case; two zip pockets for stashing small cables, flash drives, and a contacts case; and a pen loop in the spine.

    The Aer Cable Kit has one side that's ideal for storing smaller cables, pens, and tech gear. Photo: Sarah Kobos
    The other side resembles a wide zip pouch side and has two internal pockets for smaller items and an open space that's big enough for a charging brick, small notepad, cosmetics, or travel lotions. There's an exterior pocket for storing last-minute additions, like a train ticket or loose change for that coworking-space vending machine.

    The variety of elastic loops, mesh pockets, and opaque pockets make it easier to find the ideal spot for all of your gear. Photo: Sarah Kobos
    The dual design holds all of your commuting essentials, even more than the Incase, but this bag isn't bulky. It's 9 by 6½ by 2½ inches, compared with Incase's 9½ by 6 by 2 inches—still slim enough to grip with one hand even when full.

    The open compartment offers additional space space for stashing bulky charging bricks or cosmetics. Photo: Sarah Kobos
    The Aer Cable Kit is wrapped in tightly woven ballistic nylon, which protects against scratches and tears better than the fabric on most bags. We scraped cable plugs and ink pens against the fabric and couldn't make a dent. The shell is water-resistant and the zippers are reinforced with nylon piping so leaks won't damage expensive gear.

    Where it falls short: The Aer's ballistic nylon cover makes it durable, but not as attractive as the Incase's soft nylon shell or Cuyana's leather. It's also missing microfleece lining in the ripstop nylon pockets, which we find useful for protecting delicate phone screens. It's a soft-shell bag, so it may distort when full of gear—but the seams are strong and didn't break in our tests.

    Size: 9 by 6½ by 2½ inches

    Color: black
    Most customizable: The Container Store Black Micro Mesh Pouches
    Photo: Michael Hession
    For more colors, visit containerstore.com.

    Get this if: You prefer to have different bags for different kinds of gear—phone cables, cosmetics, pens and notepads—so you can grab only what you're going to need.

    Why it's great: The Container Store Micro Mesh Pouches are a no-frills solution for keeping your cables and toiletries organized while being able to clearly see what's inside. These pouches are made of a finer mesh than other mesh bags we tested, so smaller items, such as pens and hairpins, won't fall through the holes. The material also has some give, so you can stuff the bag without fear of splitting a seam. And we found the zipper to be the smoothest among those of all the pouches we tested.

    Mesh bags make it easy to identify their contents. Photo: Michael Hession
    These pouches are great for mixing colors and sizes to match your organizational needs. They come in three sizes and four colors; we recommend the two smaller bags because they're easier to carry and load into a backpack or tote bag. We also like assigning each bag's contents a different color, so it's easier to grab the right items in an instant. That way you can have one bag for gadgets and accessories you take when flying, say, and another for the makeup you bring to work for touch-ups, and you can easily know which one to grab on the way out the door. (Jada Yuan, writer of The 52 Places Traveler at The New York Times, parent company of Wirecutter, also uses these bags.)

    Flaws but not dealbreakers: Because the bags are covered in tiny holes, liquids will spill in and out of them, and they're not ideal if you want complete privacy for your toiletry items. As a workaround, we recommend storing your toiletries in a black micro-mesh bag because the darker color will mask the bag's contents better than the lighter ones.

    Sizes: 7¾ by 4 inches; 7½ by 3 by 5 inches; or 14¼ by 10½ inches (but we think this bag is too big for most people)

    Colors: aqua, black, pink, or silver
    Also consider: Vaultz Mesh Storage Bags
    Photo: Michael Hession
    Get this if: You like the idea of organizing your stuff into a collection of mesh bags, but you don't want to spend a lot—and you don't tend to carry very, very small items.

    Why we like it: Wirecutter senior editor Dan Frakes likes the Vaultz Cord Storage Bags as modular storage at a fraction of the cost of other bags. The mesh bags are sold in a pack of four for just $8 at the time of writing, while The Container Store pick starts at $5 each. These zip pouches are lighter and more pliant than any other bag we tested, and can scrunch into a tight ball when not in use and still rebound to their original shape. Each pack comes in a combination of four different sizes and colors. This makes it easy to organize your gear and grab the right pouch from your travel bag in an instant. You can separate daily tech and toiletry supplies into two bags, keep a driving kit in your car for phone mounts, pack charging cables and adapters in another, and save the last one for important documents when you're traveling out of town.

    A multipack of different colors lets you easily assign different gear to each bag. Photo: Michael Hession
    Where it falls short: These mesh bags aren't great for storing smaller items (such as earbuds and pens) because it's easier for them to get caught in the holes or fall out. And because the bags are made of mesh they're not waterproof.

    Sizes: 9 by 9¼ inches; 5½ by 9 inches; 5 by 8 inches; 5 by 7 inches

    Colors: black, red, orange, and yellow; or mint, pink, purple, and blue (for $6 more)
    Best for toiletries (and tech): Dsptch Dopp Kit
    Photo: Michael Hession
    For more colors, visit dsptch.com.

    Get this if: You want a not-too-big bag that can keep both toiletries and cables in their place—and you need it to be waterproof.

    Why it's great: We found that traditional cable organizers, like our Incase pick, aren't ideal for carrying toiletries around because they're designed for holding gadgets rather than tubes of lotion. (To some of us, it just feels weird fitting moisturizer and lip balm in elastic loops designed for cords.) The Dsptch Dopp Ki is better suited for carrying both cables and lotions because the main compartment has three wide elastic loops that comfortably fit bulky toiletries (like sunscreen) and tech accessories (like charging bricks) beside each other. It also has plenty of room to stash all of the gear used in our tests. And it's about half the size of the Herschel Supply Co. Chapter Travel Kit that we tested, so it's easier to fit into a backpack or tote.

    The Dsptch toiletry bag is covered in ballistic nylon, so it's tough and resists scratches and scrapes more than most bags we tested. The Dsptch bag's material is also completely waterproof, making it one of only five bags (and the only dedicated toiletry bag) we tested that didn't leak.

    The Dsptch toiletry bag has large elastic loops, equally suited to bulky toiletries or chargers. Photo: Michael Hession
    This bag also has two unique storage features. The first is a two-way pocket that's accessible from the outside or inside the main compartment. So important items, like an ID card or cash, are easier to reach from the outside when in a rush. The bag also comes with a removable, padded valet tray that snaps into the secondary compartment. You'll probably want to store delicate items (like a dress watch) in this slimmer compartment, away from bulky tech accessories.

    The removable valet tray gives you a nice platform to store fragile items, but it takes up a lot of space. Photo: Michael Hession
    Flaws but not dealbreakers: The Dopp Kit's main compartment unzips down only an inch on the sides, so it's harder to peer into and harder for larger hands to dig inside the bag. The black version of this bag's black interior compounds the issue, because it's very dark inside. (If you have limited vision, we recommend purchasing a bag with a lighter interior, such as the grey, grey speckled twill, moss, or navy, which have matching linings.)

    The side compartment's padded valet tray takes up valuable space and we had trouble quickly grabbing an item from the section when the tray is in place without fully unzipping the bag. It's a minor annoyance—we prefer keeping the valet in the bathroom or on a nightstand to fully take advantage of the bag's storage space.

    Sizes: 9 by 4 by 4 inches; valet tray is 7 by 3 inches

    Colors: black, black camo, grey, navy, moss, grey speckled twill, and charcoal speckled twill
    Also consider: Osprey UltraLight Roll Organizer
    Photo: Michael Hession
    Get this if: You want a bag that packs slim and lets you see most of your stuff at a glance, but you don't need it to be waterproof, and you don't mind unrolling the whole bag to remove a single item.

    Why we like it: The Osprey UltraLight Roll Organizer is what Wirecutter deputy editor Michael Zhao uses to organize his cables and gear. Its dimensions (6 by 3 by 9 inches) make it the slimmest toiletry bag we tested, but it still packs plenty of storage space and organization features. Its combination of full-width, slimmer mesh compartments—great for cables, adapters, and pens—and a deeper pocket for accommodating bulkier chargers, batteries, and toiletries give you a lot of packing flexibility. You can see almost everything inside when the bag is fully opened and it folds into thirds like a letter for packing away.

    The Osprey's tri-fold design lets you pack a lot of gear in a limited space, though unrolling the whole pack to get out a single item can be awkward. Photo: Michael Hession
    The bag is also easier to spot-clean than other toiletry bags we tested. Both sides are made of ripstop nylon, which is slicker than canvas or ballistic-nylon bathroom bags, so it's painless to wipe off lotions and liquid makeup foundation spills.

    The Osprey's tri-fold design lets you pack a lot of gear in a limited space, though unrolling the whole pack to get out a single item can be awkward. Photo: Michael Hession
    Where it falls short: In our tests, we found the Osprey cumbersome to both unbuckle and unroll to access a particular item. It's not as intuitive to use as other picks, which you can just unzip. On the other hand, it has the benefit of letting you see what's in each pocket at a glance without having to rummage through any dark compartments.

    This toiletry bag also isn't waterproof (the Dsptch Dopp Kit was the only truly waterproof toiletry bag we looked at). And a very, very small number of Amazon reviewers reported seams and mesh pockets ripping after just a couple months of use.

    If you want a dedicated toiletry bag that's compact and spill-proof, check out our guide to the best toiletry bags.

    Size: 6 by 3 by 9 inches

    Colors: electric lime; poppy orange
    For luxe organizers: Cuyana Leather Travel Case Set
    Photo: Michael Hession
    Get this if: You want a nicer-looking, more elegant way of carrying your accessories—and won't miss individual compartments and lots of internal organization.

    Why it's great: We like the Cuyana Leather Travel Case Set because they're a pair of two beautiful leather bags that are big enough to hold our essentials, and they have a broad base that keeps them upright when opened up. The clamshell bags come in 13 different jewel and pastel colors, and are made of Argentine leather with synthetic leather linings. The exterior leather is pebbled, which is easier to maintain a good grip on than the smooth, soft leathers of some other bags we tested. Each bag has gold- or silver-toned zippers that run effortlessly across their teeth. And the stitching throughout the bags is clean, and we didn't find any signs of loose seams.

    If you want a more luxurious way to organize your gear, Cuyana's leather bags are gorgeously constructed. Photo: Michael Hession
    The Cuyana set is sold with a large (7 by 12 by 3½ inches) and small bag (5 by 8 by 2½ inches small). We easily fit our daily essentials in both cases, and closed them without having to force them like some other bags we tested. The organizers are spacious and the leather shell is thick, so they don't warp when full. And the wide base makes each bag sturdy, so it won't tip over either. Thanks to the clamshell design, the duo open wide enough to store bulky chargers and power adapters, along with everything else. The bags' wide mouths also make it easier to search for objects that get lost in the bottom of the bag.

    The larger bag of the pair has an internal pocket—which is useful—but the clamshell is too big to fit into many purses and backpacks. Photo: Michael Hession
    Flaws but not dealbreakers: We like that the Cuyana set comes with two bags, but feel that the larger one is too big to cart around daily with our other commuting gear. The large Cuyana is 7 by 12 by 3½ inches, which could be challenging to stuff into a backpack, messenger bag, or tote. The smaller clutch is a more manageable size at 5 by 8 by 2½ inches, and can easily fit into another bag. Both Cuyana bags lack multiple pockets and loops, so unsecured cords may tangle. (The large bag has one pocket; the small bag doesn't have any). If you don't plan on using both bags regularly, the $110 to $125 price may be prohibitive.

    The Argentine leather requires delicate care, so if you're rough with your accessories or are prone to spilling liquids and lotions, this bag isn't for you. Cuyana recommends wiping small blotches with a damp cloth or leather cleaner, and consulting a leather-cleaning professional for serious stains.

    Sizes: 7 by 12 by 3½ inches (large); 5 by 8 by 2½ inches (small)

    Colors: pebbled leather is black, blue, blush, burgundy, ecru, jade, navy/black, olive, pearl grey, pistachio, red, soft rose, or stone; shimmer leather is champagne.
    How to choose a bag organizer system
    Photo: Michael Hession
    The easiest way to decide what type of organizer you need is to inventory the accessories you cart to and from work each day, then look at how you transport those items already, and how that systems works for you. For example, if you prefer to have many small bags for different situations, and you carry your gear in sandwich bags, a pouch system might work. Or, if you want to have everything with you at all times, and tend to just throw everything into in a big void in your backpack, the way to go may be a toiletry bag, traditional cable organizer, or makeup clutch.

    Here's a look at the different types of bag organizers we reviewed.

    Pencil pouches are ideal if you prefer a minimalist and modular approach. They lack pockets and loops, and you can purchase as many as you need without paying for pockets you have no need for. These bags are often sold in different sizes so that you can divide your gear among them to your personal preference. They are likely to hold less gear per pouch and less likely to be waterproof than other bags we tested.

    Cosmetic bags and toiletry/Dopp kits are pretty similar. They typically have a large main compartment and minimal organizational features—often a sole pocket or limited elastic loops. Unlike pencil pouches, most cosmetic bags and toiletry kits are opaque, so no one will know you're packing a menstrual cup next to a multiport adapter. Most of the bags we tested in the category weren't waterproof, including most toiletry bags.

    Traditional cable organizers come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and styles. They can fold closed like a book, roll flat like a blanket, or have a flat, open grid system like a placemat. Our favorite style is a zippered book, which allows you to store gear in both covers, as well as the spine. They also come with more pockets and elastic loops than roll or grid organizers, and smaller gear won't fall out of the bags like they can with the other styles. Many of these bags are marketed as water-repellent, but in our tests, those claims didn't always live up to the hype.
    How we picked and tested
    We researched dozens of bags by browsing everything from manufacturer websites to bag enthusiast blogs. We compiled a list of more than 65 options and divided them into four categories: pencil pouches and mesh bags, cosmetic bags, traditional cable organizers (which includes zip books, roll bags, and grid sheets), and toiletry bags. (For this guide, we didn't review purse organizer inserts because that's a different category entirely.) We considered each bag's design, size, organizational features, materials used, price, and online owner reviews. Then we shrunk the list by consulting a small panel of Wirecutter staffers about what they prefer in a bag, and considered some bags that staff members loved. That left us with a spread of 27 bags to accommodate various tastes. We tested the bags based on the following criteria:

    Overall design: We reviewed each bag's materials; the elasticity of elastic loops; the smoothness of zippers; and advanced features, like customizable compartments.

    Bag configurations: We filled each bag with a day's worth of the accessories (below) a person might need when traveling to work each day, looking for bags that could hold more gear and were easier to organize:
    1 USB flash drive 1 SD card 1 Lightning–to–3.5-mm headphone jack adapter 1 earbud set 1 laptop multiport adapter 1 external battery 1 USB power cord and adapter 1 lip balm 1 travel-size bottle of lotion 1 bottle of hand sanitizer 1 small notepad 1 small pill bottle 1 makeup brush 1 makeup compact 2 tampons 2 condoms 3 hair ties 2 pens 1 ID badge and a partridge in a pear tree
    Shape retention: We tried closing the bags when stuffed with gear, and noted which bags deformed under the pressure.

    Contents retention: We zipped each bag, shook it around, and opened it again to see if its contents had flown about.

    Waterproofing: We ran each closed bag under a kitchen faucet with a spray setting for five seconds. We took any bags that remained dry, filled them with 2 tablespoons of water, and checked them for leaks.

    Community review: We asked 18 people to share their thoughts on their favorite bags from our test pool.
    The competition
    Assorted bags/pencil pouches

    The Custom Leathercraft 3 Multi-Purpose Clip-on Zippered Bags are better suited for your home toolbox than an everyday gadget bag. The trio of pouches are made of canvas, so they're tough, and sharp nails and needle-nose pliers won't damage them. The canvas was rougher than our panelists preferred, and most staffers found the dark colors unattractive. Many of us also prefer pouches that are transparent because we don't like guessing what's stored in each bag in the set.

    The IPOW BD02 pencil pouches are sold in a set of four. We liked the fun floral patterns and traditional pencil pouch shape. But the bags weren't big enough to hold more than a single bulky item, such as a laptop charger. The zippers also stuck and some broke during our tests.

    The five bags in the Modern Bethel Travel Pouch Set are covered in vinyl, so they're waterproof. But in our tests, the seams weren't stitched cleanly and the bags leaked water. We also found that the larger bags (13¾ by 10½ inches and 11 by 8¼ inches) are so big that they're as bad as just leaving things loose in your backpack or purse to begin with.

    The Muji Double Fastener Case (medium) was great for storing the small gear on our list. But it couldn't hold our bulkier items without permanently deforming the polyester bag. It's also not waterproof, so a spilled soda or leaking lotion bottle would damage its contents.

    Cosmetic bags

    The BUBM cord and cosmetic organizer is a two-way makeup and brush bag that's convertible to store tech gear as well. The top is a traditional makeup bag, and the bottom unzips horizontally to store brushes, tablet pens, and skinny cable cords. But the main compartment isn't big enough to carry most of the accessories on our list. And the padded chamber absorbed leaking water, which means that it could retain the stinky odors of other spilled liquids over time.

    The Chiceco Handy Makeup Pouch offers better privacy than our pick from The Container Storebecause it's made of 100D Oxford nylon and not micro mesh. It's small enough to carry with one hand, and is flexible and durable enough to cram full with gear without fear of it tearing. But the zipper broke during testing, making the bag virtually impossible to use.

    The Leatherology Clamshell Makeup Bag is sold in two sizes (medium and large) or as a set. Both sizes were great for splitting the storage of our tech gear and personal hygiene items. We liked that both bags have zip pockets, and the clamshell design was ideal for finding small items hiding at the bottom of the bag. But the leather was too soft, and it was easy to scratch and scuff during normal use. Leatherology allows only a 30-day return window and only for unused gear, which isn't ideal for a product that costs $85 to $180. The company also doesn't offer a warranty, but a spokesperson said "we stand behind our products and take care of our customers." Yet, we called the customer service line twice and never spoke with a live person (once we were on hold for 30 minutes before giving up and ended the call).

    Toiletry bags

    The Herschel Supply Co. Chapter Travel Kit measures 18 by 4½ by 6 inches, so it holds our essentials with plenty of room to spare. But its large size also means it was way too big to carry each day. This Dopp kit also isn't waterproof.

    Traditional cable organizers

    2019 testing:

    The Bond Travel Gear Escapade Pouch has a rough nylon exterior, inconsistent stitching quality, and zippers that catch, making it hard to open and close.

    Eagle Creek Etool Organizer Pro lacks a microfiber lining and padding to protect delicate objects, and there's limited space to secure smaller items, like thumb drives. Water also leaks through the zippers.

    The Native Union Stow Accessory Organizer's leather exterior shows wear and tear easily, and the zippers are difficult to use.

    The Peak Design Tech Pouch opens like an accordian-style file folder, so gear won't fall out when you open it. But this was the hardest bag to open that we tested, as the zipper frequently got stuck on the thick piping that was designed to prevent leaks.

    The Tom Bihn Snake Charmer is an upright bag with dual mesh compartments (like a dopp kit). But it's surprisingly bulky (up to 5 inches deep), and it's also not waterproof, so tech gear won't survive a soda spill. For non-water-resistant options, we prefer our Vaultz Mesh Storage Bags because they're sold in a pack of four for just $8 at the time of writing, are modular and big enough for larger cables, and pack down flat for easy storage.

    The Welden Nylon Accessory Organizer is well-made and stylish, featuring a modern hexagonal weave pattern on the exterior that's sure to attract attention. But its small size (4.7 by 7.78 by 2.75 inches) has limited storage space, which won't work for most people commuting with all of their gear. It's also pricey ($80 at the time of writing), and we think our luxe pick, the Cuyana Leather Travel Case Set, is a better deal (currently two bags for $110).

    2018 testing:

    Leatherology Small Tech Bag Organizer has three elastic loops, but the loops loosened after just a couple of uses. The bag is made of soft full-grain leather, which scratches easier than what we would like from a $65 bag. (You can upgrade to the firm, full-grain German leather bag for $100.) This bag is also subject to Leatherology's limited 30-day return window (described above).

    Both Bagsmart bags we looked at have plenty of loops and slots for our gear, but it felt weird putting toiletries in such a techie-looking pouch. Model Travel Universal Cable Organizer (BM0200044B001) wasn't waterproof. And though the Thicken Cable Organizer (BM0200064A001) model did repel water, its inside wasn't very durable and got scuffed up by our bulky laptop cable.

    Our packing cube pick, the Eagle Creek Pack It Quarter Cube (extra-small) was too flimsy to hold our gear.

    The Hynes Eagle Travel Accessories Organizer was too small to hold even half the gear on our list. The floral pattern on the bag was grainy and looked cheap. The bag also wasn't waterproof.

    The Power Packer is durable, looks nice, and is big enough to store bulky cables, external power packs, and travel adapters. Although that's exactly what it's designed to carry, most of our testers found it big for everyday use. And the knitted fabric accents absorbed and leaked water to other sections of the bag.

    The Skooba Design Cable Stable DLX that we recommend in our guide The Best Gear for Travel is, at 12 by 9 inches (compared with the 9½ by 6 inches of the Incase), a bit too big to take with you daily, and its smaller sibling the Skooba Cable Stable Mini lacks internal zippered pockets for keeping small items like SD cards in check.

    Our former budget pick from that same guide, the AmazonBasics Universal Travel Case, has a hard shell that makes it awkward to fit in some bags and less accommodating to big and small loads, and its internal pockets are loose and prone to objects moving around in transit.

    This guide may have been updated by Wirecutter. To see the current recommendations, please go here.

    When readers choose to buy Wirecutter's independently chosen editorial picks, Wirecutter and Engadget may earn affiliate commissions.


  • Watch the premiere of Showtime's 'Desus & Mero' talk show for free
    Showtime's late-night talk show premiered Thursday, and while you'll typically need a subscription to check out the series, the network has shared the debut episode for free. Desus Nice and The Kid Mero, who gained a following with their Bodega Boys podcast before landing shows on MTV and Viceland, had a big-name guest for their first night: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

    The duo also parodied the Oscar-nominated Green Book in the episode, which is available on YouTube, along with Showtime's website and on-demand channels. Thanks to the magic of embed codes, you can check it out right here, "boo-boo" words included.



    Source: Desus & Mero (YouTube)


  • 85 percent of Chrome apps and extensions lack a privacy policy
    There's a good chance you use or have used Chrome, so there's good reason for you to be disturbed by new data from Duo Security that shows just how vulnerable the 180,000-plus Chrome apps and extensions are. For starters, 85 percent of them don't have a privacy policy, meaning developers can essentially handle your data however they want.

    In the process of building a free tool that analyzes Chrome extensions and produces security reports, Duo analyzed 120,000 apps and extensions in the Chrome Web Store, and the results are unsettling. Duo found that 35 percent of Chrome apps and extensions can read data on any site you visit. Nearly 32 percent use third-party libraries with known vulnerabilities, and 77 percent have no support site.

    As Duo points out in its blog post, people often grant permissions to extensions without much consideration -- and however well intentioned those permissions are, they do little good if an extension is purchased or hacked by a malicious third party. That's not unheard of. In October, Chrome extension developers were the target of a mass phishing attack, in which hackers tried to access login credential for developers' Google accounts.

    Since permissions alone don't give a full picture of the security properties of an extension, Duo's new extension tool also builds a list of sites each extension's code likely makes external requests to, analyzes third-party Javascript libraries for vulnerabilities, analyzes each extension content security policy and more. The company details how the tool works on its blog.

    Google has taken steps to improve Chrome security, blocking Chrome extensions installs outside of its Web Store and setting extension rules aimed at improving privacy and security. But Duo's data shows there's still a lot of work to be done. In the meantime, you'll probably want to avoid using Chrome extensions that aren't from well-known and reputable developers, or at least check their security policies first.

    Via: ZDNet

    Source: Duo Security


  • Samsung will let you remap the Bixby button on older phones too
    If the Bixby button on your Samsung Galaxy phone doesn't get much use, you might prefer to make it open another app. Samsung noted the remapping option when it revealed the S10 lineup this week, but if you have a slightly older Galaxy phone (namely, Note 9, S9, Note 8 or S8), you can customize the button too if your device is running Android Pie.

    Samsung will enable the Bixby Key Customization feature with an upcoming software update. You'll be able to open a specific app or run a quick command with a single or double press, and the other method will still activate Bixby.

    While there have been workarounds to reassign the button, this is a straightforward, official way to make it more useful. If you're feeling cheeky, you might even remap it to open Google Assistant or Alexa if you prefer those to Samsung's own assistant.

    Source: Samsung


  • The first 'Fortnite' World Cup kicks off April 13th
    Epic entered the world of eSports with a bang last year when it unveiled its $100 million Fortnite tournaments. It made waves again last month by staging its latest showdown at the Australian Open. Not everything went according to plan, however, with complaints by pros that Fortnite's abrupt updates were affecting their strategies. But after some fine-tuning to the game proper, Epic is now preparing for the final chapter in its debut season: the Marshmello concert did result in Fortnite's best event day ever, with 10.7 million players showing up for the glitter-bomb rave. And last Saturday, the game saw its best non-event day ever with 7.6 million players taking part concurrently.


  • Google fans: Tell us what you think about the Pixel Slate
    A few months ago, we reviewed Google's Pixel Slate, a Chrome OS tablet poised to take on the 'Pro' versions of the iPad and Microsoft Surface. It... did not go very well. While our reviewer Nate Ingraham was taken with the bright display, comfortable keyboard folio and healthy battery life, the Slate failed to impress on the software side. Chrome OS tried too hard to do too many things for too many users in tablet mode. In particular, multitasking slowed down the user experience and the majority of Android apps were unable to take advantage of the 12.3-inch screen, making the device frustrating to work on. In the end, despite the gorgeous hardware, solid speakers and a reliable fingerprint sensor, the Slate earned a humbling score of 69.

    But just because the Pixel Slate didn't knock it out of the park for our reviewer, that doesn't mean it's a terrible choice for everyone. If you own or use a Pixel Slate, tell us what there is to love by leaving a user review in our buyer's guide. And if you, too, found the software experience buggy, or had any other issues with your device, we want to hear from you as well.

    Note: Comments have been turned off for this post; please contribute your opinions and impressions on our Google Pixel Slate product page!


  • NVIDIA's GTX 1660 Ti offers gaming power without ray-tracing for $279
    NVIDIA has officially unveiled the much-leaked GTX 1660 Ti. It's a next-gen Turing card that lacks the RTX-series' ray tracing, but costs less and boosts performance over the last-generation GTX 1060. The new cards come with 6GB of GDDR6 RAM running at 12Gbps, 1,536 CUDA cores and a 1.8GHz boost clock speed that allows further overclocking. It'll deliver 1.5 times the performance of the GTX 1060 6GB card, with 1.4 times the power efficiency -- fast enough to power games like Fortnite, PUBG and Apex Legends at 120 fps/1080p.



    NVIDIA has been criticized a fair bit over the pricing of its RTX 20-series GPUs. They don't offer a significant boost over the last generation and the main feature you're paying for -- ray tracing -- is only available in a couple of games. At the same, time, they're pricier than the last generation. For instance, the RTX 2060 cost $100 more than the GTX 1060 did at launch.

    NVIDIA's pitch for the new cards, then, is value. The GTX 1660 Ti should offer about the same performance as a GTX 1070, while costing less. At the same time, the $349 RTX 2060 will outperform it, though, as it has more CUDA cores (1,920) and a higher 14 Gbps memory speed. NVIDIA has promised that "plenty" of GTX 1660 Ti boards will be available at launch today from ASUS, MSI, Gigabyte, PNY and other manufactures. They'll start at $279, or £260 in the UK.


  • Tesla trumps Audi and Jaguar EVs in independent efficiency test
    Tesla has had no end of production troubles in recent times. Even the roll-out of the Model 3 in Europe was marred by logistical issues. But there's a reason its EVs are still so widely-lauded despite these challenges: they're efficient. And that efficiency in comparison to Tesla's competitors has now been confirmed in a test conducted by German electric car rental company nextmove.





    The experiment saw three premium EVs -- a pre-release Audi e-tron, a Tesla Model X 90D and a Jaguar I-Pace -- pitted against one another over an 87km stretch of German Autobahn, at an average speed of 120km/h (75mph). The vehicles were tested for consumption, range and cost per 100km, and the Model X came out on top every time.







    The results showed that the Audi and Jaguar models consumed a quarter more energy than Tesla's, have less than half the range and cost around a quarter more to charge per 100km. Nextmove said it used the Model X P90D because of its comparative battery size, even though it isn't on sale any more. It also listed the newer 100D model to provide more perspective.

    In Audi's case, what it lacks in these metrics it makes up for in charging speed -- it achieves an impressive charge rate of over 150kW (at supported fast-charging locations). So if you're regularly doing longer journeys, the fast recharge time helps to even the playing field a little and gives Audi an edge when consumers might not have Model X P90D money to spend on an EV.

    Via: electrek

    Source: nextmove


  • SpaceX launches the first private moon lander on Israel's behalf
    A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket has ferried Israel's first lunar lander outside our atmosphere, setting it free to make its way to its ultimate destination: the moon. If it reaches its target successfully, Israel would be joining the US, China and the former Soviet Union in the list of nations to have sent a lander to our planet's trusty companion. Unlike the three other countries in that list, Israel's robotic spacecraft named "Beresheet" was created by a non-profit group called SpaceIL. It's the first private moon lander and was previously a finalist for Google's Lunar XPrize.

    The organization had the most developed project among the finalists, but it still wasn't able to make deadline. While the competition ended with no winners, SpaceIL clearly still found a way to give its creation a shot at doing what it was designed to do. The group just won't win $20 million even if its lander accomplishes Google's original requirements, which include being able to drive up to 500 meters (1,640 feet) on the lunar surface and to transmit HD videos and images back to Earth.
    Successful deployment of the SpaceIL lunar lander confirmed, starting the spacecraft's two-month voyage to the Moon pic.twitter.com/iMlVYJHef3
    — SpaceX (@SpaceX) February 22, 2019
    Beresheet will spend the next couple of months orbiting the Earth and then letting the moon's gravity pull it into the lunar orbit. It will then decrease its orbit until it finally lands on the northern lunar hemisphere sometime in April. You could say that the lander is taking the scenic route by employing that method, but SpaceIL isn't in a hurry. Besides, the technique is effective and fuel-efficient.

    According to SpaceX (Twitter)


  • First 'Angry Birds 2' trailer warns that winter is coming
    Depending on your age, the Angry Birds movie was either cool beans or just a cynical ploy to sell more plush toys. But nobody really expected it to silence the haters by raking in over $352 million on a $73 million budget. And so a sequel was inevitably greenlit and today marks the release of its first trailer. The clip stars new antagonist Zeta (voiced by Leslie Jones), a tropical bird who decides to fling snowballs from her frozen island at the paradise those green pigs and feathered friends call home.







    There's fun winks to Game of Thrones and Jaws ("we're going to need a bigger slingshot!") along the way. And the whole thing is set to the tune of Ice Ice Baby. The likes of Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad, and Bill Hader are also back to reprise their roles, with new additions to the cast including Nicki Minaj and Awkwafina. Angry Birds 2 hits theatres August 16th to coincide with the tenth anniversary of the original game. But it's not the only family-friendly video game adaptation heading to the big screen this year, with Detective Pikachu due in May and Sonic the Hedgehog to follow in November.

    Over 20 mobile games later, you'd think a series about tossing birds at pigs would start to sag. But developer Rovio's franchise is clearly still evolving thanks to forays into VR (Angry Birds FPS: First Person Slingshot for Magic Leap), TV, and movies.

    Source: Sony Pictures Entertainment (YouTube)


  • The Morning After: What to expect at MWC 2019
    So Samsung's shown off everything it's got to show, and after a day to think it over, we have some feels about those S10 phones. Expect more phones, too: MWC kicks off this weekend, and we've got a full preview.





    Samsung Unpacked was a masterclass in showing your good side.Technically impressive? Yes? Desirable? Perhaps. No complaints? Wait a second.


    Technically impressive? Yes? Desirable? Perhaps. No complaints? Wait a second.



    Flagship, foldable and 5G phones.


    There's always plenty of news from Mobile World Congress, and it's either entirely expected or word gets out early. This year is shaping up to be slightly different. From foldable designs to 5G and more, this year's MWC won't only be jam-packed with news, but it should, perhaps, be exciting once again.



    Light will use Sony lenses in its computational imaging tools.




    Camera startup Light, best known for its multi-lens cameras, has announced it's teaming up with Sony to put its tech to work in new ways. The partnership will focus on developing new versions of Light's multi-image sensors using Sony lenses. Perhaps crucially, the companies will be working on a smartphone that uses four or more cameras. You know, like that Nokia leak...





    Welcome to the post-'Fortnite' era of mobile gaming.
    'Gaming phones' are just flagship phones now

    The specs on Samsung's Galaxy S10+ are bonkers. This baby has up to 12GB of RAM and 1TB of internal storage, with the option to add 512GB more via microSD and a vapor-chamber cooling system a lot like the one in the Xbox One X. Samsung is talking up the S10+'s Adreno 640 GPU and Infinity-O display, and it's happily comparing the new phone to a laptop in marketing materials. And gaming has become a critical aspect of the smartphone experience. Mobile is easily the largest segment of the overall video-game market, generating $63.2 billion in 2018, or 47 percent of the industry's global revenue, according to Newzoo. Meanwhile, PCs and consoles brought in a bit more than $30 billion each. This is a new reality for the industry.
    But wait, there's more... Varjo's human-eye resolution VR headset costs a mere $6,000 What's coming to Netflix in March: 'Triple Frontier' and 'Arrested Development' Apple will reportedly launch a credit card this year Verizon plans to roll out its 5G mobile network in 30 cities this year Don't buy a phone just for 5G The UK government finally pins down Mark Zuckerberg

    The Morning After is a new daily newsletter from Engadget designed to help you fight off FOMO. Who knows what you'll miss if you don't Subscribe.

    Craving even more? Like us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter.

    Have a suggestion on how we can improve The Morning After? Send us a note.


  • Apple hopes interest-free iPhones will boost slow Chinese sales
    As smartphones get more expensive, and the innovation in new devices gets less grand, there's less reason to upgrade your device every two years. It's a problem for all device manufacturers which rely upon handset sales to grease the wheels of their business, but Apple thinks it has a solution. The company has teamed up with a number of Chinese banks to offer interest free credit on a number of new iPhone purchases.

    With a newly-emerging middle class and massive population, China is a big market for the whole technology industry. But the country's economic woes, a trade war and zero-margin homegrown rivals has made it tough for all the big names to do business there. In Apple's case, the company recently had to tell investors that it wasn't going to sell as many devices in Asia as it had done before due to "trade tensions."

    According to discounting its products, will knock some cash off the price if users trade-in an older iPhone. It's hoped that these measures will be enough to juice the slower sales of the new handsets.

    It's worth saying that a bad time for Apple is not the same as for other companies, since it still makes billions on a monthly basis. The company does, however, fall victim to the law of large numbers, since any slight dip on its explosive profitability looks worse by comparison.

    Apple's certainly keeping an eye on the world of financial services as it looks to broaden its revenue beyond device sales. The company is reportedly working with Goldman Sachs to launch a credit card for Apple Pay users that'll offer cash back perks when you buy new Apple devices and services.


OSnews

  • The SDK “Power Mac G5” for the Xbox 360
    Many years ago (in 2015), I told you about my Xbox 360 development kit, based on a Power Mac G5. And I finally managed to make it work. Let’s summarize the story. We are in 2003 and Microsoft plans to release its Xbox 360 console in 2005. It is based on a new PowerPC processor (the Xenon, derived from the Cell but that’s another story) and an AMD graphics card. And initially, to provide test machines to the developers, Microsoft has an issue: the processor does not exist yet. The solution, quite pragmatic, to solve the problem while waiting for the first prototypes of consoles consists in using the most common mainstream PowerPC platform: a Macintosh. These PowerMac G5s used by Microsoft for Xbos 360 development couldnt really be used for anything but running Mac OS X, since the Xbox 360 development software and operating system had all been wiped. As luck would have it, though, this software was released on the internet last year, including the Xenon OS. It also includes an early version of the Xbox 360 dashboard. An absolutely fascinating piece of history.


  • You give apps sensitive personal information; then they tell Facebook
    Millions of smartphone users confess their most intimate secrets to apps, including when they want to work on their belly fat or the price of the house they checked out last weekend. Other apps know users’ body weight, blood pressure, menstrual cycles or pregnancy status. Unbeknown to most people, in many cases that data is being shared with someone else: Facebook. The social-media giant collects intensely personal information from many popular smartphone apps just seconds after users enter it, even if the user has no connection to Facebook, according to testing done by The Wall Street Journal. The apps often send the data without any prominent or specific disclosure, the testing showed. At this point, none of this should surprise anyone anymore. Still, this particular case involves applications without any Facebook logins or similar mechanisms, giving users zero indiciation that their data is being shared with Facebook. These developers are using Facebook analytics code inside their applications, which in turn collect and send the sensitive information to Facebook. Other than retreat to a deserted island  what can we even do?


  • Linus on why x86 won for servers
    Responding to a forum post on upcoming ARM server offerings, Linus Torvalds makes a compelling case for why Linux and x86 completely overwhelmed commercial Unix and RISC: Guys, do you really not understand why x86 took over the server market? It wasnt just all price. It was literally this develop at home! issue. Thousands of small companies ended up having random small internal workloads where it was easy to just get a random whitebox PC and run some silly small thing on it yourself. Then as the workload expanded, it became a real server!. And then once that thing expanded, suddenly it made a whole lot of sense to let somebody else manage the hardware and hosting, and the cloud took over.


  • Announcing a new site sponsorship program
    When we re-launched the site at the beginning of the year, I mentioned that Id considered shuttering OSNews as a response to needing such a major overhaul, since conventional advertising was no longer sufficient for covering expenses. A few weeks ago, I decided to experiment with offering a sponsorship, wherein a patron pays a fee to be the exclusive sponsor of the site for a week. It was all just a pipe dream until someone agreed last week to be our first sponsor. So were cautiously optimistic that this may be a viable way to keep the site running and maybe even expand. It wont work, though, unless we can fill our pipeline with sponsors. I doubt well be able to do that just by putting up a shingle and hoping people contact us. So I wanted to reach out to you, beloved readers, to see if you could help. If you know someone, maybe your employer, who offers a product or service that might be interesting to OSNews readers, see if theyll be willing to sponsor the site. Were open to ideas on how to structure the sponsorship program. If you were to sponsor the site, what would you want to get in exchange for your money? Wed love feedback on the terms of the sponsorship. Do you know of any ways that we might be able to publicize the availability of sponsorships? Would you be interested in acting as a salesperson and reaching out to firms to solicit sponsorships? Let me know. And finally, sponsorships will be desirable if OSNews itself is popular and vibrant. You can do your part by reading the site, commenting, submitting news, and contacting us if youre interested in writing a feature.


  • A developer is working on turning a Nintendo Switch into an Android tablet
    The Nintendo Switch is Nintendo’s latest console/handheld, and it’s doing really well for itself in terms of sales and appeal. It also marks a change in attitude from Nintendo as well, as the device is not only powered by an Nvidia Tegra system-on-chip, but the company even reportedly wanted to employ the now-defunct Cyanogen Inc. to develop their operating system. Since the discovery of the Fusée Gelée vulnerability, Switch modding has really taken off in the community. Users have theorized for a long time now whether it would be possible to port Android to the Switch. After all, Linux has been ported to it and the device uses the Tegra X1 SoC for which there is documentation to refer to. All that’s left is the blood, sweat, and tears of developers interested enough in porting Android. One developer by the name of ByLaws is taking the challenge of turning a Nintendo Switch into an Android tablet. The Switch is such a perfect formfactor and device for retro gaming. Its really too bad that such things break warranties and/or block device and game updates, because otherwise Id get emulators running on my Switch in a heartbeat.


  • Google ends forced arbitration for employees
    Google is finally ending forced arbitration for its employees. These changes will go into effect for both current and future Google employees on March 21. While Google won’t reopen settled claims, current employees can litigate past claims starting March 21. While its nice of Google to end this policy, forced arbitration for employees should clearly be illegal in the first place.


  • Intel officials expect Apple to move Macs to ARM in 2020
    Ina Fried, for Axois, about Apples expected plan to move Macs to its own in-house ARM chips: Although the company has yet to say so publicly, developers and Intel officials have privately told Axios they expect such a move as soon as next year. Im quite excited about this move. Apple has sway in the industry, and anything that lights a fire under Intel and the x86 archicture in general can only be seen as a good thing  more competition is always better.


  • Linux gaming is on a life-support system called Steam
    Fast-forward nearly six years. Steam Machines puttered out as an idea, though Valve hasnt dropped its support for Linux. It maintains a Linux Steam client with 5,800 native games, and just last August, Valve unveiled Proton, a compatibility layer designed to make every Steam title run open-source-style. With Proton currently in beta, the number of Steam titles playable on Linux has jumped to 9,500. There are an estimated 30,000 games on Steam overall, so thats roughly one-in-three, and Valve is just getting started. However, the percentage of PC players that actually use Linux has remained roughly the same since 2013, and its a tiny fraction of the gaming market  just about 2 percent. Linux is no closer to claiming the gaming worlds crown than it was six years ago, when Newell predicted the open-source, user-generated-content revolution. While that is undeniably true, its now at least definitely more viable to play games on Linux, even if its generally nowhere near the kinds of performance levels possible on Windows  assuming the titles run on Linux at all, of course.


  • Apple to target combining iPhone, iPad and Mac apps by 2021
    Apple Inc. wants to make it easier for software coders to create tools, games and other applications for its main devices in one fell swoop  an overhaul designed to encourage app development and, ultimately, boost revenue. The ultimate goal of the multistep initiative, code-named “Marzipan,” is by 2021 to help developers build an app once and have it work on the iPhone, iPad and Mac computers, said people familiar with the effort. That should spur the creation of new software, increasing the utility of the company’s gadgets. This seems more of a repitition of what we already knew than truly new information.


  • Samsungs foldable phone is the Galaxy Fold
    Samsung first teased its foldable phone back in November, and at the company’s Galaxy Unpacked event today it’s further detailing its foldable plans. Samsung’s foldable now has a name, the Samsung Galaxy Fold, and the company is revealing more about what this unique smartphone can do. Samsung is planning to launch the Galaxy Fold on April 26th, starting at $1,980. There will be both an LTE and 5G version of the Galaxy Fold, and Samsung is even planning on launching the device in Europe on May 3rd, starting at 2,000 euros. The technology is definitely amazing and futuristic, but this device is clearly more of a very expensive tech demo than a real, mass-market product. Theres nothing wrong with that  I like having crazy technology available, even if its at high prices  but a monumental shift in the market this is not. Yet.


  • Samsungs new One UI Android skin
    Samsung has been very slowly rolling out its Android 9 update to a very small selection of its phones, and with it, the company is introducing a fairly radical redesign of the user interface it slaps on top of Android. Its called One UI, and it seems like people are0 Actually really positive about it? Since I  and many others with me  have treated Samsungs UIs and skins as a punching bag for almost a decade now, it seems only fair to also highlight when they seem to be doing something right. First, Dieter Bohn at The Verge: I’ve been testing One UI on a Galaxy S9 for the past week or so and thus far I really like it. In some ways, I like it better than what Google itself is shipping on the Pixel 3. If it weren’t for the fact that I don’t yet trust Samsung to deliver major software updates quickly, I would be shouting about One UI from the rooftops. As it is, I just want to point out that it’s time for us to stop instinctively turning our noses up at Samsung’s version of Android. There are still some annoying parts of One UI, but they don’t ruin what is otherwise a full-featured, coherent, and (dare I say) thoughtful version of Android. This is not the conventional wisdom about Samsung software. Second, Abhay Venkatesh at NeoWin: Samsung’s One UI is a huge step in the right direction. The fresh, fluid UI makes it a joy to use, and the addition of smart UI elements, dark mode, and other nifty improvements make for a great experience. The navigation system combines the best of either world and in true Samsung fashion, provides users with an abundance of options. The company’s efforts to continually improve its software and strike a balance between excess customization and usability is evident. However, a lot of the remnants remain from the years that have passed, and it will be interesting to see how Samsung moves the design language forward. Im glad to see Samsung improve its software, since that will benefit a lot of people all over the world, and its always refreshing to have your preconceived notions challenged.


  • Magic Lantern
    Magic Lantern is a software enhancement that offers increased functionality to the excellent Canon DSLR cameras. We have created an open framework, licensed under GPL, for developing extensions to the official firmware. Magic Lantern is not a hack!, or a modified firmware, it is an independent program that runs alongside Canons own software. Each time you start your camera, Magic Lantern is loaded from your memory card. Our only modification was to enable the ability to run software from the memory card. ML is being developed by photo and video enthusiasts, adding functionality such as: HDR images and video, timelapse, motion detection, focus assist tools, manual audio controls much more. What a fascinating project. I knew you could put custom ROM images on digital cameras, but this seems like a far safer and less warranty-breaking way of extending and improving the functionality of your camera.


  • NetBSD Gains Hardware Accelerated Virtualization
    NetBSD, the highly portable Unix-like Open Source operating system known for its platform diversity, has gained hardware-accelerated virtualization support via an improved NetBSD Virtual Machine Monitor (NVMM). A virtualization API is provided in libnvmm, that allows to easily create and manage virtual machines via NVMM. Its always nice to see the major BSD distributions gain expanded hardware and software support. It will come as no surprise to anyone that we believe that competition is always a good thing when it comes to operating systems.


  • Sailfish OS becomes Aurora OS in Russia
    It appears that Sailfish, the Operating System by Finnish company Jolla, will now power 8 million+ devices for the Russian government. Renamed AuroraOS, at least in Russia, it has the Android compatibility layer stripped away. Last year, Russian company Rostelecom bought three quarters of the open mobile platform that developed Sailfish. Rostelecom is one of the foremost Russian telecommunications companies. Its also a leading provider of broadband, IPTV, landline subscriptions in Russia. After the production woes of the last few years, its nice to see Sailfish finding a footing, even if it is in reduced form and exclusive to Russia.


  • Apple puts modem engineering unit into chip design group
    Apple has moved its modem chip engineering effort into its in-house hardware technology group from its supply chain unit, two people familiar with the move told Reuters, a sign the tech company is looking to develop a key component of its iPhones after years of buying it from outside suppliers. Understandable move by Apple, both from a business perspective, and from a security perspective. The open source world really needs to build open source baseband processors at some point.



Linux Journal - The Original Magazine of the Linux Community

  • Redis Labs Changing Its Licensing for Redis Modules Again, Raspberry Pi Rolling Out the Linux 4.19 Kernel, Windows Subsystem for Linux Updates Coming, Facebook Removing Its Spyware Onavo VPN from the Google Store and openSUSE Leap 15.1 Beta Pizza Party

    News briefs for February 22, 2019.

    Redis Labs has changed its licensing for Redis Modules again. According to TechCrunch, the new license is called the Redis Source Available license, and as with the previous Commons Clause license, applies only to certain Redis Modules created by Redis Labs. With this license, "Users can still get the code, modify it and integrate it into their applications—but that application can't be a database product, caching engine, stream processing engine, search engine, indexing engine or ML/DL/AI serving engine." The TechCrunch post notes that by definition, an open-source license can't enforce limitations, so this new license technically isn't open source. It is, however, similar to other "permissive open-source licenses", which "shouldn't really affect most developers who use the company's modules".

    Raspberry Pi has started rolling out the Linux 4.19 kernel. According to Phoronix, RPi is moving from kernel 4.14 to the 4.19 long-term support release. This change marks about a year of updates, and as Phoronix notes, "For Linux 4.19 alone on the Raspberry Pi front was updates to its voltage driver, under-voltage issue reporting, and the VC4 DRM changes we see each cycle. Over the span of 4.14 to 4.19 are a lot of improvements upstream and now less patches that need to be re-based and carried by the Raspberry Pi crew."

    The Windows 10 April Update will let you access Linux files from Windows. TechCrunch reports that following TechCrunch's investigation into the app and how it "sucked up data about teens" and the ensuing backlash, the "app will eventually shut down, and will immediately cease pulling in data from users for market research though it will continue operating as a Virtual Private Network in the short-term to allow users to find a replacement."

    The openSUSE Leap release manager has announced that Leap 15.1 has entered the Beta phase this week, and now it's time for a Beta Pizza Party. Geeko in Nuremberg is holding a Beta Pizza Party on March 1st for testing. If you're not in Nuremberg, visit the wiki for details on how to hold your own and test away. You can download the Beta from here.
          News  Redis  licensing  open source  Raspberry Pi  kernel  Windows  Facebook  VPN  Privacy  openSUSE                   


  • Taking System Monitoring to the Next Level: an Interview with Scalyr CEO Steve Newman
    by Petros Koutoupis   
    As computing ecosystems become more complex, monitoring and analyzing those often disconnected moving parts becomes increasingly challenging.

    Today's data center has evolved from a single supplier producing and selling all-in-one offerings, such as the days when EMC, NetApp, HP or even Sun owned your data center and you chose a vendor and stuck with it. Those same vendors provided you with the required tools to monitor, analyze and troubleshoot their entire stack.

    Shifting focus to the present, the landscape now appears to be quite different. Instead, you will find environments of mixed offerings provided by an assortment of vendors, both large and small. Proprietary machines work side by side with off-the-shelf commodity devices hosting software-defined software. Half of your applications may be hosted in virtual machines over a hypervisor or just spun up in a container. How does a modern data-center administrator or DevOps professional manage such an environment?

    An assortment of platforms and frameworks exist that provide such capabilities, but they're not all one and the same. In some cases, those same tools will need to be coupled with others to produce something useful (for example, ELK: Elasticsearch + Logstash + Kibana). Unfortunately, this arrangement just adds to the complication and frustration when attempting to diagnose or discover problems in your computing environment.

    Putting an end to this level of complexity, one company stands out among the rest: Scalyr. Scalyr develops and offers a complete suite of server monitoring, log management, visualization and analysis tools, which integrate with cloud services. I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Scalyr CEO Steve Newman.

    His is not a household name, like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, but you will be familiar with his work and contributions to cloud-enabled technologies. Although this is likely to change with Scalyr, Steve is best known for his work with Writely, a technology that later was acquired by Google and relabeled as Google Docs. In our conversation, Steve and I took the opportunity to discuss Scalyr, its solution and the problem it solves.

    Steve Newman, Scalyr CEO

    Petros Koutoupis: Tell me a bit about yourself. Who is Steve Newman?

    Steve Newman: I am an engineer by both training and background and have spent most of my career in the startup environment. This is because I enjoy building things. I was at Google for a number of years following an acquisition, and while the experience itself was great, the startup bug in me drove me to Scalyr.

    PK: So, now you founded a company called Scalyr. Please tell us, what is Scalyr?
        Go to Full Article          



  • Fun Little Tidbits in a Howling Storm (Re: Intel Security Holes)
    by Zack Brown   
    Some kernel developers recently have been trying to work around the massive, horrifying, long-term security holes that have recently been discovered in Intel hardware. In the course of doing so, there were some interesting comments about coding practices.

    Christoph Hellwig and Jesper Dangaard Brouer were working on mitigating some of the giant speed sacrifices needed to avoid Intel's gaping security holes. And, Christoph said that one such patch would increase the networking throughput from 7.5 million packets per second to 9.5 million—a 25% speedup.

    To do this, the patch would check the kernel's "fast path" for any instances of dma_direct_ops and replace them with a simple direct call.

    Linus Torvalds liked the code, but he noticed that Jesper and Christoph's code sometimes would perform certain tests before testing the fast path. But if the kernel actually were taking the fast path, those tests would not be needed. Linus said, "you made the fast case unnecessarily slow."

    He suggested that switching the order of the tests would fix it right up. He added:

    In fact, as a further micro-optimization, it might be a good idea to just specify that the dma_is_direct() ops is a special pointer (perhaps even just say that "NULL means it's direct"), because that then makes the fast-case test much simpler (avoids a whole nasty constant load, and testing for NULL in particular is often much better).

    But that further micro-optimization absolutely *requires* that the ops pointer test comes first. So making that ordering change is not only "better code generation for the fast case to avoid extra cache accesses", it also allows future optimizations.

    Regarding Linus' micro-optimization, Christoph explained:

    I wanted to do the NULL case, and it would be much nicer. But the arm folks went to great lengths to make sure they don't have a default set of dma ops and require it to be explicitly set on every device to catch cases where people don't set things up properly, and I didn't want to piss them off....But maybe I should just go for it and see who screams, as the benefit is pretty obvious.

    Linus also suggested that for Christoph's and Jesper's tests, the dma_is_direct() function should be sure to use the likely() call. And this was interesting because likely() is used to alert the compiler that a block of code is more "likely" to be run than another in order to optimize it. And, Christoph wasn't sure this was true. He said, "Yes, for the common case, it is likely. But if you run a setup where you say always have an iommu, it is not, in fact, it is never called in that case, but we only know that at runtime."
        Go to Full Article          



  • Cat-Proofing Your Screen Locker with Bash
    by Mitch Frazier   
     

    I have a computer in my bedroom. I also have cats. Unfortunately, cats and screen lockers don't mix well, particularly at night. To be accurate, it's more a problem with the display power management than the actual screen locking. Here's the way it works: I run a script to "shut the lights off at night" (that is, lock the screen and force the display to power down), and that works great, until one of the cats jumps on the desk and causes the mouse to move and turn the display back on. And the cats don't even have to touch the mouse; the slight movement of the desk is enough to cause the mouse to react. Recently, I'd had enough of it and figured there had to be a way to disable the mouse and "refactor" the script.
        Go to Full Article          


  • Google Makes Revisions to Avoid Breaking Ad-Blocking Extensions in Chrome, Kali Linux 2019.1 Released, New Version of Cutelyst Is Out, Ubuntu Posts Security Notice for systemd Vulnerability and Applications Open for Outreachy Summer 2019 Internships

    News briefs for February 19, 2019.

    Google rethinks its planned changes to Chrome's extension API that would have broken many ad-blocking extensions. Kali Linux 2019.1 was released yesterday. This is the first release of 2019, bringing the kernel to version 4.19.13. This release fixes many bugs and includes several updated packages. The release announcement notes that "the big marquee update of this release is the update of Metasploit to version 5.0, which is their first major release since version 4.0 came out in 2011." You can download Kali Linux from here.

    A new version of the Cutelyst Qt/C++ Web Framework is now available. According to Dantti's Blog, Cutelyst 2.7.0 brings back proper async support and includes a few other new features.

    Ubuntu posted a security notice of a new systemd vulnerability yesterday. USN-3891-1 affects the following versions of Ubuntu and its derivatives: Ubuntu 18.10, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. The details: "systemd incorrectly handled certain D-Bus messages. A local unprivileged attacker could exploit this in order to crash the init process, resulting in a system denial-of-service (kernel panic)." See the security notice for instructions on how to update.

    Applications for the Outreachy Summer 2019 round of internships is open now to April 2, 2019. The program "provides three-month internships to work in Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). Interns are paid a stipend of $5,500 and have a $500 travel stipend available to them." Outreachy "expressly invite women (both cis and trans), trans men, and genderqueer people to apply. We also expressly invite applications from residents and nationals of the United States of any gender who are Black/African American, Hispanic/Latin@, Native American/American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander. Anyone who faces under-representation, systemic bias, or discrimination in the technology industry of their country is invited to apply." Visit here for more information on the application process.
          News  Google  Chrome  Kali Linux  Metasploit  Security  Cutelyst  Ubuntu  systemd  Outreachy                   


  • Open Science, Open Source and R
    by Andy Wills   
    Free software will save psychology from the Replication Crisis.

    "Study reveals that a lot of psychology research really is just 'psycho-babble'".—Open Science Collaboration had been quietly re-running 100 published psychology experiments. Now, finally, they were ready to share their findings. The results were shocking. Less than half of the re-run experiments had worked.

    When someone tries to re-run an experiment, and it doesn't work, we call this a failure to replicate. Scientists had known about failures to replicate for a while, but it was only quite recently that the extent of the problem became apparent. Now, an almost existential crisis loomed. That crisis even gained a name: the Replication Crisis. Soon, people started asking the same questions about other areas of science. Often, they got similar answers. Only half of results in economics replicated. In pre-clinical cancer studies, it was worse; only 11% replicated.
     Open Science
    Clearly, something had to be done. One option would have been to conclude that psychology, economics and parts of medicine could not be studied scientifically. Perhaps those parts of the universe were not lawful in any meaningful way? If so, you shouldn't be surprised if two researchers did the same thing and got different results.

    Alternatively, perhaps different researchers got different results because they were doing different things. In most cases, it wasn't possible to tell whether you'd run the experiment exactly the same way as the original authors. This was because all you had to go on was the journal article—a short summary of the methods used and results obtained. If you wanted more detail, you could, in theory, request it from the authors. But, we'd already known for a decade that this approach was seriously broken—in about 70% of cases, data requests ended in failure.
        Go to Full Article          



  • Debian 9.8 Released, Kernel 5.0-rc7 Is Out, Creative Commons Update on the EU Copyright Changes, Slax 9.8 Available and Mozilla Testing Picture-in-Picture Mode in Firefox

    News briefs for February 18, 2019.

    Debian 9.8 was released over the weekend. This release mostly addresses security issues and bug fixes. See the post for the full list of changes and visit the mirror list to upgrade an existing installation.

    Linux kernel 5.0-rc7 was released yesterday. Linus writes "A nice and calm week, with statistics looking normal. Just under half drivers (gpu, networking, input, md, block, sound, ...), with the rest being architecture fixes (arm64, arm, x86, kvm), networking and misc (filesystem etc). Nothing particularly odd stands out, and everything is pretty small. Just the way I like it."

    Creative Commons publishes update on the EU copyright changes that the European Parliament will vote on this spring. The final text of Articles 13 and 11 has been changed somewhat, but according to the Creative Commons post, "With Article 13, it's no exaggeration to say that it'll fundamentally change the way people are able to use the internet and share online. And the European copyright changes will affect how copyright develops in the rest of the world. Even with some of the minor improvements to other aspects of the copyright file, it's hard to see how the reform—taken as a whole—will be a net gain except for the most powerful special interests." If you live in Europe, visit www.saveyourinternet.eu for more information and to contact your MEPs before the vote.

    Slax 9.8 was released yesterday. This point release updates some of the included packages; it doesn't include new features. To download the new version, go here.

    Mozilla has started testing picture-in-picture mode in Firefox Nightly. According to Softpedia News, "the current implementation of picture-in-picture mode in Firefox is very limited, and I expect Mozilla to accelerate work on it as we approach its target release date. No specifics in this regard are available, however." Picture-in-picture mode is already available in other browsers, such as Google Chrome and Vivaldi.
          News  Debian  Security  kernel  creative commons  EU  Copyright Law  Slax  Mozilla  Firefox                   


Linux Magazine » Channels



  • Extended File Attributes Rock!
    Worldwide, data is growing at a tremendous rate. However, one recent study has pointed out that the size of files is not necessarily growing at the same rate; meaning the number of files is growing rapidly. How do we manage all of this data and files? While the answer to that question is complex, one place we can start is with Extended File Attributes. Continue reading


  • Checksumming Files to Find Bit-Rot
    In a previous article extended file attributes were presented. These are additional bits of metadata that are tied to the file and can be used in a variety of ways. One of these ways is to add checksums to the file so that corrupted data can be detected. Let's take a look at how we can do this including some simple Python examples. Continue reading



  • What’s an inode?
    As you might have noticed, we love talking about file systems. In these discussions the term "inode" is often thrown about. But what is an inode and how does it relate to a file system? Glad you asked. Continue reading




  • Emailing HPC
    Email is not unlike MPI. The similarities may help non-geeks understand parallel computers a little better. Continue reading



  • iotop: Per Process I/O Usage
    Based on a reader comment, we take iotop for a spin to see if it can be used for monitoring the IO usage of individual processes on a system. The result? It has some interesting capability that we haven't found in other tools. Continue reading





  • SandForce 1222 SSD Testing, Part 3: Detailed Throughput Analysis
    Our last two articles have presented an initial performance examination of a consumer SandForce based SSD from a throughput and IOPS perspective. In this article we dive deeper into the throughput performance of the drive, along with a comparison to an Intel X-25E SSD. I think you will be surprised at what is discovered. Continue reading


  • Putting Drupal to Work
    Drupal is a simple but powerful CMS. However, you'll probably want to configure it. Learn how to tweak Drupal's settings to your liking. Continue reading


  • SandForce 1222 SSD Testing – Part 2: Initial IOPS Results
    SandForce has developed a very interesting and unique SSD controller that uses real-time data compression. This affects data throughput and SSD longevity. In this article, we perform an initial examination of the IOPS performance of a SandForce 1222-based SSD. The results can be pretty amazing. Continue reading


  • Drupal at Warp Speed
    Need to setup Drupal CMS but don't have the time to learn how? Try this 30 minute quick start guide. Continue reading


  • Chasing The Number
    The Top500 list is a valuable measure of HPC progress, but the race it has spawned maybe over for many organizations Continue reading


  • Stick a Fork in Flock: Why it Failed
    This probably won't come as a surprise to many, but the "social Web browser" has thrown in the towel. Don't cry for the Flock team - they're flying the coop for Zynga to go make Facebook games or something. But Flock's loyal fans are out in the cold. Why'd Flock fail? There's a few lessons to be learned. Continue reading


Page last modified on October 08, 2013, at 07:08 PM