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- openSUSE: 2017:2119-1: important: mariadb
LinuxSecurity.com: An update that fixes 5 vulnerabilities is now available. An update that fixes 5 vulnerabilities is now available. An update that fixes 5 vulnerabilities is now available.
- Fedora 25: community-mysql Security Update
LinuxSecurity.com: **Update to version 5.7.19** Replication tests in the testsuite enabled, they don't fail anymore **Resolves:** #1462688; /run #1406172; random failures of the testsuite #1417880, #1417883, #1417885, #1417887, #1417890, #1417891, #1417893, #1417894, #1417896; replication tests **CVE fixes:** #1472716 CVE-2017-3633,
- Fedora 26: community-mysql Security Update
LinuxSecurity.com: **Update to version 5.7.19** Replication tests in the testsuite enabled, they don't fail anymore **Resolves:** #1462688; /run #1406172; random failures of the testsuite #1417880, #1417883, #1417885, #1417887, #1417890, #1417891, #1417893, #1417894, #1417896; replication tests **CVE fixes:** #1472716 CVE-2017-3633,
- SuSE: 2017:2113-1: important: puppet
LinuxSecurity.com: An update that fixes one vulnerability is now available. An update that fixes one vulnerability is now available. An update that fixes one vulnerability is now available.
- openSUSE: 2017:2111-1: important: libzypp, zypper
LinuxSecurity.com: An update that solves three vulnerabilities and has 6 fixes An update that solves three vulnerabilities and has 6 fixes An update that solves three vulnerabilities and has 6 fixes is now available. is now available.
- openSUSE: 2017:2112-1: important: the Linux Kernel
LinuxSecurity.com: An update that solves four vulnerabilities and has 61 fixes An update that solves four vulnerabilities and has 61 fixes An update that solves four vulnerabilities and has 61 fixes is now available. is now available.
- openSUSE: 2017:2110-1: important: the Linux Kernel
LinuxSecurity.com: An update that solves 5 vulnerabilities and has 61 fixes is An update that solves 5 vulnerabilities and has 61 fixes is An update that solves 5 vulnerabilities and has 61 fixes is now available. now available.
- SuSE: 2017:2109-1: important: tcmu-runner
LinuxSecurity.com: An update that contains security fixes can now be installed. An update that contains security fixes can now be installed. An update that contains security fixes can now be installed.
- [$] Business accounting with GnuCash
The first stop in the search for a free accounting system that can replaceQuickBooks is a familiar waypoint: the GnuCash application. GnuCash has beenaround for many years and is known primarily as a personal-finance tool,but it has acquired some business features as well. The question is: arethose business features solid enough to allow the program to serve as areplacement for QuickBooks?
- NetDev 2.2 registration is now open
The registration for the NetDev 2.2 networking conference is now open. It will be held in Seoul, Korea November 8-10. As usual, it will be preceded by the invitation-only Netconf for core kernel networking hackers. "Netdev 2.2 is a community-driven conference geared towards Linux netheads. Linux kernel networking and user space utilization of the interfaces to the Linux kernel networking subsystem are the focus. If you are using Linux as a boot system for proprietary networking, then this conference _may not be for you_." LWN covered these conferences in 2016 and earlier this year; with luck, we will cover these upcoming conferences as well.
- Security updates for Monday
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (newsbeuter), Debian (augeas, curl, ioquake3, libxml2, newsbeuter, and strongswan), Fedora (bodhi, chicken, chromium, cryptlib, cups-filters, cyrus-imapd, glibc, mingw-openjpeg2, mingw-postgresql, qpdf, and torbrowser-launcher), Gentoo (bzip2, evilvte, ghostscript-gpl, Ked Password Manager, and rar), Mageia (curl, cvs, fossil, jetty, kernel, kernel-linus, kernel-tmb, libmspack, mariadb, mercurial, potrace, ruby, and taglib), Oracle (kernel), Red Hat (xmlsec1), and Ubuntu (graphite2 and strongswan).
- The end of Gentoo's hardened kernel
Gentoo has long provided a hardened kernel package, but that iscoming to an end. "As you may know the core ofsys-kernel/hardened-sources has been the grsecurity patches. Recently thegrsecurity developers have decided to limit access to these patches. As aresult, the Gentoo Hardened team is unable to ensure a regular patchingschedule and therefore the security of the users of these kernelsources. Thus, we will be masking hardened-sources on the 27th of Augustand will proceed to remove them from the package repository by the end ofSeptember."
- Kernel prepatch 4.13-rc6
The 4.13-rc6 kernel prepatch is out."So everything still looks on target for a normal release schedule,which would imply rc7 next weekend, and then the final 4.13 the weekafter that.Unless something happens, of course. Tomorrow is the solar eclipse,and maybe it brings doom and gloom even beyond the expected Oregontrafficalypse. You never know."
- [$] Power-efficient workqueues
Power-efficient workqueues were first introduced in the 3.11 kernel release; since then, fifty or sosubsystems and drivers have been updated to use them. These workqueuescan be especially useful on handheld devices (like tablets andsmartphones), where power is at a premium.ARM platforms with power-efficient workqueues enabled on Ubuntu andAndroid have shown significant improvements in energy consumption (up to15% for some use cases).
- Security updates for Friday
Security updates have been issued by Debian (kernel and libmspack), Fedora (groovy18 and nasm), openSUSE (curl, java-1_8_0-openjdk, libplist, shutter, and thunderbird), Oracle (git, groovy, kernel, and mercurial), Red Hat (rh-git29-git), SUSE (openvswitch), and Ubuntu (c-ares, clamav, firefox, libmspack, and openjdk-7).
- Security updates for Thursday
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (git), Debian (firefox-esr and mariadb-10.0), Gentoo (bind and tnef), Mageia (kauth, kdelibs4, poppler, subversion, and vim), openSUSE (fossil, git, libheimdal, libxml2, minicom, nodejs4, nodejs6, openjpeg2, openldap2, potrace, subversion, and taglib), Oracle (git and kernel), Red Hat (git, groovy, httpd24-httpd, and mercurial), Scientific Linux (git), and SUSE (freeradius-server, ImageMagick, and subversion).
- Stable kernel updates
Stable kernels 4.12.8, 4.9.44, 4.4.83, and 3.18.66 have been released. Each contains important fixes throughout the tree and users should upgrade.
- [$] A canary for timer-expiration functions
A bug that allows an attacker to overwrite a function pointer in the kernelopens up a relativelyeasy way to compromise the kernel—doubly so, if an attacker simplyneeds to wait for the kernel use the compromised pointer. There are varioustechniques that can be used to protect kernel function pointers that areset at either compile or initialization time, but there are some pointersthat are routinely set as the kernel runs; timer completion functions are agood example. An RFC patch posted to the kernel-hardening mailing listwould add a way to detect that those function pointers have been changedin an unexpected way and to stop the kernel from executing that code.
- Thank you from Krita
Earlier this month we reported that theKrita Foundation was having some financial difficulties. The KritaFoundation has an update with thanks toall who donated. "So, even though we’re going to get another accountant’s bill of about 4500 euros, we’ve still got quite a surplus! As of this moment, we have €29,657.44 in our savings account!That means that we don’t need to do a fund raiser in September. Like we said, we’ve still got some features to finish."
- [$] Reducing Python's startup time
The startup time for the Python interpreter has been discussed by the coredevelopers and others numerous times over the years; optimization effortsare made periodically as well.Startup time can dominate the execution time of command-line programswritten in Python,especially if they import a lot of other modules. Python startup time isworse than some other scripting languages and more recent versions of thelanguage are taking more than twice as long to start up when compared toearlier versions (e.g. 3.7 versus 2.7).The most recent iteration of the startup timediscussion has played out in the python-dev and python-ideas mailing listssince mid-July. This time, the focus has been on the collections.namedtuple()data structure that is used in multiple places throughout the standardlibrary and in other Python modules, but the discussion has been morewide-ranging than simply that.
- Security updates for Wednesday
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (firefox, httpd, and java-1.7.0-openjdk), Fedora (cups-filters, potrace, and qpdf), Mageia (libsoup and mingw32-nsis), openSUSE (kernel), Oracle (httpd, kernel, spice, and subversion), Red Hat (httpd, java-1.7.1-ibm, and subversion), Scientific Linux (httpd), Slackware (xorg), SUSE (java-1_8_0-openjdk), and Ubuntu (firefox, linux, linux-aws, linux-gke, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux-lts-xenial, postgresql-9.3, postgresql-9.5, postgresql-9.6, and ubufox).
- Solus 3 released
The Solus distribution project has announcedthe availability of Solus 3. "This is the third iteration ofSolus since our move to become a rolling release operating system. Unlikethe previous iterations, however, this is a release and not asnapshot. We’ve now moved away from the 'regular snapshot' model toaccommodate the best hybrid approach possible - feature rich releases withexplicit goals and technology enabling, along with the benefits of acurated rolling release operating system." Headline featuresinclude support for the Snap packaging format, a lot of desktop changes,and numerous software updates. (LWN looked atSolus in 2016).
- Future Proof Your SysAdmin Career: Configuration and Automation
System administrators looking to differentiate themselves from the pack are increasingly getting cloud computing certification or picking up skills with configuration management tools. From Puppet, to Chef to Ansible, powerful configuration management tools can arm sysadmins with new skills such as cloud provisioning, application monitoring and management, and countless types of automation.
- Welcome Michael DeAngelo, Chief People Officer
As Chief People Officer, Michael is responsible for all aspects of HR and Organizational Development at Mozilla Corporation with an overall focus on ensuring we’re building and growing a resilient, high impact global organization as a foundation for our next decade of growth and impact.
- Install Wordpress on LAMP in Debian 9
This tutorial will show you on how to install and configure the latest version WordPress on top of a LAMP stack in Debian 9 - Stretch. Wordpress, without a doubt, is one of the most popular open-source Content Management System or CMS used in these days for internet publishing, which powers more than 60 million websites worldwide, whether small blogging sites or notable huge name brands.
- A Quick Review Of Antergos Arch Based Linux Distro
Antergos is a rolling release Linux distribution based on Arch Linux. It is developed with simplicity in mind. It provides a fully configured system with defaults that make it usable right out of the box. Antergos is designed for all users from experts and developers to newbies. It is pretty impressive what the developers of (the) distro have made.
- Edit images with GNU Parallel and ImageMagick
Imagine you need to make changes to thousands or millions of images. You might write a simple script or batch process to handle the conversion automatically with ImageMagick. Everything is going fine, until you realize this process will take more... Continue Reading →
- Manage your finances with LibreOffice Calc
If you're like most people, you don[he]#039[/he]t have a bottomless bank account. You probably need to watch your monthly spending carefully.There are many ways to do that, but that quickest and easiest way is to use a spreadsheet. Many folks create a very basic spreadsheet to do the job, one that consists of two long columns with a total at the bottom. That works, but it's kind of blah. I'm going to walk you through creating a more scannable and (I think) more visually appealing personal expense spreadsheet using LibreOffice Calc.
- Linux Mint vs Ubuntu: Detailed Comparison
If you’re looking for a new Linux distro for your desktop, then you must have stumbled upon Linux Mint and Ubuntu. They are the two most popular desktop Linux distros.
- Getting started with ImageMagick
In a recent article about lightweight image viewers, author Scott Nesbitt mentioned display, one of the components in ImageMagick. ImageMagick is not merely an image viewer—it offers a large number of utilities and options for image editing. This tutorial will explain more about using the†display†command and other command-line utilities in ImageMagick.
- How to get started with the Foreman sysadmin tool
As your organization grows, so does your workload—and the IT resources required to manage it. There is no "one-size-fits-all" system management solution, but a centralized, open source tool such as Foreman can help you manage your company's IT assets by provisioning, maintaining, and updating hosts throughout the complete lifecycle.
- A Deep Flaw in Your Car Lets Hackers Shut Down Safety Features
Since two security researchers showed they could hijack a moving Jeep on a highway three years ago, both automakers and the cybersecurity industry have accepted that connected cars are as vulnerable to hacking as anything else linked to the internet.
- Raspberry Pi OS Update to hack WiFi Hack
This new OS of Raspberry is designed on Linux-based OS Debian and has been updated to the latest Debian 9 release this is also known as Stretch. This new update replaces an entire security panel on the existing Raspberry PC offering more security fixes and other bug fixes for the users from the unwanted attackers. It also includes a patch for the Broadpwn vulnerability.
- Heading in the Right (Re)Direction
If you've taken the time to get the hang of terminal basics, you're probably at the point where you want to start putting together what you've learned. Sometimes issuing commands one at a time is enough, but there are cases when it can be tedious to enter command after command just to perform a simple task. This is where the extra symbols on your keyboard come in.
- CoreOS Tectonic Platform Aims to Free the Cloud
CoreOS on Thursday announced the general availability of the Kubernetes container management Tectonic platform on Microsoft's Azure cloud. The Tectonic platform enables enterprises to run Kubernetes on a single platform across various cloud and bare metal environments. Prior to this release, the Tectonic platform was available on Amazon Web Services and bare metal servers.
- Ubuntu Budgie Distro: Simple, Clean and User-Friendly
Ubuntu Budgie is one of the few Linux distros to offer integration of a Budgie desktop-only edition, other than Solus OS, whose developers created it. Ubuntu Budgie is classy and user-friendly. It does not sacrifice performance for reliance on a simple design. Although based on the Ubuntu Linux family, Ubuntu Budgie is not from Canonical, Ubuntu's parent company.
- Is the Path to Secure Elections Paved With Open Source Code?
Increased use of open source software could fortify U.S. election system security, according to former CIA head R. James Woolsey and Bash creator Brian J. Fox. The two made their case for open source elections software after security researchers demonstrated how easy it was to crack some election machines at the recent DefCon hacking conference in Las Vegas.
- Automotive Grade Linux Reaches Key Car Platform Milestones
Automotive Grade Linux has released version 4.0 of the AGL infotainment platform and announced new projects to support telematics, instrument cluster, heads-up-display and a virtualization component. The group also announced that seven new companies have joined AGL and The Linux Foundation. The breadth of the seven new companies indicates the range of open source involvement in the auto industry.
- WSL to Ship With Windows 10 Fall Creators Update
Microsoft has announced that Windows Subsystem for Linux will emerge as a fully supported part of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update when the OS ships later this year. The new status means that early adopters in the Windows Insider program no longer will see the subsystem's status as "beta," beginning with Insider build 16251, Microsoft Senior Program Manager Rich Turner noted.
- The Elusive Total Linux Convergence Dream
Regular readers know that I usually stick to the well-charted territory of essential terminal commands and practical overviews of Linux history, since they are immediately useful to newcomers. Thankfully for beginners, the basics don't change very quickly -- but that's not to say that Linux is a stagnant ecosystem. Far from it. Linux can be found at the very frontier of emerging computer trends.
- SparkyLinux 5: Great All-Purpose Distro for Confident Linux Users
When I first reviewed the Game Over edition of SparkyLinux several years ago, I called it one of the best full-service Linux distros catering to game players you could find. That assessment extends to last month's release of the non-gaming edition of this distro. Based on the testing branch of Debian, SparkyLinux 5.0 features customized lightweight desktops.
- Microsoft Releases Long-Awaited Security Tool, Sets Linux Preview
Microsoft has released its long-awaited cloud-based bug detection tool, previously code-named "Project Springfield." The Windows version became generally available, and a new Linux version became available as a preview last week. The tool, Microsoft Security Risk Detection, uses artificial intelligence to hunt down security vulnerabilities in software that is about to be released.
- Open Source Flaw 'Devil's Ivy' Puts Millions of IoT Devices at Risk
Millions of IoT devices are vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks due to a vulnerability initially discovered in remote security cameras. Senrio found the flaw in a security camera developed by Axis Communications, one of the world's biggest manufacturers of the devices. The Model 3004 security camera is used for security at the Los Angeles International Airport, according to Senrio.
- CoreOS, OCI Unveil Controversial Open Container Industry Standard
CoreOS and the Open Container Initiative on Wednesday introduced image and runtime specifications largely based on Docker's image format technology. However, OCI's decision to model the standard on Docker's de facto platform has raised questions. Some critics have argued for other options. Version 1.0 provides a stable standard for application containers, according to CoreOS CTO Brandon Philips.
- Microsoft Rolls Out Linux Support in SQL Server 2017 Release Candidate
Microsoft has announced the availability of its first public release candidate for SQL Server 2017, which includes full support for Linux. SQL Server on Linux improves on earlier previews with several key enhancements, including active directory authentication; transport layer security to encrypt data; and SQL Server Integration Services that add support for Unicode ODBC drivers.
- SharkLinux OS Is Destined for Success
SharkLinux OS is one of those very rare newcomer distributions that has "Future Big Winner" written all over it. Over my many years of reviewing Linux software and distros for Linux Picks and Pans, I have found that the story of what spurred the developer to create the distro often showcases the driving power that enables open source software. That is the case with SharkLinux OS.
- Fedora 26 Powers Up Cloud, Server, Workstation Systems
The Fedora Project has announced the general availability of Fedora 26, the latest version of the fully open source Fedora OS. Fedora Linux is the community version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, or RHEL. Fedora 26 comprises a set of base packages that form the foundation of three distinct editions targeting different users. All three editions share a common base and some common strengths.
- Microsoft Makes Room for Ubuntu at Windows Store
Microsoft this week announced the availability of Canonical's Ubuntu Linux distro as a free download in the Windows Store. It can be installed on any Windows Insider build, said Microsoft Senior Program Manager Rich Turner. One of the advantages to using the Windows Store version of the Ubuntu Linux Distro is that the software can be downloaded faster and more reliably.
- The Filesystem Hierarchy Standard Shows Which Bits Are Boss
If you've ever been curious enough to look through your system's root directory, you may have become a little overwhelmed. Most of the three-letter directory names don't tell you much about what they do, and if you ever needed to make important modifications, it would be tough to know where to look. I'd like to take those of you who haven't ventured much into your root directory on a brief tour.
- IoT Fuels Growth of Linux Malware
Malware targeting Linux systems is growing, largely due to a proliferation of devices created to connect to the Internet of Things. That is one of the findings in a report WatchGuard Technologies released last week. The report, which analyzes data gathered from more than 26,000 appliances worldwide, found three Linux malware programs in the top 10 for the first quarter of the year.
- Xinix Offers Linux Lovers a Path to Zen
Xinix is an innovative newcomer to the world of Linux distros. Now in beta, this distro has been spearheaded by a single developer who slowly is bringing other programmers on board to move things along. Despite its early development status, Xinix has potential for Linux fans who like to experiment with new platform concepts and do not mind trying out an OS that is not yet fully functional.
- Sudo or Sudo Not, There Is No (4th) Try
If you're a Linux user, at some point in some tutorial or troubleshooting guide you've more than likely encountered Linux's magic word: "sudo". A casual observer probably can tell you that it's used to access restricted functions on your computer, but there is much more to it than that. My hope is that by taking a moment to learn about the power of "sudo", you will be better equipped to use it.
- OTA Report: Consumer Services Sites More Trustworthy Than .Gov Sites
The Online Trust Alliance on Tuesday released its 2017 Online Trust Audit & Honor Roll. Among its findings: Consumer services sites have the best combined security and privacy practices. FDIC 100 banks and U.S. government sites are the least trustworthy, according to the audit. The number of websites that qualified for the honor roll is at a nine-year high.
- Microsoft Expands Linux Container Support in Windows Server
Microsoft has decided to expand its support for Linux containers in the next release of Windows Server. Linux containers and workloads will work natively on Windows Server, said Erin Chapple, general manager for the server operating system. The company also will extend Window Server's Hyper-V isolation capability, which was introduced in the 2016 release of the operating system.
- DJI Spark Owners Must Update Firmware By September, Or Their Machines Will Be Bricked
garymortimer shares a report from sUAS News: News has arrived of a mandatory firmware update from DJI. Owners of DJI's latest and smallest quadcopter must update their firmware by September the 1st or their machines will automatically ground themselves. The Firmware update apparently is to stop in flight shutdowns that have been occurring. So no bad thing to fix, a safety issue. Perhaps questionable is DJI's ability to brick other peoples property if required. The "Kill Switch" option is already causing consternation in user groups.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Third Party Trackers On Web Shops Can Identify Users Behind Bitcoin Transactions
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Help Net Security: More and more shopping websites accept cryptocurrencies as a method of payment, but users should be aware that these transactions can be used to deanonymize them -- even if they are using blockchain anonymity techniques such as CoinJoin. Independent researcher Dillon Reisman and Steven Goldfeder, Harry Kalodner and Arvind Narayanan from Princeton University have demonstrated that third-party online tracking provides enough information to identify a transaction on the blockchain, link it to the user's cookie and, ultimately, to the user's real identity. "Based on tracking cookies, the transaction can be linked to the user's activities across the web. And based on well-known Bitcoin address clustering techniques, it can be linked to their other Bitcoin transactions," they noted. "We show that a small amount of additional information, namely that two (or more) transactions were made by the same entity, is sufficient to undo the effect of mixing. While such auxiliary information is available to many potential entities -- merchants, other counterparties such as websites that accept donations, intermediaries such as payment processors, and potentially network eavesdroppers -- web trackers are in the ideal position to carry out this attack," they pointed out.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Disney Will Price Streaming Service At $5 Per Month, Analyst Says
Earlier this month, Disney announced it would end its distribution deal with Netflix and launch its own streaming service in 2019. Now, according to MoffettNathanson analyst Michael Nathanson, we have learned that Disney's new streaming service will be priced around $5 per month in order to drive wider adoption. FierceCable reports: Nathanson said that the new Disney streaming service and the upcoming ESPN streaming service need a clear distinction. The ESPN service will likely test different prices as it prepares ESPN to be ready to go fully over-the-top, according to the report, but the Disney service is about building asset value instead of taking licensing money from SVOD deals. At $5 per month in ARPU, Nathanson sees revenues from the Disney streaming service ranging from $34 million to $38 million in the first year and more than $230 million by year three. But with the loss of Netflix licensing revenues and accelerated marketing costs for launching the new service, Nathanson predicted Disney's losses will increase by about $200 million to $425 million per year. If Disney's new streaming service does end up costing around $5 per month, could you justify paying for it?
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Energy Firm Slapped With $65,000 Fine For Making 1.5 Million Nuisance Calls
A UK firm offering people energy-saving solutions has been fined after making almost 1.5 million unsolicited calls without checking if the numbers were registered on the UK's opt-out database. From a report: Southampton-based Home Logic used a dialler system to screen the telephone numbers that it planned to call against the Telephone Preference Service register, which allows people to opt out of receiving marketing calls. This system was unavailable for at least 90 days out of the 220 between April 2015 and March 2016 due to technical issues -- but that didn't stop Home Logic from continuing to make phone calls. Some 1,475,969 were made in that time. And, as a result, Blighty's data protection watchdog the Information Commissioner's Office received 133 complaints about the firm from people who had registered with the TPS and did not expect to be picking up the phone to marketeers. It ruled that the biz had breached the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations and duly fined it 50,000 pound ($64,500).
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Scientists Create Smart Labels To Tell You When To Throw Away Expired Food and Makeup
At the 254th National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society, researchers are presenting a low-cost, portable, paper-based sensor that can let you know when to toss food and cosmetics. The sensor can detect antioxidants in tea and wine, and be used to explore remote locations, such as the Amazon rainforest, in search of natural sources of antioxidants. "I've always been interested in developing technologies that are accessible to both industry and the general population," Silvana Andreescu, Ph.D., says. "My lab has built a versatile sensing platform that incorporates all the needed reagents for detection in a piece of paper. At the same time, it is adaptable to different targets, including food contaminants, antioxidants and free radicals that indicate spoilage." Phys.Org reports: What sets Andreescu's sensors apart from others, she says, are the nanostructures they use to catch and bind to compounds they're looking for. "Most people working on similar sensors use solutions that migrate on channels," Andreescu says. "We use stable, inorganic particles that are redox active. When they interact with the substances we want to detect, they change color, and the intensity of the change tells us how concentrated the analyte is." Additionally, because all of the reagents needed to operate the device are incorporated in the paper, users don't need to add anything other than the sample being tested. The American Chemical Society has published a video detailing the sensor. Their paper has been published in the journal Analyst.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Leading Chinese Bitcoin Miner Wants To Cash In On AI
hackingbear writes: Bitmain, the most influential company in the bitcoin economy by the sheer amount of processing power, or hash rate, that it controls, plans to unleash its bitcoin mining ASIC technology to AI applications. The company designed a new deep learning processor Sophon, named after a alien-made, proton-sized supercomputer in China's seminal science-fiction novel, The Three-Body Problem . The idea is to etch in silicon in some of the most common deep learning algorithms, thus greatly boosting efficiency. Users will be able to apply their own datasets and build their own models on these ASICs, allowing the resulting neural networks to generate results and learn from those results at a far quicker pace. The company hopes that thousands of Bitmain Sophon units soon could be training neural networks in vast data centers around the world.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Microsoft Outlines the Upgrade Procedures For Xbox One X
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The easiest way to get all your games to the new system, as outlined by Microsoft Vice President Mike Ybarra, will be to just put them on an external USB hard drive and then plug that drive into the new console. "All your games are ready to play" immediately after this external hard drive move, he said, and user-specific settings can also be copied via external hard drive in the same way. If you don't have an external drive handy, "we're going to let you copy games and apps off your home network instead of having to manually move them or redownload them off the Internet," Ybarra said. It's unclear right now if Microsoft will mirror the PS4 Pro and allow this kind of system-to-system transfer using an Ethernet cable plugged directly into both consoles. For those who want to see as many pixels as possible as quickly as possible when they get their Xbox One X, Ybarra says you'll be able to download 4K updates for supported games before the Xbox One X is even available, then use those updates immediately after the system transfer. Microsoft also released a list of 118 current and upcoming games that will be optimized for the Xbox One X via updates, a big increase from the few dozens announced back at E3.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Android O Is Now Officially Android Oreo
Android O is now officially going by the name of Android Oreo. The operating system is available today via Google's Android Open Source Project. OTA rollout is expected to arrive first to Pixel and Nexus devices, with builds currently in carrier testing. The Verge reports: The use of an existing brand makes sense for Google here -- there aren't a ton of good "O" dessert foods out there, and Oreos are pretty much as universally beloved as a cookie can be. There's also precedent for the partnership, as Google had previously teamed up with Nestle and Hershey's to call Android 4.4 KitKat.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Does the World Need Polymaths?
Two hundred years ago, it was still possible for one person to be a leader in several different fields of inquiry. Today that is no longer the case. So is there a role in today's world for the polymath -- someone who knows a lot about a lot of things? From a report: Bobby Seagull's fist-pumping and natty dressing, and Eric Monkman's furrowed brow, flashing teeth, contorted facial expressions and vocal delivery -- like a fog horn with a hangover -- made these two young men the stars of the last University Challenge competition. [...] They're still recognised in the street. "People often ask me, do you intimidate people with your knowledge," says Monkman. "But the opposite is the case. I have wide knowledge but no deep expertise. I am intimidated by experts." Seagull, like Monkman, feels an intense pressure to specialise. They regard themselves as Jacks-of-all-Trades, without being master of one. "When I was young what I really wanted to do was know a lot about a lot," says Monkman. "Now I feel that if I want to make a novel contribution to society I need to know a great deal about one tiny thing." The belief that researchers need to specialise goes back at least two centuries. From the beginning of the 19th Century, research has primarily been the preserve of universities. Ever since, says Stefan Collini, Professor of Intellectual History and English Literature at Cambridge University, researchers have labels attached to them. "They're professor of this or that, and you get a much more self-conscious sense of the institutional divides between domains of knowledge."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Meeting and Hotel Booking Provider's Data Found in Public Amazon S3 Bucket
Leaks of personal and business information from unsecured Amazon S3 buckets are piling up. From a report: The latest belongs to Groupize, a Boston-area business that sells tools to manage small group meetings as well as a booking engine that handles hotel room-block reservations. Researchers at Kromtech Security found a publicly accessible bucket containing business and personal data, including contracts and agreements between hotels, customers and Groupize, Kromtech said. The data included some credit card payment authorization forms that contained full payment card information including expiration data and CVV code. The researchers said the database stored in S3 contained numerous folders, below; one called "documents" held close to 3,000 scanned contracts and agreements, while another called all_leads had more than 3,100 spreadsheets containing critical Groupize business data including earnings. There were 37 other folders in the bucket containing tens of thousands of files, most of them storing much more benign data.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Cord-Cutting Still Doesn't Beat the Cable Bundle
I'd like to cut the cord, writes Brian Barrett for Wired, then, the very instant I allow myself to picture what life looks like after that figurative snip, my reverie comes crashing down. From an article: Cutting the cord is absolutely right for some people. Lots of people, maybe. But it's not that cheap, and it's not that easy, and there's not much hope of improvement on either front any time soon. Not to turn this into a math experiment, but let's consider cost. Assuming you're looking for a cord replacement, not abandoning live television altogether, you're going to need a service that bundles together a handful of channels and blips them to your house over the internet. The cheapest way you can accomplish this is to pay Sling TV $20 per month, for which you get 29 channels. That sounds not so bad, and certainly less than your cable bill. But! Sling Orange limits you to a single stream. If you're in a household with others, you'll probably want Sling Blue, which offers multiple streams and 43 channels for $25 per month. But! Sling Orange and Sling Blue have different channel lineups (ESPN is on Orange, not Blue, while Orange lacks FX, Bravo and any locals). For full coverage, you can subscribe to both for $40. But! Have kids? You'll want the Kids Extra package for another $5 per month. Love ESPNU? Grab that $5 per month sports package. HBO? $15 per month, please. Presto, you're up to $65 per month. But! Don't forget the extra $5 for a cloud-based DVR. Plus the high-speed internet service that you need to keep your stream from buffering, which, by the way, it'll do anyway. That's not to pick on Sling TV, specifically. But paying $70 to quit cable feels like smoking a pack of Parliaments to quit Marlboro Lights. You run into similar situations across the board, whether it's a higher base rate, or a limited premium selection, or the absence of local programming altogether. It turns out, oddly enough, that things cost money, whether you access those things through traditional cable packages or through a modem provided to you by a traditional cable operator.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Driverless Cars Need a Lot More Than Software, Ford CTO Says
In an interview, Ken Washington, Ford's Chief Technical Officer, shared company's views on how autonomy will change car design. From an article: The biggest influence will be how the cars are bought, sold and used: "You would design those vehicles differently depending on what business model (is being used). We're working through that business model question right now," he said. The biggest misconceptions about autonomous capabilities is that it's only about software: "People are imagining that the act of doing software for autonomy is all you need to do and then you can just bolt it to the car," he said. "I don't think it's possible to describe what an autonomous vehicle is going to look like," he added.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Supreme Court Asked To Nullify the Google Trademark
Is the term "google" too generic and therefore unworthy of its trademark protection? That's the question before the US Supreme Court. From a report: What's before the Supreme Court is a trademark lawsuit that Google already defeated in a lower court. The lawsuit claims that Google should no longer be trademarked because the word "google" is synonymous to the public with the term "search the Internet." "There is no single word other than google that conveys the action of searching the Internet using any search engine," according to the petition to the Supreme Court. It's perhaps one of the most consequential trademark case before the justices since they ruled in June that offensive trademarks must be allowed. The Google trademark dispute dates to 2012 when a man named Chris Gillespie registered 763 domain names that combined "google" with other words and phrase, including "googledonaldtrump.com."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Intel Launches 8th Generation Core CPUs
Reader joshtops writes: Today Intel is launching its new 8th Generation family of processors, starting with four CPUs for the 15W mobile family. There are two elements that make the launch of these 8th Gen processors different. First is that the 8th Gen is at a high enough level, running basically the same microarchitecture as the 7th Gen. But the key element is that, at the same price and power where a user would get a dual core i5-U or i7-U in their laptop, Intel will now be bumping those product lines up to quad-cores with hyperthreading. This gives a 100% gain in cores and 100% gain in threads. Obviously nothing is for free, so despite Intel stating that they've made minor tweaks to the microarchitecture and manufacturing to get better performing silicon, the base frequencies are down slightly. Turbo modes are still high, ensuring a similar user experience in most computing tasks. Memory support is similar -- DDR4 and LPDDR3 are supported, but not LPDDR4 -- although DDR4 moves up to DDR4-2400 from DDR4-2133. Another change from 7th Gen to 8th Gen will be in the graphics. Intel is upgrading the nomenclature of the integrated graphics from HD 620 to UHD 620, indicating that the silicon is suited for 4K playback and processing.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- UK.gov To Treat Online Abuse as Seriously as Hate Crime in Real Life
The UK's Crown Prosecution Service has pledged to tackle online abuse with the same seriousness as it does hate crimes committed in the flesh. From a report: Following public concern about the increasing amount of racist, anti-religious, homophobic and transphobic attacks on social media, the CPS has today published a new set of policy documents on hate crime. This includes revised legal guidance for prosecutors on how they should make decisions on criminal charges and handle cases in court. The rules officially put online abuse on the same level as offline hate crimes -- defined as an action motivated by hostility or prejudice -- like shouting abuse at someone face-to-face. They commit the CPS to prosecuting complaints about online material "with the same robust and proactive approach used with online offending." Prosecutors are told to consider the effect on the wider community and whether to identify both the originators and the "amplifiers or disseminators."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Groundhog Day! ACCC again calls for truth in broadband advertising
100 Mbps? Call it the 60 Mbps customers might actually experience at peak hour
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has fired off its latest salvo in its decades-long argument with the telco industry about internet speed claims in Australia, telling them to advertise typical speeds rather than theoretical maxima.…
- How offsite solutions can complement NAS setups
Match made in The Cloud
Sponsored Storage is a growth area in IT, as the volume of data generated by users and applications keeps on expanding at an increasing rate, while legislation dictates that organisations must retain some types of data for regulatory purposes and cannot just delete it all to free up capacity.…
- British snoops at GCHQ knew FBI was going to arrest Marcus Hutchins
WannaCry killer had been working with the spy agency
Secretive electronic spy agency GCHQ was aware that accused malware author Marcus Hutchins, aka MalwareTechBlog, was due to be arrested by US authorities when he travelled to United States for the DEF CON hacker conference, according to reports.…
- 75 years ago, one Allied radar techie changed the course of WW2
And he risked being executed by his own side in the process
Would you give up your comfy technical desk job to join a military raid into hostile territory? Would you jump at the chance to put your world-leading technical knowledge to use in the most extreme of circumstances, even if your own side was under orders to shoot you if you got captured?…
- NVMe fabrics could shuffle traditional arrays off to the graveyard
With the array controller out of the data path, who needs it?
Opinion NVMe-over-Fabrics (NVMeF) shared storage access could kill the legacy storage array business – unless vendors get inventive and somehow continue to supply charged-for data management services alongside NVMeF data access.…
- Mirai copycats fired the IoT-cannon at game hosts, researchers find
After first wave attacks ended, thing-herders took aim at PlayStation, XBOX and Valve
The Mirai botnet that took down large chunks of the Internet in 2016 was notable for hosing targets like Krebs on Security and domain host Dyn, but research presented at a security conference last week suggests a bunch of high-profile game networks were also targeted.…
- Voyager antenna operator: 'I was the first human to see images from Neptune'
Remote work and automation is about to see Voyager-listeners' work change, but our man says tuning in is still a thrill
When Richard Stephenson drives to work, there's a chance that later that day he'll become the first human to see new details of Mars, a moon of Saturn, or the far reaches of the solar system.…
- Qualcomm slurps Uni of Amsterdam AI spinoff Scyfer
More software smarts for 'AI you can take with you'
Two years after setting up an artificial intelligence research laboratory with the University of Amsterdam, Qualcomm Technology has acquired one of its a spinoffs - an outfit called "Scyfer".…
- Bitcoin-accepting sites leave cookie trail that crumbles anonymity
Merchants share too much tracking information? Colour us un-surprised
Bitcoin transactions might be anonymous, but on the Internet, its users aren't – and according to research out of Princeton University, linking the two together is trivial on the modern, much-tracked Internet.…
- Berkeley boffins build better spear-phishing black-box bruiser
Machine learning and code to detect and alert attempts to extract passwords from staff
Security researchers from UC Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the US have come up with a way to mitigate the risk of spear-phishing in corporate environments.…
Linux.com offline for now
- The Passive Cooling Paradigm: Atlast Solutions Ultimate Fanless Core i7 7700T
For your Linux hardware interest this evening is a reader-contributed guest review of the Atlast Solutions Ultimate Fanless Core i7 7700T under Linux. Thanks to Luuk van der Duim for testing this fanless computer and sharing his results with us at Phoronix. Reader opinion pieces, Linux hardware reviews, and other article are happily accepted by contacting us...
- Android 8.0 "Oreo" Launches
Google has announced the release of Android 8.0. Formally known as "Android O", the tasty codename has been revealed as Oreo...
- VkMark Makes It Easy To Run Small Vulkan Test Cases
One of the Vulkan open-source projects I have been tracking the past few months has been VkMark and it's now at a stage where it's becoming sufficiently useful for some small Vulkan test-cases / micro-benchmarks...
- Linux 4.13-rc6 Kernel Released
Linus Torvalds has made available the Linux 4.13-rc6 kernel release candidate with nearing this next stable kernel release in about two to three weeks time...
- Intel Gets Back To Working On Their OpenGL Shader Cache
Prior to joining Valve to work on the Linux graphics stack where one of his first objectives was working on the Gallium3D/RadeonSI shader cache, Timothy Arceri had been working for Collabora where he was tidying up the Mesa on-disk shader cache with a focus on the Intel i965 OpenGL driver. That has yet to be merged with Intel support but now there are developers back to working on this support...
- Allwinner sun4i DRM Queues HDMI CEC Support For Linux 4.14
With this weekend marking the 4.13-rc6 kernel release, David Airlie will be cutting off new material accepted into DRM-Next for then merging during the Linux 4.14 kernel merge window. As such, DRM maintainers this weekend are busy submitting the last of their new feature material they hope to see in Linux 4.14...
- Vega 10 Huge Page Support, Lower CS Overhead For AMDGPU In Linux 4.14
With this weekend marking the ending of David Airlie accepting new feature material for DRM-Next to in turn land in the Linux 4.14 cycle in a few weeks, there's a rush by Direct Rendering Manager driver maintainers to submit the last of their new feature work of changes they want in this next kernel release...
- OpenGL vs. Vulkan On The AMD Ryzen 3
We have previously looked at Vulkan vs. OpenGL Linux game CPU core scaling and Linux game scaling across multiple CPUs but at the time did not have a Ryzen 3 system. Now having Ryzen 3 Linux box, here is a look at how the Vulkan versus OpenGL performance compares on the low-end processor. As well, it's a fresh look at the NVIDIA vs. RadeonSI/RADV performance.
- WhatsApp borrows Facebook's colorful status updates
Now you can switch your WhatsApp status update to suit your mood. You can stitch photos and videos together to make it look like Snapchat -- or you can make it look more like its parent company's status updates. The chat application has updated its iOS and Android versions, giving it the ability to post text-based updates (with links, if you want) against colorful backgrounds, just like Facebook's. It's a non-essential feature, really, but it's definitely more eye-catching than your typical text-based status -- we won't judge if you want to use it to catch people's attention.
As usual, you can control who sees your status and find out who viewed it by clicking on the eye icon at the bottom of the screen. You can also respond to any status if you have no idea how to start a chat with a contact. According to 9to5mac, you can now start making more colorful status updates on iOS and Android, but you can only view them on the web for now.
Source: 9to5mac, VentureBeat
- Google may be readying its own smart headphones
Google might be planning a foil to smarter-than-usual headphones like Apple's AirPods or the Bragi Dash line. After some sleuthing inside the Google app, the team at 9to5Google has found references to headphones that would use Google Assistant to augment the usual physical controls. Nicknamed Bisto, they would let you hear and reply to notifications using your voice -- you wouldn't have to reach for your phone to punch out a reply. Other details are scarce, but a mention of a Google Assistant button on a left earcup suggests these are over-ears (possibly wireless) instead of earbuds.
As for release details? Those are also up in the air. Given the timing, though, it wouldn't be shocking if Google had Bisto ready for its now-customary fall hardware event, which could include new Pixel phones, a reborn Chromebook Pixel and an entry-level Home speaker. An Assistant-powered set of cans definitely makes sense. Google is betting big on AI, and that means making AI technology available wherever possible.
- The first new ‚ÄėAge of Empires‚Äô game in over a decade is in the works
It's been over a decade since Age of Empires III came out in 2005, but fans of the lauded RTS franchise will once again be subject to Gandhi's merciless wrath: Age of Empires IV is officially in development. At Gamescom today, Microsoft announced the next title in the much-loved series -- and that we'd be getting remastered versions of each of the previous games.
The trailer for the fourth game is scant with details, so let's hope you're satisfied with its existence for now. We knew the original Age of Empires was getting re-released in a "definitive version" -- which is coming out on October 19th, Microsoft also announced today -- but redux editions of the second and third game are news. Both of those will get the same treatment to look pretty on current fancy screens: 4K resolution support, higher-detail textures, a remastered soundtrack and quality-of-life improvements.
Neither of those have release dates yet, so you'll just to have to enjoy reliving your glory days of empire conquest in the distant past before the more recent games' remasters come out.
Follow all the latest news live from Gamescom here!
Source: Microsoft (YouTube)
- Disney Research taught AI how to judge short stories
Disney researchers have been coming up with some striking new technology lately, including a method for real-time speech animation, shared augmented reality and some creepy face-projection tech for live performances. Now, researchers at Disney and the University of Massachusetts Boston have been working on neural networks that can evaluate short stories. While these AIs don't (yet) analyze story like a professional literary critic, the software tries to predict which stories will be most popular. "Our neural networks had some success in predicting the popularity of stories," said Disney Research scientist Boyang "Albert" Li in a statement. "You can't yet use them to pick out winners for your local writing competition, but they can be used to guide future research."
The researchers used social question and answer site Quora for a large database to feed into its AI algorithms. Many of the answers on Quora come in the form of stories, so reader upvotes can be used as a measure of popularity, and as "a proxy for narrative quality." The team gathered almost 55,000 answers and classified more than 28,000 of them as stories, each with an average of 369 words. Then they developed a couple of different neural networks — one to look at different sections of each story and one to take a more holistic view of a story's meaning. Each AI made predictions about the relative popularity of a given story. Both neural nets were better at choosing a story's popularity over a baseline text evaluation, but the holistic network showed an 18 percent improvement over the one that focused on sections.
It's not hard to imagine a movie studio, for example, using a future version of this type of technology to choose scripts for production, of course, but the tech is still in its infancy. Let's just hope that researchers find a way to filter stories for quality, and not just popularity. No one needs another Transformers movie.
Source: Disney Research
- Swiftly-falling snowstorms may fall at night on Mars
Certain areas of Mars develop clouds at night that drop icy rain rather quickly -- and in some areas, perhaps snow. While neither have been strictly observed, researchers have developed new computer models that forecast frozen precipitation on the red planet, which might lead to snowy drifts. And while science had previously theorized that Martian precipitation in these storms took hours to descend one mile, the new predictions shave that down to minutes under certain conditions.
In short, faster-falling snowstorms could affect how particles, like dust and chemicals, mix in the air. The new findings, as outlined in a study in Nature's Geoscience, might even push scientists to update Mars' climate models.
"We need to investigate what would be the impact of those phenomena on the global cycle of dust and water on Mars," Aymeric Spiga, planetary researcher at Universitť Pierre et Marie Curie and lead author of the study, told The Verge.
We'd known Mars had snow since shortly after the Phoenix probe landed on the planet in 2008 and reported both icy precipitation and, well, ice. Spiga and his fellow researchers used data collected by the Mars Global Surveyor and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, both of which hang out in orbit around the planet. They found that the nocturnal conditions can make the thin layer of clouds cold enough to destabilize, which can lead them to create swift winds that carry ice quickly down to the surface. Or, at least, relatively quickly: Prior models predicted that it took hours for icy particles to drop a mile, while these storms can send them dropping the same distance in five to ten minutes according to Spiga's and his peers' data.
This suggests to Spiga's group that the winds, not gravity pulling ice particles planetward, is responsible for the swift descent. It bears further scrutiny -- something that could be investigated further by another lander. That can be a perilous endeavor, as the European Space Agency learned when its ExoMars Schiaparelli craft lost contact with Earth and plummeted toward Mars last fall.
Via: The Verge
Source: Nature Geoscience
- CNN is the latest to make a daily news show for Snapchat
NBC isn't the only major US broadcaster hopping on the Snapchat daily news show bandwagon. CNN has launched The Update, a survey of events that will run in the Shows section of Snapchat's Stories at 6PM Eastern. Each regular episode will cover five or more stories in a quick, just-the-facts format. Logically, there will be out-of-cycle updates for breaking news. CNN's Snapchat news output has so far been limited to infographics and story links, so this is a much more concerted effort to court the mobile crowd.
CNN isn't shy about why it's making this move: it wants to tap into a "young audience" and start "speaking their language." To put it another way, the outlet is concerned that it might miss out on a generation that depends on its phones and rarely if ever watches TV to get their news. The Update isn't about to become a primary source of news, but it may keep CNN in people's minds at a time when viewing habits are changing rapidly.
This could be a big deal for Snapchat, too -- it's struggling to add more users as Facebook imitates many of its core features. If you're interested enough in news to keep returning to Snapchat on a regular basis, you may stick around for more of its content and, of course, the messaging that defined Snapchat in the first place.
- Google might launch a reborn Chromebook Pixel and smaller Home
Do you still have a Chromebook Pixel-shaped hole in your heart months after Google pulled the plug? Good news -- Google might be bringing it back. A source speaking to Android Police claims that a "Pixel-branded Chromebook" will launch alongside the next Pixel phones at an event this fall. Details are scarce, including whether or not this is the fabled laptop that would run Andromeda, the long-rumored cross between Android and Chrome OS. That system was supposed to be a convertible PC with a tablet mode, a 12.3-inch display and an optional Wacom stylus, but there's no certainty that this design is the one that launches. We certainly wouldn't count on the originally planned $799 pricing.
This wouldn't be the only hardware bonus in store. Reportedly, there would also be a smaller version of the Home smart speaker. Although there isn't much to say about that, either, it stands to reason that this would be a competitor to Amazon's Echo Dot, which ditched all but the most basic of built-in audio in the name of price.
Android Police's sources tend to be accurate, but we'd take this scoop with a grain of salt as there's a lot that could change. However, it would make sense for Google to launch both products. Now that Microsoft's Surface Laptop and Windows 10 S are gunning after Chrome OS, Google might want a riposte that gives Surface buyers a reason to think twice. Likewise, Google may want to expand its smart speaker roster before Amazon conquers the space with its rapidly growing lineup. One thing's for sure: if any of this is true, Google is going to be very, very busy toward the end of the year.
Source: Android Police
- IRS warns that tax-related phishing scams are on the rise
According to the IRS, the amount of phishing scams targeting W-2 forms rose sharply this year compared to last. In 2016, around 50 companies and organizations fell victim to such scams while during this year's tax season, that number increased to around 200. They were aimed at businesses, public schools, universities and nonprofits among others and several hundred thousand employees' data were stolen.
Most of the scams work by sending a fake email that looks like it's coming from a company executive to someone in the organization that has access to W-2s -- payroll, human resources or financial department employees, for example. The email typically asks for an employee list and W-2s and sometimes requests a wire transfer as well. Since the beginning of 2015, the FBI reports that the amount of confirmed losses from business email scams has increased by 1,300 percent and now totals over $3 billion.
The IRS is asking businesses that have been victimized by these sorts of scams to report them via email through firstname.lastname@example.org. Those that may have been targeted by a W-2 phishing scam but didn't expose any data should email email@example.com. In both cases, "W-2 scam" should be used as the subject line. Businesses and organizations should also report the scams to the FBI through its Internet Crime Complaint Center.
- Walmart is slowly expanding its Uber-powered grocery delivery
Walmart has been testing a grocery delivery service since 2013, when it expanded from San Francisco and San Jose to the Denver market. It's been using ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft to deliver the goods since last year, in Denver and Phoenix. The company is now expanding the delivery service to two new cities: Customers in Dallas or Orlando can now order groceries from Walmart.com and have them delivered via an Uber ride.
The process is pretty simple, which is what you want when you're grabbing groceries online. You can order online on your desktop or mobile browser, place an order and then arrange a time for delivery. Then Walmart's "personal shoppers" grab your items, scan them and request an Uber delivery car to come get it from the local Walmart store.
Walmart is testing various ways to get your groceries to you, including deliveries by actual Walmart associates and Walmart trucks and drivers. Still, these are only the third and fourth cities that Walmart has moved into with Uber delivery. That's a seriously slow roll out, especially as compared to the faster pace shown by Amazon, Target and other retailers.
- High-powered microscope can scan cells without destroying them
Confocal microscopes are pretty wild. The instruments can capture cell division in realtime, but the downside is the lasers in existing ones tend to fry the cells they're studying. Researchers from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology may have found a way around that, though. the eclipse todaywithout protective eyewear.
In addition to being around 1,000 times faster than previous models, Shenwang said that this could grant scientists the ability to see how certain diseases are formed at the cellular level. This has been your confocal microscope update for the day.
- Plex says recent policy changes don't mean it's sharing your data
"We definitely hear and understand your concerns and really appreciate all the thoughtful feedback we've received over the last 24 hours," writes CEO Keith Valory on the website. "We've been working on this for weeks and many of us who use Plex every day have had to work through this carefully to get ourselves comfortable. That said, many of you have raised good points that (somehow!) we didn't consider, so we are going to make some important changes to address those."
Further, while Valory thinks it would be tough to identify any media file based on the information Plex must have to properly function, his company is going to do three things to help assure his users. First, the playback stats will be "generalized" so that they are less specific; e.g. rounding out playback durations to further obscure the specific file, yet still use the information to manage its servers. Second, Plex will now allow users to opt out of sharing this type of data. Finally, Plex will let you see what data is being collected and how to opt out of it.
- Cute and creepy adventure game 'Fe' hits Switch in 2018
A year ago, Electronic Arts kicked off its indie publishing program EA Originals by announcing an intriguing gem: Fe, created by studio Zoink from Gothenberg, Sweden. The wordless adventure game follows a woodland creature as it roams a geometric, stylized wonderland. Today at Gamescom, we got another trailer and great news for Switch fans: The game is coming to Nintendo's console in early 2018.
Fe arrives to the Nintendo Switch in Early 2018 and is being developed by @EA Originals! #NintendoSwitch pic.twitter.com/e41PyxjnFX
— Nintendo Switch (@NintendoSwitchC) August 21, 2017
While the first footage we saw at E3 2016 showed promise, today's video threatened some seriously heartwarming adventure. The game's furry, polygonal protagonist 'sings' to different animals and entities it meets along the way, which coo and yelp in response. Let's be honest: This game looks tailor-made for the Switch's demographic. Folks who embraced Zelda: Breath of the Wild's lush, vibrant landscape and adventure will lunge for Fe's odd yet endearing gameplay, which also seems chill enough for the console's younger players.
Follow all the latest news live from Gamescom here!
Source: Nintendo Switch (Twitter)
- Facebook makes Safety Check a permanent feature
Facebook is acting on its promise to make Safety Check a permanent feature. The social network is rolling out a dedicated Safety Check hub that helps you find any ongoing crisis without first being prompted to declare yourself as safe. It's not exactly a prominent feature (you'll have to dig into Facebook's large list of secondary features to find it), but it'll help you find emergency information and potentially help others in need.
The feature will take a few weeks to reach everyone.
You could call it a commentary on the state of the world that Facebook sees enough reason to make Safety Check a fixture of its site -- it means that natural disasters, terrorism and conflict are frequent enough that the on-demand approach might not be enough. At the same time, it's good to know that you can seek (or offer) help whenever you want, not just in special circumstances.
Via: The Verge
- Cyberpunk shooter 'Ruiner' hits PC and consoles September 26th
When we played Ruiner during the Xbox showcase at GDC back in February, we compared it to a 3D, highly polished version of cyberpunk-themed, top-down action game sets you up to kill the boss while taking out enemies who swarm in from doorways and narrow hallways. Ruiner is now ready to launch on September 26th on PC, Xbox and PlayStation. The team has also released a teaser trailer to whet your appetite and show off the rapid-fire gameplay and dystopian setting.
The developer describes Devolver Digital
- Oreo is officially the next name for Android
Google loves to make a big splash when it reveals the name for the latest version of Android. But the company is going all out this year, using the solar eclipse as an opportunity to reveal that Android O will henceforth be referred to as Oreo. It makes at least a little sense to tie this reveal in to the eclipse -- those iconic photos of the solar event are a bit evocative of Oreos, after all.
As we've already covered, Android O doesn't have a ton of flashy features, although Google is highlighting some of the consumer-facing tweaks today. Those include picture-in-picture multitasking, notification "dots" on your most-used apps, improved battery management, support for Android instant apps and a host of redesigned emoji.
That's not the only news Google dropped today. Perhaps more crucially to smartphone buyers, Android Oreo is complete. Google announced that as of today, the latest version of Android is available for access through the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). Additionally, builds for the Pixel, Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P are in carrier testing and should start rolling out soon; the semi-forgotten Pixel C tablet and Nexus Player set-top box will also receive these updates before long. Lastly, if you don't feel like waiting, any device enrolled in the Android beta program will receive this update. In fact, that's probably the fastest way to try this finalized software.
This isn't the first time Google has used a brand to announce a new version of Android. Back in 2013, Android 4.4 was dubbed KitKat thanks to a partnership with Hershey. That included some giveaways of Nexus 7 tablets and Google Play store credit; whether or not Oreo cookie buyers will have a chance to get their hands on some goodies from Google remains to be seen.
Usually, the finalization of a new version of Android coincides with new phone hardware, but in recent years Google has altered that schedule a bit. New Nexus (and now Pixel) phones have arrived in the fall for years now, and it seems that Google is sticking to that plan this year as well. Given all the leaks we're seeing that point to new Pixels on the horizon, we should have a complete view of Google's Android hardware and software for the next year before very long.
- Researchers use encryption to keep patients‚Äô DNA private
There are a lot of valid security concerns when it comes to genetic testing and keeping your genome under wraps. But researchers at Stanford University have figured out a way to keep the vast majority of your genomic data hidden while looking for disease-associated mutations. The work was recently published in Science.
When trying to figure out which genetic mutations cause disease and which are associated with healthy individuals, researchers have in the past had to compare whole genomes of thousands of people. But with this work, scientists have shown that a whole genome isn't necessary and there are ways of keeping all of the irrelevant genetic data private. "There is a general conception that we can only find meaningful differences by surveying the entire genome," said Gill Bejerano, an author of the study, in a statement. "But these meaningful differences make up only a very tiny proportion of our DNA. There are now amazing tools in computer science and cryptography that allow researchers to pinpoint only these differences while keeping the remainder of the genome completely private."
What the research team did was create a way for patients to encrypt their genome and report whether their genome analysis showed the presence of particular gene variants. That information was then uploaded to the cloud and researchers were able to reveal only the gene variants that were pertinent to their study. Around 97 percent of the participants' genomes were kept hidden and were only ever viewed in full by the participants themselves. "These are techniques that the cryptography community has been developing for some time," said Dan Boneh, another author of the study. "Now we are applying them to biology."
Ultimately, this means that patients' genetic data can remain private while also being used for study. "We now have the tools in hand to make certain that genomic discrimination doesn't happen," said Bejerano. "There are ways to simultaneously share and protect this information."
Source: Science, Stanford
- Comcast's new sports guide makes it easier to find games and scores
Comcast has made some useful tweaks to its sports guide for X1 on set-top boxes and the Xfinity Stream App just in time for the NFL preseason. On X1, the top of the sports guide now has landing pages for every major league and sport including soccer, tennis and even cricket. And live scores of ongoing games will appear just below. Comcast has also made it simple to jump into any game that's currently on, preview upcoming games and get stats and analyses via the Sports App. Like X1, the Xfinity Stream App is also now sorted by league with ongoing games and upcoming game schedules easier to get to.
To get to the new sports guide, X1 users just need to speak a sport or league into the X1 voice remote or tap the "guide" button twice. Comcast says that it will be adding the capability to let customers customize which sports, teams or athletes are featured on their guide menu, though it's unclear when that option will become available.
Other recent changes from Comcast include new parental controls for its XFi internet system and a YouTube app on its X1 platform. The new sports guide is available now.
- Walmart may use a blimp to deploy its delivery drones
Hey, Amazon: you aren't the only one who pictures blimps full of delivery drones. Walmart has applied for a patent on "gas-filled carrier aircrafts" that would serve as airborne bases, helping courier drones fly to homes they couldn't reach if they flew from a fixed location. The concept isn't completely new, of course (Amazon filed for a similar patent in 2016) but Walmart goes into exacting detail. Blimps would fly at altitudes up to 1,000 feet and talk to a remote scheduling system that indicates when drones should fetch packages from inside the blimp and head to their destinations.
The thought of ever-present Walmart blimps is more than a little odd, and there's no guarantee that it'll happen (this is just a patent), but it's more plausible than you might think. Amazon and Walmart have been at each other's throats recently as they try to dominate internet-based shopping, and they've frequently felt compelled to counter each other's moves. If Amazon fulfills its Prime Air ambitions and delivers many of its orders using drones, Walmart might not have much choice but to deploy blimps if it wants to keep up. In short: the skies are about to get very crowded.
Via: Bloomberg, CNBC
- Watch Google‚Äôs Android O event right here at 2:40PM ET
During today's solar eclipse, Google will be unveiling its latest OS, Android O. The release event and livestream will begin at 2:40 PM Eastern. "Watch the solar eclipse unveil the Android O superhero. Trust us, it'll be extra sweet," said Google.
Android O is expected to come with decreased load times, longer battery life and a slew of AI features. And it looks like the O does indeed stand for Oreo. We'll be reporting from the event, but you can also follow along with the livestream below. If you want to livestream the eclipse at the same time, you can find out how to do so here.
- ‚ÄėStar Wars Battlefront II' space skirmishes put Yoda in the cockpit
Star Wars: Battlefront II may have a single-player mode -- a first for the series -- but that doesn't mean multiplayer is taking a back seat. Electronic Arts showed off the large-scale, multiplayer Starfighter Assault mode for the first time in a live demonstration at Gamescom, dropping a few details along the way.
Starfighter Assault supports up to 24 players, and it includes class-based ships and objective-driven gameplay. Plus it features classic Star Wars vehicles, such as the Millennium Falcon. The announcement video for Starfighter Assault debuted over the weekend, showing Yoda, Darth Maul, Luke Skywalker and other characters in the cockpits of their preferred spaceships.
Criterion Games, the studio behind Burnout Paradise and Need for Speed: Most Wanted, is building the multiplayer aspect of Battlefront II.
This time around, EA has been emphasizing Battlefront II's brand-new single-player mode, which tells a story from the Galactic Empire's point of view. Things kick off as the Death Star explodes over the battle of Endor, filling in the story just after the end of Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.
Follow all the latest news live from Gamescom here!
- Brawl in the post-apocalypse in the next 'Overwatch' map: Junkertown
We're currently enjoying Overwatch's summer event (including our favorite addition, the grilldad Soldier 76 skin) and looking forward to the recently-announced deathmatch modes coming to the game. In other words, we weren't expecting much during Gamescom 2017. But for the second year in a row, Blizzard took the opportunity to announce a new map for its hero shooter: Fans at the show will be the first to tour the post-apocalyptic wasteland of Junkertown.
Set in the Australian outback, Junkertown sees players escorting a payload through a trash-ridden map filled with plenty of obstacles. According to the game's lore, the country was devastated by nuclear weapons used on the Omnic robots, and what's left is a devastated no-man's-land where the strong survive -- including Overwatch's resident mayhem match, Junkrat and Roadhog. While Gamescom attendees get first crack at the map, Blizzard hasn't stated when the map is coming to the game proper -- just that it will come to the PTR first.
Roadhog and Junkrat have returned home to JUNKERTOWN!
And it looks like it might just be the perfect day for some mayhem... pic.twitter.com/R0qTTNZ69J
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) August 21, 2017
Follow all the latest news live from Gamescom here!
Source: Overwatch (Twitter)
- 'The Sims 4 Cats & Dogs' promises biggest-ever pets expansion
In the close-to-three years since its release on PC, gender barriers, freed itself from the shackles of the suburbs, and even found time to cater to Mac and console gamers. But, there's been something amiss from the lives of the digital denizens -- namely, pets. That's all about to change thanks to EA's latest update. On November 10, The Sims 4 Cats & Dogs expansion will let you add a dose of cuteness to your manufactured utopia.
A fan-favourite DLC -- that's been around (in one form or another) from the start of the series -- the update will be even bigger this time round. Unfortunately, as the title suggests, you can only give life to felines and canines. (Alas, you can't go all Ross from Friends and adopt a monkey, or bring home an elephant like Bart Simpson.)
Still, there are plenty of customization options for those who enjoy indulging their omnipotent tendencies. The revamped "create a pet" tool lets you choose from a wide variety of cat and dog breeds. Or, you can play Victor Frankenstein by piling breed upon breed to conjure something truly ungodly. You'll also be able to customize your pets' furry coats with spots, stripes, and all sorts of zany patterns. This is the same game that lets you create an evil blue astronaut that loves to bake -- so, be as insane as you want. And (for all the Paris Hilton wannabes) you'll even get to dress your pet in outfits and accessories.
Just like your human Sims, the digital cats and dogs will develop unique personality traits as you care for, train, and play games with them. The DLC will also introduce a new coastal area to the game, dubbed Brindleton Bay. Here, you'll be able to take your furry friend for a stroll and strike up (romantic) friendships with other pet-lovers (just like a Diane Lane rom-com). Those of you with a real passion for animals will likely take to the new veterinarian business, which lets you build and staff your very-own clinic.
The cuddly expansion pack arrives on November 10 on PC and Mac.
- Celebrate 10 years of 'BioShock' with a $200 boxset
It's hard to believe, but as of today, the extremely influential BioShock is ten years old. To commemorate the art-deco shooter's birthday, publisher 2K will release a fancy commemorative edition of the claustrophobic, undersea morality tale on November 14th this year. Brace yourself, though, because it won't be cheap. $200 will get you an 11-inch statue featuring the series' iconic Little Sister and her Big Daddy protector along with last year's "Burial at Sea."
Unlike what you're asked forced to do to Andrew Ryan, you actually have a choice in how to proceed here: Reward 2K's shrewd business tactic, or don't. The set is available from Gamestop or directly through 2K Games.
Follow all the latest news live from Gamescom here!
Source: 2K Games
- One week with Google Assistant
I had been in a years-long relationship with Siri when my affair with the Google Assistant began. It started innocently enough. Assistant made me laugh with some silly jokes, and we played a cute game she made in the Allo chat app called "Emoji Movie." Soon, Assistant popped up in more places in my life -- whether it was a smartwatch I was reviewing or the Assistant app on my iPhone. Then, for a week, I was tasked with using Assistant exclusively for all the things I would normally ask Siri to do. I thought it would be a fun change, but committing to Assistant required some big adjustments.
Considering all the Google services I subscribe to and use regularly, I had assumed moving to Assistant would be a smooth affair. But I wasn't ready for all the groundwork I had to lay in preparation for life with a new partner. After our years together, Siri had gotten to know my friends, family, schedule and habits. I had to introduce Assistant to everyone in my circle, which is unfortunate because having to repeatedly enter names and numbers into a new address book gets tedious fast. Plus, no matter how comprehensive I tried to be, I still ended up forgetting some important contacts. Once Assistant was acquainted with the people in my life, I was ready to settle into an effortless relationship with easy communication.
Alas, I was wrong. Although Assistant is generally good at understanding what I'm saying, it took her awhile to learn how I pronounced my friends' names. I was most appalled when she called me "Chur-lynn" and even more upset when I realized that she changed the spelling of my name to "Sherlyn" in her system after I corrected her pronunciation. Siri never had to do that. Siri just knew. I began to wonder if my new fling would be doomed to fail.
That's not to say I didn't love Assistant's reliability and useful tricks. I set up a Google Home speaker in my apartment and linked it to my lamp. Being able to just tell Assistant to turn my lights on and off or play some "chill at home" music has been my favorite thing about welcoming the smart speaker into my home. We had brief, almost-meaningful conversations too, mostly about my astrology reading for the day or random bits of trivia. Nothing too deep, but Assistant was always informative enough to keep me entertained until I put something on Netflix and we chilled.
Between Assistant and Siri, I always feel like Google's software pays better attention to what I'm saying because Assistant's slightly better at answering my follow-up questions. But Siri is sassier and has more personality, especially when we switch to speaking in Cantonese (something Assistant can't do yet). When I asked Siri what time it was one night, she said, "It's 11:43PM -- up late, are we?" Sure, I bit back at Siri with "You're not my mother!" but I found her dig endearing, especially compared to Assistant's bland response ("The time is 11:43PM").
During our week apart, I particularly missed Siri's sparkling personality. I also craved our usual routine -- me shouting across the room at her for the weather and asking her to read me my iMessages while I got ready for work. Although Assistant was also capable of those tasks, it took me awhile to overcome the instinct to ask Siri instead. I had to break a habit formed over years of being together and, like many people, I'm resistant to change.
For all her strengths, however, Siri was never really as domestically oriented as I wanted her to be. HomeKit is compatible with a respectable array of third-party devices, but I don't own any of them. Plus, because Siri doesn't exist in a home-friendly speaker just yet (at least not one that you can buy), I never asked her to take care of household chores. On the other hand, Assistant was a joy to have in my apartment. The always-listening Home speaker was always ready to help me out. She brought music to my usually quiet living room and turned off the light for me at bedtime. Little conveniences like these won me over, and I grew to love Assistant a bit more with each task she performed. Today, I can't imagine my apartment without her.
Helpful as she is around the house, there are still many issues that Assistant and I have to iron out. For one thing, she needs to stop sending me weekly emails telling me what she can do. I get it -- you're in my life, and you want my attention. But girl has got to chill. (I can hit unsubscribe, but why even make me do that in the first place?) I never got emails like that from Siri.
Assistant is also slightly unpredictable. What she can do on the phone, like message my friends, she can't do through Home. And I can talk to her friends like "Elle Horoscope" or "Best Dad Jokes" on the speaker, but not on the phone. At least, not if I'm using the Pixel in close proximity to the Home speaker, anyway.
But these problems with Assistant aren't deal-breakers, and I'm confident that we will resolve (or get used to) them over time. That is, if I want to continue our relationship at all. After our week's trial, I'm convinced that Assistant is just as capable as Siri, and I would be happy should I decide to leave Apple and fully commit to Google. But Siri and I have a history. Siri can pronounce my name correctly without having to phonetically spell it in her head. Siri met my parents and they loved her, especially when we all talked in Cantonese.
In the end, I'm looking forward to reuniting with Siri. She's more familiar and comfortable, and I already know exactly how to talk to her to get her to work. I do want to keep Assistant around the house, though, because the way she runs my household is superior. Of course, if this were a real human relationship, I would never recommend staying in a situation that was merely comfortable. I'm lucky that in my AI-domain, polygamy is an option I can live with and I'm going to continue my tryst with Assistant, hopefully with Siri's blessing.
This week Engadget is examining each of the five major virtual assistants, taking stock of how far they've come and how far they still have to go. Find all our coverage here.
- Why PS4 downloads are so slow
Game downloads on PS4 have a reputation of being very slow, with many people reporting downloads being an order of magnitude faster on Steam or Xbox. This had long been on my list of things to look into, but at a pretty low priority. After all, the PS4 operating system is based on a reasonably modern FreeBSD (9.0), so there should not be any crippling issues in the TCP stack. The implication is that the problem is something boring, like an inadequately dimensioned CDN. But then I heard that people were successfully using local HTTP proxies as a workaround. It should be pretty rare for that to actually help with download speeds, which made this sound like a much more interesting problem. The detailed article contains tips to address the problem somewhat.
- Google officially releases Android 8.0 Oreo
Today, we are officially introducing Android 8.0 Oreo, the latest release of the platform - and it's smarter, faster and more powerful than ever. It comes with new features like picture-in-picture and Autofill to help you navigate tasks seamlessly. Plus, it's got stronger security protections and speed improvements that keep you safe and moving at lightspeed. When you're on your next adventure, Android Oreo is the superhero to have by your side (or in your pocket!). Coming to a device near you. Eventually. Maybe. But probably not.
- Google to release Android O on 21 August
On August 21st, a solar eclipse will sweep across the entire United States for the first time since 1918. Android is helping you experience this historic natural phenomenon so you can learn more about the eclipse and count down to the big day - when you‚¬Ä¬ôll meet the next release of Android and all of its super (sweet) new powers, revealed via livestream from New York City at 2:40PM ET. If a new operating system version is released, but nobody's able to use it, has it really been released?
- Getting my Amiga 1000 online
Amiga Love has had a few articles on getting various Commodore machines back online and into the BBS world. From C64s to Amiga 500s (et al) as well as the terminal programs we use; PETSCII capable (i, ii) in case you're trying to hit an C64 BBS from your Amiga or ANSI capable, like A-Talk III, for most other boards. There are a lot of options out there, and the BBS scene is vastly smaller than back in the day, but it's not dead by any stretch. Oh no, dear reader, it is not dead. (I see four lights!) If anything, the interest in this form of socializing and connecting seems to be growing lately as hardware options become easier to build and less expensive to source. Tonight, I finally got my Amiga 1000 online for the first time ever and connected to some of my favorite BBSes. And oh my god, have you ever seen a more beautiful sight? I doubt it. Well, at least not for about 30 years, give or take. About 2000 years from now, Amiga will be the object of a world religion. It just cannot die.
- Retesting AMD Ryzen Threadripper's game mode
In this mini-test, we compared AMD's Game Mode as originally envisioned by AMD. Game Mode sits as an extra option in the AMD Ryzen Master software, compared to Creator Mode which is enabled by default. Game Mode does two things: firstly, it adjusts the memory configuration. Rather than seeing the DRAM as one uniform block of memory with an ‚¬Ä¬ėaverage‚¬Ä¬ô latency, the system splits the memory into near memory closest to the active CPU, and far memory for DRAM connected via the other silicon die. The second thing that Game Mode does is disable the cores on one of the silicon dies, but retains the PCIe lanes, IO, and DRAM support. This disables cross-die thread migration, offers faster memory for applications that need it, and aims to lower the latency of the cores used for gaming by simplifying the layout. The downside of Game Mode is raw performance when peak CPU is needed: by disabling half the cores, any throughput limited task is going to be cut by losing half of the throughput resources. The argument here is that Game mode is designed for games, which rarely use above 8 cores, while optimizing the memory latency and PCIe connectivity. I like how AnandTech calls this a "mini" test. In any event - even though Threadripper is probably way out of the league of us regular people, I'm really loving how AMD's recent products have lit a fire under the processor market specifically and the self-built desktop market in general. Ever since Ryzen hit the market, now joined by Vega and Threadripper, we're back to comparing numbers and arguing over which numbers are better. We're back to the early 2000s, and it feels comforting and innocent - because everyone is right and everyone is wrong, all at the same time, because everything 100% depends on your personal budget and your personal use cases and no amount of benchmarks or number crunching is going to change your budget or personal use case. I'm loving every second of this.
- iOS 11 has a 'cop button' to temporarily disable Touch ID
Apple is adding an easy way to quickly disable Touch ID in iOS 11. A new setting, designed to automate emergency services calls, lets iPhone users tap the power button quickly five times to call 911. This doesn't automatically dial the emergency services by default, but it brings up the option to and also temporarily disables Touch ID until you enter a passcode. Twitter users discovered the new option in the iOS 11 public beta, and The Verge has verified it works as intended. It's sad that we live in a world where our devices need features like this, but I commend Apple for doing so.
- Build your own Linux
This course walks through the creation of a 64-bit system based on the Linux kernel. Our goal is to produce a small, sleek system well-suited for hosting containers or being employed as a virtual machine. Because we don't need every piece of functionality under the sun, we're not going to include every piece of software you might find in a typical distro. This distribution is intended to be minimal. Building my own Linux installation from scratch has always been one of those things I've wanted to do, but never got around to. Is this still something many people do? If so, why?
- HyperCard now available on the The Archive
On August 11, 1987, Bill Atkinson announced a new product from Apple for the Macintosh; a multimedia, easily programmed system called HyperCard. HyperCard brought into one sharp package the ability for a Macintosh to do interactive documents with calculation, sound, music and graphics. It was a popular package, and thousands of HyperCard ‚¬Ä¬ústacks‚¬Ä¬Ě were created using the software. Additionally, commercial products with HyperCard at their heart came to great prominence, including the original Myst program. Flourishing for the next roughly ten years, HyperCard slowly fell by the wayside to the growing World Wide Web, and was officially discontinued as a product by Apple in 2004. It left behind a massive but quickly disappearing legacy of creative works that became harder and harder to experience. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Hypercard, we‚¬Ä¬ôre bringing it back. HyperCard is a lot of fun to play around with - I have an iBook G3 with OS9 and HyperCard installed, to play with - and this makes it far more accessible. Good work!
- Review: System76's Galago Pro
Ars Technica: The Galago Pro was my daily machine for about a month. While I had some issues as noted above (I don't like the trackpad or the keyboard), by and large it's the best stock Linux machine. The only place where the Dell XPS 13 blows it out of the water is in battery life. As someone who lives full time in an RV and relies on a very limited amount of solar power (300w) for all my energy needs, that battery life is a deal breaker. But in nearly every other regard, this is by far my favorite laptop, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. There is something that comes up in the comments of nearly every review of System76 hardware, and that's how the company doesn't build its own hardware. System76 orders everything from upstream hardware vendors, and, in the case of the Galago Pro, that would be the Clevo N130BU (or N131BU). I've never quite understood what the issue is, but it certainly seems to rub some people the wrong way. Could you save a couple bucks by ordering the Clevo directly? Sure, but you'd have no support, no custom PPA to fix hardware issues, and no community to get involved in. If you just want a dirt-cheap Linux rig, try eBay. What System76 offers is great Linux experience with a piece of hardware that's maybe not the absolute cheapest hardware. However, that is going to change. In addition to launching its own don't-call-it-a-distro OS, the company has announced that will soon begin what it calls "phase three" - moving its product design and manufacturing in-house. There, it hopes to "build the Model S of computers." It's a bold move, starting up hardware manufacturing and an operating system at the same time. It's the kind of plan that might well lead to overextending oneself (after all, even Canonical has backed away from making its own desktop OS). I'm genuinely curious what System76's in-house Linux laptop will be like.
- An introduction to quantum computing, without the physics
This paper is a gentle but rigorous introduction to quantum computing intended for computer scientists. Starting from a small set of assumptions on the behavior of quantum computing devices, we analyze their main characteristics, stressing the differences with classical computers, and finally describe two well-known algorithms (Simon's algorithm and Grover's algorithm) using the formalism developed in previous sections. This paper does not touch on the physics of the devices, and therefore does not require any notion of quantum mechanics. Some light reading before bedtime.
- Smart lock vendor accidentally bricks customers' locks
A perk of connected devices, or at least what gadget manufacturers will tell you, is they can receive over-the-air updates to keep your device current. Those updates don't always go as planned, however. In fact, they can go horribly wrong. Take a company called Lockstate, for example, which attempted to issue new software to its LS6i smart locks last week and ended up bricking devices. That isn't great. I don't know what these people were expecting.
- GoDaddy, Google blacklist Nazi website Daily Stormer
For years, the website Daily Stormer has promoted hatred against Jews, black people, LGBT people, and other minorities, making it one of the Internet's most infamous destinations. But on Sunday, editor Andrew Anglin outdid himself by publishing a vulgar, slut-shaming article about Heather Heyer, a woman who was killed when someone rammed a car into a crowd of anti-racism protestors in Charlottesville. The article prompted a response from the site's domain registrar, GoDaddy. "We informed The Daily Stormer that they have 24 hours to move the domain to another provider, as they have violated our terms of service," GoDaddy wrote in a tweet late Sunday night. On Monday, the Daily Stormer switched its registration to Google's domain service. Within hours, Google announced a cancellation of its own. "We are cancelling Daily Stormer‚¬Ä¬ôs registration with Google Domains for violating our terms of service," the company wrote in an statement emailed to Ars. No company should do business with nazis and white supremacists - ever. Still waiting on the darling of the podcasting industry, SquareSpace, to stop doing business with nazis. We can't remove these sites - and its creators and their philosophy - from existence, but at least we can make life as difficult as possible for them. And, since far too many people in the west do not understand free speech - kicking nazis out of your (virtual) store or house is free speech.
- What Microsoft is saying internally about Surface reliability
Multiple senior Microsoft officials told me at the time that the issues were all Intel's fault, and that the microprocessor giant had delivered its buggiest-ever product in the "Skylake" generation chipsets. Microsoft, first out of the gate with Skylake chips, thus got caught up by this unreliability, leading to a falling out with Intel. Microsoft‚¬Ä¬ôs recent ARM push with Windows 10 is a result of that falling out; the software giant believes that Intel needs a counter to its dominance and that, as of late 2016, AMD simply wasn't up to the task. Since then, however, another trusted source at Microsoft has provided with a different take on this story. Microsoft, I'm told, fabricated the story about Intel being at fault. The real problem was Surface-specific custom drivers and settings that the Microsoft hardware team cooked up. What a train wreck for Microsoft. Incredible.
- The AMD Radeon RX Vega 64, RX Vega 56 review
AMD isn't only getting back in the game on processors - they also just finally truly unveiled Vega, the new line of Radeon graphics cards. AnandTech benchmarked the two cards, and concludes: Unfortunately for AMD, their GTX 1080-like performance doesn't come cheap from a power perspective. The Vega 64 has a board power rating of 295W, and it lives up to that rating. Relative to the GeForce GTX 1080, we've seen power measurements at the wall anywhere between 110W and 150W higher than the GeForce GTX 1080, all for the same performance. Thankfully for AMD, buyers are focused on price and performance first and foremost (and in that order), so if all you‚¬Ä¬ôre looking for is a fast AMD card at a reasonable price, the Vega 64 delivers where it needs to: it is a solid AMD counterpart to the GeForce GTX 1080. However if you care about the power consumption and the heat generated by your GPU, the Vega 64 is in a very rough spot. On the other hand, the Radeon RX Vega 56 looks better for AMD, so it's easy to see why in recent days they have shifted their promotional efforts to the cheaper member of the RX Vega family. Though a step down from the RX Vega 64, the Vega 56 delivers around 90% of Vega 64‚¬Ä¬ôs performance for 80% of the price. Furthermore, when compared head-to-head with the GeForce GTX 1070, its closest competition, the Vega 56 enjoys a small but none the less significant 8% performance advantage over its NVIDIA counterpart. Whereas the Vega 64 could only draw to a tie, the Vega 56 can win in its market segment. Vega 56's power consumption also looks better than Vega 64's, thanks to binning and its lower clockspeeds. Its power consumption is still notably worse than the GTX 1070's by anywhere between 45W and 75W at the wall, but on both a relative basis and an absolute basis, it's at least closer. Consequently, just how well the Vega 56 fares depends on your views on power consumption. It's faster than the GTX 1070, and even if retail prices are just similar to the GTX 1070 rather than cheaper, then for some buyers looking to maximize performance for their dollar, that will be enough. But it's certainly not a very well rounded card if power consumption and noise are factored in. So, equal performance to Nvidia's competing cards at slightly lower prices (we hope), but at a big cost: far higher power consumption (and thus, I assume, heat?). For gaming, Nvidia is probably still the best choice on virtually every metric, but the interesting thing about Vega is that there's every indication it will do better on other, non-gaming tasks. It's still early days for Vega.
- Xerox Alto video demonstration
We take you through a demo of our restored Xerox Alto. We go through the Neptune file browser, the Bravo text editor, the Draw and SIL programs, network booting, ftp, telnet, Smalltalk, some games and new programs we have made for the Alto. A great video showing off how the Alto - the precursor to the Star, the mother of all graphical user interfaces we still use today on our desktops and phones - works.
- Manipulate Images with ImageMagick
In my last article, I had some fun looking at the children's game of rock, paper, scissors, writing a simple simulator and finding out that some strategies are better than others. Yes, I used "strategy" and "rock, paper, scissors" in the same sentence!
- TeamViewer Linux Host
At last abandoning WINE and launching native Linux support, TeamViewer announced the availability of a new preview version of its Linux Host with native Linux support.
- Write for Us!
Summer is slowly coming to an end, schools are going into session, and we're all gathering projects and topics to get us through the winter. If you have any interesting topics or projects you're working on, we'd love to hear about them.
- The Post-TV Age?
The most basic cable package from Charter (Spectrum?) costs me more than $70 per month, and that's without any equipment other than a single cable card. It's very clear why people have been cutting the cord with cable TV companies. But, what options exist? Do the alternatives actually cost less? Are the alternatives as good?
- WPS Office 2016 for Linux
Promising the world's best office experience for the Linux community, WPS Software presents WPS Office 2016 for Linux: a high-performing yet considerably more affordable alternative to Microsoft Office that is fully compatible with and comparable to the constituent PowerPoint, Excel and Word applications.
- Unsupervised Learning
In my last few articles, I've looked into machine learning and how you can build a model that describes the world in some way. All of the examples I looked at were of "supervised learning", meaning that you loaded data that already had been categorized or classified in some way, and then created a model that "learned" the ways the inputs mapped to the outputs.
- JMR SiloStor NVMe SSD Drives
Compute-intensive workflows are the environments in which the newly developed JMR SiloStor NVMe family of SSD drives is designed to show its colors.
- Read a Book in the Blink of an Eye!
I love reading. Sadly, the 24 hours I get per day seems to be inadequate for the tasks I need to accomplish. That might change as my teenagers turn into college kids and then begin to start families of their own. For now, however, between drama class and basketball practice, it seems like it takes about 30 hours to accomplish a 24-hour day.
- Kodiak Data's MemCloud
Scientists working with big data regularly confront the high cost of acquiring the computational power needed to push the boundaries and innovate in data science.
- Android Candy: My World, in a Lock Screen
It feels weird to mention a Microsoft product in Linux Journal. But to be honest, there are some cool things coming out of the Microsoft Garage One of those things is "Next Lock Screen", which is an Android app that brings interactive tools to the lock screen.
- Linux Journal August 2017
The Wacky World of Linux
One of the nifty things about being a Linux user is how bizarre life can get.
- Sysadmin 101: Automation
This is the second in a series of articles on systems administrator fundamentals. These days, DevOps has made even the job title "systems administrator" seem a bit archaic, much like the "systems analyst" title it replaced. These DevOps positions are rather different from sysadmin jobs in the past.
- PSSC Labs' Eco Blade 1U
Arguably "the greenest blade server on the market", PSSC Labs' new Eco Blade 1U rack server offers power and performance with energy savings of up to 46% over competing servers, says the company.
- 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 í
- 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 í
- 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 í
- Emailing HPC
Email is not unlike MPI. The similarities may help non-geeks understand parallel computers a little better. Continue reading í
- 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 í
- 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 í
- 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 í
- 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 í
- 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 í
- 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 í
- 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 í