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LinuxSecurity - Security Advisories



  • Debian LTS: DLA-1763-1: putty security update
    Multiple vulnerabilities were found in the PuTTY SSH client, which could result in denial of service and potentially the execution of arbitrary code. In addition, in some situations random numbers could potentially be











LWN.net


  • [$] Devuan, April Fools, and self-destruction
    An April Fools joke that went sour seems to be at least the proximate causefor a rather large upheaval in the Devuan community.For much of April 1 (or March 31 depending on time zone), theDevuan web site looked like it had been taken over by attackers, which was worrisome to many, but it was all a prank.The joke wasclever, way over the top, unprofessional, or some combination of those,depending on who is describing it, but the incident and the threads on the devuan-dev mailinglist have led to rancor, resignations, calls for resignations, and more.


  • Mozilla’s 2019 Internet Health Report
    The Mozilla Blog introducesMozilla's 2019 InternetHealth Report. "In the Report’s three spotlight articles, weunpack three big issues: One examines the needfor better machine decision making — that is, asking questions likeWho designs the algorithms? and What data do they feed on?and Who is being discriminated against? Another examines ways to rethinkthe ad economy, so surveillance and addiction are no longer designnecessities. The third spotlight article examinesthe rise of smart cities, and how local governments can integrate techin a way that serves the public good, not commercial interests."


  • [$] On technological liberty
    In his keynote at the 2019 Legal andLicensing Workshop (LLW), longtime workshop participant Andrew Wilson looked at the past, but he went much further back than, say, the history of freesoftware—or even computers. His talk looked at technological liberty inthe context of classical liberal philosophic thinking. He mapped some ofthat thinking to the world of free and open-source software (FOSS) and tosome other areas where our liberties are under attack.


  • Security updates for Wednesday
    Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (dovecot, flashplugin, ghostscript, and jenkins), Fedora (glpi, hostapd, python-urllib3, and znc), openSUSE (apache2, audiofile, libqt5-qtvirtualkeyboard, php5, and SDL2), Scientific Linux (kernel), SUSE (curl and dovecot23), and Ubuntu (advancecomp and freeradius).


  • [$] The sustainability of open source for the long term
    The problem of "sustainability" for open-source software is a common topic ofconversation in our community these days. We covered a talk by Bradley Kuhn onsustainability a month ago. Another longtime community member, Luis Villa,gave his take on the problem of making open-source projects sustainable atthe 2019 Legal and Licensing Workshop (LLW) in Barcelona. Villa is one of theco-founders of Tidelift, which is acompany dedicated to helping close the gap so that the maintainers ofopen-source projects get paid in order to continue their work.


  • Security updates for Tuesday
    Security updates have been issued by CentOS (java-1.7.0-openjdk), Debian (ghostscript and wget), Gentoo (apache, glib, opendkim, and sqlite), Red Hat (kernel, kernel-alt, kernel-rt, ovmf, polkit, and python27-python), Scientific Linux (java-1.7.0-openjdk), and SUSE (php72).


  • [$] SGX: when 20 patch versions aren't enough
    Intel's "Software GuardExtensions" (SGX) feature allows the creation of encrypted "enclaves" that cannot be accessed from the rest of the system.Normal code can call into an enclave, but only code running inside theenclave itself can access the data stored there. SGX is pitched as a wayof protecting data from a hostile kernel; for example, an encryption keystored in an enclave should be secure even if the system as a whole is compromised.Support for SGX has been under development for over three years; LWN covered it in 2016. But, as can be seen fromthe response to thelatest revision of the SGX patch set, all that work has still notanswered an important question: what protects the kernel against a hostileenclave?


  • A year with Spectre: a V8 perspective
    Here's an article on the V8 blogdescribing the work that was done to mitigate Spectre vulnerabilities inthe V8 JavaScript engine. "Our research reached the conclusion that,in principle, untrusted code can read a process’s entire address spaceusing Spectre and side channels. Software mitigations reduce theeffectiveness of many potential gadgets, but are not efficient orcomprehensive. The only effective mitigation is to move sensitive data outof the process’s address space."


  • A Goodbye to Joe Armstrong
    The Erlang community mourns theloss of Joe Armstrong, known as the father of Erlang. "He was part of the Erlang landscape, always interested in what people had to say. His passion and enjoyment about the craft, even in his 60s, was still high up at levels I don't even know I ever had or will ever have, and I have to say I am envious of him for that. I don't know what it will be like to have this community without him around. He was humble. He was approachable. He was excited. He was creative. His legacy is not just in code, but in the communities in which he instantly became a central part. He will be missed."


  • Security updates for Monday
    Security updates have been issued by CentOS (java-1.8.0-openjdk and java-11-openjdk), Debian (clamav, debian-security-support, and drupal7), Fedora (egl-wayland, elementary-camera, elementary-code, elementary-terminal, ephemeral, geocode-glib, gnome-characters, gnome-shell-extension-gsconnect, group-service, libmodulemd, libxmlb, mate-user-admin, mesa, meson, mpris-scrobbler, reportd, switchboard-plug-display, switchboard-plug-pantheon-shell, wingpanel, and wireshark), openSUSE (blueman and glibc), and Red Hat (java-1.7.0-openjdk).


  • The end of Scientific Linux
    Fermilab has maintained Scientific Linux, a derivative of Red HatEnterprise Linux, for many years. That era is coming to an end, though:"Toward that end, we will deploy CentOS 8 in our scientific computingenvironments rather than develop Scientific Linux 8. We will collaboratewith CERN and other labs to help make CentOS an even better platform forhigh-energy physics computing." Maintenance of the SL6 and SL7distributions will continue as scheduled.



  • Kernel prepatch 5.1-rc6
    The 5.1-rc6 kernel prepatch is out fortesting. "It's Easter Sunday here, but I don't let little thingslike random major religious holidays interrupt my kernel developmentworkflow. The occasional scuba trip? Sure. But everybody sitting aroundeating traditional foods? No. You have to have priorities."




LXer Linux News





  • How to Mount an exFAT Drive on Ubuntu Linux
    exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table) is a proprietary Microsoft file system optimized for flash memory devices such as SD cards and USB flash drives. It was designed to replace the old 32bit FAT32 file system that cannot store files larger than 4 GB.


  • It's Complicated: Mozilla's 2019 Internet Health Report
    Our annual open-source report examines how humanity and the internet intersect. Here’s what we found ? Today, Mozilla is publishing the 2019 Internet Health Report [he]#8212[/he] our third annual examination [he]#8230[/he] Read moreThe post It’s Complicated: Mozilla’s 2019 Internet Health Report appeared first on The Mozilla Blog.



  • Fanless mini-tower runs Linux Mint on up to 5GHz octa-core i9-9900K
    Compulab’s passively cooled, Linux-friendly “Airtop3” mini-tower builds on a 9th Gen, octa-core Intel Core i9-9900K with Quadro RTX 4000 graphics plus up to 128GB DDR4, NVMe and SATA storage, triple displays, 2x GbE, 6x USB 3.1, and -40 to 70°C support. Compulab has launched a redesigned Airtop IoT edge server that accomplishes the challenging task [[he]#8230[/he]]



  • Hacking With Kali Linux
    ?Today I am going to start a very interesting series of topics, Hacking with Kali Linux. In this series, I will start from the basics of hacking with Kali Linux and go advance. I will not beat around the bush or discuss crap that's spammed all around the internet but will share real-life scenarios of hacking.




  • Atom-based network security appliances focus on industrial control
    Lanner’s Apollo Lake based “LEC-6041” and Bay Trail “LEC-6032” are Linux-supported network security appliances for industrial control monitoring with up to 7x GbE ports, including SFP ports, plus magnetic isolation and extended temp support. Lanner has combined two previously unveiled industrial network appliances into a thematically linked flashback announcement. We’d normally skip it, but we […]


  • Will your organization change itself to death?
    Open organizations are flexible and resilient organizations. This means they're able to change themselves as the world around them changes. It's a critical skill for remaining relevant over time, both for individuals and organizations.read more


  • Improving Battery Life in Ubuntu with TLP
    TLP is a free, open-source and feature-rich utility for battery use optimization on laptops running Ubuntu and other Linux distros. You can find it both in CLI and GUI versions for your ease of use.


  • Stilo Is A Pack Of Clean, Minimalistic GTK Themes
    Stilo is a pack of clean, minimalistic, yet stylish GTK themes for the GNOME desktop. It consists on 2 main themes, Stilo and Stiloetto, each with light and dark variations. A GNOME Shell theme is also available.


  • Hydroelectricity and transmission planning in Chile use open source geospatial tools
    From 2014 and 2017, I had the good fortune of working with a multidisciplinary team in Chile, building decision support tools to facilitate the planning of hydroelectric capacity as an alternative to fossil-fuel based thermoelectric capacity. Our job was also to aid in the design of transmission line corridors. Transmission lines carry “bulk electricity” from where the electricity is generated to where it is consumed.read more


  • How to Remotely Manage Ubuntu Server with SSH
    In this article, I am going to describe how you can remotely manage a Linux server with SSH. I will show how to install the OpenSSH server and how to access the Ubuntu server from Linux and Windows using an SSH client.


  • Linux C Programming Tutorial Part 23 - Structures
    So far in this ongoing C programming tutorial series, we have discussed several aspects, ranging from variables to functions to even pointers. However, that's still like scratching the surface, as there are many other important concepts in the C programming language. Today, in this tutorial, we will discuss one such concept - the concept of structures.



[[LinuxInsider

	Copyright 2019
	http://www.linuxinsider.com|Linux Insider"LinuxInsider"]]
  • Red Hat Breathes New Life Into Java
    Red Hat is the new keeper of the keys to two popular versions of the open source Java implementation, OpenJDK 8 and OpenJDK 11. The company has taken over stewardship from Oracle, which ended commercial support for Java 8 and the Oracle JDK 8 implementation of Java SE last year. Oracle left the enterprise Java business when it transitioned support and maintenance to the Eclipse Foundation.


  • Condres OS Conjures Up Pleasing Arch Linux Transition
    Condres OS, a distro much like the defunct Apricity OS, could be a speedier replacement for Linux OSes that have turned slow to no-go in recent new releases. Condres OS is an Arch-based distro that offers many pleasing usability traits similar to three popular Debian-based distros: Linux Mint; Peppermint; and Zorin, which bundles ICE and Wine accouterments. Condres OS, as is typical of Arch distributions, comes with a rolling release upgrade model.


  • Q4OS and TDE: A Juicy Little Linux Secret
    Q4OS and the little-known Trinity Desktop Environment are an unbeatable combination that provides a powerful and flexible computing platform. I periodically revisit releases of interesting Linux distros and developing new desktops in my weekly quest for exciting and innovative choices. I am always looking to tweak my Linux OS productivity. Some of these weekly forays turn up unexpected delights.


  • Microsoft's Edge Goes With the Chromium Flow
    Microsoft has released the first Dev and Canary channel builds of the next version of Microsoft Edge, based on the Chromium open source project. The company last year revealed that it was reworking its browser to be based on Chromium. Now the latest developments are ready for early testers on several versions of Windows and macOS. So far, however, no support is available for Linux.


  • Best Open Source Tools for Staying on Top of Projects
    The type of organizing tools you use to plan your projects can make your work routine more efficient and improve your productivity. A project management application is an essential tool in some business environments. This week's Linux Picks and Pans takes a deep dive into some of the best project management software solutions available for the Linux desktop.


  • New Zorin OS 15 Beta Is Worth the Wait
    The Zorin OS 15 series, released last week in beta, introduces many changes to its desktop interface and utilities. It keeps Zorin on track with its goal of maintaining a Linux OS for everyone, not just advanced Linux users. Zorin OS 15 beta is the first major release since Zorin OS 12 in late 2016. This edition is well worth the wait. Major releases of Zorin OS come only once every two years.


  • Telegram Provides Nuclear Option to Erase Sent Messages
    Telegram Messaging has introduced a new feature that allows user to delete not only their own comments, but also those of all other participants in the message thread on all devices that received it. Although the move is meant to bolster privacy, it's likely to spark some controversy. Telegram, a cloud-based instant messaging and VoIP service, is similar to WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.


  • SparkyLinux Incinerates the Hassle Factor
    SparkyLinux is a Linux distro that can ignite your daily computing experience. Its spark is pushing me to rethink my computing priorities. Regularly reviewing so many Linux operating systems for Linux Picks and Pans has a serious consequence for my computing sanity. Normally, I have a flirtatious episode with a new release each week. I'm always on the lookout for something new and shiny.


  • MOREbot Introduces Kids to Robotics Using 3D Printed Parts
    MORE Technologies last week launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $20,000 for development of its open source robot ecosystem. The company will fund the project if it reaches its goal by April 21. It teaches real tech skills to the next generation of innovators and problem solvers using MOREbot -- a series of open source, customizable robotics kits.


  • 8 Great Linux Time-Tracker Apps to Keep You on Task
    Time-tracking software records the time you spend on tasks. The time-tracking helps you create billing reports, prepare invoices, and analyze your workflow for better efficiency. This week's Linux Picks and Pans product review highlights some of the best free time-tracking applications for Linux. The apps included in this roundup are not rated or presented in any quality order.


  • Parrot Home: Enjoy the Privacy Extras
    Parrot offers several options for running a Linux OS that pays much closer attention to security. If you already are handy with digital forensic tasks and want a state-of-the-art system to handle pentesting and privacy issues, check out Parrot Security, which offers a complete all-in-one environment for pentesting, privacy, digital forensics, reverse-engineering and software development.


  • EasyOS Teaches an Old Dog New Tricks
    EasyOS is an experimental Linux distribution that either will renew your passion for using something different or leave you disappointed in its oddball approach to computing. EasyOS is a blend of the best ideas from Puppy Linux and the now discontinued Quirky Linux. I have used several of the popular Puppy Linux variants over the years. I adopted Quirky Linux a few years ago as my go-to Linux distro on a USB stick.


  • Why Children Should Learn to Code
    Learning to code, regardless of the path a child chooses to take, is crucial today. Research shows us that this knowledge will be important in any career. As both a female leader in technology and a mother of a 10-year old boy, I am acutely aware of its critical importance in both my professional and personal life. Coding is a necessary literacy in this technological age.


  • B0r0nt0K Ransomware Threatens Linux Servers
    A new cryptovirus called "B0r0nt0K" has been putting Linux and possibly Windows Web servers at risk of encrypting all of the infected domain's files. The new ransomware threat and the ransom of 20 bitcoins -- about $75,000 -- first came to light last week in a forum post. A client's website had all its files encrypted and renamed with the .rontok extension appended to them, the forum user indicated.


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


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



Slashdot

  • Amazon's Alexa Team Can Access Users' Home Addresses
    An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: An Amazon team auditing Alexa users' commands has access to location data and can, in some cases, easily find a customer's home address, according to five employees familiar with the program. The team, spread across three continents, transcribes, annotates and analyzes a portion of the voice recordings picked up by Alexa. The program, whose existence Bloomberg revealed earlier this month, was set up to help Amazon's digital voice assistant get better at understanding and responding to commands.   Team members with access to Alexa users' geographic coordinates can easily type them into third-party mapping software and find home residences, according to the employees, who signed nondisclosure agreements barring them from speaking publicly about the program. While there's no indication Amazon employees with access to the data have attempted to track down individual users, two members of the Alexa team expressed concern to Bloomberg that Amazon was granting unnecessarily broad access to customer data that would make it easy to identify a device's owner. When Bloomberg first reported on the Alexa auditing program, Amazon said "employees do not have direct access to information that can identify the person or account as part of this workflow."  In a new statement responding to this story, Amazon said "access to internal tools is highly controlled, and is only granted to a limited number of employees who require these tools to train and improve the service by processing an extremely small sample of interactions. Our policies strictly prohibit employee access to or use of customer data for any other reason, and we have a zero tolerance policy for abuse of our systems. We regularly audit employee access to internal tools and limit access whenever and wherever possible."
            

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • UK To Let Huawei Firm Help Build 5G Network
    AmiMoJo writes: The UK government has given Chinese telecoms giant Huawei the go-ahead to supply equipment for the UK 5G data network. The company will help build some "non-core" parts such as antennas. But the plans have concerned the home, defense and foreign secretaries. The U.S. also wants its allies in the "Five Eyes" intelligence grouping -- the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand -- to exclude Huawei. Huawei said it was "pleased that the UK is continuing to take an evidence-based approach to its work," adding it would continue to work cooperatively with the government and the industry.
            

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Databricks Open-Sources Delta Lake To Make Delta Lakes More Reliable
    Databricks, the company founded by the original developers of the Apache Spark big data analytics engine, today announced that it has open-sourced Delta Lake, a storage layer that makes it easier to ensure data integrity as new data flows into an enterprise's data lake by bringing ACID transactions to these vast data repositories. TechCrunch reports: Delta Lake, which has long been a proprietary part of Databrick's offering, is already in production use by companies like Viacom, Edmunds, Riot Games and McGraw Hill. The tool provides the ability to enforce specific schemas (which can be changed as necessary), to create snapshots and to ingest streaming data or backfill the lake as a batch job. Delta Lake also uses the Spark engine to handle the metadata of the data lake (which by itself is often a big data problem). Over time, Databricks also plans to add an audit trail, among other things.   What's important to note here is that Delta lake runs on top of existing data lakes and is compatible with the Apache spark APIs. The company is still looking at how the project will be governed in the future. "We are still exploring different models of open source project governance, but the GitHub model is well understood and presents a good trade-off between the ability to accept contributions and governance overhead," said Ali Ghodsi, co-founder and CEO at Databricks. "One thing we know for sure is we want to foster a vibrant community, as we see this as a critical piece of technology for increasing data reliability on data lakes. This is why we chose to go with a permissive open source license model: Apache License v2, same license that Apache Spark uses." To invite this community, Databricks plans to take outside contributions, just like the Spark project.
            

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Security Flaw Lets Attackers Recover Private Keys From Qualcomm Chips
    Devices using Qualcomm chipsets, and especially smartphones and tablets, are vulnerable to a new security bug that can let attackers retrieve private data and encryption keys that are stored in a secure area of the chipset known as the Qualcomm Secure Execution Environment (QSEE). From a report: Qualcomm has deployed patches for this bug (CVE-2018-11976) earlier this month; however, knowing the sad state of Android OS updates, this will most likely leave many smartphones and tablets vulnerable for years to come. The vulnerability impacts how the Qualcomm chips (used in hundreds of millions of Android devices) handles data processed inside the QSEE.
            

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Mozilla Highlights AI Bias and 'Addiction by Design' Tech in Internet Health Report
    Mozilla this week released the 2019 Internet Health Report, an analysis that brings together insights from 200 experts to examine issues central to the future of the internet. From a report: This year's report chose to focus primarily on injustice perpetuated by artificial intelligence; what NYU's Natasha Dow Schull calls "addiction by design" tech, like social media apps and smartphones; and the power of city governments and civil society "to make the internet healthier worldwide." The Internet Health Report is not designed to issue the web a bill of health, rather it is intended as a call to action that urges people to "embrace the notion that we as humans can change how we make money, govern societies, and interact with one another online."   [...] The modern AI agenda, the report's authors assert, is shaped in part by large tech companies and China and the United States. The report calls particular attention to Microsoft and Amazon's sale of facial recognition software to immigration and law enforcement agencies. The authors point to the work of Joy Buolamwini, whom Fortune recently named "the conscience of the AI revolution." Through audits published by Buolamwini and others in the past year, facial recognition software technology from Microsoft, Amazon's AWS, and other tech companies was found to be less capable of recognizing people with dark skin, particularly women of color.
            

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Academy Leaves Door Open To Netflix After Tussle Over Oscars Eligibility Rules
    The Academy of Motion Picture and Arts and Sciences has ruled that films from streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video will continue to be eligible to win Academy Awards. The Academy had considered changing Rule Two, which allowed any film to be eligible for an Academy Award as long as it had a seven-day run in a Los Angeles theater. From a report: That proposal, reportedly pushed by megadirector Steven Spielberg, would have made it difficult for streaming services such as Netflix to compete for the academy's big prizes by restricting eligibility to just films that got a significant run in theaters. Films that debuted online and only got a limited theatrical release simply would be out of luck. But when the academy's board of governors released its rules for next year's prize -- a book that runs to 35 pages, all told -- the would-be changes were not among them. "We support the theatrical experience as integral to the art of motion pictures, and this weighed heavily in our discussions," John Bailey, president of the academy, said in a statement released Tuesday night. "Our rules currently require theatrical exhibition, and also allow for a broad selection of films to be submitted for Oscars consideration." Further reading: Justice Department Warns Academy About Changing Oscar Rules To Exclude Streaming.
            

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Facebook Sets Aside $3 Billion For a Potential FTC Fine
    An anonymous reader quotes a report from ABC News: Facebook is taking a $3 billion charge as a contingency against a possible fine by the Federal Trade Commission. The agency has been investigating Facebook, but has not announced any findings yet. The one-time charge slashes Facebook's first-quarter net income considerably, although revenue grew by 25% in the period. The FTC has been looking into whether Facebook is in violation of a 2011 agreement promising to protect user privacy.   The social network said Wednesday that its net income was 85 cents per share in the January-March period. Revenue grew 26 % to $15.08 billion from a year earlier. Excluding the charge, it earned $1.89 per share. Analysts polled by FactSet expected earnings of $1.62 per share and revenue of $14.98 billion. Facebook's monthly user base grew 8% to 2.38 billion. According to The New York Times, Facebook says it's expected to be fined up to $5 billion for privacy violations, including improper handling of people's data involving Cambridge Analytica, as well as a major data breach.
            

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Some Amazon Sellers Are Paying $10,000 A Month To Trick Their Way To The Top
    Amazon's marketplace is so competitive that it has led to the emergence of a secretive, lucrative black market where agents peddle "black hat" services, sometimes obtained by bribing Amazon employees, that purportedly give marketplace sellers an advantage over their rivals, according to documents obtained by BuzzFeed News. These consultants charge up to $10,000 to manipulate rankings by rewriting URLs and programming bots to click on products, a report says. From the report: Other tactics to promote sellers' products include removing negative reviews from product pages and exploiting technical loopholes on Amazon's site to lift products' overall sales rankings. These services make it harder for Amazon sellers who abide by the company's terms of service to succeed in the marketplace, and sellers who rely on these tactics mislead customers and undermine trust in Amazon's products.
            

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Applying For Your Next Job May Be an Automated Nightmare
    merbs writes: If you think looking for a job is already daunting, anxiety-riddled, and unpleasant, just wait until the algorithms take over the hiring process. When they do, a newfangled 'digital recruiter' like VCV, which just received $1.7 million in early investment, hopes it will look something like this: First, a search bot will be used to scan CVs by the thousands, yours presumably among them. If it's picked out of the haystack, you will be contacted by a chatbot. Over SMS, the bot will set an appointment for a phone interview, which will be conducted by an automated system enabled by voice recognition AI. Next, the system will ask you, the applicant, to record video responses to a set of predetermined interview questions. Finally, the program can use facial recognition and predictive analytics to complete the screening, algorithmically determining whether the nervousness, mood, and behavior patterns you exhibit make you a fit for the company. If you pass all that, then you will be recommended for an in-person job interview.   [...] VCV, which did not respond to a request for comment, is far from alone here. A growing suite of startups is pitching AI-driven recruitment services, promising to save corporations millions of dollars throughout the hiring process by reducing overhead, to pluck more ideal candidates out of obscurity, and to reduce bias in the hiring process. Most offer little to no evidence of how they actually do so. VCV's much-larger competitor, HireVue, which has raked in a staggering $93 million in funding and is backed by top-tier Silicon Valley venture capital firms like Sequoia, is hocking many of the same services. It counts 700 companies as its clients, including, it says, Urban Outfitters, Intel, Honeywell, and Unilever. AllyO, which was founded in 2015, and "utilizes deep workflow conversational AI to fully automate end to end recruiting workflow" has $19 million in backing.
            

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Scientific Linux Distro is Being Discontinued; The Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and CERN Will Move To CentOS
    Scientific Linux, a 14-year-old operating system based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and which was maintained by some significant members of the scientific community such as The Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and CERN, is being discontinued. From a report: While current versions (6 and 7) will continue to be supported, future development has permanently ended, with the organizations instead turning to CentOS -- another distro based on RHEL. "Scientific Linux is driven by Fermilab's scientific mission and focused on the changing needs of experimental facilities. Fermilab is looking ahead to DUNE and other future international collaborations. One part of this is unifying our computing platform with collaborating labs and institutions," said James Amundson, Head of Scientific Computing Division, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.
            

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Drivers Think Bikers Are Less Than Human, Survey Says
    Researchers have found an explanation for why many drivers act out toward cyclists: They are actually dehumanizing people who ride bikes, according to an April study by Australian researchers in the journal Transportation Research. From a report: And this dehumanization -- the belief that a group of people are less than human -- correlates to drivers' self-reported aggressive behavior. Since 2010, cyclist fatalities have increased by 25 percent in the US. A total of 777 bicyclists were killed in crashes with drivers in 2017, and 45,000 were injured from crashes in 2015. Data compiled by the League of American Bicyclists also suggests that, in some states, bicyclists are overrepresented in the number of traffic fatalities.   "The idea is that if you don't see a group of people as fully human, then you're more likely to be aggressive toward them," said Narelle Haworth, a professor and director of the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety at Queensland University of Technology, one of the authors of the study. The researchers asked 442 Australians, including those who identified as cyclists, to rank the average cyclist on a scale from ape to human. This ape-to-human diagram has been used in other studies, like this one from 2015, looking at the dehumanization of marginalized groups, such as Muslims and black people.
            

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Hacker Can Monitor Cars And Kill Their Engines After Breaking Into GPS Tracking Apps
    Reader eatmorekix writes: A hacker broke into thousands of accounts belonging to users of two GPS tracker apps, giving him the ability to monitor the locations of tens of thousands of vehicles and even turn off the engines for some of them while they were in motion, Motherboard has learned. The hacker, who goes by the name L&M, told Motherboard he hacked into more than 7,000 iTrack accounts and more than 20,000 ProTrack accounts, two apps that companies use monitor and manage fleets of vehicles through GPS tracking devices. The hacker was able to track vehicles in a handful of countries around the world, including South Africa, Morocco, India, and the Philippines. On some cars, the software has the capability of remotely turning off the engines of vehicles that are stopped or are traveling 12 miles per hour or slower, according to the manufacturer of certain GPS tracking devices.   By reverse engineering ProTrack and iTrack's Android apps, L&M said he realized that all customers are given a default password of 123456 when they sign up. At that point, the hacker said he brute-forced 'millions of usernames' via the apps' API. Then, he said he wrote a script to attempt to login using those usernames and the default password. This allowed him to automatically break into thousands of accounts that were using the default password and extract data from them.
            

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • First 'Marsquake' Detected on Red Planet
    There are earthquakes and moonquakes, and now a NASA spacecraft has detected what's believed to be a "marsquake" on the Red Planet. From a report: The spacecraft picked up the faint trembling of Mars's surface on 6 April, 128 days after landing on the planet last November. The quake is the first to be detected on a planetary body other than Earth or Moon. The shaking was relatively weak, the French space agency CNES said on 23 April. The seismic energy it produced was similar to that of the moonquakes that Apollo astronauts measured in the late 1960s and early 1970s. "We thought Mars was probably going to be somewhere between Earth and the Moon" in terms of seismic activity, says Renee Weber, a planetary scientist at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. "It's still very early in the mission, but it's looking a bit more Moon-like than Earth-like," she says. It's not yet clear whether the shaking originated within Mars or was caused by a meteorite crashing into the planet's surface.
            

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Car Rental Company Hertz Sues Accenture Over $32M Website Project
    Car rental giant Hertz is suing consultancy firm Accenture over a website redesign. From a report: The US corporation hired monster management consultancy firm Accenture in August 2016 to completely revamp its online presence. The new site was due to go live in December 2017. But a failure to get on top of things led to a delay to January 2018, and then a second delay to April 2018 which was then also missed, we're told. As Hertz endured the delays, it found itself immersed in a nightmare: a product and design that apparently didn't do half of what was specified and still wasn't finished. "By that point, Hertz no longer had any confidence that Accenture was capable of completing the project, and Hertz terminated Accenture," the car rental company complained in a lawsuit lodged against Accenture in New York this month.   Hertz is suing for the $32m it paid Accenture in fees to get to that aborted stage, and it wants more millions to cover the cost of fixing the mess. "Accenture never delivered a functional website or mobile app," Hertz claimed. Accenture told El Reg on Tuesday this week it believes Hertz's lawsuit is "without merit."
            

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Chalking Tires To Enforce Parking Rules is Unconstitutional, Court Finds
    Reader schwit1 writes: Marking your tires with chalk is trespassing, not law enforcement, the federal appeals panel said in a Michigan case. U.S. Circuit Judge Bernice Bouie Donald wrote that when drivers pull into parking spaces, "the city commences its search on vehicles that are parked legally, without probable cause or even so much as 'individualized suspicion of wrongdoing' -- the touchstone of the reasonableness standard." Moreover, overstaying your welcome at a parking space doesn't cause "injury or ongoing harm to the community," she wrote, meaning the city is wrong to argue that parking enforcement is part of its "community caretaking" responsibility, potentially justifying a search without a warrant. In fact, she wrote, "there has been a trespass in this case because the City made intentional physical contact with Taylor's vehicle." Further reading: A court ruling 'chalking' illegal could make way for more privacy-invasive tech.
            

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


The Register


  • Databricks launches open-source project to drain all your data swamps into info lakes
    From the creators of Apache Spark, comes a new tale of friendship and imagination
    American startup Databricks, established by the original authors of the Apache Spark framework, has launched an open source project designed to solve the reliability issues plaguing data swamps – those huge (cess)pools of raw corporate data that are supposed to deliver value from analytics.…




















  • UK cautiously gives Huawei the nod for 5G network gear sales
    But only on the edge, Chinese giant not trusted in the core
    Britain will allow Huawei infrastructure kit on 5G mobile networks, according to reports, but not into the core of those networks, which is where UK spies fear Chinese backdoors exists.…











  • High Court confirms the way UK banned GSM gateways was illegal
    Ministers can't tell Ofcom to ignore the law after all
    UK comms regulator Ofcom can't be ordered to ignore its legal duties, the High Court has ruled, paving the way for GSM gateway operators to claim compensation after Home Office ministers and mandarins destroyed their businesses.…






















Linux.com offline for now

Phoronix

  • FreeBSD ZFS vs. ZoL Performance, Ubuntu ZFS On Linux Reference
    With iX Systems having released new images of FreeBSD reworked with their ZFS On Linux code that is in development to ultimately replace their existing FreeBSD ZFS support derived from the code originally found in the Illumos source tree, here are some fresh benchmarks looking at the FreeBSD 12 performance of ZFS vs. ZoL vs. UFS and compared to Ubuntu Linux on the same system with EXT4 and ZFS.





  • OpenBSD 6.5 Released With RETGUARD, OpenRSYNC
    OpenBSD 6.5 was released today, about one week ahead of schedule for this security-minded BSD operating system. OpenBSD 6.5 is bringing several prominent new features including RETGUARD as its new stack protector and OpenRSYNC as its ISC-licensed in-progress replacement to rsync...


  • NVIDIA Adds Vulkan Support To Nsight Systems
    Nsight Systems, NVIDIA's proprietary cross-platform tool providing a timeline view of system resource analysis and other metrics while running GPU compute/graphics workloads, now can handle the Vulkan API...


  • OS108 Yields NetBSD Desktop Operating System Powered By MATE
    Over the past decade there's been talks on a few occasions about either spinning NetBSD as a desktop platform or offering up various desktop usability improvements to make it easier to use this BSD as a desktop operating system. In 2019 there still isn't a great desktop experience to NetBSD but the new "OS108" is seeking to improve that with a NetBSD OS paired with the MATE desktop environment...





  • Google's Filament Real-Time PBR Engine Updated With New Features
    Filament is Google's real-time physically based rendering engine that supports Android along with Linux and all other major platforms, including a target for WebAssembly+WebGL. Filament 1.2.0 was released on Tuesday as the latest step forward for this PBR rendering engine...



  • RADV Vulkan Driver Lands FreeSync/Adaptive-Sync For Mesa 19.1
    While on the kernel-side there has been FreeSync support with the AMDGPU DRM driver since Linux 5.0 and for the OpenGL driver with RadeonSI there has been this functionality in Mesa 19.0 when paired with a supported kernel, the Mesa Radeon Vulkan driver has missed out on this action until now. But landing just in time for the Mesa 19.1 feature freeze is now the FreeSync/Adaptive-Sync enablement for RADV...









  • Intel Iris Gallium3D Picks Up More Game Performance Optimizations For Mesa 19.1
    There is just one week to go until the Mesa 19.1 feature freeze and branching for this next quarterly feature update to these open-source OpenGL/Vulkan Linux drivers. Notable this round is the introduction of the Intel "Iris" Gallium3D driver for supporting Broadwell graphics and newer atop this next-gen OpenGL driver ahead of next year's Xe Graphics dGPU launch. With days to go until the Mesa 19.1 feature freeze, more performance optimizations have landed...


  • MLIR Is A New IR For Machine Learning That Might Become Part Of LLVM
    Earlier this month the developers behind Tensorflow open-sourced MLIR as the Multi-Level Intermediate Representation. They hope this IR can become a common format between machine learning models/frameworks and as part of that it might end up becoming an LLVM sub-project...



  • Intel SPMD Compiler 1.11 Released
    Intel continues working on its SPMD compiler as part of their SPIR-V translator running on the CPU and other efforts. ISPC is the Intel SPMD Program Compiler and at the end of last week reached its version 1.11 milestone for this C variant compiler designed for single program, multiple data programming...




  • Scientific Linux 6/7 Will Remain Supported But The Distribution Is Ending
    For those wanting a community-supported, free version in effect of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the two options have been CentOS with its close relation (and employment) by Red Hat or Scientific Linux that has been maintained Fermilab, CERN, and other research labs. Moving forward, however, these labs are going to be adopting CentOS 8 and they will not be developing a new version of Scientific Linux based on the upcoming RHEL8...


  • Dropped Linux Kernel Drivers Occasionally See Revival - FDOMAIN Gets Second Chance
    When drivers get dropped from the Linux kernel it's generally due to hardware being no one cares about anymore that hasn't been produced in many years and the code often falls into disrepair to the point that the only logical way forward is dropping the driver. That happened last year to the "FDOMAIN" driver but as does happen every so often (albeit rare) thanks to the code being still obtainable through Git and the nature of open-source, interested parties can step up and revive the code...







Engadget"Engadget RSS Feed"

  • India lifts ban on TikTok
    An Indian state court moved to lift a nationwide ban on the popular short-form video app TikTok. A nearly week-long ban in India on the app is now reversed, lawyers involved in the case told Reuters on Wednesday. Google and Appleremoved the app from its stores in India last week after a high court in Tamil Nadu called for its removal, saying it was exposing children to sexual predators and pornography.

    The ban in India was a major setback for TikTok, due to India being its largest user base with nearly 300 million users. ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok,estimatedin a court filing that the ban was losing the company nearly $500,000 a day.

    A TikTokspokesman applauded the court's decision in a statement. "We are glad about this decision and we believe it is also greatly welcomed by our thriving community in India, who use TikTok as a platform to showcase their creativity. We are grateful for the opportunity to continue serving our users better."

    TikTok sparked controversy in India late last year when a 24-year old user committed suicide after being bullied on the app. Indian officials and parents argued that the app was exposing children to pornographic and other harmful types of content. In response, TikTok removed over 6 million videos created in India that violated its content guidelines and introduced an "age-gate" for users to verify that they were at least 13 years old.

    This isn't the first sign of trouble for TikTok. The app has a much younger userbase compared to other social media platforms, but doesn't appear to go to any extra lengths to protect their privacy or safety. The FTC orderedthe video app to pay $5.7 million in fines to settle charges that it illegally collected the personal data of children. India and the United States now remain the only countries to require TikTok users to verify that they are at least 13 years old. The app is also highly popular amongst teens in the United Kingdom and the Middle East, as well as Russia, Mexico and Pakistan.

    Source: Reuters



  • Samsung's strange, gigantic Galaxy View is ready for round two
    You probably weren't looking for a sequel to Samsung's lap-crushing Galaxy View tablet, but you're getting one anyway. AT&T has teased the release of the Galaxy View 2, another take on the Android tablet and mobile TV hybrid. It's not quite as colossal as its predecessor with a 17.3-inch 1080p display, and implements a clever built-in cover that doubles as a kickstand. Still, this could easily be awkward to use in tablet mode -- it's really more of a vehicle for DirecTV Now and other AT&T streaming services than something you'd use to check Facebook on the couch.

    This will be a resolutely middle-of-the-road device outside of its dimensions. AT&T tells Engadget the View 2 will pack a mid-tier 1.6GHz Exynos 7884 eight-core chip, 3GB of RAM, a front-facing 5-megapixel camera and 64GB of expandable storage. You will get immersive Dolby Atmos audio, though, and the size allows for a hefty 12,000mAh battery that should keep the tablet humming. This being AT&T, there's built-in LTE with support for calling features like NumberSync (which turns this into a truly over-the-top speakerphone, we'd add).

    You'll want to brace yourself for the price. The View 2 arrives on April 26th for $37 per month on a 20-month installment plan, which translates to $740. Despite the smaller size, it's actually more expensive than the original $600 View. That could make sense if you're an avid viewer who insists on a sprawling screen at all times, but it might make more sense to spring for a more compact tablet if you just want something larger than your phone. Your wallet and your legs might just thank you.


    Via: Droid Life

    Source: AT&T (YouTube)


  • Tesla will begin selling its own in-house insurance 'in a month'
    Tesla released its Q1 2019 earnings on Wednesday and despite having a significant slowdown from the previous quarter, the company remains confident that it will meet its ambitious production goals for the year.



    Despite "significant challenges with the battery module line at Gigafactory 1 in Nevada, and later with our general assembly line in Fremont" Tesla managed to deliver nearly 140,000 Model 3 vehicles in 2018. That trend continued through Q1 2019 with the electric sedan outselling its nearest competitor by nearly 60 percent.

    "To the best of my knowledge there were zero predictions that this would happen, that an electric vehicle would be the best selling car in the US," Tesla CEO Elon Musk told reporters during the company's earnings call. "And we believe, eventually, the best selling EV car throughout the world."

    The company expects its production for Model 3s to continue to grow thanks to its Fremont facility and expects a sustained capacity of 7,000 vehicles per week by the end of the year. The Gigafactory Shanghai plant is expected to reach its full production potential by the end of this year and boasts a capital spend per unit of capacity that's less than half of what we see at the Fremont facility's Model 3 line. "That 50 percent, our internal forecasts are actually better than that," a Tesla executive noted during the call.

    "We intend Model 3 to be the first step in a platform which we can cost effectively and quickly replicate across geographies and vehicle types," the earnings report reads. "We have spent years developing this platform, and Gigafactory Shanghai and our planned Model Y production line will be the first to reap the benefits of this investment."

    This added stock should help drive prices for the Model 3 even lower. "It is critical that we continue this trend so that we can keep increasing the affordability of Model 3 while retaining a sustainable level of profitability," the Q1 financials read. "The labor hours per Model 3 vehicle declined yet again by roughly 20 percent compared to Q3 and by about 65 percent in the second half of 2018 alone." Tesla hopes to further improve efficiencies in its delivery system by leveraging its fleet of self-driving semis.

    North American Model S customers will also soon have the the opportunity to buy Tesla's in-house insurance. The program which has previously rolled out in Australia and Asia seeks to provide a lower-cost alternative to third party insurance for the S, which is among the most expensive electric vehicles on the market to insure. "We are creating a Tesla insurance product," Musk confirmed during the call. "We are hoping to launch that in about a month. We think it will be much more compelling than anything else out there."

    Deliveries for the Model S and Model X fell sharply in Q1, hitting just 12,100 vehicles compared to the 2-year average of 25,000 units per quarter. The company cites seasonal downturns in demand as the driving cause of the shortfall. "Nobody buys cars in winter," Musk quipped during the call, also noting that the two models did recently receive new longer range motors.

    Still, Tesla expects to hit its previous guidance of delivering 340,000 to 400,000 vehicles in 2019 -- a 45 - 65 percent increase over the previous year. The company is also confident it will be "able to produce over 500,000 vehicles globally in the 12-month period ending June 30, 2020," per the earnings report. Overall, "we believe we will deliver between 90,000 and 100,000 vehicles in Q2."

    Source: Tesla


  • Implant turns brain signals into synthesized speech
    People with neurological conditions who lose the ability to speak can still send the brain signals used for speech (such as the lips, jaw and larynx), and UCSF researchers might just use that knowledge to bring voices back. They've crafted a brain machine interface that can turn those brain signals into mostly recognizable speech. Instead of trying to read thoughts, the machine learning technology picks up on individual nerve commands and translates those to a virtual vocal tract that approximates the intended output.

    The results aren't flawless. Although the system accurately captures the distinctive sound of someone's voice and is frequently easy to understand, there are times when the synthesizer produces garbled words. It's still miles better than earlier approaches that didn't try to replicate the vocal tract, though. Scientists are also testing denser electrodes on the brain interface as well as more sophisticated machine learning, both of which could improve the overall accuracy. This would ideally work with any person, even if they can't train the system before using it in practice.

    That effort could take a while, and there's no firm roadmap at this stage. The goal, at least, is clear: the researchers want to revive the voices of people with ALS, Parkinson's and other conditions where speech loss is normally irreversible. If that happens, it could dramatically improve communication for those patients (who may have to use much slower methods today) and help them feel more connected to society.


    Via: MIT Technology Review

    Source: UCSF


  • Microsoft's cloud business can't be stopped
    At this point, Microsoft's quarterly earnings reports sound like a broken record: Its cloud business is practically unstoppable, while its PC and productivity make steady gains. That's been the case for years, and this past third quarter was no different: Its intelligent cloud jumped 22 percent reaching $9.2 billion, mostly due to Azure's whopping 73 percent revenue growth. The Personal Computing side of things rose 8 percent to reach $10.7 billion, which includes a 21 percent increase in Surface revenues. And its Productivity and Business Group, which houses Office and LinkedIn, rose 14 percent at $10.2 billion. Altogether, revenues for the quarter were up 14 percent and profit 19 percent, reaching $8.8 billion.

    The takeaway? Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has set the company on a solid course, one focused on the massive potential of cloud computing, while not ignoring the bread-and-butter productivity software and services the company is known for. It's nice to see that the company's Surface lineup -- the Surface Go, Pro 6, Laptop 2and Book 2-- is getting some consumer love, as they're some of the best PCs we've reviewed recently.

    Microsoft's gaming business only saw a 5 percent rise during the quarter, but mostly I'd chalk that up to a slowing console generation and a lack of any major exclusives. We'll hear more about where the Xbox is going at E3, both in the form of a next-generation console for next year, as well as cloud gaming plans that could take on Google's Stadia service. Given just how much Microsoft's cloud business is booming, a game streaming service simply makes sense.

    Source: Microsoft


  • Slack is adding email conversations and calendar integrations
    In case you don't already count on Slack for just about every part of your work day, the business communications service is adding a whole bunch of new features that will keep you chatting with your co-workers without having to open new tabs and applications. The company is introducing shared channels, email and calendar integrations and an improved search feature that makes it easier to find just about anything.

    The expanded search function is perhaps the most exciting addition. If you've ever used Slack -- or any chat app, for that matter -- you know that it can be a pain to find things that happened days, weeks or months earlier. The universal search bar now displays a list of unread channels and direct messages as well as the channels, files and people that you interact with most often. Slack is also promising quick results that show prior discussions and materials shared on the service, as you would expect from a search feature.



    In addition to improving its search functionality, Slack is also getting better integrations for the two other applications you probably rely on most: email and calendar. In the next few months, it will add the ability for people who have been invited to a Slack but are yet to join to receive emails that contain important message and information. That includes mentions, direct messages and other relevant conversations. Over time, the company plans to give people the ability to reply to Slack messages straight from email.



    Slack is also expanding on its recent integrations for Outlook Calendar and Google Calendar by introducing invites that can be sent and received directly through the communications platform. They will allow people to be alerted to important meetings, respond to make their availability known and join conference calls right on Slack. Outlook Calendar users will also be able to sync their schedules so Slack can update their status when a calendar event will have them away from their computer. The service will also start to automatically generate calendar invites when users type things like "Let's meet tomorrow and discuss." All of these features are expected to arrive before the end of the year.

    If that's not enough for you, Slack is expanding its Shared Channels feature that will let multiple organizations communicate within the same workspace. The service should be welcome for any company that works with outside agencies and vendors on projects. The beta version of the feature for Enterprise Grid customers will launch this summer.


  • Facebook’s FTC fine could cost it between $3 and $5 billion
    Although Facebook's growth has slowed down over the past year, all the controversies it has facedin recent months haven't had an effect on its bottom line. But that may be changing. Today, during its Q1 2019 earnings report, Facebook reported a total revenue of $15.1 billion, a 26 percent year-over-year increase. The most interesting part, however, is that Facebook says it estimates spending between $3 and $5 billion as part of an ongoing investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) into its data-sharing practices.

    As a result of that, the company accrued a $3 billion expense this quarter, and its overall net profit dropped 51 percent compared to a year ago. In February, the largest of its kind for a technology company, eclipsing the $22.5 million penalty Google paid to the commission following an investigation on its privacy practices.

    "The matter remains unresolved," Facebook said in its earnings report, "and there can be no assurance as to the timing or the terms of any final outcome."

    Elsewhere, Facebook reported 2.38 billion monthly active users in Q1 2019, an increase of 8 percent compared to the same period last year. Daily active users, meanwhile, were at 1.56 billion during the quarter, also an 8 percent increase compared to 2018. "We had a good quarter and our business and community continue to grow," said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO. "We are focused on building out our privacy-focused vision for the future of social networking, and working collaboratively to address important issues around the internet."



    During the earnings report conference call, Zuckerberg on how Facebook's main focus for the next few years will be its efforts to create the best possible privacy-focused social network. He pointed to WhatsApp as the perfect example of how the company is viewing these efforts, noting that the goal will be to offer private interactions, simple intimate spaces, end-to-end-encryption and reducing the permanence of posts. At the same time, he added, Facebook wants to make it easy for users to communicate with each other across its family of apps, including Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp and, of course, core Facebook.

    In addition to that, Zuckerberg talked about his proposal to regulate the internet, which he says will only help establish trust between Facebook and its community. "Any regulation may hurt our business, but it is necessary," he said. "The trustworthiness can have a much larger positive impact."

    Zuckerberg also touched on how important artificial intelligence and machine learning is to keep Facebook and its products safe. "The only hope is building AI systems that can either identify things and handle them proactively, or at the very least flag them for a lot of people who work for us," he said. "99 percent of the [Al Qaeda and ISIS] content that we take down, our systems flag proactively before anyone sees it. That's what really good looks like."

    As for the impending, record-breaking FTC fine, Facebook CFO David Wehner said, "This matter is not resolved so the actual amount of payment remains uncertain. Can't comment further as this is an ongoing matter."

    Images: EFE (Mark Zuckerberg)

    Source: Facebook


  • Microsoft knows password-expiration policies are useless
    Microsoft admitted today that password-expiration policies are a pointless security measure. Such requirements are "an ancient and obsolete mitigation of very low value," the company wrote in a blog post on draft security baseline settings for Windows 10 v1903 and Windows Server v1903. Microsoft isn't doing away with its password-expiration policies across the board, but the blog post makes the company's stance clear: expiring passwords does little good.

    As the blog post explains, if a password is never stolen, there's no need to expire it. And if a password is suspected to be stolen, you would want to act immediately, not wait until the expiration date. Forced updates also lead to more users writing their passwords down or forgetting them altogether. Plus, as Microsoft puts it, "if your users are the kind who are willing to answer surveys in the parking lot that exchange a candy bar for their passwords, no password expiration policy will help you."

    The company admits that the state of password security is problematic, but it says multi-factor authentication and banned-password lists are more effective security measures. Microsoft is proposing to drop password-expiration policies from its security baseline for Windows 10 v1903 and Windows Server v1903, but that will impact a relatively small subset of users. The company doesn't plan to change requirements for minimum password length, history or complexity. And while it can't include multi-factor authentication or banned-password lists in the security baseline, the blog post "strongly recommends" users seek additional protections. So, you can keep updating your passwords if you'd like, but even Microsoft will tell you that's not going to keep you safe.

    Source: Microsoft Security Guidance Blog


  • 'Overwatch' Workshop adds more custom options for heroes and modes
    custom games (Ana Paintball, anyone?) and now they're getting a lot more options to flex their creative muscles. A new feature called Workshop, a scripting mode for custom games, is live on the PTR.

    You'll be able to set up games with new rules and win conditions, or adjust characters' abilities and movements. Perhaps most excitingly, game director Jeff Kaplan said in a developer update video that "You could even prototype your own Overwatch hero using this system." However, you won't be able to edit maps.



    To help you make sure your game mode works the way you want it to, Workshop has a debugging tool called Inspector. It aims to let you know "why certain things are happening" or "why aren't they happening," Kaplan said.

    He noted Workshop will be available on PC and consoles, while you'll be able to share your creations with others. He stressed this is more of a power user tool and those who have experience in scripting or programming might find it easier to get to grips with, at least at the beginning. However, Blizzard hopes to make Workshop as accessible as possible.

    The Overwatch team has added some of its own creations to the game browser, so you can take a look at how they were put together, tweak them and get to grips with Workshop. One is Molten Floor, which is essentially a game of "The Floor Is Lava" -- that could be especially helpful for Pharah and Lúcio players looking to sharpen their jetpack or wall-riding skills.

    Kaplan also discussed a mirrored deathmatch mode that could come to the Arcade at some point, in which every player in a free-for-all deathmatch is the same character for a series of short rounds. You'll also be able to, for instance, customize Mystery Heroes so teams are more balanced, and one side doesn't necessarily end up with five Bastions.

    As always with PTR updates, Workshop is a work in progress. Blizzard may adjust it or close it down as it refines the tool. Still, perhaps we'll soon start to see the likes of map-wide races or a Wrecking Ball swingball mode hit the game browser.

    Source: Overwatch (YouTube)



  • Apple may unveil two new AirPod models by the end of 2019
    Apple's refreshed AirPods might be just the start of a tidal wave of new models. Historically accurate analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims that Apple has two new AirPod variants launching sometime between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020. One of them would be cosmetically similar to the current earbuds and would be priced accordingly, while the other would represent an "all-new design" and carry a higher price tag.

    The analyst was shy on just what would distinguish those new models, although both will supposedly shift to a system-in-package design that improves manufacturing, saves space and (most importantly for Apple) reduces the cost of production. There have been murmurs of AirPods with noise cancellation, longer range and water resistance, but it's not certain that's what Kuo is referencing. You can already get the water resistance and a degree of passive noise cancellation through the upcoming Powerbeats Pro.

    Accurate or not, Kuo's predictions wouldn't come out of nowhere. AirPods are still the best-selling true wireless earbuds, according to estimates, and Apple no doubt wants to keep the money flowing. Higher-end AirPods could appeal to people who don't think the existing models pass muster, and reworked innards could boost Apple's bottom line.

    Source: 9to5Mac


  • Bumble will use AI to detect unwanted nudes
    Artificial intelligence will soon weed out any NSFW photos a match sends to you on Bumble. The dating app that requires women to make the first contactsaidit is launching a "private detector" to warn users about lewd images. Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd and Andrey Andreev, CEO of the dating app parent company that includes Bumble, Badoo, Chappy and Lumen, made the announcement Wednesday in a press release.

    Beginning in June, all images sent onBumbleand the other apps will be screened by the AI-assisted "private detector." If a photo is suspected to be lewd or inappropriate, users will have the option to view, block or report the image to moderators before they open it.

    Unwanted sexual advances are a daily reality for many women on the internet, and that figure only multiplies on dating apps. A 2016 Consumers' Research study found that 57 percent of women report feeling harassed on dating apps, compared to 21 percent of men. Unlike Tinderor Hinge, Bumble allows its users to send photos to people they match with on the dating app. All images sent on Bumble are automatically blurred out; recipients must long press the image in order to view it. While the image safeguards keep users from being bombarded with sexual images on Bumble, the company doesn't feel like it's enough.

    "The sharing of lewd images is a global issue of critical importance and it falls upon all of us in the social media and social networking worlds to lead by example and to refuse to tolerate inappropriate behavior on our platforms," said Andreev in a press release.



    Bumble claims that its private detector feature is 98-percent "effective". A Bumble spokesperson told Engadget that the AI tool will also be able to detect pictures of guns and shirtless mirror selfies, both of which are banned on the app.

    Wolfe Herd is currently working with Texas state lawmakers to make the sharing of lewd images a punishable crime. The bill championed by Wolfe Herd would make it a Class C misdemeanor--punishable by a fine of $500--to send a lewd photo without a recipient's consent.

    A Bumble spokesperson told Engadget that an AI tool to detect inappropriate messages and harmful language is under development. Bumble won't be the first to use AI to filter profiles and messages. While Tinder does not allow photo sharing on its app, it has been using an AI tool to automatically scan profiles for "red-flag language and images."



    Source: Bumble


  • Amazon Alexa auditors could reportedly access user locations
    It emerged earlier this month that thousands of Amazon employees are reviewing some Alexa recordings (which are captured after you've said the wake word). The auditors transcribe, annotate and analyze a selection of commands to help improve Alexa. But it seems these workers could view users' personal information too, according to Bloomberg. At least some employees are said to have had access to location data, addresses and phone numbers.

    There's no indication any workers have tried to look up a customer's home (say, on Google Street View) using the data from these tools. However, the fact they were able to access more information than they perhaps need to might be cause for concern, particularly as smart speakers become more prevalent. In fact, analysts are predicting they'll be in most US homes by late next year.

    According to the report, a number of Amazon workers use a tool that provides audio clips along with some data about the devices on which they were recorded, such as geographic coordinates. When plugged into the likes of Google Maps, the coordinates might pinpoint a user's location. That location data isn't always spot on though, as Amazon often relies on a device's internet connection (which can be masked) or GPS on phones. It uses such data to help Alexa give more accurate answers to location-based queries for things like the weather or local businesses, and for location-based routines and reminders.

    Another tool is said to include more intimate contact data, such as addresses and phone numbers, along with the names, email addresses and numbers of contacts if a user shared them with Alexa. That tool was available to a small number of employees -- those who tag recordings to train Alexa to categorize requests. As such, the auditors would be able to, for instance, help Alexa be more accurate when you ask it to start a video call with a contact on Echo Show.

    It's uncertain how many employees were able to use the systems, though Amazon seems to have been restricting access, particularly after details about the Alexa auditing program were revealed this month. An Amazon spokesperson provided Engadget with the following statement:

    "[Access] to internal tools is highly controlled, and is only granted to a limited number of employees who require these tools to train and improve the service by processing an extremely small sample of interactions. Our policies strictly prohibit employee access to or use of customer data for any other reason, and we have a zero tolerance policy for abuse of our systems. We regularly audit employee access to internal tools and limit access whenever and wherever possible."

    Source: Bloomberg


  • How Oppo fit a 10x zoom camera into its 5G phone
    Oppo may have already teased its first 5G smartphone in Zurich earlier this month, but today, the company is bringing its entire Reno family -- including the mid-range Reno and the flagship Reno 10x Zoom -- to Europe. This means the Chinese brand will be going head to head with Huawei using its very own 10x hybrid zoom camera outside of its home territory. With the $1,000 Reno 5G leading the party ahead of its May launch, the Reno 10x Zoom follows with a €799 (about $890) base price due in early June, whereas the Reno lands at a more modest €499 ($560) on May 10th.



    As we saw at the Shanghai launch event, all three Reno phones tout a cute pop-up camera wedge for 16-megapixel f/2.0 selfies, along with a 48-megapixel f/1.7 main rear camera. The Reno 10x Zoom is basically the Reno 5G sans 5G radio, featuring the same 13-megapixel f/3.0 periscopic zoom camera plus an 8-megapixel f/2.2 ultrawide camera. Together, the three rear cameras cover a focal length of 16mm to 160mm, hence the "10x hybrid zoom." The smaller Reno, on the other hand, only has a 5-megapixel f/2.4 assistive camera to add bokeh to the main camera.

    Ahead of today's launch event, Engadget sat down with Senior Camera Engineer Li Longjia to hear how Oppo's 10x hybrid zoom technology came together. It turned out that this camera project goes as far back as 2014, when Li's camera team was tasked with a mission to boost the mobile camera's zoom range. This led them to Hoya which offered a tiny periscopic camera with 3x optical zoom -- apparently the first of its kind in the mobile industry.

    In the end, Li's team deemed this solution infeasible, mainly due to the fact that Hoya's supply chain was an unfamiliar territory to Oppo and its peers. Li added that a purely continuous zoom solution like this -- as opposed to the current hybrid zoom tech -- comes with many limitations, especially the zoom range and package size. In this case, going beyond the mere 3x zoom would require much more space to accommodate different lens sizes. Still, Hoya's periscopic camera would end up on the ZenFone Zoom, but that didn't turn out so well for ASUS.

    In 2015, Israeli-based Corephotonics -- which was reportedly acquired by Samsung earlier this year -- approached Oppo with a cunning concept consisting of a normal camera plus a 3x zoom periscope. This "folded camera optics" solution boosted the overall zoom range to a more practical 5x, yet it was able to maintain a slim component height as the telephoto lenses could stick to similar diameters.

    Li was convinced, and by the end of 2015, his team pulled some resources together to start designing a new camera based on Corephotonics' solution. The first component samples came out in mid-2016, and these would eventually evolve into the demos shown at MWC 2017. As to why this wasn't commercialized soon afterwards, Li explained that there were still many hurdles surrounding the optics assembly method, optical stabilization in the periscope and lossless transition between the two cameras.

    Most interestingly, Li confessed that the periscope's prism in the original design was prone to detachment, and this was partly due to the prism's single-axis stabilization. Consequently, a revised design swapped things around: The prism was tasked with dual-axis stabilization, whereas the group of telephoto lenses only had to deal with autofocus. Problem solved. In fact, dual-axis stabilization is actually easier to apply to the prism than the much heavier set of lenses, anyway.



    Fast forward to today, Li's team boosted the hybrid zoom range once again to 10x using a more powerful 5x zoom periscope, while achieving an impressive f/3.0 aperture thanks to two large D-cut lenses. To put things into perspective, the P30 Pro's telephoto camera has a slower f/3.4 aperture. The downside is that this new camera module comes in at 6.76mm thick instead of the old 5.7mm, but given how it's vertically aligned down the middle of the Reno 10x Zoom (and Reno 5G, for that matter), I'm OK with that so long as it delivers.

    Understandably, Li refused to comment on the competition, so it'll be interesting to compare the telephoto modes and low-light modes on the Reno 10x Zoom and the P30 Pro. The pre-production Reno 10x Zoom I've been given still packs non-final camera firmware (plus a China version of ColorOS 6, based on Android 9), so I'll save the camera shoot-out for another time.
    Oppo Reno 10x Zoom sample shots: 1x vs 10x
    What I can say so far is that the hybrid zoom does come in handy even at just the default 6x stop, which has the best balance between zoom range and sharpness of the lot. This really showed under the bright sunlight today. Anything else beyond 6x often required several attempts before I could get a sharp enough shot, and jumping to 20x -- a manual setting in the scroll bar as a last resort -- would make things a lot more challenging. Hopefully Oppo can still improve the performance on this end of the scale, but before that, it has some bugs to fix on the ultra wide camera as well as low-light modes.



    Photography aside, one thing's for sure: Oppo is somehow beating Huawei to bringing the first 5G phone to Europe, and it's doing so with help from Qualcomm as well as local carriers EE plus Swisscom. The company has also pledged to invest $1.5 billion into R&D this year, with focus set on 5G, AI, photography and IoT. With Oppo trailing closely behind on the charts, Huawei may want to play its cards carefully in the 5G and foldable screen games this year.


  • Penske debuts fast charging stations for electric delivery trucks
    Today, Penske Truck Leasing opened 14 DC fast charging stations at four facilities in Southern California. According to the company, they're the first high-speed charging stations specifically designed for heavy duty, commercial electric vehicles in the US. And they'll be used to charge semi trucks, like the Daimler Freightliners that Penske has been testing.

    For the most part, electric vehicle discussions center around passenger vehicles, but companies like Tesla, Daimler and Cummins are working to electrify larger trucks, like big rigs. One of the pressing questions is how those companies will handle charging. Some have speculated that Tesla's first fleet will rely on customers like Pepsi and UPS to build on-site chargers. Networks of high-speed charging stations, like Penske's, could help speed up the adoption of electric semis.


  • Mark Zuckerberg debuts his own 'Tech and Society' podcast (updated)
    Yes, you read that correctly. Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg has launched his own podcast, Tech & Society with Mark Zuckerberg, that has the company founder siting down with luminaries to chat about (what else?) the social impact of technology. There aren't more details about the length of the series or just where you'll find it (we've only found it on Spotify so far). However, it won't surprise you to hear what the focus is -- it's issues relevant to Facebook.

    The first two episodes are available as we write this, and they cover well-worn topics for Zuckerberg. He talks with Harvard law professor Jonathan Zittrain about issues like privacy and fake news, and Axel Springer chief Mathias Dopfner about the importance of journalism in the digital era. Neither are small discussions (the first episode is an hour and 44 minutes long), but they most definitely touch on Facebook's plans. The chat with Dopfner, for instance, includes many references to Facebook's bids to support local news as well as its hopes for surfacing news in your feed.

    At first blush, the podcast could serve as a valuable insight into Zuckerberg's thinking on a range of topics. He also doesn't stop people like Dopfner from occasionally challenging his ideas and making suggestions. Simultaneously, though, this isn't going to be the most objective discussion of Facebook and related issues. You probably aren't going to hear much talk of Facebook's ongoing data scandals. This could still be worth a listen, to be clear -- just know that it's coming from a not-so-neutral perspective.

    Update 4/24 3:04PM ET: Facebook tells Engadget these are audio versions of videos Zuckerberg is posting on his profile. As such, you can expect to see new podcast episodes "every few weeks." You can also expect the podcast to reach platforms beyond Spotify in the "coming days." It's not completely novel, then, but it still represents the tech exec's first foray into podcasting.


    Source: Facebook (Twitter), Spotify


  • Facebook's AI missed Christchurch shooting videos filmed in first-person
    In the 24 hours after the Christchurch shooting, Facebook removed 1.5 million videos worldwide, but more than a month later, footage was still circulating on the platform. Now, the company says its AI had a hard time detecting the footage because of the way in which it was filmed.

    "This was a first-person shooter video, one where we have someone using a GoPro helmet with a camera focused from their perspective of shooting," Neil Potts, Facebook's public policy director, told British lawmakers. As considering legislation that could fine social media platforms that don't remove terrorist content within one hour of notification. This revelation proves platforms will need to bolster their AI detection systems in order to meet such goals.

    Source: Bloomberg


  • San Francisco could be the first US city to ban facial recognition tech
    The Chinese government has drawn widespread condemnation in recent months over its extensive use of public surveillance and facial recognition technology to monitor the movements of some 12 million Muslim citizens. "It's a 'Muslim tracker' funded by Chinese authorities in the province of Xinjiang to keep track of Uyghur Muslims," Victor Gevers, co-founder of GDI Foundation, a non-profit open-internet advocacy group, wrote on Twitter in February. Facial recognition tracking has received its fair share of criticism here in the US as well -- even as companies like Amazon field test their half-baked AIs with police departments across the country -- and may soon spawn the nation's first outright ban on the technology.

    The San Francisco Board of Supervisors convened on Tuesday to vote on, among other proposals, the Stop Secret Surveillance Ordinance (SSSO), which was first introduced by District 3 Supervisor, Aaron Peskin. The ordinance seeks to impose strict limits on what forms of biometric data can be collected by the city's various departments; how and when it is used, and establishes an oversight apparatus to ensure public transparency. These requirements closely resemble similar ordinances from other Bay Area counties like Oakland and Santa Clara but the SSSO goes a step further in flat-out banning the use of facial recognition technology by the local government. Should it pass muster with the Board of Supervisors, San Francisco is will become the first city in the United States to ban this surveillance technology.

    "It is essential to have an informed public debate as early as possible about decisions related to surveillance technology," the SSSO legislation reads. "While surveillance technology may threaten the privacy of us all, surveillance efforts have historically been used to intimidate and oppress certain communities and groups more than others, including those that are defined by a common race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, income level, sexual orientation, or political perspective."

    The ordinance goes on to define "surveillance technology" as:

    Any software, electronic device, system utilizing an electronic device, or similar device used, designed, or primarily intended to collect, retain, process, or share audio, electronic, visual, location, thermal, biometric, olfactory or similar information specifically associated with, or capable of being associated with, any individual or group.

    That includes cell tower spoofers like the Stingray, automated license plate readers, gunshot detection systems like Shotspotter, mobile DNA capture systems, surveillance cameras (including body-worn cameras), X-ray vans, RFID scanners and a multitude of hacking tools and software that allow for illicit entry into secured computers and networks.

    Before a city department can adopt any of these technologies for use, the department must first submit both ordinance and impact reports to the Board of Supes for review. Systems that have already been put into place, like the SFPD's body cameras or the city's ShotSpotter system, would undergo similar oversight through annual audits in which departments will be expected to provide evidence that the data collection systems are both operating as intended and effectively impacting the issue they are meant to address. Not facial recognition technologies though.

    "The propensity for facial recognition technology to endanger civil rights and civil liberties substantially outweighs its purported benefits," the ordinance argues, "and the technology will exacerbate racial injustice and threaten our ability to live free of continuous government monitoring." This technology would presumably be driven by the 2,700-plus public and private security cameras located throughout the city that can be called upon to provide footage to the San Francisco County District Attorney's Office as part of ongoing criminal investigations.

    Current facial recognition technologies are as widespread as they are woefully inaccurate. A 2016 study by Georgetown University found that most American adults appear in police photo databases while a 2018 test by the ACLU found that Amazon's facial recognition system falsely matched 28 sitting members of Congress (a vast majority of which are POC) to mugshot photos.

    Amazon finds itself in a bit of a pickle with regards to its Rekognition system. On one hand, it's wildly unpopular among both Amazon employees and investors -- so much, in fact, that the company tried to get the SEC to quash an upcoming shareholder vote scheduled for May 22nd that would have banned development of the tech entirely (a move opposed by Amazon's Board of Directors). On the other hand, such government contracts could prove quite lucrative -- especially as competitors like Microsoft keep citing "human rights concerns" when refusing to sell their similar technologies. As such, Amazon is stuck calling for increased government oversight while simultaneously lending its technology to the Orlando Police Department for field tests.

    It would appear that the only people who actually are in favor of facial recognition technology are members of the law enforcement community. The ACLU, the EFF and Fight for the Future have all voiced support for the measure while the San Francisco San Francisco Police Officers Association (SFPOA) opposes it.

    What's more, a recent statewide survey conducted by David Binder Research on behalf of the ACLU, Northern California, found strong opposition to biometric data collection by likely 2020 Bay Area voters. The study found that "three‐quarters of voters statewide and in the Bay Area support a law to require public debate and a vote by lawmakers before any surveillance technology is obtained or used by government and law enforcement." This opinion ran clear across party and racial lines and was just as likely to be held by Boomers as it is Millennials.

    "San Francisco residents want and deserve a seat at the table when it comes to decisions about government surveillance," Matt Cagle, Tech and Civil Liberties attorney at the ACLU of Northern California told Engadget. "Surveillance without oversight or safeguards makes people less safe and less free, and increases the likelihood that they will be unnecessarily entangled with police and ICE. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors should promote real public safety by passing this ordinance and giving the community control over surveillance in their city."

    Jelani Drew, a campaigner with Fight for the Future, echoed those sentiments. "These kinds of technologies that are being used by the government need public oversight," they told Engadget. "Or, at the very least, folks need to know what sorts of surveillance technologies are being used around them."

    The SFPD and SF District Attorney's office both did not reply to requests for comment, while the SF Sheriff's office had no comment to give on the subject. Supervisor Peskin's office also did not reply to requests for comment.

    This isn't the first time that a government entity has attempted to operate facial recognition technology in the region. Last August, BART's board of directors floated using the technology as part of its renewed anti-crime initiative but abandoned the proposal after loud and sustained public outcry.

    Nor is this the first time that state and local governments have attempted to legislate stronger privacy protections for the voting public. Last year, the state Senate passed SB 1186, which would "require each law enforcement agency, as defined, to submit to its governing body at a regularly scheduled hearing, open to the public, a proposed Surveillance Use Policy for the use of each type of surveillance technology and the information collected, as specified." That law goes into effect July 1st.

    Supervisor Peskin's Proposition B also passed during last November's elections. Prop B sought to outline a "Privacy First Policy" for San Francisco, requiring that the city administrator's office come up with an ordinance detailing how the city, its contractors and permitted third party companies like SalesForce would protect consumer data.

    This is "the first time a city has endeavored to protect its constituents from the misuse and misappropriation of their personal, private information by outside corporations for profit," Peskin told the Examiner last May. And, earlier this year, federal lawmakers put forth the bipartisan Commercial Facial Recognition Privacy Act of 2019, which would prevent companies from collecting or disseminating images of people's faces without their consent.


  • Pew: Twitter users are younger and more Democratic than most Americans
    A recent report from the Pew Research Center says Twitter users are younger, more highly educated, have higher incomes and are more likely to identify as Democrats compared to the general public. They're also more likely to support immigration and see evidence of racial- and gender-based inequality in society. This might be surprising given how loud opposing views can appear on the platform.

    The study looked at a sampling of 2,791 US adult Twitter users. The median age of those users was 40, compared to 47, the national median age of adults. According to the report, 42 percent of adult Twitter users have a bachelor's degree, compared to 31 percent of the general public. The breakdown is almost the same when it comes to income. An estimated 41 percent of Twitter users earn more than $75,000, while just 32 percent of the general public meet that benchmark. In terms of gender, race and ethnicity, though, the makeup of Twitter users is similar to the adult population as a whole.

    It might not come as a shock that a handful of Twitter users are the most vocal, but the report finds that just 10 percent of users are responsible for 80 percent of tweets created by US adults. The median Twitter users post twice a month, while the most active accounts produce roughly 138 tweets in the same time. The most active users are also more likely to be women and to tweet regularly about politics.

    The report paints an interesting picture of the average Twitter user, especially given all the news about abuse and harassment on the platform, Twitter's complicated role in meddling with elections and bans on conservative users who violate the company's terms. As social media platforms face their darker sides, it could be helpful to have this kind of demographic breakdown.

    Source: Pew Research Center


  • Google makes it easier to find work-from-home jobs
    While truck drivers can't operate their rigs from a home office just yet, telecommuting is an increasingly attractive option to many people for a host of reasons (wearing pajamas all day, for one thing). But having to slog through job postings to find ones that embrace remote work can be an exasperating experience. So, Google is aiming to make the working-from-home employment hunt more palatable by refining its job search options.

    When you're looking for a specific type of work, say "customer support jobs" or "design jobs," you'll be able to set your location as "work from home" to make the results more relevant. If you're not quite sure what remote opportunities are available, you can search for "work from home jobs" to see what's out there.

    Google is using Schema.org markup to determine job locations and requirements so it can better identify telecommuting positions and geographic limits. It's working with a number of job listing sites, including ZipRecruiter, Working Nomads and We Work Remotely, while more remote opportunities should pop up in search results as other sites adopt the markup. Employers and job boards which use Google's Cloud Talent Solution will be also able to mark which positions are open to remote work so they appear in filtered results.


  • Nintendo's lower-cost Switch might arrive in late June
    That rumored lower-cost Switch might show up sooner than you think. Bloomberg sources maintain that Nintendo's more affordable console will "likely" arrive by the end of June, or not long after the big E3 expo in the middle of the month. Don't expect a supercharged version for enthusiasts, though. The current model would get a "modest upgrade" in 2019, according to the purported insiders, but a brawnier model apparently isn't in the cards.

    The company hasn't said anything about the rumored new Switch, and might only indirectly confirm it by factoring it into its financial expectations for quarterly sales. Historically, Nintendo has saved much of its bigger news around this time of year for Direct presentations at E3.

    If this is accurate, it might dampen the hopes of fans who want a high-end version with lavish graphics and other new features. A focus on budget gamers might make more sense, mind you. The Switch is barely two years old -- many owners aren't about to replace their existing systems. There are plenty of people who don't have Switches, though, and a more affordable model might bring them into the fold. We'd add that Nintendo has shifted its attention away from the 2DS and 3DS. They're still around, but the gaming giant may want a Switch variant that could eventually replace those older handhelds in terms of price, if not necessarily in spirit.

    Via: CNET

    Source: Bloomberg


  • Academy says streamed films are still in the Oscars race
    Hollywood's biggest prize will still be open to streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences votedon Tuesday night to not change rules on Oscar eligibility. Any feature-length film on a streaming platform can be eligible for an Academy Award, as long as it also screens in a theater in Los Angeles for at least seven days.

    "We support the theatrical experience as integral to the art of motion pictures, and this weighed heavily in our discussions," Academy President John Bailey said in a statement. "Our rules currently require theatrical exhibition, and also allow for a broad selection of films to be submitted for Oscars consideration."

    Netflixmade history at this year's Oscar ceremony with Alfonso Cuaron's Roma, which wonthree awards, including best director for Cuaron. The historic event also raised concerns in some circles of Hollywood elite that streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu would soon take over traditional motion picture productions. But speculation that Academy board member Steven Spielberg would push for longer theatrical release requirements in order to bar Netflix from the Oscars turned out to be unfounded. Spielberg later clarified in a statement that while he wants to preserve the movie theatre experience, he wants people to "find entertainment in any form or fashion that suits them."

    Even if Spielberg had gone forth with an anti-Netflix campaign, it likely would meet legal obstacles. The Department of Justice informedthe Academy earlier this month that any change to eligibility rules that barred the streaming platforms could be in violation of antitrust laws. So it appears that Netflix and the other online streaming platforms will continue to have a place on the red carpet, even if not all Hollywood moguls don't like it.

    Source: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences


  • Childish Gambino and Google team up for a multiplayer AR app
    Google and Childish Gambino are teaming up again for another augmented reality experience. Following the arrival of the Coachella headliner as a Playmoji on Pixel cameras earlier this year, the pair have released a multiplayer app called Pharos AR. It allows you and your friends to explore a trippy, neon-tinged world with Gambino as the soundtrack.

    When you open the app, you'll see a portal you can step through. Once you do, you can explore a cave in which you can find glyphs to interact with (while still being able to look at the real world). Track down all of them and the app will let you explore "more worlds throughout Childish Gambino's universe."

    You can check out Pharos AR on Android now and it'll arrive on iOS soon. You'll be able to experience it with your friends regardless of which phone each of you have, because the app uses ARCore's Cloud Anchors API.

    Source: Google


  • Brave browser lets you see opt-in ads in exchange for rewards
    Brave is moving forward with its plans to pay people who view opt-in ads. Use the latest version of its desktop web browser, sign up for Brave Rewards and you'll have the option of viewing Brave Ads that give you a 70 percent cut of the ad revenue through crypto tokens if you decide to click. They won't compromise your privacy, Brave said, and they'll soon be useful for more than just donating to sites and content creators. You'll have the option of redeeming them for "real-world rewards" like gift cards and restaurant vouchers, and there are plans to convert tokens into real currencies.

    The launch comes a few months after an early access program in January, and has a few bigger supporters this time around. Vice and Home Chef are some of the partners supplying ads on top of existing allies like TAP Network, which will also supply the real-world rewards. You should also see ads from charities and non-profits like The Giving Block and the Human Rights Foundation.

    There's little doubt that Brave is being at least slightly optimistic. Its browser has a relatively tiny user base (it doesn't register on Netmarketshare's usage charts), and advertisers might balk at a platform where users won't even see ads. Brave, however, isn't deterred. It notes that the people clicking the ads will be those who want to see something (and are thus more likely to buy). And let's face it, the possibility of being paid for viewing web ads is alluring. Even if you only get a tiny reward for each ad you view, that could quickly add up if you make a habit of watching ads on a regular basis.

    Source: Brave


OSnews

  • Assessing unikernel security
    Unikernels are small, specialized, single-address-space machine images constructedby treating component applications and drivers like libraries and compiling them, along with a kernel and a thin OS layer, into a single binary blob. Proponents of unikernels claim that their smaller codebase and lack of excess services make them more efficient and secure than full-OS virtual machines and containers. We surveyed two major unikernels, Rumprun and IncludeOS, and found that this was decidedly not the case: unikernels, which in many ways resemble embedded systems, appear to have a similarly minimal level of security. Features like ASLR, W^X, stack canaries, heap integrity checks and more are either completely absent or seriously flawed. If an application running on such a system contains a memory corruption vulnerability, it is often possible for attackers to gain code execution, even in cases where the applications source and binary are unknown. Furthermore, because the application and the kernel run together as a single process, an attacker who compromises a unikernel can immediately exploit functionality that would require privilege escalation on a regular OS, e.g. arbitrary packet I/O. We demonstrate such attacks on both Rumprun and IncludeOS unikernels, and recommend measures to mitigate them. This is a 100+ page article  book?  that isnt for the faint of heart.


  • Windows 10s Sets feature is gone and not expected to return
    In 2017, Microsoft officials provided a preview of two new features coming to Windows 10: Timeline and Sets. Timeline made it into Windows 10 as part of the April 2018 Update, but Sets didnt. And its looking like it never will be included in Windows 10. My sources say Microsoft dropped plans for Sets, a Windows-management feature, which would have allowed users to group app data, websites and other information in tabs, months ago. Although Microsoft did test Sets last year with some of its Windows Insider testers, the feature generally wasnt well received or understood. For apps like Office to work well with Sets, the Office engineering team was going to have to do a lot of extra work. Too bad, because this really looked like a useful feature to easily group related windows into single objects.


  • QEMU 4.0.0 released
    We would like to announce the availability of the QEMU 4.0.0 release. This release contains 3100+ commits from 220 authors. You can grab the tarball from our download page. The full list of changes are available in the Wiki.


  • They think they are above the law: the firms that own Americas voting system
    The fact is that democracy in the United States is now largely a secretive and privately-run affair conducted out of the public eye with little oversight. The corporations that run every aspect of American elections, from voter registration to casting and counting votes by machine, are subject to limited state and federal regulation. The companies are privately-owned and closely held, making information about ownership and financial stability difficult to obtain. The software source code and hardware design of their systems are kept as trade secrets and therefore difficult to study or investigate. Its for this very reason that my own country  for now  of The Netherlands went back to pencil and paper voting with public manual counting by actual humans.


  • Red Dead Redemption 2: six months later
    Because Red Dead Redemption 2 seems to offer to let you stop and smell the roses, but there are a thousand roses with five buttons to hit every time, and it won’t tell you that you were only supposed to smell the yellow roses until you’re finished with the task. It’s a game that constantly tries to explain a complicated approach to things that are simple in every other game I’ve played. Rockstar spent a surreal number of man-hours to get the light to glisten just so as it hits a realistically rendered horse scrotum, but it couldn’t figure out how to create equipment menus that I could understand after dozens of hours of practice. It’s a game that requires the self-punishing dedication of a hardcore gamer without actually being a hard game or giving me any sense of accomplishment. It’s a story. One whose writers ultimately knew what they wanted to say, but who also piled on so many of these same ideas over and over that it begins to feel meaningless. In short, it’s a game that wants to pull itself out of the tar pit with its face. This is probably one of the best  if not the best  reviews of a video game, or any other product for that matter, Ive ever read. It is incredibly long, detailed, and manages to ask  and answer  a ton of very pertinent questions about not just Red Dead Redemption 2 itself, but the gaming industry as a whole. Ive played Red Dead Redemption 2, and I consider it to be a bad game. The controls are a convoluted mess, the story lacks pacing and is all over the place, and the game forces so much pointless, meaningless, and repetitive busywork on the player I just got frustrated and bored. Parts of this particular review go into great detail regarding these matters, and its refreshing to see someone pay so much attention to these things other reviewers and players just ignore because shiny visuals. Its a long read, and Im sure many RDR2 fans and players will disagree, but dont let that stop you from reading this.


  • In African villages, these phones become ultrasound scanners
    Lying on a church pew with his arm over his head, 6-year-old Gordon Andindagaye whimpered a bit — in fear, not pain — as Dr. William A. Cherniak slowly swept a small ultrasound scanner up and down his chest. Dr. Cherniak and Rodgers Ssekawoko Muhumuza, the Ugandan clinical officer he was training, stared at the iPhone into which the scanner was plugged, watching Gordon’s lung expand and contract. “O.K.,” Dr. Cherniak finally said. “What do you recommend?” Here in the west its easy to grow cynical towards smartphones and technology, but the impact phones and smartphones having in third world countries  which often skip desktops and laptops  is astounding.


  • Haiku gets NVMe driver
    Due to the awesome work by long-time developer waddlesplash, nightly images after hrev53079 have read/write NVMe support built-in. These devices now show up in /dev/disk/nvme/ and are fully useable by Haiku. I’ve personally tested my Samsung 950 Pro and seen raw read speeds up to 1.4GiB/s. Another important driver for Haiku to have, and with todays modern laptops (and most desktops) all having NVMe support, pretty much a must-have.


  • Red Hat replaces Oracle as OpenJDK 8, OpenJDK 11 steward
    Red Hat has taken control of two popular versions of the open source Java implementation, so developers can continue to build apps after Oracles support ends. A big deal to enterprise users and Minecraft players, but I cant really muster any form of excitement over this. Then again, every bit less of Oracle in this world is good news.


  • Report: 26 States now ban or restrict community broadband
    A new report has found that 26 states now either restrict or outright prohibit towns and cities from building their own broadband networks. Quite often the laws are directly written by the telecom sector, and in some instances ban towns and cities from building their own broadband networks—even if the local ISP refuses to provide service. Everything about this is disgusting. It goes to show corporatism and unfettered capitalism are cancers upon out society that must be exterminated.


  • Ubuntu 19.04 Disco Dingo Released
    Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo) has been officially released today. This Ubuntu version is supported until January 2020. For a longer supported release, use Ubuntu 18.04 LTS instead, which is supported until April 2023. The new Ubuntu 19.04 ships with Linux 5.0 and the latest stable GNOME 3.32, which includes significant performance improvements, experimental fractional scaling for HiDPI screens, and other updates.The new release also includes Tracker (file index and search) by default, allows users to install proprietary Nvidia drivers from the Ubuntu installer, and much more. Im using the Kubuntu variant on my desktop, and it seems pretty solid so far. The Xubuntu variant has also seen considerable work.


  • One of the Game Boys weirdest games was a Pokémon clone with built-in infrared
    The Verge has an article about a very unusual and rare Game Boy accessory. But the link cable was just the beginning of the Game Boy’s wild, bizarre experimentation with the future. In the late ‘90s, Japanese game company Hudson Soft eventually came up with a more radical idea to bring wireless connectivity to the handheld. It would use infrared — built directly into game cartridges. That way, you could transfer data between two games, or even download data from the internet, directly onto the game. And for some inexplicable reason lost to time, I convinced my parents to buy the one and only Game Boy Color game sold in North America to feature this technology. The system itself was called GB Kiss, named after the awkward physical dance two players would have to perform to bring the cartridges close enough to one another to initiate the infrared data transfer. For Hudson Soft, it was a remarkably ambitions idea, a leftover from its attempt nearly a decade prior to crack the home console market through its partnership with NEC Home Electronics on the TurboGrafX-16, a device that failed to gain traction but nonetheless spawned a dizzying number of wild accessories and mods. Few things fascinate me more than rare, unique, and obscure console accessories and expansions from the 80s and 90s, so this is right up my alley. I had no idea this ever existed.


  • Super Mario Bros. ported to Commodore 64
    This is a Commodore 64 port of the 1985 game SUPER MARIO BROS. for the Famicom and Nintendo Entertainment System. It contains the original version that was released in Japan and United States, as well as the European version. It also detects and supports a handful of turbo functionalities, and has 2 SID support. Impressive and fascinating work.


  • Windows 8 will no longer get app updates after this summer
    Last year, Microsoft announced when it would be killing app updates and distribution in the Windows Store for Windows Phone 8.x and Windows 8.x. At the time, the blog post stated that Windows Phone 8.x devices would stop receiving app updates after July 1, 2019, while Windows 8.x devices would get app updates through July 1, 2023. However, it seems as though plans have changed a little bit, as the blog post has quietly been updated earlier this month. As spotted by Nawzil on Twitter, Microsoft has changed the wording in the post to state that Windows 8 devices will stop getting updates for their apps at the same time as Windows Phone 8.x, that is, July 1 of this year. Windows 8.1 devices will continue to receive updates through the previously announced date in 2023. Not entirely surprising, and this will affect pretty much nobody since Windows 8.1 is a free update.


  • Presenting search app and browser options to Android users in Europe
    Following the changes we made to comply with the European Commissions ruling last year, well start presenting new screens to Android users in Europe with an option to download search apps and browsers. These new screens will be displayed the first time a user opens Google Play after receiving an upcoming update. Two screens will surface: one for search apps and another for browsers, each containing a total of five apps, including any that are already installed. Apps that are not already installed on the device will be included based on their popularity and shown in a random order. This all seems very similar to the browser choice window Microsoft displayed in Windows for a while. It will be available to both new and existing Android users within the EU.


  • Jailbreaking a Subaru QNX
    Via Hackaday: has a Subaru, a car that has an all-in-one entertainment system head unit that is typical of what you’d find across a host of manufacturers. His account of jailbreaking it is a lengthy essay and a fascinating read for anyone. He starts with a serial port, then an SSH prompt for a root password, and a bit of searching to find it was made by Harman and that it runs the closed-source realtime OS QNX. From there he finds an official Subaru update, from which he can slowly peel away the layers and deduce the security mechanism. The write-up lays bare his techniques, for example at one point isolating the ARM assembler for a particular function and transplanting it bodily into his own code for investigation. A very good account of this obscure jailbreaking adventure.



Linux Journal - The Original Magazine of the Linux Community



  • Open Source Is Winning, and Now It's Time for People to Win Too
    by Reuven M. Lerner   
    Teaching kids about open source? Don't forget to teach them ethics as well.

    Back when I started college, in the fall of 1988, I was introduced to a text editor called Emacs. Actually, it wasn't just called Emacs; it was called "GNU Emacs". The "GNU" part, I soon learned, referred to something called "free software", which was about far more than the fact that it was free of charge. The GNU folks talked about software with extreme intensity, as if the fate of the entire world rested on the success of their software replacing its commercial competition.

    Those of us who used such programs, either from GNU or from other, similarly freely licensed software, knew that we were using high-quality code. But to our colleagues at school and work, we were a bit weird, trusting our work to software that wasn't backed by a large, commercial company. (I still remember, as a college intern at HP, telling the others in my group that I had compiled, installed and started to use a new shell known as "bash", which was better than the "k shell" we all were using. Their response was somewhere between bemusement and horror.)

    As time went on, I started to use a growing number of programs that fit into this "free software" definition—Linux, Perl and Python were the stars, but plenty of others existed, from Emacs (which I use to this day), sendmail (pretty much the only SMTP server at the time), DNS libraries and the like. In 1998, Tim O'Reilly decided that although the "free software" cause was good, it needed better coordination and marketing. Thus, the term "open source" was popularized, stressing the practical benefits over the philosophical and societal ones.

    I was already consulting at the time, regularly fighting an uphill battle with clients—small startups and large multinationals alike—telling them that yes, I trusted code that didn't cost money, could be modified by anyone and was developed by volunteers.

    But marketing, believe it or not, really does work. And the term "open source" did a great job of opening many people's minds. Slowly but surely, things started to change: IBM announced that it would invest huge amounts of money in Linux and open-source software. Apache, which had started life as an httpd server, became a foundation that sponsored a growing array of open-source projects. Netscape tumbled as quickly as it had grown, releasing its Mozilla browser as open-source software (and with its own foundation) before going bust. Red Hat proved that you could have a successful open-source company based on selling high-quality services and support. And these are just the most prominent names.

    With every announcement, the resistance to using open source in commercial companies dropped bit more. As companies realized that others were depending on open source, they agreed to use it too.
        Go to Full Article          


  • Fedora 30 Beta Released, Chef Releasing All of Its Software as Open Source, elementary Adopting Flatpak for AppCenter, Unreal Engine 4.22 Now Available and VMware Lawsuit Dropped

    News briefs for April 3, 2019.

    Fedora 30 Beta was released yesterday. Highlights include new desktop environment choices, DNF performance improvements, GNOME 3.32 and updated versions of many packages, such as Golang, Bash, Python and more. For more details, see the Fedora 30 Change set.

    Chef has announced it is releasing all of its software as open source. According to DevOps.com, "Chef has decided to open source its entire portfolio of IT automation software as part of an effort to make it easier for organizations to construct a DevOps pipeline using the company's software. A part of that effort, Chef also launched the Chef Enterprise Automation Stack—which combines Chef Infra for managing infrastructure, Chef InSpec for maintaining compliance, Chef Habitat for managing applications, Chef Automate for managing hybrid clouds and Chef Workstation, a starter kit for launching Chef—within a single distribution of Chef software. Chef Infra is the original Chef project around which the company was launched."

    elementary announced it is adopting Flatpak for AppCenter and its third-party developer ecosystem. The post makes clear that "while Flathub is a great place to get popular cross-platform apps, we still want AppCenter to be the best place to get apps that are specially developed for elementary OS." Also from the announcement: "Moving to Flatpak doesn't mean moving away from our focus on native apps, from enabling developers to get paid with pay-what-you-want downloads, or from the online AppCenter Dashboard where each app is carefully tested, reviewed, and curated before being published to users in AppCenter. We'll be providing our own hosted and curated Flatpak repo for AppCenter, much like we provide our own hosted and curated Debian repo today."

    Unreal Engine 4.22 is now available. Major features with this new release include real-time ray tracing and path tracing, high-level rendering refactor, C++ iteration time improvements and much more. According to the Unreal Engine announcement, "This release includes 174 improvements submitted by the incredible community of Unreal Engine developers on GitHub!"

    Linux developer Christopher Helwig has dropped the VMware lawsuit after a German court dismissed the case. ZDNet reports that "after the German Hamburg Higher Regional Court dismissed Helwig's appeal, he has decided that it would be pointless to appeal the decision." ZDNet summarized the background: "The heart of the lawsuit had been that Hypervisor vSphere VMware ESXi 5.5.0 violated Linux's copyright. That's because VMware had not licensed a derivative work from Linux under the GNU General Public License (GPL). True, VMware had disclosed the vmklinux component under the GPL, but not the associated hypervisor components. Or, as Helwig put it, 'VMware uses a badly hacked 2.4 kernel with a big binary blob hooked into it, giving a derived work of the Linux kernel that's not legally redistributable.'" See the article for more details on the history of the case.
          News  Fedora  GNOME  Chef  DevOps  elementary OS  Unreal Engine  VMware                   


  • What Linux Journal's Resurrection Taught Me about the FOSS Community
    by Kyle Rankin   
    "Marley was dead, to begin with."—Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol.

    As you surely know by now, Linux Journal started in 1994, which means it has been around for most of the Linux story. A lot has changed since then, and it's not surprising that Linux and the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) community are very different today from what they were for Linux Journal's first issue 25 years ago. The changes within the community during this time had a direct impact on Linux Journal and contributed to its death, making Linux Journal's story a good lens through which to view the overall story of the FOSS community. Although I haven't been with Linux Journal since the beginning, I was there during the heyday, the stroke, the decline, the death and the resurrection. This article is about that story and what it says about how the FOSS community has changed.

    It's also a pretty personal story.
     A Bit about Me
    Although it's true that I sometimes write about personal projects in my articles and may disclose some personal details from time to time, I generally try not to talk too much about my personal life, but as it's useful to frame this story, here we go. I grew up in an era when personal computers were quite expensive (even more so, now that I account for inflation), and it wasn't very common to grow up with one in your home.

    In high school, I took my first computer class in BASIC programming. This class fundamentally changed me. Early on in the class I knew that I wanted to change any past career plans and work with computers instead. My family noticed this change, and my grandparents and mother found the money to buy my first computer: a Tandy 1000 RLX. Although there certainly were flashier or more popular computers, it did come with a hard drive (40MB!), which was still pretty novel at the time. Every time I learned a new BASIC command in school, I would spend the following evenings at home figuring out every way I could use that new-found knowledge in my own software.

    I never got internet access during high school (my mom saw the movie WarGames and was worried if I had internet access, I might accidentally trigger a house call from the FBI). This just made it all the more exciting when I went to college and not only got a modern computer, but also high-speed campus internet! Like most people, I was tempted to experiment in college. In my case, in 1998 a neighbor in my dorm brought over a series of Red Hat 5.1 floppies (the original 5.1, not RHEL) and set up a dual-boot environment on my computer. The first install was free.
     Desktop Linux in the Late 1990s
    If you weren't around during the late 1990s, you may not realize just how different Linux was back then, but hopefully a screenshot of my desktop will help illustrate (Figure 1).
        Go to Full Article          


  • 25 Years Later: Interview with Linus Torvalds
    by Robert Young   
    Linux Journal's very first issue featured an interview between LJ's first Publisher, Robert Young (who went on to co-found Red Hat among other things), and Linus Torvalds (author of the Linux kernel). After 25 years, we thought it'd be interesting to get the two of them together again. You can read that first interview from 1994 here.
    Interview: Linus Torvalds and Robert Young
    Robert Young: It is a great pleasure to have an excuse to reach out to you. How are you and your family? Your kids must be through college by now. Nancy and I and our three daughters are all doing well. Our eldest, Zoe, who was 11 when Marc and I started Red Hat, is expecting her second child—meaning I'm a grandparent.

    Linus Torvalds: None of my kids are actually done with college yet, although Patricia (oldest) will graduate this May. And Celeste (youngest) is in her senior year of high school, so we'll be empty-nesters in about six months.

    All three are doing fine, and I suspect/hope it will be a few years until the grandparent thing happens.

    Bob: When I first interviewed you back in 1994, did you think that you'd be still maintaining this thing in 2019?

    Linus: I think that by 1994 I had already become surprised that my latest project hadn't just been another "do something interesting until it does everything I needed, and then find something else to do" project. Sure, it was fairly early in the development, but it had already been something that I had spent a few years on by then, and had already become something with its own life.

    So I guess what I'm trying to say is not that I necessarily expected to do it for another few decades, but that it had already passed the bump of becoming something fairly big in my life. I've never really had a long-term plan for Linux, and I have taken things one day at a time rather than worry about something five or ten years down the line.

    Bob: There is a famous old quote about the danger of achieving your dreams—your running joke back in the day when asked about your future goals for Linux was "world domination". Now that you and the broader Open Source/Free Software community have achieved that, what's next?

    Linus: Well, I stopped doing the "world domination" joke long ago, because it seemed to become less of a joke as time went on. But it always was a joke, and it wasn't why I (or any of the other developers) really did what we did anyway. It was always about just making better technology and having interesting challenges.
        Go to Full Article          



  • The 25th Anniversary Issue
    by Bryan Lunduke   
    "Linux is an independent implementation of the POSIX operating system specification (basically a public specification of much of the Unix operating system) that has been written entirely from scratch. Linux currently works on IBM PC compatibles with an ISA or EISA bus and a 386 or higher processor. The Linux kernel was written by Linus Torvalds from Finland, and by other volunteers."

    Thus begins the very first Letter from the Editor (written by Phil Hughes), in the very first issue of Linux Journal, published in the March/April issue in 1994...25 years ago—coinciding, as fate would have it, with the 1.0.0 release of the Linux kernel itself (on March 14th).

    A quarter of a century.

    Back when that first issue was published, Microsoft hadn't yet released Windows 95 (version 3.11 running on MS-DOS still dominated home computing). The Commodore Amiga line of computers was still being produced and sold. The music billboards were topped by the likes of Toni Braxton, Ace of Base and Boyz II Men. If you were born the day Linux Journal debuted, by now you'd be a full-grown adult, possibly with three kids, a dog and a mortgage.

    Yeah, it was a while ago. (It's okay to take a break and feel old now.)

    In that first issue, Robert Young (who, aside from being one of the founders of Linux Journal, you also might recognize as the founder of Red Hat) had an interview with Linus Torvalds.

    During the interview, Linus talked about his hope to one day "make a living off this", that he'd guesstimate Linux has "a user base of about 50,000", and the new port of Linux to Amiga computers.

    A lot changes in a quarter century, eh?

    To mark this momentous occasion, we've reunited Robert Young with Linus Torvalds for a new interview—filled with Linus' thoughts on family, changes since 1994, his dislike of Social Media, and a whole lot more. It is, without a doubt, a fun read. (We're also republishing the complete original 1994 interview in this issue for reference.)

    And, if you're curious about the history of Linux Journal, Kyle Rankin's "What Linux Journal's Resurrection Taught Me about the FOSS Community" provides an excellent—and highly personal—look over the last roughly 20 years of not just Linux Journal, but of Linux and free software itself. He even includes pictures of his ahem "super-leet Desktop from 1999". How can you go wrong?

    Then we thought to ourselves, "How do we celebrate 25 years of talking about Linux?" The answer was obvious: by looking to the future—to where we (the Linux community) are going. And what better way to understand the future of Linux than to talk to the kids who will shape the world of Linux (and free and open-source software) to come.
        Go to Full Article          




Linux Magazine » Channels



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


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



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




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



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





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


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


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


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


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


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


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