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  • Red Hat: 2017:0127-01: runc: Moderate Advisory
    LinuxSecurity.com: An update for runc is now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Extras. Red Hat Product Security has rated this update as having a security impact of Moderate. A Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) base score, which [More...]





  • Fedora 24 php-PHPMailer-5.2.22-1.fc24
    LinuxSecurity.com: **Version 5.2.22** (January 5th 2017) * **SECURITY** Fix[CVE-2017-5223](https://web.nvd.nist.gov/view/vuln/detail?vulnId=CVE-2017-5223),local file disclosure vulnerability if content passed to `msgHTML()` is sourcedfrom unfiltered user input. Reported by Yongxiang Li of Asiasecurity. The fixfor this means that calls to `msgHTML()` without a `$basedir` will not importimages with relative URLs, and relative URLs containing `..` will be ignored. *Add simple contact form example * Emoji in test content ---- **Version5.2.21** (December 28th 2016) * Fix missed number update in version file - nofunctional changes ---- **Version 5.2.20** (December 28th 2016) ***SECURITY** Critical security update for CVE-2016-10045 please update now!Thanks to [Dawid Golunski](https://legalhackers.com) and Paul Buonopane(Zenexer). ---- ** Version 5.2.19** (December 26th 2016) * Minor cleanup** Version 5.2.18** (December 24th 2016) * **SECURITY** Critical securityupdate for CVE-2016-10033 please update now! Thanks to [DawidGolunski](https://legalhackers.com). * Add ability to extract the SMTPtransaction ID from some common SMTP success messages * Minor documentationtweaks ** Version 5.2.17** (December 9th 2016) * This is officially the lastfeature release of 5.2. Security fixes only from now on; use PHPMailer 6.0! *Allow DKIM private key to be provided as a string * Provide mechanism to allowoverriding of boundary and message ID creation * Improve Brazilian Portuguese,Spanish, Swedish, Romanian, and German translations * PHP 7.1 support forTravis-CI * Fix some language codes * Add security notices * Improve DKIMcompatibility in older PHP versions * Improve trapping and capture of SMTPconnection errors * Improve passthrough of error levels for debug output *PHPDoc cleanup





  • Red Hat: 2017:0091-01: kernel-rt: Important Advisory
    LinuxSecurity.com: An update for kernel-rt is now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. Red Hat Product Security has rated this update as having a security impact of Important. A Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) base score, [More...]


  • Red Hat: 2017:0113-01: kernel-rt: Important Advisory
    LinuxSecurity.com: An update for kernel-rt is now available for Red Hat Enterprise MRG 2.5. Red Hat Product Security has rated this update as having a security impact of Important. A Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) base score, [More...]


  • Red Hat: 2017:0086-01: kernel: Important Advisory
    LinuxSecurity.com: An update for kernel is now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. Red Hat Product Security has rated this update as having a security impact of Important. A Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) base score, [More...]


  • Red Hat: 2017:0083-01: qemu-kvm: Low Advisory
    LinuxSecurity.com: An update for qemu-kvm is now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. Red Hat Product Security has rated this update as having a security impact of Low. A Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) base score, which [More...]



  • [$] Designing for failure
    Nobody starts a free-software project hoping that it will fail, so it is arare project indeed that plans for its eventual demise. But not allprojects succeed, and a project that doesn't plan for failure risks is doingits users harm. Dan Callahan joined Mozilla to work on the Personaauthentication project, and he was there for its recent shutdown. At the 2017linux.conf.au in Hobart, Tasmania, he used his keynote slot to talk aboutthe lessons that have been learned about designing a project for failure.


  • Wednesday's security updates
    Arch Linux has updated webkit2gtk (multiple vulnerabilities).
    CentOS has updated qemu-kvm (C7: denial of service).
    Debian-LTS has updated icoutils (multiple vulnerabilities).
    Fedora has updated icoutils (F25; F24:three vulnerabilities), mingw-libgsf (F25:denial of service), and php-PHPMailer (F24:three vulnerabilities).
    openSUSE has updated bind (42.2, 42.1; 13.2: three denial of service flaws), libgit2 (13.2: two vulnerabilities), openjpeg2 (13.2: multiple vulnerabilities), pdns (42.2, 42.1, 13.2: multiplevulnerabilities), qemu (42.2: multiplevulnerabilities), and squid (42.2: threevulnerabilities, one from 2014).
    Oracle has updated kernel (OL7:three vulnerabilities) and qemu-kvm (OL7: denial of service).
    Red Hat has updated docker(RHEL7: privilege escalation), docker-latest (RHEL7: privilege escalation),kernel (RHEL7: three vulnerabilities),kernel-rt (RHEL7; RHEMRG2.5: three vulnerabilities), qemu-kvm (RHEL7: denial of service), and runc (RHEL7: privilege escalation).
    Scientific Linux has updated kernel (SL7: three vulnerabilities) and qemu-kvm (SL7: denial of service).
    SUSE has updated kernel(SLE12-SP2: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Ubuntu has updated nvidia-graphics-drivers-304 and nvidia-graphics-drivers-340 (denial of service).


  • An updated FSF high-priority project list
    The Free Software Foundation has reworked its high-priorityproject list to reflect its view of computing in 2017. See thechangelog for a list of the changes that were made. Among otherthings, the Gnash flash player has fallen off the list. "Smart phones are the mostwidely used form of personal computer today. Thus, the need for a fullyfree phone operating system is crucial to the proliferation of softwarefreedom."


  • Security advisories for Tuesday
    Arch Linux has updated python-crypto (code execution) and python2-crypto (code execution).
    CentOS has updated bind (C7; C6; C5: denial of service) and bind97 (C5: denial of service).
    Debian-LTS has updated pdns-recursor (code execution).
    Fedora has updated bind (F24:three denial of service flaws), bind99(F24: three denial of service flaws), and SimGear (F25: file overwrites).
    Gentoo has updated file (multiple vulnerabilities), libxml2 (multiple vulnerabilities), miniupnpc (denial of service), pidgin (multiple vulnerabilities), vlc (code execution), and xdelta (code execution).
    openSUSE has updated ark (42.2, 42.1; SPH for SLE12: code execution), encfs (42.2, 42.1, 13.2: code execution from2014), gstreamer-0_10-plugins-bad (13.2:code execution), gstreamer-0_10-plugins-base (13.2: codeexecution), gstreamer-0_10-plugins-good(13.2: multiple vulnerabilities), gstreamer-plugins-bad (42.1; 13.2:three vulnerabilities), gstreamer-plugins-base (42.1; 13.2:code execution), gstreamer-plugins-good (42.1; 13.2:multiple vulnerabilities), icinga (14.2,14.1: two vulnerabilities), icoutils (42.2; 42.1; 13.2: multiple vulnerabilities), openjpeg2 (42.2: multiple vulnerabilities), pcsc-lite (42.2, 42.1, 13.2: privilegeescalation), and python-pycrypto (14.2,14.1, 13.2: denial of service).
    Oracle has updated bind (OL7; OL6; OL5: denial of service), bind97 (OL5: denial of service), and docker-engine docker-engine-selinux (OL7; OL6: two vulnerabilities).
    Red Hat has updated kernel(RHEL6.5: code execution).
    Scientific Linux has updated bind (SL7; SL5,6:denial of service) and bind97 (SL5: denial of service).


  • [$] The Machine: Controlling storage with a filesystem
    Keith Packard is the chief architect for The Machine project at HPE; wecovered his talk on this project back in2015. At the 2017 linux.conf.au Kernel Miniconf, Packard focused on onespecific aspect of The Machine's hardware and software configuration: howstorage is managed and presented to applications. Like much that is beingdone with this project, its storage architecture is an interestingcombination of new ideas and long-established techniques.


  • Prokoudine: GIMP 2016 in review
    Alexandre Prokoudine looks atuser-visible changes for the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) over2016. Changes include better handling of layers, channels, masks, andpaths, remembering defaults across sessions, improved configurability,color management, and more.


  • Calligra 3.0 released
    Calligra 3.0 has been released.The Calligra Suite includes office, graphics, and project managementapplications. "We havechosen to cut back on the number of applications. Krita has left us to beindependent and although it was emotional it was also done with completesupport from both sides. We are saying goodbye to Author, which neverdifferentiated itself from Words. We also removed Brainstorm the purpose ofwhich will be better fitted by a new application (nothing planned from ourside). Flow and Stage has gone in this release but we intend to bring themback in the future." The 3.x series updates the applications to useKDE Frameworks 5 and Qt5.


  • The Linux Test Project has been released
    The Linux Test Project test suite stable release for January 2017 is out.There are new test cases, a new shell test library and many tests rewrittento make use of it, and much more. LWN looked at LTP last December.


  • Monday's security updates
    Arch Linux has updated libgit2 (multiple vulnerabilities), nginx (privilege escalation), nginx-mainline (privilege escalation), and wordpress (multiple vulnerabilities).
    Debian has updated icoutils(three vulnerabilities), pdns (multiplevulnerabilities), pdns-recursor (denial ofservice), python-bottle (regression inprevious update), and tiff (multiple vulnerabilities).
    Debian-LTS has updated botan1.10(integer overflow), gcc-mozilla (update toGCC 4.8), icedove (multiplevulnerabilities), libx11 (denial ofservice), otrs2 (code execution), python-bottle (regression in previous update),wireless-regdb (radio regulations updates), and xen (two vulnerabilities).
    Fedora has updated bind (F25:three denial of service flaws), bind99(F25: three denial of service flaws), ca-certificates (F25; F24:certificate update), docker-latest (F25:privilege escalation), gnutls (F24:multiple vulnerabilities), libgit2 (F25: multiple vulnerabilities), and onionshare (F25; F24: file injection).
    Gentoo has updated apache(multiple vulnerabilities, one from 2014).
    Mageia has updated golang (denial of service) and irssi (multiple vulnerabilities).
    Red Hat has updated bind (RHEL7; RHEL5,6: denial of service) and bind97 (RHEL5: denial of service).
    Scientific Linux has updated java-1.6.0-openjdk (SL5,6,7: multiple vulnerabilities).
    SUSE has updated qemu (SLE12-SP2:multiple vulnerabilities).


  • Kernel prepatch 4.10-rc4
    The 4.10-rc4 kernel prepatch is out fortesting. "Things are still looking fairly normal, and this is theusual weekly Sunday rc release. We're up to rc4, and people are clearlystarting to find the regressions. Good, good."



  • Google Infrastructure Security Design Overview
    Google has posted an overview of its infrastructure security. It includes information about low-level details, such as physical security and secure boot, encryption of data at rest as well as communications between services and to users, keeping employee devices and credentials safe, and more. Undoubtedly there are lessons here for many different organizations. "This document gives an overview of how security is designed into Google’s technical infrastructure. This global scale infrastructure is designed to provide security through the entire information processing lifecycle at Google. This infrastructure provides secure deployment of services, secure storage of data with end user privacy safeguards, secure communications between services, secure and private communication with customers over the internet, and safe operation by administrators.Google uses this infrastructure to build its internet services, including both consumer services such as Search, Gmail, and Photos, and enterprise services such as G Suite and Google Cloud Platform."


  • Quantum Computing Is Real, and D-Wave Just Open-Sourced It (Wired)
    Wired covers the release of Qbsolv as open-source software (under the Apache License v2) by D-Wave, which is a company that makes quantum computing hardware. Qbsolv is "designed to help developers program D-Wave machines without needing a background in quantum physics". Further:
    Qbsolv joins a small but growing pool of tools for would-be quantum computer programmers. Last year Scott Pakin of Los Alamos National Laboratory–and one of Qbsolv’s first users–released another free tool called Qmasm, which also eases the burden of writing code for D-Wave machines by freeing developers from having to worry about addressing the underlying hardware. The goal, Ewald says, is to kickstart a quantum computing software tools ecosystem and foster a community of developers working on quantum computing problems. In recent years, open source software has been the best way to build communities of both independent developers and big corporate contributors.
    Of course to actually run the software you create with these tools, you’ll need access to one of the very few existing D-Wave machines. In the meantime, you can download a D-Wave simulator that will let you test the software on your own computer. Obviously this won’t be the same as running it on a piece of hardware that uses real quantum particles, but it’s a start.


  • Security advisories for Friday
    Arch Linux has updated ark (codeexecution), bind (multiple vulnerabilities), docker (privilege escalation), flashplugin (multiple vulnerabilities), irssi (multiple vulnerabilities), lib32-flashplugin (multiple vulnerabilities), and libvncserver (two vulnerabilities).
    CentOS has updated java-1.6.0-openjdk (C7; C6; C5: multiple vulnerabilities) and kernel (three vulnerabilities).
    Debian has updated rabbitmq-server (authentication bypass).
    Debian-LTS has updated asterisk(two vulnerabilities, one from 2014).
    Fedora has updated docker (F25:privilege escalation), libgit2 (F24: multiple vulnerabilities),and pcsc-lite (F24: privilege escalation).
    Gentoo has updated postgresql(multiple vulnerabilities, two from 2015), runc (privilege escalation), and seamonkey (multiple vulnerabilities).
    Mageia has updated flash-player-plugin (multiple vulnerabilities), php-ZendFramework2 (parameter injection), unzip (two vulnerabilities, one from 2014),and webmin (largely unspecified).
    Oracle has updated java-1.6.0-openjdk (OL7; OL6; OL5: multiple vulnerabilities) kernel 2.6.39 (OL6; OL5:multiple vulnerabilities), kernel3.8.13 (OL7; OL6: multiple vulnerabilities), and kernel 4.1.12 (OL7; OL6: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Red Hat has updated java-1.6.0-openjdk (multiple vulnerabilities).
    Scientific Linux has updated kernel (SL6: three vulnerabilities).



  • The Linux Foundation Brings 3 New Open Source Events to China
    After the success of other Linux Foundation events in the country, including MesosCon Asia and Cloud Foundry Summit Asia, The Linux Foundation decided to offer its flagship LinuxCon, ContainerCon and CloudOpen events in China as well, said Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin.


  • Improve your sleep by using Redshift on Fedora
    The blue light emitted by most electronic devices, is known for having a negative impact on our sleep. We could simply quit using each of our electronic devices after dark, as an attempt to improve our sleep. However, since that... Continue Reading →


  • Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator: Munzali Garba
    The Linux Foundation offers many resources for developers, users, and administrators of Linux systems. One of the most important offerings is its Linux Certification Program. The program is designed to give you a way to differentiate yourself in a job market that's hungry for your skills.



  • Open spec, $29 COM shrinks Pine A64 to SODIMM dimensions
    Yet another Linux-friendly, 64-bit hacker board has been squeezed into computer-on-module format, bridging the gap between the hobbyist maker market and commercial embedded manufacturing. Like the $25 to $30 Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 announced this week, Pine64’s SoPine A64 module integrates a quad-core, Cortex-A53 SoC into a compact SODIMM-style form factor.




  • Arrive On Time With NTP -- Part 1: Usage Overview
    Few services on the Internet can claim to be so critical in nature as time. Subtle issues which affect the timekeeping of your systems can sometimes take a day or two to be realized, and they are almost always unwelcome because of the knock-on effects they cause.


  • AntiX 16.1 is available for public
    AntiX is Debian based Linux distribution. It uses lightweight desktop environments like Fluxbox, Icewm, Xfce, etc. This distribution is originated in Greece and is typically ideal for old systems. A few hours ago AntiX team released new version named AntiX 16.1. It is based on Debian Jessie.



  • How Disney Is Realizing the Multi-Cloud Promise of Kubernetes
    The Walt Disney Company is famous for “making magic happen,” and their cross-cloud, enterprise level Kubernetes implementation is no different. In a brief but information-packed lightning talk at CloudNativeCon in Seattle in November, Disney senior cloud engineer Blake White laid out a few of the struggles and solutions in making Kubernetes work across clouds.


  • Do I need to provide access to source code under the AGPLv3 license?
    The GNU Affero General Public License version 3 (AGPLv3) is a copyleft license nearly identical to the GPLv3. Both licenses have the same copyleft scope, but materially differ in one important way. The AGPLv3's Section 13 states an additional condition not present in GPLv2 or GPLv3:read more


  • How to Install GitScrum on Ubuntu 16.04
    GitScrum is an open source task management application that uses Git and the Scrum methodology. It has a lot of useful features like Product Backlog, user Story, Sprint Backlog, Issues and more.


  • An Everyday Linux User Review Of Elementary OS Loki 0.4
    Here is a review of Elementary OS Loki 0.4 for the average computer user. It provides information on how to get Elementary, how to build a USB drive, how to install it and the features of Elementary as well as some software installation issues







  • A behind the scenes look at Exercism for improving coding skills
    In our recent article, we talked about Exercism, an open source project to help people level up in their programming skills with exercises for dozens of different programming languages. Practitioners complete each exercise and then receive feedback on their response, enabling them to learn from their peer group's experience.


Linux Insider

  • Red Hat's OpenShift Container Platform Expands Cloud Options
    Red Hat has announced the general availability of Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 3.4. This latest version helps organizations better embrace new Linux container technologies that can deliver innovative business applications and services without sacrificing existing IT investments. It offers dynamic storage provisioning and multitenancy for both traditional and cloud-native applications.


  • New Raspberry Pi Release Targets Industry, IoT
    The Raspberry Pi Foundation on Monday launched its long-awaited industrial strength Compute Module 3. The latest version of the low-cost Raspberry Pi computer, it is designed for more robust manufacturing and technical demand uses than prior versions, which target consumer and basic business needs. The idea behind the new module is to provide a cost-effective way to produce customized products.


  • Devs Alerted to Long-Delayed Android Wear 2.0 Reboot
    Google is moving ahead with its long-delayed launch of Android Wear 2.0, an operating system for its emerging wearables ecosystem, which finally could decouple the smartwatch from the smartphone. A notice to developers states that Android Wear 2.0 will launch in early February, Android Police reported Wednesday. Google reportedly has been working on two new smartwatches as well.


  • Min Browser Muffles the Web's Noise
    Min is a Web browser with a minimal design that provides speedy operation with simple features.  When it comes to software design, "minimal" does not mean low functionality or undeveloped potential. If you like minimal distraction tools for your text editor and note-taking applications, that same comfort appeal is evident in the Min browser. I mostly use Google Chrome, Chromium and Firefox on my desktops and laptop computers.


  • Google, FCA Test-Drive New Open Source Infotainment System
    Google and FCA this week showcased a new in-auto infotainment platform at CES in Las Vegas. The open source system combines Uconnect with Android Auto. The companies demonstrated their concept design inside a Chrysler 300 sedan at the show. The integration of Android and Uconnect enables a system built for connectivity and compatibility with the universe of popular Android applications.


  • Absolute Linux Caters to the Slackware Crowd
    Absolute Linux is a distro that raises the question: Is it really worth the bother? Any version of this Slackware-based Linux OS is just that -- a really big bother -- unless you love Unix-like systems that give you total control. It likely would be especially bothersome for less experienced users and for folks comfortable with Debian distros such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint and such.


  • Docker Delivers Containerd to Open Source Community
    Docker on Wednesday announced that it will spin out containerd, a key component of its Docker Engine, for open source use. Containerd will provide an open, stable and extensible base for building non-Docker products and container solutions, the company said. Some of the top cloud providers have committed to making contributions to the project, giving it instant credibility within the community.


  • CrateDB Launches Machine Data Innovations
    Crate.io has announced the general availability of the first non-beta release of CrateDB 1.0, an open source SQL database that enables real-time analytics for machine data applications. CrateDB is an SQL database alternative to NOSQL machine data management solutions. It gives mainstream SQL developers access to machine data applications that previously were available only using NoSQL solutions.


  • Torvalds Releases Hefty Linux Kernel Update
    Linus Torvalds this weekend announced Linux 4.9, which offers a number of significant upgrades to the kernel. "I'm pretty sure this is the biggest release we've ever had, at least in terms of commits," Torvalds wrote. "If you look at the number of lines changed, we've had bigger releases in the past but they've tended to be due to specific issues."


  • New Smartwatch OS Debuts on GitHub
    Can a new smartwatch operating system based on Linux breathe some new life into the smart wearables market? Florent Revest hopes so. Revest, a French computer science student, on Wednesday announced the alpha release of AsteroidOS, an open source operating system that will run on several Android smartwatch models. Revest has been working on his OS for two years.


  • Android Marshmallow on PC Falls Flat
    Android-x86 Project eventually may become a viable operating system alternative for your desktop and laptops computers, but it's not there yet. You will have to wait a while for the developers to fix a number of failures with the latest release upgrading Android-x86 to Marshmallow 6.0.1. Android-x86 lets you run the Android OS with the Google Chrome browser on your desktop and laptop computers.


  • AI Platforms Welcome Devs With Open Arms
    Two leaders in the field of artificial intelligence have announced that they're open-sourcing their AI platforms. After investing in building rich simulated environments to serve as laboratories for AI research, Google's DeepMind Lab said it would open the platform for the broader research community's use. DeepMind has "only barely scratched the surface of what is possible," the team said.


  • Refracta 8.0 Is a Pint-Sized Powerhouse
    Refracta is a somewhat obscure Linux distribution that offers exceptional functionality and stability. Obscurity is not always a bad thing when it comes to Linux distros. You can find some very worthwhile alternatives to your current operating system. Refracta is a big surprise in a small package. Many look-alike desktop distros are difficult to distinguish from run-of-the-mill garden varieties.


  • Docker, Canonical Team on Enterprise Support
    Docker and Canonical on Wednesday announced a commercial agreement to integrate support for Docker Engine. The partnership gives Canonical customers a single path for support of the Ubuntu operating system and CS Docker Engine in enterprise Docker operations. It provides a streamlined operations and support experience for joint customers by splitting the service obligations in four ways.


  • It's All Aboard for Linux Gamers at The Final Station
    The developers of The Final Station, recognizing the growing market for the post-apocalyptic train ride in the open source community, have made their hot-selling title available for the Linux OS. The indie game, which Do My Best Games and TinyBuild launched for PC, Mac, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 this summer, became available for Linux last week.


  • AV Linux Update: Good but Not Better
    AV Linux could be a music and video lover's dream come true. AV Linux is a specialty distribution that can turn a new or old PC, or an Intel-powered Mac box, into a workstation for audio/graphics/video enthusiasts. AV Linux is one of the few available fully functional Linux distros to give audio and video enthusiasts a professional level collection of tools for handling of audio-visual files.


  • Microsoft Goes All In for Linux
    While not quite at the level of a parting of the waters, the news that Microsoft has joined The Linux Foundation may seem miraculous to those aware of the past enmity between the company and the open source community. Microsoft has joined The Linux Foundation as a platinum member, it announced Wednesday at its Microsoft Connect conference in New York.


  • Juju Offers Speedy Model-Driven Software Approach
    The Juju cloud platform developed by Canonical integrates a wide variety of cloud services and servers on both public and private clouds using an innovative model-driven software approach.  That success has changed fundamentally the nature of software operations as organizations move to cloud-scale services, according to Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical.


  • Microsoft Trolls Small Biz With Outlook CRM Tool
    Microsoft this week introduced Outlook Customer Manager, a new cloud-based tool that aims to help its small businesses clients stay on top of their customer relationships. The new service organizes everything from emails to meeting invitations, call logs, notes, tasks, files and other essential items. It comes just four months after the launch the company's Bookings tool.


  • wattOS Energizes Aging Hardware
    wattOS is a stunning example of really great things coming in small packages. wattOS is a lightweight and fast desktop Linux distribution based on Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS built around the LXDE. It uses the lightweight Openbox window manager as its default user interface. To credit this 8-year-young community of developers with birthing an energy-efficient Linux distribution is an understatement.


  • AWS Gives Customers On-Premises Linux Option
    Amazon Web Services recently expanded its menu of cloud services to give customers the option of using the Amazon Linux AMI on premises. Customers can use the Amazon Container Image on premises for the purpose of developing and testing workloads, AWS Chief Evangelist Jeff Barr explained.  The AMI provides a stable, secure and high-performance application environment.



  • Female Shark Learns To Reproduce Without Males After Years Alone
    An anonymous reader quotes a report from New Scientist: A female shark separated from her long-term mate has developed the ability to have babies on her own. Leonie the zebra shark (Stegostoma fasciatum) met her male partner at an aquarium in Townsville, Australia, in 1999. They had more than two dozen offspring together before he was moved to another tank in 2012. From then on, Leonie did not have any male contact. But in early 2016, she had three baby sharks. Intrigued, Christine Dudgeon at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, and her colleagues began fishing for answers. One possibility was that Leonie had been storing sperm from her ex and using it to fertilize her eggs. But genetic testing showed that the babies only carried DNA from their mum, indicating they had been conceived via asexual reproduction. Some vertebrate species have the ability to reproduce asexually even though they normally reproduce sexually. These include certain sharks, turkeys, Komodo dragons, snakes and rays. However, most reports have been in females who have never had male partners. In sharks, asexual reproduction can occur when a female's egg is fertilized by an adjacent cell known as a polar body, Dudgeon says. This also contains the female's genetic material, leading to "extreme inbreeding", she says. "It's not a strategy for surviving many generations because it reduces genetic diversity and adaptability." Nevertheless, it may be necessary at times when males are scarce. "It might be a holding-on mechanism," Dudgeon says. "Mum's genes get passed down from female to female until there are males available to mate with." It's possible that the switch from sexual to asexual reproduction is not that unusual; we just haven't known to look for it, Dudgeon says.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Julian Assange Will Not Hand Himself In Because Chelsea Manning's Release Won't Happen Immediately, Lawyer Says
    President Obama commuted Chelsea Manning's prison sentence yesterday, reducing her time required to serve behind bars from 35 years to just over seven years. Prior to the commutation, WikiLeaks' Julian Assange pledged to surrender himself to U.S. authorities if Manning was pardoned. Roughly 24 hours have passed since the news broke and it appears that Assange will not hand himself in to the Department of Justice. The Independent reports: Mr Assange's lawyers initially seemed to suggest that promise would be carried through -- telling reporters that he stood by his earlier comments -- but it appears now that Mr Assange will stay inside the embassy. The commitment to accept extradition to the U.S. was based on Ms Manning being released immediately, Mr Assange's lawyer told The Hill. Ms Manning won't actually be released until May -- to allow for a standard 120-day transition period, which gives people time to prepare and find somewhere to live, an official told The New York Times for its original report about Ms Manning's clemency. "Mr. Assange welcomes the announcement that Ms. Manning's sentence will be reduced and she will be released in May, but this is well short of what he sought," Barry Pollack, Assange's U.S.-based attorney, told the site. "Mr. Assange had called for Chelsea Manning to receive clemency and be released immediately."
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Robotic Sleeve Mimics Muscles To Keep a Heart Beating
    randomErr writes: 5.7 million adults in the United States have heart failure each year with about 41 million worldwide. Currently, treatment involves surgically implanting a mechanical pump, called a ventricular assist device (VAD), into the heart. The VAD helps maintains the heart's function. But patients with VADs are at high risk for getting blood clots and having a stroke. Researchers at Harvard University and Boston Children's Hospital have created a soft robotic sleeve that doesn't have to be implanted. The robotic sleeve slips around the outside of the heart, squeezing it in sync with the natural rhythm. "This work represents an exciting proof of concept result for this soft robot, demonstrating that it can safely interact with soft tissue and lead to improvements in cardiac function," Conor Walsh, said in a press statement. Seeker reports: "The sleeve they developed is made from thin silicone and attaches to the outside of the heart with a combination of suction devices and sutures. It relies on soft, air-powered actuators that twist and compress in a way that's similar to the outer layer of muscle of a human heart. A gel coating reduces any friction between the sleeve and the organ. Because the sleeve is soft and flexible, it can be customized to fit not just the size and shape of individual hearts, but augment the organ's weaknesses. For example, if a patient's heart is weaker on the left side than the right, the sleeve can be tuned to squeeze with more authority on the left side. As the organ gains strength, the device can be adjusted." The study has been published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Microsoft Adds Intel's Clear Linux Open-Source OS To Azure Market
    JG0LD quotes a report from Network World: Microsoft announced today that it has added support for the Intel-backed Clear Linux distribution in instances for its Azure public cloud platform. It's the latest in a lengthy string of Linux distributions to become available on the company's Azure cloud.  BrianFagioli adds from BetaNews: In other words, users of the company's cloud platform can set up a virtual machine using this distribution in addition to existing Linux-based operating systems. "Today, we're excited to announce the availability of Clear Linux OS for Intel Architecture in Azure Marketplace. Clear Linux OS is a free, open-source Linux distribution built from the ground up for cloud and data center environments and tuned to maximize the performance and value of Intel architecture. Microsoft Azure is the first public cloud provider to offer Clear Linux, and we're really excited about what it means for Linux users in the cloud and the community at large," says Jose Miguel Parrella, Open Source Product Manager, Microsoft.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Apple Increases App Store Prices By 25% Following Brexit Vote
    Following the UK's vote to leave the European Union last year, Apple is raising prices on its UK App Store by almost 25 percent to counter the depreciation of the pound. For example, an app that costs $0.99 in the U.S., and used to cost 0.79 British pounds, will now cost 0.99 British pounds. The Guardian reports: Apple announced the price rises in an email to app developers on Tuesday, and told them "when foreign exchange rates or taxation changes, we sometimes need to update prices on the App Store." It says the new prices will roll out over the next seven days, giving customers a short opportunity to beat the price increase. Similar price increases are expected to hit other Apple stores, including the iTunes Store for music and video and the iBooks Store. Britain isn't the only country experiencing price changes. India is seeing price increases due to changes in service taxes, while Turkish prices are also rising due to depreciation of the Turkish Lira. Since the vote to leave the European Union, the value of the pound has fallen by 18.5% against the U.S. dollar. In a statement, Apple said: "Price tiers on the App Store are set internationally on the basis of several factors, including currency exchange rates, business practices, taxes and the cost of doing business. These factors vary from region to region and over time."
             

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  • Malwarebytes Discovers 'First Mac Malware of 2017'
    wiredmikey writes: Security researchers have a uncovered a Mac OS based espionage malware they have named "Quimitchin." The malware is what they consider to be "the first Mac malware of 2017," which appears to be a classic espionage tool. While it has some old code and appears to have existed undetected for some time, it works. It was discovered when an IT admin noticed unusual traffic coming from a particular Mac, and has been seen infecting Macs at biomedical facilities. From SecurityWeek.com: "Quimitchin comprises just two files: a .plist file that simply keeps the .client running at all times, and the .client file containing the payload. The latter is a 'minified and obfuscated' perl script that is more novel in design. It combines three components, Thomas Reed, director of Mac offerings at Malwarebytes and author of the blog post told SecurityWeek: 'a Mac binary, another perl script and a Java class tacked on at the end in the __DATA__ section of the main perl script. The script extracts these, writes them to /tmp/ and executes them.' Its primary purpose seems to be screen captures and webcam access, making it a classic espionage tool. Somewhat surprisingly the code uses antique system calls. 'These are some truly ancient functions, as far as the tech world is concerned, dating back to pre-OS X days,' he wrote in the blog post. 'In addition, the binary also includes the open source libjpeg code, which was last updated in 1998.' The script also contains Linux shell commands. Running the malware on a Linux machine, Malwarebytes 'found that -- with the exception of the Mach-O binary -- everything ran just fine.' It is possible that there is a specific Linux variant of the malware in existence -- but the researchers have not been able to find one. It did find two Windows executable files, courtesy of VirusTotal, that communicated with the same CC server. One of them even used the same libjpeg library, which hasn't been updated since 1998, as that used by Quimitchin."
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • College Fires IT Admin, Loses Access To Google Email, Successfully Sues IT Admin For $250K
    An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Register: Shortly after the American College of Education (ACE) in Indiana fired IT administrator Triano Williams in April, 2016, it found that it no longer had any employees with admin access to the Google email service used by the school. In a lawsuit [PDF] filed against Williams in July, 2016, the school alleges that it asked Williams to return his work laptop, which was supposed to have the password saved. But when Williams did so in May that year, the complaint says, the computer was returned wiped, with a new operating system, and damaged to the point it could no longer be used. ACE claimed that its students could not access their Google-hosted ACE email accounts or their online coursework. The school appealed to Google, but Google at the time refused to help because the ACE administrator account had been linked to William's personal email address. "By setting up the administrator account under a non-ACE work email address, Mr Williams violated ACE's standard protocol with respect to administrator accounts," the school's complaint states. "ACE was unaware that Mr Williams' administrator account was not linked to his work address until after his employment ended." According to the school's court filing, Williams, through his attorney, said he would help the school reinstate its Google administrator account, provided the school paid $200,000 to settle his dispute over the termination of his employment. That amount is less than half the estimated $500,000 in harm the school says it has suffered due to its inability to access its Google account, according to a letter from William's attorney in Illinois, Calvita J Frederick. Frederick's letter claims that another employee set up the Google account and made Williams an administrator, but not the controlling administrator. It says the school locked itself out of the admin account through too many failed password attempts. Williams, in a counter-suit [PDF] filed last month, claims his termination followed from a pattern of unlawful discrimination by the school in the wake of a change in management. Pointing to the complaint she filed with the court in Illinois, Frederick said Williams wrote a letter [PDF] to a supervisor complaining about the poor race relations at the school and, as a result of that letter, he was told he had to relocate to Indianapolis.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Report: PS4 Is Selling Twice As Well As Xbox One
    The latest numbers released by analysts suggest that the Sony PlayStation 4 is selling twice as many units worldwide as the Xbox One since both systems launched in late 2013. The data comes from a new SuperData report on the Nintendo Switch, which is backed up by Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad. SuperData mentions an installed base of 26 million Xbox One units and 55 million PS4 units. Ars Technica reports: Ahmad's chart suggests that Microsoft may have sold slightly more than half of the 53.4 million PS4 units that Sony recently announced it had sold through January 1. Specific numbers aside, though, it's clear Microsoft has done little to close its console sales gap with Sony over the past year -- and may have actually lost ground in that time. The last time we did our own estimate of worldwide console sales, through the end of 2015, we showed the Xbox One with about 57 percent as many systems sold as the PS4 (21.49 million vs. 37.7 million). That lines up broadly with numbers leaked by EA at the time, which suggest the Xbox One had sold about 52.9 percent as well as the PS4 (19 million vs. 35.9 million). One year later, that ratio has dipped to just above or even a bit below 50 percent, according to these reports. The relative sales performance of the Xbox One and PS4 doesn't say anything direct about the health or quality of those platforms, of course. Microsoft doesn't seem to be in any danger of abandoning the Xbox One platform any time soon and has, in fact, recently committed to upgrading it via Project Scorpio later this year. The gap between PS4 and Xbox One sales becomes important only if it becomes so big that publishers start to consider the Xbox One market as a minor afterthought that can be safely ignored for everything but niche games.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Tesla Is Investing $350 Million In Its Gigafactory, Hiring Hundreds of Workers
    Just weeks after the massive Gigafactory started producing batteries, Tesla has announced plans to hire more workers and use the facility to make the motor and gearbox for its upcoming Model 3 electric sedan. CNBC reports: Tesla will invest $350 million for the project, and hire an additional 550 people, according to the governor's comments. That will be over and above the company's existing commitment to hiring 6,500 people at the Gigafactory, according to comments made by Steve Hill, the director of the governor's Office of Economic Development, to Nevada newspaper the Nevada Appeal. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has made manufacturing efficiency a high priority for the company, but Tesla will require a lot of factory floor to meet its goal of to pumping out 500,000 cars by the end of 2018, and then making one million cars by 2020. Meanwhile, the city of Fremont recently approved Tesla's application for an additional 4.6 million square feet of space there.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Labor Department Sues Oracle For Paying White Men More
    An anonymous reader quotes a report from USA Today: Oracle is being sued by the Labor Department for paying white men more than their counterparts and for favoring Asian workers when recruiting and hiring for technical roles. The administrative lawsuit is the latest from the Labor Department to take aim at the human resources practices of major technology companies. The Labor Department warned the lawsuit could cost Oracle hundreds of millions in federal contracts. Oracle makes software and hardware used by the federal government. "The complaint is politically motivated, based on false allegations, and wholly without merit," Oracle spokesman Deborah Hellinger said in a statement. "Oracle values diversity and inclusion, and is a responsible equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. Our hiring and pay decisions are non-discriminatory and made based on legitimate business factors including experience and merit." The lawsuit is the result of an Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs review of Oracle's equal employment opportunity practices, the Labor Department said. According to the lawsuit, Oracle America paid white male workers more, leading to pay discrimination against women, African American and Asian employees. The Labor Department also accused Oracle of favoring Asians for product development and other technical roles, resulting in discrimination against non-Asian applicants. Oracle refused to comply with the Labor Department's investigation, which began in 2014, such as refusing to provide compensation data for all employees, complete hiring data for certain business lines and employee complaints of discrimination, according to the federal agency.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Twitter Just Sold Its Developer Platform To Google
    Google has acquired a part of Twitter -- the part that isn't about tweets. Twitter's mobile developer platform Fabric will become part of Google, both companies announced Wednesday. From a report: Acquired by Twitter in 2014, Fabric is "a modular mobile platform" designed to help app developers improve the "stability, distribution, revenue and identity" of their products, according to Twitter's blog post. Everything from the ability to natively embed tweets in other apps to signing in with your Twitter credentials were made possible by Fabric. Now that it's been reacquired, Fabric will merge with Google's Firebase development platform. "We quickly realized that our missions are the same -- helping mobile teams build better apps, understand their users, and grow their businesses," the Fabric team wrote in its announcement. "Fabric and Firebase operate mobile platforms with unique strengths in the market today." And if you're an existing Fabric customer, don't worry, the platform will continue to function. You'll just need to agree to the new terms of service, which will be available once the deal is completed.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Earth Hit Record Hot Year in 2016: NASA
    Earth sizzled to a third-straight record hot year in 2016, government scientists have said. They mostly blame man-made global warming with help from a natural El Nino, which has since disappeared. From a report: Measuring global temperatures in slightly different ways, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that last year passed 2015 as the hottest year on record. NOAA calculated that the average 2016 global temperature was 14.84 degrees Celsius (58.69 degrees Fahrenheit) -- beating the previous year by 0.04 Celsius (0.07 degrees F). NASA's figures, which include more of the Arctic, are higher at 0.22 degrees (0.12 Celsius) warmer than 2015. The Arctic "was enormously warm, like totally off the charts compared to everything else," said Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies in New York, where the space agency monitors global temperatures. Records go back to 1880. This is the fifth time in a dozen years that the globe has set a new annual heat record. Records have been set in 2016, 2015, 2014, 2010 and 2005.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • CIA Releases 13M Pages of Declassified Documents Online
    About 13 million pages of declassified documents from the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have been released online. The records include UFO sightings and psychic experiments from the Stargate programme, which has long been of interest to conspiracy theorists. From a report on BBC: The move came after lengthy efforts from freedom of information advocates and a lawsuit against the CIA. The full archive is made up of almost 800,000 files. They had previously only been accessible at the National Archives in Maryland. The trove includes the papers of Henry Kissinger, who served as secretary of state under presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, as well as several hundred thousand pages of intelligence analysis and science research and development.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Mozilla's New Logo Reminds Us that It Is, In Fact, a Web Firm
    Mozilla has a new logo. The company has ditched the world "ill" from the name with a colon and two slashes. From a report: Last year, Mozilla, the internet company best known for the Firefox browser, publicly started the rebranding process by opening the door to public feedback. With several options on display, Mozilla asked for comments and input from all who cared to share. As of today, the new logo is official and the simple change is meant as a reminder that Mozilla is more than just a browser.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • The Problem With Google AMP
    Kyle Schreiber has raised some issues about Google's AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), an open source project unveiled by the company in 2015 with which it aims to accelerate content on mobile devices. He writes on his blog: The largest complaint by far is that the URLs for AMP links differ from the canonical URLs for the same content, making sharing difficult. The current URLs are a mess. They all begin with some form of https://wwww.google.com/amp/ before showing a URL to the AMP version of the site. There is currently no way to find the canonical link to the page without guessing what the original URL is. This usually involves removing either a .amp or ?amp=1 from the URL to get to the actual page. Make no mistake. AMP is about lock-in for Google. AMP is meant to keep publishers tied to Google. Clicking on an AMP link feels like you never even leave the search page, and links to AMP content are displayed prominently in Google's news carousel. This is their response to similar formats from both Facebook and Apple, both of which are designed to keep users within their respective ecosystems. However, Google's implementation of AMP is more broad and far reaching than the Apple and Facebook equivalents. Google's implementation of AMP is on the open web and isn't limited to just an app like Facebook or Apple.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Britain collects new naval tanker a mere 18months late
    Why? 'Umm, er, cable insulation standards,' mutters MoD
    Britain’s naval service will receive new fleet support tanker RFA Tidespring more than 18 months late, following delays which left the vessel languishing in a South Korean shipyard.…






  • Chrome dev explains how modern browsers make secure UI just about impossible
    The 'LINE OF DEATH' between safe content and untrustworthy stuff is receding every year
    Google Chrome engineer Eric Lawrence has described the battle of browser barons against the 'line of death', an ever-diminishing demarcation between trusted content and the no-man's land where phishers dangle their poison.…





  • Flexible working is good for you: Follow the leaders and banish the worries
    All you need is the right tools, says Citrix
    Promo Although flexible working offers significant cost benefits for companies and enhances satisfaction for employees who are allowed to work at the place and time of their choosing, a recent survey of 1,024 office workers across Australia found that despite the demand, flexible working is being held back by a culture of “presenteeism.”…


  • Adobe's naughty Chrome telemetry code had XSS problem
    Since patched, but a bad look for Adobe when it can't even get snoopware right
    Adobe's pushed out a fix for its already-controversial Chrome telemetry extension after Project Zero's Tavis Ormandy found an egregious bug.…










  • Inspur inspires DDN to be its HPC reseller
    Sitting in a tree, K I S S I N G
    DDN has signed a deal for Inspur to sell tested and configured systems to worldwide HPC customers, using DDN storage alongside Inspur servers, networking, software and services.…








  • Hyperconvergered-ception: HPE swallows SimpliVity
    Hyperconverges hyperconverger, thereby converging market
    Analysis SimpliVity, the second-placed hyperconverged infrastructure appliance startup, has been bought by HPE for $650m, setting the stage for mainstream vendor dominance of the hyperconverged market.…








  • LTE-Broadcast has broad deployment models. What it doesn't have is the iPhone
    Key to unlocking mega smartphone market
    Analysis LTE-Broadcast is poised for mass adoption at last, claims the Alliance which was set up last April to promote it. The Alliance aims to make a splash at next month’s Mobile World Congress, to boost operator confidence in the mobile TV standard and outline some of its use cases beyond the consumer TV sector.…



  • EE slapped with 2.7m fine by Ofcom
    Some 40,000 customers were overcharged 250,000
    EE has been slapped with a 2.7m fine by regulator Ofcom for overcharging tens of thousands of customers.…


  • Cisco sets out networking stall for SMBs
    Smaller firms make up over 20% of business
    Promo In the face of industry upheaval, Cisco retains its status as the go-to enterprise networking choice for big businesses.…







  • Solaris 12 disappears from Oracle's roadmap
    Instead we're getting version '11.next', 'SPARC.next' and a Big Red SPARC IaaS
    In late 2016, The Register received credible-but-ultimately-unverifiable reports that Oracle was scaling back Solaris development, perhaps with significant sackings. We chose not to publish because Oracle denied the specific allegations we'd received.…



  • 100 Gbps link to Europe lights up to delight researchers
    AEConnect cable expands university research networking
    Researchers are getting another 100 Gbps of dedicated connectivity between America and Europe, courtesy of a link on the AEConnect cable activated by Indiana University.…



  • Hacker cracks Facebook with remote code execution bug
    ImageMagick exploit earns chap US$40k bug bounty
    Facebook has paid US$40,000 to vulnerability hunter Andrew Leonov for disclosing how the hacker gained remote code execution on its servers through the widely-reported ImageMagick flaw.…




  • SOHOpeless routers offer hard-coded credentials and command injection bugs
    Researcher says Zyxel and Billion kit in Thailand, and probably beyond, are rotten
    Yet again, home routers are the home of SOHOpelessness: Zyxel and Billion units distributed in Thailand by TrueOnline have backdoors, and the researcher who found the flaw says the vendors have ignored his attempts to notify them.…



Linux.com offline for now



  • Fedora vs. Ubuntu vs. openSUSE vs. Clear Linux For Intel Steam Gaming Performance
    With this week Clear Linux now being able to run Steam, I was excited to see how this performance-minded Linux distribution out of Intel's Open-Source Technology Center would compare to other more popular Linux distributions when it comes to Intel Linux gaming performance. Here are some benchmarks of this traditionally workstation/server-oriented Intel Linux distribution running some Steam Linux games.






  • LLVM 4.0 Release Candidate 1
    Hans Wennborg of Google, serving as the LLVM release manager, has announced the tagging of the first release candidate of the forthcoming LLVM 4.0...



  • Nouveau Gets Patches For HDMI Stereoscopic 3D Output
    Nouveau continues advancing on the display front: beyond getting DP MST and atomic mode-setting support in the Linux 4.10 kernel, there are now patches available for wiring this open-source NVIDIA Linux driver up to supporting stereoscopic 3D output via HDMI...



  • Lots Of Vulkan To Be Had At GDC 2017
    The Khronos Group has published their booth information and sessions that will happen at this year's Game Developers Conference (GDC 17) at the start of March in San Francisco...



  • KDE Support For Flatpak Portals Progressing
    While GNOME / Red Hat developers have been leading the Flatpak app sandboxing initiative, KDE developers are making progress too with embracing Flatpak as a more convenient and secure way of securely packaging Linux desktop apps...





  • Benchmarking Radeon Open Compute ROCm 1.4 OpenCL
    Last month with AMD/GPUOpen's ROCm 1.4 release they delivered on OpenCL support, albeit for this initial release all of the code is not yet open-source. I tried out ROCm 1.4 with the currently supported GPUs to see how the OpenCL performance compares to just using the AMDGPU-PRO OpenCL implementation.



  • Here's How To Setup Clear Linux For Intel Steam Linux Gaming
    A few weeks back we learned of Intel's Clear Linux distribution working towards Steam support. While Clear Linux is a performance-oriented workstation/server/cloud distribution, repeatedly in our tests it performs among the top Linux distributions even when it comes to Intel OpenGL Linux gaming, so being able to game with it isn't a far stretch with Steam support -- there is also Vulkan support now too...





  • Fedora 26 Planning For A Modular Server Preview
    Fedora Linux has been pursuing a path of modularity whereby modules provide different software purpose/functionality and are integrated/tested at the module level and a unit of delivery itself. With the Fedora 26 release they are hoping to provide a Fedora Modular Server preview build...



  • Broadwell Vulkan Performance Also Up After Recent Mesa Git Work
    Yesterday I published a number of OpenGL/Vulkan benchmarks from Mesa Git in Mesa Git Delivering Faster Intel Vulkan Performance, Closer To OpenGL Driver Speed. Those tests were with Skylake desktop graphics so for some follow-up reference tests I also fired up Mesa Git on an Intel Broadwell ultrabook...



  • Google Developers Experiment With Plumbing Dartlang Into LLVM
    It's been a while since last hearing much excitement around Google's Dart programming language that's an alternative to JavaScript. This ECMA-approved language is now being used with IoT devices, can still be source-to-source compiled for JavaScript, and the latest is that the Google developers have been experimenting with wiring it into LLVM...






  • RadeonSI Nearly Clearing The OpenGL 4.5 Conformance Test Suite
    While RadeonSI in Mesa Git exposes OpenGL 4.5, it hasn't yet formally passed the OpenGL 4.5 Conformance Test Suite (CTS) for certifying the OpenGL driver. But now it looks like this open-source Radeon Linux graphics driver has about all OpenGL CTS failures addressed...



  • MSI X99A RAIDER Plays Fine With Linux
    The MSI X99A RAIDER is a sub-$200 LGA-2011 v3 motherboard. I've been using it for almost two months now on one of the daily Linux benchmarking systems and it's been running great.




Engadget

  • Krebs pinpoints the likely author of the Mirai botnet

    The Mirai botnet caused serious trouble last fall, first hijacking numerous IoT devices to make a historically massive Distributed Denial-Of-Service (DDoS) attack on KrebsOnSecurity's site in September before taking down a big chunk of the internet a month later. But who's responsible for making the malware? After his site went dark, security researcher Brian Krebs went on a mission to identify its creator, and he thinks he has the answer: Several sources and corroborating evidence point to Paras Jha, a Rutgers University student and owner of DDoS protection provider Protraf Solutions.

    About a week after attacking the security site, the individual who supposedly launched the attack, going by the username Anna Senpai, released the source code for the Mirai botnet, which spurred other copycat assaults. But it also gave Krebs the first clue in their long road to uncover Anna Senpai's real-life identity -- an investigation so exhaustive, the Krebs made a glossary of cross-referenced names and terms along with an incomplete relational map.

    The full story is admittedly lengthy, clocking in at over 8000 words, but worth the time to understand how botnet wranglers make money siccing their zombie device armies on unsuspecting targets. The sources that pointed Krebs to Anna Senpai's identity were involved in using botnets on behalf of shadowy clients, unleashing them on security companies protecting lucrative Minecraft servers that host thousands of players. When their online gaming is obstructed -- say, by repeated and annoying DDoS attacks -- players leave, giving servers an incentive to jump ship to whichever security provider can ensure protection...in this case, providers that arranged for the botnet attacks in the first place.

    According to Krebs' source, his security site was looped into the botnet war after it revealed information in early September leading to the arrest of the two hackers behind the Israeli 'vDos' attack service. Anna Senpai was allegedly paid to unleash Mirai on the KrebsOnSecurity site by vengeful clients who'd used the now-defunct vDos, cementing the security firm's interest.

    Source: KrebsOnSecurity


  • 'Pokémon Go' tries to save the world at a major conference

    How would you tackle important social issues through technology? If you're Niantic and The Pokmon Company, you have people play a game. They're teaming up with the Global Goals and Project Everyone campaigns to raise awareness of issues through special Pokmon Go locations at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. A total of 17 locations are turning into PokStops based on each of the Global Goals, such as "no poverty" and "reduced inequalities." The Congress Centre at the heart of the Forum will also become a Gym, and there's a promise of additional Global Goals material in the spring.

    It's a noble goal, and proof that Pokmon Go stops can be used as more than just corporate promotional tools. With that said, are checkpoints in an augmented reality game really going to do much to solve the world's ills, especially at a conference frequented by elites? Political and corporate leaders aren't usually roaming city streets looking for a Charmander, and it's doubtful that organizations will change their policies based on PokStop graphics. This is more of an encouragement for conscientious, tech-savvy WEF attendees than a concerted attempt to sway influencers -- it's helpful, but not game-changing.

    Source: Google Maps


  • Samsung boss won't face arrest, at least for now

    Samsung just dodged a bullet... for a while, anyway. A South Korean court has dismissed a warrant to arrest the company's Vice Chairman and de facto leader, Lee Jae-yong, in an investigation alleging that Samsung paid the President's scandal-ridden confidant to illegally secure approval for a merger. There's just not enough evidence to suggest that an arrest is needed, according to the judge. While this doesn't guarantee that Lee is completely off the hook, he won't have to worry about jail time in the foreseeable future.

    It's not certain whether or not prosecutors will try again -- they'd likely have to establish a stronger link between Lee and the payments, assuming there is one, before giving it another try. Lee has always denied doing anything wrong.

    Samsung is definitely breathing easier. The electronics giant is all too well-known for a leadership structure that revolves around the Lees, and an arrest (let alone a conviction) risked throwing that corporate order into disarray. And when Samsung is a major part of the South Korean economy, any uncertainty around its future could jeopardize the country as well. Critics of the company won't be happy, however. Do you recall how Lee's father, Lee Kun-hee, was pardoned from a tax evasion conviction to help secure the 2018 Winter Olympics? There's no proof that Jae-yong got off easy, but opponents may well suggest that the court is refusing to touch a similarly powerful figure.

    Source: Reuters



  • Fujifilm's GFX 50S medium-format mirrorless camera costs $6,500

    We've known since last year that Fujifilm was working on the GFX 50S, a mirrorless camera with a medium-format sensor. But, until now, the manufacturer hadn't said how much it would cost or when it would be up for grabs. Thankfully for those of you who are interested, Fujifilm has announced that its GFX 50S is set to hit stores in "late" February for $6,500 (body-only). While that price may seem steep, it's considerably lower than a competitor like Hasselblad's X1D, which sells for roughly $9,000.

    Fujifilm's new shooter features a massive 50.4-megapixel CMOS sensor, an X Processor Pro (same one that's on the X-Pro2 and X-T2), a 117-point autofocus system, as well as a high-res electronic viewfinder and 3.2-inch LCD touchscreen. Oddly enough, there's no 4K video support, with the GFX 50S only capable of capturing 1080p at 24, 25 and 30fps. That's going to be disappointing for users who were hoping to record Ultra HD content with this camera.

    Naturally, since the GFX 50S is a system designed from the ground up, Fujifilm had to make fresh glass to work with it. That's why the company is introducing three GF lenses: the GF63mm f/2.8, GF32-54mm f/4 and GF120mm f/4, priced at $1,500, $2,300 and $3,000, respectively. Sure, you'll have to spend a pretty penny, but the GFX 50S has the potential to be one of the best cameras to come out in recent years.

    We'll have more impressions soon, as Fujifilm is hosting a launch event for the GFX 50S in New York City later this evening. Until then, enjoy the images below.



  • Non-browning GMO apple slices go on sale next month

    Mushrooms won't be the only non-browning produce on store shelves for long. Thanks to genetic modification, we'll soon see Golden Delicious apples that don't oxidize for three weeks after being cut, bruised or bitten into. They'll be sold in packages of slices and will go on sale in the Midwest in February and March. According to Arctic, the company responsible for the fruit, this feat was achieved by "silencing" polyphenol oxidase (PPO) expression.

    Arctic further explains that while PPO serves as protectors against pests or pathogens in tomatoes, that fruit/vegetable produces an awful lot of them as a defense mechanism. Apples, on the other hand, don't really have a need for it. "Apples produce very low levels of PPO, and only in very young fruit," the company writes. "Its presence is probably left over from apples of ages ago, playing no role in today's apples."

    The company admits that despite almost a decade of research proving these apples and their trees grow in orchards just like non-modified examples, there's still quite a bit to learn. Specifically, Arctic mentions that PPO contain antioxidants beneficial to heart health and thus not enough is known about how much your recommended intake should be.

    Organic Authority

    Source: Capital Press


  • Tidal now has an editing tool for tempo and song length

    Tidal debuted its Masters feature which offers near studio-quality sound earlier this month. Now the streaming service is offering users a way to edit tracks. While playing a song in the Tidal app, you can change the length and speed with the new Track Edit feature from the options menu. To make any tempo adjustments, you will need to select a segment of a song before you can do so. The tool also allows you to make changes to how the song fades in/out.

    Any songs that you edit can be saved to new or existing playlists so you can easily find them later. Unfortunately, that's really the only details at this point as Tidal hasn't revealed any more information about the feature. We reached out to the company for clarification on availability and more details, but we have yet to hear back.

    Source: The Verge, Pitchfork



  • Oracle faces Labor Department lawsuit over job discrimination

    Google isn't the only Silicon Valley staple facing a lawsuit over the fairness of its hiring practices. The US Department of Labor has sued Oracle for allegedly conducting discriminatory employment practices. The enterprise tech giant is accused of paying white male workers more than minorities and women in similar positions, and of favoring Asian people for "technical roles." The lawsuit isn't coming out of the blue, though -- it's really the culmination of a battle that started when an investigation began in 2014.

    The Labor Department says that Oracle has refused to obey requests for employment data, such as discrimination complaints, hiring data and prior-year compensation levels. Compliance officials say they spent "almost a year" trying to solve discrimination issues before the lawsuit came about.

    It won't shock you at all to hear that Oracle disputes the claims. In a statement to USA Today, the company insists that the lawsuit is "politically motivated, based on false allegations, and wholly without merit." True or not, the stakes are high. Oracle is a government contractor, and that means it risks losing all its government contracts if it's found to be violating anti-discrimination rules. It may not have much choice but to turn over data and change its ways if it wants to avoid both losing a major customer and hurting its reputation.

    Via: USA Today

    Source: Department of Labor



  • A new 'Fire Emblem' game is coming to Nintendo Switch in 2018

    Good news, Fire Emblem fans: Today Nintendo announced that the next major title in its tactical RPG series will be for the Switch -- making it the franchise's first game on home consoles in almost ten years. The bad news? You won't be able to play it until 2018.

    The announcement was almost a footnote in today's Fire Emblem Direct, and revealed precious little about the game. All we know about the game is that it features another "full scale war" and that its the full "home console experience." It doesn't do a lot to bolster the Switch's meager launch line-up, but at least it's something to look forward to.

    Source: Nintendo



  • Nintendo's 'Fire Emblem Heroes' arrives on Android next month
    If you've been yearning for a on the go that isn't relegated to a portable gaming system, maybe the upcoming Fire Emblem Heroes will do the trick. It's a tactical role-playing game (think Final Fantasy Tactics) where "fate has brought two warring kingdoms together in a bitter clash." Naturally. During today's Fire Emblem Direct stream, it was announced that you'll battle it out on an 8x6 grid.
    You'll also level up familiar characters and fans will "find the battle intensity they've come to expect from the series" (more info resides right here). It looks like in-app purchases are all but confirmed as summoning orbs -- they call in additional heroes for help during battle -- will be doled out after a fight, or you can buy them with cash. How much are those doggies in the window? Footage showed a purchase screen with a 35-pack costing $20, with a 3-pack running $1.99.

    Pre-registration (alerts for when it'll be released) starts January 19th, with the game itself coming out February 2nd on Android. Folks with iOS devices will have to wait until sometime "soon." Have a Fire device? Bad news because the stream specifically mentioned Google Play as a vendor.


  • 2016 was the hottest year on record (again)

    According to a joint report from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2016 was officially the hottest year on record. If that statistic sounds familiar, it's because 2015 was also the hottest year on record. As was 2014 before that. And those three years of rising temperatures mean the planet is about two degrees Fahrenheit (1.1 degrees Celsius) warmer than it was in the late 19th century.

    The conclusions reached in NOAA and NASA's joint report were further confirmed by the UK's Met office, and the ongoing trend is one that should be hard to ignore at this point. "We don't expect record years every year," NASA Goddard Director Gavin Schmidt said in his agency's report, "but the ongoing long-term warming trend is clear." Since 2001, the planet has seen 16 of its 17 hottest years on record.

    Although El Nio contributed to some of the warming effect in late 2015 and early 2016, researchers reiterated that the long-term effects of human-made CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions are the biggest factor behind rising temperatures. Not every single region on Earth set a record in 2016 -- the lower 48 US states had their second hottest year ever, for example. But temperatures in the Arctic were especially bad, hitting 20 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit above average and leading to the lowest levels of sea ice ever recorded.



    With the effects of El Nio coming to a close at the end of last year, scientists expect 2017 to cool off a bit. But, theclimate change denier Donald Trump, and on the same day that Trump's pick to lead the EPA Scott Pruitt will appear before his Senate confirmation hearing.

    Via: Washington Post, New York Times

    Source: NASA, Met Office


  • 'Star Trek: Discovery' faces an indefinite delay

    If you were banking on watching confirmed to Hollywood Reporter that it's once again delaying the streaming-focused show, this time for an indefinite stretch. Production on the series is all set to start in late January, but the team says it wants to be "flexible" on timing to ensure the production is a success. "It's more important to do this right than to do it fast," the company says, adding that the internet saves it from having to meet a fixed TV season deadline.

    Almost as a form of consolation, CBS has revealed that James Frain (best known for his role in The Tudors) will play Sarek, Spock's father.

    This additional setback isn't going to make fans happy, especially since Discovery was originally poised to arrive in January. However, it wasn't hard to see another delay coming. Aside from the crunch that would have been needed to finish the show for May, there's a lot riding on its success. This is supposed to be the flagship show that proves All Access is about more than just bringing existing TV programming online, and a rushed production could hurt its chances of competing against the likes of Hulu and Netflix.

    Via: The Verge

    Source: Hollywood Reporter, CBS


  • Netflix expects HBO to go binge-first in an 'internet TV world'

    Netflix just announced its final earnings report for 2016 (PDF), revealing that it grew by seven million customers to 93.8 million. That's two million more than it had projected, up more than 25 percent for the year and puts the 100 million benchmark squarely in its sights for 2017. Beyond revealing that House of Cards will launch in Q2 instead of Q1 this year, Netflix mentioned the strong performance of original series like The OA and 3%. Regarding the latter, Netflix says it was watched by "millions" of US viewers and is the first Portuguese-language show to travel that way.

    Ten years after launching Watch Instantly streaming and one year after making it available nearly worldwide, Netflix is now an internet-first video company and according to its letter, expects others to follow. Noting the BBC's new BritBox plans for online video, the company says it presumes HBO won't be far behind when it comes to favoring internet viewers over linear ones, by launching series all at once instead of week-by-week.

    Netflix says that its original shows were five of the top ten shows searched for globally, according to Google, with Stranger Things at #1. The company is "pleased" with the rollout of offline viewing so far and says its customers are also "pleased" with the recent integration on Comcast's X1 boxes.

    Also garnering a mention is the incoming administration and its potential impact on net neutrality, which Netflix now says isn't that big of a deal for its business. That's because "we are now popular enough with consumers to keep our relationships with ISPs stable." Despite that, it continued to push for strong net neutrality, saying " We hope the new US administration and Congress will recognize that keeping the network neutral drives job growth and innovation."

    On the live video call (embedded below), Reed Hastings declined to expand upon his net neutrality statement towards the Trump administration and said the company plans to "rinse repeat" on some of the things it's been doing to grow so far.

    Source: Netflix Q4 2016 Investor Letter (PDF)


  • Teenage Engineering's new pocket synth is its most versatile yet

    Teenage Engineering debuted its first trio of pocket-sized $59 synthesizers almost exactly two years ago. In 2016, the company followed those with a second set of three Pocket Operators featuring the sounds of the '80s. Now the company is back with a third installment: the PO-32. Like the half-dozen different options that are already available, the PO-32 remains a compact drum and percussion synth that runs on a pair of AAA batteries. However, there are two new key features that set this new model apart from the rest.

    First, the PO-32 features a built-in microphone that handles the direct transfer of sounds and pattern data between multiple units. The other key addition is the ability to import/export patches and patterns to and from the compact instrument. Using Microtronic, a desktop machine and percussion synth, you can make tweaks and send them wirelessly back to the PO-32. In fact, this new Pocket Operator is a collaboration between Teenage Engineering and Sonic Charge, the company behind Microtronic.

    There are also 16 sounds and 16 punch-in effects along with a sequencer and pattern locks. A built-in speaker handles playback of all the patterns and sounds you create. Speaking of patterns, you can chain up to 64 of them together and the LCD display from the first few models is back again. Despite the fact that the PO-32 runs on AAA batteries, Teenage Engineering says you can expect to use it for a full month before you will need to swap out the power source.

    As you might expect, the added functionality means a slight price increase from the first two series. The PO-32 is available now in limited quantities as a bundle with the Microtronic audio software for $139. If you just want the pocket synth itself, you will have to wait until early April. When the time comes, expect to pay $89 to nab one.


  • Microsoft's Twitch competitor, Beam, gets a major update

    Microsoft said it was about to supercharge Beam, and it's quickly following through on that promise. After a few weeks of beta testing, the livestreaming service's big 2.0 overhaul is now available to everyone. The most conspicuous change is what you'll see the moment you hop in. There's a revamped home page that can feature multiple streams and show more info about a broadcaster's communities. Also, you'll notice a revamped, HTML5-only player that touts better video-on-demand controls, playback at higher bitrates (up to 10Mbps) and higher resolutions (1440p at 60 frames per second, anyone?). However, some of the biggest improvements are under the hood.

    To begin with, you now have the choice of signing in with your Xbox Live (really, Microsoft) account -- and it'll eventually be mandatory. This could create hassles for streamers who'd prefer to keep their Beam and Microsoft accounts separate, but the team is counting on Xbox Live's features winning you over in the long run. It'll help out with built-in Beam streaming on Windows 10 and the Xbox One down the road, of course, but it'll reportedly help out with two-factor authentication, moderation and other aspects of the service.

    On top of that, you should also see much faster site loading (up to 5 times faster, Beam claims) and visuals, a better viewing experience on the mobile web, and a slicker chat experience that includes emote auto-completion. You'll have to wait until later in the year for Xbox One support and new mobile apps, but serious streamers who use XSplit will be glad to hear that a beta release now plays nicely with Beam's low-delay streaming (FTL) as well, just as OBS has for a while.

    We'd note that things appear a bit rough at the outset. Don't be surprised if you run into a broken feature or two. However, you do have the option of rolling back to the previous interface if you dive into your account settings.

    Will the overhaul convince Twitch die-hards to switch over by itself? Probably not -- the temptation to stick with the community you know can be quite strong. It shows that Beam and Microsoft are committed to making their service a force to be reckoned with, however, and it's laying some important groundwork for Microsoft's big gaming initiatives this year.

    [Thanks, Kristy]

    Source: Matt Salsamendi (Twitter)


  • PSVR mech battler 'Rigs' won't get any new content

    Sony today confirmed that there will be no more DLC coming to multiplayer PSVR launch title Rigs. Following the recent closure of developer Guerilla Cambridge, it seems Sony has opted to cut short its initial plan for PS4 sales figures, Sony has also remained ominously quiet about how its virtual reality platform has actually performed. This reluctance to disclose sales coupled with a lack of PSVR announcements at last month's PlayStation Experience means that Sony's silence on PSVR feels deafening.

    With this month's Eurogamer


  • Vizio devices now take voice commands from Google Home

    Vizio's living room devices already play nicely with Google services, but wouldn't it be nice if you could use Google voice control as well? You can now. All of Vizio's SmartCast-equipped devices, including recent TVs, soundbars and speakers, just got support for Google Home. If you want to watch a movie on Netflix, you don't even have to wake your TV -- say the right words to Google's smart speaker and it'll start playing on your set. You can also pause, skip songs and tweak the volume without touching a button.

    It's a relatively simple addition, but in some ways it's a big feature upgrade. If you're willing to buy Google Home, you're not dependent on busting out a phone or tablet to get the most out of Vizio's ecosystem. And while other TVs certainly have voice commands, Vizio's approach doesn't require that you grab a remote to start talking.

    Via: The Verge

    Source: PR Newswire


  • Hulu will let you download shows 'in a few months'

    Hulu isn't going to let Netflix have show downloads all to itself. Company chief Mike Hopkins tells AdWeek that you'll have the option of downloading shows "in a few months." The online video service isn't talking details at this point, to no one's surprise, but that's largely because things are still in flux. It's still hashing out the technology, Hopkins says, and it needs to get licensing rights "squared away."

    Downloads will be good news for both frequent travelers and anyone with a low mobile data cap. Whether or not it's truly compelling will depend on content providers, however. Remember how Netflix couldn't offer downloads for Disney-owned shows? Hulu is likely to offer downloads for its originals, but it may be a challenge to persuade conventional TV networks that it's worth having offline playback. Don't count on having a download button next to your favorite series.

    If nothing else, you'll have something to try today. Hulu just expanded its support for user profiles to mobile users -- at least if you grab the iOS app (Android will likely have it soon, if not already), you won't have to share recommendations or content settings with others. As you might guess, this is a big deal for families -- you won't have to worry about your kids skewing your video history.

    Via: Polygon, TechCrunch

    Source: AdWeek, App Store


  • 'Final Fantasy XV' tricked me into buying Cup Noodles

    I should have been turned off by the commercial advertising casually strewn throughout Final Fantasy XV. Coleman logos are plainly visible when the game's heroes set up camp for the night. Billboards for Nissin Cup Noodles line the highways of Eos. It's product placement so obvious it's almost laughable -- and yet, I now have an eight-pack of instant ramen on my kitchen counter. What happened? A beautiful, devious combination of empathy and nostalgia.

    My shame in falling for a game's product tie-ins is dulled somewhat by the knowledge that I saw it coming. Final Fantasy XV planted the seeds of manipulation early, offering me a grain of nostalgia in the game's first moments. The story opened with four friends pushing a broken-down convertible to a nearby service station -- a pit stop that sold a copy of the real smartphone game advertised as "a smash hit in the world of Final Fantasy XV." I groaned at the obvious cross-branding, but not hard enough to stop me from downloading the game. Despite seeing through Square Enix's ploy, I had to know what had the cast of my game so engaged.

    Soon, the product placement grew even bolder. And weirder. Every time I drove through the town of Lestallum, Gladiolus would yammer on about how badly he wanted Cup Noodles -- leading me to a Cup Noodles vendor in the town square. Approaching the in-game store tailored to a specific real-life product kicks off a quest that's little more than a playable commercial.

    Gladiolus wants the "perfect cup" of instant ramen and waxes poetic about all the possible ingredients. The mission sets you out on a hunt to find fresh toppings to the "already delicious" Cup Noodles to make them even better while simultaneously doubting the product can even be improved upon. "After all," Gladiolus shills in an actual line of spoken dialogue from the game, "the shrimp they use in Cup Noodles was selected from over 60 varieties for their flavor and their shape."



    It's a kind of direct marketing that I've never seen in a game before -- yet it's so knowingly absurd that it's actually kind of enjoyable. Each character's voice actor delivers his lines with a hefty helping of camp, delighting in how awful and silly the entire cross-promotion is. It plays like a parody of itself, and it's hard to imagine the gimmick selling even a single cup of instant ramen. And yet, one week later I found myself staring down a pack of Cup Noodles at my local grocery store. I felt like an idiot, but what the hell: It was a guilty pleasure that reminded me of college and was only $0.35 a cup. Besides, Gladiolus made it sound really good.

    Square Enix exploited my memory of the Final Fantasy franchise and my fondness for its characters again and again. I was eventually coaxed into downloading the mobile version of Google Play for the classics whose music I'd been listening to in driving sequences.



    As I considered giving Final Fantasy XIII a second chance, I knew my roused interest was nothing more than the fruits of a carefully planned cross-promotion campaign. I'm surprisingly OK with that. After two MMOs that didn't resonate with me, a series of clunky spin-offs and a numbered entry to the franchise that fell flat, I was positive Square Enix had lost its touch. Final Fantasy XV not only proved me wrong but also tricked me into remembering how much I loved the franchise in the first place. If the price for that renewed fandom is a couple of servings of Cup Noodles, so be it. I can take the sodium.


  • Slack adds long-awaited threaded messaging feature

    Slack, the ever-popular communication tool and current darling of enterprise software, is getting a long-awaited update: threaded messaging. As the company writes in a blog post today, threaded messaging is a way to reduce clutter in ever-crowded Slack rooms. If someone in a room starts a conversation that only involves a select group of participants, you can hover your mouse over the message and click the new "start a thread" option. That'll open this separate conversation in the Slack app's right sidebar and let you add specific participants.

    Unlike standard private group messaging, messages that you add to a thread can be seen by anyone in the chat room -- they're just collapsed by default. The main room view shows the avatars of those participating so you can see who's jumped in the in-depth discussion. Slack also added the option to take any message in a thread and make it visible in the main room for all participants to see.

    Since heavy Slack users will likely end up participating in quite a few threads, there's a new "all threads" option in the left sidebar. If someone in one of those threads adds a message, it'll light up to notify you of the ongoing conversation. But that's the only notification that Slack is adding for threads by default. Just like chatting in a normal room, you'll only be pinged directly if someone @-mentions you in a thread.

    Slack says that this is one of the most requested features its users have (though I'm skeptical that this ranks ahead of an improved status indicator, but that's just me). And this update is timely, as the company faces new pressure from both Microsoft and Facebook in the enterprise messaging space. So if you're one of those who has been looking for threaded messaging, keep your eyes peeled. The Slack apps for desktop and mobile should update this week with the new feature.

    Via: Quartz

    Source: Slack


  • Twitter just sold its developer platform to Google

    Fabric, Twitter's developer platform, now belongs to Google. The move was announced on Fabric's blog Wednesday morning and confirmed in a Twitter thread by Sr. Director of Product, Jeff Seibert.

    Acquired by Twitter in 2014, Fabric is a "a modular mobile platform" designed to help app developers improve the " stability, distribution, revenue and identity" of their products, according to Twitter's blog post. Everything from the ability to natively embed tweets in other apps to signing in with your Twitter credentials were made possible by Fabric.

    Now that it's been reacquired, Fabric will merge with Google's Firebase development platform. "We quickly realized that our missions are the same - helping mobile teams build better apps, understand their users, and grow their businesses," the Fabric team wrote in its announcement. "Fabric and Firebase operate mobile platforms with unique strengths in the market today." And if you're an existing Fabric customer, don't worry, the platform will continue to function. You'll just need to agree to the new terms of service, which will be available once the deal is completed.

    For its part, Twitter plans to continue investing in its public APIs and "Publisher Platform products including Twitter Kit and TweetDeck... Ads API, MoPub, and Gnip." Despite that, Twitter also began notifying its e-commerce platform customers Wednesday that it is phasing out its in-app "Buy" button as part of a larger move to slowly retire its commerce division, "as a result of the Twitter team pivoting away from their e-commerce focus." The company reportedly will, however, continue to allow users to make donations to charitable causes for the foreseeable future.

    Via: Jeff Seibert (Twitter)

    Source: Fabric (blog)


  • How a robot got Super Mario 64 and Portal 'running' on an SNES
    With those out of the way, TASBot moved on to a similar total control run of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. After a few minutes of setup, the Zelda screen faded out, then faded back in on a bordered window with an ersatz logo for the "Super N64." Without any forthcoming explanation from the runners on stage, TASBot started apparently playing through a glitch-filled speedrun of Super Mario 64 on the Super NES, following it up with a similar glitch-filled speedrun through Valve's PC classic Portal. After that, the scene somehow transitioned to a Skype video call with a number of speedrunners speaking live from the AGDQ event through the SNES.  No one on the AGDQ stage acknowledged how weird this all was, leaving hundreds in the Herndon, VA ballroom and nearly 200,000 people watching live on Twitch temporarily guessing at what, exactly, was going on.  AGDQ (and its Summer counterpart, SGDQ) are some of my favourite events in technology, and I have the entire marathon streaming for the whole week. The TASBot block this year was, as the excerpt above describes, insane, and this article explains how they did it.


  • Oracle euthanizes Solaris 12, expunging it from roadmap
    Early December of last year, I posted the rumour that Oracle was going to end Solaris development. While the company denied these rumours at the time, there still seems to be something going on.  Rumors have been circulating since late last year that Oracle was planning to kill development of the Solaris operating system, with major layoffs coming to the operating system's development team. Others speculated that future versions of the Unix platform Oracle acquired with Sun Microsystems would be designed for the cloud and built for the Intel platform only and that the SPARC processor line would meet its demise. The good news, based on a recently released Oracle roadmap for the SPARC platform, is that both Solaris and SPARC appear to have a future.  The bad news is that the next major version of Solaris - Solaris 12 - has apparently been cancelled, as it has disappeared from the roadmap. Instead, it's been replaced with "Solaris 11.next" - and that version is apparently the only update planned for the operating system through 2021.  Read into that what you will. Sounds like maintenance mode to me.


  • My Windows rumspringa
    I'll almost certainly buy another MacBook, especially if future iterations can give me back the rationalization that paying so much money allows me to have the best computer. (The best for me, of course; the person who does not need to play videogames on his laptop, for example, because he is going to write a short story or record a pop song.) But in the meantime, I'm enjoying a new type of anticipation which for now only seems to be available in Windowsland: that someday, despite the funfetti working environment and Homermobile nature of the hardware, I may actually be on a path that's going somewhere not just new, but better, or at least more exciting.  Quite the enjoyable read.


  • Clearing out the app stores: government censorship made easier
    There's a new form of digital censorship sweeping the globe, and it could be the start of something devastating.  In the last few weeks, the Chinese government compelled Apple to remove New York Times apps from the Chinese version of the App Store. Then the Russian government had Apple and Google pull the app for LinkedIn, the professional social network, after the network declined to relocate its data on Russian citizens to servers in that country. Finally, last week, a Chinese regulator asked app stores operating in the countryto register with the government, an apparent precursor to wider restrictions on app marketplaces.  These moves may sound incremental, and perhaps not immediately alarming. China has been restricting the web forever, and Russia is no bastion of free speech. So what's so dangerous about blocking apps?  Here's the thing: It's a more effective form of censorship.  It's almost like an operating system where you can't install applications not approved by its manufacturer is a really, really dumb idea.


  • Android Wear 2.0 reportedly coming 9 February on 2 LG watches
    The next version of Google's smartwatch operating system is slated to arrive on February 9th, according to mobile reporter Evan Blass. The leak follows last week's report that Google had notified developers of Android Wear 2.0's upcoming release so they could prepare to update apps for continued support.  I'm sure all three Android Wear users are jumping up and down with excitement.


  • Google infrastructure security design overview
    This document gives an overview of how security is designed into Google€™s technical infrastructure. This global scale infrastructure is designed to provide security through the entire information processing lifecycle at Google. This infrastructure provides secure deployment of services, secure storage of data with end user privacy safeguards, secure communications between services, secure and private communication with customers over the internet, and safe operation by administrators.  Google uses this infrastructure to build its internet services, including both consumer services such as Search, Gmail, and Photos, and enterprise services such as G Suite and Google Cloud Platform.  We will describe the security of this infrastructure in progressive layers starting from the physical security of our data centers, continuing on to how the hardware and software that underlie the infrastructure are secured, and finally, describing the technical constraints and processes in place to support operational security.  This document also touches on something I always find quite fascinating - Google is, actually, an incredibly successful hardware company.  A Google data center consists of thousands of server machines connected to a local network. Both the server boards and the networking equipment are custom-designed by Google.  I have no idea how many servers Google actually owns, but this could make them one of the biggest hardware companies in the world.


  • First public alpha of axle released
    axle is a small UNIX-like hobby operating system. Everything used within axle is implemented from the ground up, aside from the bootloader, for which we use GRUB. axle is a multiboot compliant kernel. axle runs C on 'bare metal' in freestanding mode, meaning even the C standard library is not included. A subset of the C standard library is implemented within axle's kernel, and a userspace version is planned. axle is mainly interfaced through a shell.  Open source, custom educational operating system. The first public alpha release is out.


  • Samsung heir faces arrest on charges of bribery
    The sprawling investigation into President Park Geun-hye of South Korea took a dramatic turn on Monday with word that prosecutors were seeking the arrest of the de facto head of Samsung, one of the world's largest conglomerates, on charges that he bribed the president and her secretive confidante.  Nobody should be able to escape justice - not even CEOs. I know of a few others who need to follow in Lee's footsteps.


  • OpenVMS port to x86 update
    VSI (the men and women porting OpenVMS to x86 hardware) has released an update outlining some of the issues so far in porting this old battleship of an operating system to x86 and liberating it from IA64.  This update provides a high level view of our current efforts to port OpenVMS to the Intel x86 hardware platform. The report highlights topics including: Compilers, Objects & Images, Early Boot Path, Virtual Machines, Dump Kernel, Paravirtualization, and Condition Handling.  Still a long way to go, but it is exciting for VMS fans.


  • US appeals court revives antitrust lawsuit against Apple
    iPhone app purchasers may sue Apple Inc over allegations that the company monopolized the market for iPhone apps by not allowing users to purchase them outside the App Store, leading to higher prices, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Thursday.  Apple bloggers obviously kneejerk straight into defence mode in response to this news, but if you actually dive into the decision, the court makes a very compelling argument as to why this case ought to be allowed to continue, that preempts all the usual terrible analogies they tend to come up with and/or parrot from the party line:  Apple argues that it does not sell apps but rather sells "software distribution services to developers." In Apple's view, because it sells distribution services to app developers, it cannot simultaneously be a distributor of apps to apppurchasers. Apple analogizes its role to the role of an owner of a shopping mall that "leases physical space to various stores." Apple's analogy is unconvincing. In the case before us, third-party developers of iPhone apps do not have their own "stores." Indeed, part of the anti-competitive behavior alleged by Plaintiffs is that, far from allowing iPhone app developers to sell through their own "stores," Apple specifically forbids them to do so, instead requiring them to sell iPhone apps only through Apple's App Store.  [...]  Instead, we rest our analysis, as compelled by Hanover Shoe, Illinois Brick, UtiliCorp, and Delaware Valley, on the fundamental distinction between a manufacturer or producer, on the one hand, and a distributor, on the other. Apple is a distributor of the iPhone apps, selling them directly to purchasers through its App Store. Because Apple is a distributor, Plaintiffs have standing under Illinois Brick to sue Apple for allegedly monopolizing and attempting to monopolize the sale of iPhone apps.  Over on Twitter, John Gruber asked me "iPhones are their own market? Does BMW have a monopoly on BMWs?" This clearly demonstrates a lack of understanding of how the car market actually works (and, quite clearly, indicates Gruber didn't even read the actual decision quoted above). In fact, exactly because car manufacturers have a de facto monopoly on their own products, they are legally obliged to open up their specifications to allow other companies to manufacture competing, off-brand parts and to allow third parties to service and maintain the cars according to the manufacturer's own specifications.  As I've argued before, there's absolutely no reason why the technology world should be treated any differently. Computers have become integral parts of our society, much like cars, and as consumers we should not be forced into relying on just one company for servicing, maintaining, and using them. It's high time we stop treating technology companies like special little flower children, and force them to grow up and become real companies with real responsibilities.


  • Compiling a Mac OS 8 application on macOS Sierra
    In 1999, armed with a brand new copy of Metrowerks Codewarrior and a PowerMac running Mac OS 8.5.1, I wrote a basic implementation of Minesweeper to test out the Powerplant application development environment. It's the oldest project of mine that I've kept, so I wanted to see if I could get it running again for the first time in 17 years.  There's no Swift or Objective-C code in this article but there are disk-eating koalas, deliberately misspelled cities, Zernike polynomials, Cocoa software (but not the Cocoa you're thinking of), resource forks, master pointer blocks and in the end, I finally earn the admiration of my family.  Great, entertaining story, you learn something, and it mentions BeOS. I can't think of anything that would make this story even more likely to get posted on OSNews.


  • Nintendo unveils Switch release date, price, launch line-up
    The Nintendo Switch will be released March 3 worldwide for $299, Nintendo announced today during a press briefing in Tokyo.  Nintendo will sell the Switch for 29,980 yen in Japan. In Europe, the price will vary by retailer. The Switch will be available in two configurations: one with gray Joy-Con controllers, and the other with neon red and blue Joy-Con devices. Otherwise, the hardware will be the same: 32 GB of internal storage with a 720p touchscreen.  I'm somewhat curious about the hardware, somewhat interested in the new Zelda they showed off, but I'm appalled at the pricing in Europe (you'll be plonking down around ‚400 for the console and a game), and disappointed in the weak launch line-up and pretty meagre collection of games they showed off for the coming year.  The Mario and Zelda franchises have basically become like Call of Duty - every year, we get pots, remakes, of a new game with a few new mechanics, and that's it. There's nothing wrong with that - if people enjoy them, they enjoy them, and that's great - but I feel like Nintendo could be doing so much more than this.


  • * The elusive Palm OS 5.5 Garnet emulator for Windows/Linux *
    As some of you may undoubtedly know, I'm a bit of a sucker for Palm OS. These past few years, I've been busy collecting ROMs for the Palm OS emulator and simulator, making sure I have all the major Palm OS releases covered. There's really not much of a reason to do this - I have working devices which are a much better option than the emulators/simulators in most cases - other than to have a complete collection I can keep around forever.  Perfection needs little evolution.  From top left to bottom right, you're looking at Palm OS 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 5.3 (a Palm Zire ROM), 5.4.9 (the last released version of Palm OS available on real devices), and Palm OS 6.1.0 Cobalt (the last version of Palm OS; no 6.x device has ever been released). This is a pretty complete collection, and while it doesn't contain every released version of Palm OS, it covers the most important ones, and provides a great overview of the development of the operating system.  One important version is actually missing from this screenshot: Palm OS 5.5, whose official name is actually Garnet OS 5.5. Garnet OS 5.5 was developed by ACCESS (current owner of Palm OS and the associated IP), but was never released on or for devices - its sole function was to serve as the operating system running inside the Garnet VM. Garnet VM was a virtual machine developed to allow Palm OS applications to run on the ACCESS Linux Platform, a Linux-based mobile operating system that never gained any traction; no ALP devices were ever released.  As some of you may remember, Garnet VM was also released for Nokia's Maemo. I have a Nokia N900 (maybe even two) that can run Garnet VM, and while it's no longer available from ACCESS itself, it's easy to find all around the web if you know where to look. I'm not sure if my N900 is properly set up (I think it is), but it would be trivial for me to install Garnet VM on it and play with it.  So, between my Palm/CLI devices and all these emulators/simulators, every major Palm OS version seems covered, right? Well, no - not entirely. There's quite a few exotic devices, such as the AlphaSmart Dana, the TapWave Zodiac, or the Fossil Palm OS smartwatch, but those are disproportionately hard to come by. Setting those aside, I thought I had all my bases covered.  Turns out - as is so often the case - I was wrong. On Twitter, q3hardcore asked "do you have this?"  As it turns out, and entirely unbeknownst to me, ACCESS actually released the Garnet VM for Linux and Windows. After coming to the conclusion that this piece of software was entirely impossible to find online (try it), q3hardcore came to the rescue once again, and uploaded his or her copy of the package online. Questionable legality aside, I didn't have to think twice.  The purpose of the Garnet VM for Linux and Windows was to allow Palm OS application developers to test their Palm OS applications to see if they would run on the Garnet VM included in the ACCESS Linux Platform, and make changes if needed.  This Garnet VM is an amazing piece of technology. It's the Palm OS userland - version 5.5.0 - running on a Linux kernel running on an ARM emulator running on Windows or Linux. The ARM emulator in question is called Janeiro, and it emulates a Zylonite (PXA320) development board, revision B1. As it boots up, there's zero indication that it's running a Linux kernel - the X 'cross' appears briefly (at least, it looks like the X cross), but that's it.          The major difference between the Garnet VM and the Palm OS 5.x and 6.x simulators is that while the simulators run x86 Palm OS, Garnet VM runs an ARM Palm OS userland atop an ARM Linux kernel. This means - at least, in theory - that ARM Palm OS applications should run decently well on Garnet VM, something you can't do with the Palm OS simulator, because they would need to be recompiled to x86. I say 'in theory', because the Garnet VM documentation notes that not all Palm OS libraries and components are present, and that only "well-behaved" applications are compatible.  I've only had access to the Garnet VM for Windows for a short while, and I haven't yet had the time to really dive into it. For instance, I've yet to figure out how to get applications to run inside the VM, since the usual methods don't seem to want to cooperate. I'll spend some more of my free time on playing with it over the coming weeks to better figure out how it all works.  In any event, the Garnet VM for Windows and Linux is a unique piece of computing history, and I am absolutely delighted to be able to add it to my collection of Palm OS memorabilia. I've briefly considered zipping up all the emulators, simulators, and ROMs I have into a nice preconfigured, documented package for people to play with, but that's not something I can do for obvious copyright, trademark, and patent reasons. Most of this stuff isn't particularly hard to find, but it does require a bit of Palm experience to put it all together and document it. I don't think I'll ever get permission from ACCESS, so that's the end of that idea.  Still, I think it's important that I continue to collect these Palm OS ROMs and emulators/simulators, because as the years go by, more and more Palm devices will start to break down or get lost, leaving us without to ability to experience this amazingly lovable operating system. Read more on this exclusive OSNews article...


  • Opera releases 'Neon', a concept browser
    A year ago, we set out to explore what web browsers might look like in years to come. Now, you can try Opera Neon - a concept browser that gives you a glimpse into the future of desktop browsers.  A little too quirky for my tastes, but hats off to Opera for trying out new approaches -browsers feel dead and lifeless at the moment.


  • Searching for Half-Life 3
    I don't think we'll ever see Half-Life 2: Episode 3, and the cliffhanger conclusion makes Half-Life 3 unlikely as well. The best chance of Half-Life getting a second wind will likely come if J. J. Abrams and Bad Robot can get the Half-Life film to screen. If that comes to fruition, and it doesn't bomb like almost every game movie before it, maybe, just maybe there's a chance of Gordon Freeman€™s story continuing. Roll your eyes at the movie mention if you want, but how else will this franchise get a pulse again?  The interview you are about to read sheds some insight into how Valve works as a developer. Yes, someone at Valve could just say, "Let's make another Half-Life" and do it, but there are huge risks and hurdles involved in doing that. Prior to this interview, I was in the camp of, "Valve just doesn't get it." Now I'm in the camp of, "Valve is probably doing the right thing, but it's disappointing."   This interview opened my eyes to Valve's unique way of developing games, but also provided a bit of closure for someone who wants to see Half-Life continue. In the days before publishing this story, I reached out to Valve one last time for comment, but my request went unanswered. Without further delay, here's the interview.  This is a must-read.



  • PrestaShop
        
    Helping people overcome the challenges of building and growing an online business is what the PrestaShop open-source ecommerce platform is all about. The significant PrestaShop 1.7 release provides innovations focused on three themes: sell faster, create easier and code better.  
       


  • My Childhood in a Cigar Box
        
    I grew up in the 1980s. That meant we drank far too much Kool-Aid, and on Saturday mornings, we got up early to watch cartoons. It also was the heyday of arcades, but I lived in the ghetto of Detroit and couldn't afford quarters to play games. Plus, there were none anywhere near the neighborhood where I lived. For me, the first real video-game experience was the Atari 2600.
       



  • Papa's Got a Brand New NAS
        
    It used to be that the true sign you were dealing with a Linux geek was the pile of computers lying around that person's house. How else could you experiment with networked servers without a mass of computers and networking equipment? If you work as a sysadmin for a large company, sometimes one of the job perks is that you get first dibs on decommissioned equipment.
       


  • Panther MPC, Inc.'s Panther Alpha
        
    Functional, powerful and there when you need it, unobtrusive when you don't—that's how Panther MPC, Inc., sums up the company's new Panther Alpha personal micro PC that features the company's powerful, easy-to-use Linux-based Panther OS.
       


  • Simplenote, Simply Awesome!
        
    I'm a big Evernote user. It's a powerful commercial program that allows you to sync text, photos and documents across multiple devices. Sadly, there's no native Linux client. Also, it's a proprietary software package, and that bums me out. 
       


  • GENIVI Alliance's GENIVI Vehicle Simulator
        
    By providing a realistic simulated driving experience, the new GENIVI Vehicle Simulator (GVS) assists adopters to develop and test the user interface of an open in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) system safely, thereby identifying and executing necessary design changes quickly and efficiently.  
       


  • iguazio's Enterprise Data Cloud
        
    The description of iguazio's new flagship Enterprise Data Cloud platform is bold and simple: the world's fastest, simplest and lowest-cost enterprise data cloud. iguazio adds that unleashing the full potential of megatrend applications and analytics for big data, IoT and cloud-native applications, it has pioneered a new service-driven approach to enterprise d
       


  • Debugging Democracy
        
    You had to be a crank to insist on being right. Being right was largely a matter of explanations. Intellectual man had become an explaining creature. Fathers to children, wives to husbands, lecturers to listeners, experts to laymen, colleagues to colleagues, doctors to patients, man to his own soul, explained.
       



  • Smith Charts for All
        
    I've covered several different programs that are useful when doing electrical engineering in the past. In this article, I want to look at a program called linsmith that helps you do calculations or see how different parameters behave. 
       


  • Linux Journal January 2017
         Insecure about Being Unsecure
    There have been epic battles over whether "insecure" or "unsecure" should be used when referring to computer security.
       



  • NethServer: Linux without All That Linux Stuff
        
    Okay, that title really isn't fair. NethServer has all the Linux stuff, it's just that you don't have to interact with it in the traditional way in order to reap the benefits. NethServer is a web-based management software package built on top of CentOS. You can download it as a separate distribution, but truly, it's just software on top of CentOS.
       


  • CloudBees Jenkins Enterprise
        
    Although open-source software excels at innovation and leverages the immense power of talented developers dedicated to solving difficult problems, the focus is rarely on enterprise capabilities, asserts CloudBees, the hub of enterprise Jenkins and DevOps. Fortunate for Jenkins developers, CloudBees, Inc., has announced CloudBees Jenkins Enterprise, a Jen
       




  • 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 02:08 PM