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- Red Hat: 2016:1301-01: 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: 2016:1296-01: ocaml: Moderate Advisory
LinuxSecurity.com: An update for ocaml is now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. Red Hat Product Security has rated this update as having a security impact of Moderate. A Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) base [More...]
- Red Hat: 2016:1277-01: 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: 2016:1292-01: libxml2: Important Advisory
LinuxSecurity.com: An update for libxml2 is now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. Red Hat Product Security has rated this update as having a security impact [More...]
- Kernel prepatch 4.7-rc5
The 4.7-rc5 kernel prepatch is out."I think things are calming down, although with almost two thirdsof the commits coming in since Friday morning, it doesn't feel thatway - my Fridays end up feeling very busy. But looking at the numbers,we're pretty much where we normally are at this time of the rcseries."
- A couple of unpleasant local kernel vulnerabilities
The just-released 4.6.3, 4.4.14, and 3.14.73 stable kernels contain a setof netfilter fixes that, it has just been disclosed, fix a couple of severelocal privilege-escalation vulnerabilities. Anybody who is running a sitewith user and network namespaces enabled will want to update their kernelsin short order. The fixes were originally committed into 4.6-rc2 in Aprilwith no comment regarding their implications.
- Three new stable kernels
Greg Kroah-Hartman has released stable kernel updates 4.6.3, 4.4.14, and 3.14.73. Each contains important fixesthroughout the tree.
- Friday's security updates
CentOS has updated kernel(C7: multiple vulnerabilities), libxml2 (C6; C7: multiple vulnerabilities), ocaml (C7: information leak), setroubleshoot (C7: multiple vulnerabilities), and setroubleshoot-plugins (C7: multiple vulnerabilities).
Fedora has updated python(F24: startTLS stripping), setroubleshoot (F24: code execution), and setroubleshoot-plugins (F24: code execution).
Oracle has updated kernel(O7: multiple vulnerabilities), libxml2 (O6; O7: multiple vulnerabilities), ocaml (O7: information leak), and setroubleshoot and setroubleshoot-plugins(O7: multiple vulnerabilities).
Red Hat has updated kernel(RHEL7: multiple vulnerabilities), kernel-rt (RHEL7: multiple vulnerabilities), and ocaml (RHEL7: information leak).
Scientific Linux has updated libxml2 (SL 6,7: multiple vulnerabilities) and setroubleshoot andsetroubleshoot-plugins (SL7; SL6: multiple vulnerabilities).
SUSE has updated kernel(SLE11: multiple vulnerabilities).
- Defending Our Brand (Let's Encrypt)
It seems that the Comodo TLS certificate authority (CA) has filed for three trademarks using variations of "Let's Encrypt". As might be guessed, the Let's Encrypt project is less than pleased by Comodo trying to coopt its name. "Since March of 2016 we have repeatedly asked Comodo to abandon their “Let’s Encrypt” applications, directly and through our attorneys, but they have refused to do so. We are clearly the first and senior user of “Let’s Encrypt” in relation to Internet security, including SSL/TLS certificates – both in terms of length of use and in terms of the widespread public association of that brand with our organization.If necessary, we will vigorously defend the Let’s Encrypt brand we’ve worked so hard to build. That said, our organization has limited resources and a protracted dispute with Comodo regarding its improper registration of our trademarks would significantly and unnecessarily distract both organizations from the core mission they should share: creating a more secure and privacy-respecting Web. We urge Comodo to do the right thing and abandon its “Let’s Encrypt” trademark applications so we can focus all of our energy on improving the Web."[Thanks to Paul Wise.]
- Xen 4.7 released
Version 4.7 of the Xen hypervisor has been released. "With dozens ofmajor improvements, many more bug fixes and small improvements, andsignificant improvements to Drivers and Devices, Xen Project 4.7 reflects athriving community around the Xen Project Hypervisor." Some of thenew features include live patching, better dom0 robustness, bettermigration support between non-identical hosts, scheduler improvements, andmore. See therelease notes for more information.
- Thursday's security advisories
Debian-LTS has updated squidguard(cross-site scripting).
Fedora has updated php-symfony-security-acl (F24: unspecified). Also, Fedorahas sent out a reminder that Fedora 22will reach its end of life on July 19.
Mageia has updated chromium-browser-stable (multiple vulnerabilities), kernel-linus (multiple vulnerabilities, one from 2013), kernel-tmb (multiple vulnerabilities, one from 2013), libimobiledevice (socket listening on allnetwork interfaces), and python (three vulnerabilities).
openSUSE has updated libarchive(42.1: code execution), mariadb (13.2: manyunspecified vulnerabilities), and obs-service-source_validator (42.1; 13.2:code execution).
Red Hat has updated libxml2(RHEL6&7: multiple vulnerabilities) and setroubleshoot andsetroubleshoot-plugins (RHEL7: three vulnerabilities).
- Sony agrees to pay millions to gamers to settle PS3 Linux debacle (ars technica)
Back in 2009, Sony removed the "install otherOS" option from its PS3 game consoles, removing the ability to installLinux on those machines. It then went after developers who figured out howto jailbreak the device. Ars technica reportsthat Sony has now settled a class-action lawsuit over those actions."Under the terms of the accord, which has not been approved bya California federal judge yet, gamers are eligible to receive $55 if theyused Linux on the console. The proposed settlement, which will be vetted bya judge next month, also provides $9 to each console owner that bought aPS3 based on Sony's claims about 'Other OS' functionality." Thelawyers, instead, get over $2 million.
- Security advisories for Wednesday
CentOS has updated setroubleshoot(C6: multiple vulnerabilities) and setroubleshoot-plugins (C6: multiple vulnerabilities).
Debian-LTS has updated icedove(multiple vulnerabilities) and python2.7 (three vulnerabilities).
Fedora has updated expat (F24:multiple vulnerabilities), php-zendframework-zendxml (F23; F22:insecure ciphertexts), php-ZendFramework2 (F23; F22:insecure ciphertexts), and xen (F22: two vulnerabilities).
openSUSE has updated Chromium(13.1: multiple vulnerabilities), ImageMagick (Leap42.1: command execution), and vlc (Leap42.1; 13.2: multiple vulnerabilities).
Oracle has updated openssl (OL5:multiple vulnerabilities) and setroubleshootand setroubleshoot-plugins (OL6: multiple vulnerabilities).
Red Hat has updated python-django-horizon (RHOSP8.0; RHELOSP7 for RHEL7; RHELOSP6 for RHEL7; RHELOSP5 for RHEL7; RHELOSP5 for RHEL6: cross-sitescripting) and setroubleshoot andsetroubleshoot-plugins (RHEL6: multiple vulnerabilities).
- Elixir v1.3 released
Version 1.3 of the Elixir programming language has been released. "Elixir v1.3 brings many improvements to the language, the compiler and its tooling, specially Mix (Elixir’s build tool) and ExUnit (Elixir’s test framework). The most notable additions are the new Calendar types, the new cross-reference checker in Mix, and the assertion diffing in ExUnit."
- Announcing Flatpak
Not to be left behind by a certain competing project, the developers of theFlatpak packaging system have put out a pressrelease proclaiming its virtues. "The Linux desktop has longbeen held back by platform fragmentation. This has been a burden ondevelopers, and creates a high barrier to entry for third party applicationdevelopers. Flatpak aims to change all that. From the very start itsprimary goal has been to allow the same application to run across a myriadof Linux distributions and operating systems. In doing so, it greatlyincreases the number of users that application developers can easilyreach."
- Security updates for Tuesday
Fedora has updated nfdump (F23; F22:multiple vulnerabilities) and webkitgtk4(F22: two vulnerabilities).
openSUSE has updated ctdb(Leap42.1, 13.2: privilege escalation), libtorrent-rasterbar (Leap42.1, 13.2: denialof service), ntp (Leap42.1: multiplevulnerabilities), and kernel (Leap42.1: multiple vulnerabilities).
Red Hat has updated chromium-browser (RHEL6: multiple vulnerabilities).
Slackware has updated libarchive (multiple vulnerabilities) and pcre (denial of service).
SUSE has updated ctdb (SLE11-SP4:privilege escalation), libimobiledevice,usbmuxd (SLE12-SP1: sockets listening on INADDR_ANY), and php53 (SLES11-SP2: multiple vulnerabilities).
Ubuntu has updated dnsmasq(16.04, 15.10: denial of service), expat(two vulnerabilities), haproxy (16.04:denial of service), spice (16.04, 15.10,14.04: two vulnerabilities), wget (codeexecution), and xmlrpc-c (12.04: multiple vulnerabilities).
- Fedora 24 released
After several schedule slips, the Fedora 24 release is available."The Fedora Project has embarked on a great journey... redefining whatan operating system should be for users and developers. Such innovationdoes not come overnight, and Fedora 24 is one big step on the road tothe next generation of Linux distributions. But that does not mean thatFedora 24 is some 'interim' release; there are great new features forFedora users to deploy in their production environments right now!"See theFedora 24 approved features list for an idea of what's in thisrelease.
- Horn: Exploiting Recursion in the Linux Kernel
On the Project Zero blog, Jann Horn describes a bug Horn found that allows user space to overflow the kernel stack using the ecryptfs encrypted filesystem. That overflow can be used to elevate privileges for local users on Ubuntu systems configured for encrypted home directories. "However, the reason why I wrote a full root exploit for this not exactly widely exploitable bug is that I wanted to demonstrate that Linux stack overflows can occur in very non-obvious ways, and even with the existing mitigations turned on, they're still exploitable. In my bug report, I asked the kernel security list to add guard pages to kernel stacks and remove the thread_info struct from the bottom of the stack to more reliably mitigate this bug class, similar to what other operating systems and grsecurity are already doing. Andy Lutomirski had actually already started working on this, and he has now published patches that add guard pages: https://lkml.org/lkml/2016/6/15/1064."
- Sony settles with PS3 owners over Linux lawsuit
A long-running class-action lawsuit from PlayStation 3 owners angry over losing the ability to run Linux on the console may finally be over. When the PS3 launched in 2006, it featured support for "OtherOS," which let owners install Linux on the console's hard drive. Only a few short years later, Sony disabled the feature...
- Ruby on Rails Development On Ubuntu 16.04
Ruby on Rails is one of the most popular web development platforms today, with some of the hottest start-ups and tech giants employing it in their software stacks. One of the biggest selling points of Ruby on Rails is the ease of development. It is just as easy to get set up and start developing, especially on Linux.
- Let Attic Deduplicate and Store your Backups
Data loss is one of those things we never want to worry about. To that end we go to great lengths to find new techniques and software packages to ensure those precious bits of data are safely backed up to various local and remote media.
- MinnowBoard Turbo Dual-E packs quad-core Atom, M.2, dual GbE
ADI’s “MinnowBoard Turbot Dual-E” hacker SBC offers a quad-core Atom E3845 option, a second GbE port, and an M.2/micro-SIM combo for WiFi, LTE, or SSD. ADI Engineering, which built the latest MinnowBoard Turbot version of the open-spec, Linux- and Android-ready MinnowBoard SBC for the Intel-backed MinnowBoard.org community, has revealed a major update. Pricing and a […]
- Install Open Web Analytics (OWA) on CentOS 7
In today’s article we will install Open Web Analytics (OWA) on a CentOS 7 VPS. Open Web Analytics (OWA) is an open source web analytics software that you can use to track and analyze how people use your websites and applications. It is written in PHP and uses a MySQL database. OWA is similar to Google Analytics although it is a server software that anyone can install and run it on a Linux VPS.
- MinnowBoard packs quad-core Atom, M.2, dual GbE
ADI’s “MinnowBoard Turbot Dual-E” hacker SBC offers a quad-core Atom E3845 option, a second GbE port, and an M.2/micro-SIM combo for WiFi, LTE, or SSD. ADI Engineering, which built the latest MinnowBoard Turbot version of the open-spec, Linux- and Android-ready MinnowBoard SBC for the Intel-backed MinnowBoard.org community, has revealed a major update. Pricing and a […]
- How to permanently mount a Windows share on Linux
It has never been easier for Linux to interact within a Windows network. And considering how many businesses are adopting Linux, those two platforms have to play well together. Fortunately, with the help of a few tools, you can easily map Windows network drives onto a Linux machine, and even ensure they are still there upon rebooting the Linux machine.
- Peppermint OS 7 Screenshot Tour
Team Peppermint are pleased to announce our latest operating system Peppermint 7. It comes in both 32-bit and 64-bit editions with the latter having full UEFI/GPT/Secure Boot support baked in, a new version of Ice (our in-house Site Specific Browser framework) is also included with full Firefox web browser support, as well as Chromium. Along with the shift to the 16.04 code base, Peppermint 7 continues our policy of choosing the best components from other desktop environments, wherever that may be, and integrating them into a cohesive whole with our own software. This time around, whilst staying with LXDE core session management for lightness and speed, we've listened to our users who demanded a more modern, functional, and customizable main menu and switched out LXPanel
- Fedora 24 Pushes Linux Boundaries
Red Hat this week announced the release of Fedora 24, an open source Linux operating system maintained by the Fedora Project community. Fedora Linux is the community version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, or RHEL. Fedora 24 is comprised of a set of base packages that form the foundation of three distinct editions: Fedora 24 Cloud, Fedora 24 Server and Fedora 24 Workstation.
- Docker Tunes Up Engine Orchestration
Docker on Monday announced Docker Engine 1.12 with built-in orchestration, which allows automated deployment and management of Dockerized distributed applications and microservices at scale in production. Users can select Docker Swarm mode to turn on built-in orchestration, or they can use their own custom tooling or third-party orchestrators that run on Docker Engine.
- Linux Snap Package Format Goes Multi-Distro
Snapcraft -- the Linux package format Canonical developed for Ubuntu -- now works on multiple Linux distros, including Arch, Debian, Fedora and various flavors of Ubuntu. They're being validated on CentOS, Elementary, Gentoo, Mint, OpenSUSE, OpenWrt and RHEL. "Distributing applications on Linux is not always easy," said Canonical's Manik Taneja, product manager for Snappy Ubuntu Core.
- New Linux Lite Is a Powerhouse Distro in Disguise
Linux Lite 3.0 is anything but what its name implies. It is a full-featured operating system that lets you get down to serious business right out of the box. It is one of the few out-of-the-box experiences I have had testing Linux distros in which I actually was set up and working in less than five minutes. Linux Lite runs only the lightweight Xfce desktop environment.
- HPE Wants Open Source Devs to Kick The Machine Into Gear
Hewlett Packard Enterprise on Tuesday announced it was open-sourcing The Machine to spur development of the infant computer design project. HPE has invited the open source community to collaborate on its largest and most notable research project yet. The Machine focuses on reinventing the architecture underlying all computers built in the past 60 years.
- ReactOS Is a Promising Open Source Windows Replacement
If you want to run a clone of Microsoft Windows to escape the drama of upgrading to Windows 10, try ReactOS -- but do not expect it to be a fully functional replacement any time soon. ReactOS is a free, open source operating system built on the design principles found in the Windows NT architecture. Just remember that ReactOS is a Windows clone and not a Linux distro.
- OpenSwitch Moves Under Linux Foundation Umbrella
The Linux Foundation on Wednesday announced that it has taken the OpenSwitch Project under its wing. OpenSwitch last year began as a joint project of Hewlett Packard Enterprises, Broadcom, VMware, Accton, Intel and Arista. OpenSwitch is an open source, Linux-based network operating system, or NOS, that works with enterprise-grade switches from multiple vendors.
- Voyager Offers a Mostly Smooth-Sailing Linux Adventure
Voyager Live 16.04 is a Linux distro that could be an ideal choice for everyday computing tasks -- but first it has to step away from its branding with Xubuntu. The once-per-year release of Voyager Live, which hit servers last month, is an Xubuntu-based distribution showcasing the Xfce 4.12.2 desktop environment. It will receive three years of security updates.
- Black Duck's Free Tool Digs Out Open Source Bugs
Black Duck Software this week released Security Checker, a free tool based on the company's Hub open source security solution. Security Checker is a drag-and-drop, Web-based tool that allows users to determine if known open source vulnerabilities exist in the components used to build applications. It scans the code in an uploaded archive file or Docker image and provides a report showing known bugs.
- Rebellin Linux Offers Best of Both Gnome Worlds
Rebellin Linux is a smart-looking, fast distro that is both lightweight and secure. It is well worth checking out. The Rebellin line avoids the pitfalls that befall many Debian GNU/Linux derivatives. It does not maintain a warehouse full of desktop versions. It is neither a minimalistic Linux line nor a distro stuffed with bloat from packages typical users will never need.
- Google's Abacus May Count Out Passwords
By the end of the year, Android devs will be able to use a trust API from Google's Project Abacus in their apps, Google ATAP Director Dan Kaufman suggested at last week's I/O conference. The API, which will run in the background continually, is aimed at doing away with passwords. It will use a smartphone's sensors to create a cumulative trust score that will authenticate users.
- Apache Guru Behlendorf to Helm Hyperledger Project
The Linux Foundation on Thursday announced that Brian Behlendorf, a primary developer of the Apache Web server, has joined the Hyperledger Project as executive director. The project is a collaborative effort to advance blockchain technology by identifying and addressing important features for an open standard for distributed ledgers that will apply across industries.
- Forked Debian Beta Is Rough Around the Edges
The Devuan GNU/Linux community's much-awaited Devuan Linux Jessie 1.0 beta release is available. It took two years for disgruntled Debian community members to make good on their promise of a systemd-free Debian distro. They rejected a Linux-wide trend to replace older init processes such as Upstart and System V with systemd. The process of forking Debian into Devuan took much longer than expected.
- Docker Ramps Up Container Security
Docker this week announced the rollout of security scanning technology to safeguard container content across the entire software supply chain. Docker Security Scanning is an opt-in service for Docker Cloud private repository plans. It provides a security assessment of the software included in container images. It enables detailed image security profiles.
- Simplicity Linux Digs Deeper Than Its Puppy Linux Pals
Simplicity Linux delivers a simpler way to run a fully powered Linux desktop on any computer you touch. It is derived from Puppy Linux. Two beta versions released in March offer experimental approaches that stray from the distro's standard releases. If you're familiar with Puppy Linux but have not yet taken Simplicity for a walk, you're missing out some interesting Linux computing experiences.
- Report: Companies in the Dark About Their Open Source Risk Exposure
Commercial software is full of security vulnerabilities from unpatched open source components developers use, according to a report Black Duck Software issued last week. Software companies misjudge how much open source code their commercial products contain, according to the report, which is based on an analysis of 200 applications researchers viewed over the previous six months.
- Vivaldi Browser Is a Breath of Fresh Air
The Vivaldi browser provides a refreshing approach to traveling along the Internet. It offers something beyond the same old thing in a different skin. Vivaldi is the brainchild of former Opera CEO Jon von Tetzchner. The developers built the Vivaldi browser on top of Chromium, which is open source, but added their own proprietary skins. Therefore, Vivaldi's code is not available for review.
- Linux Foundation Badges Aim to Separate Wheat From Chaff
The Linux Foundation's Core Infrastructure Initiative project on Tuesday announced a free badge program to help foster security, quality and stability in open source software projects. Through an online app, the CII lets devs determine whether they're following best practices, generally within an hour or so. If they are, they'll receive the badge, which they can display on GitHub and other online properties.
- Fedora-Based Sugar on a Stick Is One Sweet Desktop
The Fedora 23 Sugar on a Stick desktop offering is an unusually flexible computing desktop for children of all ages, school admins and organizations looking for the best bang for absolutely no bucks on existing computer hardware. The Sugar environment is both a desktop and a collection of activities or apps that involve user engagement. Activities automatically save results to a journal.
- Codenvy, Samsung Team to Power IoT Development
Codenvy on Wednesday announced the beta release of the Samsung ARTIK IDE powered by Eclipse Che. The release of the professional toolset is part of Samsung's partnership with Codenvy to make it easier to build, deploy and manage applications for the Internet of Things, Codenvy said. The ARTIK IDE is the first open source cloud IDE platform dedicated to IoT application development.
- Apple Drops CareKit on GitHub
Apple on Thursday made its CareKit platform available through the GitHub open source community. CareKit joins two other Apple frameworks for developing healthcare apps -- HealthKit and ResearchKit. It was designed to enable developers to create apps that give users a more active role in managing their health. Apps developed through CareKit will let people track symptoms and medications.
- Wisconsin's Prison-Sentencing Algorithm Challenged in Court
"Do you want a computer to help decide a convict's fate?" asks Engadget, telling the story of a Wisconsin convict who "claims that the justice system relied too heavily on its COMPAS algorithm to determine the likelihood of repeat offenses and sentenced him to six years in prison." Sentencing algorithms have apparently been in use for 10 years. His attorneys claim that the code is "full of holes," including secret criteria and generic decisions that aren't as individually tailored as they have to be. For instance, they'll skew predictions based on your gender or age -- how does that reflect the actual offender...? [T]he court challenge could force Wisconsin and other states to think about the weight they give to algorithms. While they do hold the promise of both preventing repeat offenses and avoiding excessive sentences for low-threat criminals, the American Civil Liberties Union is worried that they can amplify biases or make mistakes based on imperfect law enforcement data. The biggest issue seems to be a lack of transparency, which makes it impossible to determine whether convicts actually are receiving fair sentences.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Drivers Prefer Autonomous Cars That Don't Kill Them
"A new study shows that most people prefer that self-driving cars be programmed to save the most people in the event of an accident, even if it kills the driver," reports Information Week. "Unless they are the drivers." Slashdot reader MojoKid quotes an article from Hot Hardware about the new study, which was published by Science magazine. So if there is just one passenger aboard a car, and the lives of 10 pedestrians are at stake, the survey participants were perfectly fine with a self-driving car "killing" its passenger to save many more lives in return. But on the flip side, these same participants said that if they were shopping for a car to purchase or were a passenger, they would prefer to be within a vehicle that would protect their lives by any means necessary. Participants also balked at the notion of the government stepping in to regulate the "morality brain" of self-driving cars. The article warns about a future where "a harsh AI reality may whittle the worth of our very existence down to simple, unemotional percentages in a computer's brain." MIT's Media Lab is now letting users judge for themselves, in a free online game called "Moral Machine" simulating the difficult decisions that might someday have to be made by an autonomous self-driving car.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Religious Hacker Defaces 111 Escort Sites
An anonymous reader shares this article from Softpedia: A religiously-motivated Moroccan hacker has defaced 111 different web sites promoting escort services since last summer as part of an ongoing protest against the industry. "In January, the hacker defaced 79 escort websites," writes Softpedia. "His actions didn't go unnoticed, and on some online forums where escorts and webmasters of these websites met, his name was brought up in discussions and used to drive each other in implementing better Web security. While some webmasters did their job, some didn't. During the past days, the hacker has been busy defacing a new set of escort websites... Most of these websites bare ElSurveillance's defacement message even today... Most of the websites are from the UK." His newest round of attacks replace the sites with a pro-Palestine message and a quote from the quran, though in January Softpedia reported the attacker was also stealing data from some of the sites about their users' accounts.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Google and Facebook May Be Suppressing 'Extremist' Speech With Copyright Scanners
An anonymous reader quotes this article from The Verge: The systems that automatically enforce copyright laws on the internet may be expanding to block unfavorable speech. Reuters reports that Facebook, Google, and other companies are exploring automated removal of extremist content, and could be repurposing copyright takedown methods to identify and suppress it. It's unclear where the lines have been drawn, but the systems are likely targeted at radical messages on social networks from enemies of European powers and the United States. Leaders in the US and Europe have increasingly decried radical extremism on the internet and have attempted to enlist internet companies in a fight to suppress it. Many of those companies have been receptive to the idea and already have procedures to block violent and hateful content. Neither Facebook and Google would confirm automation of these efforts to Reuters, which relied on two anonymous sources who are "familiar with the process"... The secret identification and automated blocking of extremist speech would raise new, serious questions about the cooperation of private corporations with censorious governmental interests. Reuters calls it "a major step forward for internet companies that are eager to eradicate violent propaganda from their sites and are under pressure to do so from governments around the world as attacks by extremists proliferate, from Syria to Belgium and the United States." They also report that the move follows pressure from an anti-extremism group "founded by, among others, Frances Townsend, who advised former president George W. Bush on homeland security, and Mark Wallace, who was deputy campaign manager for the Bush 2004 re-election campaign."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Is The Future Of Television Watching on Fast-Forward?
The average American watches three hours of TV each day, and researchers have found that most people already prefer listening to accelerated speech. "After watching accelerated video on my computer for a few months, live television began to seem excruciatingly slow..." writes the Washington Post's Jeff Guo. "Movie theaters feel suffocating. I need to be able to fast-forward and rewind and accelerate and slow down, to be able to parcel my attention where it's needed..." Slashdot reader HughPickens.com distills some interesting points from Guo's article: You can play DVDs and iTunes purchases at whatever tempo you like, and a Google engineer has written a popular Chrome extension that accelerates most other Web videos, including on Netflix, Vimeo and Amazon Prime. Over 100,000 people have downloaded that plug-in, and the reviews are ecstatic. "Oh my God! I regret all the wasted time I've lived before finding this gem!!" one user wrote. According to Guo speeding up video is more than an efficiency hack. "I quickly discovered that acceleration makes viewing more pleasurable. "Modern Family" played at twice the speed is far funnier -- the jokes come faster and they seem to hit harder. I get less frustrated at shows that want to waste my time with filler plots or gratuitous violence. The faster pace makes it easier to appreciate the flow of the plot and the structure of the scenes." Guo writes that "I've come to believe this is the future of how we will appreciate television and movies. We will interrogate videos in new ways using our powers of time manipulation... we will all be watching on our own terms." Will this eventually become much more common? How many Slashdot readers are already watching speeded-up videos?
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- As It Searches For Suspects, The FBI May Be Looking At You
schwit1 quotes the MIT Technology Review: The FBI has access to nearly 412 million photos in its facial recognition system—perhaps including the one on your driver's license. But according to a new government watchdog report, the bureau doesn't know how error-prone the system is, or whether it enhances or hinders investigations. Since 2011, the bureau has quietly been using this system to compare new images, such as those taken from surveillance cameras, against a large set of photos to look for a match. That set of existing images is not limited to the FBI's own database, which includes some 30 million photos. The bureau also has access to face recognition systems used by law enforcement agencies in 16 different states, and it can tap into databases from the Department of State and the Department of Defense. And it is in negotiations with 18 other states to be able to search their databases, too... Adding to the privacy concerns is another finding in the GAO report: that the FBI has not properly determined how often its system makes errors and has not "taken steps to determine whether face recognition systems used by external partners, such as states and federal agencies, are sufficiently accurate" to support investigations.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- New C++ Features Voted In By C++17 Standards Committee
New submitter lefticus writes: The upcoming C++17 standard has reached Committee Draft stage, having been voted on in the standards committee meeting in Oulu, Finland this Saturday. This makes C++17 now feature complete, with many new interesting features such as if initializers and structured bindings having been voted in at this meeting. An [audio] interview with the C++ committee chair, Herb Sutter, about the status of C++17 has also been posted.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- A New 'Quake' Episode Appears 20 Years Later
An anonymous reader quotes this report from Motherboard: The months leading up to this year's phenomenal reboot of Doom were stuffed with all kinds of fun developments surrounding the original series, whether it was mods that let you play as Duke Nukem or whole new levels from famed designer John Romero. There's now a new Quake game in the works, and already it appears to be enjoying a similar renaissance. Yesterday MachineGames, the studio behind Wolfenstein: The New Order, released an entirely new episode for the original Quake in celebration of its 20-year anniversary, and you can play it entirely for free.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- 'Linux vs Windows' Challenge: Phoronix Tests Popular Games
An anonymous reader writes: Michael Larabel at Phoronix has combined their new results from intensive Linux/Windows performance testing for popular games on Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA graphics cards, and at different resolutions. "This makes it easy to see the Linux vs. Windows performance overall or for games where the Linux ports are simply rubbish and performing like crap compared to the native Windows game." The games tested included Xonotic, Tomb Raider, Grid Autosport, Dota 2, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, F1 2015, and Company of Heroes 2 -- and the results were surprising. Xonotic v0.8 outperformed Windows with a NVIDIA card, but "The poor Xonotic performance on Linux with the Intel driver was one of the biggest surprises from yesterday's article. It's not anything we've seen with the other drivers." And while testing on the Source 2 engine revealed that Valve's Dota 2 "is a quality Linux port," most of the other results were disappointing -- regardless of the graphics card and driver. "Tomb Raider on Linux performs much worse than the Windows build regardless of your driver/graphics card... Shadow of Mordor's relative Linux performance is more decent than many other Linux games albeit still isn't running at the same speeds as the Windows games..." The article concludes with a note of optimism. "Hopefully in due time with the next generation of games making use of Vulkan...we'll see better performance relative to Windows." Have Slashdot readers seen any performance issues while playing games on Linux?
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Remember When You Could Call the Time?
An article on The Atlantic this week takes a stroll down the memory lane. It talks about phone services that people could call for knowing the time. The service, according to the article, was quite popular in 1980s. But many of them don't exist now. For instance, Verizon discontinued the line -- as well as its telephone weather service -- in 2011. But what's fascinating is that some of these services still exist, and are getting more traction than many of us would've imagined. From the article:"We get 3 million calls per year!" said Demetrios Matsakis, the chief scientist for time services at the Naval Observatory. "And there's an interesting sociology to it. They don't call as much on the weekend, and the absolute minimum time they call is Christmas. On big holidays, people don't care about the time. But we get a big flood of calls when we switch to Daylight [saving] time and back." As it turns out, people have been telephoning the time for generations. In the beginning, a telephone-based time service must have seemed like a natural extension of telegraph-based timekeeping -- but it would have been radical in its own way, too, because it represented a key shift to an on-demand service. In the 19th century, big railroad companies had used the telegraph to transmit the time to major railway stations. By the early 20th century, people could simply pick up the telephone and ask a human operator for the time.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- IRS Gets Hacked Again, Forced To Scrap Their Entire PIN System
The IRS has abandoned a system of PIN numbers used when filing tax returns online after they detected "automated attacks taking place at an increasing frequency," adding that only "a small number" of taxpayers were affected. An anonymous reader quotes the highlights from Engadget: The IRS chose not to kill the tool back in February, since most commercial tax software products use it... If you'll recall, identity thieves used malware to steal taxpayers' info from other websites, which was then used to generate 100,000 PINs, back in February... This time, the IRS detected "automated attacks taking place at an increasing frequency" thanks to the additional defenses it added after that initial hack... the agency determined that it would be safer to give up on a verification method that's scheduled for the chopping block anyway.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- After Death, Hundreds of Genes Spring Back to Life
Two surprising studies reveal new information about what genes do after death. Slashdot reader gurps_npc writes: You think your body stops after death, but up to two days later certain genes may turn on and start doing stuff for another two days before they give up the ghost. We are all zombies for up to four days after death. Gizmodo reports that in fact "hundreds" of genes apparently spring back to life. "[P]revious work on human cadavers demonstrated that some genes remain active after death, but we had no idea as to the extent of this strange phenomenon."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Axiom Plans A New Private-Sector Outpost in Space
A seed-funded company named Axiom wants to build a private-sector outpost in orbit by launching a new module for the International Space Station, according to an article on Space News. Once on the station, Axiom Space would use it for commercial purposes, ranging from research to tourism. [Former space station manager] Suffredini said that it would also be available for use by NASA when the company is not using it, helping the process of transitioning research done on the International Space Station to future private stations. Research hardware elsewhere in the station could eventually be moved to this module to allow its continued use after the station's retirement. Slashdot reader MarkWhittington shares an article from Blasting News: In the meantime, Nanoracks, a company that is already handling some of the logistics for the ISS, is proposing a commercial airlock for the ISS. The development of commercial space stations, as well as commercial spacecraft such as the SpaceX Dragon and the Boeing Starliner, constitutes NASA's long-term strategy of handing off low-Earth orbit to the private sector while it concentrates on deep space exploration.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Star Trek Actor's Death Inspires Class Action Against Car Manufacturer
Anton Yelchin, who played Chekov in the new Star Trek movies, was killed Sunday when his own vehicle rolled backwards. Now Slashdot reader ripvlan writes: It has recently emerged that his vehicle was a Jeep. As discussed on Slashdot previously consumers are having a hard time knowing if the vehicle is in "Park." A new class action lawsuit is gaining momentum... Also Maserati has a similar system and can join the class action. In fact, Maserati "is recalling about 13,000 sedans that have the same sort of gear shifter that was used in the Jeep that killed Yelchin," according to CNN Money, and Chrysler Fiat had in fact already filed a recall notice with federal regulators in April for Yelchin's band of Jeep, "but owners had only received a warning and not an official recall notice at the time of Yelchin's death". The lawsuit claims Chrysler "fraudulently concealed and failed to remedy a gear shifter design defect affecting 811,000 vehicles and linked to driverless rollaway incidents," including 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokees, 2012-2014 Chrysler 300s, and 2012-2014 Dodge Chargers.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Vacationing Security Researcher Exposes Austrian ATM Skimmer
While vacationing with his family in Vienna, Ben Tedesco (from security company Carbon Black) discovered an ATM skimmer "in the wild", perfectly crafted to look like the original card reader. New submitter rmurph04 shares Ben's story: I went to grab some cash from an ATM. Being security paranoid, I repeated my typical habit of checking the card reader with my hand as I have hundreds of times. Today's the day when my security awareness paid off! Ben's blog post includes a video demonstrating the ATM skimmer, as well as close-ups showing the device had its own control board, strip reader, and even its own battery.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- DARPA's 'flying wing' drone inches closer to lift-off
Your TERN, Northrop Grumman
Apparently, DARPA likes what it sees in its TERN project. Earlier this month, it gave contractor Northrop Grumman just under US$18 million to build the second of its Tactically Exploited Reconnaissance Node aircraft.…
- NVMe fabric array flasher gets top Tosh flash
Apeiron certifies unannounced Toshiba NVMe SSDs
Toshiba has quietly made 1.6TB and 3.2TB dual-port ZD6000 NVMe SSDs available to OEMs, and we know this because Apeiron says it has certified them.…
- Violin goes for reverse stock split
Stockholder approval looks to be a formality but market capitalization issue remains
As expected, Violin Memory has decided on a reverse stock split to avoid NYSE delisting, as its stock price is too low.…
- Dev boss: What will Microsoft do with Windows 10 Mobile? Surprise – it's for work!
'Surface phone' will have challenging app gap
One of the puzzles about Microsoft’s platform in 2016 is Windows 10 Mobile. In the run-up to the launch of Windows 10 in July 2015, the plan seemed to be that a unified operating system across PC and mobile, combined with applications developed for the Universal Windows Platform (UWP), would boost Windows Phone and create a strong ecosystem of applications delivered from the Windows Store.…
- Don't laugh: Ofcom's a model for post-Brexit Europe
Telco regulation done right? We can show how
BREXIT With a stunned Europe absorbing the departure of the second biggest member of the EU, our much-criticised Ofcom could provide a guiding light for new ways of co-operating.…
- Brit startup adds intelligent search to Amazon storage
Real-time access to public cloud storage
A UK cloud storage provider can backup documents, audio and video files to give you real-time access to your files using content-based search as well as video and image streaming.…
- Gartner: Brexit to wipe $4.6bn off tech spending in Blighty
And as for currency volatility: there will be price rises
BREXIT Crystal ball strokers at Gartner have calculated Brexit will wipe $4.6bn off the value of tech spending in the UK this year, and the resulting Sterling currency volatility will force US vendors to hike prices.…
- Brexit and data protection: A period of shock and reflection
Let's all take a moment to catch our breath
BREXIT What price the UK's secession from the European Union? “It's far too soon to tell,” has been the sober and much-repeated line of legal and privacy professionals following the United Kingdom's referendum which voiced public opinion to leave the European Union.…
- Look into our network, not around our network... you're under
Negev desert foxes aim to outwit hackers
Tactics successfully deployed by Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery against German Army officer Erwin Rommel in the battle of El Alamein have been applied in a cyber-technology that aims to outfox hackers.…
- Vendors suspend tech orders as Brexit slaps Brit pound
Customer uncertainty, short term pain predicted, will be no jam tomorrow
BREXIT If there is one thing the IT industry despises it is uncertainty and there was lashing of the stuff poured across the UK following the Brexit vote.…
- PM resigns as Britain votes to leave EU
Rueful Remainer or Shy Leaver? Let us know
BREXIT The UK has voted to leave the European Union, confounding the polls, the "experts" and the British establishment in the biggest turnout for a vote here in 24 years. Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation at 8:30am this morning.…
- Home Office ignores plight of BA techies as job offshoring looms
Trade union hand-delivered letters of protest, to no avail
The Home Office has stonewalled the GMB trade union’s attempts to raise the plight of British Airways IT staff whose jobs are being sent to an Indian outsourcer – and the potential security implications involved.…
- Mandarins plotted to water down EU data protection regs
Moving to ensure grip on citizen data even before we voted Leave
Exclusive Even before Blighty voted to leave the EU, the government was plotting to water down far-reaching data protection regulations from Brussels - The Register can reveal.…
- Ericsson: 5G migration won't be a terrifying slog. No. We have ‘plug-ins’
Perfect for finding MIMO... and also RAN
Analysis All the network equipment providers are engaged in major operator projects which they hope will guarantee them a place in those MNOs’ 5G rollouts in the coming years. This week, it was certainly the turn of Ericsson to score 5G marketing points, with a series of operator engagements around the world, and the announcement of 5G Plug-Ins.…
- LIGO team may have found dark matter
Not betting the house, but it's plausible, boffins say
Scientists think the recent discovery of gravitational waves observed from the collision of two black holes may have also detected signatures of the astrophysics mystery of dark matter.…
- Juniper preps global policy manager for OpenContrail
'Project Ukai' would automate multi-region cloudy config
Juniper Networks seems to have big plans for its OpenContrail SDN controller: it would like to see it act as a kind of “meta-controller” for multiple cloud and data centre controllers.…
- Genes take a shot at rebooting after death
Have you tried turning it off, and turning it back on again?
In one of the creepiest bits of science Vulture South has ever encountered, a US scientist has identified 1,000 genes that become active after death.…
- Nazi witch-hunt ends with fierce judgment
Boards of Appeal excoriates EPO president over threats
The attempt to dismiss a patent judge from his position – including unsubstantiated claims that he possessed Nazi memorabilia – has led to fierce formal criticism of the president of the European Patent Office (EPO).…
- No software changes needed to use E8's screaming fast arrays
NVMe fabric-attached all-flash array coming in August with 10 million 4K IOPS
Backgrounder If hero numbers are what you want then E8 Storage's 2U box filled with 24 NVMe SSDS can provide them; 10 million 4KB IOPS using RDMA over an Ethernet fabric connecting up to 100 servers.…
- Let's Encrypt in trademark drama
Comodo lays claim to cert authority's moniker
The group behind the Let's Encrypt certificate authority (CA) says that its name could be in doubt thanks to rival CA Comodo Group.…
Linux.com offline for now
- Dolphin Emulator Is Working On A Vulkan Backend
This week saw the release of Dolphin 5.0 as a big update to this open-source emulator for Nintendo GameCube/Wii titles. While there is an experimental Direct3D 12 back-end, not present for this release was any Vulkan support, but it's being developed...
- DragonFly's HAMMER2 File-System Sees Some Improvements
The HAMMER2 file-system is going on four years in development by the DragonFlyBSD crew, namely by its founder Matthew Dillon. It's still maturing and taking longer than anticipated, but this is yet another open-source file-system...
- NVIDIA Linux Performance-Per-Dollar: What The RX 480 Will Have To Compete Against
There's a lot of benchmarking going on this weekend at Phoronix in preparation for next week's Radeon RX 480 Linux review. Here are some fresh results on the NVIDIA side showing the current performance-per-dollar data for the NVIDIA Maxwell and Pascal graphics cards for seeing what the RX 480 "Polaris 10" card will be competing against under Linux...
- Watch The Videos From This Year's OpenSUSE Conference
From 22 to 26 June, the openSUSE Conference has been taking place in Nürnberg. There's been live video streams for those not in Bavaria while now the video recordings are being uploaded for your enjoyment at your convenience...
- The Relative Windows vs. Linux Performance For NVIDIA, Intel & AMD
Following the recent Windows vs. Linux AMDGPU-PRO / RadeonSI testing, GTX 1080 Windows vs. Linux results, and yesterday's Intel Windows vs. Linux benchmarks, here is a look at all three sets of numbers when using some OpenBenchmarking.org magic to merge the data-sets and normalize the results...
- PowerNex: A Kernel Written In The D Programming Language
We've already seen Redox OS as an operating system and micro-kernel written in the Rust programming language. With just about every newer programming language we've seen ambitious developers take to the lengthy and complicated process of writing a kernel and the start of an OS in their new favorite language. With PowerNex, the D programming language is being used to write an OS kernel...
- Vulkan 1.0.18 Adds Queue Operation Terminology
The Khronos Group has continued with their weekly updates to the Vulkan 1.0 documentation, but hopefully we're only one month away from where at SIGGRAPH 2016 we could see major new versions of the Vulkan and OpenGL specifications released...
- Xen Orchestra 5.0 Released With Several New Features
While Xen 4.7 was released this week as the latest for this virtualization hypervisor, the independent Xen Orchestra software that provides a web interface to Xen Server is out with its version 5.0 milestone...
- Intel Skylake Graphics: Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu 16.04 + Latest Open-Source Driver Code
As part of the celebrations with Phoronix turning 12 years old earlier this month I ran some fun tests looking at the Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu Linux gaming performance with the new NVIDIA Pascal GPUs and also a Windows 10 vs. RadeonSI Gallium3D vs. AMDGPU-PRO comparison on the AMD side. To finish things up, here is a fresh comparison of Intel Skylake HD Graphics under Windows 10 and Ubuntu 16.04.
- Mesa Needs Some Last Minute Patches For Polaris
Earlier this week there were some last minute AMDGPU DRM kernel patches submitted that were needed for AMD's imminent Radeon RX 480 "Polaris" launch while today some last minute Mesa patches have materialized...
- 7-Way Linux Distribution Comparison For Summer 2016
Given the recent releases of Fedora 24, Solus 1.2, and other GNU/Linux distribution updates, here is our latest performance testing roundabout of seven popular OS releases on the same Core i5 Skylake system.
- AMDGPU Fixes For Polaris Queuing Up For Linux 4.7
Yesterday I mentioned how the AMDGPU driver needed some important last minute fixes for the soon-to-launch Radeon RX 480 "Polaris" support. Those patches are now pending to be pulled as part of the next round of DRM fixes heading into Linux 4.7...
- Trying Various OpenGL 4.x Games On Linux With An Intel Skylake Core i5
With the imminent Mesa 12.0 release there is now OpenGL 4.3 compliance for Intel Broadwell graphics hardware and newer, rather than OpenGL 3.3 as was the upper limit in the Intel Mesa driver to this point. Now having OpenGL 4.x support with this open-source Intel driver, I decided to see how various OpenGL 4.x games are running with the Intel driver when using a Skylake CPU sporting HD Graphics 530...
- Qt 5.6.1-1 Released To Fix A Critical Problem
Qt 5.6.1 was released earlier this month to fix outstanding issues with the Qt 5.6 tool-kit release while today the 5.6.1-1 hot-fix release is available to fix a critical problem...
- India's $4 smartphone arrives June 30th
We wouldn't blame you for thinking that the $4 Indian smartphone was just a pipe dream, but it's apparently quite real. Ringing Bells tells the Indian Express that its ultra low-cost Freedom 251 (named based on its price in rupees) will start shipping on June 30th, with nearly 200,000 units in the early batch. As before, the hardware is no great shakes. You're looking at a 4-inch 960 x 540 screen, a modest 1.3GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of memory, 8GB of expandable storage, an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 3.2-megapixel front cam -- it's even running Android 5.1 instead of 6.0. Price really is the selling point here.
While it's good that there's a tangible product, there are still doubts swirling around its feasibility. Ringing Bells' CEO admits that his company is taking a loss on every phone right now -- it's hoping to make up for that through sheer volume. As it stands, the firm is still reluctant to offer hands-on time to the media despite a release just days away.
If this gamble pays off, though, it could change the local phone market. Even the most affordable smartphones on the market right now still represent a huge expense for some Indians, particularly rural dwellers who rarely enjoy middle class incomes. At $4, the Freedom 251 is inexpensive enough that it'd be far more attainable and help close a technological divide. The main mystery is whether or not the phone is any good. A terrible experience (say, through unreliable hardware) might sour people on the whole concept, no matter how tempting the price might be.
Via: The Next Web
Source: The Indian Express
- Rolls-Royce expects remote-controlled cargo ships by 2020
Rolls-Royce isn't limiting its robotic transportation plans to luxury cars. The British transportation firm has outlined a strategy for deploying remote-controlled and autonomous cargo vessels. It's working on virtual decks where land-based crews could control every aspect of a ship, complete with VR camera views and monitoring drones to spot issues that no human ever could. Accordingly, Rolls is designing boats where humans wouldn't have to come aboard. In theory, one human would steer several boats -- crew shortages would disappear overnight.
The move to crew-free ships promises more than a few advantages, Rolls says. You wouldn't need a bridge or living quarters, so you'd have much more room for the goods you're hauling. They'd be safer and more efficient, too, since you'd cut out many human errors (not to mention the direct risks from rough weather and pirates) and streamline operations. Robotic ships might cut the number of available jobs, but they would let distant crews handle more complex tasks without being overwhelmed.
Some of Rolls' concepts are more Star Trek than real life at the moment (its imagery includes interactive holograms), but this isn't just a theoretical exercise. One ship, the Stril Luna, already has a smart Unified Bridge system in place for coordinating all its equipment. The aim is to launch the first remote-controlled cargo ships by 2020, and to have autonomous boats on the water within two decades. All told, civilians might only have to head out to sea for pleasure cruises.
Via: Daily Mail
- Wisconsin's sentencing algorithm faces a court battle
Many people are nervous about the prospect of using algorithms to predict crime, and a legal battle in Wisconsin is illustrating why. The state's Supreme Court is close to ruling on an appeal from Eric Loomis, who claims that the justice system relied too heavily on its Compas algorithm to determine the likelihood of repeat offenses and sentence him to 6 years in prison. His attorneys claim that the code is "full of holes," including secret criteria and generic decisions that aren't as individually tailored as they have to be. For instance, they'll skew predictions based on your gender or age -- how does that reflect the actual offender?
Algorithms in sentencing aren't new. They've been in use for over 10 years, and their deployment is widening to states like Pennsylvania. However, the court challenge could force Wisconsin and other states to think about the weight they give to algorithms. While they do hold the promise of both preventing repeat offenses and avoiding excessive sentences for low-threat criminals, the American Civil Liberties Union is worried that they can amplify biases or make mistakes based on imperfect law enforcement data. Without transparency, it's hard to say for sure that Loomis and other convicts are getting an appropriate amount of prison time.
Source: New York Times
- Google reportedly ships its first non-Nexus phone this year
You might not have to wait long to see whether or not rumors of Google having more say over phone designs are true. Sources speaking to the Telegraph claim that Google will release a smartphone with tighter controls over "design, manufacturing and software" before the end of the year. The details of the phone aren't available, but this wouldn't be a Nexus from the sound of it -- those are shaped more by third parties that maintain at least some of their influence. The Pixel C tablet might (might) offer an inkling of what to expect.
Google didn't comment on the rumor for the newspaper. With that said, its leadership hasn't been shy about wanting to take the reins. CEO Sundar Pichai recently said that Google would be more "opinionated" about designs. The issue may simply be a matter of how far Mountain View wants to go. Is it willing to risk alienating Android's hardware partners with a phone designed largely in-house, or would this be more about making a bigger mark on the Nexus program? One thing's certain: if the rumor is at all accurate, Google's hardware strategy will never be the same.
Source: The Telegraph
- See the unusual way cancer cells spread
In many ways, the biggest problem with fighting cancer is containing it: you may kill the main tumor site, but there's a real chance that it'll spread and reemerge as a threat. At last, though, scientists have a better understanding of how that migration happens. British researchers have learned that cancer cells invoke an unusual survival mechanism when they start to float through the body. Proteins on the cell surface (integrins) switch from their usual role, adhesion, to internal signalling that has the rest of the cell protect itself against death. The cancer is steeling itself for the journey, in other words.
The findings could prompt a major change in how doctors treat at least some forms of cancer. Current treatments targeting those proteins try to block the adhesion -- it may be smarter to prevent those proteins from entering the cell, stopping the trip entirely. Much more research is necessary to make that happen (studies have revolved around zebrafish so far, for example), but there's already hope of stopping tumors in their tracks.
Source: QMUL, Nature
- South Korea hopes traffic signs will cut phone distractions
Cities have tried a number of exotic solutions to get phone-toting pedestrians to focus on where they're going (or at least, out of the way). However, Seoul thinks there's a simpler answer: traffic signs. The South Korean capital is testing signs that warn smartphone owners in five accident-prone areas (such as City Hall or Gangnam Station) about the perils of distracted walking. In theory, those periodic reminders will have you looking up more often and spare you from smacking into a car.
Whether or not the trial expands will depend on the effectiveness of the signs, and there's no certainty that they'll work. The whole problem is that people are buried in their screens -- will they look up for long enough to notice, let alone care? It's hard to imagine Seoul officials giving up on the idea quickly, though. While smartphones are popular in many places, South Korea is particularly obsessed given that both LG and Samsung call the country home. Even a cursory reminder to pay attention may have a tangible effect.
Source: Seoul Metropolitan Government
- Chrome exploit makes life easier for video pirates
Media giants insist on copy protection systems in browsers to prevent bootleggers from copying video streams, but these anti-piracy measures aren't foolproof. Security researchers have found a flaw in Chrome (and any Chromium-based browser) that circumvents Google's Widevine digital rights management. As the system doesn't check to make sure that decrypted video is playing only in the browser, it's possible to capture that video right as it's passed to the browser's media player. With the right software, you'd only need to hit play to start copying a Netflix movie.
The investigators aren't saying exactly how the technique works until and unless there's a patch. However, they describe it as relatively simple. It has likely been around ever since Google implemented Widevine in Chrome, they add.
How much Google can do about it is another matter. The company tells Wired that it's looking closely at the exploit, but that Chromium's open source nature means that anyone could "create their own versions" of the software that either use different copy protection or modify how it works. Also, it's not certain that this is a Google-specific problem. Firefox and Opera use Widevine, so it's possible that they might behave the same way. There's no guarantee that other anti-copying systems (like those used by Apple's Safari or Microsoft's Edge) are safe, either. Still, Google may need to close this hole as best it can if it wants to maintain the media industry's trust.
Source: Ben-Gurion University (YouTube)
- Ben Heck's Essentials series: Logic gates
Join Ben, Karen and Felix as they teach you the basic functions of digital circuitry and electronics with logic gates. Using the basis of the Hackmanji game, you'll soon learn the difference between NAND, AND, XOR and OR logic gates. These components, with their basic Boolean logic, are the backbone for all sorts of electronics, from cameras to mobile phones. Get in touch and help The Ben Heck Show team with the puzzles for the game on the element14 Community page, where you can also find the build files to code along with the projects on the show.
- After Math: What are we watching?
These days, it seems the only news being reported is bad news. Britain's surprise exit from the EU stands to tear the nation in twain, Zika is spreading across the planet like viral wildfire, economic and racial divisions are widening; Trump is still a thing and none of it looks even close to being resolved. Thank goodness for the internet which, this week, brought us 25 hours of congressional sit-ins, Adele's latest album over streaming and 23 new Instagram video channels. Numbers, because how else will we know how badly the global economy is tanking?
- Inhabitat's Week in Green: Solar Impulse's record flight and more!
This week the Solar Impulse made history by becoming the first sun-powered airplane to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Meanwhile, a team of Swiss students built an all-electric race car that smashed an acceleration record by going from 0-60 mph in 1.5 seconds flat. Sweden rolled out one of the world's first electric highways, while two ex-Google employees are developing self-driving big rigs that slash emissions. And we showcased the Super 73 -- a bike/motorcycle hybrid that'll add some serious kick to your morning commute. The Golden State is quickly transitioning to clean, renewable energy, and this week it announced plans to shutter its last nuclear power plant by the year 2025. Meanwhile, Tesla made a massive $2.8 billion bid for SolarCity, and researchers developed 1-micrometer-thin solar panels that are flexible enough to wrap around a pencil. In other solar news, a new breed of solar-thermal roof tiles can cut your home's energy use by 85 percent, and a community of sun-powered prefab homes popped up in Los Angeles in a matter of hours.
Everyone knows that the Moon circles the Earth, but it turns out it's not alone. NASA just announced that a tiny "mini moon" has been circling the planet for the past century. In other science news, an alarming new study warns that the world will run out of breathable air unless carbon emission are cut. Impossible Foods launched a meatless burger that cooks, smells and bleeds like beef, while a Dutch inventor unveiled a solar-powered cube that harvests water from thin air. Researchers developed a new type of vegan leather that's made entirely from mushrooms, and the Cropbox is a pop-up shipping container farm that puts an entire acre of lettuce in your backyard.
- 328 foot-long floating barrier will collect ocean trash
There are numerous efforts underway to clean the world's oceans, but The Ocean Cleanup is testing what may be both the simplest and the most ambitious. It just launched a 328 foot-long prototype floating barrier that will collect trash floating in the North Sea. If it can survive the rough conditions of those waters, the plan is to deploy a 62 mile-long (!) barrier in the Pacific Ocean and reduce the size of the notorious Great Pacific Garbage Patch -- the hope is to halve the size of the trash field in 10 years.
Whether or not it's an ideal solution is up for debate. The 6.6 foot-deep design shouldn't interfere with wildlife (unlike existing nets) and is intended to last through vicious storms. However, the University of Hawaii's Jeffrey Drazen warns Scientific American that a massive barrier like this could mess with the distribution of animals in the region. Also, the surface pollution is just one part of a larger problem. We'll only truly get rid of ocean debris when we avoid putting it there in the first place. Biodegradable materials and better recycling may ultimately be the key.
Via: Scientific American
Source: The Ocean Cleanup
- Incipio just bought headphone maker Skullcandy
You probably don't see Incipio as more than the company who made your phone case or external battery pack. However, it's quietly becoming something of an accessory powerhouse: it owns brands like Braven and Incase. And now, it's getting even bigger. Incipio is paying $177 million to acquire Skullcandy, best known for its ostentatious (if not usually top-rated) headphones. The move not only gives it a dedicated headphone brand, but dips its toes into the waters of gaming gear thanks to Skullcandy's Astro Gaming badge.
Incipio tells The Verge that the deal won't erase the Skullcandy brand, so it'll likely retain much of its identity. However, don't be surprised if this leads to devices that Skullcandy wouldn't have otherwise made on its own, or crossovers where some of Skullcandy's influence rubs off on Incipio's other gadgets. Either way, the accessory world could look very different in the near future.
- Curiosity rover may sample Mars water
Scientists have already found hints of liquid water on Mars... now, they want to take a close look at it. NASA has revealed that the Curiosity rover will investigate recurring slope lineae (those streaks you see above) around Mars' Gale Crater in hopes of finding water. It'll first take a photo with its mast camera to verify that there's water in the first place. If there is, the machine will head over to collect samples. The agency would like to take those photos within a year, so you wouldn't have to wait too long to get answers.
This doesn't mean that Curiosity will find life. Mars' harsh conditions (including fierce radiation) might preclude it, and that's before you account for the rover's sample sterilization process. Instead, think of the water mission more as a stepping stone. The findings it collects should help plan a mission intended to find signs of life, so even a mildly successful trip might lead to bigger and better things.
Via: Popular Mechanics
Source: Aviation Week (sign-in required)
- Leaked Google support app shares your Nexus phone's screen
Buying a Nexus device straight from Google can be a little intimidating to newcomers. It's not as if you can visit a Google store or your carrier for help, after all. If an Android Police leak is accurate, however, you might not have to. The Android creator is reportedly working on a Google Support app that would offer live help somewhat akin to Amazon's Mayday. If needed, you'd have the option sharing your screen with a service agent -- they could walk you through changing a setting without having to guess what you're looking at. It's not certain what else is in store, but it's safe to say that chat would be part of the experience.
Just when it'd arrive is also murky, and that's presuming it happens at all. Remember that Android Silver program that was supposed to offer live support and never materialized? Yeah. With that in mind, leaked app visuals suggest that this isn't just a theoretical exercise. It wouldn't be shocking if Support showed up alongside this year's Nexus phones, giving you a safety net at the same time as you pick up that slick new handset. It wouldn't just cheaper and more direct to get Nexus hardware, in other words -- you'd get a special experience that gives rookies a reason to pick a Nexus besides the low price or pure Android.
Source: Android Police
- Philippines man charged with raiding US celebrities' accounts
Online attacks against celebrities aren't limited to perpetrators in the US. American officials have unsealed charges against Peter Locsin, a Filipino who allegedly participated in a plot to compromise the financial accounts of at least five high-profile targets. Officials aren't naming the victims, but they do mention the CEO of an international corporation and a "well-known socialite and entertainer." Last year, when Locsin was arrested, the Philippine Star claimed that former FBI director Robert Mueller (shown above) was one of the targets.
The perpetrators reportedly swiped the personal details of their victims (such as Social Security numbers) in order to get access to their bank accounts and credit cards. After that, they went to town with attempts to transfer money, go on virtual shopping sprees or take further control by changing account details.
Prosecutors haven't yet asked for Locsin to be extradited to the US. However, the penalties could be severe -- he faces up to 30 years in prison if he's convicted. Even if there's a lighter sentence, it'll be clear that stealing sensitive info (at least, from the wrong people) can carry a steep price.
- Microsoft will stop making the Surface 3 in December
Microsoft's Surface 3 has been on the market for over a year with no successor in sight, but it now looks like the lower-cost Windows tablet is on its way out... well, eventually. The company has confirmed to ZDNet that it will stop producing the Surface 3 by the end of December, or more than a year and a half after it hit store shelves. As it stands, the company says that stock is "limited." You might not get the model you want at your preferred store, then.
The question is whether or not there will be a replacement around that time, assuming there is one in the works. Microsoft says that there has been "strong demand and satisfaction" for the Surface 3, but it'd odd to wind down sales of a popular product half a year before production stops. And there's no doubt that the higher-end Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book are the stars of this hardware generation. While the Surface 3 lowered the barrier to getting a Microsoft tablet with pen support and a full app ecosystem, its Atom chip and limited storage make it a tough sell as a laptop replacement. This isn't necessarily the end of the line for non-Pro Surface models. However, Microsoft may only want to jump back in when it can sync with a major new Windows release (ZDNet points to the rumored "Redstone 2") and make a more compelling case for a lower-cost tablet.
- IRS kills e-filing PINs prematurely due to cyberattacks
The IRS was gearing up to kill e-file PINs later this year, but it has decided to speed up its plans after discovering suspicious activity. These electronic filing personal identification numbers, which people could use to authenticate tax returns filed online, are no longer available on IRS.gov or via the agency's toll-free phone number. If you'll recall, identity thieves used malware to steal taxpayers' info from other websites, which was then used to generate 100,000 PINs, back in February. The thieves were actually gunning for 464,000 PINs, but the agency was able to stop them before they got near that number.
This time, the IRS detected "automated attacks taking place at an increasing frequency" thanks to the additional defenses it added after that initial hack. It said only "a small number" of taxpayers were affected, but it didn't give an exact number. The IRS chose not to kill the tool back in February, since most commercial tax software products use it. After these recent cyberattacks, though, the agency determined that it would be safer to give up on a verification method that's scheduled for the chopping block anyway.
The service also took the chance to remind people that a PIN isn't even necessary to file tax returns. "[Y]ou will need to use your prior-year adjusted gross income (AGI) to validate your signature," the old request page reads. "If you do not have your prior-year tax return, you may use Get Transcript Online or Get Transcript by Mail to obtain your prior-year AGI. You may use your AGI to validate your signature and continue with electronic filing of your tax return."
- Six gadgets made from LEGO bricks
By Cat DiStasio
When kids play with LEGO bricks, their creations are limited only by their imaginations. A few colorful blocks can become a spacecraft, a bulldozer or a skyscraper with just a few moves. Although the LEGO builds from you childhood may not do much on their own, those colorful bricks lend themselves to amazing works of ingenuity when combined with other simple items. To showcase the vast potential of these cherished toys, we've rounded up a series of awesome gadgets made from LEGOs. Read on to learn about a working LEGO printer built by a teenager, a prosthetic arm that makes kids the star of any crowd and even a working LEGO camera that shows how it's possible to create almost anything if you want it badly enough.
- Snowden's email provider confirms it was an investigation target
It's a poorly kept secret that officials targeted Lavabit's secure email service as part of their investigation into Edward Snowden's leaks. Heck, the US government inadvertently leaked the truth itself. However, a gag order has prevented Lavabit from publicly acknowledging this... until now. In a statement, company founder Ladar Levinson can finally confirm that law enforcement pursued Lavabit in order to access Snowden's communications. When the investigation began, authorities wanted the provider to hand over an encryption key that would not only expose Snowden, but all 410,000 Lavabit customers. It's no wonder that Levinson decided to close shop -- it's hard to advertise private email when the feds can theoretically spy on any of your users.
The service creator isn't just using the newfound liberty to criticize what he sees as suppression of both his free speech rights and the privacy of his former clientele. He's forming a non-profit, the Lavabit Legal Defense Foundation (LavaLegal for short), to help service providers avoid participating in "unconstitutional activities" that include attempts to order backdoors and otherwise undermine privacy. The donation-based organization will help companies worldwide. It's hard to say how effective LavaLegal will be, but it might make all the difference if it helps even one company oppose a request it otherwise couldn't afford to fight.
Source: Ladar Levison (Facebook), Rally.org
- Bose's best headphones are even better wireless
When it comes to headphones, it can sometimes be easy to forget about Bose. The company doesn't debut new models as frequently as the competition, choosing instead to focus on quality, comfort and its highly touted noise-canceling tech. Bose's previous noise-canceling model, the QC25, has been around awhile, and despite its popularity, there was one thing missing: a wireless edition. Announced just over a week ago, the QuietComfort 35s mix that trademark sound and feel in a $350 package. I spent a few days using the headphones to see if they met my high expectations.
Let's start with the aesthetics. Unlike rivals such as Beats and SMS Audio, Bose never attempted to win us over with fashion. And it doesn't really need to, given its knack for a comfortable fit and external noise blocking. These new QuietComfort 35s have a design similar to that of their predecessor, the QC25, except they come in all black (pictured) or silver. Personally, I prefer the more sophisticated solid color scheme over the previous two-tone look. It's a subtle change, but an improvement nonetheless.
All of the controls are on the right ear cup, with a power slider on the outside shell that doubles as a Bluetooth pairing button. Along the rim, there are volume controls and a play/pause key beside LED indicators that let you know when the headphones are paired and when the battery is running low. A double click on the play/pause button will skip ahead to the next track, while a triple click will go back to the previous song. Typically these controls are scattered across individual buttons, which are sometimes on the outside panel of the ear cup. Bose has assigned them to a single control, and honestly, it's a much better solution.
The QC35s are made of glass-filled nylon with a leather outer headband and ear pads. The frame may look like plastic, but Bose says otherwise, and the nylon is advertised to be more durable than regular plastic, too. There's also a matte finish, which helps the headphones to not look cheap. Bose's choice to go with nylon also keeps things lightweight -- something I'll address more in a moment.
The inside of the headband is actually made from Alcantara, a softer material used in luxury car interiors. The ear pads are soft and cushy but provide enough insulation between your head and the rim of the ear cup to keep things nice and comfy, even during long listening sessions. In addition to folding in for easy stowage in the included case, the ear cups themselves also rotate to sit flat -- a common feature for headphones these days.
In terms of the overall weight, Bose nailed it. These are the first headphones I can remember using that didn't cause at least some type of discomfort after an hour or so of continuous listening. The combination of the weight, along with the tension of the headband, keeps things super comfortable, and the QC35s never felt like they were pinching my head. It's easy to understand why Bose's gear is a top choice among frequent fliers.
When it comes to pairing a Bluetooth speaker or headphones with a mobile device or laptop, it's not uncommon to have to try a few times. There are exceptions, but for me, pairing a device rarely happens on the first try. That wasn't the case here, though: I had no trouble linking the QC35s with my MacBook Air and Moto X. The ability to get everything up and running in a matter of seconds is always a good thing. If you prefer to make the connection via NFC, the QC35s support that as well. Once paired, the Quiet Comfort 35s will let you know how much battery is left, as well as announce which device you're connected to. For example, you'll hear "Now connected to 'Billy's MacBook Air'" or some such. You can turn off the voice prompts if you prefer, but I appreciated getting an update on the power level.
What about using these headphones for in-flight entertainment? The company isn't leaving travelers without a way to tap into the music and TV an airline offers to pass the time. There's an airline adapter included with the QC35s that plugs into those headphone jacks at your seat. You'll have to use it wired, but it's a pretty nice touch, if you ask me.
With the QuietComfort 35s, Bose continues its tradition of solid audio quality. Everything is crisp and clear, with a respectable amount of bass for a well-rounded sound. The low-end tones are nowhere near what's become the norm on headphones these days (read: overpowering), but there's still enough bass to give you some thump when a song demands it. The QC35s sounded good across a wide variety of genres, including hip-hop, electronica, bluegrass and metal. At higher volumes, I noticed the headphones favored treble a bit more than at a medium or low level. Some songs showcased this more than others, but when I did notice it, I quickly reached for the volume controls to try and remedy the issue. I didn't encounter any of the distortion that some others have, even with both my phone and the headphones cranked all the way up.
Speaking of volume, the QuietComfort 35 is a strong performer. Sometimes wireless headphones and earbuds just aren't loud enough for most people to like to listen to at near-deafening levels. I'm happy to report that these headphones are an exception; they get pretty loud. Thankfully, they stop short of painful, so unless you've already suffered some hearing loss, I doubt you'll take issue with the volume here.
Bose promises 20 hours of battery life in wireless mode, and that's with noise canceling enabled. I actually got a bit more time out of them. I needed a charge after about a week of using the headphones for about three to four hours a day. In wired mode, you can expect battery life to double, even with noise canceling turned on. When you do run out of juice, though, the QC35s will function just fine as a passive set.
The only real gripe I had with battery life is that the headphones don't turn off automatically, or at least I thought they didn't. I left them on overnight by accident and they were still on the next morning when I woke up. I didn't realize at the time that the Bose Connect app (iOS and Android) allows you to switch on an "Auto Power-Down" feature to save your battery when you forget to shut them off yourself. That time can be as little as five minutes or as long as three hours. By default, that feature is disabled, hence my overnight battery drain. The app also lets you manage connected devices, tweak settings and download any updates.
With the Bose QuietComfort 35, the company finally caters to those who've been clamoring for a wireless version of its popular noise-canceling headphones. Faithful fans of the brand won't be disappointed either: The company's trademark noise cancellation, crisp audio quality and comfortable fit make these some of the best wireless headphones I've tested. Sure, they don't have a flashy design, but they do their job, and they do it well for at least 20 hours on a charge. Perhaps the only surprise here is that Bose set the price at $350, just $50 more than the wired QuietComfort model. That's on par with other sets, which is really just the bow around a rather stellar package. My expectations for the QC35s were high, and Bose managed to exceed them with another great product.
Update: This post originally stated that the included adapter was a wireless dongle for use on an airplane. It's actually only for wired use with a 3.5mm cable. The text has been updated to correct the error.
- Reuters: Big tech companies are auto-purging extremist content
YouTube, Facebook and other big internet companies are using automated systems to find and remove terrorist content, according to report extremist videos, which human employees review and delete. The publication's sources wouldn't specify how the systems work and if humans play a role in the process. But these huge entities reportedly took the technologies they use to scour their domains for copyright-protected posts and tweaked them for this purpose.
The altered automated systems can identify beheading videos, as well as ones that incite violence and spread extremist propaganda. They do so by comparing the unique digital identifiers or "hashes" that internet companies assign to videos people upload against a database of previously banned content. A good example of a tech that works like that is Microsoft's child porn-detecting program PhotoDNA.
It's unclear how the companies assembled that database, and we doubt we'd hear from any of them. Reuters' sources said they're not talking about this project, because they're worried that terrorists might figure out how their content-blocking systems work. They're also wary of governments pressuring them to use their technologies to censor critics and opponents.
Google, Facebook, Twitter and other huge players in the industry apparently discussed various ways to combat the growing number of pro-terrorist posts on their websites during a call back in April. It has recently become such a huge problem for them that Twitter had to ban 125,000 users in February. One teenager was even sentenced to 11 years in prison for running a popular pro-ISIS Twitter account.
While none of the companies wanted to talk about the initiative, Facebook's head of global policy management, Monika Bickert, has at least revealed that they're working together. She told Reuters that they're "exploring with others in industry ways [they] can collaboratively work to remove content that violates [their] policies against terrorism."
- ICYMI: The dogbot and a heart strap that beats surgery
Today on In Case You Missed It: Boston Dynamics introduced a new robot to the lineup and this one is both the smallest yet, and most adorable. The SpotMini is just two feet tall but in the video Boston Dynamics released, shows it can do dishes, throw cans away and creep around for a good 90 minutes on an electric charge. Meanwhile the EPFL designed a new medical device that looks not-entirely unlike an old school slap bracelet, except it's made of silicon and is designed to grip and squeeze the aorta, keeping the heart beating while a patient might be waiting for a heart transplant.
Theater fans will want to know about New York's decision to ban robot buyers; while politically-minded folks (not already talking about Great Britain's vote to leave the EU) will want to hear about C-SPAN's decision to broadcast Periscope videos of the Democrat's sit-in. As always, please share any interesting tech or science videos you find by using the #ICYMI hashtag on Twitter for @mskerryd.
- A $1,500 smart oven made me the perfect leg of lamb
If you'd like to cook more but tend to feel disappointed by the results, you might be interested in the June. Announced last year, the June is an intelligent oven outfitted with a camera, a scale, a bevy of sensors and the guts of a smartphone or tablet (It has an NVIDIA Tegra K1 chip plus a 2.3GHz quad-core processor) to deliver the perfect meal. Want a medium rare steak? Simply weigh it, plop it in the oven where the camera will instantly recognize it's a steak, stick a temperature probe in, enter in your desired temperature on the touch screen and the oven will take care of the rest.
Since last year, the team over at June have been perfecting the oven to cook foods beyond steak. Indeed, it can now recognize a selection of foods that include bagels, cookie dough, salmon, leg of lamb, asparagus and more. Indeed, we had a demo where we inserted a couple of bagel slices and as the oven recognized it, it instantly popped up a menu choice on how we wanted it toasted. And even if it doesn't know what it is, you can always enter in the temperature and cooking time yourself, just like a regular oven. It can roast, bake, broil, reheat meals and, of course, toast.
What sets the June apart is its smarts. For example, say you want to crisp up your chicken after it's done. You can set the oven to cook it to 165 degrees and when it hits that temp, the oven will automatically switch over to a high heat for a few minutes to give you that crispy skin. And since there's a camera, you can keep an eye on your food via an app on your smartphone. The app also works as a remote timer, letting you know just when the food is done.
That sounds pretty great, but the problem is that it's quite expensive. You can pre-order it now for $1,495, but it'll likely be close to $3,000 once it hits store shelves. If you do want to go all-in, though, you should get your very own intelligent oven by the holidays this year (hopefully just in time for pumpkin pie).
I had the opportunity to have a full course meal at June's office recently, where at least one ingredient of each dish was prepared using the oven. And it was delicious. The leg of lamb was done to medium rare perfection and the strawberry rhubarb tart was to die for. Check out the "June Oven dinner" gallery for photos of each individual plate.
- iPhone 7 will get a larger camera, according to spy shot (updated)
Another week, another iPhone 7 leak. (Hey, it rhymes!) Following the set of components allegedly showing dual-SIM support, up to 256GB of storage and a 3.5mm headphone jack on the next iPhone, Chinese repair shop Rock Fix is back with a photo of what it claims to be the 4.7-inch iPhone 7's rear casing. Most notably, there are fewer plastic antenna bands here, and the main camera is said to feature a larger CMOS sensor -- here's hoping this will offer larger pixel sites to boost light sensitivity. What's interesting is that contrary to last time. Both sizes will apparently have dual-SIM slots, which is a common feature in competitive markets like China and India. If true, this move will hopefully give Apple a much needed boost after its recent iPhone sales decline, though we're still not absolutely sure if removing the headphone jack is a good idea.
Update: We've updated our article with new information regarding which variant will apparently be keeping the headphone jack, as well as the above image of a purported iPhone 7 chassis without the headphone jack.
Source: Rock Fix (Sina Weibo)
- Dolphin 5.0 released
The long awaited Dolphin 5.0 release is finally here! After nearly a year of bug-hunting and handling the release process, everything has come together for our biggest release yet! The three previous releases followed a very distinct pattern: sacrifice performance, hacks, and features in exchange for higher accuracy. As such, Dolphin 3.0, 3.5, and 4.0 progressively grew slower. But thanks to the cleanups put forward throughout those releases, Dolphin 5.0 is the fastest Dolphin has ever been! By removing all of those hacks and outdated features while cleaning up the codebase, Dolphin has reached a new level of efficiency, powered by a revitalized dynamic recompiler. On the GPU side, OpenGL and D3D11 have seen tons of optimizations and accuracy improvements, and have been joined by a brand new D3D12 backend for huge performance gains. If there's a CPU or GPU extension that can make Dolphin faster, we take advantage of it. Dolphin is an incredibly impressive project - not just from a technological standpoint, but also from an organisation one. They post regular, detailed development updates, have in-depth release notes that are still entirely readable for laypersons such as myself, and you always learn a ton of new stuff following the project's progress. A great example of how to run a project like this. Don't forget to check out the release video with tons of side-by-side examples of the long list of improvements.
- PowerNex: kernel written in the D
PowerNex is a kernel written in the D Programming Language. The goal is to have a whole OS written in D, where PowerNex powers the core. Exactly what it is.
- macOS Sierra developer preview: different name, same ol' Mac
It's tempting to read the "macOS" rebranding as some grand statement about the Mac, but, truth be told, "Sierra" is more indicative of what we're getting. The name comes from a mountain range that encompasses Yosemite and El Capitan rather than moving away from them. It's another year of building on Yosemite's foundation, another year of incremental change, and another year of over-saturated mountain wallpapers. Like El Capitan before it, Sierra focuses on a few marquee features, a couple of under-the-hood changes, a smattering of smaller tweaks, and one or two signposts pointing toward future development. It's the next release of OS X, new name or not. And we've spent a week with the first developer beta to dig into some of the new features ahead of the public beta in July and the public release in the fall. Insights into the developer preview.
- Huawei is working on its own mobile OS
Huawei, the world's third-largest smartphone manufacturer, is reportedly developing its own mobile OS. Phones made by the Chinese manufacturer currently run on the company's Android skin, EMUI, but according to a report from The Information Huawei is building an alternative OS in case its relationship with Google sours. The company reportedly has a team working on the mobile OS in Scandinavia, with the engineers including ex-Nokia employees. But although Huawei isn't the only Android phone maker exploring alternatives (Samsung has its own Linux-based Tizen OS, although that's mainly been deployed in IoT devices so far), sources speaking to The Information say the company's operating system "isn't far along." That ship has sailed. It's probably in Fiji by now.
- 'Gruber misses the point completely about Lightning headphones'
After Nilay Patel's strong piece and John Gruber's meager response, here's another one by Steve Streza: John can argue all he wants that this is all somehow in the best interest of customers by virtue of it being great business for Apple, but it simply isnâÂ€Â™t true. It also wonâÂ€Â™t be a hill that many customers will die on at the point of sale. People will not buy into Lightning headphones, they will put up with it. This transition will be painful and difficult because of just how thoroughly entrenched the current solution is, how little the new solution offers, and how many complications it adds for customers. Nilay is correct, it is user-hostile, and it is stupid. But hey, itâÂ€Â™s great for Apple. I have very little to add here, other than dongle, and a plea: can somebody finally give me a valid reason for removing the 3.5mm jack? I've heard nonsense about waterproofing (can be done just fine with 3.5mm jack), battery life (negligible, unlikely because of the location of the assembly, entirely and utterly eclipsed by making the battery like 0.5mm thicker), cost (...seriously? That's the best you can do?), or thinness (oh come on, the iPhone 6S is 7.1mm thick - it will take a miracle for the iPhone 7 or even 8 or 9 to be thinner than 3.5mm). Anyone? As far as I can tell, there are only downsides.
- Taking the headphone jack off phones is user-hostile and stupid
Another day, another rumor that Apple is going to ditch the headphone jack on the next iPhone in favor of sending out audio over Lightning. Or another phone beats Apple to the punch by ditching the headphone jack in favor of passing out audio over USB-C. What exciting times for phones! We're so out of ideas that actively making them shittier and more user-hostile is the only innovation left. Tell us how you really feel, Nilay. Needless to say - fully agreed. Removing the headphone jack is dumb.
- The Xerox Star
Speaking of the Xerox Alto - let's move on a few years and talk about the Xerox Star, its successor and, like the Alto, one of the most influential computers ever made. There's this great demo up on YouTube, where some of its creators walk you through the basics of using the Xerox Star, from basic filing, down to the included virtual keyboard which could display any keyboard layout you wanted - including things like Japanese or a math panel. I love watching videos of the Xerox Star in action, because it shows you just how little the basic concepts of the graphical user interfaces we use every day - OS X/Windows or iOS/Android or whatever - have changed since the '70s, when Xerox invented all the basic parts of it. Of course, it has been refined over the decades, but the basic structure and most important elements have changed little. Like still relying on shoehorning a timesharing punchcard mainframe operating system onto a phone, we still rely on the same old Xerox concepts of icons and windows and dialogs on our phones as well. Hardware has progressed at an incredibly pace - we have watches tons more powerful than 100 Xerox Stars combined - but software, including UI, has not kept up. We should have better by now.
- APFS in detail
Apple announced a new file system that will make its way into all of its OS variants (macOS, tvOS, iOS, watchOS) in the coming years. Media coverage to this point has been mostly breathless elongations of AppleâÂ€Â™s developer documentation. With a dearth of detail I decided to attend the presentation and Q&A with the APFS team at WWDC. Dominic Giampaolo and Eric Tamura, two members of the APFS team, gave an overview to a packed room; along with other members of the team, they patiently answered questions later in the day. With those data points and some first hand usage I wanted to provide an overview and analysis both as a user of Apple-ecosystem products and as a long-time operating system and file system developer. An incredibly detailed look at Apple's new filesystem, APFS.
- Xerox Alto: restoring the legendary 1970s GUI computer
Alan Kay recently loaned his 1970's Xerox Alto to Y Combinator and I'm helping with the restoration of this legendary system. The Alto was the first computer designed around a graphical user interface and introduced Ethernet and the laser printer to the world. The Alto also was one of the first object-oriented systems, supporting the Mesa and Smalltalk languages. The Alto was truly revolutionary when it came out in 1973, designed by computer pioneer Chuck Thacker. This is just great. All-around great. No possible way to snark, be cynical, blame it on Android updates or iOS walled gardens - just plain old great. Be sure to watch the introductory video, and definitely don't forget part one of the restoration, with more sure to follow. Goosebumps the entire time. I would give a lot to be in that room.
- What is differential privacy?
To make a long story short, it sounds like Apple is going to be collecting a lot more data from your phone. They're mainly doing this to make their services better, not to collect individual users' usage habits. To guarantee this, Apple intends to apply sophisticated statistical techniques to ensure that this aggregate data - the statistical functions it computes over all your information - don't leak your individual contributions. In principle this sounds pretty good. But of course, the devil is always in the details. While we don't have those details, this seems like a good time to at least talk a bit about what Differential Privacy is, how it can be achieved, and what it could mean for Apple - and for your iPhone.
- "Android's 10ms problem solved"
Our testing, technical analyses and audio latency measurement database of more than 4,238 different Android models/builds shows that Google has been making great progress in order to solve the Android round-trip audio latency problem, however progress seems to be slowing as the current media server internals are not likely to be hacked much further unless fundamental changes should happen. To date, we have seen no improvements with Android N with regards to audio latency. We receive emails from all around the world, almost on a daily basis, where developers beg us for a solution to Android Audio's 10 ms Problem. Which is why we're proud to announce a solution to Android Audio 10ms Problem, which you can install and demo today. Few regular users will ever care, but for those users that do need low audio latency for music/audio creation applications, this is a godsend.
- ARM announces Mali Egil video processor
Earlier this month we took a look at ARMâÂ€Â™s new Mali-G71 GPU. Based on the company's equally new Bifrost architecture, Mali-G71 marks a significant architectural change for the Mali family, incorporating a modern thread level parallelism (TLP) centric execution design. The Mali GPU is in turn the heart of ARMâÂ€Â™s graphics product stack - what ARM calls their Mali Multimedia Suite - but in practice it is not a complete graphics and display solution on its own. As part of their IP development process and to allow SoC integrators to mix and match different blocks, the Mali GPU is only the compute/rendering portion of the graphics stack; the display controller and video encode/decode processor are separate. Splitting up these blocks in this fashion gives ARM's customers some additional flexibility, allowing something like Mali-G71 to be mixed with other existing controllers (be it ARM or otherwise), but at the same time these parts aren't wholly divorced within ARM. Even though theyâÂ€Â™re separate products, ARM likes to update all of the parts of their graphics stack in relative lockstep. To that end, with the Mali GPU core update behind them, this week ARM is announcing an updated video processor, codenamed Egil, to replace the current Mali-V550 processor. AnandTech takes a first look at what's coming.
- Qt 5.7 released
I'm very happy to announce that Qt 5.7 is now available. It's been only 3 months since we released Qt 5.6, so one might expect a rather small release with Qt 5.7. But apart from the usual bug fixes and performance improvements, we have managed to add a whole bunch of new things to this release.
- ZFS: Apple's new filesystem that wasn't
At that same WWDC Apple announced Time Machine, a product that would record file system versions through time for backup and recovery. How were they doing this? We were energized by the idea that there might be another piece of adopted Solaris technology. When we launched Solaris 10, DTrace shared the marquee with ZFS, a new filesystem that was to become the standard against which other filesystems are compared. Key among the many features of ZFS were snapshots that made it simple to capture the state of a filesystem, send the changes around, recover data, etc. Time Machine looked for all the world like a GUI on ZFS (indeed the GUI that we had imagined but knew to be well beyond the capabilities of Sun). Of course Time Machine had nothing to do with ZFS. After the keynote we rushed to an Apple engineer we knew. With shame in his voice he admitted that it was really just a bunch of hard links to directories. For those who donâÂ€Â™t know a symlink from a symtab this is the moral equivalent of using newspaper as insulation: it's fine until the completely anticipated calamity destroys everything you hold dear. So there was no ZFS in Mac OS X, at least not yet. Somewhat related: the history of Microsoft's WinFS.
- Maru OS exits private beta
Maru OS is a platform that lets you run both Google Android and Debian Linux on a smartphone. Use your device as a phone, and it'll act like any other Android phone. Connect an external display, mouse, and keyboard and you've got a full-fledged Debian Linux desktop environment. It's available for the Nexus 5 now.
- Astronomy for KDE
Although I have covered a large number of science applications in the past, I haven't really looked at too many options available within the KDE desktop environment. This has been due to my own biases in using a GTK-based desktop environment, but now I'd like to look at some of the packages available for people who really like to use KDE on their own machines.
- Profiles and RC Files
I love Linux, and if you're reading this, chances are you do too. To be honest though, some aspects of the Linux environment are confusing. Near the top of the list for me is the profile system.
- SoftMaker FreeOffice
The bottom line on SoftMaker FreeOffice 2016—the updated, free, full-featured Office alternative to the expensive Microsoft Office suite—is this: no other free off
- Git 2.9 Released
A new version of Git was released this week, bringing a number of improvements that will be a welcome sight to software developers.
- The Giant Zero, Part 0.x
The first time I floated the "giant zero" metaphor for the Internet, was in my October 2007 "SuitWatch" newsletter for Linux Journal.
- Snappy Moves to New Platforms
Canonical's Snappy package manager is taking its first steps outside the Ubuntu world. As of now, you can install it on Arch, Debian, Fedora and several other popular distros.
- What's Our Next Fight?
We won the battle for Linux, but we're losing the battle for freedom.
Linux turns 25 in August 2016. Linux Journal turned 21 in April 2016. (Issue #1 was April 1994, the month Linux hit version 1.0.) We're a generation into the history of our cause, but the fight isn't there anymore, because we won. Our cause has achieved its effects.
- OpenSwitch Finds a New Home
OpenSwitch has joined the Linux Foundation's stable of networking projects. This is a significant step. It means the network operating system's development will be driven by community needs, instead of the needs of few private companies.
- 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 ’