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  • Fedora 20 kernel-3.19.8-100.fc20 The 3.19.8 update contains a number of important fixes across the treeThe 3.19.7 update contains a number of important updates across the treeThe 3.19.6 stable updates contains a number of important fixes across the tree

  • Fedora 22 php-ZendFramework2-2.3.8-1.fc22 * **ZF2015-04**: Zend\Mail and Zend\Http were both susceptible to CRLF Injection Attack vectors (for HTTP, this is often referred to as HTTP Response Splitting). Both components were updated to perform header value validations to ensure no values contain characters not detailed in their corresponding specifications, and will raise exceptions on detection. Each also provides new facilities for both validating and filtering header values prior to injecting them into header classes. If you use either Zend\Mail or Zend\Http (which includes users of Zend\Mvc), we recommend upgrading immediately.

  • Fedora 22 phpMyAdmin- phpMyAdmin (2015-05-13)=============================== - [security] CSRF vulnerability in setup - [security] Vulnerability allowing man-in-the-middle attack

  • Fedora 22 xen-4.5.0-9.fc22 Privilege escalation via emulated floppy disk drive [XSA-133, CVE-2015-3456] (#1221153)

  • Wednesday's security updates
    Debian has updated ntfs-3g(incomplete fix in previous update).
    Debian-LTS has updated ntfs-3g(incomplete fix in previous update).
    Red Hat has updated kernel(RHEL6.4: privilege escalation) and qemu-kvm (RHEL6.5: code execution).
    Ubuntu has updated ntfs-3g(15.04: incomplete fix in previous update) and openldap (15.04, 14.10, 14.04, 12.04: denial of service).

  • Mourning Marco Pesenti Gritti
    The GNOME community is mourning the loss of developer Marco Pesenti Gritti,who passed away on May 23. "He was the most passionate and dedicated hacker I knew, and I know he wasextremely respected in the GNOME community, for his work on Epiphany,Evince and Sugar among many others, just like he was at litl. Those whoknew him personally know he was also an awesome human being."

  • Jonathan Riddell forced out of Kubuntu
    Scott Kitterman has posted aseries of emails around the the Ubuntu Community Council's decision toremove Jonathan Riddell as the leader of the Kubuntu project. He has alsostatedhis intent to leave the Ubuntu community. "I also wish to extendmy personal apology to the Kubuntu community for keeping this private foras long as we did. Generally, I don’t believe such an approach isconsistent with our values, but I supported keeping it private in the hopethat it would be easier to achieve a mutually beneficial resolution of thesituation privately. Now that it’s clear that is not going to happen, I(and others in the KC) could not in good faith keep this private."

  • Trouble with the May 22 PostgreSQL update
    If you run PostgreSQL and have applied one of the updates that werereleased on May 22, it would be a good idea to read thispage about an unfortunate bug in those releases. In somecases, the problem can cause the server to fail to restart after a crash.There is a new release in the works; meanwhile, a workaround is available.

  • The Moose is loose: Linux-based worm turns routers into social network bots (Ars Technica)
    Ars Technica takesa look at the latest malware threat. "A worm that targets cable and DSL modems, home routers, and other embedded computers is turning those devices into a proxy network for launching armies of fraudulent Instagram, Twitter, and Vine accounts as well as fake accounts on other social networks. The new worm can also hijack routers' DNS service to route requests to a malicious server, steal unencrypted social media cookies such as those used by Instagram, and then use those cookies to add "follows" to fraudulent accounts. This allows the worm to spread itself to embedded systems on the local network that use Linux-based operating systems.The malware, dubbed "Linux/Moose" by Olivier Bilodeau and Thomas Dupuy of the security firm ESET Canada Research, exploits routers open to connections from the Internet via Telnet by performing brute-force login attempts using default or common administrative credentials. Once connected, the worm installs itself on the targeted device."

  • Security advisories for Tuesday
    Arch Linux has updated nbd (denial of service), pgbouncer (denial of service), postgresql (multiple vulnerabilities), webkitgtk (information disclosure), and webkitgtk2 (information disclosure).
    Debian has updated ipsec-tools (denial of service), nbd (denial of service), postgresql-9.1 (multiple vulnerabilities), postgresql-9.4 (multiple vulnerabilities), tiff (multiple vulnerabilities), and zendframework (multiple vulnerabilities).
    Debian-LTS has updated ntfs-3g (privilege escalation).
    Fedora has updated firefox (F22:multiple vulnerabilities), hostapd (F22:denial of service), java-1.8.0-openjdk(F22: file overwrites), kernel (F20: twovulnerabilities), libarchive (F21: denialof service), LibRaw (F22; F20: denial of service), mingw-LibRaw(F22; F22;F20: denial of service), openstack-glance (F22: access restrictionbypass), php (F22: multiplevulnerabilities), php-ZendFramework2 (F22:CRLF injection), phpMyAdmin (F22: twovulnerabilities), qemu (F22; F20: code execution), quassel (F22: denial of service), suricata (F22: denial of service), thunderbird (F22: multiple vulnerabilities),wordpress (F22: cross-site scripting), and xen (F22; F21; F20: privilege escalation).
    Mageia has updated chromium-browser-stable (multiple vulnerabilities) and kernel (memory corruption).
    openSUSE has updated coreutils(13.2: multiple vulnerabilities), firefox(13.2, 13.1: multiple vulnerabilities), libraw (13.2, 13.1: denial of service), LibVNCServer (13.2: code execution), quassel (13.2, 13.1: SQL injection), thunderbird (13.2, 13.1: multiple vulnerabilities), and wireshark (13.2; 13.1: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Red Hat has updated chromium-browser (RHEL6: multiple vulnerabilities).
    SUSE has updated KVM (SLES11SP2:code execution), MySQL (SLE11SP3: multiplevulnerabilities), and Xen (SLES11SP2; SLES11SP1; SLES10SP4: two vulnerabilities).
    Ubuntu has updated kernel (14.04:denial of service), linux-lts-trusty(12.04: denial of service), and postgresql-9.1,postgresql-9.3, postgresql-9.4 (15.04, 14.10, 14.04, 12.04: multiple vulnerabilities).

  • Fedora 22 released
    The Fedora 22 release is out. "If this release had ahuman analogue, it'd be Fedora 21 after it'd been to college,landed a good job, and kept its New Year's Resolution to go to thegym on a regular basis. What we're saying is that Fedora 22 hasbuilt on the foundation we laid with Fedora 21 and the work tocreate distinct editions of Fedora focused on the desktop, server,and cloud (respectively). It's not radically different, but thereare a fair amount of new features coupled with features we'vealready introduced but have improved for Fedora 22." LWN's preview of Fedora 22 was published in theMay 21 Weekly Edition.

  • The end for Mandriva
    An anonymous reader has pointed out that Mandriva iscurrently being liquidated (page in French). The company brought in€553,000 in 2013, but that is seemingly not enough to keep it going in2015. It is a sad end for a company that has been pursuing the desktopLinux dream since 1998.

  • Kernel prepatch 4.1-rc5
    The fifth 4.1 prepatch is out for testing."So we're on schedule for a normal 4.1 release, if it wasn't for thefact that the timing looks like the next merge window would hit our yearlyfamily vacation. So we'll see how that turns out, I might end up delayingthe release just to avoid that (or just delay opening the mergewindow)."

  • [$] A tale of two data-corruption bugs
    There have been two bugs causing filesystem corruption in the newsrecently. One of them, a bug in ext4, has gotten the bulk of theattention, despite the fact that it is an old bug that is hard to trigger.The other, however, is recent and able to cause data loss onfilesystems installed on a RAID 0 array. Both are interestingexamples of how things can go wrong, and, thus, merit a closer look.

  • Nocera: iio-sensor-proxy 1.0 is out!
    At his blog, Bastien Nocera announcesthe 1.0 release of iio-sensor-proxy,a framework for accessing the various environmental sensors (e.g.,accelerometer, magnetometer, proximity, or ambient-light sensors) builtin to recent laptops. The proxy is a daemon that listens to theIndustrial I/O (IIO) subsystem and provides access to the sensorreadings over D-Bus. As of right now, support for ambient-lightsensors and accelerometers is working; other sensor types are indevelopment. The current API is based on those used by Android andiOS, but may be expanded in the future. "For future versions,we'll want to export the raw accelerometer readings, so thatapplications, including games, can make use of them, which might bringup security issues. SDL, Firefox, WebKit could all do with beingadapted, in the near future."

  • Friday's security updates
    Arch Linux has updated chromium (multiple vulnerabilities).
    Debian has updated chromium-browser (multiple vulnerabilities), fuse (privilege escalation), and ntfs-3g (privilege escalation).
    SUSE has updated KVM (SLES11SP1: multiple vulnerabilities),SUSE Manager Server 1.7 (SLE11 SP2: multiple vulnerabilities), and Xen (SLE11 SP3: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Ubuntu has updated apport(two privilege escalation vulnerabilities), fuse (privilege escalation), ntfs-3g (privilege escalation), oxide-qt (14.04, 14.10, 15.04: multiple vulnerabilities), and python-dbusmock (14.04, 14.10, 15.04:code execution).

  • Announcing qboot, a minimal x86 firmware for QEMU
    The announcement of Clear Containers (which guest author Arjan van de Ven described in an LWN article from this week) seems to have sparked some interesting work on QEMU that resulted in qboot: "a minimal x86 firmware that runs on QEMU and, together witha slimmed-down QEMU configuration, boots a virtual machine in 40milliseconds on an Ivy Bridge Core i7 processor." Paolo Bonzini announced the project (code is available at git://, which is quite new: "The first commit to qboot is more or less 24 hours old, so there isdefinitely more work to do, in particular to extract ACPI tables fromQEMU and present them to the guest. This is probably another day ofwork or so, and it will enable multiprocessor guests with little or noimpact on the boot times. SMBIOS information is also available from QEMU."

  • Security advisories for Thursday
    Debian has updated libmodule-signature-perl (multiple vulnerabilities).
    Debian-LTS has updated dnsmasq(information disclosure).
    Fedora has updated wordpress (F21; F20:three vulnerabilities).
    Oracle has updated docker (OL7; OL6: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Red Hat has updated java-1.5.0-ibm (RHEL5&6: multiple vulnerabilities, one from 2005)and java-1.7.1-ibm (RHEL6&7: multiple vulnerabilities, onefrom 2005).
    SUSE has updated gstreamer-0_10-plugins-bad (SLE11SP3: codeexecution) and xen (SLE12: multiple vulnerabilities).

  • How to Manage the Main Menu Icons in Gnome
    No matter what desktop environment you choose to work with, or if you prefer playful docks to classic menus, your system's main repository of applications will always lie on your main menu, found on a corner of your screen or on the center of it in the case that you are using GNOME Shell. One easy way to modify your main menu entries is to use the Alacarte menu editor, another way is to use the FileManager.

  • Jonathan Riddell gets full support from the Kubuntu community
    By now, you’ve probably met the donate page on Ubuntu, the one you see when you go to download an Ubuntu ISO. This donation page has led to a schism between the Ubuntu Community Council and Jonathan Riddell, the ‘leader’ of the Kubuntu project. All stemming from a perceived lack of transparency regarding donations made to Canonical.

  • Video: Making a Fedora 22 MATE desktop OpenVZ container on release day
    Fedora 22 was released yesterday... so I updated the Fedora 22 OpenVZ OS Template I created to be current and submitted it to contrib. For the fun of it I made a screencast that shows making a Fedora 22 container and then installing the MATE desktop environment along with a handful of common desktop applications and how to access everything via x2go.

  • How to edit your documents collaboratively on Linux
    "Developed many years before by some high-strung, compulsive assistant, the Bulletin was simply a Word document that lived in a shared folder both Emily and I could access. Only one of us could open it at a time and add a new message, thought, or question to the itemized list. Then we'd print out the...

  • How to install SSHFS on CentOS 7
    SSHFS is a handy tool to share files securely. It is a filesystem based on the SSH File Transfer Protocol. In this tutorial we will see how to install SSHFS with from the CentOS repository with the yum command and also how to compile it from source.

  • Patent troll with a big verdict against Cisco notches a Supreme Court win
    The Supreme Court issued a ruling today in Commil USA v. Cisco Systems, one of two patent cases it heard this term. On one key issue, the opinion favors Commil, a "patent troll" that won a $64 million jury verdict against Cisco. But other findings mean that the non-practicing entity won't be getting a payday any time soon—and a final section of the opinion is wholly dedicated to reminding judges to sanction misbehaving patent plaintiffs, something that didn't even come up in this case.

  • The Moose is loose: Linux-based worm turns routers into social network bots
    A worm that targets cable and DSL modems, home routers, and other embedded computers is turning those devices into a proxy network for launching armies of fraudulent Instagram, Twitter, and Vine accounts as well as fake accounts on other social networks. The new worm can also hijack routers' DNS service to route requests to a malicious server, steal unencrypted social media cookies such as those used by Instagram, and then use those cookies to add "follows" to fraudulent accounts. This allows the worm to spread itself to embedded systems on the local network that use Linux-based operating systems.

  • Adding Disk Space To An Ubuntu Server VM
    This morning, I worked on an Ubuntu Server 14.04 guest who’s disk space has been increased by the VMWare host. LVM was configured on the guest during installation, so that simplified the process of getting the extra space rolled into the original partitioning scheme. Below is a set of instructions that I was able to use on this live server without interruption in service.

  • Plasma 5.3.1 Fixes Important Bugs
    Today KDE releases a bugfix update to Plasma 5, versioned 5.3.1. Plasma 5.3 was released in January with many feature refinements and new modules to complete the desktop experience. This release adds a month's worth of new translations and fixes from KDE's contributors. The bugfixes are typically small but important.

  • Dropping Ubuntu Edge Was Canonical's Biggest Mistake
    Ubuntu Edge was the superphone from Canonical that never raised the money it needed to become a reality, and the community is still asking about it, two years later. The truth of the matter is that not making the Ubuntu Edge phone is probably the biggest mistake the company ever made.

  • Fedora 22 released and available now
    We are proud to announce the official release of Fedora 22, the community-driven and community-built operating system now available in Cloud, Server, and Workstation editions.

  • Fedora 22 - Screencast and Screenshots
    We are proud to announce the official release of Fedora 22, the community-driven and community-built operating system now available in Cloud, Server, and Workstation editions. Fedora 22 has built on the foundation we laid with Fedora 21 and the work to create distinct editions of Fedora focused on the desktop, server and cloud.

  • Are Windows and OS X malware?
    In today's open source roundup: Richard Stallman lashes out against Windows and OS X. Plus: Microsoft's Cortana is coming to Android. And Steam might not be helping the growth of Linux gaming.

Linux Insider

  • Simplicity Linux Makes Good on Its Easy-Peasy Promise
    The latest edition of Simplicity Linux, version 15.4, recently became available for download. Simplicity Linux delivers just what its name suggests: It is a simpler way to run a fully powered Linux desktop on any computer you touch. Simplicity lets you carry your entire desktop, favorite installed applications, and complete collection of documents and files in your pocket everywhere you go.

  • Russia Aims to Build US-Free Mobile OS
    Russia wants to develop alternatives to proprietary or partly closed mobile operating systems by using open source tools as a foundation, Minister of Telecom and Mass Communications Nikolay Nikiforov said last week. "Success would make a fairly significant impact on the go-to market plans of numerous IT vendors," said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.

  • Popcorn Time Offers Smooth-as-Butter Streaming
    Popcorn Time, known as the "Netflix for Pirates," has introduced a browser-based service that lets users play streaming videos without having to download anything. The videos play on the company's servers. However, the browser-based service does not include a built-in virtual private network, a feature of the downloadable Popcorn Time app. Most of the videos stream in HD.

  • Venom Less Toxic Than Heartbleed
    It was a little over a year ago that the Heartbleed bug shocked the Internet with its potential for mischief. Now another flaw in open source code has sent network administrators into damage control mode. The bug, called "Venom" for "Virtualized Environment Neglected Operations Manipulation," allows an intruder to jump out of a virtual machine and execute malicious code on its host.

  • The Rampant, Risky Babbling of Android Apps
    Eurecom researchers recently developed an Android app that can monitor the network traffic of other apps to alert users of suspicious or malicious activity. With more than 1.2 million applications in the Google Play store, there are multiple programs for performing a particular task. That can make choosing an app a chore for users, they noted in a report released last month.

  • Makulu Gives Unity a Good Name
    Makulu Linux now is one of the first major distros to integrate the Unity desktop. It was more than worth the wait! The Unity desktop is Ubuntu's flagship desktop environment. Canonical pushed through its development several years ago as a way of introducing users to its "unifying" computing platform for all devices. It removed the traditional panel bar and two-column application menu.

  • Venom Vulnerability Could Violate Virtual Machines
    Crowdstrike on Wednesday made public its discovery of yet another long-buried Linux vulnerability. "Venom," as it has been dubbed, was unearthed by the firm's senior security researcher, Jason Geffner. It is listed as vulnerability CVE-2015-3456. Venom exists in the virtual floppy drive code used by virtualization platforms based on QEMU, or quick emulator. It has been around since 2004.

  • Arduboy Could Spark Retro Gaming Revolution
    Arduboy, a new pocket-sized 8-bit game device, has ignited a firestorm of interest on Kickstarter. With 27 days to go, the campaign already has drawn contributions of more than eight times its modest $25k goal. The rapid funding response could spark a miniature retro revolution. The handheld Arduboy has the potential to divert gamers from smartphones and tablets.

  • $9 Debian-Based C.H.I.P. Computer Is a Kickstarter Smash
    C.H.I.P., a Linux-based mini-PC priced at just $9, is receiving an overwhelming response on Kickstarter. Launched last Thursday with a funding goal of $50,000, it has chalked up more than 16,000 backers who have shelled out upwards of $815,000. The project still has 25 days to go. The tiny open source device, made by Next Thing Co., has been dubbed the "Raspberry Pi killer."

  • Cyanogen Taps Truecaller in Effort to Build a Better Mobile OS
    Cyanogen, best known for its FOSS Android-based OS, CyanogenMod, soon will provide caller ID screening and spam blocking directly from the native dialer on Cyanogen OS, the commercial version of its operating system. These capabilities will be provided through the company's global partnership with Truecaller. They will be baked into future smartphone devices preloaded with Cyanogen OS.

  • Voyager-X Will Take You on a New Xfce Journey
    Voyager-X 10.14.4, released in March, is based on Xubuntu/Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. This new Voyager-X is one of the first distros to use the new Xfce 4.12 desktop, more than one year in the making. Ubuntu has yet to implement it, and few other Linux distros have put the new update into play. Thus, the latest Xfce desktop is considered "experimental." However, it is a fully functional upgrade.

  • EMC's ViPR Slithers Into Open Source
    EMC on Wednesday announced it will release its commercial ViPR software storage controller technology as an open source project called "CoprHD." The ViPR software controller puts the control functionality and the data services into separate operational planes, allowing different data services to be layered onto a set of storage hardware products and cloud storage.

  • Mumblehard Malware Mugs Linux Servers
    A family of Linux malware targeting Linux and BSD servers has been lurking around for five years. Dubbed "Linux/Mumblehard," the malware contains a backdoor and a spamming daemon, both written in Perl. The components are mainly Perl scripts encrypted and packed inside an executable and linkable format, or ELF, said Eset. In some cases, one ELF executable with a packer nests inside another.

  • FOSSers Puzzle Over Significance of Open Source .Net Core
    Microsoft last week released a preview of the next version of its .Net Core runtime distribution, fulfilling last fall's pledge to open source .Net and take it cross-platform for Mac and Linux. "Windows 10 is and will be a standard .Net platform, and improving the interoperability of .Net builds bridges from those platforms to Windows 10," said Black Duck Software's Bill Weinberg.

  • Vivid Vervet Doesn't Have Much Meat on Its Bones
    You will not see much new in Ubuntu 15.04, aka "Vivid Vervet," unless you peer under the hood. The release of Ubuntu 15.04 for the desktop includes mostly maintenance and bug fixes, along with new integrated menus and dashboard usability improvements. Perhaps the most significant technical change in this desktop release is the adoption of Systemd to replace the default init manager system.

  • VMware Draws on Open Source to Manage Cloud Micro Services
    VMware last week released details about two new open source projects -- Project Lightwave and Project Photon -- that aim to bridge the divide between the company's virtualization software and other vendors' containers. Both projects integrate into VMware's unified platform for the hybrid cloud, allowing the company to create a consistent environment for cloud-native and traditional applications.

  • Adblock Plus Victorious Again In Court
    New submitter Xochil writes: AdBlock Plus has successfully defended itself in court for the second time in five weeks. The Munich Regional Court ruled against media companies ProSiebenSat1 and IP Deutschland. The companies sued Eyeo, the company behind Adblock Plus, asking the court to ban the distribution of the free ad-blocking software, saying it hurts their ad-based business model. An Eyeo release says in part: "We are elated at the decision reached today by the Munich court, which is another win for every internet user. It confirms each individual’s right to block annoying ads, protect their privacy and, by extension, determine his or her own internet experience. This time it also confirms the legitimacy of our Acceptable Ads initiative as a compromise in the often contentious and rarely progressive world of online advertising."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • A Ph.D Thesis Defense Delayed By Injustice 77 Years
    Taco Cowboy writes: A story about a 102-year old lady doing her PhD thesis defense is not that common, but when the thesis defense was delayed by a whopping 77 years, that gotta raise some eyebrows. Ingeborg Syllm-Rapoport studied diphtheria at the University of Hamburg in Germany and in 1938, the 25-year old Protestant-raised, German-born Ingeborg submitted for her doctorate thesis defense. She was denied her chance for her defense because her mother was of the Jewish ancestry, making her an official "cross-breed". As such the Nazi regime forbid the university from proceeding with her defense, for "racial reasons". She became one of the thousands of scholars and researchers banished from German academe, which at the time included many of the world's most prestigious research institutions, because of Jewish ancestry or opposition to Nazi policies. Many of them ended up suffering or dying in concentration camps. Rudolf Degkwitz, Syllm's professor, was imprisoned for objecting to euthanizing children. Syllm, however, was able to reach the United States and earned her medical degree from the old Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Eventually she married a fellow physician named Samuel Mitja Rapoport, had a family, and moved back to Germany in the 1950s, where she achieved prominence in neonatology. Syllm-Rapoport, who is now 102 years old, might have remained just a doctor (if a very accomplished one) had not the present dean of the Hamburg medical school, Uwe Koch-Gromus, heard her story from a colleague of her son, Tom Rapoport, a Harvard cell biologist. Determined to do what he could to mitigate this wrong, Koch-Gromus arranged Syllm-Rapoport's long-delayed defense. Despite failing eyesight, she brushed up on decades of developments in diphtheria research with the help of friends and the Internet. Koch-Gromus called the 45-minute oral exam given by him and two colleagues on 13 May in her Berlin living room "a very good test. Frau Rapoport has gathered notable knowledge about what's happened since then. Particularly given her age, she was brilliant."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Prospects and Limits For the LHC's Capabilities To Test String Theory
    StartsWithABang writes: The Large Hadron Collider has just been upgraded, and is now making the highest energy collisions of any human-made machine ever. But even at 13 TeV, what are the prospects for testing String Theory, considering that the string energy scale should be up at around 10^19 GeV or so? Surprisingly, there are a number of phenomenological consequences that should emerge, and looking at what we've seen so far, they may disfavor String Theory after all.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • How Much C++ Should You Know For an Entry-Level C++ Job?
    Nerval's Lobster writes: How much C++ do you need to know to land an entry-level job that's heavy in C++? That's a question Dice posed to several developers. While the exact topic was C++, the broader question of "How much X do you actually need to know to make money off it?" could also apply to any number of programming languages. In the case of C++, basics to know include virtual methods, virtual destructors, operator overloading, how templates work, correct syntax, the standard library, and more. Anything less, and a senior developer will likely get furious; they have a job to do, and that job isn't teaching the ins and outs of programming. With all that in mind, what's a minimum level of knowledge for a programming language for entry-level developers?

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Red Hat CEO Publishes Open Source Management Memoir
    ectoman writes: Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst has just published The Open Organization, a book that chronicles his tenure as leader of the world's largest open source company. The book aims to show other business leaders how open source principles like transparency, authenticity, access, and openness can enhance their organizations. It's also filled with information about daily life inside Red Hat. Whitehurst joined Red Hat in 2008 after leaving Delta Airlines, and he says his time working in open source has changed him. "I thought I knew what it took to manage people and get work done," he writes in The Open Organization. "But the techniques I had learned, the traditional beliefs I held for management and how people are taught to run companies and lead organizations, were to be challenged when I entered the world of Red Hat and open source." All proceeds from the book benefit the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and is hosting free book club materials.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Obama Asks Congress To Renew 'Patriot Act' Snooping
    mi writes: President Obama has asked the Senate to renew key Patriot Act provisions before their expiration on May 31. This includes surveillance powers that let the government collect Americans' phone records. Obama said, "It's necessary to keep the American people safe and secure." The call came despite recent revelations that the FBI is unable to name a single terror case in which the snooping provisions were of much help. "Obama noted that the controversial bulk phone collections program, which was exposed by National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, is reformed in the House bill, which does away with it over six months and instead gives phone companies the responsibility of maintaining phone records that the government can search." Obama criticized the Senate for not acting on that legislation, saying they have necessitated a renewal of the Patriot Act provisions.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Heat Wave Kills More Than 1,100 In India
    An anonymous reader sends word that a week-long heat wave in India has resulted in the deaths of more than 1,100 people. Temperatures reached 47C (117F) on Monday and are expected to stay dangerously high throughout the week. The heat and extreme dryness are being accompanied by strong westerly winds. "About one-third of the country's 1.2 billion people have access to electricity, meaning millions are enduring the blistering heat without relief." The local power grid has been struggling under high demand from fans and air conditioning. In some states, citizens are being advised to stay indoors during the middle of the day, when the sun is at its peak. Many hope the upcoming monsoons will return temperatues to less dangerous levels.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Clinton Foundation: Kids' Lack of CS Savvy Threatens the US Economy
    theodp writes: As the press digs for details on Clinton Foundation donations, including a reported $26+ million from Microsoft and Bill Gates, it's probably worth noting the interest the Clintons have developed in computer science and the role they have played — and continue to play — in the national K-12 CS and tech immigration crisis that materialized after Microsoft proposed creating such a crisis to advance its 'two-pronged' National Talent Strategy, which aims to increase K-12 CS education and the number of H-1B visas. Next thing you know, Bill is the face of CS at the launch of Then Hillary uses the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) conference to launch a Facebook, Microsoft, and Google initiative to boost the ranks of female and students of color in CS, and starts decrying woeful CS enrollment. Not to be left out, Chelsea keynotes the NCWIT Summit and launches Google's $50M girls-only Made With Code initiative with now-U.S. CTO Megan Smith. And last December, the Clinton Foundation touted its initiatives to engage middle school girls in CS, revamp the nation's AP CS program, and retrain out-of-work Americans as coders. At next month's CGI America 2015, the conference will kick off with a Beer Bust that CGI says "will also provide an opportunity to learn about Tech Girls Rock, a CGI Commitment to Action launched by CA Technologies in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America that helps girls discover an interest in tech-related educational opportunities and careers." On the following days, CGI sessions will discuss tech's need for a strong and diverse talent pipeline for computer and information technology jobs, which it says is threatened by "the persistent poor performance of American students in science, technology, engineering, and math," presenting "serious implications for the long-term competitiveness of the U.S. economy." So what's the long-term solution? Expanding CS education, of course!

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • SpaceX Cleared For US Military Launches
    An anonymous reader writes: The U.S. Air Force has given private rocket company SpaceX clearance to launch military satellites into orbit. This disrupts the lock that Boeing and Lockheed Martin have had on military launches for almost a decade. SpaceX will get its first opportunity to bid for such launches in June, when the Air Force posts a contract to launch GPS satellites.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • A Text Message Can Crash An iPhone and Force It To Reboot
    DavidGilbert99 writes with news that a bug in iOS has made it so anyone can crash an iPhone by simply sending it a text message containing certain characters. "When the text message is displayed by a banner alert or notification on the lockscreen, the system attempts to abbreviate the text with an ellipsis. If the ellipsis is placed in the middle of a set of non-Latin script characters, including Arabic, Marathi and Chinese, it causes the system to crash and the phone to reboot." The text string is specific enough that it's unlikely to happen by accident, and users can disable text notification banners to protect themselves from being affected. However, if a user receives the crash-inducing text, they won't be able to access the Messages app without causing another crash. A similar bug crashed applications in OS X a few years ago.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Volvo Self-Parking Car Hits People Because Owner Didn't Pay For Extra Feature
    schwit1 writes: A video that recently went viral shows a demonstration of a Volvo XC60's self-parking feature. It reverses itself, waits, and then confidently drives into a group of people at a non-negligible speed. (Two were hit, and while both were bruised, they were otherwise OK.) The situation was presumed to have resulted from a malfunction with the car — but the car might not have had the ability to recognize a human at all. A Volvo representative said the car was not equipped with the "Pedestrian detection" feature. That feature is sold as a separate package.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Insurer Won't Pay Out For Security Breach Because of Lax Security
    chicksdaddy writes: In what may become a trend, an insurance company is denying a claim from a California healthcare provider following the leak of data on more than 32,000 patients. The insurer, Columbia Casualty, charges that Cottage Health System did an inadequate job of protecting patient data. In a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in California, Columbia alleges that the breach occurred because Cottage and a third party vendor, INSYNC Computer Solution, Inc. failed to follow "minimum required practices," as spelled out in the policy. Among other things, Cottage "stored medical records on a system that was fully accessible to the internet but failed to install encryption or take other security measures to protect patient information from becoming available to anyone who 'surfed' the Internet," the complaint alleges. Disputes like this may become more common, as insurers anxious to get into a cyber insurance market that's growing by about 40% annually use liberally written exclusions to hedge against "known unknowns" like lax IT practices, pre-existing conditions (like compromises) and so on.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Ask Slashdot: Will Technology Disrupt the Song?
    An anonymous reader writes: The music industry has gone through dramatic changes over the past thirty years. Virtually everything is different except the structure of the songs we listen to. Distribution methods have long influenced songwriting habits, from records to CDs to radio airplay. So will streaming services, through their business models, incentivize a change to song form itself? Many pop music sensations are already manufactured carefully by the studios, and the shift to digital is providing them with ever more data about what people like to listen to. And don't forget that technology is a now a central part of how such music is created, from auto-tune and electronic beats to the massive amount of processing that goes into getting the exact sound a studio wants.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • How To Die On Mars
    An anonymous reader writes: Many space-related projects are currently focusing on Mars. SpaceX wants to build a colony there, NASA is looking into base design, and Mars One is supposedly picking astronauts for a mission. Because of this, we've been reading a lot about how we could live on Mars. An article at Popular Science reminds us of all the easy ways to die there. "Barring any complications with the spacecraft's hardware or any unintended run-ins with space debris, there's still a big killer lurking out in space that can't be easily avoided: radiation. ... [And] with so little atmosphere surrounding Mars, gently landing a large amount of weight on the planet will be tough. Heavy objects will pick up too much speed during the descent, making for one deep impact. ... Mars One's plan is to grow crops indoors under artificial lighting. According to the project's website, 80 square meters of space will be dedicated to plant growth within the habitat; the vegetation will be sustained using suspected water in Mars' soil, as well as carbon dioxide produced by the initial four-member crew. However, analysis conducted by MIT researchers last year (PDF) shows that those numbers just don't add up."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Supreme Court Rules In Favor of Patent Troll
    An anonymous reader writes: The Supreme Court ruled today (PDF) that Cisco Systems can't skip out of a patent suit against them from patent troll Commil USA. The case reached the Supreme Court because Cisco argued it had a "good faith belief" that the patent they were infringing was invalid. The justices voted 6-2 that such a belief didn't matter if they were indeed infringing. The Supreme Court's opinion is that a company must know of the patent it's infringing, and that their product infringes upon the patent — which, at least, is more than what Commil was pushing. The case isn't completely over — a $63.7 million verdict in Commil's favor was overturned by an Appeals Court, and now the Supreme Court has sent it back down for re-evaluation after it clarified the rules of infringement. The Appeals Court could still overturn the judgment for some other reason. The good news is that the Supreme Court dedicated a page in their opinion to telling lower courts how to sanction patent trolls and keep them from clogging the courts with ridiculous claims. "[I]t is still necessary and proper to stress that district courts have the authority and responsibility to ensure frivolous cases are dissuaded."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Stranded Brussels airport passengers told to check Facebook
    Power surge nixes Belgian air traffic control, grounds 20,000 travellers
    An “electrical fault” wiped out Belgium's air traffic control systems nationwide this morning, according to Belgocontrol, which is responsible for air navigation above Belgium and Luxembourg.…

  • Shuttleworth delivers death blow in Umbongoland dispute
    Kubuntu chief’s head placed on cloud-based, open source spike
    A storm of accusations, claims, and furious counterclaims has hit the Ubuntu penguins, with a community cleaved of its head following allegations of unsavory behavior.…

  • Elon Musk's SpaceX: Now we help do SURVEILLANCE for the SPOOKS
    Monopoly-busting move paves way for private enterprise
    After an extended spat between Elon Musk and the US Air Force, SpaceX has finally been certified for military space missions, muscling into what had been a cosy monopoly held by a Lockheed-Boeing joint venture.…

  • Mergers scuttle strategy as Ofcom reneges on spectrum promise
    It's all about the spectrum imbalance (maybe)
    Ofcom wants to hold onto the 60MHz of the 190MHz of spectrum it had announced would be for sale, and is floating the idea of scaling things back, citing a change in market conditions for the sale, slated for the end of this year or the beginning of next.…

  • Daisy Group: Yep, we're gonna eat you all up, Phoenix IT Group
    160-pence-per-share bid values tech services biz at 135m
    Directors at Phoenix IT Group are “unanimously” backing the 160-pence-per-share offer that was formally made by Daisy Group this morning, valuing the entire share capital at close to 135m.…

  • Why are all the visual special effects studios going bust?
    If movies are using more VFX, why aren't they coining it. To infinity?
    Worstall on Wednesday An interesting read popped up on Motherboard recently: if all and every movie now uses ever more visual effects, then why the heck are all the visual effects (VFX) studios going bust?…

  • Make Adama proud: Connect your Things wisely, cadet
    Cylons, Daleks or Skynet to enslave humanity: you choose
    Internet of Lawnmowers Last time I explored the concept of geofencing, and how low-power technologies are used both to create "virtual walls" and to create beacons. This time, I’m going to take a look at the individual technologies that Internet of Things (IoT) devices will use to communicate for the next several years.…

  • Death-to-passwords FIDO Alliance finds a friend at DOCOMO
    Forget passwords; Japanese users can buy online with their EYEBALLS
    Japanese users will be able to log in and make online purchases using iris recognition biometrics after telco giant DOCOMO begins shipping Fujitsu ARROWS phones.…

  • Win Phone to outgrow smartmobe market for next four years
    Between now and 2019 we'll make one mobe for just about every human on Earth
    Abacus-wielder IDC has issued a new set of prognostications about the mobile phone market, predicting that 1.447 billion of them will ship this year.…

  • Interplanetary Internet about as useful as flying pigs says Vint Cerf
    InterPlanetary Networking Special Interest Group gets a reality check
    Boffins that want to see Internet protocols extend to outer space – the so-called “Interplanetary Internet” – need to prove they're offering something useful, according to one of the father-figures of the Earth-bound Internet.…

  • Kali Linux gives itself a Docker-cut
    Contain myself? Don't mind if I do says hacker-whacker Linux distro
    Penetration testing gurus Offensive Security have made their popular Kali operating system available for Docker-addicted system administrators.…

  • JPL joins DARPA's Memex project
    Better search and indexing for space stuff
    DARPA's Memex “deep Web” search research has a new high-profile supporter: NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is looking for new ways to catalogue the flood of data arriving from spacecraft.…

  • Synology slings patch at buggy NAS boxens
    Free photo peep for hacker creeps
    Securify co-founder Cengiz Han Sahin says Synology has patched a remote vulnerability that allowed attackers to compromise its storage devices.…

  • HP to buy ConteXtream for SDN/NFV top-up
    OpenNFV partner becomes virty carrier biz unit
    HP is looking to beef up its service provider software-defined networking (SDN) footprint, with the acquisition of Comcast and Verizon-backed ConteXtream.…

  • nbn has made ZERO fibre-to-the-node and cable connections
    Revenue and connection rates up, but we're yet to see any 'multi' in the technology mix
    Australia's national broadband network continues apace with nbnTM announcing that it's adding more than 12,000 premises per week to its serviceable footprint.…

  • Record labels back indie muso's bid to snatch .music from web giants
    Underdog may win rights to coveted internet extension
    In what could prove to be an extraordinary David versus Goliath story, an independent musician may walk away with the highly coveted .music top-level domain, beating off competition from Google, Amazon, and the music industry itself.… offline for now

  • Russia's Baikal Chips End Up Going For A MIPS CPU
    Last year was news about Russia wanting to design its own processors to be less reliant upon Intel and AMD. The initial "Baikal" processor was expected to be based on ARMv8 but it turns out now that it's a MIPS design...

  • Mesa Git OpenGL Tests With Intel Ivy Bridge Graphics
    Most often these days when running Intel Linux graphics tests at Phoronix it's with Haswell, Broadwell, or Bay Trail hardware. However, in being curious if there's any performance improvements for slightly older hardware with Mesa 10.6 or Mesa 10.7-devel Git, I've run some fresh Ivy Bridge numbers...

  • There Are 140k Benchmark Results So Far On
    Yesterday data access to was opened, the public results viewer to the immense amount of test data -- primarily the Linux kernel, LLVM Clang, and GCC -- collected on a daily basis within the new server room. Here's some numbers behind it...

  • Friction Building Around An Ubuntu Community Council Decision
    The longtime leader of Kubuntu, Jonathan Riddell, appears to be out of any leadership position relating to Ubuntu for at least twelve months. This decision has caused some to criticize the Ubuntu Community Council for their decision made in relative private -- a decision that was also backed by Mark Shuttleworth...

  • Bye Bye Mandriva, She's Being Liquidated
    While there hasn't been much interest in Mandriva in a few years with derivatives like OpenMandriva and Mageia taking much of the spotlight, Mandriva as a company is now being liquidated...

  • Scribus 1.5 Released, Ported To Qt 5 With Big UI Overhaul Coming
    A few days ago the Scribus team quietly tagged Scribus 1.5.0 in SVN. This release is a preview / testing release, but it provides an interest look at the next stable release: 1.6.0. No release date or schedule is known for 1.6.0. For those uninformed, Scribus is an open-source desktop publishing suite...

  • Qt 4.8.7 Released - Marks The End Of Qt4
    While Qt 5 has so many compelling advantages over Qt4, for those still running the older version of the Norwegian toolkit, version 4.8.7 of Qt4 is now available and it ships with tons of changes...

  • Opening The Gates To Our Daily Open-Source Linux Benchmark Results
    For a few months now I've been talking about the initiative to provide daily benchmark results of the latest development Git/SVN code for various open-source projects in a fully-automated manner... Among the projects being tracked have been the Linux kernel, GCC, LLVM Clang, etc. There's dozens of systems at Phoronix Media in "the basement server room" doing nothing but running these upstream benchmarks day in and day out. The data flow is now open at

  • The CompuLab Fitlet Is A Neat Little Linux PC With AMD SoC
    Earlier this year CompuLab announced the Fitlet PC as a tiny, fanless, Linux-friendly PC. The Fitlets are finally starting to ship at scale and recently I received one of the AMD-powered Fitlets that's preloaded with Linux Mint. Here's a quick look at the Fitlet...

  • Linux 4.1-rc5 Kernel Released
    While Linux 4.1-rc4 was late, the fifth release candidate to the Linux 4.1 kernel is back out to being on Torvalds' usual Sunday release schedule...

  • Noctua NH-U12DX i4 + NF-F12
    With the basement conversion into a big Linux server room where there's 50~60 systems running daily at full load while running our many open-source benchmarks, cooling has been a challenge with now experiencing summer temperatures. I've already resorted to retro-fitting in extra powered ventilation ducts to keep pushing fresh air into the server room. That did some help, but also of aid is upgrading the cooling systems on some of the more powerful systems rather than using the stock heatsinks and fans. For helping out the cooling situation, Noctua sent out a while ago the NH-U12DX i4 and NF-F12.

  • Features Added To Mesa 10.6 For Open-Source GPU Drivers
    Mesa 10.6 is up to a release candidate state and should be officially released in early June. If you're not up to speed on this quarterly update to the open-source user-space graphics drivers, here's an overview of the new features for Mesa 10.6...

  • Fedora 22 Is Being Released Next Tuesday
    While yesterday there was risk of Fedora 22 being delayed beyond next week, this next Fedora Linux release was cleared today for being released next Tuesday...


  • Castrol makes a driver burn rubber while wearing a VR headset

    You'd think that blinding a professional driver with a custom Oculus Rift headset as they drift around a live track would be a crazy way to promote anything. And you'd be right. But, well, Castrol really wants you to know about its new EDGE Titanium Strong motor oil. So much so that it strapped a VR headset on racer Matt Powers and turned a Roush Stage 3 Mustang into a VR controller for its Virtual Drift Trial. From his perspective he's navigating through an apocalyptic VR landscape with crumbling roads and tidal waves of volcanic rock. From ours, it's as if he's got a death wish like an extra from Mad Max: Fury Road.

    Sure, the final product looks like an orgy of Adobe After Effects and Michael Bay's action movie aesthetic. But after sitting through a brief demo of the VR experience on Samsung's Gear VR, it's pretty clear that Virtual Drift is more than just special effects. The VR demo put me in the passenger seat as Powers made his way around the track, constantly switching between the VR and real-world view. (You can get a similar experience with this 360-degree video clip.) Unfortunately, I wasn't able to switch between the two views on the fly, but Castrol reps said they might have something like that in the works for later this year.

    Castrol tapped technologists Adam Amaral (he's the guy in the passenger seat) and Glenn Snyder to build a new experience to show off its Titanium Strong oil back in November. By December, they were committed to the idea of combining a real-world racing and VR experience. And come February, they were ready to film. That's a pretty fast turnaround for any tech project, let alone one that has drivers drifting around tracks at high speeds while blind to the real world. "It's a big trust exercise," Snyder said.

    To power the whole experience, Snyder and Amaral combined an Oculus Rift DK2 headset with a traditional racing helmet and built a server filled with NVIDIA GTX 980 video cards, which sat in the trunk of the car. They developed Virtual Drift in Unreal Engine 4, relying heavily on NVIDIA's PhysX engine to get the physics just right. There were also a plethora of sensors all around the car feeding into the PhysX engine. Testing involved plenty of long nights in abandoned parking lots with a rented Mustang (just try explaining that to the cops).

    At the end of the day, Castrol and crew ended up making a cool film trailer to sell their fancy new oil. But the only way they can show off the full extent of the Virtual Drift experience is by giving people a chance to see it in VR. Castrol says it plans to put it on the Oculus Store eventually (which is also accessible on the Gear VR), but for now you can check out the 360-degree video to get a taste.

    Filed under: Misc, Gaming


  • Chevrolet's 2016 models support both CarPlay and Android Auto

    Apple's and Google's in-car efforts aren't mainstream just yet, but manufacturers have given us a glimpse at how these features will work going forward. Soon enough, most automakers are expected to support CarPlay or Android Auto, even though others like Toyota won't be playing along anytime soon. Chevrolet, meanwhile, announced today that 14 of its 2016 models, including cars, trucks and crossovers, will be compatible with CarPlay and Android Auto, making it easy for people to enjoy either platform based on which smartphone they own. What this means is that buyers don't have to worry about choosing one over the other; instead, Chevy's MyLink infotainment system is compatible with both simultaneously.

    Let's say you have an iPhone 6, for instance. All you have to do is plug it in via USB and, in a matter of seconds, the console will automatically recognize it as a CarPlay device, after which you'll have access to select core applications. The same goes for drivers who own an Android handset (running Lollipop or above), but with Android Auto showing up on the 7- or 8-inch screen, depending on the vehicle. Obviously, one of the concerns here is data usage, so Chevrolet is letting users pick between what's being provided by their carrier or one of its OnStar 4G LTE plans -- if the latter option is chosen, you'd simply need to connect your smartphone to the car's WiFi hotspot.

    Chevrolet won't be limiting the functionality to its cars in the US, either. The company says it will be available in the same places as Apple's CarPlay and Google's Android Auto -- great news for everyone who's a fan of the recently introduced Spark or Malibu. Unfortunately, there's no backward compatibility, so you'll need one of the 2016 models if you want to have this on your Chevy.

    Filed under: Cellphones, Misc, Transportation, Apple, Google


  • LG's G4 arrives at T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon and US Cellular next week

    Have you been eyeing LG's latest flagship handset since it was announced last month? Well, it's set to arrive in the US next week. T-Mobile began selling the G4 online today, for $0 down and $25/month for two years or $599.76 if you're looking to part with a lump sum. The pink-hued carrier is looking to lure early adopters with an extra that'll make good use of that microSD card slot. If you opt in "while supplies last," you can expect a free 128GB card for free. And T-Mobile's the spot to grab that dapper brown leather rear cover. The LG G4 won't go on sale in stores until June 3rd, so nabbing one now means yours will ship before the phone hits retail. Not a fan of T-Mobile? Fret not.

    Sprint announced last week that it would start selling the G4 on June 5th Metallic Gray and Leather Black. The carrier also has the same deal as T-Mobile ($0 down, $25/month for 24 months), on top of the two-year contract price of $200. And yes, you can still forgo the commitment for $600. Verizon's version of G4 will be available June 4th, but it's taking pre-orders starting tomorrow. Spacing out the payments over 24 months will set you back $22.91/month with Big Red and buying the handset outright with no contract costs $550. Opting to go with Verizon still gets you the phone in either Metallic Gray or Leather Black and there's also a number of bundles that tack on an LG tablet or the LG Watch Urbane for some extra dough.

    If you still aren't happy with those options, US Cellular will have the G4 up for grabs on June 4th. Unfortunately, there's no word on when the handset will be available from AT&T just yet. LG's offering offering added perks to get you splurge for the device with an extra battery, charging cradle and 32GB microSD card available by mail -- if you purchase before June 21st. What does opening up your wallet to any of these carriers get you? On top of the aforementioned expandable storage, there's great battery life, a 5.5-inch vibrant IPS Quantum display, capable 16-megapixel camera and more.

    Filed under: Cellphones, Mobile, LG


    Source: Verizon

  • Facebook tests a new Security Checkup to keep your account safe

    Over the last few years Facebook has made a number of tweaks to make it easier to protect your account from hackers, but that doesn't mean individual users are keeping up. Since there's no point to security features if people don't use them, and hacked accounts are annoying for everyone (why are they always selling sunglasses? Who wants cheap Oakleys that much?) it's testing a new Security Checkup feature. The idea is that it's a simple and straightforward walkthrough for some of the things everyone should keep an eye on in regards to their account -- update the password, double check connected apps and devices, activate login alerts -- and if the response is good, more people will see the prompt soon. If you (or your friend/relative with the account that's constantly pushing spam) aren't seeing it yet, a visit to the Privacy Basics page is another way to make sure things are locked down.
    (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.src = "//"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));Posted by Facebook Security on Wednesday, May 27, 2015
    Filed under: Internet, Facebook


    Source: Facebook Security

  • The DJs of Silicon Valley who are changing music
    QBert and Yogafrog, respectively, both came up in the Bay Area mobile DJ scene of the early '80s. In 1996, they formed their own company, Thud Rumble, to help drive their craft forward with affordable gear created by and for DJs. From the early days launching cutting-edge records, to designing mixers for some of the biggest names in music and teaming up with Intel to create low-cost, low-latency instruments, Thud Rumble has had a huge impact on the technology used in the DJ world, all while living in the shadow of larger Silicon Valley companies.

    It recently stepped out of that shadow at Maker Faire when it showed off its wares at the Intel booth. Children and adults alike crowded around the Thud Rumble tables for a chance to put on headphones and try out the three instruments developed using the Intel Edison chip: a drum machine, a keyboard and a mixer connected to a turntable. They tapped out beats, scratched records and played that one song they know on the piano. What most of the attendees probably didn't realize is that all those devices have an incredibly low latency of 0.5 millisecond -- something musicians clamor for when playing digital instruments attached to computers. In this regard, latency is the time between a key being pushed or a record scratched and the sound emitting from the speakers. Currently, DJ's with digital gear are routinely adjusting their setups to get between two and seven milliseconds of latency. When you're scratching quickly to the beat, a few milliseconds can throw your timing off. In fact, when a song requires extremely quick scratching, most professionals opt for scratching on analog, skipping the computer all together because digital just can't keep up.

    People can't help but want to make music. Give them an instrument and they'll try to play something even if it's for a few moments before giving up. But children -- children will stick around a bit longer.

    "We want to make it really focused for the kids," said Desuasido. "We want to develop it more so the kids can get in."

    "And at a low-ass price," Quitevis injects from the company's unassuming storefront in Millbrae, California. The office is a reminder of what's at the heart of this empire: the love of a craft that in some clubs has been replaced almost entirely by an app. Turntables, mixers, keyboards and drum machines fill nearly every crevice. In the back of the office lies the Octagon a table where four DJs can scratch, hang out and share tips about their craft. It's communal. Everyone in the office is a DJ in addition to whatever their job title is. Lead Developer Rich Johnson (aka DJ Hard Rich) demoed the Edison-powered mixer by scratching. His love of DJing as a kid ran parallel with his love of developing.

    The team found their passion early in life. They want to ignite that same love of music in children with their latest venture. But adult musicians, especially DJs, will also be excited to try out a mixer that stores all their music and tracks in nearly real time. Because the set up doesn't require a computer, Thud Rumble is talking to manufacturers about placing a display directly on the mixer to mimic the UI found in many DJ apps. It would mean the end of dragging a laptop to a show. If multiple DJs are on the bill, you just arrive with a USB stick with your tracks. Or better yet, a platter.

    Like the Thud Rumble guys, ThinkLive CEO Charles Spencer is a DJ. But he's also a hardware developer. Spooner created and patented a turntable that houses three sensors to track vinyl, platter and tone-arm movement. It removes the need for vinyl records with timecode to interact with digital audio. The turntable will actually work with any piece of vinyl and track, as well as vinyl with timecode tracks. But it's what it does with that tracking data that's impressive.

    Because it's tracking even the slightest movement in near real time, the system outputs a digital scratch waveform of a session. Those waveforms can be used to add different samples and filters, to the audio. If you're recording a mix and the audio feels hollow, you can change the sound attached to the waveform. And like the Edison-powered devices, its latency is lower than systems that go through a computer and mixer. As for DJing, all music would be stored on the platter. Instead of switching out a computer, DJs would just swap out the platter and start scratching. The setup was impressive enough to get the Thud Rumble guys on board as soon as they saw it. When Spooner met with QBert at a recent NAMM, he made if halfway through his PowerPoint presentation when Quitevis stopped him. "This is the future of DJing," he said.

    Like DJing itself, the desire to guide the future of the turntables starts with vinyl. Thud Rumble first created records that have a series of samples for DJs. Then the company made that record unskippable, with each track's grooves along the X-axis containing the same repeated sample. That way if the needle jumps out of the groove but still lands on the same track, it will still pick back up at the exact same point. With each new product, Desuasido said they told themselves, "that idea really came to life; let's keep doing this."

    Then Desuasido and Quitevis met Japanese musical instrument manufacturer Vestax. "That's when we started designing for a big DJ company and eventually turned them into the main DJ company in the '90s and early 2000s," Desuasido said. The company designed the PMC-05, 06 and 07 series of scratch mixers, which became the industry standard. It also designed the direct-drive Vestax PDX-2000 turntable, which, like the mixers, became an industry standard along with the Technics SL-1200 turntable line.

    Eventually Thud Rumble started designing for Pioneer, Native Instruments, Ortofon, Casio and others. QBert started an online DJ school: QBert Skratch University. The company is about to launch its own mixer in partnership with DJ Tech Pro. The TRX will be available at Guitar Center, Amazon and on in July. It also has four apps in the App Store and Google Play Store. QBert also released an album and companion animated movie (produced by Yogafrog), which was shown at the Sundance Film Festival. Quitevis and Desuasido's one-stop site for the DJ community sells clothing, slipmats, stickers, DVDs, CDs, cartridges and, of course, vinyl.

    It is commerce tied to an earnest enthusiasm for a craft that's tough to find at most startups in Silicon Valley. It's an idea factory where it's not unusual to get texts from QBert or Yogafrog because they thought of something while sitting next to someone on a plane. Those ideas no longer revolve exclusively around DJing. The team is tapping into the technology available now to think about the future. Desuasido says: "We plan to do this with every musical instrument, really. There's so much out there that's untapped."

    Filed under: Misc, Software, Intel


    Source: Thud Rumble

  • Apple is reportedly working on its answer to Google Now

    Apple has made some efforts to give you relevant info when you need it (such as iOS' Today screen), but it hasn't really had a response to Google Now, which brings you everything from timely directions to cheap flights. According to 9to5Mac's sources, however, that's going to change soon. The crew at 1 Infinite Loop is reportedly working on Proactive, an effort to unite Siri, contacts, schedules and apps in a way that surfaces info at just the right time. A revamped Spotlight search screen in iOS will automatically fill with content based on your schedule and habits. If you're going on a trip, for example, it'll pop up your Passbook ticket when it's time to go; if you always check Facebook in the morning, you'll get an app shortcut. There are also promises of restaurant suggestions showing up at meal time.

    There are other projects in the works that could help out Proactive, too. Maps is believed to be getting an augmented reality tool, Browse Around Me, that will help you learn more about points of interest -- look at a coffee shop and you'd get its menu. There would also be a shrunk-down version of Siri's voice recognition service that would let it dive into apps without risking the privacy issues that arise when you're sending personal data to third-party software.

    Whether or not Proactive and its companion features show up in iOS 9 isn't clear. The tipsters understand that Apple is still focused on quality for the next mobile OS release, and it may cut back on features for the initial launch in favor of expanding them over time. It won't be shocking if Tim Cook and company show up at next month's Worldwide Developer Conference with only a few Proactive features, if they even discuss it at all. Given how rough iOS 8 was in its early days, we wouldn't blame the iPhone maker for holding off.

    Filed under: Cellphones, Internet, Mobile, Apple


    Source: 9to5Mac

  • Transform parts of your screen into Mario levels with Screentendo

    You know what's a good cure for office boredom? A Mac app that changes parts of your screen into a playable level straight out of Screentendo desktop add-on, a similar process to that of taking a screenshot can have you playing a unique Mario level in seconds. In this case, game building is a two-step process that first determines the underlying structure of the image before generating those bricks on top. Randall admits that the app isn't without flaws, and that it's more of a proof-of-concept than anything else. For example, the image rendering works best on images with high contrast -- like the Google logo captured in the video after the break.

    Filed under: Gaming


    Via: VentureBeat

    Source: Aaron Randall

  • This pizza box doubles as a movie projector

    Movie-and-pizza night usually means having to retreat to the TV in the living room, but not if you live in Hong Kong. Ad firm Ogilvy & Mather HK has built the Pizza Hut Blockbuster Box, a pizza box that turns into a projector at the drop of a hat. All you do is pluck a lens out of the protective stand, mount it in the side of the box and use your smartphone (conveniently perched on the stand) as the video source -- any video that plays on your phone suddenly becomes room-sized. There's no mention of whether or not this cardboard theater will reach other countries, but it's hard to imagine this concept being limited to one city for very long.

    Filed under: Home Entertainment, Peripherals, HD


    Via: PSFK

    Source: Blockbuster Box, Ogilvy & Mather (Vimeo)

  • Pebble Time review: an underdog among smartwatches

    For two years, Pebble was the smartwatch company to beat. In 2012, it raised over $10 million on Kickstarter for its simple, monochrome e-paper wristwatch, putting itself and the crowdfunding site on the map. But things move quickly in the technology world. Google has since come out with Android Wear, prompting a slew of smartphone companies to suddenly turn into watchmakers. Not to be outdone, Apple joined the fray as well, positing its own wearable as a timepiece premium enough for high-end boutiques. So when Pebble debuted the Time, its second-generation $199 smartwatch, on Kickstarter three months ago, it was facing much stiffer competition. Surprisingly, that too made crowdfunding history, raising more than $20 million in just over a month. Did 78,471 backers make the right decision? I attempt to find out.
    If you're looking for a stylish fashion-forward smartwatch that can double as a luxury timepiece, look elsewhere. With its square display, polycarbonate shell and wide silicone bands, the Pebble Time is decidedly more geek than chic. Yet, the Time has a charm all its own, with a casual, sporty look that I rather like. Sure, it'll probably look out of place at a fancy cocktail party, but for a simple everyday watch, I think it's alright.
    Additionally, while most smartwatches tend to be oversized and bulky for my slender wrists, the Time's 40.5 x 37.5mm case isn't too big or too small; it fits me just right. It's a hair thinner than its predecessor at 9.5mm (the original Pebble was 11.5mm thick) and has a slight bend to better hug the curvature of the wrist. The stainless steel border surrounding the display also gives it a touch of class that I really appreciate -- it's certainly better than the original's all-plastic styling.
    The real differentiator between the Time and the original Pebble, however, is the display -- it's now in color. But instead of going with an OLED panel, Pebble opted for a color e-paper display. Yes, this means that the screen isn't quite as bright and luminous as the Apple Watch and most Android Wear devices. The colors of e-paper are also a lot more muted than what you would see on an OLED display. But e-paper gives the Time a few significant advantages.

    For one thing, the display is on all the time; there's no need to press a button or flick your wrist to see what time it is. The 2.5D Gorilla Glass display is also very readable even under really bright sunlight, which isn't what we can say about some of the other smartwatches. If you do want the display to be brighter, there's an LED backlight that you can turn on momentarily, but there's unfortunately no backlight timer to make it last longer than a few seconds. The biggest advantage, though, is battery life. While the Apple Watch and Android Wear devices might manage a day or two on a charge, the Time is slated to last up to seven days before running out of juice.
    Unfortunately, however, the Time has a very thick bezel, which is made even worse by the aforementioned stainless steel frame. As a result, the 1.25-inch e-paper display looks positively diminutive on the Time's watch face. Most Pebble apps are made for that screen size, so I understand the rationale for it, but it just seems like a lot of wasted space.
    As for the rest of the watch's controls, they're pretty similar to the original Pebble -- that's right, there's no touchscreen interface. Look around and you'll find a back button on the left, along with up, down and select buttons on the right. The up and down buttons lead to "Past" and "Future" spots in Pebble's new timeline interface (more on this later), although you can also map them as quick-launch shortcuts to certain applications if you press and hold down on them. The buttons are raised above the surface and are really tactile; I could find them just by feeling around. It doesn't seem like much, but I really appreciate that I could press a button to dismiss my alarm without even looking at the watch. As a bonus, they also have some nice "give" when pushed.

    Flip the watch around and you'll notice a couple of metal pins that attach to a proprietary magnetic charging cable. Keep in mind that you won't be able to use the charging cable from the original Pebble with the Time; you'll simply have to use the new one. Aside from acting as charging pins, the magnetic will also work as a smart accessory port with upcoming "smartstraps" that add additional functionality to the watch. They're not available just yet, but a few of the proposed ones add GPS, a heart rate monitor and NFC. While I wasn't able to test these smartstraps, the idea itself is intriguing: Imagine a smartwatch that gets better over time as new smartstraps emerge. This could potentially make the Pebble Time the first-ever futureproof smartwatch.
    Also on the rear of the watch are a couple of quick-release triggers so you can easily swap straps, which is a good thing because the Time has a standard 22mm lug that is compatible with a wide variety of third-party straps. Other notable hardware specs include an accelerometer (if you like, you can enable the backlight whenever you lift your wrist), a vibrating motor for alerts, a compass, a microphone for voice commands (more on this later) and an ambient light sensor that adjusts the brightness of the LED backlight depending on your surroundings. The Pebble Time is also water-resistant up to 30 meters. And, of course, it has Bluetooth 4.0 LE for connecting to your phone.

    Just like with the original Pebble, you'll need to pair the watch with a phone in order for it to work. In order to do that, you'll need to download the Pebble Time app, which is available on both Android and iOS. Once that's done, simply go through the instructions of pairing your phone to the watch, and then you're ready to start customizing. The software lets you add watch faces and a variety of apps, just like before. Indeed, the Pebble Time is backward-compatible with nearly 6,500 apps that are already in the Pebble app store.
    But the similarities end there. Pebble didn't just change up its hardware with the Time. Oh no, it actually created a whole new operating system for it as well. Simply called Timeline, Pebble's new watch interface is based around the concept of, well, time. All your app notifications, reminders, events and news are now laid out in chronological order. Press the up button and you'll see items like calendar events and sports scores from a couple hours ago. Press it again and you'll see items from yesterday, like your total step count if you have a pedometer app installed. Inversely, pressing the down button will give you a peek at future events -- say, an upcoming appointment or the weather forecast.
    The idea behind this timeline metaphor is that you no longer need to launch an app to find out desired info. Simply go into the Pebble Time app on your phone and select the "Timeline pins" toggle to "pin" that particular app. So if you pinned the ESPN app, for example, you would see the scores of last night's games if you scrolled into the "Past" (you'd need to select your favorite teams so that it knows which games to keep track of). You'd also see the time of tomorrow night's games if you scrolled into the "Future."

    But that doesn't mean you won't still have access to apps. Selecting the center button from the main watch screen opens up the App Menu, which essentially lists all of the apps that you've installed. The default apps include Notifications, Music, Alarms and Watchfaces. Notifications is simply a list of all of your recent phone notifications; Music is a remote control for the music player on your phone; Alarms lets you set a vibrating watch alarm (duh); and Watchfaces is simply a list of different watch faces that you've installed and can choose from. You can also access the settings menu from the app tray, which lets you set options like your time zone, choose which app you want to use for activity tracking (more on this later) and enable or disable vibrating alerts. I especially like the ability to set a Do Not Disturb time schedule so that your watch doesn't go crazy with notifications in the middle of the night.
    As far as the number of apps that you can install, well, that depends. According to Pebble, the Time is capable of storing more than 50 apps and watch faces -- it depends on how large each app/watch face is. If you install more than the watch can hold, it'll just offload the apps you don't use as much. If you do want to call up those old apps, it will simply reload them over Bluetooth when requested. The idea is akin to storing your music on the cloud instead of on your device. That said, I probably wouldn't install more than a dozen or so; scrolling down the long list of apps in the app tray gets tiresome.
    Of course, you can get all kinds of apps in the appstore, from funny watch faces (my favorite is the Nyan Cat one that actually shows an animated, rainbow Pop Tart cat flying through space whenever the watch is activated) to activity trackers. There is one caveat, however: You can only really have one activity-tracking app at a time. This means that if you have three similar apps, you can only assign one of them to be the one that tracks your steps.

    As I alluded to earlier, there are a few big-name apps in the store already. My favorites include ESPN (so that I can keep track of how the San Francisco Giants are doing), an app called Transport that lets me hail an Uber from my wrist and FitCat, which is sort of a Tamagotchi game and an activity tracker all-in-one (the more you walk, the happier the cat becomes).
    Like other smartwatches, the Time also lets you receive text messages. As for what you can do with those, well, that depends on which OS you use. Due to iOS app restrictions, you can't really do much with messages aside from dismissing them. If you're on Android, however, you're able to reply to a message in a number of ways -- you can either choose from a list of canned responses, one of many emojis or decide to respond by voice. If you select voice, you can then simply speak your reply and the watch will translate your voice to text as best it can. I only tested this on a few occasions, but it was pretty accurate most of the time. According to a company rep, Pebble is working hard to enable voice replies (to email at least) and note-taking on iOS as well.

    About those voice commands -- they're really pretty limited to just replies and notes. You won't be able to use them for Google Now queries or Siri commands. Pebble says that's intentional, because it doesn't believe those commands really work all that well. But it seems a bit like an oversight to us that you wouldn't at least offer it as an option.
    A final note about software before I move into the next section: Though it's not a specific feature, per se, I really enjoy the touches of animations and transitions that the new interface offers. Dismissing a notification reveals a puff of smoke as it disappears; removing a pinned timeline item shows a graphic of a skull before it's gone; and adding a new watch face prompts an animated star. Each notification also has its own unique animation and art style as it pops up. Instagram has a camera icon; Gmail has an envelope; and so forth. There are probably more that I haven't noticed yet. It might seem a little cartoony if you're used to the finesse of Android or Apple's Watch OS, but it's these small bits of whimsy that I find endearing.
    Performance and battery life
    The Pebble Time is a fairly basic smartwatch -- it's not trying to be a smartphone shoehorned into your wrist. As such, the performance is pretty snappy -- a stark contrast to the Apple Watch, for example, which has been criticized for being a bit sluggish. There's not much noticeable lag when shifting through menus and changing watch faces only takes a second or so. Whenever I altered some settings on the Pebble Time app, I saw those changes reflected almost immediately on the watch.
    I only received the Pebble Time a few days ago, and the battery test is, well, it's still ongoing. After about three days of constant use, it's currently at 40 percent battery life. And that's with all my notifications turned on -- even email. I get literally hundreds of emails every day, so this is an impressive feat. I suspect that lighter use will make it last longer, but even so, the battery life is pretty impressive.
    The competition

    Style-wise and feature-wise, the Pebble Time doesn't quite compare to most modern smartwatches. It doesn't have a touchscreen; it doesn't have NFC support; it doesn't have a heart rate monitor; and it doesn't have GPS. Which is why the Pebble Time's price is problematic -- it retails for close to $200. For that same money, you can get a really nice ASUS ZenWatch that's high on style and function. For about $20 less, you can get the star of last year's Google I/O, the Moto 360, which has seen a number of improvements since its debut (and who knows, we might see a successor at this year's I/O). And if you're an Apple fan, well, you have the option of the Apple Watch, which will set you back a cool $349 just for the entry-level Sport model.

    The big trump card that the Pebble Time has, then, is its battery life -- most of these other watches last about a couple days at most -- that always-on display, its compatibility with both Android and iOS, and its smart-strap potential. The ability to tack on additional hardware features as time goes by is pretty powerful stuff, and could be the ace up Pebble Time's sleeve. And hey, if you're looking for a sexier-looking watch instead, that higher-end Pebble Time Steel ($299) is just around the corner.
    No, the Pebble Time won't win any fashion contests with its toy-like design and cutesy animations. And no, it won't win over those who yearn for tons of high-end features in their wearables. But if your idea of a smartwatch is that it should be more of a watch than a smartphone accessory, then the Pebble Time could be it. Its always-on display, long battery life and compatibility with both Android and iOS are attributes that most other smartwatches can't match. The Timeline interface puts your events and app notifications in easy-to-access, chronological order, reducing the need to launch apps every time you want information. And the ability to swap out modular smartstraps means the Time could have far greater functionality than its rivals over the long term. The Pebble Time certainly isn't for everyone, but if you're tired of the hubbub over Android Wear and Apple Watch and want a decent alternative, then it could be well worth your time.
    [Image credit: GIF courtesy of Pebble]

    Filed under: Wearables, Mobile


  • Google search displays results for iOS apps, too

    Google's search tools on Android started digging up results from Android apps a while back. Now, the search app on iOS does the same. When you enter a query into the main Search app or the Chrome browser on an Apple device, the list of results will include the appropriate links to iOS apps. Of course, the company/developer will have to be part of Google's app index, and so far, handy software like Yelp, Foursquare, Expedia and several others are included on the list. If you're not seeing the new feature yet, sit tight: the folks in Mountain View are rolling it out to everyone over the next few days. There's no word on when, or if, Google will begin to pull info from apps on your iPhone -- or even those you've yet to download. Our bet is if a similar function arrives for iOS, Siri will handle those duties.

    Filed under: Internet


    Source: Google Developers (Google+)

  • Adult Themes: Digital sex just isn't 'sexy'

    The attic room is sparsely furnished, with just a bed, a side table and a bookcase made from cheap plywood, shelves sagging from overuse. It's sufficiently cold in here that clouds of vapor peel from my lips, but the location, at least, offers the privacy I need. After balancing my laptop on some books, with the webcam strategically pointed above waist-height, I slide my trousers down and pull out the ominous, black cylinder from a bag. It's a Kiiroo Onyx, a $249 teledildonic device that, the company promises, will enable me to have sex with my significant other (or anyone else) through the internet.

    The Onyx itself is sturdier than you would imagine, standing 9.5 inches tall by about 3.5 inches wide. At one end, a thin plastic cap pops off to reveal a rubber compartment, the inside of which holds a Fleshlight-branded sleeve covered in small dimples. The sleeve is held in place with a glossy red, plastic clip that pops off to reveal the micro-USB charging port. Beyond which, lies a series of motor-driven concentric rings that expand and contract in a manner that's designed to simulate the movements of a sexual partner. There's one button on the Onyx, which powers it on and off, as well as initiates a series of pre-programmed movements for some solo fun. Finally, a glossy black, plastic touchpanel runs halfway along one of the sides, which stands in contrast to the rest of the matte shell. When you run your finger up and down it, the series of rings beneath draw around and away from you in time with your motions. Stripped of context, it looks slightly sinister; a long, thin robot with gnashing teeth waiting for you to place your trust (and your manhood) within it.

    The companion to this device is the Kiiroo Pearl ($149), a white vibrating dildo that can be used by the other half of this connected sex pas de deux. Sensors inside the Pearl read the movement around its surface and then transmit that sensory information over the internet to the Onyx. So, for instance, if you were to run your hand up and down the Pearl, that sensation would be replicated by the Onyx to the best of the technology's ability. Kiiroo's brand of internet sex, however, only works one way: the Pearl user does all the work; the Onyx user receives all the pleasure.

    I say "user" rather than "man" or "woman" because the company stresses that it isn't just catering to heterosexuals. In fact, the technology can be used with Onyx/Onyx combinations as well. In that instance, when the two devices are paired, the glossy black touchpanel is converted to a remote control for the other Onyx. If you were looking for a real-world parallel, it would be an act of mutual masturbation between two men. By comparison, the only pairings that the technology doesn't allow for are Pearl/Pearl, since these devices can only sense and transmit stimulus; they can't receive or simulate it. For what it's worth, the company has already pledged to remedy this issue in the future, although I'm not sure if there would be much appeal.
    Check your privilege
    You see, the Pearl's ability to just sense and transmit sexual stimulus makes it a one-sided experience. It's something that my significant other takes issue with, since she's not getting any enjoyment from our internet lovemaking. There's no way for the Onyx user to reciprocate, which makes the sex mostly passive. Then there's the design of the Pearl itself. Female pleasure devices, essentially, fall into one of two camps: clitoral stimulators that vibrate while sitting outside the body, or dildos that replicate the act of penetration. The Pearl, however, is a smooth, vibrating dildo that can do both jobs, but only really one at a time. As such, it's hard not to see the current version of the Pearl as an extension of a purely male-focused pleasure device. Hell, we could even call it a connected sex toy for sexists.
    Even the company's advertising features an anonymous, faceless woman.

    It's a position independent webcam performer Bouncy Britney, who agreed to talk to me about her experiences with Kiiroo, disagrees with. Britney said she hadn't used the device for her own pleasure, and that she "just used [her] hands and mouth" when operating it for paying customers. Britney's also not convinced the Pearl is a bad female pleasure device, either. "Coming from someone who has a large collection of toys, I have no complaints of the Pearl," she says, noting the intensity of the Pearl's vibrator. In fact, Britney believes that Kiiroo's likely to become the go-to product for webcam performers; something she needs after the decline of teledildonic pioneer RealTouch Interactive, her former employer.

    You don't need to be a professional cam performer like Britney to use Kiiroo's tech. Setup at home is quick and easy: Connect the devices to a computer via Bluetooth; install a few firmware upgrades; exchange alphanumeric codes; and you're good to go. My other half sent me the code via a text message, which I then entered to begin our "chat." Soon enough, as the conversation between us grew more adult in tone, it became time for me to assume the position and physically embrace the Onyx.
    After a while, it became clear I wasn't getting aroused at all despite this device furiously grinding itself around my member.
    In order for the Onyx to successfully convey pleasure, its opening has been designed to be a tight fit. That means you'll be using a generous amount of lubrication just to comfortably insert yourself into the unit, followed by a hard push that saw the hard plastic edge jab into my pelvis. Once ensconced in the Onyx, all I had to do was sit back and let my other half, and the device, do all of the work for me. Or, at least, that was the plan.

    We began our Kiiroo experiment with her stroking the outside of the Pearl, which caused the machinery within the Onyx to spring into life. The sensation was similar to a massage, with the gears gently kneading my flesh for a relaxing and slightly pleasant experience. It was nice, but it wasn't particularly stimulating. In fact, after a while, it became clear that I wasn't getting any more aroused at all, despite this device furiously grinding itself around my member. So, we switched gears and decided to try simulating penetration, hoping that the increased feedback would kick the evening into life. The results, however, were the same: a pleasant, yet disappointing, non-sexual massage.
    The Kiiroo Onyx
    Blue balls
    As the evening progressed, I was sent into a tailspin of self-doubt, worrying if I was doing it wrong, or worse -- if I was somehow inadequate to the task. I emailed the company the following day to ask if I had indeed been using it wrong, and if I should have taken to actively "fucking" the machine as if it was a Fleshlight. The official response was a "no." Turns out, I'd been using the Onyx correctly and yes, users are meant to sit back and let the gizmo do the work for them.

    But there's a problem with this, which is that sex with the Onyx isn't all that sexy. In fact, "sex" with the Onyx is like listening to music while underwater. You're aware that something's happening, but all you get is a murky echo and a sense of frustration that quickly spirals into boredom. After that, there's very little reason to continue.

    It was a surprise to realize just how primitive Kiiroo's technology is, and also how underwhelming the "connected sex" experience could be. Part of that disillusion, however, stems from a quirk of my own biology that I'd never paid much attention to until I started researching this piece. You see, when I was a child, I was circumcised for medical reasons. At that point, I joined the ranks of the many American men who were living without foreskins.
    It was a surprise to realize how primitive Kiiroo's technology is, and how underwhelming "connected sex" could be.
    Before I'd messed around with this device, life without a foreskin hadn't presented much of an issue, because I had no idea what I was missing. In my post-coital Kiiroo failure, I'd discovered that circumcised men can suffer from an acute reduction in sensation and an increased risk of pain during intercourse. Although, the extent of these effects is contentious and differs depending on the studies that you read. To put it bluntly: My ability to fully enjoy teledildonic sex was surgically removed more than two decades ago. And if I'm anything like the other millions of adult, circumcised men, then I can't imagine too many being enthralled by these devices.

    But beyond my biological handicap, the real problem with Kiiroo's connected sex toys is more general: There's no sex to be had here. Sex is, of course, the most personal thing anyone can do, so I can't definitively say my experience here will echo that of your own, and I'm sure plenty who've tried it will disagree. However, if this is the pinnacle of contemporary connected-sex technology, then I'm quite comfortable sticking with my right hand.
    [Images: Kiiroo (product shots)]
    Filed under: Wearables, Internet


  • Carl Sagan's solar-powered spacecraft is in trouble

    The test flight of Carl Sagan's LightSail craft is in jeopardy after a computer problem left it unable to communicate with its mission controllers. According to the the vehicle circuits the planet, it's meant to send back a packet of data, but over the first two days, this file grew too big for the system to handle. As such, it crashed, although we mean that in the software sense, rather than the coming-back-to-Earth-with-a-bump sense.
     Unfortunately, controllers have already attempted to restart the system 18 times, but the hardware is refusing to accept the command. There is a hope, however, that LightSail could reboot itself of its own accord, should it come into contact with charged particles that are trapped inside the atmosphere. Researchers at Cal Poly believe that it's a standard occurrence for cube satellites like the LightSail, and it should take place within the first three weeks of launch. If there's a downside, it's that the deployment timeline only runs for 28-days, so there's a lot resting on this happy accident. It is possible to reboot the device manually by turning it off and on again, but so far nobody seems too keen to volunteer for a quick trip to the upper atmosphere.

    Filed under: Transportation, Science


    Source: Planetary Society

  • Engadget giveaway: win a pair of smart glasses courtesy of Augmented World Expo!

    There's no denying that virtual and augmented reality are on a roll lately. Oculus, HTC and a host of others have committed to producing quality VR experiences and Microsoft's Hololens put the buzz back into augmented concepts. That's just the tip of the iceberg, though. If you want to find out what's really going on in those circles, as well as IoT and wearable tech, you may want to head to Silicon Valley next month for the 2015 Augmented World Expo (AWE). The event includes more than 20 workshops, 200 interactive demos and over 100 talks by some of the best in the business. The folks at AWE have been nice enough to offer $19 Expo-only tickets for our readers (code: ENGADGET19), but for one lucky soul, the pot is quite a bit sweeter. We have a pair of Epson Moverio BT-200 smart glasses, along with two all-access VIP tickets to the expo for the winner this week. Just head on down to the Rafflecopter widget below for up to three chances at winning Epson's latest augmented tech and unfettered access to the Augmented World Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California, June 8-10th.
    a Rafflecopter giveaway Entries are handled through the Rafflecopter widget above. Comments are no longer accepted as valid methods of entry. You may enter without any obligation to social media accounts, though we may offer them as opportunities for extra entries. Your email address is required so we can get in touch with you if you win, but it will not be given to third parties. Contest is open to all residents of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Canada (excluding Quebec), 18 or older! Sorry, we don't make this rule (we hate excluding anyone), so direct your anger at our lawyers and contest laws if you have to be mad. Winners will be chosen randomly. One (1) winner will receive one (1) Epson Moverio BT-200 smart glasses and two (2) VIP all-access tickets to Augmented World Expo (event tickets only, no travel). If you are chosen, you will be notified by email. Winners must respond within three days of being contacted. If you do not respond within that period, another winner will be chosen. Make sure that the account you use to enter the contest includes your real name and a contact email or Facebook login. We do not track any of this information for marketing or third-party purposes. This unit is purely for promotional giveaway. Augmented World Expo, Engadget and AOL are not held liable to honor warranties, exchanges or customer service. The full list of rules, in all its legalese glory, can be found here. Entries can be submitted until May 28th at 11:59PM ET. Good luck!
    Filed under: Announcements, Mobile


  • 'Ultra Street Fighter IV' for PlayStation 4 has big issues

    Turns out the PS4 port of Street Fighter IV isn't all that Ultra. Sony secured a next-gen exclusive for the fighting game and its sequel, but its release has been marred by complaints. The internet is awash with reports of severe slowdown in menus, moves not working as they're supposed to, sound glitches and bizarre visual bugs. Although we haven't noticed some of the more egregious issues, the game does appear to have some input lag, which is a massive problem for a title that is all about timing. The entire thing feels like you're playing online with a weak connection right now.

    Ultra Street Fighter IV's botched launch is yet another example of companies offering up incomplete games for purchase. As we've highlighted before, several high-profile releases have been seriously compromised by bugs. Most recently, Xbox One users have complained about a glitch in Witcher 3 that prevents the game from saving. Like the developer of that game, Capcom is sure to patch the Street Fighter issues soon enough, but that's really no excuse for releasing a game in an unfinished state.

    Filed under: Gaming, Sony


    Source: NeoGAF, nsb5024 (YouTube)

  • US wants future first responders to be more high-tech

    The folks that might one day save your ass still rely on '50s-era radio technology (with some exceptions), and the US Commerce Department wants that to change. Its National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) division has just created a roadmap for how first responders can exploit technology over the next 20 years. The prime target is indoor location tech, which would help emergency crews find bad guys and victims alike in complex structures. There's no standard for indoor GPS, however, so NIST would like to get some kind of industry consensus on it and incorporate 3D visualization, enhanced precision and other features.

    While police are starting to pack body cameras, NIST would like to see open standards that allow such wearables to easily exchange data. Furthermore, it wants industry to develop ad hoc networks that can pull data from such devices, along with digital video broadcasts, voice over IP services and the internet of things. That way, emergency crews could quickly commandeer a disaster site and efficiently allocate resources as needed.

    The Commerce Department is looking for wearable tech and indoor location services to be implemented widely in 5-10 years and converge with the internet of things within 20 years. Of course, the gears of bureaucracy crank slowly -- it took the FAA a lot longer than it thought to implement the next-gen ADS-B air traffic control system, for instance. Hopefully, first responders will get access to the latest tech before it's already obsolete.

    [Image credit: AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes]

    Filed under: GPS, Wearables


    Source: US Commerce Department

  • Movie of the Day app hopes you'll impulse buy $7 'X-Men' via iPhone

    Fox and Apple are trying a new twist on digital movie sales starting today, pushing a Movie of the Dayapp on iOS. For now, it's only for Apple devices and Fox movies (a Google Play version should arrive eventually), but as you can guess from the name it just does the one thing. "Daily Flash Sales" offer a single movie, heavily discounted (up to 70 percent off, somewhere between $5 and $10), for purchase for 24 hours, with the app highlighting which one and pointing users to it. It's launching in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany and France today and the first flick for sale is a $7 copy (in HD or SD, and you could just grab it via iTunes) of X-Men: First Class. Movies like Alien, Die Hard, Ice Age, Planet of the Apes, Rio, and The Sound of Music will float through its library, so if you're interested in filling up your Apple-connected digital shelf it could be worthwhile.
    Witness the beginning of an app that gives you movie discounts every day! Get #XMenFirstClass for $6.99 TODAY ONLY!
    - Fox Home Ent (@FoxHomeEnt) May 27, 2015
    Filed under: Cellphones, HD, Mobile, Apple


    Source: Movie of the Day (iTunes)

  • UK ISPs ordered to block e-book piracy sites

    In a major victory for book publishers, the UK's High Court has ordered internet service providers (ISPs) to block several sites offering pirated e-books. The decision means that BT, Sky, Virgin Media, TalkTalk and EE now have 10 days to comply and ensure their customers can't access the following link depositories: AvaxHome, Ebookee, Freebookspot, Freshwap, Libgen, Bookfi and Bookre. The Publishers Association (PA), which sought the blocks under the UK's Copyright Design and Patents Act 1988, claims the sites collectively hold around 10 million e-books, and that at least 80 percent of them are infringing copyright. It's been described as the "first action of its kind brought by UK book publishers," following similar ISP blocks levied against sites hosting music, movies and TV shows.

    The PA says it's already sent nearly one million takedown requests to the sites in question, and asked that Google pull 1.75 million related URLs from its search results. As we've seen with The Pirate Bay though, blocking sites at the ISP level isn't always effective, especially against savvy users familiar with Virtual Private Networks (VPN). The larger problem is that when one piracy site disappears, another few quickly sprout in its place. Even if the High Court's blocks are successful, it's safe to assume readers will find alternative sources.

    Filed under: Internet


    Source: The Publishers Association

  • Disney wants to make robots of your favorite animated characters
    Disney Research, is developing a biped robot that can walk like an animated character. See, Disney's goal is to bring its CGI characters "to life in the real world" -- sure, mascots can mimic their looks, but this project could lead to robots that move like they do in their movies. In the researcher's paper, they wrote that robots like the one they're developing are in demand "in the entertainment industry because [they] would allow people to physically interact with characters that they have only seen in films or TV."

    The researchers already have a pretty solid idea of what they want to achieve at this point in the project. As you can see in the video above, they seem to be going for a pudgy little dude who walks with a swagger. Unfortunately, the prototype (with its 3D-printed parts and servo motor-actuated joints) still moves like a drunken sailor and needs a lot of work. The tech, of course, has numerous potential applications in addition to being used for theme park attractions if Disney manages to perfect it. A very obvious one is taking it to create moving, talking Pixar/Disney toys every kid would want... and those likely won't come cheap. Good luck, moms and dads.

    Filed under: Robots


    Via: Slashgear, Fortune

    Source: Disney Research

  • Hot Topic is buying ThinkGeek

    High school is teenage tribalism, which is why the Lip Service kids aren't going to hang with the Forever 21 set in the lunch hall. Now, however, Hot Topic has realized that it's got plenty in common with ThinkGeek, and has decided to swallow the niche retailer in a deal worth $122 million. Hot Topic CEO Lisa Harper believes that it's a good fit, since both companies share a strategy of "delivering great products for avid fans of various licensed properties." Or, in non business-school buzzkill speak, selling y'all t-shirts with Marvel characters on them will make the company even more bank if it owns one of its rivals.
    There's an interesting quirk of history here, since ThinkGeek was originally a side project for its parent company, Geeknet. As web's only good April Fools pranker. We were unable to reach the Lip Service kids for comment, but it is understood that they're still happy to come over and watch Doctor Who on Hot Topic's cable, as long as Hot Topic doesn't tell anyone at school.

    [Image Credit: Arto Brick/Flickr]

    Filed under: Misc


    Via: Bloomberg

    Source: Hot Topic (PR Newswire)

  • Argos opens its first 'digital stores' inside Sainsbury's supermarkets

    What better way to maximise footfall to your store than to set-up shop inside places people visit daily for tomorrow's bread and milk? Undoubtedly that's the thinking behind Argos' new batch of "digital stores," where tablets replace order slips and pocketable pens to replicate an online shopping experience, now popping up within various Sainsbury's locations. The surprising tie-up was announced in January, but today sees the first Argos digital stores opening at Sainsbury's supermarkets in North Cheam, Surrey and Nantwich, Chesire. These smaller-than-normal outlets will offer up to 20,000 items for instant purchase or later collection, with everything else in the catalogue available for home delivery. A further eight locations (check the source link) will also open their doors at some point this summer. It's yet another one of Argos' modernisation schemes that include its partnership with eBay, click-and-collect stores and online 3D-printed jewelry service. And as far as this particular alliance with Sainsbury's is concerned, Argos might well be getting the sweeter end of the deal.

    Filed under: Misc


    Source: Sainsbury's

  • Neato robot vacuums get better brushes for your filthy floor
    robotic vacuum scoot around your home sucking up filth isn't all that novel. But if your current rolling dust buster just isn't cutting it, Neato just updated its D-series line. The Botvac D75, D80 and D85 all sport the new spiral blade brush that Neato says offers the same cleaning power but much quieter than previous models. The vacuums still use a laser-guided system to clean floors without wandering around in a circle and squared edge helps it get into corners. Thanks to a new design, the guidance system disk no longer looks like a a Play-Doh lid. The Botvac D75 starts $499 while the D80 and D85 with quieter brushes and high performance filters will set you back $549 and $599 respectively.

    Filed under: Misc, Household


    Source: Neato

  • 'Evolve' simplifies the hunt with free deathmatch arena mode

    Evolve isn't a typical multiplayer shooter. The game pits four hunters against a quickly mutating monster, with the first task usually being to find and trap the player-controlled goliath. The experience can be a little bewildering for newcomers, so developer Turtle Rock Studios is throwing in a free Arena Mode that keeps everything simple. In a best-of-three match, the hunters and monster are dropped in a small, pre-determined dome with only one goal; take down your opponent(s). The monster starts at stage two with 50 percent armour, reducing the need to devour local wildlife, and when a hunter dies they're out until the next round. It's a bare-bones take on the Evolve formula, stripping away some of what makes the game unique. Still, if you're interested in shorter rounds where you can easily hone your combat skills, Arena Mode could be a welcome change on planet Shear.

    Filed under: Gaming


    Source: Evolve

  • 70,000 pictures make up this panorama of Mont Blanc

    This is a photo of Mont Blanc, the tallest mountain in the European Union. But it's not just any photo: it's actually just a small part of a panorama comprised of 70,000 pictures and 365 gigapixels. In 2014, a team of photographers led by Filippo Blengini spent 35 hours overall within two weeks -- in temperatures averaging 14F at an altitude of 11,500 feet -- taking as many pictures as they could of the mountain. They used a Canon 70D DSLR with a Canon EF 400mm f/2.8 II IS lens and an extender, all attached to a robotic mount. It then took them two more months to stitch all 46 terabytes of pictures together to create a panorama, which they claim is the world's largest photo.
    According to 360-degree panorama of London. You can see the whole Mont Blanc image on its website and zoom in to see cool little details, including people climbing the icy peak.
    Filed under: Misc, Canon


    Via: Gizmodo, Telegraph

    Source: In2White

  • Microsoft announces Cortana for Android, iOS
    Part of the power of a personal assistant comes from being available on the go, on the device you carry with you everywhere. And for people who don't have the benefit of a Windows phone, we want to extend the advantage of Cortana in Windows 10. How will this work? Today, we're announcing a Cortana application for Android phones and for iPhones which works as a companion to Cortana on your Windows 10 PC. The 'Phone Companion' app on the PC will help you install the Cortana app from the Google Play or Apple App Store onto your phone so you€™ll be able to take the intelligence of Cortana with you, wherever you go.  I've never seen anyone use Siri, save for the occasional parlour trick and the odd one out using it to set alarms. I'm not sure these anthropomorphised ones and zeros are really as a big a deal as these companies want us to believe.

  • The mystery of the power bank phone taking over Ghana
    Have you noticed an odd bulge in people's shorts around Accra?  It's likely because, like many of my friends, they've recently acquired a new phone. But it's not the iPhone 6 Plus, and it's not the Samsung Galaxy S6.  It's this thing.  I like it. It's functional and has a certain charm to it.

  • Apple drops discoveryd in latest OS X beta
    After many complaints from the developer community about poor networking performance on Yosemite, the latest beta of OS X 10.10.4 has dropped the discoveryd in favor of the old process used by previous versions of Mac operating system. This should address many of the network stability issues introduced with Yosemite and its new networking stack.  A clearer sign that discoveryd was a mess, there is not.

  • Genode 15.05 is accompanied by a book
    The just released version 15.05 of the Genode OS Framework is the most comprehensive release in the project's history. Among its highlights are a brand-new documentation in the form of a book, principal support for the seL4 microkernel, new infrastructure for user-level device drivers, and the feature completion of the framework's custom kernel.  For many years, the Genode OS project was primarily geared towards microkernel enthusiasts and the domain of high-security computing. With version 15.05, the project likes to widen its audience by complementing the release with the downloadable book "Genode Foundations" (PDF). The book equips the reader with a thorough understanding of the architecture, assists developers with the explanation of the development environment and system configuration, and provides a look under the hood of the framework. Furthermore, it contains the specification of the framework's programming interface. If you ever wondered what Genode is all about, the book may hopefully lift the clouds.  Besides the added documentation, the second focus of the new version is the project's custom kernel platform called base-hw. This kernel allows the execution of Genode on raw hardware without the need of a 3rd-party microkernel. This line of work originally started as a research vehicle for ARM platforms. But with the addition of kernel-protected capabilities, it has reached feature completeness. Furthermore, thanks to the developers of the Muen isolation kernel, base-hw has become available on the 64-bit x86 architecture. This represents an intermediate step towards running Genode on top of the Muen kernel.  Speaking of kernels, the current release introduces the principle ability to run Genode-based systems on top of the seL4 microkernel. As the name suggests, seL4 belongs to the L4-family of microkernels. But there are two things that set this kernel apart from all the other family members. First, with the removal of the kernel memory management from the kernel, it solves a fundamental robustness and security issue that plagues all other L4 kernels so far. This alone would be reason enough to embrace seL4. Second, seL4 is the world's first OS kernel that is formally proven to be correct. That means, it is void of implementation bugs. This makes the kernel extremely valuable in application areas that highly depend on the correctness of the kernel.  At the architectural level, the framework thoroughly revised its infrastructure for user-level device drivers, which subjects device drivers to a rigid access-control scheme with respect to hardware resources. The architectural changes come along with added support for message-signaled interrupts and a variety of new device drivers. For example, there is a new AHCI driver, new audio drivers ported from OpenBSD, new SD-card drivers, and added board support for i.MX6.  Further noteworthy improvements are the update of the tool chain to GCC 4.9.2, support for GPT partitions, and the ability to pass USB devices to VirtualBox when running on NOVA. These and the many more topics of the version 15.05 are covered in great detail in the release documentation.

  • Relicensing Dolphin: the long road to GPLv2+
    The team quickly came to the conclusion that in order to keep Dolphin relevant in an ever-changing environment, it would need to be relicensed under GPLv2+. This would give Dolphin some much needed freedom to breathe within the open source landscape. As such, relicensing formally began in September of 2014.  A massive undertaking.

  • Jony Ive to take on more hands-off role at Apple
    Apple's Jony Ive has served as the company's Senior Vice President of Design for several years now, but Apple has announced today that the executive is being named Chief Design Officer (a newly-created position). Additionally, Ive and will be handing the managerial reins of both the industrial and software design units at Apple over to two new leaders on July 1st.  [...]  Ive's new role will still leave him in charge of the company's hardware and software design teams overall, but allowing others to handle the day-to-day affairs of each design group will free him up for other tasks. Among those other tasks, Ive says, is a focus on the design of Apple's retail stores and new campus.   Let the pointless speculation, begin.

  • The web is not a post-racial utopia
    Interesting experiment by the developers of Rust.  When the game was first opened up, all players were given the same default avatar: a bald white man. With the most recent update, Rust's lead developer, Garry Newman, introduced different avatars of different racial origins into the mix. However, they did so with a twist - unlike typical massively multiplayer online role-playing games, Rust does not allow players to choose the race of their avatar. Instead, they are assigned one at random.  Interestingly enough, the inability to choose skin colour only became a problem after a black skin colour was added to the game. I love experiments like this.

  • Intel's contributions in Microsoft Edge
    Intel has been contributing to Chakra, the JavaScript engine for Microsoft Edge (and previously Internet Explorer), since 2012, bringing their expertise in web runtime development and JIT code generation. Recently, Intel expanded its efforts by contributing to the larger Microsoft Edge codebase, specifically focused in the areas of graphics and performance optimizations. Intel has been a major contributor to open source browser engines such as WebKit, Blink, and Gecko, and with our expanded collaboration, they are now directly contributing to the Microsoft Edge codebase to deliver an improved browsing experience for Windows 10.  While this is very interesting, instead of working with just a few partners, Microsoft should've just opened the code for their new rendering engine altogether. At this point, it makes little sense to keep this kind of important code closed.  When it comes to open source, the new Microsoft is only a little bit new.

  • qboot, a minimal x86 firmware for QEMU
    Enter qboot, a minimal x86 firmware that runs on QEMU and, together with a slimmed-down QEMU configuration, boots a virtual machine in 40 milliseconds on an Ivy Bridge Core i7 processor.  The code's on github.

  • The first first-person shooter
    The year was 1973. They were high school seniors in a work-study program with NASA, tasked with testing the limits of the Imlac PDS-1 and PDS-4 minicomputers. Their maze program flickered into life with simple wireframe graphics and few of the trappings of modern games. You could walk around in first person, looking for a way out of the maze, and that's about it. There were no objects or virtual people. Just a maze.  But Maze would evolve over the summer and the years that followed. Soon two people could occupy the maze together, connected over separate computers. Then they could shoot each other and even peek around corners. Before long, up to eight people could play in the same maze, blasting their friends across the ARPANET - a forebear to the internet. Two decades before id Software changed the game industry with Wolfenstein 3D and Doom, Colley, Palmer and MIT students Greg Thompson and Dave Lebling invented the first-person shooter.  Amazing story.

  • Senate votes down USA Freedom Act
    In a midnight session, the Senate has voted down the USA Freedom Act, putting one of the legal bedrocks of the NSA's bulk surveillance programs into jeopardy. The Patriot Act is set to expire at the end of the month, and the USA Freedom Act would have extended large portions of the act in modified form. Tonight's failure to arrive at a vote makes it likely that many of those powers will automatically expire, although Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) scheduled a last-minute session on May 31st for one last shot at passing the bill.  The American people won a battle today, but the war is far, far from over.

  • Mozilla overhauls its smartphone plan to focus on quality, not cost
    Mozilla has revamped its Firefox OS mobile software project after concluding that ultra-affordable $25 handsets aren't enough to take on the biggest powers of the smartphone world, CNET has learned.  You can make a smartphone for $35. You can't make a decent smartphone for $35. It's good Mozilla recognises this.

  • Huawei launches 10kB IoT operating system
    LiteOS is the world's most lightweight IoT OS. It is small in size at 10KB and supports zero configuration, auto-discovery, and auto-networking. It can be widely applied to different areas including smart homes, wearable, connected vehicles and other industries. The LiteOS helps to simplify the development of smart hardware to enhance IoT connectivity. In addition, Huawei announced that LiteOS will be opened to all developers, which enables them to quickly develop their own IoT products.  Meanwhile, Google is rumoured to be unveiling an IoT OS as well during IO.

  • How Apple's court monitor became Cupertino's most wanted
    Michael Bromwich was in court with the most powerful company and the top government law agency in the country when he seemed to get antsy. Apple and the United States Department of Justice had, after all, been exchanging jabs about him. €œI'd like to be heard, your Honor, if I can,€ he told the judge, who said they€™d need to €œexhaust the arguments of the main combatants€ first.  Wanting to interject would be understandable, considering how long Bromwich and Apple had been putting up their dukes inside and outside of court in a bloody fight over cash and corporate power. In July 2013, Apple was found guilty of conspiring to fix market prices for ebooks. The judge in the case, Denise Cote, said there was "a clear portrait of a conscious commitment to cross a line and engage in illegal behavior." The prosecution€™s case was so clear-cut, and Apple showed such little contrition, according to Cote, that it wasn€™t enough to take the company€™s word that it would change. To make sure Apple fell in line, she called in help.  That would turn out to be Bromwich, a bearded, bespectacled attorney appointed by the court to be Apple€™s corporate monitor for two years, a job made to ensure Apple complied with court rulings.  You rarely hear much about this kind of stuff. It seems like it's not a wise move by Apple to go against the grain of the courts this much, but then again, what do I know.

  • iOS 9 & OS X 10.11 to bring 'quality' focus
    For the first time in several years, Apple is changing up its annual iOS and OS X upgrade cycle by limiting new feature additions in favor of a "big focus on quality," according to multiple sources familiar with the company's operating system development plans. We first reported in February that iOS 9, codenamed "Monarch," would heavily feature under-the-hood optimizations, and we've now learned that Apple is taking the same approach with OS X 10.11, codenamed "Gala." Sources have revealed additional new details on how Apple will optimize the new operating systems for improved stability and performance, add several new security features, and make important changes to its Swift programming tools for developers.

  • New Linux Based OS Brings Internet of Things Closer to Reality
    The "Internet of Things," or IoT, has the potential to change the way we interact with the devices and objects in our homes and lives.

    The IoT is the idea that all of the devices and gadgets that you interact with could be connected to the internet. 

  • Non-Linux FOSS: All the Bitcoin, None of the Bloat
    I love Bitcoin. Ever since I first discovered it in 2010 and mined thousands of them, I've been hooked on the technology, the concept and even the software. (Sadly, I sold most of those thousands of Bitcoin when they were less than a dollar. I'm still kicking myself.) One of the frustrations with using Bitcoin, however, is that the blockchain has gotten so large.

  • Dr Hjkl on the Command Line
    The first time I used vi was in a college programming course. It was the default editor on the computer lab's UNIX systems we used to compile our assignments. I remember when our professor first introduced vi and explained that you used the hjkl keys to move your cursor around instead of the arrow keys.

  • Goodbye, Pi. Hello, C.H.I.P.
        A new mini-computer is on the way, and it looks like it may be the Raspberry Pi killer we've all been waiting for (sorry Pi). C.H.I.P. is its name, and it looks set to wipe the floor with its established competitor on several counts:
    1. It's completely open source. I don't just mean the software, either.

  • Using Hiera with Puppet
    With Hiera, you can externalize your systems' configuration data and easily understand how those values are assigned to your servers. With that data separated from your Puppet code, you then can encrypt sensitive values, such as passwords and keys. 

  • Urgent Kernel Patch for Ubuntu
        Linux is engineered with security in mind. In fact, the most fundamental security mechanisms are built right in to the kernel itself, which makes it extremely hard for malicious code to bypass.   

  • Gartner Dubs DivvyCloud Cool Cloud Management Vendor
    DivvyCloud, a fast growing McLean, VA cloud management technology company, has been included in  “2015 Cool Vendors” for Cloud Management by Gartner. The report finds “next-generation cloud  management architectures are becoming easier to use and implement.

  • Apache Web Servers and SSL Encryption
        Congratulations! You’ve decided to set up a Web site. The site might be for your personal use, for sharing family pictures, for a blog, for an SaaS application, or any number of other possibilities. In all of those cases, people will access your site using the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP).   

  • Infinite BusyBox with systemd
        Lightweight virtual containers with PID 1.

    In this article, I demonstrate a method to build one Linux system within another using the latest utilities within the systemd suite of management tools. The guest OS container design focuses upon BusyBox and Dropbear for the userspace system utilities, but I also work through methods for running more general application software so the containers are actually useful. 

  • A More Stable Future for Ubuntu
        Canonical has announced plans to switch all versions of Ubuntu to its new Snappy package manager. The new tool offers the promise of greater stability and security for the system and applications.   

  • It's Easier to Ask Forgiveness...
    ...than to understand Linux permissions! Honestly though, that's not really true. Linux permissions are simple and elegant, and once you understand them, they're easy to work with. Octal notation gets a little funky, but even that makes sense once you understand why it exists.

     Users and Groups: 

  • diff -u: What's New in Kernel Development
    One ongoing question kernel developers face is the best way to delete data so no one else can recover it. Typically there are simple tools to undelete files that are deleted accidentally, although some filesystems make this easier than others. 

  • Chrome-Colored Parakeets
    I personally like Google's Chrome interface. It's simple, fast, elegant and did I mention fast? Unfortunately, I don't like how locked down the Chrome OS is on a Chromebook, nor do I like its total dependence on Google. I also don't like the lack of ability to install Chrome easily on generic hardware. Thankfully, Budgie is here to help. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Page last modified on October 08, 2013, at 02:08 PM