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  • Fedora 23 xen-4.5.1-6.fc23 Use after free in QEMU/Xen block unplug protocol [XSA-139, CVE-2015-5166] QEMUleak of uninitialized heap memory in rtl8139 device model [XSA-140,CVE-2015-5165]

  • Red Hat: 2015:1699-01: nss-softokn: Moderate Advisory Updated nss-softokn packages that fix one security issue are now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 and 7. Red Hat Product Security has rated this update as having Moderate security [More...]

  • Fedora 21 qemu-2.1.3-9.fc21 * Fix crash in qemu_spice_create_display (bz #1163047) * CVE-2015-3209: pcnet:multi-tmd buffer overflow in the tx path (bz #1230536) * CVE-2015-3214: i8254:out-of-bounds memory access (bz #1243728) * CVE-2015-5154: ide: atapi: heapoverflow during I/O buffer memory access (bz #1247141) * CVE-2015-5745: bufferoverflow in virtio-serial (bz #1251160) * CVE-2015-5165: rtl8139 uninitializedheap memory information leakage to guest (bz #1249755)

  • Fedora 23 ca-certificates-2015.2.5-1.0.fc23 This is an update to the set of CA certificates version 2.5 as released with NSSversion 3.19.3 However, as in previous versions of the ca-certificatespackage, the CA list has been modified to keep several legacy CAs still trustedfor compatibility reasons. Please refer to the project URL for details. Ifyou prefer to use the unchanged list provided by Mozilla, and if you accept anycompatibility issues it may cause, an administrator may configure the system byexecuting the "ca-legacy disable" command.

  • Red Hat: 2015:1694-01: gdk-pixbuf2: Moderate Advisory Updated gdk-pixbuf2 packages that fix one security issue are now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 and 7. Red Hat Product Security has rated this update as having Moderate security [More...]

  • [$] Debsources as a platform
    Debsources is a project that provides a web-based interface intothe source code of every package in the Debian softwarearchive—not a small task by any means. But, as StefanoZacchiroli and Matthieu Caneill explained in their DebConf 2015session, Debsources is far more than a source-code browsing tool. Itprovides a searchable viewport into 20 years offree-software history, which makes it viable as a platform for manyvarieties of research and experimentation.

  • Security updates for Wednesday
    Arch Linux has updated chromium (multiple vulnerabilities).
    CentOS has updated gdk-pixbuf2 (C7; C6: code execution), jakarta-taglibs-standard (C7; C6: code execution), nss-softokn (C7; C6: signature forgery), and pcs (C7; C6: privilege escalation).
    Debian has updated pdns (denial of service).
    Scientific Linux has updated nss-softokn (SL6,7: signature forgery) and pcs (SL6,7: privilege escalation).
    Slackware has updated gdk (code execution).
    SUSE has updated kvm (SLE11SP3:code execution) and firefox, nss (SLE12: multiple vulnerabilities).

  • LLVM 3.7 released
    Version 3.7 of the LLVM compiler suite is out. "This release contains the work of the LLVM community over the past sixmonths: full OpenMP 3.1 support (behind a flag), the On RequestCompilation (ORC) JIT API, a new backend for Berkeley Packet Filter(BPF), Control Flow Integrity checking, as well as improvedoptimizations, new Clang warnings, many bug fixes, and more."See the release notes for LLVM andClangfor details.

  • Microsoft, Google, Amazon, others, aim for royalty-free video codecs (Ars Technica)
    Ars Technica reportsthat Microsoft, Google, Mozilla, Cisco, Intel, Netflix, and Amazon havelaunched a new consortium, the Alliance for Open Media. "TheAlliance for Open Media would put an end to this problem [of patent licenses and royalties]. The group's first aim is to produce a video codec that's a meaningful improvement on HEVC. Many of the members already have their own work on next-generation codecs; Cisco has Thor, Mozilla has been working on Daala, and Google on VP9 and VP10. Daala and Thor are both also under consideration by the IETF's netvc working group, which is similarly trying to assemble a royalty-free video codec."

  • Tuesday's security advisories
    Fedora has updated qemu (F21: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Oracle has updated gdk-pixbuf2 (OL7; OL6: code execution), jakarta-taglibs-standard (OL7; OL6: code execution), and nss-softokn (OL7; OL6: signature forgery).
    Red Hat has updated nss-softokn(RHEL6,7: signature forgery) and pcs(RHEL6,7: privilege escalation).
    Ubuntu has updated expat (15.04,14.04, 12.04: denial of service) and gnutls28 (15.04: two vulnerabilities).

  • OpenSSL Security: A Year in Review
    The OpenSSL project looksat its security record for the last year. "The acceptabletimeline for disclosure is a hot topic in the community: we meet CERT’s45-day disclosure deadline more often than not, and we’ve never blownProject Zero’s 90-day baseline. Most importantly, we met the goal we setourselves and released fixes for all HIGH severity issues in well under amonth. We also landed mitigation for two high-profile protocol bugs, POODLEand Logjam. Those disclosure deadlines weren’t under our control but ourresponse was prepared by the day the reports went public."

  • ownCloud Contributor Conference Announcements
    The ownCloud Contributor Conference2015 (August 28-September 3 in Berlin, Germany) started off with some bigannouncements, including the publishing of the User Data Manifesto 2.0, thecreation of the ownCloud Security Bug Bounty Program, and the release ofthe ownCloud Proxy app. "Designed for those of you who want your own private, secure “Dropbox” and don’t want the hassle of configuring routers, firewalls and DNS entries for access from anywhere, at any time, ownCloud Proxy is for you. It comes installed as an ownCloud community app in the new ownCloud community appliance, connects to relay servers in the cloud, and provides anytime, anywhere access to your files, on your PC running in your home network, quickly and easily. And, of course, you can grab it from the ownCloud app store and add it to an existing ownCloud server if you already have one running."

  • Security updates for Monday
    Debian has updated drupal7 (multiple vulnerabilities) and iceweasel (multiple vulnerabilities).
    Mageia has updated audit (MG4,5:unsafe escape-sequence handling), firefox(MG4,5: multiple vulnerabilities), and glusterfs (MG5; MG4: privilege escalation).
    openSUSE has updated ansible(13.2: regression in previous update) and thunderbird (13.2; 13.1: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Red Hat has updated gdk-pixbuf2(RHEL6,7: code execution) and jakarta-taglibs-standard (RHEL6,7: code execution).
    Scientific Linux has updated firefox (SL5,6,7: two vulnerabilities), gdk-pixbuf2 (SL6,7: code execution), and jakarta-taglibs-standard (SL6,7: code execution).
    Slackware has updated firefox (multiple vulnerabilities).
    SUSE has updated kvm (SLE11SP4:code execution).

  • GDB 7.10 released
    Version 7.10 of the GDB debugger is out. Improvements this time aroundinclude better support for access to shared libraries on remote targets,reverse debugging on ARM64 systems, support for DTrace static probes, andmore.

  • Starting in September, Chrome will stop auto-playing Flash ads
    Google has announcedthat, beginning September 1, Chrome will no longer auto-playFlash-based ads in the company's popular AdWords program. The postframes this as a move to improve browsing performance for users, andnotes that most Flash ads are automatically converted to HTML5already. Commenting on the news, The Register notesthat the change should also offer some additional protection againstmalware delivered via Flash. Chrome will continue to auto-play Flashcontent in the main body of pages, however. The Register's story saysthe change is, in fact, just a modification of the default setting forplugin behavior, which already supportsan option to disable plugin content not deemed "important." Mozilla,of course, blacklisted the Flashplugin in July, although that action only disabled the then-current,vulnerable release—which was subsequently updated.

  • Friday's security updates
    Arch Linux has updated firefox (multiple vulnerabilities).
    CentOS has updated firefox (C5; C6; C7: multiple vulnerabilities) and thunderbird (C5; C6; C7: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Debian-LTS has updated openjdk-6 (multiple vulnerabilities) and zendframework (XML external entity attack).
    Fedora has updated maradns (F21; F22:denial of service),openssh (F21: multiple vulnerabilities), php-guzzle-Guzzle(F21; F22: XML external entity attack), php-twig (F22: code execution),php-ZendFramework2 (F21; F22: XML external entity attack), rt (F21; F22:cross-site scripting),and rubygem-rack (F21: denial of service).
    Mageia has updated drupal(M4,5: multiple vulnerabilities), python-django, python-django14(M4,5: multiple vulnerabilities), subversion (M4,5: multiple vulnerabilities), thunderbird (M4,5: multiple vulnerabilities), and vlc (M4,5: code execution).
    Oracle has updated firefox (O5; O6; O7: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Red Hat has updated firefox(RHEL5,6,7: multiple vulnerabilities).
    SUSE has updated MozillaFirefox,mozilla-nss (SLE11: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Ubuntu has updated cups-filters (15.04: unintended printer access) and firefox (12.04, 14.04, 15.04: multiple vulnerabilities).

  • The 2015 EFF Pioneer Awards
    The Electronic Frontier Foundation has announcedthe recipients of its Pioneer Awards for 2015: Caspar Bowden, The CitizenLab, Annriette Esterhuysen and the Association for ProgressiveCommunications, and Kathy Sierra. "This extraordinary group ofwinners have all focused on the users, striving to give everyone theaccess, power, community, and protection they need in order to create andparticipate in our digital world."

  • KDE Sprints - who wins? (KDE.News)
    KDE.News looks at KDE sprints and their benefits. The organization is doing some fundraising to help support its sprints, so it is trying get the word out about these code-focused events: "To start with, KDE sprints are intensive sessions centered around coding. They take place in person over several days, during which time skillful developers eat, drink and sleep code. There are breaks to refresh and gain perspective, but mostly sprints involve hard, focused work. All of this developer time and effort is unpaid. However travel expenses for some developers are covered by KDE. KDE is a frugal organization with comparatively low administrative costs, and only one paid person who works part time. So the money donated for sprints goes to cover actual expenses. Who gets the money? Almost all of it goes to transportation companies."

  • Alliance for Open Media will develop a royalty-free video codec
    Seven leading Internet companies today announced formation of the Alliance for Open Media – an open-source project that will develop next-generation media formats, codecs and technologies in the public interest. The Alliance’s founding members are Amazon, Cisco, Google, Intel Corporation, Microsoft, Mozilla and Netflix.

  • Rackspace developer advocate on getting started with open source
    Don Schenck is a Rackspace developer advocate, meaning he writes code, writes about code, speaks at conferences, teaches workshops, and helps customers. Prior to Rackspace, Don worked across a broad range of industries, from developing systems to reduce civilian casualties in military engagements to building software to control machines that cut and bend reinforcing more

  • We did it ourselves: The open organization in education
    Reading The Open Organization was exciting because author Jim Whitehurst catalyzed many ideas that I've had swimming in my consciousness. Jim says that his role at Red Hat is more of a catalyst than a CEO in the traditional sense of how we use the word. The open organization is less about CEOs and more about community building and empowerment. His approach reminds me of ancient wisdom found in the Tao te Ching:read more

  • Hello, Columbus: Ohio LinuxFest Up Next Oct. 2-3
    The 13th annual Ohio LinuxFest will be held Oct. 2-3 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in downtown Columbus. Hosting authoritative speakers in a large expo hall, the OLF welcomes all free and open source software professionals, enthusiasts, and everyone interested in learning more about free and open source software.

  • Acer offers convertible Chromebook for $299
    In today's open source roundup: The Acer Chromebook R11 offers tablet and laptop functionality for $299. Plus: Acer announces Predator 8 gaming tablet. And Google announces Android Wear for the iPhone.

  • F23 Cloud Base Test Day September 8th!
    Hey everyone! Fedora 23 has been baking in the oven. The Fedora Cloud WG has elected to do a temperature check on September 8th. For this test day we are going to concentrate on the base image. We will have... Continue Reading →

  • How to Make Unbreakable Passwords In Your Head Using Mental Cryptography
    The problem, of course, is trusting a single third-party with this task. Turing Award winner Manuel Blum recently proposed a solution at the Heidelberg Laureate Forum that uses ID-based encryption but avoids the third-party password generator. Instead, this encryption is done mentally by the user.

  • Stupid Patent of the Month: “Internet drink mixer” vs. everyone
    It's that time of the month again: the Electronic Frontier Foundation has selected a winner for its "Stupid Patent of the Month" contest.Patent-holding company Rothschild Connected Devices Innovations (RCDI) owns US Patent No. 8,788,090, which was granted in 2014 and describes a system where a "remote server" "transmits" a "product preference" via a "communication module." Using those broad claims, RCDI has sued more than 20 companies for making things that connect to the Internet. The company sued ADT (PDF) over its Pulse product that allows for things like adjusting a thermostat.

  • We did it ourselves: The open organization in education
    Reading The Open Organization was exciting because author Jim Whitehurst catalyzed many ideas that I've had swimming in my consciousness. Jim says that his role at Red Hat is more of a catalyst than a CEO in the traditional sense of how we use the word. The open organization is less about CEOs and more about community building and empowerment. His approach reminds me of ancient wisdom found in the Tao te Ching:read more

  • How to automatically dim your screen on Linux
    When you start spending the majority of your time in front of a computer, natural questions start arising. Is this healthy? How can I diminish the strain on my eyes? Why is the sunlight burning me? Although active research is still going on to answer these questions, a lot of programmers have already adopted a [[he]#8230[/he]]Continue reading...

  • RDO Juno DVR Deployment (Controller/Network)&Compute&Compute on CentOS 7.1
    Neutron DVR implements the fip-namespace on every Compute Node where the VMs are running. Thus VMs with FloatingIPs can forward the traffic to the External Network without routing it via Network Node.It also implements the L3 Routers across the Compute Nodes, so that tenants intra VM communication will occur without Network Node involvment.Neutron DVR provides the legacy SNAT behavior . . .

  • Stupid Patent of the Month: A Drink Mixer Attacks the Internet of Things
    Imagine if the inventor of the Segway claimed to own “any thing that moves in response to human commands.” Or if the inventor of the telegraph applied for a patent covering any use of electric current for communication. Absurdly overbroad claims like these would not be allowed, right? Unfortunately, the Patent Office does not do a good job of policing overly broad claims. August's Stupid Patent of the Month, U.S. Patent No. 8,788,090, is a stark example of how these claims promote patent trolling.

  • 5 Reasons Not To "Not Use Linux"
    After watching a Youtube video released this week highlighting 5 reasons not to use Linux I decided to write the rebuttal. Roll your sleeves up, we are in for the too many distros debate again.

  • Rugged module runs Linux on i.MX6 UltraLite SoC
    F&S announced a COM that runs Linux on Freescale’s Cortex-A7 based i.MX6 UltraLite SoC, and offers dual Ethernet, WiFi, and an industrial temperature range. Since May, when Freescale unveiled its new, Cortex-A7 based i.MX6 UltraLite SoC, we’ve seen several announcements of computer-on-module products that incorporate the new, more power-efficient processor. These include two products from […]

Linux Insider

  • New Android-x86 Release Peppered With Problems
    The latest Android-x86 Project release takes us one step closer to using the Android OS on a desktop or laptop computer -- but the project suffers from stability and reliability issues. If you want one Linux-based OS to run on all of your devices, Android-x86 could become a viable alternative. The major advantage would be keeping all of your settings, apps and Google services on an equal footing.

  • Intel Pumps OpenStack Up
    As part of a new strategic collaboration, Intel will lead a $100 million funding round in Mirantis, the companies announced earlier this week. Intel is a long-time investor in Mirantis. This round includes existing investors August Capital, Insight Venture Partners, Ericsson, Sapphire Ventures and WestSummit Capital, as well as new investor Goldman Sachs.

  • At 24, Linux Has Come Out of the Basement
    Happy Birthday, Linux Project -- this week you turned 24. The Linux OS has grown up everywhere. Its code and the open source model are found worldwide. People often use linux without knowing it -- when they search on Google, buy metro tickets or surf the Web. Linux travels worldwide on airplanes, and it's embedded in many of the smart devices that bring ultra convenience to our homes and cars.

  • Linux Foundation Wants to Pin a Badge on Secure Open Source Software
    The Core Infrastructure Initiative last week announced a program that will offer badges to open software developers who follow best practice software development and security procedures. The CII project enables technology companies, industry stakeholders and software developers to collaborate on the identification and funding of critical open source projects in need of assistance.

  • Nothing Could Be Finer Than Point Linux
    Point Linux 3.0, dubbed "Agni," combines a solid operating system with a traditional no-frills approach to performance and reliability. In several ways, Point Linux belies the criticisms of Linux desktop newcomers who find that Linux not simple and straightforward to use. Point Linux is easy to install. It has a clear interface. Everything works out of the box.

  • Devs Get to Poke Around With Marshmallow
    Google on Monday announced the official SDK for Android 6.0, aka "Marshmallow." It also opened Google Play for devs to publish apps that target the new API Level 23 in Marshmallow. Google further updated the Android Support Library to v23, giving devs an easier way to make new platform APIs, such as permissions and fingerprint support, backward compatible.

  • Fork Release Intensifies Bitcoin Community Bitterness
    A full release of Bitcoin XT just became available, heaping fuel on the fire spreading throughout the community. One site went so far as to ban XT-related posts, resulting in allegations that a small cabal had taken control and was suppressing discussion and dissent. The cause of all the furor is a dispute over how to ensure that the Bitcoin system's capacity keeps up with its rapid growth.

  • Open Mainframe Project Pushes Linux's Limits
    The Linux Foundation on Monday announced the formation of the Open Mainframe Project to advance the development of Linux on the mainframe among academia, government and corporate partners. The foundation announced the software consortium at the LinuxCon/CloudOpen/ContainerCon gathering in Seattle. The project will create a set of tools and resources to drive further collaboration and improvements.

  • BQ's Ubuntu Bows on World Stage
    BQ last week opened an Ubuntu global store accessible to anyone who wants to buy an Aquaris Ubuntu Edition handset. BQ recently launched the BQ Aquaris E4.5 and E5 HD Ubuntu Edition smartphones in Europe. Both BQ and Canonical, which provides commercial support for Ubuntu Linux, have acknowledged network frequency and mobile operator compatibility issues in some countries, including the U.S.

  • Xiaomi Unveils Redmi Note 2 as US Twinkles in Its Eye
    Xiaomi has announced its new Redmi Note 2, getting a jump on Samsung's announcement of two new smartphone entries. Xiaomi's Redmi Note 2 comes with a 2-GHz octacore Mediatek Helio X10 CPU and 16 GB of flash memory. The Redmi Note 2 Prime edition comes with a 2.2-GHz octacore MTK Helio X10 CPU and 32 GB of flash memory. The phones will sell in China at price points equivalent to about $125 to $140.

  • Mozilla Plugs Dangerous Firefox Zero-Day Hole
    Mozilla on Friday released security updates to fix a zero-day flaw in the Firefox browser. An exploit that searches for sensitive files and uploads them to a server -- possibly somewhere in Ukraine -- has surfaced in an ad on a Russian news site, Mozilla reported last week. The exploit impacts Windows and Linux users. Mac users could be hit by a modified version.

  • MyNotex Is an Almost Perfect Note Taker and Task Manager
    MyNotex is one application I keep revisiting for my note-taking and project management tasks. Italian Developer Massimo Nardello releases one major update per year. MyNotex keeps getting better and better. Version 1.3.1, was released in June. Nardello took what was a near-perfect locally stored note-taking program and made it better than using cloud-based services such as Evernote, Box or Dropbox.

  • Red Hat Promises Ease of Use in New RHEL OpenStack Platform 7
    Red Hat on Wednesday announced the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 7. Platform 7's availability follows by three months the latest release of OpenStack. Key to its new features are improved deployment and management tools that simplify installation. The new feature set eases day-to-day management tasks. Platform 7 is based on the OpenStack community's Kilo release.

  • The Cloud's Open Source Seeds Are Growing Strong
    Open source seeded the cloud, 451 Research found five years ago -- and those seeds have grown. Open source now plays an even more prevalant and important role -- not only in cloud computing, but also in other, related areas, such as big data, DevOps and application containers. One can consider any layer of cloud computing -- Infrastructure as a Service, for example -- and see the impact.

  • OpenDaylight Project Picks Up Steam
    The OpenDaylight Project this week announced that AT&T, ClearPath Networks and Nokia Networks have joined, bringing its membership total to 359. OpenDaylight is a collaborative open source project hosted by the Linux Foundation. Its goal is twofold: accelerate the adoption of software-defined networking; and create a solid foundation for network functions virtualization.

  • Super-Scary Android Flaw Found
    Zimperium on Monday revealed a stunning discovery by researcher Joshua Drake -- a flaw in Android's Stagefright media playback engine that could expose millions of mobile device users to attack without their having done anything. Stagefright, which processes several popular media formats, is implemented in native code -- C++ -- which is more prone to memory corruption than some other languages.

  • Tech Giants Boost Open Source Container Collaboration
    The Linux Foundation this week announced the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, a consortium dedicated to the development and adoption of common container technologies. CNCF aims to make it easier for businesses to deploy containerized cloud applications oriented to microservices. Open source container-packaged applications are easier to create, manage and deploy, said tech analyst Rob Enderle.

  • The New Solus: Putting the Pieces Together Again
    The Solus Project is a rebranded and rereleased Linux distro trying to regain its former popularity. In a field of Linux distributions cluttered with look-alike offerings, Solus brings something simple and something new. Solus has impressive potential for being uncomplicated and different. Based in the UK, the Solus Project is the latest iteration of SolusOS, which morphed into Evolve OS.

  • Commodore's Ghost Lives in New Machine
    Yet another Android smartphone has hit the market -- but what's surprising is that it comes from Commodore. The Commodore PET smartphone is from Commodore Business Machines, a UK-based firm that has acquired the brand and trademark. It runs Android 5.0 Lollipop, and has a 5.5-inch full HD 1920 x 1080 display. Two preinstalled emulators let owners play games written for old-school Commodore PCs.

  • Suse Linux Enterprise 12 Says Hello to ARM
    Suse Linux has announced a partnership to extend support for 64-bit ARM server processors. The goal is to give Suse Linux Enterprise 12 users greater flexibility and cost efficiencies with respect to their infrastructures. This expansion makes available to seven partners a version of Suse Linux Enterprise 12 that lets them develop, test and deliver products to the market using 64-bit ARM chips.

  • Report: Android Wear Smartwatches to Get Together
    It's rumored that the next version of Android Wear, reportedly scheduled for release in August, will bring tap gestures and watch-to-watch communications. The update initially was scheduled for launch on July 28th. "For now, these features simply bring parity between Android Wear and watchOS," said IDC analyst Jitesh Ubrani, but neither platform "offers a compelling use case" as yet.

  • Check Point Introduces New CPU-Level Threat Prevention
    An anonymous reader writes: After buying Israeli startup company Hyperwise earlier this year, Check Point Software Technologies (Nasdaq: CHKP) now unveils its newest solution for defeating malware. Their new offering called SandBlast includes CPU-Level Threat Emulation that was developed in Hyperwise which is able to defeat exploits faster and more accurately than any other solution by leveraging CPU deubgging instruction set in Intel Haswell, unlike known anti-exploitation solutions like kBouncer or ROPecker which use older instruction sets and are therefore bypassable. SandBlast also features Threat Extraction — the ability to extract susceptible parts from incoming documents.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • "Extremely Critical" OS X Keychain Vulnerability Steals Passwords Via SMS
    Mark Wilson writes: Two security researchers have discovered a serious vulnerability in OS X that could allow an attacker to steal passwords and other credentials in an almost invisible way. Antoine Vincent Jebara and Raja Rahbani — two of the team behind the myki identity management security software — found that a series of terminal commands can be used to extract a range of stored credentials. What is particularly worrying about the vulnerability is that it requires virtually no interaction from the victim; simulated mouse clicks can be used to click on hidden buttons to grant permission to access the keychain. Apple has been informed of the issue, but a fix is yet to be issued. The attack, known as brokenchain, is disturbingly easy to execute. Ars reports that this weakness has been exploited for four years.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • You Don't Have To Be Good At Math To Learn To Code writes: Olga Khazan writes in The Atlantic that learning to program involves a lot of Googling, logic, and trial-and-error—but almost nothing beyond fourth-grade arithmetic. Victoria Fine explains how she taught herself how to code despite hating math. Her secret? Lots and lots of Googling. "Like any good Google query, a successful answer depended on asking the right question. "How do I make a website red" was not nearly as successful a question as "CSS color values HEX red" combined with "CSS background color." I spent a lot of time learning to Google like a pro. I carefully learned the vocabulary of HTML so I knew what I was talking about when I asked the Internet for answers." According to Khazan while it's true that some types of code look a little like equations, you don't really have to solve them, just know where they go and what they do. "In most cases you can see that the hard maths (the physical and geometry) is either done by a computer or has been done by someone else. While the calculations do happen and are essential to the successful running of the program, the programmer does not need to know how they are done." Khazan says that in order to figure out what your program should say, you're going to need some basic logic skills and you'll need to be skilled at copying and pasting things from online repositories and tweaking them slightly. "But humanities majors, fresh off writing reams of term papers, are probably more talented at that than math majors are."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Second Gen Moto 360 Men's and Women's, Fitness-Oriented Moto 360 Sport Unveiled
    MojoKid writes: Motorola's first generation Moto 360 smartwatch was one of the first Android Wear smartwatches to hit the market, and because of its round display, became the immediate flag bearer for the Android Wear platform. As new competition has entered the fray — including entries from Apple with the Apple Watch and Samsung with the Gear S2 — Motorola is announcing a second generation smartwatch that solves most of the complaints of the previous model. Motorola has ditched the archaic Texas Instruments OMAP 3 processor in the original Moto 360. The new second generation Moto 360 brings a more credible 1.2GHz, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor and Adreno 305 graphics to the table. You'll also find 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage. And if you didn't like the largish dimensions of the previous Moto 360, you'll be glad to know that Motorola is offering two sizes this time around. There's a 46mm diameter case that comes with a 360x330 display and a smaller 42mm diameter case that houses a 360x325 display. Motorola has also introduced a dedicated women's model of the Moto 360 which features a 42mm diameter case and accepts smaller 16mm bands. As for battery life, Motorola says that the men's and women's 42mm models comes with a 300 mAh battery which is good for up to 1.5 days of mixed use, while the 46mm watch comes with a larger 400 mAh battery which is good for up to 2 days on charge.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Netflix Open Sources Sleepy Puppy XSS Hunter
    msm1267 writes: Netflix has released a tool it calls Sleepy Puppy. The tool injects cross-site scripting payloads into a target app that may not be vulnerable, but could be stored in a database and tracks the payload if it's reflected to a secondary application that makes use of the data in the same field. "We were looking for a way to provide coverage on applications that come from different origins or may not be publicly accessible," said co-developer Scott Behrens, a senior application security engineer at Netflix. "We also wanted to observe where stored data gets reflected back, and how data that may be stored publicly could also be reflected in a large number of internal applications." Sleepy Puppy is available on Netflix's Github repository and is one of a slew of security tools its engineers have released to open source.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Why Do So Many Tech Workers Dislike Their Jobs?
    Nerval's Lobster writes: So what if you work for a tech company that offers free lunch, in-house gym, and dry cleaning? A new survey suggests that a majority of software engineers, developers, and sysadmins are miserable. Granted, the survey in question only involved 5,000 respondents, so it shouldn't be viewed as comprehensive (it was also conducted by a company that deals in employee engagement), but it's nonetheless insightful into the reasons why a lot of tech pros apparently dislike their jobs. Apparently perks don't matter quite so much if your employees have no sense of mission, don't have a clear sense of how they can get promoted, and don't interact with their co-workers very well. While that should be glaringly obvious, a lot of companies are still fixated on the idea that minor perks will apparently translate into huge morale boosts; but free smoothies in the cafeteria only goes so far.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • How Open Film Project "Cosmos Laundromat" Made Blender Better
    An anonymous reader writes: At the beginning of August the Blender Institute released Cosmos Laundromat: First Cycle, its seventh open project. More than just a 10-minute short film, Cosmos Laundromat is the Blender Institute's most ambitious project, a pilot for the first fully free and open animated feature film. In his article on animator and open source advocate Jason van Gumster highlights the film project and takes a look at some of its most significant contributions to the Blender open source project.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Mutt 1.5.24 Released
    kthreadd writes: Version 1.5.24 of the Mutt email client has been released. New features in this release includes among other things terminal status-line (TS) support, a new color object 'prompt', the ability to encrypt postponed messages and opportunistic encryption which automatically enables/disables encryption based on message recipients. SSLv3 is now also disabled by default.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Can Living In Total Darkness For 5 Days "Reset" the Visual System?
    the_newsbeagle writes: That's what one neuroscientist is aiming to find out. He wants to put patients with a type of amblyopia, the vision problem commonly called lazy eye, into the dark for 5 days. His hypothesis: When they emerge, their brains' visual cortices will be temporarily "plastic" and changeable, and may begin to process the visual signals from their bad eyes correctly. Before he could do this study, though, he had to do a test run to figure out logistics. So he himself lived in a pitch black room for 5 days. One finding: Eating ravioli in the dark is hard.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • China Preparing To Send Crewed Shenzhou 11 To Tiangong 2 Space Station In 2016
    MarkWhittington writes: China has not sent people into space since the mission of the Shenzhou 10 to the prototype space station Tiangong 1 in June 2013. Since then the Chinese have accomplished the landing of the Chang'e 3 on the lunar surface. According to a story in Space Daily, the hiatus in Chinese crewed spaceflight is about to end with the launch of the Tiangong-2 prototype space station in 2016 with the subsequent visit by a crew of Chinese astronauts on board the Shenzhou 11. The mission will be a prelude to the construction of a larger Chinese space station, slated to be completed by 2022.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Hacking Medical Mannequins
    An anonymous reader writes: A team of researchers at the University of South Alabama is investigating potential breaches of medical devices used in training, taking the mannequin iStan as its prime target in its scenario-based research. Identifying the network security solution and network protocol as the vulnerable components, the team was able to carry out brute force attacks against the router PIN, and denial of service (DDoS) attacks, using open source tools such as BackTrack.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Google Changes Logo
    An anonymous reader writes: Yesterday, Google announced a logo change that many on Slashdot have probably already encountered. The logo, according to the technology supergiant, was updated to reflect the fact that people "interact with Google products across many different platforms, apps and devices—sometimes all in a single day." This differentiates from the past when people only used a desktop PC to access Google's services.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Sony Unveils Smartphone With 4K Screen
    An anonymous reader writes: Sony has taken the wraps off its new Xperia Z5 Premium smartphone, which has a 5.5" display that operates at 4k resolution. "The company acknowledged that there was still a limited amount of professional content available in 4K — which provides about four times the number of pixels as 1080p high definition video. But it said the Z5 Premium would upscale videos streamed from YouTube and Netflix to take advantage of the display." Sony's answer to the obvious battery concerns raised by such a pixel-dense (808 ppi) screen was to use a 3,430 mAh battery and memory-on-display technology. The video upscaling can also be turned off to decrease battery drain.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Canadian Music Industry Faces Competition Complaint Over Public Domain Records
    An anonymous reader writes: A Canadian record label specializing in public domain releases has filed a complaint with the Competition Tribunal over alleged anti-competitive conduct by Universal, Sony, and host of other music industry leaders. The complaint tells a fascinating behind-the-scenes tale, with the recording industry doing everything in its powers — including posting false reviews, pressuring distributors, and lobbying for changes to the law — to stop the sale of competing public domain records.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • New FCC Rules Could Ban WiFi Router Firmware Modification
    An anonymous reader writes: Hackaday reports that the FCC is introducing new rules which ban firmware modifications for the radio systems in WiFi routers and other wireless devices operating in the 5 GHz range. The vast majority of routers are manufactured as System on Chip devices, with the radio module and CPU integrated in a single package. The new rules have the potential to effectively ban the installation of proven Open Source firmware on any WiFi router.  ThinkPenguin, the EFF, FSF, Software Freedom Law Center, Software Freedom Conservancy, OpenWRT, LibreCMC, Qualcomm, and others have created the SaveWiFi campaign, providing instructions on how to submit a formal complaint to the FCC regarding this proposed rule. The comment period is closing on September 8, 2015. Leave a comment for the FCC.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Flash, holograms? Where will your archive end up?
    Will you still tape me tomorrow?
    Whether it’s unstructured rich media, traditional business documents and files, or the audiovisual library of a media company, there is more data about than ever before. And more than ever, it has potential value – whether that is to build new content, to improve customer relationships, to answer the demands of regulators, or even to protect your organisation and its intellectual property in court.…

  • Windows admin added to Puppet Enterprise
    DSC, WSUS modules give the Win admin *nix-like automation, apparently
    Puppet Labs has noticed the deep, dark secret of enterprise IT: that there's still lots of Microsoft Windows out there that could do with a bit of automation.…

  • It's MediaTek v Qualcomm in the motherboard of all battles
    Rumours and leaks for 2016's hottest processors
    The two big boys of the mobile chip world, MediaTek and Qualcomm, are about to see their flagship products – the Helios X20 and Snapdragon 820 respectively – come to market, with details starting to emerge; and it's likely to be all about the numbers.…

  • Turkey cites crypto software find in terror charges against TV crew
    They use the same programs, so they must be helping the PKK, claims clueless gov
    Possession of an encryption program used by jihadists is being cited of evidence against two Vice News journalists and a local fixer / translator arrested in Turkey, who now face terror-related charges.…

  • Euro telly bods say 'non' to spectrum sharing with mobiles
    If the LTE gang gets its way DTT is toast, says report
    With WRC–15 only a few months away, the battle to protect terrestrial television isn't over yet. Last week the European Broadcasting Union released a fact sheet (PDF) that summarises the key issue – can LTE share spectrum with digital terrestrial television?…

  • Return of the Pocket PC: Acer shows off Jade Primo PC Phone
    Cause if you get it wrong, you'll get it right next time (next time)
    IFA 2015 Acer will release the "Jade Primo" PC Phone later this year, running Windows and taking advantage of Microsoft's Continuum feature to behave like a PC when connected to an external display, keyboard and mouse.…

  • Mate S: Huawei 'beats' Apple to force-touch phone launch
    Knuckle gestures and mini scales also on the way... just not yet
    IFA2015 Apple introduced “force touch” in its MacBook earlier this year, and it is expected to appear on iPhones very soon. But Huawei has stolen some of Apple’s thunder by announcing a flagship with the variable pressure feature at Berlin’s IFA consumer show today.…

  • Trio of 'nauts thunder towards International Space Station
    Soyuz soars heavenwards from Baikonur Cosmodrome
    The Kazakh Space Agency's Aidyn Aimbetov, European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Andreas Mogensen, and Russian cosmonaut Sergei Volkov are en route to the International Space Station following their successful dispatch heavenwards from Baikonur Cosmodrome earlier today.…

  • French hacker besmuts road sign right under Les Plods' noses
    Méchant matey denies Dominique Strauss Kahn protest
    Vid+update A hacker defaced an electronic parking sign with a "poem" of vulgarities - and has since told The Register it was not a protest against the acquittal of Dominique Strauss-Kahn on pimping charges, although he did do it right under the noses of the Gendarmerie Nationale.…

  • Look over here! SAP unveils big data HANA update
    Please buy our in-memory databases, says German ERP peddler
    Teutonic enterprise resource planning provider SAP has unveiled a cloudy HANA big data update, in an effort to drum up more interest in its in-memory databases.…

  • Viral virus bunfight: Dr Web tested rivals like Kaspersky Lab
    But they didn't deliberately try and trip up rivals with false positives
    Russian anti-malware firm Dr.Web tested rivals to see if they blindly accepted malware reports shared through cross-industry intelligence systems like Kaspersky Lab, according to investigative reporter Brian Krebs. However, Dr.Web stopped short of using services such as VirusTotal to trip up rivals, the focus of fiercely contested allegations against Kaspersky Lab.…

  • West's only rare earth mine closes. Yet Chinese monopoly fears are baseless
    Strong-arm attempt? Whatever
    Worstall on Wednesday As El Reg's dodgy metals dealer it's incumbent upon me to tell you all that Molycorp has just closed Mountain Pass, the western hemisphere's only rare earth mine. This will, of course, mean disaster because we've suddenly no source of those lovely minerals with which to build all sorts of exciting gadgetry.…

  • Earth wobbles on axis as Google rebrands
    Paradigms shifted in drive to world domination
    Logowatch Paradigms were shifted and the Earth possibly wobbled a little on its axis yesterday as Google announced a new logo to brand its continuing drive towards total world domination.…

  • BIS shuns Steria HR and payroll shared services centre
    Yeah, actually, you know those costs, they’re not 'viable' now
    Exclusive The department for Business, Innovation and Skills has shunned a major outsourcing deal with Steria and the Cabinet Office, embarrassingly citing the costs and risks of the project as "no longer viable".…

  • Small wonder, little competition: Asus Chromebook Flip
    World's first 10-inch touchscreen convertible Googletop
    Review Asus’s new Chromebook Flip isn’t the first touchscreen Chromebook we’ve fondled here at The Register. That accolade belongs to the Lenovo N20p. But since the N20p has been discontinued in the UK, Asus needn't worry about its new convertible being overshadowed by it.…

  • If VMware is a sun, here are the storage worlds we've spotted orbiting it
    The force is strong in this one, Darth
    VMworld 2015 Behold the storage sun king – VMware is the center of a storage solar system with planets and asteroids orbiting around it in belts: the EVO, VSAN, and VVOL orbital zones. Fresh activity has been detected by telescopes on planet Register using its snark-o-scope.…

  • SOHOpeless: Belkin router redirection zero-day
    DNS response fondling confounds security
    Security bod Joel Land has reported zero-day holes in a popular model of Belkin router allowing attackers to yank cleartext credentials, spoof DNS responses, and pop admin interfaces.…

  • Self-driving CARS? BORING. We want self driving, LIZARD dodging GOLF CARTS
    At last, humanity's real problems tackled
    Many jaded readers of the Register, noting on the interwebs the endless stream of stories about self-driving cars - being worked upon by such companies as Google - may have wondered whether in fact anyone at all is actually working on the real, genuine problems confronting the human race.…

  • Drone deals DEATH – to deadly starfish
    Great Barrier Reef boffins poisoning Crown of Thorns by remote control
    An Australian university is about to start deploying drones on a seek-and-destroy mission. The target? The Crown of Thorns Starfish, which is famously a serious danger to the country's Great Barrier Reef.…

  • Big Blue bops modular menace
    CoreBot infant could grow to painful teenager
    IBM threat researcher Limor Kessem has found a new modular malware credential stealer that could become a significant enterprise threat.…

  • Victims of US gov't mega-breach still haven't been notified
    Affected workers to receive aid starting 'later this month'
    Nearly three months after the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) discovered its databases had been compromised by Chinese hackers, the government still hasn't notified the employees and contractors affected by the breach.… offline for now

  • F2FS File-System Updates For Linux 4.3
    For those interested in F2FS as a Linux file-system to use on solid-state drives and other flash storage devices, here's the latest updates for it with Linux 4.3...

  • Intel Skylake Core i5 Performance Doesn't Appear Impacted Yet By Linux 4.3
    Due to the Linux scheduler changes that already landed in Linux Git having a rework that potentially affects every SMP workload out there and some power management changes that affect Skylake, I decided to run some early Linux 4.3 kernel code as of Git this morning on the Core i5 6600K "Skylake" system...

  • That Awkward Ubuntu Tablet Plans To Go Up For Pre-Order Soon
    Since last December we've been receiving emails from a company working on an Ubuntu Tablet inspired by the failed Ubuntu Edge campaign. That company is apparently going to start accepting pre-orders for their device soon with hopes of shipping this unofficial Ubuntu Tablet in January...

  • EXT3 Driver Might Not End Up Getting Removed From Linux 4.3
    While yesterday it looked like the EXT3 driver would be removed in Linux 4.3 as the pull request was sent in and there were no objections brought up last month when it was proposed, Linus Torvalds has taken issue with removing the driver...


  • Experience bullet time in Epic's crazy VR demo

    Game-tech powerhouse Epic Games and its Unreal Engine are capable of some seriously impressive stuff, and now the North Carolina-based outfit wants you to experience what it's capable of in the virtual reality space. "Showdown" is the demo that the outfit's been showing off at industry events for the past year or so (I got to try it at CES back in January) and it's by far the most bad-ass bullet-time walk toward a hulking, missile-happy, bipedal robot I've ever experienced. The path is predetermined, sure, but as the street explodes into chaos around you, it's entirely possible to duck down or peer around objects like pop cans or even cars as they hurtle toward you in slow motion.

    Epic says that the "project and all its assets" are available for immediate download and it's compatible with the Oculus Rift Dev Kit 2 and beyond as well as Sony's Project Morpheus, and the HTC Vive Steam VR setup. Oh, and it's free.

    Filed under: Gaming, Home Entertainment, Software, HD


    Source: Unreal Engine

    Tags: bullettime, demo, epicgames, free, gaming, hd, hdpostcross, oculus, oculusrift, showdown, unreal, video, vr

  • Valve's testing a new look for Steam on TVs

    The November release Valve's fancy Steam Controller is right around the corner, and the company seems to be getting the rest of its platform ready for launch day. Specifically, Valve is giving Steam's Big Picture Mode a visual overhaul, redesigning UI navigation in the TV-interface's game library with a more dynamic layout, making tweaks to game-specific pages within that library and updating the look of user profile pages. Valve is also adding FLAC, OGG, Vorbis and M4A support to its music player, as well as experimental Streaming-host support for Macs. Curious? Try it out for yourself by opting into the Steam beta client in your settings menu, or simply check out the gallery below.

    Filed under: Gaming


    Source: Valve

    Tags: beta, gaming, pcgaming, steam, steambigpicture, SteamBigPictureMode, valve, videogames

  • Internet-connected baby monitors are vulnerable to attacks

    Don't call a priest just yet if you hear strange voices coming out of your child's baby monitor -- it's more likely a hacker than some kind of supernatural entity. Security firm Rapid 7 has released a study that shows just how vulnerable at least nine internet-connected baby monitors are. The team tested models from eight manufacturers (including Philips and Withings) this 2015 and found that hackers can easily break into them, not only to scare the living daylights out of a family, but also to monitor their activities. For instance, some models have unencrypted web apps, so hackers can use that flaw to gain access to their cameras.

    Others allow users to add people to the list of viewers without authenticating themselves, giving interlopers the power to invite other intruders to livestream what the baby monitor sees. These are but a couple of examples to give you an idea. Unfortunately, among the eight manufacturers whose products were tested, only Philips was responsive and promised to patch up its device's security hole.

    Rapid7 warns that it's not just pervs with lots of time on their hands parents should be worried about. Industrial spies could also take advantage of the devices' flaws to steal secrets or keep an eye on high-profile execs who use their phones or computers to connect to their kids' internet baby monitors. You can read the full report on the firm's website, containing a list of products they tested and their corresponding weaknesses.

    [Image credit: Alamy]

    Filed under: Misc


    Via: Ars Technica

    Source: Rapid7

    Tags: babymonitor, internetofthings, philips, rapid7, withing

  • US will pay over $133 million to protect OPM data breach victims
    massive data breach at the US Office of Personnel Management is going to cost the country a lot more than you might think. Officials have awarded ID Experts a contract to protect the 21.5 million affected government workers against identity theft. The arrangement will cost the government at least $133.3 million, and options could bring its value to as high as $329.8 million. Suddenly, Sony's identity protection offer following the 2011 PSN breach seems like small potatoes. And that's just part of a smaller effort to mitigate the effects of data breaches -- the General Services Administration has handed out a separate $500 million contract for responding to these kinds of attacks.

    The effort could be reassuring if you're one of the many current or former staffers worrying about whether or not a hacker will misuse your personal info. However, there's a question as to whether or not the money will be well-spent. Any short-term damage has likely already been done, after all. And as you might have guessed, identity theft protection may not do much to stop state-sponsored Chinese hackers from creating havoc. Look at it this way, though: the contracts may serve as a (very) expensive lesson in the importance of tight security.

    [Image credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]

    Filed under: Internet


    Via: Nextgov, CNN, Beth Cobert (Twitter)


    Tags: breach, databreach, government, identitytheft, idexperts, internet, officeofpersonnelmanagement, opm, privacy, security

  • Panasonic is reviving Technics' legendary DJ turntables
    Technics' SL-1200 -- even though it hasn't been made since 2007, the super-reliable deck is still the gold standard for vinyl spinners. If you're one of those enthusiasts, you'll be glad to hear that Panasonic is bringing Technics turntables back as part of a larger revival for the audio brand. Many of the details are still under wraps, but the turntable set will have a new direct-drive motor that should improve the audio quality. The gear won't show up until sometime during Panasonic's next fiscal year (sometime between April 2016 and March 2017), but more development time is likely a good thing. After all, the SL-1200 thrives precisely because its makers were careful to preserve elements that worked well -- a rushed product could easily hurt more than it helps. Slideshow-316938

    That's not the only Technics-badged device making a debut today, either. Panasonic has unveiled a trio of devices geared towards the home audio crowd. The highlight is arguably the EAH-T700, a set of closed-back headphones with large 50mm main drivers and 14mm "super-tweeters" that theoretically give you a very wide sound range. There's also the Grand Class G30 series, which includes both a "reference-class" amp and a networked music server, as well as the Ottava Premium Class C500 HiFi system and black C700 speakers. While you'll have to wait for release dates and prices, it's evident that Panasonic is paying more than lip service to the Technics name.

    [Image credit: SSPL/Getty Images]

    Filed under: Home Entertainment, HD


    Source: Wall Street Journal, Panasonic

    Tags: amp, amplifier, audio, cd, dj, hdpostcross, headphones, ifa, ifa2015, music, ottava, panasonic, sl-1200, technics, turntable, turntables

  • WD's latest cloud tech gives you a reason to forget Dropbox

    Let's be honest: the cloud features bundled with hard drives tend to suck. They're seldom more than nice freebies that you ignore while you set up Dropbox, Google Drive or another more sophisticated option. However, WD (aka Western Digital) might give you an incentive to try its in-house offering. It's launching My Cloud OS 3, a platform that gives connected hard drives (including network-attached storage) some of the features you take for granted on dedicated online services. It'll automatically sync not just between PCs, but from the camera rolls of your mobile devices. You'll have web- and app-based access to your storage, as well. True, you can find this kind of syncing elsewhere, but this gives you an alternative that won't leave you feeling pangs of regret... so long as you're using WD storage, at least.

    The platform depends on having the right hardware and software, but you don't have to wait long for that. WD has already introduced an updated version of its dual-drive My Cloud Mirror that has My Cloud OS 3's perks, and the My Cloud Albums app for Android and iOS will help you share photos when it arrives in late September. The real question is whether or not WD's upgrade is enough to get your attention. After all, WD's arch-rival Seagate is shuttering its Wuala cloud service in the face of stiff competition from the likes of Dropbox and Google. Even though WD is doing a lot to keep its personal cloud option up to date, you may be happy syncing through a service you already use.

    Filed under: Storage, Internet


    Source: Western Digital

    Tags: cloudstorage, internet, mycloud, mycloudos3, nas, NetworkAttachedStorage, storage, wd, wdsync, westerndigital

  • Machinima settles FTC charges over paid Xbox One 'reviews'

    Ever watch a YouTube review of a game or console and worry that the reviewer was a little too enthusiastic? You're not alone. Machinima has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it mislead gamers by failing to disclose that Xbox One reviews from YouTube "influencers" (read: popular channels) were really paid promos. Under the terms of the deal, Machinima has to make sure that any promos are clearly disclosed, refuse to pay for those that aren't, and check in on campaigns to make sure that the disclosures haven't vanished. And in case you're wondering: while the FTC has determined that Microsoft and its ad agency were partly responsible, it believes these promos were "isolated incidents" that didn't reflect those two companies' policies.

    The settlement represents one of the first big steps to acknowledge the widespread problems with paid gaming endorsements in online videos. It's no secret that console makers and game studios have spent years courting YouTube and Twitch stars, taking advantage of the absence of editorial safeguards (many streamers have to handle marketing requests themselves) and financial vulnerability. Some of those who agree to promos are up front about the payments, but others either downplay the disclosures or don't include them at all. An FTC crackdown will hopefully push both companies and video hosts to say exactly what's going on, letting you know right away whether or not that "let's play" clip is a thinly-veiled sales pitch.

    Filed under: Gaming, Internet, Microsoft


    Source: FTC (1), (2)

    Tags: ads, advertising, endorsements, ftc, gaming, internet, machinima, microsoft, payola, regulation, videogames, xboxone, youtube

  • 3D printing resurrects Iron-Age Irish musical instruments

    While 3D printing is often used for advancements in medicine or science, such as FDA-approved drugs or rocket pumps, this week it made an academic one. A PhD student at the Australian National University recently used a 3D printer to duplicate an Irish artifact previously known as the "Conical Spearbutt of Navan," thought to be a tool and weapon. Billy Ó Foghlú's replica was able to prove that the ancient spearbutt was, in fact, an ancient mouthpiece -- likely to an iron-age horn.

    While bronze-age and iron-age musical instruments, specifically horns, have been found throughout Europe and Scandinavia, the lack of mouthpieces had led historians to believe that Ireland went through a "musical dark age." Ó Foghlú used the exact measurements of the artifact to produce a 3D copy which he then used with his own horn. He said it produced a "richer, more velvety tone," and feels that the lack of recovered instruments in the area is due not to a supposed dark age, but because the instruments were "ritually dismantled and laid down as offerings when their owner died."

    Filed under: Misc



    Tags: 3dPrinting, AustralianNationalUniversity, BillyÓFoghlú, history, Ireland, MusicalInstruments, spearbutt

  • Amazon reimburses you for Dash Buttons after your first purchase

    In late July, Amazon quietly made its Dash Buttons available to all Prime members, without any announcement or fanfare. Today, the company finally made its new program official, and added products from 11 new brands in the process, though it's still limited to Prime subscribers only. The new additions bring the total to 29 brands that tally over 500 products -- all of which can be ordered with the push of a button. What's more, Amazon will also reimburse you for the $5 buttons when you use them to make your first purchase. In other words, you can give it a shot and if you end up not liking it (or even if you do), you'll get your money back. In addition to household items like laundry detergent and food, you can now use the buttons to order mints, gum and protein powder, among other things. For a full list of the available items, take a look here.

    Filed under: Household, Amazon


    Tags: amazon, amazondash, amazondashbutton, amazoneprime, dashbutton, household, onlineshopping, prime

  • Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820 is twice as friendly to your battery
    drumming up hype for its Snapdragon 820 chip by drip-feeding facts, but its latest revelation is a big one. The company has revealed that the Kryo CPU at the heart of the chip is up to twice as power-efficient as the Snapdragon 810, even though it's up to two times faster. While that doesn't necessarily translate to twice the battery life, it does promise significantly better performance without a hit to your phone's longevity.

    Part of this leap comes through the use of energy-efficient 14-nanometer FinFET manufacturing and a truly customized 64-bit CPU. However, the real party trick is the 820's use of heterogenous computing, where the chip doesn't have to rely as heavily on its main processor as in past designs. It can ask for the help of the graphics core (the Adreno 530), digital signal processor (the Hexagon 680) and imaging processor (Spectra) in combinations that make the most of what each part can do. Snap a photo, for example, and it'll put all of the above components to work (plus a few more) in relative harmony. That should help the new Snapdragon both reach its peak performance and save power, since it can operate multiple processors in short bursts and quickly shut down those elements it doesn't need. It's not clear just how much these upgrades will translate to real-world improvements, but this definitely isn't a Snapdragon 801-style speed bump.

    [Image credit: Eric Reed/Invision for Qualcomm/AP Images]

    Filed under: Cellphones, Tablets, Mobile


    Source: Qualcomm

    Tags: adreno530, cpu, heterogeneouscomputing, hexagon680, kryo, mobilepostcross, processor, qualcomm, smartphone, snapdragon, snapdragon820, tablet

  • Robots can learn from their mistakes in real-time

    Robots and other artificial intelligences can already learn from their mistakes, but they typically have to pause what they're doing to process what happened. They might not have to take a break in the future, though. Researchers have patented a technique, Integral Reinforcement Learning, that has devices continuously refining their actions based on each previous decision. If a machine doesn't already know the optimal way to handle a task, it can keep walking through the scenario (whether by predicting the outcome or actually trying) until it gets things right.

    The approach could be useful for just about any computing task where constant optimization is important, such as autopilot systems or your car's emission controls. However, it might be most useful in robotics. Many robots don't adapt well to unexpected conditions -- this technology could help them improvise and otherwise make the best of a bad situation. No matter where the invention ends up, it's safe to say that autonomous devices will be both smarter and more efficient while they're at work.

    [Image credit: University of Texas at Arlington]

    Filed under: Robots, Science


    Source: UT Arlington

    Tags: artificialintelligence, machinelearning, robot, robots, science, universityoftexas, utarlington

  • New Apple TV reportedly starts at $149, packs universal search

    No, the torrent of rumors surrounding the next Apple TV hasn't ended yet. Sources for both run more apps. It may just as easily offer a lone 16GB version at that price, though, so don't count on anything just yet.

    Both leaks also suggest that one of the biggest additions may be the previously hinted-at universal search. As with many rival devices, a single search (including through Siri voice recognition) will pull up content from a host of services, not just those from Apple or whichever app you're using. To put it mildly, that's a big deal. While the Apple TV has long been friendly to competing media services, universal search would give them even better treatment -- you'd know at a glance whether or not you can save some money by watching that movie on Netflix instead of iTunes.

    These latest scoops otherwise tend to back up claims that we've heard before. The set-top is expected to use a dual-core A8 processor (much better than the single-core A5 from today), and won't play 4K video. That's a bummer given the price, but the rumors suggest that Apple is less interested in competing on specs and more on hard-to-quantify features like app support and an intelligent interface. If the murmurs are accurate, you'll get the full skinny on September 9th.

    Filed under: Home Entertainment, HD, Apple


    Source: 9to5Mac, BuzzFeed News

    Tags: apple, appletv, hdpostcross, set-topbox, siri, universalsearch

  • At last, Motorola reveals a Moto 360 you can take to the gym

    Let's be real: As pretty as the new Moto 360 is, it definitely isn't ready for the gym. That's where the new Moto 360 Sport comes into play. The company hasn't said anything about price or when we'll be able to take these things out for a torturous run -- hell, there wasn't even a live model to play with -- but there's still more going on here than you might expect.

    It's based on the 42mm version of the Moto 360 we've already seen, except it's clad in a rubbery, exercise-friendly material instead of leather and steel. As you'd expect from a high-end fitness wearable, there's a built-in GPS to help you log miles more accurately than a plain ol' accelerometer could. Motorola's also pretty adamant about making people take as few gadgets on their workouts as possible, so you can load this thing up with your music (a trait it shares with the regular 360s) for streaming to your Bluetooth headphones. The most valuable addition to the mix, though, is what Motorola calls its "AnyLight" hybrid display. In a nutshell, the screen melds a typical backlit LCD screen like the one you'd see on a normal smartwatch with a front-lit reflective one that's better for seeing your vital stats in broad daylight. Thankfully, the Moto 360 can tell where you are and how blindingly bright your conditions are, so it'll switch between those two modes on the fly whenever it thinks you need it.

    Motorola's still keeping pretty quiet about the Sport model, and it isn't really a shock. After all, the last time the company took a stab at a fitness wearable, it cooked up this thing that people almost completely ignored. Times change, and so do people's priorities, so maybe this is the year Motorola successfully makes a serious smartwatch for non-nerds to love.

    Check out all the news from Berlin at our IFA 2015 hub.

    Filed under: Mobile


    Tags: androidwear, fitness, ifa, ifa2015, mobilepostcross, moto, moto360, moto360sport, motorola, smartwatch, wearable

  • Lenovo's latest gaming PCs are faster and flashier

    Lenovo probably isn't the first brand you think of when you're looking for a gaming PC, between its reputation for business PCs and its frequently frugal designs. However, it's definitely trying to improve its gamer cred today. The system builder has trotted out three Y-series computers that match the requisite speed boosts with more flair than you're used to from Lenovo. The IdeaPad Y700 laptop you see above has the expected choices of the latest Intel (sixth-generation Core) or AMD (Carrizo-based A10) processors, but it also sports more angular, attention-getting 15- and 17-inch designs. Those red JBL speakers are bound to catch your eye, even if the Y700 isn't quite as ostentatious as other portable gaming rigs. Slideshow-316904


    The Y700 line also touts the hardware options you'd expect circa late 2015, including a 4K touchscreen, an Intel RealSense camera (handy for facial recognition in Windows 10), up to 16GB of RAM, optional GeForce GTX 960M or Radeon R9 graphics and storage that can include both a 1TB conventional hard drive and a 512GB SSD. Lenovo expects these laptops to sell for $799 and up when they ship during the holidays. You won't get the fanciest features at that price, but that's a solid value if you just want a reasonably fast machine.

    And don't worry, desktop fans -- you're covered as well. Both the IdeaCentre Y700 and Y900 have "fun" red LEDs (seriously, that's how Lenovo puts it) that add a splash of color inside and out, and they pack sixth-generation Core i7 chips, higher-end NVIDIA video cards and four hard drive bays. Which PC you choose is really a matter of raw performance. The Y700 desktop starts at $999, and handles up to a single GeForce GTX 970 graphics card and 32GB of RAM; splurge on the Y900 ($1,599 and up) and you'll get an overclock-friendly processor, up to two GeForce GTX 980 boards and as much as 64GB of RAM. While neither is likely to make you forget about your custom-built dream PC when they arrive this holiday, they might do the trick if you're looking for an off-the-shelf gaming fix.

    Filed under: Desktops, Gaming, Laptops, Lenovo


    Source: Lenovo

    Tags: amd, carrizo, computer, desktop, gaming, ideacentre, ideacentrey700, ideacentrey900, ideapad, ideapady700, ifa, ifa2015, laptop, lenovo, pc, skylake, windows10, y700, y900

  • The new Moto 360 comes in two sizes, ships later this month for $299

    Samsung and LG might have been first to market with Android Wear smartwatches, but the Moto 360 was the first that really got people excited. Now, after innumerable leaks, Motorola's finally ready to talk about the sequel it's been working on behind closed doors. Say hello to the 2015 Moto 360. Prices for these shiny new models start at $299 and they'll hit store shelves later this month, with pre-orders starting today. In the meantime, let's take a closer look at Motorola's handiwork. Slideshow-316737

    First off, yes, you can still customize the dickens out of them -- just look at all the options shown in the above photo. While the original Moto 360 was a one-size-fits-all sort of affair, we've now got two different dial sizes to fit a broader swath of wrists: 42mm and 46mm. The lugs (better known as "those bits the straps snap into") have been moved to the outside of the watch, making it easier to customize it with different bands. Turns out that also made it easier to design a 360 specifically for women. As it happens, Motorola's been puzzling over that problem since before the first 360 hit shelves, and the design team has finally addressed it here by pushing the lugs together, offering smaller 16mm wrist straps and offering different bezel finishes. If you're a fan of rose gold, you'll find plenty to like here.

    Of course, different bezel sizes also mean different screen sizes. The smaller version has a 1.37-inch 360 x 325 display, while the surprisingly comfy 46mm model has a 1.56-inch display with a resolution of 360 x 330. And yes, that tiny black occlusion is still there at the bottom of the screen. Motorola design chief Jim Wicks admitted getting rid of it was possible, but the tradeoffs -- namely, a bigger body -- were too big a price to pay for a perfectly circular screen. It takes more than just a clean new design to make a smartwatch worth wearing, though, and indeed Motorola kitted out its new watch with an upgraded 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage for your music and files.

    I spent a little time trying on the new 360, and it's already clear to me that it's a serious contender. Each of the various models I handled is effortlessly classy in a way that premium watches like the LG Watch Urbane never were, and each of the size options has their own charm. I'll admit, when that first batch of leaked photos first started making the rounds, I was instantly attracted to the smaller of the pair; it's a little less ostentatious because of its size and you won't be missing anything with a smaller screen. It turns out that's mostly true. The smaller 300mAh battery is only rated for up to 1.5 days of continued use, compared to two days on the 46mm version. Speaking of that bigger model, it's definitely not too big: It felt really natural on my small wrist, though I wish Motorola could've shaved a few millimeters off its casing. I'm also a fan of Motorola's new "Live Dials" watch faces, which let you launch apps or use their features right without digging through your installed software, so Shazaming that new Weeknd track is finally a one-touch process. We'll hold off on our judgments until we've spent time with an actual, retail-ready version of the watch, but you can start scrimping together your pocket change in the meantime.

    Check out all the news from Berlin at our IFA 2015 hub.

    Filed under: Wearables, Mobile


    Tags: androidwear, hands-on, handson, ifa, ifa2015, mobile, mobilepostcross, moto, moto360, motorola, preview, smartwatch, video, wearable

  • Lenovo's Yoga Tab 3 Pro can project a 70-inch image on your wall

    Lenovo is doubling down on pico-projector-equipped tablets with the new Yoga Tab 3 Pro, which can spit out a 70-inch image. That's a pretty decent step up from its predecessor's 50-inch projector. Otherwise, though, the new Android tablet is just a further refinement of Lenovo's unique tablet design. It has a rotating hinge that serves as a kickstand and also gives you something to grip onto when holding the Yoga Tab 3 Pro with one hand. While that hinge makes it a bit bulkier than most other tablets, it also packs in a huge 10,200mAh battery, which Lenovo says will last for around 18 hours of typical usage. Curiously, Lenovo chose to step down from the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro's 13-inch screen: The new model sports a 10-inch Quad HD display. The tablet market is rough, especially for the Android arena, so it seems like Lenovo is experimenting to see what consumers like best. Slideshow-316507

    Under the hood, the Yoga Tab 3 Pro is powered by a quad-core Intel Atom x5-Z8500 processor and 2GB of RAM. There's a 13-megapixel camera on the rear and a 5MP front-facing shooter, along with four JBL speakers on the front. Overall, Lenovo is positioning it as the ideal entertainment tablet -- one that can last pretty much all day and also share content easily with your friends. We didn't get to test out the projector capability, but being a pico unit it wouldn't hold a candle to a dedicated projector. Still, it's better than nothing when you want to watch cat videos in a group.

    And what of Lenovo's other tablets? There are also new 8-inch and 10-inch Yoga Tab 3 models, but they've been downgraded from last year's devices. Whereas the Yoga Tab 2 lineup all had 1080p screens, Lenovo bumped the newer models back down to 1,200 x 800 displays (a bit higher than 720p). They're also running quad-core 1.3GHz Qualcomm chips, instead of Intel Atom processors. That means you're stuck with Android; there's no longer an option to run Windows.

    If I had to guess, I'd say the spec changes were likely about cost savings. Indeed, the 8-inch Yoga Tab 3 will sell for $169 when it lands in October, while the 10-inch model will go for $199 in November. That's around $70 to $100 less than the launch pricing for the last models.

    Dana Wollman contributed to this report.

    Check out all the news from Berlin at our IFA 2015 hub.

    Filed under: Tablets, Mobile, Lenovo


    Tags: hands-on, ifa, ifa2015, lenovo, mobilepostcross, projectors, YogaTab3Pro

  • Lenovo's Phab Plus is a phablet because of course it is

    "Phablet" may be a horrible word, but it was a pretty accurate descriptor when Samsung launched its then-massive Galaxy Note way back in 2011. Since then, it's become difficult to find a premium smartphone that doesn't have a screen measuring well over five inches, thus making the term phablet a bit unnecessary. That is, unless you're Lenovo. Today at IFA, the company is officially introducing two phones called the Phab and Phab Plus, and their screen sizes are as ridiculous as their names. The higher-end Phab Plus sports a monstrous 6.8-inch, 1080p display while the Phab comes in at an even larger 6.98 inches. Let us pause, and remember that it wasn't long ago that 7-inch screens were solely the domain of small-ish tablets. These aren't so much phablets as they are tablets that can make phone calls.


    With that out of the way, let's focus on the Phab Plus, a phone that arrived in China a few weeks ago and certainly the more interesting of the two devices. Lenovo humorously claims that the device's design is such that it can call it "optimized for one-handed use," something that would be funny if it weren't so sad. That said, the Android 5.0 phone does feature a software trick that pops up a smaller one-handed keyboard that snaps in place and resizes to fit your fingers. There are a few other tricks here to navigate the unruly size, like double-tapping to turn the screen on and long-pressing anywhere on the display to take a photo.

    Spec-wise, the dual-SIM Phab Plus features 32GB of storage, a 13-megapixel main camera (the front-facing camera comes in at five megapixels), a 3,500mAh battery and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor with 2GB of RAM. Not bad for only $299 if you need a tablet that can make the occasional phone call. The $179 Phab, however, is less enticing -- its 7-inch screen is described as "HD" rather than "full HD," which makes us think the massive panel is only sporting a 720p resolution. It features an unnamed octa-core Qualcomm processor, 1GB of RAM and a huge 4250mAh battery to power its similarly huge display.

    Despite the insanity on display here, these are hardly the first phones this big -- the Huawei P8 Max is another option if you want your phone and tablet to truly converge. But despite our love for everything supersized in the USA, it looks like Lenovo doesn't think the country is quite ready for these phones yet. They'll be available in countries throughout Asia, Eastern Europe and South America, but no US launch is on tap.

    Check out all the news from Berlin at our IFA 2015 hub.

    Filed under: Cellphones, Tablets, Mobile, Lenovo


    Tags: hands-on, hugephones, ifa, ifa2015, lenovo, mobilepostcross, phab, phablet, phabplus

  • Moto X Pure Edition review: the third time really is the charm

    The Moto X line is a smartphone that's always been dancing around greatness. The first one was a lovely, underpowered experiment in smartphone customization and thoughtfulness. The second added some much-needed Moto Maker style and some more powerful silicon. Now Motorola's at it again with the Moto X Pure Edition, a phone that appears to sit right at the intersection of price and power. It's unlocked, ready for any US carrier and -- more importantly -- it's priced as low as $400 off contract. In other words, it's a serious contender for the "Best Smartphone Out There" crown, at least on paper. The thing is, the market for cheap unlocked smartphones has exploded in popularity this year, and it'll take something really special for it to capture the title. So, how does Motorola's new flagship fare? Spoiler alert: really damned well. Slideshow-316268

    Motorola isn't rewriting the rulebook here; the Pure Edition will feel awfully familiar if you've so much as picked up a second-gen Moto X over the past year. That's a good thing. With its trim waistline and gently sloping back, this year's Moto X is one of the most comfortable big-screen phones to hold, even despite the 5.7-inch panel Motorola added this year. We'll revisit the screen shortly, but in general it's a beautiful thing and it's complemented by a pair of front-facing stereo speakers. It's still pretty odd to see an LED flash nestled next to the front-facing 5-megapixel camera, though all's fair in the search for the perfect selfie. And it wouldn't be a Moto X if the facade weren't flecked with numerous infrared sensors to detect a face or moving hands.

    If the phone's face seems forgettable, flip it over for a reminder of what you can do with Moto Maker. My review unit came with a deep gray finish on its metal frame and a textured, brown Saffiano leather back that adds some extra character to the mix. If that's not your thing (it isn't really mine), you can also order your Pure Edition with a colorful silicone rear, or a more exotic one hewn of bamboo, charcoal ash, ebony or walnut wood for a few bucks more. Since Motorola wasn't concerned about including a fingerprint sensor on the Pure Edition, the telltale logo dimple below the 21-megapixel camera is way smaller than on last year's version too. I took this harder than I expected: The dip the X used to have on its backside made for a comfortable place to rest my index finger. This smaller version isn't nearly as satisfying. At least the device is now water-resistant, allowing the Pure Edition to survive a few accidental dips in my sink.

    Speaking of potentially unsatisfying, the Moto X's internals might seem less interesting than at first. The phone uses one of Qualcomm's hexa-core Snapdragon 808 chips and 3GB of RAM, much like the LG G4 from earlier this year. Meanwhile, rivals like the OnePlus 2 offer the more powerful Snapdragon 810 and 4GB of RAM. Other powerhouses like the Galaxy Note 5 also include a full four gigs of memory. As always, though, Motorola has complemented its fairly high-end components with its so-called Mobile Computing System, a bundle of contextual processing cores that pay attention to the device's motion and your voice. It plays a key role in making the Moto X Pure a more thoughtful phone, and that might make all the difference for you.
    Display and sound

    Motorola finally made the leap to a Quad HD (2,560 x 1,440) panel with this year's Moto X, and I'm not about to start a debate on whether or not we actually need such high-resolution screens on smartphones. The fact of the matter is, we have a solid performer in this 5.7-inch IPS LCD, with crisp visuals (at 515 pixels per inch, no less) and good viewing angles. All that said, it doesn't stand out in the same way that Samsung's super-vibrant Super AMOLED screens do. It's a mixed bag, really.

    Colors that seem bright and mostly natural on the Moto X's screen take on a cooler, almost washed-out cast next to the Galaxy Note 5. On the bright side, though (ha!), whites are much crisper on the Moto X and the display itself is noticeably brighter too, especially with adaptive brightness turned off. Trust me: You won't have any trouble taking the X for a spin outside. Be prepared for an occasional wait, though. The display's auto-brightness can be slow to react -- think three or four seconds -- especially if you're pulling the phone out of a dark bag and into a well-lit room. The Pure Edition's screen isn't a clear winner compared to some of its biggest rivals, but it's meaningfully different in a few key ways.

    We could say almost the same thing about the Pure Edition's pair of front-facing speakers. They're still a far cry from, say, HTC's BoomSound speakers, but I'd still take these over a wimpy single speaker any day (here's looking at you, Note 5). Pro tip: If you're watching a video or listening to music through these speakers while holding the phone vertically, you're doing it wrong. You'll get a modest sense of channel separation when the X is sideways, so your tunes will sound slightly fuller, more expansive.

    There is, thankfully, little to say about the Pure Edition's software; it's an almost-completely stock build of Android 5.1.1 with just a few Motorola apps preinstalled. All of Lollipop's finer touches -- that nuanced take on sounds and notifications, multiple user accounts -- are all where you'd expect to find them and work the same as always. Even better, the unbundling of apps like Google Plus and Newsstand from Android proper means we've got an even cleaner version of Android than usual.

    With that foundation laid down, Motorola once again set out to make the Moto X as thoughtful and responsive as possible. Take Moto Display, for instance. Waving your hand over the phone's face like some Jedi extra from The Clone Wars rouses part of the screen to tell you what time it is and what notifications have rolled in. Swiping a notification icon down unlocks the screen and pops the phone right into the app you wanted to be in. Simple. Motorola's tried-and-true gestures are back too, so you can twist the X a few times to fire up the camera and karate chop with it to turn on the flashlight. You can now also lift the phone to your ear to issue a Moto Voice command, and any response will route straight through the earpiece for subtlety's sake.Slideshow-316710

    Then there's Moto Voice. I loved talking to last year's Moto X as though it were a pseudo-personal assistant. And now, 12 months' worth of improvements to Google Now have made the experience even more useful. You'll have to set up a launch phrase to issue spoken voice commands, but it's well worth it; I spent my week of testing by asking the phone to play my voicemail messages, add reminders to an already huge list, get the weather forecast and launch apps without a hitch. The best part: Shouting out my launch phrase to find out where in the house I left the damn thing.

    All of these can be managed from the Moto app, a central hub for the phone's contextual smarts. Other than that, there are only three other preloaded Motorola apps here -- Connect, which lets you manage connected devices like headsets and Android Wear watches; a self-explanatory Help app; and Migrate, a nifty tool that lets you jumpstart your Moto X experience by pulling anything from contacts and calendars (from iPhones) to media and apps (from other Android phones). This lovingly light touch means there's plenty of room for your own apps; my 32GB review unit came with just over 24GB of free space, and you can add up to 128GB more with a microSD card if needed.

    Let's face it: As much as I loved them, the Nexus 6 and the 2014 Moto X had pretty lousy cameras. Well, not anymore. Motorola is especially proud of the 21-megapixel rear camera and f/2.0 lens baked into this year's Moto X Pure and it should be, even if it's overshadowed by other smartphone shooters I've tested recently. Slideshow-316271

    Three things help make the Pure a great point-and-shoot: the interface is dead-simple; HDR is set to automatic by default; and the sensor is a pro at sucking up light. My sample shots were always crips and generally well saturated (though the HDR mode is a little heavy-handed sometimes). The thing is, it isn't always great at capturing the finer details of a scene, especially when things get dim. When snapping a shot of some graffiti, the Galaxy Note 5 produced subtler colors and was better at picking up the divots and texture of the concrete wall under the paint. The Moto X, on the other hand, delivered punchy colors (even without HDR) while missing some of that extra detail. It's an unfortunate trade-off, though in most situations the X is great. The occasional subpar photo only helps emphasize how well it normally performs. Even the wide-angle, 5-megapixel selfie camera does well, which is good news for terminally vain folks like me.

    Ironically, I think Motorola's idiot-proof camera interface might do as much bad as good. The feeling of firing off a photo in no time flat is powerful, but the sparseness of the app is starting to feel too simplistic. Photos shot from the hip still look pretty good, but I suspect users would benefit from having just a few more controls available from the start. The camera sure is fast, though. And speaking of controls, there still aren't all that many to play with at all; besides HDR, you've got a low-light mode that's only mildly helpful, flash settings, tap-to-focus and a video mode toggle. Video, by the way, is nicely detailed (especially at 4K) and the camera is adept at switching focus when objects drift in and out of view. All told, Motorola put together a lovely camera that's leagues better than what its previous phones had to offer. Too bad the competition is so stiff.
    Performance and battery life

    Part of building a good cheap phone is knowing what compromises to make. In this case, Motorola chose the Snapdragon 808 chip over the faster Snapdragon 810. The benchmarks spell out what we all sort of knew in the first place: The Moto X just isn't as powerful as some of its rivals. This slight deficit manifests in a few ways, some more notable than others. The Pure Edition isn't as strong a performer at graphically intense tasks like playing games, although it'll still get you through a few laps in Asphalt 8 at the highest quality level without any trouble.

    You'll also notice a hint of lag when doing typical Android system stuff; swiping into Google Now, launching apps and sifting through your running software can sometimes take a hair longer than you'd hope. An extra gig of RAM really would have helped, but make no mistake: The Pure Edition is in no way a slowpoke. It's a speed machine in its own right, just not as crazy-fast as the Galaxy Note 5 or the OnePlus 2. In fact, the distinction is often slight enough that most people might not even notice.
    Moto X Pure Samsung Galaxy S6 OnePlus 2 LG G4 AndEBench Pro 9,686 10,552 9,945 8,352 Vellamo 3.0 4,401 3,677 3,025 4,065 3DMark IS Unlimited 18,747 21,632 23,598 18,572 GFXBench 3.0 1080p Manhattan Offscreen (fps) 15 25 25 15 CF-Bench 74,237 62,257 79,168 71,260 SunSpider 1.0.2: Android devices tested in Chrome; lower scores are better.
    The X's 3,000mAh battery generally does a good job holding out throughout the day. My slightly ridiculous workdays are well-documented in these reviews, and the Moto X usually survived a 14-hour onslaught of Slack messages and YouTube videos with about 30 percent still left in the tank. I've never had an issue with the battery dying prematurely on me, but it didn't fare nearly as well in our standard Engadget rundown test: It only lasted about nine hours looping a 720p video with WiFi on and screen brightness set to 50 percent. In comparison, the LG G4 managed nearly 11 hours with similar specs. I'm still trying to figure out what's causing this gap, and I'll update this review with any new findings. On the plus side, with the included Turbo Charger, it only took around 25 minutes to go from bone-dry to 50 percent full. The last half of the charging process takes a little longer, so expect to sit around for about an hour and 10 minutes for a full 0-to-100 percent charge.
    The competition

    You're not going to get the Moto X Pure Edition straight from a US wireless carrier, which means you're not going to see subsidies or price breaks for long-term ownership. That makes it tough to find direct rivals, but we can still think of some other options. If you're fine with having to go through an invite system, the OnePlus 2 might well be the Pure Edition's biggest rival. It offers plenty of horsepower and smooth performance, along with a handsome (if slightly clunky) design. Be aware, though, that the basic $329 model only has 16GB of storage and there's no NFC -- a bummer if you were hoping to get on the Android Pay bandwagon. LG's G4 is a great option too, and shares many of the same specs as the Pure Edition. Throw in a great camera, a removable battery and expandable memory and you've got a hell of a Moto X alternative... if you don't mind LG's extensive software changes.

    You might also consider the Axon, another contract-free powerhouse from ZTE. It squeezes most of the same components as the OnePlus 2 into a chubby metallic body, and it's got some of the best audio you'll find on a cheap phone, too. Just beware of its memory limitations: You only get 32GB or 64GB of storage and there's no memory card slot. Then you've got the Galaxy Note 5, which has longer battery life and a more impressive screen despite having the same dimensions and pixel density as the Moto X Pure. The signature S Pen has finally made the leap from gimmick to truly helpful tool, but the steep price and skinned software will make it a bitter pill for some.

    The last two years have seen Motorola take huge leaps in the quality of its flagships, so it's no shock that the Pure Edition is the best phone the company has ever made. Sure, it might not be the most technically powerful device out there, but it makes up for it with a comfortable, customizable chassis, and truly useful software additions. Expandable memory? Fast and frequent Android updates? All just icing on the cake. Its mixed performance in our battery tests was slightly concerning, and it would've been nice to see the company whip out a Samsung-level camera, but Motorola's got a first-rate contender here -- and you don't even need an invite to buy one.

    Filed under: Cellphones, Mobile, Lenovo


    Tags: android, google, lenovo, mobile, mobilepostcross, moto, motorola, motox, motoxpureedition, phone, pureedition, review, smartphone, uk-reviews, video

  • Sony Pictures softened 'Concussion' to appease the NFL
    Players Association that the National Football League can push around with impunity. Internal Sony emails recently brought to light by the company's massive data breach indicate that Sony Pictures intentionally softened the point on it's upcoming film Concussion so as not to upset the league. The movie, which stars Will Smith as Dr. Bennet Omalu, the man who helped first diagnose CTE (or chronic traumatic encephalopathy). According to the emails, Sony executives discussed at length with Smith and Peter Landesman, the film's director, about altering the script and marketing for the film to avoid antagonizing the NFL. The movie's angle was reportedly changed from being a condemnation of the NFL's handling of the growing CTE crisis to focus more on Omalu's discovery and initial diagnosis.

    "Will is not anti football (nor is the movie) and isn't planning to be a spokesman for what football should be or shouldn't be but rather is an actor taking on an exciting challenge," Dwight Caines, the president of domestic marketing at Sony Pictures, wrote to three other executives in August, 2014. "We'll develop messaging with the help of N.F.L. consultant to ensure that we are telling a dramatic story and not kicking the hornet's nest." Another email from earlier in July stated "most of the bite" had been taken from the film by a top studio lawyer "for legal reasons with the N.F.L. and that it was not a balance issue." Basically, Sony, despite having very few marketing and advertising ties to the sports league, felt compelled for legal reasons (ie getting sued) to not portray the NFL in an unflattering light.

    Landesman told the multibillion-dollar sports empire that apparently can afford a whole lot of hornets.

    [Image Credit: Getty Images]

    Filed under: Science, Sony


    Source: New York Times

    Tags: BennetOmalu, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Concussion, CTE, medicine, National Football League, New York Times, NFL, Peter Landesman, sony, Sony Pictures Entertainment, WillSmith

  • New Google Docs, Sheets and Slides features make schoolwork less miserable

    Google is holding a "back-to-school" event today at its San Francisco office to introduce a set of new Google Docs tools specifically built with the classroom in mind -- though all Docs users will benefit from these changes. Some will only be appearing on Android, some will be in the desktop, and some will be hitting both, but regardless it should make life easier for Docs users. Google introduced six new features, including built-in Search for Docs on Android, voice typing, automatic chart creation for Sheets and more.

    Research is what Google's calling the new search feature built right into Docs for Android. It exists on the desktop today as sort of a Google search sidebar, but it hasn't been available for mobile until now. Google wanted to make it easier for people to insert content they find on search into documents they're creating on mobile -- rather than jumping back and forth between Docs and search, you can now do it in a more efficient fashion in one app. It sounds like it'll be particularly useful when trying to insert images on mobile, but it should also make copying and pasting text quite a bit faster as well. Slideshow-316734

    On the desktop side, Google has added support for voice typing into Docs for Chrome -- there's a menu bar item that brings up a microphone, and from there you can just start dictating. In the demo we saw, it works nearly as fast as Google's excellent voice recognition features in search, and it's fortunately smart enough to know that when you say "comma" or "new paragraph," you're giving it formatting commands. Right now, that feature will only work in Docs, not in Sheets or Slides, and it only works if you're using the Chrome browser. But if you want to use it on mobile (either iOS or Android), you can use the built-in dictation features by hitting the microphone on the keyboard.

    Another solid addition to the desktop experience for Docs is a "see new changes" feature, an update to the venerable "revision history" found in most word processors. With the "see new changes" button, you'll get a nice view of exactly what has changed since the last time you opened the document. You'll also see exactly which collaborators you're working with made the changes. It's not wildly different than the existing version history feature, but it should come in handy if you're working collaboratively and want to keep up with what gets updated while you're away.

    The Sheets spreadsheet tool also received a major update called "explore." It's meant for helping you deal with large data sets more efficiently: When you click the "explore" button, Google automatically analyzes the spreadsheet and automatically builds some charts to help you visualize important parts of your data set. You can also selectively highlight certain parts of the spreadsheet, and the charts will update accordingly. The "explore" sidebar also runs quick analysis on the data it's displaying, telling you quick facts about the trends it sees. It's probably one of the smartest features Google announced today -- if you're not a numbers person but still need to deal with spreadsheets, this will definitely make your life easier.

    Google also made a few small design changes: the Forms survey tool now features Material Design, like the rest of Google's Docs suite, and it features responsive design for the desktop and mobile. There are also a host of new templates for Docs, Sheets, and Slides on the desktop to help you jump right into document creation with a pre-formatted layout, something Office and iWork have had for years.

    Teachers weren't forgotten here, either. Google's "Classroom" tool, which lets educators manage all the digital materials they submit to their students (and vice versa) got a small update as well. There's a new Chrome extension that lets a teacher push a web page right out to everyone in a class -- Google said the goal there is to keep teachers from having to dictate unruly URLs to a classroom full of students. It's a pretty specific feature, but it should make life easier for teachers.

    As with most updates to products like Google Docs, none of these features are ground-breaking on their own. But on the whole, it shows a major commitment from Google to continue slowly evolving these tools from bare-bones document editors to full-featured competition for the dominant and entrenched Microsoft Office. The Research, Explore, and See New Changes features seem particularly useful, and by and large play to a lot of Google's strengths. At the end of the day, it's a better time than ever to use Google Docs -- particularly given its price. All of these new features will begin rolling out today.

    Nicole Lee contributed to this report.

    Filed under: Google


    Source: Google

    Tags: backtoschool, docs, google, googledocs, googlesheets, googleslides, sheets, slides

  • Android's Google Now redesign helps make sense of your info

    Google didn't just unveil a redesigned logo -- it also gave Android's Google Now a welcome refresh. Grab the updated Google app for Android and you'll see that the once colorful info cards are both subtler and organized into clearly market categories, such as upcoming events, updates (think weather) and news stories. It's considerably easier to manage if you regularly receive a flood of data. You have more options for customizing Google Now when you dismiss cards, too. If you haven't already, swing by Google Play -- the new layout will take some getting used to (those colorful Google logos aren't exactly subtle), but it's worthwhile.

    Filed under: Cellphones, Internet, Mobile, Google


    Via: PCWorld

    Source: Google Play

    Tags: android, google, googlenow, internet, mobilepostcross, search, smartphone

  • Canyon's Smart Bike Computer puts Android Wear on your handlebars

    When you're cycling up a steep incline, hunched over the handlebars and desperately willing your legs to keep going, you don't want to be messing around with your phone or a second-rate cycling computer. Bike manufacturer Canyon has teamed up with Sony to find a solution -- and the fruits of their labor is the Smart Bike Computer. It runs on Android Wear, so the 1.6-inch touchscreen can display a bunch of popular cycling apps including Strava and Google Maps. The small, waterproof unit slides directly into the stem, ensuring the sleek stylings of your ride aren't ruined, and can connect to your phone over Bluetooth. In addition, it boasts up to 8 hours of battery life, built-in GPS and 4GB of internal storage, so you can leave your handset at home and still use some of its essential features.

    The downside? Canyon is calling it a "concept," so there's no guarantee it'll hit store shelves. Having said that, the company is aiming for a spring 2016 release, with an estimated price of €200. Of course, you could always wear an Android Wear smartwatch, but having it directly on the bike could be useful if you take pedal-power seriously.

    [Image Credit: Canyon]

    Filed under: Wearables, Sony


    Source: Canyon

    Tags: AndroidWear, bike, Canyon, cycling, Smart Bike Computer, Sony

  • Autonomous golf carts drive tourists around in Singapore

    MIT and the National Research Foundation of Singapore recently tested an autonomous vehicle they developed together. No, it's not a car or a truck -- it's a golf cart. The researchers created a self-driving golf cart called SMART and deployed several at a public garden to drive 500 or so tourists around during a six-day experiment. Since they crafted a whole system and not just the autonomous vehicle itself, they also tested a booking method which people used to schedule pick-ups and drop offs. In the future, that system could be adapted to a mobile app like Uber.

    The team used only cameras and off-the-shelf laser rangefinders as sensors mounted at different heights. Since carts like this move slowly (with a top speed of around 15 mph), the team's algorithms have more time to process data and adjust routes based on any obstacle they sense. The result is a relaxing ride, which almost every tester (98 percent of them) would love to repeat.

    The vehicles are instrumented, but they are not as heavily instrumented as the DARPA vehicles [competitors in the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's autonomous-vehicle challenge] were, nor as heavily instrumented as, say, the Google car. We believe that if you have a simple suite of strategically placed sensors and augment that with reliable algorithms, you will get robust results that require less computation and have less of a chance to get confused by 'fusing sensors,' or situations where one sensor says one thing and another sensor says something different.

    Admittedly, the group developed autonomous golf carts as a preliminary effort and a stepping stone towards developing self-driving cars. However, senior author Daniela Rus believes the slow-moving vehicles themselves can be used to drive the elderly around in special areas, such as shopping complexes.

    Filed under: Transportation


    Source: MIT

    Tags: driverless, golf, golfcart, MIT, self-driving, singapore

  • Comcast is charging its trial users extra to avoid data caps
    trials, you'll soon get a way to avoid usage limits, according to document spotted by DSL Reports. If you guessed "pay more money" as that solution, you can step up for your prize. The company has released a new FAQ for its trial Xfinity program in Florida, one of the regions where it's testing 300GB cap limits. A new "unlimited data option" will let users avoid any overage charges -- which normally run $10 for each 50GB of data -- by paying an extra $30 per month on top of the normal rates.
    Comcast is testing capping in a number of markets, including cities in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine and Florida, but the $30 unlimited option is currently only available in select Florida markets. (Outside of the trial regions, Comcast data isn't capped.) The company claims it has no plans to extend capping nationwide, and merely refers to the data plans as a "flexible option" -- meaning, it's not limiting data if you're willing to pay more. The FCC might see things differently, though, and judging by the public's recent net neutrality complaints, it's not likely to stomach anything that increases already sky-high rates.
    Filed under: Internet


    Via: DSLR Reports

    Source: Comcast

    Tags: Broadband, comcast, DataCaps, tests, trial, uncapped, xfinity

  • The limits of language
    The best class I took in college was on the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. Until that point, I had avoided philosophy of language as simply being too esoteric and hermetic to be of use. David Pears, a prodigious yet modest and approachable figure visiting from Oxford, changed my mind. In large part because of Pears' instruction, Wittgenstein's philosophy has been directly relevant to my thinking about computer science, artificial intelligence, and cognitive science. When other scholars were thinking that language and thought could be reduced to a universal, logical language, Wittgenstein turned the matter to practical questions and raised incredibly inconvenient questions that gained traction in artificial intelligence in the 1970s, 40 years after he was working on them.  Great article. I found this paragraph especially interesting:  Here's one example. The French equivalents for here and there are ici and là respectively. But if I point to a pen and say, "The pen is here," the French equivalent is not "Le stylo est ici," but "Le stylo est là." In French, là is always used to refer to a specific place or position, while in English here or there can both work. This rule is so obscure I never learned it in French classes, but obviously all native speakers learn it because no one ever uses it differently. It could just as easily be the other way round, but it's not. The situation is not arbitrary, but the way in which language carves up the interaction between mind and world varies in such a way that French speakers recognize certain practices as right or wrong in a different way than English speakers do. This may seem a trivial point, until you have to program a computer to translate "I pointed to Paris on the map and said, 'She is here.' " into French - at which point it becomes a nightmare. (If you are a translator, on the other hand, this is great news.)  Aside from the obvious fact that I can relate to the remark about translators, the author touches upon something that I benefit from every day. I always feel that being multilingual (just Dutch, English, German, some French, and a basic grasp of ancient Greek and Latin - relatively limited when compared to true multilinguals) makes it easier for me to express myself. Being able to use words, concepts, ideas, structures, and conventions from foreign languages and incorporate them into my Dutch - even if only in my inner monologue - allows me to describe objects, concepts, and situations in a more fine-grained, and therefore, more accurate manner (accurate to my perception, which does not mean "more correct" in more absolute terms).  I appreciate how ridiculously pretentious this sounds, but I do firmly believe this is true: being able to understand, read, write, and speak multiple language makes me better at language.  I'm no programmer - something I like to repeat as often as I can to make sure everyone knows where I'm coming from on the subject of programming - but I get the idea that programming is not very different in that regard. That is, being able to program in multiple programming languages will make you better at programming, and not just in the sense that you will be useful in more situations (you can find a job both as a Java and an Objective-C programmer, for instance), but also in the sense that knowledge and experience in programming language Abc will give you new and different insights into programming language Xyz, allowing you to use a certain language in more unconventional ways that people with knowledge of fewer languages might not.  As much as language is an expression of culture, a programming language is an expression of how a computer works. Both contain within them invaluable knowledge that cannot be easily expressed in other languages - and as such, they are invaluable in preserving knowledge, both culturally and digitally.

  • Nextbit's Robin is an Android phone that never runs out of storage
    Nextbit, a company founded by former Android engineers from Google, HTC, and others, has unveiled its first smartphone. The Robin has a pretty unique and fun design, but the major selling point - they claim - is that the phone intelligently manages its limited storage by offloading lesser-used or unused stuff (content and applications) to the internet. An interesting strategy in the current climate of privacy wariness - especially since these more boutique Android phones tend to be for technologically inclined users, who will be more aware of these issues. One also has to wonder how well this will work and how reliable it'll be, considering the company's young age.  As for specifications:  Speaking of hardware, the Robin is a uniquely designed mid-range Android phone. Nextbit tapped former HTC designer Scott Croyle as its head of design in 2014, and set out to make a phone that stands out among the sea of similar looking phones. The result is a device that's starkly rectangular, but with circular details throughout. The Robin's all-plastic chassis houses a 5.2-inch, 1080p display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor, 3GB of RAM, a 2,680mAh battery, and 13-megapixel camera. Unique additions include a USB Type-C charging port and fingerprint scanner embedded into the side-mounted power button. The Robin is completely carrier and bootloader unlocked and is compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile LTE.  Decidedly midrange for a phone that's on Kickstarter right now and will (supposedly) ship in January.

  • Visual updates to Search and Now cards
    The web and tech journalists were all afire yesterday. A major new innovation? A brand new software release? Nope - Google has a new logo. Yeah. That's the hard-hitting tech news deserving of totally unbiased and very unpredictable hot takes.  There was actually real Google news too - the company made some changes to how search is displayed on mobile.  With mobile devices in mind, we've also made some changes to our search results page to help you more easily find what you need and dive into diverse content such as images, videos, news stories and more - by simply swiping and tapping.

  • Microsoft, Google, Amazon, others, aim for royalty-free codecs
    Microsoft, Google, Mozilla, Cisco, Intel, Netflix, and Amazon today launched a new consortium, the Alliance for Open Media. The group plans to develop next-generation media formats - including audio and still images, but with video as the top priority - and deliver them as royalty-free open source, suitable for both commercial and noncommercial content.  The problem is that the supposed next-generation codec, HVEC, is going to be a lot more expensive, whereas other initiatives, such as Google's VP9/VP10, would surely face patent trolling from the other major players. By coming together like this, all these players can have a say, without fear of them suing each other. That being said, smaller players will still want to sue, but at least the united front should make that a little harder.  And, unsurprisingly, one major player is not part of this new initiative. I guess they didn't like the open and royalty-free part.

  • Genode 15.08 runs on top of the Muen separation kernel
    The Genode project announced the version 15.08 of their OS framework. The most prominent topics of the current release are the use of Genode as day-to-day operating system by their developers and the added ability to run Genode-based systems on top of the Muen separation kernel.  Where monolithic kernel architectures represent one extreme with respect to kernel complexity, separation kernels mark the opposite end. The code complexity of monolithic OS kernels such as Linux is usually counted in terms of millions of lines of code. In stark contrast, modern microkernels such as NOVA and seL4 are comprised of only ten thousand lines of code. Separation kernels go even a step further by reducing the code complexity to only a few thousand lines of code. How is that possible? The answer lies in the scope of functionality addressed by the different types of kernels. The high complexity of monolithic kernels stems from the fact that all major OS functionalities are considered as being in the scope of the kernel. In particular, device drivers and protocol stacks account for most of the code in such kernels. Microkernels disregard such functionalities from the scope of the kernel by moving them to user-level components. The kernel solely retains the functionality that is fundamentally needed to enable those components to work and collaborate. In order to accommodate a wide range of workloads, microkernels typically provide interfaces to user land that enable the dynamic management of low-level resources such as memory, devices, and processing time. Genode's designated role is to supplement microkernels with a scalable and secure user-level OS architecture. In contrast to microkernels, separation kernels disregard dynamic resource management from their scope. All physical resources are statically assigned to a fixed set of partitions at system-integration time and remain unchanged over the lifetime of the system. The flexibility of microkernels is traded for the benefit of further complexity reduction. Their low complexity of just a few thousand lines of code make separation kernels appealing for high-assurance computing. On the other hand, their static nature imposes limitations on their application areas.  Muen as a representative of separation kernels is special in two ways. First, whereas most separation kernels are proprietary software solutions, Muen is an open-source project. Second, the kernel is implemented in the safe SPARK programming language, which is able to formally verify the absence of implementation bugs such as buffer overflows, integer-range violations, and exceptions. Thanks to the close collaboration between the Muen developers and the Genode community, the assurance of the Muen separation kernel can now be combined with the rich component infrastructure provided by Genode. From Genode's perspective, Muen is another architecture for their custom base-hw kernel. In fact, with Genode on Muen, a microkernel-based system is running within the static boundaries of one Muen partition. This way, the component isolation enforced by the base-hw kernel and the static isolation boundaries enforced by Muen form two lines of defense for protecting security-critical system functions from untrusted code sandboxed within a Genode subsystem.  The second major theme of the current release is the use of Genode as the day-to-day operating system by its developers. Since the beginning of June, one of the core developers is exclusively working with a Genode/NOVA-based system. The key element is VirtualBox with its powerful guest-host integration features. It allows for an evolutionary transition from Linux-centric work flows to the use of native Genode applications. Network connectivity is provided by the Intel wireless stack ported from the Linux kernel. File-system access is based on NetBSD's rump kernels. For using command-line based GNU software directly on Genode, the Noux runtime environment comes in handy. The daily use of Genode as general-purpose OS motivated many recent developments, ranging from the management of kernel memory in NOVA, over new system monitoring facilities, SMP guest support in VirtualBox, to user-facing improvements of the GUI stack. These and many more topics are covered by the comprehensive release documentation.

  • Sailfish OS 1.1.7 released
    This new release - one of the final 1.x released before 2.0 and the tablet hit, I suppose - integrates a whole bunch of options and settings related to the Android application support into the Sailfish settings applications, such as stopping/restarting Alien Dalvik, blocking Android applications from accessing your Sailfish contacts, allowing Android applications to keep running properly in the background, and so on.  There's more, so be sure to update.

  • AnandTech's Windows 10 review
    I have been using Windows 10 off and on since October of 2014, and as the operating system on my main computer since January 22nd of this year. I honestly could not see me moving back to an older version ever. The improvements to Windows 10 are both dramatic and subtle, and the improvements keep occurring even this shortly after launch. Better for the desktop, better for the tablet, and a platform than runs on practically any computer system. Windows 10 is here, and Microsoft has made a bold statement with it. It is the return of the old, plus the addition of the new, all in a package that works very well on a huge variety of devices.  Just be sure to ignore all the crappy Metro applications, and you'll be fine with Windows 10.

  • Android Wear smartwatches come to the iPhone
    That's right: beginning today, a select set of Android Wear smartwatches (and all future watches) will work with the iPhone. The app should be rolling out worldwide soon. It’s been a long time coming - and it means that Google will be challenging the Apple Watch on its home turf. Those Android Wear watches will be both cheaper and more varied than the Apple Watch - just like Android itself.  Despite Google's claims to the contrary, though, older Wear devices seem to work just fine - reports are coming in for the Moto 360 and LG G Watch also working with the iPhone application just fine.

  • Apple is about to lay down its TV cards
    Some very smart people I've been talking to suggest that, by building a platform, Apple is generating leverage that it can use to great effect in these negotiations. A mid-market breakout box offering is one thing, but a huge, rumbling platform with an upward trajectory of living-room dominating apps and third-party content is another beast. If, obviously if, Apple is successful with the Apple TV, it could be in a position to dominate content in a way that no other 'smart' TV platform has before it.  If Apple did indeed 'delay' the Apple TV from being released at WWDC, then it probably had a reason. And, if my sources are correct, that reason could well be polish, polish, polish. The experience of using it is said to blow away the types of junky smart TV interfaces we've had to deal with so far. This is the first real Apple TV product.  If you see another annoying settopbox, they blew it.

  • * Windows: it's always the next version *
    This hit the news yesterday.  Microsoft released Windows 10 four weeks ago today, and now the company is providing a fresh update on its upgrade figures. 14 million machines had been upgraded to Windows 10 within 24 hours of the operating system release last month, and that figure has now risen to more than 75 million in just four weeks.  As somebody who uses Windows every day, and who upgraded to Windows 10 a few weeks before it was released, let me make a statement about all the positive Windows 10 reviews that not everyone is going to like. There are only two reasons Windows 10 is getting positive reviews. First, because it's free. This one's a given. Second, and more importantly: Windows 10 is getting positive reviews because none of the reviewers have forced themselves to use nothing but Metro applications.  Here's the cold and harsh truth as I see it: despite all the promises, Metro applications are still complete and utter garbage. Let me explain why.  Read more on this exclusive OSNews article...

  • Google to iOS devs: disable HTTPS so we can deliver insecure ads
    While Google remains committed to industry-wide adoption of HTTPS, there isn't always full compliance on third party ad networks and custom creative code served via our systems. To ensure ads continue to serve on iOS9 devices for developers transitioning to HTTPS, the recommended short term fix is to add an exception that allows HTTP requests to succeed and non-secure content to load successfully.  Confirmed: Google wants me to switch to iOS.  Disgusting.

  • Jordan Hubbard Discusses NextBSD at BAFUG
    Jordan Hubbard spoke recently at the Bay Area FreeBSD Users Group to discuss NextBSD, a "spork" of FreeBSD. He "covers why mach ports are extremely useful in some cases and no UNIX IPC primitive is an adequate substitute." There's a video of the BAFUG talk and copies of the original slide deck that goes into some detail about NextBSD.

  • Samsung on Galaxy Note 5's broken stylus slot: read the manual
    This year's Galaxy Note 5 is an outstanding device - combining power with grace, and utility with handsome looks - but it also has a pretty major design flaw. The phone's stylus can be inserted into its silo in both orientations, which is a change from previous S Pen designs, and one of those orientations can result in permanent damage to the Note's functionality. If you are unfortunate enough to slide your S Pen in the wrong way, you'll have a hard time unjamming it from the slot (though eventually you should be able to pry it away), but more importantly, you might disable the Note's stylus detection feature. It's a big problem that can result from a very small mistake. Samsung has now issued a response, and well, the answer is that you should read and adhere to the manual.  Grab the pitchforks everyone, we got ourselves 'nother -gate!  I can't believe they shipped this thing with this design flaw, especially since it's so easy to fix: just make the 'wrong' end of the stylus a little bit wider so you can't stick it in the wrong way et voilà, problem fixed.  Samsung's response is silly. They should've said "we're replacing all Note 5 styluses with a newer model that can't be inserted the wrong way around, and all damaged devices will be replaced free of charge".  And done.

  • Contiki 3.0 released
    Today the Contiki team announced the release of Contiki 3.0, the latest version of the open source IoT operating system! The 3.0 release is a huge step up from the 2.x branch and brings support for new and exciting hardware, a set of new network protocols, a bunch of improvements in the low-power mesh networking protocols, along with a large number of general stability improvements.

  • KDE Plasma 5.4 released
    This release of Plasma brings many nice touches for our users such as much improved high DPI support, KRunner auto-completion and many new beautiful Breeze icons. It also lays the ground for the future with a tech preview of Wayland session available. We're shipping a few new components such as an Audio Volume Plasma Widget, monitor calibration tool and the User Manager tool comes out beta.  There's a video too.

  • The True Internet of Things
    Before the Internet there were just nets, and they didn't get along. Each was a country or a city-state of its own, with hard boundaries that could not be crossed—or could be crossed only if the owners of the networks created closed and silo'd ways of doing it.

  • Using tshark to Watch and Inspect Network Traffic
    Most of you probably have heard of Wireshark, a very popular and capable network protocol analyzer. What you may not know is that there exists a console version of Wireshark called tshark. The two main advantages of tshark are that it can be used in scripts and on a remote computer through an SSH connection.

  • Where's That Pesky Hidden Word?
    I've been promising my 11-year-old for a long time now that I'd write a program that would let you build custom word searches based on a list of words given by the user. I wrote one years and years ago in C, but since I can't find that code any more and wanted to tackle another interesting project for this column, that's what I'm going to look at herein. 

  • A Project to Guarantee Better Security for Open-Source Projects
    With many open-source projects built on top of others, a security weakness in a common piece of infrastructure can have far-reaching consequences. As OpenSSL's Heartbleed security hole demonstrated, these vulnerabilities can appear in even the most trusted packages. 

  • Concerning Containers' Connections: on Docker Networking
    Containers can be considered the third wave in service provision after physical boxes (the first wave) and virtual machines (the second wave). Instead of working with complete servers (hardware or virtual), you have virtual operating systems, which are far more lightweight.

  • My Network Go-Bag
    I often get teased for taking so much tech hardware with me on trips—right up until the Wi-Fi at the hotel, conference center or rented house fails. I'm currently on vacation with my family and some of our friends from Florida, and our rental home has a faulty Wi-Fi router. Thankfully, I have a bag full of goodies for just this occasion.

  • Doing Astronomy with Python
    One of the things that makes Python so powerful is that you can find a module for almost anything. In this article, I cover Astropy, which was originally developed by the Space Telescope Science Institute for doing astronomy calculations like image processing and observatory calculations.

  • Firefox Security Exploit Targets Linux Users and Web Developers
    Through the years, Firefox has enjoyed a reputation as one of the most secure Web browsers on any platform, and it's the default browser for many Linux distros. However, a security exploit appeared this week that has shown users they can't afford to be complacent about security.

  • diff -u: What's New in Kernel Development
    Linus Torvalds reported on some GCC compiler warnings that he felt were unnecessary, and he gave his opinion on how they should work instead. Specifically, GCC 5.1 would issue a warning against using a switch statement with a boolean variable, presumably because a boolean would be better handled by a simple if statement. 

  • Bounce Around IRC with ZNC
    In my discussion on IRC with "bkidwell" (see the Non-Linux FOSS article for more on our talk), we were discussing how we connect to IRC. My main method is to SSH in to my co-located Raspberry Pi in Austria and connect to a screen session I have running that is constantly connected to IRC with Irssi. This works really well for me, and I never miss messages when I'm away.

  • Problems with Ubuntu's Software Center and How Canonical Plans to Fix Them
    Ubuntu has received a lot of flack from the community for some of its commercial projects. Placing Amazon ads in Unity's Dash is a classic example of a poorly planned move that flies in the teeth of the community's ethos. A community built on the concepts of freedom and software that empowers the user (instead of some commercial concern) would never take that well. 

  • Calling All Linux Nerds!
    The editorial staff here at Linux Journal wants to see your skills! Almost every time I'm in the #linuxjournal IRC channel, chit chatting on Google+, or tweeting back and forth on Twitter, I hear about really exciting projects our readers are involved with.

  • Non-Linux FOSS: Flaky Connection? Mosh it!
    Most of the work I do on computers is done via the command line. When I'm off on vacation somewhere, that means shoddy Wi-Fi and cell-phone tethering. Because cell-phone tethering gets expensive quick (I also have three teenage daughters with which I share a data plan), I try to use free Internet whenever I can. The biggest hassle with that method is dealing with broken SSH sessions.

  • 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