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  • Red Hat: 2015:0629-01: firefox: Critical Advisory
    LinuxSecurity.com: Updated firefox packages that fix multiple security issues are now available for the little-endian 64-bit PowerPC platform architecture (ppc64le) on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. [More...]


  • Red Hat: 2015:0301-02: hivex: Moderate Advisory
    LinuxSecurity.com: Updated hivex packages that fix one security issue, several bugs, and add various enhancements are now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. Red Hat Product Security has rated this update as having Moderate security [More...]




  • Red Hat: 2015:0327-02: glibc: Moderate Advisory
    LinuxSecurity.com: Updated glibc packages that fix two security issues and several bugs are now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. Red Hat Product Security has rated this update as having Moderate security [More...]


  • Red Hat: 2015:0325-02: httpd: Low Advisory
    LinuxSecurity.com: Updated httpd packages that fix two security issues, several bugs, and add various enhancements are for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. Red Hat Product Security has rated this update as having Low security [More...]




  • Red Hat: 2015:0330-02: pcre: Low Advisory
    LinuxSecurity.com: Updated pcre packages that fix one security issue and add one enhancement are now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. Red Hat Product Security has rated this update as having Low security [More...]


  • Red Hat: 2015:0439-01: krb5: Moderate Advisory
    LinuxSecurity.com: Updated krb5 packages that fix multiple security issues, several bugs, and add various enhancements are now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. Red Hat Product Security has rated this update as having Moderate security [More...]


  • Red Hat: 2015:0323-02: libvirt: Low Advisory
    LinuxSecurity.com: Updated libvirt packages that fix two security issues, several bugs, and add various enhancements are now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. Red Hat Product Security has rated this update as having Low security [More...]


  • Red Hat: 2015:0535-01: GNOME Shell: Low Advisory
    LinuxSecurity.com: Updated gnome-shell, mutter, clutter, and cogl packages that fix one security issue, several bugs, and add one enhancement are now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. [More...]


  • Samba 4.2.0 released
    The Samba team has announced the first release in the new stable 4.2.xseries. This release adds transparent file compression, access to"Snapper" snapshots via the Windows Explorer "previous versions" dialog,better clustering support, and much more. This release also marks the endof support for Samba 3.


  • [$] A GPL-enforcement suit against VMware
    When Karen Sandler, the executive director of the Software Freedom Conservancy, spokerecently at the Linux Foundation's CollaborationSummit, she spent some time on the Linux Compliance Project, an effortto improve compliance with the Linux kernel's licensing rules. Thisproject, launched with some fanfare in 2012,has been relatively quiet ever since. Karen neglected to mention that thissituation was about to change; that had to wait for theannouncement on March 5 of the filing of a lawsuit against VMware alleging copyright infringement for its use of kernel code.
    Subscribers can click below for the full story.


  • Thursday's security updates
    Fedora has updated bind (F21; F20:denial of service), lftp (F21:automatically accepting ssh keys), and rubygem-actionpack (F20: two information leaks).
    openSUSE has updated vsftpd(13.2, 13.1: access restriction bypass).
    Ubuntu has updated icu (14.10,14.04, 12.04: multiple vulnerabilities, some from 2013).



  • [$] A look at EasyNAS
    Thus far, this series on network-attached storage (NAS) distributions haslooked at three different approaches to the problem. OpenMediaVaultprovides a NAS server using traditional Linux filesystems, Rockstor baseseverything on the Btrfs filesystem, and FreeNAS is a FreeBSD-based systemusing ZFS. This fourth (and probably final) installment in this series goesback to Btrfs with a look at EasyNAS,which is another attempt to make the unique features of Btrfs available in a dedicated NAS distribution.


  • Security advisories for Wednesday
    Debian has updated icedove (multiple vulnerabilities).
    Debian-LTS has updated unace (code execution).
    Fedora has updated arc (F21; F20:directory traversal), e2fsprogs (F21; F20: codeexecution), glibc (F21; F20: multiple vulnerabilities), php (F20: multiple vulnerabilities), and qt (F21: denial of service).
    Mageia has updated php (multiple vulnerabilities).
    Mandriva has updated bind (denial of service) and freetype2 (many vulnerabilities).
    openSUSE has updated apache2(13.2: denial of service), postgresql93(13.2: multiple vulnerabilities), and python-rope (13.2, 13.1: unauthorized pickle.load).
    Red Hat has updated foreman-proxy (RHEL OSP Foreman; RHEL OSP4.0: restriction bypass).
    SUSE has updated php5 (SLE12: two vulnerabilities).
    Ubuntu has updated kernel (14.04:regression in previous update) and linux-lts-trusty (12.04: regression inprevious update).


  • GitLab acquires Gitorious
    GitLab and Gitorious have announcedthat GitLab will acquire Gitorious. "Starting today, Gitorious.org users can import their existing projects into GitLab.com by clicking the “Import projects from Gitorious.org” link when creating a new project. Gitorious.org will stay online until the end of May 2015 to give people time to migrate their repositories."


  • Kernel prepatch 4.0-rc2
    The 4.0-rc2 kernel prepatch is out. "So rc2 missed the usual Sunday afternoon timing, because I spent mostof the weekend debugging an issue that happened on an old Mac Mini Ihave around, and I hate making even early -rc releases with problemson machines that I have direct access to. Even if it only affected oldmachines that actual developers are unlikely to have or at least use.Today I got the patch from Daniel Vetter to fix it, so instead ofdoing a Sunday evening rc2, it's a Tuesday morning one. Go get it. Itworks better for the delay."


  • Security updates for Tuesday
    Debian has updated unace (code execution).
    Mandriva has updated patch (multiple vulnerabilities), sympa (information disclosure), tomcat (multiple vulnerabilities), and tomcat6 (multiple vulnerabilities).
    Red Hat has updated kernel (RHEL6.5; RHEL6.4: multiple vulnerabilities).
    SUSE has updated firefox (SLE12: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Ubuntu has updated thunderbird(14.10, 14.04, 12.04: multiple vulnerabilities).


  • Security advisories for Monday
    Debian-LTS has updated bind9(denial of service), e2fsprogs (codeexecution), libgtk2-perl (code execution),and sudo (two vulnerabilities).
    Fedora has updated httpd (F20:multiple vulnerabilities), librsvg2 (F21; F20:multiple unspecified vulnerabilities), libuv (F21: privilege escalation), nodejs (F21: privilege escalation), v8 (F21: privilege escalation), andvorbis-tools (F21; F20: denial of service).
    Mandriva has updated cups (buffer overflow).
    openSUSE has updated firefox, nss(13.2, 13.1: multiple vulnerabilities).
    SUSE has updated java-1_6_0-ibm(SLES11 SP1,SP2: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Ubuntu has updated kernel (14.04:regression in previous update).


  • IPython 3.0 released
    The IPython interactive developmentsystem project has announced its 3.0release. "Support for languages other than Python is greatlyimproved, notebook UI has been significantly redesigned, and a lot ofimprovement has happened in the experimental interactive widgets. Themessage protocol and document format have both been updated, whilemaintaining better compatibility with previous versions than priorupdates. The notebook webapp now enables editing of any text file, and evena web-based terminal (on Unix platforms)." (LWN looked at IPython in 2014).


  • VLC 2.2.0 released
    Version 2.2.0 of the VLC media player has been released. According to the announcement, highlights in the new version include automatic, hardware-accelerated rotation of portrait-orientation videos such as those shot on smartphones, resuming playback at the last point watched in the previous session, in-application download and installation of extensions, support for interactive Blu-Ray menus, and "compatibility with a very large number of unusual codecs." The release is available for Linux, Android, and Android TV, plus various Windows and Apple platforms.


  • LLVM 3.6 Released
    Version 3.6 of the LLVM compiler suite is out. Changes include "manymany bug fixes, optimization improvements, support for more proposed C++1z features in Clang, better native Windowscompatibility, embedding LLVM IR in native object files, Go bindings,and more." Details can be found in the LLVM 3.6release notes and the Clang3.6 release notes.


  • New kernel releases
    Greg Kroah-Hartman has released the latest stable kernels: 3.18.8, 3.14.34, and 3.10.70. All contain important updatesand fixes.






  • The three open source projects that transformed Hadoop
    Hadoop, an open source software framework with the funny sounding name, has been a game-changer for organizations by allowing them to store, manage, and analyze massive amounts of data for actionable insights and competitive advantage.



  • 8 guides for cloud building with OpenStack
    OpenStack is a huge project with lots of constituent parts and fast development cycles. It can be hard to keep up and keep your mental toolkit fresh. We compile the very best of recently published how-tos, guides, tutorials, and tips into a handy collection every month.


  • A Quick Look at Kubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet Beta 1
    Kubuntu 15.04 vivid vervet beta 1 has been released by Kubuntu Devs Team brings KDE Plasma 5.2 as default desktop environment, also include KDE Applications 14.12 containing all favourite applications from KDE. This is the 14.12.2 update with bugfixes and translation updates.






  • digiKam Sprint 2014
    digiKam is a mature open-source project (more than 14 years old now) that provides a digital asset management application oriented to photography post-production.


  • The Year of the Linux Smart Phone
    The “Year of the Linux desktop” is something you often hear about in the Linux community. This idea refers to the year when Linux will claim the dominant market-share percentage from operating systems such as Windows and OSX. While I am not sure if Linux on the desktop will ever become dominant, one thing is for certain: Linux has already outpaced all of the other competitors in the mobile market.


  • Red Hat Docker-Centric Atomic Host Linux Distro Debuts
    Red Hat's Enterprise Linux Atomic Host 7.1 release is generally available today, providing users with the promise of a more secure and optimized operating system for Docker containers. The Atomic Host release comes alongside the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1, which also debuts today.



  • I/O-rich SBC runs Linux on Cortex-A9 Sitara SoC
    MYIR launched a “Rico” SBC for TI’s Cortex-A9 AM437x SoC, with an open Linux BSP, 4GB of eMMC flash, and coastline GbE, HDMI, and USB host and device ports. The Rico Board is the first single board computer we’ve seen to tap the single-core, Cortex-A9 AM437x Sitara system-on-chip from Texas Instruments, aside from TI’s own $599 evaluation EVM.


  • Red Hat strips down for Docker
    Red Hat has customized a version of its Linux distribution to run Docker containers. The Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Atomic Host strips away all the utilities residing in the stock distribution of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) that aren’t needed to run Docker containers.






Linux Insider

  • ChaletOS Is a Design Tweak in the Linux House
    ChaletOS began as a personal project of developer Dejan Petrovic. This operating system has a familiar Windows-like style, with appealing simplicity and impressive speed. Much of that performance credit goes to the use of the Xfce desktop. The system controls are tweaked to bring unique style-changing capabilities to a classic Linux desktop environment.


  • The Great War's Untapped Video Game Opportunities
    It's fair to say that game developers have missed an opportunity with World War I. It was the first conflict to see aircraft used in combat, the first to see tanks and other armored vehicles make an appearance on the battlefield, and the first war in more than a century to completely draw in the major powers of the world. WWI should be a setting ripe for action and strategy games.


  • Android Pay: Mobile Payment Systems, Unite
    Google this week confirmed that it's preparing to launch a mobile payments framework called "Android Pay." Google SVP of Product Sundar Pichai discussed the project at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Android Pay will be an API layer of Android. Google will incorporate standard features for mobile payments, such as tokenized card numbers, into an Android Pay software development kit.


  • Nvidia's Shield Takes On Crysis With Confidence
    Nvidia on Tuesday unveiled Shield, an Android TV console that in addition to playing content locally, can stream video games, movies, music, apps and more. Yes, it can play Crysis. That claim, a measure of a gaming PC's power a few years ago, is how Nvidia is marketing the Shield console. Nvidia's Shield Tablet led the way with its Tegra K1 processor and its ability to play Android ports of AAA games natively.


  • The Open Source Squad at the GSA
    18F, a development unit within the General Services Administration, was established a year ago to tap into the success of the United Kingdom's Government Digital Services unit by pursuing a similar strategy. The unit is tasked with getting developers from Silicon Valley and the ranks of civic developers all over the country to change how federal technology gets done.


  • Pearl OS Could Be a Gem in the Making
    If you favor the OS X environment, Pearl OS might be a Linux distro to feed your fancy. Pearl OS is a revival of the discontinued Pear OS distro. It picks up where Pear left off in early 2014. Pearl OS has two desktop versions: XFCE and MATE. Both are based on Ubuntu Linux distro version 14.04 Mini release. The two flavors of Pearl OS are customized to look and act like the OS X operating system.


  • Open Source vs. Proprietary Firms on the IoT Battleground
    A battle is brewing over control of the Internet of Things marketplace. Consumers see only convenience and extensions to their always-on mobile devices. Product makers see a pathway to streaming data that can be monetized from buyers' connections. Will history repeat itself, as open source begins to take on the current, yet unsustainable, walled-garden core of the IoT?


  • HP's Marten Mickos: Open Source Is Not a Business Model
    Marten Mickos, senior vice president and general manager of HP's cloud unit, advocates making money from open source. He preaches what at first glance may appear to be two opposing business models. One is the notion that developing open source software entails meeting a reciprocity requirement. The other is the idea that using open source software does not require any reciprocity.


  • Pivotal Punts Big Data Platform to Open Source
    Pivotal on Wednesday announced its decision to open source all of the core components of its big data platform, becoming the first big data industry player to do so. The company also announced its participation in the Open Data Platform, which seeks to encourage more enterprise collaboration, along with the adoption of modern, scalable data architectures.


  • Korora Comes Bursting With Extras
    Korora, a Linux distro based on Fedora, the community version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, just keeps getting better. When I reviewed Korora 19, released in July 2013, I said it had the potential to grow in popularity among users looking for a better, more user-friendly Linux distro that reaches beyond Fedora's enterprise appeal. Korora 21 provides even more assurance of that statement's accuracy.


  • Yandex Asks Russian Authorities to Drop the Hammer on Google
    Yandex has asked Russia's antitrust authorities to look into whether Google is breaking the country's laws by not allowing preinstallation of third-party services on Android devices. Three smartphone vendors told Yandex last year that they couldn't install its search engine as the default, the company claimed. Yandex is seeking to have the Android OS unbundled from Google Search.


  • BitTorrent's Original Content Deal Makes Bid for Reputability
    BitTorrent will begin to offer a series of original movies, dubbed "BitTorrent Originals," in a bid to enter the content entertainment space later this year. BitTorrent inked a deal with Rapid Eye Studios to handle original video content for its BitTorrent Bundle platform, which launched in May 2013. More than 10,000 publishers have joined the platform, according to company officials.


  • First Ubuntu Smartphone to Arrive in Europe Next Week
    The first smartphone to be powered by the open source Ubuntu operating system will arrive at retail in Europe beginning on Monday, Feb. 9. The Aquaris E4.5 will be offered to early adopters via a series of "flash sales" across the continent. The unlocked phone will retail for 169.90 euros or roughly US$195, without the need for a contract.


  • HandBrake Video Transcoder Gets a Grip on Linux
    Converting video files from a variety of media sources can be a huge chore. That task can be much more manageable with HandBrake, a GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded video transcoder. It is available for MacOS X, Linux and Windows, which makes working on more than one platform a bit more convenient. The latest version for Linux, version 0.10 released Nov. 23, has many upgrades.


  • Good and Samsung Partner to Harden Android Security
    Good Technology on Tuesday announced a merger of its app container and app ecosystem with the Samsung KNOX enterprise security platform for Android. The product merger is aimed at eliminating virus and malware concerns that come with Android adoption in the enterprise. The hardened security for Android targets the OS's deployment with U.S. government and Department of Defense agencies.


  • Infected Android Apps From Google Play Affect Millions
    The malware harbors fake ads that pop up when users unlock their devices, to warn them about nonexistent infections, or that their devices are out of date or have porn. Victims are then asked to take action. If they agree, they are redirected to poisoned Web pages that contain a variety of hazards. Google spokesperson Elizabeth Markman did not confirm how many devices had been hit.



  • Oldest Human Fossil Fills In 2.8-Million-Year-Old Gap In Evolution
    GeekyKhan writes Archaeologists have unearthed a human jawbone—with teeth-- that is believed to be the oldest remains ever found from early humans. It belonged to the earliest specimen of Homo and dates back 2.8 million years. From NPR: "Although it's risky to say you've got the first or oldest of anything, Brian Villmoare, a paleoanthropologist at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, is sure he and his team have the earliest specimen of Homo, the human genus. 'Oh, yeah, it definitely is,' he says. 'We were looking for it — and by miraculous chance we happened to find it.' Villmoare and an international team from the U.S. and Ethiopia found a lower jaw with five teeth in a region of Ethiopia called Afar. They were working a hill that was full of fossils. 'I was on the other side of the hill,' he recalls, 'and they said, 'Brian! Brian! Come over here.' The partial jawbone — just the left side – was lying on the ground, having eroded out of the hill. Several dating methods confirmed its age as roughly 400,000 years older than the previous record for a human-related fossil."
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • How Activists Tried To Destroy GPS With Axes
    HughPickens.com writes Ingrid Burrington writes in The Atlantic about a little-remembered incident that occurred in 1992 when activists Keith Kjoller and Peter Lumsdaine snuck into a Rockwell International facility in Seal Beach, California and in what they called an "act of conscience" used wood-splitting axes to break into two clean rooms containing nine satellites being built for the US government. Lumsdaine took his axe to one of the satellites, hitting it over 60 times. The Brigade's target was the Navigation Satellite Timing And Ranging (NAVSTAR) Program and the Global Positioning System (GPS). Both men belonged to the Lockheed Action Collective, a protest group that staged demonstrations and blockaded the entrance at the Lockheed Missiles & Space Co. test base in Santa Cruz in 1990. They said they intentionally took axes to the $50-million Navstar Global Position System satellite to bring the public's attention to what they termed the government's attempt to control the world through modern technology. "I had to slow the deployment of this system (which) makes conventional warfare much more lethal and nuclear war winnable in the eyes of some," an emotional Kjoller told the judge before receiving an 18-month sentence. "It's something that I couldn't let go by. I tried to do what was right rather than what was convenient."   Burrington recently contacted Lumsdaine to learn more about the Brigade and Lumsdaine expresses no regrets for his actions. Even if the technology has more and more civilian uses, Lumsdaine says, GPS remains "military in its origins, military in its goals, military in its development and [is still] controlled by the military." Today, Lumsdaine views the thread connecting GPS and drones as part of a longer-term movement by military powers toward automated systems and compared today's conditions to the opening sequence of Terminator 2, where Sarah Connor laments that the survivors of Skynet's nuclear apocalypse "lived only to face a new nightmare: the war against the machines." "I think in a general way people need to look for those psychological, spiritual, cultural, logistical, technological weak points and leverage points and push hard there," says Lumsdaine. "It is so easy for all of us as human beings to take a deep breath and step aside and not face how very serious the situation is, because it's very unpleasant to look at the effort and potential consequences of challenging the powers that be. But the only thing higher than the cost of resistance is the cost of not resisting."
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Robocops Being Used As Traffic Police In Democratic Republic of Congo
    mspohr writes "The Guardian describes robocops used in Kinshasa to direct traffic: "The solar-powered aluminum robots are huge, towering over the jammed streets of Kinshasa, as cars and motorcycles jostle for road room, their horns blasting. Each hand on the odd-looking machines — built to withstand the year-round hot climate — is fitted with green and red lights that regulate the flow of traffic in the sprawling city of nine million. The robots are also equipped with rotating chests and surveillance cameras that record the flow of traffic and send real-time images to the police station. These are second generation robots designed by a Congolese association of women engineers. Although the humanoids look more like giant toys than real policemen, motorists have given them a thumbs up. 'There are certain drivers who don't respect the traffic police. But with the robot it will be different. We should respect the robot,' taxi driver Poro Zidane told AFP."
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Hubble Discovers Quadruple Lensed Ancient Supernova
    astroengine writes Astronomer Patrick Kelly, with the University of California Berkeley, and colleagues report this week about four different routes light from an ancient supernova took to reach the Hubble telescope after being deflected around an intervening elliptical galaxy. The phenomenon is known as an Einstein cross. "Basically, we get to see the supernova four times and measure the time delays between its arrival in the different images, hopefully learning something about the supernova and the kind of star it exploded from, as well as about the gravitational lenses," Kelly said in a statement. The supernova will appear again in the next 10 years, as its light takes different paths around and through the gravitational lens.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Musician Releases Album of Music To Code By
    itwbennett writes Music and programming go hand-in-keyboard. And now programmer/musician Carl Franklin has released an album of music he wrote specifically for use as background music when writing software. "The biggest challenge was dialing back my instinct to make real music," Franklin told ITworld's Phil Johnson. "This had to fade into the background. It couldn't distract the listener, but it couldn't be boring either. That was a particular challenge that I think most musicians would have found maddening."
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Apple, Google, Bringing Low-Pay Support Employees In-House
    jfruh writes One of the knocks against Silicon Valley giants as "job creators" is that the companies themselves often only hire high-end employees; support staff like security guards and janitors are contracted out to staffing agencies and receive lower pay and fewer benefits, even if they work on-site full time. That now seems to be changing, with Apple and Google putting security gaurds on their own payroll.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • First Fully Digital Radio Transmitter Built Purely From Microprocessor Tech
    Zothecula writes For the first time in history, a prototype radio has been created that is claimed to be completely digital, generating high-frequency radio waves purely through the use of integrated circuits and a set of patented algorithms without using conventional analog radio circuits in any way whatsoever. This breakthrough technology promises to vastly improve the wireless communications capabilities of everything from 5G mobile technology to the multitude devices aimed at supporting the Internet of Things (IoT).
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Harrison Ford's Plane Crashes On Golf Course
    First time accepted submitter dark.nebulae writes Harrison Ford's PT-22 crash landed on a golf course in Los Angeles. From the article: "Actor Harrison Ford was hospitalized Thursday afternoon after a single-engine plane he was piloting crashed onto a Venice golf course shortly after takeoff. Just before 4:30 p.m. a family member confirmed to NBC4 that the actor is 'fine' and suffered a few gashes. Aerial footage of the minutes after the crash showed the small single-engine vintage World War II trainer plane crashed on the ground at Penmar Golf Club, and one person being treated by paramedics and being transported to a hospital. Firefighters described his injuries were described as 'moderate.'"
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Anthem Blocking Federal Auditor From Doing Vulnerability Scans
    chicksdaddy writes Anthem Inc., the Indiana-based health insurer has informed a federal auditor, the Office of Personnel Management, that it will not permit vulnerability scans of its network — even after acknowledging that it was the victim of a massive breach that leaked data on tens of millions of patients. According to this article, Anthem is citing "company policy" that prohibits third party access to its network in declining to let auditors from OPM's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) conduct scans for vulnerable systems. OPM's OIG performs a variety of audits on health insurers that provide health plans to federal employees under the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program, or FEHBP. Insurers aren't mandated to comply — though most do. This isn't Anthem's first time saying "no thanks" to the offer of a network vulnerability scan. The company also declined to let OIG scan its network in 2013. A partial audit report issued at the time warned that the company, then known as WellPoint, "provided us with conflicting statements" on issues related to information security, including Wellpoint's practices regarding regular configuration audits and its plans to shift to IBM's Tivoli Endpoint Manager (TEM) platform.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Red Hat Strips Down For Docker
    angry tapir writes Reacting to the surging popularity of the Docker virtualization technology, Red Hat has customized a version of its Linux distribution to run Docker containers. The Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Atomic Host strips away all the utilities residing in the stock distribution of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) that aren't needed to run Docker containers. Removing unneeded components saves on storage space, and reduces the time needed for updating and booting up. It also provides fewer potential entry points for attackers. (Product page is here.)
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?
    An anonymous reader writes "Can you help me decide whether to allow my small daughter and son to become American citizens? I am American and my partner is Swedish. We have both lived in Belgium for many years and have no plans to leave. I became a Belgian citizen some years ago and kept my American citizenship. My partner has both her original Swedish and now Belgian citizenship. We are not married. Instead we have a registered partnership, which is common in northern Europe, confers most of the benefits of marriage, and raises no eyebrows. However, the American government does not recognize such partnerships, so in their eyes I am still single. Generally, children of American citizens abroad automatically become American citizens themselves at birth. But our kids fall under an exception. Male American citizens who live abroad and have children out of wedlock with a non-citizen mother do not automatically transmit citizenship to their children unless they sign an "affidavit of support" promising to support their children until the age of 18. If you don't sign before the child reaches 18, the child is not considered an American citizen. This has been upheld by two Supreme Court rulings (Nguyen v. INS and Flores-Villar v. United States). For legal beagles, the relevant statutes are 8 U.S.C. 1401 and 1409. (Read on below for the rest.)
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • EU Free Data Roaming, Net Neutrality Plans In Jeopardy
    An anonymous reader writes EU free data roaming and net neutrality plans now look like they are in doubt as European regulators have dropped plans to ban roaming charges and have proposed net neutrality rules allowing privileged access in some cases. This comes as a U-turn of plans [compared to] 2014, when EU MEPs voted to scrap mobile roaming fees in Europe by 15th December 2015, with the proposal orginally covered on Slashdot in 2010."
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • New Data Indicates Arctic-Ocean Sized Body of Water on Ancient Mars
    mdsolar writes After six years of planetary observations, scientists at NASA say they have found convincing new evidence that ancient Mars had an ocean. It was probably the size of the Arctic Ocean, larger than previously estimated, the researchers reported on Thursday. The body of water spread across the low-lying plain of the planet's northern hemisphere for millions of years, they said. If confirmed, the findings would add significantly to scientists' understanding of the planet's history and lend new weight to the view that ancient Mars had everything needed for life to emerge. Update: 03/05 22:42 GMT by T : Correction: that headline should have read "Arctic" initially, rather than Antarctic.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • CRTC Issues $1.1 Million Penalty To Compu-Finder For Spamming Canadians
    zentigger writes Canadians rejoice! It looks like the new anti-spam regulations might actually have some teeth! Today, the CRTC issued a $1.1 million fine to Compu-Finder for violating Canada's anti-spam legislation by sending commercial emails without consent, as well as messages in which the unsubscribe mechanisms did not function properly. Furthermore, an analysis of the complaints made to the Spam Reporting Centre of this industry sector shows that Compu-Finder accounts for 26% of all complaints submitted.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Developers Race To Develop VR Headsets That Won't Make Users Nauseous
    HughPickens.com writes Nick Wingfield reports at the NYT that for the last couple of years, the companies building virtual reality headsets have begged the public for patience as they strive to create virtual environments that don't make people physically sick. "We're going to hang ourselves out there and be judged," says John Carmack, chief technology officer of Oculus, describing what he calls a "nightmare scenario" that has worried him and other Oculus executives. "People like the demo, they take it home, and they start throwing up," says Carmack. "The fear is if a really bad V.R. product comes out, it could send the industry back to the '90s." In that era, virtual reality headsets flopped, disappointing investors and consumers. "It left a huge, smoking crater in the landscape," says Carmack, who is considered an important game designer for his work on Doom and Quake. "We've had people afraid to touch V.R. for 20 years." This time around, the backing for virtual reality is of a different magnitude. Facebook paid $2 billion last year to acquire Oculus. Microsoft is developing its own headset, HoloLens, that mixes elements of virtual reality with augmented reality, a different medium that overlays virtual images on a view of the real world. Google has invested more than $500 million in Magic Leap, a company developing an augmented reality headset. "The challenge is there is so much expectation and anticipation that that could fall away quite quickly if you don't get the type of traction you had hoped," says Neil Young.  (More, below.)
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.




  • Datrium: Emerging from stealth any time soon
    Data Domain, VMware descendant hires marketing bigwig
    Comment Datrium, an upstart being developed by ex-Data Domain and VMware people, is gearing up to emerge from stealth; yes, it’s appointed a director of marketing.…


  • Cash'n'Carrion restocks atomic keyrings
    More tritium-powered goodness now available
    Having seriously underestimated Reg reader demand for atomic keyrings, Vulture Central's merchandising tentacle Cash'n'Carrion has just taken delivery of another big box of the Nite Glowrings and Mini Glowrings - sufficient we're assured to meet the tritium-powered illumination needs of those who missed out on the first batch.…



  • Boffins say Mars had ocean covering 20 per cent of planet
    New theory suggests Red Planet was wet enough, long enough, for life to emerge
    NASA boffins have popped out a new paper, Strong water isotopic anomalies in the martian atmosphere: Probing current and ancient reservoirs, in which they advance a theory that Mars once had substantial oceans.…


  • GoPro cameras' WiFi security is GoAmateur
    Slurp sick sports selfies without getting off your skateboard
    Net nuisances can harvest the cleartext SSIDs and passwords of wireless networks accessed by sports selfie box GoPro.…


  • Shove off, ugly folk, says site for people who love themselves
    Imagine it. The HORROR of meeting someone less than perfect on the internet
    The hotness police at BeautifulPeople.com have reportedly booted off 3,000 ugly people, telling them "their looks no longer come up to the rigorous standards expected".…


  • Tired of IoT hype? Internet of SLUGS and SPIDERS is the reality
    Kiwi sewer systems shorted by slime shows we're building nice warm places for things to live
    Internet of Things (IoT) boosters have great stories to tell about “scavenger-class” sensors that use solar panels, tiny turbines or even stray energy gleaned from passing radio waves.…





  • Adobe launches cashless bug bounty
    If you had as many bugs as Adobe, would you offer cash?
    Adobe has launched a bug bounty program that hands out high-fives, not cash.…




  • AMD LiquidVR toolkit takes the vomit out of virtual reality
    This is the year of VR, or maybe a few years from now
    AMD, always the more graphics-minded of the two x86 powerhouses behind PCs, is gearing up to cash in on the virtual reality craze with a developer kit that should smooth out some of the problems with the nascent technology.…


  • Microsoft comes right out and says backup software is dead
    When you run a cloud, everything looks like it's approaching boiling point
    Microsoft's been making lots of noise lately about its send-your-snapshots-to-the-cloud service Azure Site Recovery. But now it's come right out and said it: Redmond reckons backup software deserves to die.…


  • Australia's digital technologies curriculum parked AGAIN
    Coding in schools plan might be with us late this year … if it survives
    Australia's proposed digital technologies curriculum, which would see kids taught computational thinking for the first ten years of their schooling, has been parked again.…





  • Red Hat seeks cloud critical mass with Atomic Host
    RHEL's container-friendly cousin hits general availability
    Red Hat says its stripped-down Linux variant for containerized cloud deployments is ready to roll, giving Red Hat customers a simplified, easy-to-manage platform for hosting Docker containers.…


  • Turnbull says no need to future-proof NBN
    And yet the Intergenerational Report calls for us to leave a better future for our kids
    Those who feel Australia should invest in a future-proof National Broadband Network (NBN), and that a fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) network offers the best long-term investment, have new reason to take umbrage with the nation's communications minister Malcolm Turnbull after he yesterday said a quick-and-cheap approach is the best way to deliver broadband.…









  • Sales up at NSA SIM hack scandal biz Gemalto
    Dutch biz points to 'challenges' experienced last year
    Sales at the world's biggest SIM card maker, Gemalto, which was last month revealed to have been hacked by the NSA and GCHQ, rose by five per cent to €2.5bn (1.8bn) in 2014.…


  • Danwood CEO: No more M&A disco watching for us
    Steve Francis wants to get down now his bottom line is up
    Danwood no longer wants to be the loner at the edge of the M&A dance floor as romance blossoms between local rivals, especially now its finances suggest it isn’t destined for the scrapheap.…


  • Revealed: Facebook Boss Zuckerberg's One Weird Trick When Hiring
    Employers hate him (almost as much as you hate this headline)
    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg only hires people he would work for, which, using the same principle of reciprocity, presumably means he'd work for every single person contributing freely to his giant content farm ad platform.…


  • Virtual reality WHIPLASH CHAIR in shutdown scare
    Organisers ban any errant electric sitting
    MWC 2015 Incongruous among the mobile marketing solutions and miscellaneous apps in the Spanish section at Mobile World Congress was the VR experience from Spanish company Whiplash.…




  • Why Wi-Fi won't solve mobile telcos' data dilemma
    You know what ... you should buy our kit, suggests Bluwan
    If mobile operators rely upon Wi-Fi to relieve themselves of data traffic they are going to need to find some way to get the data home. Right now they're heading for a data bottleneck.…








  • How many Androids does it take to change a light bulb?
    One. But it has to be the right kind of Android. And the right kind of bulb
    Breaking Fad For an awfully long time, there have been just two types of lights, more or less. There were ordinary incandescent bulbs and there were fluorescent ones. Sometimes, there were fancy circular fluorescent ones, but that was about as complicated as it got – save for fiddly things like the battle between weirdo continental screw fittings and the mighty British bayonet cap.…






  • UK spaceport, phase two: Now where do we PUT the bleeding thing?
    Must-haves: aerodrome, few people... Bonus: coastline
    The UK's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has narrowed its shortlist of potential locations for Europe's first spaceport, which would provide a UK base for future commercial space flights and satellite launches.…




Linux.com offline for now









  • openSUSE Tumbleweed Continues Ascending
    openSUSE Tumbleweed, the rolling-release version of the popular German Linux distribution, is keeping up well with all of the innovations in the free software ecosystem...



  • Foobnix Music Player Ported To GTK3
    For those in need of a new open-source music player, Foobnix is GPLv3-licensed, written in Python, and with its newest release has been ported to using the GTK3 tool-kit...


  • LunarGLASS Adds Experimental SPIR-V Front-End
    LunarG, the consulting company around open-source Linux graphics drivers, is one of the organizations involved heavily with the new Vulkan graphics API and SPIR-V intermediate representation. Thanks to their involvement, they already have out an initial SPIR-V front-end to their open-source LunarGLASS Mesa project...







  • SPIR-V In GCC Is Already Being Talked About
    Interested individuals are already discussing the prospects of dealing with SPIR-V intermediate representation for the new Vulkan graphics API within the GNU Compiler Collection...


  • PC-BSD 10.1.2 To Add Tor Mode, LibreSSL & Other Features
    The PC-BSD developers have shared some of the upcoming features for their next release, PC-BSD 10.1.2. While it's just a point release on top of FreeBSD, PC-BSD continues adding a lot of interesting, desktop-oriented innovations to their BSD distribution...


  • Valve Launches SteamOS Sale, Confirms A Lot Of New Linux Games
    Making GDC2015 week even more exciting for Linux gamers on top of the Source 2 Engine, the Steam Link streaming device, and Steam Machines shipping this year is a big SteamOS game sale via Steam. This sale is selling not only existing Linux/SteamOS game ports but also several AAA games being ported to Linux...






  • Pictures Of The Near Production Ready Ubuntu Tablet
    After receiving specifications on the talked about Ubuntu Tablet and then receiving pricing information on the Ubuntu Tablet, the start-up responsible for this tablet that seeks to launch one of the first mass Ubuntu Tablets has sent along some official photos of their design...



  • Mozilla Is Getting Excited About WebGL 2
    While the WebGL 2.0 specification hasn't been finalized yet, Mozilla is already hard at work on ensuring Firefox fully supports this next accelerated graphics standard for the web...



  • Allwinner Continues Violating The LGPL
    It's been a week since Allwinner's most recent proof of violating of the (L)GPL license for FFmpeg and libVP6. In the week since, they haven't rectified the issue but today just slapped in a LICENSE file saying the non-existent code is LGPL...






  • Gitorious Gets Acquired By GitLab
    Gitorious, a once formidable competitor to GitHub in the early days of the Git revision control system for hosting open-source projects, has been acquired by GitLab...



  • Linux 4.0-rc2 Kernel Released After Delay Due To Intel DRM Driver
    Linus Torvalds released the Linux 4.0-rc2 kernel this morning rather than on Sunday night due to having a i915 DRM graphics issue with one of his Apple Mac Mini computers. Aside from fixing up one of Torvalds' old systems, the Linux 4.0-rc2 kernel is a relatively mundane release...



Engadget

  • Oracle's now dumping Java crapware bundles on your Mac, too


    Since megayachts aren't going to buy themselves, Larry Ellison's Oracle has been picking up extra cash for years by slipping adware to Windows users via its ubiquitous Java software. If you felt smug because you were on a Mac, guess what! Installing Java on your OSX-equipped MacBook could now lead to an unexpected encounter with the dreaded "Ask.com" toolbar, too. Though not as dangerous as SuperFish, the program will hijack your browser's search functions and delivery iffy, ad-laden results while being tricky for neophytes to remove. If you don't pay attention during installation, you can easily end up with it, as you need to purposefully opt out to avoid it.

    For Java 8 Update 40 on Mac, the update instructions now confirm that "Oracle has partnered with companies that offer various products," including Ask.com (McAfee products have also been bundled on the PC). As ZDnet pointed out, the parent company of Ask.com -- which also owns Tinder, OKCupid, the Daily Beast and others -- paid out $883 million to partners like Oracle to distribute its toolbar and other wares. The software is hated enough that it spawned a Change.org petition that has so far garnered 20,000 or so signatures. Oracle's introduction of the adware "bundle" to the Mac seems particularly bad timing considering how fresh the Lenovo adware installation fiasco is in everybody's minds.

    Filed under: Software

    Comments

    Via: ZDNet

    Source: Oracle


  • Apple expects you to use its Watch in 10-second bursts
    with Watch apps. Specifically, if you're looking at your Cupertino-device adorned wrist for more than 10 seconds, that isn't ideal according its big reveal. How far's it going? Glad you asked. The Watch test lab is apparently locked down from outside communications: there's no internet access and app developers can't even bring in their own paper to work from. This is in addition to Apple requiring that any source code be brought in on hard drives that can't leave Cupertino HQ. Bloomberg's anonymous sources also report that Cook and Co. are storing said code onsite and, to ward off any leaks, won't redistribute it until closer to Watch's "introduction date." Given that Apple's holding an event on Monday, that could be sooner rather than later.
    #fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-454153{display:none;} .cke_show_borders #fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-454153, #postcontentcontainer #fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-454153{width:570px;display:block;}try{document.getElementById("fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-454153").style.display="none";}catch(e){}

    Filed under: Wearables, Mobile, Apple

    Comments

    Source: Bloomberg


  • Vuzix's new VR headset adds earphones and supports multiple devices


    Yet another VR headset? We wouldn't be surprised if that's what you're thinking after all the VR headsetnews these past few days. This one is the latest device out of Vuzix's headquarters called the IWear 720, which can do more than just block the world and immerse you into pure virtual reality. The headset covers more of your head, because it comes equipped with its own headphones -- even better, it supports almost any device that has an HDMI-out port. And yes, that means you can use it to watch both 2D and 3D videos, as well as play games from computers, consoles, Blu-ray players and even smartphones.


    The IWear 720 has dual HD displays (720p, hence the name) that can emulate a 130-inch screen experience from 10 feet away, has motion tracking and supports Unity 3D and Unreal engine games. If you want some augmented reality action to go along with all those features, you can ask Vuzix to add optional AR cameras... when the IWear 720 hits the market, anyway. The Intel-backed company has showcased the headset at this year's GDC in San Francisco, but we're sadly still waiting for a price and a release date.

    Don't miss out on all the latest from GDC 2015! Follow along at our events page right here.

    Filed under: Wearables, Mobile

    Comments

    Via: Slashgear

    Source: Vuzix (1), (2)


  • Wankband charges gizmos with a flick of the wrist

    PornHub thinks it has a sexier solution for the age old problem of a gadget running out of juice prematurely, and the secret is in the (hairy) palm of your hand. Say hello to the Wankband: a wearable that straps on to your forearm, capturing the energy from a spot of self-love and using it to charge basically anything via USB. You see, inside the band resides a weighted ball that travels up and down in a tube with a flick of the wrist, and from there the kinetic energy's stored until your gizmo -- or sex toy -- of choice needs a charge.

    Then, once both you and the wearable have had your fill, simply plug a USB cable into the side of the device and charge away. Want in on the action? You can sign up to be a beta-tester on the skin-flick purveyor's (safe for work) website right now. America's first digital brothel might be out of business, but we're sure you can find plenty of other "charging" motivations to suffice.

    Filed under: Wearables, Mobile

    Comments

    Via: Ad Week

    Source: PornHub (SFW)


  • Rinspeed reimagines the BMW i3 EV as a self-driving car

    Rinspeed did a fantastic visual recreation of the Tesla Model S as a moving living room last year, and now it has given the BMW i3 EV a similar treatment. The Swiss car restorer and conjurer of futuristic concepts has reimagined the i3 as a self-driving car with rather far-out features in a new concept called "Buddi." For instance, it's equipped with a robotic arm that can move the steering wheel in front of either front-seat passenger or to the middle if nobody wants to drive. That robotic arm can curiously wind the in-car watch, as well, if the camera monitoring it determines that its battery is almost depleted.



    Outside, the car has cameras to check and evaluate if it has to adjust the ride height suspension based on the terrain. Also, they keep an eye on traffic and environmental conditions in order for the car to come up with the best route while driving on its own. Other features include electric doors, semi-transparent panels, and a fancy heater controlled by a smartwatch or a smartphone. Rinspeed has presented the Buddi concept at the ongoing Geneva Motor Show, but those who didn't get a chance to see it can look at more pictures in the gallery above.

    Filed under: Transportation

    Comments

    Via: Autoblog

    Source: Rinspeed


  • Daily Roundup: Best of Mobile World Congress, 'Rock Band 4' and more!


    Mobile World Congress wrapped up today and we share our picks for the best smartphones we found in Barcelona. In other news, Harmonix is getting the band back together with Rock Band 4 and a spinning chair might make virtual reality feel more real. All this and more can be found in today's Daily Roundup.
    The best smartphones from MWC


    The 2015 edition of Mobile World Congress is coming to a close today and, as much as we'd like to stay longer in lovely Barcelona, it's time to say goodbye. While this year's event may have seemed a little underwhelming, we did see major announcements from HTC and Samsung -- two companies battling it out for Android smartphone supremacy.
    'Rock Band' is back with 'Rock Band 4': headed to Xbox One and PS4 in 2015


    It's been five years since Rock Band 3 was released and the folks behind the original Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises believe the world is ready for an update. Rock Band 4 will be coming to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 later this year.
    How a spinning chair made virtual reality feel more real


    Roto is a spinning chair that's designed to compliment VR headsets. One of the primary aims of Roto is to give VR users a greater sense of freedom when exploring their virtual surroundings.
    The creators of 'Monument Valley' are redesigning your car dash


    The developer of Monument Valley, Ustwo, isn't just content with designing beautiful puzzle games and tablet software -- it wants to rethink your car's dashboard, too. The company has partnered with Car Design Research to build a prototype for an instrument cluster display that tosses out much of what you know today.
    NASA wants you to vote for the most stunning image by Hubble


    NASA wants to know which among the most popular Hubble photos the internet likes the most, so it's pitting them against each other. To celebrate the telescope's 25th birthday in April, the agency has launched Hubble Mania, which is a space image smackdown of sorts, where the winner's determined by your votes.
    Ubuntu's answer to Android is finally here, but it still needs work


    At long last, the first Ubuntu phones are here. It's been more than two years since Canonical first showed off its Linux-based mobile platform, and fans have been clamoring for consumer devices ever since.
    Hillary Clinton: 'I want the public to see my email'


    Hillary Clinton's exclusive use of a self-hosted email address has been at the center of controversy over the last few days, and now the former Secretary of State tweets that she wants those emails -- or at least the 55,000 pages she has shared with the State Department -- released to the public.

    Filed under: Misc

    Comments




  • Splash Drone shrugs off water and launches rescue flares


    When drone meets water, the videos can be amazing -- except that most drones hate water and can't even be flown in the rain. However, there's a new product on Kickstarter called the Splash Drone that isn't deterred by a little H20. The drone itself is waterproof, as are the circuits, wires and GPS, letting you land and take off from fresh or salt water. The creators (who were responsible for the Mariner Drone product) also built a waterproof gimbal, so that all you need to film around water is a GoPro camera in a waterproof housing. The Splash Drone isn't the only waterproof model out there, but it can pull off a few other unique tricks.


    It also packs a two pound payload release mechanism, letting you transfer bottles of, er, water between boats, Netflix-delivery-style. Another neat trick is an mechanism that lets you deploy an emergency flare for up to 15 minutes to get you out of (or into) trouble. Spec-wise, the craft has a 2-axis gimbal, 2.4GHz radio controller, GoPro dive case, GPS assist, follow-me mode, smartphone app-based control, 17 minute flight time and wireless video. A basic DIY kit (without the payload release or other options) starts at $389, while a ready-to-fly bird with those flares and payload release is $799 for early backers. If you're looking for autonomy, follow-me and mission planning options start at $1,299.


    Filed under: Robots

    Comments

    Source: Kickstarter


  • Fitbit bought a personal training app to improve your workouts

    Fitbit announced a trio of new fitness trackers back in the fall, and today, the company is making moves to improve how those gadgets tackle workouts. The wearable maker acquired FitStar, an app that serves up video-based personal training sessions on your mobile device. If you'll recall, FitStar's roster of experts includes former NFL player Tony Gonzalez and yoga guru Tara Stiles. The purchase allows FitStar users to lump workout details with other gathered stats. Heart rate trends will soon be available for those sessions too -- if you're sporting a compatible device, of course. Fitbit's software already tracks activity, sleep and diet, so the tossing in an on-demand personal trainer is a solid addition. However, a FitStar membership will set you back $8 a month or $40 a year.

    Filed under: Wearables, Software, Mobile

    Comments

    Via: Re/code

    Source: Fitbit, FitStar


  • LG's G Flex2 is the newest phone in our buyer's guide, what should be next?

    There's nothing like new gadgets to step up your spring swagger and indeed, we've got a couple of fresh faces in this month's buyer's guide to help shake off those winter blues. After spending some time with LG's G Flex2, we grew fond of its design, performance and display, making it a strong choice for your next handset. Meanwhile, if you're in the market for a mobile sound system, Ultimate Ears stepped up the volume and specs with its new Megaboom speaker, offering a 100-foot Bluetooth range and up to 20 hours of battery life. Don't worry, if you're still looking for more suggestions, we'll be flush in the coming months after we've had a chance to review all the stuff announced at MWC and GDC this week. In the meantime, there's still plenty of gear to be had and we've always got a selection of top picks at the ready in our complete buyer's guide.

    Filed under: Cellphones, Gaming, Laptops, Portable Audio/Video, Tablets, Wearables, Mobile, LG

    Comments



  • Apple will reportedly debut its music streaming service at WWDC

    If you're hoping that Apple will launch its retooled music streaming service alongside a smartwatch next week, you'll have to wait a bit longer. "Spring Forward" event won't include details on the next phase of iTunes/Beats Music. Instead, the audio subscription option will launch at WWDC in June as part of an iOS update that annually rolls out soon after. Reportedly priced around $8 per month, the music service is said include features like curated playlists and content tailored to users' personal tastes -- both of which are key pieces of Beats Music. As you might expect, an app for the new service will make its way to Apple TV, and the same report claims a redesigned (read: slimmer) case and more capable remote control are on the way for Cupertino's set-top box. However, with the rumored 13-inch iPad and Retina MacBook Air that we may see this year, it'll be interesting to see how Apple plans to reveal a highly-anticipated update to its living room tech.

    Filed under: Internet, Software, Mobile, Apple

    Comments

    Source: 9to5Mac


  • Get ready to use Shazam to identify objects

    Shazam comes in handy for identifying tunes that you may not immediately recognize, and soon, the app will hunt for details on unfamiliar products, too. That's right, the next step for the popular music reference software includes tasks like Shazaming a cereal box for nutritional info or a DVD case to view (and purchase, natch) the film's soundtrack. "The famous blue button that our users love will remain on the home screen but will be able to do much more," CEO Rich Riley told Reuters. The app attracts 100 million users with its audio tool, which also allows you purchase tunes (via link) and plays nice with a number of streaming services for easy access to your personal library.

    Filed under: Software

    Comments

    Source: Reuters


  • Gmail's iPhone app adds iOS 8 features, makes notifications interactive
    just released version 4.0 of its Gmail iOS app, which finally takes advantage of some useful iOS 8 features. You can now reply or archive messages that pop up in your notification tray, as well as send files straight to Gmail using the iOS sharing menu. It's also easier to deal with attachments now, since you can choose specific apps to view files people send you. Unfortunately, the app is still pretty much useless when you're offline, since it's not very good about caching messages. On Android, on the other hand, you can still get plenty of work done without an internet connection. For now, Microsoft's new Outlook iPhone app is looking like a better alternative for weary Gmail users. And yes, the irony that a Microsoft app on Apple's platform is the best way to view Google's mail is pretty darn rich.
    Google also rolled out new versions of key Android apps today, including Hangouts, Drive, and the Google Play Store, reports Android Community. Don't expect any big changes though, it looks like they're all mostly interface updates meant to bring them in line with Google's new Material Design philosophy.
    Filed under: Software, Mobile, Google

    Comments

    Source: Google, Gmail for iOS


  • JxE Streams: Revisiting Rare with Xbox 'Conker: Live & Reloaded'


    Rare Ltd., the storied game developer Microsoft bought off Nintendo for a hefty sum at the beginning of the century, has started to stir again. After years of developing poorly received motion-control games like Kinect Sports, all while members of the original staff left for other studios, rumors were swirling that the team will return to its classic series from the '90s. Conker, the foul-mouthed star of Conker's Bad Fur Day on Nintendo 64, actually popped up as a guest star in Xbox One game creator Project Spark. Just today a Reddit poster, verified as a former Microsoft employee, said that the company has been trying to get a Engadget.com/gaming and Twitch.tv/Joystiq, we'll be playing two solid hours of the most juvenile, scatological game to ever make it out of Rare. Tim Seppala will play the game while Anthony John Agnello hangs out in the chat, answering your questions about how it feels to make a rodent smoke a cigar with a controller.

    Want more streams? Make sure to check out the show schedule on Engadget.com/gaming and to follow us on Twitch.tv/Joystiq. Can't catch the live broadcast? Check back right here after the show for a full archive of the stream.


    [We're playing a retail copy of Conker: Live & Reloaded on Xbox streamed through an Elgato Capture HD via OBS at 720p.]

    Filed under: Gaming, HD, Microsoft

    Comments

    Source: Reddit


  • Google helps you compare car insurance in the US

    Let's face it: Google's internet knowledge is handy for a number of tasks. As of today, though, the folks in Mountain View want to help you sort out car insurance. That's right, Google now offers a Compare tool that'll allow you to enter your Zip code, vehicle info and coverage details before scrolling through a collection of quotes from providers in the area. Right now, 14 insurance companies will tally up rates for the tool -- including MetLife and Mercury Insurance. If you happen to find a plan you're happy with, a handy link will allow you buy online, or if you'd rather, a contact number and reference code are provided as well. As for quite some time, in addition to the ability to gather mortgage quotes.

    Filed under: Transportation, Internet

    Comments

    Via: TechCrunch

    Source: Google


  • 'Final Fantasy' composer on the pleasures of prog and Abbey Road


    Nobuo Uematsu is distinguished amongst game soundtrack composers not just because of his work for Squaresoft in the '80s and '90s or his lustrous mustache. He's one of the few songwriters responsible for the way video games sound across the board, influencing other creators over 30 years. Square's Final Fantasy series, on which Uematsu was sole or primary composer for the first 10 games, molded how storytelling in games should sound. The synthesized minor key melody of series theme "Prelude," the ambient wash of Final Fantasy VII's "Opening/Bombing Mission," and hundreds of other songs are landmarks in gaming's aural landscape.

    While his output has slowed in recent years as he focused on personal projects like his prog band Earthbound Papas and sleeper hits like The Last Story on Wii, his style still looms tall. Uematsu has revisited his work on the Final Fantasy often since its 25th anniversary in 2012. Most recently he teamed with the London Symphony Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios to record wanted to work on a new 2D role-playing game with Hironobu Sakaguchi and the original staff of Final Fantasy VI. Why do you want to work on that type of game again?

    I think it is because the interest of a game is not related its novelty.

    Filed under: Gaming, HD

    Comments



  • How a spinning chair made virtual reality feel more real

    When donning a VR headset, it's easy to be awestruck by whatever 3D world you find yourself in. It's a whole new medium that simply can't be replicated on a TV. Still, there are reasons the likes of Oculus and Sony aren't selling headsets to the masses just yet. While Samsung's Gear VR and other smartphone-powered headwear are filling the void, headsets that tap into the processing might of PCs and consoles will ultimately deliver the most immersive experiences. But, the technology isn't quite there yet. Stereoscopic 3D can be jarring, with complicated worlds often appearing slightly out of focus. Then there are issues like nausea that can strike when moving through virtual surroundings. Also, how we interact with virtual spaces will continue to evolve, moving beyond the gamepad and keyboard to more natural and hopefully intuitive methods of control.
    Headset hardware can only do so much to address these limitations, which is why several companies are developing peripherals intended to enhance the VR experience. Roto is one of these supplemental gadgets. Simply put, it's a motorized chair platform with a footplate controller you twist to control the direction and speed of the spinning seat. Describing it in so few words doesn't really do the Roto justice, however, as it's much more than an overcomplicated alternative to a mouse or joystick. Sure, it essentially performs the same function, but there's something about moving in time with your virtual avatar that brings a whole new dimension of realism to the VR world.
    One of the primary aims of Roto is to give VR users a greater sense of freedom when exploring their virtual surroundings. With a VR headset, you're always focused on what's directly in front of you. Yes, you can turn your head in every direction to see what's beyond your peripheral vision, but we're not owls, and the human neck is only comfortable when your eyeline is centered, or thereabouts. This is true in real life, too, where the natural reaction is to turn your body to catch up with your head when it reaches more severe angles. This is essentially impossible in the VR world if you're seated in a fixed position, so instead of turning your body, you shift your point of view using a controller.
    It's an important distinction, or at least it feels significant the first time you twist the footplate and the chair spins in the direction you've specified. You aren't forcing an avatar to give you a different perspective; you're physically changing the perspective in a natural way -- the way you would in real life. When using a controller, there's an inherent disconnect between where you are looking and where you are facing. Your neck is doing one and a computer is doing the other, but when both inputs are essentially physical ones, there's a much greater sense of presence. You're there, moving and looking around, not staring through the eyes of an avatar you've possessed. This is how I've felt when using VR headsets in the past, though I've only been able to articulate it now.

    There are plenty of additional benefits that come with actually orientating your body to change your point of view. For one, your journey through the VR world is much smoother. Say you're moving around the bridge in Alien: Isolation (one of the games demoed with the Roto) and using a controller to change where you're looking. The scene tends to whiz or jerk by while you lock in the direction you want, and during that period of reorientation, you lose visual acuity (I liken this to standing in the middle of a carousel as it's spinning).
    This doesn't happen nearly as much with the Roto, however, as you instinctively move through the virtual space like you would a physical space. And by this, I mean you start the movement with your head and follow it with your body, so there's a much more controlled progression between where you were facing and where you want to face, which more or less eliminates blur. It's not just a question of controller sensitivity, as I'm sure some would volunteer. It's that you're simply interacting with your environment in a different way -- a better way.
    While Roto intends to improve the VR experience, it also wants to take something away: nausea. Some people are more susceptible to disorientation in the VR world than others, but it's not a personal problem; it's basic science. Your inner ear is, in part, responsible for maintaining balance. When you move, fluid in your inner ear moves too, which your brain uses alongside other stimuli to keep you upright. In the VR environment, your eyes are detecting movement, but your inner ears aren't, confusing your gray matter and, sometimes, inducing nausea. But obviously, you are actually moving when sitting in the Roto -- hence, less chance of disorientation and feeling sick as a result.

    I can read in cars and sleep on boats, so I can't tell you how much of an effect it has on nausea when it's something I've never experienced during my brief spurts behind a headset. What I can say, though, is how your brain interprets movement in the Roto has a greater impact than simply reducing the chances of feeling queasy. The folks behind Roto use the term "gravitational presence," and what they mean by that is feeling your physical self in the virtual space. An avatar has no body and no weight, so when you're controlling one with a stick or a mouse, there's no sense of resistance. But when you're spinning around in the Roto, you're always accelerating or decelerating. You can feel the slight centrifugal force that's pulling you out of your chair, and your own mass fighting against it. Your body is reacting too, of course, making unconscious corrections in your core muscles to keep you stable and comfortable.
    You're aware that your body is moving, and as this movement is in sync with what's in front of your eyes, the barrier between the virtual world and the real one becomes blurred. As I said before, it becomes much less of an out-of-body experience. The avatar ceases to exist. You are the avatar; the in-game character is you.
    But as fascinating as my experience with the Roto is, I'm sure you'd be keen to hear some of the technical details, too. The prototype I checked out was a bit of a monster, with a gaming PC built into the base, but there was also a mockup on hand that's apparently closer to the size of the real product (though still bigger, I'm told). It's supposed to be about the size of a normal swivel-chair base, most of which will be taken up by the motor. On that note, the motor will be capable of swinging you round pretty fast for when you need to kill that alien creeping up behind you, but not so fast that you feel like you're on an amusement park ride -- inducing nausea is the opposite of the point, remember. The motor will also calibrate to the weight of the person in the chair, so if you switch seats with your six-year-old cousin, they won't go flying off because the Roto thinks it's moving a much larger adult.

    The footplate you use to control the speed and direction of the chair (it's analog, so the farther you twist, the faster it goes) will stick out from the base and sit where your feet naturally rest. While it wasn't connected on the demo unit I tried, the final version will have touchpads built into the footplate that you'll be able to tap to walk in some games. Whether this will be intuitive and make you put down the controller entirely is another matter, but I'll reserve judgment for now as I wasn't banking that a motorized chair could change my experience of VR as drastically as it did. The touchpads will work via simple controller-mapping, which brings us to another important feature of the Roto. It's an entirely passive experience, in that it's rotating you in a direction and the headset is registering that rotation.
    Thus, developers don't need to build in support for the Roto, as it works independently of whatever is happening inside the headset. The Roto team does have an SDK, however, which others can use to move the chair against your will. The idea is that a VR movie director can let you explore certain scenes and swing you toward the action when the timing is right -- directing you, as it were. I can also see this being useful to game devs, as they can take control away during cut scenes, for example, or guide you when you're stuck. Think of a VR Resident Evil title, and just when you assume you're safe, the chair swings you to face a window as zombies begin streaming through.

    One of the issues with swiveling around in a chair while wearing a tethered headset like the Oculus Rift is getting tangled up in cables, which is why the Roto employs a slip-ring design to negate this. You connect your PC to the lower part of the motorized base, and the headset to the top. The PC inputs pass through the slip ring and exit through the headset adapter, which spins with the chair, avoiding strangulation by HDMI cable.
    Roto will be launched via Kickstarter, with the campaign going live on March 12th. The team is well aware of the stigma around Kickstarter, but says it won't be able to produce the product any other way, so crowdfunding is its only shot right now. The plan is to sell the base and the footplate for under 200 (around $310), with the option of adding a chair of its design and a table attachment for keeping mouse/keyboard/joystick setups, depth-sensing cameras like Oculus' DK2 and other peripherals in front of you, and rotating with you. If you just want the motorized base, you can clamp in your own swivel chair. I'm told the majority of designs will be supported, but not all.
    Because of its relatively small footprint, the Roto seems to me a much more viable option than other supplements like omnidirectional treadmills that have received attention in the past, and have promised to enhance the VR experience in similar ways. The Roto is a much less intrusive piece of kit, and it's important that you're still able to sit down and relax. Within a minute of sitting down, using the footplate became second nature, but I wonder if I were to play around outside of a hands-on scenario, how long before I defaulted back to the standard gaming-control schemes I've used all my life? I challenged one of Roto's founders with this reaching question, to which he had a frank answer. He simply said that if that were the case, "then we're doing it wrong."

    Filed under: Gaming

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    Source: Roto


  • Avegant's Glyph video headset will change how you see movies


    Some products have a hard time ever getting to market. Some (seem to) come out of nowhere. Then there's the Avegant Glyph video headset. It initially launched on Kickstarter back in January 2014 (raising a cool $1.5-million). Along the way we've seen a ropey prototype. And then a less ropey one. And an even less ropey one. Today, we got to try out the nearest thing to the consumer product we're likely to see before it finally launches later this year.

    What's new with the version we saw today? It's the first prototype that's got the final industrial design, optics and mechanical structure all in one package. It's also fully functional and adjustable (unlike the fixed-size model we saw at CES. There are still a few things that will change though. The model here has a few cables exposed inside the headband, and the nose pads are a temporary design while they continue to engineer a design that accommodates the broad variety of human snouts. There will also be something to cover the lenses, so your product-covered hair wont muck things up should you choose to use them as regular headphones (that's something you can choose to do, btw).

    What about their primary use? Well, arguably that's up to you. The Glyph is sort of out on its own when it comes to categorization. There are other video glasses/headsets, like Fat Shark (popular with drone flyers) and Zeiss's Cinemizer. Then, of course, there's an increasing number of VR headsets coming to market. Glyph is somewhere in the middle. You can plug any HDMI video source into it, and use the headset to watch a movie -- perhaps from your phone. Glyph also has head-tracking, so you can use it to "step into" 360-degree photos/photospheres and of course, 360-degree videos. I tried both of these things and it's hard not to get excited about it, so novel is the experience for most of us still.

    Perhaps Glyph's best trick is how it delivers visuals to you. Instead of using small LCD/OLED displays, it uses micromirror projection technology. This means the image is beamed into your eyes, and effectively does away with pixels (at least in the way we're used to). The end result is a wonderfully sharp image, easily the most detailed I have seen on any headset. The field of view isn't huge, about 45-degrees, but it's ideal for watching movies. If you want a more immersive experience, Avegant is working on that, and we tested its Jellyfish prototype at CES. But, the Glyph was designed for media consumption, and the current field of view is ideal for that.


    It's also worth mentioning that, unlike most VR headsets, you can easily see the real world above and below the eye line, so you can safely reach for your gin and tonic while watching a movie on a flight. Or, as I did, play Alien: Isolation and comfortably see the keyboard controls.

    The biggest barrier for most people might just be the Glyph's weird form-factor. They look pretty much like headphones, but with optics in the headband. No mistake, as the idea is you could use them as regular headphones, and then just flip 'em down when you want to watch a film. The reality is that they do take a little getting used to. The first time I put them on, I had to spend a few minutes adjusting them. Then every now and again, I'd need to re-seat them/push them back up my nose. Once they are in a good position, the experience is incredibly enjoyable, but once they drift, the image soon loses focus.Fingers crossed, once the Avegant team land on the final nose-bridge design this issue should be mitigated. The ear cups are certainly firm enough to keep the heavier section in place, it's more about that all-important eye line.

    Having finally got to see the production prototype, and testing them out in a variety of scenarios the weirdness that surrounds Glyph is starting to fade. The battery-powered device is basically an all-in-one portable media center that can turn its hand to everything from music, games, video and (to a lesser degree) virtual reality. It's weird in the best possible way. At $600, the harder sell if getting people okay with the price, but it's so much fun, that you'll soon forget the sting in your wallet

    Filed under: Wearables

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  • Ubuntu's answer to Android is finally here, but it still needs work

    At long last, the first Ubuntu phones are here. It's been more than two years since Canonical first showed off its Linux-based mobile platform, and fans have been clamoring for consumer devices ever since. The Ubuntu Edge never made its ambitious $32 million crowdfunding target, and the first handsets from BQ and Meizu were delayed last year. But finally, it's all starting to come together. BQ has started selling its "Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition" in Europe and Meizu shouldn't be too far behind with its modified MX4.

    Both handsets were on display at Mobile World Congress this year (we saw prototypes in 2014), offering an early glimpse at how the platform runs on different hardware. The software has come a long way since Canonical's initial unveiling, but the fundamentals are still the same: A swipe in from the left activates the app launcher, while dragging down reveals some settings tabs, which you can slide between with your finger. Scopes are where Canonical seems to have made the most progress. They're themed feeds that pull in content from various online sources; a "nearby" scope, for example, might show the weather forecast and recommendations from Yelp and Time Out. These can be tweaked and personalized, and Canonical says it's easy for developers to create their own.



    Navigating the OS feels a little messy though. Scopes often feature horizontal carousels, and I found myself scrolling through them accidentally, when really I had been trying to swipe across to the next scope. Furthermore, dragging your finger too close to either the left- or right-hand edge of the display triggers other features in the OS, which meant I was constantly hunting for "safe" gaps in the UI. When I handed the devices to the staff at Canonical's booth, they also seemed to struggle with the number of gestures that can be activated by mistake. The company is trying to compensate for this with sparse Scope designs and plenty of white space, but the trade-off is a waste of precious pixels.

    Nevertheless, it's refreshing to poke around a mobile operating system that isn't Android or iOS. Canonical employees told me on more than one occasion that this is just "the first step" for Ubuntu on mobile, and that the platform will be continuously updated. That's fine, but it's hard not to feel a slight pang of disappointment. Fans have waited years for these first devices, but in many ways the software still feels like an early beta. It's not bad, but it's not like Android and iOS haven't moved forward in the last few years as well. Canonical is late to the smartphone game, and needs to move faster if it wants to catch up.


    The upcoming Meizu MX4 handset, meanwhile, is a fairly attractive piece of hardware. The metal shell and narrow bezels give it a premium feel, and the 5.36-inch display is bright and sharp. It offers an octa-core MediaTek 6595 processor, 2GB of RAM and a 3,100mAh battery, alongside a 20.7-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 2-megapixel selfie snapper. During my brief time with the device, I noticed few irritations or design blemishes. But were it running Android, I can't say I would be drawn to it. The design is bland and completely unoriginal, embracing the shapes and materials that have proven popular before.

    The adapted Meizu MX4 and BQ Aquaris E4.5 represent a huge milestone for Ubuntu on mobile. But it's difficult to imagine Canonical attracting any significant market share in the near future -- in fact, the staff I spoke to in Barcelona said they had already accepted this fate. These devices are for the Ubuntu fans, first and foremost. It's a niche proposition and will remain so until Canonical improves the software and attracts new hardware partners. It's not the most exciting state of affairs, but at least the company is being realistic.
    Don't miss out on all the latest news, photos and liveblogs from MWC 2015. Follow along at our events page.

    Filed under: Cellphones

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  • The creator of the gTar returns with a teach-yourself keyboard

    The first time you played gTar was invented, that showed budding riff-makers how to shred thanks to a series of helpful LEDs embedded in the neck. All you had to do was place your fingers on the strings where the lights lit up and, hey presto, you were a rock god. Now, the company behind the gTar is back, and has taken the same idea, but applied it to a piano, in the form of Keys.

    On the surface, Keys is just another 24-key portable MIDI controller for traveling musicians and DJs. What sets this hardware apart from the others, however, is that Keys has the same light-up keys that, when combined with the iPhone app, can teach you how to play. Even better is that gesture sensors baked into the hardware will let you control the hardware just by waving your hands in the air like you just don't care. For instance, if you wanted to play a higher or lower octave, you can just swipe left or right to do just that. DJs with a passion for showing off can even assign controls to those sensors to make the business of knob-twiddling look more exciting.

    The hardware uses a magnetic connection technology that, the company claims, makes it easy to daisy chain multiple units together. In addition, since Keys uses CoreMIDI, it should work with pretty much every other music making app both for desktop and mobile devices that shares the standard. If that sounds good enough for you, then you can pre-order a unit for the early bird price of $88. As for us, we're already planning on buying four of these, hooking them all up to Synthesia and playing the world's most accurate game of Piano Hero.

    Filed under: Portable Audio/Video

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    Source: Keys


  • Google wants to help make you a better bartender


    If you've ever searched for the name of a capital city or a celebrity's place of birth, then you'll probably be familiar Google's Knowledge Graph. It's a cool little feature that picks out and displays the answers to questions, saving you from clicking through all of the links in your search results. After recently equipping it with the ability to dispense health advice, Google now reckons you might need a little help refining your bartending skills. Yep, you're going to cocktail-making school. A simple "How do I make a ..." search will list the main ingredients and recommended garnishes for your chosen cocktail, as well as the correct glass to serve it in. While it can't (yet) teach you all of the cocktail-making flicks and tricks that you might see in a Las Vegas bar, it'll certainly help improve the quality of those homemade Happy Hour refreshments.

    Because it's always 5 o'clock somewhere: Cocktail recipes now served on Google Search http://t.co/EEqiSWAMZn pic.twitter.com/mMbvbHNux4
    - Google (@google) March 5, 2015
    [Image credit: Ciera Holzenthal, Flickr]

    Filed under: Internet, Google

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    Source: Google (Twitter)


  • NASA wants you to vote for the most stunning image by Hubble

    NASA wants to know which among the most popular Hubble photos the internet likes the most, so it's pitting them against each other. To celebrate the telescope's 25th birthday in April, the agency has launched Hubble Mania, which is a space image smackdown of sorts, where the winner's determined by your votes. The space telescope's known for capturing some mighty stunning photos of our universe, so it won't be easy choosing: the 32 contenders include long-time favorites, such as the Pillars of Creation, the sombrero galaxy, crab and apple nebulae, as well as the Rose of Galaxies. Voting for the first round has already begun, with two more rounds to follow, until the grand winner is announced on April 6th. NASA promises new downloadable products featuring the last photo standing, which could include HD wallpapers, among other things.

    Filed under: Misc

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    Source: Hubble Mania


  • Microsoft's Spartan, gets detailed in new images
    Microsoft hasn't released a new build of Windows 10 in several weeks but that doesn't mean we can't get a look at the upcoming Spartan browser. Thanks to a new leak from a build that has not been released, we can get a closer view of what this new feature will look like.  A whole bunch of screenshots of Microsoft's new browser.


  • Moto 360 and Wear 5.0.2: an update
    Ever since my Moto 360 and Android Wear review, I've been hammering on my disappointment in Wear's unfinished, unpolished state, and the many issues that plague the platform. Since I've been using my Moto 360 again over the past few weeks, I think it's time to give a few short updates, because a seemingly minor release - from Wear 5.0.1 to 5.0.2 - has changed a few things for the better.  One of the biggest issues I encountered with Wear on the Moto 360 was laggy performance, stuttering, choppiness, that sort of stuff. After using 5.0.2 for a week or so, I've noted that this problem now seems resolved - at least for me. Touches are registered instantly, responsiveness is perfect again, and animations no longer lag and stutter. It's a world of difference.  A short note on battery life: after a full day of use, my Moto 360 usually sites at around 65%-70% battery left. In other words, with some careful planning, I could squeeze a full weekend out of my Moto 360, without needing to carry my charger with me. Quite nice.  None of this changes my overall perception of current smartwatches, though: they are too much computer, and too little watch. Still, these few improvements do lessen the blow somewhat, and that's always welcome.


  • Turns out, the Jolla Tablet is really onto something
    Sometimes a few inches is all it takes to make a difference. Back when Jolla first started, a team of former Nokians taking MeeGo and spinning it into their own Sailfish OS, it became a smartphone curio. The simple UI and gesture-based navigation had promise, but compared to an iPhone, Android, or even Windows Phone device, it felt underwhelmingly simple. Now, the Finns are back with not only Sailfish 2.0, but a tablet for it to run on, and it turns out that makes for a great pairing.  I can't wait for my Jolla tablet to arrive and for Sailfish 2.0 to become available for my Jolla phone. Quite exciting times.


  • The greatest program ever written
    I'm a programmer. I write games. Games programmers get a lot of respect, but none of them, not me, not Carmak, and not Abrash. None of them deserve the honour which I want to bestow on David Horne. This is because David Horne wrote the greatest program ever written: 1k chess on the ZX81.  David Horne is not an urban myth.  David Horne achieved what many would even now consider impossible. He wrote a chess game, with AI, that ran on a poorly documented, buggy machine that contained only 1k of memory.  Sometimes I feel like these kinds of programmers are a dying breed.


  • Office 2016 for Mac catches up to its Windows equivalent
    It's slowly approaching five years since Microsoft first released Office for Mac 2011 in October 2010. While a final version of Office 2016 for Mac isn't ready just yet, Microsoft is announcing a preview program today for Mac users to get an early look at the company's work. Microsoft has been doing some great work with Office, bringing it to the iPad, extending it to Dropbox, and even acquiring impressive apps like Acompli to power Office on iOS and Android. Office 2016 for Mac is the latest result of Microsoft's focus on cross-platform apps, and it finally matches its Windows equivalent.  Considering Office is the primary tool for my work - and thus, my livelihood depends on it - I recently jumped from Office 2011 to Office 2013. However, I decided to not buy the traditional software package, opting for an Office 365 subscription instead. For ‚99 a year, you get the full Office 2013 suite, and you can install it on 5 PCs and 5 tablets/phones. So, as a heavy user, I'm very glad Office for Mac is finally getting a new version. For us Office 365 subscribers - we get this new version "for free".  Now that I've made the jump to Office as a subscription, I wonder how I ever did without.


  • EA shuts down SimCity developer Maxis
    EA has shut down Maxis Emeryville, the main Maxis studio and longrunning developer behind SimCity and Spore, among other games. Though the Maxis brand will carry on, the studio that most people knew as "Maxis" is no more.  I played so much SimCity 2000 as a kid. Sad news.


  • Nvidia announces the new Shield, a 4K Android TV console
    Speaking of TV boxes for gaming:  Tonight at a press conference scheduled to coincide with GDC 2015, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang annouced the latest addition to its Shield line of products. Called simply "Shield," Nvidia's new device is a set-top box powered by Nvidia's Tegra X1 processor, using Google's Android OS and the search giant's new TV platform, Android TV. Shield supports 4K content encoded with H.265, and can stream local content from Nvidia-powered PCs at 1080p60. Shield also supports the company's game-streaming initiative, Grid.


  • Valve unveils Steam Link, final Steam controller, Source 2
    The Steam controller is a big part of what makes a Steam Machine a Steam Machine; we were told that running SteamOS and being packaged with the controller were two of the main things that need to be included to use that branding. The controller itself has gone through a number of revisions, but we were able to use what Valve is calling the final version during GDC.  We've been using pretty much the same controller setup for a while now, so I'm glad Valve is trying to see if things can be improved. I have no idea if this will be it - a hands-on is required - but I'm open to try.  In addition to the final Steam controller and the announcement that Steam Machines will hit the shelves later this year (sure, Valve, sure), the company also unveiled a new streaming box for gaming.  Valve will release a new product called Steam Link later this year that will "extend your Steam experience to any room in the house," according to an announcement from the company. Steam Link will work with PCs - including Valve's Steam Machines and Windows, Mac and Linux computers - to stream content from Steam to the device, as long as they're on the same home network.  Steam Link will support 1080p resolution at 60 Hz "with low latency," Valve says. The device will be available this November and will retail for $49.99.  I'm definitely buying the Steam Link, as it seems like a great way to play PC games on my living room TV without having to hook a full PC up to it. Of course, a lot will depend on the latency, and I'm sure using a wired network is preferable (which I do).  The last and final Valve announcement: the Source 2 engine. It's not yet available, but it will be free for developers. The Source engine powers a number of classic titles - Half-Life 2, Left 4 Dead 1 and 2, Counter-Strike: Source, and so on - and it's hard not to assume that a release of the Source 2 engine also means Hal...  No.


  • Hands-on with Mark Shuttleworth's Ubuntu phone
    At the Canonical booth at Mobile World Congress, I had a chance meeting with Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical and spiritual leader of Ubuntu. I was actually at the booth to try out the new Ubuntu Edition of the Meizu MX4, a mid- to high-end smartphone, but all of the untethered devices had run out of battery - every phone, that is, except for Shuttleworth's.  Ubuntu Phone looks good on this device. The Verge has an additional story.


  • No reboot patching comes to Linux 4.0
    With Linux 4.0, you may never need to reboot your operating system again.  One reason to love Linux on your servers or in your data-center is that you so seldom needed to reboot it. True, critical patches require a reboot, but you could go months without rebooting. Now, with the latest changes to the Linux kernel you may be able to go years between reboots.


  • Pebble Time Steel, smartstraps unveiled
    Following the hugely successful campaign for the new Pebble Time, Pebble is back with two new products: smartstraps and a whole new Pebble, the Pebbble Time Steel. Let's start with smartstraps - an idea so simple it's almost silly that Google and Apple didn't come up with it first.  Rather than trying to shove every sensor and doohickey into the Pebble Time, we decided to keep the watch simple and functional and give our incredible maker and developer community the opportunity to build from there. Up until now, if you wanted it all you had to compromise... On battery life, size, design or feature set. Not anymore.  That's why we created Pebble smartstraps. It's simple: straps can now contain electronics and sensors to interface directly with apps running on Pebble Time.  Second, the Pebble Time Steel. It's a more luxurious, metal version of the Pebble Time, but aside from its more premium feel and design, it also sports a larger battery (10 days of use instead of 7 days) and its screen is bonded with the glass. For the rest, it's identical to the Time. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm totally loving the gold version with the red band - for a square watch, it simply looks really, really good.  In fact, for me, that specific model is the first Pebble I'd consider wearing. It combines an attractive design with Pebble's superior (over Wear and the Apple Watch) functionality. This could be a winner.


  • Apple Pay: a new frontier for scammers
    Criminals in the US are using the new Apple Pay mobile payment system to buy high-value goods - often from Apple Stores - with stolen identities and credit card details.  Banks have been caught by surprise by the level of fraud, and the Guardian understands that some are scrambling to ensure that better verification and checking systems are put in place to prevent the problem running out of control, with around two million Americans already using the system.  The crooks have not broken the secure encryption around Apple Pay's fingerprint-activated wireless payment mechanism. Instead, they are setting up new iPhones with stolen personal information, and then calling banks to €œprovision€ the victim€™s card on the phone to use it to buy goods.  Criminals, uh, find a way.


  • Life after cancer: how the iPhone helped me
    I've been struggling to get back in shape after chemo.  Since being diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma (Stage IV) in late 2011, my life changed. Beyond the psychological and emotional consequences of how cancer affected me, my family, and my relationships, it is undeniable and abundantly clear that cancer took its toll on me from a physical perspective.  Last year, I decided to regain control of my body, my life habits, and my health. I started tracking everything I could about my activities, my exercise routine, the food I ate, and the time I spent working with my iPad instead of walking, sleeping, or enjoying time with my family. Since then, I've made a decision to not let cancer and its consequences define me any longer.  I want to be healthier, I want to eat better, and I want to take the second chance I was given and make the most of it. What started as an experiment has become a new daily commitment to improve my lifestyle and focus.  And it wouldn't be possible without my iPhone.  Between all the pointless bickering, we sometimes forget how much technology can mean to people when facing hardship like this.


  • Inside the post-Minecraft billionaire life of Markus Persson
    For the better part of the last five years the 35-year-old Swede was that guy, a man who constantly stressed about his creation, Minecraft, the bestselling computer game of all time. Even calling it a game is too limiting. Minecraft became, with 100 million downloads and counting, a canvas for human expression. Players start out in an empty virtual space where they use Lego-like blocks and bricks (which they can actually €œmine€) to build whatever they fancy, with the notable feature that other players can then interact with it. Most players are little kids who build basic houses or villages and then host parties in what they€™ve constructed or dodge marauding zombies.  Truly obsessed adults, though, have spent hundreds of hours creating full-scale replicas of the Death Star, the Empire State Building and cities from Game of Thrones. The word "Minecraft" is Googled more often than the Bible, Harry Potter and Justin Bieber. And this single game has grossed more than $700 million in its lifetime, the large majority of which is pure profit.  Rare interview with Persson.


  • Google confirms plans to launch its own mobile service
    Google's Sundar Pichai has essentially confirmed reports that the company will become a wireless provider of sorts in "the coming months." During his appearance at Mobile World Congress today, Pichai acknowledged that Google is working with "existing partners" to create its own MVNO, but stopped short of confirming that Sprint and T-Mobile are those partnering networks, as has been rumored. But he did reveal that Google has been in contact with Verizon Wireless and AT&T about its plans - likely to head off any potential ugly conflict between Mountain View and the largest, most powerful providers in the United States. "Carriers in the US are what powers most of our Android phones, and that model works really well for us," he said.  Additionally, The Verge has an interesting article about just how far along Google's Project Loon is.



  • Nmap—Not Just for Evil!
        
    If SSH is the Swiss Army knife of the system administration world, Nmap is a box of dynamite. It's really easy to misuse dynamite and blow your foot off, but it's also a very powerful tool that can do jobs that are impossible without it. 
       


  • Resurrecting the Armadillo
        
    1999 was a crazy year for business on the Internet, and for Linux. It was when Red Hat went public, with a record valuation, and VA Linux followed with a bigger one. Both were cases in point of the dot-com boom, a speculative bubble inflated by huge expectations of what the Internet would mean for business. 
       



  • High-Availability Storage with HA-LVM
        
    In recent years, there has been a trend in which data centers have been opting for commodity hardware and software over proprietary solutions. Why shouldn't they? It offers extremely low costs and the flexibility to build an ecosystem the way it is preferred. The only limitation is the extent of the administrator's imagination.
       


  • DNSMasq, the Pint-Sized Super Dmon!
        
    I've always been a fan of putting aftermarket firmware on consumer-grade routers. Whether it's DD-WRT, Tomato, OpenWRT or whatever your favorite flavor of "better than stock" firmware might be, it just makes economic sense. Unfortunately, my routing needs have surpassed my trusty Linksys router.
       


  • Localhost DNS Cache
        
    Is it weird to say that DNS is my favorite protocol? Because DNS is my favorite protocol. There's something about the simplicity of UDP packets combined with the power of a service that the entire Internet relies on that grabs my interest. Through the years, I've been impressed with just how few resources you need to run a modest DNS infrastructure for an internal network.
       


  • Days Between Dates: the Counting
        
    In my last article, we began an exploration of date math by validating a given date specified by the user, then explored how GNU date offers some slick math capabilities, but has some inherent limitations, the most notable of which is that it isn't on 100% of all Linux and UNIX systems. 
       


  • Multitenant Sites
        
    For some time now, there has been tremendous growth in the world of Web applications. It's quite amazing to see what you can do just via a Web browser—not only can you buy just about anything, but also a growing number of sites offer "software as a service", often abbreviated as SaaS. The idea is that in exchange for a monthly service fee, you get access to a service.
       


  • The Usability of GNOME
        
    I work at a university, and one of our faculty members often repeats to me, "Software needs to be like a rock; it needs to be that easy to use." And, she's right. Because if software is too hard to use, no one will want to use it. 
       


  • Linux for Astronomers
        
    I've looked at specialty distributions that were created for engineers and biologists in previous articles, but these aren't the only scientific disciplines that have their own distributions. So in this article, I  introduce a distribution created specifically for astronomers, called Distro Astro.
       


  • Elementary, My Dear Linux User
        
    I suspect there are as many Ubuntu-based Linux distributions as there are all other distributions combined. Many of them are designed with a specific purpose in mind. Whether the desire is for a different looking desktop, custom kernel or just pre-installed packages, there's probably a version of *buntu out there to fit every need.
       


  • Real-Time Rogue Wireless Access Point Detection with the Raspberry Pi
        
    Years ago, I worked for an automotive IT provider, and occasionally we went out to the plants to search for rogue Wireless Access Points (WAPs). A rogue WAP is one that the company hasn't approved to be there. So if someone were to go and buy a wireless router, and plug it in to the network, that would be a rogue WAP.
       


  • Non-Linux FOSS: Homebrew
        
    I use OS X quite often during my day job. I'm able to tolerate it largely due to the terminal. If I couldn't do my work with green text on a black background, I think I'd go crazy (or crazier). Unfortunately, OS X doesn't come with all the command-line tools I need. That's where Homebrew comes in to save the day. 
       


  • Many Drives, One Folder
        
    RAID is awesome, and LVM is incredibly powerful, but they add a layer of complexity to the underlying hard drives. Yes, that complexity comes with many benefits, but if you just want to spread your files across multiple storage locations, there's a much easier way. 
       


  • You're the Boss with UBOS
        
    UBOS is a new Linux distro that I like for two reasons. One is that it works toward making it easy for muggles to set up their own fully independent personal home servers with little or no help from wizards. The other is that it comes from my friend Johannes Ernst. 
       




  • 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