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- Red Hat: 2014:0926-01: kernel: Moderate Advisory
LinuxSecurity.com: Updated kernel packages that fix two security issues and several bugs are now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5. The Red Hat Security Response Team has rated this update as having [More...]
- Red Hat: 2014:0927-01: qemu-kvm: Moderate Advisory
LinuxSecurity.com: Updated qemu-kvm packages that fix multiple security issues and various bugs are now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. The Red Hat Security Response Team has rated this update as having Moderate [More...]
- Red Hat: 2014:0924-01: kernel: Important Advisory
LinuxSecurity.com: Updated kernel packages that fix two security issues are now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6. The Red Hat Security Response Team has rated this update as having [More...]
- Red Hat: 2014:0923-01: kernel: Important Advisory
LinuxSecurity.com: Updated kernel packages that fix two security issues are now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. The Red Hat Security Response Team has rated this update as having [More...]
- Red Hat: 2014:0925-01: kernel: Important Advisory
LinuxSecurity.com: Updated kernel packages that fix two security issues are now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4 Extended Update Support. The Red Hat Security Response Team has rated this update as having [More...]
- An Interview with Karen Sandler (Model View Culture)
Over at Model View Culture, Adam Saunders interviews Karen Sandler, executive director of the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) and formerly the executive director of the GNOME Foundation. Sandler talks about SFC, the Outreach Program for Women, as well as being a cyborg: "I was diagnosed with a heart condition and needed a pacemaker/defibrillator, and none of the device manufacturers would let me see the source code that was to be literally sewn into my body and connected to my heart. My life relies on the proper functioning of software every day, and I have no confidence that it will. The FDA generally doesn't review the source code of medical devices nor can the public. But multiple researchers have shown that these devices can be maliciously hacked, with fatal consequences.Once you start considering medical devices, you quickly start to realize that it's all kinds of software that is life and society-critical - cars, voting machines, stock markets... It's essential that our software be safe, and the only way we can realistically expect that to be the case over time is by ensuring that our software is free and open. If there's catastrophic failure at Medtronic (the makers of my defibrillator), for example, I wouldn't be able to fix a bug in my own medical device."
- Security updates for Thursday
CentOS has updated httpd (C7; C6; C5: multiple vulnerabilities).
Debian has updated iceweasel(multiple vulnerabilities) and openjdk-7 (multiple vulnerabilities).
Fedora has updated firefox (F20: multiple vulnerabilities).
Oracle has updated dovecot (OL7:denial of service), firefox (OL7; OL7; OL5:multiple vulnerabilities), gnutls (OL7: twovulnerabilities), httpd (OL7; OL6; OL5:multiple vulnerabilities), java-1.6.0-openjdk (OL7; OL7:multiple vulnerabilities), java-1.7.0-openjdk (OL7; OL7:multiple vulnerabilities), json-c (OL7: twodenial of service flaws), kernel (OL7; OL6: twoprivilege escalations), kernel (OL7:multiple vulnerabilities), kernel(OL7:privilege escalation), libtasn1 (OL7:three vulnerabilities), libvirt (OL7:information disclosure/denial of service), lzo (OL7: denial of service/possible codeexecution), mariadb (OL7: multipleunspecified vulnerabilities), nss, nspr(OL7: code execution), openssl (OL7:multiple vulnerabilities), openssl098e(OL7: man-in-the-middle attack), qemu-kvm(OL7: many vulnerabilities), qemu-kvm (OL7:code execution), samba (?:), (tomcat (OL7: three vulnerabilities), and tomcat (OL7: three vulnerabilities).
Red Hat has updated kernel ( RHEL7; RHEL6.4; RHEL6; RHEL5: two privilege escalations) and qemu-kvm (RHEL7: many vulnerabilities).
Scientific Linux has updated kernel (SL6; SL5: twoprivilege escalations).
Slackware has updated httpd(multiple vulnerabilities), thunderbird(multiple vulnerabilities), and firefox(multiple vulnerabilities).
SUSE has updated libtasn1(SLE11SP3: three vulnerabilities) and ppc64-diag (SLE11SP3: two vulnerabilities).
Ubuntu has updated apache2(14.04, 12.04, 10.04: multiple vulnerabilities), jinja2 (12.04: code execution), lzo2 (14.04, 12.04: denial of service/possiblecode execution), and oxide-qt (14.04:multiple vulnerabilities).
- Oracle Linux 7 released
Another of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) rebuilds has released its version of RHEL 7: Oracle Linux 7 for x86_64 is now available. It does add some features, including DTrace, Ksplice, and Xen. More information can be found in the release notes.
- [$] Browser tracking through "canvas fingerprinting"
Recently, public attention has been called to a new onlineuser-tracking method that is purported to be nearly impossible toblock. Called "canvas fingerprinting," the technique relies onforcing the browser to generate an image on the client side of theconnection—an image that is unique enough to serve as afingerprint for the browser that created it. In fact, the basis forthis fingerprinting approach is several years old, but it does nowseem to be in use in the wild. Whether or not it truly amounts to aninsurmountable blocking challenge, however, remains to be seen.
- ownCloud 7 released
The ownCloud 7 release has been announced.The headline feature this time around appears to be server-to-serversharing, but it also has mobile web browser support, file activitynotifications, and an improved management interface.
- Security advisories for Wednesday
CentOS has updated firefox (C6; C5:multiple vulnerabilities), firefox,xulrunner (C7: multiple vulnerabilities), libvirt (C7: information disclosure/denial ofservice), nss, nspr (C7: code execution),nss (C5; C6: code execution), nss-util (C6: code execution), nspr (C6; C5: codeexecution), and thunderbird (C5; C6: multiple vulnerabilities).
Debian has updated acpi-support (privilege escalation) and mysql-5.5 (unidentified vulnerabilities).
Fedora has updated libXfont (F19:multiple vulnerabilities), python-simplejson (F19: informationdisclosure), and readline (F20: insecure temporary files).
Oracle has updated firefox (OL6:multiple vulnerabilities), nss, nspr (OL6; OL5: codeexecution), and thunderbird (OL6: multiple vulnerabilities).
Red Hat has updated firefox(RHEL5,6,7: multiple vulnerabilities), httpd (RHEL5,6; RHEL7: multiple vulnerabilities), httpd24-httpd (RHSC1: multiplevulnerabilities), kernel-rt (RHE MRG2.5:multiple vulnerabilities), libvirt (RHEL7:information disclosure/denial of service), nss (RHEL5.6,5.9,6.2,6.4: code execution), nss, nspr (RHEL5,7: code execution), nss, nspr (RHEL6: multiple vulnerabilities),and thunderbird (RHEL5,6: multiple vulnerabilities).
Scientific Linux has updated firefox (SL5,6: multiple vulnerabilities), httpd (SL5,6: multiple vulnerabilities),nss and nspr (SL6; SL5: code execution), and thunderbird (SL5,6: multiple vulnerabilities).
Ubuntu has updated acpi-support(12.04 LTS: privilege escalation), firefox (14.04 LTS, 12.04 LTS:multiple vulnerabilities), libtasn1-3,libtasn1-6 (14.04 LTS, 12.04 LTS, 10.04 LTS: multiplevulnerabilities), and thunderbird(14.04 LTS, 12.04 LTS: multiple vulnerabilities).
- Firefox 31 released
Firefox 31 has been released. This version adds a search field to the newtab page, adds support of Prefer:Safe http header for parental control, andit will block malware from downloaded files. See the releasenotes for more information.
- Spencer: The Community Team
Rick Spencer introducesUbuntu's community team. "First, we created the role Community TeamManager. Notice the important inclusion of the word “Team”. This person’sjob is not to “manage the community”, but rather to organize and lead therest of the community team members. This includes things like projectplanning, HR responsibilities, strategic planning and everything elseentailed in being a good line manager. After a rather competitive interviewprocess, with some strong candidates, one person clearly rose to the top asthe best candidate. So, I would like formally introduce David Planella asthe Community Team Manager!" Michael Hall, Daniel Holbach, andNicholas Skaggs are the other members of the team.
- Docker security with SELinux (Opensource.com)
Dan Walsh looks atcontainer security, on Opensource.com. "I hear and read about alot of people assuming that Docker containers actually sandboxapplications—meaning they can run random applications on their system asroot with Docker. They believe Docker containers will actually protecttheir host system [...] Stop assuming that Docker and the Linux kernel protect you from malware."
- Tuesday's security updates
CentOS has updated java-1.6.0-openjdk (C7; C6; C5: multiple vulnerabilities).
Fedora has updated couchdb (F20; F19: denial of service), erlang-ibrowse (F20; F19: denial of service), php-ZendFramework (F20; F19: SQL injection), and polarssl (F20; F19: denial of service).
Oracle has updated java-1.6.0-openjdk (OL6; OL5: multiple vulnerabilities).
Red Hat has updated java-1.6.0-openjdk (RHEL5,6,7: multiplevulnerabilities) and java-1.6.0-sun(RHEL5,6,7: multiple vulnerabilities).
Scientific Linux has updated java-1.6.0-openjdk (SL5,6: multiple vulnerabilities).
Ubuntu has updated cups (privilege escalation).
- Security advisories for Monday
Debian has updated drupal7 (multiple vulnerabilities) and ruby-activerecord-3.2 (SQL injection).
Fedora has updated cups (F20:privilege escalation), dpkg (F20: two filemodification via path traversal flaws), java-1.7.0-openjdk (F20: multiplevulnerabilities), kernel (F20: privilegeescalation), ocsinventory (F20; F19: cross-site scripting), and transmission (F20: code execution).
openSUSE has updated privoxy(13.1: privoxy requires privoxyd), dbus-1 (13.1; 12.3:two denial of service flaws), eet (13.1,12.3: code execution), lzo (13.1, 12.3:code execution), and php (13.1, 12.3: multiple vulnerabilities).
- The EFF's open wireless router project
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has announceda project to create a new distribution for wireless home routers. It isbased on CeroWrtand is meant to make it easy and safe to run an open wireless network,include all of the latest bufferbloat fixes, and "advance the stateof the art in consumer Wi-Fi router security and begin turning back thegrowing tide of attacks against them." The work is in an earlystate and only runs on Netgear WNDR3800 routers for now; testers andcontributors are eagerly sought.
- Kernel prepatch 3.16-rc6
The 3.16-rc6 release is out, and Linus isstarting to think that things are still too active. "Anyway, rc6still isn't all *that* big, so I'm not exactly worried, but I am getting to the point where I'm going to start calling peoplenames and shouting at you if you send me stuff that isn't appropriatefor the late rc releases. Which is not to say that people did: whilerc6 is bigger than I wished for, I don't think there's too muchobviously frivolous in there. But I'll be keeping an eye out, and I'llbe starting to get grumpy (or grumpiER) if I notice that people aren'tbeing serious about trying to calm things down."
- Raspberry Pi-based signage player sips 7 Watts
TinyGreenPC launched a Raspberry Pi and Linux based digital signage player that runs on just 7 Watts, and offers optional WiFi and an OPS interface. The Pi Media Player is one of the most power-efficient signage players on the market, according to TinyGreenPC, a subsidiary of UK-based embedded manufacturer and distributor AndersDX.
- Firefox 31 available in Fedora
Mozilla recently released Firefox version 31, and now this updated version of the Fedora default web browser is available for download in Fedora 20.
- Firefox 31 Brings New Tools to Developers
One such innovation introduced in Firefox 31 is an eyedropper, which enables developers to easily identify the HTML value for a given color. Developers will now also be able to modify Web pages locally with a box model technology that enables manipulation of page layout attributes. Looking forward, Mozilla developers are building an integrated development environment (IDE) called WebIDE into Firefox. In this slide show, eWEEK takes a look at the new Firefox 31 browser. -
- Secure Wordpress Login With Two Factor Authentication Using privacyIDEA
Secure Wordpress Login With Two Factor Authentication Using privacyIDEAWordpress is THE widely spread blogging system that is not only used for private blog sites but sometimes also as CMS for company web sites. Wordpress is very good maintened and easy to update. But as it is so widely used, it is also an intersting goal for crackers (avoiding to say hackers). This is why today I will tell you how to secure the wordpress accounts with a second factor for OTP authentication.
- Open source product development most effective when social
Benetech started out in the 90s without even understanding the meaning of the term open source. They just "needed an easy way to interface with different voice synthesizers" to develop readers for people who are blind and "shared the code to be helpful."Sound familiar? Opensource.com started covering stories like in 2010 and they recur more often than you might think. Stories of people sharing the code to help others—but sharing code to get help developing better code. When code is open, a community has the opportunity to form around it.read more
- Photocrumbs is Now Mejiro
Photocrumbs has served well as a working name for my spare-time coding project. But the time has come to give my forgetful photo publishing PHP script a proper name.
- FESCo Election Results, F21 Delayed 3 Weeks, Behind the Scenes for Flock, Help with AppStream, and Joining Fedora
The special election for FESCo (the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee) has concluded. New FESCo members are Josh Boyer, Kalev Lember, and Tomas Hozza. Since these seats are filling various vacancies, they aren’t for the normal two-release term. Since Josh lead the results, he will fill the spot which goes through next spring’s Fedora 22 release, and the others through this fall’s F21. Congratulations and welcome to Josh, Kalev, and Tomas; and thanks to outgoing members Bill Nottingham, Toshio Kurotami, and Peter Jones for all of your hard work on FESCo.
- Keynotes from OSCON 2014 Day 2
We're back with keynote coverage on Day 2 of OSCON 2014! This comes to you (live stream) from Portland at the Oregon Convention Center.read more
- Gaming oriented Nvidia Shield Tablet wins early praise
The Android 4.4.3-based Nvidia Shield Tablet won early praise with its Tegra K1 SoC, Kepler-based graphics, new stylus, and WiFi Direct gaming controller. This week Nvidia announced its rumored tablet form-factor update of the Tegra 4-based Nvidia Shield, now called the Shield Portable. Early previews of the $299 Nvidia Shield Tablet have been kinder than […]
- diff -u: What's New in Kernel Development
Once in a while someone points out a POSIXviolation in Linux. Often theanswer is to fix the violation, but sometimes LinusTorvalds decides thatthe POSIX behavior is broken, in which case they keep the Linux behavior,but they might build an additional POSIX compatibility layer, even if thatlayer is slower and less efficient.
- Skype for Linux Redesign Is Ugly but Functional
If you do not mind having a free non-open source Microsoft product on your Linux computer, the latest Skype for Linux release catches up to the Windows and Mac versions, providing most of the features they've had for some time. Microsoft rolled out Skype version 22.214.171.124 in mid June. The catch-up release has an updated user interface, some additional features, and lots of bug fixes.
- Nokia X, We Hardly Knew Ye
"I told you so" is a refrain that's oft-heard here in the Linux blogosphere, and more often than not it refers to some fleeting Microsoft tie with FOSS that subsequently goes wrong. The latest example? It's a doozy. Redmond not only is laying off many, many thousands -- most of them in its ill-fated Nokia unit -- but also abandoning its short-lived support of Android through the Nokia X line.
- Red Hat's Inktank Buy Bears 1st Fruit
Scarcely two months have passed since Red Hat announced plans to acquire open source storage company Inktank, but already the union has produced results: Inktank Ceph Enterprise 1.2, which made its debut Wednesday. Ceph is a scalable, open source, software-defined storage system that runs on commodity hardware. "Our goal is to do for storage what Linux did for servers," said Red Hat's Ross Turk.
- Android Sets iPhone Cloning Factory in Motion
Chinese company Wico has cloned the yet-to-be-released iPhone 6, if a pair of videos can be believed. "The similarities are eerily close," said IDC Research Manager Ramon Llamas, to the extent that the casual observer "may just simply accept this as an iPhone." There are slight differences on the sides, such as the volume and power buttons and the headphone jacks, as well as the chassis overall.
- KaOS Calms Down KDE
KaOS is an interesting and very efficient Linux distribution built around a refined KDE desktop environment. The KDE integration is much more controlled in KaOS than in other Linux choices. The latest release for this 14-month young Linux distro came in late June. KaOS is a bit of a rarity. It is independent of other distros -- not a direct relative of other Linux offshoots.
- Is Firefox in a Fix?
It's been difficult to hear ourselves think here in the Linux blogosphere lately, what with all the distractions that have been thrown our way. We've had the NSA casting aspersions on Linux users; we've had the IRS looking askance at FOSS. We've even had the well-respected Tor Project sucked into a lawsuit over revenge porn, of all things. Ready for the latest?
- New IoT Group to Get Devices Talking Among Themselves
Half a dozen companies this week launched the Open Interconnect Consortium to define the connectivity requirements and improve the interoperability of the 200 billion devices that will make up the Internet of Things by 2020. The consortium aims to define a common communications framework based on industry standard technologies, regardless of form factor, operating system or service provider.
- Tor Embroiled in $1M Revenge-Porn Lawsuit
Texas attorney Jason L. Van Dyke recently filed a lawsuit against nude-photo-sharing site Pink Meth and included the Tor Project among its defendants. Pink Meth is an "involuntary pornography" site, the suit charges, enabling users to post nude photos for the purposes of getting revenge on those pictured. It's accessible only to users who have downloaded Tor's anonymity-minded software.
- LG G Watch Rides In on 1st Android Wear Wave
LG has launched its Android Wear-powered G Watch around the world. It can be ordered from Google Play and purchased at retailers in the United States, Canada, France, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, Australia, India, Japan and South Korea. In 15 other countries -- including Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Singapore and New Zealand -- the device will be available only from retailers.
- 'Extreme' Computing and Other Linux-World Problems
Well another Independence Day has come and gone here in the land of stars and stripes, causing at least some in the tech blogosphere to turn their thoughts toward freedom. "Digital independence day: Your guide to DIY, open-source, anonymous free computing" was one offering, for example. "It's Time for IT Pros to Declare Their Technology Freedom" was the thought du jour at another outlet.
- The Novena Open Hardware Laptop: A Hacker's Dream Machine
Would you buy a high-end laptop built completely around open hardware and the Linux distro of your choice? Novena offers that opportunity, but it comes with an out-of-the-box experience that might be beyond the reach of the typical computer consumer. That said, the Novena laptop's experimental technology has the potential to offer new options to a sluggish computer industry.
- One Trillion Bq Released By Nuclear Debris Removal At Fukushima So Far
AmiMoJo writes The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says more than one trillion becquerels of radioactive substances were released as a result of debris removal work at one of the plant's reactors. Radioactive cesium was detected at levels exceeding the government limit in rice harvested last year in Minami Soma, some 20 kilometers from Fukushima Daiichi. TEPCO presented the Nuclear Regulation Authority with an estimate that the removal work discharged 280 billion becquerels per hour of radioactive substances, or a total of 1.1 trillion becquerels. The plant is believed to be still releasing an average of 10 million becquerels per hour of radioactive material.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Man Booted From Southwest Flight and Threatened With Arrest After Critical Tweet
CanHasDIY writes The old saying goes, "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." A man learned the consequences Sunday, after Tweeting about his experience with a rude Southwest gate attendant: "A Minnesota man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent. Duff Watson said he was flying from Denver to Minneapolis on Sunday and tried to board in a spot for frequent flyer privileges he held and take his sons, ages 6 and 9, with him, even though they had a later spot to board the plane. The agent told him that he would have to wait if he wanted to board with his children. Watson replied that he had boarded early with them before and then sent out a tweet that read 'RUDEST AGENT IN DENVER. KIMBERLY S. GATE C39. NOT HAPPY @SWA.' Watson told TV broadcaster KARE in Minneapolis on Wednesday that after he boarded, an announcement came over the plane asking his family to exit the aircraft. Once at the gate, the agent said that unless the tweet was deleted, police would be called and the family would not be allowed back onboard." He gave into the threat, deleted the Tweet, and was allowed to board a later flight. Southwest, as one could have predicted, offered a boilerplate "apology" and vouchers.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Lawrence Krauss: Congress Is Trying To Defund Scientists At Energy Department
Lasrick writes Physicist Lawrence Krauss blasts Congress for their passage of the 2015 Energy and Water Appropriations bill that cut funding for renewable energy, sustainable transportation, and energy efficiency, and even worse, had amendments that targeted scientists at the Department of Energy: He writes that this action from the US Congress is worse even than the Australian government's move to cancel their carbon tax, because the action of Congress is far more insidious: "Each (amendment) would, in its own way, specifically prohibit scientists at the Energy Department from doing precisely what Congress should mandate them to do—namely perform the best possible scientific research to illuminate, for policymakers, the likelihood and possible consequences of climate change." Although the bill isn't likely to become law, Krauss is fed up with Congress burying its head in the sand: The fact that those amendments "...could pass a house of Congress, should concern everyone interested in the appropriate support of scientific research as a basis for sound public policy."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- "Magic Helmet" For F-35 Ready For Delivery
Graculus writes with news that the so called "magic helmets" for the controversial F-35 are ready for action. This week, Lockheed Martin officially took delivery of a key part of the F-35 fighter's combat functionality—the pilot's helmet. The most expensive and complicated piece of headgear ever constructed, the F-35 Gen III Helmet Mounted Display System (HMDS) is one of the multipurpose fighter's most critical systems, and it's essential to delivering a fully combat-ready version of the fighter to the Marine Corps, the Navy, and the Air Force. But it almost didn't make the cut because of software problems and side effects akin to those affecting 3D virtual reality headsets. Built by Rockwell Collins ESA Vision Systems International (a joint venture between Rockwell Collins and the Israeli defense company Elbit Systems), the HMDS goes way beyond previous augmented reality displays embedded in pilots' helmets. In addition to providing the navigational and targeting information typically shown in a combat aircraft's heads-up display, the HMDS also includes aspects of virtual reality, allowing a pilot to look through the plane. Using a collection of six high-definition video and infrared cameras on the fighter's exterior called the Distributed Aperture System (DAS), the display extends vision a full 360 degrees around the aircraft from within the cockpit. The helmet is also equipped with night vision capabilities via an infrared sensor that projects imagery inside the facemask
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate
sciencehabit (1205606) writes A new study shows that ground water in the Colorado basin is being depleted six times faster than surface water. The groundwater losses, which take thousands of years to be recharged naturally, point to the unsustainability of exploding population centers and water-intensive agriculture in the basin, which includes most of Arizona and parts of Colorado, California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and Wyoming. Because ground water feeds many of the streams and rivers in the area, more of them will run dry.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Chromebooks Are Outselling iPads In Schools
Nate the greatest (2261802) writes Apple thrilled investors earlier this week when they revealed that they had sold 13 million iPads to schools and claimed 85% of the educational tablet market, but that wasn't the whole story. It turns out that Apple has only sold 5 million iPads to schools since February 2013, or an average of less than a million tablets a quarter over 6 quarters. It turns out that instead of buying iPads, schools are buying Chromebooks. Google reported that a million Chromebooks were sold to schools last quarter, well over half of the 1.8 million units sold in the second quarter. With Android tablets getting better, Apple is losing market share in the consumer tablet market, and now it looks Apple is also losing the educational market to Google. Analysts are predicting that 5 million Chromebooks will be sold by the end of the year; how many of those will be sold to schools, do you think?
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- A Warm-Feeling Wooden Keyboard (Video)
Plastic, plastic everywhere! Except on most surfaces of the Keyboardio ergonomic keyboard, which started as a 'scratch his itch' project by Jesse Vincent. According to his blurb on the Keyboardio site, Jesse 'has spent the last 20 years writing software like Request Tracker, K-9 Mail, and Perl. He types... a lot. He tried all the keyboards before finally making his own.' His objective was to make a keyboard he really liked. And he apparently has. This video was shot in June, and Jesse already has a new model prototype under way that Tim Lord says is a notable improvement on the June version he already liked. || Note that the Keyboardio is hackable and open source, so if you think you can improve it, go right ahead. (Alternate Video Link)
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- ScummVM 1.7.0 Released
jones_supa (887896) writes It's been a while since a new ScummVM release, but version 1.7.0 is now here with many exciting features. New games supported are The Neverhood, Mortville Manor, Voyeur, Return to Ringworld and Chivalry is Not Dead. The Roland MT-32 emulator has been updated, there is an OpenGL backend, the GUI has seen improvements, AGOS engine is enhanced, tons of SCI bug fixes have been applied, and various other improvements can be found. This version also introduces support for the OUYA gaming console and brings improvements to some other more exotic platforms. Please read the release notes for an accurate description of the new version. SCUMM being the language/interpreter used by many classic adventure games.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later
gunner_von_diamond (3461783) happened upon Ask Slashdot: Experiences with Laser Eye Surgery from ten years ago, and asks: I was just reading a story on /. from 10 years ago about Lasik Eye Surgery. Personally, I've had Lasik done and loved every single part of the surgery. I went from wearing contacts/glasses every day to having 20/15 vision! In the older post, everyone seemed to be cautious about it, waiting for technical advances before having the surgery. Today, the surgery is fairly inexpensive [even for a programmer :) ], takes about 10-15 minutes, and I recovered from the surgery that same day. So my question is: what is holding everyone else back from freeing themselves from contacts and glasses?
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Comcast Carrying 1Tbit/s of IPv6 Internet Traffic
New submitter Tim the Gecko (745081) writes Comcast has announced 1Tb/s of Internet facing, native IPv6 traffic, with more than 30% deployment to customers. With Facebook, Google/YouTube, and Wikipedia up to speed, it looks we are past the "chicken and egg" stage. IPv6 adoption by other carriers is looking better too with AT&T at 20% of their network IPv6 enabled, Time Warner at 10%, and Verizon Wireless at 50%. The World IPv6 Launch site has measurements of global IPv6 adoption.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Social Security Administration Joins Other Agencies With $300M "IT Boondoggle"
alphadogg (971356) writes with news that the SSA has joined the long list of federal agencies with giant failed IT projects. From the article: "Six years ago the Social Security Administration embarked on an aggressive plan to replace outdated computer systems overwhelmed by a growing flood of disability claims. Nearly $300 million later, the new system is nowhere near ready and agency officials are struggling to salvage a project racked by delays and mismanagement, according to an internal report commissioned by the agency. In 2008, Social Security said the project was about two to three years from completion. Five years later, it was still two to three years from being done, according to the report by McKinsey and Co., a management consulting firm. Today, with the project still in the testing phase, the agency can't say when it will be completed or how much it will cost.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Black Holes Not Black After All, Theorize Physicists
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes Black holes are singularities in spacetime formed by stars that have collapsed at the end of their lives. But while black holes are one of the best known ideas in cosmology, physicists have never been entirely comfortable with the idea that regions of the universe can become infinitely dense. Indeed, they only accept this because they can't think of any reason why it shouldn't happen. But in the last few months, just such a reason has emerged as a result of intense debate about one of cosmology's greatest problems — the information paradox. This is the fundamental tenet in quantum mechanics that all the information about a system is encoded in its wave function and this always evolves in a way that conserves information. The paradox arises when this system falls into a black hole causing the information to devolve into a single state. So information must be lost. Earlier this year, Stephen Hawking proposed a solution. His idea is that gravitational collapse can never continue beyond the so-called event horizon of a black hole beyond which information is lost. Gravitational collapse would approach the boundary but never go beyond it. That solves the information paradox but raises another question instead: if not a black hole, then what? Now one physicist has worked out the answer. His conclusion is that the collapsed star should end up about twice the radius of a conventional black hole but would not be dense enough to trap light forever and therefore would not be black. Indeed, to all intents and purposes, it would look like a large neutron star.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Mac OS X Yosemite Beta Opens
New submitter David Hames (3763525) writes Would you like to test drive the newest release of the Macintosh operating system? Apple is opening up the beta for Mac OS X Yosemite starting Thursday to the first million people who sign up. Beta users won't be able to access such promised Yosemite features such as the ability to make or receive your iPhone calls or text messages on your Mac, turn on your iPhone hotspot feature from your Mac, or "Handoff" the last thing you were doing on your iOS 8 device to your Mac and vice versa. A new iCloud Drive feature is also off-limits, while any Spotlight search suggestions are U.S.-based only. Don't expect all your Mac apps to run either. Ars has a preview of Yosemite.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Sony Agrees To $17.75m Settlement For 2011 PSN Attack
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes with word that Sony has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit brought by PSN users affected by the 2011 breach. From the article: Sony has finally agreed to a preliminary settlement of $15m, which may be able to appease most of the customers that suffered from this attack. The PlayStation Network users that did not partake in the "Welcome Back" program that Sony unveiled shortly after their online services were brought back will be able to choose from two of several options for compensation: One PlayStation 3 or PlayStation Portable game selected from a list of 14 games; three PlayStation 3 themes selected from a list of six themes; or a three-month subscription to PlayStation Plus free of charge. Claiming these benefits will be done on a first come, first serve basis ...The settlement isn't just about free games or services. Customers with documented identity theft charges are eligible for up to $2,500 per claim.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- GOG.com Announces Linux Support
For years, Good Old Games has made a business out of selling classic PC game titles completely free of DRM. Today they announced that their platform now supports Linux. They said, We've put much time and effort into this project and now we've found ourselves with over 50 titles, classic and new, prepared for distribution, site infrastructure ready, support team trained and standing by ... We're still aiming to have at least 100 Linux games in the coming months, but we've decided not to delay the launch just for the sake of having a nice-looking number to show off to the press. ... Note that we've got many classic titles coming officially to Linux for the very first time, thanks to the custom builds prepared by our dedicated team of penguin tamers. ... For both native Linux versions, as well as special builds prepared by our team, GOG.com will provide distro-independent tar.gz archives and support convenient DEB installers for the two most popular Linux distributions: Ubuntu and Mint, in their current and future LTS editions.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- For Half, Degrees In Computing, Math, Or Stats Lead To Other Jobs
dcblogs (1096431) writes The Census Bureau reports that only 26% of people with any type of four-year STEM degree are working in a STEM field. For those with a degree specifically in computer, math or statistics, the figure is 49%, nearly the same for engineering degrees. What happens to the other STEM trained workers? The largest numbers are managers at non-STEM businesses (22.5%), or having careers in education (17.7%), business/finance (13.2%) and office support (11.5%). Some other data points: Among those with college degrees in computer-related occupations, men are paid more than women ($90,354 vs. $78,859 on average), and African American workers are more likely to be unemployed than white or Asian workers.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Empathy For Virtual Characters Studied With FMRI Brain Imaging
vrml (3027321) writes "A novel brain imaging study published by the prestigious Neuroimage journal sheds light on different reactions that players' brains display when they meet a virtual character in a game world. While their head was inside a fMRI machine, participants played an interactive virtual experience in which they had to survive a serious fire emergency in a building by reaching an exit as soon as possible. However, when they finally arrived at the exit, they also found a virtual character trapped under an heavy cabinet, begging them for help. Some participants chose not to help the character and took the exit, while others stopped to help although the fire became more and more serious and moving away the cabinet required considerable time. Functional brain imaging showed activation of very different brain areas in players when they met the character. When there was an increased functional connectivity of the brain salience network, which suggests an enhanced sensitivity to the threatening situation and potential danger, players ignored the character screams and went for the exit. In those players who helped the character, there was an engagement of the medial prefrontal and temporo-parietal cortices, which in the neuroscience literature are associated with the human ability of taking the perspective of other individuals and making altruistic choices. The paper concludes by emphasizing how virtual worlds can be a salient and ecologically valid stimulus for modern social neuroscience."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Dutch Court Says Government Can Receive Bulk Data from NSA
jfruh (300774) writes Dutch law makes it illegal for the Dutch intelligence services to conduct mass data interception programs. But, according to a court in the Hague, it's perfectly all right for the Dutch government to request that data from the U.S.'s National Security Agency, and doing so doesn't violate any treaties or international law.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- FCC Reminds ISPs That They Can Be Fined For Lacking Transparency
An anonymous reader writes The FCC issued a notice on Wednesday reminding ISPs that, according to the still-intact transparency rule of the 2010 Open Internet Order, they are required to be transparent about their services. "The FCC's transparency rule requires that consumers get the information they need to make informed choices about the broadband services they purchase." Applicable scenarios include "poorly worded service offers or inaccurate counts of data against a data cap...[as well as] blocking or slowing certain types of traffic without explaining that to the customer." The transparency rule gives the FCC the power to fine ISPs for non-compliance.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Internet Explorer Vulnerabilities Increase 100%
An anonymous reader writes Bromium Labs analyzed public vulnerabilities and exploits from the first six months of 2014. The research determined that Internet Explorer vulnerabilities have increased more than 100 percent since 2013, surpassing Java and Flash vulnerabilities. Web browsers have always been a favorite avenue of attack, but we are now seeing that hackers are not only getting better at attacking Internet Explorer, they are doing it more frequently.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Ebola Outbreak Continues To Expand
symbolset writes in with the latest about an ebola outbreak spreading across West Africa. The World Health Organization (WHO) continues to monitor the evolution of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. The current epidemic trend of EVD outbreak in Sierra Leone and Liberia remains serious, with 67 new cases and 19 deaths reported July 15-17, 2014. These include suspect, probable, and laboratory-confirmed cases. The EVD outbreak in Guinea continues to show a declining trend, with no new cases reported during this period. Critical analyses and review of the current outbreak response is being undertaken to inform the process of developing prioritized national operational plans. Effective implementation of the prioritized plans will be vital in reversing the current trend of EVD outbreak, especially in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- How the Internet of Things Could Aid Disaster Response
jfruh writes While the Internet has made communications easier, that ease had made us very dependent on the Internet for communications — and, when disaster strikes, power and infrastructure outages tend to shut down those communications networks when we need them most. But now researchers are examining how the so-called "Internet of Things" — the proliferating array of Internet-communicating devices in our lives — can transmit emergency messages via ad-hoc networks even when the Internet backbone in a region is inoperable.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- The Psychology of Phishing
An anonymous reader writes Phishing emails are without a doubt one of the biggest security issues consumers and businesses face today. Cybercriminals understand that we are a generation of clickers and they use this to their advantage. They will take the time to create sophisticated phishing emails because they understand that today users can tell-apart spam annoyances from useful email, however they still find it difficult identifying phishing emails, particularly when they are tailored to suit each recipient individually. Fake emails are so convincing and compelling that they fool 10% of recipients into clicking on the malicious link. To put that into context a legitimate marketing department at a FTSE 100 company typically expects less than a 2% click rate on their advertising campaigns. So, how are the cybercriminals out-marketing the marketing experts?
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Dropbox Head Responds To Snowden Claims About Privacy
First time accepted submitter Carly Page writes When asked for its response to Edward Snowden's claims that "Dropbox is hostile to privacy", Dropbox told The INQUIRER that users concerned about privacy should add their own encryption. The firm warned however that if users do, not all of the service's features will work. Head of Product at Dropbox for Business Ilya Fushman says: "We have data encrypted on our servers. We think of encryption beyond that as a users choice. If you look at our third-party developer ecosystem you'll find many client-side encryption apps....It's hard to do things like rich document rendering if they're client-side encrypted. Search is also difficult, we can't index the content of files. Finally, we need users to understand that if they use client-side encryption and lose the password, we can't then help them recover those files."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Verizon's Offer: Let Us Track You, Get Free Stuff
mpicpp points out a new program from Verizon that is perfect if you don't mind being tracked. Are you comfortable having your location and Web browsing tracked for marketing purposes? If so, Verizon's got a deal for you. The wireless giant announced a new program this week called 'Smart Rewards' that offers customers credit card-style perks like discounts for shopping, travel and dining. You accrue points through the program by doing things like signing onto the Verizon website, paying your bill online and participating in the company's trade-in program. Verizon emphasizes that the data it collects is anonymized before it's shared with third parties. The program is novel in that offers Verizon users some compensation for the collection of their data, which has become big business for telecom and tech companies. Some privacy advocates have pushed data-collecting companies to reward customers for their personal information in the interest of transparency.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Beancounters tell NASA it's too poor to fly planned mega-rocket
Space Launch System would need another $400m and a lot of time
The US Government Accounting Office (GAO) has told NASA it has a massive funding shortfall for its ambitious Space Launch System (SLS) rocket if the spacecraft has any chance of blasting off on schedule.…
- Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry tender offers big pile of Roubles to figure out who's on Tor
Russia's Interior Ministry has posted a tender seeking parties willing to “study the possibility of obtaining technical information about users (user equipment) TOR anonymous network".…
- Google devs: Tearing Chrome away from OpenSSL not that easy
Custom BoringSSL fork not quite a drop-in replacement yet
Google is trying to migrate its Chrome browser away from the buggy OpenSSL cryptography library toward BoringSSL, its homegrown fork, but swapping out the crypto code is proving more difficult than it sounds.…
- Come close, dear reader. Past those trees you'll see a non-Microsoft Nokia Oyj in the wild
Oh, it's a bit wobbly on its feet but it still has its wits about it
Nokia – the Finnish networking firm, not the Microsoft division that sells low-cost mobes running Windows Phone – reported earnings for another difficult quarter on Thursday, yet showed signs that its operations are beginning to stabilize since punting its Devices and Services business off to Redmond.…
- Lower prices are BAD FOR CONSUMERS, says Turnbull
(PS, ACCC, please don't spit in Telstra's soup, okay?)
Communications minister Malcolm Turnbull has intervened in an Australian Consumer And Competition Commission (ACCC) inquiry, warning Australia's competition regulator not to cut the wholesale price of fixed line services.…
- US Social Security 'wasted $300 million on an IT BOONDOGGLE'
Scrutiny committee bods probe derailed database project
Members of the US Congress are demanding answers from the Social Security Administration (SSA) over an ongoing IT project that has racked up a $288m bill without deploying a field-ready product.…
- Hadoop coop's $50m scoop: Hortonworks takes HP coin
Investment gives IT titan seat on the board – just in time for The Machine
Hadoop has become a strategic battleground for three of the world's most influential technology companies, judging by HP's $50m investment into Hadoop company Hortonworks.…
- Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
The Ministry of Fun says it isn't going to put the Digital Economy Act's anti-piracy measures into use – and will instead leave it to the creative industry's newer, kinder and gentler awareness campaign, Creative Content UK, to school digital pirates.…
- Dive in, penguins: Upstart builds Linux virtual SAN
Flash splash into StorPool - from KVM we’ll boldly go
Three Bulgarian engineers who co-founded a firm called StorPool – which builds a virtual SAN using the aggregated storage of Linux KVM servers – are aiming to expand the reach of their three-year-old project.…
- 'Unsolicited texts' outrage: Man fined £4k for DPA breach
But it WASN'T about any SMSes
The owner of a marketing company which allegedly sent "millions of unsolicited text messages" was prosecuted for "failing to notify the ICO of changes to his notification" at Willesden Magistrates Court last week.…
- Fortinet fawns over fast-if-unfashionable ASIC
How else can you get a firewall to Terabit-per-second performance?
Fortinet is making hefty claims for its latest firewall release. In a world obsessed by squeezing performance out of virtualised functions running on white-box servers, the company is puffing its feathers over a new ASIC it says bestows Terabit-per-second performance on its biggest iron.…
- World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
The University of New South Wales' Sunswift, the third-placed car in the Cruiser class of the 2013 World Solar Challenge, claims to have set a new record for the swiftest single-charge traversal of a 500km course.…
- Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Security outlet VUPEN has revealed it held onto a critical Internet Explorer vulnerability for three years before disclosing it at the March Pwn2Own hacker competition.…
- Microsoft confirms secret Surface will never see the light of day
Microsoft's form 8-K records decision 'not to ship a new form factor'
Speculation that Microsoft contemplated a “mini” version of its Surface fondleslabs, but decided not to let it see the light of day, has been confirmed in Redmond's 8-K form lodged with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).…
- vBlock user says EMC bug slipped through VCE's matrix
Just how integrated is integrated infrastructure?
The Cisco/EMC/VMware/Intel lovechild VCE has a simple schtick: the boxed-up rigs of hardware and software it sells are sold in configurations that have been documented and tested to the last detail. As the company told us by email “we commit to delivering Systems that have been engineered, tested and certified as one.”…
- iOS slurpware brouhaha: It's for diagnostics, honest, says Apple
Hidden packet sniffer claims hit Cupertino
Faced with a growing backlash, Apple has added a page to its support website explaining iOS's previously unexplained data-slurping tools – which were recently highlighted by security researcher Jonathan Zdziarski.…
- Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES July 24
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
Anyone eager to take Apple's OS X Yosemite for a spin will be able to get their hands on it from today, the firm has promised. Paid-up developers have been able to test-drive the desktop operating system for the past few weeks.…
Linux.com offline for now
- Linux Developers Jump Quickly On ACPI 5.1, Helps Out ARM
Fresh off the release of ACPI 5.1 by the UEFI Forum, Linux developers are updating their support against this latest revision to the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface. In particular, ACPI 5.1 is supposed to help out ARM...
- IPv6 Improvements Hit NetworkManager
While NetworkManager has already supported the IPv6 protocol for some months now, several IPv6-related improvements were pushed to its code-base on Wednesday...
- AMD R600g/RadeonSI Performance On Linux 3.16 With Mesa 10.3-devel
As the first part of an upcoming series of tests benchmarking the latest open-source and closed-source Linux graphics drivers for AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce hardware, here's some benchmark results for several recent Radeon GPUs when tested on the current Git version of the Linux 3.16 kernel and a recent Mesa 10.3-devel snapshot.
- Unigine Develops City Traffic System, A Driving Simulator
While the Unigine Engine sadly hasn't fully rode the Linux gaming wave with there still being very few games powered by this visually stunning engine that has supported Linux for many years, they are at least finding commercial success in other areas -- namely around simulation and industrial licenses. One of the company's recent endeavors is with a driving simulator...
- Eric Anholt Makes Progress With Broadcom VC4 Graphics Driver
One month ago Linux developer Eric Anholt left Intel to work at Broadcom. Eric, a long-time contributor to the open-source Linux graphics stack, is now tasked at Broadcom with developing a DRM driver and Mesa/Gallium3D driver for Broadcom's "VC4" graphics hardware, which is found within the Raspberry Pi...
- Intel Is Getting Very Close To OpenGL 4.0/4.1/4.2 Mesa Support
As brought up in the discussion following yesterday's article about Intel adding BPTC support to their Mesa driver, several Phoronix readers are filled with happiness over Mesa nearly support not just for the OpenGL 4.0 specification but also OpenGL 4.1 and 4.2 aren't far out of reach...
- BPTC Texture Compression Comes To Nouveau After Intel's Work
Just hours after Intel added BPTC texture compression support to Mesa and their DRI driver, frequent Nouveau contributor Ilia Mirkin added BPTC support to Gallium3D and wired it up for the "NVC0" Fermi/Kepler Gallium3D open-source NVIDIA driver...
- QEMU 2.1.0-rc3 Has More Bug Fixes
If all goes according to plan the QEMU 2.1 release will happen next week but before that can happen some last-minute testing is encouraged with the new release of QEMU 2.1-rc3...
- KVM Benchmarks On Ubuntu 14.10
For those wondering about the modern performance cost of using KVM on Ubuntu Linux for virtualizing a guest OS, here are some simple benchmarks comparing Ubuntu 14.10 in its current development stage with the Linux 3.16 versus running the same software stack while virtualized with KVM and using virt-manager.
- Xen Project Announces Mirage OS 2.0
The Xen Project has announced the release of Mirage OS 2.0, which they describe as "the industry's first software framework that unifies cloud and embedded deployments behind a safe, secure programming language, allowing developers to seamlessly build systems that span both embedded devices and public cloud services."..
- PHP5's Successor Might Be PHP7
PHP developers are currently debating whether the next-generation version of the PHP programming language is to be known as PHP 6 or PHP 7...
- AMDKFD Driver Still Evolving For Open-Source HSA On Linux
Earlier this month AMD published an open-source HSA Linux driver for exploiting the potential of their much-promoted Heterogeneous System Architecture. This driver, now known as the "AMDKFD" driver, is up to its second revision and continues being analyzed by developers on the mailing list...
- â€‹More dinosaurs had feathers than we thought
clone a dinosaur -- but if we ever do, we may be surprised by how the beast turns out. A fossil found in Siberia threatens to change our perception of what history's giant lizards may have looked like. We already know that not all dinosaurs were scales and teeth -- fossils from the 1990s show that some carnivorous theropods may have worn feathery coats -- but the new fossil suggests that far more dinos were covered in birdlike feathers than previously suspected. The Siberian discovery suggests that plant-eating dinos may have had feathers too.
The new fossil, identified as Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus, is the first non-theropod dinosaur discovered to exhibit evidence of feathers. It's an outlier, but it suggests that non-carnivore may have evolved with feathers as well. According to head researcher Pascal Godefroit, it could even mean that many of the well-known species we see as all-scales today were feathered, too. "Probably more of them had feathers but those feathers were not fossilized," the paleontologist Science
Source: The Verge, Science
- Engadget Daily: the Oppo Find 7, shoes that vibrate in the right direction and more!
Today, we review the Oppo Find 7, learn where not to fly drones, contemplate Apple's rumored 12-inch Retina Display MacBook and take a look at smart shoes that vibrate in the right direction. Read on for Engadget's news highlights from the last 24 hours.
Oppo Find 7 review: A solid phone that faces stiff competition
What you're looking at is the Oppo Find 7. This Android-powered handset has a gorgeous Quad HD display and plenty of horsepower under the hood, but can it compete with the Galaxy S5 or LG G3? Read our review and find out.
Apple reportedly releasing OS X Yosemite in October alongside 4K desktop and 12-inch Retina MacBook
The OS X Yosemite public beta just went live today, and now... more rumors. According to 9to5Mac's Mark Gurman, the final version of the OS will be released in October, accompanied by a 12-inch Retina MacBook and 4K monitor.
These smart shoes vibrate to point you in the right direction
Tired of being a distracted walker? Lechal's interactive haptic footwear can help. These shoes pair with your smartphone and guide you around town with vibrations, no screen required.
Want to fly a drone? Don't do it here
You've probably never tried to pilot your drone through a nuclear power plant, but that's not the only sort of no-fly zone that should be avoided. Check out this map of locations where you should never fly your UAV.
You also might like: IBM gives Watson a new job: reintroducing soldiers to civilian life Samsung's leaked Galaxy Alpha looks like a smaller, prettier S5 Instagram's Snapchat competitor Bolt leaks
Filed under: Misc, Internet
- Google wants to define a healthy human with its new baseline genetic study
Google's got a big new project and it's you. Well, not just you, but a genetic and molecular study of humanity that aims to grasp at what a healthy human should be. It's in its early days, collecting anonymous data from 175 people, but it plans to expand to thousands later. The project is headed up by molecular biologist Andrew Conrad, who pioneered cheap HIV tests for blood-plasma donations. According to the WSJ, the team at Google X current numbers between 70 and 100, encompassing experts in physiology, biochemistry, optics, imaging and molecular biology.
The Baseline project will apparently take in hundreds of different samples, with Google using its information processing talents to expose biomarkers and other patterns - the optimistic result hopefully being faster ways of diagnosing diseases. Biomarkers has typically been used with late-stage diseases, as these studies have typically used already-sick patients. "He gets that this is not a software project that will be done in one or two years," said Dr. Sam Gambhir, who is working with Dr. Conrad on the project. "We used to talk about curing cancer and doing this in a few years. We've learned to not say those things anymore." Information from the project will remain anonymous: Google said that data won't be shared with insurance companies, but the shadow of privacy issues hang over pretty much anything the company touches. Baseline started this summer, initially collecting fluids such as urine, blood, saliva and tears from the anonymous guinea pigs. Tissue samples will be taken later. "With any complex system, the notion has always been there to proactively address problems," Dr. Conrad said. "That's not revolutionary. We are just asking the question: If we really wanted to be proactive, what would we need to know? You need to know what the fixed, well-running thing should look like."
Filed under: Science, Alt, Google
- Data Cuisine creates meals based on cultural statistics
We've seen IBM's Watson computer serve up unlikely food pairings, but Data Cuisine takes culinary experimentation to a whole new level. Developed by data-visualization specialist Mortiz Stefaner and curator Susanne Jaschko, it's an initiative to create recipes that reflect a particular set of statistics. In the case of a workshop in Helsinki, that meant translating local fishing data, ethnic population stats and crime rates into a variety of dishes, from different types of fish stacked to represent various kinds of crime to a map of the country's alcoholic consumption made with various amounts of wine and regional dishes. (See the photo above for the latter.)
What makes these edible visualizations so compelling is how different ingredients are used to represent the statistics in question -- there's a reason behind every culinary decision. In Barcelona, for example, a cake based on the amount of national science funding for 2013 contained 34 percent less sugar than a cake representing the funding for 2005. Even if the results are not always delicious, it certainly changes the way we consume facts and figures. The Data Cuisine will likely expand to more cities around the globe, translating more information into food in the process.
Filed under: Misc
Source: Data Cuisine
- Comixology now offers DRM-free comic backups, but only from select publishers
When Amazon purchased Comixology, it was a herald of change: iOS users lost the ability to purchase comics in-app, Android users were gifted with a new purchasing system and, now,the digital book seller is going DRM-free. Sort of. Comixology CEO David Steinberger announced today that DRM-free backups of select comics are now available to download in PDF and CBZ format, giving readers the ability to enjoy their content outside of the Comixology ecosystem for the first time. That said, it's somewhat limited: backup downloads are only available to book published by Image Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, Zenoscope Entertainment, Thrillbent, Top Shelf Productions and MonkeyBrain Comics -- in other words, publishers that have already dabbled with DRM-free comic distribution.
There's no word if publishing juggernauts like DC or Marvel will make their books available for download (don't count on it), but the option seems to be available for both big and small publishers. Even so, there's quite a few title available (this editor's list of downloadable backups tallied over 300 comics), all of which can be accessed under the "My Backups" tab of the user's library. Sounds like a winner to us -- though, Comixology does caution that fans of its "guided view" reading mode won't be able to access it in their downloaded backups.
Filed under: Software, Mobile, Amazon
- The 'Destiny' beta is now open to everyone
Let's say you wanted to give Bungie's latest shooter, Destiny, a go before the game comes out in September, but the idea of pre-ordering video games goes against the very core of your being. Well, Bungie's just announced that it's opening the floodgates on the test-phase for the game and is letting everyone get in on the fun. At 7 p.m. Eastern / 4 p.m. Pacific, you'll be able to head to the digital marketplace on your gaming platform of choice (PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One) and grab the multi-gigabyte file for yourself and see what everyone's been raving about. And remember, on Saturday at 5 p.m. Eastern, 2 p.m. Pacific, Bungie is promising a special reward for whoever is playing, and that it'll carry over to the game's final version come September.
If you've wanted to play Destiny, but didn't have a code, you're invited to the party now. http://t.co/z8CbAGU47K pic.twitter.com/z4UQDj4T0e
- Bungie (@Bungie) July 24, 2014
Filed under: Gaming, Home Entertainment, HD
Source: Bungie (1), (2)
- MIT students modify a 3D printer with a height-measuring laser
It's happened to all of us: you queue up a print job, your old desk printer starts up and it unceremoniously jams halfway through. It's easy enough to resume a botched print job when you're dealing with paper, but what do you do when you're printing in 3D? A small team of MIT students may have an answer: a depth sensing scanner cobbled together from a laser and a simple webcam.
The team modified a Soliodoodle 3D printer to scan its printing bed, assess the height and shape of the objects there and print on top of them. It sounds like a complicated task, but the hardware used to accomplish it is pretty simple. A $26 laser, attached to the Soliodoole's print head, draws a horizontal line across the printing surface, distorting slightly as it passes over objects that raise above the flat base. A nearby $30 webcam measures the changes in the line and feeds that data to a PC, which can use it (and subsequent laser repositioning) to create a model of the objects below. The team was able to use this method to print a cube on top of an already half-printed pyramid, completing an print job that was aborted earlier.
Unfortunately, modifying the printer was little more than a class project -- the team doesn't have any immediate plans to develop the low-cost scanner any further. Still, similar features could be a boon to the next generation of 3D printers, allowing the machines to resume interrupted print jobs or even detected a botched print before wasting precious materials. Want to see it in action? The video below awaits.
Filed under: Internet
- â€‹Google is reportedly buying Twitch for $1 billion
What's the internet's most popular game-streaming service worth? About $1 billion, if Google was in talks to acquire Twitch, but conceded that the two companies were only just starting negotiations. Now, sources familiar with the deal say an agreement has been reached, though its unclear when the reported acquisition will be officially announced. Naturally, there are some concerns that a Google acquisition of Twitch would stifle competition for rival services, but the tried and true platform could certainly bolster Mountain View's own streaming efforts. If nothing else, perhaps the deal will validate emerging market shared gameplay in the eyes of its doubters. Both Google and Twitch have declined to comment on the report.
Filed under: Gaming, Internet, HD, Google
- New Apple TV game brings the 'Dance Party' to your living room
Apple's set-top hobby has come a long way since its major refresh in 2010, thanks largely to a variety of services bringing different content to the platform. When it comes to gaming, however, the Apple TV isn't exactly a powerhouse, despite being able to support it through AirPlay features -- something similar to what that's made use of this particular second-screen kind of experience is Rolocule Games, and it just announced a new free title (with in-app purchases) dubbed the tiny box, but that doesn't mean it couldn't be fun.
Filed under: Misc, Gaming, Home Entertainment, Software, HD, Mobile, Apple
Source: App Store
- Here's what our readers are saying about the Surface Pro 3
With the Surface Pro 3, Microsoft tried yet again to build a tablet that can replace your laptop, but critics found it fell just shy of that goal. Engadget's own Dana Wollman said that despite being "easier than ever to use as a tablet," the Surface still has some "serious usability flaws," including a keyboard that "offers a subpar typing experience and a frustrating trackpad." CNET liked the keyboard, but says that the Pro 3 "still doesn't fit perfectly on the lap" and that it's "more successful as a tablet than a laptop replacement." But despite these issues, there's still plenty to like about the Surface Pro 3, as evidenced by the readers who added the Pro 3 to their have list and wrote a user review recounting their experiences.
The size and shape of the Surface Pro 3 were generally well-liked by users, with eca637 calling it "very thin, light, and sturdy feeling," while nerva2940 says "I hardly feel it in my shoulder bag." But comfort proved to be a contentious issue, as hkh222 says its sharp edges make it "uncomfortable to use on the lap," though nerva2940 found the Pro 3 "more comfortable and adjustable on the lap than any laptop." Users were okay with the keyboard, with gorbay calling it "the most satisfactory piece although it feels flimsy." The trackpad on the Type Cover was a bigger hit with users, with ajcosgro noting how it "senses your finger better and is slicker to slide across" than the trackpad on its predecessor. Siri325, meanwhile, goes so far to say it's "just as good as the Macbook Air's mouse pad."
The star of the show was the Surface Pro 3's pen input, which Siri325 says is "like writing on a sheet of paper," though he "will miss the ability to just flip the pen to erase." It's so good for note taking that nerva2940 says "I no longer carry paper" in class because "OneNote 2013 is an incredible program for compiling information and writing notes." However, not everyone was pleased with the switch in pen technology from Wacom to an N-trig digitizer, with gorbay saying it "doesn't compare" since "the pen can act weirdly depending on where your hand is positioned" and "with the insufficiently calibrated pressure curves right now, all you end up doing is [pressing] harder and harder, which pushes the glass down so much that you start seeing the ripples on the LCD."
But, though nerva2940 feels it "performs flawlessly in most categories" and geeky says "it's faster than my laptop" with "a gorgeous screen," is anyone ready to actually replace their laptop with a Surface Pro 3? The answer is an emphatic 'yes' for nerva2940, who uses it "as a full desktop replacement" and says "unless you're a hardcore gamer, you'll be able to use it as a full desktop replacement at home as well." On the other hand, gorbay "quickly gave up on the hope that I can have only one device. The form factor is everything for tablets and MS seems to forget that a lot. It is very light for a laptop but not light and small enough for a tablet. My work device and my leisure reading/web surfing device can still be separate for now."
So while the Surface Pro 3 has quite a few crowd-pleasing features, it's not quite there yet for most users. If you've picked up a Pro 3 for yourself, which side do you stand on? Simply add it to your have list and write your own review to let us know.
Don't have an Engadget account? Sign up here. And if you don't have the Surface Pro 3, feel free to write a review of something else -- our database contains thousands of other products that you can review, like the OnePlus One or the Wii U. Just add a product to your "have" or "had" list and you're ready to tell us what you think.
Filed under: Laptops, Tablets, Microsoft
- Twitch lets you host another channel's stream while you're on a burrito break
When a broadcaster logs off for dinner or puts down the controller for some shut-eye, Twitch now lets them keep the game streaming going with its new Host Mode. The function keeps a channel's chat up and running, but embeds a video of the action from another user's session or event while the host takes a breather, or a nap, or goes outside. Viewing stats are still compiled for the original broadcaster and the option can be triggered with a simple chat command. For now though, Host Mode is only available via the web interface.
Filed under: Gaming, HD
- Get 'The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection' for free this month
It seems as if this week is a good one to get stuff on the cheap or even for free. First, Marvel announced a promo yesterday which gave access to its Unlimited comics service for 99 cents, and now EA has quietly revealed that it's giving away copies of The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection. You'll need to have Origin, EA's software distribution platform, installed on your machine to take advantage of this deal, but it's as easy as entering a code for old and new users alike. Just don't expect EA to keep supporting the classic game after you install it, since the publisher brought closure to that a few days ago. The Windows download on Origin will be available until July 31st at 1:00AM ET, which means there's plenty of time to let it all sink in and cancel whatever you had planned for the weekend.
Filed under: Gaming, Home Entertainment, Internet, HD
- Thanks to NASA, you can 3D print your own asteroids and satellites
access to a 3D printer, you can now output your own space-exploring fleet thanks to NASA. The space agency has posted a library of files for printing a number of space probes, asteroids and Mars' Gale Crater. For the curious, Mars Odyssey, Kepler, Voyager and Cassini are all amongst the 21 available options. The entire lot has been scaled down to figurine size to accommodate the abilities of a number of printers, but the minute details aren't likely translate entirely. The repository also includes other 3D models, textures and visualizations for further three-dimensional experimentation. Those looking to get started need only consult the source link down below. As for me, I'm consulting these folks at MIT about an ice cream satellite.
[Photo credit: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images]
Filed under: Peripherals
- Microsoft explains quantum computing in a way we can all understand
Quantum computing -- it's a term we're hearing more and more, as companies such as D-Wave build their own early versions of super-machines. Microsoft, naturally, is investing considerable resources in the field as well; its Station Q research lab in Santa Barbara brings together experts studying topological quantum computing, with the goal of making a vastly more powerful successor to the classical computer. We've covered some quantum computing milestones in the past, and while you might have a basic grasp on the difference between qubits and bits, Microsoft's Quantum Computing 101 video -- published below -- is a well-done explainer, putting the implications of this research in human terms. For a deeper dive, check out this long read on Station Q, detailing the researchers' complex and thoroughly interesting work.
Filed under: Science, Microsoft
Source: Microsoft Stories
- Comic-Con bans Google Glass from super secret screenings
While you might be able to don an Oculus Rift to pilot a Pacific Rim jaeger, Comic-Con isn't as accepting of another piece of (not so) popular headgear. some US and UK movie theaters in outright banning Google Glass from screenings. On its official website, Comic-Con states that Glass is held in the same regard as smartphones and video cameras, noting that attendees "cannot wear Google Glasses during footage viewing in any program room." If you're a trendy Explorer who has a prescription Glass, let's hope you've brought a backup pair of specs because you're getting no special treatment.
All things aside, the ban is totally logical: organizers work with movie and TV studios to secure exclusive screenings for fans and they don't want someone with a smartphone, video camera or wearable to ruin the fun for everyone (even if it benefits those of us who can't attend). While theaters are a little overzealous in suggesting moviegoers can record a whole film, Comic-Con screenings are short affairs, making that covert YouTube upload totally possible.
Comic-Con is banning Google Glass during screenings: "If your Google Glasses are prescription, please bring a different pair to use..."
- Harry McCracken (@harrymccracken) July 23, 2014
[Image credit: Peter Breuls, Flickr]
- New French law could force Uber drivers to return home after every fare
If you're at a party and the host stops offering you drinks, it's a subtle hint that it's probably time to make tracks. Similarly, France is making it very clear that it isn't too keen on ride-sharing appslike Uber, to the point where its senate is proposing a law making it as difficult as humanly possible for the service to operate. In the law, which will be voted on by the National Assembly in the fall, drivers would be required to return to their company headquarters or homes between each and every job. As well as that, those same cars wouldn't be able to publish their location online, meaning that consumers won't be able to hail the cab closest to them from their smartphone.
The wider story, of course, is that taxi firms benefit from a state-sponsored monopoly for hailing a cab on the street. Because apps like Uber blur the line between a pre-booked reservation and waving your arm in the street, you only have to wait a short time before your car arrives. By forcing the drivers to return "home" after a fare -- which could be a long way if the driver lives outside of the city -- the costs for each journey would be come financially and environmentally prohibitive. Liberté, égalité and fraternité? Maybe not in Uber's case.
Filed under: Cellphones, Transportation, Internet
- Instagram's Snapchat competitor Bolt leaks
Snapchat's meteoric rise made one thing abundantly clear -- the market would soon be flooded with copy cats. The next major player to try and drink Snapchat's milkshake might be Instagram. A banner introducing Bolt, a service for "one tap photo messaging," appeared at the top of the company's mobile app last night. The announcement was quickly pulled, but not before several people grabbed screenshots and started passing them around on Twitter. Unfortunately there's not much more detail to share at the moment, but the move will definitely raise a few eyebrows. For one, it would seem like a trivial feature to simply integrate into the existing Instagram app. Secondly, with Facebook's Slingshot already offering ephemeral photo and video messages, Bolt seems like a duplication of efforts. Of course, there's always the chance that Bolt will offer some truly unique twist on the format and shove pretenders to the media messaging crown aside.
Filed under: Software, Mobile, Facebook
Via: The Verge
Source: @yo_areli (Twitter)
- Oppo Find 7 review: A solid phone that faces stiff competition
The Galaxy S5. The One M8. The G3. Every notable player in the overcrowded smartphone space has a flagship, one heroic device that the company pins its hopes on... for a year or so, anyway. For Oppo, a Chinese phone maker whose profile has swelled thanks to a surprisingly solid phone lineup, that flagship is the Find 7: an unassuming slab that looks painfully pedestrian compared to the last time the company went all out. Maybe that's a bit harsh. The Find 7 pairs top-notch performance with one of the highest-resolution screens you'll find on a mobile today -- hardly a formula to sneeze at. But is it worth the $599 asking price? Is Oppo really a mobile force to be reckoned with? Follow me, friends, and we'll figure it out together.
If Oppo's N1 pushed the boundaries of sensible smartphone design, then the Find 7 is a celebration of the slabby status quo. With its squared-off corners, flat sides and plain black face, the whole thing is almost unapologetically monolithic. The only real concession to the notions of grippability and comfort is the gently curving (and removable!) backplate. Ours was dark gray with an ersatz carbon fiber finish that squeaks when you run your nails across it, though there's a white model, too. If you really dislike the finish (and want to save a little money), there's a slightly lesser version of the device called the Find 7a that has pure, smooth backs.
There's an Oppo logo etched under the 13-megapixel camera and dual LED flash. All that sits above the surprisingly solid speakers sitting low on the Find 7's rear cover. You're technically supposed to depress a tiny button embedded in the phone's edge to pop that cover off, but a little elbow grease (or, you know, some fingernails) will do in a pinch. Once you manage that little feat, you'll discover the 3,000mAh battery along with your bog-standard micro-SIM and microSD card slots. If you were to peer further still into the 7's chassis, you'd also spot the 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 CPU, 3GB of RAM and Adreno 330 GPU that keep things running so smoothly (more on that later). Then again, you'd need X-ray vision for all that, and I like to think that if that were the case, you'd be using it for the greater good instead of reading this review. To each their own, I guess.
Things aren't much more exciting when you flip the 7 over, but that doesn't mean it's totally lacking in visual flair. There's not much to get excited about when that big 5.5-inch display is off, but there's a 5-megapixel camera situated nearby and a blue notification light (they call it the "Skyline Notification") pulses lazily when you've got a new message to peek at. Now if the light shining through the navigation keys below the screen wasn't so wimpy, Oppo might be onto something; it's damned near impossible to see under the harsh, summer sun... or any sun, for that matter.
There's a fine line between subtle and boring, and the Find 7 skews toward the latter end of that spectrum. Before you accuse me of being too harsh, know that there are some things worthy of praise. Take the overall construction of the device, for instance. Despite being crafted out of plastic, there's no give, no creaking, not even the slightest suggestion of physical inadequacy. Oppo may not be a name you run across too often, but there's little question that the company brought its A game when it came time to putting the Find 7 together. Factor in some pleasant heft and you've got a phone that feels a damn sight better than it looks.
Display and sound
If there's one spec, one technical tidbit that makes the Find 7 such a desirable piece of kit, it would be that 5.5-inch Quad HD (2,560 x 1,440) IPS display. Oppo's design philosophy this time around seems to reflect that very fact -- the Find's face is so unassuming that there's nothing for your eyes to lock onto except for the screen. That's why it's a bummer to have to proffer this reality check: For all the commotion the Find 7's screen has caused in geekier corners of the web, it still has its share of flaws. Don't get me wrong: It's just as crisp as advertised, with individual pixels that are impossible to pick out with the naked eye, and viewing angles that'll make you popular with your airline seatmates. If all you care about is pure pixel density, the Find 7 won't leave you high and dry. But how about color reproduction? Erm, it's a little wonky: Whites tend to take on a cooler cast, which means every image is just a little bit off in terms of accuracy. Is it a dealbreaker? For a staggering majority of people out there, the answer's a definitive "no way." Most will just ooh and aah over the screen's crispness, and will never plop the Find 7 down next to another phone to see where those color differences lie.
What's a little more troubling is the Find 7's persistent trouble with brightness. You'd perhaps expect that a screen with so many pixels squeezed into it would fare well outdoors. You'd be wrong, mostly. Cranking brightness up to the maximum is almost always a necessity once you take the Find 7 out on the town, and even then it's not always enough to outshine the sun's harsh rays.
I don't expect much from most phone speakers. It's frustrating to see manufacturer after manufacturer cut corners and take shortcuts on a crucial part of the media experience, so you'll just have to imagine my surprise when the Find 7's rear speakers came to life in a big way. Yes, that's speakers, in the plural -- there's a single grille drilled into the 7's backplate, but it actually obscures a pair of speakers that renders audio with a clarity that's downright unusual for a smartphone.
That's not to say they're perfect. Mounting speakers on a device's back cover is an accepted practice, but it also means you'll occasionally shoot sound directly into your mitts. The other issue here, though, is one of depth... or the lack thereof. The Find 7's speakers get plenty loud for when you need to power all those mobile dance parties and what does come out is undeniably crisp. After a few moments of listening, however, you'll probably start to notice an absence of forcefulness in that sound, even in tracks that roll and thrum with energy. Par for the course for smartphone speakers? Sure, but it can still be a bummer.
The Find 7 is physically pretty vanilla, but the software is anything but. At its core, it's Android 4.3 painted over in broad strokes with what Oppo calls ColorOS, one of the most extensively customized interfaces I've seen in a long time. No, wait, don't groan just yet. I'm about as big an Android purist as you'll find, but Oppo's approach -- while peculiar and extensive -- does bring lots to the table. Our own Richard Lai did a deep dive on ColorOS when he reviewed the more curious N1, but read on for a quick recap and my own take.
It all starts very subtly, with a lock screen that seems none too foreign -- one quick swipe and you're greeted by a familiar-looking home screen. That impression doesn't last for long. You see, the whole shebang is eminently skinnable; what you see out of the box almost certainly isn't how things will look after a few days. By my count, there are close to 150 various styles available for the Find 7 in the preloaded Themes app, with some obviously more up your alley than others. Oppo is far from the first OEM to embrace skinnable interfaces, but it adds plenty of appeal for folks who can't stand the notion of rocking the exact same thing as everyone else.
There's a camera interface that lives to the right of your home screens by default, too. It's a little kooky -- you're presented with a full-screen widget that shows you what the camera is pointing at, and tapping to snap a shot yields a photo with a Polaroid-esque white border. You can peck out little notes on those borders too, in case you just needed to complete the visual metaphor. Mildly neat? Sure. Particularly useful? Not quite. Oppo calls these more static screens "exclusive space" panels, but there are only two on board: the photo panel and one for music that displays a skeuomorphic turntable while you rock out. Thankfully, they're just as easy to dismiss as deleting an extra home screen.
The notification bar is a two-parter: Swiping down from its right half reveals a lightly tweaked version of the classic Android notification shade. Swipe down from the left, however, and you'll be looking at a gesture panel that implores you to trace out a shortcut pattern or create one of your own. Only two gestures are ready for you out of the gate: You can trace a circle on the screen to invoke the camera, and drawing a "V" fires up the rear LED for use as a flashlight. The real magic happens when you move outside of that single panel. Try tracing a circle on the 7's screen while it's sleeping -- it'll instantly spring to life and bring up the camera interface. I'm not exaggerating when I tell you I fell in love with this seemingly simple feature; I've set mine to wake and unlock with a simple swipe up on a dark screen, kind of like on the HTC One M8. Alas, it's not quite as flexible as I hoped it would be -- you can connect certain actions like calling someone or recording audio to pre-made gestures, but you can't define your own pattern to be used on a sleeping screen.
And then there are the little touches, which I'm convinced make the biggest difference. Pressing and holding an app in the launcher causes them all to start wiggling in anticipation, and tapping the X in the corner prompts you to confirm its deletion. Should you accept, that's that; the app simply disappears from your life. It's a decidedly iOS-like touch, but it's not one I'm unhappy to see. Swype also came pre-installed on our test unit. I found myself installing Google's own stock implementation shortly after my first boot, but that's a purely personal choice -- the Swype keyboard has never been a slouch, and it's likely to be a welcome addition for some people.
So, would I choose ColorOS over stock Android or a less thoroughly skinned version of the OS? Absolutely not, but that's not to say what Oppo has cooked up is bad by any stretch. It occasionally feels overwrought, but it never feels overbearing. You get the impression that Oppo had the best intentions when crafting its user experience, even if you don't always agree with its decisions.
Say goodbye to the swiveling selfie camera of days past -- Oppo went with a more traditional camera setup this time around, which means the device lacks the kooky charm that made the N1 such a head-turner. As it turns out, the Find 7 actually uses the same 13-megapixel Sony Exmor sensor as the (much cheaper) OnePlus One, which means most of the imaging issues we've run into in the past are still present. I'd hardly call any of them dealbreakers: Soft focus will occasionally (and subtly) mar some of your more frenzied shots, and color saturation isn't quite as punchy as I'd like. In optimal conditions, you won't have to worry about these issues as much, but it's still disappointing to see an otherwise ambitious phone let down by a decidedly average camera.
While the primary sensor and the six-element lens aren't exactly unique to the Find 7, Oppo's nifty imaging app makes up for some of the camera's shortcomings. It's easily one of the cleaner camera interfaces I've come across: Separate shutter and video-recording buttons are nestled along the screen's right edge, and a simple settings grid can be invoked with a tap on the lower-left corner of the screen. Changing modes -- from slow shutter to GIF to panorama to HDR -- is handled by a separate menu that hovers near the shutter buttons, though you'll want to proceed carefully. Consider HDR mode, for instance: Photos tend to look a little too lurid even for me, so I've come to prefer the undersaturated results from Auto mode just a bit more.
And then there's the ballyhooed "Ultra-HD" feature, which essentially takes a series of 10 shots and stitches the four best together into a single 50-megapixel image. Sounds impressive, no? The whole thing works better than you'd expect since blurry or otherwise subpar photos get axed from the mix immediately, but the six- to seven-second delay means you're sometimes better off just snapping a few shots and calling it a day. Oh, and the Find 7 shoots 4K video too. As you might expect, the end product is always acceptable, but never outstanding, thanks to some autofocus wonkiness that usually forces you to tap on subjects manually if there's too much going on.
Performance and battery life
So far, the Find 7 seems like a mixed bag, with its lackluster looks and largely impressive display. Now here's the real question: What's it like to actually use? Surprise, surprise: As it turns out, a snappy processor paired with 3GB of RAM makes for a device that basically screams if you give it the chance. Put another way, you may not have heard of the Find 7 (or the company that made it), but it'll handle everything you throw at it during your daily grind and then some. There's no need to belabor the point too much considering it rocks a spec sheet that'll seem awfully familiar if you've fiddled with other recent flagships. Take a gander at the tale of the tape below to see how the Find 7 stacks up.
Oppo Find 7 HTC One (M8) LG G3 Quadrant 2.0 21,162 25,548 25,548 Vellamo 2.0 2,963 1,804 1,405 3DMark IS Unlimited 19,495 20,612 16,662 SunSpider 1.0.2 (ms) 751 782 918 GFXBench 3.0 Manhattan Offscreen (fps) 28.8 11.2 N/A CF-Bench 35,872 40,223 24,667 SunSpider: Lower scores are better; results compiled on Chrome. HTC One benchmarked on Android 4.4.2
The Find 7 is right up there with more of its big-name competitors, and pulls slightly ahead of the pack in certain areas. Of course, you can't stick a number to everything, and thankfully there were hardly any performance issues to note during my weeks of testing. I was afraid that Oppo's ambitiousness with ColorOS may have taken a toll on performance, but my fears were quickly assuaged. What few instances of lag I noticed seemed to crop up because I was swiping furiously among home screens -- we can probably chalk that up in part to ColorOS, but I suspect you'll rarely encounter that as you go about your day. The rest of my time spent with the Find 7 was filled with smooth scrolling and menu transitions, along with frenzied bouts of Asphalt 8, all of it stutter-free.
In our standard video-rundown test (looping video and WiFi on, but not connected), the Find 7 lasted for a solid 10 hours and 13 minutes before needing a top-up. That's a good hour less than what we saw with the Oppo N1 under the same conditions, but considering the size and resolution of the Find 7's screen, it's still impressive. Just be sure to keep the included VOOC charger handy. With it, the Find 7 goes from absolutely bone dry to fully charged in just over an hour. Most of that electrical magic happens pretty early on, too: Leaving the phone plugged in for 30 minutes should get you back up to around 70 percent. Alas, the Find 7's charger is bigger and more brickish than you might expect, so you may have to pack your go-bag carefully if you want that quick-charging power at your disposal.
It's nearly impossible to look at the Find 7 and not draw a comparison to the LG G3. It is, after all, the only other smartphone on the market right now that features the same sort of super high-resolution display as the Find 7. The two phones may share a near-identical spec sheet, but LG has made some serious strides when it comes to a thoughtful user interface and industrial design that make it a much more attractive option than the Find 7. And that's to say nothing of the potential price differences, too: Just about every carrier in the US has committed to selling the G3, making it both easier to come by and easier on the wallet up front (as long as you don't mind a little long-term tomfoolery). In the event you're still not so keen on Quad HD screens, there's always the HTC One M8 and the Samsung Galaxy S5 to consider. They're the de rigueur recommendations for high-end smartphones, but that's because they're reliable and wot
Oppo Find 7 Oppo Find 7a Dimensions 152.6 x 75 x 9.2 mm (6.01 x 2.95 x 0.36 inches) 152.6 x 75 x 9.2 mm (6.01 x 2.95 x 0.36 inches) Weight 6.03 oz. (171g) 6.00 oz. (170g) Screen size 5.5 inches 5.5 inches Screen resolution 2,560 x 1,440 (534 ppi) 1,920 x 1,080 (403 ppi) Screen type IPS LCD IPS LCD Battery 3,000mAh (removable) 2,800mAh (removable) Internal storage 32GB 16GB External storage MicroSD (up to 128GB) MicroSD (up to 128GB) Rear camera 13MP Sony Exmor RS, f/2.0 13MP Sony Exmor RS, f/2.0 Front-facing cam 5MP, f/2.0 5MP, f/2.0 Video capture 2160p (30 fps), 1080p (60 fps), 720p (120 fps) 2160p (30 fps), 1080p (60 fps), 720p (120 fps) NFC Yes Yes Radios Depends on the market Depends on the market Bluetooth v4.0 v4.0 SoC 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801; Adreno 330 GPU 2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801; Adreno 330 GPU RAM 3GB 2GB SIM slot Micro-SIM Micro-SIM WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n, WiFi Direct 802.11a/b/g/n, WiFi Direct Operating system
Android 4.3, Color OS
Android 4.3, Color OS
Then again, if you're more a fan of the Find 7's Chinese underdog vibe, the OnePlus One might just be a better fit for you. Its screen isn't quite as pixel-dense as the one on the Find 7, but its internals produce the same amount of oomph (maybe even a little more, with less software cruft in the way). And, assuming you can even get your hands on one, you can have the OnePlus One for half the price of the Find 7. Alternatively, in the event that you really are more of an Oppo fan, there's always the Find 7's little brother: the Find 7a. For about $100 less, you get a nearly identical looking phone, albeit with a 1080p screen, a slightly slower CPU and 2GB of RAM instead of three.
I dig the Find 7. A lot, even. Despite a smattering of faults, it still stands tall as the company's finest mobile effort to date and Oppo die-hards shouldn't hesitate to pick one up. The tricky truth for everyone else is that the Find 7 doesn't live in a vacuum. There's no shortage of contemporaries like LG's G3 and the tantalizing OnePlus One that will make more sense because of carrier availability or cost -- although the latter is still admittedly tough to get your hands on.
Those are factors that Oppo can't control. What Oppo can do is make a solid device, and that's exactly what we've got here. Do you need an unlocked phone? With powerful specs, an impressive screen and a fast charging system? Can you appreciate a somewhat peculiar takes on the traditional Android experience? If you answered 'yes' to all of those questions, the Find 7 just might be worth the plunge.
Filed under: Cellphones, Mobile
- UK politician calls for in-game thieves to be prosecuted like real criminals
In some of the most popular multiplayer role-playing games, like World of Warcraft (the NSA's favorite), in-game characters and items can change hands for substantial amounts of real money. So when a gamer is relieved of valuable loot or accounts by scammers or thieves, should these online opportunists be considered criminals? It's a question one UK politician wanted to address in Parliament yesterday, as he called for real-world sentences to be handed out for these virtual crimes. The politician, a WoW player himself, requested the UK Justice Minister accelerate legislation to that effect, arguing that gamers are entitled to the same amount of legal protection. He added that only serious and/or serial offenders be targeted, though, rather than throwing the book at anyone who's committed a minor indiscretion. The Justice Minister did say online fraud or theft can carry severe sentences, but that it's ultimately up to courts to decide on the punishment.
While it might sound daft, prosecuting someone for pinching a magical sword inside a computer game, we doubt the person who's just seen $1000 disappear from their inventory shrugs it off so lightly. It's a legal grey area, as courts have to decide whether items that are purely digital, and the time spent questing for such epic loot, have any real value. Last year in China, the ringleader of a group that bought stolen WoW accounts and stripped them of items for profit received a two-year jail sentence. Also, prior to that, one kid in the Netherlands was beaten and threatened with a knife IRL until he gave another RuneScape player valuable items, with the offender given a community service order as punishment. As that particular incident shows, sometimes it's not "just a game."
Filed under: Gaming
Source: The Independent
- Apple reportedly releasing OS X Yosemite in October alongside 4K desktop and 12-inch Retina MacBook
Well, this is a timely rumor: Today is the day Apple opens up OS X Yosemite for public beta-testing, and now we're hearing the final version of the OS will come out in late October. The report comes from Mark Gurman at 9to5Mac, who has a strong track record when it comes to Apple rumors, and he claims that in addition to OS X, Apple will release a 12-inch Retina display MacBook, and either an iMac or a standalone monitor with a 4K screen. Obviously, Apple could do a 180 and release the same old computers with minor spec bumps, but if you ask us, everything Gurman is reporting seems plausible. First of all, Apple already promised it would release a final version of OS X sometime in the fall, and surely it plans to do that before the holiday shopping season starts up in November.
Secondly, a Retina display MacBook Air has been rumored for ages now, and the way the laptop market is going, it seems Apple is going to have to release a Retina-grade Ultrabook sooner or later; it's already getting tough for us reviewers to make excuses for the Air's 1,440 x 900 screen when you can easily find Windows machines with 2,560 x 1,440 or 3,200 x 1,800 screens. As for the 4K all-in-one? That seems inevitable too, though we've admittedly heard less scuttlebutt about that one.
Both computers are expected to be available in late Q3 or early Q4, according to the report, but constraints having to do with Intel chipsets -- among other possible delays -- could push the on-sale date to early 2015. If Gurman is correct, we'll find out more at a fall media event -- again, very typical of Apple. The one thing we're not sure of? Whether the mythical iWatch will be there, as Gurman says. Because we've been hearing about that thing forever now. We'll believe that one when we see it.
Filed under: Desktops, Laptops, Software, Apple
- Vodafone's first own-brand 4G phones could struggle to compete
Last year we would've bet our lunch money on Vodafone being the first UK carrier to release an own-brand LTE smartphone. After all, we spotted a "Vodafone Smart 4G" picking up its roaming permit from the US communications regulator, and only a few weeks after the carrier switched on its UK LTE network. Alas, the phone was destined for other European countries and EE pipped Vodafone to the post with the launch of the 4G-friendly Kestrel. Vodafone's finally caught up, however, releasing a pair of LTE handsets under its own name: the Smart 4 power and Smart 4 turbo (left and right in the image above, respectively). The turbo is the inferior of the two, with a 1.2GHz quad-core processor and 4.5-inch 854 x 480 display, while the power is outfitted with a 1.3GHz quad-core Mediatek processor and 5-inch HD screen (we assume that means 720p). Otherwise, both have 1GB of RAM, unspecified amounts of on-board storage (with microSD support), 5-megapixel main shooters, front-facing cameras, and run Android 4.4 KitKat.
If you want either free on contract, the turbo is strangely the pricey of the two, starting at £31.50 per month, whereas the power is free from £26.50 per month (note that you can only purchase them in-store currently). Conversely, the turbo is £135 on pay-as-you-go while the power is £175. By no means extortionate, but we would've liked to see more competitive price points for these entry-level 4G handsets. The Sony Xperia SP, also on Vodafone's roster, is only £150 on pay-as-you-go, and you can buy a fully unlocked 4G Moto G for £140 on Amazon right now. EE's Kestrel and its capable quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor is only £99, too, making Vodafone's first crack at own-brand LTE smartphones less high-impact, more dull thud.
Filed under: Cellphones, Mobile
- This artist waterproofed a scanner to create stunning ocean art
"In my ongoing series of "Compressionism" prints, I strap a desktop scanner, computing device and custom battery pack to my body, and perform images into existence." That's how artist Nathaniel Stern describes his collection of unconventional images captured with a desktop scanner. An extension of this project is "Rippling Images," a new collection which takes the idea underwater. Stern worked with a team to create a "marine rated" scanner rig, which he took with him as he scuba-dived off the coast of Key Largo, florida. The results in the gallery below show the ocean environment as interpreted through Stern's scanner and body movements. That explains the rippling part, at least.
[Image: Emyano Mazzola]
Filed under: Misc, Science
Source: Nathaniel Stern (Flickr)
- NASA wants commercial space companies to help new Mars missions communicate
The relay radios on two Mars science orbiters are making it possible to communicate with NASA's robots, rovers and landers on the red planet. But these spacecraft might be out of commission soon, and NASA believes one possible solution is to purchase services from commercial space companies that plan to launch orbiters of their own. See, the rovers and landers on Mars communicate with the ground crew by using a severely limited direct link or by using the Odyssey and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter as relay stations. Sadly, the agency has no plans to launch more orbiters of its own at the moment, and this could disrupt communication in a few years' time.
Thus, the agency has asked for the detailed investigation (a process called Request for Information or RFI) on the feasibility of paying for the services of commercial orbiters to communicate with robots on Mars beyond 2020. To be clear, NASA hasn't talked to contractors and companies about anything concrete yet, and it's also working on other projects that could solve the issue, including LADEE, which transmitted data to the moon via laser beams in 2013. Using orbiters as relay stations has been really cost effective, though, so the space division's hoping to make it work for future missions.
[Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech]
Filed under: Misc
- GOG.com now supports Linux
A while ago, we've announced our plans to add Linux support as one of the features of our digital platform, with 100 games on the launch day sometime this fall. We've put much time and effort into this project and now we've found ourselves with over 50 titles, classic and new, prepared for distribution, site infrastructure ready, support team trained and standing by, and absolutely no reason to wait until October or November. We're still aiming to have at least 100 Linux games in the coming months, but we've decided not to delay the launch just for the sake of having a nice-looking number to show off to the press. It's not about them, after all, it's about you. So, one of the most popular site feature requests on our community wishlist is granted today: Linux support has officially arrived on GOG.com! Good on 'm.
- The bottomless money pit that is Windows Phone
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has confirmed that his company will amalgamate all major versions of Windows into one operating system. Speaking on the company's quarterly earnings call today, Nadella told analysts Microsoft will "streamline the next version of Windows from three operating systems into one single converged operating system." Describing the implications of the change, Nadella said "this means one operating system that covers all screen sizes." Not exactly news, but it's good to have it explicitly out in the open like this. And if they're going to want to keep focusing on consumers, they're going to need some pretty big changes. They sold fewer than half a million Surface devices in the last quarter, and only 5.8 million Lumia devices. That last figure is misleading, though, as it only covers two months due to the Nokia deal. Even adding another month, it's safe to say it's well below 10 million. This actually raises an interesting question: has Microsoft actually ever made any profit off Windows Phone? Especially taking into account the huge amount of money they had to pour into Nokia's devices division every quarter just to keep it alive? And now they also need to earn the costs of the acquisition back. At some point, someone is going to have to make the tough calls here. What is the future of Windows Phone - and how long will that future be? How long will Microsoft be able to pour resources into the bottomless money pit that is Windows Phone?
- Xiaomi's Hugo Barra: we're not an Apple rip-off
Yesterday, former Google-executive Hugo Barra, now Xiaomi's global vice president, had a talk with The Verge. Barra is only a year into his job as leader of Mi's internationalization efforts, but he's already "sick and tired" of hearing his company derided as an Apple copycat. He sees Mi as "an incredibly innovative company" that never stops trying to improve and refine its designs, and the allegations of it copying Apple are "sweeping sensationalist statements because they have nothing better to talk about." This morning, John Gruber: Scroll down on the Mi 3 "features" page and you'll see this image, named "detail-camera.jpg". Take a good look at the camera in that image, then look at the app icon for the current version of Aperture. It's a simple copy-paste-skew job of the lens, and not a very good one. Two panels down on the page, they use it again, horizontally flipped. (Shockingly, they cropped out the "Designed by Apple in California".) Hilarious.
- 'iOS: About diagnostic capabilities'
Update: Zdziarski put up a more detailed response. Apple responded to the backdoor story. Each of these diagnostic capabilities requires the user to have unlocked their device and agreed to trust another computer. Any data transmitted between the iOS device and trusted computer is encrypted with keys not shared with Apple. For users who have enabled iTunes Wi-Fi Sync on a trusted computer, these services may also be accessed wirelessly by that computer. Zdziarski, the author of the article that started this all, is not impressed. I donâÂ€Â™t buy for a minute that these services are intended solely for diagnostics. The data they leak is of an extreme personal nature. There is no notification to the user. A real diagnostic tool would have been engineered to respect the user, prompt them like applications do for access to data, and respect backup encryption. Tell me, what is the point in promising the user encryption if there is a back door to bypass it? Apple response doesn't actually deny or contradict anything Zdziarski stated, so in the end, it all comes down to trust. Apple claims they only use these tools for "diagnostics" (which is a stretch considering the extensive and pervasive nature of the data they expose, but alas), and it's up to us to decide whether we trust them or not. If you still trust Apple - or Google, or Microsoft, or any other major technology company, for that matter - at this point, then I admire your child-like innocence.
- No Man's Sky: a vast game crafted by algorithms
No Man's Sky is a video game quite unlike any other. Developed for Sony's PlayStation 4 by an improbably small team (the original four-person crew has grown only to 10 in recent months) at Hello Games, an independent studio in the south of England, it's a game that presents a traversable universe in which every rock, flower, tree, creature, and planet has been "procedurally generated" to create a vast and diverse play area. "We are attempting to do things that haven't been done before," says Murray. "No game has made it possible to fly down to a planet, and for it to be planet-sized, and feature life, ecology, lakes, caves, waterfalls, and canyons, then seamlessly fly up through the stratosphere and take to space again. It's a tremendous challenge." Minecraft comes to mind - obviously - but No Man's sky goes much, much further. You're looking at a procedurally generated universe with millions of individual, unique planets and individual, unique ecosystems, each evolving over time.
- Meet the online tracking device that is virtually impossible to block
A new, extremely persistent type of online tracking is shadowing visitors to thousands of top websites, from WhiteHouse.gov to YouPorn.com. First documented in a forthcoming paper by researchers at Princeton University and KU Leuven University in Belgium, this type of tracking, called canvas fingerprinting, works by instructing the visitor's Web browser to draw a hidden image. Because each computer draws the image slightly differently, the images can be used to assign each user's device a number that uniquely identifies it. Advertising companies will become increasingly... 'Creative' to find some way of tracking us that circumvents known laws and technological barriers. However, I doubt you have to worry about the small fish - worry about what the biggest internet advertising company in the world has cooking in its labs.
- Win access to a game, then proceed to pirate it
Modern Combat 5 has been cracked and uploaded to multiple torrenting websites over the weekend. MC5 is a first person shooter for iOS, Android and Windows 8. The developer and publisher, Gameloft, ran a contest recently and invited players into the game early. One of those winners apparently cracked the game and began distributing it online. Modern Combat's dev team is not pleased with the situation. Horrible. You win a contest for early access, and then you turn around and stab them in the back like this. You must be a pretty terrible human being to do something like this.
- Explaining Continuity: tying iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite together
Continuity isn't a monolithic feature of the new operating systems so much as it is a range of features, each with its own hardware requirements and mode of operation. As we already did for iOS 8's Extensions, in this article we'll be using Apple's developer documentation, WWDC videos, and early reports from forums and rumor sites to explain the technology behind these features. We'll speak in brief about how phone integration and AirDrop work. Then, we'll examine how Handoff works and how developers can integrate Handoff support into their own iOS and OS X applications. Ars takes a look at Apple's Continuity.
- Backdoors and surveillance mechanisms in iOS devices
Jonathan Zdziarski's paper about backdoors, attack points and surveillance mechanisms built into iOS is quite, quite interesting. recent revelations exposed the use (or abuse) of operating system features in the surveillance of targeted individuals by the National Security Agency (NSA), of whom some subjects appear to be American citizens. This paper identifies the most probable techniques that were used, based on the descriptions provided by the media, and todayâÂ€Â™s possible techniques that could be exploited in the future, based on what may be back doors, bypass switches, general weaknesses, or surveillance mechanisms intended for enterprise use in current release versions of iOS. More importantly, I will identify several services and mechanisms that can be abused by a government agency or malicious party to extract intelligence on a subject, including services that may in fact be back doors introduced by the manufacturer. A number of techniques will also be examined in order to harden the operating system against attempted espionage, including counter-forensics techniques. This paper is actually half a year old - give or take - but it's gotten a lot of attention recently due to, well, the fact that he has uploaded a PowerPoint from a talk about these matters, which is obviously a little bit more accessible than a proper scientific journal article. For instance, despite Apple's claims of not being able to read your encrypted iMessages, there's this: In October 2013, Quarkslab exposed design flaws in Apple's iMessage protocol demonstrating that Apple does, despite its vehement denial, have the technical capability to intercept private iMessage traffic if they so desired, or were coerced to under a court order. The iMessage protocol is touted to use end-to-end encryption, however Quarkslab revealed in their research that the asymmetric keys generated to perform this encryption are exchanged through key directory servers centrally managed by Apple, which allow for substitute keys to be injected to allow eavesdropping to be performed. Similarly, the group revealed that certificate pinning, a very common and easy-to-implement certificate chain security mechanism, was not implemented in iMessage, potentially allowing malicious parties to perform MiTM attacks against iMessage in the same fashion. There are also several services in iOS that facilitate organisations like the NSA, yet these features have no reason to be there. They are not referenced by any (known) Apple software, do not require developer mode (so they're not debugging tools or anything), and are available on every single iOS device. One example of these services is a packet sniffer, com.apple.pcapd, which "dumps network traffic and HTTP request/response data traveling into and out of the device" and "can be targeted via WiFi for remote monitoring". It runs on every iOS device. Then there's com.apple.mobile.file_relay, which "completely bypasses AppleâÂ€Â™s backup encryption for end-user security", "has evolved considerably, even in iOS 7, to expose much personal data", and is "very intentionally placed and intended to dump data from the device by request". This second one, especially, only gave relatively limited access in iOS 2.x, but in iOS 7 has grown to give access to pretty much everything, down to "a complete metadata disk sparseimage of the iOS file system, sans actual content", meaning time stamps, file names, names of all installed applications and their documents, configured email accounts, and lot more. As you can see, the exposed information goes quite deep. Apple is a company that continuously claims it cares about security and your privacy, but yet they actively make it easy to get to all your personal data. There's a massive contradiction between Apple's marketing fluff on the one hand, and the reality of the access iOS provides to your personal data on the other - down to outright lies about Apple not being able to read your iMessages. Those of us who aren't corporate cheerleaders are not surprised by this in the slightest - Apple, Microsoft, Google, they're all the same - but I still encounter people online every day who seem to believe the marketing nonsense Apple puts out. People, it doesn't get much clearer than this: Apple does not care about your privacy any more or less than its competitors.
- Google tests new Chrome OS UI that's more Android
Ars Technica reports about Project Athena: Google-watchers may have already head about "Project Athena," a Chrome OS-related experiment of Google's that has appeared in the Chromium source code a few times in the past. Today we got our first official look at the new interface via Francois Beaufort, a Chrome enthusiast who was hired by Google last year after leaking several high-profile Chrome features. It looks a heck of a lot like Material Design and Android L UI behaviour coming to Chrome OS. Fascinating to see where this is going, but one thing appears to be clear: in the tug of war between Chrome OS and Android, the latter has won.
- Lenovo stops selling small Windows tablets due to lack of demand
Lenovo has stopped selling Windows tablets with screen sizes under 10 inches in the U.S. due to lack of interest. Lenovo has stopped selling two small-screen Windows tablets with 8-inch screens: the ThinkPad 8, which was announced in January and a model of Miix 2, which started shipping in October last year. This is not a quip, but an honest question: is the size qualifier here really necessary? I.e., do Windows tablets sell in any meaningful number at all, regardless of size? Windows laptops and desktops surely still sell well, but Windows tablets? Like smartphones, I'm pretty sure this market is dominated by iOS and Android, and Lenovo throwing the towel in the ring here doesn't bode well for any possible third ecosystems - and that sucks.
- Official guide detailing how to port Sailfish OS to Android devices
This is a guide to help you understand how you can port Sailfish OS to devices running the CyanogenMod flavour of Android. [...] By following this guide you can set up a Mer-core based Linux system that will run on an Android device, on top of the existing Android Hardware Adaptation kernel and drivers. This is the official guide detailing how to port Sailfish OS to run on any Android device supported by CyanogenMod 10.x.
- Microsoft kills Series 40, Asha
This news will probably fall through the cracks in most reporting about Microsoft's massive layoffs, but aside from the Nokia X, Microsoft is also killing off Series 40 and Asha. Nokia might have been famous for its feature phones, but Microsoft is planning to wind that business down over the course of the next 18 months. In an internal memo sent to Microsoft employees, Jo Harlow, who heads up the phone business under Microsoft devices, reveals the focus is very much on Windows Phone. Development and investment for Asha, Series 40, and Nokia X handsets will shift to what is described as "maintenance mode," and services to support existing devices will be shut down over the next 18 months. "This means there will be no new features or updates to services on any mobile phones platform as a result of these plans," says Harlow, in the internal memo seen by The Verge. The story of Series 40 started in 1999 with the iconic Nokia 7110, and it will now end with the Nokia Asha 210 (I think?), or the Nokia Asha 230 if you consider the Asha Software Platform to be Series 40 (nobody really seems to know for sure just how related the two are). In 2012 Nokia announced it had sold over 1.5 billion Series 40 devices, making it one of the most successful software platforms of all time. It makes sense for Microsoft to kill these platforms. Windows Phone handles devices with lower specifications relatively well, something which the company will hopefully only improve. It does mean the end of an iconic operating system that is intrinsically tied to Nokia, a company who spread the mobile phone and its infrastructure to all four corners in the world, paving the way for pompous phone upstarts like Apple and Google. One small tidbit I will always associate with Series 40 and Nokia are the signal reception and battery life bars flanking the sides of the early Series 40 user interface like the pillars of the Parthenon. Beautifully elegant and clever use of the limited screen real estate available at the time.
- Microsoft announces massive layoffs, kills Nokia X phones
As expected, Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella has just announced an absolutely massive amount of layoffs. With this in mind, we will begin to reduce the size of our overall workforce by up to 18,000 jobs in the next year. Of that total, our work toward synergies and strategic alignment on Nokia Devices and Services is expected to account for about 12,500 jobs, comprising both professional and factory workers. It's clear where the focus of the layoffs lies: Nokia Devices and Services. When Lumia sales couldn't keep up with the rest of the market or Nokia's collapsing Symbian sales, people stated "Nokia is fine!". When Microsoft had to bail out Nokia's devices division to make sure it wouldn't die or be sold off to a competitor, these same people maintained that "Nokia is fine!". Now that Microsoft will layoff half of the Nokia staff it acquired, I'm sure people will still maintain that "Nokia is just fine!". Sarcasm aside, the fact that 66% of the layoffs will consist of former Nokia staff further confirms what I have been saying all along: Microsoft purchased Nokia's devices division to make sure that Nokia wouldn't go Android (Nokia X!), that Nokia wouldn't sell its troublesome devices division to a competitor, or, worse yet, that Nokia would eventually be forced to shut it down altogether. In short, Microsoft acquired Nokia's devices division to save Windows Phone. The evidence is out there for all to see, and denying this at this point borders on the pathetic. Anywho, this is terrible news for all the people involved, but with this industry doing relatively well, I hope they will be able to find new jobs easily. There are quite a number of companies who would love to get their hands on Nokia talent, so let's all wish them the best of luck in the weeks and months ahead. Not unsurprisingly, Nadella specifically announced the end of the Nokia X Android endeavour. In addition, we plan to shift select Nokia X product designs to become Lumia products running Windows. This builds on our success in the affordable smartphone space and aligns with our focus on Windows Universal Apps. Microsoft plans to continue selling and supporting existing Nokia X products, so if you've bought one you'll at least continue to get support. If you were thinking about buying one - I really, really wouldn't.
- Google+ drops real name policy
We know you've been calling for this change for a while. We know that our names policy has been unclear, and this has led to some unnecessarily difficult experiences for some of our users. For this we apologize, and we hope that today's change is a step toward making Google+ the welcoming and inclusive place that we want it to be. Thank you for expressing your opinions so passionately, and thanks for continuing to make Google+ the thoughtful community that it is.ï»¿ Good move, but Google+? Who cares about Google+?
- diff -u: What's New in Kernel Development
Once in a while someone points out a POSIX violation in Linux. Often the answer is to fix the violation, but sometimes Linus Torvalds decides that the POSIX behavior is broken, in which case they keep the Linux behavior, but they might build an additional POSIX compatibility layer, even if that layer is slower and less efficient.
- Great Scott! It's Version 13!
No matter how much I love Plex, there's still nothing that comes close to XBMC for usability when it comes to watching your network media on a television. I've probably written a dozen articles on Plex during the last few years, so you know that's tough for me to admit.
- Adminer—Better Than Awesome!
I've always loved PHPMyAdmin for managing MySQL databases. It's Web-based, fairly robust and as powerful as I've ever needed. Basically, it's awesome. Today, however, I discovered something better than awesome: Adminer. Although it is conceptually identical to PHPMyAdmin, it is far simpler and far more powerful. How can it be both?
- It Actually Is Rocket Science
I've never once made a model rocket. I've always wanted to, but apart from "tube with explodey rocket part", I really didn't know where to start with designing. I recently found an open-source application that should help me with my lack of rocket science know-how: OpenRocket.
- Android Candy: Repix, Not Just Another Photo App
Apps like Instagram have made photo filters commonplace. I actually don't mind the vintage look for quick cell-phone snapshots, but a filter can do only so much. At first glance, Repix is another one of those "make your photo cool" apps that does little more than add a border and change saturation levels.
- Wanted: Your Embedded Linux Projects
Our "Embedded Linux" issue of Linux Journal is just around the corner, and we want YOUR project to be in it! Whether you're embedding a Beagle Bone Black into a dish so you can automatically feed your black Beagle a bone, or you're developing an Arduino-based butler to answer your front door -- we want to hear about it!
- Linux Kernel Testing and Debugging
Linux Kernel Testing Philosophy
Testing is an integral and important part of any software development cycle, open or closed, and Linux kernel is no exception to that.
- Dolphins in the NSA Dragnet
There's an old quote from Jamie Zawinkski that goes: "Some people, when confronted with a problem, think ‘I know, I'll use regular expressions.’ Now they have two problems." Even people like me who like regular expressions laugh at the truth in that quote, because we've seen the consequences when someone doesn't think through the implications of a poorly written pattern. When some people write a bad pattern, they end up with extra lines in a log file. When the NSA does it, they capture and retain Internet traffic on untold numbers of innocent people.
- Tails above the Rest: the Installation
A few columns ago, I started a series aimed at helping everyone improve their privacy and security on the Internet. The first column in this series was an updated version of a Tor column I wrote a few years ago.
- A Bundle of Tor
I don't know how many readers know this, but my very first Linux Journal column ("Browse the Web without a Trace", January 2008) was about how to set up and use Tor. Anonymity and privacy on the Internet certainly take on a different meaning in the modern era of privacy-invading software and general Internet surveillance.
- 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 ’