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  • Mandriva: 2014:202: php A vulnerability has been discovered and corrected in php:A heap corruption issue was reported in PHP's exif_thumbnail()function. A specially-crafted JPEG image could cause the PHPinterpreter to crash or, potentially, execute arbitrary code[More...]

  • Red Hat: 2014:1686-01: openstack-neutron: Moderate Advisory Updated openstack-neutron packages that fix one security issue and several bugs are now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 4.0. Red Hat Product Security has rated this update as having Moderate security [More...]

  • Red Hat: 2014:1685-01: openstack-glance: Moderate Advisory Updated openstack-glance packages that fix one security issue and several bugs are now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 4.0. Red Hat Product Security has rated this update as having Moderate security [More...]

  • Red Hat: 2014:1677-01: wireshark: Moderate Advisory Updated wireshark packages that fix multiple security issues are now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5. Red Hat Product Security has rated this update as having Moderate security [More...]

  • Red Hat: 2014:1676-01: wireshark: Moderate Advisory Updated wireshark packages that fix multiple security issues are now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 and 7. Red Hat Product Security has rated this update as having Moderate security [More...]

  • Taiga, a new open source project management tool with focus on usability ( takesa look at the Taiga project management tool. "It started withthe team at Kaleidos, a Madrid-based company that builds software for bothlarge corporations and startups. Though much of their time is spent workingfor clients, several times a year they break off for their own PersonalInnovation Weeks (ΠWEEK). These are weeklong hack-a-thons dedicated to personal improvement and prototyping internal ideas of all sorts. While there, they unanimously decided to solve the biggest of their own problems: project management.Taiga was born, and by early 2014, the team at Kaleidos was already usingTaiga for all their internal projects. Taiga Agile, LLC was formed inFebruary 2014 to give the project a formal structure, and the source codewas made available at GitHub."

  • Friday's security advisories
    Debian has updated pidgin (multiple vulnerabilities).
    Mageia has updated ctags (denialof service), ejabberd (incorrectly allowsunencrypted connections), iceape (multiplevulnerabilities), libxml2 (denial ofservice), lua (code execution), openssl (multiple vulnerabilities), and phpmyadmin (cross-site scripting).
    Mandriva has updated ctags (denial of service), ejabberd (incorrectly allows unencrypted connections), java-1.7.0-openjdk (multiple vulnerabilities), libxml2 (denial of service), lua (code execution), openssl (multiple vulnerabilities), and phpmyadmin (cross-site scripting).
    Red Hat has updated kernel(RHEL6.5: denial of service).
    Ubuntu has updated openjdk-7(14.10: multiple vulnerabilities).

  • openSUSE Factory and Tumbleweed to merge
    The openSUSE project has announcedthat the "Factory" and "Tumbleweed" distributions will merge into a singlerolling distribution (called "Tumbleweed"). There is also an FAQ posting about the merger. "Withthe vast improvements to the Factory development process over the last 2years, we effectively found ourselves as a project with not one, but tworolling release distributions in addition to our main regular releasedistribution. GregKH signalled his intention to stop maintaining Tumbleweedas a 'rolling-released based on the current release'. It seemed a naturaldecision then to bring both the Factory rolling release and Tumbleweedrolling release together, so we can consolidate our efforts and makeopenSUSE's single rolling release as stable and effective aspossible."

  • Garrett: Linux Container Security
    Matthew Garrett considers the security of Linux containers on his blog. While the attack surface of containers is likely to always be larger than that of hypervisors, that difference may not matter in practice, but it's going to take some work to get there:I suspect containers can be made sufficiently secure that the attack surface size doesn't matter. But who's going to do that work? As mentioned, modern container deployment tools make use of a number of kernel security features. But there's been something of a dearth of contributions from the companies who sell container-based services. Meaningful work here would include things like:Strong auditing and aggressive fuzzing of containers under realistic configurationsSupport for meaningful nesting of Linux Security Modules in namespacesIntrospection of container state and (more difficult) the host OS itself in order to identify compromisesThese aren't easy jobs, but they're important, and I'm hoping that the lack of obvious development in areas like this is merely a symptom of the youth of the technology rather than a lack of meaningful desire to make things better. But until things improve, it's going to be far too easy to write containers off as a "convenient, cheap, secure: choose two" tradeoff. That's not a winning strategy.

  • Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) released
    Ubuntu has announced its latest release: 14.10 "Utopic Unicorn". As usual, it comes with versions for server, desktop, and cloud, along with multiple official "flavors": Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Mythbuntu, Ubuntu GNOME, Ubuntu Kylin, Ubuntu Studio, and Xubuntu. All of the varieties come with a 3.16 kernel and many more new features: "Ubuntu Desktop has seen incremental improvements, with newer versions ofGTK and Qt, updates to major packages like Firefox and LibreOffice, andimprovements to Unity, including improved High-DPI display support.Ubuntu Server 14.10 includes the Juno release of OpenStack, alongsidedeployment and management tools that save devops teams time whendeploying distributed applications - whether on private clouds, publicclouds, x86 or ARM servers, or on developer laptops. Several key servertechnologies, from MAAS to Ceph, have been updated to new upstreamversions with a variety of new features." More information can be found in the release notes.

  • Security updates for Thursday
    Fedora has updated java-1.7.0-openjdk (F19: multiplevulnerabilities) and php (F20: three vulnerabilities).
    Mandriva has updated php (BS1.0:code execution).
    Oracle has updated java-1.8.0-openjdk (OL6: multiplevulnerabilities) and wireshark (OL5:multiple vulnerabilities).
    Red Hat has updated openstack-glance (OSP4: denial of service), openstack-heat (OSP4: information leak), openstack-keystone (OSP4: twovulnerabilities), openstack-neutron (OSP4:denial of service), openstack-nova (OSP4:privilege escalation), openstack-packstack(OSP4: unexpected firewall disable), and python-backports-ssl_match_hostname (OSP4:denial of service from 2013).
    Scientific Linux has updated java-1.6.0-openjdk (multiple vulnerabilities),java-1.7.0-openjdk (SL7, SL6; SL5: multiple vulnerabilities), libxml2 (SL7, SL6: denial of service), openssh (SL6: two vulnerabilities), rsyslog5 and rsyslog (SL6, SL5: denial ofservice), trousers (SL6: denial of servicefrom 2012), and wireshark (SL7, SL6;SL5: multiple vulnerabilities).
    SUSE has updated kernel (SLE11SP3; SLE11SP3: multiple vulnerabilities, one from 2013).
    Ubuntu has updated openjdk-7(14.04: multiple vulnerabilities) and pollinate (14.04: certificate refresh).

  • Ten years of Ubuntu (ars technica)
    Here's alengthy ars technica retrospective on Ubuntu's first ten years."As you'll soon see in this look at the desktop distro through theyears, Linux observers sensed there was something special about Ubuntunearly from the start. However, while a Linux OS that genuinely had usersin mind was quickly embraced, Ubuntu's ten-year journey since is amicrocosm of the major Linux events of the last decade—encompassingeverything from privacy concerns and Windows resentment to server expansionand hopes of convergence."

  • [$] Where to store your encrypted data
    In a talk entitled "Lies, Damned Lies, and Remotely Hosted Encrypted Data",Kolab Systems CEO Georg Greve outlined the thinking and investigation thatthe company did before deciding on where to store its customers' encrypteddata. The talk, which was given at LinuxConEurope in Düsseldorf, Germany, looked at various decisions that need tobe made when determining where and how to store data on the internet. Itcomes down to a number of factors, including the legal framework of the country inquestion and physical security for the systems storing the data.

  • Security advisories for Wednesday
    CentOS has updated libxml2 (C7:denial of service), qemu-kvm (C7:information leak), rsyslog (C5: denial ofservice), and wireshark (C7; C5: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Fedora has updated bugzilla (F20; F19:multiple vulnerabilities), java-1.8.0-openjdk (F19: multiple vulnerabilities), and perl-Mojolicious (F20; F19: parameter injection attack).
    openSUSE has updated getmail(13.1, 12.3: multiple vulnerabilities) and wpa_supplicant (13.1; 12.3: command execution).
    Oracle has updated kernel (OL6:multiple vulnerabilities), rsyslog (OL6:denial of service), rsyslog7 (OL6: denialof service), and wireshark (OL7; OL6: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Red Hat has updated wireshark (RHEL6,7; RHEL5: multiple vulnerabilities).

  • [$] The future of the realtime patch set

    In a followup to last year's report on thefuture of realtime Linux, Thomas Gleixner once again summarized thestatus of the long-running patch set. The intervening year did not resultin the industry stepping up to fund further work, which led Gleixner todeclare that realtime Linux is now just his hobby. That means newreleases will be done as his time allows and may eventually lead todropping the patch set altogether if the widening gap between mainline andrealtime grows too large.
    Subscribers can click below for the full report of Gleixner's talk at thisyear's Linux Plumbers Conference.

  • Tuesday's security updates
    Debian has updated mysql-5.5 (multiple vulnerabilities).
    Mandriva has updated bugzilla(multiple vulnerabilities), kernel(multiple vulnerabilities), mediawiki(cross-site scripting), perl (denial ofservice), python (buffer overflow), and rsyslog (two vulnerabilities).
    Oracle has updated qemu-kvm (OL7:information leak) and rsyslog5 (OL5: denial of service).
    Red Hat has updated qemu-kvm(RHEL7: information leak) and rsyslog(RHEL5,6: denial of service).
    Scientific Linux has updated qemu-kvm (SL7: information leak).
    Slackware has updated openssh (SSHFP-checking disabled).

  • Emacs 24.4 released
    Version 24.4 of the Emacs editor is out. New features this time aroundinclude a built-in web browser (unfortunately named "eww"), bettermulti-monitor support, the ability to save and restore the state of framesand windows, digital signatures on Emacs Lisp packages, access control listsupport, and much more. See the NEWS filefor all the details.

  • Debian Project mourns the loss of Peter Miller
    The Debian Project recently learned that community member Peter Miller diedlast July. "Peter was a relative newcomer to the Debian project, but hiscontributions to Free and Open Source Software goes back the the late1980s. Peter was significant contributor to GNU gettext as well as beingthe main upstream author and maintainer of other projects that ship aspart of Debian, including, but not limited to srecord, aegis and cook.Peter was also the author of the paper "Recursive Make ConsideredHarmful"."

  • Xubuntu 14.10 Screenshot Tour
    The Xubuntu team is pleased to announce the immediate release of Xubuntu 14.10. To celebrate the 14.10 code name 'Utopic Unicorn' and to demonstrate the easy customisability of Xubuntu, highlight colors have been turned pink for this release. You can easily revert this change by using the theme configuration application under the Settings Manager; simply turn Custom Highlight Colors 'Off' and click 'Apply'. Of course, if you wish, you can change the highlight color to something you like better than the default blue. Starting with Xubuntu 14.10, you should use pkexec instead of gksudo for running graphical applications with root access from the terminal for improved security.

  • Ubuntu 14.10 released + 10 years anniversary!
    This past tuesday has been released the latest Ubuntu release, Ubuntu 14.10 "Utopic Unicorn"!But that's not all... This particular release signs the 10th year anniversary of my favourite OS of all time!

  • How to download an ISO image with BitTorrent fast and safely from the command line
    If you are one of those guys who have urge to try out every new (or even beta) release of Linux distribution to satisfy your curiosity and stay up-to-date, you will need to deal with the hassle of downloading big ISO images every now and then. ISO providers typically put up .torrent file of their […]Continue reading...The post How to download an ISO image with BitTorrent fast and safely from the command line appeared first on Xmodulo.Related FAQs:How to PGP encrypt, decrypt or digitally sign files via GnuPG GUI How to set up Clam Antivirus, SpamAssassin and MailScanner on Ubuntu mail server How to create multiple VPN tunnels between two hosts using tinc VPN How to set up a secure SFTP server in Linux How to set up a secure Apache webserver on Ubuntu

  • Memo - Note Taking, Unix-style
    We all take notes in various ways. Whether it's old fashioned sticky notes littering the front of your PC monitor, an app on your smartphone or simply using your brain to take a 'mental note' (if your memory is that good!), it's a useful activity. How about note taking on the command-line? And in a really Unix-y, flexible way? Memo might be for you.

  • Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 Screenshot Tour
    The Ubuntu GNOME team is proud and happy to announce the release of Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn). Ubuntu GNOME is an official flavour of Ubuntu, featuring the GNOME desktop environment. Features: most of GNOME 3.12 is now included, the few missing bits of 3.12 are available in ppa; gnome-maps and gnome-weather are now installed by default, gnome-photos, gnome-music and polari are available to install from the Ubuntu archive; a set of 10 new high-quality wallpapers are included by default; GNOME Classic session is included - to try it, choose it from the Sessions option on the login screen; new themes (like numix) are available in the archive.

  • Kubuntu 14.10 Screenshot Tour
    Kubuntu 14.10 is available for upgrade or install. It comes in two flavours, the stable Plasma 4 running the desktop we know from previous releases, and a tech preview of the next generation Plasma 5 for early adopters. Plasma 4 is our recommended stable offering and what you get from the default download, but is now in maintenance mode.

  • How to install Puppet master and client in Ubuntu 14.04
    This document describes how to install and configure Puppet on Ubuntu 14.04 server, I will also connect a puppet client with Ubuntu 14.04 desktop. Puppet is a configuration management system that allows you to define the state of your IT infrastructure, then automatically enforces the correct state.

  • Taiga, a new open source project management tool with focus on usability
    Whether you are a developer, project manager, or a stakeholder of any level—you’d like to have a clear view of where the project is headed. Are the deadlines being continuously achieved? How is the load on developers? How much of the project is complete? What is next for you in the project? And so on.

  • Ubuntu Turns 10 & systemd Is Not Contagious
    Everyone is either at Seattle GNU/Linux Conference, Ohio LinuxFest or All Things Open, so there’s no one around to bounce off some ideas regarding what’s happening this week. Besides, if you were at any of those three events –- and if not, why not? — you probably know more than I do at this point.

  • MozFest 2014 begins today
    Today marks the beginning of the fifth annual Mozilla Festival, one of the world’s biggest celebrations of the open web. More than 1,600 participants from countries around the globe will gather at Ravensbourne in East London for a weekend of collaborating, building prototypes, designing innovative web literacy curricula and discussing how the ethos of the open web can contribute to the fields of science, journalism, advocacy and more.

  • Rise of Linux – a hacker’s history
    The original code of Linux was written for fun, or in Eric Raymond’s phrase, to ‘scratch the itch’ of Linus Torvalds, and later to satisfy the enthusiasm and programming itch of an assortment of hackers and hobbyists who, for the most part, had grown up in the age of the ZX80 and the BBC Micro, Acorns and Apricots, for which the code was often available – and hackable.

Linux Insider

  • Android Wear Gets Its First Big Update
    Google's Android Wear on Thursday got its first major update, bringing GPS support and offline music capabilities to the wearables platform. "Android Wear is great for tracking things like route, distance and speed," wrote Kenny Stoltz, Android Wear product manager. "Before today, you had to keep your phone close at hand. Starting today, Wear supports watches with GPS sensors."

  • Calculate Linux Provides Consistency by Design
    Calculate Linux 14 is a distro designed with home and SMB users in mind. It is optimized for rapid deployment in corporate environments as well. Calculate gives users something no other Linux distro offers. The Xfce desktop session is customized to imitate the look of the KDE desktop environment. This design approach goes a long way toward making Calculate Linux a one-distro-fits-all solution.

  • Reading and Writing and Open Source
    Digital textbooks with open-licensed content -- and sometimes even complete open source textbooks -- are starting to change the way students and teachers interact with subject material. The budget-busting prices of traditional printed textbooks and the ubiquity of mobile devices have provided textbook authors and educators with convincing reasons to give students an alternative.

  • FOSS and the Fear Factor
    In a world that's been dominated for far too long by the Systemd Inferno, Linux fans will have to be forgiven if they seize perhaps a bit too gleefully upon the scraps of cheerful news that come along on any given day. Of course, for cheerful news, there's never any better place to look than the Reglue effort, run by longtime Linux advocate and all-around-hero-for-kids Ken Starks.

  • For Gentoo Linux Initiates, Iron Penguin May Be Too Heavy
    Gentoo Linux can be either an experienced Linux user's ideal desktop choice or a new user's worst computing nightmare. I am not talking about being new to the Linux OS. I mean just plain and simple new to Gentoo Linux. The Linux OS has many dozens of specialized distributions. Many of them are easy to install and need only a few settings adjustments to perform as desired.

  • Lollipop Could Make Android Stickier
    Google on Wednesday unwrapped Android 5.0 Lollipop, officially replacing the "Android L" code name by which the latest version of its mobile platform previously had been known.  "Lollipop is our largest, most ambitious release on Android, with over 5,000 new APIs for developers," wrote Sundar Pichai, Google's senior vice president for Android, Chrome & Apps, in a blog post.

  • Report: Open Source Needs to Get With the Security Program
    Open source developers apparently don't adhere to best practices such as using static analysis and conducting regular security audits, found Coverity's Spotlight report, released Wednesday. The Coverity Scan service, which is available at no charge to open source projects, helped devs find and fix about 50,000 quality and security defects in code last year.

  • And Now for Something Completely Different
    Well it's a good thing we here in the Linux community had a refreshing and refocusing break recently, because last week it was back onto the hot coals once again. The Systemd inferno -- which Linux Girl is starting to think of as "The Blaze That Must Not Be Named" -- has spread even further, your trusty reporter is dismayed to report, extending now to encompass the entire FOSS community.

  • Cylon Linux Gives GNOME Fans Glamour Galore
    Cylon Linux Delivers GNOME Design with Glamour Galore Jack M. Germain Cylon is a classic Linux distro preconfigured with lots of tweaks -- kind of a Unity-less Ubuntu with bling. Cylon runs the classic GNOME 3 desktop on almost any hardware configuration made since 2007, but it is more suited to seasoned Linux users. Newcomers to Linux may not make an easy transition.

  • What's Driving Open Source 2.0?
    We're hearing more from vendors about how new features, functionality, rewrites and releases are being driven by customers -- by their direct experience using the software and competing in their various industries. We're also hearing from customers and users, including the enterprise market, that increasingly they are involved and thus empowered in open source software communities.

  • Systemd Dev Slams FOSS Culture
    The open source community is "quite a sick place to be in," said Red Hat engineer and Systemd developer Lennart Poettering. "The open source community is full of [assh*les], and I probably more than most others am one of their most favorite targets," Poettering added. "I get hate mail for hacking on open source. People have started multiple 'petitions' .... asking me to stop working.

  • FCC Postpones Spectrum Auction Until 2016
    An anonymous reader writes: 2014 was supposed to be the year broadcasters would be allowed to sell off their unused spectrum to mobile carriers. That got pushed back to 2015 in December, and now the Federal Communications Commission has bumped it to 2016 in the face of a lawsuit from the National Association of Broadcasters. The FCC says the legal briefs aren't even due until January 2015, and it will take them until the middle of the year to review the documents and respond in court. The delay is just fine with the NAB, but probably bad news for anyone hoping that spectrum would help to improve mobile communications in the U.S. any time soon.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • EU Sets Goal To Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions 40% By 2030
    An anonymous reader writes: The 28 nations in the European Union agreed Friday to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40% (going by 1990 levels) by the year 2030. The deal received widespread criticism; industry bosses said the 2030 targets were too extreme, while many environmental groups said the goals weren't ambitious enough. The deal requires each nation to achieve the goal independently — earlier targets could use international offsets to avoid or reduce action. EU officials hope the agreement will encourage the U.S. and China to take a more aggressive stance on fighting climate change.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • High Speed Evolution
    Taco Cowboy writes: Normally, the term "evolution" implicitly refers to super-long time frames. However, in the case of lizards on Florida islands, evolution seems to have shifted into a higher gear. Researchers have documented noticeable changes in a native species over a period of just 15 years, after an invading species altered their behavior (abstract). "After contact with the invasive species, the native lizards began perching higher in trees, and, generation after generation, their feet evolved to become better at gripping the thinner, smoother branches found higher up. The change occurred at an astonishing pace: Within a few months, native lizards had begun shifting to higher perches, and over the course of 15 years and 20 generations, their toe pads had become larger, with more sticky scales on their feet. 'We did predict that we'd see a change, but the degree and quickness with which they evolved was surprising,' said Yoel Stuart, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Integrative Biology at The University of Texas at Austin and lead author of the study... 'To put this shift in perspective, if human height were evolving as fast as these lizards' toes, the height of an average American man would increase from about 5 foot 9 inches today to about 6 foot 4 inches within 20 generations — an increase that would make the average U.S. male the height of an NBA shooting guard,' said Stuart."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Italian Supreme Court Bans the 'Microsoft Tax'
    An anonymous reader writes: In a post at the Free Software Foundation, lawyer Marco Ciurcina reports that the Italian Supreme Court has ruled the practice of forcing users to pay for a Windows license when they buy a new PC is illegal. Manufacturers in Italy are now legally obligated to refund that money if a buyer wants to put GNU/Linux or another free OS on the computer. Ciurcina says, "The focus of the Court's reasoning is that the sale of a PC with software preinstalled is not like the sale of a car with its components (the 4 wheels, the engine, etc.) that therefore are sold jointly. Buying a computer with preinstalled software, the user is required to conclude two different contracts: the first, when he buys the computer; the second, when he turns on the computer for the first time and he is required to accept or not the license terms of the preinstalled software. Therefore, if the user does not accept the software license, he has the right to keep the computer and install free software without having to pay the 'Microsoft tax.'"

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Scientists Engineer Cancer-Killing Stem Cells
    SternisheFan writes with news that medical researchers from Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital have successfully cultivated stem cells that will kill brain cancer cells in mice without damaging healthy cells. "They used genetic engineering to make stem cells that spewed out cancer-killing toxins, but, crucially, were also able to resist the effects of the poison they were producing. ... In animal tests, the stem cells were surrounded in gel and placed at the site of the brain tumor after it had been removed. Their cancer cells then died as they had no defense against the toxins (abstract)." The next step in the research is to try the treatment on humans. Chris Mason, a professor of regenerative medicine, said, "This is a clever study, which signals the beginning of the next wave of therapies. It shows you can attack solid tumors by putting mini pharmacies inside the patient which deliver the toxic payload direct to the tumor. Cells can do so much. This is the way the future is going to be."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • CHP Officers Steal, Forward Nude Pictures From Arrestee Smartphones
    sabri writes: Following the initial suspension of a California Highway Patrol officer earlier this week, news has come out that the CHP has an entire ring of officers who steal and subsequently share nude pictures. The nudes are stolen from women who are arrested or stopped. Officer Sean Harrington of Martinez reportedly confessed to stealing explicit photos from the suspect's phone, and said he forwarded those images to at least two other CHP officers. Where is the ACLU when you need them the most?

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Ballmer Says Amazon Isn't a "Real Business"
    theodp writes According to Steve Ballmer, is not a real business. "They make no money," Ballmer said on the Charlie Rose Show. "In my world, you're not a real business until you make some money. I have a hard time with businesses that don't make money at some point." Ballmer's comments come as Amazon posted a $437 million loss for the third quarter, disappointing Wall Street. "If you are worth $150 billion," Ballmer added, "eventually somebody thinks you're going to make $15 billion pre-tax. They make about zero, and there's a big gap between zero and 15." Fired-up as ever, LA Clippers owner Ballmer's diss comes after fellow NBA owner Mark Cuban similarly slammed IBM, saying Big Blue is no longer a tech company (Robert X. Cringely seems to concur). "Today, they [IBM] specialize in financial engineering," Cuban told CNBC after IBM posted another disappointing quarter. "They're no longer a tech company, they are an amalgamation of different companies that they are trying to arb[itrage] on Wall Street, and I'm not a fan of that at all."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Google Search Finally Adds Information About Video Games
    An anonymous reader writes Google has expanded its search engine with the capability to recognize video games. If your query references a game, a new Knowledge Graph panel on the right-hand side of Google's search results page will offer more information, including the series it belongs to, initial release date, supported platforms, developers, publishers, designers, and even review scores. Google spokesperson: "With today's update, you can ask questions about video games, and (while there will be ones we don't cover) you'll get answers for console and PC games as well as the most popular mobile apps."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Peter Kuran:Visual Effects Artist and Atomic Bomb Archivist
    Lasrick links to this interview with Peter Kuran, an animator of the original Star Wars and legendary visual effects artist, writing If you saw the recent remake of Godzilla, you saw stock footage from Atom Central, known on YouTube as 'the atomic bomb channel.' Atom Central is the brainchild of Kuran, who among his many talents is an expert on archival films of the atmospheric testing era of 1945 to 1963. Combining his film restoration and photography expertise with his interest in nuclear history, he has also produced and directed five documentaries. He is currently working with Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos National Laboratories to preserve and catalog images from the bomb-testing era, and to produce a technical handbook that will help people understand these images and the techniques used to create them.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • OwnCloud Dev Requests Removal From Ubuntu Repos Over Security Holes
    operator_error notes a report that ownCloud developer Lukas Reschke has emailed the Ubuntu Devel mailing list to request that ownCloud (server) be removed from the Ubuntu repositories because it contains "multiple critical security bugs for which no fixes have been backported," through which an attacker could "gain complete control [of] the web server process." From the article: However, packages can't be removed from the Ubuntu repositories for an Ubuntu version that was already released, that's why the package was removed from Ubuntu 14.10 (2 days before its release) but it's still available in the Ubuntu 14.04 and 12.04 repositories (ownCloud 6.0.1 for Ubuntu 14.04 and ownCloud 5.0.4 for Ubuntu 12.04, while the latest ownCloud version is 7.0.2). Furthermore, the ownCloud package is in the universe repository and software in this repository "WILL NOT receive any review or updates from the Ubuntu security team" (you should see this if you take a look at your /etc/apt/sources.list file) so it's up to someone from the Ubuntu community to step up and fix it. "If nobody does that, then it unfortunately stays the way it is", says Marc Deslauriers, Security Tech Lead at Canonical. You can follow the discussion @ Ubuntu Devel mailing list. So, until (if) someone fixes this, if you're using ownCloud from the Ubuntu repositories, you should either remove it or upgrade to the latest ownCloud from its official repository, hosted by the openSUSE Build Service."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Microsoft Now Makes Money From Surface Line, Q1 Sales Reach Almost $1 Billion
    SmartAboutThings writes Microsoft has recently published its Q1 fiscal 2015 earnings report, disclosing that it has made $4.5 billion in net income on $23.20 billion in revenue. According to the report, revenue has increased by $4.67 billion, compared to $18.53 billion from the same period last year. However, net income has decreased 14 percent compared to last year's $5.24 billion mainly because of the $1.14 billion cost associated with the integration and restructuring expenses related to the Nokia acquisition. But what's finally good news for the company is that the Surface gross margin was positive this quarter, which means the company finally starts making money on Surface sales. Microsoft didn't yet reveal Surface sales, but we know that Surface revenue was $908 million this quarter, up a massive 127 percent from the $400 million this time last year. However, if we assume that the average spent amount on the purchase of this year's Surface Pro 3 was around $1000, then we have less than 1 million units sold, which isn't that impressive, but it's a good start.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Days After Shooting, Canada Proposes New Restrictions On and Offline
    New submitter o_ferguson writes As Slashdot reported earlier this week, a lone shooter attacked the war memorial and parliament buildings in Ottawa, Canada on Wednesday. As many comments predicted, the national government has seized this as an opportunity to roll out considerable new regressive legislation, including measures designed to* increase data access for domestic intelligence services, institute a new form of extra-judicial detention, and, perhaps most troubling, criminalize some forms of religious and political speech online. As an example of the type of speech that could, in future, be grounds for prosecution, the article mentions that the killer's website featured "a black ISIS flag and rejoiced that 'disbelievers' will be consigned to the fires of Hell for eternity." A government MP offers the scant assurance that this legislation is not "trauma tainted," as it was drafted well prior to this week's instigating incidents. Needless to say, some internet observes remain, as always, highly skeptical of the manner in which events are being portrayed. (Please note that some articles may be partially paywalled unless opened in a private/incognito browser window.)

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • AT&T Locks Apple SIM Cards On New iPads
    As reported by MacRumors, the unlocked, carrier-switchable SIM cards built into the newest iPads aren't necessarily so -- at least if you buy them from an AT&T store. Though the card comes from Apple with the ability to support (and be switched among with software, if a change is necessary) all major carriers, "AT&T is not supporting this interchangeability and is locking the SIM included with cellular models of the iPad Air 2 and Retina iPad mini 3 after it is used with an AT&T plan. ... AT&T appears to be the only participating carrier that is locking the Apple SIM to its network. T-Mobile's John Legere has indicated that T-Mobile's process does not lock a customer in to T-Mobile, which appears to be confirmed by Apple's support document, and Sprint's process also seems to leave the Apple SIM unlocked and able to be used with other carrier plans. Verizon, the fourth major carrier in the United States, did not opt to allow the Apple SIM to work with its network." The iPad itself can still be activated and used on other networks, but only after the installation of a new SIM.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Passwords: Too Much and Not Enough
    An anonymous reader writes: Sophos has a blog post up saying, "attempts to get users to choose passwords that will resist offline guessing, e.g., by composition policies, advice and strength meters, must largely be judged failures." They say a password must withstand 1,000,000 guesses to survive an online attack but 100,000,000,000,000 to have any hope against an offline one. "Not only is the difference between those two numbers mind-bogglingly large, there is no middle ground." "Passwords falling between the two thresholds offer no improvement in real-world security, they're just harder to remember." System administrators "should stop worrying about getting users to create strong passwords and should focus instead on properly securing password databases and detecting leaks when they happen."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Verizon Injects Unique IDs Into HTTP Traffic
    An anonymous reader writes: Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest wireless carrier, is now also a real-time data broker. According to a security researcher at Stanford, Big Red has been adding a unique identifier to web traffic. The purpose of the identifier is advertisement targeting, which is bad enough. But the design of the system also functions as a 'supercookie' for any website that a subscriber visits. "Any website can easily track a user, regardless of cookie blocking and other privacy protections. No relationship with Verizon is required. ...while Verizon offers privacy settings, they don’t prevent sending the X-UIDH header. All they do, seemingly, is prevent Verizon from selling information about a user." Just like they said they would.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Secretive Funding Fuels Ongoing Net Neutrality Astroturfing Controversy
    alphadogg writes: The contentious debate about net neutrality in the U.S. has sparked controversy over a lack of funding transparency for advocacy groups and think tanks, which critics say subverts the political process. News stories from a handful of publications in recent months have accused some think tanks and advocacy groups of "astroturfing" — quietly shilling for large broadband carriers. In a handful of cases, those criticisms appear to have some merit, although the term is so overused by people looking to discredit political opponents that it has nearly lost its original meaning. An IDG News Service investigation found that major groups opposing U.S. Federal Communications Commission reclassification and regulation of broadband as a public utility tend to be less transparent about their funding than the other side. Still, some big-name advocates of strong net neutrality rules also have limited transparency mechanisms in place.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • A Low Cost, Open Source Geiger Counter (Video)
    Sawaiz Syed's LinkedIn page says he's a "Hardware Developer at GSU [Georgia State University], Department of Physics." That's a great workplace for someone who designs low cost radiation detectors that can be air-dropped into an area where there has been a nuclear accident (or a nuclear attack; or a nuclear terrorist act) and read remotely by a flying drone or a robot ground vehicle. This isn't Sawaiz's only project; it's just the one Timothy asked him about most at the recent Maker Faire Atlanta. (Alternate Video Link)

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Computer Scientist Parachutes From 135,908 Feet, Breaking Record
    An anonymous reader writes: The NY Times reports that Alan Eustace, a computer scientist and senior VP at Google, has successfully broken the record for highest freefall jump, set by Felix Baumgartner in 2012. "For a little over two hours, the balloon ascended at speeds up to 1,600 feet per minute to an altitude of 135,908 feet, more than 25 miles. Mr. Eustace dangled underneath in a specially designed spacesuit with an elaborate life-support system. He returned to earth just 15 minutes after starting his fall. ... Mr. Eustace cut himself loose from the balloon with the aid of a small explosive device and plummeted toward the earth at a speeds that peaked at more than 800 miles per hour, setting off a small sonic boom heard by observers on the ground. ... His technical team had designed a carbon-fiber attachment that kept him from becoming entangled in the main parachute before it opened. About four-and-a-half minutes into his flight, he opened the main parachute and glided to a landing 70 miles from the launch site."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Researcher Finds Tor Exit Node Adding Malware To Downloads
    Trailrunner7 writes: A security researcher has identified a Tor exit node that was actively patching binaries users download, adding malware to the files dynamically. The discovery, experts say, highlights the danger of trusting files downloaded from unknown sources and the potential for attackers to abuse the trust users have in Tor and similar services. Josh Pitts of Leviathan Security Group ran across the misbehaving Tor exit node while performing some research on download servers that might be patching binaries during download through a man-in-the middle attack. What Pitts found during his research is that an attacker with a MITM position can actively patch binaries–if not security updates–with his own code. In terms of defending against the sort of attack, Pitts suggested that encrypted download channels are the best option, both for users and site operators. "SSL/TLSis the only way to prevent this from happening. End-users may want to consider installing HTTPS Everywhere or similar plugins for their browser to help ensure their traffic is always encrypted," he said via email.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Employers Worried About Critical Thinking Skills
    Nerval's Lobster writes: Every company needs employees who can analyze information effectively, discarding what's unnecessary and digging down into what's actually useful. But employers are getting a little bit worried that U.S. schools aren't teaching students the necessary critical-thinking skills to actually succeed once they hit the open marketplace. The Wall Street Journal talked with several companies about how they judge critical-thinking skills, a few of which ask candidates to submit to written tests to judge their problem-solving abilities. But that sidesteps the larger question: do schools need to shift their focus onto different teaching methods (i.e., downplaying the need for students to memorize lots of information), or is our educational pipeline just fine, thank you very much?

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Recent Nobel Prize Winner Revolutionizes Microscopy Again
    An anonymous reader writes: Eric Betzig recently shared in the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his work on high-resolution microscopy. Just yesterday, Betzig and a team of researchers published a new microscopy technique (abstract) that "allows them to observe living cellular processes at groundbreaking resolution and speed." According to the article, "Until now, the best microscope for viewing living systems as they moved were confocal microscopes. They beam light down onto a sample of cells. The light penetrates the whole sample and bounces back. ... The light is toxic, and degrades the living system over time. Betzig's new microscope solves this by generating a sheet of light that comes in from the side of the sample, made up of a series of beams that harm the sample less than one solid cone of light. Scientists can now snap a high-res image of the entire section they're illuminating, without exposing the rest of the sample to any light at all."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Decades-old Scientific Paper May Hold Clues To Dark Matter
    sciencehabit writes: Here's one reason libraries hang on to old science journals: A paper from an experiment conducted 32 years ago may shed light on the nature of dark matter, the mysterious stuff whose gravity appears to keep the galaxies from flying apart. The old data put a crimp in the newfangled concept of a 'dark photon' and suggest that a simple bargain-basement experiment could put the idea to the test. The data come from E137, a "beam dump" experiment that ran from 1980 to 1982 at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, California. In the experiment, physicists slammed a beam of high-energy electrons, left over from other experiments, into an aluminum target to see what would come out. Researchers placed a detector 383 meters behind the target, on the other side of a sandstone hill 179 meters thick that blocked any ordinary particles.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • PCGamingWiki Looks Into Linux Gaming With 'Port Reports'
    AberBeta writes: PCGamingWiki contributor Soeb has been looking into the recent larger budget game releases to appear on Linux, including XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Borderlands: The Pre–Sequel produced by Mac porting houses Feral and Aspyr. Soeb reports that while feature parity is high, performance could be a bit better. Performance differences aside, the games are finally arriving on Linux — now the userbase needs to expand to make a virtuous cycle.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • How To Beat Online Price Discrimination
    New submitter Intrepid imaginaut sends word of a study (PDF) into how e-commerce sites show online shoppers different prices depending on how they found an item and what the sites know about the customer. "For instance, the study found, users logged in to Cheaptickets and Orbitz saw lower hotel prices than shoppers who were not registered with the sites. Home Depot shoppers on mobile devices saw higher prices than users browsing on desktops. Some searchers on Expedia and consistently received higher-priced options, a result of randomized testing by the websites. Shoppers at Sears, Walmart, Priceline, and others received results in a different order than control groups, a tactic known as “steering.” To get a better price, the article advises deleting cookies before shopping, using your browser's private mode, putting the items in your shopping cart without buying them right away, and using tools like Camelcamelcamel to keep an eye out for price drops.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Automation Coming To Restaurants, But Not Because of Minimum Wage Hikes
    dcblogs writes: McDonald's this week told financial analysts of its plans to install self-ordering kiosks and mobile ordering at its restaurants. This news prompted the Wall Street Journal to editorialize, in " Minimum Wage Backfire," that while it may be true for McDonald's to say that its tech plans will improve customer experience, the move is also "a convenient justify a reduction in the chain's global workforce." Minimum wage increase advocates, the Journal argued, are speeding along an automation backlash. But banks have long relied on ATMs, and grocery stores, including Walmart, have deployed self-service checkouts. In contrast, McDonald's hasn't changed its basic system of taking orders since its founding in the 1950s, said Darren Tristano, executive vice president of Technomic, a research group focused on the restaurant industry. While mobile, kiosks and table ordering systems may help reduce labor costs, the automated self-serve technology is seen as an essential. It will take the stress out of ordering (lines) at fast food restaurants, and the wait for checks at more casual restaurants. It also helps with upselling and membership to loyalty programs. People who can order a drink refill off a tablet, instead of waving down waitstaff, may be more inclined to do so. Moreover, analysts say younger customers want self-service options.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Sun's latest FIERY BURP causes hour-long RADIO BLACKOUT
    NASA observes MAJOR solar flare in MASSIVE sunspot
    Pic NASA scientists observed another major solar flare on the Sun on Friday - the fourth such activity in the past week erupting from the biggest sunspot in nearly 25 years.…

  • This Changes Everything? OH Naomi Klein, NO
    It's not capitalism that's broken here, it's publishing
    Worstall @ the Weekend Given that I'm from the rational, classical end of liberalism, I'm obviously not going to be greatly taken by the spoutings of someone like Naomi Klein. But if an ideological difference were all it was, then I'd have left her new book, This Changes Everything alone after I'd read it.…

  • Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
    Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
    Vulture at the Wheel When I took my seatbelt off, the Caterham 160 didn’t beep at me. I didn’t get electronically reprimanded when I got out and left the headlights on and I didn’t have any problems bluetoothing my phone to the radio because it doesn’t have Bluetooth. Or a radio.…

  • Weekend reads: Russell Brand's Revolution and Joy Division's Ian Curtis gets lyrical
    And Lemony Snicket's author goes piratical
    Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston peruses the pick of publishing this week and finds he prefers Russell Brand when he's on the page rather than on the telly, as the media messiah offers more words of wisdom on society's ills. The work of Joy Division's vocalist and lyricist is presented as never before and Daniel Handler, known to many as Lemony Snicket, has an intriguing tale of the high seas to tell.

  • SKYPE has the HOTS for my NAKED WIFE
    If she has nothing to hide, she has nothing to worry about, right?
    Something for the Weekend, Sir? My wife is parading naked in front of a webcam again. Here's the funny thing, though: she doesn't even know that the webcam is on. In fact, it's not even her computer – it's mine – and she's not doing it deliberately. Come to think of it, I wasn't even aware that my webcam was on until just now when the green LED illuminated all by itself when she walked into the room. It's as if the mere sight of Half Life half-dressed turned it on.…

  • Google CEO Larry Page gives Sundar Pichai keys to the kingdom
    Android, Chrome boss moves another step closer to Choc Factory's top job
    Ten years after joining Google and with running Android, Chrome, and Google Apps already on his plate, Sundar Pichai's star has now risen even higher, gaining a new tranche of responsibilities in the process.…

  • LG taps TSMC to bake its first-ever mobile chip
    Joins Apple, Samsung in ARM chipmaking party with Nuclun
    South Korea's LG Electronics has announced its first self-made mobile system-on-chip (SoC), along with plans to debut the chip in a new smartphone to be released within the week.…

  • Wanna hop carriers with your iPad's Apple SIM? SWERVE AT&T
    Unless you want your network-swapping tech disabled for good, that is
    If you're excited about using the new iPads' multi-carrier Apple SIM in the US, don't pick AT&T as your first choice – or you'll lose the ability to switch to another operator altogether.…

  • FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
    Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
    Chipmaker FTDI has pulled a driver from Windows Update that could brick devices containing knockoff versions of its USB-to-serial bridge chips, but says it won't back down on its aggressive anti-counterfeiting stance.…

  • iMessage SPAM floods US mobile networks
    iSpam knockoff goods scam
    China-based counterfeiters are spamvertising knock-off designer goods using Apple iMessage instead of using conventional email spam runs.…

  • Bitcasa bins $10-a-month Infinite storage offer
    Firm cites 'low demand' plus 'abusers'
    Comment One of the oddest cloud storage offers ever has just been binned as Bitcasa bumps into reality. When sprats are competing with killer whales what do you expect?…

  • Techies: Meet the Microsoft A Team at Future Decoded
    Brian Cox, Sir Nigel Shadbolt at Tech Day, ExCeL, 12 Nov
    Promo Microsoft is running a huge conference - Future Decoded - in London’s ExCeL centre on November 10-12. The Tech Day on Day 3 has a huge agenda, big name keynote speakers, eight training tracks – and one track dedicated to entrepreneurial startups and students.…

  • We chat to CloudFlare about its 'EVERYBODY GETS SSL' venture
    Has gutsy move generated biz?
    Interview CloudFlare boss Matthew Prince is hoping the firm's project to roll out SSL support to customers who use its free cloud-based web hosting service will inspire other internet firms to build out a fully encrypted web.…

  • Meet Mr Gamification: He's got a NUDGE or two for you
    Battle of Ideas Do you ever get invited to talk and wish that Steve Bong was there instead of you? That’s what happened to me last weekend. The subject was "gamification" at the Battle of Ideas. Things got really strange, really quickly – I think you’ll find what is coming up to be quite eye-opening - but I’m sure Steve would have taken it all in his stride.…

  • Pssst. Want to buy a timeshare in the clouds?
    The Google dilemma — controller or spreader of knowledge?
    Comment Three questions: is baby turning into a monster? Are we desktop/notebook/tablet/smartphone users becoming the near-as-dammit slaves of social media and retail monopolists? Are these monopolists destroying jobs and impoverishing people faster than networked smart device and software technologies are creating jobs and enriching their users' lives?…

  • WIN a 1TB monster Samsung EVO 840 SSD
    Three solid state scorchers up for grabs
    Competition SSDs, doncha love ’em? Blisteringly fast and no mechanical parts but all too often you’re faced with a capacity compromise. Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that are worth over £300 apiece.…

  • What's that STINK? Rosetta probe shoves nose under comet's tail
    Rotten eggs, horse dung and almonds – yuck
    The Rosetta probe that is orbiting comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko may be preoccupied with locking down its plans for landing on the surface, but there's still science to be done – and scientists have been taking a sniff of how the space snowball smells.…

  • Rackspace launches big red rack eater
    RackConnect 3.0 release gives Rackspace a much better hybrid cloud story
    Rackspace has flicked the switch on the third version of its RackConnect hybrid cloud-maker.…

  • Adorkable overshare of words like photobomb in this year's dictionaries
    And hipsters are finally defined as self-loathing. Sort of
    Adorkable, photobomb, overshare, Tinder. What do these words have in common? Apart from being ridiculous portmanteaus and brand names that have made their way into common usage, they’re also words that will feature in this year’s new dictionaries.… offline for now

  • Ubuntu 14.04 In The Power8 Cloud From RunAbove
    Yesterday I shared my preview of RunAbove's PowerPC cloud using IBM's latest POWER8 CPUs. RunAbove's PowerPC cloud currently offers an instance type up to 176 threads, for which I've spent the past few days of benchmarking. While initially the only operating system enabled in the POWER8 cloud was Fedora 19, now Ubuntu 14.04 LTS is also an option...

  • KDE With Theoretical Client-Side Decorations, Windows 10 Influence
    KDE contributor and graphics designer Ken Vermette has penned an interesting series of KDE "What if..." articles where he talks about (and has some visual mock-ups) about what KDE might look like with client-side decorations along and separately if KDE were to use Windows 10 design components...

  • Open-Source Radeon 2D Performance Is Better With Ubuntu 14.10
    While we're most often looking at the OpenGL 3D performance of the Linux graphics drivers, in the tests currently being done of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS vs. Ubuntu 14.10 are also a number of 2D graphics benchmarks. In the article today are our 2D benchmarks between Ubuntu 14.04.1 and Ubuntu 14.10 for various AMD Radeon graphics cards and it shows off significant performance improvements.

  • Fedora 21 Beta & Final Release Slip Further
    At the beginning of today I wrote how the Fedora 21 Beta was pushed back but just by one day. Now after another Go/No-Go meeting today, Fedora 21 beta and all subsequent deadlines have been pushed back by one week...

  • Mesa 10.3.2 Has A Couple Bug-Fixes
    For those living by stable Mesa releases rather than the exciting, bleeding-edge Mesa Git code for open-source Linux graphics drivers, Mesa 10.3.2 is available this Friday night...

  • MSI X99S SLI PLUS On Linux
    For Intel Core i7 5960X Haswell-E Linux testing I originally bought an MSI X99S SLI PLUS motherboard as it was one of the most interesting, lowest-priced boards available at the time of the Intel X99 chipset debut. While I initially ran into some problems, those issues have now been confirmed to be isolated, and with a replacement X99S SLI PLUS motherboard I have been stressing it constantly for the past few weeks on Fedora and Ubuntu. The X99S SLI PLUS has now proven itself to be a reliable motherboard that's still among the least expensive X99 ATX motherboards on the market.

  • RunAbove: A POWER8 Compute Cloud With Offerings Up To 176 Threads
    RunAbove has launched the first major public cloud built around IBM's latest-generation Power 8 processors that when properly implemented can deliver up to 100 times the power of a classic x86 setup, according to the company. I've been running benchmarks in RunAbove's Power8 cloud the past few days and have been impressed, both with the performance and as my first time using the RunAbove cloud service.

  • More Fedora Delays: Fedora 21 Beta Slips
    While the Fedora 21 Alpha release was challenged by multiple delays that put it back one month, the delays aren't over yet. At yesterday's first Go/No-Go meeting for the Fedora 21 Beta, it was determined that the beta release isn't quite ready yet...

  • FreeBSD 10.1 RC3 Has ZFS, UDPLite Fixes
    FreeBSD 10.1 RC3 was a few days late but it's out there this Thursday afternoon. FreeBSD 10.3 takes care of an API incompatibility between 10.0-RELEASE and the earlier 10.1-RC2 state (due to the libopie library) and aside from that this third release candidate has a lot of other fixes...

  • GTK+ Lands Experimental Backend For Mir Display Server
    GTK+ apps now run not only on X11 and Wayland under Linux with native support but the mainline GTK+ Git code now also supports running Ubuntu's Mir Display Server. That's right, there's now mainline Mir support in GTK for the GNOME/GTK 3.16 release...

  • 6-Way Ubuntu 14.10 Linux Desktop Benchmarks
    In celebration of Ubuntu 14.10's Utopic Unicorn release today, here's some fresh benchmarks of one of the most requested topics: 2D/3D benchmarks of different desktop environments. In this article is a look at six of the popular desktop offerings found in Ubuntu 14.10.

  • Intel GVT-g GPU Virtualization Moves Closer
    For months we have been talking about Intel XenGT as mediated graphics pass-through support so virtual machines can access Intel Haswell HD Graphics GPUs from the host under Linux and the GPU shared directly with the VMs running on the system. This work is finally closer to being realized to end-users with the code working towards being mainlined...

  • GTK+ 3.16 To Bring Several New Features
    Already on Phoronix we have begun writing about features in Git for the GNOME 3.16 due out in March. GNOME contributor and Red Hat employee Matthias Clasen is excited too, particularly around some of the GTK+ tool-kit improvements...

  • What Linux Benchmarks Would You Like To See Next?
    At and with the Phoronix Test Suite / we're always looking to cater to the interests of more parties and as such are interested to see what other benchmarks you'd like to see incorporated...

  • Open-Source, Linux Support For Corsair Link Devices Slowly Materializing
    Corsair Link comes down to a proprietary protocol for allowing Corsair products within the "Link" ecosystem to allow for a centralized, easy-to-use control panel for fans, water coolers, and more. Corsair doesn't provide any Linux support for Corsair Link, but open-source developers are filling in the gaps...

  • Ubuntu 14.10 XMir System Compositor Benchmarks
    With Ubuntu 14.10 "Utopic Unicorn" due for release today, here's some benchmarks showing how the standard Unity 7 desktop on Ubuntu 14.10 is comparing to the still-experimental Unity System Compositor and using XMir for running traditional Linux OpenGL games.

  • GStreamer 2014 Conference Videos Posted: Wayland, HTML5, 3D
    The GStreamer Conference 2014 took place last week in Düsseldorf alongside other Linux Foundation events. For those that missed out on being there in person, Ubicast has once again provided wonderful video recordings of each of the sessions...

  • Btrfs RAID HDD Testing On Ubuntu Linux 14.10
    With the Btrfs file-system continuing to stabilize while still adding more functionality and is generating continued interest from more Linux distributions and other open-source projects, I've found it time to run some fresh Btrfs RAID benchmarks to see how the next-generation Linux file-system is performing with its built-in RAID handling.

  • Ubuntu 14.10 Linux 32-bit vs. 64-bit Performance
    Given yesterday's story about Ubuntu 16.04 LTS potentially being the last 32-bit release if that proposal goes through, and given the number of people still running 32-bit Linux distributions on Intel/AMD hardware that is 64-bit capable, here's some fresh x86 vs. x86_64 benchmarks using Ubuntu 14.10.

  • Features Of The Linux 3.18 Kernel
    With Linux 3.18-rc1 arriving one week early I didn't have a chance to write a feature overview of Linux 3.18 prior to this first development release that marked the close of the merge window. For those that didn't stay up to date with our dozens of Linux 3.18 kernel articles about changes and new features, here's a concise overview...


  • Drug stores drop Apple Pay and Google Wallet to push their own payment tech

    If you're bent on using Apple Pay or Google Wallet for your shopping, you may have to be finicky about your choice of drug stores. Both CVS and Rite Aid have shut off their support for NFC-based payments just days after Apple Pay went live. Try to tap your phone and you'll get an error, or nothing at all. The companies haven't publicly discussed why they're cutting off the handy feature, but this is ultimately an attempt to stifle competition. Both pharmacies are part of the Merchant Customer Exchange, a retailer group releasing its own mobile wallet system (CurrentC) in 2015; as a memo obtained by SlashGear suggests, they'd rather deny all NFC payments than risk building support for rivals. Suffice it to say that this will be very inconvenient if you're a frequent customer, and you'll currently have to visit the likes of Duane Reade and Walgreens if you want to avoid paying with old-fashioned cash or plastic.

    [Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]

    Filed under: Cellphones, Internet, Mobile, Apple, Google


    Source: MacRumors, SlashGear

  • IRL: Keeping a journal with Day One

    Trying to keep a journal has always been difficult for me. Before the age of smartphones, I tried to rely on text files or a physical notepad. If I wasn't forgetting to write down my thoughts, I was losing the file or my handwriting was so bad it would make a doctor jealous. I did the LiveJournal thing, too, except it fostered too many passive-aggressive entries. Finally, while browsing the App Store I come across an interesting-looking piece of software called Day One. The features, design and presentation prompted me to give journaling another go. And I'm glad I did.

    If you've never heard of Day One, here's a quick rundown: It's a journaling app with an emphasis on ease of use. MultiMarkdown text allows for cleaner, faster writing, and you can import location, activity, music and weather data from the apps. More recently, the app added a Publish feature that allows you to share entries with Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. Think of it as having a personal blog without every entry being public.

    With the latest version, Day One made some tweaks to take advantage of some of the new features introduced in iOS 8. Previously, I would have had to go into the app to attach a link or photo. I can now share directly from any application where developers have taken advantage of Apple's new "extensibility" feature. I can now use Touch ID to unlock my journal. Entering a PIN isn't hard, of course, but using a fingerprint feels more secure over the standard four digits. Apple also added a widget option, allowing you to view two random picture entries as well as journaling stats for the last 50 days, all from the iOS Notification Center. For the most part, these aren't the kind of changes that make or break the product. Instead, they're the type of updates that help round out an already good experience.

    When I first tried Day One, I had trouble making everything work. At the time I was using an Android phone, but unfortunately, the app is iOS-only. This proved to be an issue because I had no way of capturing thoughts or photos on the go. Sure, I could have taken a picture of that awesome graffiti I saw on the street and write about it when I got home, but without fail I would end up forgetting. The desktop client offers a notification option, but it's too easy to dismiss by telling myself "I'll do it later." Getting an iPhone is what really made using Day One a more regular part of my routine.

    Creating new entries is an easy experience. Whether I'm writing an entry or snapping a picture, the app makes it effortless. One feature I didn't think I'd fully appreciate is MultiMarkdown. This style of text input allows me to write new entries with detailed formatting -- without HTML messing up the flow. Simply wrapping a word in an asterisk can italicize it, or if I want to create a link, I can use brackets and parentheses instead of writing a full HREF statement. The app even has a swipeable bar to quickly input different Markdown tags so I'll never forget how to bullet a list or insert a link. It seems silly to spend time discussing writing syntax, but it makes for more efficient writing.

    Tagging -- a pretty standard feature in any archiving service -- is also present in Day One. This has always been beneficial with bookmarks, but I'm getting a lot of utility out of it with journaling, too. I use it for tracking potential medical issues as well as my hobbies. For example, I have one called "Invisalign" where I've been writing once a week about my experience with this alternative to traditional braces. Before my next visit, I can pull up the tag to quickly remind myself of any issues I ran into. I'm also a huge coffee fan. I enjoy trying out different roasters, but tracking the various bags can be time consuming. Using a modified Launch Center Pro action, I can quickly create an entry with pre-filled fields. Triggering the actions brings me to a series of boxes asking for roaster, origin, method, rating and tasting notes. All of this gets formatted into a clean-looking table, then auto-tagged for easy reference later.

    With the help of If This Then That (IFTTT) and Launch Center Pro I can also automate some of my entries to make life a little easier. Using the two services, I can notify my phone of any photo I post to Instagram with the tag #dayone. Interacting with the alert will pre-populate a new post with the image and the text from the tagged 'gram. I also combine them with Strava to auto-create entries for any new activities I complete. This allows me to stay on top of my training log, something I've tried to do numerous times over the years to little or no effect.

    The downsides to Day One? As I mentioned, there's no Android app -- it's currently only available for iOS and OS X. Unfortunately, Windows and Linux users are out of luck, too, though the team does link to a few tools for generating entries. As for Android, I've seen a few apps offering import/export abilities, but I personally haven't used them so I can't report on how well they work. Additionally, you may be turned off by the prices: $4.99 for the iOS app and $9.99 for the desktop client, or $15 total. That's something I questioned at first since there are cheaper journal solutions, but after using Day One for a while, I'm convinced the cost is more than justified.

    Filed under: Software


  • Sony wants to show you how PS4's online game-sharing works

    When next Tuesday's 2.0 update hits for the PlayStation 4, Sony will finally turn one of the most ambitious promises it made when the console was first announceda reality. We're talking about Share Play, of course. We know: the ability to virtually hand a controller off to a pal via the internet and have them work through a game's tricky section for you sounds kinda like magic -- the type that only Disney is capable of. But, in theory it sounds pretty simple, and the catch-up king has recently released a video that walks through the process step by step. From the looks of it, the new feature is added as an option from the DualShock 4's Share button. Naturally. How well it all works in the wild, however, remains to be seen.

    The rub of it is that every function other than screen sharing (meaning, controller passing and a virtual second player controller hand-off) requires a PlayStation Plus subscription. What's more, these virtual sharing sessions are limited to an hour apiece. After all, Sony's in the business of selling games -- letting you stream a pal's indefinitely probably isn't good for the bottom line.

    Filed under: Gaming, Home Entertainment, HD, Sony


    Source: PlayStation Blog

  • Who'd have thought the Power Mac G5 made a good bench?

    Like it or loathe it, you have to admit that the design of the Power Mac G5 was a very clever way of getting around the system's legendary thermal issues. It was no surprise that the ol' cheesegrater was kept around for the Mac Pro, at least until last year's solid-state revolution. But what of the numerous G5 chassis that are now lingering in attics, skips and warehouses? If you don't want to gut one to use for your own high-end PC, then Klaus Geiger is more than happy to turn them into furniture. As part of his Benchma[(R)]c project, two G5 cases and a plank of Walnut is all you need to make a pretty nifty park bench. There's more images down at the source, but you'll have to excuse us, as we're just off to put our collection of Rodrigo Alonso furniture on eBay.

    Filed under: Apple


    Via: The Verge

    Source: Projektgalerie (Translated)

  • Robotic hand uses the power of static electricity to pick up objects

    A cheap robotic hand developed by a company called Grabit offers something most of the other mechanical limbs we've seen before don't: the ability to pick up objects using electrostatic attraction. Even if you're not familiar with term, you've likely encountered the phenomenon at least once. Ever rubbed a balloon on your hair for fun, so you can stick it to the wall? How about getting plastic of bits of styrofoam stuck on your hand while handling a package? Yep, that's all thanks to attraction caused by static electricity. Grabit's mechanical hand takes it step further by using powered electrodes to sustain the phenomenon, as the charge naturally disappears over time. It also has the technology to prevent dust from clinging onto the fingers.

    This robotic limb wasn't made to be used by amputees, though -- it's meant for the manufacturing industry as a replacement for robots that use suction cups or other means to pick up objects. In fact, Grabit made its fingers out of flexible materials that have electrostatic properties, so it can manipulate objects of different shapes and sizes. The limb can also distribute weight more evenly than other manufacturing robots, allowing it to handle delicate materials such the components needed to assemble solar cells. Grabit presented its technology last week at the RoboBusiness conference in Boston, but if you weren't there, you can always watch how the hand works in the videos below.

    Filed under: Robots


    Source: Technology Review

  • Amazon has made its Appstore for Android obsolete

    Since its creation, the Amazon Appstore stood apart, banned from being offered in the official store for Android apps, Google Play, until now... sort of. When Amazon recently updated its main Android app, it got a new "Apps & Games" department that duplicates the content found in the standalone Appstore app -- effectively making it both unnecessary and obsolete. Naturally, because Amazon's still delivering apps outside the confines of Google Play, you need to change your device's security settings to accept downloads from unknown sources to install them. The change is a welcome one -- reducing app clutter's a good thing -- and the convenience factor afforded by this consolidation should have Amazon selling more apps. Still, we're pretty sure that's not enough to make up for the Fire phone's hit to the company's bottom line.

    Filed under: Software, Mobile, Amazon


    Source: TechCrunch

  • Sundar Pichai takes control of Google's crucial products

    Well, we guess congratulations are in order. According to Calico, the moonshots under construction at Google X -- are all still firmly in Page's pocket. In fact, his love for the latter may be what caused this seismic leadership shift in the first place. Re/code notes that Page has expressed an interest in focusing on the "bigger picture" stuff that'll define what the Google of tomorrow will look like, lining up with earlier reports that he's been tapping internal talent to figure out what big, world-changing problems Google should really be trying to fix.

    Source: Re/code

  • Got Google's new Inbox app? Now you can invite three friends!

    The jury's still out on Google's new mobile approach to email, but that hasn't stopped people from going a little batty over getting invited to use it (see also: Gmail, Google Wave). In case you were feeling a little weird about begging Google for an Inbox invite, though, you can now just beg your Inbox-using friends for one. Google has just started gracing users with three invites to spread among their needy peers -- if they happen to see a golden ticket (we really need a new visual metaphor to that effect) in their Speed Dial menu, they can start spreading the love. Alas, Google isn't letting the floodgates fully open just yet: if you got your invite from someone who didn't get theirs straight from Mountain View, chances are you don't have any invites of your own to share. Now we're just waiting to see if a secondary market of Inbox invites springs up -- what's the Bitcoin-to-Inbox invite ratio these days?


    Source: Google+

  • Yardarm will tell dispatchers when and where police fire guns
    old Andy Taylor, most police officers in the United States carry a firearm as part of their standard equipment. Wouldn't it be nice to know when those sidearms are drawn, and why? A Silicon Valley startup called Yardarm seems to think so -- it's testing a new gun accessory that can notify police dispatchers when officers draw and fire their weapons. It's a small Bluetooth-enabled sensor that attaches to the officer's pistol and interacts with a companion smartphone. In addition to tracking the gun's action (if it's been fired) and location, it can also sort out which direction the weapon was fired and even if it has simply left its holster.

    The Santa Cruz County Sheriff department, one of the police agencies testing the device, are optimistic about the Yardarm's application. It could be used to detect when officers are in a hostile situation, but are unable to call for backup. It also adds one more layer of data for investigating situations where a firearm was discharged, making it a potentially useful tool for both officer and public safety.

    [Image credit: AP / Eric Risberg]

    Filed under: Peripherals


    Source: PhysOrg, Yardarm

  • AT&T locks your new iPad's SIM so you can't switch carriers without a new one

    Apple's iPad Air 2 and Mini 3 launched with a very, very pleasant surprise: If you splurged on an LTE model, you could choose whether you wanted to jump on Sprint's, T-Mobile's or AT&T's networks (along with EE's if you're in the UK), with nary a SIM card swap in sight. It seemed pretty brilliant, really: you get the ability to pick a data plan that works best for you even if it's not from the same carrier each time, and Apple no longer has to juggle different iPad models for different carrier partners. Alas, if only everyone played by the same rules. At first we thought the only caveat was that Verizon hasn't thrown its support behind Apple's split-personality SIM, but it turns out if you sign up for a spot of surfing with AT&T, you won't be able to switch to any other network without procuring another Apple SIM. Just lovely, no?

    Reports of AT&T's clinginess first started making the rounds on Twitter (see image below, courtesy of Twitter user @PilotMike), and Apple has confirmed to us that this is sadly just how the system works. Meanwhile, AT&T clarified its stance to giving its rivals more ammo.


    Via: TechCrunch

    Source: MacRumors

  • The Nexus 9 wasn't designed to be an iPad killer

    The Nexus 9 wasn't designed to be an iPad killer; it was designed to inspire Google's Android partners to create one instead. Though you'd be forgiven for thinking otherwise: It was announced one day before the iPad Air 2 and mini 3, comes with a powerful 64-bit NVIDIA chip and will be competitively priced with Apple's tablets. But Alberto Villarreal, head of the Nexus 9's industrial design, insists that this wasn't the purpose.

    "We wanted to accelerate the premium market for Android tablets," Villarreal said. "[The Nexus 9] has a lot of attributes and definitely will bring the quality for other companies to do better."

    The Nexus 9 had to be a shining example in much the same way that last year's Nexus devices, the 5 and 7, showed manufacturers that it's possible to create inexpensive phones and tablets that look good and perform well. The team needed a partner with experience in creating premium devices, so it turned to HTC.
    The team needed a partner with experience in creating premium devices, so it turned to HTC.
    "We saw the One and really liked how their designs were very simple, focused on usability and removed things that didn't need to be there," Villarreal said. "They have nice craft and precision details and materials."

    HTC handled the Nexus 9's production and worked closely with Google on its design and materials, but it looks unlike anything the Taiwan-based manufacturer has made before. The well-hidden BoomSound stereo speakers on the front are distinctively HTC, but otherwise the tablet looks like a blown-up version of the Nexus 5: The straight sides, matte soft-grip (polycarbonate) back and even the camera placement offer a very striking resemblance. (Villarreal helped design the Nexus 5 as well.) But the 9 takes on more of a premium appearance than last year's smartphone thanks to its use of aluminum.

    If the design team entertained the idea of an all-metal device, the thought didn't stick. It preferred a layered approach: The aluminum sides provide rigidity and protection, in addition to its premium appearance, while the polycarbonate is meant to offer a better grip and more color options. And while the Nexus 9's three hues -- black, white and sand -- aren't exactly vibrant or eye-catching, a lot more consideration went into selecting the right shades.

    "We're moving away from technology-driven black and silver, which is very common in the industry, and trying to bring more of a fashion look to the portfolio," Villarreal said.

    While the options don't scream fashion, Villarreal explained that his team chose sand to be more expressive and make a statement. The black shade has a slight blue tint when viewed from certain angles, and the white option is actually closer to gray to combat dirt and grubby hands.

    The size of the 9 places it firmly in the middle of the tablet spectrum, between larger tablets like the iPad Air and Nexus 10 and smaller ones like the iPad mini and Nexus 7. I much prefer the screen's 4:3 aspect ratio over the 16:10 panel on the Nexus 7. It may not make a huge difference when watching movies in landscape mode, but it definitely will in portrait. A 9-inch screen using 16:10 would simply be too long for comfort.
    The size of the 9 places it firmly in the middle of the tablet spectrum.
    Early in the development process, Google experimented with a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Villarreal said the number of design prototypes was "countless." It settled on this particular design because it's still portable and light enough for travel, but large enough to use as a productivity tool and entertainment device.

    Indeed, it's smaller and lighter than the iPad Airs and feels more portable. It also rivals Apple's tablet in performance -- on paper, anyway. If Google wants to prove it can be a serious productivity tool, this is the company's golden opportunity. The Nexus 9 is packing a dual-core 2.3GHz NVIDIA Tegra K1 chipset, but don't let the number of cores fool you: We've already seen a glimpse of what the first-generation K1 can do, and it was a fantastic performer. The new Nexus comes with the next-gen Denver K1, which comes with 64-bit support and is supposed to be even more powerful.

    [Image credit: Google]

    Since it was built with productivity in mind, Google also constructed a mechanical keyboard that doubles as a protective cover. It's 5mm thick, attaches to the Nexus magnetically, comes with NFC for easy pairing and is supposed to last several months on one charge. Since it's not quite as spaced-out as desktop and laptop boards, it'll still take some time to get used to, but the keys didn't feel quite as cramped as I expected.
    "We worked together with the software team from the onset -- it was a super-close collaboration."
    One of Google's primary advantages in building a Nexus tablet is its control of both the hardware and software. As a result, the Nexus 9 was designed with Android 5.0 Lollipop already in mind.

    "We worked together with the software team from the onset -- it was a super-close collaboration," Villarreal said. The new version of Android feels incredibly fresh, primarily due to Material Design, which is cleaner, flatter and more intuitive.

    At a baseline cost of $399, the Nexus 9 is priced competitively against Apple's iPad mini 3 and older Air, and it has plenty of power behind it. It may seem odd that the $200 Nexus 7 is no longer available as a more affordable option, but this move falls right in line with Google's new strategy: Create a premium benchmark for its partners to follow. Instead of going into battle alone, it's recruiting an army.

    Filed under: Tablets, Wireless, Mobile, HTC, Google


  • Google exec sets a new record for highest-altitude jump (video)

    Move over Felix Baumgartner -- just two years after the daredevil's record setting 128,000 foot Red Bull Stratos space jump, Google VP Alan Eustace has topped it. capsule + suit combo. It took two hours for the ride up, and another 15 minutes for the trip down, which peaked at speeds of up to 800 mph -- enough to break the sound barrier and create a sonic boom, making him the second person to do so outside of an airplane -- before the parachute system kicked in, and he glided back down to a landing site 70 miles away from where he started. He's apparently been working on the project since 2011, and declined assistance from Google to go it alone, working with Paragon Space Development Corporation on the project, dubbed "StratEx." He recorded the whole thing on GoPro cameras (of course) and you can watch video highlights from the feat embedded after the break.

    [Image credit: J. Martin Harris Photography / Paragon Space Development Corporation]

    Filed under: Misc, Transportation, Google


    Via: Larry Page (G+)

    Source: New York Times, Paragon SDC

  • Nest can now talk to Pebble and other home automation products

    Nest's thermostat and smoke detector now works with more third-party home automation products, the first fruits of the developer program that the Google-owned company launched in June. First in the list is something you're likely familiar with: Pebble smartwatches, which you can now use to control and check the temperature in your home. Next? A voice-controlled home manager called ivee, which lets you know when a peak energy event starts and ends, as well as lets you use spoken commands to adjust the temperature for you. Then there's Life360, an app that monitors where family members or friends are on a map (with their consent), which automatically adjusts the temp when the last resident in the house leaves or when the first one comes home.

    Nest can now also adjust temperature based on the sensor readings by WallyHome, a device that monitors water leaks. Finally, there's smart sprinkler controller Rachio, which now switches on sprinklers around the house if Nest Protect's alarm has been sounding off for quite some time. Other than these new additions, Google Ventures and Nest are also looking for up-and-coming products for its Works with Nest developer program, so this clearly won't be the last batch of support updates. Execs will look at developers' ideas on November 19th and will provide promising projects with funding and visibility to realize their goals. So if you think you have something brilliant for the connected home, check out the Thoughtful Things Fund for more info on how to join the event.

    Filed under: Household, Google


  • Canadians now have faster mobile data than you

    Our Canadian neighbors have already been given a taste of Rogers' extremely data-friendly LTE, but now the carrier is officially rolling out its LTE-Advanced network across 12 different cities. In fact, it's the first North Amercian carrier to launch an LTE-A network, period. So? Well, that means denizens of the poutine-filled country can stream much more video than you can, faster than you can. And since Rogers' new tech is a combination of AWS and its 700MHz spectrum (which is the same frequency some US AT&T clientele are also accustomed to), customers will see a big improvement on their data service while indoors, in a basement or other fringe areas. Head below for the full list of cities getting upgraded.

    If you live in any of the cities listed below and want even faster mobile data, today's your lucky day:
    Vancouver Edmonton Calgary Windsor London Hamilton Toronto Kingston Moncton Fredericton Halifax Saint John
    Filed under: Cellphones, Internet, Mobile, AT&T


    Source: CNW Group

  • 'Fantasia: Music Evolved' and its origins in the Kinect-hacking scene

    The developers at Harmonix aren't afraid to hit the reset button if something isn't working correctly. Chances are, strumming a plastic Stratocaster changed quite a bit before you ever even started playing "Creep" by Radiohead in Xbox 360 and Xbox One, as well. The team's aim, seemingly regardless of project, is for whatever you're doing in one of their titles to seem perfectly obvious and natural.

    "There's a huge willingness to throw stuff away and start over," Fantasia's lead programmer Mike Fitzgerald says. "It feels like [the final product] just works, when in reality it took a long time and a ton of work to make [gameplay] invisible."
    The Police's "Message in a Bottle" in Fantasia: Music Evolved

    To do that this time around, Harmonix turned to the Kinect-hacking scene for its Disney-funded project. At the outset, the team was keeping a close eye on what garage-based developers (and likely a few rock stars) were doing with Microsoft's do-all sensor, using its SDK as they saw fit for all manner of things. Harmonix brought in Jason Levine. He's well-known in the Kinect community, and has done live stage performances using Redmond's camera setup to track his body position for real-time visualizer backgrounds. He seemed like a perfect fit to consult on a game that ultimately turns you into a conductor on songs ranging from "Night on Bald Mountain" to more contemporary fare like "Royals" from Lorde.

    Levine's position-tracking input can be seen in the game: the silhouette at the bottom of the screen that reflects your motions back to you. That bit became one of the game's core design elements, letting you see what it was the Kinect was watching you do in real-time as a sort of positive reinforcement. "It's different from a theremin, an electronic instrument that you don't even touch for it to produce different sounds. "You have to learn how to move in space and you can get these outrageous results."

    To combat this with Fantasia, individual movements are taught to the player on a song-by-song basis until the training wheels come off and songs start getting more and more complex.
    A group of French theremin players

    Mintz says that while creating a hack might look impressive, making it fun is completely different. That's where partnering with Disney has its advantages. Mintz says that Walt and Co. afforded the team "a lot" of time to get the actual game aspects of their hack right and, perhaps most importantly, to make it enjoyable. Implementing a structure that guides players through the complexities of the title at a deliberate pace before taking the training wheels off completely was paramount as well. "That's where having the time to figure out the structure that would help as many people be able to do that as possible was really great," Mintz says. In practice, the progression in the game feels pretty natural and after a few songs of training, the skills that make it feel like you're behind the music control come in.

    "Getting something functional on the hardware is doable, right? That's why you see all these cool hacks out there," he says. "Taking the time to build that into a game context where there's a really strong design around it, where there are goals and things for the player to explore with it? That seems like the harder part."

    It's difficult because any tech demo can be fun for five minutes, but stretching it into a 10-hour or more experience that people actually want to come back to takes work, along with, naturally, some talent and a willingness to keep exploring new avenues when older ones aren't panning out. It takes a bit of a maturity to not have tunnel vision or get stuck on an incorrect solution to a problem, too -- something forged in the hobbyist scene. If something isn't doing what you want, you either have to find a creative way around it, or just take a step back in the project and start fresh.
    "Night on Bald Mountain," from Fantasia

    In the embryonic stages, Fantasia was more like a puzzle-based point-and-click adventure, but with gesture controls. That led to an issue of trying to avoid overwhelming the player with the user interface so that he or she wouldn't literally be flailing about, not knowing what to do next -- actions that clashed with the game's target audience of kids and families.

    "It always felt to me that it was giving players a point-and-click adventure's inventory puzzle, but the inventory was anything you could physically do in front of the camera," Mintz says. There was much waving about in vain attempts to solve puzzles, and the feature was ultimately scrapped, but it led to Fantasia's 3D cursor system in the end. What's in place now is nigh-invisible, and surprisingly intuitive.

    There was even a two-handed mode at one time, where each extremity represented a cursor, and you were spreading paint around a given scene. While it might seem like a waste, these failures eventually led to the game's final form: more or less putting you in Mickey Mouse's wizard cap to conduct an orchestra (or pop song) -- often two hands at a time, and remix music set to some pretty wild visuals.

    "It's a matter of seeing [a hack] in a game context and with a whole host of other problems," says Fitzgerald. "Not the least of which is what will people pay you for? [laughs]"

    [Image credit: AFP/Getty Images (Theremin players)]

    Filed under: Gaming, Home Entertainment, HD, Microsoft


  • Here's how Nintendo's Amiibo toys work in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

    Nintendo was dropping Smash Brothers info-bombs left and right last night, but the company also felt compelled to dive a little deeper into how the Wii U version of the game will play with those curious little Amiibos. You know, the Nintendo character-themed figurines that both look adorable and store game information via NFC? Now, thanks to the marketing wizards in Redmond, we've got a four-minute chronicle of young love, combat and tiny figures that explains just about everything. Key takeaways? You're not actually playing as your Amiibo character -- instead, the little avatar springs to life as a support character, getting in people's faces and generally having a grand ol' time once you tap the figure to your Wii U's gamepad.

    Once they're in the game, you can level up their stats, too (the cap sits at Level 50, or so the video would have us believe), either by wailing on your Amiibo directly or lugging it into battle against others. Since all of that stat and level data can be stored on the Amiibo itself, it should be a piece of cake to lug your partner to and fro (it doesn't appear in the video, but you'll presumably touch it to the Gamepad once more when done to lock all that data down). Perfect companion for those ridiculous eight-person Smashfests? Nintendo certainly thinks so, if only because deep integration into already-popular games means its little figures are more than just your run-of-the-mill Skylanders knock-offs. Just remember that Amiibo pickins' will be a little slim at first: the first batch of twelve are all Smash characters and will hit in late November, followed by another wave of six just in time for the holidays.

    Filed under: Gaming, Software, HD, Nintendo


    Source: Nintendo (YouTube)

  • London Science Museum catalogs 200 years of communication tech

    Her Majesty the Queen took to Twitter for the first time today, but not to complain about the amount of ice in her post-brunch frappé. Instead, Liz was announcing the opening of a new permanent gallery at London's Science Museum that takes visitors on a journey through more than two centuries of information and communication technologies. "Information Age: Six Networks That Changed Our World" delves into the history of electric telegraphy, telephone and broadcast networks, as well as exploring the later development of satellite communications, mobile networks and the web: all the technology we take for granted today. Among over 800 exhibits are gems including Sir Tim Berners-Lee's NeXT computer, which hosted the first web server, the BBC's first radio transmitter, a piece of the first transatlantic cable connecting the UK to the US, and a replica of the first computer mouse. Taking pride of place at the heart of the gallery is the Rugby Tuning Coil (pictured above), a vast contraption that, in its day, was the most powerful radio transmitter in the world.
    [Image credit: Science Museum]
    Filed under: Wireless, Internet


    Source: Science Museum

  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt is shooting a 4K film with Samsung's NX1
    Samsung NX1, the South Korean company is now recruiting celebrities to help along the way. As part of this, Samsung has revealed that Joseph Gordon-Levitt, known for roles in movies like 10 Things I hate About You and The Dark Knight Rises, is set to shoot a 4K UHD film entirely on the NX1 flagship camera. The production, titled In a City, will see Gordon-Levitt travel across the world to explore the daily lives of people and capture what makes every place unique. Samsung's partnership with the actor is also going to include working with the community from hitRECord, a production company founded by Gordon-Levitt which focuses on creating different categories of online videos. In a City is expected to be released on December 11th, and it'll be available to watch on the Samsung Camera Facebook and YouTube pages.

    [Lead image credit: John Sciulli/Getty Images]
    Filed under: Cameras, Misc, Peripherals, HD, Samsung


  • LG G Watch R review
    Moto 360, a futuristic watch scooped up its share of praise before it'd even landed on store shelves. The now there's also the LG G Watch R, a device which tackles the smartwatch problem from a slightly different angle. Read the review here.

  • Ubuntu 14.10 Released With Ambitious Name, But Small Changes
    Slashdot reports that Ubuntu 14.10, dubbed Utopic Unicorn, has been released today. PC World says that at first glance "isn't the most exciting update," with not so much as a new default wallpaper -- but happily so: it's a stable update in a stable series, and most users will have no pressing need to update to the newest version.

  • Google backs Magic Leap, an augmented reality startup
    News broke this morning that Google, alongside a number of venture capital firms, led a $542 million investment in a mysterious startup named Magic Leap. The company is promising to "build a rocket ship for the mind" that will completely reinvent the way we experience the world. Founder Rony Abovitz calls his technology "cinematic reality" and says it goes way beyond what virtual or augmented reality have so far been able to accomplish. More at Engadget, and NYT.

  • Apple releases iOS 8.1 with Apple Pay
    Apple’s iOS 8.1 update is now available to download. The biggest addition is the new Apple Pay service which goes live today alongside iOS 8.1. Apple Pay will allow iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 3 owners to pay for goods within compatible apps by simply swiping a finger with Touch ID. iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus owners will also be able to use their phones to tap card readers in participating stores to pay for goods using a combination of Touch ID and NFC. Apple Pay integrates into the existing Passbook feature on iOS 8.1, allowing you to setup and store credit and debit cards. More info at The Verge.

  • John Siracusa's OS X Yosemite review
    Apple officially released OS X Yosemite today, and to mark that occasion - as has become tradition among our people - the only OS X Yosemite review you need, from John Siracusa.   OS X and iOS have been trading technologies for some time now. For example, AVFoundation, Apple's modern framework for manipulating audiovisual media, was released for iOS a year before it appeared on OS X. Going in the other direction, Core Animation, though an integral part of the entire iPhone interface, was released first on the Mac. Yosemite's new look continues the pattern; iOS got its visual refresh last year, and now it's OS X's turn.  But at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple made several announcements that point in a new direction: iOS and OS X advancing in lockstep, with new technologies that not only appear on both platforms simultaneously but also aim to weave them together.  These new, shared triumphs run the gamut from traditional frameworks and APIs to cloud services to the very foundation of Apple's software ecosystem, the programming language itself. Apple's dramatic leadership restructuring in 2012 put Federighi in charge of both iOS and OS X - a unification of thought that has now, two years later, resulted in a clear unification of action. Even the most ardent Mac fan will admit that iOS 7 was a bigger update than Mavericks. This time around, it's finally a fair fight.  Grab some tea or coffee, and enjoy.

  • Apple introduces 5K Retina iMac
    Apple introduced a 5K Retina iMac today.  iMac has always been about having a huge, immersive place to see and create amazing things. So making the best possible iMac meant making the best possible display. The new 27‑inch iMac with Retina 5K display has four times as many pixels as the standard 27‑inch iMac display. So you experience unbelievable detail. On an unbelievable scale.  At a relatively mere $2500 (a dell 5K display will set you back just as much, and that's just a display), this is an amazing machine. It's not useful for me (certainly not at that price point), but professionals are going to eat this thing up.

  • Google unveils Android Lollipop, Nexus 6, 9, Player
    Time for happy news! Google has just released Android 5.0 Lollipop, and to accompany the release of their latest treat, they're also unveiling not one, but three new Nexus devices.  Let's start with Android Lollipop. Since its features have been unveiled months ago, there's little news to tell you that you don't already know. The biggest visible change is Material Design, the brand new design and behaviour language that spans all of Android's screens - from watch to car. Notifications have been significantly overhauled, and Lollipop will give you more control over what you see and when. There's also a lot of work done on battery usage, and Google promises you should get 90 minutes more battery life with the battery saver feature.  As fa as security goes, and as we touched upon recently, all new devices will come with encryption turned on by default, making it harder for third parties to see what's on your device if it get stolen or impounded. Lollipop will also be the first Android release to swap out Dalvik in favour of ART, and it brings support for 64bit.  Google will release a new Developer Preview for Android Lollipop this Friday, which, looking at its label, still isn't complete. Of course, this build is for Nexus devices only.  The Nexus devices, too, have been leaked extensively. There's the Motorola-made Nexus 6, with its huge 6" 2560x1440 display, Snapdragon 805 processor, and a 13 MP camera with OIS. It basically looks like a larger Moto X - not exactly my thing (way too large), and the price is decidedly non-Nexus too: $649. It'll be available on contract, too. Luckily, the Nexus 5 remains available as well. Pre-orders will open late October.  The second new Nexus is the Nexus 9, built by HTC. As the name suggests, it's got a 9" 2048x1536 with a 4:3 aspect ratio. The processor is interesting: NVIDIA Tegra K1 64-bit dual-core processor at 2.3 GHz, making this the first 64bit Nexus device. It's a lot cheaper than the Nexus 6 at a mere $399, and it will also be available for pre-order 17 October (in stores on 3 November).  Lastly, there's the odd one out: the Nexus Player. It's a box (well, circle) for your TV, much like the Apple TV. It's actually got an Intel Atom processor inside, making it the first x86 Nexus device. It's got all the usual TV stuff, and Google is selling a dedicated gaming controller separately. It'll also be available for pre-order on 17 October, for $99.  I can't wait to update my Nexus 5 to Lollipop, but I'm a little unsure about the Nexus 6. It's huge and expensive (in Nexus terms), and I just don't like the Motorola design (but that's moot).

  • GamerGate terrorists threaten mass school shooting in Utah
    It's been another fantastic few days in the fabricated GamerGate terror campaign. This past weekend, female game developer Brianna Wu was forced to alert the police and leave her home, after receiving threats that she, her family, and possible children would face rape, mutilation, and death. Wu has vowed to not bow to the terrorist threats, and will continue to develop games.  Wu's ordeal was just the last in a long line of GamerGate terrorism, and yesterday we reached a new low.  Gaming critic Anita Sarkeesian was scheduled to hold a talk at Utah State University. However, GamerGate terrorists threatened to enact "the largest school shooting in American history" if the talk were to take place. The contents of the terrorist threat are horrific, and fit the general tone of GamerGate terrorism; threats of rape, murder, mutilation, the usual stuff, but now also with mass murder, automatic rifles, and pipe bombs.  Sadly, the GamerGate terrorists have won, because of concealed carry laws in Utah. Sarkeesian asked the police to perform pat-downs and check for firearms so she would not get murdered, but the police told her that if someone has a valid firearm permit for concealed carry, they are allowed to bring the weapons to the talk. As a result, Sarkeesian was forced to cancel the talk to ensure she and attendees would not get murdered.  And so, these people have successfully employed terrorism to stifle free speech. These GamerGate terrorist threats will continue, because sadly, there is very little that can be done to stop them. Sarkeesian - and several other women who have received terrorist threats from GamerGate supporters - have vowed to continue doing their work.  At this point, we're essentially just waiting for the first GamerGate supporter to murder someone. We like to think of terrorism as something done by outsiders, something imported from other countries or cultures. However, these GamerGate threats are just as much terrorism - we just hate calling it that because it hits too close to home.  Meanwhile, we're hearing very little - if nothing - from large game companies and distributors. These companies and distributors should, of course, take a stand against GamerGate terrorism, but they also know full well that they might lose business over it. So, they decide to shut up. Will it take an actual murder before they speak up?

  • Sharp AQUOS Crystal review: mid-range brains meet striking looks
    Pop quiz, hotshot: When's the last time you saw a Sharp phone in the United States? The Sharp FX from years back? Maybe the FX Plus? If you're anything like me, your mind will hearken back to chunky clamshell classics like this one. Long story short, it's been ages since Sharp has had any kind of mobile presence around these parts. That's something the Japanese company is finally ready to change, and it's aiming to do it with a splash. Enter the AQUOS Crystal, one of the most striking phones you'll ever see. It's finally available for $149 on Boost Mobile now and Sprint will get it come October 17th, but we have questions -- so many questions. Has Sharp figured out a way to crack the all-too-fickle US market? Are we looking at a classic case of style over substance?  The AQUOS Crystal (and its higher-end, Japan-only brother) looks stunning. Hopefully, this is where the future is going: displays becoming nothing but glass, without bezels or bodies. This way, displays would truly integrate and disappear into our surroundings, so they aren't always the centre of attention. Put the AQUOS Crystal next to any other current phone, and they all look decidedly dated and old-fashioned.  I hope this new US effort works out well for Sharp, because it's really too bad that their often interesting and striking devices are Japan-only.

  • Mac App Store: the subtle exodus
    My ultimate fear is that the complacent state of the Mac App Store would lead to the slow erosion of the Mac indie community. The MAS is the best place to get your software, it comes bundled with your OS, it's very convenient but when all the issues compound, developers will vote with their feet and continue the slow exodus. I feel that Apple needs to encourage the availability of high quality software rather than quantity over quality - the first step would addressing the core issues that have been known for years. The Mac platform would be a much worse place if we prioritise short-term gains, boasting about the hundreds of thousands of free abandonware rather than concentrate on the long-term fundamentals to sustain a healthy and innovative ecosystem.  It's finally starting to dawn on people that application stores' primary goal is not to make the lives of developers easier. No, the one true goal of application stores is to drive the price of software down to zero or near-zero - and if the side effect of that is that the independent and small developers who built your platform go out of business or leave the platform altogether, that's just too damn bad.  It was fun in the short term, when the low-hanging fruits were ripe for the picking, but everyone with more than two brain cells to rub together could see the unsustainability of it all. The 'app economy' is pretty close to bust, and I suspect zero to none of the suggestions listed in this article will be implemented by Apple. It's not in their interest to raise the prices of software in their application stores.

  • Don't forget that 2G is still a thing
    GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions represent the largest share of mobile subscriptions today (over 85% of the world's population). In developed markets there has been rapid migration to more advanced technologies, resulting in a decline in GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions. Despite this, GSM/EDGE will continue to represent a large share of total mobile subscriptions. This is because new, less affluent users in developing markets will likely choose a low-cost mobile phone and subscription. In addition, it takes time for the installed base of phones to be upgraded. GSM/EDGE networks will also continue to be important in complementing WCDMA/HSPA and LTE coverage in all markets.  I live in one of the richest countries on earth, and supposedly we have 100% coverage for 3G from all three major carriers. The truth is, however, more muddied. The town where I live technically has T-Mobile 3G, but only the very lowest quality, resulting in T-Mobile customers (like me) effectively never having a 3G connection in town. Interestingly enough, the moment I leave town - literally the moment I cross the road that marks the end of town - I magically have a perfectly stable 3G connection all the way to the coast (about 4km away).  Those 4km consists almost exclusively of cow pastures and uninhabited coastal sand dunes.  So please, developers, take 2G into account. Even in developed nations, there are many people who ain't getting more.

  • Apple's design boss Jony Ive gives a rare on-stage interview
    Apple's Jony Ive, on Xiaomi's style and products that are... "Inspired" by Apple.  There is a danger...I don't see it as flattery. I see it as theft. (Talking about copying desings in general). When you're doing something for the first time and you don't know it's going to work. I have to be honest the last thing I think is "Oh, that is flattering. All those weekends I could've been home with my family...I think it's theft and lazy. I don't think it's OK at all."  Xiaomi is shameless about trying to be as Apple-like as can be, and while you all know how I feel about Apple's tendency to claim it invented and owns everything, with Xiaomi Apple certainly has a very strong point.

  • Windows 10's very different way of updating
    With Windows 10, the update approach is set to change substantially. Microsoft is acknowledging the need, and even desirability, of making regular incremental improvements to its operating system. It's also, however, acknowledging the different appetite for change between consumers and enterprise users.  While all users, both enterprise and otherwise, will be using the same core operating system, for the first time, there will be different update policies for different kinds of user. The old fiction of not making feature changes to a shipping operating system is finally being put to bed.  A very sensible move in the current computing environment. I wonder if regular users, too, can opt for the slower update policy. There's a UI for the settings in the Windows 10 Technical Preview, but it's non-functional.

  • Behind League of Legends, e-sports's main attraction
    Dozens of those players are now in Seoul, at the fourth world championship. On Oct. 19, the finals will be held in a stadium built for soccer's World Cup, with 40,000 fans expected and many times that number watching online. Last year, Riot Games says, 32 million people around the world saw a South Korean team win the Summoner's Cup, along with a grand prize of $1 million, in the Staples Center in Los Angeles. That's an audience larger than the one that tuned in to the last game of the N.B.A. finals that year.  I play League of Legends, and the sheer size of the game and everything related to it still baffles me. I, too, watch the World Championships live, I play almost every day, watch other people play on live streams and youTube, and I'm still enjoying it. Quite the phenomenon.

  • Promise Theory—What Is It?
    During the past 20 years, there has been a growing sense of inadequacy about the "command and control" model for managing IT systems. Years in front of the television with a remote control have left us hard pressed to think of any other way of making machines work for us.

  • New Products

    Please send information about releases of Linux-related products to or New Products c/o Linux Journal, PO Box 980985, Houston, TX 77098. Submissions are edited for length and content.

  • Discourse
    Back when I started to use the Internet in 1988, there was a simple way to get answers to your technical questions. You would go onto "Netnews", also known as Usenet, and you would post your question to one of the forums. There were forums, or "newsgroups", on nearly every possible topic, from programming languages to religions to humor.

  • Non-Linux FOSS: Remember Burning ISOs?
    I was chatting with a Windows-using friend recently, and he wanted to try Linux on one of his older computers. I always like those sorts of conversations, and so I kept chatting, walking him through setting up Unetbootin to create a USB installer and so on and so on. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to get the USB drive to boot.

  • EdgeRouter Lite
    In the September 2014 issue, I mentioned my new router, and I got a lot of e-mail messages asking about how well it works. I can say without hesitation it's the nicest router I've ever owned. And, it was less than $100! 

  • Vagrant
    How many times you have been hit by unit tests failing because of environment differences between you and other team members? How easy is it to build your project and have it ready for development? Vagrant provides a method for creating repeatable development environments across a range of operating systems for solving these problems.

  • What's Happening above Your Head?
    In the past, I've covered various astronomy packages that help you explore the universe of deep space. But, space starts a lot closer to home. It actually begins a few hundred miles above your head. There are lots of things in orbit right above you.

  • The Cow Says, Have Fun!
    Sometimes, when the clock hits 3:00am, and you've been in the server room since 9 o'clock the previous day, you start to get a little batty. That's the only explanation I have for programs like cowsay in Linux. Still, I'm glad they're there, because life wouldn't be nearly as fun without them. Here's a quick list of silly Linux programs off the top of my head.

  • SUSE, MariaDB and IBM team up to tame Big Data
    SUSE and MariaDB (the company formerly known as SkySQL!) officially teamed up today, joining forces with IBM Power Systems, in a partnership that promises to expand the Linux application ecosystem. According to sources at SUSE, customers will now be able to run a wider variety of applications on Power8, increasing both flexibility and choice while working within existing IT infrastructure.

  • diff -u: What's New in Kernel Development
    Kernel configuration has become more and more complex through the years with the proliferation of new drivers, new hardware and specific behaviors that might be needed for particular uses. It has reached about 3,000 config options, and that number will only increase. 

  • Android Candy: Goodbye RDP, Hello Chrome Remote Desktop!
    Controlling a remote computer is something you're all familiar with. Whether that means RDP to your corporate Windows Server (we don't judge), Apple Remote Desktop (which is really VNC) to your OS X machine or VNC/X11/etc. into your GUI Linux machine, it's always a pain in the rear. 

  • Learn GNU/Linux the Fun Way
    Sometimes a gift just falls in your lap. This month, it came in the form of an e-mail out of the blue from Jared Nielsen, one of two brothers (the other is J.R. Nielsen) who created The Hello World Program, "an educational web series making computer science fun and accessible to all".

  • Encrypt Your Dog (Mutt and GPG)
    I have been focusing a lot on security and privacy issues in this year's columns so far, but I realize some of you may expect a different kind of topic from me (or maybe are just tired of all this security talk). Well, you are in luck.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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