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- Mandriva: 2015:077: python-numpy
LinuxSecurity.com: Updated python-numpy packages fix security vulnerabilities:f2py insecurely used a temporary file. A local attacker could use thisflaw to perform a symbolic link attack to modify an arbitrary fileaccessible to the user running f2py (CVE-2014-1858, CVE-2014-1859).[More...]
- Mandriva: 2015:076: python3
LinuxSecurity.com: Updated python3 packages fix security vulnerabilities:ZipExtFile.read goes into 100% CPU infinite loop on maliciously binaryedited zips (CVE-2013-7338).[More...]
- Mandriva: 2015:075: python
LinuxSecurity.com: Updated python packages fix security vulnerabilities:A vulnerability was reported in Python's socket module, due toa boundary error within the sock_recvfrom_into() function, whichcould be exploited to cause a buffer overflow. This could be used[More...]
- Mandriva: 2015:074: openldap
LinuxSecurity.com: A vulnerability has been discovered and corrected in openldap:The deref_parseCtrl function in servers/slapd/overlays/deref.c inOpenLDAP 2.4.13 through 2.4.40 allows remote attackers to cause adenial of service (NULL pointer dereference and crash) via an empty[More...]
- Mandriva: 2015:073: openldap
LinuxSecurity.com: Multiple vulnerabilities has been discovered and corrected in openldap:The deref_parseCtrl function in servers/slapd/overlays/deref.c inOpenLDAP 2.4.13 through 2.4.40 allows remote attackers to cause adenial of service (NULL pointer dereference and crash) via an empty[More...]
- Mandriva: 2015:072: gnutls
LinuxSecurity.com: Updated gnutls packages fix security vulnerabilities:Suman Jana reported a vulnerability that affects the certificateverification functions of gnutls 3.1.x and gnutls 3.2.x. A version1 intermediate certificate will be considered as a CA certificate[More...]
- Mandriva: 2015:071: libpng12
LinuxSecurity.com: Updated libpng12 package fixes security vulnerabilities:The png_do_expand_palette function in libpng before 1.6.8 allows remoteattackers to cause a denial of service (NULL pointer dereference andapplication crash) via a PLTE chunk of zero bytes or a NULL palette,[More...]
- Mandriva: 2015:070: libvirt
LinuxSecurity.com: Updated libvirt packages fixes security vulnerabilities:The qemuDomainMigratePerform and qemuDomainMigrateFinish2 functionsin qemu/qemu_driver.c in libvirt do not unlock the domain when anACL check fails, which allow local users to cause a denial of service[More...]
- Mandriva: 2015:069: krb5
LinuxSecurity.com: Multiple vulnerabilities has been discovered and corrected in krb5:The krb5_gss_process_context_token function inlib/gssapi/krb5/process_context_token.c in the libgssapi_krb5 libraryin MIT Kerberos 5 (aka krb5) through 1.11.5, 1.12.x through 1.12.2,[More...]
- Mandriva: 2015:068: e2fsprogs
LinuxSecurity.com: Updated e2fsprogs packages fix security vulnerability:The libext2fs library, part of e2fsprogs and utilized by its utilities,is affected by a boundary check error on block group descriptorinformation, leading to a heap based buffer overflow. A specially[More...]
- Mandriva: 2015:067: e2fsprogs
LinuxSecurity.com: Updated e2fsprogs packages fix security vulnerabilities:The libext2fs library, part of e2fsprogs and utilized by its utilities,is affected by a boundary check error on block group descriptorinformation, leading to a heap based buffer overflow. A specially[More...]
- Mandriva: 2015:066: cpio
LinuxSecurity.com: Updated cpio package fixes security vulnerability:In GNU Cpio 2.11, the --no-absolute-filenames option limitsextracting contents of an archive to be strictly inside a currentdirectory. However, it can be bypassed with symlinks. While extracting[More...]
- A massive weekend security update pile
The pile of security updates has gotten deep enough that it makes sense toshove them out now. The biggest pile is seemingly Mandriva catching up onnumerous updates for its Mandriva Business Server (MBS) line of products.
Debian has updatedbatik (unauthorized file access),binutils (code execution),dulwich (code execution),libxfont (privilege escalation),php5 (fix regression from previous update),shibboleth-sp2 (denial of service), andxerces-c (denial of service).
Fedora has updatedkernel (F21: code execution),mongodb (F21: denial of service),python-requests (F21: cookie stealing),python-urllib3 (F21: cookie stealing),strongswan (F20, F21: denial of service), andwebkitgtk4 (F21: late certificate verification).
Mageia has updateddocuwiki (cross-site scripting),drupal (authentication bypass),krb5 (denial of service),python-requests (cookie stealing),setup (incorrect file protections), andwireshark (dissector issues).
Mandriva has updatedapache (MBS2: 11 CVEs),apache-mod_security (MBS2: restriction bypass),cifs-utils (MBS2: code execution),cups (MBS2: six CVEs),cups-filters (MBS2: nine CVEs),curl (MBS2: seven CVEs),dovecot (MBS2: denial of service),egroupware (MBS2: code execution),elfutils (MBS2: code execution),emacs (MBS2: symbolic link vulnerability),freetype2 (MBS2: 21 CVEs),gnupg (MBS1, MBS2: five CVEs),gnutls (MBS2: five CVEs),imagemagick (MBS2: five CVEs),jbigkit (MBS2: code execution),json-c (MBS2: denial of service),krb5 (MBS1-2: five CVEs),lcms2 (MBS2: denial of service),libcap-ng (MBS2: privilege escalation),libgd (MBS2: denial of service),libevent (MBS2: code execution),libjpeg (MBS2: code execution),libksba (MBS2: denial of service),liblzo (MBS2: code execution),libpng (MBS2: memory overwrite),libpng12 (MBS2: three 2013 CVEs),libsndfile (MBS2: code execution),libssh (MBS2: information disclosure and denial of service),libssh2 (MBS1, MBS2: MITM vulnerability), libtasn1 (MBS2: denial of service),libtiff (MBS2: six CVEs),libvirt (MBS1, MBS2: denial of service and information leak),libvncserver (MBS2: six CVEs),libxfont (MBS2: six CVEs),libxml2 (MBS2: denial of service),lua (MBS2: code execution),mariadb (MBS2: uncountable unexplained CVEs),mpfr (MBS2: code execution),mutt (MBS2: denial of service),net-snmp (MBS2: denial of service),nginx (MBS2: code execution),nodejs (MBS2: multiple unspecified vulnerabilities), not-yet-commons-ssl (MBS2: MITM vulnerability), ntp (MBS2: six CVEs),openldap (MBS1, MBS2: denial of service),openssh (MBS2: restriction and authentication bypass),openvpn (MBS2: denial of service),patch (MBS2: file overwrite),pcre (MBS2: denial of service),perl (MBS2: denial of service),php (MBS1, MBS2: lots of vulnerabilities),postgresql (MBS2: twelve CVEs),ppp (MBS2: privilege escalation),pulseaudio (MBS2: denial of service),python-django (MBS2: five CVEs),python-pillow (MBS2: five CVEs),python-requests (MBS2: cookie stealing),php-ZendFramework (MBS2: eight CVEs),python (MBS2: seven CVEs),python3 (MBS2: five CVEs),python-lxml (MBS2: code injection),python-numpy (MBS2: temporary file vulnerability),readline (MBS2: symbolic link vulnerability),rsync (MBS2: denial of service),rsyslog (MBS2: denial of service),ruby (MBS2: denial of service),samba (MBS1, MBS2: code execution and more),samba4 (MBS2: code execution),sendmail (MBS2: file descriptor access),serf (MBS2: MITM vulnerability),squid (MBS2: five CVEs),stunnel (MBS2: private key disclosure),subversion (MBS2: five CVEs),sudo (MBS2: file disclosure),tcpdump (MBS2: seven CVEs),tomcat (MBS2: eight CVEs),torque (MBS2: kill arbitrary processes),udisks2 (MBS2: code execution),unzip (MBS2: code execution),util-linux (MBS2: command injection),wpa_supplicant (MBS2: command execution),wget (MBS2: symbolic link vulnerability),x11-server (MBS2: thirteen CVEs), andxlockmore (MBS2: lock bypass).
openSUSE has updatedmercurial (command injection).
SUSE has updatedfirefox (SLES10-11: code execution) andmysql (SLES11: 33 vulnerabilities).
- [$] Mailman 3.0 to modernize mailing lists
More than a decade after its last major rewrite, the GNU Mailman mailinglist manager project aimsto release its 3.0 suite in April, during the sprints following PyConNorth America. Mailman 3 is a major rewrite that includes a new usermembership system, a REST API, an archiver replacement for Pipermail, and abetter web interface for subscriptions and settings — but it carries withit a few new dependencies as well. Brave system administrators can try outthefifthbeta version now.
Subscribers can click below for the full story from next week's edition.
- Two fresh stable kernels
Hot on the heels of yesterday's 3.19.3 release, Greg Kroah-Hartmanhas released kernels 3.14.37 and 3.10.73. Each contains a bevy of updatesand fixes.
- Friday's security updates
CentOS has updated setroubleshoot (C6; C7: privilege escalation).
Debian has updated batik(information leak).
Fedora has updated dokuwiki (F20; F21; F22: access control bypass), drupal7 (F22: multiple vulnerabilities), drupal7-views (F20; F21:multiple vulnerabilities),ettercap (F20; F21: multiple vulnerabilities), mingw-xerces-c (F22: denial of service), nx-libs (F20; F21: multiple vulnerabilities),php (F22: multiple vulnerabilities), and xerces-c (F22: denial of service).
Mandriva has updated cabextract (BS1,2: multiple vulnerabilities), cpio (BS1: multiple vulnerabilities; BS2: directory traversal),e2fsprogs (BS1; BS2: multiple vulnerabilities), and openssl (BS1; BS2: multiple vulnerabilities).
openSUSE has updated libXfont (13.1, 13.2: multiple vulnerabilities), libzip (13.1, 13.2: denial of service), and tcpdump (13.1, 13.2: multiple vulnerabilities).
Oracle has updated ipa andslapi-nis (O7: multiple vulnerabilities), kernel (O7: multiple vulnerabilities), andsetroubleshoot (O5; O6; O7: privilege escalation).
Red Hat has updated ipa,slapi-nis (RHEL7: multiple vulnerabilities), kernel (RHEL7: multiple vulnerabilities), kernel-rt (RHEL7: multiple vulnerabilities), and setroubleshoot (RHEL5,6,7: privilege escalation).
Scientific Linux has updated ipaand slapi-nis (SL7:), kernel (SL7:multiple vulnerabilities),and setroubleshoot (SL5,6,7: privilege escalation).
SUSE has updated Xen (SLE12:multiple vulnerabilities).
- A new stable kernel release
Greg Kroah-Hartman has announced the release of the 3.19.3 kernel. A variety of importantfixes and updates are included.
- Thursday's security updates
CentOS has updated firefox (C6; C7: multiple vulnerabilities).
openSUSE has updated firefox(13.1,13.2: multiple vulnerabilities).
Oracle has updated firefox(O5: multiple vulnerabilities).
Scientific Linux has updated 389-ds-base (SL7: multiple vulnerabilities), firefox (multiple vulnerabilities), freetype (SL6,7: multiple vulnerabilities), glibc (SL7: multiple vulnerabilities), GNOME Shell (SL7: lock screen bypass), hivex (SL7: privilege escalation), httpd (SL7: multiple vulnerabilities), ipa (SL7: multiple vulnerabilities), kernel (SL7: multiple vulnerabilities), krb5 (SL7: multiple vulnerabilities), libreoffice (SL7: multiple vulnerabilities), libvirt (SL7: multiple vulnerabilities), openssh (SL7: multiple vulnerabilities), openssl (SL6; SL7: multiple vulnerabilities),pcre (SL7: information leak), qemu-kvm (SL7: multiple vulnerabilities), unzip (SL6,7: multiple vulnerabilities), and virt-who (SL7: information leak).
- [$] Development activity in LibreOffice and OpenOffice
The LibreOffice project was announced withgreat fanfare in September 2010. Nearly one year later, the OpenOffice.orgproject (from which LibreOffice was forked) wascut loose from Oracle andfound a new home as an Apache project. It is fair to say that the rivalrybetween the two projects in the time since then has been strong.Predictions that one project or the other would fail have not been borneout, but that does not mean that the two projects are equally successful.A look at the two projects' development communities reveals someinteresting differences.
Click below (subscribers only) for the full article.
- Security advisories for Wednesday
Debian has updated openssl(regression in previous update) and python-django (cross-site scripting).
Debian-LTS has updated gnutls26(multiple vulnerabilities).
openSUSE has updated less (13.2,13.1: information leak) and tor (13.2,13.1: denial of service).
Oracle has updated firefox (OL7; OL6: multiple vulnerabilities).
SUSE has updated firefox(SLE11 SP3: multiple vulnerabilities).
Ubuntu has updated batik (14.10,14.04, 12.04: information leak) and libarchive (14.10, 14.04, 12.04: directory traversal).
- GNOME 3.16 released
The GNOME 3.16 release is out. "This is another exciting release for GNOME, and brings many new featuresand improvements, including redesigned notifications, a new shelltheme, new scrollbars, and a refresh for the file manager. 3.16 alsoincludes improvements to the Image Viewer, Music, Photos and Videos.We are also including three new preview apps for the first time: Books,Calendar and Characters." See the releasenotes for more information.
- LibreOffice Online announced
The LibreOffice project has announced the accelerated development of a newonline offering. "Development of LibreOffice Online started back in 2011, with theavailability of a proof of concept of the client front end, based on HTML5technology. That proof of concept will be developed into a state of the artcloud application, which will become the free alternative to proprietarysolutions such as Google Docs and Office 365, and the first to nativelysupport the Open Document Format (ODF) standard." The currenteffort is supported by IceWarp and Collabora; see thisFAQ and MichaelMeeks's posting for more information. For those wanting to downloadit, though, note the "the availability of LibreOffice Online will be communicated at a laterstage."
- A Turing award for Michael Stonebraker
The ACM has announcedthat the 2014 A. M. Turing award has gone to MichaelStonebraker. Among many other things, he was the original creator of thedatabase management system now known as PostgreSQL.
- FSFE: Worldwide more than 50 events about Open Standards
The Free Software Foundation Europe has a reminder that Document FreedomDay is happening from March 24 12:00 UTC until March 26 12:00 UTC."Document Freedom Day is the global campaign for document liberation by local groups throughout the world.So far more than 50 groups registered their events in over 25 countriesranging from Asia, Europa, Africa, to South and North America."
- Meet Cyanogen, The Startup That Wants To Steal Android From Google (Forbes)
Forbes takesa look at Cyanogen, and its prospects in the phone market."Cyanogen has a chance to snag as many as 1 billion handsets, morethan the total number of iPhones sold to date, according to someanalysts. Fifty million people already run Cyanogen on their phones, thecompany says. Most went through the hours-long process of erasing anAndroid phone and rebooting it with Cyanogen. [Kirt] McMaster is now persuading a growing list of phone manufacturers to make devices with Cyanogen built in, rather than Google’s Android. Their phones are selling out in record time. Analysts say each phone could bring Cyanogen a minimum of $10 in revenue and perhaps much more."
- Ubuntu MATE 15.04 Beta 2 Screenshot Tour
Ubuntu MATE 15.04 Beta 2 is now available for official download. This release builds on Ubuntu MATE Beta 1, makes a few changes and fixes a lot of bugs. Codenamed "Vivid Vervet", 15.04 continues Ubuntu's proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution. The team has been hard at work through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs.
- First Steps with OpenELEC on the Raspberry Pi 2
OpenELEC uses very little system resources for processor or memory. There's no need to use any special customization tips to get good performance with the RPi2. There's also no need to overclock the machine, reduce the resolution of videos, or use a different skin (although I really like the Amber skin).
- A Growing Chorus Is Trying To Rewrite The History Of Net Neutrality -- And Blame Absolutely Everything On Netflix
With either an ISP lawsuit or a 2016 party shift the only way to kill our new net neutrality rules, neutrality opponents have some time to kill. As such, they're in desperate need of somewhere to direct their impotent rage at the foul idea of a healthier Internet free from gatekeeper control. Step one of this catharsis has been to publicly shame the FCC for daring to stand up to broadband ISPs in a series of increasingly absurd and often entirely nonsensical public "fact finding" hearings. Step two is to push forth a series of editorials that tries to rewrite the history of the net neutrality debate -- with Netflix as the villainous, Machiavellian centerpiece.
- How To Dual Boot Windows 8.1 And Fedora Linux
This guide shows you how to dual boot Windows 8.1 and Fedora Linux. The guide has links to other articles which show how to backup Windows first, how to create the Fedora USB drive and how to shrink Windows before guiding you through the steps for dual booting Fedora and Windows 8.1
- Xubuntu 15.04 Beta 2 Screenshot Tour
The Xubuntu team is pleased to announce the immediate release of Xubuntu 15.04 Beta 2. This is the final beta towards the release of 15.04 in April. Between Beta 1 and now, the final release of Xfce 4.12 has been packaged and uploaded to 15.04. Codenamed "Vivid Vervet", 15.04 continues Ubuntu's proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution. The team has been hard at work through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs.
- New York Times releases open source Objective-C project
Although we have a popular open source Objective-C style guide, The Times has never released an open source Objective-C project, and we wanted to take this opportunity to not only modernize our photo viewing experience, but also to write a new feature that could be shared and used in any app, both inside and outside the company.
- Vendor Neutral Archive initiative to open source records
NHS ENGLAND HAS been talking about the latest strand of its move toward open digital solutions to provide interoperability between the myriad departmental systems that are proprietary, incompatible or just plain disparate.... "The possibilities generated by using open source or at least open standards are huge."
- Ubuntu GNOME 15.04 Beta 2 Screenshot Tour
We're preparing Ubuntu GNOME Vivid Vervet (15.04) for distribution in April 23rd, 2015. With this Beta 2 pre-release, you can see what we are trying out in preparation for our next (stable) version. We have some interesting things happening. Beta 2 Highlights: GNOME Shell 3.14.3. Experimental wayland session is now available. Install gnome-session-wayland and then select "GNOME on wayland" from login screen (Only works with OSS GPU drivers). The default wallpaper and Ubiquity slide show has been updated.
- Manjaro 0.8.12 LXQt : Video Overview and Screenshot Tours
Manjaro 0.8.12 LXQt edition is a community edition of the Manjaro Linux distribution built around the LXQt desktop environment version 0.8.0 and powered by kernel 3.16, Also support for Microsoft’s exFAT filesystem and Pacman 4.2 package manager.
- NASA Releases Open Source Core Flight Software
(NASA) announced the release of its core Flight System (cFS) Application Suite to the public. The cFS application suite is composed of 12 individual Command and Data Handling (C&DH) flight software applications that together create a reusable library of common C&DH functions. NASA cFS projects are hosted on SourceForge.net
- Kubuntu 15.04 Beta 2 Screenshot Tour
We are preparing Kubuntu Vivid Vervet (15.04) for distribution on April 23rd, 2015. With this Beta 2 pre-release, you can see what we are trying out in preparation for our next (stable) version. We have some interesting things happening. Plasma 5, the next generation of KDE's desktop has been rewritten to make it smoother to use while retaining the familiar setup. The second set of updates to Plasma 5 is now stable enough for everyday use and is the default in this version of Kubuntu. Kubuntu comes with KDE Applications 14.12 containing all your favourite apps from KDE. This is the 14.12.2 update with bugfixes and translation updates. Several applications have been ported to KDE Frameworks 5 but those which aren't should fit in seamlessly. Non-KDE applications include LibreOffice 4.4 and Firefox 36.
- Big Money Helps Cyanogen Go for Android's Jugular
Cyanogen has announced the completion of a financing round that brought $80 million in new funds to pay for more hiring and accelerated development of its open platform software development kit. Cyanogen is committed to liberating the Android OS from the financial grip of Google. Cyanogen has spurred a developing secondary app market for an alternative Android distribution based on its mods.
- Bodacious Bodhi Broadens Linux Desktop
Bodhi Linux 3.0.0 RC3's implementation of the Enlightenment desktop, makes an awesome desktop computing platform for office or home. Bodhi is one of only a handful of Linux distros embracing the Enlightenment environment. Its developers call Bodhi the Enlightened Linux Distribution. Beware if you try it: Bodhi Linux could easily become your favorite Linux distro.
- Leap Motion Faceplate Lets OSVR Head Talk to the Hand
It looks and sounds good, but virtual reality is still establishing how to get around in the digital worlds it creates. OSVR has placed the controls in the hands of Leap Motion, which may be a stellar move. Leap's novel approach embeds the VR controls in a faceplate that can be attached to an OSVR-compatible headset. The faceplate will be bundled with OSVR's Hacker Dev Kit when it ships in June.
- Docker's No Flash in the Pan
Docker -- the open source application container technology that has drawn broad interest from the enterprise IT industry -- recently marked its second birthday. Judging by its growth and traction thus far, and the example set by such open source projects as Linux, Hadoop, Android, OpenStack and Cloud Foundry, expect big things from this young open source software project and community.
- Did VMware Flout Open Source License Terms?
The Software Freedom Conservancy earlier this month announced that it was funding a lawsuit filed by Linux kernel developer Christoph Hellwig against VMware in the district court of Hamburg in Germany. The conservancy entered a grant agreement with Hellwig for the legal action. Its funding of the legal action is part of the program activity of its GPL Compliance Project for Linux Developers.
- Q4OS Is a Bare-Bones Business Tool
Q4OS has the potential to become a new attention-getter among up and coming Linux distros. But this distro has a way to go before its development reaches full functionality. Right now it is working its way to a non-beta version 1.0 release. New beta versions are frequently released, often a few weeks to a month apart. The latest release was version 0.5.25 on February 4.
- The Linux Kernel's New 'Play Nice' Patch
Some 60 Linux kernel developers last week adopted a small "patch," called the "Code of Conflict," that attempts to set guidelines for discourse in the kernel community and outlines a path for mediation if someone feels abused or threatened. Linux creator Linus Torvalds' call for improved internal developer relations could be little more than wishful thinking, though.
- Evolve OS Is a Clean and Light Work in Progress
Evolve OS Beta 1 needs considerable fine-tuning to get to release candidate status, but it has two innovations that distinguish it from the crowd of Linux distro newcomers. This new arrival is built around a home-made desktop called "Budgie" and a custom package manager forked from Pardus Linux. I am always interested in new desktop approaches. That's what drew my attention to Evolve OS.
- RHEL 7 Atomic Host Bolsters Container Security
Red Hat last week made Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Atomic Host generally available, following a four-month live beta test. "The beta release was very successful," said Lars Herrmann, senior director of product strategy at Red Hat. Feedback from customers and partners "helped us refine several features and tools" for the GA version. Atomic Host is a lean OS designed to run Docker containers.
- ChaletOS Is a Design Tweak in the Linux House
ChaletOS began as a personal project of developer Dejan Petrovic. This operating system has a familiar Windows-like style, with appealing simplicity and impressive speed. Much of that performance credit goes to the use of the Xfce desktop. The system controls are tweaked to bring unique style-changing capabilities to a classic Linux desktop environment.
- The Great War's Untapped Video Game Opportunities
It's fair to say that game developers have missed an opportunity with World War I. It was the first conflict to see aircraft used in combat, the first to see tanks and other armored vehicles make an appearance on the battlefield, and the first war in more than a century to completely draw in the major powers of the world. WWI should be a setting ripe for action and strategy games.
- Android Pay: Mobile Payment Systems, Unite
Google this week confirmed that it's preparing to launch a mobile payments framework called "Android Pay." Google SVP of Product Sundar Pichai discussed the project at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Android Pay will be an API layer of Android. Google will incorporate standard features for mobile payments, such as tokenized card numbers, into an Android Pay software development kit.
- Nvidia's Shield Takes On Crysis With Confidence
Nvidia on Tuesday unveiled Shield, an Android TV console that in addition to playing content locally, can stream video games, movies, music, apps and more. Yes, it can play Crysis. That claim, a measure of a gaming PC's power a few years ago, is how Nvidia is marketing the Shield console. Nvidia's Shield Tablet led the way with its Tegra K1 processor and its ability to play Android ports of AAA games natively.
- The Open Source Squad at the GSA
18F, a development unit within the General Services Administration, was established a year ago to tap into the success of the United Kingdom's Government Digital Services unit by pursuing a similar strategy. The unit is tasked with getting developers from Silicon Valley and the ranks of civic developers all over the country to change how federal technology gets done.
- Pearl OS Could Be a Gem in the Making
If you favor the OS X environment, Pearl OS might be a Linux distro to feed your fancy. Pearl OS is a revival of the discontinued Pear OS distro. It picks up where Pear left off in early 2014. Pearl OS has two desktop versions: XFCE and MATE. Both are based on Ubuntu Linux distro version 14.04 Mini release. The two flavors of Pearl OS are customized to look and act like the OS X operating system.
- Open Source vs. Proprietary Firms on the IoT Battleground
A battle is brewing over control of the Internet of Things marketplace. Consumers see only convenience and extensions to their always-on mobile devices. Product makers see a pathway to streaming data that can be monetized from buyers' connections. Will history repeat itself, as open source begins to take on the current, yet unsustainable, walled-garden core of the IoT?
- At the Track With Formula E, the First e-Racing Series
An anonymous reader writes Ars is running a story about the new all-electric racing car series first visit to the U.S.. "The pit lane we're standing in is unusual, and not only because it's a temporary setup placed in the shadow of American Airlines Arena (home of the NBA's Miami Heat). Garages are set up on both sides rather than being limited to one. A few things also appear to be missing. To start, a familiar smell from the usual mix of burning hydrocarbons is absent. And it's remarkably quiet. The occasional impact wrench bursts out in a mechanical staccato, generators drone here and there, but there are no V8s burbling, no V6s screaming....Welcome to Formula E, the world's first fully electric racing series. Miami is playing host to the first of two US rounds—the next being held in Long Beach, CA, on April 4—and it's the fifth race in this ePrix's inaugural season. Given we've got a bit of a thing about racing at Cars Technica, as well as an obvious interest in electric vehicles, we had to be on the ground in Miami to experience this for ourselves."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Europol Chief Warns About Computer Encryption
An anonymous reader writes The law enforcement lobbying campaign against encryption continues. Today it's Europols director Rob Wainwright who is trying to make a case against encryption. "It's become perhaps the biggest problem for the police and the security service authorities in dealing with the threats from terrorism," he explained. "It's changed the very nature of counter-terrorist work from one that has been traditionally reliant on having good monitoring capability of communications to one that essentially doesn't provide that anymore." This is the same man who told the European Parliament that Europol is not going to investigate the alleged NSA hacking of the SWIFT (international bank transfer) system. The excuse he gave was not that Europol didn't know about it, because it did. Very much so. It was that there had been no formal complaint from any member state.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- FCC Chairman: Net Rules Will Withstand Court Challenge
An anonymous reader writes with this story about FCC chairman Tom Wheeler's confidence that the net neutrality rules the agency passed last month will stand up to upcoming challenges in court."Now that the FCC is the subject of several lawsuits, and its leader, Chairman Tom Wheeler, was dragged in front of Congress repeatedly to answer the same battery of inanity, it's worth checking in to see how the agency is feeling. Is it confident that its recent vote to reclassify broadband under Title II of the Telecommunications Act will hold? Yes, unsurprisingly. Recently, Wheeler gave a speech at Ohio State University, laying out his larger philosophy regarding the open Internet. His second to last paragraph is worth reading: "One final prediction: the FCC's new rules will be upheld by the courts. The DC Circuit sent the previous Open Internet Order back to us and basically said, 'You're trying to impose common carrier-like regulation without stepping up and saying, "these are common carriers.'" We have addressed that issue, which is the underlying issue in all of the debates we've had so far. That gives me great confidence going forward that we will prevail.""
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- NASA Denies New Space Station Partnership With Russia
schwit1 writes NASA officials today denied they were negotiating a partnership with Russia to build a space station replacement for ISS, as suggested yesterday by the head of Russia's space program. Maybe the misunderstanding comes from NASA head Charles Bolden, who is currently in Russia. Bolden probably said some nice feel-good things to the Russians, things like "We want to keep working together," and "We will support your plans for your future space station." None of this was meant as a commitment, but the Russians might have taken them more seriously than Bolden realized.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Chrome OS Receives Extreme Makeover With Material Design and Google Now
MojoKid writes Late last week, Google quietly began inviting people to opt into the beta channel for ChromeOS to help the company "shape the future" of the OS. Some betas can be riskier than others, but Google says that opting into this one is just a "little risk", one that will pay off handsomely for those who crave new features. New in this version is Chrome Launcher 2.0, which gives you quick access to a number of common features, including the apps you use most often (examples are Hangouts, Calculator, and Files). Some apps have also received a fresh coat of paint, such as the file manager. Google notes that this is just the start, so there will be more updates rolling out to the beta OS as time goes on. Other key features available in this beta include the ability to extract pass protected Zip archives, as well as a perk for travelers. ChromeOS will now automatically detect your new timezone, and then update the time and date accordingly.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Nation's Biggest Nuclear Firm Makes a Play For Carbon Credit Cash
tomhath writes with this story that make shake up the nuclear industry. "The biggest player in the beleaguered nuclear power industry wants a place alongside solar, wind and hydroelectric power collecting extra money for producing carbon-free electricity. Exelon Corp., operator of the largest fleet of U.S. nuclear plants, says it could have to close three of them if Illinois rejects the company's pitch to let it recoup more from consumers since the plants do not produce greenhouse gases. Exelon and other around-the-clock plants sometimes take losses when wind turbines produce too much electricity for the system. Under the system, electric suppliers would have to buy credits from carbon-free energy producers. Exelon says the plan would benefit nuclear plants, hydroelectric dams, and other solar and wind projects."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- NSA: We Mulled Ending Phone Program Before Edward Snowden Leaks
Mark Wilson writes Edward Snowden is heralded as both a hero and villain. A privacy vigilante and a traitor. It just depends who you ask. The revelations he made about the NSA's surveillance programs have completely changed the face of online security, and changed the way everyone looks at the internet and privacy. But just before the whistle was blown, it seems that the NSA was considering bringing its telephone data collection program to an end. Intelligence officials were, behind the scenes, questioning whether the benefits of gathering counter-terrorism information justified the colossal costs involved. Then Snowden went public and essentially forced the agency's hand.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Supermario 64 Coming To a Browser Near You!
Billly Gates writes "Since Unity has been given a liberal license and free for non commercial developers it has become popular. A computer science student Erik Roystan Ross used the tool to remake SuperMario 64 with a modern Unity 5 engine. There is a video here and if you want to play the link is here. You will need Firefox or Chrome which has HTML 5 for gamepad support if you do not want to use the keyboard. "I currently do not have any plans to develop this any further or to resolve any bugs, unless they're horrendously game-breaking and horrendously simple to fix," says Ross.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Experts: Aim of 2 Degrees Climate Goal Insufficient
An anonymous reader points out that a long held goal of keeping the Earth's average temperature from rising above 2 degrees Celsius might not be good enough. "A long-held benchmark for limiting global warming is 'utterly inadequate,' a leading U.N. climate scientist declared. Keeping the Earth's average temperature from rising past 2 degrees Celsius – a cap established by studies in the early 1970s – is far too loose a goal, Petra Tschakert, a professor at Penn State University and a lead author of an assessment report for the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, said in a commentary published in the journal Climate Change Responses. Already, with an average increase of just 0.8 degrees Celsius, she wrote, 'negative impacts' are 'widespread across the globe.' Tschakert called for lowering the warming target to 1.5 degrees Celsius."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Near Launching Presidential Bid
Rambo Tribble writes "Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina announced on Fox News Sunday that she stood a 'higher than 90 percent' chance of running as a presidential candidate in 2016. Fiorina's tenure at HP was marked by controversy over her leadership, and it is unclear what level of name recognition she enjoys. Her only previous political experience appears to be a failed U.S. Senate seat effort in 2010, as the Republican candidate challenging sitting Democrat Barbara Boxer, in California. Fiorina lost by 10%.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- SeaWorld and Others Discover That a Hashtag Can Become a Bashtag
HughPickens.com writes Alison Griswold writes that in an effort to improve its tanking image, SeaWorld launched a new advertising campaign this week to educate the public about its "leadership in the care of killer whales" and other work to protect whales in captivity and in the wild. As part of that head-on initiative, someone at SeaWorld decided to invite Twitter users to pose their questions to the company directly using the hashtag #AskSeaWorld. That was not a good idea as twitter users bashed Sea World relentlessly.. "As easy as it is to make fun of SeaWorld here, the real question is why any company still thinks hosting an open Twitter forum could be good for public relations," writes Griswold. "So maybe SeaWorld's social and PR folks just really have no idea what they're doing. Even so, you'd think they'd have learned from the corporate failures before them." Let's review some of the times this has backfired, starting with the infamous McDonald's #McDStories Twitter campaign of January 2012. Rather than prompting customers to share their heart-warming McDonald's anecdotes, the hashtag gave critics a highly visible forum to share their top McDonald's horror stories. MacDonalds pulled the campaign within two hours but they discovered that crowd-sourced campaigns are hard to control. Three years later the #McDStories hashtag is still gathering comments. "Twitter Q&As are a terrible idea.," concludes Griswold. "A well-meaning hashtag gives critics an easy way to assemble and voice their complaints in a public forum. Why companies still try them is a great mystery. Maybe they'll all finally learn from SeaWorld and give this one horrible PR trick up for good."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Festo Reveals New Robotic Ants and Butterflies
mikejuk writes "Every year around this time of year Festo builds some amazing robot or other — last year it was a kangaroo. What could it possibly do to top previous amazing devices? What about some even more amazing robotic insects. BionicANT is designed not only look good but to demonstrate swarm intelligence. The robot not only looks like an ant, but it works like one. The design makes use of piezo bending transducers rather than servos to move. As well as being able to move its six legs, it also has a piezo-activated pair of pincers. The second insect robot is a butterfly — eMotion. For flying machines these are incredibly lightweight at 32 grams. The bodies are laser sintered and the wings use carbon fiber rods. Two miniature servo motors are attached to the body and each wing. The electronics has a microcontroller, an inertial sensor consisting of gyro, accelerometer and compass and two radio modules. Flying time is around 3 or 4 minutes."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Arduino Dispute Reaches Out To Distributors
szczys writes Two companies are claiming ownership of the Arduino Trademark. The most recent development in this sad state of affairs is a letter from Arduino SRL to long-time Distributors of Arduino products. SRL is claiming they are the real Arduino, but there are some tasty tidbits including a Q/A section with some peculiar answers. From the article: "In short, Arduino LLC has been working on developing the Arduino platform, software, and community while Smart Projects / Arduino SRL was the major official producer of the hardware for most boards. Both are claiming to 'be' Arduino, and going after each other in court. So it’s not strange that Arduino SRL would like to try to keep its hold on the distribution channels."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- SpaceX's New Combustion Technologies
An anonymous reader shares this story that takes a look at some of the advances SpaceX is working on. "Getting a small group of human beings to Mars and back is no easy task, we learned at the recent GPU Technology Conference in San Jose hosted graphics chip and accelerator maker Nvidia. One of the problems with such a mission is that you need a very large and efficient rocket engine to get the amount of material into orbit for the mission, explained Adam Lichtl, who is director of research at SpaceX and who with a team of a few dozen programmers is try to crack the particularly difficult task of better simulating the combustion inside of a rocket engine. You need a large engine to shorten the trip to Mars, too....Not only do you need a lot of stuff to get to Mars and sustain a colony there, but you also need a way to generate fuel on Mars to come back to Earth. All of these factors affect the design of the rocket engine....As if these were not problems enough, there is another really big issue. The computational fluid dynamics, or CFD, software that is used to simulate the movement of fluids and gases and their ignition inside of all kinds of engines is particularly bad at assisting in rocket engine design. 'Methane is a fairly simple hydrocarbon that is perfectly good as a fuel,' Lichtl said. 'The challenge here is to design an engine that works efficiently with such a compound. But rocket engine CFD is hard. Really hard.'"
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Why the Final Moments Inside a Cockpit Are Heard But Not Seen
jones_supa writes: There's no video footage from inside the cockpit of the Germanwings flight that left 150 people dead — nor is such footage recorded from any other commercial airline crash in recent years. Unlike many other vehicles operating with heightened safety concerns, airline cockpits don't come with video surveillance. The reason, in part, is that airline pilots and their unions have argued vigorously against what they see as an invasion of privacy that would not improve aviation safety. The long debate on whether airplane cockpits in the U.S. should be equipped with cameras dates back at least 15 years, when the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) first pushed regulators to require video monitoring following what the agency called "several accidents involving a lack of information regarding crewmember actions and the flight deck environment." The latest NTSB recommendation for a cockpit image system (PDF) came in January 2015. Should video streams captured inside the plane become a standard part of aviation safety measures?
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Apple's 13-incher will STILL cost you a bomb: MacBook Air 2015
It may pine for the fjörds, but it's not snuffed it yet
Review Well, it looks as though the writing is on the wall for the MacBook Air. It’s still one of the slimmest and lightest laptops around, with impressive 10-12 hour battery life. But that 1440x900 resolution is dead in the water these days – especially at Apple price levels – while the chunky metal bezel around the screen is the tech equivalent of those huge shoulderpads that Dame Joan Collins used to wear on Dynasty back in the 1980s.…
- Smart meters are a ‘costly mistake’ that'll add BILLIONS to bills
Institute of Directors warns against giganto UK.gov cock-up
A report from the Institute of Directors (IoD) warns that the government's rollout of smart meters “should be 'halted, altered or scrapped' to avoid a potentially catastrophic government IT disaster.”…
- David Cameron's Passport number emailed to footy-head
Outlook autocomplete SNAFU sees world leaders' particulars leaked during G20 summit
Last week, Australia passed mandatory metadata retention laws, over objections that personal data should only be accessible by a very small number of people under very secure circumstances because it is is bound to leak and cause embarrassment.…
- Unlimited stolen Uber accounts flogged for $5
Accounts 100 percent valid, fraudsters claim
Fraudsters are flogging an 'unlimited' number of stolen Uber accounts containing personal details and limited credit card data for less than $5.…
- EMC and Cloudera withdraw from Indiana big data event
Execs issue weekend Tweets objecting to religious freedom law
The technology industry's objections to the US State of Indiana's new Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which permits businesses to decline to serve people on the basis of sexuality or other traits, have deepened after EMC and Cloudera cancelled their presence at a forthcoming conference.…
- Short circuit at Large Hadron Collider slows return to matter-mauling
CERN boffins hope high-pressure helium will chill out their problems
The eager Igors of CERN are going to have to wait a little longer before they try to destroy the universe: it turns out that the upgraded Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has a short circuit in one of its dipole circuits.…
- Atomic clocks' tics tamed by 3,000 entangled atoms
Boffins break record for entanglement with mirrors and lasers
MIT and University of Belgrade boffins have taken a big step in applying the quantum property of entanglement to macro systems: they're claiming to have roped together more than 2,900 rubidium atoms with a single photon.…
- Apple is like HITLER says Chinese billionaire
Android, however, is a beacon of freedom and openness
One of the ways Chinese kids like to pass their time is watching video on a site called Leshi TV that's sufficiently popular the company's CEO Jia Yueting is ranked among the planet's billionaires.…
- Accedian goes hybrid NFV in carrier QoS product
Virtualises CPE to cut deployment cost
Rather than pull out all the stops on network function virtualisation (NFV), telcos would like to stage their implementations one piece at a time, according to Canadian vendor Accedian Networks.…
- Opportunity suffers another flash-memory 'amnesia' moment
Rover's didn't lose data, Mars boffins 'disappointed' but not surprised at memory glitch
A flash memory reformat left NASA's Mars rover Opportunity with a brief episode of what the agency calls “amnesia” – thankfully, without any loss of scientific data.…
- AWS flicks switch for cloud storage replication
Double the redundancy, double the bills
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has done something rather useful to its simple storage service (S3), namely making it possible to replicate data across regions.…
- Coral Reefs: Secret Cities of the Sea exhibition – life beneath the waves
Take a dive at the Natural History Museum
Review There's an undeniable fascination to coral reefs and the creatures that inhabit them, whether it's tales of shipwreck on tropical islands surrounded by a lagoon, romantic snorkelling adventures, or captivating documentaries about the Great Barrier Reef.…
- Honda CR-V: SUV-lite that’s also light on the pocket
Works well on tarmac – just remember to keep it there
Vulture at the Wheel This wasn't the car I was expecting. If I’d been paying attention I would have known that the new twin-turbo, 9-speed auto, 4WD 1.6L diesel turbo CR-V isn’t on the UK press fleet yet. What rolled up outside Vulture Central was the decidedly white-bread 2WD i-DTEC single-turbo 1.6L diesel.…
- Building a better society from the Czechs' version of Meccano
And a tale of international intellectual property piracy
Worstall @ the Weekend To move a little off the normal sort of subject around here, something from an exhibition just around the corner here in Usti nad Labem in the Czech Republic. The lads I hang out with here are 40ish professionals and they were terribly excited about an exhibition being put on of “Merkur”.…
- Exercising with chocolate: Festival and tours galore
Gorge your way to fitness this weekend
Chocolate and exercise together, whatever next? Well, for the chocoholics and general lovers of cacao based products, there are various chocolate tours springing up at various locations around the country including Edinburgh, Oxford and one taking place in London this weekend.…
- Blood Relatives, The Tears of the Rajas and The Fifth Gospel
Ian Caldwell finds religion (again) and more
Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston looks at literature's latest with a compelling debut novel from Stevan Alcock. The days of empire in India get up close and personal due in no small part to Ferdinand Mount's well-documented family history. And for those with a taste for antiquity, Ian Caldwell's latest gives Dan Brown a run for his money.…
- Dot-sucks sucks, say lawyers: ICANN urged to kill 'shakedown' now
Trademark briefs complain of 'predatory, exploitative and coercive practices'
The intellectual property constituency (IPC) of domain overseer ICANN has formally asked the organization to halt the rollout of the controversial .sucks top-level domain, due to start on Monday.…
Linux.com offline for now
- Automatically Managing The Linux Benchmarks Firing Constantly
In continuation of this morning's article about Turning A Basement Into A Big Linux Server Room that detailed my month-long process of building out the new Linux automated benchmark server room, here's details on the software deployment side...
- The Big Features Of The Linux 4.0 Kernel
Linux 4.0 should be officially released within the next few weeks. In anticipation of its April debut, here's a look at some of the big features for this next version of the Linux kernel...
- Turning A Basement Into A Big Linux Server Room
This week I posted about my new server room, where there's Linux benchmarks constantly happening on the Linux kernel and other open-source code via the Phoronix Test Suite and Phoromatic. With many Phoronix readers having been interested in the basement makeover I did to turn a ugly, boring basement into a clean server room, here's more details and pictures on the month-long renovation along with various tips and product recommendations from the experience. This server room is now almost up to 50 systems and is complete with a drink bar and projector. There's plenty of pictures and details for those hoping to build their own personal basement server room, including a few tips for increasing the wife acceptance factor of the big project.
- Mesa's Android Support Is Currently In Bad Shape
While Mesa is talked about as being able to be built for Google's Android operating system to run these open-source graphics drivers on Android devices with OpenGL ES support, in reality there's a lot left to be desired...
- Wayland's Weston Terminal Can Now Be Minimized
There hasn't been too much to report on lately with regard to Wayland/Weston 1.8 development, but with this next release, the reference Weston compositor's terminal will now have a minimize menu item...
- More Fedora/Ubuntu Linux vs. OS X OpenGL Benchmarks
Earlier this week I shared some new OS X 10.10 vs. Fedora 21 vs. Ubuntu 15.04 benchmarks, which were quite interesting and Linux ended up having the upper-hand on this new Mac Mini with an Intel "Haswell" CPU sporting Iris Graphics. For those interested in more cross-OS benchmarks with Intel Iris Graphics, here's some additional results...
- HAMMER2 Gets A Man Page
The HAMMER2 file-system has been slow to mature since being announced three years ago, but now at least there's a man page for HAMMER2...
- Shadow Warrior Is Being Released For Linux Next Week
The Shadow Warrior remake of the 1997 3D Realms' game of the same name is seeing its native Linux release next week! The remake of Shadow Warrior has been out since 2013 by Flying Wild Hog while next week will mark its debut for Linux and OS X...
- NVIDIA's $1000+ GeForce GTX TITAN X Delivers Maximum Linux Performance
Last week NVIDIA unveiled the GeForce GTX TITAN X during their annual GPU Tech Conference. Of course, all of the major reviews at launch were under Windows and thus largely focused on the Direct3D performance. Now that our review sample arrived this week, I've spent the past few days hitting the TITAN X hard under Linux with various OpenGL and OpenCL workloads compared to other NVIDIA and AMD hardware on the binary Linux drivers.
- Ubuntu 15.04 Final Beta Released
Adam Conrad, on the behalf of the Ubuntu Release Team, tonight announced the final beta of the Ubuntu 15.04 "Vivid Vervet" release...
- Nuclide: Facebook's New Unified IDE
Facebook today announced Nuclide, its latest open-source project, which is an integrated development environment derived from GitHub's Atom editor...
- Git 2.4.0-rc0 Does A Ton Of Polishing
An early preview release of Git 2.4 is now available but it doesn't add too many features as this cycle has organically found itself doing a ton of polishing and bug fixing...
- BQ Is Cleaning Up Their Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Kernel
Last week we relayed the article by Carsten Munk of Jolla about the kernel of the BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Phone being a mess. Since then, it looks like BQ and Ubuntu developers have taken to cleaning up the kernel source tree...
- Canonical Just Made It Even Easier To Benchmark Ubuntu Linux In The Cloud
As some more exciting open-source benchmarking news this week besides the release of Phoronix Test Suite 5.6 and The New Place Where Linux And Other Open-Source Code Is Constantly Being Benchmarked (a.k.a. the new ~50 system upstream Linux benchmarking test farm complete with a bar), the barrier to entry for benchmarking Ubuntu in the Cloud is now even lower. It's becoming rather trivial to run Ubuntu Cloud benchmarks...
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN X Linux Testing Time
Last week NVIDIA released the GeForce GTX TITAN X, their latest $999+ USD graphics card. This new graphics card packs 12GB of GDDR5 video memory and the Maxwell-based GPU is capable of 7 TFLOPS of single-precision compute power. Now it's time for some Linux benchmarks of this new high-end graphics card at Phoronix...
- Fraudster's phoney email tricked prison into releasing him
so much simpler. With the aid of a smuggled mobile phone, he was able to set up an email address with a domain that closely resembled Her Majesty's Court Service. He then sent a forged letter approving his release to the prison, hoping they wouldn't inspect the document or sender's credentials too closely. Low and behold, the wardens were convinced of its authenticity (despite misspelling "Southwark" Crown Court) and Moore walked free in March 2014.
The prison only realised its mistake three days later, when solicitors showed up for a scheduled interview with Moore. Luckily for them, the techno-trickster had already experienced a "change of heart" and handed himself in a few days later. The 28-year-old had previously been charged with committing fraud worth over £1.8 million. Moore had successfully posed as staff from Barclays, Lloyds and Santander banks, convincing firms such as the Thomas Global Exchange to transfer huge sums of money.
Now that Moore is back behind bars, his prison break exploits are finally being heard by London courts. Misc
Source: The BBC
- If you want to buy an Apple Watch in-store, you'll need a reservation
Even if you're not laying down thousands of dollars for the VIP treatment, if you're looking for an Apple Watch (and you're shopping in old-school bricks-and-mortar style), you won't be able casually dip into an Apple store and get some new tech-laden wrist candy. Not so fast: according to training documents seen at MacRumors, there will be no walk-in sales, at least to begin with. Likely tied to rumored supply concerns about Apple's first wearable, customers will have to make an online reservation ahead of getting to buy it. Those that do will then then get to try on a watch and have a play between the pre-sales date of April 10th and eventual launch on April 24th. It won't be forever, however: according to the leak, Apple will likely offer walk-in sales of the wearable at a later date.
Filed under: Wearables, Apple
- PlayStation's Spotify-powered music service starts today
Good riddance Music Unlimited; welcome to the party, PlayStation Music. The Spotify-powered music service goes live on PlayStation devices in 41 nations starting today. As we've reported previously, this means even if you're listening to Spotify's free, ad-supported tier you can listen to your favorite playlists in-game. Whether or not your top Drake songs work as well for bounty runs inDestiny as they do for Saturday morning cleaning is another matter entirely, though. And Xbox fans? For now, there's a 40-page thread on the Spotify forums where you can make a case for the app coming to your console of choice -- alas, that's not likely to happen in the immediate future it seems.
The service is coming to both PlayStation 3 and 4, and it's thanks to Spotify's established licensing deals that the service will be available in way more places than Sony's offering could (41 for Spotify, 19 for Sony). As per regular Spotify, the ad-supported version is free, or you can cough up $10 a month to listen without interruption. There is a free trial for newcomers, and if you were previously paying for Music Unlimited, then this is extended to 60 days. If you were worrying about being able to pick individual songs while playing games (rather than playlists etc. as is the case on some platforms), the good news is you can.
Filed under: Gaming, Home Entertainment, HD, Sony
- Exhibition lets you go hands-on with 40 years of gadgets
Want to experience exactly how much gadgets have evolved in the last 40 years? The Interface Experience at the Bard Graduate Center in New York has more than 25 seminal devices representing different computing eras, including the graphical interface grand-daddy Xerox Alto and the Macintosh Plus from 1986. Exhibit-goers will even get to try out five featured devices for themselves: a 1982 Commodore 64, the Mac Plus, a Palm Pilot circa 1997, and the original iPad and Microsoft Kinect, both from 2010. There's also a "petting zoo" wall of 100-plus cellphones across several decades that can be touched and tried out.
Exhibit Curator Kimon Keramidas told Osborne 1, a portable computer that was supposed to outsell the Apple II (it didn't) and the Minitel, a French computer that had internet-like functionality way back in 1982.
Grid Compass 1109 portable computer, 1983
The exhibit will have a companion book written by Keramidas along with a dedicated website explaining the history of each device. It runs from April 3rd to July 19th at the Bard Graduate Center's Focus Gallery in New York.
Filed under: Cellphones, Desktops, Laptops
Source: The Interface Experience
- Cleopatra the tortoise gets a 3D-printed shell
Please don't jump on Cleopatra if you meet her. She isn't a real life red-shelled Koopa Troopa -- she's just wearing a 3D-printed prosthesis. See, Cleo the tortoise suffers from pyramiding, which means her shell has thick, pyramid-like growths due to poor nutrition. It also has holes and broken parts that could be injured and infected, especially since tortoises socialize and mate by climbing on top of each other. That's why Roger Henry, a student from Colorado Technical University, designed a 3D-printed shell for Cleo.
He spent 600 hours wrangling with software to ensure the tortoise's prosthetic will fit her perfectly, using data from Denver 3D Printing Store's scans of her shell. After that, they used biodegradable corn-based plastic to print out the final product. It will protect Cleo until her shell heals in a few years, now that she's being fed a proper diet by the folks at the Canyon Critters Reptile Rescue HQ in Colorado. Now, excuse us while we call up a producer and pitch a show about Cleo and Derby the dog with a Colorado Technical University]
Filed under: Misc
Source: Denver Post
- Liquid metal machines 'eat' in order to move
Robots typically rely on batteries to get power, but they may soon have to do little more than nibble on another material to start moving. Chinese researchers have developed simple liquid metal machines (not shown here) that zip around if they "eat" aluminum and other substances that produce electrochemical reactions. It's not possible to directly control their movement, but they closely mimic whatever space they're in -- you can propel them through channels, for instance.
These amorphous machines aren't blisteringly fast. Right now, chewing on metal lets them move at about 2 inches per second for over an hour. It's doubtful that you'll see a nimble, Terminator 2-style shapeshifting android any time soon, then -- perhaps thankfully -- but one of the basic ingredients for that kind of liquid robot is now in place.
[Image credit: Shelley Brunt, Flickr]
Filed under: Robots, Science
- Game Boy camera gun prints when you shoot
If you had a spare Game Boy Camera and the printer to match, what would you do with them? If you're media artist Dmitry Morozov, you'd make a one-of-a-kind firearm. His GBG-8 gun uses Nintendo's photographic peripherals and an Arduino board to shoot photos (almost literally) and print them on the spot -- effectively, it's a low-resolution Polaroid cam with a trigger. We can't imagine that this would go down well with security officials, but it could be a blast if you want to capture 8-bit memories with more flair than the original Game Boy gear allows. Let's just hope that Morozov offers some instructions so that his picture pistol is easy to reproduce at home.
Filed under: Misc, Gaming, Peripherals, Nintendo
- Apple Watch Edition buyers will get the red carpet treatment
When you're buying a $10,000 watch, you expect first-class service -- and Apple is apparently ready to deliver. Sources for 9to5Mac claim that people who buy the gold Apple Watch Edition will get to skip the queues whenever they need help. They'll be bumped to the front of the line when buying, and they'll have an hour to spend trying out watches in a private area (complete with an expert) instead of 15 minutes at a table like the hoi polloi. And if the worst happens, they'll get at least two years of access to a dedicated Edition phone support line that operates around the clock. This kind of bend-over-backwards help isn't unusual in the luxury world, where concierges and other one-on-one services are common, but it's not exactly standard fare for a company that will gladly sell you a $50 music player.
Thankfully, the report also suggests that Apple won't save everything for its wealthiest customers. If you buy either the regular stainless steel Watch or the Edition, you'll have the option of "virtual personal setup" that has an Apple Store staffer guiding you through your new wristwear using video chat. The only big problem is that you get none of these perks if you buy a Watch Sport -- you'll have to settle for the same assistance that you'd get for your iPhone. Still, it's good to know that you should get more than just a nicer-looking watch (and some bragging rights) if you're a big spender.
Filed under: Wearables, Mobile, Apple
Source: 9to5Mac (1), (2)
- NSA considered scrapping its mass phone surveillance program
The National Security Agency may present a united front when it defends against criticism of its bulk phone data collection, but it's now clear that there has been at least some doubt within the ranks. Associated Press sources have revealed that there was an internal proposal to kill the phone surveillance program in early 2013, not long before Edward Snowden's leaks made it public. Reportedly, some NSA officials were concerned that the initiative was not only expensive to run, but ineffective. It wasn't "central" to catching terrorist plots, and it wasn't capturing most cellphone calls. Not surprisingly, the critics were also worried about outrage if the truth came out -- which, of course, is exactly what happened.
According to the tipsters, the proposal didn't quite make the cut. While "top managers" saw it, then-director General Keith Alexander never got a peek. As it stands, the proposal might not have survived scrutiny at the highest levels. Alexander believed that there was still important value in scooping up phone records, and even President Obama's modest proposed reforms would require legal changes that haven't been forthcoming. However, these private concerns could come to the forefront when the law allowing phone data collection is up for renewal in June. If the NSA itself isn't wholly convinced that a mass surveillance program is worth keeping, it may have a harder time persuading Congress to give that effort the green light.
[Image credit: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky]
Filed under: Cellphones, Internet, Mobile
Source: AP (Huffington Post)
- Life with the Moto 360: has Motorola's smartwatch turned a corner?
When the Moto 360 first hit the scene, its reception was... mixed. That round display was eye-catching, but it couldn't make up for the smartwatch's all-too-short battery life and undercooked software. Times have changed, though. Motorola trotted out updates that addressed the 360's early problems, and the Lollipop upgrade gave Android Wear a new lease on life through custom watch faces and a few other useful tweaks. But does that mean it deserves a second chance, especially now that rivals like LG's G Watch R are vying for your wrist?
I'll tackle the big question up-front: battery life wasn't an issue. I could wear the Moto 360 throughout a typical day and still have a significant charge left when I was ready to go to bed. That was no mean feat for me, since I usually have to deal with a steady stream of Hangouts messages and work email. Having said this, I was very, very thankful for the 360's wireless charging dock. Smartwatches needing clip-on cradles or cables are often a hassle, but Motorola's wristwear was so easy to top up that I hardly even thought about it.
I'm also a fan of the design, for the most part. I never completely forgot about the black strip at the bottom of the display that creates a "flat tire" look, but it also wasn't distracting (at least not on my all-black model). The leather strap makes the 360 extra comfortable, and the circular design is subtle enough that I didn't feel conspicuously geeky most of the time. However, there's no question that it could stand to be smaller. That 46mm-diameter case is enormous, at least on my moderately sized adult male arm. That's true of a lot of smartwatches (the ASUS ZenWatch is particularly huge), but there's something to be said for the discreetness of a smaller device like the 38mm Apple Watch.
The software is a tougher call, even if it's mostly a positive experience. Android Wear is supremely handy for the basic information I like to see over the course of a day, like weather or sports scores. And in a chilly Ottawa winter, it was more than a little helpful to respond to Hangouts messages or check in to Swarm without reaching for my phone and freezing my hands in the process. The Lollipop update also added quite a few features and overall polish that were missing the first time around. It was nice to have a wide choice of watch faces, for example, and I could tune out most alerts if I set the 360 to only give me priority notifications. I didn't have to use that last mode very often, but I was happy to know I could avoid information overload when necessary.
However, it's all too apparent that Android Wear still needs more time in the oven. For one thing, its approach to apps is backward -- unless I was launching something I had recently used, I had to go to the very bottom of a long menu just to start browsing the app list.
The interface isn't that great at surfacing the information I need at the time I need it, for that matter. Spotify's Android Wear card always showed up on cue, but Sonos' controls appeared inconsistently even when there was music playing. And the watch frequently defaulted to showing apps that weren't really relevant to the situation at hand; no, I don't need to check out my fitness goals in the middle of the workday. Google may be right that watches are primarily about receiving passive streams of information, but that doesn't excuse doing a poor job when I want to be more active.
Even with those quirks in mind, it's pretty clear the Moto 360 has turned a corner in half a year's time. It's no longer the underdeveloped novelty that it was on launch, and it's now my pick of the current Android Wear crop. True, it doesn't have the G Watch R's true circular display, the ZenWatch's custom software or the Sony Smartwatch 3's GPS, but I'd say of the three, it strikes the best balance between looks, functionality and price. About the only thing holding back the 360 is the software, but it's already apparent from the Lollipop update that Google is determined to quickly improve Android Wear. If you're happy with the current feature set, the 360 is a great buy -- and I'm glad I can say that given its rough start.
Filed under: Wearables, Mobile, Lenovo
- Why Final Fantasy XV's main playable characters are all men
Final Fantasy XV's playable demo confirmed suspicions that the long-awaited game's core playable characters are all, well, men. For those wondering, even just a bit, why the creators came to that decision when previous main titles featured mixed-gender teams, well here's your explanation. FFXV director Hajime Tabata sat down for an interview with FFXV's a dudefest.
Here is Tabata's full answer to the question (emphasis ours):
Speaking honestly, an all-male party feels almost more approachable for players. Even the presence of one female in the group will change their behaviour, so that they'll act differently. So to give the most natural feeling, to make them feel sincere and honest, having them all the same gender made sense in that way.
The world might be ready to see the curtain lifted on what boys do when girls aren't around, when they come out of the tent all prim and proper. That's kind of the idea behind it... we think, male or female player, that everyone will feel a certain connection and bond with the four characters.
Filed under: Misc, Gaming
- Inhabitat's Week in Green: e-paper shoes, superhighways and solar ovens
Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week's most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us -- it's the Week in Green.
Fans of green cars are eagerly awaiting the release of the Tesla Model X, but you won't have to wait to see what it looks like on the road -- a YouTube user spotted the new car cruising down the freeway in Palo Alto, California. The electric vehicle, which was originally supposed to be released in 2013, is now set to launch in the third quarter of 2015. In other automotive news, Mercedes-Benz has announced plans to release 10 new plug-in hybrid models by 2017. The new models will be designated with a simple "e" instead of the longer "plug-in hybrid" branding. Toyota is currently testing its i-Road three-wheeled electric vehicle in France. The i-Road is seen as a "last-mile" vehicle, and Toyota wants to see how it can integrate with public transportation to decrease traffic gridlock.
In other green transportation news, a Russian oligarch has announced plans to build a massive superhighway that would connect all the continents in the Northern Hemisphere. NASA is quietly testing an electric plane concept that has the potential to shake up the aviation industry. The plane, which looks quite a bit different than today's typical commercial jet, has 18 independently operated electric motors that are powered by lithium-phosphate batteries. And for contemporary nomads, the Mogo Freedom is a versatile trailer that sleeps two and contains plenty of storage space for schlepping outdoor gear.
The Solar Decathlon is one of the biggest green architecture events of the year, and plans for this year's slate of houses are already trickling in. A team of German and American students from Munich and Austin, Texas (respectively), will build NexusHaus, a small one-story prefab that's equipped with an efficient water-treatment system and rooftop solar panels. In other design news, Spanish architects Jose Selgas and Lucia Cano of SelgasCano just unveiled designs for the 2015 Serpentine Pavilion, a temporary structure that will be built in London's Kensington Gardens. The United Nations is partnering with the social enterprise Better Shelter to deliver 10,000 solar-powered flat-pack IKEA shelters to refugee families. Irish company Thermo Tent has created a new type of insulated camping tent that maintains constant internal temperatures and muffles noise, while Heimplanet released a new inflatable tent that can fit up to six people. A father-daughter team has Lego bricks. And in wearable tech news, a new shoe created by iShüu Technologies is made from electronic paper that can change colors and patterns. And fashion designer Pauline van Dongen and architect Behnaz Farahi have teamed up to create a 3D-printed flexible collar that can move on its own with a little help from nitinol and a small electric signal.
Chinese officials have announced plans to shutter all of Beijing's coal-fired power plants by 2016. The city will be switching to gas-powered plants, which are significantly cleaner. Meanwhile, Europe is leading the way when it comes to dealing with climate change. France just passed a new law that will require all new commercial buildings to be at least partially covered with either solar panels or green roofs. But increases in renewable energy aren't confined to the European continent. Thanks to heavy rainfall, Costa Rica was able to run solely on renewable energy for more than 75 days. And in Uzbekistan, workers have erected an enormous solar oven that uses concentrated solar energy to produce temperatures hot enough to melt metal. New photos show the futuristic structure, which can heat up to 3,000 degrees Celsius. In other clean energy news, researchers have figured out a way to transform packing peanuts -- those little, white, foam nuggets that typically end up in the landfill -- into carbon anodes for lithium-ion batteries.
Filed under: Misc, Household, Transportation, Science
- HTC's One E9+ is its latest phablet with a stunning screen
Just like that, HTC has quietly -- well, maybe unintentionally -- unveiled its latest phablet on its China website. With some minor differences, the One E9+ is pretty much what we saw on the certification database earlier this month. The biggest selling point of this part metal, part plastic device is perhaps its 5.5-inch Quad HD (534 ppi) display, making it the sharpest screen ever used on an HTC phone. Oddly, though, the website's spec sheet states a 1080p resolution, which we'll assume is actually meant for a lesser E9. Likewise with the 2GB of RAM instead of 3GB, as well as the 13-megapixel main camera instead of the 20-megapixel version mentioned on the product page.
If the rest of the specs are correct, we're looking at a 64-bit, octa-core 2GHz MT6795M chipset from MediaTek, 16GB of internal storage, microSD expansion of up to 128GB, dual Nano SIM slots, a 2,800 mAh battery, an UltraPixel front-facing camera and the trademark BoomSound front-facing stereo speakers. And of course, you also get multi-mode LTE along with 802.11ac WiFi. All of these goodies are tucked into a 7.49mm-thick body. Alas, that's all we've got so far; no price nor date just yet, so stay tuned for more.
Update: Serial leakster @upleaks has just shared some seemingly legit renders of the lesser E9. Here's one of them. Note the smaller main camera.
Filed under: Cellphones, Mobile, HTC
Via: Engadget Chinese
Source: HTC China
- The EU wants to remove regional limits on digital goods
Think regional locks on movie streaming and other digital goods are silly? So does the European Commission. It's outlining a new strategy (the Digital Single Market) that would prevent companies from geo-blocking online services when it's not truly necessary. This kind of arbitrary limit "cannot exist" in a single European Union-wide digital marketplace, officials argue. It's not clear what rules will be involved (you'll likely hear more about that when the full strategy is due in May), but the implication is that you wouldn't be forced to download or stream from a country-specific service. If you wanted to watch French Netflix from Germany, for example, you could.
Whether or not the EU can actually do this is another matter. While it might not be that hard to ask online services to open up, content licensing usually happens on a country-by-country basis -- regulators would likely have to enforce Union-wide license deals and pricing to make the digital rules stick. There is a chance that this will happen given a simultaneous push for more consumer-friendly copyright laws, but you won't want to count on unfettered access just yet.
[Image credit: European Parliament, Flickr]
Filed under: Internet
Via: Ars Technica
Source: European Commission
- Uber will pay for taxi licenses to keep operating in Germany
Uber is only willing to bend German law so far, it seems. The ridesharing outfit tells Wirtschafts Woche that it'll get around a court-ordered ban on its unlicensed services (such as UberX) by creating a new service that both pays for the drivers' taxi licenses and registers them as companies. While it's not clear whether this paperwork will lead to higher prices, the new tier is expected to keep the UberX name and should be ready to roll by the summer. It's hard to imagine the conventional taxi industry being especially happy with this workaround, but it may not have much say in the matter if all of Uber's services are legal.
[Image credit: Adam Berry/Getty Images]
Filed under: Transportation, Internet
Source: Wirtschafts Woche (translated)
- Volvo's reflective bike paint helps cars spot you at night
Want to feel nervous? Try riding a bike at night alongside a busy road. Even if you're festooned in lights and reflectors, there's a real chance that a less-than-attentive driver will smack into you. Volvo may have a better way to keep cars at a distance, however. Its new LifePaint spray is invisible during the day, but reflects car headlights in the evening. You can coat your bike, your clothing or most anything else and provide a heads-up to motorists, who'll see bright white as they get close. It only lasts for 10 days at a time, but you can wash it off -- just don't ride during a heavy rainstorm and you'll be fine. The biggest challenge is simply getting some cans for yourself. Volvo is only offering LifePaint in six London- and Kent-area bike shops right now, and availability will depend on how it fares in these test areas.
Filed under: Transportation
Via: The Verge
Source: Volvo, Medium
- Native Instruments teases a portable, touch-sensitive DJ deck
Native Instruments has a full-fledged DJ deck and mixer combo, but it can be a big hassle -- do you really want to lug a giant controller with you on tour, especially if you already have a preferred mixer? You won't have to make that sacrifice for much longer, it seems. The company is teasing an upcoming Traktor Kontrol system (likely to be called the Kontrol D2) that is essentially the deck half of the Kontrol S8, complete with a display and touch-sensitive faders, knobs and track controls. In other words, you have a a proper, modern deck (more than a basic controller) that's both easier to carry on the road and lets you use a different mixer. NI hasn't said when this machine will ship or what the price will be, but it's safe to say that it'll cost less than the $1,299 S8.
Filed under: Peripherals
- Hillary Clinton confirms she wiped her email server
Members of the US House of Representatives hoping to get a look at Hillary Clinton's personal email server just got a big disappointment. Clinton's attorney has confirmed to a House committee on Benghazi that, after handing over work-related email to the State Department, the politician both "chose not to keep" personal messages and set a 60-day limit on what the server retains. In short, she effectively wiped it clean. There's no going back to mail from her Secretary of State days beyond the 30,490 messages on the record, or roughly half of what the server held during the period.
Naturally, both sides are trying to spin the news to suit their own ends. The head of the committee, Rep. Trey Gowdy, is portraying this as an attempt to block anyone from trying to "check behind her analysis" and see if she deleted important conversations. Committee member Rep. Elijah Cummings, meanwhile, calls the server request a "political charade" and wants the on-the-record messages made public as proof that Clinton is squeaky clean. The problem is that there's no practical way to verify the truth, no matter who's right -- officials have to take it on faith that Clinton followed the letter of the law and delivered all the messages related to her political life.
[Image credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images]
Filed under: Internet
Via: The Hill
Source: House of Representatives (PDF)
- Emvio's smartwatch will tell you when you're stressing out
Smartwatches are growing ever more capable by the day. Sometimes, though, there's no harm in a little focus. Enter Emvio, a watch with one core goal: to help you manage stress. There are no message notifications or apps, instead, Emvio monitors variations in your heart rate (HRV), only bothering you (ironically) once your stress levels start to rise. Your daily data is also fed to an app which can help you spot trends or individual stress triggering events, helping you better plan to manage them in the future. Can a single-focus connected watch cut it against growing competition? Its creators certainly think so, and they're hoping enough people on Kickstarter will, too.
You might be thinking that we usually know when we're stressed, right? Maybe, when it's very pronounced. Emvio wants to help with those every day challenges we might not notice: overreacting to minor things, dealing with bad news, or perhaps your reactions to traffic on your commute. Because you can instantly see where you are on a scale of one to 10, the idea is you'll be more mindful of your current state, and take action to deal with it. Emvio let us try an early prototype, and it was interesting to see that times when I could have said I "felt normal" Emvio indicated I was moderately stressed (or, more so than I expected). Only later, when taking a break or relaxing would levels return to normal, and I'd notice the difference. It's not hard to imagine that a little more awareness might go some way to changing habits, like taking a break, or reassessing your reaction to a situation. In the longer term, the benefits could mean less visits to the doctor, or, who knows, just a better life?
What we didn't get to look at, was the app. It's worth mentioning, that the app is iOS initially, but an Android version will be available if the (ambitious) $440k (Canadian dollars) stretch goal is reached. Being able to see how stressed you are throughout the day is neat (something other devices also claim to do), but it's making use of that data over time that will provide the real value. This does raise a few questions, though. Once you've established a few stress triggers, and incorporated mechanisms to deal with them, what next? Are you just left with a curious looking watch? Anthony Moskalenko from Emvio thinks it's a long term deal, saying the watch "will help users to develop stress-control habits and cultivate more mindfulness... stressful events will never go away, though our ways of dealing with it will evolve."
Despite the focus on stress, Emvio does have a few other features. Obviously, one being that it can read your pulse for non-stress situations, too. Like fitness. Handy, as the watch also works as an activity tracker, too, making it something of an all-round "wellbeing" device. If the Kickstarter is successful, Emvio will come in two sizes (dubbed "Romeo" or "Juliet"), will support wireless charging and cost $206 (CAD) each (unless you're quick enough to snap up one of the early-bird pledges which are running at $130.) If backing reaches the $375k mark, an "Elite" edition with a chrome metal face will be unlocked for those who prefer a metal finish. Lofty targets for sure, but what price would you put on a lower stress life?
Filed under: Wearables
- Best Buy is shutting down Canada's biggest tech store chain
shutting down Future Shop altogether. It'll convert 65 of the locations into Best Buy stores within a week, and 66 others are closing immediately.
The move is centered around an "ambitious plan" that includes more staff in stores and a stronger focus on internet sales, including orders that draw from in-store stock. With that said, the company is quick to admit that overlap was a major factor in the closure -- there were times when you'd see Best Buy and Future Shop locations within a stone's throw of each other. The strategy could make sense in the long run, then, although it's hard to see too many Canucks cheering this in the short term. Besides eliminating an iconic (if not especially well-loved) brand and reducing choices, the consolidation leaves 1,500 people out of work. Best Buy may now be the de facto big-box tech store in North America, but that power grab is coming at a stiff price.
[Image credit: Shutterstock/JJ Studio]
Filed under: Misc
Source: Best Buy
- AMC's channels come to PlayStation Vue
If you were intrigued by PlayStation Vue as a substitute for cable TV but refused to sign up until you could watch The Walking Dead, it's time to hop aboard. Sony has added AMC Networks to Vue's channel roster, giving you AMC proper as well as IFC, Sundance and WEtv. Be prepared to pony up if you just have to catch Portlandia, though -- while you'll get AMC and WEtv in the base Access package, IFC and Sundance are only available if you've subscribed to Core or Elite. This certainly isn't the best deal if you care about AMC or IFC above all else (Sling TV offers it as part of its $20 bundle), but it'll make Vue a better value for your cord-cutting dollar.
Filed under: Gaming, Home Entertainment, HD, Sony
Source: PlayStation Blog
- Chrome OS beta is getting a new launcher with Google Now
Intrepid folks running Chrome OS beta will soon get to test a huge new feature that's not quite ready for stable release: Chrome Launcher 2.0. This version looks more like a new tab on the Chrome browser than the platform's current, more traditional one that's basically a windows that shows app icons -- it even has its own search bar. It also comes integrated with Google Now that shows your appointment, flight, reminder, etc. cards if you use the feature on a mobile device or two. Of course, since it's still a launcher, it has an app list you can access when needed.
In addition to a new launcher, the upcoming update will give Chrome OS beta the power to automatically update its timezone while traveling and to unzip password-protected files. Finally, Google's bringing its Material Design over to the platform, but only for the File icon -- at this point anyway. To be able to test these features, you'll need to migrate to the beta channel through the Settings page and wait for the update to roll out to your device next week.
Filed under: Laptops, Internet, Software, Google
Source: Google Chrome Developers, FranÃ§ois Beaufort
- HTC One M9, law-abiding cars and other stories you might've missed!
Saturday is finally here and it's a great time to catch up this week's top stories. We review the HTC One M9, learn about Ford's new car that will force you to obey the speed limit and get all the details on the best cheap WiFi router that you can buy. Find out about these stories and more in the Weekly Roundup.
HTC One M9 review: Another year, another modest step forward
Let's say you're a smartphone maker and you cook up a formula for a beloved, game-changing device. The next year, you tweak that formula a bit to create a worthy, if slightly less exciting, follow-up of a phone. What do you do after another year has gone by? Try something completely different in hopes you'll catch lightning in a bottle again, or keep plugging away on the mobile DNA that made you such a worthy name in the first place? If you're HTC, the answer is obvious: You keep polishing and polishing that formula until you finally reach the ideal you've been working toward.
Ford's new car will force you to obey the speed limit
Much as we'd like to emulate our NASCAR heroes, breaking the speed limit often comes at a price. Ford is hoping to prevent accidents and speeding tickets by introducing cars that can see what the speed limit is and preventing heavy-footed motorists from driving any faster. Ford's Intelligent Speed Limiter tech will first appear on the new Ford S-Max that's launching in Europe that could just change the way that we drive.
This is the best cheap WiFi router
If I wanted the cheapest good WiFi router I could get, I would buy the TP-Link TL-WDR3600. It's a wireless-n router that costs $60 but outperforms some routers that cost twice as much. It took more than 150 hours of research and testing to find our pick. Of the 29 routers we looked at and the seven we tested, the TL-WDR3600 has the best performance for the lowest price.
Are you good enough for 'Bloodborne'?
Am I "good" at games? I don't know. I'm 30 years old: I've been playing video games for 25 of those years, give or take, and covering games professionally for just over six years. I love challenging games. Despite this, I've never loved the divisive, feverishly adored/hated Souls games (Demon's Souls, Dark Souls 1 and 2). Their challenges felt too great to overcome, their systems too inscrutable, their technical issues too great in number. They felt frustrating instead of challenging.
Dell Venue 8 7000 review: thin design, great screen, gimmicky camera
Engadget doesn't review many tablets anymore. When it comes to Android devices, we're far more likely to write about phablets, those supersized smartphones that for many people have eliminated the need for a dedicated slate. Meanwhile, iPad sales have slowed, and Apple has made so few changes to its products that in some cases we actually recommend you buy the previous-gen model to save money. Still, there are some companies that continue to not just build tablets, but also produce interesting designs. One of them is none other than Dell, a company whose track record includes some sensible Windows slates, a series of forgettable Android tablets and a phablet that was ahead of its time.
In Mars One we trust
Mars One promises to send humans on a one-way trip to the red planet, with the intent to colonize, by 2027. Once the first four people leave Earth for Mars, there's no turning back, no panic button, no chance to return home. This aspect of the trip isn't just for drama - it's a core tenet of Mars One's technical feasibility. CEO Bas Lansdorp believes that it's possible, using current technology, to land and sustain human life on Mars.
I tried to live with a high-end feature phone. I can't.
The feature phone. Still big in Japan. Still being sold in the millions. Still relevant, though? And does it even matter what a 30-something tech writer at a Western tech site thinks? Japan's large elderly population - people who haven't even heard of Angry Birds, Gmail or Uber - they're the ones sticking to their flip phones. Hardy, easy to use and cheaper than an iPhone. (If you need a primer on the phenomenon of gara-kei, you should probably read up on that here, but in short, it's how Japan's mobile phone market sped ahead with early technologies, then faltered when smartphone competition arrived.)
Apple is training its store staff to offer fashion advice
Now that the Apple Watch is close to launch, Apple is getting its stores ready to sell the wearable - and apparently, that involves turning its T-shirt-wearing staffers into fashion gurus. A 9to5Mac leak has revealed that the company is asking retail employees to suggest different watches based on how you dress and your lifestyle, much like you'd expect when buying a pair of designer glasses.
Moto E review (2015): The best budget phone gets even better
If you want to get a sense of where the real innovation in smartphones is happening, you need to look past the high-end flagships and toward the cheap stuff. And with the new Moto E, Motorola has crafted one of the most compelling budget smartphones yet. Starting at just $150, it's a tad more expensive than last year's $120 model, but it makes up for that with upgrades that make it a far more usable phone.
Twitter's Periscope is the best live streaming video app yet
The age of ubiquitous live streaming is upon us. I say this not only because of the sudden popularity of Meerkat, the mobile live streaming app that now boasts over 100,000 users and celebrity aficionados like Jimmy Fallon and Madonna. No, it's because Meerkat now has a rival. A very big rival, in the form of Twitter. Today, the social media company has taken the wrapper off Periscope, its very own live streaming app that it acquired only a couple of weeks ago. Indeed, it was this very purchase that caused Twitter to cut Meerkat from its social graph, a move that makes it a lot harder for those on Meerkat to find folks to follow.
Filed under: Misc
- 'Cyber is just pounding me from every direction'
Texas representative John Carter, chairman of the subcommittee on Homeland Security appropriations, and who sits on various other defense-related subcommittees, is hearing about cyber a lot these days. As he put it, "cyber is just pounding me from every direction." That's just the first few seconds of the very entertaining video, where Carter tries to find the right words to express his concern over new encryption standards from Apple and others. You may laugh about this, but... These are the people running the most powerful military of the world.
- GNOME 3.16, Builder released
GNOME 3.16 brings a brand new notification system and updated calendar design, which helps you to easily keep track of whatâÂ€Â™s happened, and includes useful information like world times and event reminders. Other features include overlaid scrollbars, updated visuals, improved content views in Files, and a redesigned image viewer. Major additions have also been made to the GNOME developer experience: GTK+ support for OpenGL now allows GTK+ apps to support 3D natively, a new GLib reference counting feature will help with debugging, and GTK+ Inspector has also had a major update. Also released: GNOME Builder, an IDE for GNOME.
- After a hit game, indie developers struggle to replicate success
Bithell has become one of a growing number of prominent indie game developers known by name after releasing a hit game. New platforms like Steam and iOS have made it easier than ever for a single developer to create a successful game, and sometimes those games really blow up - developers like Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson have become fast millionaires solely off of a single title. But after the elation of a hit game comes a sudden realization: you need to make another one. This is pretty common among artists; the second album is always the hardest.
- Microsoft rebrands Universal apps as "Windows apps"
In the beginning there was the word, and the word was Metro. And then it was Windows 8-style. And then it was Modern. And then it was Windows Store. And then it was Universal. And today, Microsoft has decreed that henceforth these apps - which are all ultimately based on Windows Runtime - will be known as Windows apps. Historically, of course, "Windows apps" (or "Windows programs") referred to standard, Win32-based executables that ran on the Windows desktop. Under the new naming scheme, these Win32 apps will now be called Windows desktop applications. As you can see in the slide above, despite the new nomenclature, the differences between the two types of app remain the same. Microsoft can paint itself red and call itself a girl scout until the pink cows come home, but everyone will still, and will continue to, call them Metro applications.
- A three rotor Enigma machine wrist watch
This is one of the most satisfying projects I have done I think. Mainly because this is a real device and something so historically important. It is a fully functioning Enigma machine you can wear on your wrist. This is a three rotor Enigma machine as used by German Wermacht in WW2 for encoding messages. Way cooler than any Android Wrist or iPhone Mini watch.
- I tried to live with a high-end feature phone
The feature phone. Still big in Japan. Still being sold in the millions. Still relevant, though? And does it even matter what a 30-something tech writer at a Western tech site thinks? Japan's large elderly population - people who haven't even heard of Angry Birds, Gmail or Uber - they're the ones sticking to their flip phones. Hardy, easy to use and cheaper than an iPhone. (If you need a primer on the phenomenon of gara-kei, you should probably read up on that here, but in short, it's how Japan's mobile phone market sped ahead with early technologies, then faltered when smartphone competition arrived.) So let's try using one. The best and newest feature phone available in Japan, no less. It's pitched as bringing the best smartphone features to the flip form factor. Is it better than a plain, old smartphone? Good lord, no.
- AnandTech review: the ASUS Zenbook UX305
AnandTech reviews the ASUS Zenbook UX305. Overall, even with the knocks against it, this is a heck of a device for just $699. A Core M processor, which allows a fanless and therefore silent device, but still offers good performance, and much more performance than any other CPU which would allow for a fanless design. 8 GB of memory standard. A 256 GB solid state drive standard. A 1920x1080p IPS display, once again standard. ASUS has really raised the bar for what someone can expect in a mid-range device. I honestly cannot believe that you can buy this much laptop for that kind of money these days - and unlike other cheap laptops, this actually isn't a piece of crap, but a proper, all-metal laptop that doesn't look like two stoeptegels slapped together.
- Chinese manufacturers are trying to kill the smartphone bezel
I remember a time when I didn't know - or care - what a bezel was. Now, thanks to the efforts of Chinese smartphone manufacturers, I may be able to forget about this component all together. (If you don't already know, it's the metal or plastic bit that surrounds a screen.) A slew of new devices have appeared this month - some leaked, some released officially - all showing companies doing their best to erase the bezel. It's one of the latest trends in smartphone design and has already made its way to the US in the form of the $239 Sharp Aquos Crystal and its infinity pool-like display. Looking at these devices it seems we'll be seeing a lot less edge in future. I'm quite pleased about the bezel disappearing. The bezel is an irrelevant, useless part of displays, and it can be shaved off and removed.
- HTC can't get no respect
Like the late American comedian Rodney Dangerfield, HTC is a company suffering from a chronic lack of respect. The Taiwanese phone maker has a pedigree of mobile innovation rivaling that of Nokia and Apple, but last week it had to change its CEO amid ambivalent feedback to its latest smartphone and a struggle to generate consistent profits. There are many challenges for new CEO Cher Wang to overcome in the months ahead, but beside the technical issue of just building better cameras, probably the most critical among them will be to reestablish the companyâÂ€Â™s respectability. Great devices, but nobody buys them. Good luck getting out of that conundrum.
- Google will implement Pointer Events in Blink after all
The Pointer Events API is a low-level input API for mouse, touch and stylus introduced by IE. Pointer Events extends the MouseEvent model while offering a replacement for all uses of Mouse and Touch events. Based on the feedback we've received, and the productive collaboration in the Pointer Events working group, I now believe we should implement this API in Blink. After this Google u-turn, only Apple refuses to support Pointer Events.
- Fear of Apple
There is an unfortunate climate of fear in the software community today. It is primarily in ephemeral video interviews and podcasts that we get any semblance of coherent criticism and even then it is reticent. Worse than the fact that this criticism is relegated to verbal discussions is that it is later renounced by the very same designers and developers when they are interviewed in the more permanent-seeming medium of the written word. In written interviews, these fair-weather critics go on to reverse their opinions and praise the products of modern minimalist UI design because it is more convenient not to risk questioning powerful industry leaders. If there is just one article you read this month, let it be this one. Do not skip this.
- An introduction of library operating system for Linux
Our objective is to build the kernel network stack as a shared library that can be linked to by userspace programs to provide network stack personalization and testing facilities, and allow researchers to more easily simulate complex network topologies of linux routers/hosts. Although the architecture itself can virtualize various things, the current design only focuses on the network stack. You can benefit network stack feature such as TCP, UDP, SCTP, DCCP (IPv4 and IPv6), Mobie IPv6, Multipath TCP (IPv4/IPv6, out-of-tree at the present moment), and netlink with various userspace applications (quagga, iproute2, iperf, wget, and thttpd).
- Microsoft releases Windows 10 SDK preview
Microsoft is now allowing developers to create apps for Windows 10. While the software maker is planning to release its operating system some time in the summer, developers can start getting used to the available tools today. Windows 10's apps will run across a variety of devices, including the Xbox One, PCs, phones, and tablets. This initial SDK preview will let developers tweak their apps to work across varying screen sizes and optimize them for both touch and mouse/keyboard usage. You can now create a single application binary that will run on Xbox One, PCs, phones, tablets, and embedded stuff. It took them a long, long time, but it seem like they're finally making good on their promises. There's more information, too.
- Samsung, Dell, others to ship Microsoft Office on Android tablets
Earlier today, we announced an expanded global partnership with Samsung to deliver Microsoft mobile productivity services to both consumer and business customers. Building on that news, IâÂ€Â™m pleased to share that weâÂ€Â™ve also expanded strategic agreements with leading global OEM Dell, and regional OEMs including TrekStor of Germany, JP Sa Couto of Portugal, Datamatic of Italy, DEXP of Russia, Hipstreet of Canada, QMobile of Pakistan, Tecno of Africa, and Casper of Turkey, as well as top original device manufacturer Pegatron. These 11 hardware partners will pre-install Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive and Skype on Android devices coming to market later this year. Now this I can get behind, sort of - assuming the applications are removable. Microsoft's Office suite for Android is pretty good, and especially for someone like me who uses Office a lot, this is pretty great.
- 'Partnering with Adobe on new contributions to our web platform'
In recent releases, we've talked often about our goal to bring the team and technologies behind our web platform closer to the community of developers and other vendors who are also working to move the Web forward. This has been a driving motivation behind our emphasis on providing better developer tools, resources for cross-browser testing, and more ways than ever to interact with the "Project Spartan" team. In the same spirit of openness, we've been making changes internally to allow other major Web entities to contribute to the growth of our platform, as well as to allow our team to give back to the Web. In the coming months we'll be sharing some of these stories, beginning with today's look at how Adobe's Web Platform Team has helped us make key improvements for a more expressive Web experience in Windows 10. Why don't they just do it right from the get-go, bite the bullet, and release their new engine as open source? Why this kinda stuff where only big players get to maybe possibly contribute? What's the point?
- New Products
Please send information about releases of Linux-related products to email@example.com or New Products c/o Linux Journal, PO Box 980985, Houston, TX 77098. Submissions are edited for length and content.
- Flexible Access Control with Squid Proxy
Large enterprises and nuclear laboratories aren't the only organizations that need an Internet access policy and a means of enforcing it. My household has an Internet access policy, and the technique I've used to enforce it is applicable to almost any organization. In our case, I'm not too concerned about outside security threats.
- Solving ODEs on Linux
Many problems in science and engineering are modeled through ordinary differential equations (ODEs). An ODE is an equation that contains a function of one independent variable and its derivatives.
- Tighten Up SSH
SSH is a Swiss Army knife and Hogwart's magic wand all rolled into one simple command-line tool. As often as we use it, we sometimes forget that even our encrypted friend can be secured more than it is by default. For a full list of options to turn on and off, simply type man sshd_config to read the man page for the configuration file.
- Security in Three Ds: Detect, Decide and Deny
Whenever a server is accessible via the Internet, it's a safe bet that hackers will be trying to access it. Just look at the SSH logs for any server you use, and you'll surely find lots of "authentication failure" lines, originating from IPs that have nothing to do with you or your business.
- Non-Linux FOSS: MenuMeters
It sounds like a "back in my day" story, but I really do miss the days when laptops had LED activity lights for hard drives and Wi-Fi. Sure, some still have them, but for the most part, the latest trend is to have no way of knowing if your application is pegging the CPU at 100%, or if it just locked up.
- Android Candy: Bluetooth Auto Connect
I love my latest Android device (see the March 2015 issue's Open-Source Classroom column for details), but for some reason, it won't automatically connect to my Bluetooth headset. When I turn on my headset, I want it to connect to my Android device so I can start using it right away.
- diff -u: What's New in Kernel Development
Nicolas Dichtel and Thierry Herbelot pointed out that the directories in the /proc filesystem used a linked list to identify their files. But, this would be slow when /proc directories started having lots of files, which, for example, might happen when the system needed lots of network sockets.
- Geek Guide: The DevOps Toolbox
When I was growing up, my father always said, "Work smarter, not harder." Now that I'm an adult, I've found that to be a core concept in my career as a DevOps engineer and manager. In order to work smarter, you've got to have good tools and technology in your corner doing a lot of the repetitive work, so you and your team can handle any exceptions that occur.
- Nmap—Not Just for Evil!
If SSH is the Swiss Army knife of the system administration world, Nmap is a box of dynamite. It's really easy to misuse dynamite and blow your foot off, but it's also a very powerful tool that can do jobs that are impossible without it.
- Resurrecting the Armadillo
1999 was a crazy year for business on the Internet, and for Linux. It was when Red Hat went public, with a record valuation, and VA Linux followed with a bigger one. Both were cases in point of the dot-com boom, a speculative bubble inflated by huge expectations of what the Internet would mean for business.
- High-Availability Storage with HA-LVM
In recent years, there has been a trend in which data centers have been opting for commodity hardware and software over proprietary solutions. Why shouldn't they? It offers extremely low costs and the flexibility to build an ecosystem the way it is preferred. The only limitation is the extent of the administrator's imagination.
- 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 ’