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  • Red Hat: 2016:2850-01: thunderbird: Important Advisory
    LinuxSecurity.com: An update for thunderbird is now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. Red Hat Product Security has rated this update as having a security impact [More...]






  • Fedora 25 phpMyAdmin-4.6.5.1-2.fc25
    LinuxSecurity.com: phpMyAdmin 4.6.5.1 (2016-11-26) =============================== A patch-levelrelease fixing two small issues: * an issue affecting a small number of usersusing $cfg['Servers'][$i]['hide_db'] or $cfg['Servers'][$i]['only_db']. * anissue affecting the create table dialog where the partition selection tool wasoverzealous and made it difficult to create a new table. There are also minorimprovements to the Czech language file. phpMyAdmin 4.6.5 (2016-11-25)============================= A release containing security fixes and bugfixes. Aside from the security improvements, many bugs have been fixedincluding: * Fix for expanding in navigation pane * Reintroduced asimplified version of PmaAbsoluteUri directive (needed with reverse proxies) *Fix editing of ENUM/SET/DECIMAL field structures * Improvements to the parserAnd many, many more. Please see the ChangeLog for full details of bugs fixes.




  • Fedora 25 xen-4.7.1-3.fc25
    LinuxSecurity.com: xen : various security flaws (#1397383) x86 null segments not always treated asunusable [XSA-191, CVE-2016-9386] x86 task switch to VM86 mode mis-handled[XSA-192, CVE-2016-9382] x86 segment base write emulation lacking canonicaladdress checks [XSA-193, CVE-2016-9385] guest 32-bit ELF symbol table loadleaking host data [XSA-194, CVE-2016-9384] x86 64-bit bit test instructionemulation broken [XSA-195, CVE-2016-9383] x86 software interrupt injection mis-handled [XSA-196, CVE-2016-9377, CVE-2016-9378] qemu incautious about sharedring processing [XSA-197, CVE-2016-9381] delimiter injection vulnerabilities inpygrub [XSA-198, CVE-2016-9379, CVE-2016-9380]





  • WordPress 4.7
    WordPress 4.7 “Vaughan” has been released. Thisversion includes a new default theme, adds new features to the customizer,comes with REST API endpoints for posts, comments, terms, users, meta, andsettings, and more."To help give you a solid base to build from, individual themes can provide starter content that appears when you go to customize your brand new site. This can range from placing a business information widget in the best location to providing a sample menu with social icon links to a static front page complete with beautiful images. Don’t worry – nothing new will appear on the live site until you’re ready to save and publish your initial theme setup."


  • [$] Maintainerless Debian?
    The maintainer model is deeply ingrained into the culture of thefree-software community; for any bit of code, there is usually a developer(or a small group of developers) charged with that code's maintenance.Good maintainers can help a project run smoothly, while poor maintainerscan run things into the ground. What is to be done to save a project withthe latter type of maintainer? Forking can be an option in some casesbut, in many others, it's not a practical alternative. The Debian projectis currently discussing its approach to bad maintainers — a discussion which has taken asurprising turn.


  • Tuesday's security updates
    Debian-LTS has updated monit(regression in previous update).
    Fedora has updated dpkg (F25; F24; F23: code execution), gstreamer-plugins-bad-free (F25: codeexecution), gstreamer1-plugins-bad-free(F24: code execution), gstreamer1-plugins-good (F24: multiplevulnerabilities), kernel (F25; F24; F23:denial of service), and thunderbird (F25: code execution).
    Gentoo has updated arj (multiple vulnerabilities) and util-linux (command injection).
    Mageia has updated firefox (code execution), thunderbird (multiple vulnerabilities), and virtualbox (multiple vulnerabilities).
    openSUSE has updated GraphicsMagick (Leap42.1; 13.2: two vulnerabilities), ImageMagick (13.2: two vulnerabilities),mariadb (Leap42.2; Leap42.1: multiple mostly unspecifiedvulnerabilities), firefox, thunderbird, nss(13.1: multiple vulnerabilities), tcpreplay(Leap42.2: denial of service), kernel(13.1: multiple vulnerabilities), and thunderbird (SPH for SLE12: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Oracle has updated thunderbird (OL7; OL6: code execution).
    Red Hat has updated bind(RHEL6.2, 6.4, 6.5, 6.6, 6.7: denial of service) and sudo (RHEL6,7: privilege escalation).
    SUSE has updated java-1_6_0-ibm(SLEMLS12: multiple vulnerabilities) and firefox, nss (SLE12-SP2,SP1: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Ubuntu has updated kernel (16.10; 16.04;14.04; 12.04: code execution), linux-lts-trusty (12.04: code execution), linux-lts-xenial (14.04: code execution),linux-raspi2 (16.10; 16.04: code execution), linux-snapdragon (16.04: code execution), andlinux-ti-omap4 (12.04: code execution).


  • Bottomley: Using Your TPM as a Secure Key Store
    James Bottomley has posted atutorial on using the trusted platform module to store cryptographickeys. "The main thing that came out of this discussion was that alot of this stack complexity can be hidden from users and we shouldconcentrate on making the TPM 'just work' for all cryptographic functionswhere we have parallels in the existing security layers (like thekeystore). One of the great advantages of the TPM, instead of messingabout with USB pkcs11 tokens, is that it has a file format for TPM keys(I’ll explain this later) which can be used directly in place of standardprivate key files."


  • Security advisories for Monday
    Arch Linux has updated chromium (multiple vulnerabilities) and libdwarf (multiple vulnerabilities).
    CentOS has updated firefox (C6; C5: code execution).
    Debian-LTS has updated openafs (information leak).
    Fedora has updated firefox (F25; F24; F23: code execution), gstreamer1-plugins-bad-free (F25: codeexecution), gstreamer1-plugins-good (F25:code execution), p7zip (F24; F23: denial of service), phpMyAdmin (F25: multiple vulnerabilities), thunderbird (F24: code execution), and xen (F25; F24; F23: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Gentoo has updated busybox (twovulnerabilities), chromium (multiplevulnerabilities), cifs-utils (codeexecution from 2014), dpkg (codeexecution), gd (multiple vulnerabilities),libsndfile (two vulnerabilities), libvirt (path traversal), nghttp2 (code execution), nghttp2 (denial of service), patch (denial of service), and pygments (shell injection).
    openSUSE has updated containerd,docker, runc (Leap42.1, 42.2: permission bypass), firefox (two vulnerabilities), java-1_7_0-openjdk (13.1: multiplevulnerabilities), java-1_8_0-openjdk(Leap42.1, 42.2: multiple vulnerabilities), libarchive (Leap42.2; Leap42.1: multiple vulnerabilities), thunderbird (code execution), nodejs4 (Leap42.2: code execution), phpMyAdmin (multiple vulnerabilities),sudo (Leap42.2; Leap42.1: three vulnerabilities), tar (Leap42.1, 42.2: file overwrite), andvim (Leap42.2; Leap42.1, 13.2: code execution).
    Red Hat has updated thunderbird (code execution).
    SUSE has updated qemu (SLE12-SP1:multiple vulnerabilities).


  • Kernel prepatch 4.9-rc8
    The 4.9-rc8 kernel prepatch is out; thefinal 4.9 release will need one more week. "So if anybody has beenfollowing the git tree, it should come as no surprise that I ended up doingan rc8 after all: things haven't been bad, but it also hasn't been thecomplete quiet that would have made me go 'no point in doing anotherweek'."


  • What's new in OpenStack in 2016: A look at the Newton release (Opensource.com)
    Over at Opensource.com, Rich Bowen gives an overview of the changes in the OpenStack Newton release that was made in October. In it, he looks at each of sub-projects and highlights some of the changes for them that were in the release, which is also useful as a kind high-level guide to some of the various sub-projects and their roles. "With a product as large as OpenStack, summarizing what's new in a particular release is challenging. (See the full release notes for more details.) Each deployment of OpenStack might use a different combination of services and projects, and so will care about different updates. Added to that, the release notes for the various projects tend to be extremely technical in nature, and often don't do a great job of calling out the changes that will actually be noticed by either operators or users."


  • BitUnmap: Attacking Android Ashmem (Project Zero blog)
    Google's Project Zero blog has a detailed look at exploiting a vulnerability in Android's ashmem shared-memory facility. "The mismatch between the mmap-ed and munmap-ed length provides us with a great exploitation primitive! Specifically, we could supply a short length for the mmap operation and a longer length for the munmap operation - thus resulting in deletion of an arbitrarily large range of virtual memory following our bitmap object. Moreover, there’s no need for the deleted range to contain one continuous memory mapping, since the range supplied in munmap simply ignores unmapped pages.Once we delete a range of memory, we can then attempt to “re-capture” that memory region with controlled data, by causing another allocation in the remote process. By doing so, we can forcibly “free” a data structure and replace its contents with our own chosen data -- effectively forcing a use-after-free condition."



  • Security updates for Friday
    Arch Linux has updated firefox(two vulnerabilities) and thunderbird (code execution).
    CentOS has updated thunderbird (C6; C5: code execution).
    Debian-LTS has updated firefox-esr (multiple vulnerabilities), imagemagick (multiple vulnerabilities, many from 2014 and 2015), monit (cross-site request forgery), tomcat6 (multiple vulnerabilities), and tomcat7 (multiple vulnerabilities).
    Fedora has updated calamares (F25; F24:encryption bypass), jenkins (F25: code execution), jenkins-remoting (F25: code execution), moin (F25; F24; F23: cross-site scripting flaws), mujs (F23: multiple vulnerabilities), and zathura-pdf-mupdf (F23: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Gentoo has updated davfs2(privilege escalation from 2013) and gnupg(flawed random number generation).
    openSUSE has updated libtcnative-1-0 (42.2, 42.1: SSL improvements)and pacemaker (42.2: two vulnerabilities).
    Oracle has updated firefox (OL7; OL6; OL5: code execution).
    Red Hat has updated firefox (codeexecution).
    SUSE has updated kernel (SLE11: multiple vulnerabilities, some from 2013 and 2015)and ImageMagick(SLE11: multiple vulnerabilities, some from 2014 and 2015).
    Ubuntu has updated ghostscript(multiple vulnerabilities, one from 2013) and oxide-qt (16.10,16.04, 14.04: multiple vulnerabilities).


  • Google's OSS-Fuzz project
    The Google security blog announcesthe OSS-Fuzz project, which performs continuous fuzz testing offree-software project repositories. "OSS-Fuzz has already found 150bugs in several widely used open source projects (and churns ~4 trilliontest cases a week). With your help, we can make fuzzing a standard part ofopen source development, and work with the broader community of developersand security testers to ensure that bugs in critical open sourceapplications, libraries, and APIs are discovered and fixed."


  • Ardour 5.5 released
    Version 5.5 of the Ardouraudio editor has been released. "Among the notable new featuresare support for VST 2.4 plugins on OS X, the ability to have MIDI inputfollow MIDI track selection, support for Steinberg CC121, Avid Artist &Artist Mix Control surfaces, 'fanning out' of instrument outputs to newtracks/busses and the often requested ability to do horizontal zoom viavertical dragging on the rulers."


  • Thursday's security advisories
    Debian has updated firefox-esr(code execution).
    Debian-LTS has updated gst-plugins-good0.10 (three code execution flaws).
    Gentoo has updated imagemagick(multiple vulnerabilities) and php (multiple vulnerabilities, one from 2015).
    openSUSE has updated bash (42.1:multiple vulnerabilities, two from 2014) and libcares2 (13.2:code execution).
    Slackware has updated firefox(code execution) and thunderbird (codeexecution).
    Ubuntu has updated c-ares (codeexecution), firefox (two vulnerabilities),imagemagick (multiple vulnerabilities), kernel (16.10; 16.04;14.04; 12.04: multiple vulnerabilities), linux-lts-trusty (12.04: two vulnerabilities),linux-lts-xenial (14.04: multiple vulnerabilities), linux-ti-omap4 (12.04: code execution), and thunderbird (multiple vulnerabilities).


  • Trouble at Cyanogen
    Cyanogen Inc. has put out a terse press releaseannouncing the departure of founder (and CyanogenMod creator) SteveKondik. See thisrather less terse Android Police article for Kondik's view of thematter. The future of the CyanogenMod distribution seems unclear at thispoint; if it goes forward, it may have to do so with a different name.




  • Samsung victorious at Supreme Court fight with 8-0 opinion against Apple
    For the first time in a century, the US Supreme Court has weighed in on how much design patents are worth. The answer: not nearly as much as Apple thinks.The 8-0 opinion (PDF) is a rebuke to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which held that the relevant "article of manufacture" for calculating damages was—in fact, had to be—the entire smartphone. That meant even though Apple's patents covered only certain design elements, it was entitled to $399 million in lost profits damages.


  • Open spec SBC dual boots Android and Ubuntu on hexa-core RK3399
    T-Firefly is Kickstartering the first hacker SBC with Rockchip’s Cortex-A72/-A53 RK3399. The Firefly-RK3399 has up to 4GB DDR3, M.2, and USB 3.0 Type-C. T-Firefly, which offers Linux- and Android-ready open source boards like the Firefly-RK3288 and sandwich-style Firefly-RK3288 Reload, ........



  • How to install Docker and run Docker containers on Fedora 25
    Docker is an open source project supported by a commercial entity of the same name that makes it super-easy to run an application process inside a relatively isolated environment called a container. Unlike a virtual machine (VM), which has its own kernel, a container is dependent on the host operating system’s kernel.



  • ROSA Desktop Fresh R8 Plasma 5: is it near-perfect?
    The most recent release of ROSA is now ROSA Desktop Fresh R8, which is available in several flavours: MATE, GNOME 3, KDE 4 and Plasma 5. I decided to try the Plasma 5 edition of this distribution, especially as my interest to Plasma increased after the good impression Kubuntu 16.10 left on me.




  • How to setup rsyslog for Centralized Log Management
    This tutorial explains how to setup rsyslog as a centralized log management server on RedHat Linux based OS like CentOS. Centralized log management means to collect all sorts of logs from several physical or virtualized servers on one log server to monitor the health and security of the server services. We use rsyslog in this tutorial because it offers high-performance, great security and a modular design.




  • Now available: The Open Organization Leaders Manual
    Organizations are becoming more open—but that certainly doesn't mean they don't need leaders.In fact, the demand for effective leadership hasn't abated in the age of the networked organization. If anything, it's increased. But yesterday's leadership strategies and tactics just won't cut it today.The open organization community at Opensource.com understands this—perhaps more acutely than anyone. So we've written a book about it.read more


  • Transitioning to Python 3
    The Python language, which is not new but continues to gain momentumand users as if it were, has changed remarkably little since itfirst was released. I don't mean to say that Python hasn't changed; ithas grown, gaining functionality and speed, and it's now a hotlanguage in a variety of domains, from data science to test automationto education.


  • How to gain encrypted email on the Chromebook
    I needed to use encryption on my Chromebook. For the longest time I was working with encryption apps, like Minilock. Eventually it became clear this wasn't the most efficient use of my time. So I waited for a better solution.


  • 7 cool little open source projects that stood out in 2016
    In the early days of the open source movement, a lot of the attention was on operating systems, and later on large content management systems. These days, containers are mentioned regularly even in mainstream news outlets. The big tech stories are great, but they miss the other great activity in the niches of the open source space. I've rounded up seven interesting lesser-known projects from the past year. You can see more articles about projects like this in my Nooks and Crannies column.read more



  • Rugged Skylake embedded PC has wide range power
    Axiomtek’s “eBOX565-500-FL” computer runs Linux or Windows on dual-core Intel 6th Gen CPUs, and offers four USB 3.0 ports and wide-range power. The eBOX565-500-FL updates the two-year-old eBOX560-880-FL embedded PC, which provides dual-core Intel 4th Gen “Haswell” Core and Celeron CPUs. The very similar eBOX565-500-FL instead taps the 14nm Intel 6th Gen “Skylake” ULT processors, […]





Linux Insider

  • AI Platforms Welcome Devs With Open Arms
    Two leaders in the field of artificial intelligence have announced that they're open-sourcing their AI platforms. After investing in building rich simulated environments to serve as laboratories for AI research, Google's DeepMind Lab said it would open the platform for the broader research community's use. DeepMind has "only barely scratched the surface of what is possible," the team said.


  • Refracta 8.0 Is a Pint-Sized Powerhouse
    Refracta is a somewhat obscure Linux distribution that offers exceptional functionality and stability. Obscurity is not always a bad thing when it comes to Linux distros. You can find some very worthwhile alternatives to your current operating system. Refracta is a big surprise in a small package. Many look-alike desktop distros are difficult to distinguish from run-of-the-mill garden varieties.


  • Docker, Canonical Team on Enterprise Support
    Docker and Canonical on Wednesday announced a commercial agreement to integrate support for Docker Engine. The partnership gives Canonical customers a single path for support of the Ubuntu operating system and CS Docker Engine in enterprise Docker operations. It provides a streamlined operations and support experience for joint customers by splitting the service obligations in four ways.


  • It's All Aboard for Linux Gamers at The Final Station
    The developers of The Final Station, recognizing the growing market for the post-apocalyptic train ride in the open source community, have made their hot-selling title available for the Linux OS. The indie game, which Do My Best Games and TinyBuild launched for PC, Mac, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 this summer, became available for Linux last week.


  • AV Linux Update: Good but Not Better
    AV Linux could be a music and video lover's dream come true. AV Linux is a specialty distribution that can turn a new or old PC, or an Intel-powered Mac box, into a workstation for audio/graphics/video enthusiasts. AV Linux is one of the few available fully functional Linux distros to give audio and video enthusiasts a professional level collection of tools for handling of audio-visual files.


  • Microsoft Goes All In for Linux
    While not quite at the level of a parting of the waters, the news that Microsoft has joined The Linux Foundation may seem miraculous to those aware of the past enmity between the company and the open source community. Microsoft has joined The Linux Foundation as a platinum member, it announced Wednesday at its Microsoft Connect conference in New York.


  • JuJu Offers Speedy Model-Driven Software Approach
    The JuJu cloud platform developed by Canonical integrates a wide variety of cloud services and servers on both public and private clouds using an innovative model-driven software approach.  That success has changed fundamentally the nature of software operations as organizations move to cloud-scale services, according to Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical.


  • Microsoft Trolls Small Biz With Outlook CRM Tool
    Microsoft this week introduced Outlook Customer Manager, a new cloud-based tool that aims to help its small businesses clients stay on top of their customer relationships. The new service organizes everything from emails to meeting invitations, call logs, notes, tasks, files and other essential items. It comes just four months after the launch the company's Bookings tool.


  • wattOS Energizes Aging Hardware
    wattOS is a stunning example of really great things coming in small packages. wattOS is a lightweight and fast desktop Linux distribution based on Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS built around the LXDE. It uses the lightweight Openbox window manager as its default user interface. To credit this 8-year-young community of developers with birthing an energy-efficient Linux distribution is an understatement.


  • AWS Gives Customers On-Premises Linux Option
    Amazon Web Services recently expanded its menu of cloud services to give customers the option of using the Amazon Linux AMI on premises. Customers can use the Amazon Container Image on premises for the purpose of developing and testing workloads, AWS Chief Evangelist Jeff Barr explained.  The AMI provides a stable, secure and high-performance application environment.


  • Ubuntu Releases IoT Core Platform
    Canonical has released Ubuntu Core 16 for the Internet of Things to provide enhanced security and app store support for connected devices. The platform provides regular security updates and gives independent software vendors, manufacturers and enterprises control of system updates. Ubuntu Core 16 uses Ubuntu's snap packages technology to ensure that IoT applications access only necessary data.


  • Q4OS+Trinity Gives New Meaning to Lightweight
    Q4OS is a lightweight Linux distro that offers some worthwhile alternatives to more established distros. Q4OS version 1.6.1 "Orion," released this summer, has as its main claim to fame the developing Trinity desktop. Trinity is a breakaway fork from the KDE 3 community. I took a detailed first look at this new distro last year, primarily to assess the Trinity desktop.


  • Lenovo's Yoga Book Aims for Top Shelf
    Lenovo's recently unveiled 2-in-1, the Yoga Book, is available in Android Marshmallow and Windows 10 Home versions. Reviews have been mixed, with some praising its look and feel, but some considering its capabilities not up to scratch. Its Intel Atom processor doesn't provide enough power for a workhorse device, they've argued. The Android version costs $500 and the Windows version goes for $550.


  • Microsoft Open Sources AI Toolkit
    Microsoft has released an updated version of its Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit as an open source Beta. The deep learning system is used to speed advances in areas such as speech and image recognition and search relevance on CPUs and Nvidia GPUs. It also works with Microsoft's Azure GPU offering. The toolkit's developers initially were looking for a tool to speed up and improve their own research.


  • Antique Kernel Flaw Opens Door to New Dirty Cow Exploit
    A Linux security vulnerability first discovered more than a decade ago once again poses a threat, Red Hat warned last week, as an exploit that could allow attackers to gain enhanced privileges on affected computers has turned up in the wild. Users need to take steps to patch their systems to prevent the exploit, known as "Dirty Cow," from granting access to unprivileged attackers.


  • Linux Foundation Spurs JavaScript Development
    The Linux Foundation earlier this week announced the addition of the JS Foundation as a Linux Foundation project. The move is an effort to inject new energy into the JavaScript developer community. By rebranding the former JQuery foundation as the JS Foundation and bringing it under the Linux umbrella, officials hope to create some stability and build critical mass.


  • Red Hat and Ericsson Forge 5G, IoT Open Source Alliance
    Red Hat and Ericsson on Wednesday announced an alliance meant to speed adoption of open source solutions in the information and communications technology space. The alliance will help promote a range of fully open source and production-ready cloud solutions, spanning OpenStack, software defined-networking and software-defined infrastructure, the companies said.


  • Meet Maui 1, the Slick New Hawaiian Netrunner
    Maui 1, which launched this summer, is one of the latest newcomers in the continuously changing list of Linux distributions. Maui Linux, with its new Hawaii desktop environment, is a replacement and rebranding of the discontinued Netrunner project. Its developers are attempting to continue the Kubuntu-based heritage, while adopting some of the latest technologies impacting other Linux distros.


  • Fedora 25 Beta Resets the Linux Performance Bar
    Red Hat has released the beta version of Fedora 25, an open source Linux operating system maintained by the Fedora Project community. The beta release sharpens cloud and developer features, making this Linux distro more attractive to enterprise users. Fedora Linux is the community version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, or RHEL. Fedora 25 comes in three editions: Cloud, Server and Workstation.


  • Cyanogen's Android Alternative Goes Modular
    Cyanogen on Tuesday announced that it was going modular. Future releases of its open source Android alternative will not support a full stack of the Android OS. The new modular setup will bring a slew of benefits to phone makers and developers, according to Cyanogen. "The new partnership program offers smartphone manufacturers greater freedom and opportunity," noted Cyanogen CEO Lior Tal.


  • Google's New Fonts Chip Away at Written Language Barriers
    Project Noto, one of Google's most ambitious undertakings ever, has reached a milestone: Noto now supports 800 languages and 100 writing scripts. Google and Monotype launched the open source initiative to create a typeface family that supports all the languages in the world, even rarely used languages. Both serif and sans serif letters with up to eight weights are supported.



  • Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Makes Game For Third Annual Hour of Code
    Eloking writes: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Twitter account lit up today with a message all too familiar to many indie devs: Mr. Trudeau has made a video game, and he'd like everyone to play it. It was a cute bit of promotion for Hour of Code, the computer science education event masterminded every year by the Code.org nonprofit. While the Hour of Code websites hosts one-hour tutorials (in 45 languages) for coding all sorts of simple applications, game developers may appreciate that the lion's share appears to be game projects, like the one Trudeau modified into a sort of hockey-themed Breakout variant.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • NASA Awards $127 Million Contract For Refueling Mission Spacecraft
    Satellites cost millions of dollars to be launched into space and there's no guarantee that they will work without electrical or mechanical problems once in orbit. NASA has recently announced that it will award a $127 million contract to a company that aims to use a robotic spacecraft to fix satellites in space, thus potentially saving millions of dollars in the long-run by fixing satellites that would otherwise be "expensive e-waste." Gizmodo reports: NASA has just announced that it will award a $127 million contract to the California-based satellite company Space Systems/Loral for Restore-L, a robotic spacecraft capable of grasping, refueling and relocating a satellite in low Earth orbit, in addition to testing technologies for future missions. SSL has three years to build the bot, which is projected to launch in 2020. Without the ability to refuel, a satellite's lifespan is restricted by the amount of propellant engineers can pack in its tank at launch. That lifespan can be cut even shorter should the spacecraft encounter any electrical or mechanical problems on orbit. As more and more satellites reach the end of their operational lifespans, government agencies and private companies have been working to remedy this problem by developing robots that can give satellites a tune-up in zero-gravity. DARPA, for instance, recently launched a program aimed at designing robots capable of servicing satellites at the hard-to-reach but highly-desirable perch of geosynchronous orbit, 22,000 miles above Earth. NASA's Satellite Servicing Division, meanwhile, has a handful of on-orbit repair and refueling technology demonstrators in the works, including a robotic arm with the same range of motion as a human arm, a navigation system designed to help robots rendezvous with moving objects in space, and Restore-L, which combines these and other capabilities into a multi-purpose space mechanic. For now, Restore-L's primary goal is to refuel Landsat 7, a critical Earth-monitoring satellite operated by NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey. If successful, the spacecraft may be modified for all sorts of other useful tasks, from mopping up the ever-growing halo of space junk encircling our planet, to servicing exciting new science missions like the Asteroid Redirect Mission, which will grab a multi-ton boulder from the surface of an asteroid and tow it back to orbit around the Moon.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • 'The Circle' Trailer Looks An Awful Lot Like Google
    theodp writes: If you never got around to reading Dave Eggers' novel The Circle, the tale of a powerful tech company that bears a more-than-passing resemblance to Google (and has an Apple spaceship-like HQ) is coming to the big screen and the first trailer is out. The film has a release date of spring 2017, and stars Tom Hanks, Emma Watson and John Boyega. Remember, sharing is caring!
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Microsoft Researchers Offer Predictions For AI, Deep Learning
    An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: Microsoft polled 17 women working in its research organization about the technology advances they expect to see in 2017, as well as a decade later in 2027. The researchers' predictions touch on natural language processing, machine learning, agricultural software, and virtual reality, among other topics. For virtual reality, Mar Gonzalez Franco, a researcher in Microsoft's Redmond lab, believes body tracking will improve next year, and then over the next decade we'll have "rich multi-sensorial experiences that will be capable of producing hallucinations which blend or alter perceives reality." Haptic devices will simulate touch to further enhance the sensory experience. Meanwhile, Susan Dumais, a scientist and deputy managing director at the Redmond lab, believes deep learning will help improve web search results next year. In 2027, however, the search box will disappear, she says. It'll be replaced by search that's more "ubiquitous, embedded, and contextually sensitive." She says we're already seeing some of this in voice-controlled searches through mobile and smart home devices. We might eventually be able to look things up with either sound, images, or video. Plus, our searches will respond to "current location, content, entities, and activities" without us explicitly mentioning them, she says. Of course, it's worth noting that Microsoft has been losing the search box war to Google, so it isn't surprising that the company thinks search will die. With global warming as a looming threat, Asta Roseway, principal research designer, says by 2027 famers will use AI to maintain healthy crop yields, even with "climate change, drought, and disaster." Low-energy farming solutions, like vertical farming and aquaponics, will also be essential to keeping the food supply high, she says. You can view all 17 predictions here.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Weather Channel To Breitbart: Stop Citing Us To Spread Climate Skepticism
    Breitbart.com published an article last week that erroneously claims global warming is coming to an end, claiming "global land temperatures have plummeted by 1 degree Celsius since the middle of the year -- the biggest and steepest fall on record." The Weather Channel finds this report especially upsetting as it's not only inaccurate but it features a video from weather.com at the top of the article. The Weather Channel reports: Breitbart had the legal right to use this clip as part of a content-sharing agreement with another company, but there should be no assumption that The Weather Company endorses the article associated with it. The Breitbart article -- a prime example of cherry picking, or pulling a single item out of context to build a misleading case -- includes this statement: "The last three years may eventually come to be seen as the final death rattle of the global warming scare." In fact, thousands of researchers and scientific societies are in agreement that greenhouse gases produced by human activity are warming the planet's climate and will keep doing so. Along with its presence on the high-profile Breitbart site, the article drew even more attention after a link to it was retweeted by the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. The Breitbart article heavily references a piece that first appeared on U.K. Daily Mail's site. The Weather Channel went on to refute the Breitbart article's hypothesis: This number comes from one satellite-based estimate of temperatures above land areas in the lower atmosphere. Data from the other two groups that regularly publish satellite-based temperature estimates show smaller drops, more typical of the decline one would expect after a strong El Nino event. Temperatures over land give an incomplete picture of global-scale temperature. Most of the planet -- about 70 percent -- is covered by water, and the land surface warms and cools more quickly than the ocean. Land-plus-ocean data from the other two satellite groups, released after the Breitbart article, show that Earth's lower atmosphere actually set a record high in November 2016.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Apple Launches Single Sign-On Service To Make Logging Into TV Apps Less Time-Consuming
    Apple has launched Single Sign-on, a service designed to make logging into TV apps much less annoying. It "allows cable subscribers to sign in once with their cable credentials to gain access to all cable-restricted content in iOS and tvOS apps," writes Juli Clover via MacRumors: Single Sign-on is limited to the United States, and according to a support document, is available for the following providers: CenturyLink Prism, DirecTV, Dish, GVTC, GTA, Hawaiian Telecom, Hotwire, MetroCast, and Sling. While Single Sign-on was introduced and tested in the tvOS 10.1 and iOS 10.2 betas, the feature was remotely released today to all iOS 10 and tvOS 10 devices. Using Single Sign-on does not require one of the betas, and is instead immediately available to all iPhone and Apple TV users running iOS 10 or tvOS 10. With Single Sign-on, customers with a supported provider will use the Settings options in iOS or tvOS to sign in with their cable credentials. From then on, when accessing a supported app that requires a cable subscription, the app will ask to use the saved sign-on credentials. Most cable channels and content providers offer individual apps on the Apple TV and iOS devices, but still require cable authentication before users can access content. Prior to Single Sign-on, customers were required to enter their credentials in each individual app, a frustrating and time-consuming process.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • New Stegano Exploit Kit Hides Malvertising Code In Banner Pixels
    An anonymous reader quotes a report from BleepingComputer: For the past two months, a new exploit kit has been serving malicious code hidden in the pixels of banner ads via a malvertising campaign that has been active on several high profile websites. Discovered by security researchers from ESET, this new exploit kit is named Stegano, from the word steganography, which is a technique of hiding content inside other files. In this particular scenario, malvertising campaign operators hid malicious code inside PNG images used for banner ads. The crooks took a PNG image and altered the transparency value of several pixels. They then packed the modified image as an ad, for which they bought ad displays on several high-profile websites. Since a large number of advertising networks allow advertisers to deliver JavaScript code with their ads, the crooks also included JS code that would parse the image, extract the pixel transparency values, and using a mathematical formula, convert those values into a character. Since images have millions of pixels, crooks had all the space they needed to pack malicious code inside a PNG photo. When extracted, this malicious code would redirect the user to an intermediary ULR, called gate, where the host server would filter users. This server would only accept connections from Internet Explorer users. The reason is that the gate would exploit the CVE-2016-0162 vulnerability that allowed the crooks to determine if the connection came from a real user or a reverse analysis system employed by security researchers. Additionally, this IE exploit also allowed the gate server to detect the presence of antivirus software. In this case, the server would drop the connection just to avoid exposing its infrastructure and trigger a warning that would alert both the user and the security firm. If the gate server deemed the target valuable, then it would redirect the user to the final stage, which was the exploit kit itself, hosted on another URL. The Stegano exploit kit would use three Adobe Flash vulnerabilities (CVE-2015-8651, CVE-2016-1019 or CVE-2016-4117) to attack the user's PC, and forcibly download and launch into execution various strains of malware.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Former Samsung Engineers Build Smart Umbrella That Tells If It's Going To Rain
    A team of former Samsung engineers have developed a smart umbrella, dubbed Opus One, that tells its owner if it's going to rain with the shake of the handle. International Business Times reports: Developed by a team of former Samsung engineers, Opus One smart umbrella works when it is connected to the smartphone via Bluetooth 4.1 through its companion app Jonas. The device gets weather reports every morning from credible sources and sends alert to its owner when its handle is shaken. Red light on the device indicates rain on that particular day, while a green one indicates clear skies. Jonas collects weather data of select cities and sends the information to Opus One smart umbrella, thus helping the owner to know if it's going to rain on a particular day. The device notifies its owner by vibrating if the smartphone connected to the app receives calls, emails or text messages. The smart umbrella also vibrates if its owner leaves behind the smartphone that is connected to it before the user gets too far away. The smartphone too will vibrate and alert its owner if the smart umbrella is left behind. This will help prevent loss of both the products. The umbrella runs on AAA batteries and costs about $105.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Scientists Develop Robotic Hand For People With Quadriplegia
    An anonymous reader quotes a report from Phys.Org: Scientists have developed a mind-controlled robotic hand that allows people with certain types of spinal injuries to perform everyday tasks such as using a fork or drinking from a cup. The low-cost device was tested in Spain on six people with quadriplegia affecting their ability to grasp or manipulate objects. By wearing a cap that measures electric brain activity and eye movement the users were able to send signals to a tablet computer that controlled the glove-like device attached to their hand. Participants in the small-scale study were able to perform daily activities better with the robotic hand than without, according to results published Tuesday in the journal Science Robotics. It took participants just 10 minutes to learn how to use the system before they were able to carry out tasks such as picking up potato chips or signing a document. According to Surjo R. Soekadar, a neuroscientist at the University Hospital Tuebingen in Germany and lead author of the study, participants represented typical people with high spinal cord injuries, meaning they were able to move their shoulders but not their fingers. There were some limitations to the system, though. Users had to have sufficient function in their shoulder and arm to reach out with the robotic hand. And mounting the system required another person's help.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Apple Says Air Exposure Is Causing iPhone 6s Battery Problems
    Last month, Apple announced a repair program for a "small number" of iPhone 6s phones that suffer from faulty batteries. The phones that were affected by this fault were manufactured between September and October 2015. Two weeks later, Apple now says the fault was caused by overexposure to "controlled ambient air." Ars Technica reports: The same press release -- issued only in China so far, but available in English if you scroll down -- says that some owners of later iPhone 6S models are also reporting problems with unexpected shutdowns. Apple isn't replacing those batteries just yet, but the company says that an iOS update "available next week" will add "additional diagnostic capability" that will allow Apple to better track down and diagnose the causes of these shutdowns. It "may potentially help [Apple] improve the algorithms used to manage battery performance and shutdown," as well. Those improvements will be included in future iOS updates. Apple says that the battery problem "is not a safety issue," an important thing to note given the way the Galaxy Note 7 blew up in Samsung's face. The software update that Apple mentions in the release is almost certainly iOS 10.2, which is currently in its sixth beta build. The update will be the first major bug-fix release since October's iOS 10.1, and it also includes a handful of other changes like new and redesigned emoji, the TV app that Apple demoed at its last product event, and other features.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Apple To Start Publishing AI Research To Hasten Deep Learning
    In what is a major deviation in its strategy, Apple will allow its artificial intelligence teams to publish research papers for the first time. From a report on Bloomberg: When Apple introduced its Siri virtual assistant in 2011, the company appeared to have a head start over many of its nearest competitors. But it has lost ground since then to the likes of Alphabet's Google Assistant and Amazon's Alexa. Researchers say among the reasons Apple has failed to keep pace is its unwillingness to allow its AI engineers to publish scientific papers, stymieing its ability to feed off wider advances in the field. That policy has now changed, Russ Salakhutdinov, an Apple director of AI research, said Monday at the Neural Information Processing Systems conference in Barcelona. One attendee posted a photo of a slide from Salakhutdinov's presentation stating "Can we publish? Yes. Do we engage with academia? Yes."
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • T-Mobile CFO: Less Regulation, Repeal of Net Neutrality By Trump Would Be 'Positive For My Industry'
    An anonymous reader quotes a report from TmoNews: T-Mobile CFO Braxton Carter spoke at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York City, and he touched a bit on President-elect Donald Trump and what his election could mean for the mobile industry. Carter expects that a Trump presidency will foster an environment that'll be more positive for wireless. "It's hard to imagine, with the way the election turned out, that we're not going to have an environment, from several aspects, that is not going to be more positive for my industry," the CFO said. He went on to explain that there will likely be less regulation, something that he feels "destroys innovation and value creation." Speaking of innovation, Carter also feels that a reversal of net neutrality and the FCC's Open Internet rules would be good for innovation in the industry, saying that it "would provide opportunity for significant innovation and differentiation" and that it'd enable you to "do some very interesting things."
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Some Children's Headphones Raise Concerns of Hearing Loss, Report Says
    Some headphones marketed for children may not restrict enough noise for young ears. From a report on ABC: The Wirecutter, a technology products review website (owned by the New York Times), tried out 30 different children's headphones for style, fit and safety by using both a plastic model ear and a few real children. "There's no governing board that oversees this," Lauren Dragan, the Headphone Editor at The Wirecutter, told "Good Morning America" in an interview that aired today. Dragan added that the headphones for children all claim to limit volume to around 85 decibels. Sound below the 85 decibel mark for a maximum of eight hours is considered safe, according to the World Health Organization. The Wirecutter report found that some of these headphones emit sound higher than the 85 decibel mark. The full report here.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Vinyl Records Outsold Digital Downloads In the UK Last Week
    Sales of vinyl outstripped those of downloaded music for the first time since the advent of digital downloads last week in the UK. From a report on AdWeek: The U.K.-based Entertainment Retailers Association, or ERA, said Monday that Britons spent 2.4 million pounds ($3.03 million) on the old-school wax last week while only doling out 2.1 million pounds ($2.65 million) for digital downloads. Vinyl Factory, a website dedicated to records, reported that those numbers represent a big change from the same week in 2015, when just 1.2 million pounds was spent on records compared with 4.4 million on digital downloads. That's a 100 percent year-over-year increase in vinyl sales and also the first time that vinyl album sales have bested digital downloads over a weeklong period in years, per Vinyl Factory. The surge in vinyl sales could be attributed to the popularity of vinyl as a Christmas gift and the growing number of retailers. You know it's a gift because, as BBC adds: But 48% of those surveyed said they did not play the vinyl they bought -- while 7% did not even own a turntable.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Samsung's Upcoming Galaxy S8 Flagship Smartphone Won't Have a Headphone Jack: Report
    Samsung is planning to ditch headphone jack in its next flagship smartphone, called the Samsung Galaxy S8, reports SamMobile, a Samsung-focused blog that has a pretty good track record with these things. From the report: Removing the 3.5mm headphone jack enables Samsung to make the Galaxy S8 thinner while also freeing up more space inside for a bigger battery. Samsung may also integrate stereo speakers which some believe will be made in collaboration with Harman, a company that Samsung is acquiring for $8 billion.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • Russia's bid for mobile self-sufficiency may be the saviour of Sailfish
    Comrades: We present your official alternative to Android
    Comment The quest for freedom from US technologies and patent fees has been a persistent theme in China and has helped shape the new mobile landscape, in which Baidu and Alibaba, not Google and Amazon, dominate the user experience. Less is heard about another massive market, Russia, but here too, the push for technology self-sufficiency is gathering momentum, creating opportunities for alternatives to Android and iOS.…


  • I was a robot and this is what I learned
    The internet of me
    Sysadmin blog For one brief instant, Microsoft was the good guy. Deep within the often customer-hostile behemoth, left after the arrogance and straight on past the victim blaming is the office of Brian First, with the Microsoft Experience Design Group. Alongside a company called Event Presence, Brian made me feel like a real person, actual and whole.…





  • Uber is watching your smartphone's battery charge
    Browser vendors' Battery API deprecation can't come soon enough
    Browser authors are abandoning the invasive Battery API W3C specification, but not everybody's got the memo: Uber, for example, still watches battery status.…



  • Microsoft says LinkedIn will make Trump, Brexit, voters feel great again
    We can't make this stuff up – Microsoft said this after Europe okayed its LinkedIn acquisition
    Microsoft says buying LinkedIn will help to address the middle class discontent that saw Britain vote to leave the European Union and America vote to leave politics as we know it behind by electing Donald Trump.…


  • Two top EMCers bail from Dell EMC
    Official line is they want to be CEOs elsewhere. Or is the culture change chafing?
    Two of EMC's most senior product line executives have resigned, deciding that Michael Dell's Dell Technologies and the David Goulden-run Dell EMC business unit is not their ideal future workplace.…


  • Brocade ships switches but makes most noise about DevOps
    Goodbye drudgery - now you can script up your networking business workflows
    There's a few shiny boxes in the announcement, but Broadcom-bound Brocade hopes punters will find its automation software and DevOps story even more sparkly than its new kit.…



  • Android, Qualcomm move on insecure GPS almanac downloads
    HTTPS? They've heard of it
    Nearly a decade after it introduced assisted-GPS in its mobile chipsets, Qualcomm has squished a bug that allowed miscreants to mess around with people's location services, or crash their phones.…


  • Open source Roundcube webmail can be attacked ... by sending it an e-mail
    The Fifth Element is a problem - the input argument that didn't get checked is an RCE hole
    The developers of open source webmail package Roundcube want sysadmins to push in a patch, because a bug in versions prior to 1.2.3 let an attacker crash it remotely – by sending what looks like valid e-mail data.…



  • Big Blue's Bluemix bellows 'We do DevOps too!' until blue in face
    IBM adds deployment and testing toolchain templates
    Hoping to make its Bluemix rent-a-cloud more accommodating for rapid application development and deployment, IBM on Tuesday added three new services designed to accommodate development – and operations-oriented toolchains.…


  • Erasure coding startup springs forth from Silicon Fjord
    Viking raider's longboat filled with erasure codes
    Analysis Memoscale is a 6-person Norwegian startup, based in Trondheim, that has developed its own erasure coding (EC) technology. It says it's more efficient than classic erasure coding because it needs fewer hardware resources to run and enables higher storage capacity utilization.…


  • Australia's universal telco service obligation's day is done
    Productivity Commission wonders just what Telstra is doing with the AU$3bn it's being paid to put phones everywhere
    Australia's Productivity Commission (PC) has suggested the nation can probably scrap the telecommunications universal service obligation (TUSO) that requires every Australian be provided with a telephone connection.…


  • Wannabe Cali governor gives up against beach-blocking billionaire VC
    Gavin Newsom pleads with Vinod Khosla to end dispute over much-loved shoreline
    With one eye on the governorship of California in 2018, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom backed down from a fight with billionaire VC Vinod Khosla on Tuesday over controversial access to a beach.…


  • Verizon flogs off 29 data centers, pockets $3.6bn
    Equinix takes over bit-barns as telco shifts focus to wireless and fiber
    Verizon has finalized a deal to hand over control of 29 data centers in the US and Latin America to Equinix, in a deal that will net the telco $3.6bn.…



  • cat Infinit.tgz | docker import - Infinit:acquired
    Paris biz gobbled, 'batteries' for distributed storage to be included with Docker containers
    Docker, creator of easy-to-use software containers for applications and all-round DevOps darling, is adding a storage option to its software.…



  • Algorithm advance alleviates AI amnesia
    Did you know machine-learning systems are pretty forgetful when picking up new skills? Here's how to fix it
    Analysis Google-stablemate DeepMind thinks it is one step closer to cracking artificial general intelligence with an algorithm that helps machines overcome memory loss.…



  • We grill another storage startup that's meshing about with NVMe
    Says virtual NVMe-based SAN beats shared NVMe drive aaray
    Interview Storage startup Excelero is supportive of NVMe drives and of NVMe over fabrics-style networking. It has a unique way of using NVMe drives to create a virtual SAN accessed by RDMA. An upcoming NASA Ames case study will describe how its NVMesh technology works in more detail.…






  • Ofcom fleshes out plans to open up BT's ducts and poles
    Come lay your fibre in BT's pipes, says regulator
    UK comms watchdog Ofcom has fleshed out its proposals to open up BT's ducts and poles - intended to encourage rivals to access Openreach's infrastructure and lay their own "full fibre" networks.…


  • Going underground: The Royal Mail's great London train squeeze
    Uber cars, Amazon drones? Pah! Driverless deliveries from a different age
    Geek's Guide to Britain For the last 13 years, a tiny train tunnel running through the centre of London has remained empty and unused, maintained by just four engineers. But these engineers don’t work for Transport for London or Network Rail – they work for the Royal Mail.…


  • The future of the data centre is within
    Location, location, location
    Promo Future-proofing your data centre is no longer down to a choice of the right servers and storage, it’s now all about connectivity, location and the neighbours.…



  • How to solve your Microsoft storage challenges with All-Flash NVMe
    Tune into SuperMicro, Microsoft and Intel webinar explainer, Dec 6
    Promo Listen to the tech pundits and they will tell you that storage is no longer the bottleneck in your system performance. Or to be more precise, storage does not have to be a bottleneck anymore - so long as you adopt NVM Express (NVMe) the next generation specification for accessing non-volatile memory such as flash. And then you need to be able to implement the technology properly.…




  • NASA's hyperwall wonderwall uses virtual flash SAN
    Distributed NVMe SAN solves slow off-node access latency issues
    Case study How do get fast parallel data access to 128 compute nodes doing simulation processing off a slow, although massively parallel access data set?…





  • In the three years since IETF said pervasive monitoring is an attack, what's changed?
    IETF Security director Stephen Farrell offers a report card on evolving defences
    Feature After three years of work on making the Internet more secure, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) still faces bottlenecks: ordinary peoples' perception of risk, sysadmins worried about how to manage encrypted networks, and – more even than state snooping – an advertising-heavy 'net business model that relies on collecting as much information as possible.…


  • Software can be more secure, says NIST, and we think we know how
    Standards org's wish-list probably looks a bit like yours
    The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has completed its long-running research into cutting software vulnerabilities and dropped the big envelope into the White House letterbox.…


  • Standards body warned SMS 2FA is insecure and nobody listened
    Duo Security says NIST's advice to deprecate out-of-band passwords has been ignored
    The US National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) advice that SMS is a poor way to deliver two factor authentication is having little impact, according to Duo Security.…



  • Online advent calendar offers mystery VM every day until Christmas
    QEMU serves up festive feast of OS images and oddities like Forth scripts
    Here's something fun for Christmas: the folks behind the free and open-source hosted QEMU hypervisor have whipped up an online advent calendar that offers you a new virtual machine to download every day between now and Christmas.…







Linux.com offline for now



  • NVIDIA Releases Linux Graphics Debugger 2.0
    NVIDIA has released a major new version of their Linux Graphics Debugger for helping game developers and others wishing to optimize OpenGL 4.x workloads on a variety of Linux distributions...



  • Intel Iris Pro OpenGL vs. Vulkan Benchmarks With Linux 4.9, Mesa 13.1-dev
    It's been a while since publishing any fresh Intel Core i7 5775C benchmarks, the socketed Broadwell CPU with Iris Pro 6200 graphics, since normally it's busy in the daily benchmarking churn of the server room for Phoronix Test Suite / OpenBenchmarking.org / LinuxBenchmarking.com efforts. But with having been doing some maintenance on that system this week and loading a clean install of Ubuntu 16.10, I did some fresh benchmarks of the Iris Pro 6200 graphics using Mesa 13.1-dev and Linux 4.9, including a look at the OpenGL vs. Vulkan performance for the Iris Pro graphics.



  • Khronos To Develop New Standard For VR
    The Khronos Group is going public this morning with a call for participation of companies that are not yet Khronos members but looking to join a new initiative: developing a new, cross-vendor VR standard to allow for better virtual reality interoperability of hardware devices, game engines, and more...



  • Nouveau Queues Up Last Minute Updates For Linux 4.10
    Overall the Nouveau DRM updates for Linux 4.10 are significant after they missed out on any feature changes for Linux 4.9. Given all the churn, there's been a last minute pull into DRM-Next of some more fixes and other minor activity...




  • Phoronix Test Suite 6.8-Tana Officially Released
    Phoronix Test Suite 6.8.0 is now available as the latest version of our open-source, fully-automated, reproducible benchmarking software for Linux, BSD, Solaris, macOS, Windows, and other operating systems...








  • Early Benchmarks Of GCC 7 On Linux x86_64 With An Intel Core i7 6800K
    With the GCC 7 compiler having entered its stage three, feature development is basically over so it's a great time to begin running more benchmarks of this big compiler update that will be officially released as GCC 7.1.0 in early 2017. Up today are benchmarks of the latest GCC 7.0 development snapshot compared to GCC 6.2 and GCC 5.4 on an Intel Core i7 6800K Broadwell-E system running Ubuntu 16.10.


  • The Favorite Open-Source Vulkan Projects Of Phoronix Readers
    This week I provided a look at some of the interesting Vulkan engines/renderers on GitHub created by the community in the months since the Vulkan unveil. After that article forum goers and those on Twitter shared some other promising Vulkan projects worth looking at too if you are just looking for some Vulkan demos to watch, learn more about the Vulkan API yourself, etc...


  • GTK Lands A Big Refactoring Of OpenGL Code
    In addition to Red Hat's Benjamin Otte working on a Vulkan renderer for GTK4's GSK, he's also been working on a big refactoring of the OpenGL code that's now been merged to master...







  • Linux 4.9-rc8 Kernel Released
    There was too much churn in the mainline Linux kernel Git tree that Linus Torvalds today released 4.9-rc8 rather than declaring Linux 4.9 as ready to ship...


  • More Random Gift Ideas For Linux Enthusiasts & Others Into Tech
    Last week I shared some 2016 Holiday Gift Ideas For Linux Enthusiasts, Gamers. Since then more ideas came to mind with other interesting tech gift ideas, particularly for Linux/open-source enthusiasts, as well as other favorite gadgets and interesting devices I've come across in the past year. So here are some more ideas of stocking stuffers and other fun purchases for the holidays...


  • iRulu BL20: A Decent 1080p Projector For ~$160 USD
    The iRulu BL20 is a low-cost projector 1080p/HD projector that supports a projection distance up to six meters, dual built-in speakers, and a screen size up to 200 inches. Retailing for about $165 USD, this isn't a high-end projector but is rather decent for the price. Here's a quick write-up about my experience with this budget projector.


  • A Look At The Many Different Vulkan Engine/Renderer Projects On GitHub
    There have been many small GitHub projects the past several months aspiring to be a good, open-source Vulkan game engine, but many of them don't tend to see commits too often or don't come close to realizing their dream. In my usual weekend "fun" of digging through GitHub looking for fascinating Vulkan projects of interest, I decided to provide a quick overview on some of the more promising Vulkan open-source engine projects...





  • ET: Legacy Continues Making Progress On Free, Modern Art Assets For Enemy Territory
    While there are many open-source game engines these days, many of which were formerly closed-source/commercial engines, one of the big bottlenecks for community-driven game projects continue to be on the art assets/models and/or their reliance upon the commercial game assets for game engines that were later opened up. ET: Legacy continues making progress on free, modernized assets inspired off the original Wolfenstein Enemy Territory game...





Engadget

  • Sony's Project Field brings card games to life

    From Skylanders to Amiibo, "Toys to life" have been a pretty lucrative way for video game companies to make money. Sony has been more-or-less absent from the field, but today it's announcing something not too dissimilar: Project Field.

    The company is showing off dedicated smart pads that pair with a phone or tablet to bring card games to life. Imagine a game like Hearthstone, for instance, but with physical cards that you buy in store. Or the physical and digital versions of Pokmon Trading Card Game fused together.

    When a user places a card on one of the pads, it's identified using an NFC-like wireless technology. The pad then sends the card's exact position to the phone or tablet using Bluetooth. Once the card is in the game, the pad is able to detect movement -- if you slide a card to another position, for example. The cards will be both readable and writable, meaning in-game status changes can be saved. Depending on the game, players will also be able to "grow" a character, with stats stored on the card.



    Sony announced Project Field today as part of a broader push to get PlayStation games onto mobile phones, and says it has "multiple" projects planned for the platform. The first title to be announced is based on Yokai Watch, the hugely popular Level-5 RPG.

    This isn't a drastically new idea -- Sengoku Taisen, Kantai Collection and other Japanese arcade games already blend collectible cards with video games. Nintendo's Amiibo cards for Animal Crossing also have built-in NFC chips. Where Project Field differs is in portability, and potential reach. If the pads are sold at a reasonable rate, players will be able to get an arcade experience anywhere they can bring a tablet.

    While Project Field is only slated for release in Japan, the worldwide appeal of Skylanders and Amiibo means an international release doesn't seem impossible.



    Source: PlayStation Japan


  • Magic Leap will soon test its technology in the real world

    We might be getting closer to finally finding out what Magic Leap's mixed-reality headset looks like. The ultra-secretive company has posted a job listing on Glassdoor for a Field Engineer, who'll actually have to drive around with its devices and collect data in real world locations. "Work will entail setting up and using high precision equipment to capture both environments and user behavior in home settings," the listing reads. Magic Leap announced a Star Wars and a Twilio partnership this year, but its technology is still shrouded in mystery even now.

    Sadly, the job listing is as vague as the company has been these past years and it's hard to deduce much from what's written in it. One thing's clear, though: the new hire will be based out of the company's headquarters in Plantation, Florida, so folks living could get the first glimpse at Magic Leap's mixed-reality device.

    Here's the listing in full:

    "This position involves collecting data with Magic Leap devices in real world locations. Work will entail setting up and using high precision equipment to capture both environments and user behavior in home settings. Applicants will be based at Magic Leap Headquarters in Plantation, and drive with equipment to nearby locations for data collection.

    A successful applicant will be comfortable working with complex hardware and software, be able to debug common problems, and meticulous with logging of collection data so that all collected data is usable. Some experience working with Linux command line tools is a plus.
    Additional Information."

    Via: Quartz

    Source: Glassdoor


  • Apple Music has 20 million paid subscribers

    Apple says it added three million Music users since September, bringing its total subscriber count to 20 million. Furthermore, VP Eddy Cue tells 40 million users in September, after adding 10 million premium subscribers in a six month period.

    As before, Apple is using exclusive artist deals to drive users to Music. "Chance the Rapper, who we put on Apple Music exclusively, hit the top 10 on the Billboard charts [from streaming alone] and I can't recall that being done before," said Cue. Such deals are controversial with fans and the press, however, and artists like Kanye West (who has done his own exclusive deals on Tidal) have railed about it.

    Unlike Apple, Spotify has a free, ad-supported subscription tier that it uses to drive premium subscriber growth. As of June, the company said it had 100 million total users, including non-paid subscribers. Apple has its own built-in advantage, of course, as Apple Music is already installed on every new iPhone sold. Both companies offer $10 individual subscriptions and a $15 family plan for up to six users.

    While the growth of both Spotify and Apple Music has been dramatic, Cue points out that there are still only around 100 million paid streaming music subscribers globally. "There's a lot of growth opportunity," he says. The jump is good news for the music industry, too, as it pushes total paid streams per artist northwards.

    However, the RIAA continues to complain about streaming, despite the fact that YouTube said yesterday that it paid $1 billion to the industry for ad-supported (non-subscription) streaming alone. In total, music industry revenue rose 3.2 percent in 2015 to $15 million, and based on Apple and Spotify's growth, should push even higher this year.

    Via: 9 to 5 Mac

    Source: Billboard


  • UC Berkeley researchers built a wall-jumping robot

    Meet SALTO: a powerful new wall-jumping robot built by researchers at UC Berkeley. According to SALTO's makers, the diminutive, one-legged hopper not only has the "highest robotic vertical jumping agility ever recorded," but also the ability to link together multiple jumps in quick succession.

    SALTO stands for saltatorial locomotion on terrain obstacles, and the motion of the mechanical jumping leg was modeled after galagos -- small jumping primates native to Africa that have stretchy tendons in their legs that allow them to store energy and jump with more force than if they only used their leg muscles alone. The galago is so agile not only because it can make a big leap, but also because it can essentially wind up its legs into a crouched position in mid-flight and immediately leap again upon landing. So, as soon as SALTO jumps, it is already set to jump again, which allows for what designer Duncan Haldane compared to a sort of robotic parkour:



    At just 100 grams and 26 centimeters (10.2 inches) tall when fully extended, SALTO can jump a little bit more than one meter (3.3 feet) high in a single leap. Adding a second jump gets the robot up to about 1.21 meters (3.97 feet) high and while other robotic jumpers like UC Berkeley's own JumpRoACH can get higher, they still need a moment to power up before jumping again. According to Haldane, that ability to string together quick movements would make SALTO a useful tool in urban search and rescue environments where uneven terrain and obstacles could become stepping stones. But if they ever put SALTO legs on an Atlas robot, then we'll start to worry.

    Via: UC Berkeley

    Source: Science Robotics


  • Bloomberg: Fitbit acquisition will kill Pebble Time 2 and Core

    According to reported when info on the acquisition first came out. Since the fitness tracker maker is only interested in Pebble's software assets and Pebble is neck-deep in debt, though, the Time 2 and Core watches will no longer be released. While Pebble 2 has already started shipping out to Kickstarter backers, the company will reportedly cancel all Time 2 and Core shipments and will issue refunds through the crowdfunding website. Pebble's Time 2 is made of marine-grade stainless steel and has a much bigger screen than the original Time smartwatch, while Core is an Android-powered, non-watch GPS wearable for runners.
    The publication has also revealed that Fitbit has begun sending out job offers to 40 percent of the smartwatch company's software engineers. Employees who don't get an offer will get severance packages, while those who do and who choose to work for Fitbit will move to its HQ in San Francisco. In addition, the stocks the employees own will now go towards paying debts and issuing refunds to campaign backers. Bloomberg's sources said it's now up to Fitbit whether to use the Pebble brand. The indie smartwatch company's devices might really be gone for good, though. When The Information first reported on the deal, it said Pebble's devices will be phased out after the acquisition.
    Source: Bloomberg



  • Use Alexa to ask Martian's watches all your burning questions

    Have one of Martian's voice-powered smartwatches? Cool, because now mVoice models and certain Guess timepieces will work with Amazon's Alexa technology. "We're excited to work with Martian Watches to bring Alexa to mVoice timepieces so customers can easily perform everyday tasks -- like controlling their smart home with ecobee, requesting a ride with Lyft or checking the daily news -- using just their voice," Amazon's director of voice services Aaron Brown said in a statement. Just think, now you can use Alexa on your watch (or via the mVoice app), to order another voice-controlled watch, just by asking. The future is a wild place, y'all.

    Source: Martian


  • Nearly half of Flickr's photo uploads come from smartphones

    It's no secret that Flickr is popular with phone-toting photographers, but it's now reaching a tipping point. The Yahoo-owned image service has posted its year in review, and it notes that 48 percent of photo uploads now come from smartphones. That's a big jump over the 39 percent from 2015 -- it's now clear that you're in the minority if you uploaded shots from a dedicated camera. The numbers for conventional cams aren't exactly pretty.

    The DSLR crowd was the hardest hit, as its representation tumbled from 31 percent in 2015 to 21 percent this year. Point-and-shoot use was down, too, to 21 percent from 25. About the only dedicated camera category left untouched was mirrorless, although its 3 percent is nothing to crow about.

    When it comes to whose devices are at the top, it's a familiar story. Of all photos with camera data attached, 47 percent were uploaded from Apple hardware -- 8 out of the top 10 devices were iPhones. Canon was a distant second at 24 percent, and it accounted for the two other devices in the top ranks (the EOS 5D Mark II and Mark III). Nikon was third at 18 percent, leaving everyone else to fight for just 11 percent of the pie.

    Flickr doesn't usually elaborate on these stats, although you can point to a few factors behind the mobile shift. For one, smartphone image quality is quickly reducing the pressure to use dedicated cameras. DSLRs and mirrorless cams still take better photos overall, but a well-made smartphone shooter is frequently good enough for pleasing street shots and flower macros. The convenience of posting from your phone (especially with improving cellular data speeds) is hard to top even when a camera has WiFi, too. As for Apple's dominance of the charts? Some of it comes through the Flickr integration that iOS has had for years, but it's also helped by the iPhone's popularity in the US and reputation for good (though not always best) photo quality.

    Source: Flickr Blog


  • Philip Morris submits a tobacco vaporizer for FDA approval

    Philip Morris, maker of Marlboro cigarettes, submitted an application to the FDA on Tuesday seeking approval for its new tobacco vaporizer. The iQOS device, as it's currently called, works on the same principle as the Pax, wherein the ground plant matter is gently heated until the active ingredients are vaporized, rather than burned with an open flame. Philip Morris claims that the vapor has 90 percent fewer harmful chemicals than normal cigarette smoke.

    Rather than use a propylene glycol solution, the iQOS relies on replaceable real tobacco leaf cartridges which are shaped like conventional cigarettes. These "heat sticks" plug into the plastic heating element to produce a 500 degree F vapor and last around a dozen puffs.

    If approved, the iQOS could profoundly shake up the US vaporizer market, which is currently dominated by modular, e-liquid-based vapes. The iQOS' ease of use, low cost (heat stick packs cost around $6 on average), and brand familiarity are a potent marketing combination. The iQOS is already being sold in a number of foreign markets, including Japan where it has already captured nearly 2.4 percent of the market there.

    Source: Reuters


  • Google Docs could make writing that term paper a little easier

    Formatting and inserting citations are some of the worst parts of writing a term paper. But Google wants to help make that tedious process a little less soul-crushing. An upcoming update to G Suite will toss those attributions in as a footnote for a Doc, Sheet or Slide with a single tap. It's thanks in part to how the new, contextual "Explore" tab Google launched earlier this year works. It's a little confusing though, because screenshots in the blog post are from mobile web and there isn't any clarification if this is a desktop option as well.

    But beyond that, the feature will format the citations in APA, Chicago or MLA styles. So, no matter what your professor requires you're probably covered here. This starts rolling out tomorrow for folks using G Suite for Education. You know, just in time for that final paper you've been putting off all semester long.


    Source: G Suite blog


  • Pandora officially unveils its long-awaited Spotify competitor

    That Pandora was planning to launch a full fledged Spotify competitor was no secret. The company said as much last year when it bought the ashes of Rdio, which had filed for bankruptcy. But today, at a lavish, over-the-top event in New York City, Pandora gave a small group of VIPs and press a look at the new streaming service. It's called Pandora Premium, and just as you'd expect, it offers on-demand access to a massive music catalog -- and it looks a LOT like Rdio, from the brief glance we have seen so far. But Pandora is leveraging the years of information it has about how its users listen to music to provide the all-important recommendations necessary to help people find new songs to listen to.

    Pandora CEO Tim Westergren thinks Pandora has created the "first truly premium music service" -- and that "premium means personal." Following that statement, he played a quick video showing off the main features of the service. All of the thumbs-up you have given songs over the years will be used to show you songs, artists, and albums you might be interested in. If you start building a playlist, Pandora Premium will suggest songs for you to add and even do it automatically. And, of course, you can take all of these songs offline.

    By default, the Pandora home screen looks identical to now -- all your recently played stations and full collection of stations is found in the "my music" section. But it also keeps created playlists and albums that you love in one combined list. It doesn't force you into a category first -- but of course, you can filter down to artists, albums, stations and playlists if you're so inclined.

    The "now playing" screen is also redesigned, with a bold colored background that changes based on the album artwork for the song you're listening to. Naturally, the thumbs up and down icons are still here, and every time you thumbs-up a song, it gets added to an automatically-generated playlist. And that playlist pulls in every single song you've ever given a thumbs-up to. If you've been using Pandora for a long time, that list could get very, very long indeed.

    The playlist feature in particular seems really interesting. Pandora noted that lots of Rdio users had "playlist orphans" where you add a handful of songs to a playlist but don't actually go through the trouble of fleshing it out beyond those initial choices. Pandora will now let you automatically add songs based on similarities in the Music Genome Project, and you can of course remove songs that you're not interested in.

    Pandora also says that it has redesigned the search experience. It says that most services use popularity-based search rankings -- so everyone gets the same results as they type. But Pandora Premium will personalize search by user. It'll take into account things that you've searched for before and music you like so that the search results popping up are more personalized to the user.

    The "browse" screen now features a "new music" section that's somewhat similar to what Spotify does with Discover Weekly. But rather than present a playlist of personalized songs, Pandora will show you a personalized selection of full albums based on your listening history. Instead of digging into a specific genre every week and finding albums you want to hear, Pandora will surface them for you. If you have eclectic tastes, they should all be represented here. When you finish playing an album, the "autoplay" feature (taken from Rdio) will start playing more similar music to match the tone of what you just finished.

    Westergren kicked off the event by recounting how he helped start building the Music Genome Project years before Pandora eventually launched in 2005 -- long before most streaming music services. He then mentioned how music has fully gone online, with a wonderfully vast collection of music that's hard to understand and navigate. To get that catalog of music to the lister are on demand solutions like Apple Music and Spotify -- but he thinks that isn't the way to go. "Giving the keys to the record store" isn't the best way for people to find music.

    This announcement comes after a busy few months for Pandora. The company recently went through a full-scale rebrand in advance of the Premium service, and it also revamped its existing $5/month paid "Plus" service that cuts out ads, lets you skip more tracks and offers some offline features. And now, the company is one of the few streaming services to offer a free service alongside two different paid options.

    Unfortunately, there's no specific timeline or pricing for Pandora Premium yet. The service should launch in Q1 of 2017, but Pandora said its VIPs will get a chance to try the service before it launches. Additionally, the company didn't actually say how much Pandora Premium would cost. In all likelihood, it'll hit the $9.99 per month price point that basically all other services offer, but we'll have to wait to confirm that.

    While it's hard for a streaming service to really stand out at this point, Pandora Premium looks like it'll contain the best parts of Rdio's excellent design and marry it with the massive amount of music knowledge that Pandora has gathered over many years the service has been alive. Hopefully the company will release more details publicly soon.


  • Google further shrinks the size of your Android app updates

    If there's a regular bane in Android phone owners' existence, it's the never-ending stream of app updates. Even though they're smaller than full downloads, they still chew up a lot of data -- just ask anyone who has sucked down hundreds of megabytes updating a new phone. Google's engineers have a better solution, though.

    They're introducing a new approach to app updates that promises to radically shrink the size of updates with "file-by-file" patching. The resulting patches tend to be about 65 percent smaller than the app itself, and are sometimes over 90 percent smaller. In the right circumstances, that could make the difference between updating while you're on cellular versus waiting until you find WiFi.

    The technique revolves around spotting changes in the uncompressed files (that is, when they're not squeezed into a typical app package). Google first decompresses the old and new app versions to determine the changes between files and create a patch. After that, updating is just a matter of unpacking the app on your device, applying changes and compressing it again.

    Don't expect to see this when you tap the "update" button, at least not yet. Google is currently limiting the new patching approach to automatic updates, since it needs extra processing power and might take additional time on older hardware. Your brand new Pixel XL should blaze through it, but someone's aging Moto G might take longer. Performance will improve over time, however, so you might well see this expand to all updates once baseline performance is high enough.

    Source: Android Developers Blog


  • Apple's TV single sign-on feature goes live in the US

    Apple just made your TV watching much easier... if you subscribe to the right services, that is. After dropping some hints in November, Apple has activated its promised single sign-on feature for Apple TV and iOS users in the US, but only for a handful of offerings. DirecTV, Dish and cord-cutter service Sling TV are the highlights among providers. Only some channel-specific apps can use SSO as well: A&E, Bravo, NBC, Syfy and USA are among the choices, and the option isn't always available on both Apple TV and iOS gear.

    How well the feature works will rely heavily on app creators. There are some glaring omissions in the selection right now (HBO, anyone?). The situation might improve sooner than you think, however. Single sign-on might see greater adoption now that you don't need a beta operating system to try it, and there will be a stronger incentive to use it once Apple's unifying TV app is available. If support is rough around the edges right now, it might be a very different story in the months ahead.

    Via: MacRumors

    Source: Apple


  • Russian Parliament members claim FIFA 17 is gay propaganda

    The Russian government has a problem with a lot of current technology: a YouTuber was banned from government computers for being an American boogeyman, and good luck accessing LinkedIn from St. Petersburg. This week, Electronic Arts became the country's latest target when a group of Russian members of Parliament asked the government's communications oversight agency to possibly block FIFA 17 after the popular soccer franchise promoted a tie-in with a UK-based LGBT rights group.
    Show your support, get your FREE Rainbow kit in FUT now! More on the #RainbowLaces campaign: https://t.co/2NohXaloXe pic.twitter.com/xSbY9G8wAp
    — EA SPORTS FIFA (@EASPORTSFIFA) November 26, 2016
    FIFA 17 has lots of connections to the English Premier League for a variety of obvious reasons, but as the Guardian notes, the Russian MPs' beef with the title stems from EA's support of the Rainbow Laces campaign, in which the league partnered with LGBT rights group Stonewall to fight homophobia and transphobia at matches in the UK. EA's part in that campaign included virtual rainbow-colored uniforms FIFA 17 players could use to deck out their in-game teams. Even though the Rainbow Laces tie-in ended in November, the MPs claim the game is in violation of a 2013 law that outlaws the promotion of non-traditional relationships because they could bring "harm to children's health and development."

    The MPs are asking the state consumer protection and communications oversight agencies to investigate whether the game should be banned from distribution in Russia, or if developer EA Canada should be ordered to change the game's age rating or even modify code to remove the parts that the Russian government finds so offensive.

    Engadget has reached out to EA for comment and we'll update when we hear back.

    Via: The Guardian

    Source: Izvestia


  • Will Ferrell will bring eSports to the silver screen

    According to Fnatic, two actual professional teams.

    This marks a significant milestone in the development of eSports leagues. In just a few years, the industry has gone from hobbyist pastime to niche sideshow to legitimate entertainment attraction (and investment). Heck, last year's League of Legends finals garnered more views than the NBA's championship. Now, eSports have so thoroughly integrated into the mainstream that the industry is being depicted in other mediums including television, Facebook and board games.

    Source: Variety


  • VR treadmill creator cancels pre-orders outside the US

    Virtuix's Omni treadmill is very alluring to virtual reality fans who want freedom to walkwithout the fear of tripping over cables or running into walls. However, it's also massive and complex... and that's forcing the company to scale back its ambitions. Virtuix is telling its Kickstarter backers that it's cancelling all Omni pre-orders outside of the US, as the logistics of shipping the treadmill are just too much. It's not just the 175-pound, 48- by 43-inch shipping package that's the problem -- it's honoring regulations and maintaining enough replacement parts to handle a global audience. The initial plans to ship worldwide were "naive and unfeasable," the startup writes.

    The company is at least going the distance to compensate international customers who've just had their years-long dreams crushed. In addition to refunding what supporters paid, it's prorating the refunds to the tune of an extra 3 percent per year, compounded monthly. Virtuix isn't ruling out international plans entirely, either. Its international presence will be limited to public spaces like arcades in the near term, but it wants to cater to other countries when it can.

    This cancellation is something of an edge case in the crowdfunding world. Most of these startups are shipping far smaller or simpler products that won't face nearly as many headaches. Even so, it's a reminder that crowdfunded projects are frequently full of lofty promises made by entrepreneurs that don't know what their finished product will look like, let alone how they'll get it to customers using limited resources.

    Via: Road To VR

    Source: Kickstarter (backers only)



  • This is why 'Destiny' studio Bungie stopped making 'Halo' games

    helped normalize the idea in 2014, when players weren't yet convinced they wanted an MMO-like experience on a living room console.

    Bungie stepped away from Halo and its publisher, Microsoft, in 2007, in order to push forward in the industry rather than be tied to a franchise that had found success at the start of the century, according to community manager David "DeeJ" Dague. Today, Destiny has millions of active unique players per month, which Bungie keeps entertained via steady online updates and sprawling seasonal events.

    "This has been the dream state that Bungie has envisioned for themselves for a long time," Dague says. Bungie developers wanted to create a game they could consistently update, and they wanted to be able to respond to players' desires in real time. Sparrow racing is a good example of this adaptability: Players naturally began racing their floating speedsters around Destiny's worlds, so Bungie took the hint and added races to the game itself.


    "We actually took it and turned it into a six-player death race through enemy territory, but we draw a lot of inspiration from the players," Dague says. "Because Destiny is always online, always connected, we can reach out to where they thrive and we can give them new things to do. This is why we stopped making Halo games, this is why we wanted to envision a brand-new world that would enable us to do these sorts of things."

    Sparrow racing is back in The Dawning, the latest seasonal event for Destiny: Rise of Iron, which will be live from Dec. 13th to Jan. 3rd. The Dawning also features scoring for Strike events, new quests and, of course, new weapons, goodies and gear.

    Rise of Iron is the latest expansion for Destiny, landing on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 this past September. This is another benefit of building an online game: Bungie not only gets to release a constant stream of new content but also charge players for every expansion. Rise of Iron, for example, costs $30, and that's on top of the base game plus its three previous expansions. This ensures that a steady stream of cash flows into Bungie and publisher Activision throughout the year.

    However, Rise of Iron marked a shift in Bungie's approach to Destiny. The September expansion did not come out for the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of Destiny, and it's not going to. Until this point, Destiny had been the same game across modern- and last-generation consoles.

    "We actually reached the point where, in order to add on to the world of Destiny, we were going to have to start to take away," Dague says. "So it was PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 that we sort of froze the state of the game where it was at that time. It's not receiving any updates."

    Destiny will continue to live and evolve on Xbox One and PS4, but last-generation players are frozen in a pre-Rise of Iron galaxy. Roughly 5 percent of Destiny players are on Xbox 360 and PS3, Dague says.

    "They're still important to us, we still sustain the game on those platforms, but instead of degrading the player experience and starting to remove missions or destinations, we decided to keep it the way it was and continued to add to it on the modern decks," he explains.


    The definition of a modern gaming console is changing as rapidly as Destiny itself: Sony just launched the PS4 Pro, a 4K-capable console, and Microsoft is poised to drop its own beefed-up version of the Xbox One, codenamed Project Scorpio, next year. Dague didn't comment on a potential 4K version of Destiny, though upgrading for these platforms would make sense for a franchise that's all about taking advantage of the latest and greatest console gaming specs.

    Destiny is a living game. It's a far cry from a series like Halo, which still conforms to a traditional release model -- the same one Bungie used when it created the franchise in 2001. Destiny evolves with players and with the industry, giving Bungie ample opportunity to constantly improve the experience.

    "This is us living the dream," Dague says.


  • Thieves can use web bots to guess your Visa card details

    If you've punched in credit card details while shopping online, you've probably wondered how secure those digits are. According to Newcastle University, the answer is: not very. Its researchers have discovered that thieves are using web bots to guess Visa credit and debit card info thanks to a flaw in the company's payment system. The biggest challenge is obtaining valid 16-digit card numbers, usually by buying them or using an algorithm to generate valid examples. After that, the bots find expiration dates and CVVs (that three-digit number on the back) by spreading guesses across hundreds of shopping sites, plugging numbers into fields until they hit the jackpot. While that sounds like a painstaking process, the bots can figure things out in 6 seconds.

    The flaw comes through the lack of checks for this kind of behavior. While it's bad enough that online stores often allow dozens of incorrect guesses (sometimes an unlimited amount), Visa doesn't appear to have a system in place to check for this kind of suspicious activity. Mastercard, in contrast, would realize something was wrong in "less than 10 attempts" and shut down the potential crime, no matter where the payment processing was taking place.

    We've asked Visa for its response. However, this isn't just a theoretical exercise. On top of existing observations, it's believed that this technique was used in a recent attack on UK retailer Tesco that racked up 2.5 million ($3.2 million) in fraud. As for the solution? Visa would ideally implement a Mastercard-like check for odd behavior, but the most immediate fix may come from the stores themselves. Some of the websites used for these guesses are reducing the opportunities to guess info, making these attacks more difficult. Until there's a more permanent solution in place, though, you'll want to keep a close eye on your Visa card statements for any unusual charges.


    Via: Ars Technica

    Source: Newcastle University, (PDF)


  • Apple will publish its AI research

    Apple isn't exactly known for sharing its research with the world, but it's making a big exception to that rule. Company AI director Russ Salakhutdinov has revealed that Apple will publish its machine learning research. In other words, some of the discoveries it makes behind closed doors will be available to academia. We've asked Apple for more details and will let you know if it can elaborate on its plans, such as whether this will apply to many of its findings, or just those it deems safe to disclose. However, the move raises a question: why open the kimono when AI is a fiercely competitive field?

    The most likely answer: this is at least partly about attracting talent to Apple. Researchers in AI (and many other fields) like to have their work publicly shared and recognized. They're more likely to be interested in joining Apple if they know their breakthroughs won't be treated as trade secrets to be kept under lock and key. Don't be surprised if Apple has more success building its AI team in the future, particularly when it wants to recruit professors and others who still want to contribute to science.
    Apple will start publishing, according to @rsalakhu at #nips2016 pic.twitter.com/I0ndKKc2vB
    — hardmaru (@hardmaru) December 6, 2016
    Source: Hardmaru (Twitter), Thomas Kipf (Twitter)


  • 'Pokémon Go' may get 100 new Pokémon this week

    Pokmon Go is about to get bigger, according to a handful of Starbucks employee guides that found their way online early this week. The images have not been verified by Niantic, the Pokmon Company or Starbucks, but Reddit sleuths claim that verified Starbucks employees have vouched for their veracity.

    "The world of Pokmon Go is about to expand with new Pokmon and a new Starbucks beverage!" the "Barista need-to-know" guide says. The flyers indicate that Pokmon Go's second generation will kick off on Thursday, December 8th.

    In November, curious fans former Google company also responsible for the mobile AR game previously discussed implementing a similar system in Pokmon Go. The game even launched in Japan with a McDonald's partnership.

    We reached out to Niantic for confirmation or clarification on the Starbucks guides, and were told the company doesn't comment on rumor or speculation. At least this particular rumor will be settled soon: Keep an eye on your Pokmon Go app this Thursday.



    Via: Eurogamer

    Source: /r/TheSilphRoad


  • Google Play adds 4K movies to its catalog

    When we reviewed the Chromecast Ultra, one of our biggest gripes was the dearth of 4K content to justify it -- not even Google's own movie store had material to watch. The company is fixing that glaring omission, though. As of now, Google Play Movies & TV carrying over 125 4K movies in the American and Canadian stores. You can buy or rent them, and choose from big-name movies like Captain Philips, Star Trek Beyond and The Secret Life of Pets. If you own a Chromecast Ultra, you'll even get a free movie (from a handful of approved selections) as a reward for your early adopter status.

    You'll need to own a 4K-capable device to watch, of course. Besides the Chromecast Ultra, Google is pointing to newer Sony TVs and the Xiaomi Mi Box 3 as examples of hardware that can handle Google Play's higher-resolution catalog. This isn't an exclusive list, of course, and Google is quick to add that 4K titles will come to other countries in the future.

    Google certainly isn't the first major video provider with 4K movies -- Netflix, Vudu and Hulu have beaten it to the punch. However, this is a big deal if you thrive in the Google ecosystem. You now have a go-to place for premium 4K video right from the get-go, without having to turn to third-party services.

    Source: Google Blog


  • Trump team wants to meet with Silicon Valley execs next week

    The Trump transition team has invited a number of tech industry leaders to New York next week for a roundtable discussion. snubbed him at every turn during the election. Trump's relationship with Apple is especially contentious ever since he called for a boycott of the company when it refused to build a backdoor into the iOS security system for the FBI. Trump's ambivalence to net neutrality and vigorous opposition to immigration, which the industry relies on to recruit top flight talent from around the world, aren't helping his case either.

    Peter Thiel, Trump's advisor and hype man, is only slightly better off. He sits on Facebook's board of directors and holds considerable sway within the company. However his backing of the candidate that will be the next president -- not to mention a personal vendetta against Gawker Media which shuttered the news outlet earlier this year -- has not won him many fans in the progressive bastion of Silicon Valley.

    "Most of Silicon Valley is moving from the 'surprised and in denial' phase to accepting the change that's coming," Semil Shah, of venture capital firm, Haystack Fund, told USA Today. "Some of that change, such as immigration, creates anxiety and uncertainty. Some of that change, such as potential for economic stimulus at a national level, gives some folks business confidence."

    The invited tech executives will likely be looking to extend olive branches and build bridges with the incoming administration. However, if this meeting goes anything like Trump's previous overtures to television and print media, it will not end well. Remember, Trump doesn't build bridges, he builds walls. Or at least claims to.

    Source: USA Today


  • 'Coloring Book' is the first streaming-only album up for a Grammy

    Meghan Trainor announced the nominees for this year's Grammy Awards on Monday night. Beyonce, deservedly, is leading the field with 9 nominations followed closely by Drake, Rhianna and Kanye West who all have 8 apiece. But more surprising is the category for Best New Rap Album for which Chance the Rapper's Coloring Book is nominated. This is the first time that an album available only through streaming services has earned a Grammy nod.

    Chance's album is going up against Kanye's Life of Pablo, Drake's Views as well as three other strong contenders so there's no guarantee that it'll actually win. Even if it doesn't, Chance isn't likely to go home empty-handed. He's also been nominated for Best New Artist, Best Rap Performance, Best Rap/Sung Performance and Best Rap Song for "Famous". The Grammys will air February 12, 2017.

    Source: Billboard


  • Twitch brings video calls to its game communication app

    Twitch wants to move beyond live streaming to cover your game communications, and to that end it bought Curse back in August. Just what is it doing with its newly acquired app, though? Well, now we know: Curse is rolling out desktop support for both video calls and screen sharing on top of its existing voice and social features. You and four other people can now see each other while you play, and share what's on your display if you want to brag about a victory or show vital info to your teammates.

    The Twitch crew tells us that the video call features will initially be available on the Mac, Windows and Chrome, but mobile support is in the works. It's also quick to stress that these are server-based calls, not peer-to-peer, so you're not exposing your internet connection details to viewers when you invite them to a match. Will the Curse upgrade be enough to stop you from using rivals like Discord or Teamspeak? Not necessarily (your friends' tastes will likely dictate what you use), but it could make Curse your preferred comms app if you regularly broadcast play sessions with friends.

    Source: Curse


  • Apple engineer tried to buy BeOS from Palm for the iPhone
    Jean-Louis Gassée:  When the Apple smartphone project started, the key decision was the choice of software engine. Should Apple try to make a 'lite' version of OS X (as it was then known)? Go in a completely new direction?  It appears that a new direction may have been tempting. At the time that Apple's smartphone project began, an Apple employee and former Be engineer offered Palm Inc. $800K for a BeOS "code dump"€Š-€Šjust the code, no support, no royalties. The engineer was highly respected for his skill in mating software to unfamiliar hardware; BeOS was a small, light operating system; draw your own conclusion... Palm, which had purchased Be a few years before that, turned him down.  Interesting historical footnote. This would be the second time that Apple tried to buy BeOS. I've been told that while Forstall (who wanted OS X) and Fadell (who wanted the iPod's Pixo) were battling it out, a former Be engineer then working at Apple wanted to prove BeOS was a viable iPhone candidate, and thus tried to buy it. As history knows, Forstall won out, and only after the fact did the Apple engineer inform the higher-ups of what he tried to do. Apparently, this happens more often inside Apple's culture.


  • A QEMU advent calendar
    An amazing QEMU disk image every day! Brightening your days in the winter holiday season.  This is a great idea.


  • Aggressive design caused Galaxy Note 7 battery explosions
    What's interesting is that there is evidence in the design of an intellectual tension between safety and pushing the boundaries. Samsung engineers designed out all of the margin in the thickness of the battery, which is the direction where you get the most capacity gain for each unit of volume. But, the battery also sits within a CNC-machined pocket - a costly choice likely made to protect it from being poked by other internal components. Looking at the design, Samsung engineers were clearly trying to balance the risk of a super-aggressive manufacturing process to maximize capacity, while attempting to protect it internally.  Fascinating look - with photos - at the (possible) cause of the Galaxy Note 7 fires.


  • Supreme Court returns Apple v. Samsung to Federal Circuit
    The Supreme Court has overturned Apple's $400 million award in its long-running patent lawsuit against Samsung. Apple won the case in 2012, convincing a federal court that a number of Samsung devices had infringed upon iPhone design patents - including one for a rectangular device with rounded corners and bezels, and another for a home screen comprised of a grid of colorful apps. The Supreme Court€™s decision today does not reverse Apple€™s win, but does mean that the case will be returned to the Federal Circuit so that the damages can be reassessed.  Yeah, this thing is still going on.


  • Google, democracy and the truth about internet search
    Here's what you don't want to do late on a Sunday night. You do not want to type seven letters into Google. That's all I did. I typed: "a-r-e". And then "j-e-w-s". Since 2008, Google has attempted to predict what question you might be asking and offers you a choice. And this is what it did. It offered me a choice of potential questions it thought I might want to ask: "are jews a race?", "are jews white?", "are jews christians?", and finally, "are jews evil?"  Are Jews evil? It's not a question I've ever thought of asking. I hadn't gone looking for it. But there it was. I press enter. A page of results appears. This was Google's question. And this was Google's answer: Jews are evil. Because there, on my screen, was the proof: an entire page of results, nine out of 10 of which "confirm" this. The top result, from a site called Listovative, has the headline: "Top 10 Major Reasons Why People Hate Jews." I click on it: "Jews today have taken over marketing, militia, medicinal, technological, media, industrial, cinema challenges etc and continue to face the worlds [sic] envy through unexplained success stories given their inglorious past and vermin like repression all over Europe."  Hatred, lies, and stupidity spread easily on the internet - it's a perfect storm of the ease of technology and - very bluntly put - the stupidity of people. Most people have absolutely no understanding of the scientific method, and lack the basic mental tools to objectively assess information and its source. The end result is swaths of people believing that the moon landings were faked, man-made climate change isn't real, that witches have magical powers and need to be burnt at the stake, or - indeed - that Jews, women (try it!), and so on are "evil", because uncle Jimmy's neighbour's aunt's niece thrice removed posted it on Facebook.  This is a problem that's going to be very tough to solve. Stupid people have always existed - but the internet is new.


  • Amazon just opened a cashier-free supermarket
    Amazon Go is a new kind of store with no checkout required. We created the world€™s most advanced shopping technology so you never have to wait in line. With our Just Walk Out Shopping experience, simply use the Amazon Go app to enter the store, take the products you want, and go! No lines, no checkout. (No, seriously.)  Our checkout-free shopping experience is made possible by the same types of technologies used in self-driving cars: computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning. Our Just Walk Out technology automatically detects when products are taken from or returned to the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart. When you're done shopping, you can just leave the store. Shortly after, we'll charge your Amazon account and send you a receipt.  I find this absolutely fascinating and immensely desirable.  I live in a small rural town in the middle of nowhere, and only very recently did we finally get a brand new supermarket with the latest self-checkout and contactless payment technologies (voted most beautiful supermarket in the country, I might add, and a 73-year old family business - we're proud of our own), and it's just so much more convenient than old-fashioned cash registers. I know a number of people prefer being served by a cashier, but honestly - to me it's just wasted time I could spend on something useful.  In any event, the idea of just taking stuff off the shelves, without even having to scan them or pay for them at a terminal seems like the next logical step. I don't like the idea of online grocery shopping (I want to see how fresh my produce is before buying it), so this is an excellent compromise.


  • The FireBee: modern Atari clone
    The FireBee is a new Atari-compatible computer. Ataris and Atari-Clones are special computers with their own hard & software. They aren't PC's, Mac's nor Amiga compatible.  A FireBee is similar to an Atari Falcon and works very much like that. It will run most of the Atari compatible software that would run on a Falcon. Different to older Ataris and their clones, the FireBee is a modern computer that supports almost everything you'd expect from a today's machine, like USB ports, Ethernet, DVI-I monitor connector, SD-card reader and more.  This brand-new Atari compatible is not cheap, but much like the current Amiga computers, if you're worried about the price, you're probably not the intended audience. Note that even though the order page says "pre-order", I think that's a typo - you can order them directly from the Swiss company that makes them, too.  I love that people and companies are passionate enough to keep developing, building, and selling machines like this - it's a vital effort to keep platforms alive well into the future.


  • Improved symlink handling comes to Windows 10
    The Windows' NTFS file system has supported symlinks since Windows Vista. However, it hasn't been easy for Windows developers to create symlinks. In our efforts to continually improve the Windows Developer experience we're fixing this!  Starting with Windows 10 Insiders build 14972, symlinks can be created without needing to elevate the console as administrator. This will allow developers, tools and projects, that previously struggled to work effectively on Windows due to symlink issues, to behave just as efficiently and reliably as they do on Linux or OSX.  Pretty sure a few developers out there are rolling their eyes, sighing 'finally'.


  • Case study: Sailfish Watch
    Last month we did a quick exercise aiming to see how far we could get in a few weeks in porting Sailfish OS to a new kind of mobile device, an Android smartwatch. Compared to the competition, Sailfish OS€™s interaction paradigm is particularly suited for small screens, it being gesture-driven and designed to maximize display estate available for the user content. We also had the watch demo with us as a teaser in Slush 2016 this week, to emphasize to journalists, partners and other people how versatile platform Sailfish OS is. And naturally an implementation like this, could fit nicely also into our licensing strategy.  This looks pretty good, actually, but as an owner of the limited edition version of the Jolla Phone and the incredibly elusive and rare Jolla Tablet - what I want is not more device categories, it's applications.  This has been the platform's number one weakness since its inception, and they seem unwilling to do anything about it.


  • Why Fitbit buying Pebble makes sense
    Late yesterday it was reported by The Information that Fitbit is close to buying wearable startup Pebble, news that has since been independently confirmed by The Verge. Fitbit and Pebble have been in the final stages of the deal since before the Thanksgiving holiday; the buying price has not yet been confirmed. While it ultimately might not be as good of a deal as Pebble would have hoped for, there are a lot of reasons why a Pebble-Fitbit deal makes sense.  Pebble is popular among OSNews readers, so those of you with a Pebble might want to keep an eye out for the future of this possible deal.


  • Genode 16.11 revisits low-level protocols
    Following the feature-rich release in August, with the new version 16.11, Genode's developers took the chance to work on long-standing architectural topics, most prominently the low-level interplay between parent and child components. Besides this low-level work, the release features much improved virtual-networking capabilities. Originally introduced in the previous version, Genode's network-routing mechanism has become more versatile and easier to use. Further topics include the added support for smart cards, kernel improvements of the NOVA hypervisor, and a virtual file system for generating time-based passcodes.  The efficient interaction between user-level components is one of the most important aspects of microkernel-based systems like Genode. The design space for this interplay is huge and there is no widely accepted consensus about the "right" way. The options include message passing between independent threads, the migration of threads between address spaces, shared memory, and various flavours of asynchronous communication.  When the Genode project originally emerged from the L4 community, it was somehow preoccupied with the idea that synchronous IPC is the best way to go. After all, the sole reliance on unbuffered synchronous IPC was widely regarded as the key for L4's excellent performance. Over the years, however, the mindset of the Genode developers shifted away from this position. Whereas synchronous IPC was found to be a perfect match for some use cases, it needlessly complicated others. It turns out that any IPC mechanism is ultimately a trade-off between low latency, throughput, simplicity, and scalability. Finding a single sweet spot that fits well for all parts of an operating system seems futile. Given this realization and countless experiments, Genode's inter-component protocols were gradually shaped towards the combination of synchronous IPC where low-latency remote procedure calls are desired, asynchronous notifications, and shared memory. That said, Genode's most fundamental inter-component communication protocol - the interplay between parent and child components to establish communication sessions between clients and servers - remained unchanged since the very first version. The current release reconsiders the architectural decisions made in the early days and applies Genode's modern design principles to these low-level protocols. The release documentation contrasts the original design that was solely based on synchronous IPC with the new way. Even though the new version overcomes long-standing limitations of the original design, at the first glance, it gives the impression to be more complicated and expensive in terms of the number of context switches. Interestingly, however, the change has no measurable effect on the performance of even the most dynamic system scenarios. The apparent reason is that the parent-child interactions make up a minuscule part of the overall execution time in real-world scenarios.  Even though the architectural work mentioned above is fundamental to the Genode system as a whole, it is barely visible to users of the framework. With respect to user-visible changes, the most prominent improvement is the vastly improved infrastructure for virtual networking, which is covered in great detail in the release documentation. Further topics are the added support for using smart cards, a new VFS plugin for generating time-based passcodes, and updated versions of VirtualBox 4 and 5 running of top of NOVA. Speaking of NOVA, the release improves this kernel in several respects, in particular by adding support for asynchronous map operations. Each of the topics is covered in more depth in the release documentation.


  • Oracle rumoured to end Solaris development
    There's a rumour going around that Oracle is close to ending all development of Solaris, effectively killing the operating system.  Solaris being canned, at least 50% of teams to be RIF'd in short term. All hands meetings being cancelled on orders from legal to prevent news from spreading. Hardware teams being told to cease development. There will be no Solaris 12, final release will be 11.4. Orders coming straight from Larry.  It's just rumours for now, but they've been gaining steam over the past few days.


  • Nokia making a comeback in 2017, Android phones inbound
    Back in May, we heard that HMD Global - a new mobile company made up of ex-Nokia staffers - is looking to use the Nokia name to manufacture smartphones running Android as well as feature phones. Today, HMD has announced that it has secured exclusive licensing rights to Nokia's branding for 10 years.  The first batch of Android smartphones bearing the Nokia name will make their debut in the first half of 2017.  HMD is a Finnish company staffed with ex-Nokia people, so it makes sense they'd be working together on this. Hopefully this means Nokia can focus on what it does best - the backend - while the smaller, more nimble HMD san focus on making great phones.


  • AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition Update 1 pre-release for AmigaOne X5000
    The pre-release version of AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition Update #1 is an official update to AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition released by Hyperion Entertainment in 2014. It is the combined result of many many years of effort by the core AmigaOS developers, translators and beta testers and includes a number of bug fixes and updates to the original AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition release.  The naming and versioning system could use some work.


  • The linguistic evolution of 'like'
    Like LOL, like, entrenched in all kinds of sentences, used subconsciously, and difficult to parse the real meaning of without careful consideration, has all the hallmarks of a piece of grammar - specifically, in the pragmatic department, modal wing. One thing making it especially clear that the new like is not just a tic of heedless, underconfident youth is that many of the people who started using it in the new way in the 1970s are now middle-aged. People's sense of how they talk tends to differ from the reality, and the person of a certain age who claims never to use like "that way" as often as not, like, does - and often. As I write, a sentence such as There were like grandparents and like grandkids in there is as likely to be spoken by a forty-something as by a teenager or a college student. Just listen around the next time you're standing in a line, watching a talk show, or possibly even listening to yourself.  Great article.  Just goes to show how complex and deep language can be. This is a good, detailed article on the changing use of the word "like", which, despite its length, doesn't even touch upon another now-common use of the word "like" that has even transcended borders and languages: Facebook's "like", which has become a noun in several languages - including my own - and carries with it a new verb meaning: to click that particular Facebook button.



  • Transitioning to Python 3
        
    The Python language, which is not new but continues to gain momentum and users as if it were, has changed remarkably little since it first was released. I don't mean to say that Python hasn't changed; it has grown, gaining functionality and speed, and it's now a hot language in a variety of domains, from data science to test automation to education.
       


  • Red Hat OpenStack Platform
        
    The adoption of OpenStack in production environments has burgeoned, necessitating increased requirements for enhanced management and seamlessly integrated enterprise capabilities.  
       


  • Linux Journal December 2016
         My Sysadmin Is a FOR/NEXT Loop 
    Technology always has promised to save us time by doing the things we can do more accurately and with greater efficiency.
       


  • CORSAIR's Carbide Air 740
        
    Part of the joy of owning a custom-built PC is building it yourself, notes CORSAIR. (Oh, do we agree!) In an effort to promote endless PC-making joy, CORSAIR developed the new Carbide Air 740 PC case that "offers remarkable cooling performance and the flexibility to handle even the most ambitious enthusiast system builds".  
       


  • Stepping into Science
        
    In past articles, I've looked at several libraries or specialist applications that can be used to model some physical process or another. Sometimes though you want to be able to model several different processes at the same time and in an interactive mode.
       



  • FutureVault Inc.'s FutureVault
        
    Though short of Mr Torvalds' aim of world domination, FutureVault, Inc., has set the ambitious goal to "change the way business is done" with its FutureVault digital collaborative vault application.
       


  • Message for You, Sir!
        
    In my Open-Source Classroom column in the May 2016 issue, I discussed how to set up Gmail as your SMTP provider for outgoing email. The problem with email is that sometimes the sheer quantity of it makes important messages slip past my radar. So for really important error messages, I like to get SMS messages.
       


  • Non-Linux FOSS: Scripts in Your Menu Bar!
        
    There are hundreds of applications for OS X that place information in the menu bar. Usually, I can find one that almost does what I want, but not quite. Thankfully I found BitBar, which is an open-source project that allows you to write scripts and have their output refreshed and put on the menu bar. 
       


  • Radio Free Linux
        
    You would have a difficult time today finding a radio station that was all-live and did not have some kind of computerized, automated means of storing and playing audio. 
       


  • DVEO's Jitter Box IP/IP
        
    Telco TV/OTT and IPTV operators must deal with the fact that many IP transport streams are asynchronous. This makes the streams prone to poor video quality due to jitter if they are sent to Program Clock Reference (PCR)-compliant devices.
       


  • Parrot S.L.A.M.dunk
        
    Powered by Ubuntu and Robot Operating System (ROS), the Parrot S.L.A.M.dunk open development hardware and software kit enables drones to transform into smart robots.
       


  • The Tiny Internet Project, Part II
        
    In the May 2016 issue (also available here), I introduced the idea of the Tiny Internet Project, a self-contained Linux project that shows how to build the key pieces of the public internet on a single computer using one or two old computers, a router and a bunch of Linux software.
       


  • Equus Computer Systems, Inc.'s 1.5U Server
        
    IT operations seeking to optimize valuable data-center rack space while improving efficiency are the target customers sought by Equus Computer Systems, Inc., for its "unique" new 1.5U server with data transfer rates of 12GiB/s.
       


  • Android Candy: Waze Redux
        
    Back in 2014, I highlighted Waze, which is a turn-by-turn GPS navigation program created by a startup in Israel. That company was bought by Google, but it still remains independent, at least for now. (It does share some data behind the scenes, but it functions differently when it comes to routing.) 
       




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


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



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




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



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





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


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


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


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


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


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


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