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  • Red Hat: 2016:0152-01: sos: Moderate Advisory
    LinuxSecurity.com: An updated sos package that fixes one security issue and one bug is now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6. Red Hat Product Security has rated this update as having Moderate security [More...]









  • Red Hat: 2016:0129-01: python-django: Moderate Advisory
    LinuxSecurity.com: Updated python-django packages that fix one security issue are now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6.0 for RHEL 7. Red Hat Product Security has rated this update as having Moderate security [More...]



  • Fedora 22 nginx-1.8.1-1.fc22
    LinuxSecurity.com: - update to upstream release 1.8.1 - CVE-2016-0747: Insufficient limits ofCNAME resolution in resolver - CVE-2016-0746: Use-after-free during CNAMEresponse processing in resolver - CVE-2016-0742: Invalid pointer dereference inresolver


  • Fedora 23 prosody-0.9.10-1.fc23
    LinuxSecurity.com: Prosody 0.9.10 ============== A summary of changes in this release: Security-------- * mod_dialback: Adopt key generation algorithm from XEP-0185, toprevent impersonation attacks (CVE-2016-0756) Fixes and improvements---------------------- * Startup: Open /dev/urandom read-only, to fix afailure to start on some systems (fixes #585) * Networking: Improve handling ofthe 'select' network backend running out of file descriptors Minor changes------------- * Networking: Increase default internal read size to preventconnections stalling with LuaEvent (see #583) * DNS: Discard queries thatfailed to send due to connection errors (fixes #598) * c2s, s2s: Lower priorityof shutdown handler, so that modules such as MUC can always send shutdownnotifications to (remote) users (fixes #601)


  • The US government's "Cybersecurity National Action Plan"
    The Obama administration has put out aplan for how it would like to make the net a safer place. There are alot of topics covered here; toward the end it also mentions that "theGovernment will work with organizations such as the Linux Foundation’s CoreInfrastructure Initiative to fund and secure commonly used internet'utilities' such as open-source software, protocols, and standards. Justas our roads and bridges need regular repair and upkeep, so do thetechnical linkages that allow the information superhighway to flow."


  • [$] Protecting systems with the TPM
    "TPM," said Matthew Garrett in his linux.conf.au 2016 talk, stands for "trusted platform module"; it is a tool that is meant to allow a system'sowner to decide which software to trust. Some years ago, there was a lot offear that the TPM would be used, instead, to take that decision away, to allow othersto decide which software would be trusted to run on our systems; for that reason,some called "trusted computing" by the rather less complimentary name"treacherous computing." That scenario didn't come about, though, for anumber of reasons, both technical and social. But we can still use the TPM forits original purpose; Matthew was there to talk about his work to bringabout computing that we can trust.
    Click below (subscribers only) for the full report from LCA 2016.


  • Tuesday's security updates
    Debian has updated qemu (multiplevulnerabilities), qemu (more vulnerabilities), qemu-kvm (multiple vulnerabilities), and wordpress (two vulnerabilities).
    Debian-LTS has updated gajim (man-in-the-middle).
    Mageia has updated mbedtls/hiawatha/belle-sip/linphone/pdns (codeexecution), openssl (man-in-the-middle), php (multiple vulnerabilities), privoxy (denial of service), and radicale (authentication bypass).
    Red Hat has updated sos (RHEL6:information leak).
    Slackware has updated curl (authentication bypass) and flac (multiple vulnerabilities).
    SUSE has updated java-1_8_0-ibm(SLE12-SP1: multiple vulnerabilities) and rubygem-rails-html-sanitizer (SES2.1: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Ubuntu has updated firefox(regression in previous update).


  • It’s Been 20 Years Since This Man Declared Cyberspace Independence (Wired)
    Wired talkswith John Perry Barlow on the 20th anniversary of his Declaration ofIndependence of Cyberspace. "In the modern era of global NSA surveillance, China’s Great Firewall, and FBI agents trawling the dark Web, it’s easy to write off Barlow’s declaration as early dotcom-era hubris. But on his document’s 20th anniversary, Barlow himself wants to be clear: He stands by his words just as much today as he did when he clicked “send” in 1996."


  • Security advisories for Monday
    Arch Linux has updated lib32-libsndfile (multiple vulnerabilities) and libsndfile (multiple vulnerabilities).
    Debian has updated polarssl (code execution) and tiff (multiple vulnerabilities).
    Debian-LTS has updated eglibc (multiple vulnerabilities) and linux-2.6 (multiple vulnerabilities).
    Fedora has updated claws-mail(F23: stack-based buffer overflow), nginx(F22: denial of service), and prosody (F23:insecure handling of dialback keys).
    Mageia has updated cakephp (denial of service), cgit (three vulnerabilities), curl (authentication bypass), cyrus-imapd (two vulnerabilities), docker/golang (two vulnerabilities), gajim (man-in-the-middle), imlib2 (denial of service), java-1.8.0-openjdk/copy-jdk-configs/lua-lunit/lua-posix (multiple vulnerabilities), krb5 (three vulnerabilities), phpmyadmin/phpseclib (multiple vulnerabilities), and socat (man-in-the-middle).
    openSUSE has updated curl (Leap42.1; 13.2; 13.1:authentication bypass), mariadb (Leap42.1; 13.2: multiple vulnerabilities), mysql(Leap42.1, 13.2; 13.1: multiple vulnerabilities), nginx (Leap42.1: denial of service), openssl (13.2: man-in-the-middle), php5 (Leap42.1: two vulnerabilities), phpMyAdmin (Leap42.1, 13.2: multiplevulnerabilities), rubygem-actionpack-3_2(13.2: multiple vulnerabilities), rubygem-actionpack-4_2 (Leap42.1: multiplevulnerabilities), rubygem-rails-html-sanitizer (Leap42.1:multiple vulnerabilities), and phpmyadmin(13.1: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Red Hat has updated openstack-swift (RHELOSP5 for RHEL6; RHELOSP5 for RHEL7; RHELOSP6 for RHEL7: denial ofservice) and python-django(RHELOSP6 for RHEL7: information disclosure).
    SUSE has updated kernel(SLE11-SP3: multiple vulnerabilities).


  • Kernel prepatch 4.5-rc3
    The 4.5-rc3 kernel prepatch is out."It's slightly bigger than I'd like, but not excessively so (and notunusually so). Most of the patches are pretty small, although the diff isutterly dominated by the (big) removal a couple of staging rdma driversthat just weren't going anywhere. Those removal patches are 90% of the bulkof the diff."


  • The rkt container manager reaches 1.0
    The CoreOS project has announced version1.0 of its rkt container manager.As part of the release, rkt's command-line interface and on-diskformat have been declared stable. The announcement also highlights anumber of new security features, including "KVM-based containerisolation, SELinux support, TPM integration, image signaturevalidation, and privilege separation" and notes that rkt willrun Docker images.


  • Friday's security updates
    Arch Linux has updated libbsd (denial of service).
    Debian has updated krb5(multiple vulnerabilities).
    Fedora has updated nettle(F23: improper cryptographic calculations), salt (F22: information leak), and webkitgtk4 (F23: multiple vulnerabilities).
    SUSE has updated MozillaFirefox,MozillaFirefox-branding-SLE, mozilla-nss (SLE12: multiple vulnerabilities) and MozillaFirefox,MozillaFirefox-branding-SLED, mozilla-nss (SLE11: multiple vulnerabilities).


  • First Ubuntu Touch Tablet Brings Convergence at Last (Linux.com)
    Over at Linux.com, Eric Brown looks at the newly announced Ubuntu Touch tablet. The hardware: "The Aquaris M10 is equipped with a 64-bit, quad-core, Cortex-A53 MediaTek MT8163A system-on-chip clocked to 1.5GHz, along with a high-powered ARM Mali-T720 MP2 GPU. The tablet ships with 2GB of RAM, 16GB flash, and a microSD slot." It is said to have 1920x1200 resolution and an 8 megapixel camera capable of HD recording. The interface will change to take advantage of larger displays and additional input devices (e.g. keyboard, mouse)."It appears that the upcoming Ubuntu 16.04 “Xenial Xerus” LTS release due in April will be the first true convergence release. According to PC World, it will still be optional, however, with a traditional Unity 7 build with X.org available alongside the newly converged Unity 8 with the new Mir display server. The new tablet, and Unity 8, will feature Ubuntu Touch’s Scopes interface, which presents frequently used content and services as an alternative to traditional apps.In addition to automatically changing the interface in response to new screens and input devices, Ubuntu is also providing convergence on the application development level. Developers are already developing single apps that can automatically morph into desktop, phone, and tablet formats."


  • Thursday's security advisories
    Debian-LTS has updated openjdk-6 (multiple vulnerabilities).
    Fedora has updated nodejs-is-my-json-valid (F23: denial ofservice), phpmyadmin (F23: multiple vulnerabilities), and prosody (F22: insecure key handling).
    Gentoo has updated qemu (multiple vulnerabilities).
    Slackware has updated mozilla(unspecified), mplayer (file contentsleak), openssl (cipher downgrade), and php (three vulnerabilities).



  • Security advisories for Wednesday
    Arch Linux has updated lib32-nettle (improper cryptographic calculations) and nettle (improper cryptographic calculations).
    Debian has updated openjdk-6 (multiple vulnerabilities).
    Fedora has updated openstack-heat(F23: denial of service) and openstack-swift (F23: denial of service).
    openSUSE has updated kernel(13.2: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Red Hat has updated kernel(RHEL7.1: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Ubuntu has updated qemu, qemu-kvm(15.10, 14.04, 12.04: multiple vulnerabilities).


  • Catanzaro: On WebKit security updates
    Michael Catanzaro describesthe sad state of WebKit security on Linux distributions and thechallenges of security support for such a complex package in general."We regularly receive bug reports from users with very old versionsof WebKit, who trust their distributors to handle security for them andmight not even realize they are running ancient, unsafe versions ofWebKit. I strongly recommend using a distribution that releases WebKitGTK+updates shortly after they’re released upstream. That is currently onlyArch and Fedora. (You can also safely use WebKitGTK+ in Debian testing —except during its long freeze periods — and Debian unstable, and maybe alsoin openSUSE Tumbleweed. Just be aware that the stable releases of thesedistributions are currently not receiving our security updates.)"Lots of information here, worth a read for anybody interested in the topic.


  • Tuesday's security advisories
    Arch Linux has updated curl (authentication bypass), lib32-curl (authentication bypass), python-django (permission bypass), and python2-django: permission bypass).
    Fedora has updated bind (F22: twodenial of service flaws), chrony (F22:packet modification), curl (F22:authentication bypass), firefox (F22:multiple vulnerabilities), and qemu (F22: multiple vulnerabilities).
    openSUSE has updated firefox(13.1: multiple vulnerabilities), privoxy (Leap42.1, 13.2; 13.1: two denial of service flaws),seamonkey (Leap42.1, 13.2; 13.1: multiple vulnerabilities), firefox (Leap42.1, 13.2: multiplevulnerabilities), and xulrunner (Leap42.1:code execution).
    Red Hat has updated java-1.6.0-ibm (RHEL5,6: multiplevulnerabilities), java-1.7.0-ibm (RHEL5:multiple vulnerabilities), java-1.7.1-ibm(RHEL6,7: multiple vulnerabilities), java-1.8.0-ibm (RHEL7: multiple vulnerabilities), and redis (RHELOSP7-OT; RHELOSP7; RHELOSP6: denial of service).
    Ubuntu has updated kernel (15.10; 15.04;14.04; 12.04: multiple vulnerabilities), linux-lts-trusty (12.04: multiplevulnerabilities), linux-lts-utopic (14.04:multiple vulnerabilities), linux-lts-vivid(14.04: multiple vulnerabilities), linux-lts-wily (14.04: multiplevulnerabilities), linux-raspi2 (15.10:multiple vulnerabilities), linux-ti-omap4(12.04: multiple vulnerabilities), openjdk-6 (12.04: multiple vulnerabilities),and openjdk-7 (15.10, 15.04, 14.04: multiple vulnerabilities).


  • [$] Whole-house audio with free hardware and software
    The Black Forestfire destroyed over 500 Colorado houses in June 2013; one of thosebelonged to longtime Debian developer Bdale Garbee. As he reported duringhis talk at the 2016 linux.conf.au Multimedia and Musicminiconf, the house has been redesigned and rebuilt and life is generally better now. Part of the rebuildingprocess included the incorporation of a whole-house audio system;naturally, Bdale took a unique approach to that task. His talk showed whatcan be done when one starts from scratch — and doesn't mind designing acircuit board along the way.



  • Analysis Of The Top 10 Linux Distributions Of 2015
    This guide looks at the top 10 Linux distributions of 2015 as listed on Distrowatch and discusses the suitability of them for the average Joe or the Everyday Linux User. It does this based on ease of installation, ease of use, pre-installed applications, how ease it is to install other applications and how ready is it out of the box.


  • Should the fight for the Linux desktop really matter?
    This is a tricky, multi-layered question that needs to be asked. Before I dive into it, you must know that I have been using one form of Linux or another as my only OS since the late nineties. So, for me, the ability to use Linux is crucial. Why? Without Linux, getting my work done would not be nearly as easy, trouble-free, or cost effective.



  • Meet Zorin OS 11 – Video Overview and Screenshots
    Zorin OS 11 a linux distribution based on Ubuntu 15.10 Wily Werewolf has been released and announced by Zorin OS Development Team, It now available to download and install on your computer. This release featuring the zorin desktop environment that integrated with Zorin menu and Zorin Look Changer for ultimate ease of use.


  • How to install Fail2Ban on CentOS 7
    Most Linux servers offer an SSH login via Port 22 for remote administration purposes. This port is a well-known port, therefore, it is often attacked by brute force attacks. Fail2ban is a software that scans log files for brute force login attempts in real-time and bans the attackers with firewalld or iptables. This tutorial shows the installation and configuration of Fail2Ban with firewalld on CentOS 7.




  • UGet 2.0.5 Download Manager Released, Install/Update In Ubuntu/Linux Mint
    uGet is an open source and free download manager. It's available for all major operating systems including Linux. Today uGet team (2 members only, amazing!) announced a new version uGet 2.0.5 with some changes and bug fixes. Let's see what's changed and fixed in this new version and how you can install or upgrade in Ubuntu/Linux Mint or Derivatives.


  • Long Term Support vs Rolling Linux Release
    Over the years, I've had the opportunity to try a lot of different Linux releases. As the time passed, I found myself gravitating more toward the Ubuntu-based Long Term Release model. Obviously there are advantages and disadvantages to using an LTS distro release. That said, when it comes to current software packages, control and speed – rolling releases are a solid option.


  • An open source fix leads to a new career in IT
    Once upon a time, I was a music production and engineering student at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. I was always a nerd, though, and ended up with a summer job installing computer-aided dispatch systems for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.read more


  • The Internet is a Global Public Resource
    One of the things that first drew me to Mozilla was this sentence from our manifesto: “The Internet is a global public resource that must remain open and accessible to all.” These words made me stop and think. As they … Continue reading





  • 4 open source tools for Linux system monitoring
    Information is the key to resolving any computer problem, including problems with or relating to Linux and the hardware on which it runs. There are many tools available for and included with most distributions even though they are not all installed by default. These tools can be used to obtain huge amounts of information.read more


  • Zorin OS 11 Core: quick screenshot tour
    Zorin OS 11 continues the line of Linux distributions for the users who migrate from other operating systems. It was released at the beginning of February 2016.Let's have a whistle-stop tour for the main features of this operating system.


  • Facebook spied on millenial conversations about money
    The writer at Forbes can try to downplay the fact that Facebook spied on private conversations about money by Millenials, but I still find it to be quite awful. And it just goes to show you that you have ZERO privacy on Facebook. Everything you write, click on and read is being watched carefully and recorded.


  • Legacy Bios, UEFI and SecureBoot ready Ubuntu Live image customization
    This article will provide you with a core information on how to create boot-able Ubuntu Live customized isohybrid image to get you started with your own Ubuntu distro spin-off. The output image will be amd64 customized Ubuntu live image, capable to boot in all three boot modes: Legacy Bios, UEFI and SecureBoot.




Linux Insider

  • Rosa Is a Real Powerhouse
    The Rosa Desktop Fresh R series optimizes desktop usage and targets advanced users and enthusiasts looking for rich functionality. Add to that mix the default KDE flavoring and you have a compelling Linux distro. The typical Rosa user already is familiar with basic Linux offerings and wants a product with customization and personalization possibilities. That is what Rosa Desktop delivers.


  • Canonical Launches 2-in-1 Ubuntu Tablet
    Canonical on Thursday launched the Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition tablet, developed in partnership with BQ. The tablet is the first fully converged Ubuntu device, the company said. It will ship with the latest Ubuntu software and is the first tablet with the Ubuntu OS. The tablet has a 10.1-inch multitactile FHD screen made from Asahi's Dragontrail glass, which is similar to Gorilla Glass.


  • Rugged Turing Phone to Run on Sailfish OS, Not Android
    Turing Robotic Industries this week announced that it has uninstalled Google's Android mobile platform in favor of Jolla's Sailfish OS in its yet-to-appear secure smartphone. The Turing Phone, molded from a single unit of the Liquidmorphium liquid-metal alloy, is designed to be more durable to absorb shocks and prevent screen breakage. Preorder pricing starts at $610.


  • Zenwalk 8 Beta Led Me Down a Rocky Road
    Zenwalk is a Linux distro that seems to be in a state of flux. I took a gamble with the Zenwalk 8.0 beta edition, released last month, after several colleagues raved about its improvements. Chalk that up to potentially bad advice. It's not that Zenwalk is a bad distro. It is an uncooperative and strange experience. A lot can be said about not having to struggle with a problematic OS version.


  • Walmart Opens OneOps Cloud Management to the Masses
    Walmart on Tuesday announced that it has posted the code for its OneOps cloud application life cycle management platform on GitHub. The company developed OneOps for building and launching cloud applications across frequently changing storage environments. It lets e-commerce vendors deploy apps on platforms from Microsoft, Rackspace and CenturyLink to OpenStack private or hybrid environments.


  • Fast Times With Nelum OS
    Nelum OS is a light and fast live-installable Linux distribution family offering three separate releases. The distro is a brand-new entry to the land of Linux, with its initial release posted earlier this month. It is an unusual twist on what you usually see with a Linux release. For example, the virtual desktops can be changed simply by scrolling the mouse wheel or finger scrolling the touchpad.


  • Snap-Happy Trojan Targets Linux Servers
    Security researchers at Dr.Web on Tuesday revealed details of the Trojan Linux.Ekoms.1, which takes screen shots and records audio to acquire sensitive and personal information, mostly from Linux servers. Malware for Linux is becoming more diverse and includes spyware programs, ransomware and Trojans designed to carry out distributed denial-of-service attacks, according to Dr.Web.


  • Zero-Day Flaw Puts Millions of Linux Machines, Android Devices at Risk
    Tens of millions of Linux PCs and servers, as well as 66 percent of all Android mobile devices, are vulnerable to a zero-day flaw that could allow users with lower-level privileges to gain root access, according to Perception Point, which announced its discovery last week. The local privilege escalation vulnerability, which affects Linux Kernel v3.8 and higher, has existed since 2012, the firm said.


  • Brave Browser Promises to Defend Users' Privacy
    Brave Software, helmed by Brendan Eich, who cofounded Mozilla and created the JavaScript programming language, on Tuesday released the 0.7 developer version of its Brave browser. Brave is an open source project that promises to block Internet greed and ugliness, while improving speed and protecting privacy. Basically, it blocks ads containing tracking pixels and cookies.


  • Chrome Browser to Blaze With Brotli
    Google Chrome users will get faster Web access soon through the Brotli open source compression algorithm, which has been rolled out to the M49 release of Chrome. That's in Canary -- which is designed for devs -- so it's not clear when Brotli will surface in the browser. It gives 20 to 26 percent higher compression ratios over its Zopfli algorithm and provides faster page loads, the company said.


  • Deepin Takes Linux to New Depths
    The latest release of the Linux distro now called "Depth OS" deserves serious consideration. It is fast, reliable and innovative, with an impressive homegrown desktop design dubbed "Deepin Desktop Environment." Depth OS has a bit of an identity problem. The open source community that developed the distro seems to have a difficult time deciding what to call it.


  • OpenSSH Flaw Could Leak Crypto Keys
    Qualys on Thursday reported a flaw in the OpenSSH client that could let a hacker steal the client's private crypto keys. The bug is the result of an undocumented feature called "roaming" that exists in version 5.4 and above. It's one of two vulnerabilities that a malicious SSH server or a trusted but compromised server can exploit, Qualys said. The other is a heap-based buffer overflow.


  • Dronecode Project Gets More Wind Beneath Its Wings
    The Linux Foundation this week announced an expansion of the Dronecode project with investments from new members and the creation of three technical working groups. The foundation launched the open source project in 2014 in an effort to create a unified platform for commercial drone technology. Twenty-seven companies have joined Dronecode since, bringing membership to 51, officials said.


  • Black Duck Intros Container Scanning
    Black Duck Software on Tuesday announced it has added to its Hub software container-scanning capabilities that let users map open source security flaws for applications, Linux distros, and other software in Docker and other Linux containers. Adding a containerized scanner to a Docker host enables automatic identification of known open source vulnerabilities in all layers of containers on the host.


  • Solus Project's Virtues Begin and End With Stability
    The Solus Project is much like the little engine that still can't function. Version 1.0 was released last month as the first stable release from the twice-revamped Linux distro. Solus is built from scratch for the x86_64 architecture around a rewritten Budgie homemade desktop environment. Budgie offers a simplified approach to implementing the look and feel of older-style GNOME 2 functionality.


  • Hack Lets PS4 Run Linux
    Hacking team fail0verflow last week demonstrated a hack of Sony's PlayStation 4 game console that allows anyone running the modification to run the Linux OS on the appliance. The demo was part of a lightning talk session at the 32nd Chaos Communication Congress. The hackers used exploits in FreeBSD, PS4's operating system and WebKit, which powers the game console's browser.


  • Elementary OS' Freya Dumbs Down Linux
    The release last month of Elementary OS Freya version 0.3.2 showed little has changed in this new-style Linux distro that wraps its own lightweight desktop design around the Ubuntu core. I liked the beta release's fresh look and simplified approach to desktop management. However, my hopes for more features and a faster-evolving desktop environment in the latest release went unfulfilled.


  • Hats Off to Chapeau Linux's Better Fedora Concept
    The Chapeau project's latest version arrived last month and is a good choice for enterprise users who want something a step above the traditional Fedora distro. An iconic Linux distro, Fedora is a very popular choice in enterprise shops, but it's less than ideal for home and SMB use without an IT staff to make it work. That is where Chapeau 23 comes to the rescue.


  • Backspace Flaw Enables Linux Zero-Day Attack
    Researchers last week revealed a zero-day flaw that lets attackers take over a Linux system by pressing the backspace key repeatedly. Pressing backspace 17 to 20 times will overwrite the highest byte of the return address of the grub_memset() function, ultimately causing a reboot by redirecting control flow to the 0x00eb53e8 address, according to the Cybersecurity Group at the Universitat Politecnica de Valencia.


  • Linux Foundation Gives Blockchain a Boost
    The Linux Foundation last week announced it was teaming up with a group of high-tech and financial giants on a project to advance the blockchain technology made famous by bitcoin virtual currency. IBM, Cisco and Intel have agreed to collaborate with a number of financial institutions and other companies to develop an enterprise-grade open source distributed ledger framework.


  • Slack Energizes App Development With $80M Fund
    Slack this week announced its participation in an $80 million investment campaign to fund startups that build software that integrates with its own apps. The company also announced the availability of an app directory and a new development framework. The goal is to position Slack as a hub for connecting users to other cloud business software. Slack is partnership with six other investors.



  • Study Finds You Can Grow Brain Cells Through Exercise
    phantomfive writes: Researchers have discovered that aerobic exercise may increase neurogenesis. Based on the results, rats that were put on a treadmill grew more brain cells than rats that didn't. Resistance training seemed to have no effect. This is significant, because the neuron reserve of the hippocampus can be increased, thus preconditions for learning for humans could be improved simply through aerobic exercise.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • French Gov't Gives Facebook 3 Months To Stop Tracking Non-User Browsers
    Reader iamthecheese writes  RT reports that France's National Commission of Information and Freedoms found Facebook tracking of non-user browsers to be illegal. Facebook has three months to stop doing it. The ruling points to violations of members and non-members privacy in violation of an earlier ruling. The guidance, published last October, invalidates safe harbor provisions. If Facebook fails to comply the French authority will appoint someone to decide upon a sanction. Related: A copy of the TPP leaked last year no longer requires signing countries to have a safe harbor provision.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Scientists Turn Paper Waste Into Aerogel
    Kristine Lofgren writes: A team of scientists have successfully turned paper waste into aerogel. Aerogels are used in insulation, and they are usually made out of polymers and silica. But a research team at the National University of Singapore managed to make the highly sought-after product using recycled paper, which could have huge implications not only for the rate at which we are filling up our landfills, but also for the amount of chemicals that we are producing and releasing into the environment.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • SourceForge Eliminates DevShare Program
    SourceForge has officially eliminated its DevShare program. The DevShare program delivered installer bundles as part of the download for participating projects. We want to restore our reputation as a trusted home for open source software, and this was a clear first step towards that. We are more interested in doing the right thing than making extra short-term profit. This is just the first step in a number of improvements we will outline in the coming weeks. SourceForge and Slashdot were acquired in late January by BIZX.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Hearthstone Cheats and Tools Spiked With Malware
    itwbennett writes: Cheating at the online card game Hearthstone (which is based on Blizzard's World of Warcraft) can get you banned from the game, but now it also puts you at risk of 'financial losses and system ruin,' writes CSO's Steve Ragan. Symantec is warning Hearthstone players about add-on tools and cheat scripts that are spiked with malware. 'In one example, Hearth Buddy, a tool that allows bots to play the game instead of a human player (which is supposed to help with rank earnings and gold earning) compromises the entire system,' says Ragan. 'Another example, are the dust and gold hacking tools (Hearthstone Hack Tool), which install malware that targets Bitcoin wallets.'
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Uborne Children's Books Release For Free Computer Books From the '80s
    martiniturbide writes: To promote some new computer coding books for kids, Uborne Children's Books has put online 15 of its children books from the '80s to learn how to code games. The books are available for free in PDF format and has samples to create your game for Commodore 64, VIC 20, Apple, TRS 80, Spectrum and other. Maybe you read some of them like "Machine Code for Beginners" or "Write your own Adventure Program for MicroComputers." Should other publishers also start to make their 80's and 90's computer books available for free?
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • The Sexual Misconduct Case That Has Rocked Anthropology
    sciencehabit writes: An investigative report in Science describes allegations of sexual misconduct against noted paleoanthropologist Brian Richmond, as well as the field's response. The story highlights a major shift in how academic communities deal with sexual misconduct, going beyond delineating rules on paper to striving to change the culture of the field at the institutional level. This shift – "a long time coming," according to many researchers – was spurred in part by recent high-profile cases in astronomy and biology. Now, as Balter notes, "paleoanthropology is responding to its own complex case." The first public allegation against Richmond, the curator of human origins at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, inspired a cascade of other allegations about him. This in turn motivated several senior paleoanthropologists, including one of Richmond's key mentors, Bernard Wood, to explore the allegations with peers. "As I talked to more and more current and former students at [George Washington University]," Wood said, "I became more concerned and alarmed about what I heard." In light of their findings, Wood and others in the field of anthropology are now tackling sexual misconduct head-on. The article details additional institutional efforts to stop sexual misconduct in science while trying to balance the rights of victims and accused, and provides the latest update on investigations into Richmond.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Jeep/Chrysler's New Gearshift Appears To Be Causing Accidents
    bartle writes: The new gearshift design for the Jeep Grand Cherokee appears to be causing rollaway accidents: 121 crashes and 30 injuries so far. The gear shifter is designed to look and feel similar to a traditional automatic gear shift lever but it is meant to cycle through the gears rather than move directly to a certain gear. A driver who is used to placing their vehicle in park by pressing the shifter all the way forward may instead be setting it to neutral before exiting the vehicle. The NHTSA is investigating.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • FBI Gripes "We Can't Read Everyone's Secrets"
    New submitter rdukb writes: FBI Director James Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee that investigators still can't access the phone contents of one of the San Bernadino killers. He went on to argue that the phenomenon of communications "going dark" due to more sophisticated technology and wider use of encryption is "overwhelmingly affecting" law enforcement operations, including, not only the San Bernadino murders, but also investigations into other murders, car accidents, drug trafficking and the proliferation of child pornography. This might increase pressure on Apple to loosen the backdoor restrictions. Will the industry relent and allow Government access to data from these devices?
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Twitter Launches Trust and Safety Council To Help Put End To Trolling
    An anonymous reader writes: Twitter has announced a new trust and safety council to stamp out bullying and trolling on the microblogging site. The Twitter Trust & Safety Council will initially be formed of around 40 bodies, including the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, ICT Watch, NetSafe, and Samaritans. These organisations, along with safety experts, academics and security researchers, will work to ensure a safe and secure platform for users to express themselves freely and safely. The Council's main focus will be to protect minors, encourage 'greater compassion and empathy on the internet,' and promote efforts in media literacy and digital citizenship. Community groups will also participate to help prevent online 'abuse, harassment, and bullying,' as well as mental health problems and suicide.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Google Display Ads Going All-HTML, Will Ban Flash In 2017
    Google has announced its plan for display ads to go 100% HTML 5, in hopes of reaching the widest possible audience across screens. Starting on June 30, 2016, Google will no longer accept new Flash display ads from advertisers. And on January 2, 2017, even old Flash display ads will be blocked. This move comes as no surprise, as Google has been nudging its advertisers to stop using Flash. In fact, Google is not the only one moving away from Flash in favor of HTML. Steve Jobs hated Flash, and even Adobe itself has dropped Flash for Adobe Animate.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Raspberry Pi's Raspbian OS Finally Ships With Open-Source OpenGL Support
    An anonymous reader writes: With this month's Raspbian OS update, the Debian-based operating system for the Raspberry Pi ships experimental OpenGL driver support. This driver has been developed over the past two years by a former Intel developer with having a completely open and mainline DRM kernel driver and Mesa Gallium driver to open up the Pi as a replacement to the proprietary GPU driver.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Windmill Blade Molds 3D Printed By National Labs
    MountainLogic writes: Last year ORNL produced a 3D printed Shelby. This year, the National Labs are using the mother of all 3D printers to make windmill molds cheaper and faster to produce in the US. The size of the current 150 foot utility scale blades are being extended with these techniques. US DOE is providing a leading role to advance US manufacturing technology and competitiveness. Welcome back rust belt, we missed you.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • LIGO Will Make Gravitational Waves Announcement on Thursday
    StartsWithABang writes: When we look out into the Universe, we normally gain information about it by gathering light of various wavelengths. However, there are other possibilities for astronomy, including by looking for the neutrinos emitted by astrophysical sources - first detected in the supernova explosion of 1987 - and in the gravitational waves emitted by accelerating masses. These ripples in the fabric of space were theorized back in the early days of Einstein's General Relativity, and experiments to detect them have been ongoing since the 1960s. However, in September of 2015, Advanced LIGO came online, and it was the first gravitational wave observatory that was expected to detect a real gravitational wave signal. The press conference on Thursday is where the collaboration will make their official announcement, and in the meantime, here's an explainer of what gravitational waves are, what Advanced LIGO can teach us, and how.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.


  • Amazon Launches Free Game Engine Lumberyard
    Dave Knott writes: Amazon has both announced and released a new, free game engine, Lumberyard, which offers deep integration with its Amazon Web Services server infrastructure to empower online play, and also with Twitch, its video game-focused streaming service. Lumberyard is powerful and full-featured enough to develop triple-A current-gen console games, with mobile support is coming down the road. Its core engine technology is based on Crytek's CryEngine. However, Lumberyard represents a branch of that tech, and the company is replacing or upgrading many of CryEngine's systems. Monetization for Lumberyard will come strictly through the use of Amazon Web Services' cloud computing. If you use the engine for your game, you're permitted to roll your own server tech, but if you're using a third-party provider, it has to be Amazon. Integration of Amazon's Twitch video streaming tools at a low level also helps to cement that platform's dominance in the game streaming space. Alongside Lumberyard, the company has also announced and released GameLift, a new managed service for deploying, operating, and scaling server-based online games using AWS. GameLift will be available only to developers who use Lumberyard, though it's an optional add-on. The game engine is in beta, but is freely usable and downloadable today.
             

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • FTDI boss hits out at 'Chinese criminal gang' pumping knock-off chips
    From Shenzen to your two-dollar USB cable: How UK-based biz is trying to block counterfeit silicon
    FTDI's CEO Fred Dart has given a rare interview to explain that the company's sometimes-unpopular anti-counterfeiting practices are part of a fightback against a professional Chinese knock-off operation.…


  • Is tech monitoring software still worth talking about?
    Long-ignored issue, or solved problem?
    Sysadmin Blog It's 2016, and the number one complaint I hear from sysadmins is still about monitoring software. The complaints have evolved with time, and every organization seems to have its own challenges. Despite this, monitoring software seems to be one of the most universal frustrations in modern IT.…






  • GSMA outlines thoroughly sensible IoT security rules
    Rules for device design and behaviour put thing-makers should shut down shoddiness
    About time: the GSM Association has released a bunch of guidelines to try and address the chronic insecurity of the Internet of Things.…


  • Moscow raids could signal end of global Dyre bank trojan menace
    Police keep mum as malware activity flatlines
    One of the worst examples of financial malware appears to have fallen silent after operators were reportedly arrested in Moscow after a rare raid by the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB).…






  • Australian astroboffins reveal hundreds of hidden galaxies
    Parkes telescope finds a million, billion suns behind the Milky Way
    Data collected by Australia's Parkes radio telescope from as far back as 1997 has led astronomers to declare they've discovered hundreds of galaxies hidden from telescopes by the Milky Way.…




  • 2016 tech shakeout starts with CxO exodus
    Zenefits, Imagination, Yelp, Paypal all lose key execs
    Analysis The rumblings of over-priced tech stocks, made real last month in above-market share falls, have started hitting home with a series of high-profile exits this week.…











  • Don't mention the F word: Adobe releases Animate CC
    Rebranded Flash Professional with new features including 4K video export
    Adobe has released Animate CC, formerly known as Flash Professional, as part of its effort to move away from its proprietary plug-in and runtime in favour of HTML5 Canvas and WebGL.…




  • NASA charges up 18-prop electric X-plane
    Battery-powered 'Sceptor' set for 2019 launch
    NASA is working towards getting an electric-powered multiprop experimental aircraft off the ground, with an eye to future "greater fuel efficiency, improved performance and ride quality and aircraft noise reduction".…


  • Getting a grip on Puppet: A guide for beginners
    We're not just stringing you along...
    QA's Kat McIvor will be taking to the stage at Continuous Lifecycle London to talk about automating security. But her skills don't end there. If config management's your thing, here's Kat's take on getting started with Puppet.


  • HPE beefs up entry MSA with a bit of flash
    SSD price cuts and a denser filer make up a satisfying trifecta
    HPE has added SSDs to its entry-level MSA array, re-priced some SSDs, and brought out a new, denser filer, all intended to help customers with limited budgets.…


  • Virgin Media spoof email mystery: Customers take to Facebook
    ISP: There has been no breach, no idea what you mean
    Customers of Virgin Media who are increasingly convinced their service provider has been victim of a security breach have formed a Facebook group to share their experiences and push for answers.…



  • Intelligence Committee marks Gov's Snoopers' Charter: See me after class
    Needs more clarity, Theresa, but otherwise a very good effort
    The Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament has warned the Government that it needs to make "substantive amendments" to its draft Investigatory Powers Bill, before proceeding to outline changes which don't appear to be very "substantive" at all.…


  • Irish kids get first-person view of 1916 uprising... via Minecraft
    Grainy B&W pics and footage just don’t cut it - we want pixels
    Irish schoolchildren will no longer have to experience the Republic’s blood and fire birth through grainy black-and-white pics and film reels - they can experience it through the full colour lumpenly pixelated reality of Minecraft instead.…




  • Private clouds kinda suck, you know?
    Enterprises want them, but they're still a pain in the ASCII
    Sysadmin Blog Are enterprises really starting to act like service providers? If you ask vendors, social media and "thought influencers" hired to speak at conferences, the answer is yes. I'm not so sure.…





  • Silent Nork satellite tumbling in orbit
    Pyongyang not yet ready to nuke California
    North Korean "Earth observation" satellite Kwangmyongsong-4 is "tumbling in orbit", according to US officials, suggesting a second failure by Pyongyang to get a functioning satellite aloft.…



  • Imation: Data storage? No, come to us for, er, investment advice
    Hands out cash for activist investor's fund to manage, too
    Analysis Activist investor-controlled Imation is setting up an investment advisor subsidiary and putting $20m into an offshore investment fund controlled by the activist investor controlling Imation.…




  • Dell PowerEdge R730: Reg rack monkeys crack smiles over kindness of engineers
    Steady on: Nothing shocking, but it's good kit nonetheless
    Review Dell is a company with many arms: it does servers, laptops, desktops and like its competitors, tries to have those arms positioned in as many different areas of IT as possible. The server arm has extended us a Poweredge R730 2U server to review and it has served as a good reminder of why Dell servers are so popular.…



  • Nokia kicks off pre-MWC race with tech show-and-tell
    Al-Lu, Al-Lu... Notice anything new about us?
    And then there were four: the Big Five mobile network vendors are reduced to a quartet, though Cisco will be hoping that its new alliance with Ericsson will admit it to the inner circle, while Samsung and NEC remain hopeful of harnessing virtualisation to improve their radio access network (RAN) business.…



Linux.com offline for now




  • Finding The Perfect PC Components For Your Favorite Game Or Workload
    With the latest code push today on OpenBenchmarking.org has been one of the most sought after features of making it easier to find the best graphics card for your favorite game, the optimal processor for your computational tasks, and other workloads measured via our open-source, cross-platform benchmarking software...




  • Wayland Network Transparency Patches Published
    For the longest time, when bringing up Wayland a recurring question was "what about network transparency?!" Well, Samsung's Derek Foreman has today published the set of Wayland patches for providing Wayland network traparency by pushing the Wayland protocol over TCP/IP...


  • Review of XCOM 2 On Linux; Welcome Back, Commander
    Coming three and a half years after the release of XCOM: Enemy Unknown (EU), and two and a half years after the release of Enemy Within (EW), Firaxis welcomes back The Commanders of the world with a bit of a slap in the face: you lost the war.


  • The GTX 750 Series Still Has Lots Of Problems With Nouveau
    While all routine Phoronix readers should be well aware of the fact that there still isn't any open-source accelerated support for the GTX 900 "Maxwell" graphics cards yet as the Nouveau developers are blocked on waiting signed firmware from NVIDIA, the GTX 750 series does have some basic support as the original Maxwell GPUs. Here is a look at using this unofficial open-source driver on a GTX 750 with the Linux 4.5 kernel and Mesa 11.2-devel...







  • DRI3 Still Appears To Be Causing Problems For Nouveau
    As a quick PSA, while you may be wanting to try out DRI3 support with the open-source NVIDIA (Nouveau) driver as it is capable of enhancing the performance, so far my latest attempts have been marred by rendering issues...



  • Here Is My Linux 4.5-rc3 Kernel Spin With AMDGPU PowerPlay & CIK Enabled
    With the Ubuntu Mainline Kernel PPA still not enabling the experimental AMDGPU PowerPlay or CIK (Sea Islands / GCN 1.1) support in their kernel builds (although they basically are both off by default at runtime), here is my spin of the newly-released Linux 4.5-rc3 kernel with these features turned on...



  • 4K HDMI Appears To Work Much Better With Nouveau On Linux 4.5
    While I'm in the middle of a big Nouveau Linux 4.4 vs. Nouveau Linux 4.5 vs. NVIDIA proprietary driver comparison with multiple NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards, I just wanted to pass along a bit of good, non-performance news about Nouveau on Linux 4.5...




  • Writing Code For Radeon's HCC Compiler
    As part of the GPUOpen initiative that AMD launched last month is an introduction to the Heterogeneous Compute Compiler (HCC) for writing code to take advantage of AMD's new LLVM-based compiler for offloading the work to the GPU...



  • For $3100 USD You Can Have A Fast, Fully-Free-Software Workstation
    Last week I brought up the Talos Secure Workstation as a $3100 USD system that's fully free and open down to the firmware and with an open-source friendly processor design while being high performance. Since then, I've had access to test out the hardware making up this POWER8-powered system to see how fast a fully-open system can be. Here is more information on the proposed Talos Workstation along with a few early Linux benchmarks.




  • Linux.Conf.Au 2016 Videos Now Online
    Linux.Conf.Au 2016 ran last week from 1 to 5 February in Geelong, Australia. If you weren't able to go to this annual Linux conference down under, the videos from all of the presentations have now been uploaded...



  • The Improvements To GNOME's Nautilus 3.20 FIle Manager
    With the UI freeze being imminent for GNOME 3.20, we will soon have a good idea for how this desktop environment update due out next month will look. To get started, here's a look at the Nautilus 3.20 file manager changes for this six-month GNOME update...


  • What The DRM/KMS "Atomic" Push Is All About
    You have more than likely read about the atomic push by DRM/KMS drivers over the past few years. If you still are craving to learn more about it, here's the perfect opportunity...






  • DevConf.cz 2016 Videos Now Available
    Happening the past few days in Brno, Czech Republic has been the Red Hat sponsored DevConf.cz developers conference. For those that missed it and the live streaming, the videos are available to watch on YouTube...


  • LLVM Clang 3.8 Compiler Optimization Benchmarks With -Ofast
    A few days ago I posted a number of LLVM Clang optimization level benchmarks using the latest code for the upcoming Clang 3.8 release. Those tests went from -O0 to -O3 -march=native, but many Phoronix readers wanted -Ofast so here are those results too...



Engadget

  • 'Metal Gear Online' adds a bit of sabotage next month

    Despite what you might think, Metal Gear mastermind Hideo Kojima's unceremonious departure from publisher Konami won't affect how Metal Gear Online plays out. To wit, the company's bolstering the amount of post-release add-ons for the adversarial multiplayer suite next month as part of a "commitment" to the game's fans. A trio of new maps and a playable version of the eye-rollingly-designed sniper Quiet will be available in March for $4 in the "Cloaked in Silence" pack, while a quartet of emote packs will sell for $2 each.

    There's also a free game type dubbed "Sabotage" en route that sadly does not involve aviator sunglasses or giant mustaches, but instead has you destroying or fultoning an enemy missile (like the bear above) before time runs out.
    Oh, and unlike what Activision is doing to last-gen Call of Duty players, these add-ons will be available across all platforms.
    With this, in addition to the "Outer Rim" expansion inbound for Tom Clancy's The Division launches next month, too.

    Source: Konami


  • US regulators: Google's self-driving car AI 'can be a driver'
    US regulators say Google's self-driving car can be considered the driver under federal law -- a big step towards approval for self-driving cars to take to the roads. Safety regulators apparently told Google of its decision last week. Google submitted a proposed design for a self-driving car back in November, which has "no need for a human driver" The response from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was that will "interpret driver' in the context of Google's described motor vehicle design as referring to the [self-driving system] and not to any of the vehicle occupants."
    The regulator said: "We agree with Google its [self-driving car] will not have a 'driver' in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years." Google, and many car companies are looking to free up safety rules that are slowing down testing and the eventual roll-out of autonomous vehicles. As Reuters notes, California has draft rules of a steering wheel and licensed driver in all self-driving cars.

    It's not all easy driving from here, however. There are still rules that require braking systems activated by foot control inside the vehicle, as well as "whether and how Google could certify that the [system[ meets a standard developed and designed to apply to a vehicle with a human driver."

    "We agree with Google its [self-driving car] will not have a 'driver' in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years."



    Google told the NHTSA that human controls could paradoxically be a danger, if passengers attempt to override the car's own judgements and driving decisions. Rules about steering wheels and brake pedals would have to be formally rewritten before cars without them would be allowed on the roads, and changing the law will take months, if not years. Last month, the government agency said it may waive some vehicle safety rules to better enable self-driving cars on the roads, promising to write guidelines for these vehicles in the next six months.

    Source: Reuters


  • LG teases G5's 'Always On' display

    While the G5 teaser GIF LG's mobile division posted on Twitter doesn't say much, it has enough info to tell us that the device will have an "Always On" display. According to LG V10's second, smaller screen. If you recall, the V10 has a small strip of display on top with app shortcuts. It's unclear what elements the Always On screen will have, but as you can see above, it has the time, date and can show if you have calls, emails or texts.

    Another thing we'd love to know is the device's battery life, since the screen would obviously consume energy all the time. We'll know more about the phone when it launches on February 21st, though the manufacturer might be calling the "Always On" function something else by then. Samsung has trademarked the term "Always on Display" for the Galaxy S7, which will presumably sport an ambient screen, as well.
    잠들지 않는 Play

    LG G5
    Always ON
    #LG #LGG5 #G5 #AlwaysON pic.twitter.com/11BKsUlFJb
    — LG Mobile (@LG_Mobile_) February 10, 2016
    Source: LG Mobile


  • 'Operator' is a font designed to make coding easier

    While many of us bristle at the sight of Comic Sans (this writer included), coders have an altogether different view of typefaces and how they're presented. Thus, Operator Mono, the new font from one of the highest-regarded typeface-creators that was forged to make life easier for the folks who build the websites you visit. "In developing Operator, we found ourselves talking about Javascript and CSS," founder Jonathan Hoefler writes. While the blog post about typography and font faces can come off as a bit pretentious, it's clear that the team paid attention to how the likes of brackets, commas and semicolons are spaced and how they appear in back-end coding environments.
    The idea is to help a programmer easily identify an extra parentheses or an errant "I" where a "1" belongs amid thousands of lines of code. Operator Mono achieves this with color and italics for the characters that are more important to developers than a typical writer. Oh, and it costs $200 if you like it well enough. Should you want a behind the scenes look at the font creation process, take a gander at the video over at the source.(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));
    On our blog, a four-minute film about Operator and the designers behind it. http://hflr.co/3c462
    Posted by Hoefler&Co. on Tuesday, February 9, 2016
    Source: Hoefler & Co.


  • Latest Windows 10 update comes with a change log

    Microsoft is currently rolling out the latest Windows 10 update, and it now has an update history that makes it easier to keep track of the platform's changes. This build comes with key improvements that will fix a lot of issues, including the Edge browser's. Researchers discovered in January that the websites you visit during private browsing are as easily recovered as the URLs you visit on a normal tab. InPrivate browsing should prevent that from happening as it promises not to save any data, that's why the update has removed its ability to cache visited URLs.

    The latest build also patches up a security problem in Edge and even in Internet Explorer 11 that allows dubious websites to run malicious codes and install malware. In addition, it fixes any authentication issue, adds the ability to install multiple apps simultaneously and repairs the flaw that executes code remotely when malware is run. You'll get the update soon if you haven't yet, but feel free to read the full change log first if only because you can.

    Via: The Verge

    Source: Microsoft


  • BitTorrent comes to Apple TV through a live news app

    BitTorrent just came to the new Apple TV... though not in the way you might have expected. OnAir Live Developers has released OTT News, an app for Apple TV (Android and iOS too) that uses BitTorrent Live's peer-to-peer streaming to cover the US election both in real-time and through pre-recorded clips. It's not as lavishly produced as the coverage from big TV networks, but that's part of the point -- the technology lets a small outfit stream to your devices without expensive servers and bandwidth. It opens the door to live living room video from more than just the usual suspects.

    The catch? You might not get to tune in right away. The Apple TV and iOS apps are invitation-only at the moment, so there's no guarantee of access before the next primary. However, patience might be a virtue if you want as-it-happens political news without turning to conventional media outlets.

    Update: We're hearing that the Apple device apps aren't invitation-only any more. Have at it!

    Via: Variety

    Source: App Store, BitTorrent Blog, Google Play


  • DraftKings loses its exclusive ESPN ad deal

    Things keep getting worse for DraftKings, the embattled daily fantasy sports site. Not only is it currently under investigation (or already banned) by a number of state attorney generals for violating online gambling statutes and losing payment processing partners, Yahoo Finance reported on Tuesday that it's losing a deal to be the exclusive daily fantasy advertiser on ESPN.

    This deal, which was inked in June -- after a previously-reported investment by Disney didn't materialize -- made DraftKings "the official daily fantasy sports offering across ESPN's platforms" including "integration into digital properties and television programming." The exclusivity clause kicked in at the start of January, but now it's already done.

    Not only that, Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. also revealed that it is devaluing its $160 million investment in DraftKings by a whopping 60 percent. Fox bought 11 percent of the company back in July. At that time DraftKings was on the verge of raising $500 million in funding and was valued at roughly $2 billion. That all changed once the various investigations into violations of state gambling laws began. In light of those investigations, Fox cut the amount it's willing to give by $95 million "based on information concerning DraftKings' current valuation in a recent financing transaction." While the news is bad for DraftKings here in the states, the company is hedging its bets by expanding overseas to the UK where gambling on sports isn't just legal, it's actively encouraged.

    Source: Boston Globe, Yahoo!


  • 'Rocket League' reaches your Xbox One on February 17th

    PC and PS4 owners have been playing Rocket League's unique take on sports gaming since last July, leaving Xbox One owners on the virtual sidelines. Don't worry, though -- you won't have to twiddle your thumbs for much longer if you prefer Microsoft's console. Psyonix has revealed that the Xbox One version of Rocket League will arrive on February 17th for a fairly reasonable $20. You'll get three past downloadable content packs for free in exchange for the wait, and there will be two Xbox-exclusive vehicles, including the Xbox Wire


  • New 'Star Trek' has a showrunner from the final frontier

    Star Trek fans have had a tumultuous last few months. But it seems that amid the recent ups and downs (a fan film getting shut down by CBS and Paramount most definitely qualifies as the latter), news of the upcoming streaming exclusive finding a showrunner with Trek in his blood should ideally register as a win. Whether you count yourself among the Rodenberry faithful or are just a TV addict, the name should ring a bell: Bryan Fuller. He wrote for Deep Space Nine and Voyager in addition to working outside of the final frontier where he's been a scribe and executive producer on the criminally short-lived Hannibal.

    He also has creator credits for Dead Like Me and Pushing Daisies on his resum and is adapting Neil Gaiman's American Gods for Starz. So yeah, his history as both a geek and a creator of some seriously well-regarded TV checks out. Of course, if you want to watch how his greater vision for Trek fares next year, a $6 per-month subscription to All Access is still a requirement.

    Source: CBS


  • Beer-tracking app Untappd gets barcode scanning, hails an Uber

    If you're a dedicated beer geek, chances are you're using the app Untappd to track your libations. For the unfamiliar, the mobile software allows you to log and rate beers while following what and where your friends are drinking. With a new update to the iOS version, the app is getting a load of new features. First, there's a new barcode scanner that'll make searching for beers you're drinking a breeze. Rather than having to manually search, all you'll have to do is point your phone's camera at the barcode on a bottle or can.

    When you're ready to head out for the evening, you can hail a ride from Uber inside the app by selecting the venue you want to visit. After you select the option, destination info is automatically sent to the transportation app. Other new features include friends lists to keep your feed tidy, support for 3D Touch, the ability to tag friends in comments and more. The truckload of new stuff is only available in the iOS app for now, but Untappd says the features will make it to Android soon enough.

    Untappd merged with fellow alcohol app Next Glass last month. In doing so, the folks behind the beer app promised to deliver new features and updates on the regular. Today's news is certainly a nice start to the partnership.

    Source: Untappd


  • Apple Music for Sonos comes out of beta tomorrow
    Sonos started supporting Apple Music in the middle of December, but then it was technically in a beta. As of tomorrow morning, that beta label will be removed -- the service is now fully supported by Sonos. In our experience, being in beta didn't really hamper usage of Apple Music with Sonos in our experience, but it's good to know that things should be even more stable than they already were. The company now covers pretty much every streaming music service you can think of, but of course you still need to use the official Sonos app to play music on your speakers (unless you're using Google Play Music on an Android device). Still, given how good its newest speakers sound, it's worth that slight frustration.


  • NASA's space tourism posters will make you want to suit up

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has a knack for space-themed travel posters. A little over a year ago, its "Exoplanet Travel Bureau" series made its debut with an homage to the iconic WPA prints of the 1930s. This year, the JPL commissioned Seattle-based design firm Invisible Creature to be part of a project/gift for staff. Invisible Creature designed three "travel posters" to be included in the "Visions Of The Future" 2016 calendar. Among the collection are visuals for a multi-planet tour, a stop at Mars and exploring Enceladus, Saturn's icy moon.

    The posters themselves are visually stunning, with bold graphics that are a trademark of Invisible Creature's work. Since its start in 2006, the sibling duo of Don and Ryan Clark have created striking visuals for big companies like Target, T-Mobile and Live Nation on top of a wide-ranging portfolio of CD packages and music posters. Heck, they even have a smattering of toys they've designed.


    The Clark brothers have family ties to NASA as their grandfather was an illustrator and graphic designer at NASA for more than 30 years. With this trio of 24 x 36 in. posters (also available in 10 x 14 in. sizes), major achievements of the space agency are highlighted as destinations of splendor. Whether its the Voyager taking advantage of a rare alignment of planets to capture sights of all four or human exploration of Mars, this set certainly has us considering suiting up. For those of you wanting to remain on Earth, the JPL will make the artowrk available as downloadable posters soon, but for now, you can purchase high-quality prints from the source link down below.

    Via: The Verge

    Source: Invisible Creature


  • Grammy awards get built-in cameras for a winner's perspective

    The 58th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony is set to take place next week, and this year folks watching at home will get a rather unique perspective. The awards themselves, those iconic golden-horned record players, will have cameras built in to their bases. This means that you'll be able to catch views only the trophy would "see," including on-stage shots and more. Footage will be streamed online to Grammy Live, a pre-event feed that starts hours in advance of the show. However, it includes the Grammy Premiere Ceremony where additional awards are handed out. What's more, the producers for live broadcast coverage on CBS will have the option to use Grammycam clips as they see fit.

    Each of the awards will be equipped with a disassembled GoPro camera to capture the visuals. The components have been modified to beam the feed via RF to a broadcast truck where all of the camera angles, including the online stream, are being managed. The main challenge for Monday night? Battery life. Each unit is battery-powered, so it'll have a limited supply of juice for the 3-hour event.This certainly an interesting way to capture new views, but we'll have to tune in on February 15th to see how well it works.

    Source: Fast Company


  • StreamNation shuts down its cloud media service on March 8th

    Are you one of the early adopters who gave StreamNation a shot? If you did, you'll want to sit up and take notice. The company is shutting down its namesake personal-media-in-the-cloud service (along with Shutter) on March 8th. You can move any photos and videos to Picturelife, which will be sticking around, but music and other files will bite the bullet after that date. Don't despair, though -- this isn't the usual service shutdown, strictly speaking.

    StreamNation is instead launching a brand new service, nicknamed Project Noah, that it hopes will fare a better chance. The current service requires uploading whatever you have, which can take ages if you've built up a good-sized library over the years -- StreamNation even tried shipping hard drives to some users to save them time. Project Noah, however, saves you from uploading altogether. There's no mention of how it'll work, but it sounds as if you'll remotely access the files on your own devices.

    Whether or not it works is another matter. StreamNation is not only competing against cloud storage services like Dropbox and Google Drive, which have ways to play your media from the cloud, but subscription streaming services like Netflix and Spotify. There is a case to be made for personal media streaming, but there are many who might prefer one of the many alternatives.

    Source: StreamNation


  • Vine update lets you reorder an account's videos

    While Twitter is firmly behind keeping things in chronological order, Vine announced that users could reorder the videos of their favorite accounts from newest to oldest, oldest to newest and most importantly by the account's most popular videos. You can also hide revines while perusing the account. The updated app is available for iOS and Android right now while the actual feature is still rolling out.


    The short-video division of Twitter also introduced the ability to edit captions for a brief period. Hopefully this ability to change what you post will make its way to Twitter proper in the future. This feature is available for Android now and will be coming soon to iOS according to Vine.

    And finally, the app now supports 3D Touch on iOS. Owners of new iPhones can tap and hold to make a vine and open the Explore feature.

    Source: Vine


  • Atari Lynx: a romance of high scores and low batteries

    Like most tween crushes, the attraction was instant and overwhelming. I remember the first time I set eyes on the Atari Lynx as if it were yesterday. It was perched on a shelf, center stage, behind a huge pane of glass -- a window display in a branch of Dixons on Park Street, Bristol. There it sat, so near, yet (at about about 85, or $100) so financially far. The Lynx didn't know I existed, even though I was just a few feet away. In my preteen mind it felt unfair. My situation felt hopeless, which of course only fanned the flames of my forbidden desire.

    Weeks turned into months, and my life remained Lynx-less. The nearest I came was the occasional furtive glance in the pages of GO! supplement), but that just made me want it even more. Until one Christmas morning, there it was, waiting for me under the tree. My life felt complete. We became inseparable. We learned each other's every nuance. I preferred Cherry Coke to regular, and the Lynx liked emptying batteries and being too big to fit into pockets. No matter: If I held it right (tipping it away from myself at an angle), we could eke out a few more precious moments of California Games (surfing, especially) before the batteries died. I also bought jeans with much bigger pockets. When you love something, you make it work.


    Our relationship wasn't easy; other people frowned on it. Most people considered Nintendo's Game Boy to be the social norm. As is all too often the way, simpler minds were wooed by Game Boy's (relatively) slimline form and promiscuous approach to games (over 1,000, according to this list; the Lynx had 72). Just one other friend of mine understood, appreciating the complexities of Atari's pioneering color handheld (16-bit graphics, 4,096 colors, a clever "left-hand" mode and portable -- phwoar!). That meant we could enjoy double dates: His Lynx I and my Lynx II could talk (via a ComLynx cable) while we enjoyed two-player California Games (surfing, especially).

    I'm not sure what happened, but over time we drifted apart. My humble income (2 a week for pocket money) wasn't enough to provide new games for it, and the relationship got stale. Also, I'll admit, I made some poor choices with the games I did have. great music, though). Robotron 2084 was a faithful adaptation of an arcade game but wasn't for me. Eventually it was time to move on and bid good riddance to that infuriating "Insert Game" message. (The Lynx won't turn on without a game in it, so if you're seeing that message, it means you're going to have to blow in the cartridge slot or clean the game's pins.)

    Fast-forward to 2014. I should be Christmas shopping for my family. I'm not. I'm making a "best offer" on a fairly shabby-looking Atari Lynx II on eBay. My offer is a good deal lower than what the seller is asking. I'm just lowballing, killing time, remembering my high-school romance and avoiding my festive commitments. One problem: The seller accepts my offer. Like drunk texting your ex, a spur-of-the-moment decision throws me and the Atari Lynx back together.


    I'd like to say it had aged well. It had not. The display was faint and missing many pixels. The buttons were slack and the battery cover loose. But it was still the good old Lynx I remembered. I fired up California Games (surfing, especially) and got a sudden shot of nostalgia. It seemed a lot more limited than I remembered but fun nonetheless. Never mind, this encounter was going to be a fling for old time's sake, a walk down memory lane -- and then we'd go our separate ways. Or so I thought. Instead it revealed a connection I'd not had with any console since. This was something raw, real and pure that intoxicated me all over again. So I decided to commit and go all the way.

    A year and a bit later and we're as happy as ever. In fact, happier. Having more disposable income means I don't have to pick and choose the games. I own them all. I've also gotten to know the real Lynx (and its colorful, if ill-fated, story). For example, it's rumored that Atari designed its next (and last) console, the Jaguar, to connect with the Lynx, so you could use it as a controller with a screen -- decades before the Wii U did the same trick.

    I mentioned it didn't age well, but it's not shy of a little modernization. Much like how 80's hair looked good at the time but appears dated now, my Lynx has a new, modern LCD, created by few newish games. Plus, there's a die-hard community that keeps the dream alive, and I, for one, can't wait for the release of Wyvern Tales -- an RPG for the Lynx after 25 years without one!

    Some might say that I'm crazy. Nostalgia has rotted my brain. I could have just downloaded an emulator, had my fun and moved on. These people don't understand the joy and reward of committed relationships. The importance of connecting with something real. I'm still learning new things about the Lynx today (stories, weird game and cartridge variations to find). Then there's the tactile feel and smell of hardware that connects you directly to a happy time. Every time. Atari Lynx, I'm sorry I ever doubted you. (Except for that creepy Malibu Bikini Volleyball intro.)


    Do you have fond memories of your first tech love or maybe a gut-wrenching tale of gadget heartbreak? Share them using #LoveAtFirstByte


  • 'The Division' is getting an open beta next week

    If you didn't participate in closed beta, don't worry -- you're going to have another chance to play the game soon. Ubisoft has announced open beta dates for its new Tom Clancy title, which will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. Interestingly enough, gamers with a Microsoft console can start playing February 18th, with PS4 and PC support to come the following day. The open beta runs through February 21st, so you better enjoy it while it lasts. As a refresher, The Division launches March 8th, assuming there aren't any more unexpected delays.

    Source: Ubisoft


  • Prep for the debates and primaries with Engadget's election guide

    Last week Iowa voted and there were surprises all around. Ted Cruz became the front runner in the Republican race and Marco Rubio made an excellent showing by coming in a close third. Plus Hillary Clinton only narrowly avoided an upset from Larry David impersonator Bernie Sanders. Add to that the rather contentious (and meme-inspiring) debate between the Republicans on Saturday and this week is looking to be a decisive one for the Candidates.

    Tonight the citizens of New Hampshire will make their voices heard when they cast their votes in the first true primary of the season.

    Then, on Thursday at 9pm ET, Hillary and Bernie will take the stage in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for a debate hosted by PBS News Hour. You'll be able to watch it on your local PBS station, as well as at PBS.org and on YouTube.

    Saturday night, there will be a number of rematches to watch for when the Republicans get together in South Carolina. Will Jeb Bush continue to have success against Donald Trump? Will Chris Christie keep making Marco Rubio look foolish? Will Ben Carson successfully find his way to the podium? All these questions and more will be answered at 9pm ET on Saturday. You can catch the debate on you local CBS affiliate, www.cbsnews.com or in the CBSN app on your Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, iOS or Android device.

    And, of course, before those showdowns kick off, make sure to get caught up on the candidates positions on the most pressing tech and science issues of 2016 in our election guide. And make sure to join in the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Ello, Google+, BBS or semaphore using the hashtag #engadgetelectionguide.


  • Google backs away from banning dedicated Android ad blockers

    Google's tough stance on dedicated Android ad blockers might be softening a bit. The company has reversed its decision to yank Adblock Fast from the Play Store following an appeal from the app's developer, Rocketship. Google hasn't officially said what prompted the change of heart (we'll let you know if it has a comment), but TechCrunch understands that Google had originally wanted to limit ad blocking to browsers where it's an option -- any stand-alone apps were against the rules for interfering with other software. Our understanding is that Google is now concerned solely with banning those apps that interfere without permission. Given that Rocketship was working with Samsung, that shouldn't be a problem.

    One thing's for sure: the decision ends the murkiness over Google's approach to ad blockers. Besides letting through web browsers with ad blocking built-in, Google was also lighter on competing dedicated apps like Crystal, which had an update rejected but otherwise stayed put on the Play Store. This isn't carte blanche for every ad blocker, but you won't have a shortage of choices.

    Via: TechCrunch

    Source: Rocketship



  • Vertu's sudden CEO swap spells trouble after Chinese buyout

    It's only been three months since we met Vertu's then freshly-appointed CEO Billy Crotty, an Irishman who was brought in by the company's new Chinese owner, but for reasons unknown, it appears that he's already left the luxury phone maker. That's according to the LinkedIn page of Gordon Watson, who has since been promoted from VP of Sales and Marketing to CEO. Needless to say, it's an unusually short stint for such an important role, though there were already signs of trouble beforehand with the recent departures of other key execs.

    A quick search on the web shows that since Crotty's appointment back in October, Vertu had already lost its COO, VP Product & Marketing, Brand & Marketing Director and, most recently, the Regional Head of Sales in the Middle East -- a key market for Vertu. Bizarrely, most of these positions have yet to be filled, the risk of which is probably akin to sailing a dinghy through a wild storm sans navigation.



    We can't help but worry that Vertu's Chinese owner, Godin Holdings, has something to do with this seeming vacuum in its executive team. In our previous interview, Crotty vowed to keep Vertu's manufacturing base in the UK, as it was apparently "one of the principal reasons why Godin invested in and acquired" this eccentric company. With him and the other key execs gone, we do wonder if this promise will no longer be kept? And does the new Vertu have what it takes to tackle the declining luxury market until it recovers later this year? That will be the big challenge for Watson.

    Source: Gordon Watson (LinkedIn)


  • Pre-order Oculus Rift-ready PCs starting on February 16th

    If you want an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset but realize that your existing PC just won't cut it, don't panic -- you can get a guaranteed-ready system very shortly. Oculus has announced that pre-orders for both Oculus Ready PCs and those with Rift bundles will start on February 16th at 11AM Eastern, or 8AM Pacific. Amazon, Best Buy and the Microsoft Store will offer a handful of certified systems from Alienware, its parent company Dell and ASUS. Should you pull the trigger, you should get your rig sometime in April.

    For the most part, these are standard gaming desktops that happen to meet Oculus' recommended specs for a good VR experience. The big deal is that you'll typically get a discount if you've already pre-ordered a Rift (between $100 to $200 off) -- important when the cheapest system starts at $949 after you factor the Rift discount into the equation. This won't matter much if you already have a speedy system, of course, but it's a big deal for newcomers who want to get into VR without either a lot of knowledge or the time to track down an ideal PC on their own.

    Source: Oculus


  • The best beard trimmer

    By Seamus Bellamy

    This post was done in partnership with Wahl Lithium Ion all-in-one trimmer is the best beard trimmer for most people. It has the sharpest blades, the most reliable beard guides, the longest run time, and the strongest overall stubble-cutting power of any cordless tool we tested.
    How we tested
    The Wahl Lithium Ion's blade is near professional quality, according to our expert barbers.

    In three years of reporting on this category and updating this guide, we've considered about 70 beard trimmers and tested 37 of them. While none of them are perfect, they are the best we've found. The two Wahl products in particular are standouts; both rose to the top after a week of scrutiny and testing against 10 devices by the employees at Victory Barber & Brand in Victoria, British Columbia. This year, thanks to what we learned from the experts, we felt comfortable testing five new devices on our own, adhering to the barbers' exacting test standards.

    We spent nearly two months using our test group of trimmers to see how well they dealt with balding or patchier beards, how they trimmed with beard guides on and off, and how they did quick touch-ups in easy-to-screw-up areas like along the lip and jawline. We also looked at construction, blade quality, ergonomics, how long the device could go between charges, and how easy it was to clean and maintain.
    Our pick
    The cordless Wahl Lithium Ion all-in-one trimmer cut more hair in a single pass, and cut it shorter, than all the other rechargeable trimmers we tested.

    We think the Wahl Lithium Ion all-in-one trimmer is the best beard trimmer for most people. While not as powerful as the Wahl Peanut (which we'll get to in a minute), it proved more than capable of cutting through coarse beard hair, no matter whether we trimmed around an upper lip or took a full beard off. Among the battery-powered trimmers we tested, the Wahl Lithium Ion had the most power overall. No other rechargeable trimmer we tested cut more hair in one stroke than the Wahl. Working without a cord is convenient, and this tool's battery offers the best balance of charge times and run times in our test group: With a roughly two-hour run time from a one-hour charge or the option to use it for five minutes after plugging it in for one minute, it's almost always ready to go.
    A more powerful, corded pick
    The Wahl Peanut's powerful motor and sharp blades make it a great choice for men with thick, coarse beards.

    Cordless trimmers aren't for everyone. If you want a reliable corded tool that can cut a thick beard and moustache down to nothing but stubble, we recommend the Wahl Peanut. It beat everything we tested it against in overall cutting power and closeness of the trim. You see it in hair salons everywhere; professionals dig its powerful motor, easy-to-maintain blades, solid ergonomics, and rugged durability. But unlike some pro tools, the Peanut is easy to clean and maintain without breaking out the screwdriver. It's also lighter, smaller, and more maneuverable than other tank-like pro trimmers, yet because it's so well built, the Wahl Peanut is bound to last home users for years.
    A pick for fine length control
    If you want incremental control over your facial-hair length, the Panasonic's guides give you 39 different settings.

    If you prefer a trimmer with incremental length controls, we suggest the Panasonic ER-GB60-K, which comes with two trimmer guards that add up to 39 length settings, far more than the competition provides (even our main pick offers only 12 settings). The Panasonic's cutting power is mediocre compared against that of the high-quality blades and motors in the two Wahl trimmers we feature in this guide, but it has better cutting power than the competition. The ER-GB60-K is best suited for people with thinner beards who want to have as much control as they can over the length.
    Wrapping it up
    After 46 hours spent researching and testing tools with a pair of professional barbers, plus a new round of testing this year, we found that the Wahl Lithium Ion all-in-one trimmer is the best beard trimmer for most people. It has the sharpest blades, the longest run time, and the strongest overall stubble-cutting power of any cordless tool we tested.

    This guide may have been updated by 'The Sweethome'. To see the current recommendation, please go 'here'.


  • Twitter's 'First View' ads put videos at the top of your feed

    For Twitter, a lot can happen in a week. After it was reported to be readying a change that would shift the placement of tweets, the company has pushed forward with a new feature that changes what you'll see in your feed. It's called "First View" and it allows brands to pay more to position a video ad at the top of every timeline.

    Twitter markets the feature as an "engaging and highly visible way to share your brand story with compelling video creative across Twitter's massive audience." It operates in a similar way to Facebook's Suggested Videos or Suggested Posts, in that it will sit between legitimate content on Twitter.com or the official apps and will attempt to catch your eye every time you visit.

    It's no surprise that the company calls the spot its "most valuable advertising real estate." When brands buy the placement, which sits between the first and third tweets, they'll own it for 24 hours and you won't be able to escape it (like you would a Promoted Tweet). Twitter says the feature is already rolling out to a number of selected partners in the US and will expand globally "in the coming months."



    Source: Twitter


  • Obama's last budget calls for better infrastructure, cybersecurity

    With President Barack Obama's final year in office comes one last, contentious dance with Congress over a $4.1 trillion dollar budget for 2017. According to the 21 million US government employees. (China maintains criminal hackers were to blame, not state-sponsored attackers.) Part of the proposed fix also involves spending $3.1 billion to upgrade the crucial — and in some cases, ancient — systems that form the backbone of the United States' most important computer systems and networks. The White House is also widely expected to put out a call for its first Chief Information Security Officer as early as today, emphasizing the need for a strong, top-down vision of security that we've arguably needed for ages now.

    Other juicy tidbits in this last budget proposal include $19 billion for NASA (down slightly from the $19.3 billion the spacefarers got last year), and $1.8 billion to better understand and combat the Zika virus.


  • A big phone works for everyone but you
    But in bounding after large screens, phone makers seemed to ignore the usability issues that accompany them. Small studies have shown before that 4.3 inches is about as big as a phone can get before people start struggling to use it. The time to operate the phone slows down significantly because one-hand use is awkward - and that's for average men's hands. Assuming a normal distribution, for half of men and most women, a phone bigger than 4.3 inches - like the current smallest iPhone - is too big.  The increasing size of smartphones is one of the big mysteries of the technology world. The mystery lies not in phones getting larger - a lot of people prefer it - but in smaller phones, which a lot of people also prefer, disappearing, or being treated as second-class citizens.  Such an odd development.


  • Linux Distros Don't Keep Up with WebKit Updates
    Major desktop browsers push automatic security updates directly to users on a regular basis, so most users don't have to worry about security updates. But Linux users are dependent on their distributions to release updates. Apple fixed over 100 vulnerabilities in WebKit last year, so getting updates out to users is critical.  This is the story of how that process has gone wrong for WebKit.


  • The Apple Watch got me hooked on mechanical watches
    I've often predicted the current crop of smartwatches - be they Wear or the Apple Watch - are designed to end up in drawers, forgotten, unloved. However, I had no idea that even Marco Arment would eventually realise the same thing.  Shortly before Christmas, I accidentally found the first mechanical watch that infected my mind so much that I actually wanted - quite badly - to own it. I had many doubts: Would I look ridiculous wearing it? Would I hate setting or winding it? Would I miss notifications, activity tracking, and weather on my watch? Would I wear it briefly but then run back to my Apple Watch and let the mechanical rot in a drawer?  Nope.  Well worth a read. Turns out that even an ardent Apple fan's smartwatch ends up in a drawer, replaced by a real watch.


  • New FreeBSD Quarterly Status Report published
    The latest FreeBSD Quarterly Status Report is out.  Efforts to bring our BSD high standards to new architectures continue, with impressive work on arm64 leading to its promotion to Tier-2 status and a flurry of work bringing up the new RISC-V hardware architecture. Software architecture is also under active development, including system startup and service management. A handful of potential init system replacements are mentioned in this report: launchd, relaunchd, and nosh. Architectural changes originating both from academic research (multipath TCP) and from the realities of industry (sendfile(2) improvements) are also under way. It is heartening to see how FreeBSD provides a welcoming platform for contributions from both research and industry.  Everything you need to know to be up to date with FreeBSD.


  • Google rolling out Marshmallow for Android Wear
    Evidence has been mounting over the last few days and it looks like it's finally happening: Android 6.0 for Wear is starting to roll out. Googler Wayne Piekarski just announced on his Google+ feed that OTAs have begun and should continue over the next few weeks.  An official blog post by Google lists some of the new features we can expect in the new firmware, including: newly navigation gestures, audio support on speaker-equipped watches, and expanded support for messaging clients.  The update itself seems a bit 'eh', but the interesting thing here is that all Android Wear devices will be getting this update to Marshmallow, even the first generation Wear smartwatches.  Goes to show that Google does, in fact, know how to do this - now they just need to apply this to phones and tablets.


  • Microsoft acquires SwiftKey
    I'm pleased to announce that Microsoft has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire SwiftKey, whose highly rated, highly engaging software keyboard and SDK powers more than 300 million Android and iOS devices. In this cloud-first, mobile-first world, SwiftKey's technology aligns with our vision for more personal computing experiences that anticipate our needs versus responding to our commands, and directly supports our ambition to reinvent productivity by leveraging the intelligent cloud. SwiftKey estimates that its users have saved nearly 10 trillion keystrokes, across 100 languages, saving more than 100,000 years in combined typing time. Those are impressive results for an app that launched initially on Android in 2010 and arrived on iOS less than two years ago.  The 'saved nearly 10 trillion keystrokes' thing sent shivers down my spine.


  • Google wants to take 'Apple-like' control over Nexus devices
    Two very interesting articles about Android's future that are strongly related. First, Vlad Savov wonders why Android OEMs continue to make Android phones when there's little to no profit to be gained.  If there's no money in it, why would a company continue to be an Android OEM today? Ideally, every mobile OEM would like a bottom line that looks like Samsung's, but no others have achieved it. It's not even certain that Samsung Mobile will sustain its profitability, with industry analysts describing its present Herculean efforts as "running to stand still." So how do others bridge the cognitive dissonance between the desired outcome and the perpetual failure to achieve it?  It's no secret that Android OEMs are facing hard times, and since there are no alternatives people are willing to buy, they really don't have anywhere to go... Except exit the smartphone business.  Interestingly enough, that's where the second article, from Ars Technica, comes into play.  A report from The Information (subscription required) states that Google wants to take "greater control" over the design and building of Nexus phones. Currently, a Nexus device is a co-branded partnership between Google's Android team and an OEM, but this report says Google wants to move to a more "Apple-like" approach.  The report says that in the future, "hardware makers will be much more like order-takers, similar to the way contract manufacturers like Hon Hai (Foxconn) follow Apple's directions for producing the iPhone." Apple designs its phones, SoC, and other parts and then ships the plans off to third-party factories to have them built.  I'm sure Google is looking at the massive profits Apple is raking in with its iPhone, as well as the tight control Apple gets to exert over its hardware, and thinking to itself: why aren't we doing this? Looking at the complete failure of OEMs to properly update phones, I can't do anything but strongly applaud Google taking the Nexus program closer to its chest, and build true Google phones.


  • Chromebook Pixel: everything is so much better now
    When we talk about laptops still being popular and important, we tend to talk about things like the precision of the mouse and the power and flexibility of a desktop operating system. We talk about all the things they can do better than a phone or a tablet. We talk about more. But it's worth talking about the power of technology that strives to do less - much less. The thousand dollars I spent on a Pixel didn't buy my mom crazy extensibility, or the ability to run powerful apps like Photoshop or Excel. It didn't even buy her that much storage. But it did buy her a beautiful, well-designed product. And most importantly, it bought her focus, and the ability to spend her time using her computer instead of trying to learn how to use it.  That's a lesson I think Steve Jobs would have liked very much.  There's something happening with Chromebooks that seems to take place much outside of the sphere of the technology press - in schools now, but once kids have them, they'll find their way elsewhere. We may indeed be entering a post-PC world, but it's not based on tablets.  It's Chromebooks.


  • Turing Phone drops Android for Sailfish OS
    The Turing Phone, a fancy Android phone promising to be extra secure and which sports an unusual casing and design, has just announced that it's switching from Android... To Sailfish OS.  Many of you have asked numerous times through our Facebook fan page as well as emailed us about our OS development. We can now confirm that TRI has chosen to drop Android and use Jolla's Sailfish OS. Sailfish OS is now running perfectly on the Turing Phone and we have started the final OS software testing phase.  Sailfish OS runs exceptionally fast on the Turing. You will not have to worry about performance issues with Turing's Snapdragon 801 because Sailfish OS has been optimized to run fast on your Turing Phone. The Turing Phone will still be able to run Android Apps on the Sailfish OS without issue. An Android application store will be available for you to download your favorite apps.  This seems like an... Odd choice, to say the least. The device's preorders have been filled months ago, so users expecting a fancy Android phone will now be getting a Sailfish phone. And while I applaud the idea of more non-establishment phones and operating systems, it seems a bit dishonest (is that too strong a word?) to shift platforms on products already sold on the promise of a different platform.  On top of that, Sailfish is, by no means, in any way, shape, or form, or by any stretch of the imagination, a full-on replacement for Android. The operating system itself is unfinished, often unstable, lacks any form of applications more serious than crappy puzzle games, and the Android compatibility is slow and buggy, at best. I'm not so sure Turing buyers who're expecting Android will turn out to be thrilled with Sailfish.  That being said, it's a little bright spot for the very much troubled Jolla, and that's something we can all be happy about.


  • EU, US agree to 'safe harbour' replacement
    After the EU's highest courts rejected the standing safe habour agreement between the EU and the US, the two superpowers had to come up with a new one. They just did:  The EU-US Privacy Shield reflects the requirements set out by the European Court of Justice in its ruling on 6 October 2015, which declared the old Safe Harbour framework invalid. The new arrangement will provide stronger obligations on companies in the U.S. to protect the personal data of Europeans and stronger monitoring and enforcement by the U.S. Department of Commerce and Federal Trade Commission (FTC), including through increased cooperation with European Data Protection Authorities. The new arrangement includes commitments by the U.S. that possibilities under U.S. law for public authorities to access personal data transferred under the new arrangement will be subject to clear conditions, limitations and oversight, preventing generalised access. Europeans will have the possibility to raise any enquiry or complaint in this context with a dedicated new Ombudsperson.  I'm assuming the new agreement is incredibly complex and full of intricate legalese, so we'll have to wait until the agreement is ever tested in courts or otherwise comes under scrutiny from independent experts before we can reach an conclusions about its effectiveness.


  • Ready or not, here comes Windows 10
    Public service announcement: as announced October last year, Windows 10 is now a recommended upgrade in Windows Update, meaning the installation will automatically start.  As announced last October, the free Windows 10 update has been promoted from an "optional" update to being a "recommended" one. This means that with the default Windows Update settings, the new operating system will be downloaded automatically, and its installer will be started.  The operating system will not actually install itself unattended; Microsoft says that users will be able to reject the upgrade or reschedule it for a time that's more convenient. The company has also described a variety of registry settings that suppress the upgrade.  Windows 10 will be the most popular Windows version of all time! Just look at all those people upgrading!


  • BlackBerry: "the future is really Android"
    Speaking with The Economic Times of India, Damian Tay (Senior Director for Product Management, BlackBerry Asia Pacific) described the new Priv as "essentially our transition to [the] Android ecosystem. As we secure Android, over a period of time, we would not have two platforms, and may have only Android as a platform [for smartphones]. But for now, we have BB10 and Android platforms for our smartphones."  If those comments somehow left you in any doubts about the company's intentions, Tay continued: "The future is really Android. We went for Android essentially for its app ecosystem. In addition, all the enterprise solutions that we have been doing have been cross-platform for a long time now. So it's a natural progression towards Android."  Just in case you thought BB10 had a future.


  • Nayu OS: introducing Chromebooks without Google
    NayuOS is an ongoing project at Nexedi: We are mainly using Chromebooks for our daily development work and wanted to have more customizable, secure and privacy-compliant devices - not running any proprietary software, because we love Free Software. A few experiments later NayuOS - our free alternative to Chrome OS - was born. NayuOS is currently on a good enough way to meeting most of our needs, so we decided to spread the word and share what we have done so far.


  • Debian 8.3 released
    The Debian project is pleased to announce the third update of its stable distribution Debian 8 (codename jessie). This update mainly adds corrections for security problems to the stable release, along with a few adjustments for serious problems. Security advisories were published separately and are referenced where applicable.


  • Jolla Tablet: aiming for closure
    In that spirit, we now have answers for those of you who have been waiting for the next Jolla Tablet update - thanks again for your patience. As already stated in our New Year's post, we plan to ship an additional small batch of Jolla Tablets to early Indiegogo backers. And, for the rest of our backers, we now have a refund process in place.  They're shipping 540 tablets - no, that's not a typo - to early backers, of which I am one, but whether or not I'll actually be one of the 'lucky' 540, I don't know yet. Otherwise, it'll be the refund program. I'm glad they're offering this program, because the whole ordeal has been quite the letdown.



  • Unikernels, Docker, and Why You Should Care
        
    Docker's recent acquisition of Unikernel Systems has sent pulses racing in the microservice world. At the same time, many people have no clue what to make of it, so here's a quick explanation of why this move is a good thing. 
       


  • Non-Linux FOSS: Snk
        
    I'm apparently in a silly-game mood this month, because I stumbled across an open-source project I couldn't keep all to myself: Snk. If you remember the classic game of snake, Snk is the same concept, but smaller, harder and with music. 
       


  • diff -u: What's New in Kernel Development
        
    The OOM killer is a tough nut to crack. How can a system recover when it's violently thrashing and out of RAM? Once upon a time, you'd just have to reboot. And today, that still might be necessary, but less so, because the OOM killer attempts to identify and stop the process that seems to be causing the hangup. The problem is, it may not choose the right process every time.
       


  • What's New in 3D Printing, Part III: the Software
        
    This article is the third part of a four-part series that examines some of the changes in 3D printing that have occurred in the past three years since my first articles on the subject. Because this is Linux Journal, instead of discussing the entire 3D printing world, I'm focusing on the sections of the topic most relevant to open source and open hardware.
       


  • Poppins
        
    My friend and fellow Linux Journalian Kris Occhipinti recently posted a reminder on Facebook for everyone to back up regularly in 2016. Although it's something we already should be doing, if you're not a regular backer-upper, you should start today!
       



  • February 2016 Issue of Linux Journal
         For the Love of Linux 
    I love my job. I teach Linux by day and write about Linux at night. It's easy to fall in love with your work when the things you do align with your passions.
       


  • Controversy at the Linux Foundation
        
    Linux has seen more than its fair share of controversy through the years. And, that's not so surprising. For one thing, the operating system flies in the teeth of deeply entrenched multinational companies. The fact that it stands for users instead of vested interests has drawn more than a little ire as well. 
       


  • Don't Burn Your Android Yet
        
    A few days ago, security firm Perception Point released the details of a zero-day exploit in the Linux kernel, which has sparked a wave of panic as the report indicated that millions of Android devices are vulnerable. 
       



  • Firefox OS
        
    In December 2015, Mozilla announced that its ambitious new operating system would not be appearing on any new phones, but the project may still live on as a platform for smart TVs and IoT devices. 
       


  • What's New in 3D Printing, Part II: the Hardware
        
    This is the second article in what will be a four-part series on the current state of 3D printing compared to how things were three years ago when I wrote my first series on 3D printing. Of course, this is Linux Journal, so the focus will be on Linux and open-source-specific aspects in 3D printing. I won't dwell much on proprietary products.
       


  • Wine 1.8 Released
        
    The Wine team members released version 1.8 of their project this week. The project has been in constant development since 1993 and reached version 1 only in 2008, so new releases are major events. 
       


  • ABINIT for Chemists
        
    The single largest group of users on high-performance computing clusters has to be the chemists. Their CPU-year count is definitely at the very top of the list. Because of this heavy use, several different packages have become standard tools that most computational chemistry researchers use.
       





  • 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 01:08 PM