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

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

  • Mandriva: 2014:201: kernel Multiple vulnerabilities has been found and corrected in the Linuxkernel:The try_to_unmap_cluster function in mm/rmap.c in the Linux kernelbefore 3.14.3 does not properly consider which pages must be locked,[More...]

  • Mandriva: 2014:200: bugzilla Updated bugzilla packages fix security vulnerabilities:If a new comment was marked private to the insider group, and a flagwas set in the same transaction, the comment would be visible to flagrecipients even if they were not in the insider group (CVE-2014-1571).[More...]

  • Mandriva: 2014:199: perl Updated perl and perl-Data-Dumper packages fixes securityvulnerability:The Dumper method in Data::Dumper before 2.154, allowscontext-dependent attackers to cause a denial of service (stack[More...]

  • Mandriva: 2014:198: mediawiki Updated mediawiki packages fix security vulnerability:MediaWiki before 1.23.4 is vulnerable to cross-site scripting due toJavaScript injection via CSS in uploaded SVG files (CVE-2014-7199).[More...]

  • Mandriva: 2014:197: python Updated python packages fix security vulnerability:Python before 2.7.8 is vulnerable to an integer overflow in the buffertype (CVE-2014-7185).[More...]_______________________________________________________________________

  • Mandriva: 2014:196: rsyslog Updated rsyslog packages fix security vulnerability:Rainer Gerhards, the rsyslog project leader, reported a vulnerabilityin Rsyslog. As a consequence of this vulnerability an attacker can sendmalformed messages to a server, if this one accepts data from untrusted[More...]

  • Red Hat: 2014:1669-02: qemu-kvm: Low Advisory Updated qemu-kvm packages that fix one security issue and one bug are now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. Red Hat Product Security has rated this update as having Low security [More...]

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

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

  • [$] The future of the realtime patch set

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

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

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

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

  • Shuttleworth: V is for Vivid
    Ubuntu 14.10 "Utopic Unicorn" is due to be released this week. That marks10 years of Ubuntu releases, beginning with Ubuntu 4.10 "Warty Warthog".In this articleMark Shuttleworth announces the name of what will the 15.04 release."This verbose tract is a venial vanity, a chance to vector verbal vibes, a map of verdant hills to be climbed in months ahead. Amongst those peaks I expect we’ll find new ways to bring secure, free and fabulous opportunities for both developers and users. This is a time when every electronic thing can be an Internet thing, and that’s a chance for us to bring our platform, with its security and its long term support, to a vast and important field. In a world where almost any device can be smart, and also subverted, our shared efforts to make trusted and trustworthy systems might find fertile ground. So our goal this next cycle is to show the way past a simple Internet of things, to a world of Internet things-you-can-trust."

  • The FSF opens nominations for the 17th annual Free Software Awards
    The Free Software Foundation (FSF) and the GNU Project have announced theopening of nominations for the 17th annual Free Software Awards. TheFree Software Awards include the Award for the Advancement of FreeSoftware and the Award for Projects of Social Benefit. "In the case of both awards, previous winners are not eligible fornomination, but renomination of other previous nominees is encouraged.Only individuals are eligible for nomination for the Advancement ofFree Software Award (not projects), and only projects can be nominatedfor the Social Benefit Award (not individuals). For a list of previouswinners, please visit"

  • Security advisories for Monday
    Debian has updated iceweasel (multiple vulnerabilities).
    Fedora has updated glibc (F19:multiple vulnerabilities), gnome-shell(F20: lock screen bypass), kernel (F19:multiple vulnerabilities), libxml2 (F20:denial of service), openssl (F20; F19: multiple vulnerabilities), openstack-glance (F20: denial of service), and torque (F20; F19: authentication bypass).
    openSUSE has updated bash (13.1; 12.3:multiple vulnerabilities).
    Oracle has updated libxml2 (OL6: denial of service).

  • Kernel prepatch 3.18-rc1
    In a relatively predictable move, Linus has released 3.18-rc1 and closed the 3.18 merge windowsooner than expected. He has, however, said that he will be more thanusually open to post-rc1 pull requests from people who "grovel abit." "There is also at least one pull request that I amhoping to get asap and planning on still pulling, ie I'm very much stillhoping to get overlayfs finally merged." In the end, 9,711non-merge changesets found their way into the mainline repository duringthis merge window.

  • Interview: Thomas Voß of Mir (Linux Voice)
    Linux Voice has an interview with Canonical's Thomas Voß, the technical architect of the Mir display server. The interview deals largely with background topics, such as the Mir team's decision to standardize on an API rather than define a protocol, and the various languages to support. "Obviously there are disadvantages to having only one graphics language, but the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. And I think that’s a common theme in the industry. Android made the same decision to go that way. Even Wayland to a certain degree has been doing that. They have to support EGL and GL, simply because it’s very convenient for app developers and toolkit developers – an open graphics language. That was the part that inspired us, and we wanted to have this one graphics language and support it well."

  • Friday's security updates
    CentOS has updated openssl (C5: protocol downgrade) andopenssl (C6, C7: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Debian has updated openssl(multiple vulnerabilities).
    Fedora has updated firefox(F20: multiple vulnerabilities), java-1.7.0-openjdk (F20: multiple vulnerabilities), java-1.8.0-openjdk (F20: multiple vulnerabilities), kernel (F20: multiple vulnerabilities), php-ZendFramework (F19; F20: multiple vulnerabilities),and thunderbird (F20: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Oracle has updated cups(O6: multiple vulnerabilities), file(O6: multiple vulnerabilities), firefox (O5; O6: multiple vulnerabilities),glibc (O6: multiple vulnerabilities), java-1.6.0-openjdk (O6: multiple vulnerabilities), java-1.7.0-openjdk (O6: multiple vulnerabilities), krb5 (O6: multiple vulnerabilities), libxml2 (O7: denial of service), openssh (O6: multiple vulnerabilities), openssl (O5; O6; O7: multiple vulnerabilities), thunderbird (O6: multiple vulnerabilities), and trousers (O6: denial of service).
    Red Hat has updated java-1.6.0-sun (multiple vulnerabilities), java-1.7.0-oracle (multiple vulnerabilities), libxml2 (RHEL6,7: denial of service), openssl (RHEL5: protocol downgrade), openssl (RHEL6,7: multiple vulnerabilities),and rsyslog7 (RHEL6: denial of service).
    Scientific Linux has updated openssl (SL5: protocol downgrade) and openssl (SL6,7:multiple vulnerabilities ).
    Ubuntu has updated openjdk-6(10.04, 12.04: multiple vulnerabilities) and openssl (multiple vulnerabilities).

  • The Debian init system general resolution returns
    Ian Jackson has resurrected the general resolution prohibiting Debianpackages from depending on a single init system. This resolution failed toobtain enough seconds to proceed to a vote back in March, but this timemore seconds have appeared and a vote will take place after the two-weekdiscussion period. The initial discussion suggests that there is somesupport for the idea, but that not everybodyappreciates seeing this resolution just before the jessie release issupposed to go into a freeze.

  • Docker 1.3 released
    The 1.3release of the Docker container system is available."First up, in this release, the Docker Engine will now automaticallyverify the provenance and integrity of all Official Repos using digitalsignatures. Official Repos are Docker images curated and optimized by theDocker community to be the best building blocks for assembling distributedapplications. A valid signature provides an added level of trust byindicating that the Official Repo image has not been tampered with."

  • GCC Undefined Behavior Sanitizer – ubsan (RH Developer Blog)
    The Red Hat Developer Blog has anarticle about the undefined behavior sanitizer that was a part of theGCC 4.9 release. "One of the most important [checks] is the signedinteger overflow checking. The practice shows that this undefined behavioris very common in real programs. Ubsan is able to check that the result ofaddition, subtraction, multiplication and negation does not overflow insigned arithmetic."

  • Head of Open Source at Facebook opens up
    What is seen hereafter is a partial transcription of James Pearce's OSCON session Rebooting Open Source at Facebook.For hundreds of years, open has trumped closed—sharing has trumped more

  • An Everyday Linux User Review Of 4MLinux
    4MLinux is a mini Linux distribution. The name stems from the 4 Ms which are Multimedia, MiniServer, Maintenance and Mystery. To be honest the 4th M really should be a G because there is no mystery, the 4th component is definitely games. I guess that 3MAnd1GLinux doesn't really roll off the tongue. The reason I have chosen to review this distribution is because of the gaming element.

  • UbuTricks 14.10.22 Ships with 50 App Installer, Ubuntu 14.10 Support
    This release also marks the introduction of Ubuntu 14.10 support (although some PPAs may not work yet). Several bug fixes and installer improvements went into this release as well. The number of applications has been increased to 50, with 13 more supported programs (11 apps and 2 games).

  • What are useful Bash aliases and functions
    As a command line adventurer, you probably found yourself repeating the same lengthy commands over and over. If you always ssh into the same machine, if you always chain the same commands together, or if you constantly run a program with the same flags, you might want to save the precious seconds of your life […]Continue reading...The post What are useful Bash aliases and functions appeared first on Xmodulo.No related FAQ.

  • Open access platform to save the Odia Indian language
    In February 2014, the Government of India declared the South Asian language Odia as the 6th classical language of India which is one among 22 scheduled languages of India and has a literary heritage of more than 5,000 years. There are documents for more than 3,500 years, and the rest are undocumented oral histories. The native Odia speakers became hopeful of getting a lot of language related projects implemented to grow the lineage of this long literary heritage and see the language used and spoken globally, not just in literature but in computer and mobile games, interactive computer applications and in other digital media—and to reach the masses as a communicative more

  • Rugged carrier serves rugged COM Express modules
    MEN Micro announced a rugged, industrial temperature “XC15? carrier board for its Linux-ready Rugged COM Express modules, including a Core-i7 CB70C COM. For years, MEN Micro, which offers a wide variety of embedded systems and components, focused its computer-on-module efforts on its Linux-ready “Embedded System Module” (ESM) form-factor. The company still sells several dozen ESM, ESMini, and ESMexpress variants, but more recently has launched a new line of COM Express modules it dubs Rugged COM Express. Now, the company has a carrier board that is just as tough as its new modules.

  • Redditor swarmed after asking a question about systemd
    In today's open source roundup: A thread about systemd on Reddit turns into a train wreck. Plus: A game is removed from Steam after the developer threatens Gabe Newell, and a review of SparkyLinux 3.5 by DistroWatch.

  • Stick computer runs on quad-core Atom
    Shenzhen Apec Electronics has launched a $110, Android stick computer built around a quad-core Intel Atom Z3735 SoC with 1-2GB of RAM and 16-32GB storage. The market is awash in under-$100 HDMI dongle devices that run Android on ARM Cortex processors. Now, Intel’s Atom is getting the same treatment, although at a higher price.

  • How to install Tomcat in Ubuntu 14.04
    This document describes how to install Tomcat in Ubuntu 14.04. Apache Tomcat (or simply Tomcat, formerly also Jakarta Tomcat) is an open source web server and servlet container developed by the Apache Software Foundation (ASF). Tomcat implements the Java Servlet and the JavaServer Pages (JSP) specifications from Sun Microsystems, and provides a "pure Java" HTTP web server environment for Java code to run in.

  • Microsoft Promises Docker Open Source App Virtualization on Windows
    Microsoft has announced plans to port the open source Docker containerized virtualization platform to Windows Server and the Azure cloud. Open source developers can be sure the software they're writing is a hit when even Microsoft (MSFT) wants a piece of the action. That's exactly what's happening with Docker, the containerized virtualization platform for running cloud apps, which will now be supported in Windows Server and the Azure cloud.

  • RIPS - Static Source Code Analysis For PHP Vulnerabilities
    RIPS is a tool written in PHP to find vulnerabilities using static source code analysis for PHP web applications. By tokenizing and parsing all source code files RIPS is able to transform PHP source code into a program model and to detect sensitive sinks (potentially vulnerable functions) that can be tainted by user input (influenced by a malicious user) during the program flow. Besides the structured output of found vulnerabilities RIPS also offers an integrated code audit framework for further manual analysis.

  • 5 open access journals for open source enthusiasts
    The ever rising cost of academic journals is a major burden for researchers. Academic libraries cannot always keep up with increases in subscription fees causing libraries to drop journals from their collection. This makes it harder for students and professors to quickly and easily access the information they need. Inter-library loan requests are an option but they do take time. Even if it only takes a few days to fill an inter-library loan request, that is still time wasted for a researcher that has a deadline. While there is no single, quick fix to the problem with the academic journal prices, there is a movement applying the open source way to academic research in an attempt to solve the problem—the open access movement.

Linux Insider

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • The Importance of Being FOSS
    It's a fact of life in virtually every community that there will be countless daily distractions -- news announcements, controversies, squabbles -- that take up the majority of our time and energy, leaving little for the big picture. The Linux community is no exception. That's why it was such a relief to see a post recently that struck directly to the core of all that is FOSS.

  • Elementary OS 'Freya' Is Worth the Wait
    Elementary OS is a new style Linux distro that wraps its own sophisticated desktop design around a solid Ubuntu core. This distro first appeared in 2011, and the second major version came out last year. The latest weeks-old beta release -- the third major version, called "Freya" -- shows that Elementary OS continues to offer Linux users a dependable alternative to popular desktop options.

  • Darkcoin Steps Out of the Shadows
    Darkcoin has exited beta and is now ready for mainstream use. Also, the software's code is now open source. Darkcoin is the first fully open source cryptocurrency with financial privacy built directly into the software, its developers claimed. Open-sourcing financial software is vitally important, they said, because it instills confidence that users' financial privacy is protected.

  • BitTorrent Performance Test: Sync Is Faster Than Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox
    An anonymous reader writes Now that its file synchronization tool has received a few updates, BitTorrent is going on the offensive against cloud-based storage services by showing off just how fast BitTorrent Sync can be. More specifically, the company conducted a test that shows Sync destroys Google Drive, Microsoft's OneDrive, and Dropbox. The company transferred a 1.36 GB MP4 video clip between two Apple MacBook Pros using two Apple Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapters, the site as a real-time clock, and the Internet connection at its headquarters (1 Gbps up/down). The timer started when the file transfer was initiated and then stopped once the file was fully synced and downloaded onto the receiving machine. Sync performed 8x faster than Google Drive, 11x faster than OneDrive, and 16x faster than Dropbox.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Deutsche Telecom Upgrades T-Mobile 2G Encryption In US
    An anonymous reader writes T-Mobile, a major wireless carrier in the U.S. and subsidiary of German Deutsche Telecom, is hardening the encryption on its 2G cellular network in the U.S., reports the Washington Post. According to Cisco, 2G cellular calls still account for 13% of calls in the US and 68% of wireless calls worldwide. T-Mobile's upgrades will bring the encryption of older and inexpensive 2G GSM phone signals in the US up to par with that of more expensive 3G and 4G handsets. Parent company Deutsche Telecom had announced a similar upgrade of its German 2G network after last year's revelations of NSA surveillance. 2G is still important not only for that 13 percent of calls, but because lots of connected devices rely on it, or will, even while the 2G clock is ticking. The "internet of things" focuses on cheap and ubiquitous, and in the U.S. that still means 2G, but lots of things that might be connected that way are ones you'd like to be encrypted.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • The Classic Control Panel In Windows May Be Gone
    jones_supa writes In Windows 8, there was an arrangement of two settings applications: the Control Panel for the desktop and the PC Settings app in the Modern UI side. With Windows 10, having the two different applications has started to look even more awkward, which has been voiced loud and clear in the feedback too. Thus, the work at Microsoft to unify the settings programs has begun. The traditional Control Panel is being transformed to something temporarily called "zPC Settings" (sic), which is a Modern UI app that melts together the current two settings applications.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Judge Says EA Battlefield 4 Execs Engaged In "Puffery," Not Fraud
    DemonOnIce writes with a story, as reported by Ars Technica, that a federal judge in San Francisco has dismissed a proposed securities fraud class action lawsuit connected to Battlefield 4's bungled rollout. From the report: EA and several top executives were sued in December and were accused of duping investors with their public statements and concealing issues with the first-person shooter game. The suit claimed executives were painting too rosy of a picture surrounding what ultimately would be Battlefield 4's disastrous debut on various gaming consoles beginning last October, including the next-generation Xbox One. But US District Judge Susan Illston of San Francisco said their comments about EA and the first-person shooter game were essentially protected corporate speak. "The Court agrees with defendants that all of the purported misstatements are inactionable statements of opinion, corporate optimism, or puffery," Illston ruled Monday.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Microsoft,, Oracle Latest To Be Sued Over No-Poach Deal
    itwbennett (1594911) writes Oracle, Microsoft and are facing suits alleging that they conspired to restrict hiring of staff. The suits appear to refer to a memo that names a large number of companies that allegedly had special arrangements with Google to prevent poaching of staff and was filed as an exhibit on May 17, 2013 in another class action suit over hiring practices. The former employees filing lawsuits against Microsoft, and Oracle have asked that the cases be assigned to Judge Koh as there were similarities with the case against Google, Apple and others — and it maybe doesn't hurt that Judge Koh thought the $324.5 million settlement in that case was too low.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • 6,000 Year Old Temple Unearthed In Ukraine
    An anonymous reader writes A massive archaeological dig of an ancient Ukrainian village first begun in 2009 has yielded a discovery that I sort of hope ends up inspiring a video game: a massive, scary-sounding temple. From the article: "Inside the temple, archaeologists found the remains of eight clay platforms, which may have been used as altars, the finds suggested. A platform on the upper floor contains "numerous burnt bones of lamb, associated with sacrifice," write Burdo and Videiko, of the Institute of Archaeology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. The floors and walls of all five rooms on the upper floor were "decorated by red paint, which created [a] ceremonial atmosphere."Maybe this is what Putin has been after.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.
    janoc writes It seems that chipmaker FTDI has started an outright war on cloners of their popular USB bridge chips. At first the clones stopped working with the official drivers, and now they are being intentionally bricked, rendering the device useless. The problem? These chips are incredibly popular and used in many consumer products. Are you sure yours doesn't contain a counterfeit one before you plug it in? Hackaday says, "It’s very hard to tell the difference between the real and fake versions by looking at the package, but a look at the silicon reveals vast differences. The new driver for the FT232 exploits these differences, reprogramming it so it won’t work with existing drivers. It’s a bold strategy to cut down on silicon counterfeiters on the part of FTDI. A reasonable company would go after the manufacturers of fake chips, not the consumers who are most likely unaware they have a fake chip."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Google Announces Inbox, a New Take On Email Organization
    Z80xxc! writes: The Gmail team announced "Inbox" this morning, a new way to manage email. Inbox is email, but organized differently. Messages are grouped into "bundles" of similar types. "Highlights" pull out and display key information from messages, and messages can be "snoozed" to come back later as a reminder. Inbox is invite-only right now, and you can email to request an invite.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Astronomers Find Brightest Pulsar Ever Observed
    An anonymous reader writes: Astronomers using the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the NuSTAR satellite have discovered a pulsar so bright that it challenges how scientists think pulsars work. While observing galaxy M82 in hopes of spotting supernovae, the researchers found an unexpected source of X-rays very close to the galaxy's core. It was near another source, thought to be a black hole. But the new one was pulsing, which black holes don't do. The trouble is that according to known pulsar models, it's about 100 times brighter than the calculated limits to its luminosity (abstract). Researchers used a different method to figure out its mass, and the gap shrank, but it's still too bright to fit their theories.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Raspberry Pi Founder Demos Touchscreen Display For DIY Kits
    An anonymous reader writes: Over 4 million Raspberry Pis have been sold so far, and now founder Eben Upton has shown off a touchscreen display panel that's designed to work with it. It's a 7" panel, roughly tablet sized, but slightly thicker. "With the incoming touchscreen panel The Pi Foundation is clearly hoping to keep stoking the creative fires that have helped drive sales of the Pi by slotting another piece of DIY hardware into the mix." Upton also discussed the Model A+ Raspberry Pi board — an updated version they'll be announcing soon.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Shooting At Canadian Parliament
    CBC reports that a man pulled up to the War Memorial in downtown Ottawa, got out of his car, and shot a soldier with a rifle. The Memorial is right next to the Canadian Parliament buildings. A shooter (reportedly the same one, but unconfirmed) also approached Parliament and got inside before he was shot and killed. "Scott Walsh, who was working on Parliament Hill, said ... the man hopped over the stone fence that surrounds Parliament Hill, with his gun forcing someone out of their car. He then drove to the front doors of Parliament and fired at least two shots, Walsh said." Canadian government officials were quickly evacuated from the building, while the search continues for further suspects. This comes a day after Canada raised its domestic terrorism threat level. Most details of the situation are still unconfirmed -- CBC has live video coverage here. They have confirmed that there was a second shooting at the Rideau Center, a shopping mall nearby.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Shooting At Canadian Parliament
    CBC reports that a man pulled up to the War Memorial in downtown Ottawa, got out of his car, and shot a soldier with a rifle. The Memorial is right next to the Canadian Parliament buildings. A shooter (reportedly the same one, but unconfirmed) also approached Parliament and got inside before he was shot and killed. "Scott Walsh, who was working on Parliament Hill, said ... the man hopped over the stone fence that surrounds Parliament Hill, with his gun forcing someone out of their car. He then drove to the front doors of Parliament and fired at least two shots, Walsh said." Canadian government officials were quickly evacuated from the building, while the search continues for further suspects. This comes a day after Canada raised its domestic terrorism threat level. Most details of the situation are still unconfirmed -- CBC has live video coverage here. They have confirmed that there was a second shooting at the Rideau Center, a shopping mall nearby.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • What It Took For SpaceX To Become a Serious Space Company
    An anonymous reader writes: The Atlantic has a nice profile of SpaceX's rise to prominence — how a private startup managed to successfully compete with industry giants like Boeing in just a decade of existence. "Regardless of its inspirations, the company was forced to adopt a prosaic initial goal: Make a rocket at least 10 times cheaper than is possible today. Until it can do that, neither flowers nor people can go to Mars with any economy. With rocket technology, Musk has said, "you're really left with one key parameter against which technology improvements must be judged, and that's cost." SpaceX currently charges $61.2 million per launch. Its cost-per-kilogram of cargo to low-earth orbit, $4,653, is far less than the $14,000 to $39,000 offered by its chief American competitor, the United Launch Alliance. Other providers often charge $250 to $400 million per launch; NASA pays Russia $70 million per astronaut to hitch a ride on its three-person Soyuz spacecraft. SpaceX's costs are still nowhere near low enough to change the economics of space as Musk and his investors envision, but they have a plan to do so (of which more later)."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Software Glitch Caused 911 Outage For 11 Million People writes: Brian Fung reports at the Washington Post that earlier this year emergency services went dark for over six hours for more than 11 million people across seven states. "The outage may have gone unnoticed by some, but for the more than 6,000 people trying to reach help, April 9 may well have been the scariest time of their lives." In a 40-page report (PDF), the FCC found that an entirely preventable software error was responsible for causing 911 service to drop. "It could have been prevented. But it was not," the FCC's report reads. "The causes of this outage highlight vulnerabilities of networks as they transition from the long-familiar methods of reaching 911 to [Internet Protocol]-supported technologies." On April 9, the software responsible for assigning the identifying code to each incoming 911 call maxed out at a pre-set limit; the counter literally stopped counting at 40 million calls. As a result, the routing system stopped accepting new calls, leading to a bottleneck and a series of cascading failures elsewhere in the 911 infrastructure. Adm. David Simpson, the FCC's chief of public safety and homeland security, says having a single backup does not provide the kind of reliability that is ideal for 911. "Miami is kind of prone to hurricanes. Had a hurricane come at the same time [as the multi-state outage], we would not have had that failover, perhaps. So I think there needs to be more [distribution of 911 capabilities]."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Windows 0-Day Exploited In Ongoing Attacks
    An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft is warning users about a new Windows zero-day vulnerability that is being actively exploited in the wild and is primarily a risk to users on servers and workstations that open documents with embedded OLE objects. The vulnerability is currently being exploited via PowerPoint files. These specially crafted files contain a malicious OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) object. This is not the first time a vulnerability in OLE has been exploited by cybercriminals, however most previous OLE vulnerabilities have been limited to specific older versions of the Windows operating system. What makes this vulnerability dangerous is that it affects the latest fully patched versions of Windows.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • DHS Investigates 24 Potentially Lethal IoT Medical Devices
    An anonymous reader writes: In the wake of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's recent recommendations to strengthen security on net-connected medical devices, the Department of Homeland Security is launching an investigation into 24 cases of potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities in hospital equipment and personal medical devices. Independent security researcher Billy Rios submitted proof-of-concept evidence to the FDA indicating that it would be possible for a hacker to force infusion pumps to fatally overdose a patient. Though the complete range of devices under investigation has not been disclosed, it is reported that one of them is an "implantable heart device." William Maisel, chief scientist at the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said, "The conventional wisdom in the past was that products only had to be protected from unintentional threats. Now they also have to be protected from intentional threats too."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Hungary To Tax Internet Traffic
    An anonymous reader writes: The Hungarian government has announced a new tax on internet traffic: 150 HUF ($0.62 USD) per gigabyte. In Hungary, a monthly internet subscription costs around 4,000-10,000 HUF ($17-$41), so it could really put a constraint on different service providers, especially for streaming media. This kind of tax could set back the country's technological development by some 20 years — to the pre-internet age. As a side note, the Hungarian government's budget is running at a serious deficit. The internet tax is officially expected to bring in about 20 billion HUF in income, though a quick look at the BIX (Budapest Internet Exchange) and a bit of math suggests a better estimate of the income would probably be an order of magnitude higher.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Xerox Alto Source Code Released To Public
    zonker writes: In 1970, the Xerox Corporation established the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) with the goal to develop an "architecture of information" and lay the groundwork for future electronic office products. The pioneering Alto project that began in 1972 invented or refined many of the fundamental hardware and software ideas upon which our modern devices are based, including raster displays, mouse pointing devices, direct-manipulation user interfaces, windows and menus, the first WYSIWYG word processor, and Ethernet. The first Altos were built as research prototypes. By the fall of 1976 PARC's research was far enough along that a Xerox product group started to design products based on their prototypes. Ultimately, ~1,500 were built and deployed throughout the Xerox Corporation, as well as at universities and other sites. The Alto was never sold as a product but its legacy served as inspiration for the future. With the permission of the Palo Alto Research Center, the Computer History Museum is pleased to make available, for non-commercial use only, snapshots of Alto source code, executables, documentation, font files, and other files from 1975 to 1987. The files are organized by the original server on which they resided at PARC that correspond to files that were restored from archive tapes. An interesting look at retro-future.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Ask Slashdot: Aging and Orphan Open Source Projects?
    osage writes: Several colleagues and I have worked on an open source project for over 20 years under a corporate aegis. Though nothing like Apache, we have a sizable user community and the software is considered one of the de facto standards for what it does. The problem is that we have never been able to attract new, younger programmers, and members of the original set have been forced to find jobs elsewhere or are close to retirement. The corporation has no interest in supporting the software. Thus, in the near future, the project will lose its web site host and be devoid of its developers and maintainers. Our initial attempts to find someone to adopt the software haven't worked. We are looking for suggestions as to what course to pursue. We can't be the only open source project in this position.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • First Evidence of Extrasolar Planets Discovered In 1917
    KentuckyFC writes: Earth's closest white dwarf is called van Maanen 2 and sits 14 light-years from here. It was discovered by the Dutch astronomer Adriaan van Maanen in 1917, but it was initially hard to classify. That's because its spectra contains lots of heavy elements alongside hydrogen and helium, the usual components of a white dwarf photosphere. In recent years, astronomers have discovered many white dwarfs with similar spectra and shown that the heavy elements come from asteroids raining down onto the surface of the stars. It turns out that all these white dwarfs are orbited by a large planet and an asteroid belt. As the planet orbits, it perturbs the rocky belt, causing asteroids to collide and spiral in toward their parent star. This process is so common that astronomers now use the heavy element spectra as a marker for the presence of extrasolar planets. A re-analysis of van Maanen's work shows that, in hindsight, he was the first to discover the tell-tale signature of extrasolar planets almost a century ago.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Internet Broadband Through High-altitude Drones
    mwagner writes: Skynet is coming. But not like in the movie: The future of communications is high-altitude solar-powered drones, flying 13 miles above the ground, running microwave wireless equipment, delivering broadband to the whole planet. The articles predicts this technology will replace satellites, fiber, and copper, and fundamentally change the broadband industry. The author predicts a timescale of roughly 20 years — the same amount of time between Arthur C. Clarke predicting geosynchronous satellites and their reality as a commercial business. "Several important technology milestones need to be reached along the way. The drones that will make up Skynet have a lot more in common with satellites than the flippy-flappy helicopter drone thingies that the popular press is fixated on right now. They're really effing BIG, for one thing. And, like satellites, they go up, and stay up, pretty much indefinitely. For that to happen, we need two things: lighter, higher-capacity wireless gear; and reliable, hyper-efficient solar tech."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Isaac Asimov: How Do People Get New Ideas? writes: Arthur Obermayer, a friend of the Isaac Asimov, writes that he recently rediscovered an unpublished essay by Asimov written in 1959 while cleaning out some old files. Obermayer says it is "as broadly relevant today as when he wrote it. It describes not only the creative process and the nature of creative people but also the kind of environment that promotes creativity." Here's an excerpt from Asimov's essay, which is well worth reading in its entirety: "A person willing to fly in the face of reason, authority, and common sense must be a person of considerable self-assurance. Since he occurs only rarely, he must seem eccentric (in at least that respect) to the rest of us. A person eccentric in one respect is often eccentric in others. Probably more inhibiting than anything else is a feeling of responsibility. The great ideas of the ages have come from people who weren't paid to have great ideas, but were paid to be teachers or patent clerks or petty officials, or were not paid at all. The great ideas came as side issues."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Fiber Optics In Antarctica Will Monitor Ice Sheet Melting
    sciencehabit writes: Earth is rapidly being wired with fiber-optic cables — inexpensive, flexible strands of silicon dioxide that have revolutionized telecommunications. They've already crisscrossed the planet's oceans, linking every continent but one: Antarctica. Now, fiber optics has arrived at the continent, but to measure ice sheet temperatures rather than carry telecommunication signals. A team of scientists using an innovative fiber-optic cable–based technology has measured temperature changes within and below the ice over 14 months. This technology, they say, offers a powerful new tool to observe and quantify melting at the base of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Microsoft Introduces Build Cadence Selection With Windows 10
    jones_supa writes: Microsoft has just released Windows 10 TP build 9860. Along with the new release, Microsoft is introducing an interesting cadence option for how quickly you will receive new builds. The "ring progression" goes from development, to testing, to release. By being in the slow cadence, you will get more stable builds, but they will arrive less often. By choosing the fast option, it allows you to receive the build on the same day that it is released. As a quick stats update, to date Microsoft has received over 250,000 pieces of feedback through the Windows Feedback tool, 25,381 community forum posts, and 641 suggestions in the Windows Suggestion Box.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Ebola Does Not Require an "Ebola Czar," Nor Calling Up the National Guard
    Lasrick writes: David Ropeik explores risk-perception psychology and Ebola in the U.S. "[O]fficials are up against the inherently emotional and instinctive nature of risk-perception psychology. Pioneering research on this subject by Paul Slovic, Baruch Fischhoff, and others, vast research on human cognition by Daniel Kahneman and colleagues, and research on the brain's fear response by neuroscientists Joseph LeDoux, Elizabeth Phelps, and others, all make abundantly clear that the perception of risk is not simply a matter of the facts, but more a matter of how those facts feel. ... People worry more about risks that are new and unfamiliar. People worry more about risks that cause greater pain and suffering. People worry more about threats against which we feel powerless, like a disease for which there is no vaccine and which has a high fatality rate if you get it. And people worry more about threats the more available they are to their consciousness—that is, the more aware people are of them."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
    Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
    Windows doesn't have the best reputation for security, but Microsoft has been outlining a series of improvements in the new operating system that it believes will stymie hackers and leave corporate data more secure.…

  • Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
    Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
    Facebook has responded to critics who attacked the free content ad network for contributing exactly zero bucks to UK corporation tax in 2012, by dishing up a a tiny sum of just £3,000 to HM Revenue & Customs last year.…

  • Panzura's cloudy gear hits others' WAN optimisation kit for six
    If you believe their claims. Promising if true, mind
    Cloudy firm Panzura's cloud storage gateway is saving distributed projects businesses enormous amounts of time when opening shared project files, it claims. So much so that Panzura is now focusing on the Architectural, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) market niche.…

  • Computer misuse: Brits could face LIFE IN PRISON for serious hacking offences
    Vague wording leads to legal uncertainty, says JCHR
    British computer hackers who severely damage the national security of any country could face life in prison under a new criminal offence proposed in the Serious Crime Bill, however the plan has been attacked for lacking legal certainty by MPs and peers.…

  • Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
    Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
    The first images of Comet Siding Spring, a celestial body deemed so menacing that humanity cocooned its very best robots, has turned out to be rather smaller than imagined.…

  • Pagers shout data center creds, pop star airport arrivals
    Encryption: IBM and Australian spooks have heard of it, but aren't using it
    Anyone wanting to know the time world leaders arrive in Australia for the coming G20 summit need only listen to broadcasts from Aussie airports, researcher Ed Farrell has claimed at the Ruxcon conference.…

  • VMware's new enemy no. 1 isn't Hyper-V, it's Vladimir Putin
    Healthy quarter marred by plunge in Russian sales and missed US federal deal
    You can tell a lot about how a company is going by listening to financial analysts' questions at the end of an earnings conference call. When things are good – as they were in VMware's Q1 earnings call – analysts can almost gush. If there's a hint of weakness or illogic, analysts can find all sorts of things about which to ask picky questions.…

  • NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
    It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
    Someone's found (yet) another nasty security flaw in Android, by crafting a way to pack malicious software to look like images.…

  • PARC Alto source code released by computer history museum
    A slice of history: the GUI before the Apple
    The Computer History Museum in Mountain View has released another foundational piece of software to the world at large: some of the code that gave the world the Xerox Alto computer, which among other things helped inspire a couple of young garage developers, Steves Jobs and Wozniak.…

  • Back to the ... drawing board: 'Hoverboard' will disappoint Marty McFly wannabes
    Buzzing board (and some future apps) leave a lot to be desired
    The internet is aflutter over the Kickstarter campaign for the "Hendo Hoverboard", a magnetically levitating toy that the firm alleges will be available on October 21, 2015 – the same day that Michael J Fox programmed into the De Lorean for the second Back to the Future film.…

  • Broadcom pitches chips at OEMs
    'Gigabit' silicon should land in equipment in 2016
    Broadcom has become the latest vendor to stake out its ground in the market, as the ITU's standardisation bods stretch their hands slowly towards the rubber stamp.…

  • San Franciscans: Lyft and UberX want to take you to the airport
    If your driver doesn't pull you out of the car and smash your phone first, that is
    Bay Area residents looking to get to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) received another option this week when Uber announced it had agreed with authorities on a plan to allow UberX and Lyft drivers to travel to and from the airport.…

  • Telstra ambit claim gets ACCC pushback
    Tell 'em they're DREAMING, son
    The stage is set for another drawn-out battle over wholesale telecommunication service pricing in Australia, with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) indicating it's not going to rubber-stamp Telstra's request for a 7.2 per cent price hike.…

  • Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
    Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
    Less than three weeks after it debuted the Windows 10 Technical Preview, Microsoft has shipped a comprehensive update to the pre-release OS that brings substantial changes, including some new features borrowed from Windows Phone.…

  • Apple, GT in SECRET SAPPHIRE peaceable parting PACT
    GT to sell off factory, repay Cupertino loans if deal is approved
    Apple and GT Advanced Technologies, the materials company that was once slated to provide scratchproof sapphire glass for iPhones and other Apple products, have agreed to an "amicable parting of the ways," according to sources with knowledge of GT's bankruptcy litigation.…

  • Chinese APT groups targeting Australian lawyers
    Have a bit of sympathy, people: lawyers hold YOUR data and juicy stuff about big deals
    Law firms are among Australian businesses being targeted by at least 13 Chinese advanced malware groups in a bid to steal intelligence from big business, says forensics bod and Mandiant man Mark Goudie.…

  • ARM heads: Our cores still have legs ... as shares tumble amid 'peak smartphone' fears
    Chip shipments up 19% in Q3, but revenues missed
    British chip design firm ARM Holdings painted a rosy picture of its future growth on Tuesday, but it missed analysts' revenue expectations for the third quarter of its fiscal 2014, reigniting old fears that slowing smartphone growth will hurt the firm's long-term profitability – even though it's looking just fine in the near term.… offline for now

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

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

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

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

  • Debian Now Defaults To Xfce On Non-x86 Desktops
    Back in September Debian switched back to the GNOME desktop by default in place of Xfce for the upcoming Debian 8.0 "Jessie" release. However, as of today, the non-x86 versions of Debian have flip-flopped once again back to Xfce...

  • Phoenix Is Trying To Be An Open Version Of Apple's Swift
    Apple unveiled the Swift programming language at this year's WWDC event but sadly it's still not clear whether Apple will "open up" the language to let it appear on non-Apple platforms. Swift is built atop LLVM and designed to be Apple's successor to Objective-C in many regards while suppoorting C/Obj-C/Obj-C++ all within a single program. With non-Apple folks being interested in the language, it didn't take long before an open-source project started up around it...

  • Facebook's Hack Language Making Progress To Advance PHP
    Earlier this year Facebook launched the Hack language powered by their HipHop Virtual Machine (HHVM) and being based off PHP. Good progress is being made on enhancing the language with interest in the project continuing to grow inside and outside of Facebook...

  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 Offers Great Linux Performance
    Since last month's Linux review of the GeForce GTX 980 as NVIDIA's newest high-end GPU powered by their Maxwell architecture, many Phoronix readers have been requesting Ubuntu Linux tests of the GTX 970 too. I've now got my hands on an EVGA GeForce GTX 970 and am putting it through its paces today.

  • Imagination Releases Full ISA Documentation For PowerVR Rogue GPUs
    Imagination Technologies released the PowerVR SDK v3.4 this morning and while it may not sound too interesting for most Phoronix readers, it's a very interesting release in that for the first time they are providing full instruction set documentation for their latest PowerVR GPUs...

  • Features GNOME Developers Want In The Linux Kernel
    Made into a concise list is a number of features that GNOME developers want to see landed within the Linux kernel, in hopes of kernel developers eventually tackling these wish list features that could help not only GNOME but other desktops too...

  • EXT4 In Linux 3.18 Has Clean-ups, Bug Fixes
    With Linux 3.18-rc1 having came one week early, the EXT4 file-system pull request didn't end up landing until today. However, the EXT4 changes aren't overly exciting for the 3.18 merge window...

  • Debian 7.7 Released With Various Bug-Fixes
    While some are busy debating whether Debian should be forked, the upstream Debian release team is moving forward and has announced the stable release of Debian 7.7...

  • Linux 3.18-rc1 Released One Week Early With Many Changes
    While Linus Torvalds initially anticipated the Linux 3.18 merge window being three weeks in length due to his Linux Foundation conference travels, he ended up managing to release Linux 3.18-rc1 after just two weeks... The release is out there now with its many changes...

  • CompuLab Intense-PC2: An Excellent, Fanless, Mini PC Powered By Intel's i7 Haswell
    Last month in a preview article I mentioned I was testing CompuLab's Intense-PC2 and that it was a great Haswell-based mini Linux PC. After using it now for another month and putting it through its paces with many strenuous benchmarking workloads and trying out other Linux distributions, I remain enthusiastic about the Intense-PC2 and it being a great offering for Linux (and even Windows/BSD) users.

  • Direct3D 9 Support Might Land Within Mainline Mesa 3D Drivers
    It looks like we could see the Direct3D 9 (Gallium3D Nine) state tracker land within Mesa! This state tracker can be used for accelerating D3D9-using Windows games via Wine and other purposes. The Gallium3D Nine patches are called for review as of this Saturday morning with ambitions of being merged to master...


  • AT&T's focus on connected cars is beginning to pay off
    General Motors and Audi, as well as establish a developer platform called AT&T Drive. The company says that this brings the total number of AT&T-connected vehicles to two million, which means that it increased its fleet by roughly thirty percent. This is no small growth, and as more and more new cars come out with built-in connectivity, that growth isn't going to slow down anytime soon; in an SEC document filed three weeks ago, AT&T says it expects to connect over 10 million vehicles by the end of 2017. To achieve that goal, it'll have to activate 650,000 cars each quarter, but given the massive growth we've already seen in the past year or two, it's hard to believe that the company wouldn't exceed its initial estimate. And since AT&T is now breaking out connected cars into its own sub-category in the earnings reports, it's obvious that the wireless operator is starting to see its efforts pay off in dividends.

    [Image credit: Getty Images]

    Filed under: Mobile, AT&T


    Source: AT&T

  • Google Earth for Android is now faster, better at 3D exploration

    Heads up, Android fans: Google Earth for your phones is about to get a lot better. That's what the folks in Mountain View are promising, anyway -- they've released an update to the app brings with it snappier performance and improved labels for maps (you'll never wonder where Foster City and Redwood Shores begin and end again). Perhaps the biggest change, though -- a completely rebuilt 3D rendering engine -- means those cityscapes and mountain ranges you pore over should show up with more crispness and clarity. Try not to lord that over your friends using Apple Maps, will you? Throw in a way to import your own custom .KML files into the app from Google Drive and you've got all the makings of a pretty momentous update. Itching to take it for a spin? Mosey on over to the Google Play Store to get your globetrotting fix.

    Filed under: Mobile


    Source: Google

  • Bank of America issues refunds after double-charging Apple Pay users

    Went on a spending spree with your Bank of America debit card the moment Apple Pay hit your iPhone? You might be in for a (brief) shock. The bank is now issuing refunds after it charged at least some Apple Pay users twice when they made purchases at retail shops. While it hasn't said what triggered the glitch, the issue doesn't appear to involve Apple's software -- there haven't been widespread reports of problems with other cards, and Apple itself doesn't process transactions. Whatever was the cause, it's not surprising that a major mobile payment service would run into some hiccups just after launch. Let's just hope that things go more smoothly from here on out.

    Filed under: Cellphones, Mobile, Apple


    Source: Cult of Mac

  • Technology changed product placement (and you didn't even notice)

    As the music video starts, Avicii nonchalantly wanders into Stockholm's Tele2 Arena. He strolls past the venue's reception; a Grand Marnier poster gets some vital screen time. The bass drops. The crowd goes wild. For some reason, I feel like drinking.

    Over the past few weeks, Avicii fans in the US have been unknowingly drawing an association between their favorite Swedish DJ's proghouse hit "Lay me Down" and orange-flavored cognac. Everywhere else in the world, the brand is never seen -- a plain wall lies in its place. It's one of the first examples of a new kind of temporary product placement called "digital insertion." Typically, product placement currently takes the form of a lingering product shot -- like a Beats Pill speaker at the start of a Miley Cyrus video. With recent advances, companies can now use algorithms to digitally serve you unique product placements based on where you live, your age or your salary. It's a creepy concept, but it could change advertising forever.

    The Grand Marnier spot is the work of Mirriad, an agency that sells what it calls "advertising for the skip generation." Mirriad uses highly complex analysis tools to map video clips, automatically discerning the best places to insert products, billboards and other adverts. The software it created tracks objects and backgrounds in each frame, creating an optical flow of how objects move from second to second and essentially mapping the video in 3D. This enables both planar tracking (for modifying flat surfaces like walls, computer screens or newspapers) and 3D tracking (for placing complex 3D objects into a moving scene).

    Mark Popkiewicz, Mirriad CEO, explains the potential for the company's technology. "We can embed brand assets, digital forms of whatever the brand is. It could be signage, like posters or billboards; it could be actual products. Anything from a can of Coke, a packet of Frosties, a mobile phone. You name it. It can even be a car; we've done many of those."

    Mirriad has signed some big deals with Vevo and Universal Music Group (UMG) over the past six months. It also recently announced a partnership with advertising firm Havas to match the right companies to the right videos. Havas is an industry giant with huge brands on its books, and the first wave of Mirriad-UMG placements will include Coca-Cola, LG and Dish Network.

    Product placement is obviously nothing new. It dates back almost a century in radio and film, and has its beginnings in literature: Companies reportedly clamored to get a mention in Jules Verne's 19th century novel Around the World in Eighty Days. Music videos, too, have long been firmly in the grasp of brands, with many clips acting as thinly veiled advertisements for Beats, Coca-Cola and countless other brands. However, these placements come with their problems.

    Advertising is ephemeral. Why should product placement be any different?

    Ever seen the first minute of Hilary Duff's "All About You" video? It's essentially an Amazon Fire Phone commercial. How valuable will that ad be to Amazon in five years' time? You need only look at the countless '00s musicians flashing two-way pagers for your answer. Regular advertising, be it in print, web or TV, is ephemeral. The ads running alongside this article, for example, are for current products and companies. Why should product placement be any different? Once Grand Marnier's contract expires, Avicii may be walking past a Ford poster, or a can of Sprite.

    But let's not forget location. At the time of writing, the Fire Phone is available in exactly three countries, yet anyone in the world can watch "All About You." With digital product placement, the same artist can plug different brands depending on where the video is viewed. When it comes to buying these ads, Mirriad's software automatically generates metadata about videos it processes, cataloging not only the advertising opportunities in each, but also the ideal target market and the value of placements -- in fact, it's really quite similar to web advertising. Rather than Microsoft placing branding on Taylor Swift's wall, the company need only come to Mirriad and explain what kind of people it wants to advertise to. A campaign could target a million views from 16- to 24-year-olds in the US over a four-week period. Mirriad then embeds the relevant ads into as many videos as necessary to meet that target, using existing analytics from YouTube and others to prove their worth.

    "There's no algorithm in the world that can tell you, 'This is a good place for Smirnoff.'"

    "Our algorithms monitor down to a pixel level the actual exposure on screen, time, size, location and orientation of the brand so that we're always meeting and exceeding a minimum level of exposure," says Popkiewicz. "Our technology is monitoring that, so that when you buy a campaign from us, you're going to get a guaranteed level of exposure ... For the brands, it takes the uncertainty out of advertising." Of course, there are limits to what can be automated. "There's no algorithm in the world that can tell you, 'This is a good place for Smirnoff because it's a party atmosphere,' as opposed to, 'This is a good place for Starbucks because it's an office environment.' Those sort of things we have to leave to human judgment."

    Mirriad has already brought its ads to TV, and it's not the first company to do so, either. If you're in the UK and you watch Hannibal or Bones, chances are you've seen some digital product placement, while in the US, rival firm SeamBI offered a similar service that was used to, among other things, Comments

  • Pivotal Living hopes you'll pay $12 a year to use its fitness tracker

    Fitness trackers come a dime a dozen and worse, they all seem to do the same thing: monitor your step count, calorie burn and sleep quality. As it happens, the Life Tracker 1, the first device from a startup called Pivotal Living, does all these things, and not much more. But it's not what the product does or how it looks that has the potential to distinguish it -- it's how you pay for it. Whereas most health trackers cost somewhere around $100, and work with a free companion app, Pivotal Living is charging $12 a year for access to its Android and iOS apps. For the money, you also get the hardware, a simple plastic band with an OLED screen for showing your daily step and calorie count. Every time the company introduces a new iteration, you can renew or extend your subscription for $12 and in so doing, get the latest piece of kit. If you ever cancel, you can keep the band and continue to view your daily stats on the device; you just won't have access to the app, or any of your big-picture data.

    Basically, it's like the fitness equivalent of a subsidized phone: In exchange for long-term service fees, you pay less for the hardware than you normally would. Except in this case, the math might actually work in the consumer's favor. To equal the cost of Jawbone's $130 Up24 band, for instance, you'd have to pay $12 a year for more than 10 years, and keep the same device that whole time. That's just not happening, though. I mean, first of all, a device won't last nearly that long. Even Jawbone's bands, which are somewhat ruggedized, have just a one-year warranty. And besides, there comes a point when you want to keep up with the technology. Imagine how the owners of the older Up band felt when Jawbone finally came out with one that could sync wirelessly. Then imagine putting up with that sort of thing for a whole decade. Yeah, like I said: not happening.

    In theory, then, the $12-a-year deal could be worth it -- if, of course, the device works well and the user experience is good. I'll be the first to admit, I haven't used the Life Tracker 1 beyond a few minutes of hands-on time, so I can't tell you how accurate the calorie and step read-outs are. But from what I've seen, the app seems well-designed and easy to use. From the app, you can drill down to get more information on your weight, how well you slept, how many calories you've burned, how active you've been and how well hydrated you are. Throughout, the app is color-coded, so it's especially easy to know if you've left the calorie section and entered the sleep graph. And hey, who doesn't love a rainbow color palette?

    I also like how easy it is to enter information in the app. If you want to adjust your current weight for instance, or indicate how much water you've had to drink, you can do so by moving your finger over a sliding scale; no text input necessary. In fact, it's for that reason that the current app doesn't include a food-logging feature -- CEO David Donovick says there's just no convenient way to do it. (Jawbone might beg to differ.) Also, in the event that some of your friends use the app too, you get granular control over exactly which stats certain people and groups can see.

    All told, the one thing that gives me pause is that the device doesn't automatically sync; you have to do it manually by swiping down in the app to refresh. I suppose this could be beneficial to battery life (the device is rated for five to seven days of runtime), but that's also not how people expect fitness trackers to work. Speaking of battery life, the device charges over USB, and takes a little under an hour to reach 100 percent.

    The device is up for pre-order now, and is expected to ship the first or second week of December. Will we review it? Hopefully! In the meantime, would any of you do a subscription deal like this? Sound off in the comments.

    Filed under: Wearables


    Source: Pivotal Living

  • Jawbone's Drop lets you build music playlists using tweets

    At Twitter's Flight mobile developer conference, Jawbone just announced a new app called Drop, which lets you and your friends create and manage playlists with tweets. Hosain Rahman, Jawbone's CEO, says that this would be very useful in party situations, where each guest wants to add a different song to the party playlist. Once you're in the app, you can "drop" a song in a playlist by sending a tweet to a specific username. Further, you don't need the app to add songs -- your friends can just mention you on Twitter and the word "drop" followed by the name of the song or artist. According to Jawbone, the list is comprised of songs on Spotify or Rdio, so you'll need a premium or paid subscription to either of the two music services to use Drop. It should be available for iOS today, with no word on an Android version just yet.

    Filed under: Misc


    Source: Jawbone

  • Pandora lets artists know just how well their music is doing

    Many musicians put their tunes on Pandora in the hopes that they'll build an audience, but how are they supposed to know it's working? That's what the streaming service's new Artist Marketing Platform (AMP) aims to solve. The initiative gives performers data on not just how many plays and thumbs-up ratings their songs get, but the demographics of who's listening and where the music is taking off -- very handy for planning a national tour. It won't guarantee that your indie band catches a big break, but it could help you focus your musical talents where they matter the most.

    [Image credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images]

    Filed under: Internet


    Source: Pandora (1), (2)

  • Twitter trades passwords for phone numbers with Digits login

    At its mobile developer conference in San Francisco, Twitter just announced Digits, a brand-new way to log in to apps with just your phone number. Instead of going through the tedious process of signing up with an email and password or using one of many different social logins, all you need is to enter in your number. When you do, you'll get a confirmation code via SMS. Enter that in as well, and away you go; no need to remember passwords or go through CAPTCHAs. Digits is not based on your Twitter account at all; it's actually an entirely new product that developers can incorporate into their apps. It's a key part of Fabric, Twitter's new mobile development kit that it's rolling out today. Digits is available for iOS, Android and the web, and it's available in 216 countries in 28 languages right now.

    Aside from Digits, Fabric includes several other tools that Twitter hopes developers will incorporate into their existing apps, such as Crashlytics, the crash-reporting tool that the company bought last year, and MoPub, its advertising platform. There's also something called TwitterKit, which finally brings system-level Twitter sign-on to Android, a service that's been on iOS for a while now. This means that you only need to sign on to Twitter once on an Android phone, and you'll be able to easily access all apps that require a Twitter login. Especially of note is that developers can now not only embed tweets in their apps, but also add the ability to compose and post tweets inside of them without having to launch the dedicated Twitter app.


    Source: Digits

  • Google's 'Inbox' is a smarter take on email, created by the Gmail team

    If you're anything like us, Google's Gmail has an iron grip on your life. Google's looking to create a whole new iron grip with a new app from its Gmail team, and it's called "Inbox." What is it? That's a good question -- Google's made a demo slash advertisement video that we've dropped below. As far as we can tell, Inbox is a combination of Google Now and your Gmail inbox -- a "smart" inbox, if you will. It combines alike pieces of email (bank invoices, for example), highlights related information (like Google Now alerting you to flight changes, traffic, etc.) and keeps track of your life (it'll give you reminders, among other heads ups). Is this the end of Gmail? We seriously doubt it, but it is Google's latest foray into simplifying email. Head below for more!

    In introducing the service, Google's Sundar Pinchai called out the frustration of an overflowing email inbox. Inbox is Google's attempt to make the inbox more approachable and organized without much user effort. " For many of us, dealing with email has become a daily chore that distracts from what we really need to do-rather than helping us get those things done," Pinchai wrote. "If this all sounds familiar, then Inbox is for you. Or more accurately, Inbox works for you."

    As seen below in GIF form, the app both shows prioritized events and emails you've received. Think of it as the lovechild of Cards and Gmail. Whether it'll replace our standard Gmail app is another question altogether; trading the flexibility of Gmail for a more streamlined inbox is appealing, but also Gmail has an iron grip on our lives. In case that wasn't clear the first time.

    The app's still in the invite stage, and Google says the first round of invites are already out in the world. Should your current Gmail (or whatever service) inbox be without an invite, Google's set up an email address for you to ask to get in on the action. It's only running on a Nexus 6 in the image, but Google says it runs on Android phones with Jellybean or better (4.1+) and iPhones running iOS 7 or better. There's a web-client as well, but it's a Chrome-exclusive.

    [Image credit: Google]

    Filed under: Cellphones, Tablets, Internet, Software, Mobile, Google


    Source: Google

  • New Sky+ app pushes pictures from your mobile devices to the big screen

    For anyone with a Sky+HD box, the Sky+ app for Android and iOS gives you a handy way to manage recordings while away from home, and lets you use mobile devices as substitute remotes when you're plonked in front of the TV. Now, with an updated version of the app released today, you can also use it to push your summer holiday snaps to the biggest display in your living room. As long as the smartphone or tablet running the Sky+ app is connected to the same WiFi network as your set-top box, tap the new camera icon in the app's navigation bar and you'll be able to send any images stored on the device to your TV screen, or set a slideshow running.
    The update also tweaks the app's UI to make it look more like the new Sky+ homepage. As such, you now have access to the "New & Recommended" content category, as well as a shortcut to all the sports channels and details of upcoming live events. The app now works with Sky's Smart Series Link feature, too, which automatically records the next season of a show you've instructed it to record previously. Furthermore, Sky teamed up with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to make the new version of the app more accessible. It now works with the voice-over features built into Android and iOS, so it's able to talk blind and partially sighted users through any information displayed on-screen, while also letting them navigate around the app using a series of gestures.
    Filed under: Cellphones, Home Entertainment, Tablets, Software, Mobile


    Source: Sky (1), (2)

  • Daimler sells its stake in Tesla as its EV partner grows up

    They grow up so fast, don't they? It seems like just yesterday (well, 2009) that Daimler bought a stake in Tesla to give it a boost and secure a partner for electric car development, and the German automaker is now selling that stake a mere five years later. According to the company, an investment is simply "not necessary" any more -- Daimler can cooperate with Tesla on EVs without needing a say in its finances. The sale is theoretically a win for both companies. Daimler will pocket about $780 million, while Tesla can attract a wider range of investors.

    The sell-off is partly a reflection of Tesla's health, since it's no longer a scrappy little startup that could easily run into trouble and jeopardize others' plans. However, it also lets Daimler reduce its involvement in a company which is quickly becoming a rival. The Model S is widely considered a threat to Daimler's higher-end Mercedes cars, and the competition is only going get fiercer with the Model S P85D, Model X and Model 3 likely to encroach on the brand's turf. While Daimler says that everything remains friendly, this move will let it quickly cut ties if things ever go sour.

    Filed under: Transportation


    Via: Bloomberg

    Source: Daimler

  • Offended by the 'Hatred' trailer? You're a hypocrite (and that's a good thing)

    This week, a game about a genocidal maniac was announced. There's a video trailer for the game that depicts ultraviolent bedlam: a murder spree of innocent victims, many begging for their lives. So it's basically another week in video games, then? Not quite.

    Okay, okay -- let's rewind and unpack. An unknown development studio from Poland (Destructive Creations) released an announcement trailer (with extremely violent gameplay and sociopathic dialog) for its upcoming PC game, Hatred. The video's around 90 seconds long and, if you're like me, you'll likely find it difficult to sit through. Before the very, very angry main character begins his murder spree, he declares, "My genocide crusade begins here." He's a tall, muscular, white guy with long black hair -- he sort of looks like Glenn Danzig -- and he's about to kill a lot of people. But isn't that what you do in loads of other games? Yes! But also no.

    This is not a piece about Hatred (the game). What we've seen of it thus far is a single trailer (above) that's by most standards offensive and, more importantly, bland looking. I want to address the difference between Hatred's brand of violence and, say, Grand Theft Auto's.

    In both games, you're given free rein to murder innocent civilians. I've personally spent many hours careening down the sidewalks of Liberty City, or Vice City, or San Andreas, mowing down pedestrians to accrue police stars and play the game of "survive as a mass murderer." It's a game that Grand Theft Auto's worlds allow -- even enable -- but it's not "the point." And it certainly feels a lot different than what Hatred's trailer portrays. But why? And does "the point" matter when you're acting virtually sociopathic?

    There are loads of ultraviolent games. Remember Manhunt? How about on the receiving end of flak for his violent game. He likens his work to a form of catharsis. "Stories -- told by books, movies or experiences through video games -- allow for catharsis that satisfies our primal side without any discernible harm to anyone," Chmielarz told me via email this week. He's a longtime game developer with some seriously gruesome work on his resume, including the just-released Gaming, Software, HD


  • 'Dorothy' lets you click your heels to hail a cab

    What if you could click your red heels to get home, like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz? A new wearable concept -- aptly dubbed "Dorothy" -- might let you do just that. It consists of a small clip called "Ruby" that attaches to your shoe and communicates with your phone via Bluetooth. The clip has an accelerometer and, when you tap your heels together three times, it sends an alert to the companion app. What the app does with that alert is up to you, but the company behind Dorothy, iStrategyLabs, is working to integrate the Uber API to automatically call an Uber to your location.

    For now, Dorothy is just a prototype. It's a little too bulky to comfortably fit in a shoe, but iStrategyLabs says it's "exploring" smaller models that could potentially fit within an insole. It's also asking for ideas about what actions clicking your heels together could trigger. Now repeat after me: There's no place like home. There's no place like home. There's no place like...

    Filed under: Wearables


    Source: iStrategyLabs

  • Congress won't pass a law letting the FBI access your encrypted data
    see your phone's encrypted data doesn't mean he'll get his way. Members of Congress from both major parties, including House Representatives Darrell Issa and Zoe Lofgren as well as Senator Ron Wyden, are saying that there's "zero chance" they'll pass a bill requiring that device encryption includes backdoor access for federal investigators. They argue that law enforcement has blown whatever chance it had at public support -- accountability problems at multiple agencies (especially the NSA) have led many to distrust the government's data requests. As it stands, the FBI is battling some fierce legal headwinds. The House recently passed a bill banning the NSA from using backdoor searches, and it's doubtful that these politicians will heed Comey's calls for more access.

    The director's requests haven't passed technical muster so far, either. While he casts the encryption access as a "front door" that would have transparency, it would still amount to a mandatory security hole. Anyone who figured out how to exploit that access, whether it's a thief or a government surveillance agent, would have access to your content. Also, encryption doesn't lock everything away -- the feds can still intercept phone calls and many other forms of unprotected (or loosely protected) content that they want when pursuing cases. Your phone may not be completely secure, then, but there are enough privacy concerns that the FBI isn't likely to get the keys to your kingdom any time in the near future.

    [Image credit: Getty Images]

    Filed under: Cellphones, Internet, Mobile


    Via: Motherboard, Phone Arena

    Source: Darrell Issa (Twitter), The Hill

  • Samsung's big Galaxy Tab 4 gets the Barnes & Noble treatment

    We weren't terribly fond of Samsung and Barnes & Noble's first tablet mashup, but it seems at least a few people were. If you happen to fall into that category, congratulations -- that odd couple has something else that might be up your alley. The new Galaxy Tab 4 Nook 10.1 is technically the largest Nook ever released (only because Samsung already did the heavy lifting with design and production) and once again it's basically a stock tablet with BN apps like Nook Library and Nook Shop sprinkled into the mix for good measure. Everything else -- from the 1.2GHz Qualcomm chipset running the show, to the 10.1-inch display running at 1280x800, to the full eye-searing load of Samsung software tweaks -- is a well-known quantity so you'll know exactly what you're getting into. On the plus side at least, the Nook-ified version of the Tab 4 10.1 costs the same $199 as the bog-standard version (after instant rebate, at least) and comes with $200 of sweet, sweet content gratis. Interest piqued? You can pick up yours starting today, but you should only do so after thinking about it really, really hard.


    Source: Barnes & Noble

  • iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 now available in certain UK stores

    Apple began accepting online orders for the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 shortly after the new tablets were announced last week, but if you'd rather not wait for a delivery, you can pick one up in-store as of today. Apple's own retail outlets now have the new generation of slates in stock, as do select John Lewis locations, including the flagship London Oxford Street, High Wycombe and Edinburgh stores. Be aware this is the very first batch to hit the UK, so shops might not be able to hook you up with the exact hardware configuration and colour scheme you so desperately want. The iPad Air 2 and mini 3 start at £399 and £319, respectively, with prices increasing based on storage capacity and/or the addition of LTE connectivity. If you'd prefer to spread the cost of new iPad across the term of a mobile data contract, O2 and EE are currently accepting preorders for both tablets, with Three and Vodafone saying they'll joining the fray soon.

    Filed under: Tablets, Apple


    Via: Digital Spy

  • iMac with Retina display review: A best-in-class screen makes it worth the high price

    When Apple held one of its big keynotes last week, it was easy to think of it as "iPad day." Sure enough, the company announced some upgraded tablets, but it was a desktop, of all things, that stole the show. Though the new 27-inch iMac with Retina display has the same overall design as Apple's previous all-in-ones, it ushers in a 14.7-million-pixel 5K display with screen resolution of 5,120 x 2,880. That's seven times as many pixels as 1080p, and 67 percent more than you'll find even on a 4K panel. I'm not exaggerating when I say there's nothing like it. As it is, you'd be hard-pressed to find a 4K all-in-one, and meanwhile, here's this machine from Apple, with enough pixels to view a 4K video at full resolution, and still have room left onscreen for other stuff, like the Final Cut Pro dashboard. Needless to say, it's in a league -- and price class -- of its own. Starting at $2,499, it's more expensive than almost any other all-in-one on the market, even the supposedly high-end ones. As it turns out, though, if it's this kind of screen quality you're after, this might well be your only choice.
    Look and feel

    I'll make this part quick. With the exception of that gorgeous 5K screen, the Retina display iMac has the same design and dimensions as the regular 27-inch model, which came out back in 2012. As ever, the bezel measures just 5mm thick, making for one thin screen. Of course, you won't notice the slim frame unless you view it from the sides. And besides, the rest of the machine isn't nearly as skinny -- the desktop still puffs out behind the display where all the components live, and you'll need to budget enough room on your desk to fit a machine that measures 25.6 inches wide. The metal stand in the back naturally adds to that footprint, though Apple smartly put a keyhole in there to allow for tidier cable management. Throughout, the machine is fashioned out of the same smooth aluminum as the MacBook line, making for a premium design.

    All in all, I dig the aesthetic here, and always have. When Apple first unveiled it two years ago, though, I was adamant that thin bezels alone weren't a good enough reason to buy a new iMac. I still feel that way, though there have always been other reasons you might want one. In this case, that stunner of a display. That's an excellent excuse to spend twice as much on an all-in-one as you normally would.

    Speaking of the sort, I promise I'll get to the display in just a minute. First, though, let's go over the ports, just to be thorough. All of the ports and openings are located on the backside toward the bottom, with everything arranged in a neat row. This includes a headphone jack, SDXC slot, four USB 3.0 ports, two Thunderbolt 2 sockets and a Gigabit Ethernet jack. There's also a Kensington lock slot and the all-important power port, which is located right behind the stand, making it easier to just thread the power cable through the keyhole.

    One thing you won't notice are the speakers, but believe me, they're there -- two of 'em. Specifically, Apple squeezed them into the chambers on either side of the screen, with the sound firing downward through the lower bezel. For a sound setup you can't even see, it's actually quite robust. Finally, the iMac ships with the same, old wireless keyboard, along with your choice of an Apple Mouse, Magic Mouse (gesture-enabled) or Magic Trackpad. As ever, the keyboard is comfortable to type on, if a tad flat, and I like the Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad equally. You can't go wrong with either, though you can also buy both for an extra $69 if you're worried about missing out.

    "I just wanna stare at it."

    That's what a colleague said when he first saw the Retina iMac, and even now that I've been playing with it for a few days, I feel the same way. The best way I can describe it is this: Unboxing it is kind of like setting up your first HDTV. I didn't want to do anything for the first few minutes; I just wanted to swap in new desktop backgrounds, each sharper than the last, and see how many details I could pick out. Even the flat new icons in OS X Yosemite look great, but you're probably going to need some 4K video or high-res photos if you want to make the most of the screen. (I imagine the photo and video enthusiasts this machine is aimed at will have that on hand anyway.) If you can get yourself some nice test pictures, maybe a few shot by professionals, you'll notice extraordinary detail in everything from leather to reptilian skin. Macro shots, in particular, are about as close as you can get to feeling like you're looking out a window. ("That's not OK," a different colleague said as I showed him this image of an eyeball.) Given the right image, one with accurate colors and impeccable sharpness, there's little separating that collection of pixels from the real thing.

    But it's not just the resolution that makes this a best-in-class display -- the image quality is also top-notch. For starters, Apple used Oxide TFT (thin-film transistor) technology to keep the brightness even throughout the 27-inch panel. Apple also added a so-called compensation film for viewing angles. Indeed, colors stay pungent even from severe off-angles -- unrealistically wide angles, I mean. The truth is, though, that the last two years of iMacs had wide viewing angles as well, with relatively little glare, so whatever Apple did here, it feels more like it fine-tuned an already-excellent display. Ditto for the colors: They're vivid and lifelike, but then again, I said the same thing about the last generation of iMacs.

    Additionally, Apple borrowed the same "organic passivation" technique it uses on its Retina iPads, which has a positive effect on both image clarity and power consumption. Speaking of the sort, Apple says this model uses 30 percent less power than the previous-gen of iMacs, which is important because no one wants a display this pixel-dense to overheat. Behind it all, there's a custom Apple-designed timing controller chip to tell each pixel what to do.

    All told, my biggest complaint about the display is that you can't use it as a second screen. While some earlier iMacs could work as standalone monitors, the 5K iMac is designed to be used as an all-in-one only. Unfortunately, too, there's currently no standalone 5K Cinema Display, though I wouldn't be surprised if one were in the works. For now, though, that means if you already own a new Mac Pro and want a super-sharp display to play back 4K content, you'll need to look to other brands.
    Performance Geekbench (multi-core) Xbench Blackmagic (average read/write speeds) iMac (2014, 3.5GHz Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2GB AMD Radeon R9 M290X) 11,344 (32-bit) / 12,394 (64-bit) 643.65 659.0/311.5 MB/s Mac Pro (2013, 3.7GHz Intel Xeon E5-1620, dual 2GB AMD FirePro D300) 12,650 (32-bit) / 14,207 (64-bit) 601.98 918.6/761.2 MB/s iMac (2013, 27-inch, 3.4GHz Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M) 10,920 (32-bit) / 11,867 (64-bit) 539.73
    667.9/318.1 MB/s iMac (2012, 27-inch, 3.4GHz Core i7, 8GB RAM, 2GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX) 13,045 (32-bit) 560.44
    409.6/320.1 MB/s iMac (2012, 21.5-inch, 3.1GHz Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512MB NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M) 12,577 (32-bit) 531.91
    409.6/320.1 MB/s
    Though the display is really the big story here, we can't forget that this is a $2,499 machine. And you do want to know how that $2,499 machine performs, don'tcha? Of course you do. For the purposes of my review, I tested the entry-level model, which comes with a 3.5GHz quad-core Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 1TB Fusion Drive and a 2GB AMD Radeon R9 M290X GPU. In general-performance benchmarks like Geekbench and Xbench, I saw a slight bump over last year's iMac, which ran on a slightly lower-clocked Intel Core i5 processor and a different GPU. Meanwhile, on Cinebench, my OpenGL test, results rose slightly from 80.18 frames per second to 90.54 fps, while the CPU score saw a slight increase from 525 to 540.

    At the same time, because both of my test units had a Fusion Drive combining a 128GB SSD with a 1TB 7,200RPM hard drive, things like disk speeds and startup times were roughly the same. This time around, for instance, I got average read speeds of 659 MB/s compared with 668 MB/s, and write speeds of 311.5 MB/s versus 318.1. Not a big difference. It's a similar story with the boot-up: It took about 15 seconds here, compared with 13 the last time around. Very similar results, all around.
    Read speeds Write speeds 1GB 665.15 MB/s 315.53 MB/s 2GB 666.71 MB/s 310.79 MB/s 3GB 655.09 MB/s 309.14 MB/s 4GB 651.65 MB/s 309.01 MB/s 5GB 656.34 MB/s 312.99 MB/s
    But enough about benchmarks -- let's talk about 4K. I mean, that's what this machine was built for, right? And how. To put the new iMac through its paces, I loaded up Final Cut Pro with around 10 gigabytes of 4K video clips, and then got to work editing. Much like the newest Mac Pro, which came out last year, the Retina iMac has enough horsepower that you can quickly add effects to 4K files in Final Cut Pro, even while the file is playing back. Whether it was the "camcorder" effect or a black-and-white filter, I saw my clips transform immediately, with no wait time and no pause in the playback.

    Speaking of the sort, to ensure smooth playback, I enabled a setting in Final Cut Pro that causes the clip to pause when a frame drops. I'm happy to say the playback never actually paused. Oh, and in case you're wondering, it took four minutes and 53 seconds to export that 10GB project as a 1080p file, optimized for Apple devices. I have nothing to compare that export time to, but I will say that's the only time the iMac ever got noisy. Not loud, really, but I could definitely hear the fans start to kick in. Aside from performance potential, that's one of the bigger differences between this and the higher-end Mac Pro: The Pro stays whisper-quiet under even heavier loads.

    Though the Retina display iMac wasn't built for gaming, specifically, I decided to try my hand anyway. After all, a $2,499 machine with discrete graphics should be able to turn in a respectable showing, ya know? In any case, it is indeed respectable. Even at native resolution (5,120 x 2,880), I got frame rates of up to 26 fps (average of 22 fps) in the three-year-old Batman: Arkham City. That's with details and anti-aliasing both set on medium. Once I turned off anti-aliasing and dropped the resolution to 4,096 x 2,304, the average frame rate climbed to 34 fps. At 3,200 x 1,800, it jumped to 52 fps. And at 2,560 x 1,440 -- the same resolution as most other high-end all-in-ones -- the game purred along at 78 frames per second. Again, I'm not saying the iMac is a gaming phenom, but the fact that it's playable at resolutions not even offered on other all-in-ones bodes well for the graphics muscle. What's that? You'd prefer to play at max settings? Let's be real: You're probably not seriously considering buying this anyway.

    The Retina display iMac arrives alongside OS X Yosemite, Apple's latest desktop operating system, which became available to the general public last week following a large beta program. If you're interested in every painstaking detail, you really should read my review, but in case you don't wanna open another article right now, I'll do my best to condense everything into a few hundred words. Basically, the most important thing you need to know is that while OS X will run on any relatively recent Mac, you'll need an iDevice of some sort to make the most of the operating system. With this latest update, you can make and receive calls on your Mac, as well as send and receive text messages, and use your iPhone as an auto-connecting hotspot. You can also start using an app like Pages on your mobile device and pick it up on your computer, or vice versa. Likewise, you can remotely open and close Safari tabs on your iOS device, as well as view your entire iCloud search history.

    To do any of this, though, you need an iPhone, or maybe an iPad or iPod touch. In some cases, too, you need to be using Apple's own apps, like Safari or Mail, instead of third-party ones like Gmail. If, like many users, you own an Android phone, or use Google Drive or OneDrive for cloud storage, many of the best new features will be useless to you. For those people, the main appeal will be the much-improved Spotlight search, some new Mail features (if you even use the Mail app) and a flat, iOS-inspired design. And even that has been a source of controversy among the Mac faithful. Then again, why grouse? It's a perfectly fine operating system, and besides, it's not like you even have a choice: If you buy the new 5K iMac, this is what you're going to get.
    Configuration options

    The Retina display iMac starts at $2,499 with a 3.5GHz quad-core Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 1TB Fusion Drive and AMD Radeon R9 M290X graphics with 2GB of GDDR5 video memory. From there, you've got a few upgrade options. On the CPU side, you can step up to a 4.0GHz quad-core Core i7 chip to the tune of $250. You can increase the RAM to either 16GB ($200) or 32GB ($600). For $250, you also have the option of adding a beefier GPU (the AMD R9 M295X), which comes with four gigs of VRAM, not two. Finally, let's talk storage. For the same starting price of $2,499, you can get a 256GB SSD instead of that 1TB Fusion Drive. Alternatively, you can choose a 3TB disk ($150), a 512GB solid-state drive ($300) or a 1TB SSD ($800). Do you have $800 to spend on a 1TB SSD, by the way? Well, then. I'm jealous of you.
    The competition

    If you ask Apple, the Retina display iMac's main competition doesn't necessarily come from other all-in-ones, but rather, standalone 4K displays. It's a fair point: Dedicated monitors sometimes run thousands of dollars, and that's without a full computer inside. As I've already said, though, this is a slightly misleading argument, since the 5K iMac can't be used as a secondary display. So, if you already own a powerhouse machine and just want a stunning monitor to go with it, then the iMac's price is irrelevant; you're still going to have to pay market value for a 4K screen.

    Speaking of which, not all 4K and Ultra HD displays are created (or priced) equal. You could, for instance, buy the 32-inch Sharp PNK-321 for $4,795 (though current prices are hovering around $3,600); Dell's forthcoming 5K display, which will cost $2,500; or ASUS' 31.5-inch PQ321Q, which has a list price of $3,000 (with several retailers offering it for around $2,100). But they're not all that expensive. On the other side of the spectrum, there's the 28-inch Dell P2815Q, which has 4K resolution (not 5K) and goes for $600, before any instant-sale pricing. Similarly, Samsung's 28-inch U28D590D also costs $600, and has an identical resolution of 3,840 X 2,160. In any case, Apple's marketing people are probably correct that the best-quality 4K displays cost thousands of dollars, but you definitely don't need to spend three grand for a monitor with that resolution.

    And what if you do want an all-in-one with a 4K display? How much is that gonna cost? Obviously, if you're dead-set on Mac OS, this is your only option -- that is, unless you're willing to settle for the regular iMac, which has either 1,920 x 1,080 or 2,560 x 1,440 resolution, depending on whether you get the 21.5 or 27-inch model. Across the aisle, in the world of Windows PCs, it's slim pickings, unfortunately -- at least if you want a screen anywhere close to the Retina iMac's.

    Dell's XPS 27 starts at a lower price of $1,600, but its 2,560 x 1,440 resolution falls short of 4K, let alone the 5K Apple is offering. Ditto for the ASUS ET2702IGTH and Lenovo's 27-inch A730 all-in-one, which is said on the company's site to be "coming soon" with a 2,560 x 1,440 screen. Over at HP, meanwhile, the highest-end desktop you can find is the $1,400 Envy Recline 27, and even that tops out at 1080p resolution. So yes, the new iMac is "expensive," in the sense that it costs more than its rivals. But you're also getting a much sharper screen, one that belongs in its own league. Seriously, those other models don't even come close.

    The Retina display iMac is the best all-in-one desktop you can buy right now, and yes, the $2,499 seems fair, considering the amazing display. That said, precisely because it's twice as expensive as some rival machines, I wouldn't recommend it to everyone. There are casual users -- web surfers, Facebookers -- who will be perfectly satisfied with the regular iMac, which starts at $1,099. But for people who are serious about their photos, and serious about their videos, this new model is in a class of its own. There's simply nothing else like it -- no other 5K all-in-one, not even a 4K machine that would come sort of close.

    In particular, I'd recommend this to someone who couldn't quite justify the Mac Pro, which starts at $2,999 without a monitor. Even the entry-level, $2,499 Retina iMac handles 4K video editing smoothly and remember, you don't have to pay extra for a super-high-res screen. Now, if you already own a Mac Pro and want that 5K display, well, the best you can do is look on with envy -- and hope Apple gets around to releasing a standalone 5K Cinema Display sooner rather than later.

    Photos by Will Lipman.

    Filed under: Desktops, Apple


  • Smart earpiece with biometric sensors wants you to ditch your fitness bands

    Yes, there are a lot of wearable devices that can monitor your activities and health, but an earpiece called SensoTRACK claims to be able to do it all. By "all," we mean it can measure respiration and heart rates, detect oxygen saturation in your body and provide an almost real-time blood pressure reading. It can also count your steps and the calories you burn, measure your speed and activity level during exercise, track your weight, BMI, blood sugar levels and your emotional state. Its creators even claim that it's more accurate than wrist gadgets, because it's worn in your ear, and hence located near the temporal artery. As you'd expect, SensoTRACK connects to an Android or an iOS app, as well as to a desktop portal (via Bluetooth LE or microUSB), which list all your stats, workout history, goals and routes taken. But, in case you're stuck somewhere without access to phones or computers, you can always save up to a week's worth of data on its onboard storage.

    According to the device's Kickstarter page, the startup already has a final prototype, and it's just a matter of raising enough money to fund its production. The company hopes to raise a rather hefty $250,000 to be able to ship it to backers by April 2015 at the earliest. In case SensoTRACK doesn't reach its goal, though, you have a number of other devices to choose from, depending on what you need. These include Garmin's new watch that monitors your body's oxygen volume, LG's and SMS Audio's heart rate-tracking earbuds, and Samsung's Gear Fit with heart rate monitor, among many, many others.

    Filed under: Wearables


    Source: KickStarter

  • Nielsen and Adobe are teaming up to apply TV-style ratings to the internet

    You've probably heard of the Nielsen Ratings, which are the figures relating to the number of people who watch a particular TV series. It's these statistics that Hollywood uses to decide if your favorite show gets a second season or if it'll only live on in fan fiction. Unfortunately, with more and more entertainment being delivered online, a TV ratings company isn't much use to anyone. That's why Nielsen has teamed up with Adobe to begin rating pretty much everything on the internet. By splicing Nielsen's audience know-how with Adobe's online analytics and video tools, the pair promise to be able to work out which gets more attention: news websites, social media, blogs or that video of the cat running head-first into a glass door. The system will go live at some point in 2015 with Sony, ESPN and Viacom already saying that they'll be signing up, hopefully so that we can finally find out, once and for all, if anything is more enjoyable than that video of the cat running head-first into the glass door.

    Filed under: Internet


    Via: Wired

    Source: Businesswire

  • Uber brings its larger-car option to London and Manchester

    We haven't heard much out of Uber since it reduced the price of trips across London in its standard vehicles a few months ago. Today, the disruptive taxi service is back on our radar with the announcement of a new fleet of vehicles intended to serve bigger parties, and those who must bring at least five suitcases on their week-long holidays. Through the new uberXL tier (which debuted in San Francisco earlier this year), Londoners can hail a six-seater motor, while Mancunians can expect an eight-seater to turn up, though Uber warns "availability may initially be limited." As you'd expect, they're a little more expensive than standard uberX vehicles at £2.15 per mile, with minimum fares of £7 in London and £5 in Manchester. If you've got seven mates to split the fare with, though, it'll still work out much cheaper than getting two separate cars. Result.

    Filed under: Transportation, Internet


    Via: The Next Web

    Source: Uber

  • Hands-on with the Xbox One's TV tuner

    The Xbox One's €29.99/£24.99 TV Tuner is now available, but it's far from just a glorified channel changer for Microsoft's console. As we mentioned, it came out only in Europe because many of us across the pond get our TV fix from over-the-air (OTA) digital TV, while most Americans have cable. But it's opened up a lot of handy new TV watching features on the Xbox and on mobile devices with SmartGlass, too. You can now watch DVB-T, DVB-T2 and DVB-C digital TV, pause, rewind or fast forward live TV, change channels using SmartGlass and even watch TV directly on a mobile device. For a console that wants to be your entertainment hub, that's a load of pertinent features -- to see how it works, read on.

    Like everybody else in the French countryside, I have a TV antenna that magically brings me 30-odd digital channels when it's hooked up to a "décodeur TNT." So all I had to do is plug the coax cable into the Xbox One's TV Tuner, and the USB end of the tuner into the Xbox itself. If you have the October Xbox update, it automatically detects the device and then finds all your channels. It then gave me the option of pausing, rewinding and fast-forwarding live TV, in exchange for 4GB of hard disk space. From there, I started watching programs, using the Xbox controller to change channels via the OneGuide, favorites or a pop-up, on-screen menu. Microsoft told me that the Xbox One Media Remote would give similar functionality, and is probably a better choice for non-gaming TV viewers.

    One small note: though it can perform limited time-shifting functions, the Xbox One still can't record live TV programs. I hope Microsoft eventually adds that function, since timeshifting obviously means it's capable, provided you're willing to give up some disk space.

    Next up: voice control. Yes, once I figured out how to pronounce Xbox in French (eeks-boax), the easiest way to change channels was to shout commands at the Kinect. Rather than a number, you can tell it which channel you want to watch by name, as in "watch Canal+." If it doesn't understand, it'll provide a helpful list of commands. You can also access the OneGuide by voice, or just say something like "Xbox, what's on Canal+?" and get more info that way, as shown above. (The screens are in French because Microsoft strictly region-locks languages to the country you're located in, something many gaming ex-pats aren'tthrilled with.)

    The best part of the new Xbox One TV Tuner is SmartGlass. The new version of the app brings full control of all TV functions, letting you change channels, view the OneGuide, and even watch live TV directly on your mobile device. Unfortunately, the latter feature is only on iOS and Windows Phone devices for now, and not Android. That said, it worked perfectly on my iPad, with a sharp, clear image, particularly on HD channels. Mobile viewing only works on your local home or work network, and there's about 3-second delay from live TV due to buffering.

    Another great way of using your smartphone or tablet is to snap the TV Tuner view straight into any game (see below). That lets you keep track of a ball game or show and pause, fast-forward or rewind it without interrupting a round of Forza 5. Overall, SmartGlass proved to be the most convenient way to navigate channels and use OneGuide -- and I didn't even have to bust out my nasty French accent.

    So the verdict? The Xbox One TV tuner is a handy way for us Europeans to get rid of our OTA boxes, eliminate a lot of clutter and gain a bunch of extra functionality. Having voice and Smartglass control over your TV viewing is nice, and being able to pause and skip through live TV programs is a huge bonus. The only drawbacks? Microsoft needs to streamline the operation of the system a bit, as certain functions (like flipping channels) are easier with a bog-standard remote. And of course, we strongly hope that Microsoft enables DVR recording at some point. Once that happens, you can look for my existing over-the-air decoder box on eBay.


  • Avegant Glyph personal theater headset gets closer to market

    When we first saw the Avegant Glyph earlier this year, it was still in its alpha stage. The home theater headset that literally looks like a pair of chunky headphones for your eyes did impress us with its stunning visuals, but the overall thing was still very rough around the edges as far as fit and components go. Now, after a successful Kickstarter campaign and a move to California, Avegant is confident that it's homed in on the last few adjustments it needs to get the finished product out the door, and I was able to get a sneak peek at just what those updates are.
    In a series of demos set inside Avegant's brand-new offices in Redwood City, California, I tried out both the alpha version of the Glyph that was shown in January and its new development prototype. As a brief reminder, the Glyph works by projecting images directly to your eyes with an array of 2 million micromirrors. Allan Evans, Avegant's CTO, tells us that the mirrors essentially create a light field that matches "long-term vision." "The shape of the light coming into your eye is the same as the light from far away, like when you're sitting in front of a movie theater," explains Evans. "The result is a visual that's sharper and clearer than a traditional LCD."

    From my initial impressions with the Glyph, I can certainly attest to that. I watched brief video clips and played a couple of games with both the alpha and the latest prototype. Images were amazingly crisp, which is especially surprising considering I had to wear the Glyph without my glasses. The beauty of the Glyph, as Chief Strategy Office Ed Tang tells me, is that you can adjust the focus of each lens, so even those with poor eyesight should be able to use it without corrective eyewear. Image quality was slightly better on the recent development prototype due to improved optics, though not by much -- the alpha version was quite good already. Audio quality was pretty good too; Evans says they're aiming for theater-quality sound.
    What really improved, however, was the overall ergonomics. Avegant worked to enhance not just the fit of the headset, but also the way you adjusted the interpupillary distance (IPD) -- the space between your eyes -- of each lens. The adjustment controls are now on the bottom for easier reach and they also feel a little more accurate when we tried to dial ours in. Further, the alpha version had a lot of external components for video processing, while the development prototype has all of its parts built right into the headset. Therefore, only one MHL/HDMI cable is needed to hook the headset up to the source. "The electronics have matured to the point that it's now portable," says Tang, adding that it has a built-in battery and can be hooked up to a smartphone.
    I should add that it's important to bear in mind that the Glyph is not like the Oculus Rift; there's no full immersion here. You'll still see some empty space surrounding the picture, like you would in a movie theater. I did get a demo of a 360-degree shot video while wearing the Glyph, however, and that did provide me with an immersive feeling due to a head-tracking system; I could turn around to view what was going on around me. Avegant also showed off a cool demo where it hooked up a Paralinx wireless HDMI dongle to a Parrot AR drone and managed to transmit the video from the drone's camera to the headset so I could get a drone's-eye view of the world. Additionally, Tang didn't rule out the VR possibilities for the Glyph completely; the company just wants to focus on personal entertainment for now.
    Still, as good as the development prototype is, it's nowhere close to final production. It still took me several minutes to adjust the IPD, and even then I wasn't 100 percent satisfied with how comfortable it was. It also felt too heavy for my liking. Avegant says it's definitely still working on fit issues, as well as trying to slim the whole thing down.
    While I'm not at liberty to reveal too many details about the final product, I did get a brief glimpse at what Avegant hopes the finished Glyph will look like, and I have to say that if Avegant even comes close to that, it would improve the experience significantly. As for when we'll see it? Well, if all things go according to plan, probably pretty darn soon.

    Filed under: Misc


    Source: Avegant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Google Now vs. Siri vs. Cortana
    So there you have it. As of October 4, Google Now has a clear lead in terms of the sheer volume of queries addressed, and more complete accuracy with its queries than either Siri or Cortana. All three parties will keep investing in this type of technology, but the cold hard facts are that Google is progressing the fastest on all fronts.  Not surprising, really, considering Google's huge information lead. Still, I have yet to find much use for these personal assistants - I essentially only use Google Now to set alarms and do simple Google queries, but even then only the English ones that do not contain complicated names.

  • Twitter sues US government
    It's our belief that we are entitled under the First Amendment to respond to our users' concerns and to the statements of U.S. government officials by providing information about the scope of U.S. government surveillance - including what types of legal process have not been received. We should be free to do this in a meaningful way, rather than in broad, inexact ranges.  So, today, we have filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to publish our full Transparency Report, and asking the court to declare these restrictions on our ability to speak about government surveillance as unconstitutional under the First Amendment. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is already considering the constitutionality of the non-disclosure provisions of the NSL law later this week.  Good move by Twitter.

  • Trouble at the Koolaid Point
    It begins with simple threats. You know, rape, dismemberment, the usual. It's a good place to start, those threats, because you might simply vanish once those threats include your family. Mission accomplished. But today, many women online - you women who are far braver than I am - you stick around. And now, since you stuck around through the first wave of threats, you are now a much BIGGER problem. Because the Worst Possible Thing has happened: as a result of those attacks, you are NOW serving Victim-Flavored Koolaid.   And Victim-Flavored Koolaid is the most dangerous substance on earth, apparently. And that just can't be allowed.  The fact that I have to turn off comments on articles about the systematic abuse women receive from these low-life idiots on a small site like OSNews is all the proof you need. Until I no longer receive abusive comments for pointing out this issue, comments will remain closed.

  • New Products

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • New Products

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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