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  • Red Hat: 2016:1776-01: java-1.6.0-openjdk: Important Advisory An update for java-1.6.0-openjdk is now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. Red Hat Product Security has rated this update as having a security impact [More...]

  • Security updates for Tuesday
    Arch Linux has updated mupdf (denial of service).
    Debian-LTS has updated gnupg (flawed random number generation).
    Fedora has updated borgbackup (F24; F23:directory traversal), freeipa (F24;F23: denial of service), java-1.8.0-openjdk-aarch32 (F24: multiple vulnerabilities), rubygem-actionpack (F24; F23: unsafe query generation), and rubygem-activerecord (F24; F23: unsafe query generation).
    openSUSE has updated kernel(13.1: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Slackware has updated kernel (TCP connection takeover).
    Ubuntu has updated kernel (16.04; 14.04;12.04: multiple vulnerabilities), linux-lts-trusty (12.04: multiplevulnerabilities), and linux-ti-omap4(12.04: multiple vulnerabilities).

  • Remembering Vernon Adams
    Open-source font developer Vernon Adams has passed away inCalifornia at the age of 49.In 2014, Adams was injured in an automobile collision, sustaining serious trauma from which he never fully recovered.Perhaps best known within the Linux community as the creator of KDE'suser-interface font Oxygen, Adams created a total of 51 font families publishedthrough Google Fonts, all under open licenses. He was also active in a number of related free-software projects, including FontForge,Metapolator, and the Open Font Library. In 2012, he co-authored theuser's guide for FontForge as part of Google's Summer of Code Documentation Camp, which we reported on at that time.
    Speaking personally, Vernon was always quick to offerencouragement and assistance to newcomers—regardless of their experience with typedesign, FontForge, or free software in general. There were also few people who put asmuch energy into improving the usability of free-software design toolsas he did. In addition, he was a constant advocate forfree-software principles in the world of fonts—not just ondevelopment lists and at libre graphics conferences, but on type forums aswell, where "open source" did not automatically garner a warmreception. The tagline on his website was "fonts for everyone," and he meant it. He'llbe missed.

  • Security advisories for Monday
    Arch Linux has updated wireshark-cli (multiple vulnerabilities).
    Debian has updated mupdf (twodenial of service flaws).
    Debian-LTS has updated eog(out-of-bounds write), quagga (twovulnerabilities), ruby-actionpack-3.2(multiple vulnerabilities), and ruby-activesupport-3.2 (denial of service).
    Fedora has updated lcms2 (F24:heap memory leak), uClibc (F24: codeexecution), and webkitgtk4 (F24: multiple vulnerabilities).
    openSUSE has updated Firefox(13.1: buffer overflow), firefox, nss(Leap42.1, 13.2: buffer overflow), phpMyAdmin (Leap42.1, 13.2; 13.1: multiple vulnerabilities), and typo3-cms-4_5 (Leap42.1, 13.2: three vulnerabilities).
    Oracle has updated java-1.6.0-openjdk (OL7; OL6; OL5: multiple vulnerabilities) and kernel 4.1.12 (OL7; OL6: multiple vulnerabilities).

  • Bck: Multiple vulnerabilities in RPM – and a rant
    Hanno Bck performed some fuzz testing on the dpkg and RPM package managersand reported the results; it seems that oneof the projects has been rather more responsive than the other infixing these issues. "The development process of RPM seems to betotally chaotic, it's neither clear where one reports bugs nor where onegets the latest code and security bugs don't get fixed within a reasonabletime. There's been some recent events that make me feel especially worriedabout this..." It seems that some of the maintenance issues withRPM may not have improved greatly since they were reported here ten years ago.

  • Kernel prepatch 4.8-rc4
    The 4.8-rc4 kernel prepatch is out."Everything looks normal, and it's been a bit quieter than rc3 too, sohopefully we're well into the "it's calming down" phase. Although withthe usual timing-related fluctuation (different maintainers staggertheir pulls differently), it's hard to tell a trend yet."

  • [$] Trying out openSUSE Tumbleweed
    While distribution-hopping is common among newcomers to Linux, longtimeusers tend to settle into a distribution they like and stay putthereafter. In the end, Linux distributions are more alike than different,and one's time is better spent getting real work done rather than lookingfor a shinier version of the operating system. Your editor, however,somehow never got that memo; that's what comes from ignoring Twitter,perhaps. So there is a new distribution on the main desktop machine; thistime around it's openSUSE Tumbleweed.

  • Nextcloud 10 released
    Nextcloud 10 has been releasedwith new features for system administrators to control and direct the flowof data between users on a Nextcloud server. "Rule based file tagging and responding to these tags as well as other triggers like physical location, user group, file properties and request type enables administrators to specifically deny access to, convert, delete or retain data following business or legal requirements. Monitoring, security, performance and usability improvements complement this release, enabling larger and more efficient Nextcloud installations."

  • Security advisories for Friday
    Arch Linux has updated mediawiki (multiple vulnerabilities).
    CentOS has updated java-1.6.0-openjdk (C7; C6; C5: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Debian has updated flex (codeexecution), imagemagick (multiplevulnerabilities), quagga (two vulnerabilities), and rails (cross-site scripting).
    Fedora has updated gnupg (F24:flawed random number generation), openvpn(F24: information disclosure), and rubygem-actionview (F24; F23: cross-site scripting).
    Red Hat has updated java-1.6.0-openjdk (RHEL5,6,7: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Scientific Linux has updated java-1.6.0-openjdk (SL5,6,7: multiple vulnerabilities).

  • OpenSSL 1.1.0 released
    Version 1.1.0 of the OpenSSL TLS library is available. A list of changescan be found on this page;they include a new threading API, a number of new algorithms and theremoval of a number of older ones, pipelining(parallel processing) support, extendedmaster secret support, and more.

  • Rintel: NetworkManager 1.4: with better privacy and easier to use
    Lubomir Rintel takesa look at new features in NetworkManager 1.4. "It is now possible to randomize the MAC address of Ethernet devices to mitigate possibility of tracking. The users can choose between different policies; use a completely random address, or just use different addresses in different networks. For Wi-Fi devices, the same randomization modes are now supported and does no longer require support from wpa-supplicant."Also a newly added API for using configuration snapshots that automaticallyroll back after a timeout, IPv6 tokenized interface identifiers can beconfigured, new features in nmcli, and more are covered. (Thanksto Paul Wise)

  • [$] 25 Years of Linux — so far
    On August 25, 1991, an obscure student in Finland named Linus BenedictTorvalds posteda message to the comp.os.minix Usenet newsgroup saying that he wasworking on a free operating system as a project to learn about the x86architecture. He cannot possibly have known that he was launching aproject that would change the computing industry in fundamental ways.Twenty-five years later, it is fair to say that none of us foresaw whereLinux would go — a lesson that should be taken to heart when trying toimagine where it might go from here.

  • In Memory of Jonathan “avenj” Portnoy
    The Gentoo community is mourningthe loss of Jonathan Portnoy. "Jon was an active member of theInternational Gentoo community, almost since its founding in 1999. He wasstill active until his last day. His passing has struck us deeply and withdisbelief. We all remember him as a vivid and enjoyable person, easy toreach out to and energetic in all his endeavors."

  • Car manufacturers cooperate to build the car of the future
    Few of us appreciate the software middleware that is part of all the cars we drive today. The integration of in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems, along with instrument clusters and telematics, is a very complex subset of priorities for today's automotive industry.According to a recent article that appeared on CNET, Open-source Linux a step closer to automotive use, current development practices are incompatible and fragmented:read more

  • Tails Linux - Best Linux Distro To Keep Anonymity Online
    Tails is a live operating system that can be used from USB, SD card or DVD disc having size more than 4 GB. Tails provides better anonymity and security than any other distro or vpn service and that is the reason why Edward Snowden chooses tails for leaking NSA documents.

  • Get started with Dr. Geo for geometry
    Dr. Geo II is an open source application that allows users to explore geometry first-hand.Its target audience is school-age children.As school is now insession for many kids, here'sa brief tutorial on how to get started with Dr. Geo more

  • Git hooks, a cloud by the numbers, and more OpenStack news
    Are you interested in keeping track of what is happening in the open source cloud? is your source for news inOpenStack, the open source cloud infrastructure project.OpenStack around the webThere is a lot of interesting stuff being written about OpenStack. Here's a sampling from some of our favorites:read more

  • Compact, rugged Skylake computer-on-module is big on PCIe
    Kontron’s Linux-ready “COMe-cSL6” COM Express Compact Type 6 module offers 10 PCIe lanes, up to 24GB RAM and 32GB eMMC, and industrial temperature support. Almost a year ago, when Intel announced its 6th Generation Core “Skylake” processors, Kontron was among a batch of vendors that announced plans to deliver COM Express computer-on-modules based on the […]

  • Credit card-sized module runs Linux on Braswell
    Axiomtek’s credit card-sized “CEM300” module runs Linux on Intel Braswell SoCs at 4-6W TDP and offers HD graphics, dual SATA III ports, and four PCIe lanes. Like Axiomtek’s Atom E3800 “Bay Trail” based CEM846 computer-on-module, its new CEM300 supports Linux and Windows, and uses the 84 x 55mm COM Express Type 10 Mini form factor. […]

  • How IoTivity plus AllJoyn could form a “best-of-breed” IoT framework
    IoTivity and AllJoyn have much in common, including a IP multicast discovery scheme that lets devices find and communicate with each other without requiring cloud services. At the Embedded Linux Conference in April, Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) Executive Director Mike Richmond concluded his keynote on the potential for interoperability between the OCF’s IoTivity IoT framework […]

  • How IoTivity and AllJoyn Could Combine
    At the Embedded Linux Conference in April, Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) Executive Director Mike Richmondconcluded his keynote on the potential for interoperability between the OCF’s IoTivity IoT framework and the AllSeen Alliance’s AllJoyn spec by inviting to the stage Greg Burns, the chief architect o

  • Red Hat CEO: Taking Open Source Beyond the Data Center
    Most people familiar with Red Hat know the company's broader vision for open source -- sometimes referred to as "the open source way" -- goes beyond software, so it also wasn't much of a surprise when Whitehurst's talk strayed from data centers and workstations and into areas not normally associated with IT at all.

  • Getting involved with the Fedora kernel
    There are countless ways to contribute to open source projects like Fedora. Perhaps one of the most obvious ways to contribute is by helping with the Linux kernel in Fedora. At Flock 2016, I gave a talk about the state... Continue Reading →

  • Romp Home with these 21 Peerless ASCII Games
    The purpose of this article is to identify our favourite ASCII based games. There are no fancy graphics here, just great gameplay coupled with the urge of always having just one more play.

  • How to Install ONLYOFFICE Desktop Editors on RHEL/CentOS/Fedora
    This tutorial describes how to install ONLYOFFICE Desktop Editors on Rad Hat-based Linux distributions. ONLYOFFICE Desktop Editors allows users to edit text documents, spreadsheets and presentations offline by providing access to the cloud-based ONLYOFFICE portals for an efficient remote team collaboration.

  • How To Turn On Num Lock Automatically? On Startup In Linux
    One of the frustrating thing in most Linux distros is that the Num Lock is not enabled on startup. Whenever I start typing my password at system login screen, the focus goes out of the password field. It happens very often with people and this little problem is very irritating. But don't worry. You can set your Linux to enable Num Lock automatically on startup.

Linux Insider

  • The Peppermint Twist Is Still Cool
    The Peppermint operating system is built around a concept not found in most Linux distros. It is a hybrid combination of traditional Linux desktop applications and cloud-based infrastructure. Peppermint 7 is a lightweight distribution based on Ubuntu 16.04. The key to its process of linking full desktop functionality to cloud apps is an in-house developed application dubbed "Ice."

  • 25 Years of Linux: What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been
    Happy Birthday Linux! You're 25! When Linux was born on Aug. 25, 1991, it was little more than a hobby for 21-year old Linus Torvald. Today the Linux community is estimated to be upwards of 86 million users strong. It has become the backbone of large enterprises, and it is installed in government systems and embedded in devices worldwide. It has grown into a major mainstream computing platform.

  • Latest Slackware Version Doesn't Cut Newbies any Slack
    Slackware is one of those Linux distros often described as being difficult to use. The Slackware Project version 14.2 released on July 1 does little to change that view -- at least, as far as installing it is concerned. Its KDE desktop is probably the most contemporary trait. Other than an update under the hood, it offers little that's new in terms of usability and few new features.

  • The Linux Foundation Gives PNDA a Home
    The Linux Foundation on Tuesday added PNDA -- the Platform for Network Data Analytics -- to its project menagerie. PNDA provides an open source, scalable platform for next-generation network analytics. It integrates data from multiple sources on a network and works with Apache Spark to crunch the numbers in order to find useful patterns in the data more effectively.

  • Intel's Project Alloy Tosses Reality Into a Blender
    Intel on Tuesday presented its virtual reality vision -- a vision that mixes virtual and real worlds into a kind of merged reality -- to developers attending a conference in San Francisco. Mixing reality and unreality sometimes can be a recipe for disaster, but Intel thinks it will be a formula for success. At the center of Intel's vision is its Project Alloy mobile headset and its cutting edge RealSense software.

  • Google May Paint IoT Fuchsia
    A team at Google is working on a new operating system called "Fuchsia," but details are sparse. Fuchsia "is a new open source project that is not at all related to Android or Chrome OS," said Google spokesperson Joshua Cruz. He declined to provide further details about Fuchsia, saying only that "we have many revolving open source projects at Google."

  • TCP Flaw Opens Linux Systems to Hijackers
    A flaw in the RFC 5961 specification the Internet Engineering Task Force developed to protect TCP against blind in-window attacks could threaten Android smartphones, as well as every Linux computer on the planet. The flaw is described in a paper a team of researchers presented at the 25th Usenix Security Symposium, ongoing in Austin, Texas, through Friday.

  • Linux Mint 18: Fresher Than Ever
    The Linux Mint 18 Sarah will please long-time users and impress new adopters for its growth in features and overall consistent performance. Linux Mint 18, released at the end of June, is a long-term edition supported through 2021. The in-house built Cinnamon desktop and the GNOME 2 fork MATE desktop were available at its introduction. The Xfce edition became available earlier this month.

  • 900 Million Androids Could Be Easy Prey for QuadRooter Exploits
    Four newly identified vulnerabilities could affect 900 million Android devices, Check Point researchers disclosed. The vulnerabilities, which the researchers dubbed "QuadRooter," affect Android devices that use Qualcomm chipsets. They exist in the chipset software drivers. The drivers, which control communications between chipset components, are incorporated into Android builds.

  • Linux Botnets on a Rampage
    Linux-operated botnet Distributed Denial of Service attacks surged in this year's second quarter, due to growing interest in targeting Chinese servers, according to a Kaspersky Lab report released this week. South Korea kept its top ranking for having the most command-and-control servers. Brazil, Italy and Israel ranked among the leaders behind South Korea for hosting C&C servers, according to Kaspersky Lab.

  • Facebook Nurtures Open Source Projects in Incubator
    Facebook last week launched its Incubator on GitHub in order to distribute its own open source software projects. Facebook has open sourced almost 400 projects to date. New projects will be posted on Incubator pages to gauge community reaction and rate of adoption. Facebook plans to use in-house and actively develop all projects posted on the Incubator page.

  • Homegrown Budgie Desktop Shows Off the Beauty - and Beastliness - of Solus Simplicity
    The Solus Project version 1.2 shows considerable maturity in the homegrown Budgie desktop. Solus 1.2 is the second minor release in the Shannon series, built around a custom Budgie desktop developed in-house and the eopkg package manager forked from PiSi. Solus is a Linux distribution built from scratch. The Budgie desktop can be set to emulate the look and feel of the GNOME 2 desktop.

  • Google Beefs Up Phone App's Spam-Fighting Skills
    Google on Tuesday released an updated version of its Phone app for Android with a new spam protection feature that warns users when an incoming call is likely to be spam. It also lets them block numbers and report spam. The app is available on Google Play.  The spam warning feature works on Nexus and AndroidOne devices on the T-Mobile USA, Project Fi and Orange France networks.

  • Android, Chromebook Make a Sweet Couple
    Chrome OS and Android Apps now run together on some Chromebooks. Many, but not all, Chromebook models will get the operating system update that allows it as fall approaches. The Asus Chromebook Flip C100P -- the first Chromebook to get the upgrade -- is an impressive example of what will come with the hybrid integration of Chrome OS and Android apps.

  • Splice Machine Creates Open Source, Enterprise Split
    Splice Machine has open sourced its Spark-powered relational SQL database system. The company has set up a cloud-based sandbox for developers to put its new open source Splice Machine 2.0 Community Edition to the test. The company also announced the release of a cluster version and the launch of a developer community site. Splice Machine is designed for high-speed performance.

  • Skype for Linux Alpha Draws Cheers, Jeers
    Microsoft has introduced a new Web-based Skype for Linux client in alpha. Based on WebRTC, it uses Microsoft's next-generation calling architecture. It lets users share files, photos, videos and new emoticons. Users will be able to call others using the latest versions of Skype on Windows, Mac, iOS and Android -- but not with earlier versions of Skype for Linux.

  • SiFive Launches Freedom FOSS SoC Platforms
    SiFive on Monday announced its flagship Freedom family of system on a chip platforms. The platforms are based on the free and open source RISC-V instruction set architecture that several of the company's founders created at the University of California at Berkeley. SiFive's Freedom U500 and E300 platforms take a new approach to SoCs, redefining traditional silicon business models.

  • Facebook's OpenCellular Offers DIY Wireless Access for Remote Regions
    Facebook last week introduced OpenCellular, an inexpensive, open source wireless access platform. Telecom operators, entrepreneurs, OEMs and researchers will be able to build, implement, deploy and operate wireless infrastructures to serve people living in remote areas.  The platform is available in various options, ranging from a network in a box to an access point.

  • HandyLinux Is a Great Toolbox for Linux Newbies
    HandyLinux is a distro that offers a simplified approach to using the Linux desktop operating system. HandyLinux first appeared about three years ago. The latest version, 2.5, was released in early June. The developers make it easy to peel off the "Handy" layers to reveal a more standard Linux environment as users learn the system. Those who no longer need the IT tools included with the initial installation can remove them easily.

  • Bulgarian Government Embraces Open Source
    Bulgaria's Parliament recently passed legislation mandating open source software to bolster security, as well as to increase competition with commercially coded software. Amendments to the Electronic Governance Act require that all software written for the government be Free and Open Source Software-compliant. The new provisions reportedly took effect this week.

  • Blogosphere Chews on Android Nougat
    Google last week revealed the official name of its next mobile operating system: "Android Nougat." The OS previously went only by "Android N," and Google invited the blogosphere to fill in the blanks. The choice sparked some derision, particularly among those who had preferred "Nutella." "What is nougat anyway?" asked John Jackson, a research VP at IDC. "It's like the 'nog' in eggnog; it doesn't exactly stand alone."

  • Facebook Lets Users Prompt Danger Alert
    Facebook's Safety Check is a handy service that allows people to let their friends and family know they are okay in an event of emergency. The social giant announced the next major step for this feature. From a BBC report: Facebook is to enable members to trigger its Safety Check service themselves if a dangerous event occurs near them. Until now, it could only be activated by Facebook staff. Safety Check lets people notify their friends and family that they are safe in the aftermath of a natural disaster or human conflict in their area. The recent earthquake in Italy marked the 25th time this year that it has been triggered. Safety notifications have reached one billion people in 2016 alone, the firm said. In the previous two years combined (2014 and 2015) it had only been activated 11 times. The Safety Check Facebook team uses three criteria to decide whether the tool should be switched on -- how many human lives are affected, the extent of that impact and the duration of the event.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Google's Close To Beating Amazon, Microsoft For a Major Cloud Client: Sources
    An anonymous reader shares a CNBC report: Google's aggressive push into cloud computing, where it trails and Microsoft, has put the internet giant in the lead position to land a marquee client: PayPal. While Google is the front-runner, according to people familiar with the matter, PayPal is evaluating the other leading providers and hasn't made any final decisions. PayPal is unlikely to move its technology infrastructure in the fourth quarter, the peak period for online commerce, said the sources, who asked not to be named because the talks are confidential. Under the leadership of VMware co-founder Diane Greene, Google is out to prove that it's a legitimate player in the rapidly expanding cloud infrastructure market.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Not Using Smartphones Can Improve Productivity By 26%, Says Study
    Smartphones do a plethora of things for us. But if you stopped using them, you might actually start seeing improvements in the work you do. From a Business-Standard report: The study, commissioned by Kaspersky Lab, showed that employees' performance improved 26 percent when their smartphones were taken away. The experiment tested the behaviour of 95 persons between 19 and 56 years of age in laboratories at the universities of Würzburg and Nottingham-Trent. The experiment unearthed a correlation between productivity levels and the distance between participants and their smartphones. "Instead of expecting permanent access to their smartphones, employee productivity might be boosted if they have dedicated 'smartphone-free' time. One way of doing this is to enforce rules such as no phones in the normal work environment," says Altaf Halde, managing director, South Asia at Kaspersky Lab.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Apple Ordered To Pay Up To $14.5 Billion in EU Tax Crackdown, Cook Refutes EU's Conclusion
    Apple has been ordered to pay a record sum of 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) plus interest after the European Commission said Ireland illegally slashed the iPhone maker's tax bill, in a crackdown on fiscal loopholes that also risks inflaming tensions with the United States Treasury. According to the European Union regulator, Apple benefited from selective tax treatment that gave it an unfair advantage over other businesses. In the meanwhile, Apple has refuted such accusations, saying that EU's conclusion has "no basis in fact or law." EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said, "If my effective tax rate would be 0.05 percent falling to 0.005 percent -- I would have felt that maybe I should have a second look at my tax bill." Apple CEO Tim Cook said, "Over the years, we received guidance from Irish tax authorities on how to comply correctly with Irish tax law -- the same kind of guidance available to any company doing business there. In Ireland and in every country where we operate, Apple follows the law and we pay all the taxes we owe."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Intel Unveils Full Details of Kaby Lake 7th Gen Core Series Processors
    Reader MojoKid writes: Intel is readying a new family of processors, based on its next-gen Kaby Lake microarchitecture, that will be the foundation of the company's upcoming 7th Generation Core processors. Although Kaby Lake marks a departure from Intel's "tick-tock" release cadence, there have been some tweaks made to its 14nm manufacturing process (called 14nm+) that have resulted in significant gains in performance, based on clock speed boosts and other optimizations. In addition, Intel has incorporated a new multimedia engine into Kaby Lake that adds hardware acceleration for 4K HEVC 10-bit transcoding and VP9 decoding. Skylake could handle 1080p HEVC transcoding, but it didn't accelerate 4K HEVC 10-bit transcoding or VP9 decode and had to assist with CPU resources. The new multimedia engine gives Kaby Lake the ability to handle up to eight 4Kp30 streams and it can decode HEVC 4Kp60 real-time content at up to 120Mbps. The engine can also now offload 4Kp30 real-time encoding in a dedicated fixed-function engine. Finally, Intel has made some improvements to their Speed Shift technology, which now takes the processor out of low power states to maximum frequency in 15 milliseconds. Clock speed boosts across Core i and Core m 7th gen series processors of 400-500 MHz, in combination with Speed Shift optimizations, result in what Intel claims are 12-9 percent performance gains in the same power envelope as its previous generation Skylake series, and even more power efficient video processing performance.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Grumpy Cat Wants $600K From 'Pirating' Coffee Maker
    Eloking quotes a report from TorrentFreak: Grumpy Cat is not pleased, yet. Her owners have asked a California federal court to issue a $600,000 judgment against a coffee maker which allegedly exploited their copyrights (PDF). In addition, they want damages for trademark and contract breach, and a ban on the company in question from selling any associated Grumpy Cat merchandise. There are dozens of celebrity cats on the internet, but Grumpy Cat probably tops them all. The cat's owners have made millions thanks to their pet's unique facial expression, which turned her into an overnight internet star. Part of this revenue comes from successful merchandise lines, including the Grumpy Cat "Grumppuccino" iced coffee beverage, sold by the California company Grenade Beverage. The company licensed the copyright and trademarks to sell the iced coffee, but is otherwise not affiliated with the cat and its owners. Initially this partnership went well, but after the coffee maker started to sell other "Grumpy Cat" products, things turned bad. TorrentFreak adds: "The cat's owners, incorporated as Grumpy Cat LLC, took the matter to court last year with demands for the coffee maker to stop infringing associated copyrights and trademarks. After Grenade Beverage failed to properly respond to the allegations, Grumpy Cat's owners moved for a default, which a court clerk entered in early June. A few days ago they went ahead and submitted a motion for default judgement."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Hunt For Ninth Planet Reveals Distant Solar System Objects
    schwit1 writes: Astronomers have discovered several new objects orbiting the Sun at extremely great distances beyond the orbit of Neptune. The most interesting new discovery is 2014 FE72: "2014 FE72 is the first distant Oort Cloud object found with an orbit entirely beyond Neptune," reports Carnegie Institution for Science. "It has an orbit that takes the object so far away from the Sun (some 3000 times farther than Earth) that it is likely being influenced by forces of gravity from beyond our Solar System such as other stars and the galactic tide. It is the first object observed at such a large distance." This research is being done as part of an effort to discover a very large planet, possibly as much as 15 times the mass of Earth, that the scientists have proposed that exists out there.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • SETI Has Observed a 'Strong' Signal That May Originate From a Sun-like Star
    An anonymous reader writes: The RATAN-600 radio telescope in Zelenchukskaya, Russia has detected a strong signal around 11 GHz (which is very unlikely to be naturally-caused) coming from HD164595, a star nearly identical in mass to the Sun and located about 95 light years from Earth. The system is known to have at least one planet. If the signal were isotropic, it would seem to indicate a Kardashev Type II civilization. While it is too early to draw any conclusions, the discovery will be discussed at an upcoming SETI committee meeting on September 27th. According to Paul Gilster, author of the Centauri Dreams website, "No one is claiming that this is the work of an extraterrestrial civilization, but it is certainly worth further study. Working out the strength of the signal, the researchers say that if it came from an isotropic beacon, it would be of a power possible only for a Kardashev Type II civilization. If it were a narrow beam signal focused on our Solar System, it would be of a power available to a Kardashev Type I civilization. The possibility of noise of one form or another cannot be ruled out, and researchers in Paris led by Jean Schneider are considering the possible microlensing of a background source by HD164595. But the signal is provocative enough that the RATAN-600 researchers are calling for permanent monitoring of this target."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Early Human Ancestor Lucy 'Died Falling Out of a Tree'
    An anonymous reader quotes a report from BBC: New evidence suggests that the famous fossilized human ancestor dubbed "Lucy" by scientists died falling from a great height -- probably out of a tree. CT scans have shown injuries to her bones similar to those suffered by modern humans in similar falls. The 3.2 million-year-old hominin was found on a treed flood plain, making a branch her most likely final perch. It bolsters the view that her species -- Australopithecus afarensis -- spent at least some of its life in the trees. Writing in the journal Nature, researchers from the U.S. and Ethiopia describe a "vertical deceleration event" which they argue caused Lucy's death. In particular they point to a crushed shoulder joint, of the sort seen when we humans reach out our arms to break a fall, as well as fractures of the ankle, leg bones, pelvis, ribs, vertebrae, arm, jaw and skull. Discovered in Ethiopia's Afar region in 1974, Lucy's 40%-complete skeleton is one of the world's best known fossils. She was around 1.1m (3ft 7in) tall and is thought to have been a young adult when she died. Her species, Australopithecus afarensis, shows signs of having walked upright on the ground and had lost her ancestors' ape-like, grasping feet -- but also had an upper body well-suited to climbing. The bones of this well-studied skeleton are in fact laced with fractures, like most fossils. By peering inside the bones in minute detail, the scanner showed that several of the fractures were "greenstick" breaks. The bone had bent and snapped like a twig: something that only happens to healthy, living bones. "The Ethiopian ministry has agreed to release 3D files of Lucy's right shoulder and her left knee. So anyone with an interest in this can print Lucy out and evaluate these fractures, and our hypothesis, for themsleves." You can find the files here.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • C Programming Language Hits a 15-Year Low On The TIOBE Index
    Gamoid writes: The venerable C programming language hit a 15-year low on the TIOBE Index, perhaps because more mobile- and web-friendly languages like Swift and Go are starting to eat its lunch. "The C programming language has a score of 11.303%, which is its lowest score ever since we started the TIOBE index back in 2001," writes Paul Jansen, manager of TIOBE Index. With that said, C is still the second most popular programming language in the world, behind only Java. Also worth noting as mentioned by Matt Weinberger via Business Insider, "C doesn't currently have a major corporate sponsor; Oracle makes a lot of money from Java; Apple pushes both Swift and Objective-C for building iPhone apps. But no big tech company is getting on stage and pushing C as the future of development. So C's problems could be marketing as much as anything."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Tesla To Further Restrict Its Autopilot Software To Prevent Accidents
    Tesla is planning to further restrict its Autopilot mode via a v8.0 software update that will make it much harder for drivers to ignore safety alerts. Tesla's Autopilot currently issues alerts on the dashboard "reading Hold Steering Wheel and the driver has to apply pressure on the wheel to make it go away," reports Electrek. "If you quickly respond to those alerts, the Autopilot's Autosteer and Traffic Aware Cruise Control (TACC) do not disengage." The system will disengage if you ignore those warnings for too long. Electrek reports: "Now we learn that Tesla is about to introduce a new restriction with the upcoming v8.0 software update to give more weight to the alerts. According to sources familiar with the Autopilot program, Tesla will add a safety restriction that will result in not only the Autopilot disengaging after alerts are repeatedly ignored, but also blocking the driver from re-engaging the feature after it was automatically disengaged. The driver will not be able to reactivate the Autopilot until the car is stopped and put in 'Park.' So far, it looks like it would only affect the Autosteer feature of the Autopilot and TACC would still be available for the duration of the drive. The goal of the new restriction appears to be to encourage Tesla owners to respond to the visual alert and not to ignore them."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • European Commission To Issue Apple An Irish Tax Bill of $1.1 Billion, Says Report
    An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: The European Commission will rule against Ireland's tax dealings with Apple on Tuesday, two source familiar with the decision told Reuters, one of whom said Dublin would be told to recoup over 1 billion euros in back taxes. The European Commission accused Ireland in 2014 of dodging international tax rules by letting Apple shelter profits worth tens of billions of dollars from tax collectors in return for maintaining jobs. Apple and Ireland rejected the accusation; both have said they will appeal any adverse ruling. The source said the Commission will recommend a figure in back taxes that it expects to be collected, but it will be up to Irish authorities to calculate exactly what is owed. A bill in excess of 1 billion euros ($1.12 billion) would be far more than the 30 million euros each the European Commission previously ordered Dutch authorities to recover from U.S. coffee chain Starbucks and Luxembourg from Fiat Chrysler for their tax deals. When it opened the Apple investigation in 2014, the Commission told the Irish government that tax rulings it agreed in 1991 and 2007 with the iPhone maker amounted to state aid and might have broken EU laws. The Commission said the rulings were "reverse engineered" to ensure that Apple had a minimal Irish bill and that minutes of meetings between Apple representatives and Irish tax officials showed the company's tax treatment had been "motivated by employment considerations."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Judge Allows Kim Dotcom To Livestream Court Hearing
    Kim Dotcom has been granted the right to livestream his extradition appeal on YouTube. The appeal hearing began Monday, but will be livestreamed tomorrow because "the cameraman needs to set this up professionally and implement the judge's live streaming rules." tweets Kim Dotcom. Mashable reports: "The United States, which wants Dotcom extradited from New Zealand, is against the request. Dotcom says a livestream is the only way to ensure a fair hearing. The U.S. is seeking the extradition of Dotcom and other Megaupload co-founders in hopes of taking them to court in America on charges of money-laundering, racketeering and copyright infringement. The charges stem from the operation of file-sharing website Megaupload, founded by Dotcom in 2005 and once the 13th most popular website on the internet. Users could upload movies, music and other content to the site and share with others, a practice the U.S. considers copyright infringement. The website reportedly made around $175 million before the FBI took it down in 2012. The U.S. says Megaupload cost copyright holders around $500 million, though Dotcom says it's not his fault users chose to upload the shared copyrighted material. Dotcom was arrested in 2012 after police raided his home, but was released on bail. A judge ruled in favor of his extradition to the U.S. in 2015, though Dotcom said at the time the judge was not interested in a fair hearing." Dotcom plans to revive Megaupload on January 20, 2017, urging people to "buy bitcoin while cheap," since he claims the launch will send the bitcoin price soaring way above its current $575 value. Every file transfer taking place over Megaupload "will be linked to a tiny Bitcoin micro transaction," Dotcom posted on Twitter.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • FAA Expects 600,000 Commercial Drones In The Air Within A Year
    The drone industry is expected to expand dramatically in the coming months and years with the passing of a new rule (PDF) that makes it easier to become a commercial drone operator. The Federal Aviation Administration predicts there to be roughly 600,000 drones to be used commercially within the next year. NPR reports: "For context, the FAA says that 20,000 drones are currently registered for commercial use. What's expected to produce a 30-fold increase in a matter of months is a new rule that went into effect today and makes it easier to become a commercial drone operator. Broadly, the new rules change the process of becoming a commercial drone pilot: Instead of having to acquire a traditional pilot's license and getting a special case-by-case permission from the regulators, drone operators now need to pass a new certification test and abide by various flying restrictions (and, well, be older than 16). The rest of the drone safety rules still apply: No flights beyond line-of-sight, over people, at night, above 400 feet in the air or faster than 100 miles an hour. Drones also can't be heavier than 55 pounds, and all unmanned aircraft have to be registered. Businesses, however, may get special wavers to skip some of the restrictions if they can prove they can do so safely. The drone association expects the industry will create more than 100,000 jobs and generate more than $82 billion for the economy in the first 10 years of being integrated into the national airspace. The FAA is also working on new rules that eventually will allow drone flights over people and beyond line of sight."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • US Appeals Court Dismisses AT&T Data Throttling Lawsuit
    An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: A federal appeals court in California on Monday dismissed a U.S. government lawsuit that accused ATT Inc of deception for reducing internet speeds for customers with unlimited mobile data plans once their use exceeded certain levels. The company, however, could still face a fine from the Federal Communications Commission regarding the slowdowns, also called "data throttling." The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said it ordered a lower court to dismiss the data-throttling lawsuit, which was filed in 2014 by the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC sued ATT on the grounds that the No. 2 U.S. wireless carrier failed to inform consumers it would slow the speeds of heavy data users on unlimited plans. In some cases, data speeds were slowed by nearly 90 percent, the lawsuit said. The FTC said the practice was deceptive and, as a result, barred under the Federal Trade Commission Act. ATT argued that there was an exception for common carriers, and the appeals court agreed.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Ireland taxman: Apple got NO favours from us, at all, at all
    Yes, we squeezed just 0.005% corp tax from Apple. That was what it owed
    Apple paying €50 corporation tax in Ireland on every €1m of profit reported – a rate of 0.005 per cent – was in compliance with local laws, the Emerald Isle’s under-fire Revenue Commissioners have claimed.…

  • Replacing humans with robots in your factories? Hold on just a sec
    Removing the squishies doesn't remove the legal headaches
    The integration of robots into production processes will impact on traditional liability arrangements and raise a range of other legal issues for manufacturers to consider, including in relation to health, safety and data protection.…

  • Li-Fi with my little eye … a vulnerability
    Fooling around with VLC systems
    Proponents of visible light communications (VLC) like “Li-Fi” love reminding us of the bonkers speeds they can get (200 Gbps last year, for example), but just like its radio-spectrum counterpart, it needs protection against eavesdropping and jamming.…

  • SETI Institute damps down 'wow!' signal report from Russia
    Settle, SETI-fans: One radio spike does not a civilisation make
    The killjoys at the SETI Institute -- killjoys all over the world, really -- are damping down wild speculation that a Russian instrument has seen a “possible” alien transmission.…

  • Michael Dell promises new EMC/Dell/VMware engineered systems
    Expect them ASAP once the EMC deal closes, which will be real soon now
    Michael Dell today told VMworld 2016 in Las Vegas that as soon as the deal to acquire EMC closes “you will see a whole new series of engineered solutions we have been working on together.”…

  • Microsoft redecoration delay rumors: THE TRUTH
    Email updates stalled to 2017? Oh no no, everything's fine ... ish, says Redmond
    Microsoft says its renovation work on the cloud email service is virtually complete although a few folks are still waiting to see the changes. Its rollout will not be delayed until 2017 as had been feared, however.…

  • Tim Cook trousers $135m in Apple shares
    CEO celebrates five years by getting even richer
    Apple CEO Tim Cook is $135m richer this week after receiving 1.26 million shares in the electronics giant, immediately selling $36m worth of them.…

  • Apple sued over shoddy iPhone touchscreens
    Class action accuses Cupertino of ignoring handset defect
    Apple is being sued by a class of former iPhone 6 and 6 Plus owners who accuse the company of failing to address a design problem that caused the handset's touchscreen to malfunction.…

  • VMware goes back to its future with multi-cloud abstractions
    Virtzilla's going to bet you've got server sprawl all over again, this time in the cloud
    VMware will apply its core skill – taming ill-defined pools of computing resource – to multiple clouds, in a new effort called Cross-Cloud Architecture.…

  • Phoney bling ring pinged by Tolkien's kin
    Oz court sour on unlicensed Sauron 'One Ring'
    A Melbourne man has to hand over his entire stock of “The One Ring” knock-offs to the Tolkien Estate, after losing a copyright case.…

  • NewSat network breach 'most corrupted' Oz spooks had seen: report
    Spies had interception kit in Satellite provider's data centre, ex staffer tells El Reg
    Defunct Australian satellite company Newsat distinguished itself in a way never known to the public before the company went under: it was so badly hacked it had 'the most corrupted' network the nation's spy agency had encountered.…

  • Jovial NASA says Juno flyby a success
    Downloads will take days
    It was a hats-in-the-air weekend at NASA, with the agency announcing its Juno probe's first close-up Jupiter fly-by was a success.…

  • NBN HFC scaled down to stave off financial disaster
    Net-builder hopes to raise AU$19 BEEELLION in debt by 2020; AFP leashed again
    DOCSIS 3.1 might one day give gigabit to HFC customers on the National Broadband Network, but not to as many customers as promised: nbnTM is scaling back the number of customers connecting on the former Telstra and Optus networks.…

  • 'Fake CEO' Chinese chap cuffed in $54m fraud probe
    Money laundering charges after chief exec imitation trick
    Police in Hong Kong have arrested a Chinese man on charges of laundering the proceeds of an online robbery that netted millions of dollars.… offline for now

  • Testing The Open-Source "RADV" Radeon Vulkan Driver vs. AMDGPU-PRO
    With word coming out last week that the RADV open-source Vulkan driver can now render Dota 2 correctly, I've been running some tests the past few days of this RADV Vulkan driver compared to AMD's official (but currently closed-source) Vulkan driver bundled with the AMDGPU-PRO Vulkan driver.

  • Fedora 25 Alpha Released With Wayland By Default
    After originally being delayed, Fedora 25 Alpha made it out today for those wanting to test this initial development snapshot of this next version of the Red Hat sponsored Linux distribution that is aiming to use Wayland by default...

  • GCN 1.0 / Southern Islands On AMDGPU Takes Another Step Forward
    Many Phoronix readers appear excited about the forthcoming GCN 1.0 "Southern Islands" support for the AMDGPU DRM driver as an alternative to the Radeon DRM. With the newer AMDGPU DRM support will eventually mean Vulkan and AMDGPU-PRO support for these original Radeon HD 7000 series GPUs. This GCN 1.0 / SI support has taken another step forward with now having "workable" dynamic power management...

  • Running Caffe AlexNet/GoogleNet On Some CPUs Compared To NVIDIA CUDA
    With working on some Broadwell-EP Linux comparison benchmarks this weekend, as part of that onslaught of benchmarks I decided to run the CPU-only Caffe build on a few different Intel CPUs. For fun, afterwards I checked to see how the performance compares to Caffe with CUDA+cuDNN on a few Maxwell/Pascal GPUs...

  • There Is Talk Of Resuming OpenChrome VIA KMS/DRM Driver Development
    Two or so years back or so it was looking hopeful that the mainline Linux kernel would finally have a proper VIA DRM/KMS driver for the unfortunate ones still have VIA x86 hardware and using the integrated graphics. However, that work was ultimately abandoned but there is talk of it being restored...

  • Windows 10 vs. Linux Radeon Software Performance, Including AMDGPU-PRO & RadeonSI
    As alluded to earlier and on Twitter, the past few days I have been working on a fresh Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu Linux graphics/gaming performance comparison. This time it's looking at the latest Radeon performance using an R9 Fury and RX 480. Tests on Windows were obviously done with Radeon Software Crimson Edition while under Linux were the two latest AMD/RTG Linux driver options: the hybrid AMDGPU-PRO driver and the fully open-source driver via Linux 4.8 and Mesa 12.1-dev.

  • Making Use Of eBPF In The Mainline Linux Kernel
    One of the exciting innovations within the Linux kernel in the past few years has been extending the Berkeley Packet Filter (BPF) to become a more generalized in-kernel virtual machine. The eBPF work with recent versions of the Linux kernel allow it to be used by more than just networking so that these programs can be used for tracing, security, and more...

  • The EOMA68 Upgradeable ARM Board/Computer Passed Its Funding Goal
    The open, upgradeable ARM development board that traces back to the failed KDE Vivaldi project managed to pass its funding goal just in time. This open-source hardware project currently powered by some older Allwinner hardware managed to raise more than $170k...

  • KDE Connect 1.0 Released For Device/Phone Communication
    KDE Connect is the interesting project for integrating notifications and more from your phone or other mobile device onto the KDE desktop. With KDE Connect you can receive smartphone notifications on your computer as well as using your phone as a remote control to the desktop...

  • RadeonSI OpenGL Performance Has Evolved A Lot Since Early 2015
    Yesterday I posted some benchmarks showing how the AMDGPU / R9 Fury performance has jumped up in the past few months just since the April release of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. For those wondering how the open-source AMD OpenGL performance has evolved over the longer term, I took a Radeon R9 270X graphics card and re-did tests going back to Ubuntu 15.04 for looking at the RadeonSI Gallium3D performance for the past year and a half.


  • PlayStation Now is available on your PC

    Sony was vague about when PlayStation Now would reach PCs, but apparently you didn't have to wait long at all -- it's available today. If you have a sufficiently beefy Windows PC (a 3.5GHz Core i3 or better), you can stream PS3 games to your computer that include recent additions like Tomb Raider: GOTY Edition or Heavy Rain. You'll still need a fairly pricey subscription and a DualShock 4 controller (either wired or through the $25 wireless adapter due in September) to play. However, Sony is sweetening the pot through a promo that gives you a year of PS Now for $100. That's inexpensive enough that it could be worth a shot, especially if you've never owned a PlayStation and want to see what the fuss is about.

    Source: PlayStation Blog

  • SpaceX to launch SES satellite on a reused Falcon 9 rocket

    Satellite operator SES will be the first company to launch a spacecraft on a 'second-hand' SpaceX rocket. The Falcon 9 which travelled to the ISS in April, before landing on a drone ship in open water, will be called upon for the new flight later this year. Blast-off is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2016 and will be used to send an SES-10 satellite into a geostationary orbit over Latin America. Here, it'll deliver "direct-to-home broadcasting, enterprise and mobility services" to people back on the surface.

    "Having been the first commercial satellite operator to launch with SpaceX back in 2013, we are excited to once again be the first customer to launch on SpaceX's first ever mission using a flight-proven rocket," Martin Halliwell, chief technology officer for SES said. "We believe space rockets will open up a new era of spaceflight." The job is hugely significant for SpaceX. The company, run by Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk, is driven by the idea that spaceflight can be done better, and for less. Part of its master plan is a reliably reusable rocket -- one that can land safely and protect its internals, minimizing repairs and delivering cost savings.

    SpaceX has landed six rockets successfully -- others, well, not so much. Back in April, Musk suggested that a Falcon 9 rocket could be ready for a second launch by May or June. Obviously, that didn't happen (to be fair, it was an ambitious timeline). However, in the future the company hopes to turn around each rocket in a few weeks. For now, it's presumably focused on ensuring the rocket will go back up with zero problems. "Relaunching a rocket that has already delivered spacecraft to orbit is an important milestone on the path to complete and rapid reusability," Gwynne Shotwell, president and chief operating officer for SpaceX stressed.

    Source: SES, BBC

  • My favorite games to read

    I've been reading a really great story recently. By which I mean I have been playing a really great video game. Specifically, I've been playing adventure game Kentucky Route Zero, now on its fourth episode (of five). Despite being a video game, it is also one of the best magical-realist stories I've read in years. Dungeons & Dragons vein, and catered to niche audiences. But as mainstream video games entered more cinematic territory in the '90s, they embraced storytelling and narrative like never before. To do this, developers generally adopted two techniques: cutscenes (pre-rendered cinematics) and lore-dump text files. These text files — which described character, backstory, settings, props, weapons, etc. — were often found in the margins of the pause menu, in a file called the journal, the codex or something in this vein.

    In role-playing games, these "journals" evolved into actual digital books that piled up in your inventory (perhaps you are familiar with playing interactive fiction and the kind of respectable novels your English teacher would assign.

    The central narrative in Kentucky Route Zero is about deliveryman Conway's journey down the mythical "Zero" highway to deliver a package. However, it's not really about him. Like Gabriel Garcia Marquez's 100 Years of Solitude, the meat of the experience lies much more in the exploration of the ensemble cast that accompanies Conway, and its complex web of relationships, desires, and regrets. The primary gameplay mechanic revolves around selecting people to speak with, and then making dialogue choices to shape a conversation. The writing in these conversations is crisp and compact, bursting with Southern-fried flavor straight out of a Flannery O'Conner short story.

    The characters, though they are animated with blank faces, strike vivid, fully realized figures thanks to their dialogue. You can subtly shape who they become through your choices, but the options you don't choose can also reveal something about these mysterious, troubled people as well. Instead of a descriptive paragraph of prose, the background art in the game paints mysterious images that still allow the player's imagination to fill in the blanks. Playing Kentucky Route Zero is like interacting with a deconstructed and digitized novel: You have to assemble the setting, the characters, and the story yourself at your own pace, but what you create is a rewardingly intimate and layered narrative about the human experience.

    Eighty Days for iOS tilts even further into interactive-fiction territory. The game is a retelling of Jules Verne's Around the World in 80 Days. The experience consists of actual gameplay mechanics: You plan a route around the world on a map, and you stop in at markets to buy and sell your goods in order to fund your trip. But the game's real genius lies in the deftly written prose and the subtle relationship development between player-character, Passepartout, and his employer and adventurer, Phileas Fogg. Sure, it's about the journey around the world, but it's just as much about crafting the dynamic between these two characters. And though it has startling power as a narrative (it was Time magazine's "Game of the Year," while The Telegraph lauded it as one of the best "novels of the year"), 80 Days remains very much a traditional game with a clear objective and win state.

    But some works blur the line between game and story even further; for example, The Silent History. This iOS app is actually classified as an "e-book," despite several highly gamified elements. The story is set in a world where new children have been born without the ability to comprehend language, and the main narrative is a serialized, thought-provoking story of parenting that delivers on a high-minded literary pursuit: the exploration of how language shapes our world. And yet it's also iPhone app for which, like, are creating compelling, heartfelt and funny stories using Twine, open-source writing software tailored for interactive fiction.

    It's clear that great prose is no longer confined to the page — it has found a welcoming new home in the medium of games, and this should come as no surprise. It's always been the mission of great literature to transport the reader to a fantastic new land. So too has it been for great video games. It was only a matter of time till the twain did meet.

  • Devs can now publish Windows apps straight to Xbox One
    Microsoft is getting its proverbial development ducks in a row, with the addition of new capabilities to its Dev Center that should make multi-platform publishing a whole lot more straightforward, as well as provide more feedback to developers.
    Microsoft's been working towards this point for some time -- it announced the plan in January last year and even before that had selectively been porting Windows apps to the console -- but this is the first time devs have been able to offer apps built using the Anniversary Update SDK directly to Xbox One owners.

    The Dev Center Dashboard has also been overhauled, meaning it should be quicker and easier to edit apps, as well as bringing notifications and personalized suggestions.

    Ultimately, there are a whole load of new options aimed at giving developers more control over their apps and games across Windows and Xbox devices. These include the ability to only push an update to a small percentage of users or to make updating mandatory, which would be handy if, for example, a developer discovers a serious bug.

    If you want to start making cross-platform games that'll end up on the Xbox One, don't forget that you'll need concept approval too. We wouldn't want you wasting all that effort.

    Source: Windows Blog

  • 'Gran Turismo Sport' delayed to sometime in 2017

    Polyphony Digital has a reputation for taking its sweet time to bring Gran Turismo games to Sony consoles, and delayed its first PS4 racing game to sometime in 2017 after having previously committed to a November 2016 launch. Why the sudden change of plans? Polyphony chief Kazunori Yamauchi says his team doesn't want to "compromise the experience in any way" -- as is frequently the case, the company would rather be late than sully its obsessive vision. That's wise given the history of rushed driving game launches (PlayStation Blog

  • Google wants your help to improve its automatic translations

    Google's ability to interpret and translate handwriting isn't perfect. Sometimes you'll scribble a word or take a photo of a restaurant menu on holiday, only to have a garbled mess thrown back at you. To help its "smart" assistants and services, Google has released a new app on the Play Store called Crowdsource. It's a bare-bones affair, asking you to transcribe digital squiggles and photographed road signs. There are no discernible rewards, only the occasional message ("you're great!") and meaningless 'milestone' when you've completed a certain number of tasks. In short, you'll need to really love Google to open the app more than once.

    The app, of course, is still hugely beneficial to Google. Any submissions -- no matter how few -- can be fed into its algorithms and used as a foundation for better, more accurate translations and analysis. The subsequent improvements should trickle down into Maps, Translate, Photos and conversational services such as Google Assistant. It's just a shame the company hasn't integrated some form of reward system -- something similar to Google Opinion Rewards or the Google Maps Local Guides program would go a long way to incentivizing contributions.

    Via: Android Police, TechCrunch

  • Sonos opens up: Spotify Connect and Amazon Echo control is coming

    As much as Sonos is known for high-quality connected speakers, it's also built up a reputation for lackluster software and a closed ecosystem. And that's getting harder to live with as alternative platforms like Google's Cast (formerly Chromecast) are flourishing alongside smart partnerships (see Vizio's recent TVs) and inexpensive devices like the Chromecast Audio. So to course correct, Sonos announced today that it's opening up its platform to Spotify Connect, and it has also kicked off a "long-term strategic collaboration" with Amazon to integrate Echo voice control with its speakers.

    The Spotify Connect support, which is coming in a few weeks, will be particularly useful for anyone who's grown tired of Sonos's software. You'll be able to control the company's speakers from within any Spotify app. You'll even be able to get music playing across multiple rooms, since all of your Sonos groups will appear inside Spotify. The Sonos app will also recognize the songs Spotify is delivering, so if your friend is streaming a song you've never heard, you'll be able to add it to your library easily.

    The Amazon Echo integration works as you'd expect. You can ask Alexa to play music on specific Sonos speakers, and if an unfamiliar tune pops up in a playlist, you can also ask what is actually playing. You'll have to wait a while to marry Sonos and Amazon's Echo, though. The integration will be available in private beta later this year, but it won't reach general users until 2017.

    As for other updates, you'll soon be able to control your Sonos speakers even when you're away from your home WiFi network. That'll let you get the party started a bit early on your drive home from work (or at least easily annoy your family or roomates). Sonos is also joining the Open Music Initiative, a non-profit group dedicated to open sourcing access to music. That's a big sign that the company will open up its platform even more down the line.

  • Samsung launches first Exynos chip with all radios built in

    Samsung has revealed a new chip that could have a ripple effect on its high-end smartphones, and will make IoT devices and smartphones for developing markets faster, slimmer and cheaper. The quad-core 7570 is the first Exynos chip to have all wireless tech, including Cat.4 LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, FM and GNSS (GPS), built in to a single chip. It has 70 percent more performance and uses 30 percent less battery power than its predecessor, with everything squeezed into a 20 percent smaller package.

    The chip can also handle signal processing for up to 8-megapixel front and 13-megapixel back cameras, Full HD video, and a WXGA screen (1,366 x 768 resolution). Samsung was able to pack all that in by using 14-nanometer manufacturing for the first time on a budget chip. So far, that's been reserved for its higher-end processors, including the top-of-the-line Exynos 8890.

    Though the latest chip isn't that interesting, performance-wise, it may have a ripple effect on the high-end market. While Exynos chips like the 8890 have similar performance to rival Snapdragon models, they have limited LTE and CDMA (3G) options. That's mainly why it still uses Qualcomm chips in US versions of its flagship Galaxy S7 and Galaxy Note 7 models. If it can squeeze more radio options into next-gen flagship processors, though, it may be able to wean itself off of its rival's tech.

    In addition, Google wants $50 Android One smartphones for the developing world, but as we found out, there are a lot of compromises to building one at that price. Samsung's Exynos 7570 might not go into devices that cheap, but it shows that packing in more functionality via smaller transistors is likely the best way to build cheap phones that are still decent.

    Source: Samsung

  • Mophie's cheapest battery packs yet start at just $30

    There are two things Mophie has always been known for: Delivering attractive mobile cases and battery packs that fit right alongside Apple's aesthetic, and making you pay a premium to own its products. That all changes with the company's next batch of mobile battery packs, which are up to 50 percent cheaper than their previous models. They're still sleek, but of course, Mophie had to make some manufacturing tweaks to lower its production costs. Now instead of being encased entirely in metal, they're sandwiched between two pieces of aluminum.

    As with the company's last Powerstations, they're basically just bricks for connecting your own two USB cables and charging whatever device you want. The svelte new 3,000 mAh Powerstation Mini goes for just $30, compared to $60 for the previous cheapest model (though that one came with a 4,000 mAh) battery. That's big enough to recharge most Android phones completely, and it's almost two full charges for the iPhone 6S. The 6,000 mAh Powerstation, meanwhile, sells for $50 instead of $80 like the last model.

    Rounding out the selection, the 10,000 mAh Powerstation XL comes in at $70, while the 20,000 mAh XXL is $100. And if you've got a newer Android phone with USB-C, you can opt for the 10,000 mAh Powerstation USB-C model for $100.

    If you'd rather have a built-in cable, Mophie's new Powerstation Plus line starts at $60 for the 4,000 mAh version. Instead of having separate models for micro-USB and Apple's Lightning connector, all of the revamped Powerstation Plus packs have swappable tips to flip between those two standards. And for people who bought Mophie's Charge Force wireless charging cases, there's a 10,000 mAh Powerstation with that technology integrated for $100 as well.

    It's hard to get excited about portable power packs these days, but it's heartening to see a premium brand like Mophie seriously rethinking its prices.

  • ICYMI: The US Government wants to limit big rig speeds
    // on In Case You Missed It: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is proposing to mechanically limit the speed of buses and semis over 26,000 pounds to under 68 miles per hour. The idea focuses on safety concerns but also would improve fuel efficiency.
    Meanwhile a doctor at University of California San Francisco found a way to apply 3D technology to existing CT scans, letting health practitioners select segments of a scan and turn tissue around to get a better look at formerly hidden sections.

    If you're interested in geology, we recommend the full Ice Age decomposition video here. Those interested in our work towards living on Mars will want to know about the simulated mission on Hawaii now being at an end. As always, please share any interesting tech or science videos you find by using the #ICYMI hashtag on Twitter for @mskerryd.

  • Intel's 7th generation Core CPUs will devour 4K video

    4K video is finally gaining a foothold in home theaters this year, but for most PCs it's practically kryptonite. Even if you're lucky enough to have a powerful computer, dealing with such high-resolution video is a surefire way to spike your CPU usage and gobble up battery life. So it's little surprise that Intel made 4K performance the centerpiece of its long-awaited seventh generation Core processors, which were officially announced today. You can also look forward to a slew of other speed-enhancing features when the new chips hit laptops in September.

    So just how good are these new batch of Core processors? How about a CPU utilization rate of around 5 percent and power usage of 0.5 watts on the new Core i7-7500U while playing local 4K video. That's compared to 40 to 70 percent CPU usage and a 10.2 watt power draw on its predecessor, the i7-6500U. And when playing 4K VP9-encoded video on YouTube, the new seventh generation i7 clocks in at 10 to 20 percent CPU usage while drawing 0.8 watts of power. The previous chip, on the other hand, ate up 70 to 80 percent of the CPU while taking up 5.8 watts of power.

    Even as a computer geek, it's been hard to get excited over new processors over the last few years. Intel, for the most part, has focused on steadily improving its lineup instead of aiming for dramatic performance gains. (My fourth-generation quad-core desktop chip can still go toe-to-toe with sixth-gen offerings.) But when it comes to 4K, Intel has delivered an evolutionary upgrade. And while it might not sound that important yet, it sets the stage for laptops and desktops that need to drive the new video standard.

    Specifically, Intel added hardware encoding and decoding capabilities for both 10-bit HEVC 4K video and 8 to 10-bit VP9 video. There's also HDR and wide color gamut support, but Intel says it's up to manufacturers to implement the two competing HDR standards, Dolby Vision and HDR10. On top of just letting you watch more 4K video, the new chips' encoding performance could be a huge deal for anyone editing media, with speeds between 1X and 3X real-time for 30FPS 4K.

    Intel's seventh generation Core processors (codenamed "Kaby Lake") are basically a refined version of the company's Skylake design from last year. Once again, they're built on a 14 nanometer process, and they rely on Intel's Speed Boost feature, which pushes the chips to their maximum speed faster than previous generations. Unfortunately, the company isn't saying much about its seventh gen desktop lineup yet, but we'll hopefully hear details early next year.

    The new laptop chips are divided into two groups: the "Y-series" for thin designs using up to 4.5 watts of power, and the "U" series for faster performance (or just about every other type of laptop). And while there's still a Core M3 processor in the new lineup, Intel has dumped the M5 and M7 models in exchange for the power efficient Y-series. Base clock speeds range between 2.4 GHz and 2.7 GHz for the U-series chips, with boost speeds up to 3.1GHz on the Core i5 and 3.5GHz on the Core i7. And for the more efficient Y-series, base speeds run between 1GHz and 1.3GHz, with larger boost figures between 2.6GHz and 3.6GHz.

    When it comes to typical web browsing, Intel claims the new i7-7500U is 19 percent faster than the i7-6500U, while i7-7Y75 chip is 18 percent faster than the M7-6Y75, as measured by WebXPRT 2015. And when it comes to productivity, the company says the new CPUs are around 12 percent faster than their predecessors, based on SYSmark 2014 figures. Sure, they're not exactly exciting upgrades if you have a fairly new laptop, but if yours is getting long in the tooth, you'll definitely notice the difference. And while I didn't get any exact figures on battery life, you can expect some sort of improvement (especially when watching videos).

    So what do these new chips mean for you? Basically, if you're in the market for a new laptop, it's worth waiting for new models featuring the seventh gen CPUs in September. And if you're planning to build or buy a new desktop, sit tight until January.

  • The wireless FIIL Diva headphones are gorgeous but flaky
    In a world where everything is increasingly wireless, most of us are still tethered by our headphones. Manufacturers have produced wireless headsets of all types, but they're still limited by issues like their control schemes and battery life. The FIIL Diva, which hits Kickstarter today, is a compact over-ear headset that hopes to create a worry-free experience, but its finicky nature creates new headaches instead.
    Out of the box, the FIIL Diva certainly lives up to its name: It's gorgeous. The headset comes packaged inside a hard traveling case stamped with the logo of the company, in a typeface that makes me read it alternatively as "Fiii" and "Fili." The name is also on each side of the Diva, glowing a soft white when the device is on. When the lighting effect is off, the logo looks like silver metal -- not cheap or incomplete like so many other products do when you deactivate their bling. No one would ever know these were supposed to light up.

    The Diva is simple and classy, with rounded cups about two inches in diameter. The band is unadorned, and can be adjusted about an inch to accommodate larger heads -- but not that large. I was astonished at how small the whole package is, but delighted at how light it felt on my head and how little room it took up.

    It also feels super premium. The ear cups and headband are lined with soft leather that's nice to touch and didn't make my ears sweat -- key to using these for a full workday. I even took them to the gym and worked my butt off on the elliptical, but my ears were fine. The softness is also great if you wear earrings: I put these on over some dangly hoops I was wearing and completely forgot I had jewelry on.

    The right ear cup has a multifunction button that turns the headphones on and off, controls music playback and will also activate a voice telling you the current battery level. There's a little toggle switch next to it that controls the special "My AudioFiilter" mode, which feeds you surrounding audio so you can stay aware of your surroundings. I ended up pushing it by accident a lot. Luckily, a light push won't do much; it takes a double press to activate the filter and let in outside noise.

    One of the Diva's big draws is the touch controls. There are no buttons other than the ones I've already described, but you can control music playback via a series of finger swipes on the right ear cup. Up and down will raise or lower the volume; right and left will skip tracks. The swipe has to start at the edge and go all the way across for a good shot at succeeding; even so, I found myself futilely pawing at the cup, trying to get it to register. When it worked, it was great. But it takes a bit of practice.

    To get more out of the headphones, it helps to download the FIIL+ app for iOS or Android. Oddly enough, the app asks you to log in with a social media account. As I had no desire to let FIIL access my Facebook or Twitter account just to use a pair of headphones, I logged in as "guest." The app will automatically detect the headset and display important info like battery life right on the first screen, including playback and standby hours. The battery on the Diva is great: When fully charged, the app was indicating 30-plus hours of music playback, and even after using the headset for three full workdays I still had 30 percent left in the battery.

    The app is the only way to access the 3D sound feature, which simulates the experience of listening to music in different-sized rooms. The biggest of these is "Hall," which I guess is sort of like being at a concert. But I don't go to live performances because I crave a distant, echoey sound to my favorite songs, so this feature really didn't appeal to me.

    Standard music playback is bright and crisp, and I found myself noticing details I often miss when using my earbuds. I listened to the entirety of Arcade Fire's Funeral, and I was surprised how clearly I could hear the chimes I had never even noticed before against the more aggressive guitars and drums.

    I also experimented with My AudioFiilter at the office and on the street and found no measurable difference in audio quality. The voice prompt when you push the button should let you know which mode you're currently in, but the voice was too low, meaning that if I had music on I couldn't make out what was being said. Also, one of the recordings on my demo unit was still in Chinese. I figure this will be fixed in the final version, but it made figuring out which mode was active even harder.

    There's also an opposite "Windy" mode that filters out wind noise; I tried this in a room with multiple fans and an A/C and it screened out the sound quite well. But it won't help with the constant pounding of your steps when you're walking or running, which seemed more pronounced on the Diva than other headphones.

    I eventually ignored these odd modes completely and stuck with the standard settings.

    Outside of these audio tricks, the Diva is designed for convenience. That means the good battery life and the touch controls, but it especially applies to the voice control and motion-sensing capabilities. The motion sensing is perhaps the marquee feature of the Diva headset. When you take the headphones off, the music pauses, and when you put them back on, the music should resume. It's a great idea: How many times have you taken headphones off and left the audio running because it took too long to fiddle with an app or find a tiny button? (The multifunction button on the Diva is pretty small.)

    In practice, the motion sensing is finicky. I would take the Diva off and put it down, only to find music still playing when I returned a few minutes later. It takes a little practice to get it right: The instructions say to pull the headphones apart when you take them off, but I also found it helped to snap my wrist a bit when I took them off, and to take them off quickly. If I took them off slowly and carefully, the Diva never really seemed to get the message; if I was a little rough, the motion sensing was more likely to respond.

    After some practice it became more reliable, but I can't say the same for putting the headphones back on. I tried pulling them, snapping them, praying; it didn't behave consistently, and I often just used the multifunction button to turn them back on. I also had some issues with the music cutting out for no discernible reason, or skipping tracks. The problems were more likely to occur when I was walking around, which makes me think it might be an issue with the motion sensing in my demo unit.

    Another thing that needs to work: the voice controls. In theory, I should have been able to say, "Hey, FIIL, play Arcade Fire," and it would play a track. I never got it to work. There was at least one instance where I was holding the Diva in my hand and I heard a voice say, "I'm sorry, I didn't quite catch that." I was talking to my roommate at the time, and at no point did I say "FIIL" or even "hey," so I don't know what the headset thought it heard.

    The FIIL Diva promises a certain level of freedom: not just from wires, but from fiddly controls and constant charging. And the potential is certainly there. Like its namesake, the Diva was lovely to look at and performed beautifully. But also like some divas I've known, it could be incredibly temperamental and unreliable.
    If you want to try out some luxurious headphones and don't mind a few growing pains, the FIIL Diva is on Kickstarter today for an early-bird price of $129, with a future retail price of $199.

  • Uber gives you ride discounts for shopping with a Visa card

    Uber is no stranger to promos that discount rides when you use a specific credit card, but it's kicking things up a notch. It's introducing a permanent Local Offers feature that, in its current incarnation, offers ridesharing discounts when you shop at participating stores using a Visa credit card linked to your Uber account. Every dollar you spend counts as a point, and 100 points will give you a $10 discount for an Uber trip. While it's not the same as getting a free ride, the deals could add up quickly if you regularly break out your Visa when out on the town.

    Local Officers is initially launching in Los Angeles and San Francisco, where it'll be available in stages. The first wave of stores are mostly eateries, such as Peet's Coffee, Barcito, PizzaRev and Uno Dos Tacos. You probably won't score many points quickly in the near future, unless you're fond of eating out. There's a good chance that the store list will expand, however, so you may soon get free rides on a regular basis.

    Either way, it's a pretty shrewd move from both companies. Visa gives you a better reason to pull out your credit card instead of turning to debit or cash. Uber, meanwhile, might just get you to regularly depend on its service instead of competitors like Lyft.

    Source: Uber Newsroom

  • Twitter's promoted stickers invade UK feeds

    Playing its part in the ongoing game of shameless social network feature copying, Twitter launched stickers for all users last month. These let you spice up your pictures with emoji and other cartoony overlays before posting them, and you can also search by sticker to see what others are doing with them. It took all of five minutes for Twitter to suck the fun out of the feature, though, as Pepsi became the first brand to shell out for promoted stickers. And now Brits can feature in quarterly ad revenue statistics, too, with the launch of promoted stickers in the UK.

    Warner Bros. is the first company to take advantage, releasing a selection of stickers to drum up interest for its new film Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them -- in case you've ever wondered what you'd look like as an American Harry Potter.

    Via: Campaign

    Source: Twitter

  • VMware won't charge you to run a new OS in Fusion

    Virtual machine software is theoretically a one-and-done purchase, but you know that's not how it works in practice. You typically end up buying an upgrade every year just to get the latest operating system support, whether it's in the virtual environment or your native OS of choice. You might not have to run on that treadmill this year, though. VMware is releasing free upgrades to Fusion (8.5 and 8.5 Pro) and Workstation (12.5 and 12.5 Pro) that support the latest and greatest platforms. The Linux, Mac and Windows versions of those programs can all run Windows 10 Anniversary Update and Windows Server 2016 in a virtual system, including multiple systems on Linux and Windows. On the Mac, Fusion will also take advantage of macOS Sierra features like Siri voice commands and tabbed windows.

    The gesture beats dropping $50 (it's $80 for a new copy), although it's not surprising why VMware would give away this update. The focus here is almost exclusively on compatibility, rather than a big revision of VMware's features -- there wouldn't be a strong incentive to buy a new copy. While it's too soon to say for sure what will happen with Fusion 9 or Workstation 13, it won't be surprising if it's back to business as usual with those versions. Think of this year's free upgrade more as a temporary reprieve than a fundamental shift in behavior.

    Source: VMware

  • Kim Dotcom will be allowed to stream his extradition appeal

    The extradition case for Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom can be streamed on YouTube, a New Zealand court has ruled. The German internet entrepreneur -- now living in Auckland, the nation's largest city -- and three of his former colleagues began a six-week hearing earlier this week to appeal a December court decision that allows them to be extradited to the US to face conspiracy, racketeering and money-laundering charges.

    Over the past few days, Dotcom and his lawyer Ira Rothken had argued that the hearing should be streamed as it was a "public interest" case. US officials tried to block the request, suggesting that it could reveal sensitive information and influence jurors. However, the New Zealand judge -- who had asked for opinions from other media and didn't receive any objections -- approved the petition, making it the first New Zealand court case to be streamed in its entirety when it appears on YouTube on Wednesday.

    To appease the court, the video will be broadcast with a 20-minute delay. This will allow any evidence that has been suppressed by the court to be removed. Dotcom's lawyer is pleased: "It's very important that the entire world gets to see the courtroom," says Rothken. "The Internet isn't run by any one nation, so we thought the solution itself would come from the Internet."

    Before it was seized, Megaupload was one of the web's most trafficked websites. Officials argue it earned Dotcom and his colleagues over $175 million and cost copyright owners more than $500 million. The defendants believe they can't be held responsible for the illegal actions of its users, an statement often used by torrent sites, but US officials have relentlessly pursued them in hope of a landmark copyright conviction.

    Should Dotcom and his counterparts be found guilty, they could face lengthy prison sentences. But that hasn't fazed the German: he intends to launch a new version of Megaupload and a new digital currency later this year.
    Use the live stream to find and expose US Govt misconduct & lies in my case. I'll retweet your research & videos. Let's have some justice!
    — Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) August 30, 2016
    Source: Reuters

  • The compact Yuneec Breeze drone is built for 4K selfies

    Yuneec is known for high-end drones with features like 4K and collision avoidance, but is going straight for Joe Consumer with its latest model. The Breeze is a $500 compact drone with five flight modes and an on-board 4K camera, making it ideal for types who want high-quality aerial selfies.

    Yuneec didn't reveal many specs, but CEO Tian Yu did say it it includes "Ultra HD and flight mode capabilities of our top end drones." Judging from the lifestyle pics, one of those is almost certainly a "follow-me" mode so that newbie drone users can focus on posing. As for the camera, if it's anything like the one on its high-end Typhoon Q500 4K model, it will be decent, though not quite as good as DJI's built-in 4K cameras.

    The Breeze comes with an app to let you control the flight, see a live stream, and take photos or video. Once the it's over, you can download them to your phone and post to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube Instagram or WhatsApp. It doesn't appear to break down in any way for easier transport (other than the folding propellers), but certainly looks small enough to throw in a backpack.

    The selfie drone market is pretty small right now -- Ehang's GhostDrone 2 Aerial, for one, runs $600 with a 4K camera. Other models, like the Nixie and Hexo+, have yet to ship. That makes the $500 price tag for the Yuneec Breeze look pretty reasonable, and you can actually buy one starting today.

  • EU Commission: Apple must repay its $14.5b Irish tax break

    The European Commission has ruled that Apple was given up to €13 billion ($14.5/11.1 billion) in an illegal sweetheart tax deal with the Irish government. The amount of money involved here dwarfs the EU antitrust penalties handed out to Google, Microsoft and others, but this is effectively a backdated tax bill, rather than a fine. Officials opened the investigation into Apple's tax affairs back in 2013 and soon found that the agreement that it had signed with Ireland was illegal.

    The Commission says that because the deal gave Apple a "significant advantage" over its competition, the iPhone maker must now be prepared to pay back "illegal state aid" over the ten-year period before it began investigating its tax practices. Officials say that amount totals around €13 billion (from between 2003 and 2014) and that interest must also be accounted for. That could mean an additional €1-2 billion could be bolted onto that figure.

    "Member States cannot give tax benefits to selected companies – this is illegal under EU state aid rules. The Commission's investigation concluded that Ireland granted illegal tax benefits to Apple, which enabled it to pay substantially less tax than other businesses over many years," says Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. "In fact, this selective treatment allowed Apple to pay an effective corporate tax rate of 1 percent on its European profits in 2003 down to 0.005 percent in 2014."

    Apple and the Irish government will appeal the ruling. The company said the following in a statement:

    The European Commission has launched an effort to rewrite Apple's history in Europe, ignore Ireland's tax laws and upend the international tax system in the process. The Commission's case is not about how much Apple pays in taxes, it's about which government collects the money. It will have a profound and harmful effect on investment and job creation in Europe.

    Apple follows the law and pays all of the taxes we owe wherever we operate. We will appeal and we are confident the decision will be overturned.

    The story began way back in 1991 when Apple signed a deal with the Irish government that enabled it to use a very specific type of tax loophole. This loophole was called a "double Irish" and, very simply, allowed Apple to split profits, paying almost nothing in the process. It's quite a successful system, and in 2014, Apple was able to stash two-thirds of its global income in this tax haven. While Apple is feeling the effects of the ruling, it was Ireland that arranged the illegal deal.

    It's not just Europe that feels that Apple's tax affairs were shady, with Senator Carl Levin criticizing the company back in 2013. He wrote a lengthy report (.PDF) saying that Apple had negotiated an effective tax rate of less than two percent in Ireland. In the US, by comparison, it would have been expected to at least pay 15 percent.

    But sweetheart deals are in violation with the principles of the free market, which the European Commission has sought to uphold. Countries are barred from offering secret handouts to give local players an unfair advantage over the competition. This is classified as "state aid," and is illegal in the eyes of the Commission.

    In response to the ruling, Apple posted a Customer Letter titled "A Message to the Apple Community in Europe" to its website, in which Apple CEO Tim Cook detailed the company's investment and growing operations in Ireland. He also took time to comment on the ruling and how it may affect EU businesses doing business in the US:

    "In Apple's case, nearly all of our research and development takes place in California, so the vast majority of our profits are taxed in the United States. European companies doing business in the U.S. are taxed according to the same principle. But the Commission is now calling to retroactively change those rules."

    "Beyond the obvious targeting of Apple, the most profound and harmful effect of this ruling will be on investment and job creation in Europe. Using the Commission's theory, every company in Ireland and across Europe is suddenly at risk of being subjected to taxes under laws that never existed."

    The US won't agree with the ruling, given that it feels that any tax Apple owes should go to the treasury. Tim Cook himself has said that he feels that where you "create value is the place where you are taxed." The implication being that the only place Apple should be on the hook for tax is in the US, even though much of that value is created in Foxconn's Chinese factories. But, then again, it's not as if the US currently benefits from Apple's largesse, either.

    The company has been very open about the fact that it has roughly $230 billion stashed in overseas bank accounts that it refuses to repatriate. Cook justifies this by saying that the cost of returning money to the US is too high -- shaking out to a tax rate of almost 40 percent, or $92 billion. An investigation over at Europa

  • Adieu, Chromebook Pixel 2

    The best Chromebook that money can buy is slowly disappearing. As second-generation Chromebook Pixel is now unavailable in the US, with a mere "out of stock" message displayed in the Google Store. Google has said it's "committed" to the Pixel line, but admits: "We don't have plans to restock the Pixel 2." The situation might be different outside the US -- here in the UK, the laptop is still in stock -- so act fast if you still want to buy one. Otherwise, it's time to say goodbye.

    The Pixel 2 is one of the best pieces of hardware Google has ever produced. The aluminium chassis is beautiful, hiding a spacious keyboard and a high-resolution, touch-friendly display. The impeccable build quality, combined with some decent performance and battery life, make it a sublime canvas for Chrome OS. The problem is the price -- at $999 it's an expensive piece of gear, and hard to justify against a similarly-priced MacBook or Windows laptop. But then, it was never supposed to be a mass market seller. The Pixel, like Google's Nexus phones, is a showcase for the operating system.

    Earlier this year, Google put out a job opening for a Chromebook Pixel Quality Engineer. While it doesn't guarantee a new model, the position would indicate that Google is still interested in building its own high-end laptops. In the meantime, there's always the Pixel C, a Surface-style hybrid that's now considerably more useful thanks to Android 7.0 (Nougat).

    Source: VentureBeat

  • 'This War of Mine' studio reveals a dystopian steampunk PC game

    11 Bit Studios made a name for itself with said similar things about This War of Mine back in 2014, calling that game "serious" and "mature." This War of Mine sold well and won multiple awards, including the Audience Award at the 2015 Independent Games Festival. With Frostpunk, 11 Bit is sticking with its strengths in creating a moody, thoughtful and emotive gaming experience. The studio says Frostpunk is its biggest and most complex game to date.

    Frostpunk is scheduled to hit PC in 2017. The game's introductory teaser trailer is the first in a series that 11 Bit promises will continue soon.

  • Amazon is cracking down on counterfeit goods
    Amazon is cracking down on more than just counterfeit reviews -- the e-commerce juggernaut is waging a war against knock-off goods, as a customer, it's hard to complain. Just ask basically anyone who's shopped on Alibaba. But! This will have an impact on smaller merchants, creating a schism between bigger sellers that can afford the fee and those who cannot. If this goes more widespread beyond things like running shoes or TVs and into smaller items like music and kitchen items, for example, it's possible we could see less selection, higher prices and fewer sellers overall on the digital emporium.

    Source: CNBC

  • Apple iPad, Mac rumors suggest upgrades for power users

    While we prepare to see the next iPhone on September 7th, standalone 5K monitor the company is working on with LG (that would surpass even the 21:9 screens just announced) the next step for iMacs are the option of AMD GPUs built-in, while the Macbook Air is expected to get a USB-C upgrade that could mimic the current Macbook.

    Otherwise, a thinner (of course) Macbook Pro could take its own notes from the Macbook with a flatter keyboard, plus what Bloomberg says is a "Dynamic Function Row" above the keyboard. Earlier rumors referred to an OLED touch bar, and combined with the upcoming Sierra macOS update, it could handle different functions depending on what software is active, like iMovie or Safari.

    Finally, the iPad is expected to get upgraded display tech that zooms and scrolls faster, while a software update would make the Apple Pencil work across more software on iOS. The new iPad software is expected to arrive at some point in 2017, while the new Mac hardware is expected to debut later this year.

    Source: Bloomberg

  • NASA uses a DNA sequencer in space for the first time

    The crew of the ISS just took the first step towards making the orbital laboratory a little safer for its inhabitants. For the first time ever, NASA astronauts have sequenced DNA in microgravity. The experiment was actually a test to see if a MiniION portable DNA sequencer would work in orbit -- so far it does. The samples tested on the ISS produced the same results as a control group back on earth. If further tests pan out, astronauts will be able to use the sequencer to test microbes found on ISS surfaces.

    It's a little weird to think of the International Space Station as a potential breeding ground for unwanted organisms, but it is an enclosed environment -- and NASAsays it occasional finds fungus that needs to be tested. This usually means waiting until crew returns to earth, but having a sequencer in orbit could allow crew to more quickly determine if fungi or microbes found on ISS surfaces are a health hazard. The sequencer can also be used to make sure the station's water reclamation system is working properly or to analyse experiment results without returning them to NASA itself.

    NASA says the sequencer will also be helpful on future Mars missions -- giving astronauts the tools they need to protect their health on the long journey. Before it can be used for any of that, however, it still needs to go through a few more tests. Check out NASA's official announcement for more details.

    Source: NASA

  • more, less, and a story of typical Unix fossilization
    In a sane world, Unix vendors would have either replaced their version of more with the clearly superior less or at least updated their version of more to the 4.3 BSD version. Maybe less wouldn't have replaced more immediately, but certainly over say the next five years, when it kept on being better and most people kept preferring it when they had a choice. This would have been Unix evolving to pick a better alternative. In this world, basically neither happened. Unix fossilized around more; no one was willing to outright replace more and even updating it to the 4.3 BSD version was a slow thing (which of course drove more and more people to less). Eventually the Single Unix Specification came along and standardized more with more features than it originally had but still with a subset of less's features (which had kept growing).  This entire history has led to a series of vaguely absurd outcomes on various modern Unixes.

  • The Thor Operating System
    Thor is an operating system created for learning purposes and for fun.  It is currently a 64bit OS written mainly in C++, with few lines of assembly when necessary.  There are lots of learning-oriented operating systems, and this is one of them. The more, the merrier.

  • Zuckerberg hopes to show off his Jarvis-like home AI next month
    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is living at least a few years out ahead of anyone reading this post -- the founding executive told an audience in Rome (via Verge) today that he hopes to demonstrate his home€™s artificial intelligence system, which controls things like air conditioning, lighting and more based on things like face and voice recognition.  The TechCrunch article is light on detail, but this project may be more interesting than it sounds at first blush. Zuckerberg isn't the first tech billionaire to sink a bunch of money into a fancy home automation project. Bill Gates famously did the same a couple of decades ago. High end homes all over the world have fancy and expensive home control systems, that provide their rich owners with frustration and hassle and absolutely confound houseguests. But these days, for a few hundred dollars, anyone can buy an Amazon Echo, any one of half a dozen automation hubs, and various switches, thermostats, and lightbulbs, and create a pretty nifty and convenient voice controlled home automation and entertainment system. Someone with the vision and the development budget that Mark Zuckerberg has at his disposal should be able, with readily available, inexpensive hardware, create something pretty amazing.

  • Ode to ASCII games
    Computing old timers remember a world where computer games were decidedly lo fi. Linux Links has a list of the 21 best open source ASCII games, with screenshots and descriptions, for your nostalgic pleasure.

  • Apple event scheduled for September 7
    It's pretty much a given that the primary announcement will be the iPhone 7, reportedly with no analog headphone jack, possibly no physical home button, and hopefully with 32 GB RAM in the base configuration. According to the rumor mill, the primary technological advance for the new iPhone will be a new camera system. There's some speculation that a new Apple Watch will be announced, but in my opinion what the Apple watch needs most is better software (upcoming in the WatchOS 3 release). The Watch has been pretty satisfying as a gadget, but ultimately disappointing as a platform, and a new hardware version is unlikely to reverse that trend. Many Mac fans are hoping that a new Macbook Pro will be announced, but there doesn't seem to be any concrete evidence of that, other than the fact that it's been so long since the last real MPB redesign. The rumors are based, I suspect, on wishful thinking. However, if Apple releases an updated Macbook Pro with an OLED touchscreen and Intel Skylake, people would be lining up to buy them. Apple's custom is to make its primary OS announcements at WWDC and focus on new devices in the fall, but I'm sure we'll get a bit of an update on iOS 10 and possibly WatchOS3.

  • Linux Flaw Allows Attackers to Hijack Web Connections
    Researchers discovered that a Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) specification implemented in Linux creates a vulnerability that can be exploited to terminate connections and conduct data injection attacks.  The flaw, tracked as CVE-2016-5696, is related to a feature described in RFC 5961, which should make it more difficult to launch off-path TCP spoofing attacks. The specification was formulated in 2010, but it has not been fully implemented in Windows, Mac OS X, and FreeBSD-based operating systems. However, the feature has been implemented in the Linux kernel since version 3.6, released in 2012.  A team of researchers from the University of California, Riverside and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory identified an attack method that allows a blind, off-path attacker to intercept TCP-based connections between two hosts on the Internet.  Researchers noted that data cannot be injected into HTTPS communications, but the connection can still be terminated using this method. One attack scenario described by the experts involves targeting Tor by disrupting connections between certain relays so that users are forced to use attacker-controlled exit relays.

  • Kaspersky launches KasperskyOS
    Kaspersky has launched a brand new operating system, built from the ground up for use on routers and other hardware. Very little information is available in English right now, but The Register has a brief summary of what's been released about it in Russian.

  • How can journalists and activists (and regular folks) reduce their susceptibility to surveillance?
    The recent news of a savvy UAE-based activist thwarting an attempt to compromise his iPhone raises the important issue of state-based surveillance actors and their private sector contractors having sophisticated and effective ways of intercepting communication and using their targets' own devices against them. One problem with modern mobile computing technology is that it's been built around expansive and convenient features, with security and privacy as an afterthought. On the same day I learned about the iPhone exploit, I happened to listen to a re-run of a 2014 Planet Money podcast in which an NPR journalist volunteered to fall victim to his unencrypted internet traffic being captured and analyzed by experts, and what they were able to learn about him, and specifically about the sources and topics of a story he was working on, was alarming.   As the podcast mentions, mobile OS vendors and online services are getting a lot better at encrypting traffic and obscuring metadata, and one of the primary reasons for this was Edward Snowden's revelations about the ubiquity and sophistication of the NSA's surveillance, and by extension, the dangers of surveillance from other state agencies, black hat hackers, and legions of scammers. The Snowden revelations hit Silicon Valley right in the pocketbook, so that did impel a vast new rollout of encryption and bug fixing, but there's still a long way to go.  As a way of both highlighting and trying to fix some of the inherent vulnerabilities of smartphones in particular, Ed Snowden teamed up with famed hardware hacker Bunny Huang have been working on a hardware tool, specifically, a mobile phone case, that monitors the radio signals from a device and reports to the user what's really being transmitted. They explain their project in a fascinating article at PubPub.  Mobile phones provide a wide attack surface, since their multitude of apps are sharing data with the network at all times, and even if the core data is encrypted, a lot can be gleaned from metadata and snippets of unencrypted data that leak through. Journalists and activists generally know this, and often use Airplane Mode when they're worried their location may be tracked. Problem is, when agencies are using spearphishing attacks to remotely jailbreak iPhones and install tracking software, and there are even fears that OS vendors themselves might be cooperating with authorities, Snowden and Huang set out to allow users to monitor their devices in a way that doesn't implicitly trust the device's user interface, which may be hiding the fact that it's transmitting data when it says it's not. The article goes into great detail about the options they considered, and the specific design they've worked down to, and it looks terrific.

  • Interview with Steve Wozniak
    Woz sat down with an interviewer from the Australian publication, The Conversation, recently, and discussed various issues around technology and current events. There's a video of the interview, and also a summary. If you're interested in learning more about Wozniak, there's a great interview with him from a few years ago on the Founders at Work site.

  • Apple releases security patch after iPhone zero day exploit used on UAE political dissident
    Ahmed Mansoor is an internationally recognized human rights defender, based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and recipient of the Martin Ennals Award (sometimes referred to as a €œNobel Prize for human rights€). On August 10 and 11, 2016, Mansoor received SMS text messages on his iPhone promising €œnew secrets€ about detainees tortured in UAE jails if he clicked on an included link. Instead of clicking, Mansoor sent the messages to Citizen Lab researchers. We recognized the links as belonging to an exploit infrastructure connected to NSO Group, an Israel-based €œcyber war€ company that sells Pegasus, a government-exclusive €œlawful intercept€ spyware product. NSO Group is reportedly owned by an American venture capital firm, Francisco Partners Management.  The ensuing investigation, a collaboration between researchers from Citizen Lab and from Lookout Security, determined that the links led to a chain of zero-day exploits (€œzero-days€) that would have remotely jailbroken Mansoor€™s stock iPhone 6 and installed sophisticated spyware. We are calling this exploit chain Trident. Once infected, Mansoor€™s phone would have become a digital spy in his pocket, capable of employing his iPhone€™s camera and microphone to snoop on activity in the vicinity of the device, recording his WhatsApp and Viber calls, logging messages sent in mobile chat apps, and tracking his movements.

  • The GIF is dead - long live the GIF
    Already more than a decade old and with roots reaching back half a decade before the World Wide Web itself, the GIF was showing its age. It offered support for a paltry 256 colors. Its animation capabilities were easily rivaled by a flipbook. It was markedly inferior to virtually every file format that had followed it. On top of that, there were the threats of litigation from parent companies and patent-holders which had been looming over GIF users for five long years before the fiery call to action. By Burn All GIFs Day, the GIF was wobbling on the precipice of destruction. Those who knew enough to care deeply about file formats and the future of the web were marching on the gates, armed with PNGs of torches and pitchforks.  And yet, somehow, here we are. Seventeen years later, the GIF not only isn't dead. It rules the web.  Sometimes, things just work - even if it sucks.

  • Android 7.0 Nougat review: do more on your gigantic smartphone
    Ars has an in-depth review of Android 7.0 Nougat, so sit back, relax, and have fun.  After a lengthy Developer Preview program starting in March, the final version of Android 7.0 (codenamed "Nougat") is finally launching today. The OS update will slowly begin to rollout to devices over the next few weeks. This year, Google is adding even more form factors to the world's most popular operating system. After tackling watches, phones, tablets, TVs, and cars, Nougat brings platform improvements aimed at virtual reality headsets and - with some help from Chrome OS - also targets laptops and desktops.  For Android's primary platform (still phones and tablets), there's a myriad of improvements. Nougat brings a new multitasking split screen mode, a redesigned notification panel, an adjustable UI scale, and fresh emoji. Nougat also sports numerous under-the-hood improvements, like changes to the Android Runtime, updates to the battery saving "Doze" mode, and developer goodies like Vulkan and Java 8 support.

  • Android 7.0 Nougat released for some Nexus device owners
    It's Android 7.0 Nougat day! Well, for the owners of a small number of Nexus devices, and even then, of a small subset of them, because of the staged rollout - well, for them, it's Android 7.0 Nougat day! If you have a Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, Pixel C or General Mobile 4G (Android One), you can try checking for updates starting today. Alternatively, you can manually install a factory image once they become available.  Since Nougat's been out as a developer preview for a while - I've been running it on my 6P for months - I doubt any of you will be surprised by what Nougat brings to the table. It's a relatively small release compared to some other Android releases, but it still brings a number of interesting refinements and new features - the biggest of which is probably the new multiwindow feature.  The Verge's got a review up, and mentions some of the less obvious features that I think are quite important:  A lot of what's new in Nougat are features you can't really see. I'm talking about deeply nerdy (but important) stuff like a JIT compiler for ART apps and support for the Vulkan API for 3D graphics. The former should provide some performance gains while the latter will help Android games look way better. Google also fixed up the way Android handles media so that it's more secure, added file-based encryption, and added some features for enterprise users.  Another important feature laying groundwork for the future: seamless updates. Starting with Nougat, Android will use two separate partitions so updates can be installed and applied in the background, so that the next time you reboot, it's ready to go.  As always - no idea when any of you will get to use Nougat, but it's out there now.

  • * Self-driving car technology will change more than your car *
    Starting later this month, Uber will allow customers in downtown Pittsburgh to summon self-driving cars from their phones, crossing an important milestone that no automotive or technology company has yet achieved. Google, widely regarded as the leader in the field, has been testing its fleet for several years, and Tesla Motors offers Autopilot, essentially a souped-up cruise control that drives the car on the highway. Earlier this week, Ford announced plans for an autonomous ride-sharing service. But none of these companies has yet brought a self-driving car-sharing service to market.  Uber's Pittsburgh fleet, which will be supervised by humans in the driver's seat for the time being, consists of specially modified Volvo XC90 sport-utility vehicles outfitted with dozens of sensors that use cameras, lasers, radar, and GPS receivers. Volvo Cars has so far delivered a handful of vehicles out of a total of 100 due by the end of the year. The two companies signed a pact earlier this year to spend $300€million to develop a fully autonomous car that will be ready for the road by 2021.  The robotisation of transportation - personal, professional, commercial, and industrial - will be one of the most far-reaching and uprooting developments in recent human history. Transportation is a relatively large part of the workforce, and over the coming decades, many of those jobs will disappear - putting a huge strain on the economy and society.  On top of that, car ownership will start to slow down, and since automated cars will make more efficient use of available road surface, we'll eventually get to the point where we need to rethink our entire infrastructure and the way we design our living space - only 60-70 years after the last time we completely rethought our living space.  We've talked about this before, but The Netherlands completely redesigned (at least the western half of) the country for two things: one, to maximise agricultural production, and two, to prepare the environment for mass car ownership. We succeeded at the former (The Netherlands is the second largest exporter of agricultural products, after the US, but before Germany - despite our tiny surface area), but we only partially succeeded at the latter (traffic jams are a huge problem all over the country).  As an aside: when I say "redesigned the country", I literally mean that the entire map was redrawn. This map should illustrate really well what the Dutch government, the agricultural sector, and industry agreed upon to do; the 'messy' part is the swampy, irregularly shaped way it used to look, while the straight and clean part is what they turned it into. Gone are the irregularly shaped, inefficient patches of farmland only navigable on foot and in boats, and in their place we got large, patches of land, easily reachable by newly drawn roads to make way for cars and trucks (still countless waterways though; they are crucial for making sure the entire western half of the country doesn't flood).  My parents and grandparents lived through this massive redesign, and according to them, it's very difficult to overstate just how massive the undertaking really was.  It's unlikely said redesign will be undone on a massive, regional scale, but at the local level, I can foresee countless pro-car infrastructure and landscaping changes being undone because it's simply not needed anymore. For instance, many towns in my area - including my own - used to have a waterway (like so) running alongside their Main Street (generally 'Dorpsstraat' in Dutch), but in order for a Main Street to be ready for cars, people had to walk elsewhere; the waterways were often filled up and turned into footpaths or sidewalks, so cars could drive on Main Street.  Over the coming decades, I can definitely see such changes being undone in certain places - especially more tourist-oriented towns such as my own. With fewer and fewer cars on the roads, we can start giving space back to people, and while this may not be a big deal in a spacious country like the United States, it will be a revolution here in The Netherlands, the most densely populated western country (that isn't a city state), and in classic cities like, say, Rome or Amsterdam.  All I'm trying to say is that self-driving car technology will, inevitably, have side-effects that many people simply haven't even considered yet. All of us consider cars a normal aspect of our everyday lives and environment, to the point where we've forgotten just how much space we've conceded to the things. Once the dominance of cars starts to come down like a house of cards, our environment will, quite literally, change. Read more on this exclusive OSNews article...

  • PowerShell is open sourced and is available on Linux
    I am extremely excited to share that PowerShell is open sourced and available on Linux. (For those of you who need a refresher, PowerShell is a task-based command-line shell and scripting language built on the .NET Framework to help IT professionals control and automate the administration of the Windows, and now Linux, operating systems and the applications that run on them.) I€™m going to share a bit more about our journey getting here, and will tell you how Microsoft Operations Management Suite can enhance the PowerShell experience.

  • illusive networks' Deceptions Everywhere
    illusive networks' bread and butter is its deception cybersecurity technology called Deceptions Everywhere whose approach is to neutralize targeted attacks and Advanced Persistent Threats by creating a deceptive layer across the entire network.

  • Happy Birthday Linux
    Linux turns 25 today. That's four years older than Linus was when he invented it. That means Linus has spent more of his life with Linux than he did without it.

  • Updates from LinuxCon and ContainerCon, Toronto, August 2016
         The Future of Linux: Continuing to Inspire Innovation and Openness
    The first 25 years of Linux has transformed the world, not just computing, and the next 25 years will continue to see more growth in the Open Source movement, The Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin said during the opening keynote of LinuxCon/ContainerCon in Toronto on Monday, August 22, 2016. 

  • NVMe over Fabrics Support Coming to the Linux 4.8 Kernel
    The Flash Memory Summit recently wrapped up its conferences in Santa Clara, California, and only one type of Flash technology stole the show: NVMe over Fabrics (NVMeF). From the many presentations and company announcements, it was obvious NVMeF was the topic that most interested the attendees. 

  • Pandas
    Serious practitioners of data science use the full scientific method, starting with a question and a hypothesis, followed by an exploration of the data to determine whether the hypothesis holds up.

  • Juniper Systems' Geode
    Juniper Systems' new Geode rugged sub-meter GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) receiver collects real-time professional-grade data but is intuitive enough for novices. Designed foremost for versatility, the Geode features one-button simplicity and can be paired with any of Juniper Systems' rugged handhelds as well as a wide range of Android devices. 

  • Analyzing Data
    My first Web-related job was in 1995, developing Web applications for a number of properties at Time Warner. When I first started there, we had a handful of programmers and managers handling all of the tasks. But over time, as happens in all growing companies and organizations, we started to specialize.

  • SourceClear's Commit Watcher
    Someone accidentally commits private AWS keys to an open-source project and ends up handing candy to a bitcoin miner.

  • All about printf
    In my last article, "Fancy Tricks for Changing Numberic Base", I explored the surprising ability of the Linux shell to convert numeric bases on the fly, including this sweet little snippet that converts FF hexadecimal into decimal notation:    $ echo $(( 0xFF )) 255   

  • Blender for Visual Effects
    Video editing and visual effects are two closely related fields. They're also dominated by expensive proprietary software. There are open-source alternatives to some of these packages, and some of them stand up very well by comparison.

  • New Version of GParted
    Back in my Windows days, disk maintenance was a task that filled me with dread. I remember the endless hours spent scanning, defragmenting and scanning again.

  • Snapchat, for Hoarders
    I like Snapchat, but if I'm being totally honest, it's not something I use every day. I like it because my kids send me goofy pictures and videos, and it makes me happy that they think to include me in their Snapchatty world. 

  • 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