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  • Red Hat: 2014:0888-01: qemu-kvm-rhev: Moderate Advisory Updated qemu-kvm-rhev packages that fix several security issues are now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 3.0 and 4.0. The Red Hat Security Response Team has rated this update as having Moderate [More...]

  • Red Hat: 2014:0939-01: python-django-horizon: Moderate Advisory Updated python-django-horizon packages that fix three security issues, multiple bugs, and add an enhancement are now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 5.0 (Icehouse) for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. [More...]

  • Security advisories for Monday
    Debian has updated cups (privilege escalation) and modsecurity-apache (rules bypass).
    Fedora has updated audacious-plugins (F20: denial of service), cinnamon (F20: denial of service), cinnamon-control-center (F20: denial ofservice), cinnamon-settings-daemon (F20:denial of service), cobbler (F20; F19: path traversal), control-center (F20: denial of service), empathy (F20: denial of service), ffgtk (F20: denial of service), firefox (F19: multiple vulnerabilities), fldigi (F20: denial of service), fluidsynth (F20: denial of service), gnome-settings-daemon (F20: denial ofservice), gnome-shell (F20: denial ofservice), gqrx (F20: denial of service), gstreamer1-plugins-good (F20: denial ofservice), guacamole-server (F20: denial ofservice), java-1.7.0-openjdk (F20: denialof service), libmikmod (F20: denial ofservice), minimodem (F20: denial ofservice), mumble (F20: denial of service),paprefs (F20: denial of service), phonon (F20: denial of service), pulseaudio (F20: denial of service), qemu (F20: denial of service), qmmp (F20: denial of service), qt (F20: denial of service), qt-mobility (F20: denial of service), qt5-qtmultimedia (F20: denial of service), sidplayfp (F20: denial of service), speech-dispatcher (F20: denial of service), sphinxtrain (F20: denial of service), spice-gtk (F20: denial of service), thunderbird (F20: multiple vulnerabilities),xmp (F20: denial of service), and zarafa (F20; F19: information disclosure).
    Gentoo has updated openssl(multiple vulnerabilities).
    Mageia has updated asterisk(multiple vulnerabilities), avidemux(undisclosed vulnerabilities), cacti (MG4:multiple vulnerabilities), dbus (two denialof service flaws), java-1.7.0-openjdk(multiple vulnerabilities), live555, vlc,mplayer (code execution), mariadb(unidentified vulnerabilities), nss, firefox,thunderbird (multiple vulnerabilities), owncloud (undisclosed vulnerability), pidgin (code execution), ruby-actionpack (MG4: two vulnerabilities), and transmission (code execution).
    Oracle has updated kernel (OL5:two vulnerabilities).

  • Kernel prepatch 3.16-rc7
    Linus has released 3.16-rc7. "Weobviously *do* have various real fixes in here, but none of them look allthat special or worrisome. And rc7 is finally noticeably smaller thanprevious rc's, so we clearly are calming down. So unlike my early worries,this might well be the last rc, we'll see how next weeklooks/feels."

  • The first stable CoreOS release
    The CoreOS developers have announced the release ofversion 367.1.0 of the CoreOS distribution; this is the first versiondeemed to be stable and ready for production. "Please note: Thestable release is not including etcd and fleet as stable, this release isonly targeted at the base OS and Docker 1.0. etcd/fleet stable support willbe in subsequent releases."LWN looked at CoreOS last April.

  • Interview with Nathan Willis, GUADEC Keynote Speaker (GNOME News)
    LWN editor Nathan Willis is giving a keynote talk at the upcoming GUADEC (GNOME Users and Developers European Conference) and was interviewed by GNOME News. Willis's talk is titled "Should We Teach The Robot To Kill" and will look at free software and the automotive industry. "And, finally, my ultimate goal would be to persuade some people that the free-software community can — and should — take up the challenge and view the car as a first-rate environment where free software belongs. Because there will naturally be lots of little gaps where the different corporate projects don’t quite have every angle covered. But we don’t have to wait for other giant companies to come along and finish the job. We can get involved now, and if we do, then the next generation of automotive software will be stronger for it, both in terms of features and in terms of free-software ideals." GUADEC is being held in Strasbourg, France July 26–August 1.

  • Kügler: Plasma’s Road to Wayland
    On his blog, Sebastian Kügler looks at what's left to be done for KDE's Plasma desktop to support Wayland. He discusses why the project cares about Wayland, what it means to support Wayland, the current status, the strategy for further work, and how interested folks can get involved."One of the important topics which we have (kind of) excluded from Plasma’s recent 5.0 release is support for Wayland. The reason is that much of the work that has gone into renovating our graphics stack was also needed in preparation for Wayland support in Plasma. In order to support Wayland systems properly, we needed to lift the software stack to Qt5, make X11 dependencies in our underlying libraries, Frameworks 5 optional. This part is pretty much done. We now need to ready support for non-X11 systems in our workspace components, the window manager and compositor, and the workspace shell."

  • Security updates for Friday
    CentOS has updated kernel (C7; C6; C5: twovulnerabilities) and qemu-kvm (C7: many vulnerabilities).
    Debian has updated apache2 (threevulnerabilities) and transmission (code execution).
    Fedora has updated httpd (F20:multiple vulnerabilities), ipython (F20; F19: codeexecution), java-1.7.0-openjdk (F19:multiple vulnerabilities), java-1.8.0-openjdk (F20; F19:multiple vulnerabilities), and kernel (F19:multiple vulnerabilities).
    Oracle has updated enterprisekernel (OL7: three vulnerabilities) and kernel (OL5: two vulnerabilities).
    Red Hat has updated openstack-nova (OSP5.0: informationdisclosure), openstack-swift (OSP5.0:cross-site scripting), python-django-horizon (OSP5.0: threevulnerabilities), and qemu-kvm-rhev(OSP4.0, OSP3.0: multiple vulnerabilities).

  • An Interview with Karen Sandler (Model View Culture)
    Over at Model View Culture, Adam Saunders interviews Karen Sandler, executive director of the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) and formerly the executive director of the GNOME Foundation. Sandler talks about SFC, the Outreach Program for Women, as well as being a cyborg: "I was diagnosed with a heart condition and needed a pacemaker/defibrillator, and none of the device manufacturers would let me see the source code that was to be literally sewn into my body and connected to my heart. My life relies on the proper functioning of software every day, and I have no confidence that it will. The FDA generally doesn't review the source code of medical devices nor can the public. But multiple researchers have shown that these devices can be maliciously hacked, with fatal consequences.Once you start considering medical devices, you quickly start to realize that it's all kinds of software that is life and society-critical - cars, voting machines, stock markets... It's essential that our software be safe, and the only way we can realistically expect that to be the case over time is by ensuring that our software is free and open. If there's catastrophic failure at Medtronic (the makers of my defibrillator), for example, I wouldn't be able to fix a bug in my own medical device."

  • Security updates for Thursday
    CentOS has updated httpd (C7; C6; C5: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Debian has updated iceweasel(multiple vulnerabilities) and openjdk-7 (multiple vulnerabilities).
    Fedora has updated firefox (F20: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Oracle has updated dovecot (OL7:denial of service), firefox (OL7; OL7; OL5:multiple vulnerabilities), gnutls (OL7: twovulnerabilities), httpd (OL7; OL6; OL5:multiple vulnerabilities), java-1.6.0-openjdk (OL7; OL7:multiple vulnerabilities), java-1.7.0-openjdk (OL7; OL7:multiple vulnerabilities), json-c (OL7: twodenial of service flaws), kernel (OL7; OL6: twoprivilege escalations), kernel (OL7:multiple vulnerabilities), kernel(OL7:privilege escalation), libtasn1 (OL7:three vulnerabilities), libvirt (OL7:information disclosure/denial of service), lzo (OL7: denial of service/possible codeexecution), mariadb (OL7: multipleunspecified vulnerabilities), nss, nspr(OL7: code execution), openssl (OL7:multiple vulnerabilities), openssl098e(OL7: man-in-the-middle attack), qemu-kvm(OL7: many vulnerabilities), qemu-kvm (OL7:code execution), samba (?:), (tomcat (OL7: three vulnerabilities), and tomcat (OL7: three vulnerabilities).
    Red Hat has updated kernel (RHEL7; RHEL6.4; RHEL6; RHEL5: two privilege escalations) and qemu-kvm (RHEL7: many vulnerabilities).
    Scientific Linux has updated kernel (SL6; SL5: twoprivilege escalations).
    Slackware has updated httpd(multiple vulnerabilities), thunderbird(multiple vulnerabilities), and firefox(multiple vulnerabilities).
    SUSE has updated libtasn1(SLE11SP3: three vulnerabilities) and ppc64-diag (SLE11SP3: two vulnerabilities).
    Ubuntu has updated apache2(14.04, 12.04, 10.04: multiple vulnerabilities), jinja2 (12.04: code execution), lzo2 (14.04, 12.04: denial of service/possiblecode execution), and oxide-qt (14.04:multiple vulnerabilities).

  • Oracle Linux 7 released
    Another of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) rebuilds has released its version of RHEL 7: Oracle Linux 7 for x86_64 is now available. It does add some features, including DTrace, Ksplice, and Xen. More information can be found in the release notes.

  • [$] Browser tracking through "canvas fingerprinting"
    Recently, public attention has been called to a new onlineuser-tracking method that is purported to be nearly impossible toblock. Called "canvas fingerprinting," the technique relies onforcing the browser to generate an image on the client side of theconnection—an image that is unique enough to serve as afingerprint for the browser that created it. In fact, the basis forthis fingerprinting approach is several years old, but it does nowseem to be in use in the wild. Whether or not it truly amounts to aninsurmountable blocking challenge, however, remains to be seen.

  • ownCloud 7 released
    The ownCloud 7 release has been announced.The headline feature this time around appears to be server-to-serversharing, but it also has mobile web browser support, file activitynotifications, and an improved management interface.

  • Security advisories for Wednesday
    CentOS has updated firefox (C6; C5:multiple vulnerabilities), firefox,xulrunner (C7: multiple vulnerabilities), libvirt (C7: information disclosure/denial ofservice), nss, nspr (C7: code execution),nss (C5; C6: code execution), nss-util (C6: code execution), nspr (C6; C5: codeexecution), and thunderbird (C5; C6: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Debian has updated acpi-support (privilege escalation) and mysql-5.5 (unidentified vulnerabilities).
    Fedora has updated libXfont (F19:multiple vulnerabilities), python-simplejson (F19: informationdisclosure), and readline (F20: insecure temporary files).
    Oracle has updated firefox (OL6:multiple vulnerabilities), nss, nspr (OL6; OL5: codeexecution), and thunderbird (OL6: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Red Hat has updated firefox(RHEL5,6,7: multiple vulnerabilities), httpd (RHEL5,6; RHEL7: multiple vulnerabilities), httpd24-httpd (RHSC1: multiplevulnerabilities), kernel-rt (RHE MRG2.5:multiple vulnerabilities), libvirt (RHEL7:information disclosure/denial of service), nss (RHEL5.6,5.9,6.2,6.4: code execution), nss, nspr (RHEL5,7: code execution), nss, nspr (RHEL6: multiple vulnerabilities),and thunderbird (RHEL5,6: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Scientific Linux has updated firefox (SL5,6: multiple vulnerabilities), httpd (SL5,6: multiple vulnerabilities),nss and nspr (SL6; SL5: code execution), and thunderbird (SL5,6: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Ubuntu has updated acpi-support(12.04 LTS: privilege escalation), firefox (14.04 LTS, 12.04 LTS:multiple vulnerabilities), libtasn1-3,libtasn1-6 (14.04 LTS, 12.04 LTS, 10.04 LTS: multiplevulnerabilities), and thunderbird(14.04 LTS, 12.04 LTS: multiple vulnerabilities).

  • Collaboration isn't what they taught you in school
    Throughout most of my education, I was taught that collaboration was cheating. With the exception of teacher-sanctioned group projects, I had learned that working with others to solve problems was not acceptable. So when I got to college and the first assignment in my computer science class was to read an article about the benefits of pairwise programming and open source, I was very more

  • How to use variables in shell Scripting
    In every programming language variables plays an important role , in Linux shell scripting we are using two types of variables : System Defined Variables & User Defined Variables.

  • Open source love at first commit
    The power to learn, the freedom to change, and the push for innovation. What is there not to love about open source software? The world of open source consists of a passionate community of individuals hacking away in their dens, all with the same vision for the future of programming: openness and more

  • Home Stretch For Supporting Our Net Neutrality Reporting
    As I mentioned in the past, our reporting on SOPA was toxic to many advertisers. On the advertising side of things, the blog went from profitable to unprofitable as a result of the SOPA fight -- even as our traffic doubled. Our revenue from advertising was cut by more than 50%. And the net neutrality fight is the same way for many as well. I'm not complaining about it, because we knew that was a risk of standing up for what we believe in, and we wouldn't change a thing. But, because of that I need to ask directly for your help today. If we can reach this goal, it will allow us to do a variety of things, including bringing in some additional writers and guests, spending more time digging through various FCC filings and other paperwork for important details (rather than spending time trying to find advertisers).

  • How to access Linux command cheat sheets from the command line
    The power of Linux command line is its flexibility and versatility. Each Linux command comes with its share of command line options and parameters. Mix and match them, and even chain different commands with pipes and redirects. You get yourself literally hundreds of use cases even with a few basic commands, and it's hard even […]Continue reading...The post How to access Linux command cheat sheets from the command line appeared first on Xmodulo.Related FAQs:How to look up dictionary via command line on Linux How to speed up directory navigation in a Linux terminal

  • Minimal Linux Live
    [url=]Minimal Linux Live[/url] is a set of Linux shell scripts which automatically build minimal Live Linux OS based on Linux kernel and BusyBox. All necessary source codes are automatically downloaded and all build operations are fully encapsulated in the scripts.

  • GUADEC 2014, Day Two: Pitivi, Automotive, Boxes, Fleet Commander
    The second day of GUADEC was also full of interesting talks. Jeff Fortin spoke about the video editor Pitivi. Nathan Willis devoted his keynote to software for automotive and the opportunities for open source software in this area. There have also been a lot of changes in the Web browser and Zeeshan Ali talked on improvements in GNOME Boxes. The biggest news of the day is an announcement of Fleet Commander which should provide tools and infrastructure for large desktop deployments. Something the Linux desktop has been severely lacking.

  • Salix 14.1
    Salix Openbox 14.1 brings the Openbox window manager, teamed with fbpanel and SpaceFM to create a fast and flexible desktop environment. This is the most lightweight edition we have so far among our 14.1 releases and everything has been tweaked to provide a desktop experience comparable to other Salix editions. The development of this edition involved a long and rigorous period of testing and the final release has evolved a lot since the first beta. This release comes in both 32-bit and 64-bit flavours, with both fitting comfortably within the size of a single CD. The 32-bit flavour is also our first 14.1 release that supports i486, non-PAE capable systems by using the respective kernel, although the default is still the i686 PAE SMP kernel.

  • It’s Round Two for Raleigh’s ‘All Things Open’ Conference
    It’s official. The All Things Open (ATO) conference that had it’s inaugural run in Raleigh last year wasn’t just a flash in the pan. As event chair Todd Lewis promised at the end of last year’s event, ATO is returning to the Raleigh Convention Center on October 22nd and 23rd. Again this year, FOSS Force is an official Media Partner of the conference.

  • 2014 Calligra Sprint in Deventer
    From the fourth to the sixth of July, the Calligra team got together in sunny Deventer (Netherlands) for the yearly developer sprint at the same location as the last Krita sprint. Apart from seeing the sights and having our group photo in front of one of the main attractions of this quaint old Dutch town in the province of Overijssel, namely the cheese shop (and much cheese was taken home by the Calligra hackers, as well as stroopwafels from the Saturday market) we spent our time planning the future of Calligra and doing some healthy hacking and bug fixing!

  • LXer Weekly Roundup for 27-Jul-2014
    [url=[/img][/url] [b]LXer Feature: 27-Jul-2014[/b]In the Roundup this week we have part 2 of 10 Raspberry Pi upgrades, a review of the best Linux browsers of which Pale Moon is my favorite, an "average guy's" review of living witrh Debian for two years and a whole lot more. Enjoy!

  • Mine Bitcoins with Raspberry Pi
    The concept of cryptocurrencies has come about in recent years as a sort of reaction to the way standard currencies are controlled. Cryptocurrenices such as Bitcoin are decentralised and not controlled by any one entity. In the past couple of years, Bitcoin has taken off to become a very valuable commodity, with whole Bitcoins becoming worth hundreds of pounds. While you can trade your standard currency for a Bitcoin, you can also mine them with a working computer.

  • GOG has released 50 games for Linux, formerly known as Good Old Games, is a popular digital gaming platform for distribution successful, mainly older, classic PC games. In 2012, the Linux community asked for the Linux games on the GOGs wishlist. Today, 2 years later, the waiting has finally come to an end - 50 games has been released for Linux.

  • Get OpenVPN up and running, enjoy your privacy
    We are fanatic supporters of privacy. Not so much because we have super secrets to hide, but because we consider privacy as a basic human right. So we believe that anytime anyone chooses to exercise that right on the net, then they should have unencumbered access to all the necessary tools and services.

  • How 3D Printing Is Making Better Movie Monsters
    Our render farm is all open source and is quite substantial. We have roughly 1000 Linux nodes between the two facilities and the majority of our artists run on Linux as well, though we have a few Mac boxes for Photoshop and other packages that can’t run on Linux.

  • Was This Bill Gates’ Worst Mistake?
    While one can never have certainty in alternate-reality scenarios, it's safe to say that Apple benefited greatly from Microsoft in a time when the company needed help. Decades later, by refining the mobile experience Apple has done a great deal to provide headwinds to Microsoft.

Linux Insider

  • Linux Gaming: If You Build It, Will They Come?
    For long-suffering Linux users who have endured the dearth of high-quality action games on their open source desktops, the wait for better game developer support soon may be over. New technology is making Linux more attractive to game makers. Until now, game makers have relied primarily on Windows PCs and gaming consoles powered by proprietary alternatives to the Linux OS.

  • Skype for Linux Redesign Is Ugly but Functional
    If you do not mind having a free non-open source Microsoft product on your Linux computer, the latest Skype for Linux release catches up to the Windows and Mac versions, providing most of the features they've had for some time. Microsoft rolled out Skype version in mid June. The catch-up release has an updated user interface, some additional features, and lots of bug fixes.

  • Nokia X, We Hardly Knew Ye
    "I told you so" is a refrain that's oft-heard here in the Linux blogosphere, and more often than not it refers to some fleeting Microsoft tie with FOSS that subsequently goes wrong. The latest example? It's a doozy. Redmond not only is laying off many, many thousands -- most of them in its ill-fated Nokia unit -- but also abandoning its short-lived support of Android through the Nokia X line.

  • Red Hat's Inktank Buy Bears 1st Fruit
    Scarcely two months have passed since Red Hat announced plans to acquire open source storage company Inktank, but already the union has produced results: Inktank Ceph Enterprise 1.2, which made its debut Wednesday. Ceph is a scalable, open source, software-defined storage system that runs on commodity hardware. "Our goal is to do for storage what Linux did for servers," said Red Hat's Ross Turk.

  • Android Sets iPhone Cloning Factory in Motion
    Chinese company Wico has cloned the yet-to-be-released iPhone 6, if a pair of videos can be believed. "The similarities are eerily close," said IDC Research Manager Ramon Llamas, to the extent that the casual observer "may just simply accept this as an iPhone." There are slight differences on the sides, such as the volume and power buttons and the headphone jacks, as well as the chassis overall.

  • KaOS Calms Down KDE
    KaOS is an interesting and very efficient Linux distribution built around a refined KDE desktop environment. The KDE integration is much more controlled in KaOS than in other Linux choices. The latest release for this 14-month young Linux distro came in late June. KaOS is a bit of a rarity. It is independent of other distros -- not a direct relative of other Linux offshoots.

  • Is Firefox in a Fix?
    It's been difficult to hear ourselves think here in the Linux blogosphere lately, what with all the distractions that have been thrown our way. We've had the NSA casting aspersions on Linux users; we've had the IRS looking askance at FOSS. We've even had the well-respected Tor Project sucked into a lawsuit over revenge porn, of all things. Ready for the latest?

  • New IoT Group to Get Devices Talking Among Themselves
    Half a dozen companies this week launched the Open Interconnect Consortium to define the connectivity requirements and improve the interoperability of the 200 billion devices that will make up the Internet of Things by 2020. The consortium aims to define a common communications framework based on industry standard technologies, regardless of form factor, operating system or service provider.

  • Tor Embroiled in $1M Revenge-Porn Lawsuit
    Texas attorney Jason L. Van Dyke recently filed a lawsuit against nude-photo-sharing site Pink Meth and included the Tor Project among its defendants. Pink Meth is an "involuntary pornography" site, the suit charges, enabling users to post nude photos for the purposes of getting revenge on those pictured. It's accessible only to users who have downloaded Tor's anonymity-minded software.

  • LG G Watch Rides In on 1st Android Wear Wave
    LG has launched its Android Wear-powered G Watch around the world. It can be ordered from Google Play and purchased at retailers in the United States, Canada, France, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, Australia, India, Japan and South Korea. In 15 other countries -- including Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Singapore and New Zealand -- the device will be available only from retailers.

  • 'Extreme' Computing and Other Linux-World Problems
    Well another Independence Day has come and gone here in the land of stars and stripes, causing at least some in the tech blogosphere to turn their thoughts toward freedom. "Digital independence day: Your guide to DIY, open-source, anonymous free computing" was one offering, for example. "It's Time for IT Pros to Declare Their Technology Freedom" was the thought du jour at another outlet.

  • US States Edge Toward Cryptocoin Regulation
    SonicSpike points out an article from the Pew Charitable Trusts' Research & Analysis department on the legislation and regulation schemes emerging in at least a few states in reaction to the increasing use of digital currencies like Bitcoin. A working group called the Conference of State Bank Supervisors’ Emerging Payments Task Force has been surveying the current landscape of state rules and approaches to digital currencies, a topic on which state laws are typically silent. In April, the task force presented a model consumer guidance to help states provide consumers with information about digital currencies. A number of states, including California, Massachusetts and Texas, have issued warnings to consumers that virtual currencies are not subject to “traditional regulation or monetary policy,” including insurance, bonding and other security measures, and that values can fluctuate dramatically. ... The article focuses on the high-population, big-economy states of New York, California and Texas, with a touch of Kansas -- but other states are sure to follow. Whether you live in the U.S. or not, are there government regulations that you think would actually make sense for digital currencies?

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Internet Census 2012 Data Examined: Authentic, But Chaotic and Unethical
    An anonymous reader writes "A team of researchers at the TU Berlin and RWTH Aachen presented an analysis of the Internet Census 2012 data set (here's the PDF) in the July edition of the ACM Sigcomm Computer Communication Review journal. After its release on March 17, 2013 by an anonymous author, the Internet Census data created an immediate media buzz, mainly due to its unethical data collection methodology that exploited default passwords to form the Carna botnet. The now published analysis suggests that the released data set is authentic and not faked, but also reveals a rather chaotic picture. The Census suffers from a number of methodological flaws and also lacks meta-data information, which renders the data unusable for many further analyses. As a result, the researchers have not been able to verify several claims that the anonymous author(s) made in the published Internet Census report. The researchers also point to similar but legal efforts measuring the Internet and remark that the illegally measured Internet Census 2012 is not only unethical but might have been overrated by the press."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Oracle Offers Custom Intel Chips and Unanticipated Costs
    jfruh (300774) writes "For some time, Intel has been offering custom-tweaked chips to big customers. While most of the companies that have taken them up on this offer, like Facebook and eBay, put the chips into servers meant for internal use, Oracle will now be selling systems running on custom Xeons directly to end users. Those customers need to be careful about how they configure those systems, though: in the new Oracle 12c, the in-memory database option, which costs $23,000 per processor, is turned on by default."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Attackers Install DDoS Bots On Amazon Cloud
    itwbennett (1594911) writes "Attackers are exploiting a vulnerability in distributed search engine software Elasticsearch to install DDoS malware on Amazon and possibly other cloud servers. Last week security researchers from Kaspersky Lab found new variants of Mayday, a Trojan program for Linux that's used to launch distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. The malware supports several DDoS techniques, including DNS amplification. One of the new Mayday variants was found running on compromised Amazon EC2 server instances, but this is not the only platform being misused, said Kaspersky Lab researcher Kurt Baumgartner Friday in a blog post."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Google's Mapping Contest Draws Ire From Indian Government
    hypnosec writes with news that India's Central Bureau of Investigation has ordered a preliminary enquiry (PE) against Google for violating Indian laws by mapping sensitive areas and defence installations in the country. As per the PE, registered on the basis of a complaint made by the Surveyor General of India's office to the Union Home Ministry, Google has been accused of organizing a mapping competition dubbed 'Mapathon' in February-March 2013 without taking prior permission from Survey of India, country's official mapping agency. The mapping competition required citizens to map their neighbourhoods, especially details related to hospitals and restaurants. The Survey of India (SoI), alarmed by the event, asked the company to share its event details. While going through the details the watchdog found that there were several coordinates having details of sensitive defence installations which are out of the public domain."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Stanford Team Creates Stable Lithium Anode Using Honeycomb Film
    puddingebola (2036796) writes "A team at Stanford has created a stable Lithium anode battery using a carbon honeycomb film. The film is described as a nanosphere layer that allows for the expansion of Lithium during use, and is suitable as a barrier between anode and cathode. Use of a lithium anode improves the coulombic efficiency and could result in longer range batteries for cars." The linked article suggests that the 200-mile-range, $25,000 electric car is a more realistic concept with batteries made with this technology, though some people are more interested in super-capacity phone batteries.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Build Your Own Gatling Rubber Band Machine Gun
    New submitter melarky (3767369) writes This is a fun weekend project that most nerds will appreciate. Step by step instructions and also a handy video will make the construction of this project fast and easy. I have seen lots of plans for sale (or actual guns/kits for sale), but couldn't seem to find any plans for free. I played around with a few different designs (even cut my first few on a homemade CNC machine) and finally landed on this design. I made the guide more accessible to the general public (no need for a CNC machine here), so if you've ever dreamed of ending friendships because of hundreds of rubber band welts, now's your chance! We'd like to see your home-made projects, too.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • World's Largest Amphibious Aircraft Goes Into Production In China
    stephendavion (2872091) writes "Chinese aircraft manufacturer China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (CAIGA) has started trial production of its TA600 amphibious aircraft, claimed to be the world's largest of its kind. With an expected maiden flight late next year, the Chinese plane would replace Japan's ShinMaywa US-2 short takeoff and landing (STOL) aircraft as the largest of its kind globally." Take a look at a side profile illustration of the CA-600, on this Korean language page. The TA600 has a huge maximum takeoff weight of 53.5 tons, but looks a bit puny compared to Howard Hughes' H-4 Hercules.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • The Oculus Rift DK2: In-Depth Review (and Comparison To DK1)
    Benz145 (1869518) writes "The hotly anticipated Oculus Rift DK2 has begun arriving at doorsteps. The DK2s enhancements include optical positional tracking and a higher resolution panel, up from 1280×800 to 1920×1080 (1080p) and moved to a pentile-matrix OLED panel for display duties. This means higher levels of resolvable detail and a much reduced screen door effect. The panel features low persistence of vision, a technology pioneered by Valve that aims to cut motion artefacts by only displaying the latest, most correct display information relative to the user's movements – as users of the DK1 will attest, its LCD panel was heavily prone to smearing, things are now much improved with the DK2."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Suddenly Visible: Illicit Drugs As Part of Silicon Valley Culture
    The recent death by overdose of Google executive Timothy Hayes has drawn attention to the phenomenon of illegal drug use (including abuse of prescription painkillers) among technology workers and executives in high-pay, high-stress Silicon Valley. The Mercury News takes a look at the phenomenon; do the descriptions of freely passed cocaine, Red Bull as a gateway drug, and complacent managers match your own workplace experiences? From the Mercury News article: "There's this workaholism in the valley, where the ability to work on crash projects at tremendous rates of speed is almost a badge of honor," says Steve Albrecht, a San Diego consultant who teaches substance abuse awareness for Bay Area employers. "These workers stay up for days and days, and many of them gradually get into meth and coke to keep going. Red Bull and coffee only gets them so far." ... Drug abuse in the tech industry is growing against the backdrop of a national surge in heroin and prescription pain-pill abuse. Treatment specialists say the over-prescribing of painkillers, like the opioid hydrocodone, has spawned a new crop of addicts -- working professionals with college degrees, a description that fits many of the thousands of workers in corporate Silicon Valley. Increasingly, experts see painkillers as the gateway drug for addicts, and they are in abundance. "There are 1.4 million prescriptions ... in the Bay Area for hydrocodone," says Alice Gleghorn with the San Francisco Department of Public Health. "That's a lot of pills out there."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Microsoft's Nokia Plans Come Into Better Focus
    Forbes has an update on what sort of future Nokia faces, as Microsoft reveals a strategy for making sense of the acquisition: [Microsoft EVP of devices Stephen] Elop laid out a framework for cost cuts in a memo to employees on July 17. Devices would focus on high and low cost Windows smartphones, suggesting a phasing out of feature phones and Android smartphones. Two business units, smart devices and mobile phones, would become one, thereby cutting overlap and overhead. Microsoft would reduce engineering in Beijing and San Diego and unwind engineering in Oulu, Finland. It would exit manufacturing in Komarom, Hungary; shift to lower cost areas like Manaus, Brazil and Reynosa, Mexico; and reduce manufacturing in Beijing and Dongguan, China. Also, CEO Satya Nadella gave hints about how Microsoft will make money on Nokia during Tuesday' conference call. Devices, he said, "go beyond" hardware and are about productivity. "I can take my Office Lens App, use the camera on the phone, take a picture of anything, and have it automatically OCR recognized and into OneNote in searchable fashion. There is a lot we can do with phones by broadly thinking about productivity." In other words, the sale of a smartphone is a means to other sales.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • How Bird Flocks Resemble Liquid Helium
    sciencehabit (1205606) writes "A flock of starlings flies as one, a spectacular display in which each bird flits about as if in a well-choreographed dance. Everyone seems to know exactly when and where to turn. Now, for the first time, researchers have measured how that knowledge moves through the flock—a behavior that mirrors certain quantum phenomena of liquid helium. Some of the more interesting findings: Tracking data showed that the message for a flock to turn started from a handful of birds and swept through the flock at a constant speed between 20 and 40 meters per second. That means that for a group of 400 birds, it takes just a little more than a half-second for the whole flock to turn."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Popular Android Apps Full of Bugs: Researchers Blame Recycling of Code
    New submitter Brett W (3715683) writes The security researchers that first published the 'Heartbleed' vulnerabilities in OpenSSL have spent the last few months auditing the Top 50 downloaded Android apps for vulnerabilities and have found issues with at least half of them. Many send user data to ad networks without consent, potentially without the publisher or even the app developer being aware of it. Quite a few also send private data across the network in plain text. The full study is due out later this week.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Newly Discovered Virus Widespread in Human Gut
    A newly discovered virus has been found by a San Diego State University team to live inside more than half of all human gut cells sampled. Exploring genetic material found in intestinal samples, the international team uncovered the CrAssphage virus. They say the virus could influence the behaviour of some of the most common bacteria in our gut. Researchers say the virus has the genetic fingerprint of a bacteriophage - a type of virus known to infect bacteria. Phages may work to control the behaviour of bacteria they infect - some make it easier for bacteria to inhabit in their environments while others allow bacteria to become more potent. [Study lead Dr. Robert] Edwards said: "In some way phages are like wolves in the wild, surrounded by hares and deer. "They are critical components of our gut ecosystems, helping control the growth of bacterial populations and allowing a diversity of species." According to the team, CrAssphage infects one of the most common types of bacteria in our guts. National Geographic gives some idea why a virus so common in our gut should have evaded discovery for so long, but at least CrAssphage finally has a Wikipedia page of its own.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Off the Florida Coast, Astronauts Train For Asteroid Mission gives an overview of the training that four astronauts are undergoing over 9 days submerged off the coast of Florida near Key Largo. The training mission, dubbed NEEMO 18, is one step toward a proposed (mid-2020s) mission to actually visit a captured asteroid in lunar orbit. In addition to the complications of working outside their school-bus sized habitat while awkwardly suited up in a low-gravity (or at least high buoyancy) environment, their mission also includes a 10-minute communications delay, to simulate the high-latency communications with mission control that would be inevitable for an actual asteroid mission. The experiments astronauts are doing during the mission, which began Monday (July 21), range from the physical to the behavioral. For example, each of the crew members sports a sensor that records how close the crew members work with each other inside the school-bus-size habitat. ... Communications with NEEMO Mission Control is usually constant, and there is the ability to send items to and from the habitat as needed. Also living inside the habitat are two support staff who are assisting with Aquarius maintenance and systems, as required. The crew members also have Internet and phone service to talk with family and friends.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Valencia Linux School Distro Saves 36 Million Euro
    jrepin (667425) writes "The government of the autonomous region of Valencia (Spain) earlier this month made available the next version of Lliurex, a customisation of the Edubuntu Linux distribution. The distro is used on over 110,000 PCs in schools in the Valencia region, saving some 36 million euro over the past nine years, the government says." I'd lke to see more efforts like this in the U.S.; if mega school districts are paying for computers, I'd rather they at least support open source development as a consequence.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • A Router-Based Dev Board That Isn't a Router
    An anonymous reader writes with a link to an intriguing device highlighted at Hackaday (it's an Indiegogo project, too, if it excites you $90 worth, and seems well on its way to meeting its modest goal): The DPT Board is something that may be of interest to anyone looking to hack up a router for their own connected project or IoT implementation: hardware based on a fairly standard router, loaded up with OpenWRT, with a ton of I/O to connect to anything. It's called the DPT Board, and it's basically an hugely improved version of the off-the-shelf routers you can pick up through the usual channels. On board are 20 GPIOs, USB host, 16MB Flash, 64MB RAM, two Ethernet ports, on-board 802.11n and a USB host port. This small system on board is pre-installed with OpenWRT, making it relatively easy to connect this small router-like device to LED strips, sensors, or whatever other project you have in mind.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine
    U.S. officials today made public satellite imagery which they say proves that Russian forces have been shelling eastern Ukraine in a campaign to assist rebel groups fighting Ukraine’s government. The U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which released the civilian-taken satellite images Sunday, said they show visual evidence that Russia has been firing shells across the border at Ukrainian military forces. Officials also said the images show that Russia-backed separatists have used heavy artillery, provided by Russia, in attacks on Ukrainian forces from inside Ukraine. One image dated July 25/26 shows what DNI claims is “ground scarring” on the Russian side of the border from artillery aimed at Ukrainian military units in Ukraine, as well as the resultant ground craters on the Ukrainian side of the border:

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Linus Torvalds: "GCC 4.9.0 Seems To Be Terminally Broken"
    hypnosec (2231454) writes to point out a pointed critique from Linus Torvalds of GCC 4.9.0. after a random panic was discovered in a load balance function in Linux 3.16-rc6. in an email to the Linux kernel mailing list outlining two separate but possibly related bugs, Linus describes the compiler as "terminally broken," and worse ("pure and utter sh*t," only with no asterisk). A slice: "Lookie here, your compiler does some absolutely insane things with the spilling, including spilling a *constant*. For chrissake, that compiler shouldn't have been allowed to graduate from kindergarten. We're talking "sloth that was dropped on the head as a baby" level retardation levels here .... Anyway, this is not a kernel bug. This is your compiler creating completely broken code. We may need to add a warning to make sure nobody compiles with gcc-4.9.0, and the Debian people should probably downgrate their shiny new compiler."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • SpaceX Executive Calls For $22-25 Billion NASA Budget
    MarkWhittington (1084047) writes "While participating in a panel called "The US Space Enterprise Partnership" at the NewSpace Conference that was held by the Space Frontier Foundation on Saturday, SpaceX Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell opined that NASA's budget should be raised to $22-25 billion, according to a tweet by Space Policy Online's Marcia Smith. The theory is that a lot of political rancor has taken place in the aerospace community because of the space agency's limited budget. If the budget were to be increased to pay for everything on the space wish list, the rancor will cease. The statement represents something of a departure of the usual mutual antagonism that exists between some in the commercial space community and some at NASA. Indeed Space Politics' Jeff Foust added a tweet, "Thought: a panel at a Space Frontier Foundation conf is talking about how to increase NASA budget. Imagine that in late 90s." The Space Frontier Foundation has been a leading voice for commercializing space, sometimes at the expense of NASA programs."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Ask Slashdot: What Would You Do With Half a Rack of Server Space?
    New submitter Christian Gainsbrugh (3766717) writes I work at a company that is currently transitioning all our servers into the cloud. In the interim we have half a rack of server space in a great datacenter that will soon be sitting completely idle for the next few months until our lease runs out. Right now the space is occupied by around 8 HP g series servers, a watchguard xtm firewall, Cisco switch and some various other equipment. All in all there are probably around 20 or so physical XEON processors, and probably close to 10 tb of storage among all the machines. We have a dedicated 10 mbs connection that is burstable to 100mbs. I'm curious what Slashdot readers would do if they were in a similar situation. Is there anything productive that could be done with these resources? Obviously something revenue generating is great, but even if there is something novel that could be done with these servers we would be interested in putting them to good use.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Amputee Is German Long Jump Champion
    hweimer (709734) writes "German long jumper Markus Rehm has written sports history yesterday, becoming the first disabled athlete to win a national able-bodied championship. His jump to 8.24 meters put him on the 9th place of the current season rankings and make him egligible to compete in the upcoming European championships, further sparking the debate whether his prosthetic leg provides him with an unfair advantage."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Nasty Business: How To Drain Competitors' Google AdWords Budgets
    tsu doh nimh (609154) writes KrebsOnSecurity looks at a popular service that helps crooked online marketers exhaust the Google AdWords budgets of their competitors.The service allows companies to attack competitors by raising their costs or exhausting their ad budgets early in the day. Advertised on YouTube and run by a guy boldly named "GoodGoogle," the service employs a combination of custom software and hands-on customer service, and promises clients the ability to block the appearance of competitors' ads. From the story: "The prices range from $100 to block between three to ten ad units for 24 hours to $80 for 15 to 30 ad units. For a flat fee of $1,000, small businesses can use GoodGoogle's software and service to sideline a handful of competitors' ads indefinitely."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • In France, Most Comments on Gaza Conflict Yanked From Mainstream News Sites
    An anonymous reader writes with an unpleasant statistic from France, quoting David Corchia, who heads a service employed by large French news organizations to sift through and moderate comments made on their sites. Quoting YNet News: Corchia says that as an online moderator, generally 25% to 40% of comments are banned. Moderators are assigned with the task of filtering comments in accordance with France's legal system, including those that are racist, anti-Semitic or discriminatory. Regarding the war between the Israelis and Hamas, however, Corchia notes that some 95% of online comments made by French users are removed. "There are three times as many comments than normal, all linked to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," added Jeremie Mani, head of another moderation company Netino. "We see racist or anti-Semitic messages, very violent, that also take aim at politicians and the media, sometimes by giving journalists' contact details," he added. "This sickening content is peculiar to this conflict. The war in Syria does not trigger these kinds of comments."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Do Apple and Google Sabotage Older Phones? What the Graphs Don't Show
    Harvard economics professor Sendhil Mullainathan takes a look in the New York Times at interesting correlations between the release dates of new phones and OSes and search queries that indicate frustration with the speed of the phones that people already have. Mullainathan illustrates with graphs (and gives plausible explanations for the difference) just how different the curves are over time for the search terms "iPhone slow" and "Samsung Galaxy slow." It's easy to see with the iPhone graph especially how it could seem to users that Apple has intentionally slowed down older phones to nudge them toward upgrading. While he's careful not to rule out intentional slowing of older phone models (that's possible, after all), Mullainathan cites several factors that mean there's no need to believe in a phone-slowing conspiracy, and at least two big reasons (reputation, liability) for companies — Apple, Google, and cellphone manufacturers like Samsung — not to take part in one. He points out various wrinkles in what the data could really indicate, including genuine but innocent slowdowns caused by optimizing for newer hardware. It's an interesting look at the difference between having mere statistics, no matter how rigorously gathered, and knowing quite what they mean.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
    Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
    Review The idea of a new version of Firefox will sound like a bad joke to some. To others, it’s a yawn – Firefox comes at the blistering pace of one new version every six weeks.…

  • Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
    4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
    Only 6 per cent of broadband homes are "moderately" or "highly likely" to buy a 4K TV, and 83 per cent of consumers are completely unfamiliar with the term Ultra HD.…

    In space... no one can hear you're green...
    Russian boffins have lost control of a satellite containing sex-crazed geckos - like there's any other kind - sent on a mission to hold a zero gravity orgy.…

  • Redmond in rapid rebuild after sysadmin request STUNNER
    SaaSy System Center Advisor gains new admin-friendly features
    Microsoft has released a few useful tweaks to System Center Advisor, its online log file analysis, monitoring and alerting service, and says actual users asked for the new features it has created.…

  • Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
    We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
    Researchers from Denmark's Aalborg university are claiming that Internet could move traffic five times or more faster than it does today. The downside? Doing away with how TCP/IP currently functions.…

  • AusCERT chief Ingram steps down
    Replacement promises better relationships, late nights sleeping at the office
    Graham Ingram, the head of Australia's first Computer Emergency Response Team (AusCERT), has stepped down after 12 years in the role.…

  • Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
    Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
    Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is warning that two iconic Australian astronomy facilities – the Parkes radio-telescope and the Australia Telescope Compact Array at Narrabri, are at risk of closure after the federal government pulled $AU114 million from the agency's funding.…

  • Google's Canadian 'memory hole' to continue
    Equustek case reaches beyond Canuck borders
    Google – and arguably free speech – has suffered another “memory hole” setback in its Canadian wrangle with kit vendor Equustek Solutions, and in response has begun taking down links well beyond Canada where the court case is taking place.…

  • Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
    Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
    Google and Twitch were tight-lipped this morning in California – amid swirling rumors that the internet goliath will formally seal a $1bn deal to buy the video-streaming upstart.…

  • Disaster Recovery upstart joins DR 'as a service' gang
    Quorum joins the aaS crowd with DRaaS offering
    Disaster recovery company Quorum uses a customer’s second site or its own cloud site to provide the user with backup and DR location for physical and virtualised server customers, and claims one-click recovery through its on-site onQ appliances.…

  • The XP factor gives MEGA-DISTIE Ingram Q2 sales a boost
    Just don't ask about operating profits...
    The tills rang often for massive global distie Ingram Micro during its second calendar quarter, helped by frenzied PC refresh activity, but squeezing out better long term profits remains a work in progress.…

  • Pinterest diversity stats: Also pale and male (but not as much as Twitter)
    Cats'n'flowers site latest to admit white men rule its roost
    Pinterest is generally used to store images of polka dot knickers, cute animals and bags of artisan pear drops. What might come as a shock to its users is that Pinterest is actually run by the same “stale, pale and male” clique often seen at the rudder of other big Silicon Valley.… offline for now

  • GCC As A Just-In Time Compiler Is An Interesting Project
    Aside from the experimental "Coconut" as a Python JIT compiler using GCC's new Just-In Time capabilities, the shared library isn't yet depended upon in the real-world but the JIT compilation abilities are being built upon for hopeful incorporation into the GNU Compiler Collection...

  • Even With Re-Clocking, Nouveau Remains Behind NVIDIA's Proprietary Linux Driver
    Starting out the last week of July's Linux benchmarking on Phoronix is a fresh comparison of several NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards when comparing the performance of the latest open-source Nouveau driver against the latest NVIDIA proprietary Linux graphics driver. While the Kepler cards now support GPU re-clocking, the results aren't quite ideal yet.

  • Age Of Wonders III Is Still Being Ported To Linux
    The Age of Wonders III turn-based strategy game that was released back in March is still in the process of being ported to Linux and OS X. Developers are hopeful this well-received game will be released for the non-Windows platforms later this year...

  • The Power Consumption & Efficiency Of Open-Source GPU Drivers
    Complementing yesterday's Radeon, Intel, and Nouveau benchmarks using the very latest open-source driver code, here's some power consumption, performance-per-Watt, and thermal numbers when using an assortment of graphics processors on the latest open-source drivers.

  • KDE 4.14 Beta 3 Released
    While not incorporating Plasma 5 and KDE Frameworks 5 (coming later this year will be a 4/5 mix release), the third beta to KDE 4.14 is now available...

  • CoreOS Experiences Its First Stable Release
    CoreOS, the lightweight Linux distribution designed for clustered deployments and depends upon utilization of Docker/LXC software containers, has experienced its first stable release...

  • Nouveau vs. Radeon vs. Intel Tests On Linux 3.16, Mesa 10.3-devel
    As the second part of our Linux graphics testing this week after a Radeon R600/RadeonSI performance update with the Linux 3.16 kernel and Mesa 10.3-devel are some comparative numbers that include Intel's Haswell HD Graphics and various NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards on the Nouveau driver.

  • Open-Source AMD Hawaii Support Should Now Be Working!
    After renewed pressure on open-source AMD 3D support not working, it seems they've finally managed to get the Radeon R9 290 series graphics cards working on the open-source Linux driver between some updated GPU microcode and kernel driver changes...

  • Linux Developers Jump Quickly On ACPI 5.1, Helps Out ARM
    Fresh off the release of ACPI 5.1 by the UEFI Forum, Linux developers are updating their support against this latest revision to the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface. In particular, ACPI 5.1 is supposed to help out ARM...

  • IPv6 Improvements Hit NetworkManager
    While NetworkManager has already supported the IPv6 protocol for some months now, several IPv6-related improvements were pushed to its code-base on Wednesday...

  • AMD R600g/RadeonSI Performance On Linux 3.16 With Mesa 10.3-devel
    As the first part of an upcoming series of tests benchmarking the latest open-source and closed-source Linux graphics drivers for AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce hardware, here's some benchmark results for several recent Radeon GPUs when tested on the current Git version of the Linux 3.16 kernel and a recent Mesa 10.3-devel snapshot.

  • Unigine Develops City Traffic System, A Driving Simulator
    While the Unigine Engine sadly hasn't fully rode the Linux gaming wave with there still being very few games powered by this visually stunning engine that has supported Linux for many years, they are at least finding commercial success in other areas -- namely around simulation and industrial licenses. One of the company's recent endeavors is with a driving simulator...

  • Eric Anholt Makes Progress With Broadcom VC4 Graphics Driver
    One month ago Linux developer Eric Anholt left Intel to work at Broadcom. Eric, a long-time contributor to the open-source Linux graphics stack, is now tasked at Broadcom with developing a DRM driver and Mesa/Gallium3D driver for Broadcom's "VC4" graphics hardware, which is found within the Raspberry Pi...

  • Intel Is Getting Very Close To OpenGL 4.0/4.1/4.2 Mesa Support
    As brought up in the discussion following yesterday's article about Intel adding BPTC support to their Mesa driver, several Phoronix readers are filled with happiness over Mesa nearly support not just for the OpenGL 4.0 specification but also OpenGL 4.1 and 4.2 aren't far out of reach...


  • Solid's vibrating handlebars navigate bike lanes on its 3D printed frame

    Just like when you're driving a car, glancing down at your phone while biking the busy streets of your city can be quite dangerous. Thanks to a Portland-based design firm, there's a bike that allows you to keep your eyes on the road while getting those much-needed directions. The folks at Industry teamed up with local builders Ti Cycles for Solid: a Bluetooth-enabled two-wheeler that connects to a smartphone app monitoring bike maintenance and offers vibrating handlebars for head's up GPS navigation. A companion app, My Bike, keeps an eye on burned out lights and other potential upkeep headaches. My City, a second bit of software, serves as guide for blazing the bike lanes of your chosen locale.

    In order to keep your eyes on the road, haptic grips will buzz when you're approaching a turn and they'll both vibrate when you've missed one. All of Solid's on-board electronics are pedal powered with its components tucked inside a 3D-printed titanium frame that unscrews for easy access. Oh yeah, the gears are sorted electronically as well -- at the push of a button -- and those safety lights turn off thanks to built-in sensors. The silver-clad unit is the group's entry into The Bike Design Project that's matched designers in five cities against each other for a public vote on who's made the best foot-powered option.

    Filed under: Transportation


    Via: Wired

    Source: The Bike Design Project

  • NPR One delivers personalized public radio on the go

    NPR already has a few options for sorting its range of programming, but now the public radio outfit is looking to get more specific. The latest effort is the NPR One, which offers a local stream along with curated content that's accessible with one tap -- all broken down into short segments. For example, upon launching the app and signing in with a Facebook, Google or NPR account, pressing play begins streaming the latest update from the closest station (WUNC in my case). Swiping to the left of the Now Playing section offers a history of recently broadcast content for a quick recap, while a swipe to the right allows you to scroll through upcoming bits. There's also controls for skipping back in 15-second increments and jumping from the current story to another. Of course, if you're after the latest All Songs Considered or Fresh Air episodes, those are easily searchable as well. Both Android and iOS apps are available via their respective repositories.

    Filed under: Podcasts, Software, Mobile


    Via: NPR

    Source: iTunes, Google Play

  • Hilton will let you use your phone as a hotel room key

    Starwood isn't the only hotel chain that wants you to use your smartphone as a hotel room key; Hilton is launching an initiative that lets you use your Android or iOS device to control virtually every aspect of your stay. Later this summer, a Hilton app will let you choose your preferred room, make special requests, check in and check out. You'll only have to speak to staff when it's time to pick up or return your keys. And in 2015, you won't even need to do that much -- your phone will also unlock your room, letting you make a beeline for your bed after a long flight.
    The rollout will take some time, but it should trump Starwood in terms of sheer scale. Room selection should be available in over 4,000 Hilton-affiliated hotels by the end of the year, including DoubleTree and Embassy Suites. Marriott will have check-in and check-out features at a similar number of locations by the end of the year, but Hilton's room selection and key features might give it an edge. Whichever hotel chain you prefer, the advancements are good news if you're a globetrotter -- you can spend more time sleeping, and less time waiting in line.
    Filed under: Cellphones, Internet, Mobile


    Via: Wall Street Journal

    Source: Hilton

  • PantryChic's Bluetooth ingredient dispenser is for lazy, type-A bakers

    Earlier this summer, we showed you a smart kitchen scale that worked with an iPad app to make sure you were adding the right amount of each ingredient to your recipe. At the time, it seemed like the Internet of Things had reached its peak. Jumped the shark, even. Well, apparently even that requires too much effort. Meet PantryChic, an airtight food canister that dispenses ingredients into a digital scale, so that you never even have to break out a measuring cup. All told, if you were serious about your baking (and seriously OCD), you could buy any number of these stackable canisters, and fill each with a different ingredient, like baking soda or brown sugar. Then, when you need one, you attach it to the digital scale, which is pre-programmed to dispense 50 ingredients (meaning, it knows how to convert volume to weight). Oh, and don't worry about pushing any buttons: You can connect over Bluetooth using the PantryChic app, at which point the machine can "see" what recipe you're using and know, for instance, that you need three cups of flour.

    Obviously, this doesn't remove all the work -- only one canister can attach to the scale at once, so you'd still have to swap in different containers as you proceed with your recipe. Still, it's definitely less messy than a normal baking workflow; without any measuring spoons or cups, and with little risk of spillage, you're looking at way less cleanup. Additionally, as a standalone scale, it's capable of measuring meats and liquids in addition to dry goods, so you could use it that way too, if you were so inclined.

    Nik of Time, PantryChic's parent company, just launched a Kickstarter campaign, with a fundraising goal of $50,000. If you order now, it'll cost $199 with two canisters, though the company says the price will be $249 when it finally hits retail stores. Meanwhile, canisters come in packs of two for $59 (the price will later be raised to $69). All told, the pricing seems sounds about right, considering both the "smarts" inside the main scale, as well as the premium brushed stainless steel construction. Also, let's be real: A gadget like this would be catnip for upscale shoppers at places like Williams Sonoma, where folks routinely pay hundreds of dollars for whiz-bang kitchen appliances. Tentatively, Nik of Time is saying shipments will begin in February of next year, with retail availability coming later. In the future, too, the outfit might add WiFi integration, along with substitution suggestions, "recipe walkthroughs" (whatever that means) and a 100-calorie brownie pan, cookie scoop and cupcake tin. First things first, though: The project needs to achieve funding and then, you know, get made.

    Filed under: Household


    Source: PantryChic, Kickstarter

  • Russia offers a $110,000 bounty if you can crack Tor

    Countries that have less-than-stellar records when it comes to dissenting voices must really, really hate Tor. Coincidentally, Russia's Interior Ministry has put out a bounty of around $110,000 to groups who can crack the US Navy-designed privacy network. After the country's vicious crackdown on dissenting voices back in 2012, protestors who hadn't escaped or been jailed began using anonymous internet communication as their first line of defense against the Kremlin. If you're considering taking part in the challenge (and earning yourself a tidy stack of cash to quell your conscious), be warned -- the bounty is only open to organizations that already have security clearance to work for the Russian government.

    Filed under: Internet


    Via: The Inquirer

    Source: Russian Interior Ministry

  • What you need to know about card skimming

    "Skimming" is a blanket term used when referencing a crime where you take small amounts of money. It literally means to take cash off the top, as if money were the sweet cream floating atop a cauldron of lesser riches. Fifty years ago, skimming might have meant stealing a handful of dollars from your employer, or even millions in elaborate scams we've seen in countless Hollywood films. Today's skimming, however, employs tricks and hardware that are absurdly complex and yet sneaky enough to elude detection. Unless you know what to look for, of course. Today's world of skimming is high-tech, and it wants your credit card and banking info.

    Though we can't help you catch every conceivable method that crooks are using to try to rip you off, being armed with a bit of knowledge on the topic could save you major hassle down the road. No matter what you take away form this read, at a minimum you'll never look at an ATM or POS terminal the same way again.

    A skimmer in the ATM world usually features two important pieces of hardware: A micro camera positioned within eyesight of the keypad, and a magnetic card reading device that captures your card's details. To "clone" -- duplicate -- your card, this is all the info a would-be thief needs. The scenario is, sadly, very simple: You wander up to your local ATM, pop your card in and a device captures your card details; next you type in your PIN and that's captured on camera. You carry on with your day, business as usual, but in the following weeks you'll get a call from the bank or credit card company about "strange" transactions on your account. Perhaps you've heard this story before?

    Similar things happen with POS terminals in retail shops -- payment registers -- sometimes with the employee's knowledge and sometimes without. Bogus terminals exist that will even print out a "transaction complete" record when the device never actually contacted your bank. You buy a pack of gum, run the sale through with your card and the thief buys your treat for you. Then, using the info gleaned easily recovers his or her losses. Nervous yet? You should be, this stuff is rampant.

    Recently there's been a spate of reports that gas stations are being targeted for skimming. The same principle for ATM systems is used, but the concentration of cards passing through gas stations is higher. It's like an ATM card smorgasbord. The system can be installed in under two minutes and the stored card details are easily captured remotely via Bluetooth by the crook. So unless someone notices the device, or its battery dies, a thief could quickly grab hundreds of accounts from just one skimmer.WHY SHOULD I CARE?Nobody wants to lose his or her hard earned money to some criminal, right? In most cases you'll have an argument to recover your losses, but the cost in time and to the banks is real. Consider the time and effort required to deal with your bank, your card company, any pre-authorized payments you have, potentially time off work. It'd be a pretty bleak feeling to get taken like this. Many of us have gone through the hassle of replacing cards when somebody got the details and used them without asking permission. Most people assume it happened because of an online scam, but the new reality is that more and more opportunities exist for this type of crime.HOW DOES IT WORK?

    ATM skimmers run the gamut from cheapish homemade plastic to the sophisticated custom pinhole cameras, keypad overlays and magnetic readers that can go in or over the existing slot. Plastic parts can be printed with a 3D printer: paint for parts is easily matched to ape the real thing, and then using double-sided tape they're slapped on in just a few minutes. Skimmers can be purchased on the web by sites boasting how effective their equipment is, card printing stock and equipment to make credit and debit cards is fairly easily sourced as well. All this aligns to make it pretty easy to understand why somebody with some money and no worry of arrest would want to get involved.

    So what do they do with this info? Well, the thief heads back to wherever he left his gear and physically retrieves it, or remotely downloads the info. A new card is then printed with your stolen details -- the aforementioned clone. Then a "runner" -- there are job titles! - is dispatched to either take all the cash they can using bank machines, or sent shopping for easily sold goods. Credit cards, of course, offer even more flexibility since they can be used online at many more places than debit can.WHAT CAN I DO TO PROTECT MYSELF?

    There's no magic answer yet, Interac Inc claims that Chip and Pin systems have done a lot to reduce debit and credit card fraud in Canada, but these systems are still backward compatible with the swipe system. The best advice is to pay some attention when paying for your transaction or taking out cash. Since the reader device is typically only secured with double sided tape, yank on it. You're not going to break anything. Give the ATM a bit of scrutiny before using it. Does it look like the others nearby? Are there any strange-looking bits that bulge out? Look above the keypad or to the side for pinhole cameras. If anything seems out of place, don't use it! Find another.

    Cover your hand when entering your PIN number! It's a really easy thing to do and that one step will absolutely make the collected card details worthless.

    Call your bank, talk to them about security policies. Are you covered if anything should ever happen? Are they taking steps to work with card providers to create new or improve existing policies? Banks are slowly beginning to use Two-Factor authorization to protect you and your money. Two-Factor means you use your password and a one-off key to access online accounts or login to your bank. So even if a thief has your card details and password, without the key they can't get in. Banks consider your card and PIN to be a two-factor system, though considering how simple it seems to be to get access, we'd suggest another layer wouldn't hurt.

    There's nothing vague about the law here. Theft is theft is theft, though; sometimes catching the people involved is difficult as the money can be spent abroad or on goods delivered to a P.O. box. Also, unfortunately, people often only contact the bank about a skimming-related crime and the bank sorts it out for the consumer. Once your bank has started the process to resolve it, call your local police and report it to them, too. Banks like paying out money about as much as you do, while it costs for them to spend on security, they'll do it to stop fraud to protect you their bottom lineWANT TO KNOW MORE?
    There's a wealth of great information out there about skimming and what current scams exist, arm yourself against them by taking an interest and protecting yourself by knowing a bit about them. Brian Krebs security site has a great series of articles on this very topic, I encourage you to take some time to read and check out all the pics of the various devices. Go have a peek at, they maintain a great list of institutions that support two-factor and handy links to tweet to those that don't.

    [Image credit: bedharak / Flickr, ASSOCIATED PRESS, Shutterstock / Oliver Hoffmann, Brian Krebs /]

    Filed under: Wireless, Networking, Internet, Software


  • Amazon now lets you customize and buy 3D-printed products

    3D printing has made low-volume manufacturing of highly personalized products both affordable and accessible, but first you need a printer. A number of businesses have sprung up to bridge that gap -- investing in printers so you don't have to -- and now Amazon has opened up a dedicated storefront on its US site to connect customers with these sellers. The themed portal is stocked with over 200 products at launch, from jewelry to homeware to toys, that companies will print to order. Many can be also be customized, whether that simply be choosing a different color or tweaking numerous features of a design. You can also preview a 3D mockup of your creation before you buy, and now if you'll excuse us, we've got bobbleheads to order.

    Filed under: Misc, Amazon


    Source: Amazon (1), (2)

  • Here's a book about people tweeting about writing their novels

    Sorry guys, I can't tweet this picture of a cat wearing a party hat right now, because I'm #amwriting. I'm in a coffee shop, you see, with my laptop and notebook proudly displayed so that anyone who walks past will know that I'm #amwriting a novel. Obviously, you can only make grammatical errors like saying I'm #amwriting on Twitter, that shit doesn't fly in the novel that I'm writing right now.

    What? Artist Cory Arcangel has written a book that just collates people's tweets that include the phrase "working on my novel?" He's, no, that's not a real thing, is it? It's being published by PENGUIN? All of these other people are what, just trying to write the next great modern / erotic / literary / young adult novel? Man. I wish I'd come up with that idea. #amwriting


    Via: The Fader

    Source: Working on my novel, Cory Arcangel (Twitter)

  • Europe approves Apple's $3 billion takeover of Beats
    $3 billion merger has just been cleared in Europe. The EU commission ruled that the merger "did not raise concerns because the combined (headphone) market share of Apple and Beats Electronics is low." That might sound like an odd thing to say about Apple, but the EU pointed out that after buying Beats, it would still have Bose, Sennheiser, Sony and other competitors in the sector. As a result, Apple/Beats would be far from a headphone monopoly, which was the EU's main concern. The purchase still has to be cleared in the US, but most pundits think regulators there will toe a similar line. Apple has a new headache, though: one of those competitors, Bose, has just sued it over its noise-cancelling patents.

    Filed under: Home Entertainment, Apple


    Source: European Union

  • New photo app is all Selfies, all the time

    We know what you're thinking, but a new app called Selfies is actually kind of fun, considering that it's a barely-promoted one-off from Automattic (the company responsible for WordPress). It told Gravatar universal avatar app before it became a separate thing. Trying the app showed that its basic-ness is part of the kick, since it let us post our own pic right after logging on. (We also found it to be a little rough around the edges with a few crashes.) Right now, there's just a single public feed showing ever photo, but the company has plans to filter the best content soon. You can try it now for yourself, but only on Android -- the company narrowly picked that platform to launch it first thanks to a user poll.

    Filed under: Cellphones, Cameras, Software, Mobile


    Via: Techcrunch

    Source: Selfies

  • London will be a 5G city by 2020, promises Boris

    As London becomes the bright shining center of the European tech scene, it's only natural that the city would like to maintain its place at the top of the pile. That's why mayor Boris Johnson is pledging that London will roll out a 5G network across the city by 2020. It's part of a long-term infrastructure investment plan that'll see connectivity given equal prominence to more conventional resources like transport, energy and water. At the same time, broadband speeds for each home in the capital will be made public alongside data from the networks in order to find communication blackspots that require additional work. Of course, given that 5G as a standard has yet to be defined, it'll be interesting to see if the mayor can make good on his promise -- unlike the one about turning London into a giant WiFi hotspot by 2012.

    Filed under: Cellphones, Wireless, Mobile


    Source: The Telegraph

  • Floating 3D video shows 'Star Wars' holograms are closer than we think

    Thanks to Princess Leia's famous Star Wars plea, true holograms rank just behind flying cars as tech we want, nay deserve to have in our lifetimes -- and Tupac-style flimflam won't cut it. Now, an exhibition from artists Chris Helson and Sarah Jackets whimsically called "Help Me Obi" projects objects as large as 30cm (12-inches) in space. Visible from any angle in the room, the subjects include a newborn baby and NASA's Voyager 1 space probe. The creators are quick to point out that the machine doesn't create a true hologram, but rather a "360-degree video object." We take that to mean that it's more like a floating 3D movie that looks the same from any angle, rather than a true holographic object you can study from all sides. Since they're seeking a patent, Helson and Jackets are coy about exactly how it works, but say that there's nothing else quite like it (that they know of). If you're in the Edinburgh, Scotland area between July 31st and August 30th, you can judge for yourself at the Alt-W exhibition.

    Filed under: Home Entertainment, Science, Alt


    Via: CNET

    Source: Helson and Jackets

  • Korean baseball team recruits robots as stand-ins for fans

    In South Korea, the Hanwha Eagles baseball team has gained a bunch of new fans that'll never abandon them even if they lose every game they play. After all, these new die-hard supporters are robots -- stomping, chanting, Mexican waving faceless robots designed to encourage human followers to cheer the Eagles on. They're officially called "fanbots," and they'll occupy three rows in the bleachers during a game, toting LED placards that display fans' (the flesh-and-blood ones) text messages for the team.Those screens that take the place of their faces? They also have a purpose: to display fans' faces as they watch the game remotely. It's definitely unusual, but the Eagles can use all the support they can get as they don't exactly have a good record. And who knows -- these fanbots could end up converting non-believers and getting more actual human supporters to show up at their games.

    Filed under: Robots


    Source: BBC, The Korea Biz Wire

  • How well do Uber drivers rate you? (update)

    Uber's car service lets you rate your drivers, but it also lets them rate you. The customer might always be right, but some customers are simply jerks -- and the system lets drivers know what they might be in for. Until now, there's been no way to draw out your customer rating from the app, but with a little Javascript magic, courtesy of Aaron Landy, you can cajole Uber's mobile site into spitting out your rating, out of 5. Log into Uber's mobile site, then open the console (for Chrome: View -> Developer -> Javascript Console from the drop-down menu), and paste some javascript code in. The browser will reload, and you'll need to paste the code again. Another reload, and a popup will offer up your user details and your passenger rating. The hack might even the odds a little: drivers have been able to see how passengers have ranked their rides for a while. It's like leaving feedback on eBay all over again.

    Update: It appears Uber noticed the sudden influx to its mobile site and has now patched the JavaScript 'hack.'

    Only thing holding me back from a perfect 5 is that one driver who got a ticket and took it out on me.
    - Sarah Silbert (@sarahsilbert) July 28, 2014
    4.7 :/ RT @engadget: How well do @Uber drivers rate you?
    - John Colucci (@johncolucci) July 28, 2014
    Want to know the really super easy way of seeing your Uber rating? Ask your next driver to show you. Mine's 4.3 apparently
    - Kadhim (@kadhimshubber) July 28, 2014
    5.0. The gold standard. How well do @Uber drivers rate you?
    - Mat Smith (@thatmatsmith) July 28, 2014
    Filed under: Transportation, Internet


    Source: Medium (Aaron Landy)

  • How would you change the BlackBerry Q10?

    BlackBerry was slow to see the danger of touchscreen phones, which meant that BlackBerry 10 was a year or so too late to arrive. When it did, however, the company launched the all-touch Z10 first, alienating the keyboard-loving faithful that clung to BlackBerry in its darkest days. But when the Q10finally came, our Tim Stevens found it to be painfully average -- and the subsequent year hasn't been kind to either the device or the company. But lets talk about the hardware itself, talk to us about your experiences and what, if anything would you change? While you're thinking that way, why not try writing a review of the device, too? Just hit the "Review Device" button and you can add your voice to that of our critics.

    Filed under: Cellphones, Mobile, Blackberry


    Source: Engadget Product Forums, Engadget Reviews

  • Next-generation lithium cells will double your phone's battery life

    The lithium ion batteries in your mobile devices are inherently limited by the "ion" part of their name; they can safely use lithium only in the part of the cell that supplies ions, wasting a lot of potential energy. It's good news, then, that researchers at Stanford have developed a new lithium battery that could last for much, much longer. The technique allows for denser, more efficient lithium in the battery's anode (which discharges electrons) by using a nanoscopic carbon shield that keeps the unstable chemical in check -- uncontrolled, it can quickly shorten the device's lifespan.
    The result is a power pack that lasts considerably longer on charge, won't decay quickly and remains relatively safe. Stanford's Steven Chu (the former US Secretary of Energy) reckons that a cellphone equipped with these advanced lithium cells could have two to three times the battery life, and automakers could build cheap electric cars that still offer a healthy driving range. There's more engineering work required before you see any shipping products, but it's entirely possible that future portable gadgets will run for more than a day on a charge without resorting to giant battery packs.
    Filed under: Cellphones, Laptops, Tablets, Science



    Source: Nature

  • Amazon is reportedly making a Square-like payment card reader

    Amazon's business may revolve around online shopping, but the company apparently has some interest in brick-and-mortar retail -- there are now hints that it's launching a Square-style payment card reader. The crew at 9to5Mac has obtained documents from Staples showing that a $10 "Amazon Card Reader" is launching sometime in the near future. While there's no exact release date on hand, the office supply store is expected to start advertising Amazon's gadget on August 12th; logic suggests the peripheral would go on sale around then.
    The company hasn't confirmed any plans, so take the apparent leak with a few grains of salt. We've reached out to Amazon to see if it can shed more light on the subject. Such a move would make sense for the e-commerce giant, though. It launched a wallet app mere days ago, so it clearly has an existing interest in the mobile payment sphere. Provided the leak is accurate, the real question is whether or not Jeff Bezos and company can lure stores away from the likes of Square or PayPal. This is already a fiercely competitive space, and many retailers are already wary of Amazon given that it thrives on luring customers away from conventional shops.
    Filed under: Peripherals, Internet, Amazon


    Source: 9to5Mac

  • Sure enough, you can play 'Doom' on an ATM

    The quest to play Doom on just about everything won't be over any time soon, it seems. A team of Australians has torn open and modified an ATM to play id Software's classic first-person shooter using some of the bank machine's built-in controls. This isn't the hardest hack in the world -- ATMs like this run Windows XP, after all -- but it still required custom software and logic, including a circuit board that can remap buttons meant for deposits instead of demon slaying. What you see in the video below is just the start, too. The group already has the side buttons working for weapon selection, and it hopes to make the number pad usable. There's also talk of tweaking the game to use the receipt printer; if you wanted, you could have it spit out proof that you finished a tough level. The odds of getting the hardware to recreate this feat are sadly rather slim, but it's good to know that even your local ATM can handle some proper shoot-'em-up action.

    Filed under: Gaming


    Via: Hack A Day

    Source: Aussie50 (YouTube)

  • Windows Phone's next update will support smart cases and giant devices

    Windows Phone 8.1 may have only just reached the general public, but it's already in line for a surprisingly large update. Microsoft has posted developer documents (sign-in required) for Windows Phone 8.1 GDR1, a tweak that fills in a few key hardware and software gaps. Aside from previously revealed folder support, the upgrade will allow for smart cases akin to HTC's Dot View or LG's QuickCircle. Phone makers will get to run special apps when the cover is closed, and specify what happens when it's open. This seemingly simple addition could be important, since The Verge claims that HTC is preparing a Windows Phone version of the new One -- such a device would need smart cover features to perform the same tricks as its Android counterpart.
    The revision should also enable more of the tablet-sized phones that are all the rage in some corners of the globe. It'll support a 1,280 x 768 resolution on screens as large as 7 inches, and there's a new 1,280 x 800 option useful for larger devices that use software navigation buttons. Other upgrades are smaller, but should be important in the long run -- the update should bring high-quality voice over LTE, higher-quality Bluetooth music (through aptX) and manufacturer-defined custom lock screens. There's no confirmed schedule for when GDR1 would arrive, but Microsoft is clearly getting close. It won't be surprising if the next big wave of Windows Phones ships with the new features built in.
    Filed under: Cellphones, Mobile, Microsoft, HTC, Nokia


    Via: NokiaPowerUser, WPCentral

    Source: Microsoft (1), (2)

  • Gadget Rewind 2005: BenQ Z2

    BenQ may not be a familiar name to some -- at least not in the US -- but its roots in the electronics industry date back to the '80s. The company, formerly a division of Acer, was spun off in 2001 in an attempt to build a brand name for itself. With a background in manufacturing, BenQ began building devices for companies like Nokia and Motorola; devices that were mostly for sale in Asian markets. Soon, it started its own line of mobile handsets and in 2005, BenQ announced a cube-like multimedia device called the Z2. It was poised to compete with the other camera-toting and music-playing cellphones at the time, while also targeting the youth market with its unique form factor and colorful exteriors. Curious to know more? Check out our gallery below.

    Filed under: Cellphones, Mobile


  • Solar cells cool themselves to produce more power

    Solar power cells need to stay relatively cool for the sake of both efficiency and longevity, but active cooling (like ventilation) isn't practical; it's expensive, and may block the very rays the cells are supposed to collect. To tackle this problem, Stanford University researchers have created a new form of solar cell that cools itself. The technique embeds a pattern of very small cone and pyramid shapes into the collector's silica surface, bouncing hot infrared wavelengths away while letting in the visible light that generates the most energy.

    The result is a heavily optimized panel that not only scoops up more power, but avoids cooking itself to death -- it's very nearly ideal, according to scientists. The Stanford team has a long way to go (it still has to try the self-cooling tech outdoors), but it foresees commercial products. Don't be surprised if you can eventually install a refined solar array at home that not only powers more of your gadgets, but doesn't need to be replaced after suffering through a few too many scorching summers.

    [Top image credit: AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi]

    Filed under: Science


    Via: Treehugger, LaserFocusWorld

    Source: Optical Society, OpticsInfoBase

  • Homer for iPhone lets you peek at the apps your friends use

    Ever had the urge to peek at your friends' phone screens, whether it's to learn about their favorite apps or simply pry into their digital lives? Well, you can now do that without having to either strike up an awkward conversation or get overly nosy. PayPal co-founder Max Levchin and the HVF crew have launched Homer, an iPhone app that lets you share your app picks with fellow users. All you do is take screenshots of your home screens and submit them; Homer scans the pictures and identifies the apps, making it easy to compare them with pals in your contacts or on social networks.
    As you'd hope, there's some privacy features baked in. Besides the voluntary nature of screen captures, you can hide individual apps you'd rather keep a secret -- you don't have to share your Tinder addiction with the rest of the world. There's no mention of Homer versions for other platforms (or people outside the US, for that matter), but you can try it today if you have both an iPhone and an unquenchable curiosity about your buddies' mobile habits.
    Filed under: Cellphones, Internet, Mobile


    Via: GigaOM

    Source: App Store, HVF Labs

  • Tizen: hope springs eternal
    The technology press and bloggers really seem to have no idea what to make of Tizen. First, it was a huge, credible threat to Android (*), but now that even people who really, really, really want to see Android in trouble can no longer maintain that Tizen is a serious threat, it's now apparently magically a sign of Samsung's weakness. Or, if you believe Reuters, it's a sign of... Both? Or something?  Samsung Electronics Co. suffered another blow to its efforts to cut the dependency of its smartphone business on Google Inc.'s Android operating system, postponing the launch of a new model that runs on its own Tizen software.  The news is the latest disappointment for the Korean giant which is trying to defend its position as the world's largest maker of smartphones from the twin challenges of Apple Inc. AAPL and, at the other end of the market range, Chinese companies such as Huawei, ZTE and Xiaomi.  Of course, those of us who have even a minute understanding of what it takes to create a successful and viable operating system and platform know full well just how unrealistic it is to see Tizen as anything but a fringe experiment that will, in all likelihood, never bear any fruit. You can ask BlackBerry and Microsoft just how hard it is to create, introduce, maintain, and grow a mobile platform in the current Android-iOS duopoly.  I would love for Tizen to be a success, but the cold and harsh truth of this world is that all evidence - both historical and current - points towards it not making any headway whatsoever in smartphones and tablets. Tizen may very well play a role in Samsung's more embedded efforts - like TVs - but don't expect it on any serious phone any time soon, let alone it being a threat to iOS, Android, Windows Phone or even BB10.  However, I want Tizen to be a success not because of some hand-wringing desire to see iOS or Android or Google or Samsung stumble and fall. No, I want it to be a success because the market - and thus consumers - always benefit from choice. The more platforms compete for that precious space in your pockets, the better all of them will become. Without Android, iOS would still be stuck at the level of version 2. Without Windows Phone, Android would still look like a cartoon. Potential other platforms would push the big three to even greater heights.  I've made my desire to buy a Tizen device very clear. Not because I believe it will change the world or because I consider it an "Android killer", but because I believe diversity in the marketplace benefits us all - whether we're an iOS, Android, or BeOS user.

  • Nokia X Software Platform 1.2 update released
    Nokia has released the first major software update for the Nokia X series of devices.  Key features of the update include:   Enjoy improved ease of use with the new app switcher - switch easily between open apps, or close apps with a single tap. Instant access to your mail, calendar, and notes with and OneNote. Updated Nokia Store - new design to help you find content more easily, and better integration with third-party stores. New scrollable widgets, call reject with a message, contact search in the dialler, automatic uploading to OneDrive, and local calendar support. General performance and usability improvements.  Could very well be the last.

  • Folders, new resolutions coming to WP 8.1 Update 1
    Microsoft has accidentally spilled the beans on Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1, and it's going to be a relatively small update for users, but a big one for OEMs and thus the platform. The number of user-facing features is small (Windows Phone is finally getting folder support!), but it increases support for different resolutions and screen sizes - up to 7".  More features might be coming that aren't yet leaked, but the focus of the update is clear: hardware support.

  • Trend Micro caught lying about Android security
    Antivirus peddler Trend Micro recently issued a "report", in which it states that "Google Play [is] populated with fake apps, with more than half carrying malware". Sounds scary, right?  Well, reality is a little different, as TechRepulic and Android Police found out.  It turns out that Trend Micro is guilty of a little over-eager language that obfuscated the nature of some of these threats. While there are indeed fake versions of many popular Android apps available for download, Trend failed to mention in their initial promotion for the report that the apps in question were posted outside the Play Store, and had to be installed manually in what's commonly known as a side-load. This requires users to download the app in a browser, ignore a standard security warning about APK files, and disable a security option in Android's main settings menu.  As I've been saying for years and years now, antivirus peddlers are the scum of the technology industry. These people actively lie and spread FUD about popular platforms just to scare people into buying their crappy, bloated, unnecessary software. They tried these scummy scare tactics for OS X, iOS, and recently it's been Android's turn. Of course, it doesn't help that people like Tim Cook actively join in on the lying and FUD.  You can spot the FUD from miles away. It usually contains something like "99% of all mobile malware targets Android", which may technically be true, but is actually entirely meaningless without the figure that actually matters: infection rates to determine just how successful this malware actually is. The actual infection rate figures make it very clear that they are, in fact, not successful at all. Another dead giveaway that you're dealing with antivirus FUD is "[platform] is insecure. Buy our software to make it secure".  Android is just as secure as iOS. The figures are out there for all to see. Any time you see articles about reports regarding Android's security, you can be 100% sure it's coming from antivirus peddlers, meaning the figures will be contorted, false, manipulated, or just downright made up. These people are not to be trusted. If you still haven't learned that lesson, you are either stupid, or you have an agenda to push.

  • Symbian and its drive letters
    From an article I stumbled upon today, detailing the file manager that shipped on virtually every Symbian device in history.  The Files UI should be familiar to anyone that has used a file manager or folder system/explorer on a computer and it behaves the same as well. Pictured to the left is the standard view when you open Files. It shows several "drives", C:, E: and F: with F: being your memory card if your Symbian device has a memory card (SD, Mini/Micro SD) slot. Pictured to the right, you can see additional drives that are shown when you connect external devices via USB On-The-Go (if your device has USB-OTG) such as flash drives, hard drives or other phones. G: and H: represent the Mass Memory and Memory card on my Nokia N8 that is connected to my 808 PureView via USB OTG... that's a LOT of GBs to manage!  Back when I used Symbian as my main smartphone operating system (I had an E72), I always found it funny that Symbian used drive letters, while the mobile operating system I used for years and years (Windows Mobile/PocketPC) did not - or at least, not in a user-visible manner. At the time, I assumed that Symbian used drive letters in a virtual way to placate Windows users who were used to them.  In recent years, however, I've found out that Symbian's use of drive letters actually goes back much farther than that. Psion's EPOC (Symbian's 16bit predecessor; Symbian was created by Psion) also used drive letters - open up a Series 3 (I have a 3a) and you'll see that the two disk slots are designated A and B. Going even further back in time, even my Psion Organiser II (1986) used A: and B: for its two disk slots. I don't have a device to check, but I would assume that the Organiser I also used drive letters.  Interesting how a concept dating back to CP/CMS made it all the way to the most modern Symbian phones.

  • Among mobile app developers, the middle class has disappeared
    survey from market research firm VisionMobile, there are 2.9 million app developers in the world who have built about two million apps. Most of those app developers are making next to nothing in revenue while the very top of the market make nearly all the profits. Essentially, the app economy has become a mirror of Wall Street.  The application store model was a good thing for a while, especially early on. Now, though, it's becoming an impediment. Supply has increased so much that it's impossible to stand out, especially now that a relatively small number of big players are utterly dominating the listings, drowning out everyone else.  If nobody does anything, this will only get worse.

  • * And then there were three *
    I'm lucky. My financial situation allows me to buy several phones and tablets every year to keep up with the goings-on of all the major - and some of the minor - platforms currently competing for prime real estate in your precious pockets. It also means that I am lucky from a psychological point of view - by being able to buy several devices every year, I never fall into the all-too-common trap of choice-supportive bias. I don't have to rationalise my device purchases after the fact, so I won't have to employ all sorts of mental gymnastics to solve any states of cognitive dissonance caused by hardware and software flaws - the number one cause of irrational fanboyism.  And so, I try to rotate my phone of choice around as much as possible. I enjoy jumping from Android to my N9, then onwards to Sailfish, back to Android, and then have some fun with Symbian on my E7 - and beyond. I've got a long list of platforms I want to add to the collection - one white BlackBerry Passport please - but in general, I'm pretty well-rounded.  Read more on this exclusive OSNews article...

  • now supports Linux
    A while ago, we've announced our plans to add Linux support as one of the features of our digital platform, with 100 games on the launch day sometime this fall. We've put much time and effort into this project and now we've found ourselves with over 50 titles, classic and new, prepared for distribution, site infrastructure ready, support team trained and standing by, and absolutely no reason to wait until October or November. We're still aiming to have at least 100 Linux games in the coming months, but we've decided not to delay the launch just for the sake of having a nice-looking number to show off to the press. It's not about them, after all, it's about you. So, one of the most popular site feature requests on our community wishlist is granted today: Linux support has officially arrived on!  Good on 'm.

  • The bottomless money pit that is Windows Phone
    Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has confirmed that his company will amalgamate all major versions of Windows into one operating system. Speaking on the company's quarterly earnings call today, Nadella told analysts Microsoft will "streamline the next version of Windows from three operating systems into one single converged operating system." Describing the implications of the change, Nadella said "this means one operating system that covers all screen sizes."  Not exactly news, but it's good to have it explicitly out in the open like this. And if they're going to want to keep focusing on consumers, they're going to need some pretty big changes. They sold fewer than half a million Surface devices in the last quarter, and only 5.8 million Lumia devices. That last figure is misleading, though, as it only covers two months due to the Nokia deal. Even adding another month, it's safe to say it's well below 10 million.  This actually raises an interesting question: has Microsoft actually ever made any profit off Windows Phone? Especially taking into account the huge amount of money they had to pour into Nokia's devices division every quarter just to keep it alive? And now they also need to earn the costs of the acquisition back.  At some point, someone is going to have to make the tough calls here. What is the future of Windows Phone - and how long will that future be? How long will Microsoft be able to pour resources into the bottomless money pit that is Windows Phone?

  • Xiaomi's Hugo Barra: we're not an Apple rip-off
    Yesterday, former Google-executive Hugo Barra, now Xiaomi's global vice president, had a talk with The Verge.  Barra is only a year into his job as leader of Mi's internationalization efforts, but he's already "sick and tired" of hearing his company derided as an Apple copycat. He sees Mi as "an incredibly innovative company" that never stops trying to improve and refine its designs, and the allegations of it copying Apple are "sweeping sensationalist statements because they have nothing better to talk about."  This morning, John Gruber:  Scroll down on the Mi 3 "features" page and you'll see this image, named "detail-camera.jpg". Take a good look at the camera in that image, then look at the app icon for the current version of Aperture. It's a simple copy-paste-skew job of the lens, and not a very good one. Two panels down on the page, they use it again, horizontally flipped. (Shockingly, they cropped out the "Designed by Apple in California".)  Hilarious.

  • 'iOS: About diagnostic capabilities'
    Update: Zdziarski put up a more detailed response.  Apple responded to the backdoor story.  Each of these diagnostic capabilities requires the user to have unlocked their device and agreed to trust another computer. Any data transmitted between the iOS device and trusted computer is encrypted with keys not shared with Apple. For users who have enabled iTunes Wi-Fi Sync on a trusted computer, these services may also be accessed wirelessly by that computer.  Zdziarski, the author of the article that started this all, is not impressed.  I don’t buy for a minute that these services are intended solely for diagnostics. The data they leak is of an extreme personal nature. There is no notification to the user. A real diagnostic tool would have been engineered to respect the user, prompt them like applications do for access to data, and respect backup encryption. Tell me, what is the point in promising the user encryption if there is a back door to bypass it?  Apple response doesn't actually deny or contradict anything Zdziarski stated, so in the end, it all comes down to trust. Apple claims they only use these tools for "diagnostics" (which is a stretch considering the extensive and pervasive nature of the data they expose, but alas), and it's up to us to decide whether we trust them or not. If you still trust Apple - or Google, or Microsoft, or any other major technology company, for that matter - at this point, then I admire your child-like innocence.

  • No Man's Sky: a vast game crafted by algorithms
    No Man's Sky is a video game quite unlike any other. Developed for Sony's PlayStation 4 by an improbably small team (the original four-person crew has grown only to 10 in recent months) at Hello Games, an independent studio in the south of England, it's a game that presents a traversable universe in which every rock, flower, tree, creature, and planet has been "procedurally generated" to create a vast and diverse play area.  "We are attempting to do things that haven't been done before," says Murray. "No game has made it possible to fly down to a planet, and for it to be planet-sized, and feature life, ecology, lakes, caves, waterfalls, and canyons, then seamlessly fly up through the stratosphere and take to space again. It's a tremendous challenge."  Minecraft comes to mind - obviously - but No Man's sky goes much, much further. You're looking at a procedurally generated universe with millions of individual, unique planets and individual, unique ecosystems, each evolving over time.

  • Meet the online tracking device that is virtually impossible to block
    A new, extremely persistent type of online tracking is shadowing visitors to thousands of top websites, from to  First documented in a forthcoming paper by researchers at Princeton University and KU Leuven University in Belgium, this type of tracking, called canvas fingerprinting, works by instructing the visitor's Web browser to draw a hidden image. Because each computer draws the image slightly differently, the images can be used to assign each user's device a number that uniquely identifies it.  Advertising companies will become increasingly... 'Creative' to find some way of tracking us that circumvents known laws and technological barriers. However, I doubt you have to worry about the small fish - worry about what the biggest internet advertising company in the world has cooking in its labs.

  • Win access to a game, then proceed to pirate it
    Modern Combat 5 has been cracked and uploaded to multiple torrenting websites over the weekend. MC5 is a first person shooter for iOS, Android and Windows 8. The developer and publisher, Gameloft, ran a contest recently and invited players into the game early. One of those winners apparently cracked the game and began distributing it online.  Modern Combat's dev team is not pleased with the situation.  Horrible. You win a contest for early access, and then you turn around and stab them in the back like this. You must be a pretty terrible human being to do something like this.

  • Explaining Continuity: tying iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite together
    Continuity isn't a monolithic feature of the new operating systems so much as it is a range of features, each with its own hardware requirements and mode of operation. As we already did for iOS 8's Extensions, in this article we'll be using Apple's developer documentation, WWDC videos, and early reports from forums and rumor sites to explain the technology behind these features. We'll speak in brief about how phone integration and AirDrop work. Then, we'll examine how Handoff works and how developers can integrate Handoff support into their own iOS and OS X applications.  Ars takes a look at Apple's Continuity.

  • diff -u: What's New in Kernel Development
    Once in a while someone points out a POSIX violation in Linux. Often the answer is to fix the violation, but sometimes Linus Torvalds decides that the POSIX behavior is broken, in which case they keep the Linux behavior, but they might build an additional POSIX compatibility layer, even if that layer is slower and less efficient. 

  • Great Scott! It's Version 13!
    No matter how much I love Plex, there's still nothing that comes close to XBMC for usability when it comes to watching your network media on a television. I've probably written a dozen articles on Plex during the last few years, so you know that's tough for me to admit.

  • Adminer—Better Than Awesome!
    I've always loved PHPMyAdmin for managing MySQL databases. It's Web-based, fairly robust and as powerful as I've ever needed. Basically, it's awesome. Today, however, I discovered something better than awesome: Adminer. Although it is conceptually identical to PHPMyAdmin, it is far simpler and far more powerful. How can it be both?

  • It Actually Is Rocket Science
    I've never once made a model rocket. I've always wanted to, but apart from "tube with explodey rocket part", I really didn't know where to start with designing. I recently found an open-source application that should help me with my lack of rocket science know-how: OpenRocket. 

  • Android Candy: Repix, Not Just Another Photo App
    Apps like Instagram have made photo filters commonplace. I actually don't mind the vintage look for quick cell-phone snapshots, but a filter can do only so much. At first glance, Repix is another one of those "make your photo cool" apps that does little more than add a border and change saturation levels.

  • Wanted: Your Embedded Linux Projects
    Our "Embedded Linux" issue of Linux Journal is just around the corner, and we want YOUR project to be in it! Whether you're embedding a Beagle Bone Black into a dish so you can automatically feed your black Beagle a bone, or you're developing an Arduino-based butler to answer your front door -- we want to hear about it!

  • Linux Kernel Testing and Debugging
        Linux Kernel Testing Philosophy
    Testing is an integral and important part of any software development cycle, open or closed, and Linux kernel is no exception to that.

  • Dolphins in the NSA Dragnet
    There's an old quote from Jamie Zawinkski that goes: "Some people, when confronted with a problem, think ‘I know, I'll use regular expressions.’ Now they have two problems." Even people like me who like regular expressions laugh at the truth in that quote, because we've seen the consequences when someone doesn't think through the implications of a poorly written pattern. When some people write a bad pattern, they end up with extra lines in a log file. When the NSA does it, they capture and retain Internet traffic on untold numbers of innocent people. 

  • Tails above the Rest: the Installation
    A few columns ago, I started a series aimed at helping everyone improve their privacy and security on the Internet. The first column in this series was an updated version of a Tor column I wrote a few years ago.

  • A Bundle of Tor
    I don't know how many readers know this, but my very first Linux Journal column ("Browse the Web without a Trace", January 2008) was about how to set up and use Tor. Anonymity and privacy on the Internet certainly take on a different meaning in the modern era of privacy-invading software and general Internet surveillance.

  • 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