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- Debian: 2823-1: pixman: integer underflow
LinuxSecurity.com: Bryan Quigley discovered an integer underflow in Pixman which could lead to denial of service or the execution of arbitrary code. For the oldstable distribution (squeeze), this problem has been fixed in [More...]
- Debian: 2822-1: xorg-server: integer underflow
LinuxSecurity.com: Bryan Quigley discovered an integer underflow in the Xorg X server which could lead to denial of service or the execution of arbitrary code. For the oldstable distribution (squeeze), this problem has been fixed in [More...]
- Debian: 2821-1: gnupg: side channel attack
LinuxSecurity.com: Genkin, Shamir and Tromer discovered that RSA key material could be extracted by using the sound generated by the computer during the decryption of some chosen ciphertexts. [More...]
- Mandriva: 2013:294: gimp
LinuxSecurity.com: Multiple vulnerabilities has been discovered and corrected in gimp:Multiple stack-based buffer overflows in file-xwd.c in the X WindowDump (XWD) plug-in in GIMP 2.8.2 allow remote attackers to cause adenial of service (crash) and possibly execute arbitrary code via[More...]
- Mandriva: 2013:293: gimp
LinuxSecurity.com: Updated gimp package fixes security vulnerabilities:An integer overflow flaw and a heap-based buffer overflow were found inthe way GIMP loaded certain X Window System (XWD) image dump files. Aremote attacker could provide a specially crafted XWD image file that,[More...]
- Mandriva: 2013:292: links
LinuxSecurity.com: Updated links package fixes security vulnerability:Mikulas Patocka discovered an integer overflow in the parsing ofHTML tables in the Links web browser. This can only be exploited whenrunning Links in graphical mode (CVE-2013-6050).[More...]
- Mandriva: 2013:290: mediawiki
- Mandriva: 2013:289: owncloud
LinuxSecurity.com: Updated owncloud package fixes security vulnerability:Possible security bypass on admin page under certain circumstancesand MariaDB (CVE-2013-6403).[More...]
- Mandriva: 2013:291: kernel
LinuxSecurity.com: Multiple vulnerabilities has been found and corrected in the Linuxkernel:The Linux kernel before 3.12.2 does not properly use the get_dumpablefunction, which allows local users to bypass intended ptrace[More...]
- [$] Known-exploit detection for the kernel
An attacker might try a number of different kernel exploits before actuallygetting one that works with a specific running kernel. If the kernel wereinstrumented to detect the failed attempts, it could alert systemadministrators about an in-progress attack in addition to returning anerror code to the attacker. That's the idea behind a patch set proposed by Vegard Nossum: complain loudly when someoneattempts to exploit a closed security hole.
- Security advisories for Wednesday
CentOS has updated openjpeg (C6: multiple vulnerabilities).
Debian has updated gnupg (side channel attack), pixman (denial of service), and xorg-server (code execution).
Fedora has updated dcraw (F20:denial of service) and ufraw (F20: denial of service).
Gentoo has updated libsndfile(arbitrary code execution from 2011).
Mageia has updated kernel (multiple vulnerabilities), kernel-linus (multiple vulnerabilities), kernel-rt (multiple vulnerabilities), kernel-tmb (multiple vulnerabilities), kernel-vserver (multiple vulnerabilities), and python3 (sub string wildcard matching flaw).
Mandriva has updated drupal(BS1.0: multiple vulnerabilities), gimp (BS1.0; ES5.0:code execution), kernel (BS1.0: multiplevulnerabilities), links (ES5.0: integeroverflow), mediawiki (BS1.0: multiplevulnerabilities), owncloud (BS1.0: securityrestriction bypass), and subversion(BS1.0&ES5.0: two vulnerabilities).
openSUSE has updated rubygem-actionpack-2_3 (12.2: cross-site scripting) and rubygem-actionpack-3_2 (12.3; 13.1; 12.2: multiple vulnerabilities).
Oracle has updated openjpeg (OL6:multiple vulnerabilities).
Red Hat has updated MRG (RHEL5; RHEL6:multiple vulnerabilities) and openjpeg(RHEL6: multiple vulnerabilities).
Scientific Linux has updated openjpeg (SL6: multiple vulnerabilities).
Ubuntu has updated curl (information disclosure) and qt4-x11, qtbase-opensource-src (denial of service).
- A note for those upgrading to Fedora 20
Discussions on the Fedora mailing lists have made it clear that attempting to upgrade amachine to Fedora 20 with fedup 0.7 will end badly. The solutionis simple enough: update fedup to version 0.8 before doing theupgrade; those upgrading from Fedora 18 should also pass the--nogpgcheck flag to fedup.
- A new role in Open Invention Network (Google Open Source Blog)
On its open source blog, Google has announced that it has become a full member of the Open Invention Network (OIN). Google joins IBM, NEC, Novell (SUSE), Philips, Red Hat, and Sony as a full member of the organization."OIN protects the open-source community through a patent cross-license for Linux and related open-source technologies. The license is free and available to companies, organizations, and individual developers if they agree not to assert their own patents against Linux. OIN also defends against anti-open-source patent aggression through education, reform efforts, and its own defensive patent portfolio.Over nearly three decades, what is now known as open-source software has benefited consumers all over the world by delivering innovative products and services. We’re committed to helping protect that innovation and are happy to expand our role in OIN." OIN also has a press release announcing Google as a new member.
- [$] Btrfs: Getting started
This is the second article in a series on the Btrfs filesystem; those whohave not seen the first segment may wish totake a quick look. This installment will cover the basics of findingthe requisite software and getting started with a Btrfs filesystem, whileleaving the advanced features for the future.
Click below (subscribers only) for the full article from this week's KernelPage.
- Security advisories for Tuesday
Debian has updated nspr (integer overflow).
Fedora has updated dcraw (F19; F18: denial of service), gimp (F18; F19: code execution), munin (F19; F18: denial of service), ufraw (F19; F18: denial of service), and xen (F19; F18: denial of service).
Gentoo has updated mit-krb5(multiple vulnerabilities) and wireshark (multiple vulnerabilities).
openSUSE has updated flash-player(11.4: code execution).
Red Hat has updated nodejs010-nodejs (denial of service) andnss (RHEL6.2, 6.3, 6.4 EUS; RHEL5.3, 5.6, 5.9 EUS: denial of service).
Scientific Linux has updated kernel (SL6: multiple vulnerabilities) and kernel (SL6: a different set of vulnerabilities).
Slackware has updated libiodbc(code execution), libjpeg (informationleak), llvm (code execution), firefox (multiple vulnerabilities), thunderbird (multiple vulnerabilities), ruby (code execution), and seamonkey (multiple vulnerabilities).
SUSE has updated flash-player(code execution), nginx (security restriction bypass), ruby19 (code execution), and webyast (privilege escalation).
Ubuntu has updated djvulibre(12.04 LTS: code execution).
- Fedora 20 released
The Fedora 20 release is out. "The Fedora Project dedicates theFedora 20 release to Seth [Vidal] and asks that youjoin us in remembering his generous spirit and incredible work that helpedmake Fedora what it is today. We miss you, Seth." Click below foran overview of the many changes and new features in this release.
- Deslauriers: Ubuntu Touch and User Privacy
On his blog, Ubuntu
kernel developer security teamtechnical lead Marc Deslauriers looksat the app security model for Ubuntu Touch. He contrasts the Android modelrequiring users to choose allowed permissions at app install time to thatof the "trusted helpers" used by Touch. "For example, instead ofgranting permission to directly access all of the user’s contact list, anapplication can request access to a contact. The system address book willthen display a list of contacts to the user and only the specific contactselected by the user will be sent to the application. The application onlyhas access to the contact which was specifically authorized by the user. If a flashlight application needs access to a user contact in order for a “Recommend this app to friends!” button to work, the user will be making an informed choice, as the request will be the direct result of having pressed the button. The flashlight app can be used without fear of it accessing contact information during normal usage." AppArmor is used behind the scenes to confine the apps.
- Subsurface 4.0 has been released
Subsurface 4.0 hasbeen released. This is the first version to use the Qt toolkit. "This [switch to Qt] caused the need to do a complete rewrite of a large chunk of the Subsurface code base. We decided to keep much of the logic and core of the existing code around, but used the opportunity for quite a bit of cleanup and many improvements."Other features in this release include a new map widget to visualize divelocations, the ability to edit dives "in place", more data in the DiveNotes, a graphical editor for dive profiles, and more. See the releasenotes for details.
- Security advisories for Monday
Debian has updated iceape (end of life), libtar (code execution), and mysql-5.5 (multiple vulnerabilities).
Fedora has updated hdapsd (F19:unspecified vulnerability), mingw-openjpeg(F19: multiple vulnerabilities), nss (F19:multiple vulnerabilities), nss-softokn(F19: multiple vulnerabilities), nss-util(F19: multiple vulnerabilities), samba(F19: two vulnerabilities), and thunderbird(F19: multiple vulnerabilities).
Gentoo has updated cabextract(multiple vulnerabilities from 2010), libsmi (code execution from 2010), and win32codecs (code execution from 2007).
openSUSE has updated ca-certificates-mozilla (blacklist somecertificates) and xen (13.1: multipledenial of service vulnerabilities).
Scientific Linux has updated firefox (SL5&6: multiple vulnerabilities)and nss, nspr, and nss-util (SL6: multiple vulnerabilities).
- Kernel prepatch 3.13-rc4
The 3.13-rc4 prepatch is out, and Linus isgetting a little grumpy. "So I delayed this a couple of days to getback to my normal Sunday release schedule, but I'm not entirely happy withthe result. Things aren't calming down the way they should be, and -rc4 isbigger than previous rc's. And I don't think I can just blame the two extradays."
- Valve SteamOS available
An initial unstable release of Valve's SteamOS distribution is available for download.A look at theSteamOS FAQ is recommended as a first step, though. It is based onDebian wheezy with some backports and proprietary bits added on top. Thereis a new custom compositor that only supports NVIDIA chipsets in thisrelease.
- OpenHatch brings open source to campus (opensource.com)
Over at opensource.com, Shauna Gordon-McKeon from OpenHatch looks at the non-profit's efforts to promote open source at various college campuses. These take the form of workshops that teach college students how to use version control and bug trackers, as well as how to make their first contribution. But the organization can't run all of the workshops they would like. "Our solution? Open Source Comes to Campus In a Box. We’re carefully documenting every part of our events, from the materials we present to the way we build our publicity websites, from food and space checklists to templates of all the emails we send. Our hope is that local organizers will be able to use our materials to run their own events, as has happened with our Python Workshops."
- Packard: Cleaning up X server warnings
Keith Packard has been spending some time cleaning up X server compiler warnings. "So I was sitting in the Narita airport with a couple of other free software developers merging X server patches. One of the developers was looking over my shoulder while the X server was building and casually commented on the number of warnings generated by the compiler.I felt like I had invited someone into my house without cleaning for months — embarrassed and ashamed that we’d let the code devolve into this state.Of course, we’ve got excuses — the X server code base is one of the oldest pieces of regularly used free software in existence. It was started before ANSI-C was codified. No function prototypes, no ‘const’, no ‘void *’, no enums or stdint.h. There may be a few developers out there who remember those days (fondly, of course), but I think most of us are glad that our favorite systems language has gained a lot of compile-time checking in the last 25 years." His work is targeted for merging after the 1.15 release.
- Fedora 20 KDE Screenshot Tour
The Fedora KDE Plasma Desktop Edition is a powerful Fedora-based operating system utilizing the KDE Plasma Desktop as the main user interface. Fedora KDE Plasma Desktop comes with many pre-selected top quality applications that suit all modern desktop use cases - from online communication like web browsing, instant messaging and electronic mail correspondence, through multimedia and entertainment, to an advanced productivity suite, including office applications and enterprise grade personal information management.
- AIDE -- Developing for Android on Android
Android, as a platform, is one of the fastest growing on the planet. Itis available on smartphones and a series of different tablet sizes. Mostdevices also include a full spectrum of sensors that are available toprograms you install, so it's a very inviting platformfor development.
- Papers, Please Still Coming To Linux
Imagine yourself as a resident of the communist state of Arstotzka. The war with a neighbouring country has ended and now half of a town, Grestin, has been reclaimed on the border. You are an immigration inspector, tasked with controlling the flow of people into Arstotzka.
- Chromebase: A Chrome OS All-in-One PC from LG due at CES 2014
LG has just announced that Chromebase, an all-in-one computer that will be powered by Google Chrome OS, will be unveiled at next year’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES). LG did not specify whether it will have integrated wireless connectivity, so I’ll have to assume that it will not, though I’d be very surprised if the final model released to the public ships without one.
- NVIDIA 2013 Linux Graphics Driver Year-In-Review
For the seventh year in a row I am issuing year-in-review articles concerning the state of NVIDIA's (and separately, AMD Catalyst) Linux graphics driver and the accomplishments the driver's made in the past calendar year along with benchmarks of all notable driver releases this year.
- Overgrowth Rabbit Fighting Action Game Now On Steam For Linux
Overgrowth is a third-person 3D action game that allows you to leap and climb through sprawling levels as a ninja rabbit, and engage in intricate and brutal combat with a variety of weapons and enemies. It is still very much in development, so while the mechanics and features are mostly in place, there is no campaign, and players mostly experiment with the easy-to-use modding tools, and fighting in the arena.
- Black Lab Linux 4.1.9 KDE released
Today we are pleased to announce Black Lab Linux 4.1.9. This release showcases our optimized KDE desktop and is our inaugural release of KDE for Black Lab Linux. Based on a heavily modified Kubuntu base system we offer the best the KDE community has to offer. With this release we focus on optimizing KDE so that it runs on the same class of hardware as our XFCE release.
- KDE Releases Applications and Development Platform 4.12
The KDE Community is proud to announce the latest major updates to KDE Applications delivering new features and fixes. With Plasma Workspaces and the KDE Platform frozen and receiving only long term support, those teams are focusing on the technical transition to Frameworks 5.
- Five great GIMP plugins
Today in Open Source: GIMP plugins to make your photos great. Plus: A review of Fedora 20, and a Fedora 20 screenshot tour.
- Fedora 20 Xfce Screenshot Tour
The Fedora Xfce spin showcases the Xfce desktop, which aims to be fast and lightweight, while still being visually appealing and user friendly. The Fedora Project is pleased to announce the release of Fedora 20 ('Heisenbug'), which coincides with the 10th anniversary of the creation of the Fedora Project.
- MDM Display Manager Animated Theme Preview
MDM supports a wider range of themes than its alternatives, making it one of the best display managers currently available. I wanted to show off some of these awesome themes, so here they are for your enjoyment.
- Snowden: Dear Brazil, the NSA is watching you
"Today, if you carry a cell phone in Sao Paolo, the NSA can and does keep track of your location: they do this 5 billion times a day to people around the world. When someone in Florianopolis visits a website, the NSA keeps a record of when it happened and what you did there."
- How to monitor common services with Nagios
Nagios comes with a wide range of built-in scripts for monitoring services. This tutorial will cover the process of using some of these scripts for checking common services, such as MySQL, Apache web server, DNS, etc.
- How to Set Up Email on a New Android Phone
Setting up a brand-new phone can involve numerous aggravations, but if you don't rely on one of the majors like Yahoo and Gmail for email, one of the worst is surely the manual email server configuration. If you use a customized domain name, your Android device's email client is likely to need this extra step. This could become an even more prevalent problem with the January U.S. launch of the Moto G smartphone.
- 'Systems Performance': A Definitive Guide for the Cloud Enterprise
Systems Performance: Enterprise and the Cloud is a must-have reference guide for any IT manager or sysadmin whose job involves working with computer systems that are tethered to the cloud. Author Brendan Gregg is no newcomer to writing definitive books on computer networks and system performance, but his latest release could well be his best work so far.
- Ubuntu's Lonely Road
It may be lonely at the top, as the old saying goes, but apparently it can also be lonely a few notches down -- at least if Ubuntu is any example. Though not currently in the No. 1 spot on DistroWatch -- for whatever that's worth -- Ubuntu is often credited with having achieved more mainstream acceptance than any other Linux distro so far.
- Remote Video Security Is Mydlink+'s Weak Link
As a smartphone app reviewer, I often like to include a bit of explanation for why I choose to review the apps that I do. It adds a bit of human interest, and can make for a more enjoyable read. This week, the story is especially exciting. This is a review of D-Link's Mydlink+ remote security camera Android app add-on, and I can explain the reason for the review in one word: goats.
- Red Hat Makes Virtualization Play With RHEL 7 Beta
Red Hat on Wednesday launched Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 into beta. RHEL 7 incorporates several changes, including a move from Oracle's MySQL to the open source MariaDB, the adoption of the XFS file system, and improvements in various areas, including storage and file size. The changes seem to indicate the company is ramping up its efforts to compete in the virtualization market.
- Manjaro Smooths Out Arch's Rough Edges
If you want a Linux distro that is different and almost always up to date, look no further than Manjaro. If you can get it to load on your computer, Manjaro has a few features that could interest a Linux user who likes tinkering with the OS. The latest release failed to impress me with its cantankerous loading, but once I got it running I was pleased.
- Goodbye, Win XP - Hello, Linux?
Microsoft will stop security support for Windows XP this coming April, meaning that more than a few remaining users of the long-standing OS need to come up with an alternative plan. Almost a third of desktop computers still run Windows XP, according to Net Applications. More than 15 percent of midsize and large enterprises will still have Windows XP running on at least 10 percent of their PCs after support ends.
- Normandy May Lead Nokia's Surprise Android Attack
Nokia might be planning a shift away from its Windows Phone base in future smartphones -- even as the mobile phone unit of the business heads to Microsoft. The company is working on an Android phone as part of a push into the low-end smartphone market, according to The Verge. Several sources close to Nokia suggested the company is working on the project under the code name "Normandy."
- AllSeen Alliance to Standardize Internet of Things
The Linux Foundation on Tuesday announced the formation of the AllSeen Alliance, a cross-industry consortium working on a standard of interoperability among devices connected to the Internet of Things. LG will incorporate the Alliance's technology into the smart TVs it offers next year. The alliance's technology framework is based on Qualcomm's AllJoyn open source project.
- LexisNexis' Flavio Villanustre: Insurance and the Big Data Bonanza
Insurance companies have always been adamant about spotting and controlling risks. That, after all, is the basis for accepting policyholders and placing them into rate categories. Before the Big Data explosion, insurance companies crunched numbers like everybody else. Today, however, the insurance industry is fast becoming one of the biggest consumers of Big Data services.
- Open Source, Closed Doors? FOSS and the Racial Divide
FOSS fans are no strangers to difficult topics, and for proof one need look no further than the ongoing sexism controversy that has been debated so many times in every bar and watering hole of the Linux blogosphere. Recently, however, one came up that's enjoyed far less prominence -- at least since Linux Girl began keeping track lo these many years ago.
- If You're Jonesing for a 2nd Screen, Air Display Is a Nifty Fix
I was intrigued when I came across Air Display, an Android app that lets you use your tablet as a second screen. Second PC displays definitely boost work productivity. I've been using two displays for years, keeping my email client open all the time on the left screen -- a laptop display -- and work-work on the right screen. I'm able to monitor incoming junk mail without having to stop working.
- Using Supercomputers To Find a Bacterial "Off" Switch
Nerval's Lobster writes "The comparatively recent addition of supercomputing to the toolbox of biomedical research may already have paid off in a big way: Researchers have used a bio-specialized supercomputer to identify a molecular 'switch' that might be used to turn off bad behavior by pathogens. They're now trying to figure out what to do with that discovery by running even bigger tests on the world's second-most-powerful supercomputer. The 'switch' is a pair of amino acids called Phe396 that helps control the ability of the E. coli bacteria to move under its own power. Phe396 sits on a chemoreceptor that extends through the cell wall, so it can pass information about changes in the local environment to proteins on the inside of the cell. Its role was discovered by a team of researchers from the University of Tennessee and the ORNL Joint Institute for Computational Sciences using a specialized supercomputer called Anton, which was built specifically to simulate biomolecular interactions among proteins and other molecules to give researchers a better way to study details of how molecules interact. 'For decades proteins have been viewed as static molecules, and almost everything we know about them comes from static images, such as those produced with X-ray crystallography,' according to Igor Zhulin, a researcher at ORNL and professor of microbiology at UT, in whose lab the discovery was made. 'But signaling is a dynamic process, which is difficult to fully understand using only snapshots.'"
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Govt. Watchdog Group Finds Apple Misled Aussies On Consumer Rights
beaverdownunder writes "Apple has agreed to an agreement to ensure staff inform customers of rights under Australian consumer law. Despite the 2011 law requiring retailers to provide a refund option for faulty goods, and free repairs to items reasonably expected to still function properly (this part of the law is intentionally ambiguous), Apple steadfastly stuck to its AppleCare program, denying warranty repairs to units more than one year old (without the purchase of an extension) and only offering replacement or credit for DOA items. Apple has promised to compensate all Australian customers who were charged for repairs during the last two years, and make the terms of the law clear on the Australian Apple website. How this will affect company warranty policy is unclear — under the law, consumers could be entitled to repairs for the life of the product (barring damage, of course)."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- UK ISP Adult Filters Block Sex Education Websites Allows Access To Porn
toshikodo writes "The BBC is reporting that Internet content filters being rolled out by major ISPs in the UK are failing to allow access to acceptable content, such as sex education and sexual abuse advise sites, while also still allowing access to porn. According to the article, 'TalkTalk's filter is endorsed by Mr Cameron but it failed to block 7% of the 68 pornographic websites tested by Newsnight.' The ISPs claim that it is impossible for their filters to be 100% accurate, and that they are working with their users to improve quality. I wonder how long it will be before one of these filters blocks access to the Conservative Party's website, and what will Cameron do then?"
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Panel Urges Major NSA Spying Overhaul
wiredmikey writes "A board set up to review the NSA's vast surveillance programs has called for a wide-ranging overhaul of National Security Agency practices while preserving 'robust' intelligence capabilities. The panel, set up by President Obama, issued 46 recommendations, including reforms at a secret national security court and an end to retention of telephone 'metadata' by the spy agency. The 308-page report (PDF) submitted last week to the White House and released publicly Wednesday says the US government needs to balance the interests of national security and intelligence gathering with privacy and 'protecting democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law.' Panel members said the recommendations would not necessarily mean a rolling back of intelligence gathering, including on foreign leaders, but that surveillance must be guided by standards and by high-level policymakers."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Target Has Major Credit Card Breach
JoeyRox writes "Target experienced a system-wide breach of credit card numbers over the Black Friday holiday shopping season. What's unique about this massive breach is that it didn't involve compromising a centralized data center or website but instead represented a distributed attack at individual Target stores across the country. Investigators believe customer account numbers were lifted via software installed on card readers at checkout."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Genome of Neandertals Reveals Inbreeding
sciencehabit writes "In a report on the most complete genome of a Neandertal ever sequenced, an international team of researchers has found that the parents of a Neandertal woman from Siberia were as closely related as half-siblings. The genome also shows that at some point the Neandertals interbred with other human groups, including their cousins the Denisovans, and our own modern human ancestors. There are even signs of Denisovans interbreeding with a mysterious archaic species. In all, the study suggests very close encounters among the several kinds of hominins living in the past 125,000 years. The detailed genome of the extinct Neandertals—our closest relatives—also offers a new look at the genetic differences that set our species apart from all the others."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- NASA's Greatest Challenges In 2014
coondoggie writes "In its annual look at what challenges NASA faces in the coming year, the agency's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) this year outlined nine key areas it says will cause the most angina. Leading the way in pain is money. NASA's current money story starts off bad and just gets worse. From the article: '"Along with the rest of the Federal Government, NASA began FY 2013 under a 6-month continuing resolution that funded the Agency at FY 2012 levels. This was followed by a budget for the remainder of the fiscal year that reduced the Agency's enacted funding level of $17. 5 billion by $626.5 million, or approximately 4% due to sequestration. These financial pressures look to repeat themselves in FY 2014, with no annual budget in place at the beginning of the fiscal year and potential sequestration impacts that could reduce NASA's budget request of $17.7 billion by $1.5 billion to $16.2 billion. As the National Research Council noted in its 2012 report examining NASA's strategic direction and management, NASA's budget is 'mismatched to the current portfolio of missions, facilities, and staff,'" the OIG report stated.'"
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- The FBI's Giant Bitcoin Wallet
SonicSpike writes with a story about the huge amount of bitcoins owned by the FBI. "In September, the FBI shut down the Silk Road online drug marketplace, and it started seizing bitcoins belonging to the Dread Pirate Roberts — the operator of the illicit online marketplace, who they say is an American man named Ross Ulbricht. The seizure sparked an ongoing public discussion about the future of Bitcoin, the world's most popular digital currency, but it had an unforeseen side-effect: It made the FBI the holder of the world's biggest Bitcoin wallet. The FBI now controls more than 144,000 bitcoins that reside at a bitcoin address that consolidates much of the seized Silk Road bitcoins. Those 144,000 bitcoins are worth close to $100 million at Tuesday's exchange rates. Another address, containing Silk Road funds seized earlier by the FBI, contains nearly 30,000 bitcoins ($20 million)."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- How a MacBook Camera Can Spy Without Lighting Up
New submitter ttyler writes "It turns out a MacBook's built-in camera can be activated without turning on the green LED. An earlier report suggested the FBI could activate a device's camera without having the light turn on, and there was a case in the news where a woman had nude pictures taken of her without her knowledge. The new research out of Johns Hopkins University confirms both situations are possible. All it takes are a few tweaks to the camera's firmware."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Fomalhaut C Has a Huge Cometary Debris Ring And, Potentially, Exoplanets
astroengine writes "Astronomers scoping-out the vicinity of the famous star Fomalhaut have discovered that its mysterious stellar sister is also sporting a rather attractive ring of comets. Located 25 light-years away in the constellation Piscis Austrinus, Fomalhaut A is one of the brightest stars in Southern Hemisphere skies. The bright blue giant is notable in that it hosts a gigantic ring of cometary debris and dust. Fomalhaut C is a red dwarf star and was only confirmed to be gravitationally bound Fomalhaut A and Fomalhaut B in October. Fomalhaut is therefore a triple, or trinary, star system. The small red dwarf star may be the proverbial runt of the Fomalhaut stellar litter, but it appears to share some common ground with its larger sibling. 'It's very rare to find two comet belts in one system, and with the two stars 2.5 light years apart this is one of the most widely separated star systems we know of,' said astronomer Grant Kennedy, of the University of Cambridge and lead researcher of this work. 'It made us wonder why both Fomalhaut A and C have comet belts, and whether the belts are related in some way.' One of the reasons why Fomalhaut A's cometary disk is so bright is down to the presence of its exoplanet, stirring up comet collisions. Fomalhaut C may be experiencing the same mechanism."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Scientists Extract RSA Key From GnuPG Using Sound of CPU
kthreadd writes "In their research paper titled RSA Key Extraction via Low-Bandwidth Acoustic Cryptanalysis, Daniel Genkin, Adi Shamir and Eran Tromer et al. present a method for extracting decryption keys from the GnuPG security suite using an interesting side-channel attack. By analysing the acoustic sound made by the CPU they were able to extract a 4096-bit RSA key in about an hour (PDF). A modern mobile phone placed next to the computer is sufficient to carry out the attack, but up to four meters have been successfully tested using specially designed microphones."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Scientists Print Retinal Cells
Rambo Tribble writes "The BBC reports on research that points to the possibility of using inkjet technology to print retinal ganglion and glial cells. While the research is preliminary, it is thought to hold great promise for treating certain kinds of eye problems."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Tesla Gets $34 Million Tax Break, Adds Capacity For 35,000 More Cars
cartechboy writes "The state of California will give Tesla Motors a $34.7 million tax break to expand the company's production capacity for electric cars, state officials announced yesterday. Basically, Tesla won't have to pay sales taxes on new manufacturing equipment worth up to $415 million. The added equipment will help Tesla more than double the number of Model S sedans it builds, as well as assemble more electric powertrains for other car makers. In addition to continued Model S production, Tesla plans to introduce the Model X electric crossover in late 2014, as well as a sub-$40,000 car — tentatively called Model E — that could debut as soon as the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. It turns out California is one of the few states to tax the purchase of manufacturing equipment — but the state grants exemptions for 'clean-tech' companies."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- 'Approximate Computing' Saves Energy
hessian writes "According to a news release from Purdue University, 'Researchers are developing computers capable of "approximate computing" to perform calculations good enough for certain tasks that don't require perfect accuracy, potentially doubling efficiency and reducing energy consumption. "The need for approximate computing is driven by two factors: a fundamental shift in the nature of computing workloads, and the need for new sources of efficiency," said Anand Raghunathan, a Purdue Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, who has been working in the field for about five years. "Computers were first designed to be precise calculators that solved problems where they were expected to produce an exact numerical value. However, the demand for computing today is driven by very different applications. Mobile and embedded devices need to process richer media, and are getting smarter – understanding us, being more context-aware and having more natural user interfaces. ... The nature of these computations is different from the traditional computations where you need a precise answer."' What's interesting here is that this is how our brains work."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Police Pull Over More Drivers For DNA Tests
schwit1 sends this news from the Washington Times: "Pennsylvania police this week were pulling people to the side of the road, quizzing them on their driving habits, and asking if they'd like to provide a cheek swap or a blood sample — the latest in a federally contracted operation that's touted as making roads safer. The same operation took place last month at a community in Texas. Then, drivers were randomly told to pull off the road into a parking lot, where white-coated researchers asked if they'd like to provide DNA samples for a project that determines what percentage of drivers are operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol at given times. With uniformed police in the background, the researchers also offered the motorists money — up to $50 or so — for the blood or saliva samples."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- The Software Inferno
CowboyRobot writes "The Software Inferno is a tale that parallels The Inferno, Part One of The Divine Comedy written by Dante Alighieri in the early 1300s. That literary masterpiece describes the condemnation and punishment faced by a variety of sinners in their hell-spent afterlives as recompense for atrocities committed during their earthly existences. The Software Inferno is a similar account, describing a journey where 'sinners against software' are encountered amidst their torment, within their assigned areas of eternal condemnation, and paying their penance. Quoting: 'CANTO 6 - HERESY: ...The countess explained that these chaotically traveling souls were strongly at variance with well-established beliefs and laws of software engineering developed by experts on the subject. Their unabashed contempt for universally accepted truths spawned decision making that wrought great damage upon software projects in their charge. Some challenged Fred Brooks' sacred counsel in futile attempts to rise above their failings by adding new people with woefully insufficient qualifications to rescue already-late projects. Others flaunted their derision by disregarding software design patterns sanctified by the Gang of Four, instead opting for inelegance of their own in attempts to solve problems whose solutions were already proven, well known, and time-honored.'"
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Google Joins the Open Invention Network Board
sfcrazy writes "Apart from being involved in open source through software, Google promotes the open source model through its various media channels and participation in open source events across the globe. One such initiative has been their affiliation with the Open Invention Network patent pool (OIN). 'Linux now powers nearly all the world's supercomputers, runs the International Space Station, and forms the core of Android. But as open source has proliferated, so have the threats against it, particularly using patents. That's why we're expanding our participation in Open Invention Network, becoming the organization's first new full board member since 2007."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Apple Pushes Developers To iOS 7
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Chuong Nguyen reports that Apple is forcing developers to adopt iOS 7's visual UI for their apps, and has advised iOS developers that all apps submitted after February 1, 2014 must be optimized for iOS 7 and built using Xcode 5 ... 'It's likely that Apple is more anxious than ever for developers to update their apps to fit in visually and mechanically with iOS 7, as it's the largest change in the history of Apple's mobile software,' says Matthew Panzarino. 'iOS 7 introduced a much more complex physical language while stripping out many of the visual cues that developers had relied on to instruct users. For better or worse, this has created a new aesthetic that many un-updated apps did not reflect.' Most app developers have been building apps optimized towards iOS 7 since Apple's World Wide Developer Conference in June 2013. Apple has been on a push over the past couple of years to encourage developers to support the latest editions of its OS faster than ever. To do this, it's made a habit of pointing out the adoption rates of new versions of iOS, which are extremely high. Nearly every event mentions iOS 7 adoption, which now tops 76% of all iOS users, and Apple publishes current statistics. In order to optimize apps for the new operating system, they must be built with the latest version of Xcode 5 which includes 64-bit support and access to new features like backgrounding APIs."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Interview: Ask Bruce Sterling What You Will
One of the founders of the cyberpunk genre, Bruce Sterling needs little introduction to science fiction fans. You can read what "Chairman Bruce" has to say at Beyond the Beyond on Wired and the Sterling tumblr. He has agreed to to sit down and answer any questions you may have. As usual, ask as many as you'd like, but please, one question per post.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- NASA Schedules Space Walks to Fix ISS Pumps; Orbital Sciences Launch Delayed
The ISS has been operating at partial capacity after a coolant pump malfunctioned last week. NASA has now announced the repair mission: "NASA currently plans for two Expedition 38 astronauts to venture outside the space station Dec. 21, 23, and 25. NASA astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Mike Hopkins will remove a pump module that has a failed valve. They will replace it with an existing spare that is stored on an external stowage platform. The pump is associated with one of the station's two external cooling loops, which circulate ammonia outside the station to keep both internal and external equipment cool. Each of the three spacewalks will begin at 7:10 a.m. and is scheduled to last six and a half hours. NASA TV coverage will begin at 6:15 a.m." NASA TV will be airing a preview of the space walks at 3 p.m. EST. As a result of the coolant pump malfunction and the repairs, NASA has also delayed the launch of Orbital Sciences' cargo resupply mission until at least mid-January.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Academics Should Not Remain Silent On Government Hacking
ananyo writes "The Guardian's technology editor, Charles Arthur, asks why researchers have remained largely silent in the wake of the revelation that the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology's standard for random numbers used for cryptography had been weakened by the NSA: 'The nature of the subversions sounds abstruse: the random-number generator, the 'Dual EC DRBG' standard, had been hacked by the NSA and the UK's GCHQ so that its output would not be as random as it should have been. That might not sound like much, but if you are trying to break an encrypted message, the knowledge that it is hundreds or thousands of times weaker than advertised is a great encouragement.' Arthur attributes the silence of UK academics, at least, to pressure from GCHQ. He goes on to say: 'For those who do care, White and Matthew Green, who teaches cryptography at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, have embarked on an ambitious effort to clean up the mess — one that needs help. They have created a non-profit organization called OpenAudit.org, which aims to recruit experts to provide technical assistance for security projects in the public interest, especially open-source security software.'"
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Bitcoin Exchange Value Halves After Chinese Ban
An anonymous reader writes with news of the latest major fluctuation in the price people are willing to pay for Bitcoins. From the article: "China's ban on its financial institutions handling bitcoin causes world's largest exchange to cease trading, halving the value of the currency from $1,000 to less than $500 in a matter of days. The country's central bank took a hard line on Bitcoin in early December when it banned financial institutions from handling the decentralized crypto-currency, and as a result BTC China, the world's largest bitcoin exchange, has stopped accepting deposits from its users." Just watch that line trend downward.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Roku Finally Adds YouTube To Its Iconic Media Player
DeviceGuru writes "Roku's popular Linux-based media players have long been criticized for their glaring omission of YouTube video support. As of Dec. 17, that is no longer the case, provided you have the high-end Roku 3 player and live in the U.S., Canada, Ireland, or the U.K. Google's YouTube channel is available immediately for the Roku 3 in resolutions up to 1080p, and will be supported on additional models (though probably just Roku 2) next year, according the company. Previously, the only way to run YouTube over a Roku box was to use the third-party, subscription based PlayOn service, which requires a connected PC or Mac running the PlayOn app. The YouTube update also adds a Send to TV feature, letting you send videos to the Roku for display on the TV with a single click."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Ted Nelson's Passionate Eulogy for Douglas Engelbart
theodp writes "Speaking at a memorial event for the legendary Douglas Engelbart at the Computer History Museum, Ted Nelson was pissed-with-a-capital-P. Nelson in effect gave two powerful eulogies — one for his friend Dr. Engelbart, who left this Earth in July, and a second for Engelbart's career, which essentially began 'dying' four decades earlier due to short-sighted organizations' failure to fund the brilliant guy who gave the world The Mother of All Demos in 1968. 'Let us never forget that Doug Engelbart was dumped by ARPA,' Nelson laments. 'Doug Engelbart was dumped by SRI, Doug Engelbart was snubbed by Xerox PARC, and for the rest of his working life he had no chance to take us further...Just as we can only guess what John Kennedy might have done, we can only guess what Doug Engelbart might have done had he not been cut down in his prime.' It's a very moving and passionate speech (despite some oddly inappropriate audience laughter). And, alas, a very sad one in a world that throws $4 billion at the likes of Snapchat and Pinterest."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Unreleased 1963 Beatles Tracks On Sale To Preserve Copyright
Taco Cowboy writes "Back in 1963, the Beatles did some performances for the BBC and other places. The songs were recorded, but never officially released. Now, 50 years later, Apple has packaged all 59 tracks together and put them up for sale on iTunes for $40. The reason? Copyright. The copyright for unreleased works expires 50 years after the works are recorded. By releasing the 59 tracks on iTunes before the end of December, the songs will be protected under copyright law for 20 more years."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Hypnotic wind map captures Earth's heavenly currents
Warning: Live weather show may prove addictive
Those readers slumped behind their desks in the traditional pre-Xmas torpor and who are looking for an alternative to watching the clock hands crawling towards Yule liberation are directed towards "earth" - magnificent animated views of the world's wind currents.…
- Soghoian & Greenwald tell EU bigwigs: Fight state snooping on mobe networks NOW
Never mind roaming fees, what about data security?
Politicians and regulators in Europe need to decide whether they want a secure mobile phone system or something their own police agencies - as well as spy agencies in the US, China and elsewhere - are able to easily tap into, according to a renowned security and privacy expert.…
- Oi, bank manager. Only you've got my email address - where're these TROJANS coming from?
Santander scratches head over mystery malware barrage
Santander customers are continuing to complain about receiving trojans and other junk to email addresses exclusively used with the bank. The reports began last month, prompting promises of an investigation by Santander. It's still unclear whether email addresses leaked from the bank or one of its affiliates.…
- We love a flashy MODEL who's a KEEN READER – Toshiba
Second read-intensive SSD for biz in two weeks should hit market sweet spot
Toshiba has a new mid-range SSD built for medium spec read-intensive work that widens its 19nm NAND product range. The HK3R comes hot on the heels of the PX03SN and Tosh says it is optimised for read-intensive applications such as read-caching, error logging, boot, and low-duty storage applications requiring power-loss-protection and end-to-end data protection features.…
- China's central bank hit by DDoS after Bitcoin blitz
Reports claim revenge attack after digi-currency restrictions
Angry Bitcoin users are suspected of DDoS-ing the website of China’s central bank following tough new restrictions it levied this week which appear to have forced the world’s biggest Bitcoin exchange into meltdown.…
- Datawind's low cost Aakash tab comes to UK, US
£30 7-incher already sold out in UK, will land Stateside in 2014
Datawind, the British company behind India’s low-cost Aakash tablet, is spreading its wings with the launch of the device in the UK this week and plans to sell in bricks and mortar stores in the US early next year.…
- NSA spies should clean up their act, says Prez Obama-picked panel
Report recommends less secrecy, more transparency and accountability
An independent review board has recommended that the US federal government continue its myriad foreign and domestic surveillance programs, but only if it makes significant changes to protect individual privacy.…
- Gran Turismo 6: Another glossy, gorgeous Mario Kart on steroids
The PS3’s GT5 gets a shiny new trim, but too few new features
Review I must admit to being rather surprised when Gran Turismo 6 was first announced. Not because yet another entry into Polyphony Digital’s driving series was a shock, but rather because it was announced for the PS3, not the the PlayStation 4.…
- BlackBerry nabs 'The Sims' to head up crucial Services unit
Ex-SAP exec will take reins at biz that is key to firm's turnaround
The company-formerly-known-as-RIM has nabbed former SAP exec John Sims to head up its global enterprise services unit, the business it hopes will be at the centre of its turnaround.…
- EVault takes on Amazon with faster-than-Glacier cloud archive
Ever-so-slightly pricier, though
Seagate's EVault cloud backup sub has launched a Glacier cloud archive competitor, priced at $15 per TB per month with instant data access and data preserved intact for decades. It will use Seagate Kinetic drives in the future.…
- Amazon cuddles up to Chinese public sector with AWS rollout
Ningxia Hui Nationality Autonomous Region first to get Bezos' cloudy offering
Amazon has sent its cloud service floating high over China for the first time after announcing a limited rollout of its AWS cloud platform, making the Middle Kingdom the 10th country to be offered the service..…
- IT bods: Windows XP, we WON'T leave you. Migrate? Chuh! As if...
Die-hard XP admins just won't let go, reveals survey
It's not going to be easy to pry open the death grip of IT bods on the last copies of Windows XP, according to Spiceworks, whose survey had a whopping 33 per cent of tech professionals planning to keep the OS on at least one device after its end of life.…
- Cleversafe stirs up dsNet with guts+software overhaul
Objects delivered per second boosted in SSD addition
Dispersed storage bods Cleversafe have accelerated their object storage access with a mix of faster processors, solid state storage, and memory caching in a new software release.…
- Vodafone dodges UK corporation tax bill - AGAIN
World's smallest violin plays background music to carrier's debt pain
Mobile carrier Vodafone defended its financial arrangements today as it coughed to yet another legal dodge of UK corporation tax payments by asking Brits to have some sympathy over the huge debt mountain it is sitting on.…
- Sky rapped over PREMATURE SEXY CONDOM ad
Boat-based bonking proves too much for ad watchdog
The Advertising Standards Authority has ordered Sky to be more careful with its telly scheduling after it showed a racy condom advert just after a kids' film.…
- Google Glass pics will BAFFLE admirers: Nudge nudge, WINK WINK
Hey there, cutie! Oh, you're just taking pictures
Expect to see Google Glassholes winking at you from across the street in the next few weeks as a new update allows users of the high-tech specs to take photos with nothing more than a blink of one eye.…
- Sega’s Out Run: Even better than the wheel thing
From 1986, one of the world’s first ‘experiential’ arcade games
Antique Code Show How bereft the coin-op arcades of yesteryear must have looked before the arrival of the audacious, muscle-flexing Out Run machine. It’s true that Hang On and Space Harrier laid the foundations a year before, but Out Run was Sega’s golden moment in sit-down, "experience" videogame machinery.…
- Samsung sees RDK as route to DOMINATION of US set top market
Back off, cable guys. When prices drop, it's anyone's market
Comment For as long as Faultline has commented on this industry, the set-top market in the US has been dominated by the cable TV industry – which in turn has been dominated first by Motorola and secondly by Cisco.…
- Go on, buy Bitcoin. But DON'T say we didn't WARN YOU
European banking regulator: Don't come crying to us when someone steals it
Buying virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin, presents a number of risks that consumers should be aware of before purchasing such assets, the European Banking Authority (EBA) has warned.…
- South Korean to spaff £290 MEEELLION on 5G land grab
Sod the standards, Seoul wants a working network by 2018
South Korea has become the latest Asian nation to pledge its future to fifth-generation wireless networks, aka 5G, with Seoul set to stump up 500 billion won (£292m) to build a super-ultra-mega-fast network by 2020.…
- Yes, you ARE a member of a global technology elite
Analyst estimates just one in 318 humans is an IT pro
Analyst firm IDC has released a study titled the “2014 Worldwide Software Developer and ICT-Skilled Worker Estimates” that offers a guess at how many people are what it calls “ICT-skilled workers”.…
- IBM predicts glorious tech future made possible by $IBMmarketing
Poor track record of scrying muddies optimistic pronouncements
Analysis IBM's latest "five in five" predictions – five things that may happen in the next five years – ignore social and economic realities to alert us to new technology that'll be prevalent (and mostly made by IBM).…
- Cisco takes on AWS with cloudy desktop-as-a-service plan
VMware and Citrix dive into DaaS for private or public clouds
Works with VMware and Citrix to deliver DaaS from your bit barn or the cloud Cisco and VMware have responded to Amazon Web Services Workspaces desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) plan with their very own offering that can be deployed to private or public clouds.…
- Samsung poaches Apple store guru for US retail push
Korean giant wants its own iconic glass fanboi palaces
Samsung has hired one of Apple’s senior store designers in a sign that the Korean electronics giant could be hoping to make a bigger splash in the US with some eye-catching retail outlets.…
Linux.com offline for now
- AMD Catalyst 13.12 GPU Driver For Linux Released
Nearly one month after the last Catalyst 13.11 beta release, the Catalyst 13.12 Linux driver has finally surfaced. For ending out the year we have this last major AMD Catalyst Linux update with no new features but there are many bug-fixes...
- NVIDIA 2013 Linux Graphics Driver Year-In-Review
For the ninth year in a row I am issuing year-in-review articles concerning the state of NVIDIA's (and separately, AMD Catalyst) Linux graphics driver and the accomplishments the driver's made in the past calendar year along with benchmarks of all notable driver releases this year. NVIDIA's made a lot of progress on the Linux front this year, especially for any Linux gaming stakeholder, so let's get started on our 2013 NVIDIA Linux Year-In-Review.
- Google Joins Board Of Open Invention Network
Google has announced today that they have joined the board of the Open Invention Network, the organization that tries to protect open-source software via a patent cross-license for Linux and related open-source technologies...
- Lini PC Delivers A Nice Haswell-based Xubuntu PC
Lini PC is a low-volume system builder of Linux-friendly PCs that recently sent over their new Intel Pentium Haswell-based desktop that runs Xubuntu 13.10. Let's see how this Intel Linux desktop system performs with our first testing of a Lini PC.
- NVIDIA Optimus On Ubuntu 13.10 Linux vs. Windows 8.1
With having picked up an ASUS Zenbook Prime UX32VD recently that features Intel HD Graphics 4000 and the discrete NVIDIA GeForce GT 620M graphics, I decided to run some benchmarks seeing how the currently available Linux solutions for supporting NVIDIA's "Optimus" technology are comparing to Windows 8.1. The benchmarks in this article compare the performance of this Core i7 3517U ultrabook between its stock operating system to Ubuntu 13.10 with its stock open-source packages, to using DRI PRIME, and then lastly using the "Bumblebee" solution with the NVIDIA binary driver.
- GTK+ 3.11.3 Improves Wayland Support
Matthias Clasen has tagged the latest development version of the GTK3 tool-kit. As has been common to GTK+ 3.10 and 3.11 development series, this newest version continues with Wayland improvements...
- Fedora 20 Officially Released
Fedora 20 "Heisenbug" has been officially released today after being challenged by multiple delays but bringing with it many new features...
- Early Ubuntu 14.04 Tests Show Some Performance Changes
If you have been wanting to take some time this holiday season to switch from Ubuntu 13.10 stable to the latest development packages for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, here's some quick benchmarks I did last week showing some of the performance changes to be found right now from using the latest Ubuntu 14.04 development packages.
- FreeBSD 10.0 Kernel Comes To Debian
Advancing prudently but quietly within the Debian camp is the Debian GNU/kFreeBSD operating system that pairs Debian's GNU user-land with the FreeBSD kernel. For Debian 8.0 "Jessie" there are continued improvements on this spin that does away with the Linux kernel. Debian GNU/kFreeBSD Jessie/Sid currently defaults to the FreeBSD 9.2.0 kernel, but a FreeBSD 10.0 development kernel has already landed in Debian and is the focus of today's benchmarks.
- OpenDocument ODF Support Coming To The Web
WebODF is a new open-source projet that allows ODF document files to be displayed within a web-browser. WebODF is used by the new OwnCloud release for its collaborative, web-based ODF file editing...
- SteamOS vs. Windows 8.1 NVIDIA Performance
For those NVIDIA gaming customers running Microsoft Windows 8.1 that have been thinking about giving Valve's SteamOS Linux-based gaming platform a try, here are some early benchmarks of the SteamOS 1.0 beta that compare the performance to Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro x64 on multiple NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards.
- Intel HD Graphics Linux 3.13 + Mesa 10.1 Update
In continuing from yesterday's article that offered up fresh benchmarks of Intel Sandy Bridge & Ivy Bridge CPUs with the latest Linux code atop Ubuntu 13.10, out today are new graphics benchmarks using the very latest open-source Intel Linux graphics driver code and trying out CPUs with HD Graphics 2000, 2500, 3000. The open-source Intel graphics driver has certainly matured a lot since the debut of Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge CPUs!
- Debian 7.3 Officially Released
Coincidentally, Debian GNU/Linux 7.3 was released this weekend -- the same weekend as it being known that SteamOS is Debian-based...
- SteamOS vs. Ubuntu 13.10 - Intel HD Graphics Performance
When Valve announced the public release of the beta for SteamOS 1.0 "Alchemist" on Friday they listed NVIDIA graphics as a hardware requirement, but I showed that AMD Radeon graphics with Catalyst would work and it's possible to get Intel graphics working (or the open-source graphics drivers in general) through a minor change to the Linux-based SteamOS kernel parameters. After that I ran some benchmarks and here are a few performance results comparing SteamOS 1.0 Beta to Ubuntu 13.10 with Intel HD Graphics.
- It's Easy Getting Intel Graphics To Work On SteamOS
While Valve only advertises NVIDIA graphics driver support in the SteamOS Beta released on Friday, I already found that AMD Radeon GPUs work with Catalyst on this Debian Linux derived OS. With a simple tweak, Intel HD Graphics can also run quite fine on SteamOS...
- Linux Kernel Works To Make Better Random Reseeding
While /dev/random was made faster and more random in Linux 3.13, in light of the NSA controversies and that Intel/VIA hardware encryption and random generators may not even be trustworthy, there's been a rework in how reseeding happens for the Linux kernel's random component...
- The First NVIDIA GeForce Benchmarks On The SteamOS Beta
A comprehensive performance comparison is underway at Phoronix that pits SteamOS against other desktop Linux distributions, but for those anxious to see some performance numbers, here are benchmarks done so far this weekend from seven NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards on the public SteamOS 1.0 Beta operating system. In this article are early benchmarks from seven NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards running Valve's Debian Linux based SteamOS on an Intel Haswell system.
- Intel Core i3/i5 Linux Performance Update
For those curious about the performance of Intel's Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors when upgrading to Ubuntu 13.10 and the experimental Linux 3.13 along with the latest stable GCC 4.8.2 compiler, here's some fresh benchmarks from several different Intel Core i3 and Core i5 CPUs.
- DRI3 Patches Published For Gallium3D Drivers
Besides clearing out 1,000+ X.Org Server warnings, Keith Packard at Intel recently has been working on a new patch-set so DRI3 can be used by Mesa's Gallium3D graphics drivers...
- NVIDIA Linux Anti-Aliasing Performance Update
After delivering Radeon Gallium3D MSAA benchmarks earlier in the week to share where the open-source AMD driver is at in its support for multi-sample anti-aliasing, here's some AA benchmarks from NVIDIA's high-class binary Linux graphics driver. The NVIDIA Linux driver offers some of the best anti-aliasing support among Linux graphics drivers.
- Drivable 500,000 piece Lego car runs on compressed air, insanity (video)
If you're still stuck on thatLego Mindstorm EV3 project, then you might have a tiny inkling of how the folks from the Super Awesome Micro Project feel. They've just pieced together a car with 500,000 of the plastic blocks that can actually hit the road, thanks to four radial engines with 256 pistons that run on compressed air. It was designed and built by 20-year-old Romanian Lego savant Raul Oaida in 20 months after he and a partner raised "tens of thousands" of dollars from Aussie backers. It'll only cruise at 12-17 mph hour (since it's built of freaking Lego), but as shown in the video after the break, you probably wouldn't want to go any faster -- especially given the seats.
Filed under: Misc, Transportation
- Big update for Final Cut Pro brings improved support for 4K and the new Mac Pro
As Apple's finally put its redesigned Mac Pro up for sale, the company's also seen fit to update editing software Final Cut Pro. Version 10.1 optimizes rendering and playback for the new Mac, but for users of other "select" Macs, the most significant change will likely be the addition of 4K monitoring over Thunderbolt 2 and HDMI. Since 4K playback requires a lot of bandwidth, it's probable only new Retina MacBook Pros with Thunderbolt 2 (and the new Mac Pro, of course) will be compatible with the feature. Regardless, now that the program fully supports 4K, you can upload straight to YouTube in that resolution, too. The update also revises how clips are organized using libraries, and generally adds a heap of workflow and behind-the-scenes improvements that could finally appease those who weren't impressed by Pro X when it launched.
Final Cut companion wares Compressor and Motion have been updated, too, and both are now also able to share content in 4K. Compressor boasts a new look and broader encoding support, while Motion has adapted to the new Mac Pro and its dual AMD GPUs. As the version notes for all three updates are too numerous to squeeze in here, we recommend checking out the individual changelogs at the source links below.
Filed under: Software, HD, Apple
Via: 9to5Mac (1), 9to5Mac (2)
Source: Mac App Store (Final Cut Pro), (Compressor), (Motion)
- Apple's new Mac Pro now on sale, will ship by December 30th
After months of waiting, Apple's new Mac Pro is now available to order through its online store. Coming just a day after the company announced the availability of the trashcan-shaped desktop, the quad-core and six-core models start at $3,000 and $4,000 respectively. Should you order today, Apple says it'll ship your new Mac Pro by December 30th. That base model will get you a 3.7GHz quad-core Xeon CPU, 12GB DRAM, two AMD FirePro D300 GPUs, and a 256GB SSD. However, if you max out every setting, you're looking at around $10,000 -- and that's without a mouse or a keyboard.
Filed under: Desktops, Apple
Source: Apple Mac Pro
- British Airways is first European airline to allow electronics use during takeoff and landing
Following the wave of US airlines that changed policy after the FAA reassessed the rules, British Airways is letting passengers keep their electronic devices switched on for the entirety of their flight. According to the UK's Civil Aviation Authority, there's still no text and no calls allowed, and Brits will still be ordered to put wireless devices into flight mode, although the changes (which start today) apparently don't include laptops. "The easing of restrictions will provide an average of 30 minutes additional personal screen time," according to BA's flight training manager, Captain Ian Pringle -- enough time for half an episode of The Great British Bake Off, then. And expect more airlines to follow suit: the European Aviation Safety Agency announced earlier this month that airlines are able to introduce such changes, subject to their own assessments.
Filed under: Transportation
- Olloclip runs its 3-in-1 lens through the color machine for the iPhone 5c
Folks who bought an iPhone 5c because they honest to goodness love color probably won't settle for drab accessories. So, in order to suit these users' festive tastes, Olloclip jazzed up its popular 3-in-1 lens with hues to match Apple's lower-cost handsets. Similar to previous releases, this 3-in-1 comes with the brand's macro, fisheye and wide-angle lenses to take close-ups, 180-degree shots and pictures with twice the field of view, respectively. Unlike the iPhone 5/5s version, though, the iPhone 5c lens costs $10 less at $59.99 and comes in neon green, yellow, red, blue and, finally, white -- for the less adventurous. The accessory won't ship out until early January, but it's now available for pre-order from the company's website.
Filed under: Cellphones, Mobile
- Samsung has its own 105-inch, ultrawidescreen UHD TV to show at CES
Samsung couldn't possibly let its Korean rival LG jump ahead in the race to produce astoundingly large super high res televisions we can't afford, and as such has unveiled its own 105-inch, ultrawide, ultra high definition TV. It will be at CES, just like the model LG announced earlier tonight, and while it's unlikely to fit in our living rooms -- or budgets -- we're planning on taking a closer look as soon as possible. After apparently fading out late last year, it appears the ultrawidescreen 21:9 format is also suddenly hot again, at least for these demo models, matching the IMAX-style curvature of these screens. The pixel count is a stunning 5,120 x 2,160, and Samsung is already claiming this one is "the world's most curved." While LG and Samsung have gone head to head in recent years with Ultra HD, OLED and curved OLED TVs, the extreme sizes seen here remind us mostly of CES 2007's battle between a Sharp 108-inch LCD and Samsung's 102-inch plasma.
Filed under: Home Entertainment, HD, Samsung
Source: Samsung Tomorrow
- Sony QX lens cameras get full HD video capture and boosted ISO in firmware update
Photographers who prefer Sony's WiFi-equipped cameras are about to get a pair of very welcome updates. In January, both the QX10 and QX100 lens cameras will receive firmware upgrades that bump their maximum light sensitivity settings to ISO 3,200 and 12,800, respectively; theoretically, they'll have an easier time with dark scenes. The two will also support widescreen 1080p video recording, and the QX100 is getting a shutter priority mode (shown above) to help with action shots and long exposures.
Sony's mobile shooting app, PlayMemories Mobile, is in line for an important refresh of its own. Version 4.0 for Android (pictured after the break) and iOS will introduce a quick photo browser that should make it much easier to review recent shots. There's a big speed boost in store for iOS users, too -- Sony claims that the app should connect to WiFi cameras twice as quickly as before. The company hasn't said when 4.0 will be available, but it promises a performance improvement for Android users in a second update due this spring.
Filed under: Cellphones, Cameras, Peripherals, Mobile, Sony
Source: App Store, Google Play
- LG's 105-inch, 21:9 curved UHD TV is wide enough to be a tanning bed
LG already has a big 77-inch curved Ultra HD OLED TV, but why stop there? The Korean company has just announced that it will be unveiling a 105-inch version at CES next month, but with a twist: this one uses LCD instead of the more expensive OLED, courtesy of improved TFT technology for an even backlighting across the curved surface. Furthermore, this 105UB9 model has a wider-than-usual 21:9 "CinemaScope" aspect ratio, thus providing a 5,120 x 2,160 UHD resolution (but technically not 5K). While we likely won't find out about the pricing of this monstrosity until CES, this milestone for LG Display's LCD technology could signify a wave of more affordable curved TVs next year -- much like what Sony's attempting with its S990A. Stay tuned for our eyes-on report once we hit the show floor.
Filed under: Home Entertainment, HD, LG
- Flickr's redesign continues with a new style for embedding pics on other websites
The new look of Flickr is ready to surface in other spots on the web, now that Yahoo's photo site has rolled out a new style for embedded photos. Enabled by default if you're using the preview UI, the new embed code pulls in extra data like title and the owner's username as an overlay, plus interaction so viewers can scroll through more photos easily (an actual embed follows after the break). Also key for Flickr and its users, it can measure the reach and viewing statistics for its photos when they're used elsewhere. Probably most important, the new style compares well with other social networking / media posting services like Instagram and Google+, although some users are already complaining about having Flickr's watermark slapped on their photos. For now, the old embeds are still available, but we'll see if that changes when the site's preview experience becomes the default style.
Filed under: Internet
Source: Flickr Blog
- Google Play Music source code suggests browser uploads coming soon
Right now if you want to upload your stash of tunes to Google Play Music, you have to download Music Manager, an application that hooks into your computer's hard drive so that you can transfer selected audio files to Mountain View's storage cloud. But what if you don't want to download yet another piece of software on your already bursting hard drive, or you just want to upload a few songs from a friend's computer without having to get the app? Well, according to an eagle-eyed tipster of the unofficial Google system blog, you might be able to upload songs directly from the browser in the not-too-distant future. The source code in Google Play Music apparently suggests this via a dialog description text that reads "Drag songs or folders here to add music to your library. Or, if you prefer, select from your computer." While we're not sure if Google will actually implement browser uploads for its Music service, the line of code indicates the search giant is at least considering the idea. If you're a regular Google Play Music user, sound out in the comments below if this would be a welcome feature.
Filed under: Internet, Google
Source: Google System Blog
- Select Ting customers can now enjoy Sprint's Spark LTE
Wireless service provider Ting is launching four devices that support Sprint's Spark enhanced LTE service. Ting, an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) that runs on Sprint's nationwide network, will offer Spark support for the LG G2, Samsung Galaxy Mega and Samsung Galaxy S4 mini, along with the Netgear ZING mobile hotspot. As of now, the Mega and mini are available, with the G2 coming soon. According to the company, it's the first MVNO to offer devices compatible with the Spark network.
Sprint's tri-band Spark LTE is currently available for carrier customers using the LG G2, Galaxy Mega or Galaxy S 4 mini (see a pattern here?) -- provided they're in one of a few select markets including Chicago, Los Angeles and New York.
Filed under: Cellphones, Networking, Mobile, Sprint
Via: Fierce Wireless
- NSA review group tells Obama to ditch bulk phone surveillance
2013 has been a hard year for the White House. It's been working overtime to try and manage the PR nightmare sparked by Edward Snowden's NSA whistleblowing -- fighting the outcry of angry citizens, CEOs and major tech firms. President Barack Obama eventually created a panel to review the government's surveillance programs and propose changes that will help restore public's trust. Today, the group's recommendations are in, and in summary, they aren't too surprising: don't spy on your citizens.
The report's most public facing suggestion mandates ending the NSA's habit of collecting US phone call metadata. The agency would still be allowed to collect some records, of course, but the panel suggests that this data be maintained by a private third party, or the phone companies themselves. More importantly, this data would only be accessible with an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. That's hardly the panel's only critique, either: the 308 page document actually makes a total of 46 recommendations. It suggests putting international spy operations under heavier scrutiny, for instance, and says that decisions to monitor such communications need to be made by the Commander in Chief -- not the nation's intelligence agencies. It even suggests major tweak to the NSA's structure, asking the president to consider making the next Director of the NSA a civilian.
Not all of the team's recommendations are focused on limiting powers, however. Many focus on transparency and protocol. Several items urge for more public disclosure, and would give the people insight on how often certain kinds of investigative orders are being issued. Even more focus on protecting US citizens from international investigations, requiring that data collected accidentally while monitoring the communications of a non-US person outside of the United States must be immediately purged. For that matter, the report recommends that foreign surveillance should be permitted in cases of national security, and should not be used to collect trade secrets, smear public figures or others be used for "illicit or illegitimate ends." Oh, and it reminds the government that monitoring people based solely on their political viewpoint is a big no-no.
Putting protocols aside, some of the suggestions do focus specifically on technology. For instance, the panel insists that networks carrying classified information needs to have the best available hardware, software and cyber security mechanisms. Sure, that seems like a no-brainer, but security holes are no joke -- US security agencies have been known to exploit them to gather intelligence, and that's the last thing we need happening to the NSA's servers. For that matter, the panel recommends exploiting security holes less: using a day-one software exploit might be handy at the time, but working with developers to close software vulnerabilities is better for the national interest in the long run.
Although the document's recommendations aren't likely to quiet all of our recent security concerns, it's certainly a good start. Unfortunately, they're still just that -- recommendations. The President and his senior staff are currently reviewing the document, and it's far too early to say which recommendations the executive branch will take to heart, and which ones it will discard. Even so, the White House said that the President hopes to find a balance that will protect national security and foreign policy without betraying the public trust. We'll find out in January just what changes he plans to make to facilitate that future. Care to take a guess yourself? Feel free to read the 308 page document for yourself and speculate, you'll find it at the source link below.
Filed under: Internet
Source: White House
- Study proves that you can secretly hijack an older Mac's webcam
If you believe common wisdom, it shouldn't be possible to take over most webcams without alerting users. The indicator LED is supposed to be hack-proof, after all. However, a pair of Johns Hopkins researchers have recently published a research paper showing that it's possible to control the camera while keeping the indicator dark. Their proof-of-concept app, iSeeYou, reprograms a controller chip on pre-2009 Macs to separate the camera and LED functions; users can flick the light on and off like a switch. Apple is aware of the issue with its own systems, but it hasn't said whether or not there will be a fix. It's also unclear how many newer Macs or other PCs are at risk. Regardless of the exact threat, the study isn't very reassuring in an era of widespread surveillance -- if a pair of academics can stealthily record your activity, it's likely that professional spies can do the same.
Filed under: Desktops, Laptops, Apple
Via: The Washington Post
- Touchless music game lets you create jittery drum and bass with your face
If there was one ubiquitous item at NYU's ITP Winter Show, it was the Kinect. Countless projects were built around the Microsoft-made sensor. Max Ma's Touchless, which he built with a ton of help from Tony Lim, originally featured one, but the version that made it to the floor went with an OEM equivalent instead. But the effect is the same: a set of cameras and sensors track various parts of your face, turning your muscle twitches and eyebrow raises into raw data. While Max says this data can be used for a host of different applications, such as unlocking your door with a series of blinks and winks, he focused on bringing joy to people's lives through music creation. The sensor tracks between 16 and 64 points (under ideal conditions) on your face, and uses your movements to trigger and manipulate samples. Truth is, it's hard not to smile while making ridiculous faces, though, I was a little disappointed to find out that the tracker did not play well with my winter beard.
The main method of interacting is by tilting your head, opening your mouth and raising your eyebrows, but Max added some depth by turning a Leap Motion sensor into a controller for a software synthesizer. So samples and beats are all above the neck, but you can wave your hands through the air to play a lovely lead melody. Really, the whole thing is pretty self-explanatory and quite fun, as you can see in the video after the break.
Edgar Alvarez contributed to this report.
Filed under: Misc
- AMC's Yeah! interactive streaming movie service comes to iPad tomorrow
AMC Networks launched its Yeah! streaming service at SXSW 2013, and this week's debut marks the first major update since the platform's introduction back in March. Yeah! will be coming to iPad tomorrow, with a free application making its way to the App Store. The unique service pairs exclusive content, such as filmmaker and star interviews, flick facts and additional info, with full-length feature films. You'll find Wes Craven interviews packaged with A Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream, Kevin Smith chatting about Clerks and Michael Madsen filling you in on his experience filming Reservoir Dogs. Yeah! films start at $5 for a 48-hour rental, including the full lot of additional features.
Filed under: Home Entertainment, Tablets, Software
- Meizu plans to begin selling smartphones in the US next year
Meizu, a smartphone company based out of China, has been on the scene for a long time -- it just hasn't officially made its way to the United States (outside of a few online importers, of course). Meizu's ready to expand its offerings to the other side of the Pacific starting next year, however. The company hasn't specified exactly which devices will be available here, but we're crossing our fingers that the 128GB MX3 will make an appearance with US-friendly frequencies. According to Meizu's press release, the manufacturer "believes there's room in the U.S. market for another player," and is looking at this expansion as a long-term strategy rather than a one-off. Meizu also mentions that we'll be seeing more of the company's lineup at CES, so stay tuned.
Filed under: Cellphones, Wireless, Mobile
- First alien moon possibly spotted 1,800 light years away
Exoplanets are seemingly easy to find these days, but their moons have been all too elusive -- at least, until now. Researchers at the University of Notre Dame claim to have spotted what may be the first exomoon. By looking for gravitational effects on starlight, they've found a relatively small, planet-like object orbiting a much larger object that isn't a regular star. Don't be quick to reach any conclusions, however. The two astral bodies are too far away from anything else in space to have an obvious explanation; while we may be looking at an orbitless planet and its moon, both about 1,800 light years away, the pair could also represent a failed star and an ordinary planet. Even if the objects remain mysteries, though, the techniques used in their discovery should help astronomers locating exomoons in the future.
[Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech]
Filed under: Science, Alt
Via: NSNS|2012-GLOBAL|online-news#.UrHIDmRDuid|New Scientist
Source: Cornell University Library
- Google Glass update brings The Wall Street Journal, storm warnings and RSS to your face
Sure, you've read The Wall Street Journal, but can you really say you've experienced it until you've experienced it #throughglass? The Dow Jones-published paper is among the latest batch of Glassware apps coming to Google's wearable, letting you keep up on breaking news, politics, business and, of course, technology. Weather Alerts, meanwhile, offers 120 different warning categories, including tornadoes and air quality alerts. Also on the docket is Winkfeed, which brings RSS to the device, letting you read news and save stories to your Pocket account. All of those join the recently announced ability to upload videos to YouTube and take part in Google Hangouts through Glass.
Filed under: Google
- This Chromium experiment takes the URL out of the address bar, because why not?
Chromium, Google's open-source Chrome project, isn't for the average Joe (or Jane); it's for open-source fanatics. So today's two Chromium experiments, announced by Product Evangelist François Beaufort, should give that subset of users something curious and something usefulto play with, in that order.
First up is a Chrome OS experiment that mixes up the traditional URL-in-omnibox setup by removing the host URL altogether and placing it within the toolbar, just off to the right side (as pictured above). You can still click on that "origin chip" to display the full URL, as well as permissions data, if you'd like, but the the omnibox will remain empty for -- we're not sure -- a cleaner search experience, perhaps? Again, the reasoning behind this odd switch up is unclear, but knowing Google, it likely has to do with reducing clutter in the user interface as much as possible.
The other, much more sensible experiment involves a bit of code that allows you to make any site of your choosing (presumably a favorite) into a Chrome App. The option, once enabled, will appear under Tools in Chrome's dropdown menu. All it requires is one click and you're done. And no, you wouldn't be wrong for thinking of this as a new way to bookmark sites... it is and it's simple to do.
Just hit up the source below to get cracking on this Chrome customization and that other, weird one if you're so inclined.
Filed under: Internet, Software, Google
Source: Francois Beaufort (G+), (2)
- All new Mac Pro available starting tomorrow
Apple today announced the all-new Mac Pro will be available to order starting Thursday, December 19. Redesigned from the inside out, the all-new Mac Pro features the latest Intel Xeon processors, dual workstation-class GPUs, PCIe-based flash storage and ultra-fast ECC memory. This thing is so damn awesome. I don't need it, but I still want one.
- 'Windows Phone turned the corner in 2013'
2013 was nothing less than a blockbuster success for Windows Phone, which went from industry also-ran to the undisputed third mobile ecosystem, and is poised to challenge iPhone for the number two spot. You didn't think it could get this good? That's OK, neither did I. Windows Phone seemingly turns a corner with every new application, small operating system update, and new Nokia Lumia. It's turning so many corners it's running in circles.
- MorphOS 3.4 released
The MorphOS development team is proud to announce the public release of MorphOS 3.4, which introduces faster R300 graphics drivers, improved video playback on G5-based systems, support for non-native display resolutions on various PowerBooks, screen blanker password protection, and numerous bug fixes and other improvements. For an overview of the included changes, please read our release notes. Some serious improvements in there. Their market is probably small, but they release new versions at a relatively stable pace. One of the very few alternative operating systems that has managed to survive over the years where so many others fell.
- Electrical possibilities of the Jolla Other Half
There's this one other thing about the Jolla phone that sets it apart from the competition. In marketing terms, it's called The Other Half, the backside of the phone, which can be replaced and is 3D-printable. While the two The Other Halfs shipping with the first wave of pre-order customers have tiny RFID chips in them for communication (it instructs the phone to download a matching background and sounds), the Jolla phone also has a set of electrical contacts on the back of the exposed device - I2C. This is one of the wildcard when it comes to Jolla - there's lots of possibilities here, such as a backplate with an additional battery, or even one with an integrated sliding keyboard. One of Jolla's engineers already added wireless charging to his backplate using I2C, to illustrate what it possible. I'm really curious what other people are going to come up with - if at all. Right now there's probably little commercial interest to create products for The Other Half, but if Jolla manages to pick up enough steam, we might see some really cool stuff coming out of this.
- Sailfish gets its second update today
We just discovered an issue in both 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206 today which causes update of the store token required for accessing store repositories to fail. A fix for that has been pushed a few minutes ago: The update to version 220.127.116.11 you might be seeing on your device soon contains exactly this one fix to keep store access working. My Jolla arrived this morning, and I've been playing with it all day. It is by far the most exciting device and operating system I've used in a long, long time. When it arrived, the first update to the operating system was already waiting for me to be installed - and only a few hours later, another update is hitting the device. They have promised another large bugfix and stability update before the end of the year, with updates with new features arriving early next year. These men and women know what they're doing. They're not overselling, and they keep their promises. A very promising start.
- Judge: NSA phone surveillance program likely unconstitutional
A federal judge in Washington ruled on Monday that the bulk collection of Americans' telephone records by the National Security Agency is likely to violate the US constitution, in the most significant legal setback for the agency since the first disclosures prompted by the whistleblower Edward Snowden. Judge Richard Leon declared that the mass collection of metadata probably violates the fourth amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, and was "almost Orwellian" in its scope. In a judgment replete with literary swipes against the NSA, he said James Madison, the architect of the US constitution, would be "aghast" at the scope of the agencyâÂ€Â™s collection of Americans' communications data. It's just a preliminary ruling, and while the judge stated that he would most likely uphold the preliminary ruling after the merits of the case have been handled, there's probably thousands of appeals and stuff like that where this could crumble into dust. Once a government has obtained a power, it rarely releases it. That's the nature of government - it can only grow.
- Windows Phone 8.1 includes notification centre, Siri-like assistant
Microsoft is preparing to ship its Windows Phone 8.1 update with two significant changes: a notification center and a Siri-like personal assistant. Sources familiar with Microsoft's plans have revealed to The Verge that the company is currently beta testing copies of Windows Phone 8.1 internally, with plans to fully detail its features at BUILD 2014 in April. A highly requested notification center feature will be added to the software, and we're told it's enabled by swiping down from the top of the screen in a similar way to iOS and Android. Pretty sure this update will turn it all around.
- "Fragmentation" charts are just as flawed as the term
PhoneArena's Micheal H. addresses an article at Forbes: The conclusion may sound redundant at this point, but it is fairly simple: if you want to have a discussion about Android and iOS (and there are plenty of incredibly interesting discussions to be had), think about the issues you want to cover, and break each down on their own terms. Trying to bundle arguments under and umbrella term like "fragmentation" is just lazy and it holds very little meaning at this point. At the end of the day, I always get the feeling that the people yelling the loudest about "fragmentation" are people on the sidelines, who've never coded for Android at all. That's not to say it's not a problem at all - it's just to say that it's an area where the competition does a better job. Android's device diversity certainly creates additional challenges for Android developers, much in the same way that Apple's inconsistent App Store policies creates additional challenges for iOS developers. Each platform has its weaknesses, but none have been as aggressively made larger than it really seems to be than Android's supposed fragmentation. Unravelling this positive feedback loop among these bloggers should make for fascinating material.
- Valve releases SteamOS
As promised, Valve has released the first test release of SteamOS. From the FAQ: SteamOS is a fork (derivative) of Debian GNU/Linux. The first version (SteamOS 1.0) is called 'alchemist' and it is based on the Debian 'wheezy' (stable 7.1) distribution. The major changes made in SteamOS are: Backported eglibc 2.17 from Debian testing Added various third-party drivers and updated graphics stack (Intel and AMD graphics support still being worked on) Updated kernel tracking the 3.10 longterm branch (currently 3.10.11) Custom graphics compositor designed to provide a seamless transition between Steam, its games and the SteamOS system overlay Configured to auto-update from the Valve SteamOS repositories You need to have an NVIDIA card for it to work, since Intel and AMD graphics are currently not yet supported (work is underway).
- Google removes vital privacy feature from Android
Yesterday, we published a blog post lauding an extremely important app privacy feature that was added in Android 4.3. That feature allows users to install apps while preventing the app from collecting sensitive data like the user's location or address book. After we published the post, several people contacted us to say that the feature had actually been removed in Android 4.4.2, which was released earlier this week. Today, we installed that update to our test device, and can confirm that the App Ops privacy feature that we were excited about yesterday is in fact now gone. If there's one thing that needs some serious love in Android, it's the application permissions. I carefully look at them every time I install an application, but I'm guessing most people don't. While there's only so much stupidity technology can solve, Android's application permissions are, indeed, quite overwhelming at times. I'm not a particular fan of modal dialogs every time an application needs permission for something (the iOS way) either, so I'm not sure how this can be addressed in a user-friendly way. App Ops seemed like a decent compromise that allowed for lots of finetuning of permissions, per application. Luckily, I'm using a custom ROM that re-enables it, Google be damned. Google claims App Ops may break some applications - well, that's not really any of my concern. If an application breaks because I do not give it permission to find out if I'm on the toilet or not - there's always an uninstall button. So, Google better have some serious improvement in mind for application permissions, or they're just making sure regular users don't get into the habit of blocking Google's data collection. I hope the former, but I'm reasonably sure it's the latter.
- How I introduced a 27-year-old computer to the web
Reviving an old computer is like restoring a classic car: There's a thrill from bringing the ancient into the modern world. So it was with my first "real" computer, my Mac Plus, when I decided to bring it forward three decades and introduce it to the modern Web. It's amazing what's possible on these old machines.
- Amiga 500 emulator with Portable Native Client
This website runs an emulator of the Amiga 500 inside of Chrome by using Portable Native Client, a way to run existing C/C++ in the browser in a safe way across operating systems and across machine architectures. On the main page you can boot the Amiga, insert floppy disks, play the games, and generally pretend it's still the late 80s. So cool.
- SteamOS to be made available 13 December
SteamOS will be made available when the prototype hardware ships. It will be downloadable by individual users and commercial OEMs. (But unless you're an intrepid Linux hacker already, we're going to recommend that you wait until later in 2014 to try it out.) We'll post info soon about that. Oh, and stay tuned for the in-home streaming beta to begin soon, too! The first moment of truth for Valve.
- Microsoft considers following Google, making Windows RT, WP free
The Verge is reporting that Microsoft is considering making Windows RT and Windows Phone free for OEMs, to combat Android. We understand that any decision to axe the license fees for Windows Phone and Windows RT would be backed by a push for revenue from MicrosoftâÂ€Â™s apps and services. Microsoft has been experimenting with ads in Windows 8 apps, and any associated revenue from those apps and the companyâÂ€Â™s built-in Bing search results would help offset the lack of license fees. Microsoft would also push consumers to subscribe to services like SkyDrive, Office, and Skype for additional revenue. So, let me get this straight. In April this year, a Microsoft-sponsored antitrust complaint about Android had this to say: Google's predatory distribution of Android at below-cost makes it difficult for other providers of operating systems to recoup investments in competing with Google's dominant mobile platform. And we have the whole Scroogled campaign (I felt dirty just for visiting that site). And now they're considering doing the exact same things they claim Google is doing unfairly? Does this company have any internal consistency whatsoever?
- Why Microsoft might not kill Nokia's Android phone
Ina Fried has just confirmed the Nokia Android phone - and even argues that Microsoft might go ahead with actually releasing it. According to a Nokia source, the software has a look more similar to Windows Phone than to the "squircle" icons used on the Asha. Normandy would also serve as a way to deliver Microsoft services such as Bing and Skype. That is seen by some at Microsoft as a more palatable alternative than seeing more of those first-time smartphone buyers sign up not just for Android but also for Google's array of services. Makes sense. It does raise another question, though: wouldn't this be yet another operating system Microsoft would need to develop and support?
- AIDE—Developing for Android on Android
Android, as a platform, is one of the fastest growing on the planet. It is available on smartphones and a series of different tablet sizes. Most devices also include a full spectrum of sensors that are available to programs you install, so it's a very inviting platform for development.
- Two Pi R
Although many people are excited about the hardware-hacking possibilities with the Raspberry Pi, one of the things that interests me most is the fact that it is essentially a small low-power Linux server I can use to replace other Linux servers I already have around the house.
- A Handy U-Boot Trick
Embedded developers working on kernels or bare-metal programs often go through several development cycles. Each time the developer modifies the code, the code has to be compiled, the ELF (Executable and Linkable Format)/kernel image has to be copied onto the SD card, and the card then has to be transferred from the PC to the development board and rebooted.
- GIMP Shmimp, Give Me a Browser
Don't get me wrong, I love The GIMP. We all love The GIMP, as our Readers' Choice awards show this month. If I'm being completely honest, however, I rarely have the need for such a powerful application. Usually, regardless of what computer system I'm on, I pick Pixlr as my image editing program.
- Tinker with Molecular Dynamics for Fun and Profit
Molecular dynamics computations make up a very large proportion of the computer cycles being used in science today. For those of you who remember chemistry and or thermodynamics, you should recall that all of the calculations you made were based on treating the material in question as a homogeneous mass where each part of the mass simply has the average value of the relevant properties.
- Android Candy: Free, Family, Fun—Fantastic
I've mentioned geocaching before, but if you've never taken the time to go out and do it, you're really missing out. Whether you're dragging your family through two feet of snow in the middle of the woods (yeah, I did that last year, I'm still not sure they've forgiven me) or following your GPS around a parking lot looking for a tiny micro-cache, geocaching is fun.
- A Plexible Pi
If, like me, you've jumped onto the Plex bandwagon with both feet, you've probably discovered how difficult it is to make a standalone Plex player. Sure, you can install an entire OS, then auto-start the Plex program in full screen, but it's not as simple as installing the XBMC distro, or even OpenELEC. If you own a Raspberry Pi, that has all changed.
- IBM Will Minimize Impact of Future Disasters
Not even Mighty Big Blue can stop a hurricane. But. IBM and Marist College are testing a new cloud computing innovation that could help prevent disruptions in voice and data communications services caused by hurricanes and other natural disasters.
- Readers' Choice Awards 2013
This year's Reader's Choice issue was truly fun to put together. No, not just because you do all the work (voting), but because it's great to get a feel for what our community is buzzing about. Based on your feedback, we've given you all the data again this year, with percentages and rankings, plus we tried to include as many of your less-popular responses as possible.
- The NEW SUSE Catalog is in!
Ahhh…’tis the start of the holiday season! Time for turkey, good cheer, frantic shopping…and the SUSE Partner Catalog? Well, for all of you SUSE aficionados/users out there, this is a big deal. This online, searchable catalog is the most comprehensive listing of certified and supported software products in the enterprise Linux space.
- 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 ’