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- Debian: DSA-3922-1: mysql-5.5 security update
LinuxSecurity.com: Several issues have been discovered in the MySQL database server. The vulnerabilities are addressed by upgrading MySQL to the new upstream version 5.5.57, which includes additional changes, such as performance improvements, bug fixes, new features, and possibly incompatible
- Debian: DSA-3921-1: enigmail update
LinuxSecurity.com: In DSA 3918 Thunderbird was upgraded to the latest ESR series. This update upgrades Enigmail, the OpenPGP extention for Thunderbird, to version 22.214.171.124 to restore full compatibility.
- openSUSE: 2017:1994-1: important: chromium
LinuxSecurity.com: An update that fixes 21 vulnerabilities is now available. An update that fixes 21 vulnerabilities is now available. An update that fixes 21 vulnerabilities is now available.
- openSUSE: 2017:1993-1: important: chromium
LinuxSecurity.com: An update that fixes 21 vulnerabilities is now available. An update that fixes 21 vulnerabilities is now available. An update that fixes 21 vulnerabilities is now available.
- Fedora 25: freeradius Security Update
LinuxSecurity.com: - Upgrade to upstream v3.0.15 release. See upstream ChangeLog for details (in freeradius-doc subpackage). - Resolves: Bug#1471848 CVE-2017-10978 freeradius: Out-of-bounds read/write due to improper output buffer size check in make_secret() - Resolves: Bug#1471860 CVE-2017-10983 freeradius: Out-of-bounds read in
- [$] Restarting the free accounting search
Back in 2012, we started a quest to find afree replacement for the QuickBooks Pro package that is used to handleaccounting at LWN. As is the way of such things, that project got boggeddown in the day-to-day struggle of keeping up with the LWN content treadmill,travel, and other obstacles that the world tends to throw into the path ofthose following grand (or not so grand) ambitions. The time has come,however, to restart this quest and, this time, the odds of a successfuloutcome seem reasonably good.
- LibreOffice 5.4 released with new features for Writer, Calc and Impress
The Document Foundation has announced LibreOffice 5.4, the last majorrelease of the LibreOffice 5.x family. There are some new features inevery module and a number of incremental improvements to Microsoft Officefile compatibility. "Thanks to the efforts of developers, the XMLdescription of a new document written by LibreOffice is 50% smaller in the case of ODF (ODT), and around90% smaller in the case of OOXML (DOCX), in comparison with the samedocument generated by the leading proprietary office suite."
- Security updates for Friday
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (cacti and chromium), CentOS (tomcat), Debian (roundcube), Fedora (bind99, dhcp, freeradius, golang, mingw-poppler, minicom, php-symfony, and webkitgtk4), openSUSE (GraphicsMagick and the_silver_searcher), Oracle (tomcat), Scientific Linux (tomcat), SUSE (kernel), and Ubuntu (apache2 and freeradius).
- Email2git: Matching Linux Code with its Mailing List Discussions (Linux.com)
Linux.com is carrying an article about email2git by its developer, Alexandre Courouble. Email2git is a way to match up commits and the email thread that discussed them. It currently targets the kernel and threads from the linux-kernel mailing list. There are two separate ways to use it, as an extension to cregit (at https://cregit.linuxsources.org/) that allows browsing changes at the token level or via a search by commit ID interface. "The Linux project's email-based reviewing process is highly effective in filtering open source contributions on their way from mailing list discussions towards Linus Torvalds' Git repository. However, once integrated, it can be difficult to link Git commits back to their review comments in mailing list discussions, especially when considering commits that underwent multiple versions (and hence review rounds), that belong to a multi-patch series, or that were cherry-picked.As an answer to these and other issues, we created email2git, a patch retrieving system built for the Linux kernel. For a given commit, the tool is capable of finding the email patch as well as the email conversation that took place during the review process. We are currently improving the system with support for multi-patch series and cherry-picking." The code for email2git is available on GitHub.
- [$] Reconsidering the scheduler's wake_wide() heuristic
The kernel's CPU scheduler is charged with choosing which task to run next,but also with deciding where in a multi-CPU system that task should run.As is often the case, that choice comes down to heuristics — rules of thumbcodifying the developers' experience of what tends to work best. One keytask-placement heuristic has been in place since 2015, but a recentdiscussion suggests that it may need to be revisited.
- Suricata 4.0 released
Version 4.0 of the Suricata intrusion detection system (IDS) and network security monitor (NSM) has been released. The release has improved detection for threats in HTTP, SSH, and other protocols, improvements to TLS, new support for NFS, additions to the extensible event format (EVE) JSON logging, some parts have been implemented in Rust, and more. "This is the first release in which we’ve implemented parts in the Rustlanguage using the Nom parser framework. This work is inspired by PierreChiffliers’ (ANSSI), talk at SuriCon 2016 (pdf). By compiling with–enable-rust you’ll get a basic NFS parser and a re-implementation ofthe DNS parser. Feedback on this is highly appreciated. The Rust support is still experimental, as we are continuing to explorehow it functions, performs and what it will take to support it in thecommunity. Additionally we included Pierre Chiffliers Rust parsers work.This uses external Rust parser ‘crates’ and is enabled by using–enable-rust-experimental. Initially this adds a NTP parser."
- Security updates for Thursday
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (lib32-expat, webkit2gtk, and wireshark-cli), Debian (resiprocate), Fedora (java-1.8.0-openjdk, kernel, and open-vm-tools), openSUSE (containerd, docker, runc and gnu-efi, pesign, shim), Red Hat (tomcat), and Ubuntu (gdb, libiberty, and openjdk-8).
- [$] Ring 1.0 is released
On July 21, Savoir-faireLinux (SFL) announcedthe release of version 1.0 of its Ringcommunication tool. It is a cross-platform (Linux, Android, macOS,and Windows) program for secure text, audio, and video communication.Beyond that, though, it is part of the GNUproject and is licensed under the GPLv3. Given the announcement, itseemed like a quick trial was in order. While it looks like it has greatpromise, Ring 1.0 falls a bit short of expectations.
- [$] Flatpaks for Fedora 27
A proposalto add Flatpak as an option fordistributing desktop applications in Fedora 27 has recently made anappearance. It is meant as an experimentof sorts to see how well Flatpak and RPM will play together—and to fix anyproblems found.There is a view that containers are the future, on the desktop as well asthe server; Flatpaks would provide Fedora one possible path toward that future.The proposal sparked a huge thread on the Fedora develmailing list; while the proposal itself doesn't really change much forthose uninterested in Flatpaks, some are concerned with where Fedorapackaging might be headed once the experiment ends.
- [$] Expediting membarrier()
The membarrier()system call is arguably one of the strangest offered by the Linux kernel. It expensively emulates an operation that can beperformed by a single unprivileged barrier instruction, using an invocationof the kernel's read-copy-update (RCU) machinery — all in the name ofperformance. But, it would seem, membarrier() is not fast enough,causing users to fall back to complex and brittle tricks. An attempt tofix the problem is now under discussion, but not everybody is convincedthat the cure is better than the disease.
- Security updates for Wednesday
Security updates have been issued by Debian (bind9, icedove, openjdk-8, qemu, and rkhunter), Fedora (krb5, libmwaw, perl-XML-LibXML, qemu, subversion, and webkitgtk4), Mageia (cinnamon-settings-daemon, graphite2, gsoap, libquicktime, and wireshark), openSUSE (catdoc, gsoap, jasper, and Wireshark), and Ubuntu (linux-aws, linux-gke and ruby1.9.1, ruby2.0, ruby2.3).
- OpenSUSE Leap 42.3 released
OpenSUSELeap 42.3 is now available. "After basing openSUSE Leap on SLE(SUSE Linux Enterprise) and adding more source code to Leap 42.2 from SLE12, Leap 42.3 adds even more packages from SLE 12 SP 3 and synchronizesseveral common packages. The shared codebase allows for openSUSE Leap 42.3to receive enhanced maintenance and bug fixes from both the openSUSEcommunity and SUSE engineers." There is quite a bit of new stuff inthis release; see thispage for some details.
- [$] IncludeOS: a unikernel for C++ applications
Is it truly an efficient use of cloud computing resources to runtraditional operating systems inside virtual machines? In many cases, itisn't. An interesting alternative is to bundle a program into a unikernel,which is a single-tasking library operating system made specifically forrunning a single application in the cloud.A unikernel packs everything needed to run an application intoa tiny bundle and, in theory, this approach would save disk space,memory, and processor time compared to running a full traditional operatingsystem.IncludeOS is such a unikernel; it wascreated to support C++ applications. Like other unikernels, it is designed forresource-efficiency on shared infrastructure, and is primarily meant to run ona hypervisor.
- Company: Apple TV’s “what did she say” feature infringes our patent
It's a problem everyone has had: you're watching a movie and don't catch a key bit of dialogue. In September 2015, Apple unveiled a new feature for Apple TV that solves the problem. Users can ask "what did she say?" and Siri will skip back 15 seconds and temporarily enable captions.
- How Could You Use a Speech Interface?
We're working to open up the field of speech technology, so more people can get involved, innovate, and compete with the larger players. The Machine Learning team in Mozilla Research is creating an open source speech-to-text engine and a repository of audio files anyone can use to train new speech apps.
- An Interview With Vivaldi Browser's CEO Jon S. von Tetzchner
Almost all of have used Opera web browser. The Opera web browser used to be popular specially on mobile platforms. It's still not given up and recently released some features in the latest release. But today in this article, we're going to talk to the former CEO and present co-founder of Vivaldi web browser, Jon S. von Tetzchner , a browser that is for power users. Let's ask him why he left Opera and why he started Vivaldi.
- 5 open source alternatives to Trello
I have to admit, I've fallen in love with Trello as a productivity tool. If you like keeping lists as a way to organize your work, it's a very good tool. For me, it serves two primary purposes: keeping a GTD framework, and managing certain projects with a kanban-like schedule.read more
- 10 smart eyewear devices, starring the Glass EE
With the launch of Glass Enterprise Edition, we decided to check up on the competition. Here are 10 smart eyewear products that run Android or Linux. Last week, Google umbrella firm Alphabet formally announced an enterprise version of the defunct Google Glass smart eyeglasses, which had previously moved from Google to Alphabet’s X unit. Over […]
- How to Install and Configure Chef on Ubuntu 17.04
Chef is a free and open source configuration management tool. It is written in Ruby and Erlang. Chef can easily integrate with cloud based platforms such as AWS, OpenStack, or RackSpace, etc to automatically create and manage the servers. In this tutorial, we will install the latest version of Chef in Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus).
- Top 5: 20 Linux commands, Raspberry Pi clock, and more
In this week's top 5, we highlight sysadmins, Raspberry Pi clocks, and more.Top 5 articles of the week5. How to use Libraries.io data from millions of open source projectsBenjamin Nickolls shares a project that has metadata on over 25 million open source projects.read more
- WPS Office One Of The Best Alternatives To MS Office On Linux
?Do you think Microsoft Office and LibreOffice are the only office software suites in town? Think again! WPS Office is in most ways useful, and easier to use office software suite available for Linux. There is no random document reformats, document freezes or the typical compatibility issues you’d come to expect from most Microsoft Office alternatives. The current version of WPS Office contains three components; Writer, Presentation and Spreadsheet as alternatives to Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.
- How an open source board game is saving the planet
Learning is supposed to be fun, and incorporating games into education is a great way for teachers to help kids have fun while they're learning. There are many free online games that are appropriate for the classroom and there are also board games, including Save the Planet, a board game that teaches kids concrete solutions to environmental problems.read more
- Fedora Classroom Sessions are here!
The Fedora Join SIG is proud to announce Classroom sessions. The Fedora Classroom is a project to teach interested users how to better use, understand and manage their Fedora system, and to show how the community works. The idea is... Continue Reading →
- Top Alternative Linux Distributions To Windows XP
After recent Wanna Cry ransomware attack, people are now awakening that they should leave Windows XP and should upgrade their OS. But the problem with them is that they cannot afford a heavy OS like windows 10 nor they can afford to pay a large sum of green cash for an old machine. Some of the guys just want to switch for safety above all.
- Keep Your /home Safe With Cron Backups
Sure, there are backup utilities for Linux, but with a couple of scripts, you can keep your important files backed up regularly with little to no effort. A very simple Bash script will do the bulk of the work. For the rest, you'll take advantage of the cron system already on your computer.
- Enhancing photos with GNOME Photos
GNOME Photos is an application that lets you easily organize photos and screenshots. GNOME Photos doesn’t enforce a folder hierarchy. Instead, it relies on tracker to find and index photos inside well-known folders, such as Pictures in your home folder... Continue Reading →
- Gabedit: the Portal to Chemistry
Many chemistry software applications are available for doing scientific work on Linux. I've covered several here in previous issues of the magazine, and of them have their own peculiar specialties[he]mdash[/he]areas where one may work better than another. So, depending on what yourresearch entails, you may need to use multiple software packages to handle all of the work.
- The Elusive Total Linux Convergence Dream
Regular readers know that I usually stick to the well-charted territory of essential terminal commands and practical overviews of Linux history, since they are immediately useful to newcomers. Thankfully for beginners, the basics don't change very quickly -- but that's not to say that Linux is a stagnant ecosystem. Far from it. Linux can be found at the very frontier of emerging computer trends.
- SparkyLinux 5: Great All-Purpose Distro for Confident Linux Users
When I first reviewed the Game Over edition of SparkyLinux several years ago, I called it one of the best full-service Linux distros catering to game players you could find. That assessment extends to last month's release of the non-gaming edition of this distro. Based on the testing branch of Debian, SparkyLinux 5.0 features customized lightweight desktops.
- Microsoft Releases Long-Awaited Security Tool, Sets Linux Preview
Microsoft has released its long-awaited cloud-based bug detection tool, previously code-named "Project Springfield." The Windows version became generally available, and a new Linux version became available as a preview last week. The tool, Microsoft Security Risk Detection, uses artificial intelligence to hunt down security vulnerabilities in software that is about to be released.
- Open Source Flaw 'Devil's Ivy' Puts Millions of IoT Devices at Risk
Millions of IoT devices are vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks due to a vulnerability initially discovered in remote security cameras. Senrio found the flaw in a security camera developed by Axis Communications, one of the world's biggest manufacturers of the devices. The Model 3004 security camera is used for security at the Los Angeles International Airport, according to Senrio.
- CoreOS, OCI Unveil Controversial Open Container Industry Standard
CoreOS and the Open Container Initiative on Wednesday introduced image and runtime specifications largely based on Docker's image format technology. However, OCI's decision to model the standard on Docker's de facto platform has raised questions. Some critics have argued for other options. Version 1.0 provides a stable standard for application containers, according to CoreOS CTO Brandon Philips.
- Microsoft Rolls Out Linux Support in SQL Server 2017 Release Candidate
Microsoft has announced the availability of its first public release candidate for SQL Server 2017, which includes full support for Linux. SQL Server on Linux improves on earlier previews with several key enhancements, including active directory authentication; transport layer security to encrypt data; and SQL Server Integration Services that add support for Unicode ODBC drivers.
- SharkLinux OS Is Destined for Success
SharkLinux OS is one of those very rare newcomer distributions that has "Future Big Winner" written all over it. Over my many years of reviewing Linux software and distros for Linux Picks and Pans, I have found that the story of what spurred the developer to create the distro often showcases the driving power that enables open source software. That is the case with SharkLinux OS.
- Fedora 26 Powers Up Cloud, Server, Workstation Systems
The Fedora Project has announced the general availability of Fedora 26, the latest version of the fully open source Fedora OS. Fedora Linux is the community version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, or RHEL. Fedora 26 comprises a set of base packages that form the foundation of three distinct editions targeting different users. All three editions share a common base and some common strengths.
- Microsoft Makes Room for Ubuntu at Windows Store
Microsoft this week announced the availability of Canonical's Ubuntu Linux distro as a free download in the Windows Store. It can be installed on any Windows Insider build, said Microsoft Senior Program Manager Rich Turner. One of the advantages to using the Windows Store version of the Ubuntu Linux Distro is that the software can be downloaded faster and more reliably.
- The Filesystem Hierarchy Standard Shows Which Bits Are Boss
If you've ever been curious enough to look through your system's root directory, you may have become a little overwhelmed. Most of the three-letter directory names don't tell you much about what they do, and if you ever needed to make important modifications, it would be tough to know where to look. I'd like to take those of you who haven't ventured much into your root directory on a brief tour.
- IoT Fuels Growth of Linux Malware
Malware targeting Linux systems is growing, largely due to a proliferation of devices created to connect to the Internet of Things. That is one of the findings in a report WatchGuard Technologies released last week. The report, which analyzes data gathered from more than 26,000 appliances worldwide, found three Linux malware programs in the top 10 for the first quarter of the year.
- Xinix Offers Linux Lovers a Path to Zen
Xinix is an innovative newcomer to the world of Linux distros. Now in beta, this distro has been spearheaded by a single developer who slowly is bringing other programmers on board to move things along. Despite its early development status, Xinix has potential for Linux fans who like to experiment with new platform concepts and do not mind trying out an OS that is not yet fully functional.
- Sudo or Sudo Not, There Is No (4th) Try
If you're a Linux user, at some point in some tutorial or troubleshooting guide you've more than likely encountered Linux's magic word: "sudo". A casual observer probably can tell you that it's used to access restricted functions on your computer, but there is much more to it than that. My hope is that by taking a moment to learn about the power of "sudo", you will be better equipped to use it.
- OTA Report: Consumer Services Sites More Trustworthy Than .Gov Sites
The Online Trust Alliance on Tuesday released its 2017 Online Trust Audit & Honor Roll. Among its findings: Consumer services sites have the best combined security and privacy practices. FDIC 100 banks and U.S. government sites are the least trustworthy, according to the audit. The number of websites that qualified for the honor roll is at a nine-year high.
- Microsoft Expands Linux Container Support in Windows Server
Microsoft has decided to expand its support for Linux containers in the next release of Windows Server. Linux containers and workloads will work natively on Windows Server, said Erin Chapple, general manager for the server operating system. The company also will extend Window Server's Hyper-V isolation capability, which was introduced in the 2016 release of the operating system.
- Rosa LXQt Edition's Flexibility Sets It Apart
The Rosa Desktop Fresh R series gets better with each new edition to its distro lineup. The already-established Rosa Desktop Fresh R was a hit with its series of standard desktop editions released with KDE4 and Plasma 5, as well as the GNOME 3 and MATE desktops. This latest LXQt edition adds the ability to run this powerhouse computing platform on legacy boxes with as little as 512 MB of RAM.
- Securing Your Linux System Bit by Bit
As daunting as securing your Linux system might seem, one thing to remember is that every extra step makes a difference. It's almost always better to make a modest stride than let uncertainty keep you from starting. Fortunately, there are a few basic techniques that greatly benefit users at all levels, and knowing how to securely wipe your hard drive in Linux is one of them.
- Open Source Survey Exposes Community Troubles
GitHub has released the results of its survey on open source software development, practices and worldwide communities. Responses from more than 6,000 participants reveal some of the problems missing or poorly done documentation can have on users and project adoption. The survey also reveals an ongoing concern about nasty interactions among community members and negative attitudes toward women.
- BitKey Unlocks Mysteries of the Bitcoin Universe
BitKey is a Debian-based live distribution with specialist utilities for performing highly secure air-gapped bitcoin transactions. This distro is not for everyday computing needs, but if you are obsessed with the use of bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, it might be just what you need. I am a high-tech sort of guy with a keen interest in diving through Linux distros both simple and complex.
- Hacking and Linux Go Together Like 2 Keys in a Key Pair
Ever since taking an interest Linux, with the specific aim of better understanding and enhancing my personal digital security, I have been fascinated by hacker conferences. As soon as I learned of their existence, I made a point of keeping tabs on the major conferences so I could browse through the latest videos in their archive once each one wraps up. I thought that was the closest I would get.
- MariaDB Offers a Bigger Box of Transactional Tools
MariaDB last week announced the availability of MariaDB TX 2.0, a fully functional open source transactional database solution for modern application development and enterprise use cases. MariaDB TX offers a comprehensive package of technology and services, including feature-rich new releases of MariaDB Server and MariaDB MaxScale, which close the functional gap between open source and proprietary offerings.
- Crooks Reused Passwords On the Dark Web So Dutch Police Took Over Their Accounts
An anonymous reader writes: Dutch Police is aggressively going after Dark Web vendors using data they collected from the recently seized Hansa Market. According to reports, police is using the Hansa login credentials to authenticate on other Dark Web portals, such as Dream. If vendors reused passwords, police take over the accounts and set up traps or map the sales of illegal products. Other crooks noticed the account hijacks because Dutch Police changed the PGP key for the hijacked accounts with their own, which was accidentally signed with the name "Dutch Police." The second method of operation spotted by the Dark Web community involves so-called "locktime" files that were downloaded from the Hansa Market before Dutch authorities shut it down on July 20. Under normal circumstances a locktime file is a simple log of a vendor's market transaction, containing details about the sold product, the buyer, the time of the sale, the price, and Hansa's signature. The files are used as authentication by vendors to request the release of Bitcoin funds after a sale's conclusion, or if the market was down due to technical reasons. Before the market went down, these locktime files were replaced with Excel files that contained a hidden image that would beacon back to police servers, exposing the vendor's real location. Dutch Police was able to do this because they took over Hansa servers on June 20 and operated the market for one more month, collecting data on vendors.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Ask Slashdot: Should Average Consumers Install More Than One Antivirus Program On Their System?
Even though you would assume that people would know better, an anonymous reader writes, in my experience, I have found many who think installing more than one antivirus program on their computer is the right way to go about it. Some have installed as many as three third-party security suites, which among other things, takes a toll on the performance. This week the New York Times' tech tip section addresses the matter. From the article, which could be paywalled, but you don't have to read it in entirety anyway: Installing more than one program to constantly scan and monitor your PC for viruses and other security threats can create problems, because the two applications will likely interfere with each other's work. Clashing antivirus programs can cause the computer to behave erratically and run more slowly as the applications battle for system resources. Microsoft advises against running its Windows Defender security software on the same system with another installed third-party antivirus program. Likewise, antivirus software companies also warn against using other system security products when you are using theirs; Bitdefender, Kaspersky Lab and Symantec all have articles on their sites explaining the potential problems in detail. Programs that do not constantly patrol your operating system, like mail scanners, may not be an issue. What do you folks recommend to people who are not as tech-savvy?
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Bad News If You Make $150,000 to $300,000: Higher Taxes for Many
From a WSJ report: If President Donald Trump sticks to what he has said, Americans earning between $149,400 and $307,900 are most likely to see an increase in their taxes as a result of tax reform (Editor's note: the link could be paywalled). Those figures come from a recent study by the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan group in Washington, and are based on Mr. Trump's statements and proposals. The study concludes that nearly one-third of about 19 million households in that income range could see tax increases averaging from $3,000 to $4,000 a year. By contrast, less than 10% of households earning the least or the most -- below $25,000 or above $733,000 -- would owe more after a tax overhaul. Over all, the study found that about 20% of taxpayers would owe more after tax reform than before it. The issue of tax reform's winners and losers has resurfaced after top congressional Republicans and the Trump administration released a set of broad principles for tax policy on Thursday containing few details.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Tesla Model 3 Test Drive: Car Has Bite and Simple Interior
An anonymous reader shares a WSJ article: A first peek inside Tesla's new Model 3 compact car revealed a starker, cozier interior than the more spacious and luxurious Model S. But as the sedan sped off, the experience felt similar. On Friday, the Silicon Valley auto maker showed off details of the all-electric sedan's interior for the first time (Editor's note: the link could be paywalled; alternative source), allowing brief test rides with a roughly 10-minute spin around the factory. The Model 3 represents a milestone for Chief Executive Elon Musk, who has long wanted to create an electric car for the masses. He's betting the new vehicle can help fuel massive growth for his 14-year-old company, projecting Tesla will produce a half-million cars next year, after delivering about 76,000 Model S sedans and Model X sport-utility vehicles last year. The Model 3's exterior was revealed in March last year, but details about the interior have been scarce. The $35,000 sedan is noticeably bare bones inside -- gone are the displays and instrument panel behind the steering wheel and the numerous switches and buttons found in the cockpit of traditional cars. Instead, the Model 3 makes greater use of a video screen in the center dash that controls most of the car's functions.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Apple Paid Nokia $2 Billion To Escape Fight Over Old Patents
An anonymous reader shares a report: Apple's latest patent spat with Nokia resulted in a $2 billion up-front payment from the iPhone maker, a colossal sum that seems to indicate Apple was eager to avoid a protracted and ugly dispute that could rival the one it had with Samsung. The new details of the settlement, which was first announced back in May without the disclosure of a financial amount or the new licensing terms, were spotted in Nokia's second quarter earnings release. "We got a substantial upfront cash payment of $2 billion from Apple, strengthening further our cash position. As said earlier, our plans is to provide more details on the intended use of cash in conjunction with our Q3 earnings," reads the official transcript of Nokia's quarterly earnings call with investors yesterday. Neither Nokia nor Apple have disclosed the terms of the new licensing deal, including whether it involves recurring payments or how many years it will be in place.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Roomba Is No Spy: CEO Says iRobot Will Never Sell Your Data
It's been a challenging week for iRobot, the company behind the popular Roomba robotic vacuums. From a report: It started with an interview in Reuters, in which the company's chief executive Colin Angle gave the clear impression that iRobot was selling consumers' home mapping data (Editor's note: the chief executive said the company intended to explore the opportunity). Last night, Angle and iRobot got back to me on this issue. They provided the following response to the concerns I and others shared. "First things first, iRobot will never sell your data. Our mission is to help you keep a cleaner home and, in time, to help the smart home and the devices in it work better. There's no doubt that a robot can help your home be smarter. It's the data it collects to do its job, and the trusted relationship between you, your robot and iRobot, that is critical for that to happen. Information that is shared needs to be controlled by the customer and not as a data asset of a corporation to exploit. That is how data is handled by iRobot today. Customers have control over sharing it. I want to make very clear that this is how data will be handled in the future."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Appocalypse Now - How iOS11 Will Kill Some Of Your Favourite iPhone Apps
Ronan Price, writing for Independent: The app-ocalypse is coming and almost no one knows it. Apologies for the dreadful pun but, in about six to eight weeks' time, hundreds of thousands of older apps for iPhone and iPad will cease to work when Apple updates its iOS software to version 11. Businesses and consumers who rely on these elderly apps and update to iOS11 without knowing the consequences face a rude awakening. Their difficulty ranges from mere inconvenience that a useful app no longer functions to the complete loss of valuable data buried in a piece of obsolete software. Apple began signalling two years ago that it was signing the death warrant for older apps when it moved iOS to 64-bit software - essentially a more secure, faster and technologically advanced version that replaced the previous 32-bit code. First, Apple encouraged developers to rewrite their apps to 64-bit status but continued to allow 32-bit apps to function. Then it began to warn developers and customers that future iOS updates would experience compatibility issues. You may have seen -- and ignored -- the messages when launching apps in the last year telling you "App X needs up to be updated, the developer needs to update it to improve its compatibility." Finally, just this June, Apple confirmed that iOS11 would put the kibosh on 32-bit forever when it's released into the wild in late September. The announcement came and went with little fanfare from the public's perspective.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Congress Asks US Agencies For Kaspersky Lab Cyber Documents
Reuters reports: A U.S. congressional panel this week asked 22 government agencies to share documents on Moscow-based cyber firm Kaspersky Lab, saying its products could be used to carry out "nefarious activities against the United States," according to letters seen by Reuters. The requests made on Thursday by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology are the latest blow to the antivirus company, which has been countering accusations by U.S. officials that it may be vulnerable to Russian government influence. The committee asked the agencies for all documents and communications about Kaspersky Lab products dating back to Jan. 1, 2013, including any internal risk assessments. It also requested lists of any systems that use Kaspersky products and the names of any U.S. government contractors or subcontractors that do so. Kaspersky has repeatedly denied that it has ties to any government and said it would not help any government with cyber espionage. It said there is no evidence for the accusations made by U.S. officials. The committee "is concerned that Kaspersky Lab is susceptible to manipulation by the Russian government, and that its products could be used as a tool for espionage, sabotage, or other nefarious activities against the United States," wrote the panel's Republican chairman, Lamar Smith, in the letters.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Laurene Powell Jobs's Organization to Take Majority Stake in The Atlantic
Emerson Collective, the organization founded by Laurene Powell Jobs, has agreed to acquire a majority stake in The Atlantic magazine, with full ownership possible in the coming years. From a report: David G. Bradley, chairman of Atlantic Media, will retain a minority stake and intends to continue running the magazine for the next three to five years. After that, Emerson Collective may purchase Mr. Bradley's remaining interest. "While I will stay at the helm some years, the most consequential decision of my career now is behind me: Who next will take stewardship of this 160-year-old national treasure?" Mr. Bradley, 64, wrote in a note to employees. "To me, the answer, in the form of Laurene, feels incomparably right." The leadership of The Atlantic, including Jeffrey Goldberg, the editor in chief; Bob Cohn, the president; and Hayley Romer, the publisher, will remain unchanged and will continue to run the publication's daily operations (could be paywalled). The deal, which Mr. Bradley announced to the staff on Friday morning, also includes The Atlantic's digital properties, events business and consulting services. Mr. Bradley will continue to fully own the rest of Atlantic Media's properties, which include the National Journal Group and the digital media organization Quartz. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
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- Former webOS, Pebble Design Lead, Who Just Left Andy Rubin's Essential, Heads To Google
Janko Roettgers, writing for Variety: Google has hired a former lead Pebble and webOS designer Liron Damir as the new head of user experience of its Google Home group, which works on products such as Google Home, Chromecast and Google Wifi. Damir announced that he joined Google on LinkedIn this week, writing that he was "super excited and proud to be joining Google... to lead the design of Google Home products." A Google spokesperson confirmed the hire Thursday, but declined to comment further. Most recently, Damir worked as head of UX for Essential, the new startup from Android founder Andy Rubin. Before that, he was VP of design at Pebble, the pioneering smart watch maker that got acquired by Fitbit in late 2016. Before joining Pebble, Damir led the webOS design efforts at HP, and then at LG. webOS was initially developed as a mobile operating system to take on Android and iOS, but HP scrapped these efforts when it realized that it couldn't compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung. The company sold webOS to LG in early 2013, which ended up using the operating system for its smart TVs.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Hacker Cracks Smart Gun Security To Shoot It Without Approval
An anonymous reader shares a CNN report:Smart guns are supposed to be safer than traditional weapons. They're designed to only fire when paired with a second piece of technology that identifies the shooter, like an electronic chip or a fingerprint. Supporters say they could stop accidental shootings or misfires. And they've been lauded by law enforcement to prevent criminals from using stolen or misplaced guns. However, like any technology, they're not unhackable. A hacker known by the pseudonym Plore doesn't want to put a stop to smart guns, but he wants the firearm industry that's increasingly manufacturing these devices to know that they can be hacked. The model Plore hacked is called the Armatix IPI. It pairs electronically with a smart watch so that only the person wearing the watch can fire it. The devices authenticate users via radio signals, electronically talking to each other within a small range. Plore broke the security features in three different ways, including jamming radio signals in the weapon and watch so the gun couldn't be fired, and shooting the gun with no watch nearby by placing strong magnets next to the weapon.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Samsung Ends Intel's 2-decade-plus Reign in Microchips
Intel has lost its long-held title as the world's top computer chip makerâ"at least by one important yardstick. From an Associated Press report: Intel's more than two decade reign as king of the silicon-based semiconductor ended Thursday when Samsung Electronics surpassed the U.S. manufacturer to become the leading maker of the computer chips that are a 21st century staple much as oil was in the past. Samsung reported record-high profit and sales in its earnings report for the April-June quarter, and while Intel's reported earnings beat forecasts, the U.S. company's entire revenue was smaller than sales from Samsung's chip division. Samsung said its semiconductor business recorded 8 trillion ($7.2 billion) in operating income on revenue of 17.6 trillion won ($15.8 billion) in the quarter. Intel said it earned $2.8 billion on sales of $14.8 billion.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- India is Betting On Compulsory Internships To Improve Its Unemployable Engineers
India has come up with a solution to improve the quality of the engineers it churns out. From a report: Over 60 percent of the 800,000 engineering graduates that India produces annually remain unemployed, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the apex body for technical education in India, says. So, to make them more employable, engineering colleges across the country will now have to ensure that undergraduate students complete three internships lasting between four and eight weeks each during the course of their programme. Currently, less than one percent participate in summer internships. [...] Indians are obsessed with engineering, particularly since the IT boom. The mid-1990s saw a huge spike in the number of engineering graduates as demand increased in sectors ranging from IT to infrastructure.
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- Hackers Vandalize Vegas Pool Party Club in 'All Out War'
From a CNET report: Next to DJ Tiesto's loud image on Wet Republic's website sits a photo of a bikini model with a beard and an eye patch, with a simple message: "It's all out war." Not exactly the type of message you'd expect from a spot that advertises itself as a dance club that doubles as a pool party, but when hackers are in town for Defcon, everything seems to be fair game. The hacker convention, which is in its 25th year in Las Vegas, typically has hotels on alert for its three days of Sin City talk, demos and mischief. Guests are encouraged not to pick up any flash drives lying around, and employees are trained to be wary of social engineering -- that is, bad guys pretending to be someone innocent and in need of just a little help. Small acts of vandalism pop up around town. At Caesars Palace, where Defcon is happening, the casino's UPS store told guests it was not accepting any print requests from USB drives or links, and only printing from email attachments. Hackers who saw this laughed, considering that emails are hardly immune from malware. But the message is clear: During these next few days, hackers are going to have their fun, whether it's through a compromised Wi-Fi network or an open-to-mischief website. Wet Republic's site had two images vandalized, both for the "Hot 100" party with DJ Shift. The digital graffiti popped up early Friday morning, less than 24 hours after Defcon kicked off.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Top Established and Emerging Tech Companies Prefer To Hire Highly Educated Candidates, Not Dropouts
An anonymous reader shares a report:It may seem like Silicon Valley is populated entirely with celebrity college dropouts, but in fact, they're the exception to the rule. Going to college pays off, and to land a job at one of the most coveted tech employers, you'll need to stay in school. Data analysis site Paysa looked at over 8,200 job posting and over 70,000 resumes at tech "titans" (companies worth at least $100 billion with an IPO more than 10 years ago) and "tech disruptors" (companies worth at least $10 billion with an IPO within the last 10 years) and found that employees at these companies are highly educated, not dropouts. A disproportionate number of employees at these sought-after companies actually have advanced degrees, and one company stood out as employing the highest percentage of workers with Ph.D.s -- Google. A whopping 16 percent of positions at Google require a doctorate degree. Less than 2 percent of Americans have earned a doctoral degree and an even smaller percentage have studied topics that are relevant to Google's work.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- Chess champ Kasparov, for one, welcomes our new robot overlords
I’d like to remind them that as a trusted TV personality, I can be helpful in rounding...
DEF CON The world chess champion who was beaten by a computer today told the DEF CON hacking conference that we shouldn’t fear AI systems, but instead need to embrace them.…
- Boffins throw Amazon Alexa on the rack to extract hidden clues
Investigators can look forward to better thumbscrews for making digital assistants squeal
Last year, police in Bentonville, Arkansas, investigating the death of Victor Collins, demanded that Amazon turn over audio recordings that may have been made by an Amazon Echo device in his home.…
- Amazon 'mulls' deeper health tech invasion with stealth skunkworks
E-marketplace giant looks to levy Alexa success for consumer healthcare
Analysis Amazon is gearing up to take advantage of the burgeoning market for personal healthcare technology, but has been warned not to underestimate the power of the incumbent enterprise market in hospitals.…
- London cops bust fake Cisco hardware chain
More than 1,000 pieces of networking hardware seized
City of London cops today confirmed they have confiscated hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of counterfeit Cisco networking gear.…
- MCubed: Early bird tickets offer ends on Monday
Real savings on artificial intelligence
Let’s make this quick. The early bird ticket offer for MCubed, our three-day extravaganza of machine learning, AI and analytics, will evaporate Monday evening, giving you just a few days to save hundreds of pounds on tickets for the conference and our deep dive workshops.…
- Sysadmin Day 2017: Still time to get the beers in
70% of IT workers risk burnout: Don't let that be you. Pub. Now!
It's that time of year again, dear readers: it's Sysadmin Day 2017. Today is that one day a year where employers and coworkers are expected to give a token acknowledgement of the trials and tribulations of their overworked IT staffs and usually fail to do so.…
- The ultimate full English breakfast – have your SAY
Forget Brexit, lets use grease and dead things to heal a gaping political chasm
A turf war has broken out among the scribes at Vulture Towers North over the fried delicacies that should and should not be included in the world famous Full English gut buster Breakfast.…
- Sysadmin jeered in staff cafeteria as he climbed ladder to fix PC
Life lesson: don't display messages on screens if you don't know who'll see it!
On-Call The end of the week is nigh and to ease your passage into the next phase of existence – the blessed weekend - El Reg brings you On-Call, our Friday column chronicling readers’ stories of jobs with strange beginnings and sticky endings.…
- Inside the ongoing fight to stamp out govt-grade Android spyware
Chrysaor, Lipizzan are state surveillance tools, not Pokemon, surprisingly
Black Hat A study into government-grade Android spyware led researchers to a new strain of surveillance malware lurking in the Google Play app store – a strain that has now been unceremoniously booted out of the software marketplace.…
- Cellphone kill switches kill cellphone snatchers
Mobes no longer worth stealing, San Francisco DA declares
Smartphone thefts have declined by 50 per cent in San Francisco since 2013, and by 22 per cent since last year, a decline that District Attorney George Gascón attributes to the Smartphone Theft Prevention Act.…
Linux.com offline for now
- LLVM 5.0-RC1 Up For Testing
Following the LLVM 5 branching earlier this week, release manager Hans Wennborg has now tagged the first release candidate...
- Godot 3.0 Reaches Alpha
The first alpha release of the big revamp to the Godot 3.0 game engine is now available for game developers to test...
- GNOME Disks Gaining Resize & Repair Support
Thanks to work ongoing to GNOME Disks and UDisks, there should soon be support within this disk/file-system management program for resizing partitions as well as running a file-system repair...
- Some PokÃ©mon Go events in Europe postponed after Chicago debacle
Last weekend's Pokémon Go Fest did not go well, with technical issues and cell coverage problems preventing many players from participating at the event's Chicago location in Grant Park. Afterward, the game's makers refunded players and offered other goodies, but complaints have persisted and there's even a reported lawsuit. Seemingly as a result of all of the issues, Niantic just announced it's postponing two pairs of Pokémon Safari events scheduled in Europe to "guarantee the best possible gameplay experience."
Interestingly, not all of the events are being delayed, just four scheduled for the next two weeks. That includes Copenhagen and Prague on August 5th, along with Stockholm and Amsterdam on August 12th, all of which will be rescheduled to unspecified dates in the fall. The Pikachu Outbreak event in Yokohama, Japan on August 14th and all events set for September 16th in France, Spain and Germany are still on the schedule.
Niantic says some Pokémonthat are rarely seen in Europe will be spawning there soon to make up for it, but it's unlikely to do much for fans who've already made travel arrangements. While delaying things to work on its setup and coordination with mobile providers may be the best move available at this point, it's still a bitter pill to swallow. Technical issues pushed some players away through https://t.co/XPiTBEfj2I
— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) July 29, 2017
Source: PokÃ©mon Go Live
- I took a ride in Tesla's new Model 3
After celebrating the delivery of its first 30 Model 3's to eagerly awaiting pre-order customers, Tesla invited attendees at Friday night's event to take a spin in the brand new vehicles. So of course, we took them up on the offer.
Watch a Tesla Model 3 vs. Volvo S60 side-pole impact test pic.twitter.com/dXBQkstrdo
— Tesla (@TeslaMotors) July 29, 2017
Tesla bills the Model 3 as a slightly smaller (not to mention significantly less expensive) version of the Model S. For the most part, that analogy rings true. The interior of the Model 3 is well appointed with leather seats, power everything and most of the same electronic gadgets that the Model S offers. Despite being a few inches shorter than the S, the Model 3 does not skimp on the legroom. I stand over six feet tall and didn't feel the least bit cramped in the 3's backseat.
The Model 3 does have a smaller battery pack than the S so don't expect to engage Ludicrous mode (which it does not offer yet) and go blowing Lambos off the line. But while the 3 won't suck the fillings out of your teeth with its speed, the car is by no means a no slouch in the acceleration department. You still have access to every horse the electric drivetrain can muster every time you step on the "gas" pedal.
I took a ride in the $35,000 base model which boasts a 220 mile range and 5.6 second 0-60. If you opt for the Long Range edition (a $9,000 battery option), that figure drops to just over 5 seconds and extends its drive time to a whopping 310 miles. That means with the bigger battery, you can theoretically get from San Diego, California to Scottsdale, Arizona in a single charge.
Of course, why would you push your luck when the Model 3 is fully compatible with Tesla's network of Supercharger stations. However, unlike the Model S and X, Model 3 owners won't have unlimited to the charger stations and will have to pay a small fee each time they're plugged in.
Overall though, this is a pretty sweet whip for $35,000. For that price, you could get a BMW 2 series or a Mercedes CLA, but why deal with the hassle of gas? The Model 3 may sacrifice a bit of the overwhelming performance of the S (looking at you P100D Ludicrous Mode) but it offers a far more responsible and reasonable driving experience in its place.
A look inside Model 3 pic.twitter.com/hIhAZn4Sdj
— Tesla (@TeslaMotors) July 29, 2017
My only real qualm with the 3 is that the speedo and the rest of the rest of the instrument cluster are located on the upper left corner of the center console control panel, requiring you to take your eyes off the road every time want to see how fast you're going. Still, while the Roadster put Tesla on the map, the Model 3 really feels like the car that will bring electric vehicles as a whole into the mainstream.
- Tesla just delivered the first round of Model 3s
As Tesla CEO Elon Musk promised earlier this month, the company handed over the first 30 Model 3s to their new owners at a delivery ceremony in Fremont, California this Friday.
Update: And we took our first ride -- find out more details about the Model 3 right here.
The company will now shift its focus to ramping up production. Musk reportedly expects the Fremont production plant to build another 100 Model 3s in August, accelerating to 1,500 the following month and potentially hitting as many as 20,000 cars per month by the end of the year. However, even with those sorts of production numbers, it'll still take nearly two years to deliver Model 3s to all 400,000 people who've laid down $1,000 deposits since the program launched last March.
While the Model X SUV and Model S sedan served as (expensive) early standard bearers for the fledgling car company, the Model 3 is being billed as an electric car for the everyman. It is expected to retail for around $35,000 for the base model, though industry analysts have speculated buyers will be able to upgrade to a second motor for all-wheel drive capabilities or larger batteries for extended range. These options haven't yet been confirmed by the company and we'll likely have to wait until Tesla actually releases its order sheets before knowing exactly what sorts of bells and whistles the Model 3s will offer.
What we do know, thanks first to a leaked internal company document but which has since been confirmed by the company, is that the Model 3 will offer a 5.6 second 0-60 time, 130MPH tops speed, 220 mile range, space for 5 adults, and 15 cubic feet of cargo storage. It will offer supercharging capability, which notches 130 miles of range per 30 minutes of charge time. If you juice it back up through your home's 240V power system as well, though, that rate drops to 30 miles of range per hour. Other amenities include WiFi and LTE connectivity, voice activated controls, and Bluetooth.
As for options, you can score an extra-range battery which boosts the vehicle's range to 310 miles, ups the top speed to 140 MPH and drops a half second off the the 0-60 time to 5.1 seconds. You can also pick one of five special color options for $1,000 a pop or add 19-inch sport wheels for another $1,500. The Premium Upgrades Package retails for an extra $5,000 but gives you premium, powered, heated seats, fog lamps, heated sideview mirrors and a dual smartphone dock in the center console.
And of course this thing is autopilot-enabled. You'll just need to plunk down $5,000 for the Model 3 to get it to "match speed to traffic conditions, keep within a lane, automatically change lanes, transition from one freeway to another, exit the freeway and self-park at your destination," according to the company. The Model 3 can even offer "Full Self-Driving Capability" at some point "in the future" but it'll set you back $3,000 in addition to the five grand you dropped on the Enhanced Autopilot package.
The Model 3 will only sport a single 15-inch display screen (rather than the S's dual digital displays) and offer a far more streamlined customization process with fewer than 100 options for customers to choose from. The Model S, for comparison, boasts more than 1,500 customization schemes.
Source: Tesla (YouTube)
- Twitter tests $99 subscription for auto-promoted tweets
Twitter is testing a subscription plan that charges users $99 a month to automatically promote tweets into strangers' timelines. This wouldn't be a service offered to all: Only those invited would be given the option to bellow out tweets to folks who don't follow them. But at this point, it isn't another tool for big brands to use. It's aimed at users who aren't as Twitter-savvy -- i.e. power users and small businesses -- who would conceivably rather throw money at the social media network than micromanage their account.
This is a pretty clear experiment to try out a new source of cash flow for Twitter, which saw a drop in advertising revenue this year, making $439 million in Q2 2017 compared to $535 million in the same period last year. Twitter confirmed to Engadget that it's currently testing this program, but didn't comment further.
Interesting @Twitter ads are running a new private beta program https://t.co/RbIEHMnGNl pic.twitter.com/oStFltf47Q
— David Iwanow (@davidiwanow) July 28, 2017
Users that had paid Twitter to promote their tweets before were invited to the pilot program, though interested users can apply for the program now and get 30 free days of "automated promotion." According to the FAQ section, it will only apply to the first ten tweets of the day, and they will go out to either users with similar interests or those in a chosen metropolitan area (but not both).
Via: Business Insider
- Apple's HomePod firmware spills more details on the smart speaker
Apple unveiled its Siri-powered HomePod speaker hub at WWDC back in June, and despite a hefty $350 pricetag and the inevitable comparisons to Alexa devices, it actually sounds pretty good. In the lead up to its release this December, Apple pushed out the hub's firmware, revealing that it runs on iOS -- basically like a screenless iPhone or iPad. But in its current incarnation, the HomePod won't support third-party apps and programs, according to developer Steve Troughton-Smith's analysis.
Just to cut off speculation: there doesn't seem to be any kind of provision in the HomePod OS shell for installing apps or extensions. Zip
— Steve T-S (@stroughtonsmith) July 28, 2017
Obviously, that's not to say the device never will. Since it runs on a full iOS stack through a shell app called "Soundboard," they could always patch in the ability for third parties to load up their software later. If things don't change before launch, it's an odd move to make, especially given how late the HomePod is to the voice-controlled assistant game. Both Google's Home and Amazon's Alexa-powered devices allow and encourage companies to make apps that enable custom interactions (Alexa has 15,000 of these "skills" and counting). It would also be a huge surprise if the HomePod didn't integrate at launch with the IoT HomeKit system Apple keeps trying to make happen.
Otherwise, the firmware reveals a few things about the HomePod's interactions. In keeping with Apple tradition, the device will support accessibility features including VoiceOver. Troughton-Smith believes the top touch surface is an LED matrix that could display shapes and symbols, not just big LED lights. Onboard controls are limited to activating Siri, adjusting volume and alarms on the HomePod -- the bulk of which we discovered during our hands-on back in June.
We've reached out to Apple for comment and will report if we hear back.
Source: Steve Troughton-Smith (Twitter)
- YouTube recommendations inadvertently serve up illegal livestreams
While livestreaming is often associated with Facebook and Twitter these days, YouTube has been offering the feature for more than five years now. Still, it's only recently that the video giant has taken the phenomenon seriously -- it's finally letting some users broadcast from their phones, and it's now easier to discover them via recommendations. Ironically, however, YouTube's own recommendation system helped me discover a huge flaw in livestreaming: flagrant copyright infringement. Indeed, it turns out that YouTube is infested with rogue streams of copyrighted content, and I wouldn't have discovered it if YouTube itself hadn't recommend them to me.
During the recent July 4th weekend, I was on YouTube looking up videos on how to cook the perfect burger. As I perused the search results, I came across something I hadn't seen before: what appeared to be a 24/7 livestream of Bob's Burgers, a popular animated show on Fox. I clicked on it and indeed, that was exactly what it was. The stream had only been running for four hours, but it already had thousands of viewers, and the live chatroom was full of people chatting about the episode. As the user hosting the stream did not appear to be in any way associated with the Fox Network, I had to assume it was not a legitimate feed.
But what was even more fascinating was the "Recommended for You" sidebar on the right of the video. It was a treasure trove of 24/7 livestreams of other popular animated shows like Futurama, The Simpsons, South Park and Family Guy. What's more, there were multiple livestreams of each show going on simultaneously, and several of them were hosted by different users.
Intrigued, I did a few more searches and found that there were literally hundreds of these streams. At the time of my search, there were about 11 separate livestreams of Bob's Burgers, around 70 livestreams of Futurama, 50 of South Park and 20 of The Simpsons.
A few of these streams had four to five thousand viewers, while most of them had only 20 or 30. A good chunk were only a few hours old, but I did come across one or two Futurama streams that began nearly five days ago. Upon further investigation, I found that sometimes one user would have five or six livestreams of the same show going simultaneously.
I felt like I had found a hidden gold mine of secret YouTube. This was all clearly very illegal and very against YouTube's own copyright rules. Further searches online reveal that the phenomenon isn't entirely new; it appears to have been around for at least a year (A quick Google search shows livestream feeds appearing as early as August 2016). Which makes the fact that YouTube hasn't resolved this issue yet all the more intriguing.
I left my computer alone for a few hours as I went about my weekend and returned to see if the illegal streams that I bookmarked were still around. Interestingly, one of them had been taken down, but the rest were still up. The next day, more of them were removed, and the following day, all of them were gone. It seems like the copyright owners had finally sniffed them out.
But all it took to get the streams back was to head to my YouTube homepage, which was suddenly rife with recommendations for illegal livestreams of animated shows. Indeed, all I needed to do was search for "Futurama" and I would get a slew of those 24/7 streams again. Heck, if I felt particularly lazy, I could even just go to YouTube's very own Live landing page to see several of them featured in the recommended section.
Over the past few weeks, I've noticed that as streams get taken down, more just pop back up. Sometimes it's the same user who does it, sometimes it's different. Some of these users have hundreds of subscribers, and only have a few other uploaded videos. YouTube is clearly trying to take down these rogue streams as fast as it can, but it's a constant cat-and-mouse game that YouTube doesn't seem to be winning.
Of course, YouTube has long had a problem with rogue actors uploading copyrighted videos to its platform; it's even been sued over it. Eventually, YouTube came up with a way of identifying copyrighted content with a system called Content ID. It's essentially a digital fingerprinting system that automatically matches video and audio files in a database to videos that are uploaded on YouTube. If a video is in violation, it gets a Content ID claim, and it might eventually be taken down if the content owner chooses to do that.
The problem, however, is that Content ID only comes into play with uploaded videos, not the ones that are streamed live. In YouTube's Support page, it states: "Content ID claims are only made after you complete your live broadcast, if you decide to archive the video." As you can imagine, most of these illegal livestreams are not archived, so Content ID claims can't be filed.
In a statement provided to AdAge, which reported a similar issue in April, YouTube states that it "respects the rights of copyright holders" and that it has "invested heavily in copyright and content management tools to give rights holders control of their content on YouTube." It also said: "When copyright holders work with us to provide reference files for their content, we ensure all live broadcasts are scanned for third-party content, and we either pause or terminate streams when we find matches to third party content."
Engadget received the same statement from YouTube when we reported the issue. We were also told that when a copyright takedown notification has been received on a video or a livestream, that content is removed promptly and the accounts of repeat offenders are terminated.
YouTube isn't the only one trying to figure out how to manage the Wild, Wild West of live video. Facebook and Twitter have run up against this issue too, with people sneaking in livestreams of concerts or sporting events. Periscope, for example, came under fire from HBO when users used it to stream the fifth season premiere of Game of Thrones, as well as the Mayweather vs. Pacquaio boxing match. Of course, there are other issues with livestreams too. In the past year, people have used Facebook and Periscope to broadcast violent acts such as murders, suicides and rapes.
Both Facebook and Periscope have provided statements in the past that they respect the intellectual property rights and will take down videos if notified. Periscope told Engadget that all content must follow community guidelines, which include adherence of copyright and must not contain content that's violent or pornographic. But it still seems like viewers have to proactively flag these videos to get moderators to notice; there's nothing really preventing them to be streamed in the first place. Controlling live video, as it turns out, is pretty hard.
When asked about these live streams that appeared in my Recommendations feed, YouTube simply said it looks at all sorts of different criteria to fill it, such as geography, video popularity and my watch history. So, of course, if an infringing livestream is particularly popular and it also melds with my interests, there's a higher likelihood it'll surface. There doesn't seem to be any plans to change how Recommendations work at this time.
YouTube isn't doing itself any favors here. I wouldn't have even found these streams if YouTube itself didn't offer them up to me, thanks in part to its own algorithms. Sure, it can be hard to control what's live, and you can't always block people from streaming copyrighted content. But there has to be a way to prevent it from being so easy to find.
- A molecule found on Saturn's moon Titan could foster life
In a new study published today in Science Advances, researchers report that they've found a complex molecule in the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan that could lead to the formation of life. Cell membranes are the outer barrier of most cells found on Earth and they, or structures like them, are crucial for life to form. And while Titan is quite different from our planet, it's thought that this molecule -- vinyl cyanide -- is one that could potentially form cell membranes in the Titan environment.
On Earth, cell membranes are made up of lipids, fatty molecules that require liquid water. Titan, however, is extremely cold, which means lipids can't form. But while it doesn't have liquid water, Titan does have lakes of liquid methane, which along with vinyl cyanide, could foster the development of those essential cell membranes.
NASA's Cassini probe found evidence of vinyl cyanide on Titan, but wasn't able to provide any conclusive measurements. In this study, however, researchers used data collected from the Atacama Large Millimeter Array in Chile and found quite a lot of the molecule in Titan's atmosphere, and because methane on Titan likely circulates like water on Earth, periodically raining down from the Titan skies, there's a good chance that there's also vinyl cyanide hanging out in the moon's methane lakes.
We don't yet know if there actually are cell membrane-like structures forming on Titan and we certainly don't have any evidence yet that there's any sort of life on the moon. But it definitely means we should keep studying Titan. "This is a far cry from saying [life] definitely happens on Titan and these cells are involved in some kind of primitive life," Martin Cordiner, an author of the study, told The Verge. "But it gives us a starting point in that discussion. If there was going to be life in Titan's oceans, then it's plausible vinyl cyanide could be a component of that."
Via: The Verge
Source: Science Advances
- YouTube hopes to patch things up with the music industry
The music industry hasn't been too enamored with YouTube, what with all the unsanctioned content on the video site. Now that Google is planning to merge Google Play and YouTube into one music service, however, it's time to start fixing that awkward relationship. YouTube's head of music, Lyor Cohen, took the first steps toward reconciliation at the New Music Seminar in New York City this week, with a panel geared toward the lack of ad revenues and how the music industry can be more supportive of streaming services.
According to YouTube, Pandora and iHearMedia sat down with those from Warner Music and SoundExchange to talk about ways to help the two industries work together. "We're scared to death and we typically stomp them out," The Verge reports YouTube's Cohen said, referring to a lack of collaboration between the music industry and innovative streaming services. "Look at what's happening with SoundCloud. What a sad experience that they're experiencing right now. To me, we needed to collaborate with them in order for them to help build a business, whether it's an advertising business or an opportunity for them to shepherd their consumers to a potential subscription."
Paid streaming generates six times the revenue of ad-supported streaming, though both systems showed solid growth in 2016. SoundExchange's SVP Mark Eisenberg noted that ad-supported services may be too good; there might not be enough incentive to upgrade to a paid account. "Some people will never pay for a subscription for a variety of reasons," he said, according to The Verge, "but it doesn't mean that [streaming services aren't] monetizing them. We just have to figure out a way to make an ecosystem work for all."
Cohen aims to close the gap between ad-supported and paid subscriptions with machine learning, which he claims drives 80 percent of views on YouTube, to help new artists gain exposure. "YouTube is not only going to build a fabulous subscription business to complement its advertising business," he said, "but it's going to work with the industry to help break their acts."
Source: The Verge
- What we're watching: 'Shirobako,' 'American Gods' and 'Robot & Frank'
Welcome once again to Video IRL, where several of our editors talk about what they've been watching in their spare time. This month brings a mixed bag; while one of us dived into season one of Starz' series American Gods; another is obsessed with a quirky UK game show that will make the jump to America soon; we've given anime another chance and last but not least, there's even some robot-enabled larceny.
A decade after slowly drifting away from watching anime as a genre, I've somehow found myself with a Crunchyroll Premium subscription. It started when my wife wanted to watch the 2014 Sailor Moon reboot, continued as we stumbled into the addictive absurdity of Food Wars and became a paid subscription somewhere between starting Rin-ne and catching up on new episodes of Dragon Ball Super. Somehow, we became anime fans again.
It's good to be back, too -- but it's not the high-profile, weekly simulcast adventures of Goku that keep me coming back to the anime streaming service. It's the slower, more focused shows that have caught my attention. The delicate story of Usagi Drop chronicling the sacrifices a 30-year old single man has to make when he unexpectedly becomes a parent to a 6-year old relative. The inspiring tale of Space Brothers, and one man's journey to fulfill his childhood dream of becoming an astronaut. Silly comedy and over-the-top action defined the Anime I watched in high school. As an adult, I'm finding well written, character-driven drama with beautiful art and surprisingly relevant narrative themes. It's ...kind of great.
It's not all fancy slice-of-life anime in my house -- I still love shonen action shows like My Hero Academia. Despite a decade of dismissing Dragon Ball as an "anime soap opera," I've fallen into the habit of watching Goku's exploits every weekend -- but it's the slower paced character narratives that have anchored me back in a genre I forgot. This month's obsession? recently been picked up in the US. The concept is easy to describe, but on paper sounds pretty boring: a team of comedians takes part in a series of challenges. But those challenges are all weird and wonderful, with lateral thinking and craftiness encouraged over simply doing the obvious thing.
There are four or five challenges a week and, between the filmed segments, the comedians sit in the studio explaining their logic. They need to impress both the Taskmaster, played by Greg Davies, and his Umpire, played by show creator Alex Horne. In these moments, there's a simple joy of watching seven really funny people all gently mocking one another while in a room.
The key to the show's success is the relaxed, chatty atmosphere that's created in studio juxtaposed with the arch hilarity of the filmed challenges. It's as if an NPR podcast crashed into one of those Japanese game shows you can catch on late night cable. I wasn't expecting to enjoy it, but after watching the first episode I quickly raced through the remaining 23.
The US version will feature Reggie Watts, with creator Alex Horne reprising his role as the Umpire, and I have no doubt the format will succeed over here. But I urge you all to use whatever inappropriate methods you can to watch the British original, especially since it's all so very charming.
Another British show with a high-concept premise that I've been enjoying of late is Murder in Successville. The show is essentially a live-action murder mystery, with the role of guest detective taken by a different celebrity each week. The twist, if one was needed, is that Successville itself is a town comprised entirely of celebrities -- in reality, a group of comedians and improvisers doing impressions. So, Chef Gordon Ramsay is the sweary chief of police, while Lana Del Rey is a drippy forensic technician working in the morgue.
Navigating both the audience and that week's contestant is comedian Tom Davis, playing the role of Detective Inspector Sleet. Given the real-time setting, much of the dialogue is improvised, with the cast occasionally breaking down into fits of laughter. You wouldn't expect it to be as funny as it is, but Davis' outsize personality, coupled with some surprisingly game contestants, makes the show. Again, it's hard to procure through legitimate means in the US, but it's another show that's well-worth discovering.
Neil Gaiman's American Gods is my favorite book of all time. So when I heard that it was going to be adapted into a television series on Starz, I immediately signed up for a subscription. I was eager, yet a little nervous, to see how showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green would bring Gaiman's prose to life, especially since much of American Gods is told in internal monologue. Eight episodes later, and despite a few quibbles, I can say that I'm pleasantly surprised. The show is similar, yet so different, from the book, that it really exists as its own entity. And that's not such a bad thing.
As a quick summary, $2.5 million budget and doesn't rely on extreme special effects to insert the robot -- instead, it's a dancer (Rachael Ma) in a suit. It's a great example of how less can be more when it comes to CGI and other rendering tricks, as the robot never looks out of place or like it's moving at a different speed compared to everything else.
The story is also personally relatable, as Frank, his family and friends adjust to his changing mental state while trying to reconcile sins in his past that he may no longer remember. It's a reality that many people either are dealing with or will in the future, and no amount of tech wizardry will make things that much easier. This is a movie with everything: glassholes, Susan Sarandon, Elton from Clueless and, of course, a thrilling library heist scene. The only advice I can give is to watch it, and know that if you give a former thief a robot assistant, you should probably make sure it includes relevant state and federal laws in its programming.
"IRL" is a recurring column in which the Engadget staff run down what they're buying, using, playing and streaming.
- 'Forces of Destiny' YouTube series explores untold 'Star Wars' tales
Can't get enough Star Wars content while you wait for the next couple of movie installments? You might want to check out this series of animated shorts, Jennifer Muro for Disney. Each two- to three-minute episode tells canonical stories of the women of Star Wars and their "everyday heroism." Eight of a planned 16 short films are available on YouTube now, and will eventually show up on Disney Channel. While Muro notes that the stories are meant for kids, she knows that all ages will dig these in-between stories from Star Wars.
The animation is basic but serviceable: think Ars Technica
- Samsung topples Intel as worldâ€™s largest chipmaker
Samsung registered a record profit of $12.6 billion in its second quarter earnings report, but hidden in those numbers lies another milestone. Of its $54 billion in revenue, $15 billion came solely from Samsung Semiconductors -- pushing it above the $14.8 billion that all of Intel brought in. In short: Samsung just ended Intel's 24-year-reign and became the largest chipmaker in the world.
But Samsung didn't get there by outselling processors -- it's been diversifying its chip offerings for years. While Intel has focused on CPUs for computers and servers after burying its wearables division last November, Samsung has broadened into making chips for mobile devices, as well as connected chips for IoT and smart vehicles. But the company also got ahead of Intel on the strength of its flash memory with more popular SSD products. Intel isn't giving up on the rivalry, and claimed its next generation of long-delayed Cannon Lake 10nm chips will feature twice as many transistors as Samsung's or TMSC's, putting them "light years" ahead.
Via: Sam Mobile
Source: Samsung Second Quarter 201 Earnings, Intel Second Quarter Earnings (PDF)
- The FDA has a significant change of heart about e-cigarettes
The FDA has just announced a sweeping change in its policy regarding e-cigarettes and vaping products. In a press release issued this morning, the administration outlined its plan to focus on reducing usage of combustible cigarettes and tobacco, in turn loosening restrictive rules laid out just last year, that could have wiped out most vaping products ("eliquid").
The health impact of vaping has been a hot topic in recent years, but an increasing amount of studies are showing that e-cigarettes are not only an effective way out of smoking but a considerably less harmful one. The UK's Royal College of Physicians (the same agency that confirmed the cancer risk of tobacco in the 60's) recently advised the UK Government to promote the use of e-cigarettes (along with conventional nicotine replacement methods) "as widely as possible as a substitute for smoking."
In May 2016 the FDA outlined regulations that extended its authority to electronic cigarettes and eliquids. The rules stated that any e-cigarette or vaping product released after Feb 15, 2007, would require the same expensive, lengthy FDA approval as regular smokes. That was significant as that would include pretty much every vape liquid on the market today, most of which are made by small independent businesses (and not "Big Tobacco"). Today's announcement extends the deadline of that process from sometime next year to 2022, and hints at a willingness to make that process simpler.
"The overwhelming amount of death and disease attributable to tobacco is caused by addiction to cigarettes – the only legal consumer product that, when used as intended, will kill half of all long-term users," said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb in the FDA report.
"Envisioning a world where cigarettes would no longer create or sustain addiction, and where adults who still need or want nicotine could get it from alternative and less harmful sources, needs to be the cornerstone of our efforts."
The vaping industry is young and loosely organized. The FDA's change in approach allows the industry some time to professionalize and ensure it can align with the FDA's new plans, which center on reducing addiction to cigarettes and deterring young people from picking up the habit.
Part of that strategy includes forcing cigarette manufacturers to lower the amount of nicotine in their products to "non-addictive levels." The other part appears to be the nearest thing we've seen as an endorsement for vaping from the FDA, with the administration stating:
"...the FDA is striking an appropriate balance between regulation and encouraging development of innovative tobacco products that may be less dangerous than cigarettes."
Needless to say, the e-cigarette industry is pleased with the news. Oliver Kershaw, founder of the popular E-Cigarette Forum, and co-founder of Vaping.com told Engadget "It's a real bombshell."
"On a pragmatic level, it just makes sense, it appears to be a joined up strategy for moving people away from cigarettes to healthier alternatives."
Kershaw points out that the FDA's policy change comes just days after the BMJ published a study that suggests links between the decline in smoking, and the boom in vaping around 2014. "On a pragmatic level, it just makes sense."
The FDA is still keeping a critical eye on the vape industry. Existing products will still need approval by 2022. Also, it will develop product standards to avoid known concerns such as battery issues, and exposure of eliquid to children.
For now, though, those looking to make the switch to e-cigarettes to kick the habit can do so without the fear that their chosen alternative might be regulated out of existence.
- Is your VPN lying to you?
It's no secret that there are oodles of shady VPN services that promise to protect your privacy as you surf the internet, but may, in fact, actually be worthless. After all, internet privacy is one part moving target and two parts shell game with your money and trust, so no one's surprised that the post-Snowden privacy panic turned into a gold rush for the unscrupulous.
One method VPN providers use to bilk trusting customers is to do shady things with customer records. We've also seen them misconfigure critical security settings, de-anonymize customers, and only take action when caught.
Now there's a new problem: VPNs that say you're connecting to a server in one country while actually routing your traffic through another. RestorePrivacy recently took a close look at what some VPNs are saying when they give you a server in another country, versus what they're actually doing when they connect users. And the two aren't matching up.
Many popular VPN services let users pick which country (or city) their traffic routes through, showing the destination that you're coming from as, say, London when you're actually in Paris. This can be practical when you're a Brit traveling abroad and just want to watch your BBC shows, or want to keep your IP address consistent so social media sites like Facebook don't freak out when you log in while on the go.
In addition to these issues, RestorePrivacy pointed out that VPN performance suffers when the actual server is significantly farther away than you expect it to be. In its post they pointed out an additional issue -- that customers "aren't getting the true server locations they paid for" and that "using fake server locations raises questions about the VPN's honesty."
It can be disastrous for people's safety if a server that's supposed to be in Saudi Arabia is actually in Los Angeles, California -- which is a real example of bait-and-switch claims RestorePrivacy found in their VPN server claim research.
RestorePrivacy looked at VPN services ExpressVPN, Hidemyass, and PureVPN.
These are popular services used by tens of millions of people. ExpressVPN was listed by TechRadar as one of the best VPN services of 2017, and is endorsed by Geek.com. Hidemyass got a big, positive profile in The Guardian, serves tens of millions of users, and was recommended in 2016 by PCWorld as a "tested" service that protects your privacy. PureVPN was listed in Extreme Tech's recent "5 best VPNs" list, and the service is endorsed by BoingBoing who hails it as "the world's fastest VPN."
Each of the services were found to be saying one thing to customers about server locations, while in practice actually doing something totally different.
With ExpressVPN they found 11 fake server locations; they identified 5 fake server locations with PureVPN but said "there are many more." Regarding the Hidemyass claim of "physical servers in 190+ countries," RestorePrivacy's post countered saying if users believe that, "I have a bridge to sell you."
In addition, "Upon closer examination of Hidemyass's network, you find some very strange locations, such as North Korea, Zimbabwe, and even Somalia." They wrote:
Hidemyass refers to these fictitious server locations as "virtual locations" on their website. Unfortunately, they do not have a server page available to the public, so I could not test any of the locations. The Hidemyass chat representative I spoke with confirmed they use fake "virtual" locations, but could not tell me which locations were fake and which were real.
A week after RestorePrivacy's post called them on it, ExpressVPN "admitted to numerous fake locations on its website (mirror) – 29 fictitious locations in total," they wrote. "Just like PureVPN and Hidemyass, ExpressVPN refers to these as "virtual" server locations." ExpressVPN was telling customers they could use servers in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Indonesia and more, when RestorePrivacy found that customers were actually being routed through one server located in Singapore.
RestorePrivacy said they believe the reasons for improper server location identification are financial. "First, it saves lots of money." They explained, "Using one server to fake numerous server locations will significantly reduce costs. (Dedicated premium servers are quite expensive.)" A service can also sell more VPN subscriptions if it looks like there's a huge variety of countries to choose from.
ExpressVPN told Engadget in a statement:
With the vast majority of ExpressVPN locations, the physical server and the registered IP address are located in the same country. This describes 97% of ExpressVPN's servers, as we have invested in a significant physical footprint covering every continent save Antarctica.
For less than 3% of ExpressVPN's servers, the registered IP address matches the country you've chosen to connect to, while the server is physically located in another country, usually nearby. These are called virtual server locations, and they help ensure your connection is fast, secure, and reliable.
The post goes into deep details about each service's claims, what RestorePrivacy found, and how they did their research. For every VPN server examined, three different network-testing tools were used "to verify the true location beyond any reasonable doubt." Those included the CA App Synthetic Monitor ping test (tests from 90 different worldwide locations), the CA App Synthetic Monitor traceroute, and Ping.pe, a test from 24 locations around the world. All of their test results are published in an appendix to the blog post.
The research recommended users toward "smaller VPN services that have fewer locations, but prioritize the quality of their server network, such as Perfect Privacy and VPN.ac." As you may remember, Perfect Privacy was the service that found and reported the massive privacy hole in several popular VPN services that de-anonymized users, called "Port Fail."
With the tools and info in RestorePrivacy's article and a little technical know-how, you can exhaustively test your VPN service to see if they're telling the truth about server location (or not). Sometimes you can just tell something's wrong when your Google results are in the wrong language -- showing that Google is seeing you come from a location you didn't expect.
Maybe you don't care where your VPN's server really is, just as long as it's a secure service and your privacy is maintained. But for some people, honesty and accuracy about location is critical to the functions of their VPN service in the first place.
In the wider context, RestorePrivacy's post and this article resets the growing distrust in people's minds about security, privacy, and VPNs. It's unfortunate, because we really need most people to start using VPNs if we're going to elevate everyone's security and privacy (and it doesn't help with behavior-influencing, large companies like Netflix blocking VPNs across the board).
I just hope that calling out fake server locations -- whether the labeling is just incorrect or opportunistic -- changes the conversation among VPN providers to on that focuses more on accountability than profits.
Requests for comment to Hidemyass and PureVPN did not receive a response at publication time. We will update this article in the event of a response.
Image: Prykhodov via Getty Images (VPN)
- Microsoftâ€™s minimal Modern mouse and keyboard are now available
Microsoft revealed its Modern Keyboard and Mouse last month. Both are styled like the company's Surface devices and the keyboard has Apple-style "chiclet" keys and a sturdy aluminum frame. It also has a fingerprint sensor tucked in between the Alt and Ctrl keys for Windows Hello biometric security. The keyboard and mouse peripherals are now available for $130 and $50, respectively.
As part of Windows 10, Hello can unlock your PC with your fingerprint or face, though you'd need a compatible camera for the latter. It works with the new keyboard, so you'll be able to swipe your finger to access to your machine. It hooks up to your PC with either Bluetooth or a cable, giving you some flexibility of connection. The Modern Mouse matches the keyboard in styling and connects via Low Energy Bluetooth, too. Microsoft claims the keyboard has up to four months of use on a full charge; the mouse should last up to 12 months per charge, as well.
- Visit a kiosk in the UK to diagnose your cold
We have app doctors that can help diagnose you from your phone and in the future, we very well might have AI physicians, but the UK is now offering another option -- medical kiosks. A company called MedicSpot has set up tiny clinics in pharmacies across the UK that virtually connect you to a real physician and are stocked with all of the necessary equipment for an examination. The mini clinic has a blood pressure cuff, stethoscope, pulse oximeter, thermometer and a camera that can give the doctor a look into your throat and ears. The doctor can even write you a prescription if need be.
The service is geared towards minor illnesses and the company says around a third of the consultations conducted so far have been about coughs, colds and ear infections. MedicSpot also says that approximately 20 percent of appointments have been booked by travelers. Its site has a specific section for tourists letting them know that they can use MedicSpot's services without any hassle if they've become sick on their trip or if they forgot or ran out of necessary medications.
Consultations cost £30, last around 10-15 minutes and patients can choose to send notes about the visit to their regular doctor. For simple, non-serious medical issues, a quick visit to a kiosk certainly seems better than waiting forever in a doctor's office.
- Bandsintown concert-discovery app amps up the artist interaction
If you're looking to find a music performance in your local area, you might think about using Google or Eventbrite. If you want a dedicated concert-discovery app with an artist-centric big new update, you might want to give Bandsintown a try. Artists who have registered with the service — including Wiz Kalifa, Lorde, and Green Day — can now send updates to their fans through the app.
While this may sound a bit like Apple's ill-fated Ping, Bandsintown boasts 35 million music fans and 420,000 registered artists, so at least there's a community in place. According to iOS and Android now.
- Amazon debuts its own fashion label for women's shoes and purses
Amazon has been making their foray into fashion for awhile now (really, what area are they not at least exploring?), and now they've announced a new private label. Called "The Fix," and available exclusively to Prime members, it will focus on women's shoes and handbags inspired by current design trends.
This isn't the first in-house brand Amazon has created. It has several, all of which are aimed at being affordable, and The Fix is no different. knock-off Birkenstocks in the Fix collection. And the fact that they are introducing new items on a monthly basis, rather than seasonal, means they can copy designs and roll products out a lot faster than other retailers. The fashion industry might be unwilling to work with Amazon, but it looks like the retail giant is carving its own path, and the results might be bloody.
Source: Footwear News
- The 'Final Fantasy XV' bromobile invades 'Forza Horizon 3' next week
Final Fantasy XV's Regalia hot rod is coming to Forza Horizon 3 next week. So yup, you can continue that game's epic road trip across Horizon's digital Australia come August 1st. Assuming you've played either game on Xbox, next week you'll get an Xbox Live message containing a download code.
Horizon has had rides from other games appear in it prior. The Warthog from Halo was more than just a gimmick and actually worked pretty well as a stunt car or as a main in the snowy "Blizzard Mountain" expansion. Hopefully that utility carries over to the Regalia. It's just a shame this one won't fly. That's to say nothing of Cup Noodles.
- Plans Matter offers Airbnb-like listings for architecture nerds
Google is working on adding vacation rentals to its hotel search results and Airbnb is going to help you find national park-adjacent rentals, mansions and penthouses. But if those options are quite special enough for you, a website called Plans Matter might be up your alley. Started by architects Lindor and Scott Mueller, Plans Matter only lists modern houses designed by respected architects. Writing on the website, the couple says, "When we plan our travel, we search for places to stay that are well designed and authentic. Places that will elevate our experience beyond keeping us warm and dry. Places that have architectural intention and a story to tell. Our goal is to make these places easily available for people to experience on their own."
Each listing has all of the expected rental info like price, size and how many guests it can house as well as all of the amenities offered. Plans Matter also includes activities suitable to the location, tips about the house and surrounding area, awards the house's design has received and a handwritten host note that gives more information about why hosts built the house along with details about the rental's features.
Plans Matter has listings exclusive to it along with rentals from sites like Airbnb. Check it out if you want to amp up your next vacation.
Source: Plans Matter
- Honor returns to Moto G territory with the Â£150 6A
Huawei sub-brand Honor has released a powerful flagship and interesting mid-ranger in the past few months, so it's headed back to wallet-friendly, entry-level territory for its next European launch. The Honor 6A is more or less what you expect from a £150 handset these days: A 5-inch, 720p display, octa-core Snapdragon 430 chip, 2 gigs of RAM, 16GB of expandable storage and 13MP/5MP cameras.
It sports a metal unibody design and runs Android 7.0 Nougat tucked away behind Huawei's EMUI 5.1. Again, nothing particularly special for a device at this price point. In fact, what's most notable about the Honor 6A's spec sheet is what's missing -- namely a fingerprint sensor and NFC chip for Android Pay support. These little value-adding features are par for the course this year, making the Honor 6A look a little ill-equipped next to equally affordable phones like the Moto G5, Vodafone Smart V8 and Wileyfox Swift 2.
According to Honor, the new 6A will be available to pre-order online from July 31st for £150, so don't ask us why you appear to be able to reserve handsets right now for the strange price of £144.90. Given the phone's competitive... issues, shall we say, the Honor 6A feels like it might make more sense paired with a contract. Carrier partner Three will begin offering the device on August 4th on contracts starting at £11 per month with no upfront payment, making it one of the cheapest deals on the network.
- Google Play discounts TV seasons if you already own episodes
If you own a few episodes of a TV show and would like to purchase an entire season, Google Play just made it a little easier on your wallet. You can now purchase a complete season of a television show at a discounted price if you already own individual episodes.
The lack of this feature up until now has been puzzling, as competitors iTunes and Amazon Video both have offered it for some time. To take advantage of it, you must be on the web or in the Google Play Movies & TV app on Android, Roku or Smart TVs. It's not available on iOS devices. Once you locate the season of the TV show you'd like to buy, you should see the lower price.
Not every show is eligible, and you can't combine this discount with a promotion. Additionally, while you can use this for both SD and HD, the price of HD episodes you bought will not apply towards purchasing a full season in SD. However, if you own SD episodes, you can complete your season and your standard episodes will automatically upgrade to HD quality.
- AMD Ryzen 3 1300X and 1200 CPU review: Zen on a budget
So far all the products launched with Zen have aimed at the upper echelons of the PC market, covering mainstream, enthusiasts and enterprise customers - areas with high average selling prices to which a significant number of column inches are written. But the volume segment, key for metrics such as market share, are in the entry level products. So far the AMD Zen core, and the octo-core Zeppelin silicon design, has been battling on the high-end. With Ryzen 3, it comes to play in the budget market. AnandTech's review and benchmarks of the new low-end Ryzen 3 processors.
- My $169 development Chromebook
In the last year while talking to respected security-focused engineers & developers, I've come to fully appreciate Google's Chrome OS design. The architecture benefited from a modern view of threat modeling and real-world attacks. For example, Trusted Platform Module (TPM) hardware chips are built into every Chromebook and deeply incorporated into the OS. The design documents go into some detail on the specific protections that TPM provides, particularly around critical encryption functions. I also learned that Chromebook is the daily driver for many of Google's own senior developers and security engineers. In short, the combination of the underlying Chromebook hardware with the OS architecture makes for a pretty compelling secure development environment. [...] It's pretty neat to consider the possibility of pre-travel "power washing" (resetting everything clean to factory settings) on an inexpensive Chromebook and later securely restore over the air once at my destination. Since there is a wide range in Chromebook prices, the engineering challenge here was to find something powerful enough to comfortably use exclusively for several days of coding, writing, and presenting, but also cheap enough that should it get lost/stolen/damaged, I wouldn't lose too much sleep. The threat model here does not include recovery from physical tampering; if the machine were somehow confiscated or otherwise out of my custody, I could treat it as a burner and move on. Interesting guide on how to turn an inexpensive Chromebook into a burner developer device safe for international travel.
- GNUSTEP live CD 2.5 released
After almost 8 years (we talked about it, of course), a new version of the GNUSTEP live CD has been released - version 2.5, for amd64. The live CD is based on Debian 9, has low hardware requirements, and uses Linux 4.9 with compressed RAM and no systemd. The live CD is a very easy and non-destructive way of testing out and playing with GNUSTEP, a free software implementation of OPENSTEP. It's been a long, long time since I got to use our glorious *STEP database category. Isn't that one beautiful icon?
- FreeBSD 11.1 released
FreeBSD 11.1 has been released, and as you can tell by the version number, it's a point release. The release announcement, release notes, and errata are available for your perusal. FreeBSD users already know full well how to upgrade - they're probably already running it - and newcomers can go to the download page to download the proper ISO.
- Adobe discontinues Flash
Today, Adobe announced that Flash will no longer be supported after 2020. Microsoft will phase out support for Flash in Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer ahead of this date. Flash led the way on the web for rich content, gaming, animations, and media of all kinds, and inspired many of the current web standards powering HTML5. Adobe has partnered with Microsoft, Google, Mozilla, Apple, and many others, to ensure that the open web could meet and exceed the experiences that Flash has traditionally provided. HTML5 standards, implemented across all modern browsers, provide these capabilities with improved performance, battery life, and increased security. We look forward to continuing to work with Adobe and our industry partners on enriching the open web without the need for plug-ins. We will phase out Flash from Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer, culminating in the removal of Flash from Windows entirely by the end of 2020. Adobe's own announcement is coughing up HTTP 500 errors right now; hence the link to Microsoft's announcement. You can also read Apple's/WebKit's announcement, and the one from Chrome/Google.
- MaXX Desktop Indy 1.1 released
A new version of the MaXX Desktop hasbeen released. We linked to the project almost two months ago, but the short of it is that it is a continuation of 5dwm.org and intends to bring the IRIX desktop to Linux. New features in this release include new xterm-330 with support for UTF-8 characters, SGI color schemes for GTK applications, a new console, new configuration files, SGI demos, as well as other small fixes. And I'll keep putting these in the otherwise entirely useless and defunct SGI database category.
- OpenMoko: 10 years after
Michael Lauer, employee #2 at OpenMoko, has written a detailed article about the project and its eventual demise. For the 10th anniversary since the legendary OpenMoko announcement at the "Open Source in Mobile" (7th of November 2006 in Amsterdam), I've been meaning to write an anthology or - as Paul Fertser suggested on #openmoko-cdevel - an obituary. I've been thinking about objectively describing the motivation, the momentum, how it all began and - sadly - ended. I did even plan to include interviews with Sean, Harald, Werner, and some of the other veterans. But as with oh so many projects of (too) wide scope this would probably never be completed. As November 2016 passed without any progress, I decided to do something different instead. Something way more limited in scope, but something I can actually finish. My subjective view of the project, my participation, and what I think is left behind: My story, as OpenMoko employee #2. On top of that you will see a bunch of previously unreleased photos (bear with me, I'm not a good photographer and the camera sucked as well). Mr. Lauer ends the article on a sad but entirely true note: Right now my main occupation is writing software for Apple's platforms - and while it's nice to work on apps using a massive set of luxury frameworks and APIs, you're locked and sandboxed within the software layers Apple allows you. I'd love to be able to work on an open source Linux-based middleware again. However, the sad truth is that it looks like there is no business case anymore for a truly open platform based on custom-designed hardware, since people refuse to spend extra money for tweakability, freedom, and security. Despite us living in times where privacy is massively endangered. If anyone out there thinks different and plans a project, please holler and get me on board! We'd all love such a project to succeed.
- Microsoft Paint gets deprecated
Microsoft has announced - through a boring table, because Microsoft - that MS Paint has been deprecated. This means that it will soon be removed from Windows completely, superseded - supposedly - by their new Paint 3D. When Microsoft Paint will officially be removed from Windows has yet to be confirmed, while a precise date for the release of the Windows 10 Autumn Creators Update is equally up in the air. Whether, like Clippy, Windows users will celebrate or decry Paint's removal, it will be a moment in the history of Windows as one of its longest-standing apps is put out to pasture. To be honest, I don't quite understand why you'd use Paint for anything since Paint.NET is far more capable and also free.
- The "Million Dollar Homepage" as a decaying digital artifact
But to what extent has this history been preserved? Does the Million Dollar Homepage represent a robust digital artifact 12 years after its creation, or has it fallen prey to the ephemerality common to internet content? Have the forces of link rot and administrative neglect rendered it a shell of its former self? I remember this quite well - and I can't believe it's already been 12 years. As the article notes, it serves as a great preserved microcosm of that era's web - good and bad.
- An interactive map of the Odyssey
Homer's Iliad and Odyssey are, in my humble view, two of the greatest works of art of all times. From a very young age, I started reading children-friendly versions of the two stories, and later, during ancient Greek class in high school, we translated parts of the original works. Personally, I prefer the Odyssey, but I guess the Iliad is probably the greater, more popular epic. Thanks to the blessings of modern computing, the internet, and technology, we can now make beautiful interactive maps of stories, and I've been thoroughly enjoying The Odyssey Map today. I've seen such maps before, but not as smooth and nicely illustrated as this one. Add it to the list of awesome historical maps, such as the amazing 200-year topographical history of The Netherlands, or the countless interactive maps of the Roman Empire.
- Debian 9.1 released
The Debian project is pleased to announce the first update of its stable distribution Debian 9 (codename stretch). This point release mainly adds corrections for security issues, along with a few adjustments for serious problems. Security advisories have already been published separately and are referenced where available. This isn't actually a new version or anything like that; a Debian point release just means a number of packages have been updated.
- Microsoft extends support deadline for Clover Trail PCs
Microsoft finally broke its silence on the status of devices built on the Intel Clover Trail CPU family. Owners of those devices who had taken advantage of the free Windows 10 upgrade offer discovered recently that those PCs were unable to upgrade to the Windows 10 Creators Update, released in April 2017 and now rolling out widely to the installed base of Windows 10 PCs. In an e-mailed statement, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed today that no software fix is on the way. But in a major shift in its "Windows as a Service" policy, Microsoft agreed to continue delivering security updates to those devices for another six years. Under the existing policy, those security updates would have ended in early 2018. Support for hardware has to end at some point, but this seems rather crude.
- Google denies funding biased research
It turns out we got played. The WSJ report that Google was funding research specifically to influence lawmakers for its own benefit seems to have been an Oracle-created hit job. Google's director of public policy Leslie Miller said the CfA's report was "highly misleading" and accused it of inflating the numbers by attributing funding to Google when it actually came from associations to which Google belongs. Miller also points out the non-profit's own transparency issues, given that the CfA's only known backer is Oracle. I should've checked the source of the actual report - and specifically, its funding - and I did not. My apologies. While this certainly doesn't magically mean Google is a saint, it does cast this specific report in a very, very different light.
- Google Glass 2.0 is a startling second act
What they didn't know was that Alphabet was commissioning a small group to develop a version for the workplace. The team lives in Alphabet's X division, where Glass was first developed as a passion project of Google cofounder Sergey Brin. Now the focus was on making a practical workplace tool that saves time and money. Announced today, it is called Glass Enterprise Edition. That's what Erickson wears every day. She works for AGCO, an agricultural equipment manufacturer that is an early adopter of Glass EE. For about two years, Glass EE has been quietly in use in dozens of workplaces, slipping under the radar of gadget bloggers, analysts, and self-appointed futurists. Yes, the population of those using the vaunted consumer version of Glass has dwindled, tired of being driven out of lounges by cocktail-fork-wielding patrons fearing unwelcome YouTube cameos. Meanwhile, Alphabet has been selling hundreds of units of EE, an improved version of the product that originally shipped in a so-called Explorer Edition in 2013. Companies testing EE - including giants like GE, Boeing, DHL, and Volkswagen - have measured huge gains in productivity and noticeable improvements in quality. What started as pilot projects are now morphing into plans for widespread adoption in these corporations. Other businesses, like medical practices, are introducing Enterprise Edition in their workplaces to transform previously cumbersome tasks. They obviously followed my advice from way back in 2014, well before the Enterprise Edition was announced. Totally. In all seriousness, this is the perfect market for devices like Glass. I don't feel like these kinds of devices have much of a place in our personal lives, but in our professional lives it can improve safety quite a bit by giving people access to information that would otherwise require them to look away from what they are doing.
- The best keyboard ever is back
You may not know the Model F by name, but you know it by sound - the musical thwacking of flippers slapping away. The sound of the '80s office. The IBM Model F greeting the world in 1981 with a good ten pounds of die-cast zinc and keys that crash down on buckling metal springs as they descend. It's a sensation today's clickiest keyboards chase, but will never catch. And now it's coming back. I used several of these growing up, and I've come to understand I'm the only one who didn't - and doesn't - like mechanical keyboards one bit - I find them tiring and way too loud. I want the thinnest possible keyboard with the shortest possible travel while still having a decent, satisfying, but very quiet click. I find Apple's Magic Keyboard is the exact right keyboard for me, but I also know I'll be one of the very few, especially on a site like OSNews.
- Gabedit: the Portal to Chemistry
Many chemistry software applications are available for doing scientific work on Linux. I've covered several here in previous issues of the magazine, and of them have their own peculiar specialties—areas where one may work better than another. So, depending on what your research entails, you may need to use multiple software packages to handle all of the work.
Pydio describes itself as the world's largest open-source file sharing and synchronization project for the enterprise, and the newly announced Pydio 8 boasts a new user experience that the company says extends the platform's lead in design and simplicity, oversight, security and control.
- Postmortem: What to Do After a Security Incident
Incidents happen. Vulnerabilities happen. The quality of your response can make the difference between a bad day and a disaster. What happens after the response can make the difference between endless firefighting and becoming stronger with every battle. A quality postmortem analysis is free ammunition.
- Rogue Wave Software's Zend Studio
The quick pitch for Rogue Wave Software's Zend Studio, recently updated to version 13.6, is "the PHP IDE for smarter development". Zend Studio 13.6, says Rogue Wave, offers 3X faster performance in indexing, validation and searching of PHP code, and it allows users to code faster, debug more easily and leverage the massive performance gains in PHP 7.
- Getting Sticky with It
Although they might not be so good for credit cards or floppy disks, magnets are one of those things that always have fascinated me. For the past few years, I've wanted to get a set of the round Zen Magnets to play with—they're sort of like an extra science-y version of LEGOs. Unfortunately, before I was able to purchase any, the US government banned their sale!
- Scissors, Paper or Rock?
In this article, I'm going to tackle a children's game that's extraordinarily complicated, with many variations, and the programming task is going to be quite tricky. Just kidding! Rock Paper Scissors (or RPS, as it's known) is pretty darn easy to simulate because there aren't really many variants or possible outcomes.
- Celtra's AdCreator Platform
Mobile advertising campaigns today are often hampered by broken, non-viewable ads with a poor UX experience. An important open-source initiative aimed at solving this problem and making the web better for all is the AMP Project, which enables the creation of websites and ads that are consistently fast, beautiful and high-performing across devices and distribution platforms.
- All Your Accounts Are Belong to Us
Last weekend my work phone suddenly stopped working. Not the phone itself, but rather all service stopped. I first noticed (of course) due to an inability to load any web pages. Then I tried calling someone and realized my phone was disconnected. In fact, when someone tried to call me, it said the line was no longer in service.
- Sysadmin 101: Alerting
This is the first in a series of articles on system administrator fundamentals. These days, DevOps has made even the job title "system administrator" seem a bit archaic, much like the "systems analyst" title it replaced.
- Android Candy: Exploding Kittens!
I don't very often play games. I know that seems odd, because I do often write about gaming. Honestly though, I very rarely actually take the time to play video games. Recently, however, there has been an exception to that rule.
- Mistral Solutions' 820 Nano SOM
One of the smallest System on a Module (SOM) solutions currently available in the market—measuring a mere 51mm x 26mm—is Mistral Solutions' 820 Nano SOM. The company predicts that its new 820 Nano SOM solution is "destined to be a preferred SoM in the industry".
- Linux for Everyone—All 7.5 Billion of Us
Linux has long since proven it's possible for one operating system to work for everyone—also that there's an approach to development that opens and frees code so everyone can use it, improve it and assure its freedoms spread to everyone doing the same.
- 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 ’