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  • Red Hat: 2015:0104-01: ntp: Important Advisory Updated ntp packages that fix several security issues are now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 Extended Update Support. Red Hat Product Security has rated this update as having Important security [More...]

  • Red Hat: 2015:0102-01: kernel: Important Advisory Updated kernel packages that fix multiple security issues and several bugs are now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. Red Hat Product Security has rated this update as having Important security [More...]

  • Red Hat: 2015:0100-01: libyaml: Moderate Advisory Updated libyaml packages that fix one security issue are now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 and 7. Red Hat Product Security has rated this update as having Moderate security [More...]

  • Red Hat: 2015:0101-01: glibc: Critical Advisory Updated glibc packages that fix one security issue are now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 Extended Life Cycle Support. Red Hat Product Security has rated this update as having Critical security [More...]

  • Red Hat: 2015:0099-01: glibc: Critical Advisory Updated glibc packages that fix one security issue are now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.6 Long Life, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.9 Extended Update Support, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.2 Advanced Update Support, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4 and 6.5 Extended Update Support. [More...]

  • Red Hat: 2015:0094-01: flash-plugin: Critical Advisory An updated Adobe Flash Player package that fixes multiple security issues is now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 and 6 Supplementary. Red Hat Product Security has rated this update as having Critical security [More...]

  • Red Hat: 2015:0093-01: chromium-browser: Important Advisory Updated chromium-browser packages that fix multiple security issues are now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Supplementary. Red Hat Product Security has rated this update as having Important security [More...]

  • Red Hat: 2015:0087-01: kernel: Important Advisory Updated kernel packages that fix two security issues and several bugs are now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6. Red Hat Product Security has rated this update as having Important security [More...]

  • Plasma 5.2 Is Beautiful and Featureful (KDE.News)
    We are a bit late in noting that KDE has released Plasma 5.2 on January 27. This KDE.News article gives a tour of the desktop that will be featured in upcoming Kubuntu and Fedora KDE spin releases (and probably other distributions as well). There are lots of new features and bug fixes in the release, see the changelog for all the details. "In the screen locker we improved the integration with logind to ensure the screen is properly locked before suspend. The background of the lock screen can be configured. Internally this uses part of the Wayland protocol which is the future of the Linux desktop.There are improvements in the handling of multiple monitors. The detection code for multiple monitors got ported to use the XRandR extension directly and multiple bugs related to it were fixed."

  • LibreOffice 4.4 released
    The LibreOffice4.4 release is now available. "We have completed the dialogconversion, redesigned menu bars, context menus, toolbars, status bars andrulers to make them much more useful. The Sifr monochrome icon theme isextended and now the default on OS X. We also developed a new ColorSelector, improved the Sidebar to integrate more smoothly with menus, andreworked many user interface details to follow today’s UX trends."See therelease notes and thisposting from Michael Meeks for lots more information.

  • Security updates for Thursday
    CentOS has updated kernel (C6:two vulnerabilities) and libyaml (C6:denial of service).
    Debian has updated virtualbox(two denial of service flaws with no details).
    Debian-LTS has updated jasper(two vulnerabilities), libksba (denial ofservice), privoxy (three vulnerabilities),python-django (multiple vulnerabilities),and rpm (multiple vulnerabilities, somefrom 2012 and 2013).
    Fedora has updated drupal7-context (F21; F20: openredirect), suricata (F21; F20: denial of service), and unzip (F21: unspecified impact).
    openSUSE has updated flash-player(12.3: multiple vulnerabilities), git(13.2, 13.1: code execution), glibc (11.4:code execution), and libpng16 (13.2, 13.1:two vulnerabilities).
    Oracle has updated kernel (OL7; OL6:multiple vulnerabilities) and libyaml (OL7; OL6:denial of service).
    Red Hat has updated glibc (RHEL4:code execution),kernel (RHEL7: multiple vulnerabilities), libyaml (RHEL6&7: denial of service), andntp (RHEL6.5: multiple code execution flaws).
    Scientific Linux has updated kernel (SL7: multiple vulnerabilities) and libyaml (SL6&7: denial of service).
    Slackware has updated glibc (codeexecution).
    SUSE has updated firefox (SLE11SP2, SLE11SP1; SLE10SP4: multiple vulnerabilities) and flash-player (SLE11SP3: multiple vulnerabilities).

  • [$] Pettycoin and sidechaining
    At 2015 inAuckland, Rusty Russell presented a talkabout his personal side-project, Pettycoin. Russell had announcedPettycoin at LCA 2014; at that time it represented an untestedconcept: a way to attach a separate, Bitcoin-like network to theexisting Bitcoin blockchain. Pettycoin's goal was originally to offera simpler and faster "side network" that periodically reconnected toBitcoin. In the intervening year, Russell made a lot of progress, butother new innovations in the Bitcoin arena have led him to questionparts of the Pettycoin approach and consider a reimplementation.

  • Security advisories for Wednesday
    CentOS has updated glibc (C7; C6; C5: code execution).
    Debian-LTS has updated eglibc (code execution).
    Mageia has updated busybox(arbitrary module loading), flash-player-plugin (multiple vulnerabilities), php (multiple vulnerabilities), privoxy (multiple vulnerabilities), and python-pillow (denial of service).
    Oracle has updated glibc (OL7; OL6; OL5: code execution).
    Red Hat has updated chromium-browser (RHEL6 Supplementary:multiple vulnerabilities), flash-plugin(RHEL5,6 Supplementary: multiple vulnerabilities), glibc (RHEL6,7; RHEL5; RHEL5.6,5.9, 6.2, 6.4, 6.5: code execution), and kernel (RHEL6: denial of service).
    Scientific Linux has updated glibc (SL6,7; SL5:code execution) and kernel (SL6: denial of service).
    SUSE has updated glibc (SLE11,SLE10: code execution).
    Ubuntu has updated eglibc (12.04,10.04: code execution), openjdk-6 (12.04,10.04: multiple vulnerabilities), and openjdk-7 (14.10, 14.04: multiple vulnerabilities).

  • Highly critical “Ghost” allowing code execution affects most Linux systems (Ars Technica)
    Ars Technica has a report on GHOST, which is a critical vulnerability found in the GNU C library (glibc)."The buffer overflow flaw resides in __nss_hostname_digits_dots(), a glibc function that's invoked by the gethostbyname() and gethostbyname2() function calls. A remote attacker able to call either of these functions could exploit the flaw to execute arbitrary code with the permissions of the user running the application. In a blog post published Tuesday, researchers from security firm Qualys said they were able to write proof-of-concept exploit code that carried out a full-fledged remote code execution attack against the Exim mail server. The exploit bypassed all existing exploit protections available on both 32-bit and 64-bit systems, including address space layout randomization, position independent executions, and no execute protections." While the proof-of-concept used Exim, a wide variety of client and server programs call gethostbyname*(), often at the behest of a remote system (or attacker). Distributions have started putting out updates; users and administrators should plan on updating as soon as possible.

  • Stable kernel updates
    Greg Kroah-Hartman has released stable kernels 3.18.4, 3.14.30, and 3.10.66. All contain important fixesthroughout the tree.

  • Tuesday's security updates
    CentOS has updated java-1.6.0-openjdk (C7; C6; C5: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Debian has updated eglibc (multiple vulnerabilities), wireshark (denial of service), and xen (multiple vulnerabilities).
    Fedora has updated python-django(F20: multiple vulnerabilities) and python-django14 (F20: multiple vulnerabilities).
    openSUSE has updated flash-player (13.2, 13.1; 11.4: code execution).
    Oracle has updated java-1.6.0-openjdk (OL7; OL6; OL5: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Red Hat has updated java-1.6.0-openjdk (RHEL5,6,7: multiplevulnerabilities) and java-1.6.0-sun(RHEL5,6,7: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Scientific Linux has updated java-1.6.0-openjdk (SL5,6: multiple vulnerabilities).
    SUSE has updated flash-player(SLE12: code execution).
    Ubuntu has updated oxide-qt(14.10, 14.04: multiple vulnerabilities) and firefox (14.10, 14.04, 12.04: regression inprevious update).

  • PSF: 2014 Year in Review, Part 2
    The Python Software Foundation wrapsup its 2014 retrospective. "On the technical side, the Python language grew with the releases of Python 2.7.9, 3.3.5, 3.4, and, in August, 3.4.1. Major new features of the 3.4 series, compared to 3.3 include "hundreds of small improvements and bug fixes." Additionally, Python 3.4.1 has many more advantages."

  • Security advisories for Monday
    CentOS has updated jasper (C7: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Debian has updated jasper (multiple vulnerabilities), mysql-5.5 (multiple vulnerabilities), polarssl (code execution), squid (denial of service), and websvn (information disclosure).
    Debian-LTS has updated libevent (denial of service) and websvn (information disclosure).
    Fedora has updated docker-io(F20: multiple vulnerabilities), grep (F21:heap buffer overrun), java-1.7.0-openjdk(F20: multiple vulnerabilities), java-1.8.0-openjdk (F21; F20:multiple vulnerabilities), kde-runtime(F20: misuse of crypto), kernel (F21:restriction bypass), python-django (F21:multiple vulnerabilities), and xdg-utils(F21: command injection).
    Mageia has updated aircrack-ng (multiple vulnerabilities), chromium-browser-stable (multiple vulnerabilities), jasper (multiple vulnerabilities), and java-1.7.0-openjdk (multiple vulnerabilities).
    openSUSE has updated Firefox(11.4: multiple vulnerabilities), libevent(13.2, 13.1: denial of service), openssl(13.2, 13.1: multiple vulnerabilities), shotwell, vala (13.2: heap buffer overflow),and thunderbird (13.2, 13.1: multiple vulnerabilities).
    SUSE has updated flash-player(SLED11 SP3: unspecified vulnerability) and vsftpd (SLES11 SP3: unauthorized access).
    Ubuntu has updated ghostscript(10.04: multiple vulnerabilities), jasper(14.10, 14.04, 12.04: multiple vulnerabilities), and unbound (14.10, 14.04: denial of service).

  • Kernel prepatch 3.19-rc6
    Linus has released the 3.19-rc6 kernelprepatch. "I currently expect to make an rc7 next week, with thefinal 3.19 in two weeks, as per the usual schedule."

  • New open source dependency manager on the scene (
    At, Jordi Mon introducesthe biicode project, anopen-source dependency-management system for C and C++ applicationsthat is akin to Ruby Gems or the Python Package Index. It is achallenging goal, he says, "because there are approximately 4million C/C++ developers, and both languages represent up to almost20% of the world's code." The project was startedas a proprietary service, and only recently transitioned into anopen-source project.

  • Friday's security updates
    CentOS has updated jasper(C6: multiple vulnerabilities).
    openSUSE has updated dbus-1(13.1, 13.2: multiple vulnerabilities), elfutils (13.1, 13.2: directory traversal),flash-player (13.1, 13.2: memory randomization circumvention), otrs (13.1, 13.2: authentication bypass), roundcubemail (13.2: cross-site request forgery), strongswan (13.1, 13.2: denial of service), and wireshark (13.1, 13.2: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Oracle has updated jasper (O6; O7: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Red Hat has updated jasper(RHEL6,7: multiple vulnerabilities), java-1.7.0-oracle (multiple vulnerabilities), and java-1.8.0-oracle (RHEL6: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Scientific Linux has updated jasper (SL6,7: multiple vulnerabilities).
    SUSE has updated flash-player (memory randomization circumvention) and rpm (SLE12: multiple vulnerabilities).
    Ubuntu has updated elfutils(directory traversal), mysql-5.5 (12.04,14.04, 14.10): multiple vulnerabilities, and samba (14.04, 14.10: privilege escalation).

  • A two-part series on LXC networking (Flockport Labs)
    Flockport Labs has a two-part "LXC networking superguide" that covers a bunch of LXC networking concepts, as well as practical ideas on connecting containers (Part1 and Part 2). Part 1 starts with an introduction to LXC networking, then moves into extending layer 2 to remote hosts using a layer 3 tunnel. Part 2 looks at using LXC containers as routers. "We are going to create a bridge on 2 remote hosts over their public IPs and connect the bridges with Ethernet over GRE or L2tpv3 so containers connecting to these bridges are on the same layer 2 network.We will first show you how to do this with Ethernet over GRE and then L2tpv3. The main difference is Ethernet over GRE is less well known while L2tpv3 is more widely used for l2 extension and uses UDP, and thus could be more flexible."

  • LibreOffice gets a streamlined makeover, native alternatives for major Microsoft fonts
    The Document foundation announced availability of the latest version of LibreOffice on Thursday, which it says is the most beautiful version of the open source productivity suite yet. LibreOffice 4.4 also fixes some compatibility issues with files that are saved in Microsoft's OOXML formats. "LibreOffice 4.4 has got a lot of UX and design love," Jan "Kendy" Holesovsky, who leads the design team for Libreoffice, said in a statement.

  • Rugged Type 6 COM runs Linux on 5th Gen Intel Core
    Adlink unveiled a rugged, Linux-ready “cExpress-BL” COM Express Compact Type 6 module with Intel 5th Gen Core chips and optional -40 to 85?C support. Adlink is the second vendor to announce a product based on Intel’s 14nm-fabricated 5th Generation Core (“Broadwell U”) processors, following Congatec’s Conga-TC97. The cExpress-BL supports the same Core models as the […]

  • How to monitor harddisk health with smartmontools on Ubuntu
    In this article I will give you an overveiw on the Smartmon tools which is a set of applications that can test hard drives and read their hardware SMART statistics to detect harddisk failures early. I will cover installation, usage on the shell and the smartmon gui in this tutorial.

  • Tough multi-display controller runs Linux on i.MX6
    MEN Micro unveiled the “CC10S,” a Linux-ready i.MX6 based multi-display controller module for touchscreens deployed in harsh, -40 to 85? C environments. Imagine a humongous earth-moving rig prepping an oil shale site in North Dakota in the middle of January. You’re going to want a touchscreen with that, and it better be tough. The MEN […]

  • Why Valve's Steam Machines aren't dead
    In today's open source roundup: The best is yet to come for Valve's Steam Machines. Plus: The Linux Foundation offers Essentials of System Administration course online, and Microsoft offers preview version of Outlook for Android.

  • GParted Live Now Supports Microsoft's New Filesystem, ReFS
    GParted Live is a small bootable GNU/Linux distribution that has a lot of features and that can be used in operations like creating, reorganizing, and deleting disk partitions on a variety of filesystems. A new stable update has been made available and the operating system is now at version 0.21.0.

  • Why Flash sucks
    A column from back in 2010 that outlines some of why Flash sucks. I'm posting it here in honor of YouTube dumping Flash for HTML5. It took a long time, but it finally happened.

  • The future of wearable devices for health is not wearables
    Dozens of new self-tracking wearable devices appear every month. They target health and quality of life applications, from sleep to physical activity. And, they are packaged as smart watches or as standalone pieces, launched under the umbrella of startups and industry leaders alike. Currently, there is no shortage of thoughtfully designed wearable devices promising to improve our health and quality of life, but amidst the ongoing technological deluge—do you think the future will be wearable or anti-wearable?read more

  • How to create and show a presentation from the command line on Linux
    When you prepare a talk for audience, the first thing that will probably come to your mind is shiny presentation charts filled with fancy diagrams, graphics and animation effects. Fine. No one can deny the power of visually charming presentation. However, not all presentations need to be Ted talk quality. Often times, the purpose of […]Continue reading...The post How to create and show a presentation from the command line on Linux appeared first on Xmodulo.Related FAQs:How to speed up directory navigation in a Linux terminal What are useful CLI tools for Linux system admins How to use Evernote from the command line on Linux

  • Low-power x86 SoCs arrive on Qseven and SMARC
    ICOP is prepping its first Qseven and SMARC form-factor COMs based on the x86-based, 800MHz DMP Vortex86DX2 SoC. The Linux-ready COMs support GbE and HDMI. ICOP Technology, a subsidiary of chip designer DMP, has been churning out modules and SBCs based on low-power, x86 DMP Vortex processors for years. The processors have shown up in […]

  • Sony is now actually removing features from PlayStation Vita
    Traditionally, as a console gets older, the console maker adds new features and compatible apps for users to download. Sony is taking the opposite tack with the PlayStation Vita in the coming months, though, planning to disable a few apps and features that have worked on the system since launch.

  • Confessions of a systems librarian
    I decided to become a librarian after my undergraduate because I liked working with computers and the job seemed easy. A friend who’d already taken the plunge enlisted me, telling me how technological libraries had become, which I guess made sense.

  • Installing and using Git and Github on Ubuntu: A beginner's guide
    This tutorial will be a quick setup guide for installing and using Github and how to perform its various functions of creating a repository locally, connecting this repo to the remote host that contains your project (where everyone can see), committing the changes and finally pushing all the content in the local system to Github.

Linux Insider

  • There's a GHOST in Linux's Library
    Patches for GHOST, a critical vulnerability in glibc, the Linux GNU C Library, now are available through vendor communities for a variety of Linux server and desktop distributions. Qualys earlier this week reported its discovery of GHOST, a vulnerability that allows attackers to remotely take control of an entire system without having any prior knowledge of system credentials.

  • Debian Forked: All for Devuan and Devuan for All?
    A group of developers made good on their threats to fork Debian Linux late last year, after the community's leadership voted to replace sysvinit with systemd, making systemd the default init boot process. The Debian Technical Committee's decision spurred several key Debian developers and project maintainers to resign. Some of them formed a new community dedicated to forking Debian.

  • Zenwalk Linux - A Walk on the Quirky Side
    The developmental path and sketchy developer website may cast an unfavorable impression about Zenwalk's trustworthiness as a serious computing platform. The ho-hum impression when first running the live edition does little to encourage users to take this Linux OS for a stroll. Zenwalk Linux becomes a bit more impressive once you get beyond the awkward first-time experience.

  • Ubuntu Aims to Make the IoT Snappy
    Canonical on Tuesday unveiled Snappy Ubuntu Core, a new rendition of Ubuntu targeting the Internet of Things. Snappy Ubuntu Core offers a minimal server image with the same libraries as "traditional" Ubuntu, but Snappy apps and Ubuntu Core can be upgraded automatically and rolled back if necessary. Snappy runs on any device with an ARMv7 or Intel x86 processor and at least 256 MB of RAM.

  • Acer Designs Chromebooks for Students' Rough Handling
    Acer on Wednesday announced two new ruggedized Chromebooks geared for classroom use. Both will go on sale in February. The Acer Chromebook C910 and C740 have a durable design built around reinforced covers and hinges. The new models support multiple user sign-ons and offline file access. Security features include a Kensington lock to secure the laptop to a wireless cart or lab station.

  • From the Blogosphere With Love: A FOSSy Farewell
    The past week has afforded plenty of fodder for conversation here in the Linux blogosphere: the MintBox Mini; the Steam for Linux file-deletion bug; and the latest in the Systemd saga, for example. However, this week seems like a good time to revisit some classic gems from days gone by -- particularly the sweet spot that can be found at the intersection of Linux and Love.

  • Adobe Opens Lightroom's Door to Android
    Adobe last week released an Android mobile app as a companion to its Lightroom desktop application and cloud service. Adobe released a mobile app for iOS last year. The new app will include all of the functionality of the iOS mobile app -- but refined to take advantage of the Android platform, according to Shared Mangalick, senior product manager for photography at Adobe.

  • Docker Security Questioned
    Security questions recently have been raised about Docker, a promising technology for running applications in the cloud. Docker is an open source initiative that allows applications to be run in containers for flexibility and mobility only dreamt of in the past. "Since the 70s, programmers have been talking about reusable code and the ability to migrate applications," noted IDC analyst Al Gillen.

  • Samsung Tries Out Tizen in India
    Samsung has released the first Tizen-powered smartphone for India, the Samsung Z1. The Tizen phone offers localized entertainment apps and a simpler user interface than Android, the company said. Tizen is an open source platform that Samsung has taken the lead in developing. It is an offshoot of the Linux OS. Tizen OS 2.3 enables faster boot time and quicker access to apps than other mobile OSes.

  • Google's Project Ara Smartphone Puzzle Is Coming Together
    Google on Wednesday shed fresh light on Project Ara, its modular Android smartphone initiative, including plans to pilot the project in Puerto Rico through food truck-style stores. Project Ara will offer a smartphone endoskeleton; users will be able to add the functionality they want piece by piece, rather than being confined by the hardware configurations determined by operators and providers.

  • Loving Linux in a Touchscreen World
    Well it was a fairly quiet week here in the Linux blogosphere, as much of the mainstream tech world staggered directly out of their New Year's revelries and into the halls of CES. Not that Linux didn't have a presence at the gargantuan show, mind you. It was there, all right -- not just in phones but in TVs, smartwatches and cars, to name just a few examples.

  • LG's WebOS: 3rd Time's the Charm?
    LG Electronics turned up at last week's CES with a smartwatch that apparently runs webOS. LG used the watch to unlock an Audi at the show. "LG has never officially confirmed that we were planning a webOS smartwatch," said company spokesperson Ken Hong. "I think that is speculation based on the watch that Audi announced here at CES, which we developed but have not finalized the OS for."

  • Samsung Smart TVs Hint at Tizen-Run IoT
    Samsung announced at last week's International CES a new line of smart TVs powered by the open source Tizen operating system. Beginning with this year's models, all of Samsung's smart TVs will run on Tizen. Samsung has taken the lead in developing Tizen, which is a derivative of Linux, and this is its first deployment as a smart TV platform. Tizen supports the Web standard for TV app development.

  • Linuxy Hopes and Dreams for an Inferno-Free 2015
    It's the dawn of a new year here in the Linux blogosphere, and that means the power is in our hands to make 2015 better than the last one. At least in theory, the Systemd Inferno possibly, could be extinguished over these next 12 months; Devuan could thrive -- or not; and Linux in general could see its best year yet. What actually will happen? That is the subject of more than a few musings.

  • The Long Slog to Level the Document Playing Field
    Free open source office suites to read, write, convert or replace the industry-standard Microsoft Office document formats are in ample supply. Yet their use in business and government, especially in the U.S., lags far behind proprietary products. The Document Foundation, creator of the LibreOffice variant of the free OpenOffice suite, recently joined the Open Source Business Alliance.

  • FOSS' Shining Moments of 2014
    Well we're into the last few days of 2014 here in the Linux blogosphere, and fortunately the tequila supplies down at the Broken Windows Lounge continue to hold strong. The weather outside may be frightful, but the refreshments -- like the software -- remain nothing short of delightful. It didn't take long for bloggers to slip into a sentimental mood as they reminisced about the waning year.

  • FDA Wants To Release Millions of Genetically Modified Mosquitoes In Florida
    MikeChino writes In an attempt to curb outbreaks of two devastating tropical diseases in the Florida Keys, the FDA is proposing the release of millions of genetically modified mosquitoes into the area. Scientists have bred male mosquitoes with virus gene fragments, so when they mate with the females that bite and spread illness, their offspring will die. This can reduce the mosquito population dramatically, halting the spread of diseases like dengue fever.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Alibaba Face Off With Chinese Regulator Over Fake Products
    hackingbear writes China's State Administration of Industry and Commerce on Wednesday issued a scathing report against one of the country's biggest stars, accusing e-commerce giant Alibaba of failing to do enough to prevent fake goods from being sold on its websites. SAIC said Alibaba allowed "illegal advertising" that misled consumers with false claims about low prices and other details. It claims some Alibaba employees took bribes and the company failed to deal effectively with fraud. Alibaba fired back with charges of bias and misconduct by accusing the SAIC official in charge of Internet monitoring, Liu Hongliang, of unspecified "procedural misconduct" and warned it will file a formal complaint. Such public defiance is almost unheard of in China. Apparently, Alibaba has long attained the too big to fail status.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Microsoft To Invest In Rogue Android Startup Cyanogen
    An anonymous reader writes The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft plans to be a minority investor in a roughly $70 million round of equity financing for mobile startup Cyanogen Inc.. Neither company is commenting on the plan but last week during a talk in San Francisco, Cyanogen's CEO said the company's goal was to "take Android away from Google." According to Bloomberg: "The talks illustrate how Microsoft is trying to get its applications and services on rival operating systems, which has been a tenet of Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella. Microsoft has in the past complained that Google Inc., which manages Android, has blocked its programs from the operating system."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • LibreOffice Gets a Streamlined Makeover With 4.4 Release
    TechCurmudgeon sends word that LibreOffice 4.4 has been released. "The Document foundation announced availability of the latest version of LibreOffice on Thursday, which it says is the most beautiful version of the open source productivity suite yet. LibreOffice 4.4 also fixes some compatibility issues with files that are saved in Microsoft's OOXML formats. LibreOffice 4.4 has got a lot of UX and design love," Jan "Kendy" Holesovsky, who leads the design team for Libreoffice, said in a statement. LibreOffice 4.4 is currently available for Windows."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • D-Link Routers Vulnerable To DNS Hijacking
    An anonymous reader writes At least one and likely more D-Link routers as well as those of other manufacturers using the same firmware are vulnerable to remote changing of DNS settings and, effectively, traffic hijacking, a Bulgarian security researcher has discovered. Todor Donev, a member of the Ethical Hacker research team, says that the vulnerability is found in the ZynOS firmware of the device, D-Link's DSL-2740R ADSL modem/wireless router. The firmware in question is implemented in many networking equipment manufactured by D-Link, TP-Link Technologies and ZTE.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Spire Plans To Use Tiny Satellites For More Accurate Weather Forecasts
    Zothecula writes Weather forecasting is a notoriously inexact science. According to San Francisco-based tech startup Spire, this is partially because there are currently less than 20 satellites responsible for gathering all of the world's weather data – what's more, some of the older ones are using outdated technology. Spire's solution? Establish a linked network of over 100 shoebox-sized CubeSats, that will use GPS technology to gather 100 times the amount of weather data than is currently possible. The first 20 of those satellites are scheduled to launch later this year.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • FSF-Endorsed Libreboot X200 Laptop Comes With Intel's AMT Removed
    gnujoshua (540710) writes "The Free Software Foundation has announced its endorsement of the Libreboot X200, a refurbished Lenovo ThinkPad X200 sold by Gluglug. The laptop ships with 100% free software and firmware, including the FSF's endorsed Trisquel GNU/Linux and Libreboot. One of the biggest challenges overcome in achieving FSF's Respects Your Freedom certification was the complete removal of Intel's ME and AMT firmware. The AMT is a controversial proprietary backdoor technology that allows remote access to a machine even when it is powered off. Quoting from the press release: "The ME and its extension, AMT, are serious security issues on modern Intel hardware and one of the main obstacles preventing most Intel based systems from being liberated by users. On most systems, it is extremely difficult to remove, and nearly impossible to replace. Libreboot X200 is the first system where it has actually been removed, permanently," said Gluglug Founder and CEO, Francis Rowe."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • 'Anonymized' Credit Card Data Not So Anonymous, MIT Study Shows
    schwit1 writes Scientists showed they can identify you with more than 90 percent accuracy by looking at just four purchases, three if the price is included — and this is after companies "anonymized" the transaction records, saying they wiped away names and other personal details. The study out of MIT, published Thursday in the journal Science, examined three months of credit card records for 1.1 million people. "We are showing that the privacy we are told that we have isn't real," study co-author Alex "Sandy" Pentland of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said in an email.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • VP Anthony Moschella Shows Off Makerbot's Latest Printers and Materials (Video)
    You may have read a few weeks ago about the new materials that MakerBot has introduced for its 3-D printers; earlier this month, I got a chance to see some of them in person, and have them explained by MakerBot VP of Product Anthony Moschella in a cramped demo closet — please excuse the lighting — at the company's booth at CES. Moschella had some things to say about materials, timelines, and what MakerBot is doing to try to salvage its open-source cred, despite being a very willing part of a corporate conspiracy to sell boxes of Martha Stewart-branded extruder filament — as well as a few unremarkable things that the company's ever-vigilant PR overseer decreed Moschella couldn't answer on the record for reasons like agreements between MakerBot parent Stratasys and their suppliers. The good news for owners of recent MakerBot models: they'll be upgradeable to use the new and interesting materials with a part swap, rather than a whole-machine swap (it takes a "smart extruder" rather than the current, dumber one). And the pretty good news for fans of open source, besides that the current generation of MakerBots are all Linux-based computers themselves, is that MakerBot's open API provides a broad path for 3-D makers to interact with the printers. (The bad news is that there's no move afoot to return the machines' guts to open source hardware, like the early generations of MakerBots, but STL files at least don't care whether you ship them to an FSF-approved printer to be made manifest.)

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • US Air Force Selects Boeing 747-8 To Replace Air Force One
    Tyketto writes Following up on a previous story about its replacement, the US Air Force has selected the Boeing 747-8 to replace the aging Presidential fleet of two VC-25s, which are converted B747-200s. With the only other suitable aircraft being the Airbus A380, the USAF cited Boeing's 50-year history of building presidential aircraft as their reason to skip competition and opt directly for the aircraft, which due to dwindling sales and prospects, may be the last 747s to be produced.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Ask Slashdot: When and How Did Europe Leapfrog the US For Internet Access?
    New submitter rsanford, apropos today's FCC announcement about what is officially consided "broadband" speed by that agency, asks In the early and middle 90's I recall spending countless hours on IRC 'Trout-slapping' people in #hottub and engaging in channel wars. The people from Europe were always complaining about how slow their internet was and there was no choice. This was odd to me, who at the time had 3 local ISPs to choose from, all offering the fastest modem connections at the time, while living in rural America 60 miles away from the nearest city with 1,000 or more people. Was that the reality back then? If so, what changed, and when?

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Mozilla Dusts Off Old Servers, Lights Up Tor Relays
    TechCurmudgeon writes According to The Register, "Mozilla has given the Tor network a capacity kick with the launch of 14 relays that will help distribute user traffic. Engineers working under the Foundation's Polaris Project inked in November pulled Mozilla's spare and decommissioned hardware out of the cupboard for dedicated use in the Tor network. It included a pair of Juniper EX4200 switches and three HP SL170zG6 (48GB ram, 2*Xeon L5640, 2*1Gbps NIC) servers, along with a dedicated existing IP transit provider (2 X 10Gbps). French Mozilla engineer Arzhel Younsi (@xionoxfr) said its network was designed to fall no lower than half of its network capacity in the event of maintenance or failure. The Polaris initiative was a effort of Mozilla, the Tor Project and the Centre for Democracy and Technology to help build more privacy controls into technology."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • FCC Officially Approves Change In the Definition of Broadband
    halfEvilTech writes As part of its 2015 Broadband Progress Report, the Federal Communications Commission has voted to change the definition of broadband by raising the minimum download speeds needed from 4Mbps to 25Mbps, and the minimum upload speed from 1Mbps to 3Mbps, which effectively triples the number of US households without broadband access. Currently, 6.3 percent of US households don't have access to broadband under the previous 4Mpbs/1Mbps threshold, while another 13.1 percent don't have access to broadband under the new 25Mbps downstream threshold.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Former NATO Nuclear Bunker Now an 'Airless' Unmanned Data Center
    An anonymous reader writes A German company has converted a 1960s nuclear bunker 100 miles from network hub Frankfurt into a state-of-the-art underground data center with very few operators and very little oxygen. IT Vision Technology (ITVT) CEO Jochen Klipfel says: 'We developed a solution that reduces the oxygen content in the air, so that even matches go outIt took us two years'. ITVT have the European Air Force among its customers, so security is an even higher priority than in the average DC build; the refurbished bunker has walls 11 feet thick and the central complex is buried twenty feet under the earth.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Dell 2015 XPS 13: Smallest 13" Notebook With Broadwell-U, QHD+ Display Reviewed
    MojoKid writes Dell's 2015 XPS 13 notebook made a splash out at CES this year with its near bezel-less 13-inch QHD+ (3200X1800) display and Intel's new 5th Gen Core series Broadwell-U processor. At 2.8 pounds, the 2015 XPS 13 isn't the absolute lightest 13-inch ultrabook book out there but it's lighter than a 13-inch MacBook Air and only a few ounces heavier than Lenovo's Core M-powered Yoga 3 Pro. The machine's Z dimensions are thin, at .33" up front to .6" at its back edge. However, its 11.98" width almost defies the laws of physics, squeezing a 13.3" (diagonal) display into an 11.98-inch frame making it what is essentially the smallest 13-inch ultrabook to hit the market yet. Performance-wise, this review shows its benchmarks numbers are strong and Intel's Broadwell-U seems to be an appreciable upgrade versus the previous generation architecture, along with lower power consumption.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Canada Upholds Net Neutrality Rules In Wireless TV Case
    An anonymous reader writes Canada's telecom regulator has issued a major new decision with implications for net neutrality, ruling that Bell and Videotron violated the Telecommunications Act by granting their own wireless television services an undue preference by exempting them from data charges. Michael Geist examines the decision, noting that the Commission grounded the decision in net neutrality concerns, stating the Bell and Videotron services "may end up inhibiting the introduction and growth of other mobile TV services accessed over the Internet, which reduces innovation and consumer choice."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Proposed Disk Array With 99.999% Availablity For 4 Years, Sans Maintenance writes with this paper from four researchers (Jehan-François Pâris, Ahmed Amer, Darrell D. E. Long, and Thomas Schwarz, S. J.), with an interesting approach to long-term, fault-tolerant storage: As the prices of magnetic storage continue to decrease, the cost of replacing failed disks becomes increasingly dominated by the cost of the service call itself. We propose to eliminate these calls by building disk arrays that contain enough spare disks to operate without any human intervention during their whole lifetime. To evaluate the feasibility of this approach, we have simulated the behaviour of two-dimensional disk arrays with N parity disks and N(N – 1)/2 data disks under realistic failure and repair assumptions. Our conclusion is that having N(N + 1)/2 spare disks is more than enough to achieve a 99.999 percent probability of not losing data over four years. We observe that the same objectives cannot be reached with RAID level 6 organizations and would require RAID stripes that could tolerate triple disk failures.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • The Quantum Experiment That Simulates a Time Machine
    KentuckyFC writes One of the extraordinary features of quantum mechanics is that one quantum system can simulate the behaviour of another that might otherwise be difficult to create. That's exactly what a group of physicists in Australia have done in creating a quantum system that simulates a quantum time machine. Back in the early 90s, physicists showed that a quantum particle could enter a region of spacetime that loops back on itself, known as a closed timelike curve, without creating grandfather-type paradoxes in which time travellers kill their grandfathers thereby ensuring they could never have existed to travel back in time in the first place. Nobody has ever built a quantum closed time-like curve but now they don't have to. The Australian team have simulated its behaviour by allowing two entangled photons to interfere with each other in a way that recreates the behaviour of a single photon interacting with an older version of itself. The results are in perfect agreement with predictions from the 1990s--there are no grandfather-type paradoxes. Interestingly, the results are entirely compatible with relativity, suggesting that this type of experiment might be an interesting way of reconciling it with quantum mechanics.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Georgia Institute of Technology Researchers Bridge the Airgap
    An anonymous reader writes Hacked has a piece about Georgia Institute of Technology researchers keylogging from a distance using the electromagnetic radiation of CPUs. They can reportedly do this from up to 6 meters away. In this video, using two Ubuntu laptops, they demonstrate that keystrokes are easily interpreted with the software they have developed. In their white paper they talk about the need for more research in this area so that hardware and software manufacturers will be able to develop more secure devices. For now, Farraday cages don't seem as crazy as they used to, or do they?

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Why ATM Bombs May Be Coming Soon To the United States writes Nick Summers has an interesting article at Bloomberg about the epidemic of 90 ATM bombings that has hit Britain since 2013. ATM machines are vulnerable because the strongbox inside an ATM has two essential holes: a small slot in front that spits out bills to customers and a big door in back through which employees load reams of cash in large cassettes. "Criminals have learned to see this simple enclosure as a physics problem," writes Summers. "Gas is pumped in, and when it's detonated, the weakest part—the large hinged door—is forced open. After an ATM blast, thieves force their way into the bank itself, where the now gaping rear of the cash machine is either exposed in the lobby or inside a trivially secured room. Set off with skill, the shock wave leaves the money neatly stacked, sometimes with a whiff of the distinctive acetylene odor of garlic." The rise in gas attacks has created a market opportunity for the companies that construct ATM components. Several manufacturers now make various anti-gas-attack modules: Some absorb shock waves, some detect gas and render it harmless, and some emit sound, fog, or dye to discourage thieves in the act. As far as anyone knows, there has never been a gas attack on an American ATM. The leading theory points to the country's primitive ATM cards. Along with Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, and not many other countries, the U.S. doesn't require its plastic to contain an encryption chip, so stealing cards remains an effective, nonviolent way to get at the cash in an ATM. Encryption chip requirements are coming to the U.S. later this year, though. And given the gas raid's many advantages, it may be only a matter of time until the back of an American ATM comes rocketing off.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • OH HAPPY DAY! Lawyers replaced by AI
    Google also outsmarted by friendly machine pals
    Artificial intelligence is a worry on two fronts. In a worst-case scenario, we end up with The Terminator. In a less-painful scenario, we end up with billions of humans out of work as drudgery is replaced by machines.…

  • iTunes Connect does developer shuffle

    Apple has kicked off an impromptu game of musical chairs on iTunes Connect dropping developers into random accounts including one lucky punter who was allegedly handed Blackberry's portal.…

  • NXP flings sueball at Marvell over Xbox NFC chips
    IP lawfare takes on new dimension – but for why?
    NXP Semiconductors, the chipmaker which was once part of Philips, has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Marvell Electronics, alleging that its patented wireless technology has been used in the Microsoft Xbox.…

  • Ugly, incomplete, buggy: Windows 10 faces a sprint to the finish
    Unpicking the past is a messy business for Microsoft
    Review Microsoft does not have long to fix Windows 10. The company plans to release it this year, and if that implies hardware on the shelves, the operating system will need to be completed in the summer – and most features will need to be near-finalised well before that. Can Microsoft gets its new Windows ready in time?…

  • Snowden reveals LEVITATION technique of Canada’s spies
    If you MUST build naughty spy tool... it's, er, pretty sweet
    Canada's very own intel agency has a program designed to track millions of downloads, according to the latest revelations from the Edward Snowden document leaks.…

  • Strap on fitness finesse: Withings Activit Pop
    Oh, and it tells the time too
    Review One problem with wearable fitness trackers: you may not want to wear one when you’ve also got a watch on. This may be especially the case if, like me, you have a tracker not to monitor an aggressive fitness regime, but simply to ensure you don’t spend the entire working day parked on your arse. And you’d like it to be discreet.…

  • Powering the Internet of Stuff – by sucking electricity from TREES
    Where are my generating wellies?
    Feature Despite regular headlines about self-powered gadgets and a deluge of stories claiming that any day now we should expect our smart phones to start gathering power from the environment around us, the promise of harvested energy always seems just out of reach. Or is it?…

  • Your gran and her cronies are 'embracing online banking' – study
    Really? Even 100-year-olds, claim clipboard wielders
    Online banking has seen a boom among the older generation, with nearly 2.3 million aged between 70 and over 100 years old now using internet banking, according to figures compiled by the British Bankers’ Association (BBA).…

  • Does Big Tech hire white boys ahead of more skilled black people and/or women?
    If it did - opportunity!
    Worstall on Weds (on Thurs) I've been watching with some amusement a little story about Pinterest noting that it's got a user base that leans heavily female. It's doing the rounds as the company thinks, well, it would be nice to be stuffing men full of ads as well (when it actually starts slinging ads) so, umm, why don't we go out and try and find some male customers?…

  • Telstra: we don't collect the metadata the government wants now
    So much for A-G Brandis' 'this'll be easy for telcos to collect' argument
    Yet again, the coaching that spooks and bureaucrats have given Australia's Attorney-General George Brandis has proven to be at odds with the realities of the telecommunications industry.…

  • Windows 10 heralds the MINECRAFT-isation of Microsoft
    Redmond is building a stack of visualisation tools for the generation that grew up with clickable everything
    Until last week, Microsoft’s $2.5 billion purchase of Mojang AB made no sense to me. Undeniably popular in the current generation of kids, at some point, Mojang’s Minecraft will fade, like every other fad before it. Mojang doesn’t even have a follow-up to its breakthrough first title. Back in 2013, Minecraft creator Marcus ‘Notch’ Perrson shelved 0x10C, a space game set in the distant future, leaving Mojang looking like a one hit-wonder.…

  • Trans-Pacific trade treaty close to signoff says USA
    Japan offers America a side of rice, but nasty copyright provisions remain
    The US Trade Representative Michael Froman has tried to reassure the country's lawmakers that the interminable negotiations over the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) will conclude during 2015.…

  • Cisco says GHOST is more Casper than Sleepy Hollow
    Borg exorcised GHOST years ago when it sent IPv4 to the nether realms
    Cisco has put forward at least a partial response to 2015's first branded bug, GHOST, saying that in The Borg's world, the glibc vulnerability is probably of relatively low severity.…

  • Researcher says Aussie spooks help code Five Eyes mega malware
    QWERTY keylogger code alleged to name Defence Signals Directorate
    The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) has refused to comment on allegations it had a hand in the creation of a keylogging module used by global spookhauses and considered almost identical to parts of the complex Regin malware.…

  • FCC will vote to cut off 41 million broadband users this Thursday*
    * This headline brought to you by the cable companies
    US internet tinkerer the FCC will likely vote tomorrow to change its definition of "broadband" connections from 4Mbps to 25Mbps – effectively moving 13 per cent of the American population outside the envelope of "fast" internet access.…

  • Facebook's mobile ad bonanza brought it record returns in 2014
    Social network Zucked up more cash than ever
    Facebook finished the best quarter and the best year of its history on December 31, with its latest earnings report showing record annual revenues of $12.47bn for its fiscal 2014, up 58 per cent from 2013's haul.… offline for now

  • New Mesa Patch To Improve CPU-Bound Applications
    For those wondering what else Kristian Hgsberg is working on in his post-Wayland days, after tackling initial Skylake enablement in Mesa his latest achievement is a new Mesa performance patch...

  • NVIDIA 340.76 Brings Three Stable Fixes
    For conservative NVIDIA Linux users not quick to jump to new release streams, the 340.76 stable update is now available, which is also the driver that's continuing to provide long-term support for pre-Fermi graphics card users relying on NVIDIA's binary blob...

  • NVIDIA's Latest Maxwell Line-Up Against AMD With Catalyst On Linux
    Last week NVIDIA released the GeForce GTX 960, a great $200 GPU for Linux gamers that is based on their new power-efficient Maxwell architecture. On launch-day I delivered some initial performance figures of the full GeForce GTX 900 series line-up along with other graphics cards and following that I did many new NVIDIA Linux GPU tests going back to the GeForce GTX 400 (Fermi) series. Not part of those tests were any AMD Radeon graphics cards while in this article are such numbers in making a new 18-way graphics card comparison with the latest Linux graphics drivers.

  • Linux Game Publishing Remains Offline, Three Years After The CEO Shakeup
    It was brought up today in the forums that it's been three years of having a new LGP CEO while Linux Game Publishing's website remains down for the better part of the year, their web presence is disappearing, and it simply doesn't look like there's a bright 2015 ahead for this one leading provider of games to Linux...

  • Preliminary Tests Of Intel Sandy Bridge & Ivy Bridge vs. Broadwell
    Chances are if you have a Haswell ultrabook/laptop, you're probably not looking at upgrading to a new Broadwell design unless your Haswell laptop had hardware issues, you really need a longer battery life via more power efficient hardware, or you just fall in love with one of the new Broadwell devices. If you're running an Ivy Bridge or Sandy Bridge laptop on the other hand, it might be time for an upgrade to get faster Intel graphics and greater power efficiency. Here's some preliminary figures I have for showing off the new Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Core i7 5600U compared to some older SNB and IVB laptops.

  • KDE Plasma 5.2 Officially Released
    The KDE community officially released Plasma 5.2 this morning as the quarterly update to KDE's desktop shell powered by Qt5 and KDE Frameworks 5...

  • Nouveau In Linux 3.20 Will Have A Lot Of Code Cleaning
    While the Nouveau pull request has yet to be issued for the DRM-Next merge window that will ultimately target the Linux 3.20 kernel, a look at the changes so far appear to mostly indicate this open-source NVIDIA driver is just going through a period of code cleaning and reorganization...

  • Compare Your Linux System To The i7-5600U Broadwell X1 Carbon ThinkPad
    The third-generation Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon continues running well under Linux with its new Intel Core i7 5600U "Broadwell" processor sporting HD Graphics 5500. I'm enjoying this new ultrabook a lot and have been pushing it very hard for days with various Linux benchmarks...

  • AMD FX-8320E Performance On Linux
    Back in September AMD announced new FX CPUs that included the FX-8370, FX-8370E, and FX-8320E. Back then we reviewed the FX-8370/FX-8370E CPUs under Linux but at the time didn't have our hands on the more affordable FX-8320E processor. In December AMD sent over the FX-8320E and so for the past few weeks I've been happily using this new Vishera CPU.

  • 2015 X.Org Elections Get Underway For Board Members, SPI Merger
    The election process is beginning for selecting new X.Org Foundation board members and for allowing X.Org members to vote on whether they would like to proceed with joining SPI to become a sub-project of that organization so that they'll take care of the business and administrative tasks...


  • iTunes 12.1 adds a widget to OS X Yosemite's notification center

    The latest iTunes is now available for download, and while it won't cloth your old application in a newer, fancier interface, it does come with a convenient new feature. To be exact, it adds an iTunes widget right within the notification center that lets you play, pause and skip songs without accessing the program itself. You can even buy tracks from within the widget if you're jamming to songs on iTunes Radio. To get this new feature, fire up your Mac App Store and find iTunes 12.1 from among all your outdated applications in the Updates tab -- just take note that you need to have OS X Yosemite installed to see the download and enjoy the widget's features.

    Filed under: Misc, Apple


    Source: iTunes

  • Of course 'Law & Order: SVU' is doing a GamerGate episode

    Actually, it's not about ethics in games journalism. NBC's Law & Order: SVU will air an episode titled "Intimidation Game" on February 11th, and unless you've been living under a rock the circumstances will be pretty familiar. In a plotline following "GamerGate" and the women many of its participants targeted for harassment, the show will feature a video game developer (played by Mouzam Makkar) preparing for a launch "amid a stream of online insults, intimidation and death threats." Inevitably Detective Olivia Benson and Ice-T are called in and... you've seen Law & Order, right?

    Hopefully, unlike in real life the cops know how to deal with online intimidation and threats, but we also hope that the dramatization doesn't downplay the all-too-real events that are still occurring. As far as the real lives of some of the women the episode appears to be basing its main character on, Zoe Quinn has an online support network for those dealing with internet abuse called Crash Override, while Brianna Wu is working on "Women in Tech: The Book!". Similarly, Anita Sarkeesian laid out 2015 plans for her organization, Feminist Frequency, and is working with "major social media and gaming platforms" to work on ending harassment.

    Law and Order SJW
    - Skitty Pryde (@TheQuinnspiracy) January 30, 2015


    Video game developer Raina Punjabi (guest star Mouzam Makkar) solidifies the launch of her first game amid a stream of online insults, intimidation and death threats from the male-dominated gaming community. When a female employee is assaulted at a gamer convention, Detective Tutuola (Ice-T) investigates the crime but Raina refuses to delay the launch, and the cops must "level up" to protect her. Also starring Mariska Hargitay (Sgt. Olivia Benson), Kelli Giddish (Det. Amanda Rollins) and Peter Scanavino (Det. Dominick Carisi Jr.). Guest starring Peter Mark Kendall (Steven Kaplan), Susannah Flood (Sarah Keller) and Griffin Matthews (Leslie Connolly).

    Filed under: Home Entertainment, HD


    Via: @Wario64 (Twitter)

    Source: NBC, All Things Law and Order

  • OnePlus will reveal its 'OxygenOS' February 12th

    As Cyanogen moves along a new path (apparently with help from Microsoft) phone maker OnePlus is working on its own flavor of Android, and now it has a name: OxygenOS. Unfortunately, it doesn't have much else beyond promises of going back to the drawing board with software that is "open, customizable, and free of bloat and unnecessary features." That's good to hear though, and matches up with the alpha build seen earlier this month. In classic OnePlus style, the tease just sets up another tease, and we're told more information is coming on February 12th, so mark your calendars.

    Filed under: Mobile, Google


    Source: OnePlus

  • Google X Labs made synthetic skin to test a cancer-detecting bracelet

    If someone asks you to name a Google X Labs moonshot, you'd probably say Glass, self-driving car or maybe even Project Loon. But as you might remember from the WSJD Live conference last year, it also has a flourishing Life Sciences division that employs 100 doctors and scientists, and one of their main projects is a Fitbit-like bracelet that can detect cancer cells. Now, The Atlantic has taken a peek into the division's headquarters in Mountain View. The publication's video (below the fold) also explains why the team has to create synthetic human skin mixed with the real thing to cover disembodied arms.

    See, those arms serve as testers for the Labs' cancer-detecting bracelet project. For that to make sense, though, you need to understand how the system works: first you'll need to take pills packed with nanoparticles that circulate throughout the body looking for cancer cells. If they find any, they'll bind to those cells, which then literally light up. After that, the cell-particle combos make their way underneath the bracelet, since it has a magnet that attracts the nanoparticles.

    Since the team wants to make sure that an illuminated clump of cancer cells is visible through human skin, they created those practice arms. They're covered in skin exhibiting different properties (thickness, etc.), as well as skin mimicking those of different ethnicities and skin tones. The bracelet probably won't be sniffing out cancer in the real world anytime soon, though, so watch the interview for now to see what it's like inside Google X Labs' Life Sciences department.

    Filed under: Science, Google


    Source: The Atlantic

  • Rolling Stone archives hit Google Play Newsstand this week

    Have you ever felt the need to dive into the history of music, movies and other pop culture? Well, you'll soon be able to do so with the help of Rolling Stone and Google Play Newsstand. The magazine is set to add its archive of decade-spanning content to the digital repository tomorrow, and some of it will be available free of charge. Three to four articles from each of the back issues can be read inside the app or on the Rolling Stone site at no cost. Later on, the plan is to bolster relevant content with the addition of sound and video. The magazine claims its archived issues do quite well, especially during certain events, and this gives readers another way to access it. For Google, the partnership shows off its reading platform with material from a popular weekly publication, which sounds like a win-win to me.

    Filed under: Internet, Software


    Via: 9to5Google

    Source: Fast Company

  • Amazon put $1.3 billion into Prime Instant Video last year

    Amazon may have surprised Wall Street by how much sales went up in the fourth quarter of last year ($29.3 billion, with a profit of $214 million), but for customers its Prime service is the big deal. Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said Prime membership in the US grew by 50 percent last year, despite a price hike. That growth probably explains (and helps justify) the expanding number of services it's tacked on to what was originally just an offer of free / cheap shipping. According to Bezos, Amazon plowed $1.3 billion into Prime Instant Video alone in 2014, snapping up exclusives,content from HBO and creating award winning programming like Transparent.

    [Image credit: Shutterstock]

    Of course, since this is Amazon there's no exact number of Prime subscribers revealed, but the company apparently spent "billions" on shipping for the program. The company's Fire phone didn't seem to merit much discussion, but for now Wall Street is happy and customers keep clicking that Buy button, so why rain on the parade?

    Filed under: Internet, Amazon


    Source: Amazon

  • Tesla Model S is getting even quicker through a software update

    If you didn't think that Tesla's Model S P85D was revealed that the already speedy electric sedan is getting a software update that will improve its 0-60MPH acceleration time by a tenth of a second, to 3.1 seconds. That may not sound like much, but that makes the Model S as quick off the mark as McLaren's MP4-12C supercar. The 'regular' P85 will also get a boost, Musk says, although it won't be "quite as much." No, this won't be news to aftermarket tuners used to wringing out more performance through code, but it's fun to think that a factory firmware upgrade could be the key to winning a drag race.

    [Image credit: Free Photos, Flickr]

    Tesla P85D 0 to 60mph acceleration will improve by ~0.1 sec soon via over-the-air software update to inverter algorithm
    - Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 29, 2015
    Filed under: Transportation


    Source: Elon Musk (Twitter 1), (2)

  • Reddit posts its first transparency report

    Reddit may not be subject to as much legal scrutiny as tech giants like Google or Microsoft, but there's enough of it that the internet community has published its first transparency report. The site says that it received 55 demands for user info through subpoenas, search warrants and emergency requests in 2014. That's a tiny amount compared to the 174 million total redditors, but that makes it a bigger target than Dropbox and other services that you'd think would be more conducive to secret activity. The site had a bigger problem on its hands with 218 copyright and trademark takedown requests, although it's not clear if that includes any calls to pull celebrity photos stolen in last year's iCloud breach.

    Not that cops or lawyers got as much as they'd like. Reddit notes that it denied just under half of all data requests, and over two thirds of takedowns -- in many cases, the copyright notices were overbroad attempts to censor entire subreddits or less-than-flattering (but still legal) material. The site's main challenge is simply getting permission to tell people what's going on. Gag orders prevented it from giving a heads-up for 13 data requests, so the company can't always be as forthcoming as it would hope.

    [Image credit: Eva Blue, Flickr]

    Filed under: Internet


    Via: TechCrunch

    Source: Reddit Blog

  • Google's hiring, buying and disappointing Wall Street

    We're in the thick of earnings seasons, friends, and Google just pushed out its latest spate of financials for our eager delectation. Here's the skinny: Google reported a total of $18.01 billion in revenue (closer to $14.5 billion if you don't count those pesky traffic acquisition costs), less than what most of those Wall Street analyst types expected it to. Let's take a closer look at what's going on over there.

    We've seen Google dump more of its money into research (as befits a company with such wild-eyed ambitions), and that trend doesn't seem to be going anywhere fast. By sinking 16 percent of its total revenue into research, Google's R&D spending habits stayed roughly equal with its actions last quarter... which is still a pretty huge improvement over the year-ago quarter. Yeah, we're not shocked by Google's predilection for research either. When you've got a guy like Larry Page sitting behind closed doors with a bunch of big brains trying to suss out what problems really need fixing, it's only natural to see Google pour money into its more ambitious divisions.

    Thing is, advertising and search is still Google's bread and butter; the worse that does, the less Mountain View can ultimately funnel into its myriad moonshots. The company's cost-per-click is down 3 percent year-over-year, and while that doesn't sound like the most dire dip, it still means that advertisers are playing slightly less for their ads than they have in the past. Those so-called CPCs have been on the decline for a few quarters now, though paid clicks -- how many times people click on ads on Google sites and others that use Google's platform -- is up 14 percent since last year.

    Google's also getting to be a more expensive company to run, if only just - operating expenses creeped up to $6.78 billion, or about 37 percent of the search giant's revenue pie. Need a little context? This time last year, Google only spent just a hair over $5 billion to keep everything running, which shakes out to 32 percent. Naturally, we can peg at least some of that on the company's growing headcount - 2,036 more people work for Google now than at the end of September 2014, a testament to the amount of meat and grey matter needed to keep the Googleplex churning away. Google also dumped $3.55 billion into capital expenditures, which in this case refers mostly to "real estate purchases, production equipment, and data center construction". That's a cool billion dollars more than it did three months ago and this quarter last year, though CFO Patrick Pichette said that was thanks in large part to a hefty property buy in Redwood City, CA.


    Source: Google Investor Relations

  • Microsoft is reportedly investing in Cyanogen's custom Android mod
    Wall Street Journal. Neither company is talking about the deal, naturally, and we still don't know how big Microsoft's investment may be. Bloomberg reports that the two companies are in negotiations to create a version of Cyanogen's image that features Microsoft's services (similar to what Nokia did with its X series, which Microsoft killed off). The report comes only a few months after Cyanogen refused a Google buyout offer, supposedly because it wants to keep the dream of a truly open version of Android alive. The more likely reason? Cyanogen will probably end up being worth a lot more after additional investments than what Google was willing to pay.

    Sure, Microsoft's got Windows Phone already, but that platform isn't exactly exploding. And even though it's an off-shoot of Android, there are already more than 50 million people using Cyanogen. That number could rise significantly as it gets even easier to install (the company's already offering desktop and mobile appsto simplify the process). Cyanogen also has plenty of potential for phone makers -- it was one of the more compelling features of the OnePlus One (though their relationship isn't going so wellthese days).

    [Photo credit: opopododo/Flickr]

    Filed under: Microsoft


    Source: Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg

  • Nickelodeon's standalone streaming service is coming in February
    Nickelodeon is set to reveal a standalone service of its own. During an investor call this morning, Viacom chief Philippe Dauman said the kid-friendly channel will announce its subscription plans in February, targeting mobile devices. Details are scarce for now, but we should hear more soon, as the first of the month is imminent. HBO and CBS have already revealed their plans for cord cutters, and both AMC and ESPN are rumored to be mulling similar models, too. Of course, Nickelodeon will have to compete with the likes of Amazon and Netflix who already offer dedicated streams for younger viewers, included with subscriptions that parents are already paying for.

    [Photo credit: Shearer/Invision/AP]

    Filed under: Home Entertainment, HD


    Source: Variety

  • B-OUYA! Guess who just got a $10 million investment from Alibaba?

    Are we tired of making puns based around the silly name for the Kickstarter-funded, Android-powered, miniature game console, OUYA? No, friends. No we are not. Clearly.

    That aside, there's a whole nation of people who are just now hearing of OUYA for the first time: China. That's because Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba reportedly dropped $10 million into OUYA's coffers within the last month, according to our review from 2013. Much of those early edges were eventually smoothed, and OUYA branched out as a software platform known as "OUYA Everywhere." Xiaomi added OUYA everywhere to its set-top boxes last year, and now apparently Alibaba is looking to do something similar.

    If that is indeed the case, OUYA isn't saying just yet. CEO Julie Uhrman wouldn't confirm or deny the report, but did tell us this:

    "We have been working with partners to bring our platform and games library to their devices (OUYA Everywhere). We're live with Madcatz in the US and working with Xiaomi in China. There are a number of others in the works, with our focus outside the US because there is where we see the most opportunity and growth. Sometimes new markets leapfrog the established ones -- this may be one of those cases."

    Indeed, this "may be one of those cases." Either way, the narrative certainly isn't hurting OUYA -- a company that is seemingly pivoting its hardware-centric vision into a profitable software platform. Not exactly where we expected the company to be just two years after a big splash and fizzle in the US! As Uhrman puts it, though, that's a measure of the company's software platform. "Being the largest independent library of Android games for the TV allows us to partner with anyone looking to bring creative content to the TV on boxes that can play games," she says. It sounds like Alibaba may be just the latest in an ongoing push to bring OUYA Everywhere...everywhere, if only someone would confirm it

    Filed under: Gaming, Software, HD, Google


    Source: The Wall Street Journal

  • SkyMall's savior might be one of the products that it used to sell

    Rumors of SkyMall's demise might have been exaggerated, at least if the CEO of Scottevest gets his way. Scott Jordan, head of the company that makes coats with pockets sufficient to carry your entire gadget haul, believes that he's the man to save the moribund publication. According to the businessman, SkyMall was "doomed to fail." Presumably because being trapped 30,000 feet in the air isn't enough to convince you to buy a beer pager or protein-infused ketchup.
    According to Jordan, his turnaround plan would involve changing the name and, controversially, ditching the kitsch. Instead, AirShop (a name we just made up) would offer a highly curated brochure of items that everyone would find desirable - just like every other retail business on the planet hopes to achieve. Rather than remain a paper catalog in airline seat pockets, AirShop (still made up) would have a digital store, as well as retail locations in airports. The deal is currently being hammered out by lawyers on all sides, so a lot of the finer details remain in the air. But, if Jordan is successful, AirShop could be back in the skies by April. Naturally, if you couldn't have guessed this already, Scottevest has already signed up to be the first advertiser.
    Filed under: Misc


    Source: PR NewsWire

  • Facebook's new tips for Places puts it in competition with Foursquare

    If you've ever found yourself in a new restaurant or a trendy tourist spot, you might've looked up Yelp or Foursquare -- or, heaven forbid, used Google -- on your phone to find out where the best view is or whether or not you should order the shrimp. Now, you might not need to, as long as you have Facebook installed. That's because the company has just introduced something called "Place Tips," which, when enabled, essentially pops up relevant content about your location as long as you're there. Specifically, it'll show posts and photos about the place from your friends if they've also visited it. The feature sounds very similar to what Foursquare already does with its own Tips, but with a much more Facebook-centric bent.
    You'll know Place Tips is working if you see a "tip" notification for the place that you're at when you launch Facebook. Tap it, and it'll show a series of cards about the place. Not only will you see the aforementioned posts and photos from your friends, but you'll also see basic info about the business. That info includes details like its operating hours, posts from its Facebook Page if it has one, popular menu items and upcoming events. Facebook was careful to note that tapping on these tips won't post anything to your news feed or show anyone where you are.
    Do note, however, that Place Tips is opt-out. That means that the feature is turned on by default if you've given Facebook permission to access your location -- it uses a combination of WiFi, GPS and cellular networks to determine where you are. But if you prefer, you can go ahead and turn the feature off in settings. If you'd rather have finer-grain control, you can even hide tips about specific places.

    Introducing Place Tips in News Feed from Facebook on Vimeo.
    Place Tips will not be everywhere just yet; Facebook says it's testing it in certain spots in New York, specifically Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square, the Statue of Liberty and JFK Airport. Additionally, the social network is also testing out Facebook Bluetooth beacons at select businesses to deliver even more tailored tips. Those locations include Dominique Ansel Bakery, the Strand Book Store, the Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien Hotel, Brooklyn Bowl, Pianos, the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop and Veselka.

    Filed under: Internet, Facebook


    Source: Facebook

  • Government raked in $44.9 billion from wireless auction
    700Mhz band that delivers LTE for a number of carriers. This auction ended with the government raising $44.9 billion, which surprised many observers, especially since even smaller markets like Portland, ME received sizable bids worth tens of millions of dollars.

    Who won which pieces of spectrum in the 1,700Mhz and 2,100Mhz bands is unknown right now, but we do know that 70 different companies and organizations submitted bids. Obvious players were involved, like AT&T and Verizon, but Dish also participated, as did some private equity firms, like Grain Management LLC. Interestingly, Sprint sat this one out, though the company does have what the Wall Street Journal calls, "largest stores of spectrum" in the industry.

    Part of the reason people were shocked by the high price tag, is that these higher frequencies are actually considered less valuable than lower bands. That's largely because they're unable to cover as much distance or penetrate buildings as easily. But, since they're able to carry large amounts of data over short distances, they can be very useful in cities.

    Hopefully we'll have more information about who won what soon, but for now lets just enjoy the cash windfall for the government and the American tax payer. Of the nearly $45 billion, $7 billion is already earmarked for a nationwide broadband public safety network, $115 million is going to help implement the next generation of 911 networks and $20 billion is going straight to deficit reduction.

    [Image credit: Shutterstock]

    Filed under: Wireless, Verizon, AT&T


    Source: Wall Street Journal

  • FCC more than quintuples the legal definition of 'broadband'

    It used to be that a paltry 4 Mbps down and 1 Mbps was all it took for an internet connection to be considered "broadband," but the Federal Communications Commission has just flipped that definition on its ear. FCC commissioners voted 3-2 in favor of upping the broadband threshold, and pretty dramatically too: Now service providers will have to offer speeds of 25 Mbps down/3 Mbps up if they want to apply that label. Need a little perspective? The average American home broadband connection pulls down around 11 Mbps, while some 17 percent of Americans technically don't have broadband internet anymore.

    Naturally, cable and internet service providers aren't going to be thrilled. Just last week, a lawyer for the National Cable & Telecommunications Association urged the commission not to fiddle with the standard broadband requirements because outspoken proponents for the change (in this case, Netflix and Public Knowledge) are overestimating what makes sense to provide to consumers. If this increase is all it takes to get those companies riled up, they're probably none too pleased with some commissioners' blue sky thinking. After all, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel stated today that she thinks the broadband threshold "frankly, should be 100 Mbps" -- a move that would finally put the United States in line with the speedy connections available in countries like South Korea. According to the 2014 State of the Internet report issued by Akamai, Korea tops the global charts with an average download speed of 23.6Mbps (which worked out to about six times the world average).

    Here's the thing to remember about the FCC: It doesn't have the power to ring up Comcast, Verizon, Time Warner and all of their money-grubbing ilk to say "make your internet faster or else!" All it did was change what counts as "broadband" internet -- from here on out, it's up to service providers to change how they play the game. Of course, that's not to say that the FCC lacks the authority to prod some of those more reticent players into action; Comments


  • IRL: The Phorce Freedom is a bag that trades space for versatility

    ​At CES -- the world's largest tech show -- the intrepid reporter faces many challenges. Most of them involve sleep (lack of), nutrition (lack of), human beings (abundance of) and coffee (usually lack of, but often, taste of). As such, it's very important that you don't go and add to that list of problems with some form of self-sabotage: the wrong cables, poor coffee choices, no backup power and, crucially, a P.O.S. bag. You and your bag are going to become close friends over the week, so it pays to get one that'll do the job, with a minimum of fuss.

    The one that tackled the challenge this year? The Phorce Freedom. There are three basic questions I ask of any bag: Can it carry all my shit, will it protect everything and is it comfortable to carry for extended periods? If it can meet that base line, then I'm interested. If it exceeds it, all the better. This bag from Phorce covers my "basic three" pretty easily. It's advertised as being big enough for a 13-inch laptop, but my 15-inch MacBook Pro and neoprene cover slip in just fine, as do my phone, tablet, camera, cables and other assorted tools. I won't lie, it's a tight fit (especially the camera), but I can get in there. The bag isn't cavernous, nor massively capacious, but this isn't about hauling large amounts, just the essentials. Besides, the "snug" fit keeps things from rattling about inside as I'm schlepping it between various conference halls.

    The outside of the bag is, to be fair, not that great-looking. Initially, I thought it looked like faux-leather, but it's not even that. It's a weird, textured, matte-black material. It kinda makes the bag look like it's been wrapped in gaffer tape. Sort of like nylon, if it had been covered in a rubbery paint. Suffice to say, it's not a head turner. What it is, though, is water resistant. I'll take dry gadgets over admiring looks any day. In fact, I involuntarily tested this water resistant "feature" two times over the week. Cramped desks, cups of water and early-onset "CES flu" evidently make me a liability around liquids.

    The last of my three requirements -- comfort -- also gets a pass. The bag has a number of hooks that let you move the straps around, converting it into an over-the-shoulder bag or a backpack. There are also two magnetic handles so you can do the briefcase thing too, if you wanted. In either messenger mode or backpack mode it's not overly comfortable compared to bags of fixed configuration. But having the ability to change means if you're tired of wearing it one way, or your needs change depending on your cargo, you can mix it up. It definitely adds to its usefulness. And this is what nudges it above the bar: added functionality.

    The biggest bonus is a built-in (or, included, rather) battery. This is pretty much becoming a new essential/standard in gadget-friendly bags. The Phorce Freedom in particular comes with a 15,000mAh cell, with two high-speed charging ports. This proved to be a life-saver on more than one occasion. CES has several evening events, and after a day of busy phone-tethering and whatnot, I had to top up via the battery in the bag several times. It's an amazing anxiety eliminator, that's for sure. If only this bag had WiFi too. One other minor, but welcome, detail is the micro-fiber lining of all the pockets; it's like having a lint-free cloth on the inside of your bag. Much nicer than bare nylon, et cetera.

    If I have any criticisms, it's that this bag really is the minimum workable size for my needs. Carrying anything that isn't flat is often a challenge. I had to carry back a can of drink by hand after an evenging event because I ran out of space -- such are the terrible things we endure to bring you the latest gadget news. You can also forget about putting pretty much anything but the lightest jacket in there -- something you could do with a regular backpack. Given that it's pretty much a laptop bag, it's also a shame the battery doesn't charge larger gadgets (i.e., those that require a plug). Phorce does make a bag that addresses both of these issues: the Phorce Pro. At $650, though, it's also well over triple the price of the Freedom ($200) and well into way-too-expensive territory for me. Some might still balk at $200, but after protecting my tablet, phone and laptop from all that water spillage, it's arguably paid for itself already. It's not my everyday bag, but it's a worthy workhorse, for sure.

    Filed under: Wearables


  • Imgur now lets you easily make gorgeous GIFs from online videos
    video to GIF tool from the popular image hosting service Imgur might be perfect for you. All you need to do is plug in the URL of an online video (I tested it with several YouTube clips), choose a portion to animate, and wait while Imgur converts it. It's worth noting that you likely won't end up with a true animated GIF, though. Most of the time the tool spat out one of Imgur's new "GIFV" files, which loop like GIFs, but more closely resemble video files when it comes to sharing them. The big benefit of GIFV? It produces higher quality animated images with smaller file sizes than traditional GIFs. YouTube is testing out its own quick GIF conversion tool as well, but Imgur deserves credit for trying to evolve the archaic image format.

    But while it was easy to use, there's definitely room for improvement. Embedding a GIFV file takes some manual HTML tweaking, and it's hard to tell when it's going to produce a GIFV file versus a traditional GIF. And, of course, it's not going to be very useful if you want to spit out an animated GIF to text to your friends. It'd be nice to have the option to create a standard GIF, even if the result is kind of ugly and massive.


  • BBC secures Premier League highlights until 2019

    The future of football broadcasts in the UK might be up in the air at the moment, but one important piece of TV rights has already been secured. The BBC announced today it has extended its deal to deliver Premier League highlights until the end of the 2018/19 season. That means you'll continue to see Match Of The Day on a Saturday night (and other select matchdays), Football Focus and a new midweek magazine show that's due to air on BBC Two late on a Wednesday. Oh, and don't forget replays on BBC iPlayer. If you're fan of Lineker and co. or prefer your football highlights without ad breaks, you can rest easy -- you've got another four seasons until that possibility arises again.

    Filed under: Home Entertainment, HD


    Source: BBC

  • SYNEK's countertop draft system brings fresh beer home this summer

    SYNEK's method for bringing draft beer to kitchen counters everywhere first caught our eye last summer, and after nabbing $650,000 in Kickstarter contributions, the final product is on the way. For the uninitiated, SYNEK developed a self-contained tap system that allows you to swap out 128 oz. bags of your favorite brew (that's just under a dozen 12 oz. pours) so that you always have fresh beer at home. You'll notice the finished model looks a bit different from the original, but rest assured that handy thermostat is still employed despite the temperature display getting moved from the front panel. And the ability to adjust CO2 levels remains inside, too. The company says that the new design also features improved insulation and makes it easier to change out those bags. There's also a removable drip tray too, so you want have to worry about getting your counter dirty.

    One of my reservations last year was if the company could convince breweries and retailers to opt in. Well friends, it seems I no longer need to worry. Big name brewers like New Belgium, The Bruery, Sixpoint and more have all pledged support, and shops that usually fill those reusable glass growlers are also looking to join the fray as well. There's no word on when, or if, you'll be able to buy pre-filled bags for the system at your local suds store, but that was part of the plan last year, so here's to hoping the option arrives at some point. SYNEK will launch this spring, and if you didn't pledge your support already, you can secure a machine for summer delivery with $299.

    Filed under: Household


    Source: SYNEK

  • Report: Apple gives Chinese government access to source code
    While there was no other information available on the paper€™s website, the tweet echoes a report in the Beijing News (link in Chinese) that Apple chief executive Tim Cook informed Lu last month that Apple would let China's State Internet Information Office conduct "security checks" on all products that it sells on the mainland. China has been concerned that Apple devices like the iPhone enable the company - or worse, US intelligence agencies - to spy on Chinese citizens.  [...]  What would "security checks" entail? Apple hasn't provided any information on the matter and did not respond to requests for comment. But analysts said the most likely interpretation is that the company is giving Beijing access to its operating system source code in return for being able to continue to do business in China - arguably Apple's most important market, but one that has been imperiled by regulatory obstacles.  This whole story seems highly unlikely to me. If Apple were to give the Chinese government access to the iOS source code, it'd leak all around the web in no-time. Even if Apple could somehow get a 100% guarantee that there would be no leaks, this whole thing seems incredibly un-Apple. Then again - it may simply be a fait accompli for Apple; if the Chinese government demands source code access in order for Apple to keep operating in the Chinese market, Apple may simply have no choice but to comply.  Even if this story is true, the only possible way I could remotely see this work is Apple setting up a special, dedicated office on its own premises where Chinese government officials get a peek.

  • How I built the developer's dream keyboard
    Working one day in August of 2007, I couldn't help but realize that my regular PC keyboard didn't serve me as much as possible. I had to move my hands between the various blocks of my keyboard excessively, hundreds if not thousands of times per day, and my hands were uncomfortably close to each other. There must be a better way, I thought.  This realization was followed by an overwhelming feeling of excitement as I thought about creating the perfect hacker keyboard 0 and later, the realization that, as a software developer, I was hopelessly clueless about hardware.

  • Apple's crazy iPhone sales prove that hardware still matters
    As vast and sophisticated as the mobile tech industry may have become, in the end it still relies on some very basic ways for making money. You can either sell hardware, like Apple's doing, or sell ads, which account for roughly the same proportion of Google's regular income. Netflix and Amazon's Kindle store have found success as cross-platform services, but spending on mobile software is unlikely to ever match that of the old days when we paid for Windows, Office, and Photoshop on the desktop. It's easier to sell things that a person can touch and interact with physically. This is why HTC is diversifying into selling weird cameras, why LG and Samsung keep churning out new smartwatches in search of a perfect formula, and why everyone at CES earlier this month had a wearable of some kind to show off. And in spite of their lamentations about tough competition, HTC, LG, and Lenovo are all generating profits from their smartphone operations, and Samsung's recent sales decline hasn't been enough to put the Korean company on the wrong side of the ledger. None of these manufacturers have a profit driver of the caliber of the iPhone, but they're running sustainable businesses even while relying almost wholly on Google's Android software.  Just to illustrate: Apple has sold one billion iOS devices to date, and last year alone, one billion Android smartphones have been shipped (so this excludes tablets). These numbers - Apple's profits, Android devices shipped in just a year - are insane.

  • "Have you ever kissed a girl?"
    An old (2010) story from former Sun employee Jeremy Allison.  David Miller wrote (at the end of a long email explaining how Sparc Linux used cache optimizations to beat Solaris on performance):  "One final note. When you have to deal with SunSOFT to report a bug, how "important" do you have (ie. Fortune 500?) to be and how big of a customer do you have to be (multi million dollar purchases?) to get direct access to Sun's Engineers at Sun Quentin? With Linux, all you have to do is send me or one of the other SparcLinux hackers an email and we will attend to your bug in due time. We have too much pride in our system to ignore you and not fix the bug."  To which Bryan Cantrill replied with this amazing retort:  "Have you ever kissed a girl?"  Talk about missing the point and underestimating the competition.  The article offers an interesting look at why Sun eventually failed. I stumbled upon this story because Rob Landley mentioned the girl comment in his email about BSD/SysV.

  • Microsoft to invest in rogue Android startup Cyanogen
    Remember the nonsense from CyanogenMod CEO McMaster we talked about a few days ago? It turns out the motivation for the baseless comments from McMaster may not exactly be his own. As always, follow the money.  People familiar with the matter say Microsoft is putting money into Cyanogen, which is building a version of the Android mobile-operating system outside of Google's auspices.  Microsoft would be a minority investor in a roughly $70 million round of equity financing that values Cyanogen in the high hundreds of millions, one of the people said. The person said the financing round could grow with other strategic investors that have expressed interest in Cyanogen because they're also eager to diminish Google's control over Android. The identity of the other potential investors couldn't be learned.  Oh right.

  • The BSD/System V split
    Rob Landley:  So gcc's library bindings strongly preferring System V system calls to BSD was due to the flood of Solaris end-users dominating the late 80's gcc development community to avoid paying Ed Zander extra for Sun's Solaris compiler. This combined with Linus reading Sun workstation manuals to get a system call list gave linux a very System V flavor.  Interesting - if opinionated - view on the whole situation. Not sure if all the dates check out, but it's a fun read nonetheless.

  • Samsung reportedly rushing to dismantle TouchWiz
    TouchWiz has long been known as being far too full of bloat and unnecessary software, but the real problem with Samsung's version of Android is that these added features come with a hard hit on performance. According to a report this morning from SamMobile, the Korean company might be going as far as to remove all features from the OS that can possibly be downloaded - and this just so happens to coincide with today's market share numbers showing that Apple and Samsung were neck-and-neck in Q4.  Isn't competition lovely?

  • "How the iPad went from massive to 'meh' in 5 short years"
    At the same time, Apple hasn't figured out many new things to do with the iPad to bring back the old excitement. During the October keynote to launch the latest model, Apple executives gushed and gushed and gushed about how *thin* the new iPad was. And it is! The iPad Air 2 is thin, elegant, and so light it just might float right off your lap. But the drama is gone.  The iPad is nice. You might still hang out together sometimes on the couch. But when you're done, you probably just put it down on the pile with all the magazines and mail and other stuff stacking up on the coffee table. It's just another way to waste a little time.  Even with dropping iPad sales, it's still a massive business that rakes in huge amounts of money. With the amounts of money Apple rakes in, it's easy to lose perspective.  That being said, the upgrade cycle for tablets appears to be a lot longer than for phones, which is why Apple isn't concerned about the iPhone 6(+) cannibalising iPad sales: iPhones are not only more expensive, they are also on a two year upgrade cycle and appear to be "free". As long as any drop in iPad sales is more than made up for in increasing iPhone sales, Apple is getting more money, not less.

  • Microsoft Surface sales increase by 24%
    The Surface line has officially crossed the billion dollar mark for revenue demonstrating a 24% growth from the previous quarter. In other words, the big holiday season looks to have been successful in pushing the Surface Pro 3, which drove the growth, into more hands than ever.  The Surface Pro is an amazingly well-built product. I'm glad it's finding modest success.

  • Apple Watch will be released in April
    Apple CEO Tim Cook just announced that the Apple Watch will begin shipping in April. Cook revealed the shipping timeframe during Apple's quarterly earnings call with investors; the company enjoyed a blockbuster quarter backed by massive iPhone sales and huge growth in China. Now it will look to carry that success forward with the launch of Apple Watch, its first major new product since the debut of iPad in 2010. "We€™re making great progress in the development of it," Cook said. He also revealed that Apple is encouraged by the response from developers and app makers so far, saying "We€™re seeing some incredible innovation."  The Apple Watch could be a crappy product, but with these kinds of iPhone sales numbers, even a dud would be a huge success. These numbers are beyond my comprehension.

  • YouTube now defaults to HTML5 video
    Four years ago, we wrote about YouTube's early support for the HTML5 video tag and how it performed compared to Flash. At the time, there were limitations that held it back from becoming our preferred platform for video delivery. Most critically, HTML5 lacked support for Adaptive Bitrate (ABR) that lets us show you more videos with less buffering.  Over the last four years, we've worked with browser vendors and the broader community to close those gaps, and now, YouTube uses HTML5 video by default in Chrome, IE 11, Safari 8 and in beta versions of Firefox.  It seems like only yesterday that Flash was required for everything.

  • Opera co-founder releases new browser
    The co-founder and former CEO of Opera, Jon von Tetzchner, has released a new browser called Vivaldi.  The new browser, which is available for Windows, Mac and Linux, is still in its early days, but offers a number of features that loyal Opera users may remember. It sports mouse gestures for browsing and the familiar "speed dial" interface that shows your favorite tabs on the new tab page.  groups Meet Vivaldi, a new browser from the former CEO of OperaVivaldi also has some new tricks up its sleeves. Multiple tabs can be combined into one for easy browsing of related sites. For example, if you were doing research online you could group all the tabs on that topic into one to save space.  The browser is available as a pre-release version right now, and like Opera, it doesn't actually have its own, unique rendering engine - it's built on top of Chrome's Blink. The idea here appears to be to return at least some of the unique Opera features to the browser space, something a number of you may be interested in.

  • OS X 10.10.2, iOS 8.1.3 released
    Apple has updated both of its operating systems today.  Apple has released OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 to the public. This update is meant to fix a number of issues in Yosemite, including an issue that caused Wi-Fi to disconnect.  And iOS wasn't far behind:  Apple has just released iOS 8.1.3 for iPhone and iPad devices. The over-the-air update has a number of fixes and improvements, including one that should cut down on the amount of storage needed for future software updates.

  • PaperLike: 13.3
    The PaperLike uses a 13.3-inch E Ink Fina screen that has a resolution of 1600 x 1200 (150 ppi). Fina is E Ink's glass-based display and is different from what's on the 13.3" Sony DPT-S1 PDF Reader, which has a flexible plastic-based screen.  The interesting thing about the PaperLike is that it uses so little energy that it doesn't even need to be plugged into its own power source. It connects to a laptop or desktop computer simply with a USB cable, and it gets enough power through the USB to refresh the screen.  This looks quite interesting in a cool-to-have sort of way. Too bad the price isn't exactly in the cool-to-have category.

  • PostgreSQL, the NoSQL Database
    One of the most interesting trends in the computer world during the past few years has been the rapid growth of NoSQL databases. The term may be accurate, in that NoSQL databases don't use SQL in order to store and retrieve data, but that's about where the commonalities end. NoSQL databases range from key-value stores to columnar databases to document databases to graph databases. 

  • HPC Cluster Grant Accepting Applications!
    Silicon Mechanics, Inc. has announced the open  submission period for its 4th annual Research Cluster  Grant Program.  This competitive grant will award two complete high performance compute clusters to two  institutions of higher education and research. The competition is open to all US and Canadian qualified post-secondary  institutions, university-affiliated research institutions, non-profit research institutions, and researchers at federal  labs with university affiliations.


  • Sharing Admin Privileges for Many Hosts Securely
    The problem: you have a large team of admins, with a substantial turnover rate. Maybe contractors come and go. Maybe you have tiers of access, due to restrictions based on geography, admin level or even citizenship (as with some US government contracts).

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 beta available on IBM Power Platform
    Two open source titans put their rings together and joined forces to announce that Red Hat Enterprise  Linux v7.1 beta is now available on the IBM Power Development platform. Last month Red Hat  announced that v7.i beta supported IBM Power Systems based on little endian mode.

  • Designing with Linux
    3-D printers are becoming popular tools, dropping in price and becoming  available to almost everyone. They can be used to build parts that you can use around the house, but more and more, they also are being used to create instruments for scientific work.

  • Wondershaper—QOS in a Pinch
    In past articles, I've discussed my BirdCam setup and how it automatically archives video footage from my bird feeders to YouTube every night. That's a really cool process, but unfortunately, it saturates my upstream bandwidth in the evening.

  • Ideal Backups with zbackup
    Data is growing both in volume and importance. As time goes on, the amount of data that we need to store is growing, and the data itself is becoming more and more critical for organizations. It is becoming increasingly important to be able to back up and restore this information quickly and reliably. Using cloud-based systems spreads out the data  over many servers and locations. 

  • Non-Linux FOSS: Animation Made Easy
    If you've ever wanted to make an animated film, the learning curve for such software often is really steep. Thankfully, the Pencil program was released and although basic, it provided a fairly simple way to create animations on your computer (Windows, Mac or Linux) with open-source tools. Unfortunately, the Pencil program was abandoned. 

  • Internet of Things Blows Away CES, and it May Be Hunting for YOU Next
    Originally this article’s purpose was to discuss all the exciting happenings surrounding the 2015 International CES “Internet of Things” Showcase in Las Vegas,  Nevada. After all, of the 3600+ exhibitors, there were fully 900 exhibitors with IoT  designation at this most-amazing-of-all trade shows, and 170,000 people came through  the turnstiles to see the spectacle!  

  • Slow System? iotop Is Your Friend
    Back in 2010, Kyle Rankin did an incredible series on Linux Troubleshooting. In Part 1, he talked about troubleshooting a system struggling with a high load.

  • diff -u: What's New in Kernel Development
    David Drysdale wanted to add Capsicum security features to Linux after he noticed that FreeBSD already had Capsicum support. Capsicum defines fine-grained security privileges, not unlike filesystem capabilities. But as David discovered, Capsicum also has some controversy surrounding it. 

  • Android Candy: Disney Everywhere, Even Android!
    As a father of three girls, I have piles and piles of Disney DVDs and Blu-rays. I occasionally look at the "Digital Copy" information and roll my eyes, because it requires some odd Windows DRM software or some other convoluted watching method that usually isn't possible or even interesting for me. 

  • January 2015 Issue of Linux Journal: Security
        Security: a Method, Not a Goal 
    The Security issue of Linux Journal always makes me feel a little guilty. It turns out that although I have a fairly wide set of technology skills, I'm not the person you want in charge of securing your network or your systems. By default, Linux is designed with a moderate amount of security in mind. For that, I am incredibly grateful.

  • Purism Librem 15
    I've been a fan of Free Software for quite some time, but for the most part I've found my opinions lean in the more pragmatic Bruce Perens Open Source camp. I value free software ideals but also accept other Open Source licenses that may not meet the strict definition of Free Software. I also don't refer to it as GNU/Linux.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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