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Exploring the Future of Computing
Updated: 9 min 15 sec ago

Verizon Pixels: crapware, locked bootloader, VZW controls updates

Friday 7th of October 2016 09:48:14 AM
Monthly security updates will come from Google (for all models), and system updates will be managed by Verizon for Verizon models, and Google for unlocked models bought from Google Store. Pixels bought at Best Buy are the Verizon models, so system updates for those, too, will be managed by Verizon. Combined with the news that Verizon models will have a locked bootloader and come with Verizon crapware, it's pretty clear that Americans among us should really, really opt to buy the Pixel outright from the Google Store. Yes, that means higher upfront costs, but you'll have lower monthly expenses, proper updates, and an unlocked bootloader. Anybody with even an ounce of common sense should avoid Verizon Pixels like the plague.

An open source font system for everyone

Friday 7th of October 2016 09:40:01 AM
A big challenge in sharing digital information around the world is "tofu" - the blank boxes that appear when a computer or website isn't able to display text: ⯐. Tofu can create confusion, a breakdown in communication, and a poor user experience. Five years ago we set out to address this problem via the Noto - a.k.a. "No more tofu" - font project. Today, Google's open-source Noto font family provides a beautiful and consistent digital type for every symbol in the Unicode standard, covering more than 800 languages and 110,000 characters. A single font with a uniform style covering 110000 characters - this is quite impressive.

Apple has removed Dash from the App Store

Thursday 6th of October 2016 06:37:23 PM
Earlier today, Apple cancelled my developer account and has removed Dash from the App Store. Dash is quite a popular application from a lauded developer, Bogdan Popescu, and yesterday, when he broke the news, he had no idea what the reasoning was. Other famous Apple developers expressed their worries, and now we have an update from Popescu, with Apple's explanation: Apple contacted me and told me they found evidence of App Store review manipulation. This is something I've never done. Apple's decision is final and can’t be appealed. I can't update Dash for iOS anymore and I can't distribute it outside of the App Store. Dash for macOS will continue to be supported outside of the App Store. If you purchased Dash on the Mac App Store, you should migrate your license as soon as possible. At the moment you are not able to download Dash from your App Store's Purchases tab anymore, so if you lose access to your currently activated version of Dash you won't be able to migrate your license anymore. Apple has pretty much nuked his entire account from orbit. Even people who own Dash can no longer install it from the Mac App Store - they'll have to migrate their license. Dash for iOS can't be distributed this way, of course, and is pretty much done. Dash is quite a popular tool among Apple developers, and it seems incredibly unlikely that its developer would need to resort to manipulate App Store reviews, but obviously, none of us know the whole story. For all we know, a competitor manipulated the reviews. In any event, all this - again, sadly - illustrates what I've been saying for years: building your business atop Apple's iOS or Mac App Store is a terrible business decision. You are completely and fully at Apple's whim, and while you may have some recourse if you're favoured by Apple's popular bloggers who can bring your case to the limelight, if you're not... Well, too bad for you.

"HTC, you loser"

Wednesday 5th of October 2016 09:47:21 PM
Google, of Android operating system fame, released its first Pixel smartphones Tuesday to replace its Nexus lineup. HTC has been selected to assemble the device, becoming for Google what Foxconn is to Apple. "Google has done the design work and a lot of the engineering," the Mountain View-based company's hardware chief Rick Osterloh told Bloomberg News. Ouch! That's gotta hurt. After spending years building its design and engineering chops, HTC has been demoted to water boy. Supplying Google with smartphones isn't a victory -- it's an embarrassing end to HTC's decade-long campaign to break out of that contract-manufacturing business and stand on its own two feet. Sure, sure, I see your point - or, and bear with me here, because this might shock you, but maybe, just maybe, being a manufacturer of someone else's phones might actually be a more stable, more profitable, and wiser business decision in the long term.

Google confirms upcoming Pixel devices will use custom silicon

Wednesday 5th of October 2016 08:55:21 PM
We've seen Google put out job listings for a position that would indicate they wanted to create custom chips, and we have even seen this backed up by additional reports as well. We received confirmation that Google is indeed building custom silicon, but we aren't told the extent to which Google will customize their own chips (whether it will be custom a CPU, GPU or both). At least we get an idea as to what Google is working on. Google is taking this Pixel endeavour quite seriously.

Yahoo secretly scanned customer emails for US intelligence

Tuesday 4th of October 2016 10:50:01 PM
Yahoo Inc last year secretly built a custom software program to search all of its customers' incoming emails for specific information provided by U.S. intelligence officials, according to people familiar with the matter. The company complied with a classified U.S. government directive, scanning hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts at the behest of the National Security Agency or FBI, said two former employees and a third person apprised of the events. Some surveillance experts said this represents the first case to surface of a U.S. Internet company agreeing to a spy agency's demand by searching all arriving messages, as opposed to examining stored messages or scanning a small number of accounts in real time. Ars Technica contacted various technology companies to ask them if they were ever subjected to the same FBI demands: A spokeswoman for Microsoft, Kim Kurseman, e-mailed Ars this statement, and also declined further questions: “We have never engaged in the secret scanning of email traffic like what has been reported today about Yahoo.” For its part, Google was the most unequivocal. Spokesman Aaron Stein e-mailed: "We've never received such a request, but if we did, our response would be simple: 'no way.'"

Project Mortar wants Pepper API Flash & PDFium in Firefox

Tuesday 4th of October 2016 10:44:04 PM
PDFium is the Google open-source project for PDF support in Google Chrome. PDFium was previously closed-source based upon Foxit PDF technology while now it's been fully open-source since 2014. The Pepper API Flash implementation is also what's used by Google's Chrome web-browser. By switching to the PAPI-based Flash, Firefox would be able to finish getting rid of their NPAPI support with the Firefox Flash support still relying upon it with Shumway and other projects not panning out.

Google unveils Pixel, Google Home, more

Tuesday 4th of October 2016 08:23:32 PM
Google unveiled a whole slew of new hardware products today, most notably its Pixel phones. You already know all the specifications and how it looks, so I won't bore you with the specifications details. Two good points about the Pixel phones: they come with easy on-device access to 24/7 phone and chat support with real Google people (...but what if it doesn't boot?), and it has a supposedly really great camera with no bump. The bad news about the Pixel? The pricing. Oh boy the pricing. The small Pixel costs a whopping €759, the bigger Pixel costs €869 (German pricing). That's absolutely crazytown, and I simply don't know if the Google brand has what it takes, hardware-wise, to go toe-to-toe with Samsung and Apple. More bad news: it's barely available anywhere. It's only available in the few markets where iOS is really strong (US, UK, Canada, Australia), and Germany, but nowhere else. Not in the rest of mainland Europe (an Android stronghold), not in Japan, not in China, not in South America (another Android stronghold). As a Dutch person, this is especially grating because virtually all of these goods are shipped to Europe from the port of Rotterdam, where they lie in warehouses before being shipped off. But not to The Netherlands. Anyhow, I just find it perplexing that in 2016, product launches are still nation state-restricted. Honestly though, I like the Pixel phones. I was a little apprehensive when looking at the leaks, but with the higher-quality announcements, product videos, and hands-on photos and videos coming out, it's starting to grow on me. I definitely would have liked a more outspoken design, but then I remember that the best modern smartphone I've ever had was my beloved, cherished Nexus 5 - not exactly a beacon of extravagance - which just feels great in the hand, mostly thanks to the excellent type of plastic used on the orange-red model I have, but also thanks to its unassuming, generic shape. Maybe I don't know what I want. I deeply dislike the design of my pink iPhone 6S (except for the pink, of course, that's still awesome), but at the same time, it feels pretty great in the hand, so I can't really fault Apple or Google or Samsung sticking to the generic, default shape we've settled on. The same applies to my current phone - a Nexus 6P - which is a pretty 'safe' design, too. Google also unveiled - again - Google Home, its Alexa competitor, and an updated version of ChromeCast, which can now stream 4K video. They also demonstrated the first Daydream VR headset, which uses a Google Pixel - or any other future Daydream-compatible Android phone - as its display. Tying all of these devices together is Google Assistant, a souped-up Google Now with a conversational interface. It's difficult to say how useful Google Assistant will be beyond the staged demos. Like the Pixel, these devices are only available to a very small group of people - the US, mostly - save for the new ChromeCast. So, why is Google getting into the hardware game for real this time? That's why today Google is unveiling an entire, interconnected hardware ecosystem: two phones, an intelligent speaker, a VR headset, a Wi-Fi router, and a media-streaming dongle. And the most important parts of that ecosystem - the Pixel phone and Google Home speaker - exist to be the ideal vessels for the Google Assistant. The rest of the products fill out Google's ecosystem, but are also enhanced by Google's cloud-based intelligence. In making its own hardware, Google is pitting itself against Apple for the first time, Google phone vs. iPhone. Those are very high stakes, with very little margin for error. So it looks like Google decided to follow a simple dictum: If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. I'd like to add something to that dictum: you have to make sure people can actually buy your stuff. Google has a lot of work to do on that one.

Explainer: US ceding control of core internet systems

Tuesday 4th of October 2016 12:50:01 AM
On Saturday, the U.S. government plans to cede control of some of the internet's core systems - namely, the directories that help web browsers and apps know where to find the latest weather, maps and Facebook musings. The U.S. has been in charge of these systems for more than three decades; plans to transfer control of these functions to a nonprofit oversight organization have been in the works since the late 1990s. Some Republicans in Congress raised late objections over the transfer, which they termed a "giveaway" to the rest of the world. But they failed to block the move in a spending bill to keep the government operating. Here's a look at the systems in question and what's at stake for internet users.

Atari ST computer sales and marketshare: a comparison

Monday 3rd of October 2016 10:48:16 PM
So how do the Atari ST sales and marketshare actually stack up? According to research by Reimer, who gathered his figures from various annual reports, International Data Corp (IDC) forecasts, Gartner Dataquest research, as well as a few magazine articles from the 1980s (most of which have gone dark online since originally compiled, unfortunately). The numbers were pretty grim for both platforms when looking at the larger overall marketshare picture.

MenuetOS 1.23.60 released

Monday 3rd of October 2016 02:46:30 PM
Recent additions to MenuetOS include SMP support for up to 32 processors, support for 32GB RAM, support for time-critical, non-preempting processes, additions to window transparency, improved USB webcam and storage support, context-mixing compressor, WebCall (IP to IP with audio and video), streaming audio (internet radio) and video support - all written 100% in 64bit x86 assembly.

Sales and support for Google's Pixels

Monday 3rd of October 2016 02:41:12 PM
Tomorrow, Google will unveil two new phones, and for the first time, they won't be Nexus devices. So much has been leaked now that we know pretty much everything there is to know about these Pixel phones. With every Android manufacturer except Samsung in a death spiral, while Samsung's phones are having 'issues', it makes sense for Google to try and assert more control over what used to be the Nexus line. The result will be devices carrying Google's own Pixel brand. One aspect of the rumours and leaks that caught my attention was this bit: Making two high-end phones with all the bells and whistles, just as ready for the future as they are today is a step in the right direction. Buying billboards and commercial space during sports events so people know you're doing it is another step. Speculation about having a well-trained support staff that you can reach anytime from anywhere through the phone's settings points to yet another. If Google builds a better mousetrap and makes sure everyone knows they built a better mousetrap, the world may beat a path to their door. If Google is really going to pursue a serious effort to expand the Nexus (okay, Pixel) appeal beyond us nerds, it's going to need more than billboards in New York. It's going to need these phones to be front and centre with carriers, smartphone stores, and online stores. It's going to need an aggressive marketing campaign to capture the attention of people who would otherwise just opt for an iPhone or Galaxy, and explain to them why they should abandon the two major brands they know. Most of all, though, Google is going to need a support structure for these phones. For reasons that are still unclear to me, my Nexus 6P is not receiving its monthly security patches anymore, and I have no idea why. Sure, I can figure it out by browsing or posting on XDA or diving deep into my phone's software (and I will), but I'm a nerd, so set those options aside for a moment - where would I go with an issue like this? Who would I contact for help? Can I walk into a Google Store or whatever and get some sanctioned support for this issue? The answer is - as with anything related to Google and support - a firm and resounding 'no'. If Google really wants to take its Pixel phones to the masses, it's going to need a sales and support structure that goes well beyond and XDA.

Sweden may fight disposable culture with tax breaks for repairs

Thursday 29th of September 2016 10:42:53 PM
How often have you taken a gadget or a pair of shoes in for repair and found out that fixing it will cost more than buying a new version? Too often, that's how often. And Sweden is trying to fix this, by halving the tax paid on repairs and increasing taxes on unrepairable items. The new proposals come from the ruling coalition of the Social Democrat and Green parties, and, if successfully enacted, would be accompanied by a publicity campaign to encourage Swedes to repair products instead of replacing them. I am a proponent of this, and feel like we should push especially electronics companies much harder to release information about parts, repairs, diagnostics, and so on, to ensure that consumers are not at the whims of the Apples and Samsungs of this world when it comes to defective products. In response to cars becoming ever more complex, lawmakers all across the United States and Europe started proposing and passing bills to ensure that independent repairs shops and dealers would have access to the same kind of information that first-party dealers get or to make sure that vehicle warranties were not voided simply because you brought your car to a third-party repair shop. We should strive for similar laws for electronics. Much like cars, if your smartphone is broken, you should be able to bring it into any repair shop to have it fixed, by forcing electronics companies, like car manufacturers, to release repair, parts, and diagnostics information, without said repair voiding any warranties. I see no reason why electronics companies should enjoy a special status. And yes, this includes forcing companies to provide software updates for a set amount of time, especially when it comes to security flaws and bugs. Software has enjoyed its special little world wherein it's treated like a delicate little flower you can't demand too much from for long enough. The failure rate of the software we use every day is immense, but if we keep letting companies get away with the shoddy work they deliver, this will only get worse.

Android Wear 2.0 Developer Preview 3: Play Store and more

Thursday 29th of September 2016 06:32:17 PM
Today we're launching the third developer preview of Android Wear 2.0 with a big new addition: Google Play on Android Wear. The Play Store app makes it easy for users to find and install apps directly on the watch, helping developers like you reach more users. Okay that's great and all, but where's the release and where are the new watches? We've gotten tons of great feedback from the developer community about Android Wear 2.0 - thank you! We've decided to continue the preview program into early 2017, at which point the first watches will receive Android Wear 2.0. Please keep the feedback coming by filing bugs or posting in our Android Wear Developers community, and stay tuned for Android Wear Developer Preview 4. Oh okay. Well, not that it matters for me personally anyway - I'm an early adopter and one of those idiots who bought the first generation Moto 360.

BlackBerry ends its hardware development

Wednesday 28th of September 2016 10:07:29 PM
Our new Mobility Solutions strategy is showing signs of momentum, including our first major device software licensing agreement with a telecom joint venture in Indonesia. Under this strategy, we are focusing on software development, including security and applications. The company plans to end all internal hardware development and will outsource that function to partners. This allows us to reduce capital requirements and enhance return on invested capital. End of an era, but not exactly unexpected. This leaves the Priv as the only - ad probably last - modern keyboard smartphone, which is really, really too bad.

ungoogled-chromium removes Google from Chromium

Wednesday 28th of September 2016 10:11:44 AM
A number of features or background services communicate with Google servers despite the absence of an associated Google account or compiled-in Google API keys. Furthermore, the normal build process for Chromium involves running Google's own high-level commands that invoke many scripts and utilities, some of which download and use pre-built binaries provided by Google. Even the final build output includes some pre-built binaries. Fortunately, the source code is available for everything. ungoogled-chromium tries to fix these things.

Mozilla ceases all Firefox OS development

Wednesday 28th of September 2016 10:06:00 AM
By the end of 2015 Mozilla leadership had come to the conclusion that our then Firefox OS initiative of shipping phones with commercial partners would not bring Mozilla the returns we sought. We made the first of a series of announcements about changes in the development of Firefox OS at Mozilla. Since then we have gradually wound down that work and, as of the end of July 2016 have stopped all commercial development on Firefox OS. This message recaps what transpired during that period of time and also describes what will happen with the Firefox OS code base going forward. Symbian, Sailfish OS, BlackBerry OS, Windows Phone, Firefox OS.

Announcing the launch of Windows Server 2016

Monday 26th of September 2016 10:22:12 PM
I'm incredibly excited that this morning at our Ignite conference in Atlanta we launched the newest release of our server operating system - Windows Server 2016! Now that we're ready to share it with the world, I want to take a moment to thank our customers who helped shape this exciting release. Windows Server 2016 is jam-packed with innovation and customer response has been overwhelming, with more than half a million devices running our final Technical Preview which we released five months ago. These customers range from large global enterprises to private cloud hosters to organizations of every size from every corner of the globe.

Andromeda, Google's Chrome OS-Android merger

Monday 26th of September 2016 02:32:08 PM
Update: more confirmation! With Google's event fast approaching on 4 October, the rumour mill is in full swing. We know we're going to get new 'made by Google' phones, which will drop the Nexus brand in favour of Pixel. However, there's going to be more to watch out for - everything is lining up for 4 October being a major turning point in Android's relatively recent history. If the rumours are to be believed - and with so many different sources all pointing towards the same thing, you can probably believe them - Google will unveil not just a few new phones, but a new operating system altogether, dubbed Andromeda. And, just like we've been talking about for a long time, this is the operating system that combines Android and Chrome OS into a desktop/laptop operating system. As 9to5google reports: Why so many mentions of Nexus 9 specifically in tandem with Andromeda? We asked the same question, and from what we can gather, Google is testing the Chrome OS/Android hybrid on the tablet. An anonymous source has told us of users running early builds of Andromeda on the Nexus 9, but we have not been able to obtain direct confirmation from those users. Why would Google be testing Andromeda on the Nexus 9? We don't know. But we do know that Andromeda is aimed at making Android better suited for devices like laptops, as well as 2-in-1s (like the unfortunately mediocre Pixel C) and perhaps tablets. Another interesting tidbit to note: it seems that the hidden free form window management feature that popped up in Nougat (but isn't user-facing) could appropriately see its debut with Andromeda. "" mentions "Detect Andromeda devices by having free-form window management feature." The fact that Google is working on merging Android and Chrome OS is hardly news, but as more and more details come out, it seems to indeed be the case that Google is working on not just a smartphone operating system or a tablet operating system, but a full-fledged laptop/desktop operating system, complete with the kind of freeform window management we've come to expect from operating systems like MacOS and Windows. This is further confirmed by AndroidPolice: Two independent and reliable sources have confirmed to us that Google is planning a new Pixel laptop to be released in Q3 2017. The project, known internally as 'Bison' and by the informal nickname 'Pixel 3,' will likely be the first brand-new device to showcase Google's combined Android / Chrome OS 'Andromeda' operating system in a laptop form factor. Bison, then, would be the culmination of years of work by Google's Pixel team and Google's Android and Chrome OS teams. We are extremely confident Google plans for the device to run Andromeda. We are also confident that Andromeda is a completely distinct effort from Google's current campaign to bring Android apps to Chromebooks, and that Bison would not be marketed as a Chromebook. Android apps on Chrome OS descended from the ARC project, while Andromeda is a much larger, more ambitious initiative that is being pursued via merging Chrome features into Android, not vice versa. As such, it would be more accurate to say Bison will run Android than Chrome OS, and could finally be Google's internal commitment to releasing Andromeda. Taking all this into account, a tweet that came out late last week from Hiroshi Lockheimer, SVP of Android, Chrome and Google Play, is quite telling: "We announced the 1st version of Android 8 years ago today. I have a feeling 8 years from now we'll be talking about Oct 4, 2016." Much like Apple's similar efforts, I'm excited about what's happening on the Android side of things. It's clear by now that Google has very ambitious plans about moving Android forward and scaling it up to work on not just phones and tablets, but on laptops and desktops as well. Up until relatively recently, such endeavours would've been futile, because 'new' operating systems could never challenge the hegemony of Windows and OS X, but in today's world, where more and more especially younger people no longer rely on staples like Microsoft Office, or could get by just fine with the surprisingly good Android and iOS versions of Office, there's an opening for the laptop/desktop world to be shaken up. Now, a lot of this will, as always, depend on execution. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Andromeda take a... Less laissez-faire approach to OEM and carrier customisations, and a more Chrome OS-like update policy (which is entirely free from meddling). There's also the question regarding Andromeda's relevance on phones - will it exist alongside 'classic' Android, or will Andromeda replace Android on phones and tablets as well? My guess would be yes - why unite Android and Chrome OS only to end up with another split - but that raises a whole bunch of other questions about possibly docking phones and using them with large screens and other input methods. I'm ready for 4 October.

The Verge editor secretly joins Apple, doesn't inform The Verge

Friday 23rd of September 2016 09:05:10 PM
Well, file this in the "what the hell is going on" section. Chris Ziegler, long-time The Verge editor (and Engadget before that - he was part of the crew that started both Engadget and The Verge, if I'm not mistaken), had been missing from the site for a few months now - no posts, no tweets, nothing. Today, Nilay Patel revealed why. First, Chris accepted a position at Apple. We wish him well. Second, the circumstances of Chris' departure from The Verge raised ethical issues which are worth disclosing in the interests of transparency and respect for our audience. We're confident that there wasn't any material impact on our journalism from these issues, but they are still serious enough to merit disclosure. Chris began working for Apple in July, but didn't tell anyone at The Verge that he'd taken a new job until we discovered and verified his dual-employment in early September. Chris continued actively working at The Verge in July, but was not in contact with us through most of August and into September. During that period, in the dark and concerned for Chris, we made every effort to contact him and to offer him help if needed. We ultimately terminated his employment at The Verge and Vox Media the same day we verified that he was employed at Apple. So let me get this straight. One of The Verge's most prominent editors took a job at Apple - which is perfectly fine, we all change jobs - but then did not inform The Verge, continued to work for The Verge, then disappeared, still without informing The Verge, and then it took The Verge weeks to track him down and figure out what happened? This story is completely bonkers, and I can assure you - this is not the whole story. According to John Gruber, Chris Ziegler is not listed in Apple's employee directory, and I personally have had this confirmed to me as well. Something really strange is going on here.

More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • Google’s Open Source Report Card Highlights Game-Changing Contributions
    Ask people about Google’s relationship to open source, and many of them will point to Android and Chrome OS — both very successful operating systems and both based on Linux. Android, in particular, remains one of the biggest home runs in open source history. But, as Josh Simmons from Google’s Open Source Programs Office will tell you, Google also contributes a slew of useful open source tools and programs to the community each year. Now, Google has issued its very first “Open Source Report Card,” as announced by Simmons on the Google Open Source Blog. "We're sharing our first Open Source Report Card, highlighting our most popular projects, sharing a few statistics and detailing some of the projects we've released in 2016. We've open sourced over 20 million lines of code to date and you can find a listing of some of our best known project releases on our website," said Simmons.
  • Nino Vranešič: Open Source Advocate and Mozilla Rep in Slovenia
    “My name is Nino Vranešič and I am connecting IT and Society,” is what Nino says about himself on LinkedIn. The video is a little hard to understand in places due to language differences and (we think) a slow or low-bandwidth connection between the U.S.-based Zoom servers and Eastern Europe, a problem that crops up now and then in video conversation and VOIP phone calls with people in that part of the world, no matter what service you choose. But Vranešič is worth a little extra effort to hear, because it’s great to learn that open source is being used in lots of government agencies, not only in Slovenia but all over Europe. And aside from this, Vranešič himself is a tres cool dude who is an ardent open source volunteer (“Mozilla Rep” is an unpaid volunteer position), and I hope I have a chance to meet him F2F next time he comes to a conference in Florida — and maybe you’ll have a chance to meet him if he comes to a conference near you.
  • MySQL and database programming for beginners
    Dave Stokes has been using MySQL for more than 15 years and has served as its community manager since 2010. At All Things Open this year, he'll give a talk about database programming for newbies with MySQL. In this interview, he previews his talk and shares a few helpful resources, required skills, and common problems MySQL beginners run into.
  • Nadella's trust talk is just so much hot air
    Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella appears to have an incredibly short memory. Else he would be the last person who talks about trust being the most pressing issue in tech in our times. Over the last year, we have been treated to a variety of cheap tricks by Microsoft, attempting to hoodwink Windows users left, right and centre in order to get them to upgrade to Windows 10. After that, talking about trust sounds odd. Very odd. Microsoft does not have the best reputation among tech companies. It is known for predatory practices, for being convicted as a monopolist, and in recent times has been trying to cultivate a softer image as a company that is not as rapacious as it once was. That has, in large measure, come about as its influence and rank in the world of computing have both slipped, with other companies like Apple, Facebook and Google coming to dominate.
  • If you wish, you may rebuild all dports to use non-base SSL library of your choice
  • DragonFlyBSD Continues LibreSSL Push, OpenSSL To Be Dropped
    DragonFlyBSD is now defaulting to LibreSSL throughout its operating system stack and is planning to completely remove OpenSSL in the near future. Last month DragonFlyBSD began using LibreSSL by default while that effort has continued. OpenSSL is no longer being built by default and in about one month's time the OpenSSL support will be completely stripped from the DragonFly tree.
  • Ranking the Web With Radical Transparency
    Ranking every URL on the web in a transparent and reproducible way is a core concept of the Common Search project, says Sylvain Zimmer, who will be speaking at the upcoming Apache: Big Data Europe conference in Seville, Spain. The web has become a critical resource for humanity, and search engines are its arbiters, Zimmer says. However, the only search engines currently available are for-profit entities, so the Common Search project is creating a nonprofit engine that is open, transparent, and independent. We spoke with Zimmer, who founded Jamendo, dotConferences, and Common Search, to learn more about why nonprofit search engines are important, why Apache Spark is such a great match for the job, and some of the challenges the project faces.
  • A look inside the 'blinky flashy' world of wearables and open hardware
    While looking at the this year's All Things Open event schedule, a talk on wearables and open hardware caught my eye: The world of the blinky flashy. Naturally, I dug deeper to learn what it was all about.
  • Why Perl is not use for new development , most of time use for maintenance and support projects ?
    There has been a tendency amongst some companies to play a “wait and see” attitude towards Perl, but the Perl market appears to have stabilized in the past couple of years and more companies appear to be returning to Perl. As one of our clients explained to me when I asked why they chose Perl “We’re tired of being bitten by hype.”

And More Security Leftovers

  • The NyaDrop Trojan for Linux-running IoT Devices
  • Flaw resides in BTB helps bypass ASLR
  • Thoughts on the BTB Paper
    Though the attack might have some merits with regards to KASLR, the attack on ASLR is completely debunked. The authors of the paper didn't release any supporting code or steps for independent analysis and verification. The results, therefore, cannot be trusted until the authors fully open source their work and the work is validated by trusted and independent third parties.
  • Spreading the DDoS Disease and Selling the Cure
    Earlier this month a hacker released the source code for Mirai, a malware strain that was used to launch a historically large 620 Gbps denial-of-service attack against this site in September. That attack came in apparent retribution for a story here which directly preceded the arrest of two Israeli men for allegedly running an online attack for hire service called vDOS. Turns out, the site where the Mirai source code was leaked had some very interesting things in common with the place vDOS called home.

Blockchain and FOSS

Ubuntu Leftovers

  • Celebrating 12 years of Ubuntu
    Founder Mark Shuttleworth announced the first public release of Ubuntu – version 4.10, or “Warty Warthog” – on Oct. 20, 2004. The idea behind what would become the most recognizable and widely used Linux distributions ever was simple – create a Linux operating system that anybody could use. Here’s a look back at Ubuntu’s history.
  • Happy 12th Birthday, Ubuntu!
    Yup, it’s twelve years to the day since Mark Shuttleworth sat down to tap out the first Ubuntu release announcement and herald in an era of “Linux for human beings”.
  • A Slice of Ubuntu
    The de facto standard for Raspberry Pi operating systems is Raspbian–a Debian based distribution specifically for the diminutive computer. Of course, you have multiple choices and there might not be one best choice for every situation. It did catch our eye, however, that the RaspEX project released a workable Ubunutu 16.10 release for the Raspberry Pi 2 and 3. RaspEX is a full Linux Desktop system with LXDE (a lightweight desktop environment) and many other useful programs. Firefox, Samba, and VNC4Server are present. You can use the Ubuntu repositories to install anything else you want. The system uses kernel 4.4.21. You can see a review of a much older version of RaspEX in the video below.
  • Download Ubuntu Yakkety Yak 16.10 wallpaper
    The Yakkety Yak 16.10 is released and now you can download the new wallpaper by clicking here. It’s the latest part of the set for the Ubuntu 2016 releases following Xenial Xerus. You can read about our wallpaper visual design process here.
  • Live kernel patching from Canonical now available for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
    We are delighted to announce the availability of a new service for Ubuntu which any user can enable on their current installations – the Canonical Livepatch Service. This new live kernel patching service can be used on any Ubuntu 16.04 LTS system (using the generic Linux 4.4 kernel) to minimise unplanned downtime and maintain the highest levels of security.
  • How to enable free 'Canonical Livepatch Service' for Linux kernel live-patching on Ubuntu
    Linux 4.0 introduced a wonderful feature for those that need insane up-time -- the ability to patch the kernel without rebooting the machine. While this is vital for servers, it can be beneficial to workstation users too. Believe it or not, some home users covet long up-time simply for fun -- bragging rights, and such. If you are an Ubuntu 16.04 LTS user (with generic Linux kernel 4.4) and you want to take advantage of this exciting feature, I have good news -- it is now conveniently available for free! Unfortunately, this all-new Canonical Livepatch Service does have a catch -- it is limited to three machines per user. Of course, home users can register as many email addresses as they want, so it is easy to get more if needed. Businesses can pay for additional machines through Ubuntu Advantage. Want to give it a go? Read on. "Since the release of the Linux 4.0 kernel about 18 months ago, users have been able to patch and update their kernel packages without rebooting. However, until now, no other Linux distribution has offered this feature for free to their users. That changes today with the release of the Canonical Livepatch Service", says Tom Callway, Director of Cloud Marketing, Canonical.
  • KernelCare Is Another Alternative To Canonical's Ubuntu Live Kernel Patching
    Earlier this week Canonical announced their Kernel Livepatching Service for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS users. Canonical's service is free for under three systems while another alternative for Ubuntu Linux users interested in a commercial service is CloudLinux's KernelCare. The folks from CloudLinux wrote in to remind us of their kernel patching solution, which they've been offering since 2014 and believe is a superior solution to Canonical's service. KernelCare isn't limited to just Ubuntu 16.04 but also works with Ubuntu 14.04 and other distributions such as CentOS/RHEL, Debian, and other enterprise Linux distributions.