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Exploring the Future of Computing
Updated: 30 min 36 sec ago

Zuckerberg hopes to show off his Jarvis-like home AI next month

Monday 29th of August 2016 07:15:02 PM
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is living at least a few years out ahead of anyone reading this post -- the founding executive told an audience in Rome (via Verge) today that he hopes to demonstrate his home’s artificial intelligence system, which controls things like air conditioning, lighting and more based on things like face and voice recognition. The TechCrunch article is light on detail, but this project may be more interesting than it sounds at first blush. Zuckerberg isn't the first tech billionaire to sink a bunch of money into a fancy home automation project. Bill Gates famously did the same a couple of decades ago. High end homes all over the world have fancy and expensive home control systems, that provide their rich owners with frustration and hassle and absolutely confound houseguests. But these days, for a few hundred dollars, anyone can buy an Amazon Echo, any one of half a dozen automation hubs, and various switches, thermostats, and lightbulbs, and create a pretty nifty and convenient voice controlled home automation and entertainment system. Someone with the vision and the development budget that Mark Zuckerberg has at his disposal should be able, with readily available, inexpensive hardware, create something pretty amazing.

Ode to ASCII games

Monday 29th of August 2016 07:12:20 PM
Computing old timers remember a world where computer games were decidedly lo fi. Linux Links has a list of the 21 best open source ASCII games, with screenshots and descriptions, for your nostalgic pleasure.

Apple event scheduled for September 7

Monday 29th of August 2016 06:51:42 PM
It's pretty much a given that the primary announcement will be the iPhone 7, reportedly with no analog headphone jack, possibly no physical home button, and hopefully with 32 GB storage in the base configuration. According to the rumor mill, the primary technological advance for the new iPhone will be a new camera system. There's some speculation that a new Apple Watch will be announced, but in my opinion what the Apple watch needs most is better software (upcoming in the WatchOS 3 release). The Watch has been pretty satisfying as a gadget, but ultimately disappointing as a platform, and a new hardware version is unlikely to reverse that trend. Many Mac fans are hoping that a new Macbook Pro will be announced, but there doesn't seem to be any concrete evidence of that, other than the fact that it's been so long since the last real MPB redesign. The rumors are based, I suspect, on wishful thinking. However, if Apple releases an updated Macbook Pro with an OLED touchscreen and Intel Skylake, people would be lining up to buy them. Apple's custom is to make its primary OS announcements at WWDC and focus on new devices in the fall, but I'm sure we'll get a bit of an update on iOS 10 and possibly WatchOS3.

Linux Flaw Allows Attackers to Hijack Web Connections

Monday 29th of August 2016 06:46:08 PM
Researchers discovered that a Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) specification implemented in Linux creates a vulnerability that can be exploited to terminate connections and conduct data injection attacks. The flaw, tracked as CVE-2016-5696, is related to a feature described in RFC 5961, which should make it more difficult to launch off-path TCP spoofing attacks. The specification was formulated in 2010, but it has not been fully implemented in Windows, Mac OS X, and FreeBSD-based operating systems. However, the feature has been implemented in the Linux kernel since version 3.6, released in 2012. A team of researchers from the University of California, Riverside and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory identified an attack method that allows a blind, off-path attacker to intercept TCP-based connections between two hosts on the Internet. Researchers noted that data cannot be injected into HTTPS communications, but the connection can still be terminated using this method. One attack scenario described by the experts involves targeting Tor by disrupting connections between certain relays so that users are forced to use attacker-controlled exit relays.

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Leftovers: Ubuntu

  • Ubuntu Phone, Sep 2016 - Vorsprung durch Touch
    The Ubuntu Phone is getting better, and with every new iteration of the OTA, my little BQ Aquaris E4.5 is gaining more speed and functionality. Like in the air force, with an avionics upgrade, which transforms ancient wings into a powerful and modern bird of prey. Only the pace of advancement is lagging behind the market. See what Android and iOS can do, even Windows Phone, and you realize how late and insufficiently meaningful the Ubuntu Phone really is. This has to change, massively. This latest round does bring some fine goods to the table - more speed and stability, better icons, more overall visual polish, incremental improvements in the applications and the scopes. But that's not enough to win the heart of the average user. A more radical, app-centric effort is required. More focus on delivering the mobile experience, be it as it may. Ubuntu cannot revolutionalize that which is already considered the past. It can only join the club and enjoy the benefits of a well-established reality. And that is a kickass app stack that makes the touch device worth using in the first place. Still, it's not all gloomy. E4.5 is a better product now than it was a year ago, fact. Ubuntu Phone is a better operating system than it was even this spring, fact. So maybe one day we will see Ubuntu become an important if not dominant player in the phone and tablet space. It sure is heading in the right direction, my only fear is the availability of resources to pull off this massive rehaul that is needed to make it stand up to the old and proven giants. And that's it really. If you're keen on Linux (not Android) making it in the mobile world, do not forget to check my Ubuntu tablet review! Especially the convergence piece. On that merry note, you do remember that I'm running a wicked contest this year, too? He/she who reads my books might get a chance to win an M10 tablet. Indeed. Off you go, dear readers. Whereas I will now run the same set of tests we did here on the Aquaris tablet, and see how it likes the OTA-12 upgrade. The end.
  • Ubuntu 16.10 Unity 8 - new window snapping feature
  • Ubuntu Online Summit for Ubuntu 17.04 is Taking Place In Mid-November
  • Ubuntu Online Summit: 15-16 November 2016

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • 10 Top Open Source Artificial Intelligence Tools for Linux
    In this post, we shall cover a few of the top, open-source artificial intelligence (AI) tools for the Linux ecosystem. Currently, AI is one of the ever advancing fields in science and technology, with a major focus geared towards building software and hardware to solve every day life challenges in areas such as health care, education, security, manufacturing, banking and so much more.
  • List of FLOSS International Conferences September 2016 Materials
  • This Week In Servo 78
    Our overall roadmap is available online and now includes the initial Q3 plans. From now on, we plan to include the quarterly plan with a high-level breakdown in the roadmap page.
  • Firefox 49 Release: Find out what is new
    Firefox 49.0 is the next major stable release of the web browser. Firefox 48.0.2 and earlier versions of Firefox can be updated to the new release.
  • Open-Source Climate Change Data From NASA, NOAA, & Others Available For 1st Time
    Climate change has many components — rising sea levels, alterations in rainfall patterns, and an increase in severe storm activity, among others. Communities around the world are faced with the need to plan for climate change but don’t have the information available to do so effectively.
  • Another Setback for 3D Printed Gun Advocate Cody Wilson as Court of Appeals Rules That National Security Concerns Outweigh Free Speech
    It’s been a long, drawn-out battle, beginning in 2013 when Cody Wilson, founder of Defense Distributed, published the open source files for his 3D printed handgun, the Liberator, online. The State Department ordered that he take the files down, and Wilson complied, but not before thousands had downloaded them and spread them elsewhere on the Internet. In 2015, with the help of gun rights organization The Second Amendment Foundation, Wilson filed a federal lawsuit claiming that the State Department had violated not only his Second Amendment but his First Amendment rights. By suppressing his right to share information online, Wilson argued, the State Department was violating his right to free speech.
  • In 3D-Printed Gun Case, Federal Court Permits Speech Censorship in the Name of Alleged National Security
  • Oracle tries playing nice with Java EE rebels
    With Oracle now trying to get back on track with advancing enterprise Java, the company is seeking rapprochement with factions that had sought to advance the platform on their own. The two groups involved are mostly amenable to patching up the relationship. Oracle's Anil Gaur, group vice president of engineering, said this week he had already been in touch with some of the concerned parties. The two factions include Java EE Guardians, led by former Oracle Java EE evangelist Reza Rahman, and Microprofile.io, which has included participation from Red Hat and IBM.

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