Mozilla has release a new version (v 31) of Firefox web browser which brings many notable changes. One of the most notable changes is addition of search field to the new tab page., which means when you open a new tab of Firefox you will see a search field. So there are now three search fields in Firefox – the address bar, the side tab and on tabs page. Google, due to their deal which fund Mozilla, is the default search engine, but it can be easily changed from settings.
The most important improvement is more secure downloads through the browser. The secure download feature comes from Google which offered an application reputation feature to detect malicious downloads in Firefox. Even if Google doesn’t provide any documentation for the feature Mozilla has tried to implement the feature correctly despite the absence of official API documentation.
Now when a user tries to download a file from the web, Firefox can block the download if it’s tagged malicious, thus keeping the user PC secure. This feature is separate from the detection of phishing and malware pages, though both features use some of the same mechanisms, says Mozilla.
This feature would be mostly helpful to unsuspecting Windows users as GNU/Linux-based systems are mostly never the target of such malware; it’s almost always aimed at Windows systems. Since it’s Open Source, a user can disable the blocking feature if it blocks legit files for reasons unknown.
Another important feature, for Windows users, is the ability to handle audio/video .ogg and .pdf files handled by Firefox if no application is specified. There are a lot of new tools for developers which can help in development of sites as well as debugging.
Since Firefox has moved to ‘rolling-release’ kind of update, you won’t have to manually download and update the software. If you don’t have Firefox installed on your system, it in the official repositories of all major distros and you can easily install it on your system. Windows and Mac users can install it from here.
I met Agustin Benito Bethencourt during FOSDEM 2013 and we discussed Open Source software. Recently he moved to Linaro, one of the most promising and important Open Source projects, so we talked to him to understand his role at Linaro and to learn more about what Linaro does. Read on….
Swapnil Bhartiya: You come from SUSE/KDE e.V. so how is the transition or how does the prior experience work here?
Agustin Benito Bethencourt: Driving the openSUSE Team at SUSE has been very valuable. The experience I got there, making compatible the company and the community interests, is going to be important throughout my career. My previous experience as ASOLIF Manager Director is helping me a lot too. They have a lot in common. Both, Linaro and ASOLIF are business ecosystems (non-profits), both have a strong Free Software culture, are heavily distributed environments…
But most of what I know about Free Software communities and working in the open I learnt it in KDE. I wouldn’t have a chance to join Linaro otherwise. KDE is a first class learning ecosystem, and not just in pure technical areas. It has been, it is, the most important professional and personal experience I’ve had, together with my years as an entrepreneur back in the Canary Islands, Spain.Agustin Benito Bethencourt
SB: What will be your role at Linaro?
ABB: I am Director of the Core Development Group. I direct four engineering teams: kernel, power management, security and virtualization. All together makes around fifty engineers. Some of them are Linaro employees and some others are assignees, that is, engineers employed by our members but working with us full time. We mostly work upstream, developing and maintaining technologies that our members are interested in. We also develop features requested by other Linaro Groups or specific members. Core Development engineering teams are heavily involved in FLOSS communities, especially in the Linux Kernel.
Linaro is growing fast so I am currently focused on management and development processes. Together with the technical leads and the project managers, my goal is to keep high levels of efficiency within the Group while growing, keeping the Free Software culture that has made Linaro so successful.
SB: Can you tell us a bit about Linaro? What do they do and how are they associated with Free Software and Linux?
ABB: As I mentioned, Linaro is a four-year old ecosystem of corporations collaborating around a non-profit organization. Our main focus is GNU/Linux and Android on ARM. In summary, Linaro does:
- Development. Most of it takes place, or is pushed, upstream, in a variety of FLOSS communities.
- Products (in the FLOSS sense). We release software on a regular basis that is used by our members and the community, for many different purposes. Check for instance our Linaro Stable Kernel (LSK).
- Services to our members, taking advantage of the expertise we get working on the two previous areas. Testing our software in members hardware is one of them. There are many more.
Probably most people know us for our work in the Linux Kernel community and Android (ASOP), but we do many other things. Currently Linaro has more than 200 engineers.
SB: Android often doesn’t get credit for a fully Open Source project as AOSP. From what I see it fully adheres to the 4 freedoms FSF talks about and it has enabled competitors like Amazon to create competing platforms, what is your opinion about it?
ABB: Free Software used to be black or white. Now there is a lot of grey. It is the consequence of becoming mainstream. Android has opened, to some extent, an industry that was completely closed. It represents a huge step in the right direction. There is a lot left to do though. Probably many thought that Android (Google) was going to lead the industry further toward openness. Those unfulfilled expectations might be the reason why a lot of the criticism is focused on Android and Google. Others deserve that criticism way more than they do.
Linaro is doing a lot to “close the gap”, by the way.
Having more initiatives that show the way, even if they are small, would speed up this transition. And by “showing the way” I mean both, being open/free and being profitable. It is a big challenge but at some point somebody will succeed, like in other “impossible” industries.
SB: When we talk about company developed Open Source projects vs community developed open source projects, where do you see more innovation? Do ‘deadline’ that ‘companies’ reinforce and ‘better’ fed developer do a better job? I am asking you think question as you were related to KDE and that’s more or less a community driven project.
ABB: Innovation requires not just a lot of talent but also leadership together with a sustained effort over a period of time. You can find all that in both, companies and communities, at any given time. But if you take a look over a long time window, you realize how successful some communities have become with very limited resources.
To me, the answer depends a lot on the selected time frame and the variables you want to use to determine the ROI. In terms of investment vs. innovation, communities seem to be unbeatable. If we talk about disruptive innovation, then probably a company is a more successful set up since they have both, the capacity to invest a lot in a specific technology and to reach many users in a short period of time.
As a side note I would like to mention that the last few years communities driven by consortium/groups of companies are becoming very popular, in parallel with the adoption of Free Software in many industries. It will be interesting to follow their evolution from an innovation perspective, compared to “people driven” communities.
SB: With Android and Chrome becoming leading forces in the desktop space do you see traditional Linux desktop has become less relevant? I mean most people now already use non-Microsoft or non-Apple products. So have these two platforms liberated us?
ABB: Traditional desktops are very successful and relevant, more than ever. I talked about it in 2012 at Akademy. KDE is these days releasing the next generation of its desktop. It will be the fifth generation in a little more than 15 years. In this industry, I would consider that a success. Sun, Nokia, IBM, Novell, …. probably would consider it too
Definitely GNU/Linux distributions do consider it and I hope that Apple, Microsoft also will… sooner than later.
Traditional Linux based desktops are better than ever and have hundreds of young contributors working with passion to make them even better. They also have more users than ever before.
It is easier nowadays to convince a user to try one of these desktops. Companies are closer than ever to business models based on Free Software so it is easier for us to attract them. The investment in FLOSS is now huge. I see more opportunities now than 10 years ago.
It is true though that these desktops missed a couple of trains… but as long as we stay healthy as communities, new opportunities will knock at our doors.
But we cannot achieve “world domination” with our current levels of investment. The desktop space is simply too big now (yes, what you use in your phone is a desktop) and requires levels of polishing and channels to “go to market” that we cannot achieve by ourselves at this point. Either we include organizations/companies into our models and promote entrepreneurship within our communities or we focus on other goals, more adapted to our current model. The key is accommodating our expectations with our future actions (and vice-versa) while keep being very ambitious.
SB: Can you talk a bit about how development happens at Linaro?
ABB: It happens mostly upstream or in the open (with upstream in mind).
For instance, Linaro is one of the top 5 company contributors in the kernel. You cannot achieve that by working inbound and then simply submitting your code. You need to be fully involved upstream. We directly participate in many other upstream communities and promote this development culture among our members.
As mentioned before, we also provide services and develop code for our members. Part of that code ends up upstream later on and part never does.
Check the videos from our events called Linaro Connect. All the information about this particular topic is there.
SB: Can anyone contribute?
ABB: Since most of our work happens directly upstream or in the open, everybody can contribute. Beyond our contributions on communities, we drive our own initiatives too. Probably LAVA is the most important one, and yes, anyone can contribute. In some other areas you need to be a Linaro Member to benefit from our ecosystem. We are a non-profit organization, not a charity
Following the example above, if you want to contribute to LAVA, this page is a good start.
In general, the best way to interact with us is working upstream in ARM (or multi-architecture) related topics. The kernel is the natural place. Others are OP-TEE, XEN, Android (ASOP) or QEMU, for instance.
Linaro is hiring so please check our Career website if you are interested in joining us. The best way to learn about Linaro is joining us at Linaro Connect. LCU14 is the next one. If you are interested in joining a great upstream community, KDE is one of the very good ones. Coming to Akademy is the best way to start. If you want to help KDE, please consider donating.
The post Exclusive interview with Agustin Benito Bethencourt on joining Linaro appeared first on The Mukt.
Sailfish OS is a new venture by ex-nokia employees which aims to bring a new independent partner friendly mobile operating system to wireless devices. However, as the mobile ecosystem today is quite fragmented, a new OS brings in a lot of work for developers to port the new OS in their existing devices. The Sailfish OS team knew this problem and have come out with a Hardware Adaptation Dev kit which will help developers to port and run Sailfish OS on any device capable of running Cyanogen Mod 10.1.x.
Sailfish OS was earlier ported to Nexus 4. As the release was in alpha stage, a lot of things didn’t work, however, with frequent updates, it got better and more stable. Jolla, the company behind Sailfish OS is now asking developers to port and test Sailfish OS to other devices. The only requirement here is that your device must be able to run Cyanogenmod 10.1.
Some of the salient features of Sailfish OS include:
- Mer core: The Linux userspace core
- Android Hardware Adaptation (HA/HAL), consisting of:
- Device-speciﬁc Android Kernel
- Binary device drivers taken from an Android ROM (e.g. CyanogenMod)
- The libhybris interface built against the binary drivers
- Middleware packages depending on hardware-speciﬁc plugins
- A Qt/Wayland QPA plugin utilizing the Android hwcomposer
- Sailﬁsh OS components
The Sailfish OS team have set up a wonderful guide for those interested in trying this kit while it is hot. Head out to this link and start experimenting with your phone to have a taste of Sailfish OS before it hits devices in the market.
The post It’s now easier to install SailfishOS on Android devices appeared first on The Mukt.
There is currently no cure for HIV infection. The reason being the HIV-1 virus installs its deadly genome into human DNA so insidiously that it stays there forever, forcing the victim to be hooked on drugs for life. But now, for the first time, scientists from Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia have designed a way to snip out the integrated HIV-1 genes for good.
“This is one important step on the path toward a permanent cure for AIDS,” says Kamel Khalili, PhD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Neuroscience at Temple.
Khalili and his colleague, Wenhui Hu, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Neuroscience at Temple, led the work which marks the first successful attempt to eliminate latent HIV-1 virus from human cells.
The discovery is exciting enough as it’s a proof of concept that we’re moving in the right direction, added Dr. Khalili, who is also Director of the Center for Neurovirology and Director of the Comprehensive NeuroAIDS Center at Temple.
However, it’s not yet ready to go into the clinic.
Khalili and colleagues explain how they created molecular tools to delete the HIV-1 proviral DNA. When deployed, a combination of a DNA-snipping enzyme called a nuclease and a targeting strand of RNA called a guide RNA (gRNA) hunt down the viral genome and excise the HIV-1 DNA. From there, the cell’s gene repair machinery takes over, soldering the loose ends of the genome back together – resulting in virus-free cells.
“Since HIV-1 is never cleared by the immune system, removal of the virus is required in order to cure the disease,” says Khalili, whose research focuses on the neuropathogenesis of viral infections.
The same technique could theoretically be used against a variety of viruses, he says.
The research indicates that these molecular tools also hold promise as a therapeutic vaccine; cells armed with the nuclease-RNA combination proved impervious to HIV infection.
Although highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has controlled HIV-1 for infected people in the developed world, the virus can rage again with any interruption in treatment. Even when HIV-1 replication is well controlled with HAART, the lingering HIV-1 presence has health consequences.
“The low level replication of HIV-1 makes patients more likely to suffer from diseases usually associated with aging,” Khalili says. These include cardiomyopathy – a weakening of the heart muscle – bone disease, kidney disease, and neurocognitive disorders. “These problems are often exacerbated by the toxic drugs that must be taken to control the virus,” Khalili adds.
“We are working on a number of strategies so we can take the construct into preclinical studies,” Khalili says.
“We want to eradicate every single copy of HIV-1 from the patient. That will cure AIDS. I think this technology is the way we can do it.”
The post Scientists kick out HIV virus from cultured human cells appeared first on The Mukt.
Over 170 primary schools and secondary schools in Geneva are switching to Ubuntu for PCs used by teachers and students, which were earlier using a proprietary software. The move has been successfully completed for all the primary schools. For the rest 20 secondary schools, the migration is expected to be completed by the next academic year.
According to Geneva’s IT department, the switch to Ubuntu was motivated by the fact that it is easier to maintain, faster and more secure. Also, the earlier non-free OS that the schools used is no longer maintained by the vendor, thus vulnerable to security threats and malware. While upgrading to a more recent version of the non-free OS could have minimized such threats, the department found it easier and cheaper to move to Ubuntu.
Gijs Hillenius writes at Joinup,” Making it easier to service the canton’s schools’ PC needs was one the main reasons for ‘Service écoles-médias’ (SEM), part of Geneva’s IT department, to switch the schools to Ubuntu, as the proprietary system is no longer being maintained. Secondly, it is easier for PC users to switch to this system than to move to a recent version of the proprietary operating system, explains Cyril Roiron, who heads the Open Standards and Free Software project at the Geneva State Department for Education (Département de l’Instruction Publique, de la Culture et du Sport).”
These PCs are primarily used by students aged 4 to 12 and their teachers for educational games, checking emails and browsing the Internet. Ubuntu already has a side project called Edubuntu which is specially made for such use cases. Providing a custom solution for needs of all user groups is one of the chief advantages that free software provides.
One of the challenges that this move faced was conversion of proprietary document formats that was used earlier by the teachers. While LibreOffice is a full featured free office suite, importing non-free formats to it is still a headache. Cyril Roiron, who heads the Open Standards and Free Software project at the Geneva State Department for Education says:
“We recommend that teachers install LibreOffice at home, or if that is not an option, to create PDFs for those documents they need to print at school. But that move is not exactly popular, even though training and support is available.”
We hope that Geneva will set an example how free software like Ubuntu can be used in schools to overcome problems such as vendor locking and lower the cost of IT in education.
The post Over 170 Primary Schools In Geneva Switched To Ubuntu For Classroom Teaching appeared first on The Mukt.
If an analysis of iOS by a security expert is anything to go by, users’ data on millions of iPhones and iPads may not be as safe as Apple claims it to be.
In his presentation at the HOPE X hacker conference in New York last Friday, data forensics expert and author Jonathan Zdziarski revealed some data discovery tools in the iOS operating system that could be used by Apple – or any third-party agency like the NSA – to ‘spy’ on users.
Though Zdziarski’s analysis points towards a backdoor into iOS, it’s not as wide open as some reports have indicated.
“There are certain steps that have to be taken to get this data,” Zdziarski told The Register. “Backdoors are guarded, there are things protecting it – you don’t just type ‘Joshua’ for full access.”
His research shows that 600 million iOS devices, particularly those running the most recent version 7 builds, have data discovery tools (different from those used by the Cupertino firm for standard backup and storage) including a file-relay service that can snoop out data.
“This data includes a copy of the user’s address book, stored photos, the voicemail database and audio files, any accounts configured on the device such as iCloud, Facebook or Twitter, a cache of screenshots, keystrokes and the device’s clipboard, GPS data, and – on iOS 7 – metadata disk sparseimage of the iOS file system,” The Register said in a report.
Tools like com.apple.mobile.file_relay are given automatic access to data, which in turn enables copying and relay of all data stored on iOS device.
Zdziarski clarified that he was NOT accusing “Apple of working with NSA, however I suspect (based on released documents) that some of these services MAY have been used by NSA to collect data on potential targets.”
“I am not suggesting some grand conspiracy; there are, however, some services running in iOS that shouldn’t be there, that were intentionally added by Apple as part of the firmware, and that bypass backup encryption while copying more of your personal data than ever should come off the phone for the average consumer,” he added.
Apple, on the other hand, termed the features ‘diagnostic’ in nature.
“We have designed iOS so that its diagnostic functions do not compromise user privacy and security, but still provides needed information to enterprise IT departments, developers and Apple for troubleshooting technical issues,” Apple said in a statement. “A user must have unlocked their device and agreed to trust another computer before that computer is able to access this limited diagnostic data. The user must agree to share this information, and data is never transferred without their consent. As we have said before, Apple has never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services.”
Apple’s explanation, however, failed to convince Zdziarski.
“The problem with this is that these services dish out data (and bypass backup encryption) regardless of whether or not “Send Diagnostic Data to Apple” is turned on or off, and whether or not the device is managed by an enterprise policy of any kind,” Zdziarski said in another blog post. “So if these services were intended for such purposes, you’d think they’d only work if the device was managed/supervised or if the user had enabled diagnostic mode. Unfortunately this isn’t the case and there is no way to disable these mechanisms.”
Developers at TurnKey Linux have come out with a new Debian based distro for Bitcoin lovers. Named as BitKey, this distro boots from a read-only CD or a USB drive and allows you to check your bitcoin wallet, sign and do transactions over a secure network.
The distro needs two devices to function, one is termed as the Red USB stick where the BitKey image is stored which the user needs to boot from, and other is the Black USB stick which is used for persistent storage. Booting from the Red USB stick gives you the following menu, each mode having separate use cases and apps.
The distro comes with a minimal XFCE desktop and comes with a few apps such as:
- Electrum Bitcoin client
- chromium browser version 35
- bitaddress generator
- qrcode generator
- zxcvbn password strength checker
- Thunrar file manager
- Network device manager
While you can download the BitKey iso anytime from their site, you need to carry the Black USB stick with you which stores your bitcoin wallet and other user specific configurations.
Users interested in trying this distro can download it from this address.
The post BitKey, a Debian based distro for your Bitcoin transactions appeared first on The Mukt.
If Google have not had their hands full with the official announcement of the soon-to-be released Android L, as well as Android TV, Auto and Wear it now seems Chrome OS is also on the agenda to receive a full overhaul.
The news of a Chrome OS update probably should not come as too much of a surprise. We recently reported leaked screenshots suggesting the Play Store will receive an update to be more in line with L’s Material Design guidelines. It now seems Chrome OS will also receive the same sort of update and fall more in line with Material Design.
Chrome OS is the operating system which runs on all Chromebook laptops and currently uses the Ash Window Manager. At the moment this is highly unconfirmed but we are receiving very early reports that “Project Athena” is the name given to the newer version of Chrome OS.
Although we currently have very little details on Athena (or even its existence) its timing suggests this is highly possible. With what seems to be a complete overhaul to Google services in general and largely due to the upcoming release of L it is expected that Athena is quite likely to be a reality.
François Beaufort works for Google and unexpectedly released screenshots of Project Athena as a work in progress.
In addition to the images François also alluded to its possible uses and purpose.
“Athena is a brand new project the Chromium OS team is experimenting with in order to bring a new kind of user experience”
With this in mind it is believed Athena will be a much more user-enabling OS with a heavier focus on touch-sensitivity, clearer imagery and generally a more L based format. Whether this will extend more widely to the Chrome browser on other devices is currently unknown. However it is likely that such an update to the Chrome OS will result in more app-based functionality and capability.
Francois also provided links to the source code allowing users to get a proper taste and feel to how and what the new update might entail.
“By simply checking out the chromium source code and compiling the convenient “athena_main” target with ninja -C out/Release athena_main, you’ll be able to follow the Work In Progress”
To view the Chromium source code click here.
To read Francois post in full click here.
Although Athena is in its earliest stages and largely unconfirmed (compared to L) this information along with the recent announcements of updates to multiple Google services does suggest that we may be getting blindsided by the smaller fragments of what Google really are planning. If you think more in the broader scheme, all of these smaller fragments viewed together suggest we are going to be presented with a completely new Google experience altogether.
Maybe the biggest Google announcement is still to come!
Either way let us know what you think. Are you a Chromebook owner? Do you want to see a newer more touch-based system?
The post Chrome OS to get comple overhaul with ‘Project Athena’ appeared first on The Mukt.
Qt is already a dominant technology in may industries such as IVI systems in cars, recently we covered Dropbox’s switch to Qt. Google has also joined the Qtness (cuteness). The company published VoltAir, a single and multi-player game, on Google Play Store. It’s an open source game which is built using Qt.
Google gives the rationale behind using Qt, “QtQuick is one of the many frameworks provided by the Qt Project. It is best described as a 2D scene graph with an accompanying renderer. You can build up a tree of items, each of which represents some aspect of the scene: graphics, physics, input, audio, data storage, etc.”
Katherine Barrios of Qt team says, “VoltAir was developed to provide an example of a C++ game designed for both Android and Android TV and the folks at Google also tested it on Nexus 5, Nexus 7, Moto X by Motorola, Android TV, and some Samsung devices.”
The game is about a robot which is stuck on an alien planet. “Going as fast as his single wheel will carry him, he flies over ramps, zips around meteors, and rides geysers in his search for the portal that will take him home,” according to the game description by Google.
You can play the game on your Android devices, just install it from Google Play Store.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is an organization fighting against illegal surveillance programs in the courts. It also contributes to a open and secure internet by funding the development of software like HTTPS Everywhere and Privacy Badger.
The latest from EFF is the recent announcement of an experimental open wireless router firmware at the HOPE X (Hackers on Planet Earth) conference in New York City. This firmware is released as a project of EFF’s Open Wireless Movement. The project aims at a ubiquitous open internet where individuals and organizations can offer a portion of their wireless network bandwidth for public use. In addition to making network sharing easier, it will also speed up the internet experience and improve security. The announcement reveals the following design goals:
- Allow small business and home users to easily enable an open network, so guests and passersby can get an Internet connection if they need one, while keeping a password-locked WPA2 network for themselves and their friends or coworkers.
- Let you share a bounded portion of your bandwidth on the open network, so guest users cannot slow down your Internet connection or use a large portion of your monthly quota.
- Provide state-of-the-art network queuing, so most users can expect an improved Internet experience—especially with latency-sensitive applications—compared to what commonly available consumer grade routers are delivering today.
- Offer a minimalist, secure, and elegant Web user interface to set up and configure the router. Advanced, non-minimalist administrative options are accessible by SSH.
- Advance the state of the art in consumer Wi-Fi router security and begin turning back the growing tide of attacks against them. Most or all existing router software is full of XSS and CSRF vulnerabilities, and we want to change that.
- Include a secure software auto-update mechanism. In addition to using HTTPS, firmware signatures and metadata are fetched via Tor to make targeted update attacks very difficult.
Currently the firmware is in a pre-alpha state and meant for hackers. it only works on the Netgear WNDR3800. The future target is to support many more models where user can just download the firmware and flash it on the hardware.
The firmware can be downloaded here. The guide to flash (or install) the firmware is available here. Once again, remember that this is a very early release and tested only on the Netgear WNDR3800 at the time of writing.
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If your kid was born in Indiana after 1991, chances are his or her blood and DNA is one of an estimated 2.25-million specimens currently stored in an undisclosed state warehouse.
According to a report by 13 Investigates, “the Indiana State Department of Health is holding the blood samples of more than 2.25 million Hoosier children – without their parents’ permission.”
What is not an unusual practice is that when a baby is born in Indiana, the state conducts a newborn screening test as with most other states. A small sample of blood, taken from the heel of each newborn baby by a nurse or midwife, is collected on a special card and sent to the state’s Newborn Screening Lab in downtown Indianapolis for detecting health problems (if any).
At the lab, researchers test the sample to look for more than 50 medical disorders (deadly at times) that might otherwise go unnoticed and untreated.
“It’s really to prevent bad outcomes for these children so they can reach their full potential,” Bob Bowman, director of ISDH’s Genomics & Newborn Screening Program, was quoted as saying. “We can prevent severe mental retardation and even death.”
Physicians along with parents are then notified of the results.
But there’s something that ISDH never chose to share with these parents over the past 23 years.
“For decades, ISDH has been keeping the leftover blood samples for possible use in medical research. And the health department admits it never asked parents’ permission to do that,” the report added.
The leftover blood samples are currently stored in 666 bankers boxes in an undisclosed warehouse in Indianapolis, according to state health officials.
“Right now we have samples dating back to 1991, so there are approximately 2.25 to 2.5 million samples currently being held,” said Bowman. “We do have a lot.”
In other words, this large warehouse contains the DNA of native Hoosiers who are toddlers, teenagers and even recent college graduates.
Health officials have been storing all of the leftover blood just in case it is needed for medical research, which, according to Dr. Eric Meslin, director of the IU School of Medicine’s Center for Bioethics, is not good public policy.
The fact that the state health department never obtained the proper consent from parents is surely troubling.
The department changed its notification policy for newborn screening tests last year. Parents are now being asked up front whether they want their baby’s blood to be used for research.
The new policy, however, is applicable only to newborn screenings conducted within the last 1 year. The question still remains what about millions of baby blood samples stored away in boxes in a state warehouse? What would the state do with these samples, possibly unfit for scientific research now, even if it gets proper consent from parents?
“At this particular point in time we don’t even know how many of the older samples could be used for research,” said Bowman.
These blood samples might as well be useless, Bowman added.
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The history of Linux in gaming is quite poor, but this year so many changes happened in this area that we might be able to review top commercial video games very soon. By commercial I mean those created by most significant gaming companies like Ubisoft or Bethesda, and not indie video games. Even though real gaming in Linux based operating systems got a boost this year, emulators were everywhere to be found, for most known video game consoles.
Strangely enough they were one part of Linux you can compare with other OS s mainly because of their vast quantity. Most emulators started as projects, long time ago, and stopped whether they were incomplete or “ready for action”.1. FCEUX
FCEUX is a Nintendo Entertaining System emulator still being developed to this day. NES was the one gaming console which played such an important role in gaming history, so that many of its elements are still used in modern video game consoles. For example, NES introduced the world to the standard A, B, Start, Select and cross-like movement, controller. FCEUX is one of the best NES emulators in Linux. You can download the code from here and compile it for all systems, but in Ubuntu, all the latest releases, have it on the package manager under the name “fceux”. Just type “sudo apt-get install fceux”. For OpenSuse 12.2 and other distros you can check this site here and download the package you want.2. BSNES
Super Nes or SNES emulator I definitely recommend BSNES. Now I know there might be some controversy here because ZSNES was considered to be the best emulator for the SNES console. I have tried them both and they are equally strong, but ZSNES has a bit weirder User Interface than BSNES. They work great on all distros and with all games. You can download the package for ZSNES here and for BSNES here.3. Project64
Project64 is definitely the best emulator there is for Nintendo 64 in Windows. Most people might be confused by now, but the reason I am writing about Project64 is because it’s the best on Linux too. How? But of course Wine is the solution here. I’ve installed many emulators on my system, such as the not-so-user-friendly Mupen64plus of which the installation process was literally a pain in the ass. Although it ran perfectly it still had many issues with most games. So I installed Project64 through Wine and all the games ran perfectly. The installation didn’t require anything special, except of course, the latest version of Wine installed to your system. Just open the executable for Windows, that you will find on the site of Project64 and simply follow the instructions. After that open the program from your main Wine directory and you’re done.4. ePSXe
PSX also gets its share on the emulator market with ePSXe, which is by far the best emulator in all platforms. For Linux, there is the version 1.6.0 which has packages for Mandriva and OpenSuse, precompiled, as you can see here. Of course Wine can be used to install the latest 1.8.0. version on any Linux system. Also another notable Playstation emulator is PCSX-Reloaded which has packages for all big distributions ready to download from this site. However after some test I did, there isn’t great game compatibility with the latter. BIOS files are necessary to run the emulator and games, but Google is your friend on this one.5. PCSX2
PCSX2 is, without a doubt, the best Playstation 2 emulator that ever existed. It’s cross-platform. There is the option to compile the emulator from this site, after installing the dependencies. Mandriva and OpenSuse packages here just as ePSXe, in form of RPM packages. For Ubuntu-based distributions (such as Linux Mint) there is a ppa ready which makes it easier to install and update the emulator through the package manager. Just copy-paste the following line to the terminal:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gregory-hainaut/pcsx2.official.ppa -y && sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install pcsx2 -y
There are of course emulators for many other consoles. In this article you can find the best emulators for the most popular video game consoles. For others, such as Sega Genesis there is the Gens emulator for which you can find Ubuntu packages here, or for Nintendo DS there is DeSmuME for native integration but I personally prefer the NO$GBA emulator through Wine. Also there is the infamous MAME for arcade games which you can find packages here and the SDL port here.
Written by George, re-posted from Muktware.com
Once again we find ourselves talking about Android L. Over the past month we have received numerous reports on Android L, bringing you Android L features, themes, keyboard, Heads Up and the official L preview.
More recently we advised a full port available for Nexus owners providing an overall L experience. This was also followed by leaked screenshots suggesting the Play Store will be updated to be in more in line with L’s Material Design guidelines. Now we can bring to you what seems to be the first modified app to work solely with Android L.
Apollo is the standard out-of-the-box music player provided with all CyanogenMod (CM) downloads. This is CM’s stock music player and generally seems to be quite popular. So much so one of the developers over at xda as modified Apollo to work with L. The modified music player adopts the Material design look and feel presenting a more cohesive user experience for those lucky enough to already be on L.
HenryMP (Henry Music Player) so-called by the developer is based entirely on CyanogenMod’s Apollo but with the newer Material Design appearance. This is good news for CyanogenMod fans as recently CM officially announced they would not be implementing any L features in the near future. Although CM might not be so quick to jump on the L train it seems developers will make sure CM features will be available. Below is a screenshot of what the interface looks like.
As this is modified for L it shouldn’t be much of a surprise to learn the app does not currently work on KitKat or lower versions of Android. The developer has created a ‘backport’ version of the app for Android JB (Jelly Bean) and newer. Unfortunately if you are on KK or lower it’s either the backported version or stick to the stock CM Apollo app. However, If you are lucky enough to be running L (basically a Nexus owner) than you can download and install HenryMP now. If you do let us know what you think?
The post CyanogenMod’s Apollo Music Player modified for Android L appeared first on The Mukt.
If you’re familiar with CyanogenMod (CM) or simply part of any of CM’s social network you will be well aware of the CM’s Theme Store. For those of you who don’t know this is simply a CM powered theme generator which allows users to instantly change the theme, fonts, and color-scheme for the UI. Some themes are available for free while most charge a small amount to download and install. These are lightweight items for your device and simply change the aesthetic appearance completely.
Part of CM’s popularity is they provided the framework for the generator as open-source allowing anyone to model their own themes and designs. As a result other ROM’s like OmniROM also use the standard CM theme generator. Due to its open-source nature, themes are rife on social network sites with unknown developer’s generating new themes on almost an hourly basis.
Ever thought of creating your own theme but were unsure of how to go about it? Or simply not too good at coding? Well now is your opportunity. One of the recognised contributors over at xda-developers has very kindly produced an in-depth how-to-guide to creating your own theme.
The guide covers
- How to download, install and setup Eclipse,
- The Android SDK
- Android Developer Tools
- Import the CyanogenMod theme template
- Edit the Android Manifest
- Run the theme
- Fix any Issues
The guide covers both Windows and Linux users and should be definitely checked out if you want to get started making your own themes. Hey, if your theme is any good you can always start selling it.
The ‘Selfie’ phenomenon is here to stay for longer than you ever imagined it would. If just taking a picture of yourself doesn’t satisfy you much, you can now eat an image of your own face burnt into your toast every morning. Burnt Impressions, a Vermont-based company, is making ‘Selfie’ toasters that can burn your image into toast for your morning meal.
If a selfie toaster interests you, all you need to send is a high-res photo of your face to the company, and you can expect to get your very own custom selfie toaster in about a week.
But remember not all photos are worth sending to the company.
“We are good, but remember fine detail is darn near impossible to achieve with heat and toast,” Burnt Impressions says on its website. “If we squint and can’t see your face, we will cancel [the] order and refund your purchase.”
Here’s how these custom toasters are made. Once it gets your digital photograph, the company prepares the image in Photoshop for 15-30 minutes. It then uses a computer-guided metal cutting machine in order to create a plate of your face.
After polishing all the rough edges off the plate, it’s inserted into a toaster where, once heated, it can impart your mug onto a piece of toast.
Just how much do you need to pay to see your face burnt into your toast as part of the breakfast routine?
The toasters cost $75 and sport a full-color water-peel decal of your photo on the front.
The post Selfie Toaster: Get your image on toast every morning! appeared first on The Mukt.
Last month we discussed how to install CyanogenMod on supported devices using the very easy-to-use CM installer. As promised, in this guide we will advise how to install CM on currently unsupported devices. There are a lot of guides available online for this procedure but they tend to be rather basic. Here we will try to provide a detailed approach to each step and simplify the process as much as possible. This is not an easy process and you really do need to follow the instructions exactly.
This guide is mostly for Samsung devices due to some of the software used. If you are using a different device then you will need to source the appropriate software but the instructions will be the same.Warning
Installing a new OS system is dangerous. Firstly, installing CM will VOID your warranty. This is unavoidable. If you are under warranty than it is probably best to not install CM at this point and stick to the stock ROM. Secondly, installing a new OS system can cause significant and detrimental system errors. You can brick your phone by doing this procedure. If anything goes wrong when installing it can stop your device working completely. If this happens, most of the time it can be fixed but you need to be aware this can damage your device permanently and detrimentally. Use this guide as an informational-purpose tool. Use this information at your own RISK. Neither we not your manufacturer will accept responsibility for anything that happens to your device.
Additional Warning: The following procedure WILL wipe and factory reset your device. You WILL lose all data, media and files. So BACKUP, BACKUP, BACKUPStep 1 – Files needed
Firstly you need to download four files. The first of these files is Odin. This is a tool which will allow you to flash (push) software onto your system and effectively activate the software. For supported devices the CM installer does this for you. However for the unsupported devices this has to be manually done by the user. So firstly download Odin. NOTE: This is mainly for Samsung devices. As already mentioned you will have to source an alternative to Odin (or version) for your specific device.
Once you have downloaded Odin the file will be in zip format. Unzip the file and place all three files in an ‘Odin’ named folder on your desktop. For now there is nothing else to install. Odin works directly from these three files without installing on your computer.
After you have downloaded Odin you now need to download a recovery file. The recovery we are suggesting for CM is ClockworkMod which is commonly used with CM and tends to work well. Download ClockworkMod by clicking here. There are alternatives such as TWRP but for CM we suggest ClockworkMod.
You will also need to download the appropriate CM software. Currently CM11 is the newest OS available although this won’t be available to all unsupported devices and you made need to download a slightly older version first such as 10.2. This will mainly apply to devices which have a letter at the end of their model number. For example GT-i9100“P”
To download the correct CM for your device click here and search for your specific device name and model number. Once you have located the correct device page download the newest CM zip file listed. This will be the file listed at the top.
N.B. When downloading the CM file there are a couple of points to note. CM defines their installs by three groups.
The first is listed as Stable. This literally means this is the most secure and tested version of the operating system. This is the best version of any CM install and will include the least amount of bugs and errors. Stable literally means tried and tested.
The second CM grouping is Snapshot. Similar to Stable the Snapshot installs are also relatively stable and have already gone through a good degree of testing and should include only a minor amount of bugs and issues. However this is not as reliable as the Stable version and should only be used when a Stable version is unavailable.
The last CM grouping is Nightlies. This grouping refers to the most experimental of the CM installs. Nightlies are very raw and early prototypes of the OS and are likely to include significant bugs and issues. These are called Nightlies as they usually are updated on a daily basis and as such are far more dangerous to use than either the Stable or Snapshot version.
Check which version of CM is available for your device and download accordingly.
Lastly for step 1 you will have to download the latest version of Gapps. Due to legal reasons many custom ROM’s are not allowed to include Google Apps (Play Store, Gmail etc) along with the install. Instead you will need to download Gapps separately. Again you will need to make sure you are downloading the correct Gapps file. If you are planning to install a KitKat version of CM than make sure you install a KitKat version of Gapps. If you are installing Jelly Bean than again make sure the Gapps you are downloading is compatible with Jelly Bean. You can follow the link for the Gapps download page and then just find the correct android version.Step 2 – Load files
By now you should have four files downloaded
Odin and Recovery will stay on your computer. For CM and Gapps you will now need to place these two downloads on your device directly. So using your USB cable connect your device to the computer and load the two files to your external SD card. It is VERY important you upload these to the EXTERNAL memory and not the internal memory. You need these to be easily available after the factory wipe so make sure they are on an external drive.Step 3 – Odin
Now you should have four files, Odin, Recovery, CM and Gapps. The last two (CM & Gapps) should have been loaded on to your device and Odin should be on your computer. For step 3 you should now open the Odin folder (on your computer) and click the exe file. Once opened an Odin screen will be shown.
In the image above you will notice under Option both the Auto Reboot and F. Reset Time are both ticked while Re-Partition is not ticked. Make sure this is the case for you. Only two of the three should be ticked. On the right of the screen under Files (Download) you should now click on PDA. Once clicked a drop-down screen will appear and you will need to identify the recovery.tar file we previously downloaded. Once found, click on the file and you will see it appear in the PDA box. You should then see some data loading under Message.
This should conclude with “<OSM> Leave CS..”
At this point you should power down your device completely. Once the power is off wait ten seconds for all residual power to subside. Now boot your device into recovery mode. This will vary slightly by device but the most common method is to hold down the Volume down, Power and Home buttons all at the same time. If this does not work for you than quickly search Google for How to boot into recovery plus your device model for the correct buttons to press. If the boot is successful the device logo will appear. Continue to hold the buttons until the recovery image appears. You will then get a short warning explaining the dangers with custom ROM’s. Press the volume up button to continue.
This screen provides you with two options – the left image is the recovery mode. If you haven’t made a back-up than you should select this option, hit backup, power down again and reboot into recovery again. The second image is for downloading. This is the option we need so select the right image. Once selected the Android logo will appear with Downloading - Do not turn off target underneath. Your device is now ready to communicate with Odin. Using your USB cable connect the device to your computer while in the download mode. Immediately Odin should recognize your device and under ID: COM (on Odin) the first box should change color (usually blue, green or yellow). Once this changes color Odin has recognized your device and you are now ready to flash. Simply hit Start and the process will begin. Once the flashing has finished the colored box under ID: COM will state either OK, PASS or RESET. Do not unplug your device until one of these words appear. Once the process has finished the device will automatically reboot. You have now completed Step 4 and upgraded your recovery and ready to install CM directly. You can now unplug your device.Step 4 – ClockworkMod
If you have reached Step 4 without issue than by now your device will be powered back up and it will look as though nothing has changed. This is good. All we have done so far is upgrade your recovery to ClockworkMod which is one of the main recoveries used to flash and install new ROM’s. In fact if you decide to try one of the many other ROM’s available than you should be able to now skip the previous steps and install the ROM from this point on. Odin will hardly ever need to be used again unless you encounter problems with your device.
OK, Step 4. You will now need to power down your device again and reboot identical to how we did in Step 3 but this time selecting the left (recovery) image. This is where the change in Step 3 occurred. If you backed up using the previously recovery you will now notice the recovery is completely different.
Using this recovery you will first need to clean the system ready for the new install. Not completing this step can cause major problems and brick your device so please do complete the following steps.
• Navigate down (using volume down button) to wipe data/factory reset and press the power button. Another screen will appear. Scroll down to yes and press the power button.
• Navigate down to wipe cache partition, press power button, scroll down to yes.
• Navigate down to advanced, scroll down to wipe dalvik cache, scroll down to yes. Once this is completed scroll down to Go back.
Now we have a clean system and ready for the new install.Step 5 – Installation
By now, most of the hard work has been done and we are very nearly there. Only the installs left to do.
While still in recovery mode scroll down to install zip and press the power button. This will bring up a new screen. If you remember we saved the install on the external memory card and so we now need to scroll down to choose zip from /storage/sdcard1 and press the power button.
N.B. ‘sdcard1’ refers to the external storage while ‘sdcard0’ refers to your internal SD card.
The contents of your external SD card should be in view now and you simply need to scroll down to the named CM install file, press the power button, scroll down to yes and press the power button again. The install will now begin. This sometimes can take a long time so be patient and let it complete.
Once the install has finished you will see a short message on the screen install from sdcard complete. Now scroll down to ‘Go back’. Once on the previous screen again scroll down to install zip, down to /storage/sdcard1 and find the Gapps file you saved. Again press the power button, confirm by pressing yes and let the install run.
Once the Gapps has finished and again you received the ‘install from sdcard complete’ scroll down to ‘Go Back’, scroll down to ‘Go back’ again (and again if you need to depending on your device) and you should see at the very top of the screen Reboot device. Click the power button and a reboot will begin.
OK. As long as we have not encountered any problems so far than you should have successfully installed CM on your device. Once the phone reboots there are two crucial stages which need to pass for a successful install. The first is the device logo i.e. Samsung etc. If this appears than stage 1 is safe. If the logo does not show or the screen remains black something has gone wrong. Once the logo appears it should after a couple of seconds disappear again. If the logo appears but does not disappear than you are stuck in a boot loop and again something has gone wrong with the install.
Once the manufacturer logo disappears you should see the new CM boot animation (stage 2). If this appears than all is good so far and CM is loading. Now when booting for the first time this can sometimes take a very long time to load so don’t panic if your screen remains on the boot animation for a while. Eventually the boot animation will finish and you will see the new CM interface. If for any reason the device remains on the boot animation than again something has gone wrong with the install.
Once both animations have come and gone you will be greeted with the new ‘Welcome to CM’ screen and you have successfully installed CM. Enjoy.
If you have an issue at either stage 1 or 2 during boot up than you should immediately power down, reboot into recovery and install the backup you made – remember, I did tell you to backup. This is why. After reinstalling the backup your device will hopefully revert back to its previous state before we installed anything. You can then try again if you wish by repeating the steps or by trying other install versions.
Over the past 24 hours early reports have emerged suggesting CyanogenMod (CM) are working on a rival application to Google Now. The so-called ‘CM Home’ looks very similar to Now adopting what appears to be an assortment of card-based information panels which read various snippets of information such as local weather, time, things-to-do and so on.
Last night suggestions emerged that this was a direct alternative to Now and would be used in replace Now in future CM releases. However on reddit.com developers who report to have worked on Home are quick to note that this is not a replacement or even a competitor for Now. At least not from CM’s perspective.
“I just wanted to clarify that CM Home is not meant to be just like Google Now. The initial UI here is obviously heavily influenced by it, however. It is unlikely that we could (or would want to) compete with the magic of Google’s server-side algorithms and breadth of data about your life. Think of this as a new place for data from many sources, to be expanded later”.
The blog continues to add that this is simply an API being developed openly to assess its use and worth.
“Something to look forward to: an API for other developers! We know that alone it would be hard to create an experience that would rival Google Now in any fashion, but we believe in the power of the community”.
In spite of the blatant defense of Home the leaked screenshots we have received do bare a striking resemblance to Google’s Now.
Another CM developer addresses the aesthetic liking issue again on reddit claiming that CM are simply planning for the future by working on API’s which are in line with the upcoming Android L interface.
“We’re also planning for the future. L’s lockscreen introduces a new model, that (at face values) negates the worth of Dashclock and its extensions. It is reasonable to assume that providing a home for these extensions to go in L would be of value to users of Dashclock and the Extension devs themselves”.
To read the comments in full head over to the reddit thread by clicking here.
At the end of last year, the European Commission told Google and Apple to address issues around in-app purchases (IAP) – particularly as they mislead unsupervised kids into unwittingly racking up huge bills for their parents to pay.
Consumer Reports earlier discovered that Google grants a full 30 minutes to make purchases at the App store when no additional authorisation is required (after obviously making one in-app purchase requiring a password).
According to a recent statement released by the Commission, the EU is happy with Google’s response for a series of consumer protection changes that it will put in place by the end of September.
“These include not using the word “free” at all when games contain in-app purchases, developing targeted guidelines for its app developers to prevent direct exhortation to children as defined under EU law and time-framed measures to help monitor apparent breaches of EU consumer laws. It has also adapted its default settings, so that payments are authorised prior to every in-app purchase, unless the consumer actively chooses to modify these settings,” the Commission said.
Meanwhile, the EU has criticised Apple for not providing any timeline for how it will sort out the same complaints by outraged parents.
“Although, regrettably, no concrete and immediate solutions have been made by Apple to date to address the concerns linked in particular to payment authorisation, Apple has proposed to address those concerns. However, no firm commitment and no timing have been provided for the implementation of such possible future changes. CPC authorities will continue to engage with Apple to ensure that it provides specific details of changes required and put its practices into line with the common position,” the Commission added.
Responding to the criticism levied by the Commission, Apple outlined its efforts to prevent IAP abuse in its App Store.
The company said in a statement: “Apple takes great pride in leading the industry in parental controls that are incredibly easy to use and help ensure a great experience for parents and children on the App Store. The parental controls in iOS are strong, intuitive and customizable. And over the last year we made sure any app which enables customers to make in-app purchases is clearly marked. We’ve also created a Kids Section on the App Store with even stronger protections to cover apps designed for children younger than 13.
“These controls go far beyond the features of others in the industry. But we are always working to strengthen the protections we have in place, and we’re adding great new features with iOS 8, such as Ask to Buy, giving parents even more control over what their kids can buy on the App Store.
“Our goal is to continue to provide the best experience for our customers and we will continue to work with the EC member states to respond to their concerns.”
The European Commission, on the other hand, has directed EU nations to decide on their own how to punish developers that are currently facing legal action. It said it would continue to monitor the issue though.
The post Android Games with in-app purchase won’t be called free in EU appeared first on The Mukt.
If you are curious what Linus’ office looks like Linux Foundation took a tour under their video series “30 Linux Kernel Developer Workspaces in 30 Weeks”. He uses a walking desk, which means he has set-up a computer on a treadmill so doesn’t sit on his chair, like most of us all day, and instead keep doing some physical activity.
It’s a myth that you should keep your desk clean in order to be more productive. It’s _not_ clutter actually. I know exactly where something is. When a maid or my wife cleans up my table, while it look tidy, everything is lost. By the time I find it my table resumes the old state. Look at Linus Torvalds’ old desk and you would know what I mean by clutter. I was happy to his ‘old’ and cluttered table as that set-up looks just like mineOld desk of Linus Torvalds My current desk!
Compratively his walking table which he calls ‘zombia shuffling desk’ is cleaner. He is trying to keep his it clean compared to the old one. Well it may be easier as there is not much space on the walking table, but we will see in six month how clean it stays.(a) The father of Linux, writing code
(b) The code ‘compiled’ here ‘runs’ the world, literally.
(c) Old desk
(d) Super charged Large Hadron Collider which keeps Linus walking.
Is he going to clean up the old table which he doesn’t use anymore as there is so much garbage in it? Not likely. He doesn’t know what to do with his old desk as it has so much crap on it. He said “he might burned it down one day”, that would be easier.
Most of us hoard old electronics stuff and call it ‘retro’. Pointing at his old stuff Linus said that he would like to call it prized possession but it’s just garbage. He said he is not very emotional when it comes to technology – all old technology is old and broken and I would rather play with new stuff.This army comes alive at night, like the Night at the Museum movie to protect Linux Fort.
He, as expected, has a 3D printer – MakerBot – which is mostly used by his kids for projects. He showed his scuba gears and the huge army of penguins that protect his house as they come alive at night and march around the Torvalds’ Fort.
Users can install the under-development version of KDE Frameworks 5 side by side with KDE 4 from the Beta 2 stage. To make this possible the packages are installed under /usr instead of /opt/kf5 as it used to be on the Arch User Repository (AUR) previously. Till date the only exception was the kactivities component because both KDE Frameworks and KDE 4 ship a kactivitymanagerd binary. To make them co-install now both the packages from KDE4 and KDE Frameworks install a kactivities virtual package on the same system under the /usr directory. The packages are grouped into two parts: kf5 and kf5-aids (PortingAids).
With this in place Andrea hopes that the Plasma Next packages will follow soon. However they will go in the kde-unstable repository. To make them co-installable their prefix will be /opt/kf5. KWin is already available in kde-unstable.
To install the KDE Frameworks libraries, run:# pacman -S kf5 kf5-aids
To install Plasma Next components like KWin, run the following:# pacman -S kwin oxygen $ export KF5=/opt/kf5 $ export QML2_IMPORT_PATH=$KF5/lib/qt/qml:/usr/lib/qt/qml $ export QT_PLUGIN_PATH=$KF5/lib/qt/plugins:/usr/lib/qt/plugins $ export XDG_CONFIG_DIRS=$KF5/etc/xdg:/etc/xdg $ export PATH=$KF5/bin:$PATH $ kwin --replace
Arch is one of the first distributions to make the KDE Frameworks 5 packages available.
The post KDE Frameworks 5 official packages available for Arch Linux appeared first on The Mukt.