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This is what Linus Torvalds’ office looks like

Friday 18th of July 2014 03:15:19 PM

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 mine

Old 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.

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KDE Frameworks 5 official packages available for Arch Linux

Thursday 17th of July 2014 10:41:12 PM

Developer Andrea Scarpino announced the availability of KDE Frameworks 5 packages for Arch Linux. Currently the packages are available in the extra repository of Arch.

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.

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Publishing Snowden-like revelations may attract 10-year jail term in Australia

Thursday 17th of July 2014 06:07:07 PM

Australian journalists could face prosecution and up to 10 years in prison for reporting Snowden-style revelations about special intelligence operations, according to a new bill proposed by Australia’s attorney general George Brandis.

Brandis presented the bill to the parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security, in an “outrageous” expansion of spy powers of the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO).

It is worth mentioning here that the US National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden was previously labelled a “traitor” by Brandis.

The proposed bill allows creation of a new offence punishable by a five-year jail term for “any person” who disclosed information about “special intelligence operations”.

The guilty would be liable for 10 years in prison if the disclosure would “endanger the health or safety of any person or prejudice the effective conduct of a special intelligence operation.”

Brandis, however, shot down suggestions on Thursday morning that he was specifically targeting journalists who reported on surveillance leaks.

“No we’re not and I think there has been a little bit of erroneous commentary on that provision,” Brandis told the ABC Radio.

“It’s designed to plug a gap in the existing legislation. Under the existing legislation it’s a criminal offence for an officer of a national security agency to disclose intelligence material to a third party, but it’s not an offence for an officer to copy or wrongfully remove that material.

“In other words, communication with a third party is an element of the current offence but it seems to us that it should be wrong and it should be an offence to illicitly remove intelligence material from an agency. That’s all that’s about.”

But if Australian Lawyers Alliance spokesman Greg Barns is to be believed, a separate provision in the legislation could mean trouble for the Australian press.

Barns said: “I thought the Snowden clause [in the bill] was bad enough but this takes the Snowden clause and makes it a Snowden/Assange/Guardian/New York Times clause.”

“It’s an unprecedented clause which would capture the likes of Wikileaks, the Guardian, the New York Times, and any other media organisation that reports on such material,” he added.

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Dropbox switches to Qt, looks great in Plasma systems

Thursday 17th of July 2014 02:32:41 PM

I use ownCloud as my storage on cloud service, but I also use Dropbox to share files with friends and family. One gripe I have with Dropbox on Plasma systems (as I am a KDE Plasma user) is that its login window looked ugly in it. That’s going to chage as Dropbox client is switching to Qt.

Earlier this week we reported new experiment builds of Dropbox which bring new UI to Linux, Windows and Mac systems. I didn’t try it out back then as I was busy with Plasma 5 review so I could see they were using Qt.

A Dropbox user Nicholas v. pointed it out on the forums:

Very excited about the rewrite for linux. It’s been a long time coming. Hopefully we’ll end up getting some of the glitz and glamour of the other platforms as a result. (Oh – and also very excited that it’s Qt!)

I checked it out on my Plasma system and it really looks far better than earlier.

How to test Qt-based dropbox on your system

1. First of all quit Dropbox either bu right clicking on the dropbox icon on the task-bar or running dropbox stop command in the Konsole
2. Download the experiment buld from this link
3. Extract the zip file (it would be a hidden folder)
4. Cd to the ‘dropbox-lnx’ folder

mukt@the-mukt-online:~ > cd /home/mukt/Downloads/.dropbox-dist/dropbox-lnx.x86_64-2.11.0/

5. Then run this command:

dropbox start

You have the Qt based dropbox running on your system.

If you want to go back to old Dropbox, simple stop dropbox again, delete the downloaded and extracted folder. Then run dropbox from your menu.

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Microsoft kills Nokia’s Android phones

Thursday 17th of July 2014 01:10:23 PM

The reports that Microsoft (actually Nokia) was working on an Android powered phone got mixed responses from the Free Software Community. Some were excited that Microsoft has resorted to Linux and some were upset fearing Microsoft will be more or less a leech building on top of the work done by the community only to create a monopoly.

I never believed that Microsoft will destroy its own operating system and embrace Android. Microsoft is not a new player in the market, it has a strong focus on enterprise segment and by using Android on mobile devices would shatter its convergence dream. It will also break the ecosystem it is building around its own kernel encompassing devices like Xbox, PCs, mobile devices, cars and much more.

It never made any sense to me. Looks like it doesn’t make any sense to Stephen Elop either, the Microsoft executive who was sent to Nokia to prepare the compare for acquisition by the software behemoth.

shifting select future Nokia X designs and products to Windows Phone devices.

Stephen has announced that Microsoft (Nokia) will shift the focus of Nokia X (the devices used for Android) to Windows operating system. He said:

We will be particularly focused on making the market for Windows Phone. In the near term, we plan to drive Windows Phone volume by targeting the more affordable smartphone segments, which are the fastest growing segments of the market, with Lumia. In addition to the portfolio already planned, we plan to deliver additional lower-cost Lumia devices by shifting select future Nokia X designs and products to Windows Phone devices. We expect to make this shift immediately while continuing to sell and support existing Nokia X products.

That brings and end to Microsoft Android, as my friend Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols calls it. Before this news broke, I was enjoying a discussion with fellow FLOSS users around Microsoft’s use of Linux and how it won’t be any different from Apple’s use of Free Software. I had expressed my doubts that Microsoft will ever embrace Linux with the ‘good citizen’ approach getting involved with community building.

Microsoft’s problem is not a bad code-base. Windows is a decent code, their problem is mind share, their problem were Steve Ballmer or Bill Gates who lacked the vision to see where market was going, they failed to create opportunities or new product segments. The company is known for ‘copying‘ the model of others and use its deep pockets to create a competitor.

I never believed Linux to be part of Microsoft’s vision (outside support in enterprise segment where Linux dominates), with the death of MS-Android, my belief is stronger now.

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Learn to build Android apps with Google’s Android Fundamentals

Wednesday 16th of July 2014 11:33:11 PM

Yesterday Google announced the launch of a new training tool Android Fundamentals on the Google developer’s blog. The course is aimed at assisting experienced programmers to switch over to Android by familiarising themselves with the Android SDK and Android Studio. This is unfortunately not for those completely new to programming but instead those who do possess some programming knowledge.

Android Fundamentals is an online training course featuring Google Developer Advocates Reto Meier, Dan Galpin, and Katherine Kuan, working with the team at Udacity that’s advanced and technical enough for experienced developers who are new to Android — maybe even new to mobile — but not new to programming”.

The free course consists of a two-week acceleration course designed to prepare the students for a more intense paid full course after completion. The paid course is in partnership with Udacity and costs $150 per month. This is an 8 week course (if working at the assumed 6 hours per week) and includes all course materials, videos, quizzes, forum access and personalised feedback at no extra cost.

By the end of this course, you’ll build a cloud-connected Android app, and understand the tools, principles, and patterns that underlie all Android development. You’ll understand the challenges associated with developing for the mobile environment (and how to overcome them), learn how to build a great user experience for Android devices, and apply this knowledge to your own projects”.

Prerequisites for the course are:

  • Strong working knowledge of Java or another object-oriented programming language.
  • Download Android Studio
  • Comfortable working with code on Github.
  • (ideally) Access to an Android device – but not required

Although you may not want to take part in the full paid course the two week bridge course should at least be of value. This is free with no obligation and will help those looking to advance their skills in Android development.

If you are interested than you can read more on Android Fundamentals by heading over to the developer blog. If you want to get straight to the course details (both paid and free) then head over to the Udacity page. For a more broader look at Android development visit the Android developer section with details on all upcoming projects including the Android L Preview.

You can also view a quick trailer for Android Fundamentals by clicking here.

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Google release ‘new’ Roboto typeface

Wednesday 16th of July 2014 11:31:59 PM

Google today released an update to the Roboto font announcing the update on their developer blog.

For those of you unfamiliar with Roboto, it is a typeface and part of the sans-serif typeface family. Roboto was original introduced by Google along with the release of Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) operating system and has remained since. Roboto became free to download back in January 2012 from the Android Design website.

In reality the news of the update will not be of significant value to the average user. However one of the main reasons for the update is to fit in line with the many changes we will be seeing with the release of Android L. According to Google this update is to sync more naturally with the Material Design Guidelines set-out by Google.

“Along with the Material Design guidelines we released a new version of the Roboto type family. A lot of things have changed as we tuned the font to work across more screen sizes and conditions, from watches to desktops, televisions to cars. It still keeps much of its character that made it successful for both phones and tablets, but almost every glyph has been tweaked and updated in some way”.

The changes are minor and do require attention to detail to fully appreciate the update although for programmers and designers these changes will probably be seen as a far more natural and smooth looking typeface. The most obvious differences include changes to the ‘R’ and ‘K’ which now have straighter lines towards their bases. The curves on the ‘O’ and ‘C’ have also been rounded more to provide a ‘friendlier’ look and feel. In addition the dots on top of the ‘i’ and ‘j’ are also more rounded than the previous squarer look.

There were also subtle changes to the general rhythm and flow of the letters producing a more spacious overall look. As Google point out this is not immediately obvious by individual letters but will be kinder to look at when viewing text in general.

This isn’t apparent as you look at individual glyphs, but makes for a better texture on the screen“.

If you are interested in knowing more than follow the link to read the Roboto public announcement in full.

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Xiaomi enters India with Mi 3, Redmi 1S and Redmi Note

Wednesday 16th of July 2014 11:30:45 PM

Chinese Smartphone company Xiaomi is launching three devices in the India, fuelling the already hyper competitive budget smartphone market in the country. The first phone to launch is the Mi3 which is priced at Rs. 13,999, followed by Redmi Note at Rs. 9,999 and Redmi 1S at Rs. 6,999.

The Mi 3 features a 5 inch FUll HD display with 441 ppi pixel density. It is powered by a 2.3 GHz quadcore Snapdragon 800 and Adreno 330 GPU along with 2GB of RAM. It runs Android 4.4 (KitkAt) with Xiaomi’s famous MIUI skin on top. There is 16GB internal storage but no expansion slots. A 13 MP sensor camera with dual-LED flash sits at the rear, while there is 2 megapixel camera in the front. The device is backed by a 3050 mAh battery. The specifications of the Xiaomi Mi3 is almost similar to Google’s Nexus 5 which is priced at Rs. 28,999.

The Redmi Note on the other hand has a 5.5 inch 780p IPS display. It is powered by a 1.7 GHz MediaTek octa core CPU and Mali 450 GPU. It has 2GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage expandable via microSD card. There is 13 MP rear camera with 1080p video recording and 5MP front camera with 720p video recording. It runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with MIUI on top. Priced at Rs.9,999 it beats the very popular Moto G on price front and specifications front as well.

The cheapest offering from Xiaomi is the Redmi 1S that is priced at Rs. 6,999 which is equal to what Moto E but carries features similar to the Moto G that has a price tag of Rs. 12,499. The Redmi 1S has a 4.7 inch 720p IPS display. Under the hood there is a Snapdragon quadcore processor clocked at 1.6 GHz and Adreno 305 GPU. There is 1GB of RAM along with 8GB of internal storage and microSD expansion slot. There is 8 megapixel rear camera capable of 1080p video recording and 2 megapixel front camera. It runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with MIUI skin on top. The battery has a capacity of 2000mAh.

All the three Xiaomi smartphones will be sold exclusively through Flipkart. Currently you can register yourself for pre purchase and Mi 3 will go on sale from July 22 while Redmi 1S and Redmi Note will go on sale next month. Eve thgouh Xiaomi’s devices apparently beats the best selling offerings from Motorola : Moto G and Moto E on specifications and price front, it will be interesting to see how well the market responds to the new entrant while Motorola and flipkart celebrate 1 Million Moto customers in India.


Xiaomi India

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NSA, stop watching us!

Wednesday 16th of July 2014 11:30:27 PM

The World Wide Web seems to have become a dangerous place for ordinary Web users after ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing revelations. If you’re on the Internet, you’re under NSA survellienace—regardless of the fact whether you are in the U.S. or not.

What is worrying privacy and civil liberties advocates is the fact that the security agency goes as far as to use Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act to justify its mass collection of phone calls and emails by collecting data directly from communications providers.

The Washington Post said in a report that “Nine of 10 account holders found in a large cache of intercepted conversations, which former NSA contractor Edward Snowden provided in full to The Post, were not the intended surveillance targets.”

Additionally, “[n]early half of the surveillance files, a strikingly high proportion, contained names, e-mail addresses or other details that the NSA marked as belonging to U.S. citizens or residents.”

EFF has been legally fighting against the NSA’s warrantless mass surveillance program since 2006, but statistics from the Washington Post about 160,000 intercepts they have analyzed from the Snowden files reveal that even what the NSA calls “targeted” surveillance is far from the truth.

It’s high time we start questioning the NSA surveillance…questioning why does it need to collect communications outside the scope of its work and why it just doesn’t care about what’s making all of us feel unsafe.

Why hasn’t any government oversight body so far taken a look at what the NSA actually collects? Isn’t this a real problem that needs to be addressed by the Justice Department, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or intelligence committees in Congress for that matter?

It’s time to take action now. It’s time to Stand Against Spying.

You can also become a part of the moment to push back against bulk surveillance, and know whether your elected representative is doing his job to help bring an end to warrantless surveillance by NSA.

After all, NSA needs to know how to put limits on its surveillance powers.

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Privacy groups want Obama to veto the Cybersecurity Bill

Wednesday 16th of July 2014 11:30:14 PM

A group of 35 civil society organizations, companies, and security experts have asked President Obama to pledge to veto the controversial cybersecurity bill S. 2588, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (“CISA”) of 2014. These privacy and Internet freedom groups fear that the bill invades the privacy and civil liberties of users.
The Senate Intelligence Committee approved the legislation last week, with an aim to help companies and the government thwart hackers.

“Every week, we hear about the theft of personal information from retailers and trade secrets from innovative businesses, as well as ongoing efforts by foreign nations to hack government networks,” Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein said. “This bill is an important step toward curbing these dangerous cyberattacks.”

However, privacy groups believe that the legislation would give NSA access to even more personal data of Americans.

In a letter sent to Obama Tuesday, Access, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), CREDO, and Reddit, among others urged the President to speak out against the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, which “fails to provide privacy protections for Internet users and allows information sharing in a wide variety of circumstances” that would only end up in harming journalists and whistleblowers.

The letter reads: “CISA fails to offer a comprehensive solution to cybersecurity threats. Further, the bill contains inadequate protections for privacy and civil liberties. Accordingly, we request that you promptly pledge to veto CISA. We also request that you issue a similar veto threat for any future legislation that takes a similar approach on information sharing. A robust approach to cybersecurity is necessary to protect the security of the internet and those who use it.”

“Legislation that focuses exclusively on facilitation of information sharing … jeopardizes the foundation of cybersecurity by improperly pitting human rights against security,” it adds.

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Red Hat updates Inktank Ceph Enterprise post-acquisition

Wednesday 16th of July 2014 11:29:22 PM

Red Hat has released its Inktank Ceph Enterprise 1.2 with new features that would help customers store and manage an entire spectrum of data – from “hot” mission-critical data to “cold” archival data.

The new functionality, coupled with enhancements to the solution’s Calamari management and monitoring platform, make Red Hat’s Inktank Ceph Enterprise storage solution a cost-effective storage platform for enterprises managing data-intensive applications, according to the company.

This is the first major announcement by Red Hat after its May 2014 acquisition of Inktank, a provider of Ceph and Inktank Ceph Enterprise open source storage solutions.

As part of today’s announcement, Red Hat’s Inktank Ceph Enterprise supports the new Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 5.

Red Hat’s Inktank Ceph Enterprise now enables users to define pools for storing data densely, and therefore more cost-effectively, as well as caching pools that can deliver high-performance.

The new erasure encoded storage pools in Red Hat’s Inktank Ceph Enterprise provide enterprise-scale durability that can lower raw capacity requirements by up to 50 percent.

According to Neil Levine, director, product management, Storage and Big Data, Red Hat, “Enterprises are under pressure to store expanding amounts of data with limited IT budgets. As part of our commitment to redefining the economics of software-defined storage, the new archiving and tiering functionality in Red Hat’s Inktank Ceph Enterprise 1.2 enables users to define pools for storing data densely, and therefore more cost-effectively, as well as pools that serve data very quickly.”

“And, because these pools all work together, customers can now create the blend of price and performance that’s right for them for both cold and hot data storage,” Levine added.

Red Hat’s Inktank Ceph Enterprise 1.2 is supported on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 and 7 and Ubuntu 12.04 and 14.04.

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LibreOffice-from-Collabora 4.2 released to the channel

Wednesday 16th of July 2014 11:26:53 PM

LibreOffice from Collabora is the enterprise-ready build of the widely used Open Source office suite. The newly announced LibreOffice-from-Collabora 4.2 provides an enterprise-hardened build which can be maintained by patch updates for many years.

It comes with code level support Service Level Agreements, which implies that it can be deployed in mission critical line-of-business environments with confidence in its security, stability and the availability of support.

According to the company, its Open Source / Open Standards / Open Future approach is appealing to many organisations.

“Both the private and public sectors have been questioning the long-term viability of proprietary derived file formats, and are looking again at the widely recommended move to Open Document Format,” according to Michael Meeks of Collabora Productivity Ltd.

The latest version offers enhanced accessibility on Windows (IAccessible2); the ability to print the comments in the margins; Microsoft Office legacy and OOXML filter improvements; and also statistics functions added to the spreadsheet.

It also features a new cell storage structure that enables hardware-accelerated parallel calculations and many adjustments that improve spreadsheet speed and scalability.

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New Automated Security System to revolutionize Airport Security

Wednesday 16th of July 2014 10:45:21 PM

The FIFA World Cup season is an excitable time for many of us. Be it the tension whether our favourite team would get through to the higher rounds, or whether they can win that epic match against their arch nemesis, the entire season is filled with expectations and tense moments. And it seems that such emotions were shared by a company too. Though Qylur Security Systems might have a favourite team, their palpitations were from the testing phase of their Qylatron Entry Experience Solutions, a complete and independent solution that promises to automate and revolutionize Airport security screening.

The strange honeycomb like device was hired by the event contractor in Brazil and was given the responsibility to manage entry security for one entrance at Arena de Baixada for four games. Qylur has to prove that the system works, before they can enter into mainstream airports around the world, so this test run was a moment of truth for the creators of the system. The system is completely automated with five pods arranged around a central sensor. Each of the pods is as large as a large microwave, so most of the carry-on bags can fit in easily. In the off chance it doesn’t, Qylur can tweak the size. From the looks of the design, the entire system seems to be modular, so perhaps the system might have expansion capabilities too in the future.

The entire process is automated and quite simple. The user has to hold up their ticket to one of the pod, which unlocks it. They can then put their bags in the pod and by the time they walk around the normal detector gate beside it, the system completes a complete scan of the baggage for illegal and dangerous items. If the baggage passes the scan the pod turns green, after which the user can just hold up their ticket and the pod unlocks. In case the system detects something illegal or dangerous, the pod turns red, locks down and informs a security official. The entire process happens without the need of any human intervention. Thus you can say goodbye to the having to open up your bags to pesky officials and having them touching. The system at Brazil moved five people at a time and so was efficient enough to keep the crowds moving without giving them the time to get annoyed.

The test at FIFA was a test of flexibility too, since FIFA has a strict policy regarding what is included and what is not. The restrictions range from long umbrellas, flagpoles, banners to even mundane objects like bags of flour. Although, Qylur didn’t disclose how the system detects, but from the looks of things that the system has a large training dataset against which it compares the multi-view X-Rays of the scanned baggage and identifies the contraband substances. But with the FIFA restrictions, it was a different case.

The machine learning algorithm would have to be vastly expanded for the FIFA event. So instead of spending valuable time, the creators tested another flexibility of the machine. They made humans collaborate with the machine. So while the machine scans for dangerous objects, a remote human operator goes through the scans to identify the more mundane contrabands and alert the system. The system was a runaway hit detecting even toy kangaroos which the Australian fans tried to sneak in and perhaps prevented a kangaroo apocalypse that might’ve started from the Spain-Australia match.

Source: Wired

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Breach Browser: an open-source and hackable browser for geeks

Wednesday 16th of July 2014 10:28:57 PM

While you are reading this, the chances are you are using Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer (IE). That is because these tend to be the only choices on offer. Although each of the big browsers will try to convince you that you have a choice. The simple truth is you do not. You are confined to using these five main choices which generally-speaking are increasingly converging and becoming more alike with each update. That is until now!

Breach Browser is an extremely new browser. In fact this has only just been released in its first public Alpha and is barely a baby compared to the elders of the browser world. If you are now shouting at your screen “So, why should I care” then listen a little longer.

Breach Browser is a completely open-source browser and more importantly is completely customisable. Now before we go further I should point out you cannot simply just install this browser by downloading the app from the Play Store. Nope, instead this a browser for the geeks. When booting for the first time Breach simply shows a warning that there are no modules installed. From this point on it is up to you to code and install the necessary modules…more to the points the modules YOU want. Welcome to the world of a self-supported web-app.

So yes, you will need some technical ability to use Breach, but if you have the know-how then you will enjoy this browser. For instance imagine vertical tabs! As the Breach developers state, anything is possible

“…why not build an entirely modular one that would let its user leverage this architecture to easily add functionalities through simple Javascript modules. That’s exactly what Breach is today, a modular browser that does not expose any internal functionalities but an API for developers to build modules that can be added, removed, and interchanged very easily. In other words, Breach multiplexes the ExoBrowser API for modules to expose new functionalities”.

The browser is primarily coded only in JavaScript and uses Chromium Content API as its ultimate base with Node JS interpretation and processing all JavaScript. The result is a completely open modular browser which can be coded by the user in JavaScript and HTML 5.

The reality, is this is not a game-changing browser and for the clear majority of users is unlikely to be of use. Breach won’t challenge Chrome or IE for dominance in the market but does provide those with the ability to customise their browser completely the way they want it. If you have the skills in JavaScript or HTML5 than this will be worth giving a try. If you do then let us know what you think.

You can download Breach by visiting the browser website but remember this is an Alpha version and will be in its very earliest stage.

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Want to root your device? Try xda’s new root directory

Wednesday 16th of July 2014 10:23:25 PM

Have you rooted your device yet? If you answered yes, then I am sure you are aware of how daunting this can be for new users. For those that answered no, there are usually two reasons for not rooting – never heard of ‘rooting’ or simply too scared to root.

If you have never heard of rooting, this refers to gaining root access to your device. Out of the box all devices are locked to a specific network and typically do not offer the user much negotiation with its features. However once rooted a device literally opens-up and allows the user to access all files on the device including those hidden away as system files. By accessing the root level of a device the user is suddenly able to install new apps, features and even completely change the operating system (OS) by flashing a new ROM.

Ever heard of CyanogenMod (CM), Paranoid Android (PA) or OmniROM? Well rooting is usually the first step needed to be able to install most of these ROM’s.

There is one problem though with rooting and this is the dangers involved. Which neatly brings us to our second group who answered no – those too scared to root. Rooting is an extremely unstable procedure and moreso for those who have never rooted before. By rooting a device the user can damage their device and in the most extreme cases brick the device. As the term suggests ‘bricking’ means the phone becomes useless…or simply as useful as a brick. These dangers usually result in the more timid users avoiding rooting. If you are one of these users then fear not. is typically the go-to-guide for all users who have or intend to root. This is a website set up by developers and provides invaluable information and instructions on a number of device issues. XDA have realized how difficult it can be sometimes to find the correct instructions, files and downloads. To try and help, XDA have launched a ‘root directory’ to provide assistance and streamline through the mountains of information available. Now users can simply head over to the XDA-Developers Root Directory and instantly find the most correct and up-to-date method to root their specific device. The directory is divided into device manufacturer and then further sub-divided by device models making it very easy to find the correct and most relevant information.

This directory should make it far easier (and safer) for those new to rooting. For the expert rooters out there this will also be a great directory to simply find the files needed for your latest rooting project.

Now for the disclaimer – Please do remember rooting can be dangerous…even with the best intentions and instructions. So if you do root you do so at your own risk. You should also be aware that in nearly all cases rooting can void your warranty. So if you are still under warranty than probably best not to root.

So…Have you rooted your device yet?

For those who have answered no – what are you waiting for?

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How to install Plasma 5 in Kubuntu or go for a test drive

Wednesday 16th of July 2014 04:07:33 PM

The much awaited Plasma 5 was released yesterday, I did a detailed review of it after using it for over a week on Arch Linux and Kubuntu. I found it much easier to try it out on Kubuntu without breaking the system. So if you are curious about testing out Plasma 5, there are two ways of doing it.

You can use the live ISO which lets you run Plasma 5 on your system without touching your hard drive and installing anything on your system. While it does allow you to check what’s new there, you won’t get the complete experience of Plasma 5, something you get when you use a system for work so you may consider installing it and spending some time with it. I have it running on my main system for a week now and have been doing office work on it, so that says a lot about the stability and usability of the very first release of Plasma 5.

Warning: Even if I found Plasma 5 to be stable and usable, it is work in progress. I will not recommend using Plasma 5 on production machines where a broken system will hurt your business or work, please stick to KDE SC 4.x branch on such systems.

Test out live Plasma 5

There is live CD of Project Neon which you can download from this link. If you want to burn a live CD/DVD, just burn the image from K3B or Brasero.

Create live USB for Plasma 5

If you want to create live USB of Neon ISO then follow these steps (you can use these steps to create live USB of any Ubuntu-based distributions):

Plug in the USB and run lsblk command. This command will list the connected USB drives and here you have to note the device name of your USB. I will recommend removing every other USB connected storage devices so you don’t end up formatting any of those devices.


Here is the output I get on my system:
mukt@the-mukt-online:~ > lsblk
sda 8:0 0 119.2G 0 disk
└─sda1 8:1 0 32.6G 0 part /
sdb 8:16 0 931.5G 0 disk
└─sdb1 8:17 0 931.5G 0 part /media/1TB
sdc 8:32 0 3.7T 0 disk
└─sdc1 8:33 0 3.7T 0 part /media/4TB
sdd 8:48 0 931.5G 0 disk
└─sdd1 8:49 0 931.5G 0 part /media/Internal
sde 8:64 1 7.5G 0 disk
├─sde1 8:65 1 1.4G 0 part
└─sde2 8:66 1 2.2M 0 part
sr0 11:0 1 942M 0 rom

Here sde is my USB drive which I will use to create live USB of Project Neon. The actual name used in the command to create live USB would be /dev/sde, so keep that in mind and use the name of the devices showing up on your system.

Now run this command to create the live USB:


In my case it would be:

mukt@the-mukt-online:~ sudo dd if=/home/mukt/Downloads/neon5-201406131309.iso of=/dev/sde bs=1

NAME_OF_USB_DEVICE would be a complete path such as /dev/sde

Now you can use this drive to check out Plasma 5.

How to install Plasma 5 on Kubunbtu?

If you want to test Plasma 5 then Kubuntu is your best bet as it installs Plasma 5 in /opt/project-neon5 directory without touching your current install. You will be able to switch between Plasma Workspace (4.x) and Plasma 5 from the login screen (we have already covered this earlier but I am repeating here due to demand for such an article).

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:neon/kf5 sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install project-neon5-session project-neon5-utils project-neon5-konsole project-neon5-breeze project-neon5-plasma-workspace-wallpapers

Once all packages are installed, reboot your system and then choose Project Neon 5 from the login screen.

As I said that Project Neon 5 won’t touch your current install (while sharing system settings from the home folder), you can continue to use both systems side by side. However if you do want to remove Plasma 5, it is extremely easy. Just use the purge option of Kubuntu and get rid of it

sudo apt-get purge project-neon5-* sudo apt-get autoremove

Now if you also want to remove the plasma 5 repository to avoid any conflict in future, install ppa-purge

sudo apt-get install ppa-purge

Then purge the ppa:

sudo ppa-purge ppa:neon/kf5

Now your system is Plasma 5 free. So what do you think if Plasma 5 so far?

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Detailed review of Plasma 5

Wednesday 16th of July 2014 01:31:53 AM

The much awaited Plasma 5 has been announced today, which marks a new chapter in the story of KDE software. Plasma 5 is the next generation desktop by the KDE community; it’s the evolution of KDE’s desktop which started taking a new shape with the release of ‘revolutionary’ KDE 4.0.

Plasma desktop uses the time-tested UI optimized for WIMP (windows, icons, menus and pointer) interface and with 5 it further improved that experience. A lot of work has gone in the code-base which makes the desktop sleeker and more polished. If you are thinking just think oh it’s just a different theme and new icons, it’s not true. Plasma 5 uses the brand new Frameworks 5 and Qt5 which not only improves user-experience but also allows developers to use KDE software in a manner not possible before.

So what’s new in Plasma 5? How does it matter to a ‘KDE’ users or a Linux user in general? I have been using Plasma 5 for a couple of days in Kubuntu and Arch Linux so I have a first hand experience of it on a ‘production’ machine. I also spoke with Aaron Seigo who helped me in understanding more about this release and the direction of KDE software.

Don’t be fooled, a lot of work goes down there.

This release of Plasma also benefits from the approach of the KDE community to separate Frameworks, Applications and the Plasma desktop. What it means is that developers of each component can work on their code-base without having to worry about the one release date to ruin them all.

Nepomuk is gone, Baloo is here

To me it is extremely important to be able to search my desktop as I have a lot of stories, research material and of course multimedia files, which is scattered across 8TB storage on my system. In most cases I don’t even know which file is where so a good search is very important for me.

I am one of those users who had ‘love and hate’ relationship with KDE’s Nepomuk. It has some really great concept and ideas, but with time the code base was becoming older which would, obviously, impact the performance of a system.

That’s changing with Plasma 5 as Baloo has replaced Nepomuk as the default desktop search technology. It’s brand new code-base which is still using a lot of work that went into Nepomuk. It’s extremely fast, compared to Nepomuk, modern as well as gives much more control to a user.

Baloo configuration

Baloo one of the KDE goodies that can’t be beaten by any other desktop environment or operating systems, when it comes to control. You can access Baloo from ‘System Settings’, where it can be found as ‘Search’.

Baloo has replaced Nepomuk

When you click on it the first option is ‘Plasma Search’ (cool name). Here you can disable the ‘type’ of stuff you don’t want to be indexed. You can open your bookmarks in the browser right from the menu, without having to go to the browser.

One of the biggest gripes I have with Gnome or Unity is image search. Unlike Unity Plasma Launcher (or Krunner) doesn’t display ‘nude’ or private images stored on your machine when you search for a file name; it just shows the name of files so even if you have an extremely private image of you and your partner you won’t have to worry about it popping up on the projector during a presentation or when you are giving a demo to a client.

The Second option is ‘File Search’ which enables you to select the folders you want or don’t want to be indexed by Baloo. By default it deselects all external drives, but you can easily manage what it can or can’t’ index.

Since Baloo is a completely new code-base it is extremely fast and efficient. No more slowing down your system when indexing your files, without making any compromise on how search is conducted on your system.

Next Page – KDE, where convergence was born

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UK’s first Spaceport to be operational by 2018

Tuesday 15th of July 2014 05:47:04 PM

UK holds the title of the world’s busiest city airport system, with all airports combined in London. With that out of the way, UK now seems to be poised to jump to higher levels. Perhaps with just that ambition, UK has decided to have its first spaceport built and operational by the year 2018. The plans haven’t been formally announced, but will be announced tomorrow, Tuesday, 2014.

According to the British daily, The Guardian, UK government are already are in the possession of a list of candidate places that are suitable for the upcoming spaceport. The government will detail the eight locations on the upcoming official announcement to be made on Tuesday. Locations speculated to be chosen for the spaceport includes Bristol, Norfolk, the north of Scotland, and the Outer Hebrides.

With the construction of the spaceport, UK will enable space tourism companies like Virgin Galactic and XCOR Aerospace to launch commercial space flights from within the country. According to UK Science Minister David Willetts, the government has already worked out the new rules and regulations that would entail bringing space launches into the commercial sector, along with the various aviation checks, which are quite different for space crafts. Thus pointing to the fact that all the preliminary hurdles and technicalities have been overcome and all that now remains is to get the location finalized and get the spaceport off the drawing boards.

The shortlisted locations are being studied by government officials for their feasibility and would be detailed in the upcoming announcement. The spaceport is poised to be able to launch both manned missions and commercial satellites. UK hopes to have companies like XCOR Aerospace and Virgin Galactic to be the commercial contractors of its spaceport.

Commercial space tourism is on the rise, ever since Virgin Galactic kicked off the trend. In fact Richard Branson, the Virgin Galactic founder is all ready to start launching regular space flights from a base in New Mexico starting this year itself. The endeavor is also poised to be profitable for UK’s government too. Their current space sector is valued at over £11 billion with UK planning to increase it to over £40 billion. In that spirit, the time seems to be as good as any!

Source: The Verge

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Apple says they are not spying on Chinese

Tuesday 15th of July 2014 01:57:53 PM

With great fame come great responsibilities! No, I’m not quoting Spiderman (mainly because it isn’t from Spiderman), but rather I’m pointing at the condition of Apple. The latest accusations that knocked on Apple’s door now comes from China, who is accusing Apple of using its product’s location monitoring capabilities to spy on the country and her internal workings. Apple however has refuted the claims in a recent statement put up on their Chinese website.

The feature of the iOS 7 that set off the Chinese alarm bells is called Frequent Locations. And like the name suggests, it is a feature, through which the iOS keeps a tab of the locations the users frequent using a combination of GPS, WiFi and cell tower triangulation. According to the Chinese state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV), who also quotes researchers that have looked into this “security threat”, this kind of information can eventually lead to threats to national security and even leaking of “state secrets”.

Apple was quick to respond to the accusations, citing that their devices never transmit any unique identifier while using the features. The feature is an assistive technology that is there to help the user to get their regular tasks done faster and without any hassles. The feature can be easily turned off via the privacy settings.

Apple has never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services. We have also never allowed access to our servers. And we never will. It’s something we feel very strongly about.

In addition, the tech giant also adds that the location data and map data that iOS uses to compute the locations are mostly stored locally on the devices cache, which is encrypted using the user’s passcode. iOS doesn’t transmit any location related data to the Apple servers and thus there is no way that Apple can track the users of their products. The only data that is not stored on the device is a crowd sourced database of public WiFi access points and cell towers. This database is used in order to speed up the location calculation instead of relying solely on GPS which would require a larger amount of time. Apple ensures that while accessing the database, however, there are no unique identifiers transmitted that can actually link the device to any individuals.

According to the statement, Apple emphasizes that they feel strongly about user security and have never or will never work with third party agencies to allow spying or access to their databases.

Source: Mashable

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Dropbox releases version 2.11.0 for Linux client

Tuesday 15th of July 2014 01:54:34 PM

Here’s some good news for Linux users of Dropbox. Dropbox, the popular file hosting servicem, has rolled out an all new development release of the Dropbox 2.11.0 for Linux client. Along with it come a renewed user interface and a number of changes, bugfixes and enhancements.

According to the release notes, Dropbox 2.11.0 comes with a totally revamped user interface (UI) for its Linux and Windows versions. Not only that, it also has file identifiers and a brand-new headless setup flow, especially for the Linux edition.

Users of the new Dropbox 2.11.0 will witness quicker upload times when dealing with small files. The new update also includes an updated splash screens and Finder icon overlays.

Those interested can download Dropbox 2.11.0 for Linux, Dropbox 2.11.0 for Windows and Dropbox 2.11.0 for Mac OS X from this page. However, you should consider that this is an unstable version and should not be tested on production machines, for the fear of unforeseen bugs.

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