Linked by David Adams on Wed 29th Oct 2014 16:27 UTC, submitted by Alfman
General Development Asm.js deserves closer inspection for two reasons. First, it's the one "native browser VM" that doesn't massively reinvent wheels. Second, it's the only time a browser vendor's "next-gen JS" attempts have actually gotten everybody else to pay attention. But what are we transitioning into exactly?

 

Linked by David Adams on Wed 29th Oct 2014 16:26 UTC, submitted by XxXxX
Privacy, Security, Encryption A critical flaw in the open-source Wget application that is widely used on Linux and Unix systems for retrieving files has been patched quietly. A Metasploit module is available for testing. The disclosure is here. Red Hat's bug report is here.

 



Linked by David Adams on Wed 29th Oct 2014 16:19 UTC, submitted by Adurbe
Internet & Networking Ars tells us The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the industry group that oversees the development of the specs used on the Web, today announced that the fifth major version of the hypertext markup language specification, HTML5, was today given Recommendation status, W3C's terminology for a final, complete spec.

 

Linked by David Adams on Tue 28th Oct 2014 20:59 UTC
Google Cnet interviews Google Senior Vice President Sundar Pichai, who's in charge of both Android and Chrome OS, and asks whether the two Google OSes will work more closely together or eventually merge. Merger is apparently not on the roadmap. The interview covers operational housekeeping among the Google OS teams, seriously moving into the "phablet" space, anti-theft mechanisms for mobiles,

 

Linked by David Adams on Tue 28th Oct 2014 20:51 UTC
Mac OS X Macworld UK has the details on minor interface and usability tweaks that are new or expanded in OSX Yosemite. Did you know that RSS support in Safari is back? That you could see an overview of all images that a chat partner has sent? That you can un-flattify the UI somewhat? Or that the super-useful document annotation features in Preview are now even better? Now you do.

 

Linked by David Adams on Tue 28th Oct 2014 20:44 UTC
Mac OS X I guess today's the day that people finally got around to trying to make Handoff work, because both Time and Gizmodo published short articles outlining the finicky steps it takes to get your Mac and iOS device to recognize each other. The key step seems to be to log off and back on to iCloud in both devices, because as with everything dealing with iCloud, it's a bit of a crap shoot. But when it does work, it's pretty nifty. The best part of the read was one of the comments on the Gizmodo with a classic quote from Anchorman: "60% of the time, it works every time."

 

Linked by David Adams on Tue 28th Oct 2014 07:00 UTC
Mozilla & Gecko clones Mozilla is hoping its Firefox OS can capture the interest of developers building media players and robotics with Raspberry Pi boards.

 

Linked by David Adams on Tue 28th Oct 2014 06:48 UTC
Android In just a few weeks, Google will be pushing out one of its largest Android releases ever: Android 5.0, Lollipop. The update changes nearly every aspect of the OS - a new design for every app, a new runtime, lots of new features, and a focus on battery life. The company is also launching a pair of new Nexus flagships, the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 aiming for a more premium market, and the first Android TV device, the Nexus Player. Together with the release of Google Inbox and a new Wear update, we're in the middle of a very busy few weeks.

 

Linked by David Adams on Tue 28th Oct 2014 06:45 UTC
Mac OS X Anandtech published a detailed look into OSX 10.10 and iOS 8.1 and how they interoperate. Online ad network Chitika compares Yosemite post-release adoption to Mavericks and Mountain Lion and finds that free upgrades matter a lot. Cult of Mac says that Yosemite's new Mail version is a memory hog. The San Jose Mercury News contrasts Apple's conservatism in gradually changing OSX and iOS with Microsoft's recent penchant for making overly bold changes then backpedaling.

 

Linked by Eugenia Loli on Tue 28th Oct 2014 04:40 UTC
Geek stuff, sci-fi... We've highlighted the dire warnings of Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk in recent months regarding the perils of artificial intelligence, but this week he actually managed to raise the bar in terms of making A.I. seem scary. More at Mashable. My take: I worked on AI 20 years ago (wow, time flies). I don't believe that we will ever create anything truly sentient. Intelligent and useful for our needs, yes. But truly sentient, no. For something to become evil, it must be sentient. Anything else, if it ever becomes problematic, it would just be software bugs, not evilness.

 

Linked by Eugenia Loli on Tue 28th Oct 2014 04:39 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Amazon just announced the Fire TV stick, a cheap streaming media dongle, which looks a lot like Google's Chromecast, and the Roku streaming stick. But there some important differences that might make each device slightly better suited to different people. More at Gizmodo.

 

Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sat 25th Oct 2014 02:05 UTC
Android Moto 360, a futuristic watch scooped up its share of praise before it'd even landed on store shelves. The now there's also the LG G Watch R, a device which tackles the smartwatch problem from a slightly different angle. Read the review here.

 

Linked by Eugenia Loli on Fri 24th Oct 2014 07:41 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Slashdot reports that Ubuntu 14.10, dubbed Utopic Unicorn, has been released today. PC World says that at first glance "isn't the most exciting update," with not so much as a new default wallpaper -- but happily so: it's a stable update in a stable series, and most users will have no pressing need to update to the newest version.

 

Linked by Eugenia Loli on Thu 23rd Oct 2014 03:59 UTC
Apple The new iPad is thinner, lighter and faster, but its biggest draw is yesterday’s features: Touch ID and a better camera, says The Guardian. Also reviews at The Verge, and Engadget.

 

Linked by Eugenia Loli on Wed 22nd Oct 2014 02:27 UTC
Google News broke this morning that Google, alongside a number of venture capital firms, led a $542 million investment in a mysterious startup named Magic Leap. The company is promising to "build a rocket ship for the mind" that will completely reinvent the way we experience the world. Founder Rony Abovitz calls his technology "cinematic reality" and says it goes way beyond what virtual or augmented reality have so far been able to accomplish. More at Engadget, and NYT.

 

Linked by Eugenia Loli on Mon 20th Oct 2014 20:07 UTC
Apple Apple’s iOS 8.1 update is now available to download. The biggest addition is the new Apple Pay service which goes live today alongside iOS 8.1. Apple Pay will allow iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 3 owners to pay for goods within compatible apps by simply swiping a finger with Touch ID. iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus owners will also be able to use their phones to tap card readers in participating stores to pay for goods using a combination of Touch ID and NFC. Apple Pay integrates into the existing Passbook feature on iOS 8.1, allowing you to setup and store credit and debit cards. More info at The Verge.

 

Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 16th Oct 2014 19:05 UTC
Mac OS X

Apple officially released OS X Yosemite today, and to mark that occasion - as has become tradition among our people - the only OS X Yosemite review you need, from John Siracusa.

OS X and iOS have been trading technologies for some time now. For example, AVFoundation, Apple's modern framework for manipulating audiovisual media, was released for iOS a year before it appeared on OS X. Going in the other direction, Core Animation, though an integral part of the entire iPhone interface, was released first on the Mac. Yosemite's new look continues the pattern; iOS got its visual refresh last year, and now it's OS X's turn.

But at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple made several announcements that point in a new direction: iOS and OS X advancing in lockstep, with new technologies that not only appear on both platforms simultaneously but also aim to weave them together.

These new, shared triumphs run the gamut from traditional frameworks and APIs to cloud services to the very foundation of Apple's software ecosystem, the programming language itself. Apple's dramatic leadership restructuring in 2012 put Federighi in charge of both iOS and OS X - a unification of thought that has now, two years later, resulted in a clear unification of action. Even the most ardent Mac fan will admit that iOS 7 was a bigger update than Mavericks. This time around, it's finally a fair fight.

Grab some tea or coffee, and enjoy.

 

Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 16th Oct 2014 18:59 UTC
Apple

Apple introduced a 5K Retina iMac today.

iMac has always been about having a huge, immersive place to see and create amazing things. So making the best possible iMac meant making the best possible display. The new 27‑inch iMac with Retina 5K display has four times as many pixels as the standard 27‑inch iMac display. So you experience unbelievable detail. On an unbelievable scale.

At a relatively mere $2500 (a dell 5K display will set you back just as much, and that's just a display), this is an amazing machine. It's not useful for me (certainly not at that price point), but professionals are going to eat this thing up.

 

Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 15th Oct 2014 17:10 UTC
Android

Time for happy news! Google has just released Android 5.0 Lollipop, and to accompany the release of their latest treat, they're also unveiling not one, but three new Nexus devices.

Let's start with Android Lollipop. Since its features have been unveiled months ago, there's little news to tell you that you don't already know. The biggest visible change is Material Design, the brand new design and behaviour language that spans all of Android's screens - from watch to car. Notifications have been significantly overhauled, and Lollipop will give you more control over what you see and when. There's also a lot of work done on battery usage, and Google promises you should get 90 minutes more battery life with the battery saver feature.

As fa as security goes, and as we touched upon recently, all new devices will come with encryption turned on by default, making it harder for third parties to see what's on your device if it get stolen or impounded. Lollipop will also be the first Android release to swap out Dalvik in favour of ART, and it brings support for 64bit.

Google will release a new Developer Preview for Android Lollipop this Friday, which, looking at its label, still isn't complete. Of course, this build is for Nexus devices only.

The Nexus devices, too, have been leaked extensively. There's the Motorola-made Nexus 6, with its huge 6" 2560x1440 display, Snapdragon 805 processor, and a 13 MP camera with OIS. It basically looks like a larger Moto X - not exactly my thing (way too large), and the price is decidedly non-Nexus too: $649. It'll be available on contract, too. Luckily, the Nexus 5 remains available as well. Pre-orders will open late October.

The second new Nexus is the Nexus 9, built by HTC. As the name suggests, it's got a 9" 2048x1536 with a 4:3 aspect ratio. The processor is interesting: NVIDIA Tegra K1 64-bit dual-core processor at 2.3 GHz, making this the first 64bit Nexus device. It's a lot cheaper than the Nexus 6 at a mere $399, and it will also be available for pre-order 17 October (in stores on 3 November).

Lastly, there's the odd one out: the Nexus Player. It's a box (well, circle) for your TV, much like the Apple TV. It's actually got an Intel Atom processor inside, making it the first x86 Nexus device. It's got all the usual TV stuff, and Google is selling a dedicated gaming controller separately. It'll also be available for pre-order on 17 October, for $99.

I can't wait to update my Nexus 5 to Lollipop, but I'm a little unsure about the Nexus 6. It's huge and expensive (in Nexus terms), and I just don't like the Motorola design (but that's moot).

 

Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 15th Oct 2014 08:50 UTC
Games

It's been another fantastic few days in the fabricated GamerGate terror campaign. This past weekend, female game developer Brianna Wu was forced to alert the police and leave her home, after receiving threats that she, her family, and possible children would face rape, mutilation, and death. Wu has vowed to not bow to the terrorist threats, and will continue to develop games.

Wu's ordeal was just the last in a long line of GamerGate terrorism, and yesterday we reached a new low.

Gaming critic Anita Sarkeesian was scheduled to hold a talk at Utah State University. However, GamerGate terrorists threatened to enact "the largest school shooting in American history" if the talk were to take place. The contents of the terrorist threat are horrific, and fit the general tone of GamerGate terrorism; threats of rape, murder, mutilation, the usual stuff, but now also with mass murder, automatic rifles, and pipe bombs.

Sadly, the GamerGate terrorists have won, because of concealed carry laws in Utah. Sarkeesian asked the police to perform pat-downs and check for firearms so she would not get murdered, but the police told her that if someone has a valid firearm permit for concealed carry, they are allowed to bring the weapons to the talk. As a result, Sarkeesian was forced to cancel the talk to ensure she and attendees would not get murdered.

And so, these people have successfully employed terrorism to stifle free speech. These GamerGate terrorist threats will continue, because sadly, there is very little that can be done to stop them. Sarkeesian - and several other women who have received terrorist threats from GamerGate supporters - have vowed to continue doing their work.

At this point, we're essentially just waiting for the first GamerGate supporter to murder someone. We like to think of terrorism as something done by outsiders, something imported from other countries or cultures. However, these GamerGate threats are just as much terrorism - we just hate calling it that because it hits too close to home.

Meanwhile, we're hearing very little - if nothing - from large game companies and distributors. These companies and distributors should, of course, take a stand against GamerGate terrorism, but they also know full well that they might lose business over it. So, they decide to shut up. Will it take an actual murder before they speak up?