It's the end of the world. Again. According to some Linux developers and security researchers, a bug in the Linux kernel has just been uncovered that makes just about every distribution utilizing kernel 2.4 and 2.6 on just about all architectures since May of 2001 vulnerable to a certain kind of attack.
"Sony has announced a new type of lithium ion rechargeable battery that combines high-power and long-life performance, using olivine-type lithium iron phosphate as the cathode material. The Olivine-type lithium iron phosphate used in this new battery is a perfect cathode material due to its robust crystal structure and stable performance, even at high temperatures. These bateries have a high power density of 1800W/kg, and extended life span of approximately 2,000 charge-discharge cycles. What’s most surprising is that the battery will keep an 80% charge retention after those 2,000 charge-discharge cycles, which is very impressive. This new battery is also able to charge rapidly (99% in 30 minutes)." These buckoes will debut in power tools originally, but they'll eventually cross over to be smiling up at you from your cell phone, lappy, and other consumer electronics.
"What's better than 2-bits per cell? 3 bits of course. IM Flash Technologies, a joint venture between Intel and Micron, has announced that they have developed a 3-bit-per-cell NAND device that Micron will begin producing for commercial consumption this fall. The technology, dubbed 3bpc (tricky acronym for 3-bits-per-cell), stores more bits per cell than current technology and allows the development of higher density flash memory so it can store more data in less space."
No, the corporate logo and Windows logo are both staying the same, but a trademark application has been unearthed describing Microsoft's new logo that will brand its upcoming retail stores, two of which have already been announced. In simplified terms, the new logo seems to be a block representation, of the Windows logo we have all come to know and love. Sort of what you'd expect your seven years old child to build out of construction paper. As a glimpse into what the Microsoft Store will be selling, the official document also states that the logo will brand "retail store services and online retail services featuring computers, computer hardware, software, computer games, computer peripherals, portable music players and accessories, personal digital assistants, cell phones and accessories, video game consoles and accessories, webcams, books, clothing, back packs, messenger bags, computer bags and novelty items." What about toasters?
Hot off the compilation press, Arch Linux comes to its full 2009.08 grandeur with a myriad of new and updated features, including exciting new additions to be utilized in the AIF (Arch Linux Installation Framework) and more, detailed within.
RadioShack will be taking a leaf out of Microsoft's book (remember that Bing thing?) by renaming itself to simply "The Shack" in the hopes that it will reach out to consumers to help them understand that the store isn't just a nuts-and-bolts (batteries-and-parts, anyone?) place for the electronic era. They want people to know that they're competing with those larger retail stores in selling computers, LCD televisions, and more, and I suppose they think "The Shack" will cause droves of people to suddenly forsake BestBuy and Wal-Mart's offerings of the common consumer electronics. In a way I couldn't rewrite better, a RadioShack veteran customer writes his feelings on the subject at hand and stresses that "you can change your look, even your name, but you are still just what you are--and people notice."
"Linux: If a lack of third-party plug-in support (i.e. Flash) kept you from trying out Chrome on your Linux system, then avoid no longer. The 'early developer version' now supports many plug-ins, and they seem to work pretty well. You'll need to add --enable-plugins to your Chrome shortcut's command line operation to get the 'buggy' plug-in support, but it seems worth the hassle, as YouTube videos are playing relatively stable and smooth. Google's updated their alpha-level Chrome builds to include the newest start page tweaks as well, and it's generally a browser worth checking out, even if a few standard settings and convenience items are still missing."
It's obvious that physical album sales would decline ever since the rise of iTunes and other online music stores, and who wants to buy an entire album of filler songs online when you can purchase the three or four songs from the album that you want? Apple and its associated record companies have noticed the large decline in online sales of entire albums, which have higher profit than individual tracks, so they're working on a new perk to spark people's interest in buying albums again. What's more is that these doubtful rumors that have been going around about Apple's tablet actually seem to have some truth to them.
Following the Cupcake branch, the Android team is baking something new and deliciously named. The Donut branch will be developing many new features in order to compete with rival phones and OSs like the iPhone, BlackBerry, Symbian, and webOS. Despite what many others have said, Donut is not going to be Android 2.0, but much of the development going on in that branch will end up being rolled out in the next firmware update. The development from Donut will bring Android a slew of new features, among which are CMDA network compatibility (for Sprint Nextel and Verizon Wireless networks, purportedly), integrated universal search similar to that of iPhone 3.0's Spotlight, more text-to-speech, "automatic backup, and a home-screen widget to let users easily toggle functions like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth." Following the pastry theme, we may expect to see the next two Android branches to be named "Eclair" and "Flan." The only thing I'm wondering is if Android will evolve to a point beyond personal pastries where we'll begin to see "Lasagna," "Orange Chicken," and "Carl's Junior's Famous Star." I'll buy an Android phone just to get those updates that will remind me just how beautiful the world is.
Adobe Flash. It's everywhere. Not all of us want it, but many are forced into submission simply because it's weaseled its way into a myriad of applied and common uses. This just makes all the worse the news that a vulnerability in Adobe Flash, Reader, and Acrobat applications is allowing malcontents to exploit computers with these products installed.
We've been buying Wireless N draft devices for two years now, and some of us were holding our breaths to see if we'd have to replace that N hardware sooner than expected. Your uber-fast wireless hardware, if you even utilize its speed, is safe. The Wi-Fi Alliance said that the final standard of 802.11n will essentially remain the same with only a few minor additions; most if not all Draft 2.0 hardware will still function properly with final-version hardware. What's more is that the Wi-Fi Alliance also said that the final version of 802.11n will be effective in September and products will start testing the complete version later in the month.
In a recent speech Bill Gates gave to a group of government officials and tech specialists in New Delhi, he criticized US privacy and immigration laws, spoke of his outlook on future technologies, and explained why he got rid of his Facebook page. His criticisms of the US laws took the pretense that health care providers and doctors not being able to share medical information of an individual to other institutions was a stumbling block and that exceptions in strict immigration ought to be made for "smart people" to live and work in high-paying jobs in the US. Gates also mentioned his views of a future with cell phones recognizing people around them or testing for diseases and an Internet being utilized for a broader use than simply web pages and the like. He mentioned that he once had a Facebook page and that it became too much of a time-waster having to sort through ten thousand friend requests periodically.
The iPhone's success with multitouch has been phenomenal, and not without good reason. Multitouch is a valuable asset to a friendly interface, a feature-rich environment, and to a myriad of apps that take advantage of that feature. Now Synaptics has unveiled the workings of touchscreens that are capable of registering up to ten touches at any given time. This will give "multitouch" an entire new level of complexity; entirely new apps, games, and system features will be able to take advantage of having up to ten touches at once, though on I think anything beyond five or maybe six touches is pushing humans' abilities to touch a screen and hold the device with the same hand. These beauties' sensors can be built in sizes up to eight inches, meaning that it can be implemented in phones and MIDs and even the smallest of netbooks. Synaptics has said to keep an eye out for these buggers in 2010-- not to far from now.
Google announced their O3D plugin for Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms a few months ago, and that was all very well and exciting; this will enable advanced 3D effects to be performed directly in the browser. These new 3D standards on the web will be a very exciting new step in technology. Lately, though, Google has also announced that O3D will eventually be integrated into Chrome. In the words of Greg Spencer, a programmer from Google, "The O3D team is working on getting O3D integrated into the Chromium build, and we're close to being able to complete our first step towards integration. I'll be making the Windows build of Chromium be dependent upon building O3D as part of the build process."
In honor of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, that adorable book some of you (or some of your kids) may be familiar with, we now have the If You Give Microsoft Toaster Tech episode. This isn't official Microsoft swag, but someone with spare time on his hands and a knack for tinkering designed this brave little toaster that brands bread with the Windows logo. Of course, I wouldn't buy one of these unless I had the Windows 7 upgrade coupon. This brings to mind: if Apple were to create a toaster, would you have to buy premium Apple bread for it to work? And would there be Psystar and Quo toasters for cheaper? How about a Linux toaster? Fill up the comments below with your wonderfully creative toaster/tech analogies. You could even bleed over into other kitchen appliances (an Ubuntu fridge, for instance, would be nearly good enough for anyone, but you'd have tinker and hack a bit before your ice would come out cubed).
Blackberry phones in the United Arab Emirates recently received a text from Etisalat, a major provider in the UAE, prompting for users to download and install an update to enhance performance. It was an ill radio wave that brought that text to phones because it turns out that the "update" downloaded was really software designed to collect received messages and send them back to a central server: essentially spyware.
In a world where applications are everything, it's nice to see new ways of obtaining said applications. When they're free, open source, and quality, that just tops the ice cream with your favorite chocolate or caramel sauce. Allmyapps.com, a fairly new alternative online catalog launched earlier this month providing simple installation of a growing variety of apps on Ubuntu. It was designed with new and unknowledgable users in mind so as to provide an easier way to find and install applications. Allmyapps has been collaborating with Intel to create a new app store for the forthcoming Moblin platform as Moblin had none beforehand, and what they've got brewing looks pretty promising. The Moblin app store will be debuted in September.
"When Red Hat had its IPO in 1999, many saw it as the real coming of age of Linux. While there is little doubt that IPO was a big event for Red Hat and Linux, perhaps an even more important one from a milestone point of view will officially occur this Friday. As of Friday, July 24, Red Hat will join the S&P 500 index."
It all started with some free lunch four years ago, and then it morphed into a free patch. Along came Moonlight and some other developments, and now Microsoft has donated 20,000 lines of driver code to be included in the Linux tree. Yes-- Microsoft contributed drivers to the Linux community.
The news has been abuzz about Google's upcoming OS. Many people have been arguing reasons for and against the system, its viability in such a market, and, if the OS is successful, even the morality of the company who may be trusted with even more private information than it already has. Well, here's another reason for Chrome OS: it could bring more jobs in the area of Linux IT.