16 Sep 2014

feedSlashdot

Apple Edits iPhone 6's Protruding Camera Out of Official Photos

Sockatume writes: If you've been browsing Apple's site leading up to the iPhone 6 launch, you might've noticed something a little odd. Apple has edited the handset's protruding camera out of every single side-on view of the phone. (The camera is, necessarily, retained for images showing the back of the device.) The absence is particularly conspicuous given the number of side views Apple uses to emphasize the device's thinness.

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16 Sep 2014 7:10pm GMT

feedLifehacker

Protect Your ATM PIN or Lock Combo from Thieves with This Quick Trick

There's a new way for thieves to steal your ATM PIN code or find out which numbers you pressed on many keypads (like number door locks): All they need is an iPhone case that shows infrared. You can prevent it with a simple trick, though.

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16 Sep 2014 7:00pm GMT

feedArs Technica

Watch out, California’s self-driving car permits take effect today

State DMV has approved three permits to firms for 29 robot cars; more are coming.

16 Sep 2014 6:32pm GMT

feedLifehacker

What's Your Favorite Mechanical Keyboard Switch?

What's Your Favorite Mechanical Keyboard Switch?

We talk a lot about mechanical keyboards around here, and with good reason. They're the kind of life/work upgrade you never look back from , and a joy to type and game on. Today we want to know what your favorite mechanical switch is, and why.

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16 Sep 2014 6:30pm GMT

feedSlashdot

New Global Plan Would Crack Down On Corporate Tax Avoidance

HughPickens.com writes: Reuters reports that plans for a major rewriting of international tax rules have been unveiled by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that could eliminate structures that have allowed companies like Google and Amazon to shave billions of dollars off their tax bills. For more than 50 years, the OECD's work on international taxation has been focused on ensuring companies are not taxed twice on the same profits (and thereby hampering trade and limit global growth). But companies have been using such treaties to ensure profits are not taxed anywhere. A Reuters investigation last year found that three quarters of the 50 biggest U.S. technology companies channeled revenues from European sales into low tax jurisdictions like Ireland and Switzerland, rather than reporting them nationally. For example, search giant Google takes advantage of tax treaties to channel more than $8 billion in untaxed profits out of Europe and Asia each year and into a subsidiary that is tax resident in Bermuda, which has no income tax. "We are putting an end to double non-taxation," says OECD head of tax Pascal Saint-Amans.For the recommendations to actually become binding, countries will have to encode them in their domestic laws or amend their bilateral tax treaties. Even if they do pass, these changes are likely 5-10 years away from going into effect. Speaking of international corporate business: U.K. mainframe company Micro Focus announced it will buy Attachmate, which includes Novell and SUSE.

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16 Sep 2014 6:28pm GMT

feedLifehacker

How to Get Rid of the U2 Album Apple Added to Your Library

How to Get Rid of the U2 Album Apple Added to Your Library

Apple has released free copies of U2's "Songs of Innocence" album to everyone's iTunes accounts. But for those of us who don't want it, they've now given us a way to take it off.

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16 Sep 2014 6:00pm GMT

feedSlashdot

Developing the First Law of Robotics

wabrandsma sends this article from New Scientist: In an experiment, Alan Winfield and his colleagues programmed a robot to prevent other automatons - acting as proxies for humans - from falling into a hole. This is a simplified version of Isaac Asimov's fictional First Law of Robotics - a robot must not allow a human being to come to harm. At first, the robot was successful in its task. As a human proxy moved towards the hole, the robot rushed in to push it out of the path of danger. But when the team added a second human proxy rolling toward the hole at the same time, the robot was forced to choose. Sometimes, it managed to save one human while letting the other perish; a few times it even managed to save both. But in 14 out of 33 trials, the robot wasted so much time fretting over its decision that both humans fell into the hole. Winfield describes his robot as an "ethical zombie" that has no choice but to behave as it does. Though it may save others according to a programmed code of conduct, it doesn't understand the reasoning behind its actions.

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16 Sep 2014 5:48pm GMT

feedArs Technica

Tuesday Dealmaster has a just-released Lenovo gaming computer for $300 off

The Lenovo Erazer X315 can be yours for just $649.99

16 Sep 2014 5:00pm GMT

Tesla wins right to sell directly to consumers in Massachusetts

Supreme Judicial Court finds dealers had no standing in effort to halt sales.

16 Sep 2014 4:28pm GMT

feedThe Register - Software: Operating Systems

'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux

Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids

New videos of a "Windows 9" variant have emerged, and to this hack's eyes they look to have brought Windows up to speed with tricks that various desktop flavours of Unix have had for a decade or more.…

16 Sep 2014 7:32am GMT

15 Sep 2014

feedOSNews

Apple releases U2 album removal tool

Apple has released a tool to remove U2's new album from its customers' iTunes accounts six days after giving away the music for free. Some users had complained about the fact that Songs of Innocence had automatically been downloaded to their devices without their permission. It had not been immediately obvious to many of the account holders how to delete the tracks. The US tech firm now offers a one-click removal button. Great headline. Great story. Great everything. This is just great.

15 Sep 2014 6:02pm GMT

Microsoft acquires Mojang for $2.5 billion

Update: In Notch' own words (Pastebin version because his site is being hammered): I'm aware this goes against a lot of what I've said in public. I have no good response to that. I'm also aware a lot of you were using me as a symbol of some perceived struggle. I’m not. I’m a person, and I'm right there struggling with you. I love you. All of you. Thank you for turning Minecraft into what it has become, but there are too many of you, and I can't be responsible for something this big. In one sense, it belongs to Microsoft now. In a much bigger sense, it's belonged to all of you for a long time, and that will never change. It’s not about the money. It's about my sanity. His honesty and openness is very welcome. I bought Minecraft way back in the alpha days (September 29, 2010, to be exact), and I haven't ever regretted it one bit. Thank you for Minecraft, Markus. It's official. Microsoft has acquired Mojang, and thus, Minecraft. From Mojang's announcement: Minecraft has grown from a simple game to a project of monumental significance. Though we're massively proud of what Minecraft has become, it was never Notch’s intention for it to get this big. As you might already know, Notch is the creator of Minecraft and the majority shareholder at Mojang. He's decided that he doesn't want the responsibility of owning a company of such global significance. Over the past few years he's made attempts to work on smaller projects, but the pressure of owning Minecraft became too much for him to handle. The only option was to sell Mojang. He'll continue to do cool stuff though. Don't worry about that. While I'm not particularly happy about Minecraft going to Microsoft - of all places - I fully understand Notch' reasoning. Even my own little one-man translation company is a huge amount of effort to run, both in actual working hours (translating) and all the stuff that comes with owning a company (the administrative and office crap nobody likes to do). I can only imagine that is must be a thousand times more difficult to run a company as successful as Mojang, and I can understand him wanting to get rid of it, get a huge pile of money, and use it do new stuff, free from pressure. So, thank you for Minecraft, Notch, and you and your colleagues deserve this massive break. Congratulations! So, what about Minecraft's future? From Microsoft's announcement: Minecraft fans are loyal, with nearly 90 percent of paid customers on the PC having signed in within the past 12 months. That sentence. That sentence, Microsoft. That sentence tells me all I need to know. If you've paid any attention to the negative developments in gaming over the recent years, that sentence should send chills down your spine.

15 Sep 2014 1:16pm GMT

12 Sep 2014

feedOSNews

Windows 9's new Start menu demonstrated on video

Microsoft may have demonstrated its new Start menu earlier this year, but thanks to a recent "Windows 9" leak we're now seeing every single part of the company’s plans for bringing back this popular feature. German site WinFuture has posted a two-minute video that demonstrates how the Start menu works in the next major release of Windows. As you'd expect, it's very similar to what Microsoft demonstrated with traditional apps mixing with modern apps (and their Live Tiles) into a familiar Start menu. It boggles my mind why Microsoft doesn't just remove Metro from the desktop altogether. Is there anyone who wants to run those comically large touch-optimised applications in windows on their desktop? Why not restrict Metro to where it belongs, i.e., mobile? Why all this extra work? It just doesn't seem to make any sense.

12 Sep 2014 10:06pm GMT

11 Sep 2014

feedThe Register - Software: Operating Systems

Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps

Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech

To help bridge the gap between its two mobile platforms, Google has released a beta version of a technology that allows Chrome OS users to run Android apps on their desktops.…

11 Sep 2014 7:07pm GMT

10 Sep 2014

feedThe Register - Software: Operating Systems

Ex Red Hat CTO installs self as Google Cloud boss

12 years and all I got was this lousy 25-word 'goodbye'?

Red Hat's former technology chief Brian Stevens has floated over to Google to run its cloud operations.…

10 Sep 2014 11:38am GMT

08 Sep 2014

feedPlanet Arch Linux

Influx-cli: a commandline interface to Influxdb.

Time for another side project: influx-cli, a commandline interface to influxdb.
Nothing groundbreaking, and it behaves pretty much as you would expect if you've ever used the mysql, pgsql, vsql, etc tools before.
But I did want to highlight a few interesting features.


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08 Sep 2014 12:36pm GMT

06 Sep 2014

feedPlanet Arch Linux

The September 2014 TalkingArch iso is online

The TalkingArch team is very happy to announce the availability of the newest TalkingArch iso, which sports the latest 3.16.1 Linux kernel. It can be dounloaded from the usual place. This release also brings with it a new BitTorrent tracker, as the public trackers we were using all stopped working for some reason. It took [...]

06 Sep 2014 1:42am GMT

05 Sep 2014

feedPlanet Arch Linux

Simple Reminders

Due to a rather embarrassing episode in #archlinux a couple of weeks ago, where I naively shared one of the first bash scripts I had written without first looking back over it1, and had to subsequently endure what felt like the ritual code mocking, but was in fact some helpful pointers as to how I could make the script suck less (a lot less) I have been going through those older scripts and applying the little knowledge that I have picked up in the interim; reappraising the usefulness of the scripts as I go.

One that has proved to be of some utility for many years now is a simple wrapper script I wrote to help manage my finances. Like many useful scripts, it was written quickly and has been in constant use ever since; becoming almost transparent it is so ingrained in my workflow.

The script allows me to manage the lag between when a company emails me an invoice and when the payment is actually due. I find that companies will typically email their invoices to me some weeks in advance, whereupon I will make a mental note and then, unsurprisingly, promptly forget all about it, thereby opening myself up for penalties for late payment. It didn't take me long (well, in my defence, a lot less time than it took for invoices to become digital) to realise that there was a better way™ - a script.

The at command is purpose built for running aperiodic commands at a later time (whereas cron is for periodic tasks). So, using at(1), once I receive an invoice, I can set a reminder closer to the final payment window, thereby avoiding both the late payment penalty-and the loss of interest were I to pay it on receipt. I just needed a script to make it painless to achieve.

The main function of the script is pretty self-explanatory:

todo
aread() {
  read -p "Time of message? [HH:MM] " attime
  read -p "Date of message? [DD.MM.YY] " atdate
  read -p "Message body? " message</p>

<p>  timexp='<sup>[0-9]{2}:[0-9]{2}'</sup>
  datexp='<sup>[0-9]{2}.[0-9]{2}.[0-9]{2}'</sup></p>

<p>  if [[ $attime =~ $timexp &amp;&amp; $atdate =~ $datexp ]]; then</p>

<pre><code> at "$attime" "$atdate" &lt;&lt; EOF
 printf '%s\n' "$message" | mutt -s "REMINDER" jasonwryan@gmail.com
</code></pre>

<p>EOF
  else</p>

<pre><code> printf '%s\n' "Incorrectly formatted values, bailing..." &amp;&amp; exit 1
</code></pre>

<p>  fi<br/>
}

Now, an invoice arrives, I open it and fire up a scratchpad, and follow the prompts. A couple of weeks later, the reminder email arrives and I login to my bank account and dispatch payment. You could, of course, have the script trigger some other form of notification, but an email works well for me.

The rest of the script is similarly basic; just some options for listing and reading any queued jobs and some more rudimentary checking. The full script is in my bitbucket repo2.

Update 7/09/14

Not more than a couple of hours after posting this, Florian Pritz pinged me in #archlinux with some great suggestions for improving the script. I particularly liked relying on date(1) handling the input format for the time and date values. He also suggested a readline wrapper called (appropriately enough) rlwrap and a tmpfile to better manage input validation. You can see his full diff of changes. In the end, I adopted the date suggestion but passed on rlwrap. Thanks for the great pointers, Florian.

Notes

  1. In the interests of full disclosure, the most egregious line was myterm=$(echo $TERM) which I would hope I copied blindly from somewhere else, but accept full responsibility for nonetheless.
  2. Don't poke around too much in there, I still have quite a lot of cleaning up to do…

Creative Commons image by Adelle and Justin on Flickr.

05 Sep 2014 10:59pm GMT

09 Nov 2011

feedIGN PC

2 Million Leave World of Warcraft

In the last year the number of World of Warcraft subscribers has fallen in the from 12 million to 10.3 million...

09 Nov 2011 11:55am GMT

AC: Revelations First-Person Missions

Assassin's Creed: Revelations will have first-person missions...

09 Nov 2011 10:58am GMT

feedPlanet Security

Zone-H: http://gkppondokmelati.org

http://gkppondokmelati.org defaced by Arakloverz

09 Nov 2011 7:01am GMT

Zone-H: http://www.gentapublishing.com

http://www.gentapublishing.com defaced by Arakloverz

09 Nov 2011 6:42am GMT

Zone-H: http://gagap.net

http://gagap.net defaced by Arakloverz

09 Nov 2011 6:42am GMT

feedIGN PC

An Experience Loophole in Battlefield 3

Via YouTube user DarkSydeGeoff, we came across a Battlefield 3 exploit that allows friends to boost enormous amounts of experience in hardcore matches...

09 Nov 2011 1:43am GMT