23 Nov 2014

feedSlashdot

Judge Unseals 500+ Stingray Records

An anonymous reader sends this excerpt from Ars Technica: A judge in Charlotte, North Carolina, has unsealed a set of 529 court documents in hundreds of criminal cases detailing the use of a stingray, or cell-site simulator, by local police. This move, which took place earlier this week, marks a rare example of a court opening up a vast trove of applications made by police to a judge, who authorized each use of the powerful and potentially invasive device According to the Charlotte Observer, the records seem to suggest that judges likely did not fully understand what they were authorizing. Law enforcement agencies nationwide have taken extraordinary steps to preserve stingray secrecy. As recently as this week, prosecutors in a Baltimore robbery case dropped key evidence that stemmed from stingray use rather than fully disclose how the device was used.

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23 Nov 2014 4:03am GMT

feedArs Technica

New battery composed of lots of nanobatteries

Its batteries all the way down, until you get to the nanotubes.

23 Nov 2014 1:05am GMT

feedLifehacker

This Week's Top Downloads

This Week's Top Downloads

Every week, we share a number of downloads for all platforms to help you get things done. Here were the top downloads from this week.

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23 Nov 2014 1:00am GMT

feedSlashdot

Samsung Seeking To Block Nvidia Chips From US Market

An anonymous reader writes: Bloomberg reports that Samsung has filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission asking them to block the import of Nvidia's graphics chips . This is part of Samsung's retaliation for a similar claim filed by Nvidia against Samsung and Qualcomm back in September. Both companies are wielding patents pertaining to the improved operation of graphics chips in cell phones and other mobile devices.

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23 Nov 2014 12:05am GMT

feedLifehacker

Have Kids Find the “Bargain Price” to Teach Them About Money

Have Kids Find the “Bargain Price” to Teach Them About Money

When kids want you to buy something, they don't always learn the value of money. It's your money, not theirs. Agree to pay the lowest price you can find for an item they want.

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23 Nov 2014 12:00am GMT

22 Nov 2014

feedSlashdot

Doubling Saturated Fat In Diet Does Not Increase It In Blood

An anonymous reader writes: A new study by researchers at Ohio State University found that dramatically increasing the amount of saturated fat in a person's diet did not increase the amount of saturated fat found in their blood. Professor Jeff Volek, the study's senior author, said it "challenges the conventional wisdom that has demonized saturated fat and extends our knowledge of why dietary saturated fat doesn't correlate with disease." The study also showed that increasing carbohydrates in the diet led to an increase in a particular fatty acid previous studies have linked to heart disease. Volek continued, "People believe 'you are what you eat,' but in reality, you are what you save from what you eat. The point is you don't necessarily save the saturated fat that you eat. And the primary regulator of what you save in terms of fat is the carbohydrate in your diet. Since more than half of Americans show some signs of carb intolerance, it makes more sense to focus on carb restriction than fat restriction."

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22 Nov 2014 11:44pm GMT

feedLifehacker

Change to a Better Airline Seat by Asking the Day of a Flight

Change to a Better Airline Seat by Asking the Day of a Flight

Most of us don't like the middle seat on a plane. We're crammed between two people. If those seats are all that is available on the flight, you aren't always stuck. Check in with the airlines right before the flight for a possible seat change.

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22 Nov 2014 11:00pm GMT

feedArs Technica

Why is polling accepted in Web development?

For real-time communication, polling works.

22 Nov 2014 8:30pm GMT

Why Windows 10 isn’t version 6 any more and why it will probably work

Windows 7 wasn't version 7.0, and Windows 8 wasn't version 8.0. Windows 10 is 10.0.

22 Nov 2014 7:05pm GMT

feedOSNews

NetBSD launches stability updates

The NetBSD project has announced two important stability updates for its highly portable operating system. The NetBSD Project is pleased to announce NetBSD 5.1.5, the fifth security/bugfix update of the NetBSD 5.1 release branch, and NetBSD 5.2.3, the third security/bugfix update of the NetBSD 5.2 release branch. They represent a selected subset of fixes deemed important for security or stability reasons, and if you are running a prior release of either branch, we strongly suggest that you update to one of these releases. Details on the two updated branches of NetBSD can be found in the release notes for NetBSD 5.1.5 and NetBSD 5.2.3.

22 Nov 2014 10:18am GMT

Quartz OS aims to bring Material Design to the desktop

Quantum OS aims to build a new operating system based on Linux, with a user interface built on Qt and designed according to Google's Material Design guidelines. We plan to develop the desktop shell and applications primarily using Qt 5 and QML, which will allow us to build highly polished and dynamic user interfaces and will work well for implementing Material Design. If possible, we will build the desktop shell in as much QML as possible built on top of the QtCompositor API, which provides a Qt framework for building a Wayland compositor. As for the base system, they're still not sure if they're going for Ubuntu or Arch. We plan to initially leverage an existing operating system, most likely Arch or Ubuntu. Arch is a strong possibility because of the simple packaging manager, lightweight base system, and the rolling release concept. Our goal is to base our work on the latest upstream versions available, with no patches or modifications, so our work will run on any base Linux distro that supports Wayland.

22 Nov 2014 10:17am GMT

feedThe Register - Software: Operating Systems

Leaked screenshots show next Windows kernel to be a perfect 10

Not since Vista has this happened

Microsoft surprised us by upping its Windows product numbering from 8.1 straight to 10, and now it appears it's planning to make an even greater leap in the version numbering of the Windows kernel itself.…

22 Nov 2014 3:09am GMT

21 Nov 2014

feedThe Register - Software: Operating Systems

First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you

Black Screen of Death plagues early Google-mobe batch

Motorola has issued a recall for an early batch of its hotly anticipated new Nexus 6 smartphones that were sold through US mobile carrier AT&T, owing to a software glitch that can reportedly causes the devices to boot to a black screen.…

21 Nov 2014 10:46pm GMT

feedOSNews

Adobe's got Photoshop running in Chrome

Using Photoshop usually requires lugging a typically cumbersome, expensive computer around, and changing that experience has been the dream of many creatives for years. As we found out back in September, it's a problem that Adobe has been actively working with Google to solve. The two companies have been working together for almost two years to bring Photoshop to the browser, and they finally have a working version called Photoshop Streaming that they're letting educational institutions apply to test over the next six months. Yesterday, I got a look at it in action when Adobe's director of engineering, Kirk Gould, remotely ran me through a brief demo of the program.

21 Nov 2014 6:22pm GMT

feedThe Register - Software: Operating Systems

Roll up, roll up, Microsoft's rolled up dozens of OS fixes

Linux VMs over 2TB now possible and Cloud Platform gets a scaled-up cleanup

Microsoft's just released its November rollup of product fixes to address issues that go back to April 2014.…

21 Nov 2014 1:59am GMT

24 Oct 2014

feedPlanet Arch Linux

Pruning Tarsnap Archives

I started using Tarsnap about three years ago and I have been nothing but impressed with it since. It is simple to use, extremely cost effective and, more than once, it has saved me from myself; making it easy to retrieve copies of files that I have inadvertently overwritten or otherwise done stupid things with1. When I first posted about it, I included a simple wrapper script, which has held up pretty well over that time.

What became apparent over the last couple of months, as I began to consciously make more regular backups, was that pruning the archives was a relatively tedious business. Given that Tarsnap de-duplicates data, there isn't much mileage in keeping around older archives because, if you do have to retrieve a file, you don't want to have to search through a large number of archives to find it; so there is a balance between making use of Tarsnap's efficient functionality, and not creating a rod for your back if your use case is occasionally retrieving single-or small groups of-files, rather than large dumps.

I have settled on keeping five to seven archives, depending on the frequency of my backups, which is somewhere around two to three times a week. Pruning these archives was becoming tedious, so I wrote a simple script to make it less onerous. Essentially, it writes a list of all the archives to a tmpfile, runs sort(1) to order them from oldest to newest, and then deletes the oldest minus whatever the number to keep is set to.

The bulk of the code is simple enough:

snapclean
</p>

<h1>generate list</h1>

<p>tarsnap --list-archives > "$tmpfile"</p>

<h1>sort by descending date, format is: host-ddmmyy_hh:mm</h1>

<p>{
  rm "$tmpfile" &amp;&amp; sort -k 1.11,1.10 -k 1.8,1.9 -k 1.7,1.6 > "$tmpfile"
} &lt; "$tmpfile"</p>

<h1>populate the list</h1>

<p>mapfile -t archives &lt; "$tmpfile"</p>

<h1>print the full list</h1>

<p>printf "%s\n%s\n" "${cyn}Current archives${end}:" "${archives[@]#*-}"</p>

<h1>identify oldest archives</h1>

<p>remove=$(( ${#archives[@]} - keep ))
targets=( $(head -n "$remove" "$tmpfile") )</p>

<h1>if there is at least one to remove</h1>

<p>if (( ${#targets[@]} >= 1 )); then
  printf "%s\n" "${red}Archives to delete${end}:"
  printf "%s\n" "${targets[@]#*-}"</p>

<p>  read -p "Proceed with deletion? [${red}Y${end}/N] " YN</p>

<p>  if [[ $YN == Y ]]; then</p>

<pre><code>for archive in "${targets[@]}"; do
  tarsnap -d --no-print-stats -f "$archive"
done &amp;&amp; printf "%s\n" "${yel}Archives successfully deleted...${end}"

printf "\n%s\n" "${cyn}Remaining archives:${end}"
tarsnap --list-archives
</code></pre>

<p>  else</p>

<pre><code>printf "%s\n" "${yel}Operation aborted${end}"
</code></pre>

<p>  fi
else
  printf "%s\n" "Nothing to do"
  exit 0
fi

You can see the rest of the script in my bitbucket repo. It even comes with colour.

Once every couple of weeks, I run the script, review the archives marked for deletion and then blow them away. Easy. If you aren't using Tarsnap, you really should check it out; it is an excellent service and-for the almost ridiculously small investment-you get rock solid, encrypted peace of mind. Why would you not do that?

Coda

This is the one hundredth post on this blog: a milestone that I never envisaged getting anywhere near. Looking back through the posts, nearly 60,000 words worth, there are a couple there that continue to draw traffic and are obviously seen at some level as helpful. There are also quite a few that qualify as "filler", but blogging is a discipline like any other and sometimes you just have to push something up to keep the rhythm going. In any event, this is a roundabout way of saying that, for a variety of reasons both personal and professional, I am no longer able to fulfil my own expectations of regularly pushing these posts out.

I will endeavour to, from time to time when I find something that I genuinely think is worth sharing, make an effort to write about it, but I can't see that happening all that often. I'd like to thank all the people that have read these posts; especially those of you that have commented. With every post, I always looked forward to people telling me where I got something wrong or how I could have approached a problem differently or more effectively2; I learned a lot from these pointers and I am grateful to the people that were generous enough to share them.

Notes

  1. The frequency with which this happens is, admittedly, low; but not low enough to confidently abandon a service like this…
  2. Leaving a complimentary note is just as welcome, don't get me wrong…

24 Oct 2014 8:38pm GMT

22 Oct 2014

feedPlanet Arch Linux

SysV init on Arch Linux, and Debian

Arch Linux distributes systemd as its init daemon, and has deprecated SysV init in June 2013. Debian is doing the same now and we see panic and terror sweep through that community, especially since this time thousands of my sysadmin colleagues are affected. But like with Arch Linux we are witnessing irrational behavior, loud protests all the way to the BSD camp and public threats of Debian forking. Yet all that is needed, and let's face it much simpler to achieve, is organizing a specialized user group interested in keeping SysV (or your alternative) usable in your favorite GNU/Linux distribution with members that support one another, exactly as I wrote back then about Arch Linux.

Unfortunately I'm not aware of any such group forming in the Arch Linux community around sysvinit, and I've been running SysV init alone as my PID 1 since then. It was not a big deal, but I don't always have time or the willpower to break my personal systems after a 60 hour work week, and the real problems are yet to come anyway - if (when) for example udev stops working without systemd PID 1. If you had a support group, and especially one with a few coding gurus among you most of the time chances are they would solve a difficult problem first, and everyone benefits. On some other occasions an enthusiastic user would solve it first, saving gurus from a lousy weekend.

For anyone else left standing at the cheapest part of the stadium, like me, maybe uselessd as a drop-in replacement is the way to go after major subsystems stop working in our favorite GNU/Linux distributions. I personally like what they reduced systemd to (inspired by suckless.org philosophy?), but chances are without support the project ends inside 2 years, and we would be back here duct taping in isolation.

22 Oct 2014 9:51pm GMT

Changes to Intel microcode updates

Microcode on Intel CPUs is no longer loaded automatically, as it needs to be loaded very early in the boot process. This requires adjustments in the bootloader. If you have an Intel CPU, please follow the instructions in the wiki.

22 Oct 2014 9:29pm GMT

20 May 2012

feedPlanet Sun

Annular Solar Eclipse on Sunday, May 20th 2012

On Sunday, May 20th 2012, people in a narrow strip from Japan to the western United States will be able to see an annular solar eclipse, the first in 18 years. The moon will cover as much as 94% of the sun. An Annular Solar Eclipse is different from a Total Solar Eclipse, when the […]

20 May 2012 9:51pm 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

13 May 2011

feedPlanet Sun

The story behind Planet Sun

Some words about history of Planet Sun. For round about six years Planet Sun has been an aggregation of public weblogs written by employees of Sun Microsystems. Though it never was a product or publication of Sun Microsystems itself. The website was powered by Planet and run by David Edmondson. On 01 Mar 2010 David […]

13 May 2011 12:36am GMT

10 May 2011

feedPlanet Sun

Hello world!

A warm welcome to our guests. This is your first wordpress post. We should edit or delete it, and then start blogging! Let's save our planet. Renewable energy is the future. Bio & Nature.

10 May 2011 10:18pm GMT