Geek Stuff

Check Out the Source Code For the Xerox Alto

Slashdot -

jfruh writes The Xerox Alto is a computer legend: it was never sold to the public, but its window-based OS was the inspiration for both the original Mac operating system and Windows. Now you can check out its source code, along with code for CP/M, a similarly old school (though not graphical) operating system.

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HP Unveils Industrial 3D Printer 10X Faster, 50% Cheaper Than Current Systems

Slashdot -

Lucas123 writes HP today announced an 3D industrial printer that it said will be half the cost of current additive manufacturing systems while also 10 times faster, enabling production parts to be built. The company also announced Sprout, a new immersive computing platform that combines a 23-in touch screen monitor and horizontal capacitive touch mat with a scanner, depth sensor, hi-res camera, and projector in a single desktop device. HP's Multi Jet Fusion printer will be offered to beta customers early next year and is expected to be generally available in 2016. The machine uses a print bar with 30,000 nozzles spraying 350 million drops a second of thermoplastic or other materials onto a print platform. The Multi Jet Fusion printer uses fused deposition modeling, an additive manufacturing technology first invented in 1990. the printer works by first laying down a layer of powder material across a build area. Then a fusing agent is selectively applied with the page-wide print bar. Then the same print bar applies a detailing agent at the parts edge to give high definition. The material is then exposed to an energy source that fuses it.

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HP Pavilion x2 10 inch Windows tablet now available (in some countries)

Liliputing -

The HP Pavilion x2 10 inch tablet is a Windows tablet with an Intel Atom Z3745 Bay Trail processor, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB to 64GB of storage. It’s designed to be used either as a tablet or as a notebook thanks to detachable keyboard cover. And HP says the tablet gets nearly 12 hours of […]

HP Pavilion x2 10 inch Windows tablet now available (in some countries) is a post from: Liliputing

Power and Free Broadband To the People

Slashdot -

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes Slashdot member and open source developer Ben Kallos @KallosEsq — who is now a NYC Councilman — is pushing to make it a precondition to Comcast's merging with Time Warner that it agree to provide free broadband to all public housing residents in the City (and by free I mean free as in beer). Kallos, along with NY's Public Advocate, Letitia James, is leading a group of state and local politicians calling on Comcast to help bridge the digital divide in NY.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Microsoft ends Windows 7 OEM sales Oct 31st

Liliputing -

This Halloween could be a scary one… for folks who aren’t fans of Microsoft Windows 8 or later. That’s because Microsoft is pulling the plug on Windows 7 OEM sales on October 31st. In other words, PC makers will soon stop offering notebook and desktop computers with Windows 7 pre-installed. You may still be able […]

Microsoft ends Windows 7 OEM sales Oct 31st is a post from: Liliputing

The 7 Privacy Tools Essential to Making Snowden Documentary CITIZENFOUR

EFF's Deeplinks -

What needs to be in your tool belt if you plan to report on a massively funded and ultra-secret organization like the NSA? In the credits of her newly released CITIZENFOUR, director Laura Poitras gives thanks to a list of important security resources that are all free software. We've previously written about CITIZENFOUR and Edward Snowden's discussion of his motivation to release closely guarded information about the NSA. Here's a closer look at the seven tools she names as helping to enable her to communicate with Snowden and her collaborators in making the film.

Tor

Tor is a collection of privacy tools that enables users to mask information about who they are, where they are connecting to the Internet, and in some cases where the sites they are accessing are located. The Tor network relies on volunteers to run nodes that traffic can pass through, but connecting is as easy as downloading the Tor Browser Bundle and hopping online. We've helped strengthen the Tor network by running a challenge to encourage more volunteer support, and our newly updated Surveillance Self Defense guide has information for Windows users on how to use the software. The Tor Project was also a winner of EFF's 2012 Pioneer Award.

Tails

One of the most robust ways of using the Tor network is through a dedicated operating system that enforces strong privacy- and security-protective defaults. That operating system is Tails—The Amnesiac Incognito Live System—and it's designed to run from a USB stick plugged into nearly any computer, without interfering with already installed software. Tails has received support from a group called the Freedom of the Press Foundation, where Poitras sits on the board alongside Snowden and Glenn Greenwald, who also features prominently in the film.

SecureDrop

Also from the Freedom of the Press Foundation comes SecureDrop, a whistleblower submission system designed for journalists who wish to protect the anonymity of their sources. SecureDrop was originally designed by the late activist Aaron Swartz and the journalist Kevin Poulsen, and has been actively developed by Freedom of the Press Foundation and a network of volunteers for the past year. It has been deployed a number of prominent news organizations, including the New Yorker, Forbes, ProPublica, The Guardian, The Washington Post, and Poitras and Greenwald's current publication, The Intercept.

GPG Encryption

GPG encryption is the only one of the technologies Poitras mentions that actually gets significant screen time in her film. Throughout her early interactions with Snowden, the two consistently used emails encrypted end-to-end with GPG encryption, represented onscreen with the jumbled letters and numbers you see if you don't have the private key necessary to decrypt. GPG has been criticized for being unfriendly to new users, and it requires that both the sender and receiver are familiar with it. But it may be getting easier to use: we've explained how to do so on Mac, Windows, and GNU/Linux, and the Free Software Foundation has also prepared a guide.

OTR Instant Messaging

The Off-The-Record protocol allows for encrypted communication over existing popular instant messaging networks. It is one of the simplest ways for two users to get end-to-end encryption; that is, a communication that is encrypted with a key that only the recipient has, not a trusted third party. Our Surveillance Self-Defense guide outlines how to use OTR for Mac and Windows users. We've also awarded its co-founder Ian Goldberg with a Pioneer Award in 2011.

Truecrypt hard disk encryption

While CITIZENFOUR was in production, the pseudonymous team behind the popular Truecrypt software somewhat dramatically stopped supporting its further development. The future of the Truecrypt source code itself is a bit murky, then, but there are still viable alternatives for full-disk encryption. We've got a tutorial for the Windows tool DiskCryptor in our Surveillance Self-Defense guide, as well as general tips for full-disk encryption on Mac and GNU/Linux systems.

GNU/Linux

If you find the arguments for free software security tools compelling, you may be interested in using an operating system built on the same principles. GNU/Linux is much broader that some of the other tools mentioned here, and encompasses an enormous number of distinct collections of software, called distributions. Maybe most people won't come home from seeing CITIZENFOUR with a sudden desire to switch operating systems, but it's at least worth exploring.

Snowden's leaks—and the resulting news stories, books, and now documentaries—have profoundly affected the way people around the world think and talk about privacy and mass surveillance. It's encouraging to know that, even in the face of enormous spying programs, average computer users have access to powerful tools that can help keep their communications safe from prying eyes. Learn more about how to defend yourself from that surveillance with our Surveillance Self-Defense Guide.

Related Issues: PrivacySecurity
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Remote Vision Through a Virtual Reality Headset (Video)

Slashdot -

Add some material-handling devices and you'd have software-controlled Waldos, first described by Robert A. Heinlein in the 1942 short story titled Waldo. So while the idea of a pair of artificial eyes you control by moving your head (while looking at the area around the artificial eyes, even if it's in orbit), sounds like futuristic fun, especially if you use an Oculus Virtual Reality device instead of an LED screen, it not only hasn't caught up with science fiction, but is a fair ways behind science fact. Still, the idea of being able to control a vision system deep under the sea or in orbit around Saturn is certainly interesting in and of itself. (Alternate Video Link)

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Is the Outrage Over the FBI's Seattle Times Tactics a Knee-Jerk Reaction?

Slashdot -

reifman writes The Internet's been abuzz the past 48 hours about reports the FBI distributed malware via a fake Seattle Times news website. What the agency actually did is more of an example of smart, precise law enforcement tactics. Is the outrage online an indictment of Twitter's tendency towards uninformed, knee-jerk reactions? In this age of unwarranted, unconstitutional blanket data collection by the NSA, the FBI's tactics from 2007 seem refreshing for their precision.

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Open Access Week 2014 Wrap Up: Posts, Pictures, and Parties

EFF's Deeplinks -

EFF proudly participated in the eighth annual Open Access Week last week, a celebration of making scholarly research immediately and freely available for people around the world to read, cite, and re-use.

We published multiple blog posts each day, including a post from our friends at Wikimedia and a letter from Colombian scientist, Diego Gomez, who is facing up to eight years in jail for sharing a scholarly article online. One theme that seemed to run across all blog posts was that open access doesn't exist in a vacuum: there are laws, policies, and happenings in the world that immensely affect our access to research. Copyright law, for example, not only bolsters the current closed access model of scholarship, but its particulars are becoming stricter as policies extend outside the United States. We encourage you to check out all the blog posts below.

Deeplinks Reddit AMA

We also participated in a reddit AMA ("Ask Me Anything") about open access alongside Creative Commons, the Right to Research Coalition, Open Access Button, and Fundación Karisma. Questions ranged from "What's the biggest obstacle to getting papers out from behind that $30 pay-wall?" to "Have you noticed any countries/regions leading by example?"

Events

Groups around the world participated in Open Access Week by throwing parties, talks, and screenings of the documentary about Aaron Swartz, The Internet's Own Boy. We were excited to see Open Access Week serve as the inaugural event for two new digital rights groups: The Tennessee Digital Rights Project and Net Plurality in Berkeley, CA.

Open Access Week at Columbia University gathered over 1,000 signatures in support of open access policies, organized a screening of The Internet's Own Boy, and even made a neat video. (CC BY)

EFF Activist April Glaser spoke to students part of Berkeley's Net Plurality project after a screening of The Internet's Own Boy. (CC BY)

A panel discussion followed a screening of The Internet's Own Boy at the University of Colorado, Boulder. (CC BY) Shareable Graphics

We collaborated with artist and graphic designer, Ty Semaka, to create some graphics to share on social media. These graphics portray a few leaders in the open access movement with their thoughts about why we need to fight for open access. These all licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License, so feel free to remix and share online.

Related Issues: Open Access
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YouTube Considering an Ad-Free, Subscription-Based Version

Slashdot -

Walking The Walk writes YouTube is looking at creating a paid-subscription model that would allow users to skip the ads on their videos. (A more condensed summary from CBC.) No firm date has been announced, and it sounds like tentative steps right now, but YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki did mention that ad-enabled music videos would still be offered.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








UT One tablet with Ubuntu Touch coming in December?

Liliputing -

The makers of the Ubuntu Linux operating system for notebooks, desktops, and servers have been working on a version for phones and tablets… and hope to see the first of those devices ship later this year or early in 2015. Meizu and bq have already announced plans to sell phones with Ubuntu Touch software, and […]

UT One tablet with Ubuntu Touch coming in December? is a post from: Liliputing

Apple Pay Competitor CurrentC Breached

Slashdot -

tranquilidad writes "As previously discussed on Slashdot, CurrentC is a consortium of merchants attempting to create a "more secure" payment system. Some controversy surrounds CurrentC's requirements regarding the personal information required, their purchase-tracking intentions and retail stores blocking NFC in apparent support of CurrentC. Now news breaks that CurrentC has already been breached. CurrentC has issued the standard response, "We take the security of our users' information extremely seriously."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Pi Talks at PyConUK

Raspberry Pi -

You may remember our Education team attended PyConUK in Coventry last month. We ran the Education Track, which involved giving workshops to teachers and running a Raspberry Jam day for kids at the weekend. We also gave talks on the main developer track of the conference.

Carrie Anne gave a fantastic keynote entitled Miss Adventures in Raspberry Pi wherein she spoke of her journey through teaching the new computing curriculum with Raspberry Pi, attending PyConUK the last two years, being hired by the Foundation, and everything she’s done in her role as Education Pioneer.

See the keynote slides here

I also gave my talk PyPi (not that one) – Python on the Raspberry Pi showing interesting Pi projects that use Python and demonstrating what you can do with a Pi that you can’t on other computers.

See the talk slides here

Alex gave his talk Teaching children to program Python with the Pyland game - a project Alex led over the summer with a group of interns at the Computer Lab.

See the talk slides here

The conference ended with a sprint day where Alex led a team building and testing Pyland and adding challenges, and I worked with a group of developers porting Minecraft Pi to Python 3.

If you missed it last week, we posted Annabel’s Goblin Detector, a Father-daughter project the 8 year old demonstrated at PyConUK while enjoying the Raspberry Jam day.

Researchers At Brown University Shattered a Quantum Wave Function

Slashdot -

Jason Koebler writes: A team of physicists based at Brown University has succeeded in shattering a quantum wave function. That near-mythical representation of indeterminate reality, in which an unmeasured particle is able to occupy many states simultaneously, can be dissected into many parts. This dissection, which is described this week in the Journal of Low Temperature Physics, has the potential to turn how we view the quantum world on its head. Specifically, they found it's possible to take a wave function and isolate it into different parts. So, if our electron has some probability of being in position (x1,y1,z1) and another probability of being in position (x2,y2,z2), those two probabilities can be isolated from each other, cordoned off like quantum crime scenes.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Deals of the Day (10-29-2014)

Liliputing -

Samsung may have a new Galaxy Note tablet on the way, but you don’t have to wait for a new model to get a Galaxy Note with a high-resolution screen, fast processor, and pressure-sensitive pen. Groupon is selling refurbished Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition tablets for $350 and up (or about $200 off the list […]

Deals of the Day (10-29-2014) is a post from: Liliputing

Why Every Cardiac Patient Needs a Virtual Heart

Slashdot -

the_newsbeagle writes: In the latest high-tech approach to personalized medicine, cardiologists can now create a computer model of an individual patient's heart and use that simulation to make a treatment plan. In this new field of computational medicine, doctors use a patient's MRI scans to make a model showing that patient's unique anatomy and pattern of heart disease. They can then experiment on that virtual organ in ways they simply can't with a flesh-and-blood heart. Proponents say this tech can "improve therapies, minimize the invasiveness of diagnostic procedures, and reduce health-care costs" in cardiology.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Google shows working prototype of Project Ara modular phone

Liliputing -

Google’s Project Ara is an effort to create a modular smartphone. Google will sell you a skeleton and you’ll be able to select the screen, processor, storage, battery, and just about everything else. A group at the company’s ATAP special projects team has been developing Project Ara for over a year and hopes to bring the project […]

Google shows working prototype of Project Ara modular phone is a post from: Liliputing

Hackers Breach White House Network

Slashdot -

wiredmikey writes: The White House's unclassified computer network was recently breached by intruders, a U.S. official said Tuesday. While the White House has not said so, The Washington Post reported that the Russian government was thought to be behind the act. Several recent reports have linked Russia to cyber attacks, including a report from FireEye on Tuesday that linked Russia back to an espionage campaign dating back to 2007. Earlier this month, iSight Partners revealed that a threat group allegedly linked with the Russian government had been leveraging a Microsoft Windows zero-day vulnerability to target NATO, the European Union, and various private energy and telecommunications organizations in Europe. The group has been dubbed the "Sandworm Team" and it has been using weaponized PowerPoint files in its recent attacks. Trend Micro believes the Sandworm team also has their eyes set on compromising SCADA-based systems.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Drones Could 3D-Map Scores of Hectares of Land In Just a Few Hours

Slashdot -

sciencehabit writes: Unmanned drones aren't just for warfare. In recent years, they've been used to map wildlife and monitor crop growth. But current software can't always handle the vast volume of images they gather. Now, researchers have developed an algorithm that will allow drones to 3D-map scores of hectares of land in less than a day — an advance that is important for cost-effective farming, disaster relief, and surveillance operations. Their computer program directly projects the points from each photo onto a 3D space without knowing the exact shape of the land or the camera positions. As a result, the tie points don't necessarily match up, which means the same corn plant can have two projections on the model. When that happens, the algorithm automatically takes the middle point between the two projections as the more accurate location and adjusts the camera position accordingly, one image at a time. Because the algorithm tweaks far fewer things at each step, the shortcut drastically speeds up calculations. Once the software has adjusted the camera positions for all the photos, the software repeats the entire process — starting from projecting the points to the 3D space — to correct for any errors.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








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