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Ubuntu 14.10 Released With Ambitious Name, But Small Changes

Slashdot - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 20:46
Ubuntu 14.10, dubbed Utopic Unicorn, has been released today (here are screenshots). 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. In the Ubuntu Next unstable series, though, there are big changes afoot: Along with Mir comes the next version of Ubuntu’s Unity desktop, Unity 8. Mir and the latest version of Unity are already used on Ubuntu Phone, so this is key for Ubuntu's goal of convergent computing — Ubuntu Phone and Ubuntu desktop will use the same display server and desktop shell. Ubuntu Phone is now stable and Ubuntu phones are arriving this year, so a lot of work has gone into this stuff recently. The road ahead looks bumpy however. Ubuntu needs to get graphics drivers supporting Mir properly. The task becomes more complicated when you consider that other Linux distributions — like Fedora — are switching to the Wayland display server instead of Mir. When Ubuntu Desktop Next becomes the standard desktop environment, the changes will be massive indeed. But for today, Utopic Unicorn is all about subtle improvements and slow, steady iteration.

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Etsy takes a stab at real world sales with free credit card readers

Engadget - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 20:35
Etsy is best known for being an online marketplace of folksy gewgaws and crocheted everythings, but it's making moves to help its sellers do more out in the real world. Case in point: The company just took a page out of Square and PayPal's playbooks...

German Publishers Capitulate, Let Google Post News Snippets

Slashdot - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 19:59
itwbennett writes German publishers said they are bowing to Google's market power, and will allow the search engine to show news snippets in search results free of charge — at least for the time being. The decision is a step in an ongoing legal dispute between the publishers and Google in which, predictably, publishers are trying to get compensation from the search engine for republishing parts of their content and Google isn't interested in sharing revenue. The move follows a Google decision earlier this month — and which was to go into effect today — to stop using news snippets and thumbnails for some well-known German news sites.

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Facebook's anonymous Rooms is a chat app that feels like the old days

Engadget - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 19:54
Facebook's new Rooms app is weird, and it isn't long after installation that you figure out why. You don't log in with your Facebook credentials. Your profile picture appears nowhere. It doesn't tap into your contacts. If Rooms' iOS-only App Store...

Hailo's app now lets you pay for cabs you've flagged on the street

Engadget - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 19:52
Hailo reported just last week it was pulling out of North America, where it could no longer effectively compete against its rivals. On this side of the pond, however, Hailo's kicking off its third birthday celebrations with the announcement of more...

We Need Distributed Social Networks More Than Ello

Slashdot - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 19:10
Frequent contributor Bennett Haselton writes: Facebook threatened to banish drag queen pseudonyms, and (some) users revolted by flocking to Ello, a social network which promised not to enforce real names and also to remain ad-free. Critics said that the idealistic model would buckle under pressure from venture capitalists. But both gave scant mention to the fact that a distributed social networking protocol, backed by a player large enough to get people using it, would achieve all of the goals that Ello aspired to achieve, and more. Read on for the rest.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








We Need Distributed Social Networks More Than Ello

Slashdot - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 19:10
Frequent contributor Bennett Haselton writes: Facebook threatened to banish drag queen pseudonyms, and (some) users revolted by flocking to Ello, a social network which promised not to enforce real names and also to remain ad-free. Critics said that the idealistic model would buckle under pressure from venture capitalists. But both gave scant mention to the fact that a distributed social networking protocol, backed by a player large enough to get people using it, would achieve all of the goals that Ello aspired to achieve, and more. Read on for the rest.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








NYPD is getting equipped with over 40,000 mobile devices

Engadget - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 19:04
Thanks to a massive $160 million investment, the New York City Police Department is on its way to receive a combination of up to 41,000 smartphones and tablets. Known as the NYPD Mobility Initiative, which will be mostly financed by criminal asset...

Travelocity apparently saves the best deals for iOS shoppers

Engadget - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 18:32
Like with most everything, online shopping has its pros and cons. One of the best elements of going the digital route, though, is that you usually end up saving more money than at a brick-and-mortar store. Having said that, according to a recent...

Ask Slashdot: Smarter Disk Space Monitoring In the Age of Cheap Storage?

Slashdot - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 18:17
relliker writes In the olden days, when monitoring a file system of a few 100 MB, we would be alerted when it topped 90% or more, with 95% a lot of times considered quite critical. Today, however, with a lot of file systems in the Terabyte range, a 90-95% full file system can still have a considerable amount of free space but we still mostly get bugged by the same alerts as in the days of yore when there really isn't a cause for immediate concern. Apart from increasing thresholds and/or starting to monitor actual free space left instead of a percentage, should it be time for monitoring systems to become a bit more intelligent by taking space usage trends and heuristics into account too and only warn about critical usage when projected thresholds are exceeded? I'd like my system to warn me with something like, 'Hey!, you'll be running out of space in a couple of months if you go on like this!' Or is this already the norm and I'm still living in a digital cave? What do you use, on what operating system?

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Ubuntu turns 10 with its latest release

Engadget - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 18:01
Don't look now, but one of the staples of the open source world just marked a big birthday. Canonical has released Ubuntu 14.10, officially making this friendlier Linux distribution 10 years old. The company is clearly happy with a low-key...

Uber brings on-demand flu shots to Boston, NYC and DC for a day

Engadget - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 17:27
If there's one thing on-demand car startup Uber likes more than ferrying people around, it's trying to grab people's attention with kooky promo stunts. Uber for barbecue? Uber wedding packages? Pairing riders with attractive lady drivers? Been there,...

Austin Airport Tracks Cell Phones To Measure Security Line Wait

Slashdot - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 17:21
jfruh writes If you get into the TSA security line at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, you'll see monitors telling you how long your wait will be — and if you have a phone with Wi-Fi enabled, you're helping the airport come up with that number. A system implemented by Cisco tracks the MAC addresses of phones searching for Wi-Fi networks and sees how long it takes those phones to traverse the line, giving a sense of how quickly things are moving. While this is useful information to have, the privacy implications are a bit unsettling.

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Android Wear's latest update adds GPS support and offline music playback

Engadget - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 17:00
Android Wear, Google's four-month-old wearables platform, is off to a good start. But like all nascent systems, there are still plenty of areas that need some TLC. It's got a lot of features and developer support, but it's practically useless if you...

Apple 1 Sells At Auction For $905,000

Slashdot - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 16:40
Dave Knott writes One of the few remaining examples of Apple Inc's first pre-assembled computer, the Apple 1, sold for $905,000 at an auction in New York on Wednesday. The final price outstrips expectations, as auction house Bonhams had said it expected to sell the machine, which was working as of September, for between $300,000 and $500,000. The buyer was The Henry Ford organization, which plans to display the computer in its museum in Dearborn, Michigan. Only 63 surviving authentic Apple 1's were listed in an Apple 1 Registry as of January out of the 200 that were built. The auctioned computer is thought to be one of the first batch of 50 Apple-1 machines assembled by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak in Steve Job's family garage in Los Altos, California in the summer of 1976. It is also believed to be one of only 15 that still have functioning motherboards. That's a bit more beastly than the original price.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Let's look at each game console's lineup of exclusives for holiday 2014

Engadget - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 16:31
Can you smell that? It's the aroma of game lovers' tears everywhere as they realize their bank accounts likely can't sustain buying every title coming out in the annual deluge of fall video game releases. That's to say nothing of the amount of time...

Google plans to make a component store for its modular phone

Engadget - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 16:01
Project Ara is surely one of the most exciting things Google is working on right now -- at least from the ones we're aware of. Better yet, given how young it is, chances are it will only keep getting better and more interesting. While speaking at a...

Ello Formally Promises To Remain Ad-Free, Raises $5.5M

Slashdot - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 16:00
Social media site Ello is presented as the anti-Facebook, promising an ad-free social network, and that they won't sell private data. Today, they've also announced that Ello has become a Public Benefit Corporation, and that the site's anti-advertising promise has been enshrined in a corporate charter. The BBC reports on the restrictions that Ello has therefore entered into, which mean the site cannot, for monetary gain, Sell user-specific data to a third party Enter into an agreement to display paid advertising on behalf of a third party; and In the event of an acquisition or asset transfer, the Company shall require any acquiring entity to adopt these requirements with respect to the operation of Ello or its assets. While that might turn off some potential revenue flows (the company says it will make money by selling optional features), as the linked article points out, it hasn't turned off investors; Ello has now raised $5.5 million from investors.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








ESPN investigates the historic Kasparov vs. IBM chess games

Engadget - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 15:33
The battle of wits between IBM and chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov is one of the biggest moments in the history of artificial intelligence. After conceding defeat, the Russian suggested that the IBM team had cheated their way to a victory, something...

Cisco Fixes Three-Year-Old Telnet Flaw In Security Appliances

Slashdot - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 15:06
Trailrunner7 writes "There is a severe remote code execution vulnerability in a number of Cisco's security appliances, a bug that was first disclosed nearly three years ago. The vulnerability is in Telnet and there has been a Metasploit module available to exploit it for years. The FreeBSD Project first disclosed the vulnerability in telnet in December 2011 and it was widely publicized at the time. Recently, Glafkos Charalambous, a security researcher, discovered that the bug was still present in several of Cisco's security boxes, including the Web Security Appliance, Email Security Appliance and Content Security Management Appliance. The vulnerability is in the AsyncOS software in those appliances and affects all versions of the products." At long last, though, as the article points out, "Cisco has released a patched version of the AsyncOS software to address the vulnerability and also has recommended some workarounds for customers."

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