Google Breaks Into a Rare Market “Club”

Google is hugely successful, that is for sure. Not many company’s have EVER hit this high a market value. Wow!

Google Stock Hits $1,000 for First Time Ever

“The search giant’s stock topped $1,000 a share on Friday for the first time in its history, making it one of only a select few businesses including Priceline, Seaboard and Berkshire Hathaway to hit that milestone.

The company’s stock had been hovering around the $900 mark in recent months, but the stock shot up by nearly 10% overnight — adding more than $25 billion to its market cap in a matter of hours — following a generally positive third-quarter earnings report, which beat Wall Street estimates for earnings and revenue.

Google’s stock has increased by more than $250 since the start of the year, helped by renewed investor optimism that the company has more breakthrough products up its sleeve, including self-driving cars, Google Glass and Google Fiber. In recent months, some analysts have expressed concerns about Google’s ability to maintain its ad rates on mobile, but the most recent earnings report suggested that Google is serving enough ads to offset any decrease in the cost-per-click on mobile.

While the $1,000 mark is certainly a significant milestone, it’s also unlikely to last. Google is moving towards a stock split that would create a new class of non-voting stock to ensure that the founders have control over the company’s direction. Assuming the company follows through on that plan, the price per share will go down significantly.”

Geek Software of the Week: QGifer

This week’s GSotW is Open Source, and, therefore, free! It is also very handy, in these days of the resurgence of GIF’ery on the Interwebs! Check it out! It is a video-based animated GIF creator. Fun to play with!

QGifer – Animated Gifs from Videos

Features

  • GIF extraction from a video file
  • Color palette editor
  • Variable color palette support
  • Dithering
  • Text rendering
  • Graphics insertion
  • Object interpolation
  • Cropping
  • Filtering
  • Looping by appending reversed copy
  • GIF optimization through ImageMagick
  • Project management
  • Translations: English, Swedish, Japanese, Polish, Russian, Czech, Chinese, German

Here’s a neat tutorial for how to use QGifer.

How To Create A GIF from Video on Ubuntu With QGifer

A Warship Controlled by a Computer that Runs Linux!

A warship controlled by Linux! That is just SO cool!

The Navy’s newest warship is powered by Linux

From Ars Technica – “When the USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) puts to sea later this year, it will be different from any other ship in the Navy’s fleet in many ways. The $3.5 billon ship is designed for stealth, survivability, and firepower, and it’s packed with advanced technology. And at the heart of its operations is a virtual data center powered by off-the-shelf server hardware, various flavors of Linux, and over 6 million lines of software code.

On October 10, I flew up to Rhode Island to visit Raytheon’s Seapower Capability Center in Portsmouth, where engineers assembled and pre-tested the systems at the heart of the Zumwalt and are preparing to do the same for the next ship in line, the USS Michael Monsoor—already well into construction. There, Raytheon’s DDG-1000 team gave me a tour of the centerpiece of the ship’s systems—a mockup of the Zumwalt’s operations center, where the ship’s commanding officer and crew will control the ship’s sensors, missile launchers, guns, and other systems.

Over 20 years ago, I learned how to be a ship watch stander a few miles from the Raytheon facility at the Navy’s Surface Warfare Officer School. But the operations center of the Zumwalt will have more in common with the fictional starship USS Enterprise’s bridge than it does with the combat information centers of the ships I went to sea on. Every console on the Zumwalt will be equipped with touch screens and software capable of taking on the needs of any operator on duty, and big screens on the forward bulkhead will display tactical plots of sea, air, and land.

Perhaps it’s appropriate that the first commanding officer of the Zumwalt will be Captain James Kirk (yes, that’s actually his name). But considering how heavily the ship leans on its computer networks, maybe they should look for a chief engineer named Vint Cerf.

In the past, you couldn’t just put off-the-shelf computer systems aboard a ship for mission critical tasks—when I was aboard the USS Iowa, we had to shut down non-tactical systems before the guns were fired because the shock and vibration would crash systems hard. So typically, individual computer systems are ruggedized. But that adds heavily to the cost of the systems and makes it more difficult to maintain them.

The design of the Zumwalt solves that problem by using off-the-shelf hardware—mostly IBM blade servers running Red Hat Linux—and putting it in a ruggedized server room. Those ruggedized server rooms are called Electronic Modular Enclosures (EMEs), sixteen self-contained, mini data centers built by Raytheon.

Measuring 35 feet long, 8 feet high, and 12 feet wide, the 16 EMEs have more than 235 equipment cabinets (racks) in total. The EMEs were all configured and pre-tested before being shipped to Bath, Maine, to be installed aboard the Zumwalt. The EME approach lowered overall cost of the hardware itself, and allows Raytheon to pre-integrate systems before they’re installed. ‘It costs a lot to do the work in the shipyard,’ said Raytheon’s DDG-1000 deputy program manager Tom Moore, ‘and we get limited time of access.’

Each EME has its own shock and vibration damping, power protection, water cooling systems, and electromagnetic shielding to prevent interference from the ship’s radar and other big radio frequency emitters.

The EMEs tap into the Total Ship Computing Environment, the Zumwalt’s shipboard Internet. Running multiple partitioned networks over a mix of fiber and copper, TSCE’s redundantly switched network system connects all of the ship’s systems—internal and external communications, weapons, engineering, sensors, etc.—over Internet protocols, including TCP and UDP. Almost all of the ship’s internal communications are based on Voice Over IP (with the exception of a few old-school, sound-powered phones for emergency use).

There’s also some wireless networking capability aboard the Zumwalt, but Raytheon officials giving me the tour were not at liberty to discuss just what sort of wireless this is. Still, that capability is supposed to allow for roving crew members to connect to data from the network while performing maintenance and other tasks.

Systems that weren’t built to be wired into an IP network—other ‘programs of record’ within the ship, which are installed across multiple classes of Navy ships—are wired in using adaptors based on single-board computers and the Lynx OS real-time Linux operating system. Called Distributed Adaptation Processors, or DAPs, these systems connect things like the ship’s engineering systems, fire suppression systems, missile launchers, and radio and satellite communications gear into the network so they can be controlled by networked clients.”

Windows 8.1 Has Been Released

Well, it’s out! I will let you know what I think soon.

Windows 8.1 now available!

From the Microsoft “Blogging Windows” Blog – “Less than a year ago we were preparing to launch Windows 8, which introduced our vision of highly personalized mobile computing. And here we are today announcing the global availability of Windows 8.1. Windows 8.1 demonstrates our commitment to continuously improving the product to create a richer customer experience. We are excited to have customers start updating their devices today and getting to experience new Windows devices this holiday season.

Windows 8.1 brings a variety of new features and improvements to Windows 8 that we think people will really enjoy. We listened to your feedback and are delivering many of the improvements you asked for.

If you are a consumer with a Windows 8 device, you can now download the free update to Windows 8.1 online through the Windows Store*. Please visit Windows.com for everything you need to know including how to get the update for your Windows 8 device. If you are a consumer on a device running Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, or the Windows 8.1 Preview – this page on Windows.com will detect your OS and provide you with all the information you need in order to get Windows 8.1 on your device. I also highly recommend reading our FAQ which answers many of the most common questions about getting Windows 8.1.

Starting tomorrow October 18th, Windows 8.1 will also be available on new devices and as packaged DVD product at retail locations around the world. You can also click here to learn about the wide variety of new Windows devices available now and coming throughout the holiday season to find the one that best fits their needs, and their budget.”

Ransomeware That Demands $300 To FREE Your Computer!

Ouch! It is getting really, really nasty out there! This is why you should practice “safe computing!”

CryptoLocker Ransomeware demands $300 to decrypt your files

From “The Hacker News” – “If you’re a daily computer user, you’re likely aware of all the threats you face every day online in the form of viruses and malware.

CryptoLocker, a new ransomware malware, began making the rounds several months ago. This ransomware is particularly nasty because infected users are in danger of losing their personal files forever.

Ransomware is designed to extort money from computer users by holding computer files hostage until the computer user pays a ransom fee to get them back. The Cryptolocker hijacker sniffs out your personal files and wraps them with strong encryption before it demands money.

Cryptolocker is spread through malicious hyperlinks shared via social media and spam emails, like fake UPS tracking notification emails. The original demanded payments of $100 to decrypt files, but the new and improved version demanding $300 from victims.

Apparently, the encryption is created using a unique RSA-2048 public key. The decryption key is located on a secret server somewhere on the Internet and then there is a countdown on the infected machine which will let you know how long you have until this key will no longer be available.

Ransomware is not a new threat, but in the last year, it has become more effective and more popular with criminals. Researchers from a number of antivirus vendors are working on a way to undo the damage, but it’s not going to be easy.

To prevent Ransomware from infecting your computer, please ensure that your computer has a properly configured firewall, updating each computer on a regular basis with the latest patches and updates from their vendor such as Microsoft, and restricting access solely to the administrator or person who operates the network or computer.”

Dr. Bill.TV #309 – Video – “The Upgrade Now or Face Doom Edition!”

A new Chromebook from HP, Windows XP will expire in April of 2014, so upgrade NOW! ROS, the Open Source Robotic Operating System, GSotW: Trellian Webpage. The Army is pursuing a real Iron Man suit! IE exploit makes it even lamer than before!

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

TechPodcasts Network

International Association of Internet Broadcasters

Blubrry Network

Dr. Bill Bailey.NET

Trellian Webpage


Start the Video Netcast in the Blubrry Video Player above by
clicking on the “Play” Button in the center of the screen.

(Click on the buttons below to Stream the Netcast in your “format of choice”)
Streaming M4V Audio





Streaming MP3 Audio

Streaming Ogg Audio

Download M4V Download WebM Download MP3 Download Ogg
(Right-Click on any link above, and select “Save As…” to save the Netcast on your PC.)

Available on YouTube at: http://youtu.be/hYWIW3BalAg

Available on Vimeo at: https://vimeo.com/76800789


Dr. Bill.TV #309 – Audio – “The Upgrade Now or Face Doom Edition!”

A new Chromebook from HP, Windows XP will expire in April of 2014, so upgrade NOW! ROS, the Open Source Robotic Operating System, GSotW: Trellian Webpage. The Army is pursuing a real Iron Man suit! IE exploit makes it even lamer than before!

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

TechPodcasts Network

International Association of Internet Broadcasters

Blubrry Network

Dr. Bill Bailey.NET

Trellian Webpage


Start the Video Netcast in the Blubrry Video Player above by
clicking on the “Play” Button in the center of the screen.

(Click on the buttons below to Stream the Netcast in your “format of choice”)
Streaming M4V Audio





Streaming MP3 Audio

Streaming Ogg Audio

Download M4V Download WebM Download MP3 Download Ogg
(Right-Click on any link above, and select “Save As…” to save the Netcast on your PC.)

Available on YouTube at: http://youtu.be/hYWIW3BalAg

Available on Vimeo at: https://vimeo.com/76800789


IE Exploit Makes it Even Less Secure… Patch IE NOW!

We all know that it is a fact that Internet Explorer is sorry, and it’s mother dresses it funny. It is the most insecure browser on the Internet, and should never be used. HOWEVER, you should still patch this latest exploit with the fix, because it is even worse than the normal IE insecurities. Ouch. Yes, Microsoft is lame… again.

Microsoft issues patch to fix Internet Explorer security gap

“Microsoft has released an emergency software fix for Internet Explorer after hackers exploited a security flaw in the browser to attack an unknown number of users.

Named Fix It, the software patch is Microsoft’s response to learning about ‘extremely limited, targeted attacks’ that made use of the newly discovered bug.

The announcement comes hours after the company has initiated a massive share buyback worth $40bn believed to raise its dividend pay-out to shareholders by 22 per cent.

According to Microsoft’s statement, hackers took advantage of a previously unknown bug to conduct a series of zero-day attacks – those occurring immediately after the discovery, giving software developers no time to address the issue.

Experts believe state-sponsored hacking groups frequently pay thousands of dollars to find and exploit zero-day vulnerabilities in widespread software, such as the Internet Explorer.

To keep the gap secret as long as possible, only a very small number of carefully selected, high-value targets, is attacked initially.

After a warning about a zero-day bug is officially issued, hacking groups will embark on an engineering operation to build computer viruses based on Fix It’s architecture, trying to exploit the same gaps for massive cyber-crime operations, such as identity theft.

Security experts have advised users to either immediately install Fix it or switch to another browser until a regular software update addressing the shortcoming is made available.

‘With the Fix It out, I’m sure any attacker who is a bit sophisticated can figure out what the flaw is and implement a similar exploit in their own attack toolkit,’ said Wolfgang Kandek, chief technology officer at the cyber-security firm Qualys.

Unlike a conventional update, which is installed automatically, Fix It type of software needs to be downloaded and installed by the user on his/hers PC.

Experts believe Microsoft will try to make a proper update ready in two or three weeks. Until then, users can find and install Fix It from Microsoft’s support site.”

A Real Live Iron Man Suit for the Military

Iron Man SuitWow! This is just too cool! Maybe we will end up with a real, live superhero!

US Army plans ‘Iron Man’ armor for soldiers

BBC News – The US Army is working to develop ‘revolutionary’ smart armor that would give its troops ‘superhuman strength’.

It is calling on the technology industry, government labs and academia to help build the Iron Man-style suit.

Other exoskeletons that allow soldiers to carry large loads much further have already been tested by the army.

The Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (Talos) would have such a frame but would also have layers of smart materials fitted with sensors.

The suit would also need to have wide-area networking and a wearable computer similar to Google Glass, the US Army said.

Increase strength

It should be made of smart material fitted with sensors to monitor body temperature, heart rate and hydration levels.

The exoskeleton, which could be attached to arms and legs, would be likely to use hydraulics to greatly increase strength.

‘The requirement is a comprehensive family of systems in a combat armor suit where we bring together an exoskeleton with innovative armor, displays for power monitoring, health monitoring, and integrating a weapon into that,’ said Lt Col Karl Borjes, a science adviser at the US Army’s research, development and engineering command.

‘It’s advanced armor. It’s communications, antennas. It’s cognitive performance. It’s sensors, miniature-type circuits. That’s all going to fit in here, too,’ he added.

Magnetic field

According to US Army Sgt Maj Chris Faris, ‘no one industry can build it’.

Instead the army is calling on research and development organisations, private industry as well as government labs and academia to support the project.

The US Army said it was likely that scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology would be involved in the design.

An MIT team is currently developing liquid body armor – made from fluids that transform into a solid when a magnetic field or electrical current is applied.

Large robot

In an interview with US news site NPR, MIT professor Gareth McKinley compared the futuristic armor to that seen in Hollywood films.

‘It sounds exactly like Iron Man,’ he said.

‘The other kind of things that you see in the movies… would be the kind of external suit that Sigourney Weaver wears in Aliens, where it’s a large robot that amplifies the motions and lifting capability of a human.’

The aim is the get the Talos armor out in the field within three years.

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