Oct
16th

Announcing CrossOver 14.0.0!

Announcing CrossOver 14.0.0

Announcement:

“Hello all,

I am delighted to announce that CodeWeavers has just released CrossOver 14.0.0 for both Mac OS X and Linux. CrossOver 14.0.0 has major improvements for both OS X and Linux users.

For OS X users, CrossOver 14 introduces compatibility with Apple’s latest version of OS X, Yosemite, and also introduces a new and easy-to-use user interface. Windows applications now can be launched directly from CrossOver itself, and CrossOver presents simple icons you can drag to your OS X dock as shortcuts to your favorite Windows applications. Managing Windows applications on your Mac is easier than ever with CrossOver 14.

For Linux users, CrossOver has a powerful new automatic configuration feature which will detect, download, and install system components necessary to run Windows applications. CrossOver includes a database of what packages are needed by which Windows applications on which Linux distributions. When you use the CrossOver Software Installer to install a Windows application that depends on a particular Linux package, CrossOver will ask whether you want to install the required dependencies. If you agree, CrossOver will automatically install the required Linux packages before moving on to the Windows software install. This makes installing Windows software on Linux easier than it has ever been.

CrossOver 14 includes support for Quicken 2015 and a number of new games. CrossOver 14 is based on Wine 1.7.25, bringing thousands of improvements to application stability and support.

Mac customers with active support entitlements will be upgraded to CrossOver 14 the next time they launch CrossOver. Linux users can download the latest version from http://www.codeweavers.com/.

If CrossOver asks for registration use your codeweavers.com email address & password to register and unlock CrossOver. Email info@codeweavers.com if you need more help.

Thank you all for your support, and we hope you enjoy CrossOver 14.0.0!”

Oct
16th

The Evil Empire Sends Out Cease-and-Desist Letters

No, I haven’t been #Microstopped yet… but, just to be safe, I will substitute “Linux” for “Microsoft Windows.” Talk about evil hubris!

Microsoft Serves Takedown Notices to Videos Not Infringing on Anything

Wired – By: Klint Finley – Microsoft’s never-ending war on software piracy caused some collateral damage this week. The victims? A handful of prominent YouTube video bloggers.

The bloggers—including LockerGnome founder Chris Pirillo and FrugalTech host Bruce Naylor—took to Twitter on Tuesday, with the hashtag #Microstopped, to complain that they had received erroneous copyright infringement notices for videos that were often several years old. The notices were filed under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the U.S. law that seeks to control access to copyrighted material on the net.

Microsoft apologized for the notices, blaming the issue on wayward comments. ‘[S]ome of these videos were inadvertently targeted for removal because there were stolen product keys embedded in the comments section of the videos,’ a Microsoft spokesperson said in statement sent to WIRED, referring to keys that would allow access to Microsoft commercial software. ‘We have already taken steps to reinstate legitimate video content and are working towards a better solution to targeting stolen IP while respecting legitimate content.’

The situation shows that, 16 years after it went into effect, the DMCA is far from the ideal way to police copyrighted material—mainly because it makes it too easy for big companies like Microsoft to silence the little guys, sometimes for no good reason.

Pirillo says he learned—after sending a counter notice to YouTube—that a company called Marketly sent DMCA notice on behalf of Microsoft. Marketly, which was founded by former Microsoft engineer Pulin Thakkar, uses algorithms to spot piracy and counterfeiting on the net. The company’s website boasts that it can ‘generate actionable intelligence from Big Data analysis and machine learning technologies.’

According to Google’s Transparency Report site, Marketly has requested that Google remove nearly 11 million different URLs from its search engine on behalf of Microsoft since 2011.

This round of complaints over the company’s practices began with Naylor and FrugalTech. On Tuesday, Naylor posted a video explaining that YouTube had removed one of his videos after someone filed—on behalf of Microsoft—a DMCA takedown notice. Under the DMCA, web hosts and internet service providers must immediately remove allegedly infringing content when notified by the copyright holder. But Naylor’s video, which you can now find on the video sharing site Vimeo, didn’t include so much as a screenshot of Microsoft Windows. It was merely a video of Naylor speaking into the camera and explaining why he thought Windows 8 wasn’t selling well.

Pirillo says he received his own takedown notice while watching Naylor’s video, and soon discovered that other bloggers had received similar notices. That spurred him to create the #Microstopped to find bring attention to Marketly’s behavior. We’ve counted at least eight different bloggers who received notices on Tuesday.

At first, Naylor blamed the removal of his video on the fact that his video was critical of Microsoft. ‘It really pissed off somebody and they’re looking for any excuse to take it down,’ he said in his video. But many of the videos that have been taken down weren’t critical of Microsoft at all. Mark Watson, the host of a tech-focused YouTube channel called SoldierKnowsBest, received a takedown notice for a simple instructional video. ‘It was a video telling people how to download the Windows 7 Beta from your website in 2009,’ he tweeted.

Likewise, Pirillo’s video was about how to upgrade Windows 7. As he put it: ‘This isn’t about censoring negative reviews so much as it is the gross abuse of YouTube’s copyright flagging system and is not without precedent.’

Oct
11th

The Tricaster Mini: A New Mini-Video Studio System


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Posted to YouTube by Robert Scoble – TriCaster Mini from NewTek: the all-in-one portable TV studio

“Philip Nelson, chief relationship officer for NewTek, dropped by and pulled out an entire TV studio from his backpack and to our amazement, set it up in less than 5 minutes. At the heart of it is the new TriCaster Mini, that makes it easy for anyone to make great looking network-style TV anywhere.”

Oct
11th

Netflix via Google Chrome Now Works in Linux!

There are a lot of tricks to get Netflix to work in Linux. Now, it will work via Chrome… awesome!

Netflix comes to Linux via Ubuntu and Chrome

PCWorld – By: Jared Newman – Ubuntu Linux users no longer need to employ arcane workarounds to watch Netflix on their computers.

“Instead, they can just head to Netflix’s website through Google’s Chrome browser to start streaming. Netflix is supported in Chrome 37, which runs on up-to-date Ubuntu installations of 12.04 LTS, 14.04 LTS or later.

Why this matters: Previously, users had to tweak the user agent string in Chrome to fool Netflix into thinking the browser was Internet Explorer. And before that, users had to run a Netflix desktop app through WINE, a popular Windows software emulator. While many Linux users are presumably savvy enough to jump through an extra hoop or two, it’s nice that they no longer have to.

A matter of DRM

The reason Netflix hasn’t worked across all Linux distributions and browsers is related to digital rights management. As PCWorld’s Chris Hoffman explained last month, Netflix streams its video in HTML5, but uses a technology called Encrypted Media Extensions to prevent piracy. These extensions in turn require a set of libraries called Network Security Services that the browser can access.

Until recently, Ubuntu hadn’t included NSS in its normal updates. That changed with Ubuntu 12.04 and 14.04, and so Netflix has made good on a promise to allow streaming without any changes to the user agent string.

Although there’s no official word on Netflix working with other Linux distributions, they should also be able to stream from Chrome if they include a recent version of NSS. One user on Reddit’s Linux section claims that no user agent switching is required in Linux Mint 17, kernel 3.17.

As for Firefox, support won’t be possible until Mozilla supports Encrypted Media Extensions. After some resistance, Mozilla is working to add EME support in a future.”

Oct
3rd

Red Hat is Moving From a Client-Server Company to a Cloud Computing Company

This is VERY interesting, they are betting the farm on Cloud Computing!

Red Hat CEO announces a shift from client-server to cloud computing

ZDNet – By: Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols – “Red Hat is in the midst of changing its image from a top Linux company to the future king of cloud computing. CEO Jim Whitehurst told me in 2011 that the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) cloud would be Red Hat’s future. Today in a blog posting, Whitehurst underlined this shift from Linux to OpenStack.

Whitehurst wrote:

Right now, we’re in the midst of a major shift from client-server to cloud-mobile. It’s a once-every-twenty-years kind of change. As history has shown us, in the early days of those changes, winners emerge that set the standards for that era – think Wintel in the client-server arena. We’re staring at a huge opportunity – the chance to become the leader in enterprise cloud, much like we are the leader in enterprise open source. The competition is fierce, and companies will have several choices for their cloud needs. But the prize is the chance to establish open source as the default choice of this next era, and to position Red Hat as the provider of choice for enterprises’ entire cloud infrastructure.

In case you haven’t gotten the point yet, Whitehurst states, ‘We want to be the undisputed leader in enterprise cloud.’ In Red Hat’s future, Linux will be the means to a cloud, not an end unto itself.

He’s not the only Linux leader who sees it that way. Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical and Ubuntu’s founder, agrees. If you read Shuttleworth’s blog, you’ll see he focuses far more on Ubuntu’s inroads into the cloud than, say, Ubuntu on the smartphone or tablet.

They both have excellent reasons for seeing it this way. With the exception of Microsoft Azure, all other cloud platforms rely on Linux and open source software. Amazon’s cloud services, for example, run on top of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

So neither Linux leader is walking too far away from Linux. Shuttleworth, for example, is quite proud that Ubuntu is the leading Linux OS on OpenStack. Whitehurst was quick to note that ‘Red Hat Enterprise Linux is easily the best operating platform in the world, counting more than 90 percent of the Fortune 500 as customers.’

Linux leaders see a future where IT is based on Linux and the open source cloud. And if Whitehurst has his way, it will be a Red Hat-dominated future.”

Oct
3rd

A New Mac OS X Botnet Has Been Discovered

This is a nasty botnet exploit, and a real indication that EVEN A MAC needs anti-virus. I use Kaspersky AV on my Macbook Pro. Dr. Web is another excellent anti-virus, this is from their web site!

New Mac OS X botnet discovered

Dr. Web Anti-Virus Web Site – to Mac OS X. One of them turned out to be a complex multi-purpose backdoor that entered the virus database as Mac.BackDoor.iWorm. Criminals can issue commands that get this program to carry out a wide range of instructions on the infected machines. A statistical analysis indicates that there are more than 17,000 unique IP addresses associated with infected Macs.

Criminals developed this malware using C++ and Lua. It should also be noted that the backdoor makes extensive use of encryption in its routines. During installation it is extracted into /Library/Application Support/JavaW, after which the dropper generates a p-list file so that the backdoor is launched automatically.

When Mac.BackDoor.iWorm is initially launched, it saves its configuration data in a separate file and tries to read the contents of the /Library directory to determine which of the installed applications the malware won’t be interacting with. If ‘unwanted’ directories can’t be found, the bot uses system queries to determine the home directory of the Mac OS X account under which it is running, checks the availability of its configuration file in the directory, and writes the data needed for it to continue to operate into the file. Then Mac.BackDoor.iWorm opens a port on an infected computer and awaits an incoming connection. It sends a request to a remote site to acquire a list of control servers, and then connects to the remote servers and waits for instructions. It is worth mentioning that in order to acquire a control server address list, the bot uses the search service at reddit.com, and—as a search query—specifies hexadecimal values of the first 8 bytes of the MD5 hash of the current date. The reddit.com search returns a web page containing a list of botnet C&C servers and ports published by criminals in comments to the post minecraftserverlists under the account vtnhiaovyd.

The bot picks a random server from the first 29 addresses on the list and sends queries to each of them. Search requests to acquire the list are sent to reddit.com in five-minute intervals.

While establishing a connection to the server whose address is picked from the list using a special routine, the backdoor attempts to determine whether the server address is on the exceptions list and engages in a data exchange with the server to employ special routines for authenticating the remote host. If successful, the backdoor sends the server information about the open port on the infected machine and its unique ID and awaits directives.

Mac.BackDoor.iWorm is able to perform two types of commands: different directives depending on the binary data provided and Lua scripts. Basic backdoor commands for Lua-scripts can be used to perform the following actions:

  • Get the OS type.
  • Get the bot version.
  • Get the bot UID.
  • Get a value from the configuration file.
  • Set a parameter value in the configuration file.
  • Remove all parameters from the configuration file.
  • Get bot uptime.
  • Send a GET query.
  • Download a file.
  • Open a socket for an inbound connection and then execute the commands received.
  • Execute a system instruction.
  • Sleep.
  • Ban a node by IP.
  • Clear the list of banned nodes.
  • Get the node list.
  • Get a node IP.
  • Get node type.
  • Get node port.
  • Execute a nested Lua-script.

Information collected by Doctor Web’s researchers shows that as of September 26, 2014, 17,658 IP addresses of infected devices were involved in the botnet created by hackers using Mac.BackDoor.iWorm. Most of them—4,610 (representing 26.1% of the total)—reside in the United States. Canada ranks second with 1,235 addresses (7%), and the United Kingdom ranks third with 1,227 IP addresses of infected computers (6.9% of the total). The late September 2014 geographical distribution of the botnet created with Mac.BackDoor.iWorm is shown in the following illustration:

The signature of this malware has been added to the virus database, so Mac.BackDoor.iWorm poses no danger to Macs protected with Dr.Web Anti-virus for Mac OS X.”

Oct
1st

Windows 10 Insider Program


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Watch Windows VP Joe Belfiore talk about some of the features in Windows 10, like the new Start menu, multiple desktops, and improved multi-tasking. Learn how you can be part of creating the best Windows yet with the Tech Preview and the Windows Insider Program.

Sep
30th

So, It Will Be Called Windows 10…

I hope it is a good release. Windows 8.x was not so much!

Microsoft Skips Windows 9, Heads Straight to Windows 10

re/code – By: Ina Fried -“Microsoft on Tuesday gave its first detailed look at the next major update to Windows, which it has decided to call Windows 10.

The software, expected to be released in final form next year, is designed to run across the broadest array of devices, with screens ranging from four inches to 80 inches, with some devices having no screens at all.

‘Windows 10 will be our most comprehensive platform ever,’ Windows chief Terry Myerson said at a briefing with reporters in San Francisco. ‘It wouldn’t be right to call it Windows 9.’

In addition to being the next version of Microsoft’s PC operating system, Windows 10 will also be the next major release for Windows Phone as Microsoft moves to a single OS for PCs, phones and tablets.

Visually, Windows 10 resembles Windows 7 as much as Windows 8. Many of Windows 8’s user interface features are still present, but they are tucked into a more traditional Windows interface. Both classic and new-style apps run side-by-side with a less jarring distinction between the two types of programs.

Phones will have a different user interface from the one shown Tuesday, but Microsoft declined to offer many details on that, saying only that it would be an evolutionary update to Windows Phone 8.1.

A technical preview version of the software will be made available starting on Wednesday, Myerson said. Consumers that don’t mind trying early, pre-release software can download the Windows 10 preview part of a new Windows Insider program.’

‘We’re planning to share more than we ever have before, frankly earlier than we have before,’ Myerson said. ‘We know there are these people that want to live on the edge with us.’

In demonstrating the new software, Windows VP Joe Belfiore demonstrated how the new Windows will work with a wide-range of interfaces, ranging from the very old-school command prompt, to the Windows 7-style task bar to modern touch screens.

Windows 10 represents a critical launch for Microsoft, which has seen exceptionally slow business take-up for Windows 8 during its two years on the market.

An added challenge for Microsoft is that it now has millions of users on touch-screen Windows 8 devices and hundreds of millions of people using older versions of the software with a mouse and keyboard.

Microsoft has a lot of different constituencies to please, not to mention trying to appeal to a generation of new computer buyers that have grown up with iPhones, iPads and Android devices.

While highlighting work that the company has done to appeal toward existing mouse-and-keyboard users, Belfiore said ‘We definitely see people moving towards touch.’

The company is also working on an approach called ‘continuum’ that would allow convertible laptops to switch between a standard view and a tablet-centric view more similar to Windows 8. Belfiore showed a video of how this could work, but said the feature is not yet far enough along to demonstrate publicly.

While Microsoft is previewing the code now it will be some time before the company reveals other details, such as exact timing and pricing.

Myerson declined to say whether Microsoft will sell Windows 10 differently, such as via subscription or other means. He also said it was too soon to say if Windows 10 would arrive sooner for some types of devices than for others.

Microsoft focused its pitch on Tuesday to business customers, with additional events expected in the coming months to tout features for other audiences.

Myerson said the company will talk more about the consumer features early next year, with plans to release it later in 2015, at some point following the company’s Build conference for developers.

‘Mid-next year would be a reasonable time to think about it,’ Myerson said.”

Sep
28th

Is the Water We Use Older Than the Sun?

WaterSome scientists are saying so!

Earth’s Water Is Older Than The Sun

Popular Science – By Sarah Fecht – “Since water is one of the vital ingredients for life on Earth, scientists want to know how it got here. One theory is that the water in our solar system was created in the chemical afterbirth of the Sun. If that were the case, it would suggest that water might only be common around certain stars that form in certain ways. But a new study, published today in Science, suggests that at least some of Earth’s water actually existed before the Sun was born — and that it came from interstellar space.

That’s certainly something to ponder the next time you drink a glass of water. But the discovery is also cool because it means water — and maybe life — may be ubiquitous throughout the galaxy.

“If water in the early Solar System was primarily inherited as ice from interstellar space, then it is likely that similar ices, along with the prebiotic organic matter that they contain, are abundant in most or all protoplanetary disks around forming stars,” study author Conel Alexander explained in a press release.

The researchers concluded that a significant portion of Earth’s water came from interstellar space by looking at the relative abundance of hydrogen and deuterium.

Deuterium is like hydrogen’s heavier brother. Both atoms have one proton in their nuclei, but deuterium contains an extra neutron, and it mostly forms under special conditions. In interstellar space, for example, water ice contains lots of deuterium, thanks to the freezing cold temperatures and ionizing radiation. Earthly water contains some deuterium, too, but in low quantities — up to 30 times less than interstellar water.

Looking at a water sample’s ratio of hydrogen to deuterium can tell you about what conditions were like when the water formed. But until now, scientists weren’t sure whether Earth’s deuterium came from space, or whether it was cooked up in the birth of the Sun.

To find out, researchers used mathematical models to virtually recreate the young solar system’s protoplanetary disk — the cloud around the newborn Sun. They found that, based on the temperature and radiation conditions that would have existed back then, it wasn’t possible for the young solar system to create the ratios of hydrogen and deuterium that scientists observe in Earth’s oceans and on comets. Because of that, the researchers estimate that anywhere between 7 and 50 percent of Earth’s water had to have come from the interstellar medium in which the solar system was born.

And since other solar systems would have formed in the same interstellar medium, the findings suggest that the origins of water on Earth were not unique, and that the thirst-quenching, life-supporting substance may be common on exoplanets throughout the galaxy.”

Sep
28th

Project Marilyn: An Open Source Cure for Cancer?


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Project Marilyn aims to create an open-source anti-cancer drug

Geek – By: By Graham Templeton – “A crowdfunded anti-cancer research effort called Project Marilyn is, to say the least, interesting. It has tinges of the potential of crowdfunding, of open source development, of anti-patent law, of cancer research, and of good or bad science. Its implications could reach further than any one single anti-cancer drug, as it hopes to lead by example and help the whole research sector to a better future. Project Marilyn is just the pilot project of a much longer series, called IndySci, but neither will come to anything if Marilyn doesn’t manage to reach its funding goal — as of this writing, Project Marilyn has about $13,700 of its $50,000 goal, and just 20 days left to raise the difference.

The drug being developed here is referred to as 9DS, or 9-deoxysibiromycin, and it’s not what we would call fundamentally new; like many anti-cancer drugs of the past, it works by inhibiting cell proliferation, taking essentially the chemotherapy approach and betting on the fact that relatively high-turnover cancer cells will die more quickly in such a situation than healthy ones. The 9DS molecule literally holds the double-helix closed, slowing cell replication by preventing those cells from peeling their genomes apart to duplicate them. 9DS has shown real promise for treating kidney, breast, and skin cancers, but (so goes the narrative) that promise was scuttled by raw financial greed; 9DS was not patented, and as a result drug companies saw little potential profit in taking the drug through the expensive process of clinical trials.

Yet, because it’s not patented, the drug is essentially open source. This means that while large companies are less likely to invest, large companies are also not the only ones who can invest. That investment, which can be as little as $1 in volume thanks to IndySci, will go directly and entirely toward research expenses. That means that, quite literally, this is the most direct cancer research donation you are likely to find anywhere in the world — cancer research, more than just about any other disease, has an enormous and often intimidating bureaucracy behind it. IndieSci, or some version of the same idea, could potentially make the funder-fundee relationship in science much, much closer.

But there’s an issue (not a problem, an issue) with 9DS itself: maybe it’s bunk. This is ultimately the most likely stumbling block for any crowdfunded science project, that while science thrives on a steady diet of failures and null results, public opinion absolutely does not. A scientist might go out for celebratory beers after usefully falsifying his or her own hypothesis, and that’s a mentality most people just don’t understand. For all its nefarious tendencies, the corporate world has always been able to see far enough to keep funding such a stuttering and anti-climactic way of doing things. The crowd, however? Someone whose donation eventually became a viable drug would be far more likely to donate again in the future than someone whose donation had gone to proving that a particular drug is useless.

That natural emotional response fundamentally breaks the research sector – the last time we relied on the public’s high-minded commitment to quality over populism, we all watched passively as the nation’s newspapers tanked. This has not been a winning strategy in the past, but perhaps the immediate personal impact of cancer will be enough to galvanize the public behind this cause. Perhaps it will also be enough to motivate a higher percentage of researchers to exaggerate or falsify results to please backers. Dr. Isaac Yonemoto, a lead researcher on Project Marilyn and the prime mover behind IndieSci, showed up in the comments over at Hacker News to answer some questions — he certainly seems to understand the difficulties of crowdfunding every step of a process of trial and error.

Another issue with crowdfunding science is that, very often, you’ll be asking people to fund projects they do not understand. It’s still unclear how a thriving IndieSci of the future would help potential backers sift the doomed or less promising studies from the truly solid science. The expertise needed to really understand science lends itself naturally to the introduction of learned gatekeepers — but that’s what got us here in the first place.

If it reaches its $50,000 goal, Project Marilyn will begin with what’s known as a xenograft experiment, which test the drug’s effectiveness in mice. This is work which could lead to human trials, though the amount of money needed at that stage would be much, much higher than $50 grand. More interesting will be the funders’ reaction if this work comes to nothing more than a better understanding of cancer — will they be disappointed, or sophisticated enough to be satisfied anyway?”


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