Category Archives: Computers, Science & Technology

Edge Will Not Support Silverlight

The new browser called “Edge” in Windows 10 will be really stripped down, and that is a good thing!

Microsoft confirms its new Edge browser won’t support Silverlight

Windows Central – By: John Callaham – “Microsoft has already announced that its new Microsoft Edge web browser in Windows 10 will not be using many of the features that were a part of its old Internet Explorer browsers. That includes support for ActiveX-based plug-ins. Today, Microsoft confirmed that the ditching of ActiveX also means Edge won’t support the company’s own Silverlight web-based media player.

In a blog post. Microsoft said:

‘Support for ActiveX has been discontinued in Microsoft Edge, and that includes removing support for Silverlight. The reasons for this have been discussed in previous blogs and include the emergence of viable and secure media solutions based on HTML5 extensions. Microsoft continues to support Silverlight, and Silverlight out-of-browser apps can continue to use it. Silverlight will also continue to be supported in Internet Explorer 11, so sites continue to have Silverlight options in Windows 10. At the same time, we encourage companies that are using Silverlight for media to begin the transition to DASH/MSE/CENC/EME based designs and to follow a single, DRM-interoperable encoding work flow enabled by CENC. This represents the most broadly interoperable solution across browsers, platforms, content and devices going forward.’

Silverlight was first introduced in 2007 as an alternative Adobe’s Flash player for web-based media. It was most famously used by Netflix for its desktop streaming video service. The last major release was Silverlight 5 in 2011 and Microsoft has not indicated plans to release a major new version. Most sites have now abandoned Silverlight and Netflix is transitioning its web player to HTML5.”

Cisco to Buy OpenDNS

I use OpenDNS at home, and have for years… it is kinda cool that they are being acquired by Cisco, I just hope that the free service doesn’t change!

Cisco to buy cybersecurity firm OpenDNS in $635m deal

ZDNet – By: Charlie Osborne – “Cisco has announced its intention to purchase threat protection security firm OpenDNS in a deal worth $635 million.

Announced on Tuesday, the tech giant said the move will accelerate the development of the Cisco Cloud Delivered Security Portfolio, and OpenDNS will prove a boost to advanced threat protection services for Cisco clients.

In addition, the OpenDNS cloud delivered platform will give Cisco better visibility and more insight into the threat landscape.

Under the terms of the agreement, Cisco will play $635 million in cash and equity awards, as well as ‘retention-based incentives’ for OpenDNS.

Cisco’s latest portfolio addition will be made in light of the Internet of Everything (IoE), linked to the Internet of Things (IoT) concept. With over 50 billion devices expected to become connected by 2020, the rush to create smart devices and appliances also gives threat actors a far wider reach and more opportunities to breach networks and break corporate security.

This is where cloud-based security solutions come in — bolt-on Software-as-a- Service (SaaS) models which can provide better security for the enterprise without requiring vast in-house teams or expertise.

‘In a world in which devices and people can connect from anywhere at anytime, enterprise IT teams have increasingly limited visibility into potential threats from these unmonitored and potentially unsecure entry points into the network, creating tremendous security risk,’ Cisco says.

‘Combining OpenDNS’ broad visibility, unique predictive threat intelligence and cloud platform with Cisco’s robust security and threat capabilities will increase awareness across the extended network, both on- and off-premise, reduce the time to detect and respond to threats, and mitigate risk of a security breach.’

The OpenDNS team, based in San Francisco, will join the Cisco Security Business Group organization led by David Goeckeler.

Hilton Romanski, Cisco chief technology and strategy officer said in prepared remarks:

‘As more people, processes, data and things become connected, opportunities for security breaches and malicious threats grow exponentially when away from secure enterprise networks. OpenDNS has a strong team with deep security expertise and key technology that complements Cisco’s security vision. Together, we will help customers protect their extended network wherever the user is and regardless of the device.’

The deal is expected to close in the first financial quarter of 2015, subject to regulatory approval.”

Oracle Signs a Deal With Yahoo to Hijack Your Browser!

Oracle / Yahoo HijackThis is evil at it’s worst! Oracle has signed a deal such that, if you download Java, during the install, if you are not VERY careful, and uncheck a box, the install will change your web browser search to Yahoo! Man! This is rotten on Oracle and Yahoo’s part. I can’t tell you how many times I have had to uninstall browser hijackers off friends computers! Grrrr!

The checkbox is checked by default, so users have to uncheck it to opt out of the Yahoo setting. Anyone rushing through a Java installation in an effort to get some piece of Web software working quickly could pass over this screen and accidentally reset their browser settings.

‘We have definitely made sure that our onboarding process is one that is highly transparent and gives users choice,’ a Yahoo spokesman said in an interview.

Oracle has bundled software with Java downloads for years. The deal with Yahoo replaces a previous exclusive deal with Ask.com.

Amazon Echo Has Been Released to the Public

Amazon EchoThis notice went out today about the Amazon Echo:

“Dear Customers,

Today, we are excited to announce that Amazon Echo is available to everyone.

We launched Echo as an invitation-only program in November to learn how customers would use and enjoy it most. The response has been overwhelming.

Echo was born from a simple idea: create a computer, controlled entirely by your voice. This idea required some incredible invention. It had to understand natural language requests, from many voices, from across a room, even when music is playing. It also needed to be informative, entertaining, and useful—while always getting smarter.

With seven microphones, beam-forming technology, and noise cancellation, Echo achieved this goal by enabling far-field voice recognition. And Alexa, our cloud-based voice service that powers Echo, provides information, music, news, weather, and more—and she is constantly learning new skills.

Since launch, we have added streaming music from Pandora, audiobooks from Audible, calendar access, live sports scores and schedules, traffic reports, Amazon.com re-ordering, control of connected devices such as lights and switches from WeMo and Philips Hue, and more. Many of these features are a result of feedback and suggestions from our customers—thank you.

I am excited by what the team has done in a short period of time with your help—and we’re just getting started. We hope you enjoy Amazon Echo.

Jeff Bezos
Founder & CEO”

I have been “playing” with mine, and I should have a review for you this weekend on the show!

New 1 TB Playstation!

PS4 Ultimate EditionI know what this means… the Gamemaster will want one!

Sony’s new PlayStation 4 arrives with 1TB of storage next month

The Verge – By: Rich McCormick – “Microsoft’s Xbox One isn’t the only console getting a storage upgrade. Sony today announced its new PlayStation 4 1TB Ultimate Player Edition, a new version of the console that comes with twice the hard drive space of the previous model. The new console is coming to Japan before the end of June, Europe on July 15th, and North America in the same month. Sony has not yet provided pricing information for the new machines, suggesting instead that you check with your local retailer.

In addition to a bigger hard drive, The new console is a slight technological improvement on the previous model, weighing in at 10 percent lighter and using 8 percent less power than the 500GB PS4. The new console’s hard drive bay is also now decked out with a matte finish, a stylistic choice Sony says somehow makes the system look more “casual,” as if the current shiny finish was trying too hard. The new console comes in both white and black variants, with neither looking as nice as the console’s 20th anniversary edition.

The existence of a new PS4 Ultimate Player Edition was rumored earlier this month when FCC filings were uncovered that pointed to a console with a bigger hard drive in development at Sony. A bundle with the same name that appeared to include both a PS4 console and a PlayStation Vita also appeared on Amazon France for €579.99 ($657). Such a bundle that combined both devices could have helped drive sales of Sony’s flagging handheld, but today’s announcement makes no mention of the Vita, referring only to the increased storage capacity of the PS4 itself.

The Japanese company also used today to roll out changes to its PlayStation companion app. The software, available on iOS and Android, now lets you redeem gift codes without powering your console on and displays comments received from viewers while you’re streaming.”

Turn Your iPhone Into An SLR!

Do0 DeviceFor enough money to buy an SLR camera, you can convert your expensive iPhone into an SLR. Huh?

DxO One Bridges iPhone-DSLR Camera Divide

Tech News World – By: John P. Mello, Jr. – “DxO, known for its top-notch digital imaging software, on Thursday announced a new compact camera designed to allow iPhones and iPads to capture higher-quality digital images.

The DxO One is the first digital camera that plugs into the Lightning connector found on Apple devices and that uses their Retina display as a viewfinder.

Lightweight, at 3.8 ounces, and a compact 2.65 inches tall, the DxO packs a very fast lens (f/1.8) and a large 1-inch CMOS BSI sensor with support for 20.2 megapixels.

‘Compactness is key, because it’s the sort of camera you’re going to want to keep in your pocket at all times so it’s always there when you need it,’ said DxO Senior Vice President for Marketing Kirk Paulsen.

The DxO One isn’t designed to replace either DSLRs or the iPhone’s camera, he told TechNewsWorld.

‘We think the camera on the iPhone is fantastic, and it’s great for capturing life’s everyday moments,’ he said.

‘At the other end of the spectrum, we’re not suggesting it will replace digital DSLRs, because they have a purpose and will continue to be used by high-end photographers,” Paulsen said, “but in between the two, there’s a need for something that offers very high quality and is incredibly compact.’

No Overhead for iPhone

Made of high-grade aluminum, the DxO One allows an iPhone to swivel plus or minus 60 degrees while attached to the camera. That gives a shutterbug more flexibility when setting up the angle for a shot.

With the free iOS app included with the camera, a shooter can control the unit’s aperture (f/1.8-f/11), shutter speed (15 seconds -1/8000 second), and ISO (100-51,200).

Images can be captured in full auto mode, one of multiple scene modes, shutter or aperture priority mode, or full manual mode.

Video can be shot at 30 frames per second for 1080p and 120 frames per second for 720p.

Since the camera runs on its own battery and storage — it accepts micro SD cards — it won’t be gobbling up the iPhone’s resources when the pair are married. However, it can use the phone’s connectivity options to quickly share photos on social watering holes like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

That’s a new twist for a camera like this, noted Ross Rubin, the principal analyst at Reticle Research.

‘We really haven’t seen a lot of cameras with built-in cellular capability,’ he told TechNewsWorld.

‘If it can take advantage of the existing cellular capability,’ Rubin continued, ‘it allows consumers to share quite a bit more conveniently to their social networks, which is a key way that consumers use photography today.’

Beyond RAW

One mark of a serious camera is its ability to take photos in the RAW format. The DxO One will do that; further, it supports its own SuperRAW format. SuperRAW is sort of a variation on High Dynamic Range processing, except that in SuperRAW, four RAW shots are captured in sequence.

‘SuperRAW is intended for extreme low-light photography,’ DxO’s Paulsen explained. ‘With our software, you can produce images that are exceptional with very little noise and lots of detail.’

DxO One low light

DxO on Thursday began taking orders for the camera, which will sell for US$599. It’s expected to ship in September. For a limited time, the company will include for free two of its software products: DxO OpticsPro, which sells for $199; and DxO FilmPack, which sells for $129.

With smarphones eating up so much of the camera market in recent years, camera makers have sought refuge at the high end of the market. Will the DxO One challenge one of their last bastions?

‘I’ve seen the phrase ‘DSLR quality’ in a lot of the headlines about DxO’s new camera, but I wouldn’t expect consumers to find it hard to choose between this and a DSLR,’ said Stan Horaczek, online editor for Popular Photography magazine.

‘I do, however, think that it’s just another step in fragmenting the camera market,’ he told TechNewsWorld, ‘which has ultimately been tough on overall DSLR sales.’

Pricey Device

The DxO One may not be much of a threat to DSLR makers.

‘Mirrorless cameras have been way more effective at putting a dent in DSLRs than this will be,’ said Terry Sullivan, associate editor for digital cameras and imaging at Consumer Reports.

‘DxO is a very reputable imaging company and does very good work, but it’s not a hugely known brand to the public,’ he told TechNewsWorld.. ‘It’s also really super pricey.’

Nevertheless, for some smartphone shutterphiles, DxO One is going to be just what the doctor ordered. ‘There are a lot limitations to camera phones, and this takes care of probably 90 percent of them,’ said David D. Busch, creative director of the David Busch Photography Guides.

‘I take pictures with my iPhone, but not that many,’ he told TechNewsWorld. ‘This would probably change that.'”

Peppermint Linux 6 is Available!

Peppermint Linux 6Here’s the official announcement of Peppermint Linux 6.0 from Peppermint. Peppermint is my favorite Linux distro for the desktop, even older machines… it rocks! (And, it is based in North Carolina!)

“Peppermint is excited to announce the launch of our latest operating system Peppermint Six. Lightweight and designed for speed, Peppermint Six delivers on that promise whether using software on your desktop, online, or using cloud based apps.

Initially, Peppermint One was designed out of our desire for an operating system optimized for working online. Each year since then, we have improved on it, and we are very excited about new and improved features in Peppermint Six.

Shane Remington, COO of Peppermint, states, “I want to take this opportunity to thank Mark Greaves who stepped up and produced most of what you see here in Peppermint Six. Mark is now playing a major role here at Peppermint by leading the development team. I think you will be impressed what he and the others have put together in Peppermint Six.”

Peppermint Six Highlights

  • Peppermint 6 is still built on the 14.04 LTS (Long Term Support) base, but we’ve moved to the 14.04.2 “point release” which includes the 3.16 kernel and an updated graphics stack.(this is to sidestep the upstream 9 month support issue that comes

    with basing on the not LTS code bases).

  • We’re now using the Nemo file manager, which gives some nice new features including the ability to handle custom nemo action scripts, better desktop management, easier mounting and management of remote network shares (including Windows SMB shares, WebDAV, FTP, SFTP over SSH, etc.), and a smoother overall experience.
  • Along with our policy of not sticking with standard LXDEcomponents where better choices are available, we’ve dropped the

    LXTerminal in favour of Sakura which allows tabbed terminals,

    scrolling, and Gtk+3 color handling including background images.

  • The Update Manager has been replaced with MintUpdate, but with the same settings as update-manager, so the bottom panel update shield makes a comeback.
  • In line with user feedback and proven format handling Guayadeque and Gnome MPlayer have been replace with VLC as a “one app to play them all” replacement.
  • The default image viewer has been changed from Mirage to the eog (Eye of Gnome) image viewer.
  • The xfce4-power-manager has been replaced by mate-power-manager and i3lock replaces light-locker as the default ScreenLock which was causing problems for some users.
  • We’ve moved to the Gnome Search Tool which has a more intuitive user interface, and finer grained control of search criteria.
  • The new Wallpaper manager (based on nitrogen) now makes wallpaper management a breeze, just right-click on the desktop and select “Change Desktop Background” and you’ll see what we mean. The ability to right-click any image file and choose “Set as wallpaper” is also still present.
  • Linux Mint’s USB creation tools “mintstick” are now included by default, making the creation of LiveUSB’s from isohybrid ISO images and the formatting of USB sticks as simple as it gets.
  • Peppermix is our new window manager and widget theme, and for all the dark theme lovers out there (and we know you are legion), we’ve included a dark version “Peppermix-Dark”.
  • Smaller tweaks include 2 new keyboard shortcuts:-PrtSc = save a whole screen capture to your desktop

    Alt+PrtSc = save just the active window to your desktop

    The addition of a right click “Calculate MD5 Checksum” context menu

    item

    The activation of the F4 = “Open Terminal Here” Nemo accelerator

    And various bug fixes.

We invite you to compare Peppermint to other operating systems, we are confident you will be impressed. To take Peppermint Six out for a test drive, visit our website at peppermintos.com where you can download it for free. If you need help installing Peppermint Six, or have any questions about using it, we have a second-to-none user support team at forum.peppermintos.com.

About Peppermint OS LLC

Peppermint OS LLC is a software company, based in Asheville, North Carolina. Founded in 2010, we are committed to building the best operating system for both enterprise and consumers available on the widest range of devices. To find out more about our company, please visit us at http://peppermintos.com.”

The Official Raspberry Pi Case!

Raspberry Pi CaseThere’s now an official case for your Raspberry Pi!

The Raspberry Pi finally has an official case, priced at just $9 (£6)

Ars Technica – By: Sebastian Anthony – “More than three years after launch, there is now an official Raspberry Pi case. In keeping with Raspberry Pi’s aspirational remit of bringing affordable computing to the masses, the new case costs just £6 (or $8.60 in the US). Rather fittingly, the new item features a dashing white-and-raspberry color scheme.

Since the release of the Model A and B in 2012 and through the follow-up releases of the Model B+ and Raspberry Pi 2, an official case has always been one rather obvious omission from the product stack. Because the Raspberry Pi is designed for a range of uses—DIY maker machinations to low-cost educational computing—it never really made sense to provide one. Instead, the Foundation encouraged people and third-party vendors to make and/or sell their own. As such we’ve seen some wonderful cases over the years, including offerings made of 3D-printed plastic, Lego bricks, and even hand-crafted wood.

Now, the Foundation has stepped in. The official case for the Raspberry Pi 2 (and the Model B+) was designed in partnership with Kinneir Dufort. It’s made of injection molded plastic and comes in four parts: a raspberry-colored main chassis and three clip-on panels (two for the sides and one that goes on top). You can remove some or all of the white panels depending on how much of the underlying electronics you want to display. Only the panel nearest the GPIO pins is solid and will need to be removed if you want to use it.

The official Raspberry Pi case is priced at £6 (RS Electronics, Swag Store, Element14) or $8.60 (MCM Electronics, Newark, Allied), which might sound impressive, but it’s in-line with some of the cheaper third-party offerings already on the market. However, we’d be inclined to say the official case is a bit more attractive at first glance than some of the other cheaper cases.”

A Bill is Being Considered to Fight Patent Trolls!

Patent Trolling is evil! VERY evil! And, now, there is a Bill being considered to fight it!

Senate committee backs bill that targets patent trolls

ComputerWorld – By: Grant Gross – “A U.S. Senate committee has voted to approve a bill aimed at curbing abusive lawsuits by so-called patent trolls.

The bipartisan Protecting American Talent and Entrepreneurship (PATENT) Act, introduced in late April, now heads to the full Senate for consideration after the Senate Judiciary Committee vote Thursday.

The bill targets patent-holding companies that use infringement lawsuits as a primary business model. It would require judges to award attorney fees to defendants or plaintiffs in patent infringement lawsuits when the court finds the other side acted unreasonably.

It also requires that companies sending patent licensing demand letters provide details of the alleged infringement, not ‘vague’ demands. The bill would also delay expensive discovery procedures in some patent infringement lawsuits, and it would shield customers using allegedly infringing products from lawsuits.

Several technology groups have praised legislation targeting patent trolls, but others have suggested the bills would hurt the ability of small patent holders to file lawsuits against infringers.

The bill still needs ‘significant work,’ said Brian Pomper, executive director of the Innovation Alliance, representing tech and manufacturing companies. The bill leaves open the potential for abuse of the customer lawsuit provision, and it includes overly broad discovery provisions, he said in a statement.

‘We can strengthen our patent laws without undermining intellectual property rights and crippling a system that is so important to incentivizing innovation and job creation in our country,’ Pomper added.

Sponsors are open to changing the bill as it moves to the full Senate, said Senator Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican and main sponsor of the PATENT Act. The committee tried to ‘strike the right balance’ between ongoing patent reforms at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and concerns about abusive patent lawsuits, he said during Thursday’s hearing.

Some ‘good-faith negotiations’ on the bill continue, Grassley added.

The Consumer Electronics Association praised the bill, saying in a statement that it ‘closes the legal loopholes used by patent trolls — the individuals and companies that don’t invent or manufacture anything useful, but rather abuse our patent system and extort American innovators.’

A similar bill was introduced in February in the House of Representatives.”

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