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Operating Systems

Developer Installs Windows 95 On An Apple Watch (theverge.com) 87

An anonymous reader writes: Developer Nick Lee has successfully installed Windows 95 on his Apple Watch. It works, but it runs very slow. For example, it takes about an hour for the OS to boot up. In a blog post, Lee points out the Apple Watch features specs capable of running the old OS. To get Windows 95 running on the Apple Watch, Lee had to modify Apple's development software in "rather unorthodox ways" that allowed him to turn the OS into a Watch app, which also emulates an environment for the OS to run on, he tells The Verge. To deal with the fact that Apple Watch's screen is always turning itself off when not in use, he set up a motorized tube that constantly turns the Watch's crown, preventing it from falling asleep. In addition, Lee altered the Watch's software to let Windows 95 track a single fingertip, hence the constant swiping in his video.
Debian

Devuan Releases Beta of Systemd-Free 'Debian Fork' Base System (devuan.org) 184

jaromil writes: Devuan beta is released today, following up the Debian fork declaration and progress made during the past two years. Devuan now provides an alternative upgrade path to Debian, and switching is easy from both Wheezy and Jessie. From The Register: "Devuan came into being after a rebellion by a self-described 'Veteran Unix Admin collective' argued that Debian had betrayed its roots and was becoming too desktop-oriented. The item to which they objected most vigorously was the inclusion of the systemd bootloader. The rebels therefore decided to fork Debian and 'preserve Init freedom.' The group renamed itself and its distribution 'Devuan' and got work, promising a fork that looked, felt, and quacked like Debian in all regards other than imposing systemd as the default Init option."
Iphone

Intel Wants To Eliminate The Headphone Jack And Replace It With USB-C (9to5mac.com) 377

An anonymous reader writes: With rumors circulating about how Apple may do away with the 3.5 mm headphone jack on its upcoming iPhone 7, Intel has shared a similar desire, citing "industry singling a strong desire to move from analog to digital." Intel believes USB-C is the future audio jack. They believe USB-C has more potential than the 3.5mm audio jack as it allows users to add additional smart features to headphones in the future. For instance, a future pair of headphones could monitor one's pulse or inner-ear temperature for fitness tracking, something that could only be possible if the headphones were connected to a smartphone via a USB-C cable. What's also worth mentioning [quoted from 9to5Mac]: USB-C already supports analog audio transfer through sideband pins simplifying the engineering steps necessary to swap 3.5mm with USB-C in device designs. In the second quarter, Intel should have a finalized USB-C standard for digital audio transfer. Intel does note that the transition from analog to digital will be expensive as the headphones have to include amplifiers and DACs, but scale will offset the early costs over time.
Microsoft

Microsoft Announces Windows 10 Build 14328 With Windows Ink, New UI (theverge.com) 141

An anonymous reader writes: Windows Ink is one of the many new features rolling out to beta testers as part of Windows 10 Build 14328. The build includes the new Windows Ink Workspace, providing access to new and improved sticky notes, a sketchpad, and a new screen sketch feature. There's also a new digital ruler you can use to create shapes and draw objects freely. The UI of the Start menu and Start Screen have also been tweaked. The most used apps list and all apps UI have been merged into a single view, creating a less cluttered Start menu. Microsoft also moved power, settings, and file explorer shortcuts so they're always visible. You can now bring back the fullscreen all apps list in the Start Screen, and you can toggle between the all apps view and your regular pinned apps. If you want things to feel less like a desktop PC, you can auto-hide the taskbar in tablet mode. Microsoft has detailed all of the new features found in Build 14328 in their blog post.
Security

Turns Out That Snaps Are Not Secure In Ubuntu With X11 (softpedia.com) 132

prisoninmate quotes a report from Softpedia: According to Matthew Garrett, a renowned CoreOS security developer, and Linux kernel contributor, Canonical's new snap package format is not secure at all when it is used under X.Org Server (X Window System), which, for now, it is still the default display server of the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system. The fact of the matter is that X11's old design is well-known for being insecure, and Matthew Garrett took the time to demonstrate this by writing a simple snap package that can steal data from any other X11 software, in this case anything you type on the Mozilla Firefox web browser. As more developers will provide snaps for their apps, Canonical needs to do something about the security of snaps in Ubuntu when using X11 or switch to the Mir display server. In the meantime, the security of snaps remains unaffected for the Ubuntu Server operating system, which is usually used without a display server. Canonical has officially released Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, which is now available to download for those interested.
Hardware

Lian-Li's Adjustable Motorized Standing Desk Is Also a High-End PC Chassis (hothardware.com) 68

MojoKid quotes a report from HotHardware: It looks as though Lian-Li took the term desktop computer a bit too literally with its new DK-04 system, which is literally a desk that doubles as an enclosure for your PC components. The DK-04 has a clean, industrial design and even has an electrically actuated height adjustment system that than can raise the desktop from a height of 30.7 inches to 46 inches at the touch of a button. The desk itself is made out of aluminum, while the desk surface is made of tempered glass so that you can get work done on top of it and admire your PC components at the same time. Speaking of which, the DK-04 supports up to 10 HDD/SDD bays and both micro-ATX and ATX motherboards. And if you're thinking about throwing in some monster graphics cards into the mix, the DK-04 will support cards up to 320mm in length. Cool air is pulled in via four front-mounted 120mm fans and hot air is exhausted via another four 120mm fans that are mounted at the back of the desk. Liquid cooling is also supported.
Open Source

Scientist Shrinks Arduino To Size Of An AA Battery (techcrunch.com) 47

An anonymous reader writes: Johan Kanflo has managed to make the already small Tiny328 Arduino clone into an even smaller computing platform about the size of a single AA battery. Not only will it fit in a typical AA battery holder, but it will actually draw power from the batteries beside it as it's wired in "backwards" (with the + and - poles reversed). The Arduino platform consists of open-source hardware, open-source software, and microcontroller-based kits, making it easy to (re)program the processors, and develop software for hardware applications using a java-clone and an easy-to-learn IDE. For those interested in the AAduino, Johan has made his creation available online on Github with instructions and schematics to build your own.
Botnet

Security Firm Discovers Secret Plan To Hack Numerous Websites and Forums (softpedia.com) 29

An anonymous reader writes: According to Softpedia, "Security researchers from SurfWatch Labs have shut down a secret plan to hack and infect hundreds or possibly thousands of forums and websites hosted on the infrastructure of Invision Power Services, makers of the IP.Board forum platform." The man behind this plan was a hacker known as AlphaLeon, maker of the Thanatos malware-as-a-service platform. AlphaLeon hacked IP.Board's customer hosting platform, and was planning to place an exploit kit that would infect the visitors to these websites with his Thanatos trojan, in order to grow his botnet. Some of the companies using IP.Board-hosted forums include Evernote, the NHL, the Warner Music Group, and Bethesda Softworks (Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Wolfenstein, Doom games).
Encryption

FBI Tells Congress It Needs Hackers To Keep Up With Tech Company Encryption (buzzfeed.com) 103

An anonymous reader quotes a report from BuzzFeed: A high ranking technology official with the FBI told members of Congress Tuesday that the agency is incapable of cracking locked phones and devices on its own, even with additional resources. Amy Hess, the agency's executive assistant director for science and technology told a panel of the House Energy and Commerce Committee that encrypted communications continue to pose a challenge to the American law enforcement, and to the safety of the American public. But when asked by lawmakers to provide a practical solution beyond the FBI's talking points, she said that the cooperation of technology companies would be necessary. According to the New York Times, "The FBI defended its hiring of a third-party company to break into an iPhone used by a gunman in last year's San Bernardino, Calif., mass shooting, telling some lawmakers on Tuesday that it needed to join with partners in the rarefied world of for-profit hackers as technology companies increasingly resist their demands for consumer information." They are stressing the importance of cooperation with tech companies and "third parties" to help fight terrorism, claiming they do not have the capabilities and resources available to crack encrypted devices. Congress is currently debating potential legislation on encryption.
Encryption

Viber Update Brings End-To-End Encryption and Hidden Chats (gsmarena.com) 39

An anonymous reader writes: The new hip thing to do if you're a developer of a messaging app is to encrypt everyone's messages -- everyone's doing it! WhatsApp announced earlier this month all messages being sent through the service will now be end-to-end encrypted. Today, Viber has announcd it is doing something similar. All messages being sent through the latest version of the app will be end-to-end encrypted. To confirm messages are being encrypted, a padlock icon will appear in the chat UI. The latest version of the app is already available in the iOS App Store and Android Google Play Store. Viber is one of the largest messaging platforms with over 700 million users. Hidden chats can also be found in the new update. Users can hide select chats with people and access/display them with a PIN or Touch ID.
Desktops (Apple)

Rogue Source Code Repos Can Compromise Mac Security Due To Old Git Version (softpedia.com) 184

An anonymous reader writes: Recent Mac versions come bundled with a very old version of Git (2.6.4) that is vulnerable to two security flaws that allow attackers to execute code on the device when the user forks a Git repo holding "malicious" code. The problem is that users can't upgrade this Git repo, they can't change its runtime permissions, nor can they remove it because Apple blocks even root users from twiddling with some system-level programs. "If you rely on machines like this, I am truly sorry. I feel for you," the researcher wrote on her blog. "I wrote this post in an attempt to goad them [Apple] into action because this is affecting lots of people who are important to me. They are basically screwed until Apple deigns to deliver a patched git unto them."
Android

Google's Android N OS Will Support Pressure-Sensitive Screens (theverge.com) 68

An anonymous reader writes: In the latest Developer Preview 2 of Android N, Google introduced new "Launcher shortcuts" to the beta OS. It allows developers to "define shortcuts which users can expose in the launcher to help them perform actions quicker." It's reminiscent of Apple's "3D Touch" feature found in the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, which can allow for specific parts of an app to be displayed in a pop-up menu when users forcefully press on an icon or other miscellaneous piece of information developed with the feature.

As mentioned in Phandroid's report testing the "setDynamicShortcuts(List)" feature, Google offered four different scenarios where Launcher Shortcuts make sense: Navigating users to a particular location in a mapping app, sending messages to a friend in a communication app, playing the next episode of a TV show in a media app, or loading the last save point in a gaming app.

"Google says that the manufacturers who build Android devices wanted this use case addressed by the OS itself," according to The Verge, so that developers "can code for all Android devices instead of reinventing the pressure-sensitive wheel for each OEM."
Communications

New Full Duplex Radio Chip Transmits and Receives Wireless Signals At Once (ieee.org) 33

Wave723 writes: A new chip by Columbia University researchers uses a circulator made of silicon transistors to reroute signals and avoid interference from a transmitter and receiver that share the same antenna. This technology instantly doubles data capacity and could eventually be built into smartphones and tablets. The chip enables them to work around the principle of Lorentz Reciprocity, in which electromagnetic waves are thought to always travel along the same path both forward and backward. Traditionally, electronic devices required two antennas -- a transmitter and receiver -- that took turns or operated on different frequencies in order to exchange signals.
Bug

MIT Bug Finder Uncovers Flaws In Web Apps In 64 Seconds (csoonline.com) 24

itwbennett quotes a report from CSO: A new tool from MIT exploits some of the idiosyncrasies in the Ruby on Rails programming framework to quickly uncover new ones, writes Katherine Noyes. In tests on 50 popular web applications written using Ruby on Rails, the system found 23 previously undiagnosed security flaws, and it took no more than 64 seconds to analyze any given program. Ruby on Rails is distinguished from other frameworks because it defines even its most basic operations in libraries. MIT's researchers took advantage of that fact by rewriting those libraries so that the operations defined in them describe their own behavior in a logical language.
Cloud

Ubuntu Linux Continues To Dominate OpenStack and Other Clouds (zdnet.com) 23

An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet: One reason Ubuntu is increasing its lead is that Jujo, Canonical's application modeling and deployment DevOps tool, has been gaining in popularity. In the latest OpenStack user survey, we see that OpenStack is finally gaining real momentum in private clouds. We also see that Ubuntu Linux is continuing to dominate OpenStack. As Canonical cloud marketing manager Bill Bauman said, "Ubuntu OpenStack continues to dominate the majority of deployments with 55 percent of production OpenStack clouds. The previous survey showed Ubuntu OpenStack at 33 percent of production clouds. Ubuntu has seen almost 67 percent growth in an area where Ubuntu was already the market leader. These numbers are a huge testament to the community support Ubuntu OpenStack receives every day." The Cloud Market's latest analysis of operating systems on the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) shows Ubuntu with just over 215,000 instances. Ubuntu is followed by Amazon's own Amazon Linux Amazon Machine Image (AMI), with 86,000 instances. Further back, you'll find Windows with 26,000 instances. In fourth and fifth place, respectively, you'll find Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) with 16,500 instances and then CentOS with 12,500 instances.

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