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OS X 10.10 Yosemite Review 303

Posted by Soulskill
from the so-many-10-based-operating-systems dept.
An anonymous reader writes: With the release of OS X 10.10 Yosemite, Ars Technica has posted one of their extremely thorough reviews of the OS's new features and design changes. John Siracusa writes that Yosemite is particularly notable because it's the biggest step yet in Apple's efforts to bring OS X and iOS together — new technologies are now being added to Apple's two operating systems simultaneously. "The political and technical battles inherent in the former two-track development strategy for OS X and iOS left both products with uncomfortable feature disparities. Apple now correctly views this as damage and has set forth to repair it." Yosemite's look and feel has undergone significant changes as well, generally moving toward the flat and compact design present in iOS 7 & 8. Spotlight and the Notifications Center have gotten some needed improvements, as did many tab and toolbar interfaces.

Siracusa also takes a look a Swift, Apple's new programming language: "Swift is an attempt to create a low-level language with high-level syntax and semantics. It tackles the myth of the Sufficiently Smart Compiler by signing up to create that compiler as part of the language design process." He concludes: "Viewed in isolation, Yosemite provides a graphical refresh accompanied by a few interesting features and several new technologies whose benefits are mostly speculative, depending heavily on how eagerly they're adopted by third-party developers. But Apple no longer views the Mac in isolation, and neither should you. OS X is finally a full-fledged peer to iOS; all aspects of sibling rivalry have been banished."

Comment: Re:Only the beginning (Score 1) 236

by WhiteDragon (#48003261) Attached to: First Shellshock Botnet Attacking Akamai, US DoD Networks

You can check if you've been scanned for exploitable CGIs using something like (adjust apache logs path accordingly):

grep cgi /var/log/apache2/access*|egrep "};|}\s*;"

Thanks for the nice grep work - found one attempt to get my box to rat itself out via ping:

/var/log/apache2/access.log: - - [25/Sep/2014:03:52:14 -0500] "GET /cgi-sys/defaultwebpage.cgi HTTP/1.0" 404 1799 "-" "() { :;}; /bin/ping -c 1"

Fortunately I was patched several hours prior to that.

Would there be any way for that probe to execute against a static 404 page - no cgi executing?

yep: /var/log/apache2/access.log: - - [25/Sep/2014:09:26:29 -0400] "GET /cgi-sys/defaultwebpage.cgi HTTP/1.0" 404 491 "-" "() { :;}; /bin/ping -c 1" That's pretty quick. Fortunately, I didn't have that cgi script, but still quite scary.

+ - Designers & Dragons is the complete history of role-playing game publishers

Submitted by Robotech_Master
Robotech_Master (14247) writes "Evil Hat Productions is Kickstarting a four-volume history of the RPG industry that's already met its funding goal almost seven times over. Comprising half a million words altogether, it tells the story of pencil-and-paper role-playing games from their very beginnings, and you can read the e-book of the first volume for kicking in just one buck. $1 for the first e-book, $15 for all four, print volumes starting at $25 and up.

I've reviewed the first volume of it here. I found it extremely thorough and well-written."

+ - New recipe produces ammonia from air, water, and sunlight-> 1

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "Nitrogen is essential for all life. But even though nitrogen makes up 78% of the atmosphere, it's in a form that can't be used by living organisms. Instead it's tied up in nitrogen molecules made up of two nitrogen atoms that share a strong triple bond that's not easily broken. A century ago, two German chemists, Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch, figured out how to sever those bonds with high pressures and temperatures and weld nitrogen atoms with hydrogens to make ammonia, thereby converting nitrogen into the starting material for a nitrogen-rich fertilizer that can be taken up and used by microbes, plants, and people. That process has been so successful that ammonia-based fertilizers now enable farmers to feed billions more people than our planet could otherwise support. But ammonia production also comes at a high environmental cost, as it is responsible for 2% of worldwide energy use and thus a massive greenhouse gas footprint. However, on page 637 of this issue, U.S. chemists report that they've come up with a way to synthesize ammonia from air, water, and sunlight. If the approach can be scaled up, it could offer a means for making an essential commodity without a major cost to the climate."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:AI is always (Score 1) 564

Algorithms are not AI. Everything you describe is simply a matter of following a human-generated set of instructions. That is not AI.

Algorithms are not AI. Everything you describe is simply a matter of following a human-generated set of instructions. That is not AI.

no, the difference is Big Data. Before "Big Data", machine translation, self-driving vehicles, chess, etc. were problems that were attempted to be solved by algorithms written by humans. These kinds of algorithms would be full of heuristics such as "if you are in situation X, perform behavior Y". This led to fragile, clunky code. Nowadays, with Big Data, the algorithms are more like, "see what everybody else is doing in situations similar to X"

Comment: This needs to be seen (Score 2) 1

by Robotech_Master (#47377547) Attached to: Amazon vs Big Publishers - another side of the story

I feel it's really important that this piece get approved. The media is replete with Hachette, its authors and agents, and the various traditional publishing old-guard trying to stack the deck against Amazon. The other night the New York Public Library held a so-called "panel discussion" that was essentially an excuse to get together and bash Amazon. We need more people to hear the other side!

Recursion is the root of computation since it trades description for time.