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GNU is Not Unix

GNU Emacs Now Has Native Support For GTK Widgets (phoronix.com) 133

An anonymous reader writes: The GNU Emacs text editor now has merged the X Widgets branch. What this work allows is for embedding GTK+ user interface widgets within Emacs for features like landing MPlayer or a full web browser in Emacs. This allows now for more endless opportunities for the 40 year old GNU text editor. The X/GTK widgets support will come with GNU Emacs 25.1.
Oracle

Oracle Brings Real-Time Kernel Patching To Oracle Enterprise Linux 52

prisoninmate writes: Oracle's Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) Release 4 is an important engineering effort and introduces performance improvements and enhancements for some of the most essential components, including CPU schedulers and Automatic NUMA Balancing, along with powerful new features, such as real-time kernel patching, which is possible thanks to the Ksplice open-source extension of the Linux kernel 4 branch, which lets users to apply patches to the running kernel without the need to reboot the system, thus improving security and simplify the management of cloud infrastructures.
Facebook

Facebook, Shutterfly Face Lawsuits For Using Facial Recognition To ID Photos (computerworld.com) 58

Lucas123 writes: A federal judge has denied a motion by Shutterfly to dismiss a civil case against it claiming it violated privacy laws by collecting and scanning face geometries from uploaded images without consent. The plaintiff in the case, Brian Norberg, alleges he was never a member of Shutterfly and that other people uploaded photos that included his image. Facebook faces a similar lawsuit for its photo "tag suggestions" feature, but there has as yet been no judgement in the case. In his Shutterfly case ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Charles R. Norgle rejected the website's argument that only in-person scans of people's faces are covered under the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act, which states that no private entity may collect, capture, purchase, receive through trade, or otherwise obtain a person's or a customer's biometric identifier or biometric information with out their consent.
The Military

Hellfire Missile Mistakenly Shipped To Cuba 142

HughPickens.com writes: NPR reports that a Hellfire missile that was supposedly shipped to Europe for military exercises in 2014 somehow ended up in Cuba. It's still a mystery as to how the missile reached Cuba but the incident has "confounded investigators and experts who work in a regulatory system designed to prevent precisely such equipment from falling into the wrong hands." According to sources, Lockheed Martin sent the missile to Europe for a NATO training exercise — and on its return, it ended up on a plane to Havana, where it was impounded. A US government official familiar with the situation calls it a "dummy" missile that lacks a warhead or guidance system. Originally designed to be launched from helicopters, Hellfire missiles have also been used to arm drone aircraft in recent years — one was credited with killing "Jihadi John" in a US operation. Since the missile arrived in Cuba in 2014, U.S. requests for its return have gone unheeded.
Input Devices

Video Api.ai CEO Ilya Gelfenbeyn Talks About Conversational Voice Interfaces (Video) 32

Api.ai makes an Android voice-controlled utility called Assistant. I have it on my Android phone. It is one of many simiar apps, and I have been trying them a little at a time. Are any of them as good as Siri? Let's just say, "Quality varies."

And Android voice assistants aren't the point of this interview, anyway. It's more about the process of developing interactive, voice-based IO systems. This whole voice/response thing is an area that's going to take off any year now -- and has been in that state for several decades -- but may finally be going somewhere, spurred by intense competition between the many companies working in this field, including Ilya's.
Microsoft

Microsoft Teams With Automakers To Put Windows, Office In Cars (microsoft.com) 196

An anonymous reader writes: Today Microsoft announced partnerships with several companies to bring Windows 10, Office 365, and Azure to cars. Volvo is having their Call Universal App integrate with Windows 10 smartphones and Microsoft Band 2 watches to let drivers interact with their cars. Harman, a company that builds infotainment systems, will allow drivers to access Office 365 services (while parked or while the car is driving itself). IAV, a similar company, will let users stream Windows 10 Continuum from their smartphone directly to a vehicle's dashboard. Finally, Nissan's LEAF and Infiniti models in Europe will run their telematics system on Azure. "The common thread between these announcements is that Microsoft is pitching Azure as an enabling platform, tossing in analytics and focusing on its core productivity strengths. Aside from the Microsoft Band 2 partnership with Volvo, Microsoft is taking an enterprise behind-the-scenes approach to the auto industry."
Microsoft

Microsoft Monitoring How Long You Use Windows 10 (betanews.com) 314

Mark Wilson writes: The various privacy concerns surrounding Windows 10 have received a lot of coverage in the media, but it seems that there are ever more secrets coming to light. The Threshold 2 Update did nothing to curtail privacy invasion, and the latest Windows 10 installation figures show that Microsoft is also monitoring how long people are using the operating system. This might seem like a slightly strange statistic for Microsoft to keep track of, but the company knows how long, collectively, Windows 10 has been running on computers around the world. To have reached this figure (11 billion hours in December, apparently) Microsoft must have been logging individuals' usage times. Intrigued, we contacted Microsoft to find out what on earth is going on.
Toys

Drone Ban Extends 30 Miles Around DC, Per FAA (wusa9.com) 410

DewDude writes: If you thought done registration was bad enough; it just got worse for anyone living in the nation's capital. On Christmas Day (of all days); the FAA put into effect a rule that bans the flying of drones/quadcopters within a 30-mile radius around DC. This more than doubles the initial 15 mile radius no-fly-zone. The ban includes the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Prince William, and the independent cities in the vicinity on the Virginia side. On the Maryland side; it includes Montgomery, Prince Georges, Howard, Anne Arundel; and parts of Calvert, Baltimore, and the extreme north-western end of St. Marys Counties in Maryland.
Data Storage

Tech Segments Facing Turbulence In 2016 (dice.com) 72

Nerval's Lobster writes: David Foote, an analyst who accurately predicted the tech industry's job growth in 2015, is back with some new predictions about which segments will do well in 2016 (Dice link). At the top of his list: DevOps, cloud and software architects, and cybersecurity experts. Those that won't perform well? SAP specialists, storage 'gurus,' and network managers could all face some headwinds. 'Companies are continuing to outsource infrastructure and that will reduce the need for network specialists except for network security which will remain in-house,' he says. Whether or not he's right about which parts of the tech industry will do better than others, there are also increasing signs that things could get very tight from a funding perspective for startups, as even the so-called 'unicorns' risk seeing investor money (and customers) dry up.
Space

NASA Uncertain How To Proceed In Developing Deep Space Module (examiner.com) 120

MarkWhittington writes: One of the provisions of the new NASA spending bill, which provided a hefty $1.3 billion boost to the space agency's budget, is a mandate to build a prototype habitation module for deep space exploration by 2018. Space News suggested that NASA is uncertain how to proceed with this sudden largess. Quite some time has passed since the space agency has gotten more money than expected and been told to speed up the development of an item of hardware. Usually, the opposite happens, with accompanying delays and increases in overall costs.
Entertainment

The Fan HD Remakes Yet To Be Banned (redbull.com) 50

An anonymous reader writes: While companies like Valve have given their seal of approval to HD fan remakes and re-imaginings of their classic games, many more are all too eager to wield the ban hammer and shut down these homebrew projects with legal threats. Not all, though, as one writer points out in a new article taking a look at the most promising unofficial remakes underway right now. Some companies see these projects as an opportunity — the creator of Shen Mue HD was recently hired by Yu Suzuki to work on Shen Mue 3 — while others choose to ignore them entirely. Surprisingly, one of these appears to be Konami, which despite a controversial 2015, has shown no interest in shutting down Outer Heaven, a remake of the very first Metal Gear game. As the author points out however, given "the fact that Konami shut down a similar project not long ago – one which had the involvement of original Solid Snake voice actor David Hayter – [it] doesn't bode too well for Outer Heaven's long-term prospects...but we're crossing our fingers that it makes it to the finish line."
Star Wars Prequels

Star Wars Pulls In $1 Billion At Record Speed (reuters.com) 467

New submitter henrydan798 writes to note that Star Wars: The Force Awakens has set a new record for ticket sales, becoming the fastest movie ever to earn a billion dollars at the till. As the L.A. Times reports, The latest installment in the "Star Wars" franchise grossed an estimated $153.5 million in the U.S. and Canada in its second weekend, beating the lower end of analyst expectations of $140 million. This drives the J.J. Abrams-directed picture to a to-date domestic gross of $544.5 million. "The Force Awakens," which cost an estimated $200 million to produce, debuted last weekend to record domestic ticket sales of $248 million. It also grossed $281 million overseas for a global total of $529 million, topping the previous worldwide debut benchmark set in June by "Jurassic World" ($525 million). This week, with an international estimated gross of $546 million to date, the film became the fastest to surpass $1 billion globally. Were any of those dollars yours? If so, do you think they were well spent?

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