Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Linux Kernel 4.10 Officially Released With Virtual GPU Support

"Linus Torvalds announced today the general availability of the Linux 4.10 kernel series, which add a great number of improvements, new security features, and support for the newest hardware components," writes Softpedia. prisoninmate quotes their report: Linux kernel 4.10 has been in development for the past seven weeks, during which it received a total of seven Release Candidate snapshots that implemented all the changes that you'll soon be able to enjoy on your favorite Linux-based operating system... Prominent new features include virtual GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) support, new "perf c2c" tool that can be used for analysis of cacheline contention on NUMA systems, support for the L2/L3 caches of Intel processors (Intel Cache Allocation Technology), eBPF hooks for cgroups, hybrid block polling, and better writeback management. A new "perf sched timehist" feature has been added in Linux kernel 4.10 to provide detailed history of task scheduling, and there's experimental writeback cache and FAILFAST support for MD RAID5... Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) could be the first stable OS to ship with Linux 4.10. It required 13,000 commits, plus over 1,200 merges, Linus wrote in the announcement, adding "On the whole, 4.10 didn't end up as small as it initially looked."
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Monday, 20 February 2017

Zuckerberg Shares Facebook's Plan to Bring Community Together, Edits Out a Questionable Sentence Minutes Later

Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg wants to bring people closer together. He published a 6,000-word letter on his Facebook page Thursday to outline his vision for the kind of world he thinks Facebook can help create. The free-wielding note included few specifics, but offered a number of broad, ambitious goals for how the tech giant can contribute to a better understanding of everything from terrorism to fake news. Interestingly, minutes after the post was published, Zuckerberg edited out a sentence from the letter. Mashable adds: In the post, Zuckerberg briefly touches on how artificial intelligence can be used to detect terrorist propaganda. "Right now, we're starting to explore ways to use AI to tell the difference between news stories about terrorism and actual terrorist propaganda so we can quickly remove anyone trying to use our services to recruit for a terrorist organization," he wrote in the post published Thursday. That sounds like a straightforward enough application of AI -- one that's in line with what Zuckerberg and other executives have discussed in the past -- but it's different from what the CEO had originally written. In an earlier version of the missive, which was shared with a number of news outlets in advance of its publication on Facebook, Zuckerberg took the idea farther. The "long-term promise of AI," he wrote, is that it can be used used to "identify risks that nobody would have flagged at all, including terrorists planning attacks using private channels." Here's an expanded version of the quote from the Associated Press (emphasis ours). "The long term promise of AI is that in addition to identifying risks more quickly and accurately than would have already happened, it may also identify risks that nobody would have flagged at all "including terrorists planning attacks using private channels, people bullying someone too afraid to report it themselves, and other issues both local and global. It will take many years to develop these systems." That's different from what was described in the final version that was shared Thursday, which made no mention of private communication in relation to AI and terrorism.
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USB Killer now lets you fry most Lightning and USB-C devices for $55

Unreal Engine 4.15 supports Nintendo Switch, HDR, and AFR for Nvidia SLI

How AMD's Ryzen Will Disrupt the Gaming CPU Market

Eurogamer has offered some positive thoughts on the effect that Ryzen could have on gaming. While there is plenty of testing left to be done, it isn't crazy to think that the new AMD chips may offer tremendous value, especially if they can be pushed like the competition. Ryzen does lack an integrated GPU, but that "downside," as you would imagine, is pretty darn moot. One thing I like, beyond the gaming aspect, is that Ryzen chips could be a cheaper but equally effective solution for video encoding. …how will gaming performance pan out, and secondly - just how is a much smaller company able to undercut Intel so massively? Has Intel really been ripping us off over the last decade? Potentially, there's much to get excited about in just how much performance we're getting for the money here—even for the budget gaming PC builder. At the absolute bottom end, the Pentium G4560 still looks unassailable, but assuming Ryzen can indeed match up to an Intel Broadwell processor, the entry-level Ryzen 3 1100 should offer superb gaming performance up there with a modern i5, even before we factor in the overclocking potential of the chip. There are also other factors to consider too - such as AMD's track record in providing gamer-friendly features on entry-level motherboards. Discussion

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Saturday, 18 February 2017

Four short links: 15 Feb 2017

Docker Data, Smart Broadcasting, Open Source, and Cellphone Spy Tools

  1. Docker Data Kit -- Connect processes into powerful data pipelines with a simple git-like filesystem interface.
  2. RedQueen: An online algorithm for smart broadcasting in social networks (Adrian Colyer) -- This paper starts out with a simple question “when’s the best time to tweet if you want to get noticed?,” detours through some math involving “solving a novel optimal control problem for a system of jump stochastic differential equations (SDEs),” and pops out again on the other side with a simple online algorithm called RedQueen.
  3. Open Source Guides -- GitHub's guide to making and contributing to open source. GitHub's is nicely packaged into visual and consumable chunks, but I still prefer (newly updated) Producing Open Source Software. The more people know how to do open source, the better.
  4. Cellphone Spy Tools Flood Local Police Departments -- caught my eye because I'm pondering visiting the U.S. this year, and I'm not a fan of surrendering devices for search. My current line of thought is: if CBP/popo are going to take a device from me and plug it into their software, hardware, and network ... it just has to look like a phone. Next challenge: making a large capacitor look like an unlocked iPhone.

Continue reading Four short links: 15 Feb 2017.

Read the full article here by Four Short Links - O'Reilly Media

Operating system: from 0 to 1

Probably you asked yourself at least once, how an Operating System (OS) was written from the ground up? You probably have spent years programming, but still understand operating system as a collection of abstract concepts, not how to implement an operating system in actual code. In your mind, somehow the operating system can magically control the underlying hardware and do what you want through the higher level API of your favorite programming language. You wish to understand the details, but for some reason, it seems too difficult because regardless how much you learn, it is never enough. You may feel that you are missing an important piece of the puzzle, and get stuck. However, deep inside you still want to write an operating system without a crystal clear understanding. After all, you are a software engineer, and an operating system is a software. You should know your software better than anyone else! If that is the case, this book is for you. By going through this book, you will be able to find the missing piece that is essential and enable you to implement your operating system, from scratch! A free detailed book about writing your first operating system.

Read the full article here by OSNews

Chronio DIY Watch: Slick and Low Power

Thursday, 16 February 2017

JavaScript Attack Breaks ASLR On 22 CPU Architectures

An anonymous reader quotes a report from BleepingComputer: Five researchers from the Vrije University in the Netherlands have put together an attack that can be carried out via JavaScript code and break ASLR protection on at least 22 microprocessor architectures from vendors such as Intel, AMD, ARM, Allwinner, Nvidia, and others. The attack, christened ASLRCache, or AnC, focuses on the memory management unit (MMU), a lesser known component of many CPU architectures, which is tasked with improving performance for cache management operations. What researchers discovered was that this component shares some of its cache with untrusted applications, including browsers. This meant that researchers could send malicious JavaScript that specifically targeted this shared memory space and attempted to read its content. In layman's terms, this means an AnC attack can break ASLR and allow the attacker to read portions of the computer's memory, which he could then use to launch more complex exploits and escalate access to the entire OS. Researchers have published two papers [1, 2] detailing the AnC attack, along with two videos[1, 2] showing the attack in action.
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Microsoft drone simulator helps you prevent real-world crashes

It's relatively easy to develop a drone that can fly on its own, but it's another matter developing one that can navigate the many obstacles of real life. That's where Microsoft thinks it can help. It just published an open source simulator, the Aerial Informatics and Robotics Platform, that helps designers test and train autonomous machines in realistic conditions without wrecking expensive prototypes. The tool has vehicles move through randomized environments filled with the minutiae you see on a typical street, such as power lines and trees -- if your drone can't dodge a tree branch, you'll find out quickly. You can see what the vehicle would see (including simulated sensor data), and the software ties into both existing robotic hardware platforms and machine learning systems to speed up development.

As team lead Ashish Kapoor explains to The Verge, this isn't meant to replace real-world testing. It's more of a complement that can either account for hard-to-reproduce circumstances or perform extremely repetitive tests. Instead of having to launch a drone with just a few months of flying under its belt, you could have data equivalent to years of flight time.

Moreover, the simulator isn't necessarily confined to testing hardware. Microsoft sees its tech helping with all kinds of computer vision and machine learning code. Really, this is more of an AI playground than a narrowly-focused tool. Whatever the initial goals may be, there are many more possibilities.

Via: The Verge

Source: Microsoft, GitHub

Read the full article here by Engadget

Pixar opens a free Khan Academy course on storytelling

Pixar is offering a free course through Khan Academy that can help you find the kind of stories you want to tell -- and help you tell them better. The "Art of Storytelling" is the latest installment in a series of free courses from the studio called "Pixar in a Box." It discusses ways to build worlds and characters, how to make sure your stories reflect your unique perspective, along with other relevant advice. And if there's anybody qualified to give storytelling advice, it's the creators of Toy Story, Wall-E and Up.

Pixar's older courses are also still available on the educational website if you want to learn more about animation, colors in films and environment and character modeling. Of course, if you'd rather learn about something else, you merely need to browse other areas of Khan Academy. The famous online education platform has an enormous catalog of lessons and is available as an Android and an iOS app.

Via: TheNextWeb

Source: Khan Academy

Read the full article here by Engadget

Announcing TensorFlow 1.0

Originally posted on the Google Developer Blog

In just its first year, TensorFlow has helped researchers, engineers, artists, students, and many others make progress with everything from language translation to early detection of skin cancer and preventing blindness in diabetics. We're excited to see people using TensorFlow in over 6000 open source repositories online.

Today, as part of the first annual TensorFlow Developer Summit, hosted in Mountain View and livestreamed around the world, we're announcing TensorFlow 1.0:

It's faster: TensorFlow 1.0 is incredibly fast! XLA lays the groundwork for even more performance improvements in the future, and tensorflow.org now includes tips & tricksfor tuning your models to achieve maximum speed. We'll soon publish updated implementations of several popular models to show how to take full advantage of TensorFlow 1.0 - including a 7.3x speedup on 8 GPUs for Inception v3 and 58x speedup for distributed Inception v3 training on 64 GPUs!

It's more flexible: TensorFlow 1.0 introduces a high-level API for TensorFlow, with tf.layers, tf.metrics, and tf.losses modules. We've also announced the inclusion of a new tf.keras module that provides full compatibility with Keras, another popular high-level neural networks library.

It's more production-ready than ever: TensorFlow 1.0 promises Python API stability (details here), making it easier to pick up new features without worrying about breaking your existing code.

Other highlights from TensorFlow 1.0:
  • Python APIs have been changed to resemble NumPy more closely. For this and other backwards-incompatible changes made to support API stability going forward, please use our handy migration guide and conversion script.
  • Experimental APIs for Javaand Go
  • Higher-level API modules tf.layers, tf.metrics, and tf.losses - brought over from tf.contrib.learnafter incorporating skflowand TF Slim
  • Experimental release of XLA, a domain-specific compiler for TensorFlow graphs, that targets CPUs and GPUs. XLA is rapidly evolving - expect to see more progress in upcoming releases.
  • Introduction of the TensorFlow Debugger (tfdbg), a command-line interface and API for debugging live TensorFlow programs.
  • New Android demos for object detection and localization, and camera-based image stylization.
  • Installation improvements: Python 3 docker images have been added, and TensorFlow's pip packages are now PyPI compliant. This means TensorFlow can now be installed with a simple invocation of pip install tensorflow.
We're thrilled to see the pace of development in the TensorFlow community around the world. To hear more about TensorFlow 1.0 and how it's being used, you can watch the TensorFlow Developer Summit talks on YouTube, covering recent updates from higher-level APIs to TensorFlow on mobile to our new XLA compiler, as well as the exciting ways that TensorFlow is being used:

Click herefor a link to the livestream and video playlist (individual talks will be posted online later in the day).

The TensorFlow ecosystem continues to grow with new techniques like Foldfor dynamic batching and tools like the Embedding Projector along with updatesto our existing tools like TensorFlow Serving. We're incredibly grateful to the community of contributors, educators, and researchers who have made advances in deep learning available to everyone. We look forward to working with you on forums like GitHub issues, Stack Overflow, @TensorFlow, the discuss@tensorflow.orggroup, and at future events.

By Amy McDonald Sandjideh, Technical Program Manager, TensorFlow

Read the full article here by Google Open Source Blog

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Falcor: estrarre dati con JavaScript tramite JSON

Flacor è una libreria JavaScript realizzata dagli sviluppatori di Netflix per le procedure di data fetching; sostanzialmente si tratta di una soluzione Open Source per l’estrazione dei dati da sorgenti nelle quali le informazioni da prelevare vengono messe a disposizione tramite notazione JSON (JavaScript Object Notation), un formato ormai standard per l’interscambio in applicazioni client-server.

Uno dei vantaggi derivanti dall’adozione di questa libreria risiede nel fatto che essa permette di fare riferimento ad un unico modello di dati, indipendentemente dalla loro fonte; più precisamente Falcor consente di rappresentare qualsiasi sorgente remota di informazioni sotto forma di …

The post Falcor: estrarre dati con JavaScript tramite JSON appeared first on Edit.

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Monday, 13 February 2017

Box Plot

You have to be careful doing this. Sometimes, when you push the whisker down, dynamite explodes.

Read the full article here by xkcd.com

Four short links: 10 Feb 2017

Microsoft Graph Engine, Data Exploration, Godel Escher Bach, and Docker Secrets

  1. Microsoft Graph Engine -- open source (Windows now, Unix coming) graph data engine. It's the open source implementation of Trinity: A Distributed Graph Engine on a Memory Cloud.
  2. Superset -- AirBnB's data exploration platform designed to be visual, intuitive, and interactive now with a better SQL IDE.
  3. MIT Godel Escher Bach Lectures -- not Hofstadter himself, but a thorough walkthrough of the premises and ideas in the book.
  4. Docker Secrets Management -- interesting to see etcd getting some competition here.

Continue reading Four short links: 10 Feb 2017.

Read the full article here by Four Short Links - O'Reilly Media

WebVR Converts Your Device Running Google Chrome Into a VR Platform

Google has announced WebVR support for their Google Chrome browser. WebVR allows anyone running the Google Chrome browser to convert their device into a VR platform. There are interactive VR videos that for example allow you to track a bear from being freed from a trap, until being released back into the wild. After the video is over, you can venture through the park in VR and meet other denizens that the bear would interact with on a daily basis. I found some of the 3D modeling to be interesting like the Mars One Mission. Still these are more of a novelty, and I believe that Gabe Newell is right that we need killer apps before we see mass adoption of this technology. Now if Facebook were to add in new social interactions with WebVR would this cause addiction risks? I'm talking about experiences so real that when taking off your headset, you are depressed to be back in the humdrum real world. Experiences like going to a virtual brothel with you best bud a continent away. Experiencing a club environment in VR even with replicated smells attacking your sensory glands. Could this be the new addiction that makes us wear our headsets all day and never want to take them off? Could Facebook VR be the gateway drug to this? I certainly hope so. Make me and others so interested in this technology that we have to get one! Late last year, Ms Gonzalez Franco reportedly predicted future VR units would be akin to experiencing powerful hallucinations — once they started including other senses, such as touch. This reporter recently had his first experience with a game called First Contact, and could not help but notice a mild sensation of deflation with the real world on exit — a sensation that lasted about an hour. In the narcotics world this sensation is called the come down and can lead to repeat usage and, on occasion, addiction or dependency. Discussion

Read the full article here by [H]ardOCP News/Article Feed

Lufthansa partners with Nespresso to offer passengers quality coffee at the gate, for a fee

images by Raitis Steinbergs, Alessandro Teglia

DATE For years, Lufthansa has been one of the very few airlines – if not the only one – to offer passengers waiting for their flight at the gate complimentary coffee, tea (image), and newspapers at main airports around Germany, including its Frankfurt and Munich hubs.

Or as Lufthansa has stated in the past: “Offering hot beverages to passengers prior to departure is a long Lufthansa tradition. Lufthansa first began offering hot coffee and tea from large thermos flasks in the mid-80s and the first automatic vending machines serving freshly brewed coffee were installed at airports in 1993.”

However, similar to any other full service carrier around the globe who is looking to rationalize every cost item, Lufthansa has to rethink these kind of free amenities. Instead of cutting costs by simply terminating the free hot beverages and print newspapers the airline has come up with a smart alternative that taps into trends such as ‘paid premium’ and digitalization.

Coffee at the gate
Following trials in the first half of 2015 at selected gates at Frankfurt and Munich airports, Lufthansa a few months ago partnered with Nespresso to bring the ubiqituous coffee capsules to the gate area.

The premium Nespresso coffee doesn’t come for free though. Passengers can choose from regular coffee, espresso, cappuccino ior latte macchiato (the latter with fresh milk), each at the cost of 2 euros. For those passengers who might consider bringing their own coffee pods: For the business market, a different pad-shaped system of Nespresso pods exists which are not interchangeable with the consumer capsules.

According to Lufthansa, a total of 20 Nespresso Coffee Points have been placed throughout Frankfurt and Munich airports so that passengers from different gates can access the machines.

By replacing the free coffee vending machines with a paid for premium product, Lufthansa acknowledges the fact that consumer tastes have evolved over the years. Starbucks and Nespresso coffee can now be found at homes, hotels, lounges, as well as up in the air, and for example the Nespresso capsules generate revenues of around USD 4.4 billion to Nestle each year.

As Vassilios Georgakopoulos, Director Product Innovation and Concepts at LSG Group, puts it nicely: “The truth is that instant coffee is simply not good enough in 2017 and what international passengers want is 100 percent quality similar to what they experience at home. I wish more airlines could simply see the value of similar brand cooperations where both brands feature respectfully next to each other.”

Digital newspapers
As for the provision of free print newspapers at the gate: Lufthansa is switching over to digital reading material. The airline’s ‘e-journal’ service provides passengers with a choice of over 250 digital titles including publications in 18 different languages.

Passengers can access the digital editions up to three days before their date of travel by going to lh.com/eJournals via the Lufthansa app, and entering their name, plus either their booking code or ticket number, passengers can select their favorite titles, download them and then save them on their own electronic device. The reading material chosen is then available to them as a PDF file, even after the flight for an unlimited period.

In the Lufthansa lounges and in First Class on long haul flights, the usual printed reading material will still be provided, as well as printed versions of magazines in Business Class on intercontinental flights. In addition, at Lufthansa’s Frankfurt and Munich hubs, as well as at Berlin, Stuttgart, Hamburg and Düsseldorf airports, newspapers will be offered to all Lufthansa passengers from one of several central distribution points.

Read the full article here by AirlineTrends

Friday, 10 February 2017

The Future Of Android-x86 Is In Question

Android-x86 has been an open-source project for the past 7+ years for providing suitable Intel/AMD hardware support for Google's Android operating system. Unfortunately, its project leader may be stepping away...

Read the full article here by Phoronix

Android Things Developer Preview 2

Posted by Wayne Piekarski, Developer Advocate for IoT

Today we are releasing Developer Preview 2 (DP2) for Android Things, bringing new features and bug fixes to the platform. We are committed to providing regular updates to developers, and aim to have new preview releases approximately every 6-8 weeks. Android Things is a comprehensive solution to building Internet of Things (IoT) products with the power of Android. Now any Android developer can quickly build a smart device using Android APIs and Google services, while staying highly secure with updates direct from Google. It includes familiar tools such as Android Studio, the Android Software Development Kit (SDK), Google Play Services, and Google Cloud Platform. Android Things supports a System-on-Module (SoM) architecture, where a core computing module can be initially used with development boards and then easily scaled to large production runs with custom designs, while continuing to use the same Board Support Package (BSP) from Google.
New features and bug fixes
Thanks to great developer feedback from our Developer Preview 1, we have now added support for USB Audio to the Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) for Intel Edison and Raspberry Pi 3. NXP Pico already contains direct support for audio on device. We have also resolved many bugs related to Peripheral I/O (PIO). Other feature requests such as Bluetooth support are known issues, and the team is actively working to fix these. We have added support for the Intel Joule platform, which offers the most computing power in our lineup to date.
Native I/O and user drivers
There are many developers who use native C or C++ code to develop IoT software, and Android Things supports the standard Android NDK. We have now released a library to provide native access to the Peripheral API (PIO), so developers can easily use their existing native code. The documentation explains the new API, and the sample provides a demonstration of how to use it.
An important new feature that was made available with Android Things DP1 was support for user drivers. Developers can create a user driver in their APK, and then bind it to the framework. For example, your driver code could read a GPIO pin and trigger a regular Android KeyEvent, or read in an external GPS via a serial port and feed this into the Android location APIs. This allows any application to inject hardware events into the framework, without customizing the Linux kernel or HAL. We maintain a repository of user drivers for a variety of common hardware interfaces such as sensors, buttons, and displays. Developers are also able to create their own drivers and share them with the community.
TensorFlow for Android Things
One of the most interesting features of Android Things is the ability to easily deploy machine learning and computer vision. We have created a highly requested sample that shows how to use TensorFlow on Android Things devices. This sample demonstrates accessing the camera, performing object recognition and image classification, and speaking out the results using text-to-speech (TTS). An early-access TensorFlow inference library prebuilt for ARM and x86 is provided for you to easily add TensorFlow to any Android app with just a single line in your build.gradle file.

TensorFlow sample identifying a dog's breed (American Staffordshire terrier) 
on a Raspberry Pi 3 with camera

Thank you to all the developers who submitted feedback for the previous developer preview. Please continue to send us your feedback by filing bug reports and feature requests, and ask any questions on stackoverflow. To download images for Developer Preview 2, visit the Android Things download page, and find the changes in the release notes. You can also join Google's IoT Developers Community on Google+, a great resource to keep up to date and discuss ideas, with over 2900 new members.

Read the full article here by Android Developers Blog

Dev-Books Is a Massive Collection of the Most Recommended Coding and Programming Books

Stack Overflow is filled with thousands of questions and answers, and many of those are book recommendations from programmers with many different levels of skill. Dev-Books collects together the most recommended books.


Read the full article here by Lifehacker