Friday 31 March 2017

OpenGL accelerated x86 games come to Raspberry Pi

OpenGL accelerated x86 games come to Raspberry Pi

Mar 30, 2017, 15:00 (0 Talkback[s]) (Other stories by Eric Brown)

Eltechs released v2.0 of its ExaGear Desktop VM for running x86 apps on ARM/Linux devices. It adds OpenGL hardware graphics acceleration for the Pi 2 and 3.

Complete Story

Read the full article here by Linux Today

Wednesday 29 March 2017

drm_hwcomposer: Allowing Mainline Linux Graphics Drivers To Work On Android

Thanks to collaboration between Collabora and Google's Chrome OS team, Android is now able to interface with the mainline Linux graphics stack.

Android doesn't use DRM APIs for communicating with graphics hardware but rather their own Hardware Composer (HWC) API. But there is now a working "drm_hwcomposer" shim for interface with the mainline Linux graphics stack through Mesa and libdrm.

This new drm_hwcomposer shim paired with recent advancements to Linux DRM drivers around fencing support in Linux 4.10+, Android is able to run with the mainline graphics drivers with SurfaceFlinger still using the HWC API. The fence support has allowed them to now support the HWC2 API too, which is used by Android 7.0+.

This allows Android to now boot using the Freedreno driver stack, but should also work for other mainline kernel graphics stacks. The drm_hwcomposer code is staged in the Chromium OS tree.

More details on this progress for using mainline Linux drivers with Android can be found via

this blog post

by Collabora's Robert Foss.

Read the full article here by Phoronix

Google Launches New Website To Showcase Its Open Source Projects and Processes

BrianFagioli writes: Google is an essential member of the open source community. The search giant contributes some really great projects, offering code to be used many -- it claims more than 2,000 such contributions! Heck, the company even hosts the annual Summer of Code program, where it pairs students with open source projects teams. In other words, Google is helping to get young folks excited about open source. Today, Google announced that it is launching an all-new website to focus on open source. It is not a general open source site, but a destination to learn more about the search-giant's relationship with it. "Today, we're launching, a new website for Google Open Source that ties together all of our initiatives with information on how we use, release, and support open source. This new site showcases the breadth and depth of our love for open source. It will contain the expected things: our programs, organizations we support, and a comprehensive list of open source projects we've released. But it also contains something unexpected: a look under the hood at how we 'do' open source," says Will Norris, Open Source Programs Office, Google.
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2017: The Year of the Dishwasher Security Patch

Tuesday 28 March 2017

NASA Uses UE4 to Create Mixed Reality Training Modules to Simulate ISS

NASA is using Unreal Engine 4 to power an International Space Station simulator in mixed reality to train new astronauts. New habitats, maintenance procedures, and even more engineering of the station can all be simulated within the software. This type of training can save lives as the simulation is truly lifelike and stresses safety protocols. The closer that training is to the real thing, the more familiarity with the real ISS that the trainee gains by interacting with the mock up. NASA has fully embraced virtual reality and mixed reality at the agency. While Unreal Engine 4 is helping the astronauts familiarize themselves with working on the ISS; Unreal Engine's Director of Enterprise Simon Jones sees more applications and usage for their software in other fields. He lists things such as being able to create models of highly detailed areas in the software instead of desktop models, marketing opportunities using the software, embedding VR into engineering information strategies. And to think that we all thought of Unreal Engine as strictly a gamer's toy for over nearly twenty years. Simon Jones, Director of Unreal Engine Enterprise believes the NASA use of Unreal Engine and VR/MR is just the tip of the iceberg: "Development engineers can look at the execution of detail areas without having to make separate desktop models. Marketing specialists can create visuals before there is a prototype, or customer experiences that pre-sell before production. All of this means that organisations across a range of sectors are now looking at how they can embed VR within their engineering information strategy," he says. "So what started life as a high-end computer gaming technology has developed to become an application that accelerates innovation, drives new technology and creates incredible new opportunities." Discussion

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

Monday 27 March 2017

Google Is Giving Away a Free Android App Every Week

Apple has been offering a “Free App of the Week” for several years, giving away hundreds of apps during that time. Now, Google is following suit, with its own “Free App of the Week” for Android users. Google hasn’t formally announced this new offering, but it’s definitely a thing.

There are countless free apps available on Google PlayThe Best Android Apps The Best Android Apps Looking for the best apps for your Android phone or tablet? This is our comprehensive, hand-picked list of the best apps for Android. Read More . Some are not even worth their $FREE price tag, while others easily justify being paid apps. What’s better than a free Android app? A paid Android app that’s free for a limited time as Google’s new “Free App of the Week,” of course.

Get a Paid App Free for a Limited Time

Google’s “Free App of the Week” is a new section on Google Play promoting a paid app which is free for a limited time. The “Free App of the Week” is located on the Apps page of the Play Store, but you can also reach it directly using this link. That is if you’re in the United States.

According to VentureBeat, Ultimate Guitar Tabs & Chords was given away free last week, but has now reverted to its usual price of $2.99. This week, Card Wars — Adventure Time is being given away for free, but should revert back to its usual price of $2.99 at the end of this week.

Google has actually run a “Free App of the Week” promotion previously in 2015. However, for whatever reason, that effort didn’t last long. This new attempt at mimicking Apple should hopefully survive a little longer, but don’t blame us if the link suddenly stops working.

Everyone’s a Winner, Except Possibly Apple

This is a smart play on Google’s part. Android users4 Tips & Tricks Every Android User Needs to Know 4 Tips & Tricks Every Android User Needs to Know Using Android can be intimidating, but don't be afraid! If you're an Android beginner, up your knowledge with these tips. Read More get a free app every week, developers get enviable promotion on the Play Store, and Google gets to up the number of downloads. OK, so Apple did this first, but the best ideas are worth copying, as Apple itself knows all too well.

Do you own an Android? Do you regularly scour Google Play for apps? Do you only download free apps or do you sometimes purchase paid apps? Are you likely to download Google’s “Free App of the Week” regardless of the app? Please let us know in the comments below!

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Friday 24 March 2017

OneDrive "Runs like a Dog" on Windows OS Rivals

Microsoft is being accused of perverting their OneDrive web app so it performs far more slowly on Linux, ChromeOS, and other Windows rivals. The supposed evidence is that users see an increase of performance once they change their browser's user-agent string to IE or Edge. Uh, I think that just means OneDrive's code for Firefox, Chrome, and other non-MS browsers is terrible—although that in itself is worthy of complaint, I guess. Plenty of Linux users are up in arms about the performance of the OneDrive web app. They say that when accessing Microsoft's cloudy storage system in a browser on a non-Windows system – such as on Linux or ChromeOS – the service grinds to a barely usable crawl. But when they use a Windows machine on the same internet connection, speedy access resumes. Crucially, when they change their browser's user-agent string – a snippet of text the browser sends to websites describing itself – to Internet Explorer or Edge, magically their OneDrive access speeds up to normal on their non-Windows PCs. Discussion

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

Wednesday 22 March 2017

From XP to 10, DoubleAgent pwns all your Windows?

The Cybellum team published a new 0-day technique for injecting code and maintaining persistency on a target computer, baptized DoubleAgent. This technique uses a feature that all Windows versions since XP provide, that allows for an Application Verifier Provider DLL to be installed for any executable. The verifier-provider DLL is just a DLL that is loaded into the process and is supposedly responsible for performing run-time verifications for the application. However, its internal behaviour can be whatever an attacker wants, since he can provide the DLL himself.

Microsoft describes it as:

Application Verifier is a runtime verification tool for unmanaged code. Application Verifier assists developers in quickly finding subtle programming errors that can be extremely difficult to identify with normal application testing. Using Application Verifier in Visual Studio makes it easier to create reliable applications by identifying errors caused by heap corruption, incorrect handle and critical section usage. (…)

The code injection occurs extremely early during the victim’s process initialization, giving the attacker full control over the process and no way for the process to actually detect what’s going on. Once a DLL has been registered as a verifier provider DLL for a process, it would permanently be injected by the Windows Loader into the process every time the process starts, even after reboots, updates, reinstalls, or patches.

So it’s all over for Windows right? Well… no. The thing is, to register this DLL, the registered process has to have administrator rights so it can write the proper key to the Windows Registry. Without these permissions, there is no way for this attack to work. You know, the kind of permissions that allow you to install software for all users or format your own hard-drive. So, although this technique has its merit and can present challenges to processes that absolutely must maintain their integrity (such as the Cybellum team points out in the Anti-Virus software case), some other security flaw had to occur first so you can register this sort of ‘debugging DLL’.

If you already have administrator permissions you can do pretty much what you want, including DLL injection to fool anti-virus software. (Though it might be easy just to disable or remove it.)  This new tool has the advantage of being stealthy, but is a 0-day that requires root a 0-day?

[via The Hacker News]

Read the full article here by Hack a Day

Nintendo approached Cyanogen for the Switch's OS

In the early life of the Nintendo Switch, when it was still codenamed Nintendo NX, there were a lot of rumors floating around about the device. We saw a console with an oval shape and a screen that seemed built into the buttons and rumors that the new device would run Android as its operating system. While the product we have today resembles nothing of those early prototypes, it looks like the Android rumor may not have been far off. Cyanogen's Kirt McMaster tweeted early this morning to say that Nintendo had approached him about designing a custom Android-based operating system for their new console, but he had some choice words for the company. Add this to the list of terrible business decisions by Cyanogen and its CEO.

Read the full article here by OSNews

Performance Bugs, 'the Dark Matter of Programming Bugs', Are Out There Lurking and Unseen

Several Slashdot readers have shared an article by programmer Nicholas Chapman, who talks about a class of bugs that he calls "performance bugs". From the article: A performance bug is when the code computes the correct result, but runs slower than it should due to a programming mistake. The nefarious thing about performance bugs is that the user may never know they are there -- the program appears to work correctly, carrying out the correct operations, showing the right thing on the screen or printing the right text. It just does it a bit more slowly than it should have. It takes an experienced programmer, with a reasonably accurate mental model of the problem and the correct solution, to know how fast the operation should have been performed, and hence if the program is running slower than it should be. I started documenting a few of the performance bugs I came across a few months ago, for example (on some platforms) the insert method of std::map is roughly 7 times slower than it should be, std::map::count() is about twice as slow as it should be, std::map::find() is 15% slower than it should be, aligned malloc is a lot slower than it should be in VS2015.
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An Upgrade to SyntaxNet, New Models and a Parsing Competition

At Google, we continuously improve the language understanding capabilities used in applications ranging from generation of email responses to translation. Last summer, we open-sourced SyntaxNet, a neural-network framework for analyzing and understanding the grammatical structure of sentences. Included in our release was Parsey McParseface, a state-of-the-art model that we had trained for analyzing English, followed quickly by a collection of pre-trained models for 40 additional languages, which we dubbed Parsey's Cousins. While we were excited to share our research and to provide these resources to the broader community, building machine learning systems that work well for languages other than English remains an ongoing challenge. We are excited to announce a few new research resources, available now, that address this problem.

SyntaxNet Upgrade
We are releasing a major upgrade to SyntaxNet. This upgrade incorporates nearly a year’s worth of our research on multilingual language understanding, and is available to anyone interested in building systems for processing and understanding text. At the core of the upgrade is a new technology that enables learning of richly layered representations of input sentences. More specifically, the upgrade extends TensorFlow to allow joint modeling of multiple levels of linguistic structure, and to allow neural-network architectures to be created dynamically during processing of a sentence or document.

Our upgrade makes it, for example, easy to build character-based models that learn to compose individual characters into words (e.g. ‘c-a-t’ spells ‘cat’). By doing so, the models can learn that words can be related to each other because they share common parts (e.g. ‘cats’ is the plural of ‘cat’ and shares the same stem; ‘wildcat’ is a type of ‘cat’). Parsey and Parsey’s Cousins, on the other hand, operated over sequences of words. As a result, they were forced to memorize words seen during training and relied mostly on the context to determine the grammatical function of previously unseen words.

As an example, consider the following (meaningless but grammatically correct) sentence:
This sentence was originally coined by Andrew Ingraham who explained: “You do not know what this means; nor do I. But if we assume that it is English, we know that the doshes are distimmed by the gostak. We know too that one distimmer of doshes is a gostak." Systematic patterns in morphology and syntax allow us to guess the grammatical function of words even when they are completely novel: we understand that ‘doshes’ is the plural of the noun ‘dosh’ (similar to the ‘cats’ example above) or that ‘distim’ is the third person singular of the verb distim. Based on this analysis we can then derive the overall structure of this sentence even though we have never seen the words before.

To showcase the new capabilities provided by our upgrade to SyntaxNet, we are releasing a set of new pretrained models called ParseySaurus. These models use the character-based input representation mentioned above and are thus much better at predicting the meaning of new words based both on their spelling and how they are used in context. The ParseySaurus models are far more accurate than Parsey’s Cousins (reducing errors by as much as 25%), particularly for morphologically-rich languages like Russian, or agglutinative languages like Turkish and Hungarian. In those languages there can be dozens of forms for each word and many of these forms might never be observed during training - even in a very large corpus.

Consider the following fictitious Russian sentence, where again the stems are meaningless, but the suffixes define an unambiguous interpretation of the sentence structure:
Even though our Russian ParseySaurus model has never seen these words, it can correctly analyze the sentence by inspecting the character sequences which constitute each word. In doing so, the system can determine many properties of the words (notice how many more morphological features there are here than in the English example). To see the sentence as ParseySaurus does, here is a visualization of how the model analyzes this sentence:
Each square represents one node in the neural network graph, and lines show the connections between them. The left-side “tail” of the graph shows the model consuming the input as one long string of characters. These are intermittently passed to the right side, where the rich web of connections shows the model composing words into phrases and producing a syntactic parse. Check out the full-size rendering here.

A Competition
You might be wondering whether character-based modeling are all we need or whether there are other techniques that might be important. SyntaxNet has lots more to offer, like beam search and different training objectives, but there are of course also many other possibilities. To find out what works well in practice we are helping co-organize, together with Charles University and other colleagues, a multilingual parsing competition at this year’s Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning (CoNLL) with the goal of building syntactic parsing systems that work well in real-world settings and for 45 different languages.

The competition is made possible by the Universal Dependencies (UD) initiative, whose goal is to develop cross-linguistically consistent treebanks. Because machine learned models can only be as good as the data that they have access to, we have been contributing data to UD since 2013. For the competition, we partnered with UD and DFKI to build a new multilingual evaluation set consisting of 1000 sentences that have been translated into 20+ different languages and annotated by linguists with parse trees. This evaluation set is the first of its kind (in the past, each language had its own independent evaluation set) and will enable more consistent cross-lingual comparisons. Because the sentences have the same meaning and have been annotated according to the same guidelines, we will be able to get closer to answering the question of which languages might be harder to parse.

We hope that the upgraded SyntaxNet framework and our the pre-trained ParseySaurus models will inspire researchers to participate in the competition. We have additionally created a tutorial showing how to load a Docker image and train models on the Google Cloud Platform, to facilitate participation by smaller teams with limited resources. So, if you have an idea for making your own models with the SyntaxNet framework, sign up to compete! We believe that the configurations that we are releasing are a good place to start, but we look forward to seeing how participants will be able to extend and improve these models or perhaps create better ones!

Thanks to everyone involved who made this competition happen, including our collaborators at UD-Pipe, who provide another baseline implementation to make it easy to enter the competition. Happy parsing from the main developers, Chris Alberti, Daniel Andor, Ivan Bogatyy, Mark Omernick, Zora Tung and Ji Ma!

By David Weiss and Slav Petrov, Research Scientists

Read the full article here by Google Open Source Blog

Intel’s Bold Plan to Reinvent Computer Memory (and Keep It a Secret)

Intel’s Bold Plan to Reinvent Computer Memory (and Keep It a Secret)
Intel just unleashed a new kind of computer memory it believes will change the way the world builds computers. But it won't tell the world what's inside. The post Intel’s Bold Plan to Reinvent Computer Memory (and Keep It a Secret) appeared first on WIRED.

Read the full article here by Wired Top Stories

Tuesday 21 March 2017

John Goodenough's Colleagues Are Skeptical of His New Battery Technology

Earlier this month, a research team led by John Goodenough announced that they had created a new fast charging solid-state battery that can operate in extreme temperatures and store five to ten times as much energy as current standard lithium-ion batteries. The announcement was big enough to have Google's Eric Schmidt tweeting about it. However, there are some skeptics, including other leading battery researchers. "For his invention to work as described, they say, it would probably have to abandon the laws of thermodynamics, which say perpetual motion is not possible," reports Quartz. "The law has been a fundamental of batteries for more than a century and a half." Quartz reports: Goodenough's long career has defined the modern battery industry. Researchers assume that his measurements are exact. But no one outside of Goodenough's own group appears to understand his new concept. The battery community is loath to openly challenge the paper, but some come close. "If anyone but Goodenough published this, I would be, well, it's hard to find a polite word," Daniel Steingart, a professor at Princeton, told Quartz. Goodenough did not respond to emails. But in a statement released by the University of Texas, where he holds an engineering chair, he said, "We believe our discovery solves many of the problems that are inherent in today's batteries. Cost, safety, energy density, rates of charge and discharge and cycle life are critical for battery-driven cars to be more widely adopted." In addition, Helena Braga, the paper's lead author, in an exchange of emails, insisted that the team's claims are valid. For almost four decades, Goodenough has dominated the world of advanced batteries. If anyone could finally make the breakthrough that allows for cheap, stored electricity in cars and on the grid, it would figure to be him. Goodenough invented the heart of the battery that is all but certainly powering the device on which you are reading this. It's the lithium-cobalt-oxide cathode, invented in 1980 and introduced for sale by Sony in 1991. Again and again, Goodenough's lab has emerged with dramatic discoveries confirming his genius. It's what is not stated in the paper that has some of the battery community stumped. How is Goodenough's new invention storing any energy at all? The known rules of physics state that, to derive energy, differing material must produce differing eletro-chemical reactions in the two opposing electrodes. That difference produces voltage, allowing energy to be stored. But Goodenough's battery has pure metallic lithium or sodium on both sides. Therefore, the voltage should be zero, with no energy produced, battery researchers told Quartz. Goodenough reports energy densities multiple times that of current lithium-ion batteries. Where does the energy come from, if not the electrode reactions? That goes unexplained in the paper.
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O-MG, the Developer Preview of Android O is here!

Posted by Dave Burke, VP of Engineering

Since the first launch in 2008, the Android project has thrived on the incredible feedback from our vibrant ecosystems of app developers and device makers, as well as of course our users. More recently, we've been pushing hard on improving our engineering processes so we can share our work earlier and more openly with our partners.

So, today, I'm excited to share a first developer preview of the next version of the OS: Android O. The usual caveats apply: it's early days, there are more features coming, and there's still plenty of stabilization and performance work ahead of us. But it's booting :).

Over the course of the next several months, we'll be releasing updated developer previews, and we'll be doing a deep dive on all things Android at Google I/O in May. In the meantime, we'd love your feedback on trying out new features, and of course testing your apps on the new OS.

What's new in O?

Android O introduces a number of new features and APIs to use in your apps. Here's are just a few new things for you to start trying in this first Developer Preview:

Background limits: Building on the work we began in Nougat, Android O puts a big priority on improving a user's battery life and the device's interactive performance. To make this possible, we've put additional automatic limits on what apps can do in the background, in three main areas: implicit broadcasts, background services, and location updates. These changes will make it easier to create apps that have minimal impact on a user's device and battery. Background limits represent a significant change in Android, so we want every developer to get familiar with them. Check out the documentation on background execution limits and background location limits for details.

Notification channels: Android O also introduces notification channels, which are new app-defined categories for notification content. Channels let developers give users fine-grained control over different kinds of notifications — users can block or change the behavior of each channel individually, rather than managing all of the app's notifications together.

Notification channels let users control your app's notification categories

Android O also adds new visuals and grouping to notifications that make it easier for users to see what's going on when they have an incoming message or are glancing at the notification shade.

Autofill APIs: Android users already depend on a range of password managers to autofill login details and repetitive information, which makes setting up new apps or placing transactions easier. Now we are making this work more easily across the ecosystem by adding platform support for autofill. Users can select an autofill app, similar to the way they select a keyboard app. The autofill app stores and secures user data, such as addresses, user names, and even passwords. For apps that want to handle autofill, we're adding new APIs to implement an Autofill service.

PIP for handsets and new windowing features: Picture in Picture (PIP) display is now available on phones and tablets, so users can continue watching a video while they're answering a chat or hailing a car. Apps can put themselves in PiP mode from the resumed or a pausing state where the system supports it - and you can specify the aspect ratio and a set of custom interactions (such as play/pause). Other new windowing features include a new app overlay window for apps to use instead of system alert window, and multi-display support for launching an activity on a remote display.

Font resources in XML: Fonts are now a fully supported resource type in Android O. Apps can now use fonts in XML layouts as well as define font families in XML — declaring the font style and weight along with the font files.

Adaptive icons: To help you integrate better with the device UI, you can now create adaptive icons that the system displays in different shapes, based on a mask selected by the device. The system also animates interactions with the icons, and them in the launcher, shortcuts, Settings, sharing dialogs, and in the overview screen.

Adaptive icons display in a variety of shapes across different device models.

Wide-gamut color for apps: Android developers of imaging apps can now take advantage of new devices that have a wide-gamut color capable display. To display wide gamut images, apps will need to enable a flag in their manifest (per activity) and load bitmaps with an embedded wide color profile (AdobeRGB, Pro Photo RGB, DCI-P3, etc.).

Connectivity: For the ultimate in audio fidelity, Android O now also supports high-quality Bluetooth audio codecs such as LDAC codec. We're also adding new Wi-Fi features as well, like Wi-Fi Aware, previously known as Neighbor Awareness Networking (NAN). On devices with the appropriate hardware, apps and nearby devices can discover and communicate over Wi-Fi without an Internet access point. We're working with our hardware partners to bring Wi-Fi Aware technology to devices as soon as possible.

The Telecom framework is extending ConnectionService APIs to enable third party calling apps integrate with System UI and operate seamlessly with other audio apps. For instance, apps can have their calls displayed and controlled in different kinds of UIs such as car head units.

Keyboard navigation: With the advent of Google Play apps on Chrome OS and other large form factors, we're seeing a resurgence of keyboard navigation use within these apps. In Android O we focused on building a more reliable, predictable model for "arrow" and "tab" navigation that aids both developers and end users.

AAudio API for Pro Audio: AAudio is a new native API that's designed specifically for apps that require high-performance, low-latency audio. Apps using AAudio read and write data via streams. In the Developer Preview we're releasing an early version of this new API to get your feedback.

WebView enhancements: In Android Nougat we introduced an optional multiprocess mode for WebView that moved the handling of web content into an isolated process. In Android O, we're enabling multiprocess mode by default and adding an API to let your app handle errors and crashes, for enhanced security and improved app stability. As a further security measure, you can now opt in your app's WebView objects to verify URLs through Google Safe Browsing.

Java 8 Language APIs and runtime optimizations: Android now supports several new Java Language APIs, including the new java.time API. In addition, the Android Runtime is faster than ever before, with improvements of up to 2x on some application benchmarks.

Partner platform contributions: Hardware manufacturers and silicon partners have accelerated fixes and enhancements to the Android platform in the O release. For example, Sony has contributed more than 30 feature enhancements, including the LDAC codec, and 250 bug fixes to Android O.

Get started in a few simple steps

First, make your app compatible to give your users a seamless transition to Android O. Just download a device system image or emulator system image, install your current app, and test -- the app should run and look great, and handle behavior changes properly. After you've made any necessary updates, we recommend publishing to Google Play right away without changing the app's platform targeting.

Building with Android O

When you're ready, dive in to O in depth to learn about everything you can take advantage of for your app. Visit the O Developer Preview site for details on the preview timeline, behavior changes, new APIs, and support resources.

Plan how your app will support background limits and other changes. Try out some of the great new features in your app -- notification channels, PIP, adaptive icons, font resources in XML, autosizing TextView, and many others. To make it easier to explore the new APIs in Android O, we've brought the API diff report online, along with the Android O API reference.

Coming later today, the latest canary version of Android Studio 2.4 includes new features to help you get started with Android O. When this update is available, you can download and set up the O preview SDK from inside Android Studio, then use Android O's XML font resources and autosizing TextView in the Layout Editor. Watch for more Android O support coming in the weeks ahead.

We're also releasing an alpha version of the 26.0.0 support library for you to try.

Preview updates

The O Developer Preview includes an updated SDK with system images for testing on the official Android Emulator and on Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, Pixel, Pixel XL and Pixel C devices. If you're building for wearables, there's also an emulator for testing Android Wear 2.0 on Android O.

We plan to update the preview system images and SDK regularly throughout the O Developer Preview. This initial preview release is for developers only and not intended for daily or consumer use, so we're making it available by manual download and flash only. Downloads and instructions are here.

As we get closer to a final product, we'll be inviting consumers to try it out as well, and we'll open up enrollments through Android Beta at that time. Stay tuned for details, but for now please note that Android Beta is not currently available for Android O.

Give us your feedback

As always, your feedback is crucial, so please let us know what you think — the sooner we hear from you, the more of your feedback we can integrate. When you find issues, please report them here. We've moved to a more robust tool, Issue Tracker, which is also used internally at Google to track bugs and feature requests during product development. We hope you'll find it easier to use.

Read the full article here by Android Developers Blog

Facebook may show off its hardware efforts in April

When Facebook launched its hardware-focused Building 8, it raised all kinds of questions: just what was it making in there, and when would you see the first fruits of its labor? You might not have to wait long to get the details. Sources speaking to Business Insider claim to have a broad overview of not only what Building 8 is creating, but when you might get to see it. The team is reportedly working on four advanced technology projects, and is poised to play a key role in Facebook's F8 conference in April. In other words, some of its secretive work would be revealed in a matter of weeks.

Clues to some of it have surfaced in the recent past. There's already been talk of brain-scanning tech, and recent hires hint at some kind of drone (it's not clear that this is related to the existing internet drone project). Others, however, are relatively fresh. One would focus on augmented reality, according to the insiders, while another is headed up by a Stanford cardiologist with knowledge of "early-stage medical device development."

Building 8's leader, ex-Googler Regina Dugan, may have even given a clue as to the augmented reality project. Not long ago, she wrote two posts decrying the inability to truly connect with people who are far away, and was "optimistic" that "hardware advances" could help solve the problem. An augmented reality system that makes it feel like others are in the room, perhaps?

The company hasn't confirmed anything, so it's still a good idea to take this with a grain of salt even if it's accurate. Development teams can miss schedules or cancel projects entirely, after all. If there's any truth here, though, Facebook is about to take a big step toward becoming a multi-product hardware company that isn't just focused on VR.

Source: Business Insider

Read the full article here by Engadget

Monday 20 March 2017

WebGL 2.0 Support Now Available in Chrome

You may soon notice a boost to 3D web graphics while using Chrome: Google has announced that the desktop version now fully supports WebGL 2.0. Improvements include faster performance, new texture types, and visual effects. Firefox and Opera support this already, but this is a bigger deal since Chrome has 60% of the market share. Edge is still stuck with WebGL 1.0. WebGL 2.0 is a major upgrade to the API which unlocks a variety of new graphics features and advanced rendering techniques. WebGL 2.0 makes it even easier to build 3D web applications, with faster real-time rendering, new types of textures and shaders, and reduced video memory consumption. Techniques including deferred shading, tone mapping, volumetric effects, and particle effects can now be efficiently implemented. The new APIs also bring WebGL up to feature parity with OpenGL ES 3.0, a graphics platform commonly used in mobile games. Discussion

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

Vomiting Emoji

My favorite might be U+1F609 U+1F93F WINKING FACE VOMITING.

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Saturday 18 March 2017

Rare Nuclear Test Films Saved, Declassified, and Uploaded to YouTube

A weapons physicist and his team has rescued and restored a plethora of deteriorating nuclear-test films and have uploaded them for everyone to enjoy. Around 750 have been declassified, and there is plenty more to come, as 6,500 films (out of an estimated 10,000) have been found. Check out the playlist for over 60 nuclear explosions. The U.S. conducted 210 atmospheric nuclear tests between 1945 and 1962, with multiple cameras capturing each event at around 2,400 frames per second. But in the decades since, around 10,000 of these films sat idle, scattered across the country in high-security vaults. Not only were they gathering dust, the film material itself was slowly decomposing, bringing the data they contained to the brink of being lost forever. For the past five years, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) weapon physicist Greg Spriggs and a crack team of film experts, archivists and software developers have been on a mission to hunt down, scan, reanalyze and declassify these decomposing films. Discussion

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PC Building Simulator Is a Game about Building a PC

In a serious case of Inception, you can now download a game that lets you build a gaming PC on your gaming PC. This is the perfect title for most of you here, who have absolutely no experience with that sort of thing. Interestingly, there will even be a career mode where you make an attempt to make a living as a custom PC builder. True to the legacy of classic flight sims or the more modern trucking simulators, PC Building Simulator is relatively realistic when it comes to simulating putting together a gaming PC. Sure, all you're doing is selecting parts from a menu and clicking them into place, but just as flight sims make you flip all the switches and turn all the knobs, PCBS has you screwing in motherboard standoffs and manually connecting MOLEX cables. Discussion

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Friday 17 March 2017

Google Data Studio

Google Data Studio

Data Studio lets you create dynamic, visually compelling reports and dashboards.

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Karting | Al via a Corridonia il Trofeo di Primavera

Sulla Pista Cogiskart di Corridonia inizia il 19 marzo il Campionato Regionale della 5° Zona. Hanno già visto la partenza...

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WebAssembly è più performante di asmJS?

IBM open sources the API Microgateway

I am thrilled to announce the The IBM API Microgateway is now open source and available on GitHub. The API Microgateway has two powerful features developers will love:

  • A Node.js extensible and dynamic API policy flow engine based on Swagger that provides built-in policy support for OAuth 2.0 and rate limiting
  • NGINX industry-proven reverse proxy capabilities combined with Node.js highly scalable event-driven architecture

Why use an API gateway?

API gateways play an integral role to protect, enrich, and control access to API services. They allow you to architect your application in a way that provides clear separation between your business logic and security logic. In the long run, this will reduce application errors and provide a common reuse layer across your application.

Diagram of an API gateway

The API Microgateway policy flow engine 

Developers can use policy constructs (if / switch) to create visual policy flows, transform payloads, and invoke backends. When you need to roll up your sleeves and apply your own logic, the JavaScript policy provides ultimate flexibility to enrich the payload. The API Microgateway provides developers a first-class framework for building your own gateway solution to meet your API needs.

Building a gateway solution

Our community-first approach

The IBM Gateway team has over 15 years of experience in building gateway solutions. Our gateway offerings range from DataPower, an enterprise-proven gateway solution with comprehensive built-in policies, to the lightweight, infinitely extensible, open source The API Microgateway. 

We are excited to contribute our gateway expertise back to the community. The Node.js community is one of the most active and vibrant developer communities, and we are confident that with the help of the Node.js community, we can further evolve The API Microgateway.

For more information, check out The API Microgateway on GitHub.

The post IBM open sources the API Microgateway appeared first on developerWorks Open.

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Is Microsoft blocking Windows 7/8.1 updates on newer hardware?

A year ago, Microsoft revealed that Windows 10 would be the only Windows platform to support nextgen processors like Intel's Kaby Lake, AMD's Bristol Ridge, and Qualcomm’s 8996. The message then -- as now -- was clear: If you want to run a nextgen processor, you'll need Windows 10. Last week, Microsoft published KB 4012982, with the title "'Your PC uses a processor that isn’t supported on this version of Windows' error when you scan or download Windows updates", suggesting that the restriction was now being enforced. SEE ALSO: Here's how to be among the first to get the Windows… [Continue Reading]

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Thursday 16 March 2017

Four short links: 16 March 2017

Werewolf AI, Board Games, Coin Tossing, and Glitch Platform

  1. Towards Deception Detection in a Language-Driven Game (PDF) -- This paper focuses exclusively on how the Explanation Generator generates hypotheses for the actions of human players based on observations of their conversational utterances. Werewolf is their test data. I do not think it is wise to teach the softwares to play Werewolf.
  2. CIA Trains Officers with Board Games (Ars Technica) -- where are the software/startup simulation board games? (via BoingBoing)
  3. The Impact of a Coin Toss on Major Life Decisions and Subsequent Happiness (PDF) -- Those who flipped heads were approximately 25% more likely to report making a change than those who got tails.
  4. Glitch -- sweet collaboratively edited code for web apps, with View Source, but clearly laying a path to being commercial PaaS. Neat.

Continue reading Four short links: 16 March 2017.

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Wednesday 15 March 2017

Sudo (Board Game)

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Best-Tasting Colors

I recognize that chocolate is its own thing on which reasonable people may differ. Everything else here is objective fact.

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Android: supporto nativo per Java 8, addio alla Jack toolchain

Engineers On Google's Self-Driving Car Project Were Paid So Much That They Quit

According to a new report from Bloomberg, most of the money Google spent on it self-driving car project, now spun off into a new entity called Waymo, has gone to engineers and other staff. While it has helped retain a lot of influential and dedicated workers in the short run, it has resulted in many staffers leaving the company in the long run due to the immense financial security. The Verge reports: Bloomberg says that early staffers "had an unusual compensation system" that multiplied staffers salaries and bonuses based on the performance of the self-driving project. The payments accumulated as milestones were reached, even though Waymo remains years away from generating revenue. One staffer eventually "had a multiplier of 16 applied to bonuses and equity amassed over four years." The huge amounts of compensation worked -- for a while. But eventually, it gave many staffers such financial security that they were willing to leave the cuddly confines of Google. Two staffers that Bloomberg spoke to called it "F-you money," and the accumulated cash allowed them to depart Google for other firms, including Chris Urmson who co-founded a startup with ex-Tesla employee Sterling Anderson, and others who founded a self-driving truck company called Otto which was purchased by Uber last year, and another who founded Argo AI which received a $1 billion investment from Ford last week.
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Tuesday 14 March 2017

Gabe Newell: Valve is thinking how to distribute Source 2

Gabe Newell: Valve is thinking how to distribute Source 2

Valve Boss Gabe Newell has said in a video interview that the company is thinking about how it will start delivering Source 2 to those who want it, saying that for them it's "insanely useful" but mentioned that it probably won't be for everyone.

This interview was filmed by the Valve News Network and spotted by the sharp eyes at PCGamesN.

“If it’s useful for people, it’s available for them to use,” says Valve boss Gabe Newell. “For us, it’s insanely useful - it does exactly what we need an engine to do and it’s evolving in the directions that we think are important. It’s kind of an industrial-strength solution. For our developers it works great, for other developers it’s not nearly as useful as Unity. So it’s sort of like, it’s here if people want it.”

Newell explains that he views the Source engine's latest iteration as a tool in Valve's arsenal, and that it's part of Steam, so some parts of it will be useful for developers, and others won't.

"It’s not a way to make money for us, it’s something for developers to look at and think ‘wow, that’s exactly what I’m trying to do’.” said Newell.

Valve say in the video that they're working on getting Source 2 to the point it can be offered en-masse to developers that want it, but right now it's not a priority as they'd rather work on their own projects first.

There's a lot of information in the video above, I'd recommend checking it out for words direct from the man himself.



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Google reveals Jamboard price and release date

If you're looking for an alternative to Microsoft's Surface Hub, Google has just the thing for you. Unveiled last October, Jamboard is a 55-inch whiteboard featuring a 4K touchscreen display, HD camera, speakers and integration with the search giant's G Suite productivity apps. Google did not initially reveal how much it will cost or when it will be available, but the company now says that it will be priced just shy of $5,000 and will be released in just a couple of months. More specifically, the Jamboard will be available to purchase starting this May for $4,999. There is no exact… [Continue Reading]

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C++17 Is Near, A Look At The New Features

Reports out over the weekend indicate that C++17 is "done" as the next version of the C++ ISO standard...

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Four short links: 13 March 2017

Attention Prioritization, Event Sourcing, Containerized Dropbox, and Player Modeling

  1. ASAP: Automatic Smoothing for Attention Prioritization in Time Series -- automatically smooths time series plots to remove short-term noise while retaining large-scale deviations.
  2. PumpkinDB -- Event sourcing database engine that doesn't overwrite data.
  3. Run Dropbox in a Container -- keep its grubby fingers off your account.
  4. Ethical Considerations in Player Modeling -- We source categories of ethical issues in the application of artificial intelligence (AI) from work on AI ethics, and using these, we provide several specific examples of ethical issues in player modeling. Building from the examples, we suggest establishing a framework for understanding ethical issues in player modeling, and we propose a number of methodological approaches to address the identified challenges.

Continue reading Four short links: 13 March 2017.

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Alphabet's Jigsaw Wants To Explain Tech Jargon To You, Launches Sideways Dictionary

It might sound obvious, but the thing about tech is that sometimes it can get really, well, technical. From a report on CNET: So Alphabet wants to help make nitty-gritty tech jargon simpler to explain to the masses. On Tuesday, Jigsaw, a tech incubator owned by Google's parent company, launched a website called the Sideways Dictionary that takes jargon and puts it into terms normal people would understand. Jigsaw partnered with the Washington Post to build the tool.
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