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Rival may have roasted Keurig’s coffee-pod DRM

Ars Technica - Fri, 29/08/2014 - 17:05
Mother Parkers is getting in on Keurig's new brewing machines, whether Keurig likes it or not. sarkasmo

Back in March, Keurig announced plans to lock down its popular coffee pod system in an effort to make third-party pod makers pay for a license. But the company's plans may be foiled. A press release last week from Mother Parkers Tea & Coffee suggests that the Keurig "DRM" used to lock out third parties has been cracked and that Mother Parkers is now making coffee pods that can work in Keurig's brewing machines.

New Keurig machines reportedly require pods to have a special "ink marker" on their foil top, according to The Verge. If that marking isn't detected, the machine will display an "Oops!" message and refuse to do anything further.

The Mother Parkers press release states that the company "will launch a new version of the RealCup capsule that is compatible with Keurig Green Mountain's K2.0 brewer scheduled for launch later this year." The release quotes Bill VandenBygaart, Mother Parkers' vice president of business development, as saying that the company's "new technology" means that "consumers will be the ultimate winners by having the best tasting coffees and teas available."

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Haswell-E arrives, bringing a $999 8-core desktop CPU with it

Ars Technica - Fri, 29/08/2014 - 17:00

Most of Intel's announcements lately have focused on low-power chips, but every now and again it throws a bone to its high-end desktop users. Today we're getting our first look at Haswell-E and a new Core i7 Extreme Edition CPU, a moniker reserved for the biggest and fastest of Intel's consumer and workstation CPUs (if you want something faster than that, you'll need to start looking at Xeons).

We already got a little bit of information on these chips back in March, when Intel made announcements related to refreshed Haswell chips ("Devil's Canyon") and a handful of other desktop processors. Though much of today's information has already leaked, we'll run down the most important stuff for those of you who don't follow every leaked slide that makes its way to the public.

The CPUs

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Friday's security updates

LWN.net - Fri, 29/08/2014 - 16:25

Debian has updated squid3 (denial of service).

Fedora has updated glibc (F20: multiple vulnerabilities), GraphicsMagick (F20: code execution), gtk3 (F20: screen lock bypass), perl-Plack (F19; F20: information disclosure), phpMyAdmin (F19: multiple vulnerabilities), and subversion (F19; F20: credentials leak).

Gentoo has updated apache (multiple vulnerabilities), file (denial of service), libgcrypt (key extraction), libtasn1 (multiple vulnerabilities), and php (multiple vulnerabilities).

SUSE has updated MySQL (SLES/SLED 11: multiple vulnerabilities).

Ubuntu has updated eglibc (10.o4, 12.04, 14.04: denial of service).

Updates on Eruptions in Iceland and Rabaul

Wired - Fri, 29/08/2014 - 16:20
Yesterday we had two eruptions grab everyone’s attention – one from the area that has had everyone’s attention between Iceland’s Bárðarbunga and Askja in the Holuhraun lava field and one unexpected eruption from the Tavurvur cone in the Rabaul Caldera of Papua New Guinea. The Icelandic eruption that everyone has been waiting for ended up being small, lasting […]






It’s made-for-TV patent war, as AT&T sues Cox

Ars Technica - Fri, 29/08/2014 - 15:25
Bill Bradford / flickr

The majority of patent lawsuits today are brought by "patent trolls" that do nothing but sue—but suits between actual competitors do still happen.

Case in point: AT&T has sued Cox Communications, saying that Cox has infringed seven AT&T patents covering everything from DVRs to methods for hiding "packet loss or frame erasure" over a network.

In its complaint (PDF), AT&T claims it "provided a detailed explanation" of how Cox's products infringe its patents during meetings that took place in 2009 and 2010.

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Steve Kemp: Migration of services and hosts

Planet Debian - Fri, 29/08/2014 - 14:28

Yesterday I carried out the upgrade of a Debian host from Squeeze to Wheezy for a friend. I like doing odd-jobs like this as they're generally painless, and when there are problems it is a fun learning experience.

I accidentally forgot to check on the status of the MySQL server on that particular host, which was a little embarassing, but later put together a reasonably thorough serverspec recipe to describe how the machine should be setup, which will avoid that problem in the future - Introduction/tutorial here.

The more I use serverspec the more I like it. My own personal servers have good rules now:

shelob ~/Repos/git.steve.org.uk/server/testing $ make .. Finished in 1 minute 6.53 seconds 362 examples, 0 failures

Slow, but comprehensive.

In other news I've now migrated every single one of my personal mercurial repositories over to git. I didn't have a particular reason for doing that, but I've started using git more and more for collaboration with others and using two systems felt like an annoyance.

That means I no longer have to host two different kinds of repositories, and I can use the excellent gitbucket software on my git repository host.

Needless to say I wrote a policy for this host too:

# # The host should be wheezy. # describe command("lsb_release -d") do its(:stdout) { should match /wheezy/ } end # # Our gitbucket instance should be running, under runit. # describe supervise('gitbucket') do its(:status) { should eq 'run' } end # # nginx will proxy to our back-end # describe service('nginx') do it { should be_enabled } it { should be_running } end describe port(80) do it { should be_listening } end # # Host should resolve # describe host("git.steve.org.uk" ) do it { should be_resolvable.by('dns') } end

Simple stuff, but being able to trigger all these kind of tests, on all my hosts, with one command, is very reassuring.

Nintendo tweaks portable line with new, more powerful 3DS for Japan

Ars Technica - Fri, 29/08/2014 - 14:19
That grey blob on the right side is actually a second analog stick.

Continuing its tradition of splitting its portable hardware partway through its lifecycle, Nintendo today announced that a new version of its 3DS line, simply called the "new Nintendo 3DS," will be coming to Japan on October 11.

The new model features a number of internal and external hardware improvements. Much like the Game Boy Color before it, the new 3DS has a slightly improved CPU from the version that preceded it, though Nintendo didn't say specifically just how much more powerful. While the new revision will still support all existing 3DS and DS games, it will also be required to run some exclusive games, such as a newly announced port of the Wii's Xenoblade Chronicles.

The new 3DS sports some new features on the outside as well. A smaller, second analog nub, dubbed the "c-stick" in a nod to the old Nintendo GameCube, sits on the right side of the system, just above the face buttons. This addition removes the need to buy a bulky analog pad attachment for certain games, such as Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate.

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Tripping through IBM’s astonishingly insane 1937 corporate songbook

Ars Technica - Fri, 29/08/2014 - 14:00
The songbook of the damned—or at least of the employed. CN.dart.call("xrailTop", {sz:"300x250", kws:["top"], collapse: true});

"For thirty-seven years," reads the opening passage in the book, "the gatherings and conventions of our IBM workers have expressed in happy songs the fine spirit of loyal cooperation and good fellowship which has promoted the signal success of our great IBM Corporation in its truly International Service for the betterment of business and benefit to mankind."

That’s a hell of a mouthful, but it’s only the opening volley in the war on self-respect and decency that is the 1937 edition of Songs of the IBM, a booklet of corporate ditties first published in 1927 on the order of IBM company founder Thomas Watson, Sr.

The 1937 edition of the songbook is a 54-page monument to glassey-eyed corporate inhumanity, with every page overflowing with trite praise to The Company and Its Men. The booklet reads like a terribly parody of a hymnal—one that praises not the traditional Christian trinity but the new corporate triumvirate of IBM the father, Watson the son, and American entrepreneurship as the holy spirit:

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We're All In It Together: Cosplay With Us Over Labor Day Weekend

EFF Breaking News - Fri, 29/08/2014 - 13:12

Join the Electronic Frontier Foundation, io9, and a coalition of fan groups over Labor Day weekend for Project Secret Identity, a cosplay photo campaign to raise awareness of how online anonymity and privacy are key to free expression. Visit ProjectSecretIdentity.org during Dragon Con (Aug. 29 – Sept. 1) to participate online or visit us on the second floor of the Hilton Atlanta or the Southeastern Browncoats booth, #1000 at AmericasMart. 

For the first time in my life, I’m donning a costume at a convention.

At Dragon Con this weekend, I’ll put on a balaclava, a utility vest and a pair of flashlight glasses, shave my beard into a mustache, and draw a mole on my cheek. For a few days I’ll become Robert De Niro’s character, Archibald “Harry” Tuttle, in Terry Gilliam’s classic dystopian dark comedy, Brazil.  

There are three reasons for this.

First: Brazil has had a lasting impact on my life since I first saw it on VHS as a teenager.  It put me on a track that has found me defending civil liberties at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The film is one of the early imaginings of a society where an authoritarian government uses big data to manage and control a population.  The plot revolves around a simple clerical error, which results in government agents kidnapping, torturing, and eventually killing the wrong guy—Harry Buttle, who they’ve confused with Harry Tuttle.  Now, Harry Tuttle is a renegade heating engineer who’s been branded a terrorist for making unauthorized repairs.  He’s a handyman superhero who hates paperwork and throughout the film, he keeps dropping his catchphrase: “We’re all in it together.”

That brings me to reason #2. When it comes to mass surveillance, we are all indeed in it together, both as data points in the giant databases and as allies in the battle against them.

That’s why I’d like to invite you to participate in Project Secret Identity, a cosplay activism campaign by EFF, io9, and a cross-fandom coalition of wizards, space cowboys, and other creative organizations.

We’re asking you to put on your mask and pose for photo holding a sign that says “I Have a Right to a Secret Identity” or another fandom-specific message about the importance of Internet freedom.

As we explain at ProjectSecretIdentity.org:

From George Orwell's Big Brother to J.K. Rowling's Ministry of Magic, science fiction, fantasy, and other genre fiction have long explored and criticized the intrusion of government on our private lives.

Today, many of those fictions have become reality, whether it's NSA mass surveillance, local police use of spy technology, or big data brokers scraping personal information from social media networks. Some governments are even trying to ban online anonymity.

Project Secret Identity underlines the belief that we must protect and advocate for ourselves in order to shape the future.

In addition to EFF and io9, the campaign is supported by the Harry Potter Alliance, Southeastern Browncoats and the Baker Street Babes. Anonymity isn't just important for privacy; it’s deeply engrained in fan culture, which is why the coalition also includes Wattpad, a community of 30 million readers and writers, and the Organization for Transformative Works.

As OTW's Claudia Rebaza writes:

Fan pseudonyms range from ordinary names to fanciful titles and are a long standing practice. There are many reasons why some fans might choose pseudonymity.  Not only is it a standard identity and privacy-protection precaution, but it may follow fan practice within the spaces they're part of online and it may mirror the use of pseudonyms in publishing where different names are used when writing for different audiences.

You don’t have to be at Dragon Con to participate: Just upload your image at ProjectSecretIdentity.org and share it online.

But if you are attending Dragon Con, you can get your photo taken at either our table (second floor in the Hilton Atlanta) or the Southeastern Browncoats’ booth (#1000 in AmericasMart).

Dragon Con is renowned not only for its cosplay, but for the intellectual curiosity of its attendees.  They understand the possibilities of technology and also appreciate that writers, artists, and fans have been censored and oppressed for challenging governments on these issues.

Dragon Con hosts the Electronic Frontiers Forum, a panel track devoted to exploring the intersection of technology with civil liberties.  EFF Deputy General Counsel Kurt Opsahl and I will be participating in a number of discussions on issues ranging from cell-phone searches to the Freedom of Information Act.  Opsahl will also be presenting an updated version of his talk, “Through a PRISM, Darkly: Everything We Know About NSA Spying,” which went viral when it first debuted at the Chaos Communication Congress last winter. We will also help with screenings of the documentaries Terms and Conditions May Apply and The Internet’s Own Boy.

You can check out the forum schedule here

As for the third reason I’m cosplaying as Harry Tuttle: Terry Gilliam himself will be at Dragon Con. If we’re all in it together, surely that includes a selfie with me.

Related Issues: AnonymityPrivacy
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Jakub Wilk: More spell-checking

Planet Debian - Fri, 29/08/2014 - 12:51

Have you ever wanted to use Lintian's spell-checker against arbitrary files? Now you can do it with spellintian:

$ zrun spellintian --picky /usr/share/doc/RFC/best-current-practice/rfc* /tmp/0qgJD1Xa1Y-rfc1917.txt: amoung -> among /tmp/kvZtN435CE-rfc3155.txt: transfered -> transferred /tmp/o093khYE09-rfc3481.txt: unecessary -> unnecessary /tmp/4P0ux2cZWK-rfc6365.txt: charater -> character

mwic (Misspelled Words In Context) takes a different approach. It uses classic spell-checking libraries (via Enchant), but it groups misspellings and shows them in their contexts. That way you can quickly filter out false-positives, which are very common in technical texts, using visual grep:

$ zrun mwic /usr/share/doc/debian/social-contract.txt.gz DFSG: | …an Free Software Guidelines (DFSG) | …an Free Software Guidelines (DFSG) part of the ^^^^ Perens: | Bruce Perens later removed the Debian-spe… | by Bruce Perens, refined by the other Debian… ^^^^^^ Ean, Schuessler: | community" was suggested by Ean Schuessler. This document was drafted ^^^ ^^^^^^^^^^ GPL: | The "GPL", "BSD", and "Artistic" lice… ^^^ contrib: | created "contrib" and "non-free" areas in our… ^^^^^^^ CDs: | their CDs. Thus, although non-free wor… ^^^

Pop Culture’s 6 Biggest Losers This Summer, From Godzilla to TV Execs

Wired - Fri, 29/08/2014 - 11:43
Yesterday, we sang the praises of the Big Winners of the summer. But for every person, movie, etc. that comes out of the season smelling like awesomesauce, there are bound to be even more who, well, stink. Sometimes they fail of their own accord, sometimes they are failed by their audience. Either way, they just didn't have the goods. Here are a few of the summer's biggest disappointments.






MIT and Marriott Are Testing a Matchmaking Table Fed by LinkedIn Data

Wired - Fri, 29/08/2014 - 11:43
How do we curate those experiences and connect people with like interests? With a LinkedIn-connected table, of course.






This Is How You Have to Ship Bugatti’s $3M Supercar

Wired - Fri, 29/08/2014 - 11:43
When you drop $3 million on a special-edition Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse, you want everything to be perfect. That's why, before it leaves the factory, Bugatti wraps the car more carefully than royal nurses swaddle the future King George.






How to Use OS X Yosemite’s Best New Messages Features

Wired - Fri, 29/08/2014 - 11:43
For those who’ve just started using the beta, or are just anticipating its launch later this year, we’ve got some tips on how to best take advantage of the redesigned OS and its many new features. In this edition, we take on the new features in Messages.






Turns Out Wolves’ Yawns Are Contagious, Too

Wired - Fri, 29/08/2014 - 11:43
In the yawns of wolves, scientists have found a hint of emotional depths once thought restricted to humans and our closest ancestors. Contagious yawning — the tendency to involuntarily follow suit when seeing another person yawn — is thought to be linked to empathy, drawing on some of the same cognitive mechanisms that underlie our ability to share the feelings of others. According to a new study, wolves yawn contagiously, too.






A Massive Installation That Makes This Building Change Colors

Wired - Fri, 29/08/2014 - 11:43
Driving past the parking garage at Eskanazi Hospital in Indianapolis, however, is akin to visiting an abstract art museum.






Uber’s Biggest Danger Is Its Business Model, Not Bad PR

Wired - Fri, 29/08/2014 - 11:43
The real peril to Uber isn't bad PR. It's what the costs of recruiting drivers, both in terms of money and a blemished brand, says about Uber's business model compared to those of traditional software companies. More drivers don't equal more value added. They simply equal staying alive.






This Week’s Apple Rumors, Ranked From Dumbest to Most Plausible

Wired - Fri, 29/08/2014 - 11:43
Could Apple debut its new wearable at the company's September 9 event?






Absurd Creature of the Week: The 100-Foot Sea Critter That Deploys a Net of Death

Wired - Fri, 29/08/2014 - 11:43
These are the siphonophores, some 180 known species of gelatinous strings that can grow to 100 feet long, making them some of the longest critters on the planet. But instead of growing as a single body like virtually every other animal, siphonophores clone themselves thousands of times over into half a dozen different types of specialized cloned bodies, all strung together to work as a team---a very deadly team at that.






This Man Is on a Mission to Turn NYC Into a Tech Magnet

Wired - Fri, 29/08/2014 - 11:43
Inside the plan to lure more top engineers to the Big Apple.






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