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Ronnie Tucker: Packt 5 Dollar Deal

Planet UBUNTU - Sht, 20/12/2014 - 11:24pd

Following the success of last year’s festive offer, Packt Publishing will be celebrating the holiday season with an even bigger $5 offer.

From Thursday 18th December, every eBook and video will be available on the publisher’s website for just $5. Customers are invited to purchase as many as they like before the offer ends on Tuesday January 6th, making it the perfect opportunity to try something new or to take your skills to the next level as 2015 begins.

With all $5 products available in a range of formats and DRM-free, customers will find great value content delivered exactly how they want it across Packt’s website this Xmas and New Year.

Find out more HERE.

FCM makes no money from this, but Packt Publishing support FCM with review copies of books. So, in return, please support Packt. They’re good people.

How a 3D Printer Let a Dog Run For the First Time

Slashdot.org - Sht, 20/12/2014 - 8:35pd
Nerval's Lobster writes Ever since 3-D printing began to enter the mainstream, people have discussed the technology's potential for building prosthetic arms and legs for human beings. But what about doing the same for dogs? In one of those videos that ends up circulated endlessly on the Internet, a dog named Derby, born with a congenital deformity that deprived him of front paws, is outfitted with a pair of 3-D-printed prosthetics. With those "legs" in place, the dog can run for the first time, at a pretty good clip. Both the prosthetics and the video were produced by 3D Systems, which builds 3-D printers, and it seems likely that other 3-D-printing companies will explore the possibility of printing off parts for pets. And while the idea of a cyborg pooch is heartwarming, it will be interesting to see how 3D printers will continue to advance the realm of human prosthetics, which have become increasingly sophisticated over the past decade.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Hackers Used Nasty "SMB Worm" Attack Toolkit Against Sony

Slashdot.org - Sht, 20/12/2014 - 5:55pd
wiredmikey writes Just hours after the FBI and President Obama called out North Korea as being responsible for the destructive cyber attack against Sony Pictures, US-CERT issued an alert describing the primary malware used by the attackers, along with indicators of compromise. While not mentioning Sony by name in its advisory, instead referring to the victim as a "major entertainment company," US-CERT said that the attackers used a Server Message Block (SMB) Worm Tool to conduct the attacks. According to the advisory, the SMB Worm Tool is equipped with five components, including a Listening Implant, Lightweight Backdoor, Proxy Tool, Destructive Hard Drive Tool, and Destructive Target Cleaning Tool. US-CERT also provided a list of the Indicators of Compromise (IOCs), which include C2 IP addresses, Snort signatures for the various components, host based Indicators, potential YARA signatures to detect malware binaries on host machines, and recommended security practices and tactical mitigations.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Craig Small: WordPress 4.1 for Debian

Planet Debian - Sht, 20/12/2014 - 5:53pd

Release 4.1 of WordPress came out on Friday so after some work to fit in with the Debian standards, the Debian package 4.1-1 of WordPress will be uploaded shortly.  WordPress have also updated their themes with a 14-day early theme called twentyfifteen.  This is the default theme for WordPress 4.1 on-wards.

I have also made some adjustments with the embedded code that WordPress ships. This is the usually JavaScript or PHP code that WordPress has in their release tarballs that comes from other projects. There is a fine line between keeping the WordPress install the same and having to deal with the maintenance of the embedded code. An example of a good one not to use embedded code is php-getid which the Debian maintainer has put in some additional patches for a better security fix while the alternative is jquery which is a little sad in the Debian-word being so many versions behind. php-snoopy got reverted to embedded code because its not exactly the same as upstream.

A significant (or invisible, depends on your browser) is the mediaelement components now don’t use the un-maintainable silverlight and flash plugins, which is the same how the libjs-mediaelement package works. In fact the code IS from that package.

dh_linktree

As I was looking into the embedded js/php code in WordPress, I also had to look into how the previous maintainer kept all the versions in order without some horrible mess of patchfiles and symlinks. The answer was dh_linktree. This program plugs into the standard debhelper rules file and can basically use symlinks in the package to use the standard Debian versions of files. It a bit cleverer than symlinks in that you can say use the link always or only if the files are the same.

If you need to remove some of your embedded code out of Debian packages, have a look into it. It might save you a lot of agnst or hand-crafted rules files.

Staples: Breach May Have Affected 1.16 Million Customers' Cards

Slashdot.org - Sht, 20/12/2014 - 3:20pd
mpicpp writes with this excerpt from Fortune: Staples said Friday afternoon that nearly 1.16 million customer payment cards may have been affected in a data breach under investigation since October. The office-supply retailer said two months ago that it was working with law enforcement officials to look into a possible hacking of its customers' credit card data. Staples said in October that it had learned of a potential data theft at several of its U.S. stores after multiple banks noticed a pattern of payment card fraud suggesting the company computer systems had been breached. Now, Staples believes that point-of-sale systems at 115 Staples locations were infected with malware that thieves may have used to steal customers' names, payment card numbers, expiration dates and card verification codes, Staples said on Friday. At all but two of those stores, the malware would have had access to customer data for purchases made between August 10 and September 16 of this year. At the remaining two stores, the malware was active from July 20 through September 16, the company said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Calculus Textbook Author James Stewart Has Died

Slashdot.org - Sht, 20/12/2014 - 1:49pd
Onnimikki writes James Stewart, author of the calculus textbooks many of us either loved or loved to hate, has died. In case you ever wondered what the textbook was funding, this story has the answer: a $32 million dollar home over-looking a ravine in Toronto, Canada.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








T-Mobile To Pay $90M For Unauthorized Charges On Customers' Bills

Slashdot.org - Sht, 20/12/2014 - 12:52pd
itwbennett writes T-Mobile US will pay at least $90 million to settle a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) suit that alleged it looked the other way while third parties charged T-Mobile subscribers for services they didn't want. The settlement is the second largest ever for so-called 'cramming,' following one that the FCC reached with AT&T in October. It came just two days after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sued Sprint for the same practice.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








NASA Video Shows What It's Like To Reenter the Earth's Atmosphere

Slashdot.org - Sht, 20/12/2014 - 12:04pd
astroengine writes: In a mesmerizing new video released by NASA, the Dec. 5 reentry of the Orion test space vehicle is chronicled — and it's a phenomenal 10-minute ride from fiery reentry to sudden splashdown into the Pacific Ocean. (YouTube Link.)

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Ask Slashdot: Resources For Kids Who Want To Make Games?

Slashdot.org - Pre, 19/12/2014 - 11:22md
Mr. Jones writes: My 11-year-old son is fascinated by games — game mechanics in particular. He has been playing everything from Magic to WarFrame since he was 5 years old. He seems mostly interested in creating the lore and associated mechanics of the games (i.e. how a game works). If it was only programming I could help him, but I am lost when it comes to helping him learn more formal ways of developing and defining gameplay. I really see a talent for this in him and I want to support it any way I can. Can you suggest any conferences, programs, books, websites, etc. that would help him learn?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Wouter Verhelst: joytest UI improvements

Planet Debian - Pre, 19/12/2014 - 11:21md

After yesterday's late night accomplishments, today I fixed up the UI of joytest a bit. It's still not quite what I think it should look like, but at least it's actually usable with a 27-axis, 19-button "joystick" (read: a PS3 controller). Things may disappear off the edge of the window, but you can scroll towards it. Also, I removed the names of the buttons and axes from the window, and installed them as tooltips instead. Few people will be interested in the factoid that "button 1" is a "BaseBtn4", anyway.

The result now looks like this:

If you plug in a new joystick, or remove one from the system, then as soon as udev finishes up creating the necessary device node, joytest will show the joystick (by name) in the treeview to the left. Clicking on a joystick will show that joystick's data to the right. When one pushes a button, the relevant checkbox will be selected; and when one moves an axis, the numbers will start changing.

I really should have some widget to actually show the axis position, rather than some boring numbers. Not sure how to do that.

Tesla About To Start Battery-Swap Pilot Program

Slashdot.org - Pre, 19/12/2014 - 10:39md
cartechboy writes: Remember 18 months ago when Tesla promised it was going to launch battery-swap stations? Well, it's finally happening, sort of. It seems Tesla's about to announce a battery-swap pilot program that will launch next week. The swap site will be located across the street from a Tesla Supercharger site in Harris Ranch, California — 184 miles south of San Francisco and about 200 miles north of Los Angeles. The pilot program will involve an unspecified number of Model S electric-car owners, who will be invited to take part in the test. For now, the battery-swap service will be offered by appointment only, at a cost of roughly a tank of gas in a premium sedan. Tesla's using words to describe this pilot program like "exploratory work" and "intended to test technology and assess demand" for a swapping service. While originally pitched that the battery swap would take less time than it would to take to refill the gas tank of a comparable luxury sedan, the company says now that "for this specific iteration" the swap process will take "approximately 3 minutes" — though it adds Tesla has "the ability to improve that time with future iterations." Is this test going to show that battery swapping is or isn't a realistic initiative?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Geoengineered Climate Cooling With Microbubbles

Slashdot.org - Pre, 19/12/2014 - 9:56md
Rambo Tribble writes: Scientists from the University of Leeds have proposed that brighter ships' wakes, created by reducing their component bubbles' sizes, could moderately increase the reflectivity of our oceans, which would have a cooling effect on the climate. The technology is touted as being available and simple, but there could be side effects, like wetter conditions in some regions. Still, compared to many speculative geoengineering projects, "The one advantage about this technology — of trying to generate these tiny 'micro-bubbles' — is that the technology does already exist," according to Leeds' Prof Piers Forster.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Dirk Eddelbuettel: Rocker is now the official R image for Docker

Planet Debian - Pre, 19/12/2014 - 9:51md

Something happened a little while ago which we did not have time to commensurate properly. Our Rocker image for R is now the official R image for Docker itself. So getting R (via Docker) is now as simple as saying docker pull r-base.

This particular container is essentially just the standard r-base Debian package for R (which is one of a few I maintain there) plus a mininal set of extras. This r-base forms the basis of our other containers as e.g. the rather popular r-studio container wrapping the excellent RStudio Server.

A lot of work went into this. Carl and I also got a tremendous amount of help from the good folks at Docker. Details are as always at the Rocker repo at GitHub.

Docker itself continues to make great strides, and it has been great fun help to help along. With this post I achieved another goal: blog about Docker with an image not containing shipping containers. Just kidding.

This post by Dirk Eddelbuettel originated on his Thinking inside the box blog. Please report excessive re-aggregation in third-party for-profit settings.

LinuxFest Northwest 2015 Will be Held April 25 and 26 (Video)

Slashdot.org - Pre, 19/12/2014 - 9:14md
Their website says, 'Come for the code, stay for the people! We have awesome attendees and electrifying parties. Check out the robotics club, the automated home brewing system running on Linux, or the game room for extra conference fun.' This is an all-volunteer conference, and for a change the volunteers who run it are getting things together far in advance instead of having sessions that don't get scheduled until a few days before the conference, which has happened more than once with LFNW. So if you have an idea for a session, this is the time to start thinking about it. Sponsors are also welcome -- and since LFNW sponsorships regularly sell out, it's not to soon to start thinking about becoming a sponsor -- and if you are part of a non-profit group or FOSS project, LFNW offers free exhibit space because this is a conference that exists for the community, not to make money for a corporate owner. But don't delay. As you can imagine, those free exhibit spots tend to fill up early. (Alternate Video Link)

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Schneier Explains How To Protect Yourself From Sony-Style Attacks (You Can't)

Slashdot.org - Pre, 19/12/2014 - 8:31md
phantomfive writes: Bruce Schneier has an opinion piece discussing the Sony attack. He says, "Your reaction to the massive hacking of such a prominent company will depend on whether you're fluent in information-technology security. If you're not, you're probably wondering how in the world this could happen. If you are, you're aware that this could happen to any company." He continues, "The worst invasion of privacy from the Sony hack didn’t happen to the executives or the stars; it happened to the blameless random employees who were just using their company’s email system. Because of that, they’ve had their most personal conversations—gossip, medical conditions, love lives—exposed. The press may not have divulged this information, but their friends and relatives peeked at it. Hundreds of personal tragedies must be unfolding right now. This could be any of us." Related: the FBI has officially concluded that the North Korean government is behind the attack.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Gregor Herrmann: GDAC 2014/19

Planet Debian - Pre, 19/12/2014 - 8:07md

yesterday I learned that I can go to FOSDEM in early 2015 because a conflicting event was cancelled. that makes me happy because FOSDEM is great for seeing other debian folks, & especially for meeting friends.

this posting is part of GDAC (gregoa's debian advent calendar), a project to show the bright side of debian & why it's fun for me to contribute.

Machine Learning Reveals Genetic Controls

Slashdot.org - Pre, 19/12/2014 - 7:50md
An anonymous reader writes with this quote from Quanta Magazine: Most genetic research to date has focused on just 1 percent of the genome — the areas that code for proteins. But new research, published today in Science, provides an initial map for the sections of the genome that orchestrate this protein-building process. "It's one thing to have the book — the big question is how you read the book," said Brendan Frey, a computational biologist at the University of Toronto who led the new research (abstract). For example, researchers can use the model to predict what will happen to a protein when there’s a mistake in part of the regulatory code. Mutations in splicing instructions have already been linked to diseases such as spinal muscular atrophy, a leading cause of infant death, and some forms of colorectal cancer. In the new study, researchers used the trained model to analyze genetic data from people afflicted with some of those diseases. The scientists identified some known mutations linked to these maladies, verifying that the model works. They picked out some new candidate mutations as well, most notably for autism. One of the benefits of the model, Frey said, is that it wasn’t trained using disease data, so it should work on any disease or trait of interest. The researchers plan to make the system publicly available, which means that scientists will be able to apply it to many more diseases.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








The Dominant Life Form In the Cosmos Is Probably Superintelligent Robots

Slashdot.org - Pre, 19/12/2014 - 7:08md
Jason Koebler writes: If and when we finally encounter aliens, they probably won't look like little green men, or spiny insectoids. It's likely they won't be biological creatures at all, but rather, advanced robots that outstrip our intelligence in every conceivable way. Susan Schneider, a professor of philosophy at the University of Connecticut, joins a handful of astronomers, including Seth Shostak, director of NASA's Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, NASA Astrobiologist Paul Davies, and Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology Stephen Dick in espousing the view that the dominant intelligence in the cosmos is probably artificial. In her paper "Alien Minds," written for a forthcoming NASA publication, Schneider describes why alien life forms are likely to be synthetic, and how such creatures might think.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








All the Evidence the Government Will Present In the Silk Road Trial Is Online

Slashdot.org - Pre, 19/12/2014 - 6:25md
apexcp writes: In less than a month, one of the biggest trials of 2015 will begin in New York City. The full list of government evidence and defense objections found its way online recently, shedding light on both the prosecutor's courtroom strategy and the defense team's attempted rebuttals. Also important is what's not presented as evidence. There's not a single piece of forensic documentation about how the FBI originally found Silk Road servers, an act the defense as called "blatantly criminal."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








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