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Australian Physicists Build Reversible Tractor Beam

Slashdot.org - Mar, 21/10/2014 - 9:33pd
An anonymous reader writes: Physicists at Australian National University have developed a tiny tractor beam that improves in several ways upon previous attempts. First, it operates on scales which, while still tiny, are higher than in earlier experiments. The beam can move particles up to 200 microns in diameter, and it can do so over a distance of 20 cm. "Unlike previous techniques, which used photon momentum to impart motion, the ANU tractor beam relies on the energy of the laser heating up the particles and the air around them (abstract). The ANU team demonstrated the effect on gold-coated hollow glass particles. The particles are trapped in the dark center of the beam. Energy from the laser hits the particle and travels across its surface, where it is absorbed creating hotspots on the surface. Air particles colliding with the hotspots heat up and shoot away from the surface, which causes the particle to recoil, in the opposite direction. To manipulate the particle, the team move the position of the hotspot by carefully controlling the polarization of the laser beam."

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Doctor Who To Teach Kids To Code

Slashdot.org - Mar, 21/10/2014 - 8:18pd
DCFC writes: The BBC is releasing a game to help 8- to 11-year-old kids get into coding. Based on Doctor Who, it alternates between a standard platform game and programming puzzles that introduce the ideas of sequence, loops, if..then, variables and a touch of event-driven programming. Kids will get to program a Dalek to make him more powerful. (Apparently the BBC thinks upgrading psychopathic, racist death machines is a good idea!)

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Ronnie Tucker: Systemd Creator Says Linux Community Is Rotten, Points at Linus Torvalds as the Source

Planet UBUNTU - Mar, 21/10/2014 - 8:00pd

The creator of systemd, Lennart Poettering, had some very harsh words to say about the Linux community and about one of its role models, Linus Torvalds.

It might seem that the Linux community in its entirety is all about rainbows and bunnies, but the truth is that it’s made up of regular people and the likes. Most of the other communities are formed in this way and Linux is no exception. The problem is that Linus is pegged as one of the people responsible by Lennart Poettering.

There has been some small friction between the two projects, Linux and systemd, but nothing that would indicate that something was amiss. In fact, when asked what he thought about systemd, just a couple of weeks ago, Linus Torvalds was actually very tactful about it.

Source:

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Systemd-Creator-Say-Linux-Community-Is-Rotten-Points-at-Linus-Torvalds-as-the-Source-461219.shtml

Submitted by: Silviu Stahie

Thomas Goirand: OpenStack Juno is out, Debian (and Ubuntu Trusty ports) packages ready

Planet Debian - Mar, 21/10/2014 - 7:45pd

This is just a quick announce: Debian packages for Juno are out. In fact, they were ready the day of the release, on the 16th of October. I uploaded it all (to Experimental) the same day, literally a few hours after the final released was git tagged. But I had no time to announce it.

This week-end, I took the time to do an Ubuntu Trusty port, which I also publish (it’s just a mater of rebuilding all, and it should work out of the box). Here are the backports repositories. For Wheezy:

deb http://archive.gplhost.com/debian juno-backports main

deb http://archive.gplhost.com/debian juno main

For trusty:

deb http://archive.gplhost.com/debian trusty-juno-backports main

But of course, everything is also available directly in Debian. Since Sid/Jessie contains OpenStack Icehouse (which has more chance to receive long enough security support), and it will be like this until Jessie is released. So I have uploaded all of Juno into Debian Experimental. This shows on the OpenStack qa page (you may also notice that the team is nearly reaching 200 packages… though am planning to off-load some of that to the Python module team, when the migration to Git will be finished). On the QA page, you may also see that I uploaded all of the last Icehouse point release to Sid, and that all packages migrated to Jessie. There’s only a few minor issues with some Python modules which I fixed, that haven’t migrated to Jessie yet.

I can already tell that all packages can be installed without an issue, and that I know Horizon at least works as expected. But I didn’t have time to test it all just yet. I’m currently working on doing even more installation automation at the package level (by providing some OVS bridging init script and such, to make it more easy to run Tempest functional testing). I’ll post more about this when it’s ready.

Security Company Tries To Hide Flaws By Threatening Infringement Suit

Slashdot.org - Mar, 21/10/2014 - 6:20pd
An anonymous reader writes: An RFID-based access control system called IClass is used across the globe to provide physical access controls. This system relies on cryptography to secure communications between a tag and a reader. Since 2010, several academic papers have been released which expose the cryptographic insecurity of the IClass system. Based on these papers, Martin Holst Swende implemented the IClass ciphers in a software library, which he released under the GNU General Public License. The library is useful to experiment with and determine the security level of an access control system (that you own or have explicit consent to study). However, last Friday, Swende received an email from INSIDE Secure, which notified him of (potential) intellectual property infringement, warning him off distributing the library under threat of "infringement action." Interestingly, it seems this is not the first time HID Global has exerted legal pressure to suppress information.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Bryan Quigley: Still running 32 bit Ubuntu?

Planet UBUNTU - Mar, 21/10/2014 - 5:43pd

I’m considering a proposal to have 16.04 LTS be the last release of Ubuntu with 32 bit images to run on 32 bit only machines (on x86 aka Intel/AMD only – this has no bearing on ARM). You would still be able to run 32 bit applications on 64 bit Ubuntu.

Please answer my survey on how this would affect you or your organization.

If you can’t see the form below click here.

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A Look At Orion's Launch Abort System

Slashdot.org - Mar, 21/10/2014 - 5:40pd
An anonymous reader writes: With the construction of Orion, NASA's new manned spacecraft, comes the creation of a new Launch Abort System — the part of the vehicle that will get future astronauts back to Earth safely if there's a problem at launch. The Planetary Society's Jason Davis describes it: "When Orion reaches the apex of its abort flight, it is allowed to make its 180-degree flip. The capsule of astronauts, who have already realized they will not go to space today, experience a brief moment of weightlessness before the capsule starts falling back to Earth, heat shield down. The jettison motor fires, pulling the LAS away from Orion. ... Orion, meanwhile, sheds its Forward Bay Cover, a ring at the top of the capsule protecting the parachutes. Two drogue chutes deploy, stabilizing the wobbling capsule. The drogues pull out Orion's three main chutes, no doubt eliciting a sigh of relief from the spacecraft's occupants."

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32 Cities Want To Challenge Big Telecom, Build Their Own Gigabit Networks

Slashdot.org - Mar, 21/10/2014 - 4:26pd
Jason Koebler writes: More than two dozen cities in 19 states announced today that they're sick of big telecom skipping them over for internet infrastructure upgrades and would like to build gigabit fiber networks themselves and help other cities follow their lead. The Next Century Cities coalition, which includes a couple cities that already have gigabit fiber internet for their residents, was devised to help communities who want to build their own broadband networks navigate logistical and legal challenges to doing so.

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Rumor: Lenovo In Talks To Buy BlackBerry

Slashdot.org - Mar, 21/10/2014 - 2:31pd
BarbaraHudson writes: The CBC, the Financial Post, and The Toronto Sun are all reporting a possible sale of BlackBerry to Lenovo. From the Sun: "BlackBerry shares rose more than 3% on Monday after a news website said Chinese computer maker Lenovo Group might offer to buy the Canadian technology company. Rumors of a Lenovo bid for BlackBerry have swirled many times over the last two years. Senior Lenovo executives at different times have indicated an interest in BlackBerry as a means to strengthen their own handset business. The speculation reached a crescendo in the fall of 2013, when BlackBerry was exploring strategic alternatives. Sources familiar with the situation however, told Reuters last year that the Canadian government had strongly hinted to BlackBerry that any sale to Lenovo would not win the necessary regulatory approvals due to security concerns. Analysts also have said any sale to Lenovo would face regulatory obstacles, but they have suggested that a sale of just BlackBerry's handset business and not its core network infrastructure might just pass muster with regulators."

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The Fridge: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 388

Planet UBUNTU - Mar, 21/10/2014 - 2:12pd

Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter. This is issue #388 for the week October 13 – 19, 2014, and the full version is available here.

In this issue we cover:

The issue of The Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter is brought to you by:

  • Paul White
  • Elizabeth K. Joseph
  • John Mahoney
  • And many others

If you have a story idea for the Weekly Newsletter, join the Ubuntu News Team mailing list and submit it. Ideas can also be added to the wiki!

Except where otherwise noted, content in this issue is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License BY SA Creative Commons License

Which Android Devices Sacrifice Battery-Life For Performance?

Slashdot.org - Mar, 21/10/2014 - 1:50pd
MojoKid writes: A couple of weeks ago, Futuremark began handing out copies of PCMark for Android to members of the press, in an effort to get its leaderboards filled while the finishing touches were being put on the app. That might give you pause in that the results, generated today, are not going to be entirely accurate when the final version comes out, but that's not the case. Futuremark has encouraged publication of results generated with the benchmark. What makes PCMark for Android useful benchmark is that it not only tests for performance, but also for battery-life and performance combined. As such, you can easily figure out which devices sacrifice battery-life for performance and which ones have a good blend of both. The HTC One M8 really stands out, thanks to its nearly balanced performance/battery-life ratio. A result like that might make you think that neither value could be that great, but that's not the case at all. In fact, the battery-life rating on that phone places far beyond some of the other models, only falling short to the OnePlus One. And speaking of that phone, it becomes obvious with PCMark why it's so hyped-up of late; it not only delivers solid performance, it boasts great battery-life as well.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








China Staging a Nationwide Attack On iCloud and Microsoft Accounts

Slashdot.org - Mar, 21/10/2014 - 1:08pd
New submitter DemonOnIce writes: According to The Verge and original report the site that monitor's China's Great Firewall activity, China is conducting a large-scale attack on iCloud and Microsoft accounts using its government firewall software. Chinese users may be facing an unpleasant surprise as they are directed to a dummy site designed to like an Apple login page (or a Microsoft one, as appropriate).

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








GNU Emacs 24.4 Released Today

Slashdot.org - Mar, 21/10/2014 - 12:26pd
New submitter Shade writes Well over one and a half years in the works, the latest and greatest release of GNU Emacs was made officially available today. Highlights of this release include a built-in web browser, improved multi-monitor and fullscreen support, "electric" indentation enabled by default, support for saving and restoring the state of frames and windows, pixel-based resizing for frames and windows, support for digitally signed ELisp packages, support for menus in text terminals, and much more. Read the official announcement and the full list of changes for more information.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








More Eye Candy Coming To Windows 10

Slashdot.org - Hën, 20/10/2014 - 11:47md
jones_supa writes Microsoft is expected to release a new build of the Windows 10 Technical Preview in the very near future, according to their own words. The only build so far to be released to the public is 9841 but the next iteration will likely be in the 9860 class of releases. With this new build, Microsoft has polished up the animations that give the OS a more comprehensive feel. When you open a new window, it flies out on to the screen from the icon and when you minimize it, it collapses back in to the icon on the taskbar. It is a slick animation and if you have used OS X, it is similar to the one used to collapse windows back in to the dock. Bah.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Help ESR Stamp Out CVS and SVN In Our Lifetime

Slashdot.org - Hën, 20/10/2014 - 11:07md
mtaht writes ESR is collecting specifications and donations towards getting a new high end machine to be used for massive CVS and SVN repository conversions, after encountering problems with converting the whole of netbsd over to git. What he's doing now sort of reminds me of holding a bake sale to build a bomber, but he's well on his way towards Xeon class or higher for the work. What else can be done to speed up adoption of git and preserve all the computer history kept in source code repositories? ESR says he'll match funds toward the purchase of the needed hardware, so if you want to help drive him into bankruptcy, now's your chance.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








NASA's HI-SEAS Project Results Suggests a Women-Only Mars Crew

Slashdot.org - Hën, 20/10/2014 - 10:25md
globaljustin writes "Alan Drysdale, a systems analyst in advanced life support and a contractor with NASA concluded, "Small women haven't been demonstrated to be appreciably dumber than big women or big men, so there's no reason to choose larger people for a flight crew when it's brain power you want," says Drysdale. "The logical thing to do is to fly small women." Kate Greene, who wrote the linked article, took part in the first HI-SEAS experiment in Martian-style living, and has some compelling reasons for an all-women crew, energy efficiency chief among them: Week in and week out, the three female crew members expended less than half the calories of the three male crew members. Less than half! We were all exercising roughly the same amount—at least 45 minutes a day for five consecutive days a week—but our metabolic furnaces were calibrated in radically different ways. During one week, the most metabolically active male burned an average of 3,450 calories per day, while the least metabolically active female expended 1,475 calories per day. It was rare for a woman on crew to burn 2,000 calories in a day and common for male crew members to exceed 3,000. ... The calorie requirements of an astronaut matter significantly when planning a mission. The more food a person needs to maintain her weight on a long space journey, the more food should launch with her. The more food launched, the heavier the payload. The heavier the payload, the more fuel required to blast it into orbit and beyond. The more fuel required, the heavier the rocket becomes, which it in turn requires more fuel to launch.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Debian's Systemd Adoption Inspires Threat of Fork

Slashdot.org - Hën, 20/10/2014 - 9:43md
New submitter Tsolias writes It appears that systemd is still a hot topic in the Debian community. As seen earlier today, there is a new movement shaping up against the adoption of systemd for the upcoming stable release [of Debian], Jessie. They claim that "systemd betrays the UNIX philosophy"; it makes things more complex, thus breaking the "do one thing and do it well" principle. Note that the linked Debian Fork page specifically says that the anonymous developers behind it support a proposal to preserve options in init systems, rather than demanding the removal of systemd, and are not opposed to change per se. They just don't want other parts of the system to be wholly dependent on systemd. "We contemplate adopting more recent alternatives to sysvinit, but not those undermining the basic design principles of "do one thing and do it well" with a complex collection of dozens of tightly coupled binaries and opaque logs."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








The Fridge: Happy 10th Birthday Ubuntu!

Planet UBUNTU - Hën, 20/10/2014 - 9:34md

10 years ago today, Mark Shuttleworth made the 4th post ever to the ubuntu-announce mailing list when he wrote: Announcing Ubuntu 4.10 “The Warty Warthog Release”

In this announcement, Mark wrote:

Ubuntu is a new Linux distribution that brings together the extraordinary breadth of Debian with a fast and easy install, regular releases (every six months), a tight selection of excellent packages installed by default and a commitment to security updates with 18 months of security and technical support for every release.

So it’s with much excitement, the Ubuntu News team wishes Ubuntu a happy 10th Birthday!

Over the years, we’ve had several cakes celebrating releases, here are a sampling we found on Flickr, first from the 8.04 release party in London:

And an amazing trio from Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Canada for 9.10, 10.10 and 11.04:

And dozens of strictly Ubuntu logo cakes over the years (this one from 2006):

With the release of 14.10 just days away, enjoy your release parties and perhaps take some time to reflect upon how far we’ve come in these 10 years!

Posted by Elizabeth K. Joseph, on behalf of the Ubuntu News Team

Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK

Slashdot.org - Hën, 20/10/2014 - 9:02md
An anonymous reader writes with this news from the UK, as reported by Ars Technica: A 39-year-old UK man has been convicted of possessing illegal cartoon drawings of young girls exposing themselves in school uniforms and engaging in sex acts. The case is believed to be the UK's first prosecution of illegal manga and anime images. Local media said that Robul Hoque was sentenced last week to nine months' imprisonment, though the sentence is suspended so long as the defendant does not break the law again. Police seized Hoque's computer in 2012 and said they found nearly 400 such images on it, none of which depicted real people but were illegal nonetheless because of their similarity to child pornography. Hoque was initially charged with 20 counts of illegal possession but eventually pled guilty to just 10 counts.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








'Endrun' Networks: Help In Danger Zones

Slashdot.org - Hën, 20/10/2014 - 8:21md
kierny writes Drawing on networking protocols designed to support NASA's interplanetary missions, two information security researchers have created a networking system that's designed to transmit information securely and reliably in even the worst conditions. Dubbed Endrun, and debuted at Black Hat Europe, its creators hope the delay-tolerant and disruption-tolerant system — which runs on Raspberry Pi — could be deployed everywhere from Ebola hot zones in Liberia, to war zones in Syria, to demonstrations in Ferguson.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








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