Google plans to merge Chrome OS and Android

by
in google on (#SMM1)
Chromebooks have been wildly popular on Amazon. But what will happen to them if Google merges Chrome OS and Android? Rumors have been circulating for quite some time that Google would someday combine Chrome OS and Android, and now it looks like that might happen sooner than anybody expected. A new report indicates that the merge of the two mobile operating systems may happen by 2017.

This move make a great deal of sense. Android and Chrome OS are Linux-based operating systems, which support apps in different ways but share the same foundation. Android forms its own distribution family, while Chrome OS is based on Gentoo Linux.

Both have their own strengths they could bring to a merged smartphone, tablet, and desktop operating system. Android, which runs on more than a billion devices, is the single most popular end-user operating system, with more than 1.6 million apps. Chrome OS has shown that Web-based apps are sufficient enough for many desktop users. In addition, Android is plagued with multiple versions that are very difficult to upgrade.

It makes sense now to explore with mobile devices becoming the primary device. There are opportunities to provide an open platform for both mobile and desktop. This is already happening. Examples of this direction include Chromecast running on a version of Android and the new Pixel C Android tablet.

The actual release date is still over a year in the future. The combined "Android Chrome OS" won't ship until 2017.

http://www.itworld.com/article/2999551/android/google-plans-to-merge-chrome-os-and-android.html

360-degree cameras entering the consumer market

by
in hardware on (#SMK3)
Jim Malcolm pulls up a video on his smartphone he recently shot at Disneyland. We see a ride from Jim's point of view. With a swipe of his finger, the camera spins around and we see Jim's face -- same ride, different angle. He puts his finger on the phone's screen and drags it down, and now we can see his kids sitting behind him on the ride.

Malcolm didn't use a traditional camera, he works for Ricoh and the device in his hand is the Theta S, a camera with two lenses that captures images and video in 360 degrees. It is slated to launch this month at $349.99. Quite a bit more affordable than GoPro's $15,000 360-degree camera array.

A lot of cameras can do 360-degree video in the horizontal plane (the "doughnut" effect), leaving out anything above or below the camera. Just stick the Theta S camera slightly above your head, push a button, and it captures everything.

Other consumer camera makers are also giving it a shot. 360fly, a black, orb-like camera, went on sale at Best Buy in August for $399.99. It also captures video footage at all angles and is waterproof. Bublcam is another 360-degree, ball-shaped camera with multiple lenses slated to launch this year for $799. Then there's Giroptic's palm-size 360-degree camera that resembles a children's toy with three eye-like lenses. It's available for pre-order at $499. The Theta S and the Giroptic can capture in high definition. The 360fly can hit nearly 30 frames per second, which is not too shabby.

"Part of the problem with 360-degree cameras is there's not an easy way to view or experience the content either in virtual reality or outside of it," said Brian Blau, an analyst at research firm Gartner. "And that's because it's so new, there aren't a lot of standards in software and there isn't a lot of infrastructure support yet." Facebook now supports 360-degree videos. YouTube recently announced its support of 360-degree videos, and camera makers are letting people upload their 360-degree photos and videos to their own websites.

The other challenge is in getting people to use the cameras. The technology is in its infancy, and changing consumer behavior is half the work.

http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_29050413/360-degree-camera-makers-are-focusing-consumer-market

San Jose could be first California city to get Google Fiber service

by
in internet on (#SJP0)
Google is moving forward with plans to expand Google Fiber into the heart of Silicon Valley, potentially making San Jose the first city in California and fourth in the nation to carry the Mountain View technology giant's lightning-fast fiber Internet and TV service.

San Jose leaders remained tight-lipped about the expansion plans Tuesday, but Google has applied for permits to build two of the shed-like shelters -- called "Fiber Huts" -- to house its fiber cables on Santa Teresa Boulevard, near Thornwood Drive, and Bird Avenue, near Virginia Street. The company plans to build at least eight more, city documents show.

City Hall sources say an official announcement about Google Fiber's expansion into San Jose could come as early as late November or early December.

Google's bid to bring Fiber to the city, which comes after more than a year of courtship between Google and City Hall, would make San Jose one of the largest cities to offer the fiber-optic service, which promises faster Internet with a connection of up to 1,000 megabits per second.

Today, Google Fiber is only available in Austin, Texas; Kansas City, Missouri; and Provo, Utah -- but rollout plans are underway in six other major cities, including Nashville, Atlanta and Salt Lake City. Google is also in talks with city officials in Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara and its home base of Mountain View about installing Fiber infrastructure. San Diego and Irvine are the only two other California cities being considered for the service.

http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_28996963/google-fiber-gears-up-expand-san-jose

Sony BMG Rootkit Scandal: 10 Years Later

by
Anonymous Coward
in security on (#SJNZ)
- Page 1/2:
http://www.networkworld.com/article/2998251/malware-cybercrime/sony-bmg-rootkit-scandal-10-years-later.html

- Page 2/2:
http://www.networkworld.com/article/2998251/malware-cybercrime/sony-bmg-rootkit-scandal-10-years-later.html?page=2

- Archived pages 1 & 2:
https://archive.is/4TrDq
https://archive.is/uwL2M

Historical posts by Bruce Schneier, blog posts which contain a vast resource of information shared by his open community in which anyone can post - more technical and polite than most discussion forums!

We remember the rootkit:

https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2005/11/sonys_drm_rootk.html
https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2005/11/sony_secretly_i_1.html
https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2005/11/the_sony_rootki.html
https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2005/11/more_on_sonys_d.html
https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2005/11/still_more_on_s_1.html
https://www.schneier.com/essays/archives/2005/11/real_story_of_the_ro.html
https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2006/02/lessons_from_th.html
https://www.schneier.com/essays/archives/2006/05/everyone_wants_to_ow.html
https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2006/05/who_owns_your_c.html
https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2014/12/reacting_to_the.html
https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2012/06/the_failure_of_3.html
https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2014/12/more_data_on_at.html
https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2005/11/surveillance_an.html
https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2005/11/surveillance_an.html
https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2007/03/faking_hardware.html
https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2007/07/federal_agents_1.html

* New Slashdot Story (10/28/2015):

- Revisiting the Infamous Sony BMG Rootkit Scandal 10 Years Later
http://it.slashdot.org/story/15/10/28/1829203/revisiting-the-infamous-sony-bmg-rootkit-scandal-10-years-later

= Old Slashdot stories on the topic:

http://it.slashdot.org/story/05/10/31/2016223/sony-drm-installs-a-rootkit
http://games.slashdot.org/story/05/11/07/1221209/sony-rootkit-phones-home
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/05/11/10/0024259/california-class-action-suit-sony-over-rootkit-drm
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/05/11/17/2140208/real-story-of-the-rogue-rootkit
http://it.slashdot.org/story/05/11/29/1823212/sony-warned-weeks-ahead-of-rootkit-flap
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/05/11/13/1419206/sonys-eula-worse-than-its-rootkit
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/07/07/12/1256258/sony-sues-rootkit-maker
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/05/11/02/1421250/more-on-sonys-drm-rootkit
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/07/12/17/0314218/a-legal-analysis-of-the-sony-bmg-rootkit-debacle
http://it.slashdot.org/story/06/01/17/1512245/sony-rootkit-still-a-problem
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/05/11/18/2010224/sony-amazon-detail-rootkit-cd-buybacks
http://news.slashdot.org/story/05/11/17/1350209/dvd-jons-code-in-sony-rootkit
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/05/12/22/160206/sony-drm-installed-even-when-eula-declined
http://apple.slashdot.org/story/05/11/11/064215/sony-music-cds-contain-mac-drm-software-too

= Related:

http://it.slashdot.org/story/07/03/04/1511210/hacker-defeats-hardware-based-rootkit-detection
http://it.slashdot.org/story/07/05/31/187219/a-look-at-bsd-rootkits
http://news.slashdot.org/story/09/04/15/1327247/the-rootkit-arsenal
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/07/07/17/199223/will-security-firms-detect-police-spyware
http://it.slashdot.org/story/13/05/04/0024202/antivirus-firms-wont-co-operate-with-pc-hacking-dutch-police
http://linux.slashdot.org/story/12/11/20/1733237/new-linux-rootkit-emerges
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/14/03/12/1738237/how-the-nsa-plans-to-infect-millions-of-computers-with-malware

Friday Distro: Ubuntu Studio

by
in linux on (#SG2E)
story imageUbuntu Studio was created for a specific use case: multimedia production. Ubuntu Studio focuses on three core areas – video production, audio production and graphics. It uses low-latency Linux kernel, which is built with different configurations to reduce latency, something that is critical in cases of real-time audio recording. Users can use the appropriate kernel tree suited for their work. It comes with a huge list of open source applications for these three areas. Ubuntu Studio does more than just offer multimedia production applications.

The first version of Ubuntu Studio was released in 2007 and it was based on Gnome. In 2011, with the arrival of Gnome 3, the project decided to switch its base to Xfce, a move that the founder of the project said would offer some "immediately tangible" advantages: "For example, XFCE represents a familiar desktop metaphor (@Fab thanks) for users and provides a more resource friendly environment than GNOME, KDE, or (I would expect) Unity."

http://www.itworld.com/article/2998305/linux/meet-the-ubuntu-family.html#slide5

ESPN videos forced off Youtube by new subscription service policy

by
in internet on (#RVEN)
story imageYouTube on Wednesday unveiled its long-discussed paid subscription service. Dubbed YouTube Red, the new service will offer ad-free versions of all current YouTube videos, as well as access to music streaming and additional exclusive content from some of the site’s top creators. It will cost $9.99 per month and launch on Oct. 28. With YouTube Red, subscribers will be able to save YouTube videos for offline play, listen to videos in the background while browsing other mobile apps and watch all videos without ads. Youtube has grown into an advertising behemoth, pulling in a reported $4 billion in revenue in 2014. However, YouTube still isn’t profitable, so a subscription play could make sense as a way of improving Google’s bottom line.

But where we consumers have the freedom of choice to stay with a free version of YouTube or upgrade to a paid subscription for it, YouTube Creators have seemingly been left without that same choice. It appears that YouTube played a heavy hand in pushing Creators to join the company behind their Red paywall. If a Creator chooses to continue on their own without joining the Red bandwagon, YouTube will mark their videos as "private" and will only be viewable to the Creators themselves. In short, Creators not on Red will also not be on a public YouTube. And the first notable victim is ESPN.

The majority of ESPN’s video content has been pulled off of YouTube in the US, as the sports network currently can’t participate in the YouTube Red service due to rights issues surrounding its content. Out of ESPN’s 13 featured channels — including Grantland, SportsNation, ESPNU and others — only two still have videos, notes Mashable: X Games and NacionESPN. Some channels simply have messages reading, “This channel has no content,” while over on the main ESPN channel, the most recent videos are from three years ago.

South Korea signs US cyber theft pledge

by
in legal on (#RSP8)
On Friday the Obama administration secured a "cyber theft pledge" from South Korea.

"no country should conduct or knowingly support cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property, trade secrets, or other confidential business information with the intent of providing competitive advantages to its companies or commercial sectors;"

The first of its kind. Whether it will hold is another issue. While South Korean operations are conducted at a fraction of the scale of their Chinese neighbors, ROK spies still remain busy.

From 2007 to 2012, the Justice Department brought charges in at least five major cases involving South Korean corporate espionage against American companies. Among the accused was a leading South Korean manufacturer that engaged in what prosecutors described as a “multi-year campaign” to steal the secret to DuPont’s Kevlar, which is used to make bulletproof vests...

All of the cases involved corporate employees, not government officials, but the technologies that were stolen had obvious military applications. South Korean corporate spies have targeted thermal imaging devices and prisms used for guidance systems on drones...

But South Korea has gone after commercial tech, as well. A 2005 report published by Cambridge University Press identified South Korea as one of five countries, along with China and Russia, that had devoted “the most resources to stealing Silicon Valley technology.”

http://taosecurity.blogspot.com/2015/10/south-korea-signs-up-to-cyber-theft.html

Advertisers admit causing uptick of ad blocking

by
in internet on (#RBRR)
story imageThe Interactive Advertising Bureau issued a remarkable mea culpa last week about the state of online advertising. In response to the rise of ad-blocking software, IAB VP Scott Cunningham said digital advertisers should take responsibility for annoying people and driving them to use ad blockers:

“We messed up. As technologists, tasked with delivering content and services to users, we lost track of the user experience….

“We build advertising technology to optimize publishers’ yield of marketing budgets that had eroded after the last recession. Looking back now, our scraping of dimes may have cost us dollars in consumer loyalty…

“The consumer is demanding these actions, challenging us to do better, and we must respond.”

The IAB goes on to introduce new advertising principles called L.E.A.N. (Light, Encrypted, Ad choice supported, Non-invasive ads) as a start.

This is a fundamental shift in vantage point for the Ad Tech world. In 2013, LUMApartners famously created its first LUMAscape capturing all of the fragmented, disparate Ad Tech players involved in the processing of serving up an ad to a consumer. It’s an industry organized around itself, not around the needs of the consumer. Thus we see retargeting ads for sweaters we’ve already bought, video ads that auto-play with sound, and pop-ups that take over your screen.

https://marketoonist.com/2015/10/ad-blocking.html

Placebo response growing over time - but only in America

by
in science on (#R88Q)
A new study finds that rising placebo responses may play a part in the increasingly high failure rate for clinical trials of drugs, but the authors of the study say that the increase in placebo responses occurred only in trials conducted in the United States.

From 1990 to 2013 the pain inhibition experienced by patients in the placebo group increased steadily, reaching an average 30 percent decrease in pain levels by 2013. Similar increases in placebo response have previously been observed in studies of clinical trials of antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs. Those studies, however, didn't pinpoint the U.S. as the source of the trend.

The authors, from McGill University, examined reported features of the clinical trials to determine what factors might be responsible for the changes over time. They found that in the U.S., but not elsewhere, trials are becoming longer (from an average of four-weeks long in 1990 to 12 weeks in 2013) and larger (from an average of fewer than 50 patients in 1990 to an average of more than 700 patients in 2013).

"The data suggest that longer and larger trials are associated with bigger placebo responses," said Jeffrey Mogil, senior author of the new paper. "This, in turn, tends to result in the failure of those trials - since it makes it harder for pharmaceutical companies to prove that the drug being tested is more effective than treatment with a placebo." He and his co-authors note, however, some potentially important differences between the U.S. and other countries. These include the existence of direct-to-consumer drug advertising in the U.S. (New Zealand is the only other country in the world that allows this), the greater spread of for-profit "contract research organizations" in the U.S., and perhaps greater exposure to the placebo concept in popular media in the U.S.

http://www.scienceagogo.com/news/20150906175924.shtml

BSDNow episode 111: Xenocratic Oath

by
in bsd on (#R6NN)
This week on BSD Now, the *BSD communities' podcast - OpenBSD developer Brandon Mercer discusses the state of IT in health care; The NetBSD 7.0 Release, and other headlines:
  • Building your own OpenBSD based Mail server
  • Recipe for building a 10Mbps FreeBSD based router
  • Getting started with OpenBSD's new UEFI bootloader
  • CloudFlare develops interesting new netmap feature
  • "Open Source as a Career Path" FreeBSD panel discussion
Watch now: YouTube , or Direct download @ BSDNow.tv
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