Technology

Roku prepares to file for confidential IPO, WSJ report says (Sudarshan Varadhan/Reuters)

TechMeme - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 5:15pm

Sudarshan Varadhan / Reuters:
Roku prepares to file for confidential IPO, WSJ report says  —  U.S. TV startup Roku to confidentially file for IPO: WSJ  —  (Reuters) - U.S. TV startup Roku Inc is working on plans to confidentially file for an initial public offering, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Categories: Technology

iPad Mini 3 teardown reveals an NFC controller and that hot glue is used to affix the home button (Jordan Kahn/9to5Mac)

TechMeme - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 4:55pm

Jordan Kahn / 9to5Mac:
iPad Mini 3 teardown reveals an NFC controller and that hot glue is used to affix the home button  —  Teardown shows iPad mini 3's “hastily glued” Touch ID Home button makes for difficult screen repairs  —  Following a teardown of the new iPad Air 2 earlier this week …

Categories: Technology

Secretive Funding Fuels Ongoing Net Neutrality Astroturfing Controversy

Slashdot - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 4:43pm
alphadogg writes: The contentious debate about net neutrality in the U.S. has sparked controversy over a lack of funding transparency for advocacy groups and think tanks, which critics say subverts the political process. News stories from a handful of publications in recent months have accused some think tanks and advocacy groups of "astroturfing" — quietly shilling for large broadband carriers. In a handful of cases, those criticisms appear to have some merit, although the term is so overused by people looking to discredit political opponents that it has nearly lost its original meaning. An IDG News Service investigation found that major groups opposing U.S. Federal Communications Commission reclassification and regulation of broadband as a public utility tend to be less transparent about their funding than the other side. Still, some big-name advocates of strong net neutrality rules also have limited transparency mechanisms in place.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

Stephen Hawking Joins Facebook, Urges Fans to ‘Be Curious’

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 4:28pm

Stephen Hawking is exploring yet another bizarre and fascinating part of our universe that stretches the very idea of reality: Facebook.

The post Stephen Hawking Joins Facebook, Urges Fans to ‘Be Curious’ appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

Tim Cook says bringing Apple Pay to China is his top priority there (Xinhua News Agency)

TechMeme - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 4:15pm

Xinhua News Agency:
Tim Cook says bringing Apple Pay to China is his top priority there  —  China Exclusive: Tim Cook: Apple wants everything it develops to enter China market  —  Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook said he hopes to adapt all of Apple's developments to work for the Chinese market, which he describes as a “key market” for the tech giant.

Categories: Technology

A Low Cost, Open Source Geiger Counter (Video)

Slashdot - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 4:01pm
Sawaiz Syed's LinkedIn page says he's a "Hardware Developer at GSU [Georgia State University], Department of Physics." That's a great workplace for someone who designs low cost radiation detectors that can be air-dropped into an area where there has been a nuclear accident (or a nuclear attack; or a nuclear terrorist act) and read remotely by a flying drone or a robot ground vehicle. This isn't Sawaiz's only project; it's just the one Timothy asked him about most at the recent Maker Faire Atlanta. (Alternate Video Link)

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

The Sobering Facts About Egg Freezing That Nobody’s Talking About

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 3:55pm

Women must be fully informed about reproductive medicine before setting their hopes on it. Facebook and Apple and all companies would do well by their employees to hold fertility vendors to the highest possible standards and not inadvertently put worker’s physical and mental health in jeopardy.

The post The Sobering Facts About Egg Freezing That Nobody’s Talking About appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

Creators of 'Room' say Facebook copied their chatroom app, threaten legal action (Jordan Kahn/9to5Mac)

TechMeme - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 3:45pm

Jordan Kahn / 9to5Mac:
Creators of ‘Room’ say Facebook copied their chatroom app, threaten legal action  —  Facebook's new ‘Rooms’ app Room Inc's ‘Room’ app  —  Following the launch of Facebook's new “Rooms” app for iPhone, the company behind a similar piece of software called “Room” …

Categories: Technology

Computer Scientist Parachutes From 135,908 Feet, Breaking Record

Slashdot - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 3:14pm
An anonymous reader writes: The NY Times reports that Alan Eustace, a computer scientist and senior VP at Google, has successfully broken the record for highest freefall jump, set by Felix Baumgartner in 2012. "For a little over two hours, the balloon ascended at speeds up to 1,600 feet per minute to an altitude of 135,908 feet, more than 25 miles. Mr. Eustace dangled underneath in a specially designed spacesuit with an elaborate life-support system. He returned to earth just 15 minutes after starting his fall. ... Mr. Eustace cut himself loose from the balloon with the aid of a small explosive device and plummeted toward the earth at a speeds that peaked at more than 800 miles per hour, setting off a small sonic boom heard by observers on the ground. ... His technical team had designed a carbon-fiber attachment that kept him from becoming entangled in the main parachute before it opened. About four-and-a-half minutes into his flight, he opened the main parachute and glided to a landing 70 miles from the launch site."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

Nest Acquires Home Automation Hub Revolv, but Will Stop Selling It (Liz Gannes/Re/code)

TechMeme - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 3:12pm

Liz Gannes / Re/code:
Nest Acquires Home Automation Hub Revolv, but Will Stop Selling It  —  Nest today said it had acquired Revolv, the smart-home automation device maker, for its developer platform.  —  The deal closed this morning with undisclosed terms.  It wasn't about adding the Revolv home automation hub …

Categories: Technology

U.S. TV Airwaves Auction for Smartphones Delayed to 2016 (Todd Shields/Bloomberg)

TechMeme - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 3:05pm

Todd Shields / Bloomberg:
U.S. TV Airwaves Auction for Smartphones Delayed to 2016  —  The Federal Communications Commission delayed to early 2016 an auction of U.S. airwaves surrendered by television stations that's intended to help feed the growing number of smartphones and tablets.

Categories: Technology

Researcher Finds Tor Exit Node Adding Malware To Downloads

Slashdot - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 2:32pm
Trailrunner7 writes: A security researcher has identified a Tor exit node that was actively patching binaries users download, adding malware to the files dynamically. The discovery, experts say, highlights the danger of trusting files downloaded from unknown sources and the potential for attackers to abuse the trust users have in Tor and similar services. Josh Pitts of Leviathan Security Group ran across the misbehaving Tor exit node while performing some research on download servers that might be patching binaries during download through a man-in-the middle attack. What Pitts found during his research is that an attacker with a MITM position can actively patch binaries–if not security updates–with his own code. In terms of defending against the sort of attack, Pitts suggested that encrypted download channels are the best option, both for users and site operators. "SSL/TLSis the only way to prevent this from happening. End-users may want to consider installing HTTPS Everywhere or similar plugins for their browser to help ensure their traffic is always encrypted," he said via email.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

A New Answers App Aims to Succeed Where Quora Failed

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 2:26pm

Yahoo Answers. Quora. JustAnswer.com. Over the years, countless sites have offered to answer all your random questions with help from “experts” across the net. They’re called expert networks, and in some cases, they can be kinda helpful. But these myriad services have never lived up to their billing. The quality of the counsel on these […]

The post A New Answers App Aims to Succeed Where Quora Failed appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

Why Open Source Is Becoming A Big Developer-Recruiting Tool

ReadWriteWeb - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 2:16pm

Most companies are just coming around to the idea that open source can help lower costs and boost innovation within their organizations. But Web companies like Netflix, Twitter and Facebook understand that open source can be more: a powerful weapon for recruiting and retaining top engineering talent.

See also: The Reasons Businesses Use Open Source Are Changing Faster Than You Think

If we believe that developers are the "new kingmakers," then the companies able to source the best developers will win. That means open source is the new ante for even getting into the developer recruiting game.

You Have Nothing To Lose But Your Chains

For years organizations largely constrained their developer productivity, hemming them in by withholding access to hardware and software. But something has changed in the last few years, which Digital Ocean CEO Ben Uretsky highlights:

[D]evelopers were at the mercy of their employer’s capital. But that’s changed.... With software being free and readily available, the sole ball-and-chain left shackled to the ankles of developers was hardware. With the development of the cloud market, developers had a newfound stray dog freedom.

Fortunately, developers haven't done "stray dog" sorts of things with that freedom. Instead they're hard at work within lines of business, building apps often in spite of IT. No wonder Gartner says 38% of technology purchases already happen outside IT, which number will jump to 50% by 2017.

The developer inmates, in other words, increasingly run the enterprise asylum. But how well they run it may hinge on your ability to recruit them.

Open Source Your Recruiting

Which is why I found James Pearce's presentation at OSCON (transcribed by Remy DeCausemaker) earlier this summer so interesting. Pearce heads Facebook's open-source efforts, which is a big job given that Facebook could well be the world's largest open source company. He shared a few data points on Facebook's open source efforts:

[There are] 200 active projects at Facebook, with 10 million lines of code. Many hundreds of engineers working on these, with over 100,000 followers and 20,000 forks. We contribute to a wide range of projects (i.e. The kernel, mercurial, D, etc). We've even open sourced the designs of our data centers and machines in the Open Compute project.

Even this belies just how much open source code Facebook uses and contributes. For every Cassandra (a NoSQL database) that Facebook develops and open sources, it also heavily contributes to an existing project like MySQL. But Facebook also "tries to scale" open-source projects that interest it, and does a lot of fiddling to that effect, as has been the case with MongoDB storage engines

See also: Open Source Projects Need More Than Good Code—They Need Marketing

This culture of open source permeates Facebook. So much so, in fact, that it serves as a beacon to developers who want to work somewhere that unfetters their freedom to tinker, as Pearce notes:

We asked our employees..."Were you aware of the open source software program at Facebook?" Two-thirds said "Yes", and one-half said that the program positively contributed to their decision to work for us. These are not marginal numbers, and I hope, a trend that continues. A large number of those people said their experience using our projects in the open helped them get ramped up prior to being hired. That is a huge win for our company. This is important part of why open source is valuable to [Facebook].

For Facebook, then, open source is not "naive ideology," but rather is "like the breeze from an open window; it keeps things from going stale," both in terms of code and in terms of people.

Set Your Developers Free

Facebook is onto something here, and it's similar to what Netflix and others have done. Netflix, as I've written, "is looking for the best and brightest developers, and knows that the best developers generally want to be involved in open source."  

Twitter? Chris Aniszczyk, Twitter's head of open source, lists core operating principles that closely resemble Facebook's own ethos:

As he told me over Twitter, this isn't about peace, love and Linux, but about self-interest:

Guess what? It's in your self-interest, too. The best software today, from Hadoop to Android, is open source. The best developers—those people that will make or break your business—are also focused on open source. 

Set them free. Just like Facebook. Just like Twitter. Just like Netflix.

Lead image by Marcin Wichary

Categories: Technology

How to Earn the Right to Buy Ferrari’s Most Exclusive Hypercar

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 2:03pm

One does not simply walk into Maranello and buy the LaFerrari supercar. The right to spend a million dollars is a reward for the brand's most loyal customers.

The post How to Earn the Right to Buy Ferrari’s Most Exclusive Hypercar appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

Employers Worried About Critical Thinking Skills

Slashdot - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 1:49pm
Nerval's Lobster writes: Every company needs employees who can analyze information effectively, discarding what's unnecessary and digging down into what's actually useful. But employers are getting a little bit worried that U.S. schools aren't teaching students the necessary critical-thinking skills to actually succeed once they hit the open marketplace. The Wall Street Journal talked with several companies about how they judge critical-thinking skills, a few of which ask candidates to submit to written tests to judge their problem-solving abilities. But that sidesteps the larger question: do schools need to shift their focus onto different teaching methods (i.e., downplaying the need for students to memorize lots of information), or is our educational pipeline just fine, thank you very much?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

"Surveillance Self-Defense" Is A How-To Guide For Every Level Of Online Privacy

ReadWriteWeb - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 1:41pm

Whether you're a journalism student wanting to learn security tips not taught in college classrooms, or a pro at keeping communications secure, the Electronic Frontier Foundation wants to make your activities online even safer from prying eyes.

The EFF's new project called Surveillance Self-Defense is a collection of tools and resources broken down into specific resource "playlists" for both computer types and the people using them. These include: Mac user, human rights defender, student journalist, online security veteran, and a security starter pack for newbies.

Each playlist includes a step-by-step guide for protecting and securing your private communications. Most start with a introduction to threat modeling, or understanding what information you want to protect and from whom. From there, the guides cover various other tools and services for particular situations, like "Things To Consider When Crossing The U.S. Border," in the human rights defender playlist.

The EFF's SSD project also features a collection of tutorials to help people encrypt their phones, use PGP for different operating systems, and how to pick the best virtual private network. 

See also: NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden: Keep Their Hands Off Our Data

The organization's guide doesn't claim to protect people from every credible threat, but it does a good job of delineating what technologies and services are the most helpful and necessary to protect data from hackers or adversaries.

After the Edward Snowden revelations, ongoing data breaches and personal information leaks, people are increasingly conscious of how and what they share online. Privacy hardware tools that aim to make data protection safe and simple have sprung up on the scene, just as quickly as their usefulness is debunked.

With EFF's suite of tools and resources, even the most novice user can begin to take steps to secure their data, and begin communicating with friends and colleagues in a safer, more indestructible way.

Lead photo by JD Hancock on Flickr

Categories: Technology

Ebola Shows It Is Process–Not Technology–That Will Protect Us

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 1:28pm

Technology has driven our economy and made our country powerful, but tech alone is proving to be insufficient to stop the spread of Ebola. The case of Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian who had contact with an ebola patient four days before travel to the U.S., shows just how much the mundane world of process […]

The post Ebola Shows It Is Process–Not Technology–That Will Protect Us appeared first on WIRED.


Categories: Open Source, Technology

Smart Homes of the Future Will Know Us by Our Heartbeats

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 1:28pm

Kevin Foreman believes that homes will soon become intelligent enough to distinguish between family members and guests within physical spaces and adapt to individual needs based on biometrics like fingerprints, body temperatures and even the rhythm of our own heartbeats. In the very near future as you walk through your home, a small device worn […]

The post Smart Homes of the Future Will Know Us by Our Heartbeats appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

Wearables and Quantified Self Demand Security-First Design

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 1:28pm

As a wearable-tech enthusiast attending Black Hat Europe Amsterdam, I felt like I didn’t belong there and like I have lost my way. Black Hat, like Defcon, is one of the biggest information security events in the world that bring together everyone from the hacking community and information security enterprises. So Wearable Tech isn’t the […]

The post Wearables and Quantified Self Demand Security-First Design appeared first on WIRED.


Categories: Open Source, Technology