Microsoft launches Azure cloud in a box (Mary Jo Foley/ZDNet)

TechMeme - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 7:35pm

Mary Jo Foley / ZDNet:
Microsoft launches Azure cloud in a box  —  Summary: In partnership with Dell, Microsoft is launching its Azure cloud in a box offering, codenamed ‘San Diego.’  —  Microsoft is teaming with Dell to create an Azure cloud in a box offering for customers who want to run their own, on-premises datacenters.

Categories: Technology

App Store Downloads Top 85 Billion, Revenue Up 36 Percent Year-Over-Year (Sarah Perez/TechCrunch)

TechMeme - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 7:30pm

Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
App Store Downloads Top 85 Billion, Revenue Up 36 Percent Year-Over-Year  —  Apple CEO Tim Cook announced today during the company's FY Q4 2014 earnings call that Apple's cumulative App Store downloads have now topped 85 billion up from 60 billion around a year ago.

Categories: Technology

China Staging a Nationwide Attack On iCloud and Microsoft Accounts

Slashdot - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 7:08pm
New submitter DemonOnIce writes: According to The Verge and an original report from 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 look like an Apple login page (or a Microsoft one, as appropriate).

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Square Testing New Payroll Product as Ambition Grows (Jason Del Rey/Re/code)

TechMeme - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 6:40pm

Jason Del Rey / Re/code:
Square Testing New Payroll Product as Ambition Grows  —  Square is running a pilot test for a new payroll product as the company continues to expand its offerings to complement its main payments business.  —  The new payroll product, spotted by a tipster, is designed to handle employee payments …

Categories: Technology

GNU Emacs 24.4 Released Today

Slashdot - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 6:26pm
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.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Apple to introduce new financial reporting methods in Q1 2015; Apple Watch, Apple TV, iPods, and Beats folded into "other" category (AppleInsider)

TechMeme - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 6:25pm

Apple to introduce new financial reporting methods in Q1 2015; Apple Watch, Apple TV, iPods, and Beats folded into “other” category  —  Apple may not break out Apple Watch, iPod and retail sales starting Q1 2015  —  During its quarterly conference call for the fourth quarter of 2014 …

Categories: Technology

More Eye Candy Coming To Windows 10

Slashdot - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 5:47pm
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.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Help ESR Stamp Out CVS and SVN In Our Lifetime

Slashdot - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 5:07pm
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.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

IBM Stock Plummets as Company Abandons Chip Business

Wired - Top Stories - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 4:58pm

IBM’s stock price is on the decline, after the company agreed to pay GlobalFoundries $1.5 billion to take on its ailing chipmaking business and abandoned its controversial “2015 Roadmap” to deliver $20 earnings per share by next year. News of the GlobalFoundries deal arrived on Sunday, via Bloomberg, and IBM CEO Ginni Rommety confirmed the […]

The post IBM Stock Plummets as Company Abandons Chip Business appeared first on WIRED.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

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

Slashdot - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 4:25pm
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.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Debian's Systemd Adoption Inspires Threat of Fork

Slashdot - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 3:43pm
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.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Facebook "Deeply Troubled" By Fake DEA Facebook Account

ReadWriteWeb - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 3:31pm

Facebook complained that the federal Drug Enforcement Agency committed a “serious breach of Facebook’s terms and policies” when it set up a fake Facebook account and impersonated a criminal suspect in order to communicate with other criminals, the company wrote in a letter to the DEA on Friday.

See also: The Feds Think It’s OK To Impersonate You On Facebook

The letter is a response to a lawsuit filed by Sondra Arquiett who was arrested in 2010 following a joint investigation with the Drug Enforcement Agency and other law enforcement agencies. Officers seized her phone and subsequently set up a Facebook account using photos that were on her mobile device, without Arquiett’s knowledge or consent, in an attempt to correspond with other criminals.

The DEA justified its breach of privacy by claiming the Facebook profile was used for a “legitimate law enforcement purpose” and that Arquiett gave the agency implicit consent to access the information on her device to aid in further investigations.

Facebook does not think the DEA's excuses are justifiable. In a letter to DEA administrator Michele Leonhart, first reported by BuzzFeed, Joe Sullivan, Facebook’s chief security officer, said the company was "deeply troubled by the DEA's claims and legal position."

Most fundamentally, the DEA’s actions threaten the integrity of our community. Facebook strives to maintain a safe, trusted environment where people can engage in authentic interactions with people they know and meet in real life. Using Facebook to impersonate others abuses that trust and makes people feel less safe and secure when using our service.

Facebook requires everyone to use their "real names," or names and identities that can be verified using identification like drivers licences or student IDs. The company recently found itself in hot water over its real names policy when a number of drag queens discovered they had been kicked out of their accounts for using stage names.

Facebook eventually acquiesced, and allowed those individuals to use their stage names, but reiterated that the policy is in place to protect people from harm, and that it's against Facebook's policy to create fake accounts using fake names.

See also: Facebook Ads Are About To Start Following You Everywhere

Law enforcement agencies are subject to the same rules as any other user, and Facebook quickly disabled the Arquiett account created by the DEA.

"Facebook has long made clear that law enforcement authorities are subject to these policies," Sullivan wrote, "Facebook asks that the DEA immediately confirm that it has ceased all activities on Facebook that involve the impersonation of others or that otherwise violate our terms and policies."

Photo courtesy of Marco Paköeningrat on Flickr

Categories: Technology

Microsoft Offers Cloud Device to Battle Google and Amazon

Wired - Top Stories - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 3:08pm

Microsoft will soon offer a hardware appliance that will let businesses run something akin to its Azure cloud computing service inside their own data centers. At a press event in San Francisco on Monday, Scott Guthrie, who oversees Microsoft’s cloud business, said the appliance is based on hardware from Texas-based computer-server-seller Dell, and that it […]

The post Microsoft Offers Cloud Device to Battle Google and Amazon appeared first on WIRED.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Where You Can Check Out Apple Pay Today

ReadWriteWeb - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 3:02pm

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users that update to the new iOS 8.1 mobile software, released Monday, will be the first to check out Apple’s new Apple Pay mobile payments system.

The 27 retailers listed on Apple's site spans hundreds of thousands of locations, which should give curiosity seekers numerous options to road test the new tap-to-pay features. These include:

  • Bloomingdales
  • Chevron
  • Duane Reade
  • Foot Locker (and its House of Hoops, Kids and Lady branches)
  • Macy’s
  • McDonalds
  • Nike
  • Office Depot
  • Panera Bread
  • PetCo
  • Radio Shack
  • Subway
  • Toys 'R Us
  • Walgreens
  • Whole Foods

One notable omission is Starbucks, an early partner that wound up only being able to offer a watered-down experience using the Apple Pay mobile app. Turns out, those coffee joints don't have compatible terminals, so don't bother knocking your device to their barcode scanners.  

See also: PayPal Slams Apple In Full-Page Newspaper Ads

Apple Pay will work at various e-commerce retail sites too. But where’s the fun in that? Chances are, most people will want to roll up to a counter and order a Big Mac by bopping their iPhones to a terminal. It’s like a taste of the future awaits within those combo meals, and with a side of fries to boot. 

Owners of iPhone 5, 5S and 5C will also be able to try out Apple Pay’s tap-to-pay features, but only if they buy the Apple Watch when it comes out early next year. The watch will feature the Near Field Communication chip necessary for tap-to-pay functionality, which those older phones lack. 

This launch period will be key for gauging initial interest in Apple Pay, which may offer an inkling of the initiative's potential longer-term success. However, early numbers probably won't be available in time for Apple's earnings call, later today. 

Categories: Technology

Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK

Slashdot - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 3:02pm
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.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

How to Stop Apple From Snooping on Your OS X Yosemite Searches

Wired - Top Stories - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 2:26pm

Apple's latest operating system OS X Yosemite pushes the limits of data collection tolerance: its desktop search tool Spotlight uploads your search terms in real time to Apple's remote servers, by default. Fortunately for Apple's angry users, however, this is one privacy invasion that's easy to cut short.

The post How to Stop Apple From Snooping on Your OS X Yosemite Searches appeared first on WIRED.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

'Endrun' Networks: Help In Danger Zones

Slashdot - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 2:21pm
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.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Apple iOS 8.1 Is Here—But Should You Download It?

ReadWriteWeb - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 2:04pm

As promised, Apple's latest mobile operating system, iOS 8.1, is now available for download. Eager iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users can grab the latest software on their devices by navigating to Settings > General > Software Update, or via iTunes on the desktop. 

Whether they should, however, is another matter. Here are a few things to consider:

Reasons to upgrade to iOS 8.1:

  • You want to try out Apple Pay
  • You miss your Camera Roll
  • You need iCloud photo library
  • You need fixes for all the bugs iOS 8, 8.0.1 or 8.0.2 rained down on your device
  • The download’s smaller than the super, mega-fat, “gigs” big iOS 8.0 upgrade. (On an iPhone 5S with iOS 8.0.2 installed, the iOS 8.1 update weighs in at 117MB.)

See also: Why Half Of iPhone Users Don’t Trust iOS 8 Yet

Reasons to wait:

  • You’ll lose your jailbreak
  • Your iPhone runs fine, and you don’t want to risk new bugs
  • You have nearly maxed out the space on your iPhone. The iOS 8.1 download may be a smaller file than iOS 8.0, but it still needs extra room for installation. If you don’t have enough space and need to make way, you might have to make some tough choices about the apps, media or other files that are currently on your iPhone.

Given the numerous and critical bugs of previous iOS 8 releases, prudent iPhone users not desperately needing bug fixes may choose to wait. But if you’re brave and grab it anyway, let us know what you think is the best and worst of the new software in the comments below. 

Images by Adriana Lee for ReadWrite

Categories: Technology

Google's Gmail App Is Ready To Start Managing Your Other Email Accounts

ReadWriteWeb - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 1:47pm

Google's Gmail 5.0 app will finally provide Android users with one email management application that streamlines all their different accounts. 

According to a video obtained by Android Police, the Gmail app expected with Google's Android Lollipop mobile operating system will let users read and answer email from non-Gmail accounts such as Yahoo and Outlook. It doesn't say whether it will manage other accounts as well.

If the Gmail app will manage a variety of outside email accounts, the new app could finally give Android users an obvious alternative to bouncing around between multiple email apps. (The stock Android mail app will handle various email accounts, but it's generally sort of lackluster.) And if Google extends this feature to iPhones and iPads, it could challenge Apple's barely passable default Mail application as well.

See also: Android Lollipop Isn't Kids Play: The OS Is All Grown Up Now

The redesigned Gmail 5.0 is the latest in a number of updates to Google applications that conform to the company's "material design" philosophy in Lollipop, an entirely new design and user interface for Android devices expected to be released in the next few weeks. 

Lead image by Cairo

Categories: Technology

Barometers In iPhones Mean More Crowdsourcing In Weather Forecasts

Slashdot - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 1:38pm
cryptoz (878581) writes Apple is now adding barometers to its mobile devices: both new iPhones have valuable atmospheric pressure sensors being used for HealthKit (step counting). Since many Android devices have been carrying barometers for years, scientists like Cliff Mass have been using the sensor data to improve weather forecasts. Open source data collection projects like PressureNet on Android automatically collect and send the atmospheric sensor data to researchers.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology