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Celebrating 20 Years of OpenBSD With Release 5.8

Slashdot - Sun, 18/10/2015 - 4:29pm writes: 20 years to the day after the OpenBSD source tree was created for the new project, the project has released OpenBSD 5.8, the 38th release on CD-ROM (and 39th via FTP/HTTP). This release comes with four release songs instead of the usual one, and a long list of improvements over the last releases. (Probably a good time to donate to the project, too, even if you don't use it directly, because of all the security improvements that OpenBSD programmers contribute to the world.)

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Using Valve's Steam Controller On Ubuntu Linux

Phoronix - Sun, 18/10/2015 - 4:19pm
Valve's Steam Controller has begun shipping to those who pre-ordered the device earlier this year. Phoronix reader Thomas Frech (a.k.a. Qaridarium) has shared some of his thoughts about using the controller for some Linux gaming on Ubuntu...

OpenBSD 5.8 Released, Marks 20 Years Of OpenBSD

Phoronix - Sun, 18/10/2015 - 4:00pm
OpenBSD 5.8 was released today and its release happens to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the OpenBSD project...

The Box That Built the Modern World

Slashdot - Sun, 18/10/2015 - 3:30pm writes: Andrew Curry has an interesting article about how more than any other single innovation, the shipping container epitomizes the enormity, sophistication, and importance of our modern transportation system. It's invisible to most people, but fundamental to how practically everything in our consumer-driven lives works. "Think of the shipping container as the Internet of thing," says Curry. "Just as your email is disassembled into discrete bundles of data the minute you hit send, then re-assembled in your recipient's inbox later, the uniform, ubiquitous boxes are designed to be interchangeable, their contents irrelevant." Last year the world's container ports moved 560 million 20-foot containers. Even cars and trucks—known in the trade as "RoRo," or "roll-on, roll-off" cargo—are increasingly being loaded into containers rather than specialized ships. "Containers are just a lot easier," says James Rice. "A box is a box. All you need is a vessel, a berth, and a place to put the container on the ground. Consider the economics of a T-shirt sewn at a factory near Beijing. The total time in transit for a typical box from a Chinese factory to a customer in Europe might be as little as 35 days. Cost per shirt? "Less than one U.S. cent," says Rainer Horn. "It doesn't matter anymore where you produce something now, because transport costs aren't important."

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DragonFlyBSD 4.2 vs. Ubuntu 15.10 CPU Performance

Phoronix - Sun, 18/10/2015 - 2:50pm
In this article are benchmarks comparing the performance of DragonFlyBSD 4.2 to that of Ubuntu 15.10. With these CPU-focused benchmarks, the core scaling performance was also looked at in going from two cores through four cores plus Hyper Threading.

Radio Waves Can Be Used To Hijack Androids and iPhones Via Siri and Google Now

Slashdot - Sun, 18/10/2015 - 2:33pm
An anonymous reader writes: Two French researchers have discovered a way to use the Siri and Google Now voice assistant software to relay malicious commands to smartphones without the user's consent or knowledge. This method relies on a special hardware rig that can send radio waves to smartphones with earphones plugged into them. The radio waves get picked up by the earphone cable, get transformed into electrical signals and then to software commands. The research is accompanied by a YouTube video as well. Note that this attack, as the article explains, so far relies on some bulky dedicated equipment, and on the attacker being close to the system he wants to disrupt.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Apple quietly swaps out MacBook Retina displays to fix skin-peeling stains

El Reg - Sun, 18/10/2015 - 2:00pm
Put the f**king lotion in the basket!

Apple has finally agreed to swap out "stained" Retina displays, months after ugly blobs of anti-reflective coating began peeling off of affected MacBooks that had cost fanbois more than $2,000 a pop.…

Moscow State University Releases 10th HEVC Video Codec Comparison

Slashdot - Sun, 18/10/2015 - 1:24pm
An anonymous reader writes: The Graphics and Media Lab Video Group of Moscow State University has released its tenth video codecs comparison. This latest comparison focuses on HEVC codecs and includes some non-HEVC codecs such as x264 and VP9. The report concludes that Intel's MSS HEVC Software codec leads the pack in the "fast transcoding" use case whereas x265 takes the lead in the "ripping" use case. VP9 compares favorably to the HEVC codecs in the fixed quality and the speed versus quality test cases. See the PDF version of the report for more details.

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Phoronix Forums Log-In Should Be Fixed

Phoronix - Sun, 18/10/2015 - 1:18pm
For those that have emailed in, tweeted, and otherwise contacted me about problems logging into the Phoronix Forums this weekend, that issue should be resolved... Now Powered By PTS 6.0-Hammerfest

Phoronix - Sun, 18/10/2015 - 1:06pm
While a brand new interface to is set to launch later this year in tandem with the Phoronix Test Suite 6.0 debut, a big underlying step forward was made this weekend...

Maybe You Don't Need 8 Hours of Sleep After All

Slashdot - Sun, 18/10/2015 - 12:26pm
schwit1 writes: You've heard of the Paleo diet, but the next big thing in health may well be the Paleo sleep schedule. A UCLA researcher studied three hunter-gatherer and hunter-farmer groups -- the Hadza in Tanzania, San in Namibia, and Tsimane in Bolivia, "who live roughly the same lifestyle humans did in the Paleolithic," as NPR reports -- and determined our ancient ancestors may not have slept nearly as much we thought, and may have actually slept less than modern Westerners. "People like to complain that modern life is ruining sleep, but they're just saying: Kids today!" Jerome Siegel tells the Atlantic . "It's a perennial complaint but you need data to know if it's true." Siegel found that members of the three aforementioned groups sleep between 5.7 hours and 7.1 hours per night. That's less than is recommended for our health, yet the groups seemed very healthy indeed. (And if you're feeling insomniac, some earlier Slashdot stories about sleep are also pretty thought-provoking.)

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Big Blue lets Chinese government eyeball source code – report

El Reg - Sun, 18/10/2015 - 12:21pm
Beijing officials get quick peek at IBM software in hunt for backdoor spying

IBM has reportedly granted Beijing controlled looking rights to its proprietary source code to allow government officials to scrutinise the software for spook backdoors.…

Progress On SPIR-V For The Nouveau Driver Is Moving Slow

Phoronix - Sun, 18/10/2015 - 12:05pm
Back in July I wrote about someone working on a SPIR-V to NV50 IR Nouveau translator so that this intermediate representation for Vulkan and OpenCL 2.1+ could then be fed into this open-source NVIDIA driver. A brief, indirect update was shared this weekend and so far it appears the work is progressing slowly...

Google Drops Desktop Voice Search In Chrome

Slashdot - Sun, 18/10/2015 - 9:30am
PC World reports that even as Microsoft is pushing voice input on the desktop (in the form of an expanded role for its Cortana digital assistant), Google is responding to user (dis)interest in searching by voice from the desktop, by dropping "OK Google"-based voice commands in the latest iteration of Chrome. This seems too bad to me, so I wish they'd at least leave the voice input as an option; I've only lately been getting comfortable with search by voice on my phone, and though I've found the results to be hit or miss (my phone responds a bit too often to "OK," and seems to stumble even on some common words, spoken clearly), when it works I really like it.

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<i>Reg</i> reader escapes four-month lightning-struck Windows Vista farm nightmare

El Reg - Sun, 18/10/2015 - 9:00am
Know-it-all boss knows nothing

On-Call  This week's instalment of On-Call, our regular reader-contributed tale of things that go pear-shaped in the small hours, comes from Carl who tells us that “a couple of years ago I had just been made redundant”.…

So just what is the third Great Invention of all time?

El Reg - Sun, 18/10/2015 - 7:00am
First we had agriculture, then the scientific method, now …

Worstall @ the Weekend  So here's a fun little game for a Sunday morning: what was, or is, the third great invention of all time? I have a candidate for it and it's very much to do with what youse guys do all day. But I'm not entirely sure that it is the proper winner of third place: certainly, most economists wouldn't rate it there at all.…

Learning To Fly, With a Full-Size Cockpit Simulator

Slashdot - Sun, 18/10/2015 - 6:27am
Make Zine features the story of Aidan Fay, a 17-year-old San Diego student who has constructed a full-size Cessna 172 cockpit simulator in his bedroom, controlled by Arduinos and using scavenged game-controller parts. Because the display Fay is using is an Oculus Rift headset, the visual similarity to an actual plane's interior (not to mention the view) isn't as great as some simulators', but the hardware makes it nonetheless more realistic for a headset-wearing pilot than some simulators that might look prettier: he's got actual rudder pedals, and a force-feedback system on a yoke (also real). Fay's interest is more than as a flight simulator enthusiast, though: he's built this system primarily as an educational tool, as he works to get around a medical problem that's delayed his quest for a pilot's license.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.