An anonymous reader writes “Wired is reporting on a massive, highly sophisticated piece of malware has been newly found infecting systems in Iran and elsewhere and is believed to be part of a well-coordinated, ongoing, state-run cyberespionage operation. Kaspersky Lab, the company that discovered the malware, has a FAQ with more details.” Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Archive for May 28th, 2012
André Kuipers , a Dutch physician and astronaut with the European Space Agency, was on board the ISS when the SpaceX Dragon vehicle berthed. He took this photograph , and wrote, Inside of the Dragon module. Beautiful. Spacious, Modern. Blue LEDs. Feels a bit like a sci-fi filmset. Of course it is from Los Angeles. He wrote more about the historic space milestone here, on his blog . Last Friday was a special day on my mission. Don and I docked the SpaceX’s cargoship Dragon to the Space Station. Dragon brings new equipment for the crew. On the 31st of May it will return to Earth with supplies from the others and myself. The Dragon mission is the operational highlight of my mission. But it is also a milestone for international spaceflight. This is the first time that a commercial spacecraft has flown to the ISS and docked with the Station. You could say a new era of spaceflight has begun. Soon private companies will take people to and from space.
Ubuntu 12.04, codenamed Precise Pangolin, rolled out last month. The new version of the popular Linux distribution brings updated software and new features, including the highly-anticipated Heads-Up Display (HUD) interface. The HUD is one of several excellent improvements that have helped to make Ubuntu’s Unity desktop shell even better in Ubuntu 12.04 When Unity was first unveiled in 2010, it was introduced as a new graphical frontend for the Ubuntu Netbook Remix. Canonical later brought Unity to the desktop, making it the cornerstone of the company’s Linux usability enhancement efforts. Ubuntu 11.04 (released last year) was the first version that shipped with Unity as the standard environment on the desktop. Unity has come a long way since Canonical and the Ubuntu community began working to iron out its rough edges on the desktop. The performance and stability issues that afflicted earlier versions have largely been remedied. It was already in great shape back in October when version 11.10 was released, but it has benefited from further refinement. Read more | Comments
Well actually, the Hobbit preview wasn’t shaky, it was smooth — maybe too smooth — and that’s the point. “It does take you a while to get used to,” Peter Jackson has admitted, referring to the surprisingly fluid motion of his 48 fps movie footage. But is he right to think audiences will even give it a chance? The launch of high frame-rate (HFR) cinema is surrounded by publicity in the run-up to the Hobbit’s debut on December 12th, but it equally has a lot going against it. For starters, the film’s 48 fps preview wasn’t exactly received warmly. On top of that, the video-style apperance of HFR has a long history of being disliked by movie-goers — past attempts since the 1970s have all flamed out. 85 years after the first 24 fps movies, the same number of frames are still going stubbornly through the gate (digital or otherwise) each second, so that must be what “filmic” is, right? Or will we look back on 24fps as the bad old days? Read on to see if these new/old-fangled frame speeds might survive, and though a 48 fps Hobbit trailer isn’t available, we’ve provided a couple of clips to help you judge what two-dimensional HFR looks like. Continue reading Editorial: Despite shaky 48 fps Hobbit preview, high frame rates will take off Editorial: Despite shaky 48 fps Hobbit preview, high frame rates will take off originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 28 May 2012 13:01:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink | | Email this | Comments
973,086 iOS devices were jailbroken in a single weekend thanks to Absinthe 2.0 , which was released on Friday. Chronic-Dev, one half of the Jailbreak Dream Team tweeted the announcement yesterday, adding that 211,401 of those freed were third-generation iPads . If you want to loosen your own Apple-branded handheld from the clutches of Cupertino’s control, then the warranty-worrying software is still available — with the promise that it’s so easy, your grandma could do it. Absinthe 2.0 used to jailbreak nearly one million iOS devices in a single weekend originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 28 May 2012 07:42:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink Cult of Mac | Chronic Dev Team (Twitter) | Email this | Comments
As tempting as it might seem, please do not upload a picture of a bunch of cash and then upload it to a social network. That’s just dumb. But that’s also what one 17-year-old Australian girl did only to have two robbers armed with a knife and a club show up at her house. The story goes that a 17-year-old girl was helping her grandma. Likely somewhere in between vacuuming and feather dusting, the two started counting money, and, as we all know, the elderly tend to keep a good sum of cash on hand. Apparently the 17-year-old snapped a picture of the pile which was likely fanned-out in the traditional gangster style. This girl then uploaded the picture to Facebook. The picture of the undisclosed amount apparently attracted the attention of two robbers looking to make some quick cash. The two showed up at the girl’s house, however, the mother informed these men that the daughter no longer lived there. The two men searched the house anyway, leaving with what the BBC describes as “a small amount of cash and a small number of personal objects.” No-one was injured. Let this be a lesson to everyone. There is such a thing as sharing too much. As tempting as it might be to show off your new BMW, flat screen TV, or even puppy, sharing this information on Facebook is essentially akin to posting the same information on your grocery store’s public bulletin board. But for the love of Mark Zuckerburg, do not share a picture of a pile of cash — especially if said pile isn’t even your money.
If you’re an older gamer, you will remember the holy trinity of Sierra RPGs – King’s Quest, Space Quest, and Police Quest. All three of these games used something called “imagination” and “storytelling” to immerse early gamers in an Ad Lib soundcard-induced gaming coma. Now you can relive those heady days with a new game by the makers of Space Quest , Scott Murphy and Mark Crowe (aka “The Two Guys from Andromeda”). Their new game, called SpaceVenture, is a refresh of the old Sierra series and promises spills, chills, and horrible jokes. It’s getting funded on Kickstarter as we speak. The best part? They hired the original voice actors to spice up the game including Gary Owens, the voice of Space Ghost, and Ellen McLain who plays GlaDOS in Portal 1 and 2. Talk about your crossovers. The game will cost $15 for early pledgers and runs on Macs, PCs, iOS, and Android. The $30 tier gets you beta access to the game and a soundtrack download. The game is halfway to its goal with 15 days to go, so get pledging, space cadet. Project Page
Here we go again: Facebook is apparently trying for the third time to get its phone project off the ground — snatching up iOS design and engineering talent left and right Nick Bilton is hearing. We’re hearing (and seeing ) similar regarding iOS talent, but with one caveat: Word on the street is that few mobile design whizzes actually want to work at Facebook, but everyone has their price, and post-IPO Mark Zuckerberg is willing to pay that price, whatever it is. Does Facebook need a phone? Whatever the answer to that question is, the more important item is that it THINKS it needs a phone, most likely because it’s still lacking a clear mobile strategy with regards to revenue. The platform wars have created the following paradox; in order to compete with Facebook, Google attempts to build a social network, In order to compete with Google, Facebook attempts to build a phone — both diverging away from their core competency in their efforts. I’ve never tried to build a phone, so I’m not going to begrudge anyone their ambitions, but a majority of industry insiders I’ve spoken to today have been super skeptical about the viability of a Facebook phone, some even coming right out and saying, “It’ll be a miracle if this doesn’t suck.” Making phone hardware is hard work, much harder than anything Facebook has ever attempted in the past. The company as we have seen thrives on an iterative culture of hackathons where projects are completed over night. A low margin/high volume business like phone hardware, as Bret Taylor’s mobile and platform team seems to be painfully and publicly learning , takes years to do correctly. And there is a huge risk that they will fail again. This kind of project, as others have speculated , requires the kind of execution Facebook isn’t known for, and the company will most likely have to work with a third-party in order to actually ship. Some have suggested that it buy a beleaguered hardware startup like RIM or a stalwart like HTC because the kind of long-term focus required here is just not endemic to Facebook company culture. Basically, there are a million ways this project will fail, and just one way it will work: Facebook ostensibly could succeed by tapping into the opening in the mobile market where people want an alternative to poorly designed Android phones — targeting people who would buy something other than an iPhone if the price point was $150 less and the design were at least a little bit more ambitious than what is currently available on Android. Picture a Lumia that’s one big Facebook app if you need a visual. It’ll be a miracle if Facebook manages to come up with a finished product that’s designed and priced for everyone, captures at least 15% of the smart phone market, and becomes a direct competitor to Google. But stranger things have happened. A Facebook phone seems inevitable. Mobile advancements like Apple’s iMessage, iOS Twitter integration and whatever Google is doing with Google+ mean that its status as the predominant interpersonal communications platform is being threatened. But it won’t introduce a phone until it absolutely thinks it has to, so the question becomes “How soon until it (thinks it) has to?” And “Will it be ready?” Wherever the Facebook Mobile team is tonight, they should take the Microsoft Kin’s failure as a cautionary tale: Stay away from poor device design and arcane social plugins and focus on your strengths, bringing mainstay apps like Instagram, Messenger, Camera, Events and Facebook Games front and center. And be a great phone first and foremost; the Facebook part should come second.
Smartphone displays are becoming larger in size, and along with that, we’re seeing a nice trend that’s bringing greater pixel density. While LG Display’s newly-announced 1080p HD mobile display isn’t the most pixel dense that we’ve seen — a distinction that belongs to Toshiba — the five-inch panel is more appropriate for consumer applications and boasts an impressive pixel density of 440ppi. Its 16:9 aspect ratio was designed with HD content in mind, and the LCD technology isn’t anything to sneeze at, either: it’s a variant of IPS known as Advanced High Performance In-Plane Switching ( AH-IPS ), which is said to boast wide viewing angles, fast response times and improved brightness efficiency. Best yet, it seems that consumers won’t have long to wait before the panel works its way into consumer technology — the five-inch HD display is set for availability during the second-half of this year. To learn more of the Retina Display-shattering deets, you’ll find the full PR after the break. Continue reading LG Display debuts five-inch Retina Display killer with 1080p HD resolution and 440ppi pixel density LG Display debuts five-inch Retina Display killer with 1080p HD resolution and 440ppi pixel density originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 27 May 2012 22:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink | | Email this | Comments