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Astronaut Chris Hadfield shows how to take photos in zero gravity

ITWire - 35 min 5 sec ago
Photographer Brandon van Son interviews Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield about how to take photographs while orbiting the Earth in (perceived) zero gravity.     When orbiting the Earth at 4.8 miles per second, that's 17,280 miles per hour or 27,810 kilometers per hour, you would think that snapping pix from a digital camera with a long 400 millimeter lens would be difficult.   It isn't.   The astronauts don't even need a tripod, they just let the camera float while in (perceived) zero gravity.    That is, there still is gravity in space (when someone says "lack of gravity", that statement is not true), but the astronauts "perceive" there is no gravity because in essence they are falling toward the Earth (like a skydiver). So, their perceived perception that there is no gravity is called zero gravity, or Zero G.   {loadposition william08}However, they are going so fast in the forward direction (such as, 4.8 miles per second) they don't fall back into the Earth, but keep missing the Earth and, thus, maintain their orbit around the planet.   The PetaPixel.com article "Chris Hadfield Explains How Zero Gravity Makes it Possible to Take Sharp, Hand-Held Long Exposures" explains what is going on with Hadfield and other astronauts as they photograph while orbiting the Earth.   View the video (shown above) and read the before-mentioned article to see how it like to be a photographer-astronaut in space.   It states, "While keeping a camera stable on Earth requires a lot of fine motor skills, many muscles firing and a slew of other potential challenges, Hadfield says the only i[n]put he has to worry about on the ISS [International Space Station] is his heartbeat. Fascinating…"   The YouTube video is entitled "Astronaut and Photographer Chris Hadfield Interview Q&A " (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlxMX-YWNxU).   Its caption states, "Well, I [Brendan van Son] guess you could say I'm in full on photo geek mode right now. Just an hour or so ago, I got to sit in on a media Q&A with Astronaut Chris Hadfield. And, yes, you probably got to know about Chris from his YouTube viral video where he sung Major Tom from space. However, what's awesome about Chris, to me, beyond all that stuff is that he's a pretty amazing photographer."   "Now, at this media event, I had the chance to ask Chris Hadfield a question. And well everyone wanted to know about what it was like in space. I wanted to know what it was like to photograph earth. It's an opportunity that every photographer on the planet would love to have, I think. I mean, talk about a unique experience."   "Anyways, in this video, Chris Hadfield talks about what it's like shooting a 400mm lens down at earth, which is moving quickly, on a long exposure from space. How cool is that!?"

Police battle cybercrime cartels

CNN - Tech News - 57 min 14 sec ago
Cybercrime costs the global economy $400 billion a year, and as it grows more sophisticated, law enforcement is having to do the same.

Windows 7: Officially Dead This Week

LXer Linux News - 1 hour 18 min ago
With no funeral, retrospectives, accolades, or notes of sadness, the Windows 7 era has come to an end.

Puppy Linux 6.0 Screenshot Tour

LXer Linux News - 2 hours 15 min ago
We have another official Puppy Linux release. Since I retired from developing Puppy Linux early in 2014, keen members of the Puppy community forked my Woof Puppy builder, naming it woof-CE. Since then, 01micko has been active with a Puppy built from Slackware packages, named 'Slacko Puppy'. The guys have also been working on another pup, built from Ubuntu 'Trusty Tahr' binary packages, under the leadership of Phil Broughton and this has now reached release status. It is named 'Tahrpup' and is version 6.0. Tahrpup is an official release of Puppy Linux for those who would like the package manager to have compatibility with the large collection of packages in the Ubuntu repository.

Could Google pill detect cancer?

CNN - Tech News - 2 hours 22 min ago
Google is developing a pill that would hunt for cancer cells in human bodies. CNN's Laurie Segall reports.

Pure Storage joins OpenStack

ITWire - 2 hours 53 min ago

Pure Storage has joined the OpenStack Foundation as a corporate sponsor and committer, and announced two pieces of software that improve the integration between FlashArray and OpenStack.

OpenStack is open-source software used to create public and private clouds. The project is backed by the OpenStack Foundation.

Flash storage vendor Pure Storage has become a corporate sponsor of the OpenStack Foundation, joining a list of well-known companies including EMC, F5 Networks, Fujitsu, Parallels, PayPal, SAP, Seagate and VCE.

This is the lowest level of sponsorship (though US$25,000 isn't exactly peanuts), behind the Platinum members (AT&T, Canonical, HP, IBM, Nebula, Rackspace, Red Hat and SUSE) that provide a significant portion of the Foundation's funding and commit full-time resources to the project, and Gold members (which currently include Cisco, Dell, Hitachi, Huawei, Intel, NEC, NetApp, VMware and Yahoo!) that provide funding and pledge strategic alignment to OpenStack.

{loadposition stephen08}"OpenStack is one of the most vibrant and significant open source projects of our time, and is rapidly emerging as the de facto standard for the creation and management of private and public cloud environments for service providers, in the enterprise, and beyond," said Matt Kixmoeller, vice president of products at Pure Storage.

The Foundation welcomed Pure Storage's sponsorship. "The collaboration of the Pure Storage engineering team will help our global developer community advance open storage standards in the enterprise, powered by OpenStack," said executive director Matt Kixmoeller.

The software released by Pure Storage comprises the OpenStack Cinder Driver for Purity OE (Pure Storage's operating system), and the Python Automation Toolkit for Advanced Storage Workflows. Both are available free of charge from Pure Storage's web site.

The Cinder Driver (already included in the OpenStack Juno release which debuted earlier this month) allows OpenStack to control a Pure Storage FlashArray, while the Python Automation Toolkit extends this storage automation for expanded monitoring, capacity, and disaster recovery capabilities.

New year, new CFO at UXC

ITWire - 2 hours 56 min ago

UXC has appointed Iona MacPherson as chief financial officer and company secretary.

"I am delighted to have Iona join UXC. The role of the CFO in any business, especially in a listed public company is pivotal and to have attracted and gained the services of such a well-respected executive is a reflection of the standing of the company," said managing director Cris Nicolli.

"The Board and I look forward to the significant contribution Iona will make to the business."

MacPherson has been chief financial officer and company secretary at Boom Logistics since 2007.

{loadposition stephen08}She previously held the same positions at Australian Air Express. That followed a 13 year stint with KPMG in its Edinburgh, Hong Kong and Melbourne offices.

MacPherson is a qualified chartered accountant.

She will will formally start with UXC in January 2015.

MXM2 module runs Linux on quad-core G-Series SoC

LXer Linux News - 3 hours 13 min ago
Cogent’s Linux-ready, MXM2 “CSB1790″ COM gives you a choice of AMD G-Series SoCs plus PCIe and dual SATA ports, one of which can drive an onboard SSD. The CSB1790 computer-on-module is somewhat similar to the CSB1890T10-Q15 announced by Cogent Computer Systems last December. However, there are some key distinctions here, including a different form-factor, the […]

Canberra’s CBRfree Wi-Fi network launches at last

ITWire - 3 hours 42 min ago

Civic East the first part of Canberra's CBRfree Wi-Fi network to go permanently online with 250MB per user download per day, with another 11 business districts to be progressively wired up for free Wi-Fi by June 2015. 

Billed as Australia’s most ambitious free Wi-Fi project, the ACT Government is wiring up 12 of Canberra’s business districts with free Wi-Fi with its selected partner, iiNet, with Civic East finally going live today on a permanent basis post-Floriade's CBRfree Wi-Fi access.  

Originally set to only offer a paltry 100MB per day, which iiNet has boosted to 250MB at no extra cost to the ACT Government, Civic East’s CBRfree Wi-Fi access was launched earlier today by the ACT Chief Minister, Katy Gallagher.

The free network’s expansion into a business district area following its successful deployment at the national capital’s Floriade flower show, which ran this year from the 13th of September to the 12th of October, was reported by the Fairfax press, but with no announcement on the ACT Government home page media release section at the time of publication. 

The success of the Floriade deployment is explained at the ACT Govt’s media release on the matter, along with iiNet’s, which is much more detailed on the work undertaken to wire up the parkland Floriade is held in each year which stands ready for use during future events hereafter.

Fairfax Media quoted Chief Minister Gallagher stating: "This is a significant moment for Canberra and represents the ACT Government's commitment to our future as a smart and digital city.
 
"It will encourage vibrant town centres where Canberrans are connected to their community and are able to engage with Government services easily."

{loadposition alex08}The exact area covered by Civic East was reported as being “from Garema Place to the Convention Centre, round to Gorman House and up to Girrahween Street in Braddon”, with the 250MB of daily data reported to be enough to “send about 15,000 emails, make 1500 Facebook posts, download about 525 songs or 1500 photos each month.”

Naturally, those figures are for things in isolation - if you do any combination of those things you will chew up your data faster, and if you watch YouTube videos, download large files, let your phone download app or other operating system updates over Wi-Fi or use anything on your phone that uses up a lot of data, 250MB could be reached very quickly.

It is yet to be seen how big a problem this will or won’t be, but if users have set up automated downloads on iOS or Android for when they are connected to their Wi-Fi networks at home or work, hitting the limit unexpectedly quickly could frustrate some users who simply weren’t expecting it to happen.

iiNet said in mid September that the CBRfree network is being rolled out progressively over “the next nine months”.

Over 700 Cisco wireless access points will be installed in those 12 district, with Civic East now having been achieved on time at the end of October, with iiNet stating that “remaining areas, covering the commercial centres of Belconnen, Dickson, Woden, Tuggeranong, Bruce, Manuka-Kingston, Gungahlin, Weston Creek, along with the tourist precincts of Parkes, will be finished by June next year.”

Business users will likely be advised by their IT and security staff to use 3G/4G USB modems, USB hotspots or their own phone's Internet hotspot capabilities along with a VPN to be on the safe side, or simply their phone's existing mobile broadband allocation, but for tourists and citizens the availability of a free allocation of daily data 

Although free Wi-Fi will be a boon for tourists or those who have already used up their data plans or don't want to go through them so quickly, every user will have to learn to be wary of potentially rogue Wi-Fi networks with similar names such as CBRFree instead of CBRfree, or variations such as cbrFREE, CBRFREE, CBRFREEE, cbrfree, CBRfrEe, CBRFree1 or any number of other combinations, through which knowledgeable hackers could sniff information not sent by VPN or sites with HTTPS and the lock symbol in the address bar, alongside other man-in-the-middle attacks.

The danger of rogue Wi-Fi networks already exists so it is nothing new, so it will be interesting to see how the ACT Government and iiNet patrol its airwaves for rogue Wi-Fi network operators (if they do at all) and whether cybercriminals will or won't bother to try some cyber fishing (and phishing) to see what they might catch!

In the meantime, be careful of any public Wi-Fi network you connect to, a VPN for your PC, Mac, smartphone and tablet is always something handy to have in the event you find yourself needing to connect to a free Wi-Fi network, so be careful out there - they don't still call it the World 'Wild' Web for nothing!

In the meantime, Canberrans, enjoy your new free Wi-Fi, with less time to go than it wil take for the next new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus to arrive before Canberra's 12 busines district CBRfree Wi-Fi network is complete. 

Quick Hits: Sunset Overdrive – Xbox One

ITWire - 3 hours 54 min ago


Those masters of whacky weapons, Insomniac Games have made the jump from creating PlayStation exclusives to release an Xbox One exclusive open-world action game full of colour and movement.  Can it boost the Microsoft consoles sales?


Sunset Overdrive is being sold individually and bundled in with Xbox One units giving it a profile that Microsoft is hoping will entice potential new owners to the platform.  

Unfortunately the game doesn’t make a great initial impression.  If you are old enough, remember sitting down to a game of Pac man?  Remember how the presentation was clear and defined?  Everything you needed to know was presented in minimalist way, with the clarity of ghosts, maze, pills, fruit and titular munching Pac man all contributing to the game experience.

Fast-forward a few years, game design and processing power has made giant strides, but the result can be overwhelming to new comers.  Sunset Overdrive has so much happening on screen that initially it is a sensory overload that feels out of control.

Your bro (or whatever the female version is) is a cross between skater dude/dudette and Chuck Norris (almost literally, my first custom design was a female with cargo pants and CN styled facial hair!).  Trapped in a world gone made full of spawning mutants affected by the latest craze energy soft-drink.

You madly jump around the colourful cityscape, grinding rails or power lines and bouncing off cars, umbrellas, awnings and other objects to traverse the environment.  This can involve grinding around structures in a circuitous motion whilst requiring the player to blast away at mutants on various levels and occasionally melee attack as mutants climb up onto your rail.

It’s mayhem, and initially overwhelming to new players, there is an early mission where your avatar must defend a compound from rampaging mutants, and it’s tough!.  You are still coming to grips with your abilities, combining movement, weapon combos and gaining a familiarity of the map and the pressure is already on to ensure you are not overrun.

It can be discouraging, particular since the game then throws the concept of Amps (skill bonus boosts applied to both the player and weapons carried) as well as the requirements to “cook” said Amps.

The auto aim is generous, the explosions massive and the electro-pop raucous.  And eventually you come to terms with it all and begin to enjoy it all.  Understanding effectiveness of weapons, managing the traversal, and getting familiar with the maps as well as ignoring the occasional bug all add to the enjoyment.

{loadposition mike08}Insomniac Games, along with weapon design, also prides itself on humour, and there is plenty of fourth-wall busting gags to be had with Sunset Overdrive.  Occasionally it falls a little flat, but overall the cut-scenes, the mission design and the characters add a levity that doesn’t push too hard for laughs.

Sunset Overdrive should be popular, once over the initial learning curve of controls and craziness there is plenty of smile inducing content to be had along the way.

Should I buy it?  If you like tongue-in-cheek open-world mayhem that is both forgiving at times and challenging at others then the answer is Yes.

Easy Watermarking with ImageMagick

LXer Linux News - 4 hours 10 min ago
Let's start with some homework. Go to Google (or Bing) and searchfor "privacy is dead, get over it". I first heard this from BillJoy, cofounder of Sun Microsystems, but it's attributed to a number oftech folk, and there's an element of truth to it. Put something on-lineand it's in the wild, however much you'd prefer to keep it undercontrol.

Lightweight DBMS guides Linux-based cow feeding robot

LXer Linux News - 5 hours 7 min ago
Ittia announced a design win for its lightweight embedded DB SQL database in Wasserbauer’s uClibc Linux based “Butler Gold” robot designed to feed cattle. The Ittia DB SQL database and its antecedents, including .db*, have shipped in a wide variety of devices, including a circa 2005, Linux-based Oshkosh A3 HEMTT tactical truck. The lightweight, Linux- […]

Game of TV Thrones: Foxtel, HBO extend partnership

ITWire - 5 hours 11 min ago

Foxtel is seeking to remain seated in the pay/subscription TV throne with its deal to exclusively extend its agreement with HBO to air its top-rated TV shows.

Foxtel will offer “exclusive access” to all of HBO’s first run shows - and not just TV shows but movies, miniseries, seasons of series, comedy specials, docos and the “Anytime (On Demand)” access to complete seasons - and complete past seasons.

Australia’s 800-tonne pay TV gorilla, Foxtel, broadcasts HBO programming on the aptly named Showcase channel, and as you’d expect, this includes “Game of Thrones, True Detective, Girls, The Leftovers, Looking” and many more.

The company says that it is about to launch its BoxSets channel, with this new agreement coming just in time to fill the channel to the brim with HBO content.

Foxtel’s CEO Richard Freudenstein said, “HBO is one of the world’s most impressive television brands. Together, we have forged a fantastic legacy of entertaining Australians with the best drama available.”

“We’re thrilled to extend our exclusive relationship even further to ensure we are able to deliver our customers the entertainment they love and expect from us across Foxtel and Foxtel Play.”

{loadposition alex08}HBO’s Chairman and CEO, Richard Plepler said: “Foxtel has been a wonderful partner and we couldn't be happier that they will remain the home of HBO original programming in Australia.”

“The range and variety of our acclaimed programming combined with Foxtel's innovative viewing platforms makes for a valuable consumer proposition.”

Foxtel’s new pricing, which will come into effect on the 3rd of November, will lower prices in the hope that its much smaller pay TV competitors alongside online streaming threats from QuickFlix, the expected Netflix onslaught and more are deflected as much as possible.

To sweeten the deal for existing customers, Foxtel says they’ll get “additional content at no extra cost and for many of them showcase, the home of HBO and BoxSets will be key features.”

But is it all enough to ensure Foxtel stays firmly seated upon its throne? Let the games… continue!

Why Microsoft loves Linux

LXer Linux News - 6 hours 4 min ago
Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer may have hated Linux, but new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says Microsoft loves Linux. What changed Microsoft's mind?

Android's dominance in Europe crushes Windows Phone

LXer Linux News - 7 hours 1 min ago
In today's Android roundup: Windows Phone is in deep trouble in Europe as Android reigns supreme. Plus: LG sells 16.8 million Android phones, and Android 5.0 Lollipop's security features.

Webroot with the lot for Pizza Hut

ITWire - 7 hours 56 min ago

Increasing downtime due to malware led Pizza Hut to adopt Webroot's cloud-based security service.

When Pizza Hut's IT team realised that 20% of stores had suffered downtime because their POS systems had become infected with malware. In extreme cases, it took a full day to reimage the computers.

"This was an alarming figure because downtime in stores, especially during peak hours, means a huge risk in losing business and ultimately revenue," said Pizza Hut field systems analyst Ross Portas.

The incumbent signature-based security software was therefore found wanting, and extensive research led to a shortlist of two candidates.

{loadposition stephen08}Webroot's cloud-based approach to security, zero-day threat protection, low resource consumption, and journalling and rollback features led to a 10-day trial, which resulted in its adoption across all Pizza Hut franchises in Australia.

In the first three months of use, downtime was reduced by 80% and only occurred in one store.

With this 'set and forget' real-time, cloud-based security software, that keeps organisations protected in the background, Pizza Hut's IT team now has the flexibility and time to focus on improving other areas of the business," Portas said.

Microsoft Band (not banned) - its health fitness wearable!

ITWire - 7 hours 57 min ago

When things are banned they usually increase in desirability, but Microsoft’s new fitness health band wearable is unlikely to be banned anytime soon - with its screen on the opposite side you’d expect!

Fitness wearables are going ballistic, what with the upcoming Apple Watch, the new range from Fitbit, all the Fitbit wannabes and clones, Samsung’s Gear Fit, Lenovo’s new wearable and all the rest.

The big question for some was when Microsoft was going to jump into the fray, especially after the company’s failed Spot Watch from a decade or more ago.

Now comes the Microsoft Band, a fitness wearable with its screen on the “bottom” of your wrist, so instead of looking at the top of your wrist where a watch face would normally be, you’re looking at the inside of your wrist, which is actually pretty cool.

I’ve seen people wear their watches like that, so it’s not a new concept, as such, but it is from the point of view that Microsoft is specifically designing a device to work in that manner.

Microsoft says its Band “provides a balance of fitness and productivity benefits including guided workouts from fitness professionals, continuous heart rate monitoring, calorie burn measurement, sleep quality tracking and delivery of notifications including calls, emails, texts and social updates as well as access to Cortana.”

The Band is available nationwide in the U.S. via Microsoft Stores and online at MicrosoftStore.com for US $199.

Microsoft Australia’s statement on local availability is as follows:

“We are taking our first steps to empower people to achieve more with their health with the announcement of Microsoft Health, a platform that makes tracking personal fitness easier, more insightful and more holistic, and the first device to be powered by Microsoft Health, the Microsoft Band, a cross-platform smart band for fitness enthusiasts who want to live healthier and be more productive combining advanced fitness tracking capabilities with the useful features of a smartwatch.”

“This is just the beginning of a multi-year vision for Microsoft in the health & fitness and wearables category. We want to enter this space in a deliberate and measured fashion and as such are launching first in the United States. The Microsoft Health app is available on Windows Phone, Android and iOS devices and the Microsoft Band is available starting Oct 30 in the U.S. at Microsoft Stores and online at www.microsoftstores.com for US$199.”

{loadposition alex08}Microsoft’s blog to introduce its entire Microsoft Health concept is here, while the official and very snazzy-looking Microsoft Band site is here. The official video introducing the band is embedded below.

Microsoft’s full media release explaining a lot more background is here, and if you’re interested, it is a must read!

Apparently years in the making, as with the Microsoft Health concept, it is a “new security-enhanced cloud platform that stores and analyzes all of this data”, and of course Microsoft tells us that is has “transformed the engineers’ personal health and fitness” - the engineers who created the band.

Naturally there is a continuous heart rate monitoring feature, which you’d expect these days (and as Fitbit has just itself announced and will deliver from early 2015 in its Fitbit HR and Fitbit Surge devices.)

While the Band can be used with iOS and Android devices as well as with Windows Phone 8.1 smartphones, you only get access to Cortana, which is Microsoft’s intelligent personal assistant reminiscent of Apple’s Siri.

It’s not just for fitness data but you can see messages, appointments and other related data - as you’d expect from a modern smartwatch/smart band.

Just a couple of the many, many quotes in the background link above include:

Zulfi Alam, GM of Microsoft’s Personal Devices division explained how the fitness component of the band can work, stating: “Imagine you’ve set the goal that you want to get fit and lose weight as part of your exercise routine. Based on your burn rate and exercise over one week, we will soon be able to auto-suggest a customized workout plan for you. As you follow that plan – or if you don’t follow the plan – our technology will continue to adjust to give you the best outward-looking plan, like a real coach would do.”

Matt Barlow, GM of Marketing for Personal Devices, said: “We always insisted that the band had to work not just with Windows but with iOS and Android. As we built Microsoft Health, we started thinking, ‘Why should Microsoft Band be the only device that feeds into and benefits from this service?’ We want it connect to any device customers are using to track their health and fitness. We want to remove any and all barriers to providing insights back to customers, regardless of the device they are wearing.”

Check out the links above for a lot more detail, with the must-read media backgrounder here.

The official video is embedded below:

OpenStack Paris Summit Could be a Turning Point for Project

LXer Linux News - 7 hours 58 min ago
The OpenStack Summit next week in Paris could represent a pivotal moment in the history of the project. That's because it's attracted wide attention this year, and has become the open source project of the moment. The question is where does it go from here?

Intelledox hires former Atlassian CFO

ITWire - 8 hours 33 min ago

Business process digitalisation specialist Intelledox has appointed John Bruce-Smith as chief financial officer.

"John Bruce-Smith's appointment as chief financial officer comes at an exciting time for Intelledox as we make our SaaS-enabled business process solutions - such as HR on-boarding and corporate travel requests - accessible to both SMEs and enterprise," said co-founder and CEO Phillip Williamson.

"I warmly welcome John to our team and look forward to working together to drive growth both in Australia and internationally."

Bruce-Smith was most recently principal financial consultant at The Growth Execs, and previously spent five years as CFO at Atlassian Software.

{loadposition stephen08}His resumé includes a number of other senior roles, including international business commercial manager at Tabcorp, assistant CFO at AWA, and finance director at Chubb Security in Hong Kong.

He started his career as an auditor at Arthur Andersen.

Bruce-Smith is a chartered accountant. He holds a diploma of financial management and a bachelor's degree in financial administration from the University of New England, an MBA from Macquarie Graduate School of Management, and a diploma of company directorship from the Institute of Company Directors.

Three great Android tools for Linux and Windows sysadmin

LXer Linux News - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 23:58
Because Android devices are portable computers and quite powerful at that, it's not much of a stretch to imagine performing the same tasks you can perform from a desktop or laptop. This tutorial shows how to connect to a remote server

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by Dr. Radut.