One of the Internet's core building blocks has a vulnerability that leaves hundreds or thousands of apps and hardware devices vulnerable to attacks that can take complete control over them. There is a patch available for Linux-based devices that do domain-name lookups, but it will take time to patch them all.
Twitch Installs Arch Linux — Remember how chaotic Twitch Plays Pokemon was? Now we have a much harder challenge: install Arch Linux. Every ten seconds, the most popular keystroke in Twitch chat will be entered into an Arch Linux virtual machine. [more inside]
what makes a good community?
The thing is, reaching the goal of a diverse community is a step-by-step process. There are no shortcuts. Each step has to be complete before the next level of cultural change is effective. It’s also worth noting that each step along the way benefits all community members, not just diverse contributors.Sarah Sharp writes about community building, shortly after her recent departure from linux kernel development.
Here is Android x86, an open source project which allows you to put Google's Android OS on PC hardware. While there is some software that won't work, it's surprisingly capable! While obviously best for netbooks it's capable of running on many laptops, or you could consider running it in a virtual machine if you just want to run Android software on your PC for a bit. Here's the download page (the proper boot media can be found under "Android-x86-4.4") and installation instructions.
Micah Lee at The Intercept provides a deep and wide introduction to encryption (with a clever but helpful Romeo & Juliet framing device) then brings us all the way through the doorframe, past thinking or talking about it—Chatting in Secret while we're all being watched. [more inside]
The headlines are exciting: "Clocks to read 11:59:60 as time lords add leap second" and "Global markets spooked by looming 'leap second'," as June 30, 2015 will be extended for one second to keep Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) close to the mean solar time, or UT1 because the Earth is constantly undergoing a deceleration caused by the braking action of the tides. So why are markets bracing for trouble and some suggesting you avoid air travel at that time? There are always a few more bugs to work out, as seen when the extra second "crashed the web" in 2012, and global outage of computerised check-in systems used by Qantas and Virgin Australia. [more inside]
Regular Human Basketball: A QWOP-like multiplayer game for Mac/Windows/Linux in which you play basketball as God and James Naismith intended—with the slight addition of thrusters, a magnet arm, and all-terrain wheels. Comes with realistic basketball commentary from real human commentators!
Should you trust an internet of proprietary software things? - "Richard Stallman, known for his instrumental role in the creation of Linux, has written an opinion piece arguing that nearly any operating system you might use today can be considered malware, and that goes for popular mobile platforms as well as desktop operating systems." (via; rms previously)
"libcaca pretends to be an acronym for 'Color AsCii Art', but really it's self-deprecating code: 'caca' means 'poo' in French."
The etymology of Debian package names .
The etymology of Debian package names .
Outer Wilds begins around a fire, like so many of the best stories do. When you step towards the crackling flames, you're offered a surprisingly whimsical option: press X to roast a marshmallow. Why not? You transform the sugary orb into a ball of flame. When you step back, however, you see that the world is about to get far, far bigger than a campfire, or even a planet. You're sitting at the base of a rocketship, as a nearby engineer explains that you're the astronaut about to blast off into space.[more inside]
All you need are the launch codes, and after a leisurely detour through your home planet where you pick up a few essential piloting skills, you suit up, buckle in, and launch your craft triumphantly into space, ready to explore the wonders of the universe.
Then the sun explodes.
The GNU Manifesto Turns Thirty: Maria Bustillos profiles Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Movement and author of the GNU Manifesto, which was published 30 years ago this month: The GNU Manifesto is characteristic of its author—deceptively simple, lucid, explicitly left-leaning, and entirely uncompromising… Stallman was one of the first to grasp that, if commercial entities were going to own the methods and technologies that controlled computers, then computer users would inevitably become beholden to those entities. This has come to pass, and in spades… “With software,” Stallman still frequently observes, “either the users control the program, or the program controls the users.”
Retro Terminal for Linux Old school terminals for people with enough sense to love CLIs, but not enough to use sane modern terminals. (And one other cool proggie.) [more inside]
What happens when you type google.com into your browser and press enter? [I]nstead of the usual story, we're going to try to answer this question in as much detail as possible. No skipping out on anything.
Use Linux or Tor? Search for information about online privacy? The NSA is keeping an eye on you [more inside]
netcat are a Seattle based free improvisation group that have released their album, Cycles Per Instruction as a Linux kernel module. [more inside]
Each week, the Internet Archive's tumblr account is completely transformed by a digital resident along a theme of their choosing. [more inside]
"Last April, I began working on a game. In October, I released it. This is the story of Eldritch." David Pitman tells the story of developing and selling the roguelike/FPS Eldritch, described as equal parts Lovecraft and Minecraft. Includes lots of lovely sales figures.
The initial beta release of SteamOS became available for download yesterday. Intended to run on Valve's emerging SteamBox platform [Prev] , you can also install it on a fairly modern desktop PC today, presuming it can match up with the adoption-limiting early hardware support requiring UEFI BIOS and Nvidia GPUs ("AMD and Intel graphics support coming soon!"). [more inside]
Explain Shell is a nifty little website created by Idan Kamara that takes the often horrid Linux command line man pages and makes them that much easier to understand, by breaking down a command like ssh(1) -i keyfile -f -N -L 1234:www.google.com:80 host into its component steps.
The schooner Nina was last heard from on June 4th, as it fought high winds and seas off the coast of New Zealand. It carried a crew of seven, including Evi Nemeth - well known to sysadmins for co-authoring The Unix System Administration Handbook. As of today, the search has been suspended, and all are presumed lost at sea.
If you are like me and always tinkering with UI fonts in Linux... Just tripped over Infinality which is a set of pretty nifty FreeType patches. Got it installed and my painfully tweaked Linux font settings look lovely.
2x0ng (and its predecessor, Xong) is a hybrid roguelikes that has the appearance, sound and mechanics of Atari age games. Levels are randomly generated, and the rules are up to you to discover. Here is a video review for your elucidation. Available for PC, Mac and Linux.
Seems like someone has invented the aim-assist. "Steve has just delivered a .338 Lapua Magnum round directly onto a target about the size of a big dinner plate at a range of 1,008 yards.that's ten football fields, or a tick over 0.91 kilometers. It's his very first try. He has never fired a rifle before today."
For about three years, the A.V. Club ran Sawbuck Gamer, a regular column reviewing the week's most notable free and cheap games across all platforms, from web games to handhelds to console downloadables. It's a treasure trove of content, especially since more literary sister site The Gameological Society took the helm, and it's publicized great desktop projects like the luscious platformer Frogatto (previously), feature-rich Super Mario Bros. X (previously), the evocative faux-web Digital: A Love Story (previously), interactive fiction gem Rover's Day Off, and the hyperkinetic RunMan: Race Around the World (previously). But if you're in the mood for something more immediate, why not start with a list of all the original column's free A-rated online titles? [more inside]
University builds inexpensive computer cluster with Raspberry Pi and Lego, and publishes a guide if you want to build your own.
Once a new technology rolls over you, if you're not part of the steamroller, you're part of the road. -- Stewart Brand
Steam to sell productivity software [main link]. Gabe's dislike of the Windows 8 app store [BBC] may be explained. It's particularly interesting given that Steam is about to launch on Linux [Valve] [previously on Mefi]; it's one app store across all three platforms. [more inside]
MooGNU is a copyleft alternative to nyancat Created by GNU/linux fans who are unable to enjoy the original because of "legal issues" MooGNU is a copyleft version of Nyancat, except obviously it is a GNU and has a slightly less catchy song.
John Goerzen, an IT development manager in Kansas and a developer for Debian, has been teaching his two sons, ages five and two, respectively, how to use Linux. [more inside]
Mythbusters' Tested Blog recently posted a special feature from the Toy Story 2 DVD, in which Pixar's Oren Jacob and Galyn Susman recounted how the files for the movie (just 10gb of data!) were almost lost due to both an erroneous Linux command and a bad backup. The folks at The Next Web: Media followed up with Mr. Jacob, and learned that the movie was actually tossed out and reworked from scratch again nine months prior to a release date that was set in stone, not by the computers, but by the filmmakers themselves: How Pixar’s Toy Story 2 was deleted twice, once by technology and again for its own good.
Many people are familiar with computer case modifications, thanks to the photogenic nature of mods. On the software side, most operating systems feature some potential for customization, though this is often limited to tweaking the colors and sounds. For some, this isn't enough. Enter "skinning," the casual term for interface customization. To a degree, the history of the media player Winamp (YT, 7:03; transcript with pictures) mirrors the history of skinning. From a version 0.2, a visually dull app in June 1997, to easy user customization in version 2 in September 1998, and the complexly customizable Winamp3 in August 2002. Wired captured something of the excitement at its peak in an article from 2000, before computing began shifting to more closed devices. Now approaching a post-WIMP (windows, icons, menus and a pointer) era, where skinning is done with alternative launchers. But for those still using traditional computers of one sort or another, it's not too late to modify your interface. [more inside]
The worst linux PC ever. Running on an 8-bit microcontroller.
…it takes two hours to boot up to a bash prompt, and four more to load up Ubuntu and login.
Adobe has partnered with Google to develop PPAPI, codename "Pepper", a modern API for browser plugins. New versions of Adobe Flash will be released only as part of Google Chrome for the Linux platform. The last version of the Flash plugin for mobile browsers will be 11.1, according to the newest Flash roadmap, released today.
Canonical's Ubuntu for Android offers a full Ubuntu Linux distribution running on a dual core Android smartphone when placed in a docking station. (photos) [more inside]
The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has begun releasing Security-Enhanced Android patches and tools, which port their Security-Enhanced Linux tools to Android devices. SEAndroid and SELinux provide mandatory access control designed to limit the amount of damage that rogue or exploited software can do. [more inside]
Here is Incursion: Halls of the Goblin King, a computer game that adapts the 3rd Edition rules of the Dungeons & Dragons game to roguelikes.
Here are some free tools for rescuing infected Windows systems: Windows Defender Offline Beta - Kaspersky Rescue Disk 10 - BitDefender Bootable CD - Avira Bootable CD - How To Geek provides instructions for scanning a system from an Ubuntu Live CD. For more info, click through.... [more inside]
Mint is a Debian-based Linux distro that is now the fourth most popular Operating System after Windows, Mac and Ubuntu, focusing on usability for those without previous GNU/Linux experience. With Ubuntu declining in popularity since the introduction of the tablet-oriented Unity desktop interface, Mint may be taking its old place.
"What would you like to see most in minix?" 20 years ago today, Linus Torvalds told the world about a small pet project he was working on. (Full thread.) An unnamed OS based in part on Minix, it would later become Linux, the operating system behind a huge swath of modern computing. Interestingly, the creator of Minix, Andrew Tanenbaum, was not very impressed by Linux, and publicly debated Linus and others in a very long Usenet argument. (Google Groups version.)
Self-proclaimed "avid, loyal Windows user" and PC World editor Tony Bradley spent 30 days immersing himself in Ubuntu Linux, and chronicled his experiences as a Linux newbie. His previous project: 30 Days with Google Docs (Via: 1, 2)
Twenty years ago today, the gaming world saw the launch of a truly landmark title: Sonic the Hedgehog. Developed as a vehicle for a new Sega mascot, the fluid, vibrant, cheery-tuned wonderland swiftly became the company's flagship product, inspiring over the ensuing decades an increasingly convoluted universe of TV shows, comic books, and dozens of games on a variety of systems (all documented in this frighteningly comprehensive TVTropes portal). And while in recent years the series has turned out more and more mediocre 3D and RPG efforts, the original games remain crown jewels of the 16-bit era. So why not kick off this anniversary by replaying the titles that started it all for free in your browser: Sonic the Hedgehog (1991), Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (1992), Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (1994), Sonic & Knuckles (1994). Or click inside for music, remakes, and other fun stuff! [more inside]
Bumblebee, a program that allows Nvidia's Optimus to be used in Linux, brings you an epic fail for your amusement this Friday. [via spacebar] [more inside]