All posts on October, 2016


Tiny robots are exploring history’s most iconic shipwrecks

Underwater explorers no longer need to get their feet wet to uncover some of history’s most notable shipwrecks. Oxygen tanks and flippers are being replaced by underwater robots. Sam Macdonald is the president of Deep Trekker, a Canadian company that makes underwater bots. Since Deep Trekker’s creation in 2010, the company’s robots have become a standard in the aquaculture industry, but, Macdonald says, that wasn’t the original intent. 

“One night I dropped a flashlight off my boat and I started thinking about having an underwater robot that we could do things with including retrieving lost items, but also for exploring all of these ship wrecks,” Macdonald said.

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Next step after Node.js: Framework for ‘universal’ JavaScript apps

The Next.js framework for server-rendered “universal” JavaScript apps is going open source.

Built on top of the React JavaScript library, the webpack module bundler and the Babel JavaScript compilerNext.js is a minimalistic framework for server-rendered React applications. It’s offered by development tools builder Zeit and installed via npm “We created Next.js because we believe universal isomorphic applications are a big part of the future of the web,” Next’s developers said.

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Dell/EMC, SnapRoute reinforce OpenSwitch networking features

Looking to broaden the qualities of its open source stack, the OpenSwitch project said SnapRoute and Dell EMC will add new features to its network operating system.

Specifically, the new contributions include:

  • SnapRoute’s open source network stack and management services, which support a modular, hardware independent NOS, accessible through a complete set of APIs.
  • Dell EMC’s OS10 Open Edition, which represents an open, disaggregated base subsystem incorporating hardware and platform abstraction layers for networking switching applications. On top of OS 10 base module run application modules which include traditional Layer 2/3 networking functions and other IP, fabric, security, and management and automation tools from Dell, Linux, third-parties and the open source community.

“OpenSwitch is now one step closer to providing the data center community with an open source network operating system that enables organizations to focus on developing innovative networking solutions, which can exploit Cavium’s extensible switch architecture to address rapidly changing market needs,” said Albert Fishman, Linux Foundation OpenSwitch project marketing chair and senior technical marketing manager of Cavium Switching Platform Group.

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IDG Contributor Network: 5 lessons learned from building a data pipeline

There is no clear winner in the debate of whether to buy or build software.

The arguments for both sides are plentiful, and the decision is one that can have a huge impact on an organization’s resources, operations, and funds. In fact, customers frequently ask my team: Why should I buy instead of build?

Through these conversations, we discovered a need for a fully-managed data pipeline. And after much consideration, we decided to build one that could service the needs of a number of media companies.

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Just a test? If only!

The yearly testing of our incident response protocol was on my radar for later this year, but circumstances moved it up on the agenda and turned it from a tabletop exercise to a real-world crisis.

What precipitated the crisis was the distributed denial-of-service attack against DNS provider Dyn on Oct. 21. Calls started coming in around 8:30 a.m. EDT, just as our East Coast customers were arriving to work and attempting to log in to my company’s cloud-based software-as-a-service applications. By 9:30, more than 200 had been logged. That’s when I got involved.

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FBI allegedly knew about Clinton-related emails for weeks

Some people are calling for FBI Director James Comey’s head, claiming he violated the Hatch Act, a federal law passed in 1939 to stop federal employees and programs from showing political bias or using their position to influence or interfere with an election.

Richard W. Painter, who served as the ethics attorney for former President George W. Bush (let that sink in), took to the New York Times to express his opinion that Comey violated the “Hatch Act or government ethics rules. The rules are violated if it is obvious that the official’s actions could influence the election, there is no other good reason for taking actions, and the official is acting under pressure from persons who obviously do want to influence the election.”

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IDG Contributor Network: Microsoft Surface Studio versus Apple MacBook Pro: A (tech) tale as old as time

There’s a new battle for your hard-earned computing dollars.

The current skirmish is one for the ages, though. It’s Microsoft against Apple, the Mac versus Windows, the laptop versus the desktop.

This time, the desktop looks pretty dang appealing. The Surface Studio screen pivots down to become a canvas. There’s a Dial you use directly on the screen to select colors and effects in Adobe Photoshop. The same pen you use with the Surface Book works with the desktop, so you might as well buy a couple of spares.

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New ARM GPU could bring VR to low-cost smartphones by 2018

Today, a robust, VR-capable smartphone could cost you more than $500. But a new GPU from ARM could make VR a default feature in low-cost handsets by 2018.

ARM’s Mali-G51 GPU is targeted toward budget smartphones and has the horsepower to handle VR applications. It can bring VR to mainstream handsets priced around $200.

Today, 4K and virtual reality are mostly limited to high-end handsets like Samsung’s Galaxy S7, which allows users to hook up to a VR headset to roam virtual worlds.

Google’s DayDream VR system will initially come to some high-end smartphones, but ARM’s Mali G-51 could bring that technology to low-end handsets. DayDream requires handsets to include specific features to be VR compatible.

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