Here’s China’s latest plan to keep its citizens from the open Internet

The Chinese government is cracking down on a key technology that Web surfers use to protect their privacy and get around online censorship, according to Bloomberg News.

Some of the country’s biggest telecom companies — Bloomberg lists state-run China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom — are being instructed to block customers from using virtual private networks, a technology that redirects a person’s Internet traffic through other servers to make it look like they are connected to the Web from someplace else.

For years, Chinese citizens have used VPNs to circumvent the country’s Great Firewall, the colloquial term for blocks and restrictions imposed on the Internet by Beijing in an effort to ensure that only a filtered version of the Web is visible to most of the country. VPNs have allowed tech-savvy Chinese Internet users to access restricted news sites and social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook.

China has periodically clamped down on Internet users’ attempts to evade the Great Firewall. The last such campaign took place in 2016, prompting widespread reports of VPN outages. But the government has intensified its attack on VPNs in recent months. In January, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology ruled that all VPNs that did not seek government approval to operate would be deemed illegal. Since then, a slew of VPN providers have been forced to shut down, citing regulatory warnings. Under President Xi Jinping, the VPN crackdown is part of an effort to “clean up” the Chinese Internet and enhance the country’s “cyber sovereignty,” the government has said.

The moves will make it harder for the average Chinese citizen, who may not be tech savvy, to find a way to access the open Internet, said Adam Segal, a cybersecurity expert and China scholar at the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations.

“Bad,” he said of the implications of the ban. “Getting around [it] will require using VPNs based outside of the mainland or setting up and using [one’s] own VPN servers, additional barriers for the individual user.”

Other analysts say China’s latest move raises the risk of even further action by the government down the road.

“It is clear that the crackdown has intensified,” said Charlie Smith, the pseudonymous co-founder of GreatFire.org, a website that monitors China’s Internet filtering and maintains an app to help Internet users get past the restrictions. “The authorities could take other steps to block our app, which would be extreme, more extreme than this. I didn’t think they would consider doing that before but I would say it is a possibility now.”

Commercial VPNs operate commonly worldwide. Many saw a flurry of interestfrom U.S. customers in the spring, as a Republican-led rollback of federal privacy protections prompted American Internet users to seek ways to shield their Web browsing activity from their own broadband providers. U.S. Internet providers said that adjusting the privacy protections could help them mine, store and share their customers’ Internet usage history to sell advertising and compete with major online advertisers, such as Google and Facebook.

[“Source-washingtonpost”]

Samsung Gear S3 UK release date announced, pre-order now open

After the Samsung Gear S2 won Wearable of the Year at the T3 Awards 2016, we’ve been eagerly waiting for the Samsung Gear S3 to get a concrete release date.

Well, luckily for us, that has just happened, with the new series launching on November 11, 2016. In addition, UK pre-orders for the Samsung Gear S3 are also now live.

Two models are available for pre-order, the Samsung Gear S3 Classic and Samsung Gear S3 Frontier, both of which retail for £349.

With a promised 4-day battery life, 360 x 360 Fullcolor AOD display with Corning® Gorilla® Glass SR+, wireless charging, 4GB of on-board storage, Exynos 7270, 1Ghz dual-core processor and super fast Tizen OS 2.3.2 OS, the Samsung Gear S3 looks like it could become the new king of the smartwatch market.

Naturally, T3.com will have a full review coming shortly, so keep your eyes peeled to the site over the next week or two.

 

 

[Source:- T3]

Open Color – UI-Optimized color scheme for designers

open color scheme

How much time do you waste toying around while choosing the right colors scheme for your designs? With Open Color you have access to a predefined color scheme made specifically for screen design.

The colors range across the entire spectrum with very dull and very bright color choices. Designers can work with these color choices and combine them without the hassle of designing their own color scheme from scratch.

Open Color is a completely free open source tool and it’s hosted on GitHub for anyone to access. These color choices are specifically made for UI designers and they work great for all web and mobile app projects.

The site even has free palette resources you can download for importing palettes into your design workflow. You’ll find palettes for Sketch, Photoshop, Illustrator, and InkScape with others hopefully on the way in the future.

There’s even an online Adobe library for this color scheme set as a linkable asset.

So if you really like the Open Color selection you can download the entire color palette for any design program and keep it handy every step of the way.

On the ingredients page you’ll learn how these colors were selected and why they blend so well together.

But there’s also a documentation page for getting started if you want to run these color schemes with Sass or Less. From Photoshop to CSS this is one of the easiest color schemes to get up and running.

You’ll find a few handy guides currently in progress under the “instructions” dropdown. The only completed page is the grayscale guide which is very detailed and offers some tips for building contrast between page elements. The other guides are still in the works but should be finished soon.

If you design digital interfaces then Open Color is a very handy resource to keep nearby. Check out the project page to learn more and if you want a local copy you can download the source right from GitHub.

 

 

 

[Source:- Hongkiat]

New open source software for high resolution microscopy

The images show a liver cell before and after processing the data with the software developed at Bielefeld University.
Credit: Photo: Bielefeld University

With their special microscopes, experimental physicists can already observe single molecules. However, unlike conventional light microscopes, the raw image data from some ultra-high resolution instruments first have to be processed for an image to appear. For the ultra-high resolution fluorescence microscopy that is also employed in biophysical research at Bielefeld University, members of the Biomolecular Photonics Group have developed a new open source software solution that can process such raw data quickly and efficiently. The Bielefeld physicist Dr. Marcel Müller reports on this new open source software in the latest issue of Nature Communications published on 21 March.

Conventional light microscopy can attain only a defined lower resolution limit that is restricted by light diffraction to roughly 1/4 of a micrometre. High resolution fluorescence microscopy makes it possible to obtain images with a resolution markedly below these physical limits. The physicists Stefan Hell, Eric Betzig, and William Moerner were awarded the Nobel Prize in 2014 for developing this important key technology for biomedical research. Currently, one of the ways in which researchers in this domain are trying to attain a better resolution is by using structured illumination. At present, this is one of the most widespread procedures for representing and presenting dynamic processes in living cells. This method achieves a resolution of 100 nanometres with a high frame rate while simultaneously not damaging the specimens during measurement. Such high resolution fluorescence microscopy is also being applied and further developed in the Biomolecular Photonics Group at Bielefeld’s Faculty of Physics. For example, it is being used to study the function of the liver or the ways in which the HI virus spreads.

However, scientists cannot use the raw images gained with this method straight away. ‘The data obtained with the microscopy method require a very laborious mathematical image reconstruction. Only then do the raw data recorded with the microscope result in a high-resolution image,’ explains Professor Dr. Thomas Huser, head of the Biomolecular Photonics Group. Because this stage requires a complicated mathematical procedure that has been accessible for only a few researchers up to now, there was previously no open source software solution that was easily available for all researchers. Huser sees this as a major obstacle to the use and further development of the technology. The software developed in Bielefeld is now filling this gap.

Dr. Marcel Müller from the Biomolecular Photonics Group has managed to produce such universally implementable software. ‘Researchers throughout the world are working on building new, faster, and more sensitive microscopes for structured illumination, particularly for the two-dimensional representation of living cells. For the necessary post-processing, they no longer need to develop their own complicated solutions but can use our software directly, and, thanks to its open source availability, they can adjust it to fit their problems,’ Müller explains. The software is freely available to the global scientific community as an open source solution, and as soon as its availability was announced, numerous researchers, particularly in Europe and Asia, requested and installed it. ‘We have already received a lot of positive feedback,’ says Marcel Müller. ‘That also reflects how necessary this new development has been.’

[Source:- Sciencedaily]

Apple makes Swift open source, so its influence will reach beyond the walled garden

As promised back in June, Apple just open-sourced the Swift programming language that developers use to build apps for Macs and iOS devices. While this might not mean much for regular folks who use those apps, for developers, it’s a huge step forward.

Apple is known for creating walled gardens, and that includes the code used to create apps for its ecosystem. Before last year’s rollout of Swift, the company used Objective-C, which was completely closed off—developers couldn’t modify the language at all. That’s not exactly detrimental—apps like LinkedIn, Yahoo Weather, and Clear have switched entirely to Swift for their iOS apps.

But by open-sourcing the language and creating a database at Swift.org, Apple is opening the door for developers to modify Swift to create cross-platform apps—and that could be good news for people who’ve never even used Apple products. Developers can also submit improvements to Swift, which is huge.

Apple isn’t porting Swift to other platforms itself, but developers can find the raw Swift compiler and standard library on Swift.org that will allow them to run code on Linux servers, Android, Windows, and, of course, Apple’s own platforms: iOS, OS X, and newbies watchOS and tvOS.

[Source:- PCadvisor]

Microsoft to open source Chakra JavaScript engine

Microsoft will open up its Chakra JavaScript engine as an open-source project on GitHub next month.

The code repository, called ChakraCore, will include the key components of Chakra engine used for its Edge browser, according to a blog post.

Like many other vendors, Microsoft built its own JavaScript engine in 2008 as the coding language became increasingly crucial to the Web and for many other uses, including mobile apps, cloud services, NoSQL databases, game engines and front-end tools.

Microsoft has applied Chakra in many Windows applications in Xboxes, its phones and operating system.

In a performance table, Microsoft claims that Chakra is faster than competing engines in Google’s Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox browsers, as well as its own Internet Explorer 11 browser.

ChakraCore can stand on its own and is not dependent on components in the Edge browser in order to parse, interpret, compile or execute JavaScript.

ChakraCore will initially only be available for Windows when its released in January, but plans call for bringing it to other platforms. After the repository is available, Microsoft is going to provide guidance on its initial priorities.

“The community is at the heart of any open source project, so we look forward to the community cloning the repository, inspecting the code, building it, and contributing everything from new functionality to tests or bug fixes,” Microsoft wrote.

[Source:- PCadvisor]