Cyber boost: New operating system will improve Navy computing power

Cyber boost: New operating system will improve Navy computing power

Students in a Virginia Tech laboratory test Popcorn Linux–an operating system that can compile different programming languages into a single cyber tongue. Researchers say it could revolutionize how military and commercial computing systems perform. Credit: Dr. Binoy Ravindran

With support from the Office of Naval Research (ONR), Dr. Binoy Ravindran, an engineering professor at Virginia Tech, has designed a system that could revolutionize how military and commercial computing systems perform.

It’s called Popcorn Linux—an operating system that can compile different programming languages into a single cyber tongue.

“By applying Popcorn Linux to longtime, legacy Navy and Marine Corps computer systems, we can improve software without requiring thousands of man-hours to rewrite millions of lines of code,” said Dr. Wen Masters, head of ONR’s C4ISR Department. “This could yield significant savings in maintenance costs.”

Crunching huge amounts of data for complex applications like battlespace awareness and artificial intelligence requires extremely powerful processing. Unfortunately, many of the processors capable of this speak their own specialized software programming languages—and must be programmed to interact with each other.

To increase computing speed, microchip manufacturers in recent years have placed multiple processing units on individual chips. Take the iPhone 7, for example, which has four processors—two high-power (think of a Ford Mustang) and two low-power (think of a Toyota Prius)—to simultaneously dial phone numbers, open web pages, check text messages and take photos and videos.

That involves designating specialized “heterogeneous” processors to carry out specific tasks, like displaying graphics or web browsing. Each processor can be devoted to one specialty, rather than divided among several functions, resulting in much better, faster performance.

“Before, each processor was like one handyman re-modeling your entire bathroom,” said Dr. Sukarno Mertoguno, the ONR program officer sponsoring Ravindran’s research. “Heterogeneous processors, by contrast, represent an actual plumber installing the pipes and an actual painter painting the walls. Each processor has a specialty.”

But this specialization has problems—a “language” barrier. Each processor has its own set of instructions that only it understands. To address this, software developers must manually adjust code to determine which tasks should run on which processors—a tedious process, as extra features and updates are added regularly.

“This is especially true for Navy and Marine Corps software systems,” said Ravindran. “Many of these legacy systems were built in the 1970s or earlier, have numerous security patches and millions of lines of code, and represent a huge investment of time and money. How can Navy developers enjoy the benefits of next-generation heterogeneous processors without rewriting applications from scratch?”

Ravindran’s answer is Popcorn Linux, which can be used with any computer or device, and serves as a translation tool—taking generic coding language and translating it into multiple specialized program languages. From there, Popcorn Linux automatically figures out what pieces of the programming code are needed to perform particular tasks—and transfers these instruction “kernels” (the “popcorn” part) to the appropriate function.

While Popcorn Linux is still a proof-of-concept prototype created by Ravindran and his students, the system is about to enter a new phase of development.

“In our lab and academic setting, we’ve demonstrated that Popcorn Linux works well with respect to performance speed and power usage,” said Ravindran. “Later this year, we’ll work with industry partners to create a version of Popcorn Linux that can meet the strenuous industrial standards required by the Navy and Marine Corps.”

“We’re already hearing great enthusiasm from industry for Popcorn Linux,” said Masters. “We look forward to see how Dr. Ravindran and his team further develop this exciting system.”

[“Source-ndtv”]

3 Reasons Your Website Will Never Be Finished

Image result for 3 Reasons Your Website Will Never Be Finished

Say, I’ve got some news for you: Your company’s website will never be finished. You will never sit back, breathe a sigh of relief, and say, “Finally! We’ve got this thing wrapped up; now we can move onto other things.”

That is, this will never happen if you’re doing all you should with your website. And this adds up to some good news because if you’re constantly updating your site, you’ll develop an advantage over your competitors who aren’t.

 

Here are three reasons you should never stop working on your website:

1. Web design trends are evolving. Compare websites designed within the past few months with those designed a few years ago, and you’ll notice some differences. Web design trends can sometimes be mere fads, but often they are driven by changes in technology. Two modern trends in web design are flat design and responsive design.

Gradients, drop shadows, bevels and elements designed to resemble real objects have no place in flat web design. Proponents of flat design eschew the fancy in favor of simplicity, clean lines, bold colors and a focus on content and usability. Flat design also means cleaner code, faster-loading pages (good for SEO) and greater adaptability, which factors into the next trend.

Responsive web design means that a site responds to the various sizes of screens that people use to view websites. Today someone might look at a site on a desktop monitor, a tablet or a smartphone, which come in different sizes.

Years ago, most companies had either a separate mobile site that would be displayed for users on a tablet or smartphone and a full website that would appear for desktop users. But this strategy was less than ideal because those websites were geared toward only two screen sizes. Responsive websites take into account all screen sizes and adjust to provide an optimal experience for every user. This leads to greater website-visitor retention. As a result, companies today are ditching the dedicated desktop and mobile sites in favor of a single, responsive website. (FlatInspire.com displays websites that are both flat and responsive.)

 

2. Consumer preferences are changing. Customers expect something different from your website now than did two, five or 10 years ago. When high-speed internet became widely available, users started to anticipate rich content, such as high-resolution photography and HD videos. As desktop screens grew larger and wider, consumers looked for sites that would take advantage of the additional real estate.

This year the number of smartphone users worldwide is expected to surpass 1.75 billion, prompting a toward a move toward long, vertical websites that scroll.

Today’s consumers don’t want to waste time. Everyone is busy and wants to get to the point as efficiently as possible. Many companies have understood this to mean that content should be clear and concise.

While brevity may the the soul of wit, consumers don’t always want webpages short on content. What they want is high-quality content that delivers real value. Sometimes the best way to do this is through long-form content. Basecamp performed an experiment with long-form content on its home page and found signups for its project management software rose 37.5 percent.

Design agency Teehan+Lax embraces long-form content in its portfolio section, in a post about working with client Krush. The segment delivers value, by helping potential clients understand what the process of working with the company would be like. Long-form content is also good for  SEO.

 

3. Search engine optimization rules. The premise of SEO is that if a company sells widgets and its site shows up No. 1 in a Google search for the term “widgets,” then viewers will be drawn to that corporate site. But it may not be the only company desiring to market widgets. Therefore, the company’s task is to convince Google that when someone searches for widgets, any user arriving at the company’s website will find it especially appropriate for the search term. If users aren’t happy with Google’s search results, that’s bad for Google.

It used to be that a lot of SEO firms would trick Google into sending traffic to their clients’ websites. But Google employs thousands of people with doctorates to systematically filter out search engine spam. Google’s search algorithm updates like Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird have forced websites to provide real value to visitors or see their rankings in the search engines fall and traffic dry up. Although some aspects of SEO can be done just once (such as ensuring that you have a credible web-hosting firm and solid code on your website so that it loads quickly), here are some ongoing activities that companies can engage in to get good search-engine rankings and drive traffic to their site:

  • Attract inbound links from high quality, relevant websites.
  • Create content that people enjoy reading and want to share.
  • Update the corporate website frequently with high-quality content.
  • Keep up with design trends to make the website fresh and attractive.

Creating new content and attracting links can mean updating a blog and press section, or developing valuable informational resource sections like tips, FAQs; or articles. It also helps for the company to become an expert in your field and engage in online PR. And yes, even guest blog posting is still a viable tactic for link building, as long as it’s of high quality.

 

 

[Source:- Entrepreneur]

Best gap year tech: from Torino to Tokyo, these gadgets will help you have a great time

If you’re planning a gap year or packing for the trip of a lifetime, you’ll want to cram as many creature comforts into your backpack as possible, not to mention some tech on which to record and share some phenomenal views and bragging rights. We’re rounded up some near-essentials (aside from a huge backpack and warm coat) to make travelling easier and more exciting, whether you’re trekking through jungles and camping in the wild or catching trains and seeing the sights of Europe. Just don’t forget your toothbrush.

Sure, you’ll need a massive rucksack for lugging your worldly possessions from hostel to hostel, but it won’t be much use for sightseeing in a busy metropolis. Thankfully, there’s the Wolffepack that comes in many forms, including the ‘Capture’ for photographers that keeps all your tech, money and passport safe and sound.

Designed to allow users to reach into their bag without the hassle of unstrapping and taking it off, the backpacks all come with a  clever ‘orbital trapeze’ system that allows a wearer to swing the pack from their back to their front effortlessly. While this is a time saver, it’s also great if you want to keep your bag where you can see it on a sketchy street or busy train.

The Capture holds 26 litres and comes with a removable camera pod, three compartments, tripod clip, laptop sleeves and waterproof rain cover. With Carbon fibre, Kevlar and Dyneema cords, it’s also built to withstand the wildest of adventures.

GoPro HERO5 Action Camera

While serious photographers seldom travel without an SLR, the GoPro is brilliant for people on the go and perfect for recording bike rides and scenes you’ll want to remember in years to come. The HERO5 Black is dubbed the ‘best GoPro ever’ and supports video resolutions up to 4K at 30 frames per second, video stabilisation and stereo audio recording, as well as professional quality 12MP photos.

A simple one button control and two-inch touch display makes operating it a breeze and it’s waterproof without a housing up to 33 feet – great for recording a white water rapids ride or trip to a waterfall. Once users have recorded their envy-enduring footage, the HERO5 can auto-upload their photos and videos to the cloud for safe keeping and share it easily online. It makes bragging easy.

Cat S30 smartphone

You may be surgically attached to your iPhone or top-of-the-range Android in the city, but we all know dropping these handsets can prove to be an expensive mistake. Instead, why not invest in the Cat S30 handset. Built to be work in extreme environments, the water, dust and shockproof smartphone is designed to survive a 1.8-metre drop test and has an easy grip design as well as 12 hours talk time and up to 19 days standby – perfect if you’re staying in the back-of-beyond (or have mislaid your charger).

Price: £239.99 | Buy Cat S30 smartphone

Griffin Survivor Extreme

A tablet is a godsend when you’re pushed for space, working as a map, address book, novel, games console and internet café if you’re lucky. But they can be delicate, making a ruggedized case a sensible investment. Griffin Technology makes an array of ‘Survivor’ cases for different models, including the iPad Air 2 (pictured) to protect their backs and screens.

The new ‘Survivor Extreme’ is built to enable the iPad4 mini to survive drops onto concrete of up to 6.6-feet, cushioning falls within the impact-resistant shell. Its slide on design all but eliminates the air gap between touchscreen and the screen guard for extra protection, while its sealed shell protects the device from mud and water.

Price: £69 | Buy Griffin Survivor Extreme

ThermaCELL ProFLEx Heavy Duty Heated Insoles

Whether you’re trekking at high altitudes or staying in a drafty hostel, your toes can get chilly, especially once the sun has set. ThermaCELL ProFLEx Heavy Duty Heated Insoles heat up a user’s feet and can be controlled using a smartphone with a Bluetooth connection. The accompanying app lets users warm their feet to a chosen temperature. When this is reached, the insoles temporarily turn off before switching on again.

They’re cushioned to make walking boots more comfortable and include removable, replaceable extended life batteries so users can swap them out without having to wrangle their insoles out of their shoes or boots. One charge taking just two hours provides up to 8.5 hours of warmth. There are Bluetooth Pocket Warmers too for people who want heat on demand in a more flexible package.

 

 

[Source:- T3]

How LinkedIn will invade Windows and Office

It’ll soon become harder to avoid LinkedIn’s messages if you use Office or Windows.

Microsoft has revealed how it will start to integrate LinkedIn into its own email and other platforms, after European authorities approved its acquisition of the professional social network.

Following the approval, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella wrote in a note on LinkedIn how the social network would be used “to help professionals transform how they work, realise new career opportunities and connect in new ways”.

The immediate “integration scenarios” include the use of LinkedIn’s logins and network in Microsoft Outlook and Office, as well as letting LinkedIn users draft resumés in Word, presumably without switching to the productivity software.

One of the more controversial features will involve showing LinkedIn notifications inside the Windows action centre. While you’ll reportedly be able to disable the notifications, it means LinkedIn invitations and messages will pop up directly in Windows, rather than flooding your inbox as they do now.

Other changes include powering LinkedIn’s lookup search tools with Active Directory, making LinkedIn Learning tools available across Office 365 and the rest of Windows, and sharing ads between the two.

Nadella said the “top priority is to accelerate LinkedIn’s growth” – if you didn’t think LinkedIn was aggressive already, it’s about to become more so – but the Microsoft CEO believes there’s more to the acquisition than network effect.

“We also see a greater opportunity to help ensure that everyone can benefit from digital technology and the new opportunities created by the digital economy,” he wrote, adding that the tie-up between the companies will help “people develop new skills online, find new jobs and easily connect and collaborate with colleagues”.

Nadella added: “Technology alone will not solve these challenges, but together, working across private and public sectors, we can create more opportunity for everyone to participate and share in economic growth.”

 

 

[Source:- ITpro]

Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Charging Grip Will Be Sold Separately

Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Charging Grip Will Be Sold Separately

It’s come to light that the Joy-Con Grip, included in the $300 Nintendo Switch launch bundle, doesn’t let you charge your controllers while you play. Instead, you will need a separately sold Joy-Con Charging Grip, which costs $30 (about Rs. 2,000).

The standard Joy-Con Grip is merely a matte finish hanger for your pair of Joy-Con, which gives you the more traditional feel of a controller. It’s not the same thing as the one sold separately, unlike what you’d naturally assume.

The hint lies in the name – the one sold standalone is called a Joy-Con Charging Grip, which includes a USB slot unlike the grip sold with the Switch. That means the premium translucent $30 addition allows you to charge your pair of Joy-Con while your Switch device is docked into its station.

Not bundling this with the Switch seems like a bit of a cheap move on Nintendo’s part, which will most likely justify its omission to keep the base cost low. For what it’s worth, the Joy-Con has a battery life of around 20 hours, though it will get shorter with use.

It does take three and a half hours to charge them back though, so if you don’t get the Charging Grip, you won’t be able to play during that time in docked mode.

This also ties into the bigger issue of accessory cost that’s already piling up with the Switch – a Switch Pro Controller, more ergonomic and longer-lasting, costs $70 (about Rs. 4,800). An additional pair of Joy-Con, should you need one, will also run you $80 (about Rs. 5,400).

Nintendo is also not bundling a single game with the console, in a contrast to how Wii came with Wii Sports. Two launch titles that have a price tag – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and 1, 2, Switch – come in at $60 and $50 respectively (about Rs. 4,000 and Rs. 3,400).

 

 

[Source:- gadgets360]

Windows 10 Will Not Be Free For Enterprise?

Microsoft’s free upgrade offer for Windows 10 expired on July 29. Windows 10 Home currently costs $120, Windows 10 Pro costs $200 and upgrading from Windows 10 Home to Pro costs $100. Enterprise customers pay by volume pricing.

Back in January of 2015, Microsoft’s Terry Myerson revealed that Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for those using Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1. These customers will be able to get the upcoming operating system for free within one year after its release.

Myerson also branded Windows 10 as a “Windows-As-A-Service” platform given that it will be kept current for its supported lifetime. That’s a big step for Microsoft and good news for small businesses. Unfortunately, Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise are not part of the free Windows 10 upgrade program.

“Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise are not included in the terms of free Windows 10 Upgrade offer we announced last week, given active Software Assurance customers will continue to have rights to upgrade to Windows 10 enterprise offerings outside of this offer – while also benefiting from the full flexibility to deploy Windows 10 using their existing management infrastructure,” wrote Microsoft’s Jim Alkove in a recent Windows blog update.

Alkove went on to explain that with Windows 10, the company is taking a new approach to enterprise customers called “Current Branch for Business” and “Long-Term Servicing Branch.” For the latter, businesses can receive enterprise-level support by way of critical updates and the latest security fixes, but their Windows 10 devices will not automatically retrieve new features within the next five years after the platform’s release.

As for “Current Branch for Business,” businesses can install new features after they’re released to consumers and tested for compatibility on Windows 10 devices. Meanwhile, said devices will receive security updates as they’re released by Microsoft.

“This gives IT departments time to start validating updates in their environments the day changes are shipped broadly to consumers, or in some cases earlier, if they have users enrolled in the Windows Insider Program,” Alkove said. “By the time Current branch for Business machines are updated, the changes will have been validated by millions of Insiders, consumers and customers’ internal test processes for several months, allowing updates to be deployed with this increased assurance of validation.”

Alkove added that businesses can choose to get their Windows 10 updates through WSUS, which will allow IT departments to manually distribute features, or automatically through Windows Update.

Towards the end of the post, Alkove said that the first Windows 10 Long Term Servicing branch will be released alongside the consumer version of Windows 10 later this summer. He also expects to see businesses take a “mixed” approach in how Windows 10 devices will be kept current. Different users and systems will likely have different update schedules.

Businesses are encouraged to join the Windows Insider Program, download the latest Windows 10 Technical Preview, and provide feedback.

 

 
[Source:- Tomsitpro]

New Ethernet standards will offer up to 5Gbps performance using cables you already own

Catcables

Consumer Ethernet performance has been stuck at gigabit speeds for nearly 20 years. Apple was the first company to ship gigabit Ethernet in motherboards. Intel’s 875P chipset popularized the feature in the PC market by connecting the Ethernet controller to the northbridge, thereby offering improved performance. Thirteen years later, gigabit is still the standard for wired Ethernet — but that might be about to change, thanks to a new wired networking standard from the IEEE 802.3bz task force.

There are multiple reasons why we’ve been stuck on gigabit for as long as we have. 10GbE requires more expensive cabling — either fiber optic cable in some cases, or more expensive Cat6a or Cat7 cabling for others. It’s not as backwards-compatible with previous standards (half-duplex operation isn’t supported), and routers, switches, and network cards that can support 10GbE are all far more expensive than their gigabit counterparts.

But one simple reason gigabit Ethernet has stuck around so long is that it’s taken a long time for the average home network to demand enough bandwidth to saturate it. That’s slowly starting to change. Wireless performance improvements, the increased popularity of media streaming, and the slow rollout of gigabit fiber across the US (thanks in part to Google) are all signs that in the long run, we’re going to need a faster standard.

The two new IEEE standards, known as 2.5GBASE-T and 5GBASE-T, should satisfy that need. These two standards were specifically created to use 10GbE signaling, but at a rate that would be compatible with existing runs of Cat5e and Cat6 cable out to 100 meters. The 2.5Gbps standard can run on Cat5e out to 100 meters, while the 5Gbps standard requires Cat6 cable to run 100 meters. Both should be far easier — and cheaper — to bring to market than current 10GbE technologies.

Image by Wikipedia

This is still a long-term rollout for most of us. Typical homes and small offices pull more data from the internet than across local networks, and the vast majority of Americans don’t have access to gigabit yet. Home and small office networks may also still require new hardware to take advantage of the standard. Many lower-end routers and switches that advertise themselves as gigabit capable only support that standard on a single port rather than across the entire device.

Still, the nature of a standard is to be forward-looking. Technically proficient consumers who build their own networks could still see immediate performance improvements from higher-speed networking cards and gear, and newer wireless standards are already capable of challenging gigabit wired performance. Hopefully the appearance of the new 2.5GbE and 5GbE standards will spur companies like Intel and AMD to start work on compatible chipsets.

 

 

[Source:- Extreme tech]

This security threat has hit almost half of UK businesses and it will get worse

This security threat has hit almost half of UK businesses and it will get worse

A new piece of research has found that approaching half of all businesses have been hit by aransomware attack over the last year.

The study from Malwarebytes questioned over 500 IT leaders from companies across the UK and Germany, as well as Canada and the US, and found that almost 40% said they’d experienced a ransomware attack during the past year.

That’s a pretty staggering figure which shows the amount of cybercriminals now wanting to target companies for online extortion – because obviously enough, demands can be higher when made to a business (particularly a large one) as opposed to an individual user.

Of those organisations which were victimised, over 40% ended up paying the ransom. The typical demand was over $1,000 (around £750, AU$1,320) in 60% of cases, but one in five demanded over $10,000 (around £7,500, AU$13,200) to unlock data.

Ground to a halt

Over a third of companies hit by ransomware said they lost revenue due to the incident, and 20% had their business stopped entirely for a time. Over 60% of incidents took longer than nine hours to deal with, Malwarebytes found.

As for how the attacks were delivered, the largest amount – 46% – were initiated via an email. No surprises there – although email was less prevalent as an attack vector in the UK, where it accounted for only 39% of attacks. In the US, it was responsible for 59%.

Nathan Scott, Senior Security Researcher at Malwarebytes , commented: “Over the last four years, ransomware has evolved into one of the biggest cyber security threats in the wild, with instances of ransomware in exploit kits increasing 259% in the last five months alone.”

As ever, staff members need to be educated on avoiding malware and have security policies to follow, but if your business is unfortunate enough to fall victim to a scam, check out our feature discussing whether or not you should ever pay up to ransomware criminals.

 

[Source: Techradar]

Twitter will livestream the ‘Suicide Squad’ NYC premiere

After livestreaming the Democratic National Convention, Wimbledon andMLB and NHL games, Twitter is diving into the entertainment space with a stream of the Suicide Squad red carpet premiere in NYC. It’ll kick off at 6 PM tonight from the Beacon Theater, Variety reports,and the stream itself will be displayed on a special page alongside realtime tweets. The streaming event is being produced by Buzzfeed Motion Pictures, and you can expect chatter from Buzzfeed’s Try Guys personalities Keith Habersberger and Zach Kornfeld. Given Twitter’s big push into live video, it makes sense for it to start with one of the biggest film premieres of the year. It also reemphasizes the company’s new branding, which centers on what’s happening now.

 

 

[Source: Engagdget]