By Soulskill from Slashdot's does-it-run-crysis-yet? department
An anonymous reader writes "Last October, we discussed Andrew 'bunnie' Huang's effort to build a complete open hardware laptop, called the Novena. bunnie has now posted a progress report on the laptop's design and construction, showing the latest revision of the board, the display, and a hack to use it as a secure router. bunnie says, 'At the end of the day, we're having fun building the laptop we always wanted — it's now somewhere between a python-scriptable oscilloscope, logic analyzer, and a laptop. I think it will be an indispensable tool for hacking, particularly for doing signal analysis which requires coordination across multiple protocol layers, complex trigger conditions and/or feedback stimulus loops. As for the inevitable question about if these will be sold, and for how muchonce we're done building the system (and, "done" is a moving target — really, the whole idea is this is continuously under development and improving) I'll make it available to qualified buyers. Because it's open-source and a bit quirky, I'm shy on the idea of just selling it to anyone who comes along wanting a laptop. I'm worried about buyers who don't understand that "open" also means a bit of DIY hacking to get things working, and that things are continuously under development."Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's no-do-overs department
An anonymous reader writes "Sixteen years ago, the Mars Pathfinder lander touched down on Mars and began collecting about the atmosphere and geology of the Red Planet. Its original mission was planned to last somewhere between a week and a month, but it only took a few days for software problems to crop up. The engineers responsible for the system were forced to diagnose the problem and issue a patch for a device that was millions of miles away. From the article: 'The Pathfinder's applications were scheduled by the VxWorks RTOS. Since VxWorks provides pre-emptive priority scheduling of threads, tasks were executed as threads with priorities determined by their relative urgency. The meteorological data gathering task ran as an infrequent, low priority thread, and used the information bus synchronized with mutual exclusion locks (mutexes). Other higher priority threads took precedence when necessary, including a very high priority bus management task, which also accessed the bus with mutexes. Unfortunately in this case, a long-running communications task, having higher priority than the meteorological task, but lower than the bus management task, prevented it from running. Soon, a watchdog timer noticed that the bus management task had not been executed for some time, concluded that something had gone wrong, and ordered a total system reset.'"Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's can't-catch-a-break department
alphadogg writes "The founder of an eavesdropping-resistant instant messaging application called Cryptocat has apologized over a now-fixed bug that made some types of messages more vulnerable to snooping. Cryptocat, which runs inside a web browser, is an open-source application intended to provide users with a high degree of security by using encryption to scramble messages. But Cryptocat warns that users should still be very cautious with communications and not to trust their life with the application. The vulnerability affected group chats and not private conversations. The encryption keys used to encode those conversations were too short, which in theory made it easier for an attacker to decrypt and read conversations."
The bug report/merge request
, and an analysis of the bug
(although, in light of the Cryptocat's gracious response, overly acerbic and dismissive of the project).Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's long-live-trolltech department
An anonymous reader writes "As the PCMan at the LXDE blog lets us know, the work on a port of LXDE to the Qt platform is showing promise. As the developers stand to face the deprecation of Gtk+ 2, migrating away from the popular toolkit will soon be necessary. The developers note that migration to Qt 'will cause mild elevation of memory usage compared to the old Gtk+ 2 version,' but clarify that a similar increase in resource usage is expected of a migration to Gtk+ 3. Yet, the port to Qt is ongoing, and clearly taking shape, as the screenshot shows. An official release might be a while, though. As an update to the post notes, the plan is to use the recently released Qt 5.1 in the future, which we might not see in distros for some time."
They are also cooperating with the Razor Qt desktop
. From the weblog post: "...We subscribed razor-qt google groups and discussed about possible cooperation earlier. Currently, the ported LXDE components are designed with Razor-Qt in mind. For example, PCManFM-Qt and LxImage-Qt will reads razor-qt config file when running in razor-qt session. We’ll try to keep the interchangeability between the two DEs. Further integration is also possible. Actually, I personally am running a mixed desktop with LXDE-Qt + Razor-Qt components on my laptop. Components from the both DE blends well."Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's zero-one-nearly-online department
An anonymous reader writes "South African Quentin Harley has picked up the $20,000 Gada Uplift prize for making the open source RepRap 3D printer design easier to build, cheaper to construct, and — most importantly — capable of printing more of its own parts. Lots of background on Harley and his RepRap Morgan are available on his website."
A further goal of the RepRap Morgan project is to replace the Prusa Mendel
as the default RepRap model. And they are on track to hit less than $100 in parts, excluding the printing bed. You can grab the hardware design
and the controller firmware
over at Github.Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's take-that,-ecosystem department
An anonymous reader writes "Caused by what researchers say is local industry and agriculture pollution, the green algae (scientific name Enteromorpha prolifera), has resulted in the foul-smelling mass taking over parts of China's Yellow Sea. The event, which has occurred in the same region over the past six years, always during the summer, has grown exponentially since its last notable interference in 2008. This year's growth is reportedly double in size, measuring in at more than 11,158 square miles. According to a report from the Guardian, officials have removed 7,335 tons of the algae recently in an attempt to control the growth after beach-goers in the nearby city of Qingdao have remain unaffected by the disturbance. While strange in appearance, the algae is reportedly nontoxic to humans but can, however, leave behind the toxic gas hydrogen sulphide. According to a report from the Daily Mail, crews are working to remove the algae as the toxicity is caused if it is left to decompose."Read Replies (0)