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A trip to Portugal: Cascais, Sintra, Cabo da Roca (Part Two)

Tuesday 8th of July 2014 09:40:24 PM

It was early morning at the Rossio train station in the center of Lisbon, Portugal. My better half and me, equipped with croissants and takeaway coffee were making our way to the local train huffin’ and puffin’ its way to Sintra. It seems to be a well known tourist route, as also a main commuting line for people working in Lisbon and living in nearby suburbs and towns.

So, what is Sintra exactly? It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a king’s valley of some sort, except it’s not a valley, but a series of magnificent fortresses built on top of different local hilltops. You can visit all of the forts, sporting different architectural influences, ranging from oriental (Arabic) to pretty much everything else in the artistic currents of European history.

The procedure goes like this. When you arrive to the Sintra train station, you have to take a bus. Best course of action is to buy a round trip ticket while in Lisbon, a sort of a Sintra bus pass. With it, you can switch up busses to your liking. The bus’ point of departure is from the train station, and it makes a round trip across the local hills, driving you past every single fortress you may wish to visit. In my personal experience, if you don’t wish for it to become a two day trip, do choose one fortress, and one museum in Sintra. After deliberation, we decided to visit the most renowned of the Sintra mansions, the Pena castle.

14 € each, and we gained access to a humongous park, and the terraces of the castle.  Pena, a castle rebuilt on the ruins of a monastery devastated in the great Lisbon earthquake is world renowned for its beauty and its view. You can see the nearby Atlantic coast, or you can take a stroll in the forest park underneath the building. Take a seat near a serene pond and take a breath. It will calm your unsettling romantic nerve.


Afterwards, we were in quite a hurry, as we had to catch a bus to Cabo da Roca. We barely made it. And what was coming seemed to be one of the most breathtaking commutes on this vacation. The bus takes you from the Sintra train station to Cabo da Roca, or Cape Roca, the westernmost part of continental Europe. What’s special about it is that the bus takes you through some local villages and towns, and the landscape, nature and little houses there are remarkable. I really can’t remember when’s the last time I’ve seen villages of such beauty. It looked more like an impressionist’s painting than a real-life moving picture for me. The driver, well, he’s probably used to the scenery, so that must be the reason why he decided to switch to his stuntman self, and drive what felt like a tiny cardboard bus about 90 mph through the narrow streets, cursing at other ‘reckless’ drives conforming to the speed and safety limitations. So the ambivalence of the experience was really something special. I had to balance the most beautiful landscape I ever visited with a legitimate fear for my life. Schyzophrenic, to say the least.


But, we made it there in one piece. The downside was the wind blowing. Cabo da Roca is a cape, cliffs dropping into the Atlantic (which I was seeing for the first time), and there’s no more European soil from the last stone of those cliffs hitting the salted waves, all the way to what was once known as New Amsterdam (not counting the Azores and Madeira, we are talking about the European continent here). The rocks are spray-painted by various football fans, so I also had an insight who Benfica or Sporting were playing against in a past year or two. Legia, Zenit… take your pick. It seems even hard-core football fans like to do some sightseeing now and then. Some contemplation with soundtrack coming from the waves, and a photograph here and there, and we were running again, trying to catch the bus to the Cascais holiday resort. I felt like I was on springs running through the ice plant fields towards the bus station.

This time, the ride was much more relaxed. And there we were, in Cascais. Now, if I would have to rate all of the sites on this short one day trip, Cascais would probably be last on the list. It’s a holiday resort in the most classic sense of the word. You can see many hotels, a fortress, yachts and German tourists trying to pronounce Azulejo and sounding funny doing so. Palm trees everywhere, signs made out of flowers, restaurants that look expensive, the whole shebang. After an hour spent sitting on the sandy beach, trying to catch a bit of a tan (the water was ice-cold, even though it was the beginning of July), it was time for lunch. And here, we made the most out of Cascais.

We found a small tavern, owned by two brothers, that seemed to offer the most affordable meals. I finally ate some proper sardines, and a whole bottle of wine was ridiculously cheap, like 5 or 6 euros. And once again, I was reminded of a Portuguese friend in disbelief when he bought wine in Slovenia, saying it’s overpriced rubbish. Also, a bottle of famous Mateus rosé wine doesn’t get more expensive than 6-7 euros.

The owners, two testosterone pumped manly men, were obviously Sporting Lisbon fans. Scarves and flags were hanging around all over the restaurant. Also, for the first time I noticed something that seemed like a strange portuguese custom at the time. Namely, people enter the tavern, ordering coffee. They don’t sit down, but stand by the bar. When the espresso is prepared, I could see them exchanging a couple of words with the bartender, and then drinking their coffee in a single sip, like it was a shot of vodka, turning around, and leaving the premises. That’s what I call stopping by for a quick coffee.
After two bus commutes, we were embarking on a train once again. It was already evening, night was falling, and all I could see out the window was the Tejo river sparkling in the night. Back in Lisbon, exhausted, the only thing we could do is take the metro home to bed.

Next time: SL Benfica stadium and Bairro Alto jazz clubs and hashish vendors.

The post A trip to Portugal: Cascais, Sintra, Cabo da Roca (Part Two) appeared first on The Mukt.

Gmail now available in 71 languages

Tuesday 8th of July 2014 09:24:39 PM

Everyone reading this is probably already aware of Gmail. If you are not then where have you been? Gmail is one of the largest email clients available on the internet and actively boasts well over 500 million monthly users. If you are not currently using Gmail you can be sure you know someone who is.

With such a large worldwide user-base it is not surprising that Google are consistently striving to add and integrate as many languages and dialects as possible. Up until now Gmail had been available in 58 languages resulting in an extremely versatile application which constantly grows in newer regions. However Google do not seem happy with the current growth and today announced the inclusion of another 13 languages. This takes Gmail’s overall language capability to 71 which according to Ian Hill (Senior Project Manager for Google localization) “covers 94% of the World’s internet population“.

The new languages made available today include Afrikaans, Armenian, Azerbaijani (Azeri), Chinese (Hong Kong), French (Canada), Galician, Georgian, Khmer, Lao, Mongolian, Nepali, Sinhala, and Zulu.

In the announcement Ian Hill also advised that great effort and work had been implemented to make sure the translations were as accurate as possible.

“…both Hong Kong and Taiwan use traditional Chinese characters. However, you’ll notice that Gmail’s new Chinese (Hong Kong) language uses 收件箱 for “Inbox” instead of 收件匣, which is a word more common in Taiwan”.

The new languages were made available this morning on Gmail and as such can be used now by heading to your Gmail account, clicking on the small tools icon (top right corner and looks like a cog), clicking on ‘settings’ and then using the drop down menu beside ‘Gmail display language’ under ‘Language’.

To read the blog in full click this link. For more detailed instructions on how to change your display language and a complete list of all 71 languages available click here.

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The switch to turn the brain off and on discovered!

Tuesday 8th of July 2014 09:14:06 PM

What if you could control your brain? What if you could turn it off and then turn it on at will? Impossible, right? You would be happy to know that scientists have found that part of the brain which controls our conscious. And the most interesting part about this finding is that the scientists accidentally happened to find it while studying an epileptic patient.

The scientists at George Washington University used deep brain electrodes to control the brain of the patient. They were trying to figure out the area of the brain that was causing seizures. When they placed the electrodes on the claustrum and sent high frequency electrical signals, the patient gradually lost consciousness. Instant of just turning off instantly, the patient slowly and gradually reached that stage of complete turn off. As soon as the electrical stimulation was switched off, she gained consciousness and had no memory of the turn of events.

It is noteworthy to add that claustrum has never been studied with deep brain electrodes. It is a thin sheet of neurons that run between major areas of the brain.

While this is an early stage to say anything, it has the potential to treat patients with epilepsy or those in semi-conscious states. Just knowing this part of the brain and its capacity will be extremely useful to conduct deeper studies and for understanding the concept further.

Researcher Christof Koch told New Scientist, “Ultimately, if we know how consciousness is created and which parts of the brain are involved then we can understand who has it and who doesn’t. Do robots have it? Do fetuses? Does a cat or dog or worm? This study is incredibly intriguing but it is one brick in a large edifice of consciousness that we’re trying to build.”

Source: New Scientist

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Operating System U: a new Linux, Wayland based operating system

Tuesday 8th of July 2014 09:10:38 PM

We all want control in our lives. That’s a lot of what makes us human. We take a lot of measures to customize the elements in our lives. But we have no choice but to surrender far too much power to our computers’ operating systems.

I’m not a big fan of Windows 8 and other big-name OS blasting us with major changes. We don’t get a chance to request changes or approve them, and we end up having to adjust, often to things we don’t want anyway. If they change the makeup of our desktop, they’re going too far.

All I can say is, sometimes when you see a problem and you don’t see a fix, that’s when you start a company. And there’s a long tradition of companies being started to make something the founders wanted to see.

Enter Operating System U, OSu. It’s not Ohio State University with a lower-case “u.” The “u” is for you, the one reading this, and the one wishing to control your operating system. The standout thing about OSu is how much customization it gives to the user. That’s our mission and our statement. (It also happens to be our mission statement, but I’m done with little jokes).

OSu is Linux-based. It boasts a Wayland display server, which I love because it squashes clunky xorg extensions and renders directly. We’re also looking at starlight and customization through GUI’s.

What we’re hoping for is to deliver the system to people pre-loaded in laptops. We’re aspiring to retail partnerships that put us on a level playing field with some of the big boys who have their own agreements with the big box stores.

We have a great team—though I may be a bit biased—and we’ve done the coding and have a lot of the guts in place. But we’re still doing some development and we’re about to launch a Kickstarter campaign—July 22nd to be exact. We’re looking to raise $250,000, ambitious, but doable.

I’m proud of what we’ve done so far, just getting things going. We know a lot of the hard work is still ahead of us, but an OS that puts the user in control is something I deeply believe in, and that commitment is what’s going to get us through.

Authored by Andrew Bernstein

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US military to use Iron Man suits by 2018?

Tuesday 8th of July 2014 07:59:10 PM

Iron Man saving the US President. Iron Man saving the earth from a lethal attack. Iron Man flying off in the air with a passenger bus to protect them from getting crushed. Didn’t you ever wish Iron Man was real and not just a fictional character? The news is that the US military is thinking on the same lines.

On Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported fresh details about the work being done on creating an Iron Man suit for the US military. The suit is being dubbed as TALOS and will reportedly have a weapon, will be bullet-proof, monitor body vitals and give the wearer super powers, both in terms of strength and perception. The report also stated that biggies like Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics are getting involved in the project along with some small companies.

Legacy Effects, which developed the Iron Man suit for the Hollywood flick, will be assisting in designing and printing 3D prototypes.

Reportedly, the suit will weigh approximately 400 pounds, out of which 365 pounds will be for the batteries to power its functions. An amount of $10 million has already been spent on the project, which the military wants erect by 2018.

Source: TheVerge

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Apple file Auto-Unlock Patent although already available on Android

Tuesday 8th of July 2014 07:57:34 PM

Last week Apple filed a patent seeking to obtain the rights to recognize a user’s location and adjust the device’s security features accordingly. In short this means when you are at home or another recognized WiFi spot your Apple device would disable its main security (lockscreen) allowing for easier use. Once you leave the recognized WiFi spot the security (lockscreen) would become active again.

The patent was titled ‘LOCATION-SENSITIVE SECURITY LEVELS AND SETTING PROFILES BASED ON DETECTED LOCATION’ and one of its definitions listed were as follows.

Often the security level remains the same regardless of the location of the mobile device. Because some locations may be inherently more secure, such as a user’s home or office, these locations may be considered “safe” and require less stringent security”.

The patent was filed with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) on July 3rd. Interestingly the week BEFORE a very similar open source modification was made available on xda for Android devices. Coincidence?…

The modification was created by one of the cleaver developers at xda and named “No Lock Home”. Although Apple will look to claim the technology as their own when they implement it, even the ‘No Lock Home developer does not take the credit further recognizing a previous older application, Skiplock.

In terms of the actual functional similarity and according to the dev description

No Lock Home is Xposed module for lockscreen bypass based on network connectivity – when you’re home, connected to your trusted WiFi AP, lock screen will not be shown. Once you disconnect from your AP, your selected lockscreen will be displayed”.

So although Apple users MIGHT see this software appearing on the iPhone6 (yawn) when it is released this is already a working application on Android…And yes Apple, it was before the July 3rd dated patent. The Android application does require rooting, KitKat and installing of the Xposed network to run. If you are unsure of what ‘rooting’ or ‘Xposed’ are then maybe this is not an application for you.

For those who want to read further information on the Apple patent than click on the link to view the Patent. For the Android users who are rooted, running KitKat and have Xposed than you can head over to the developer thread to install the modification by clicking here.

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Fossil of ‘world’s biggest-ever flying bird’ identified

Tuesday 8th of July 2014 07:53:19 PM

A fossil found three decades ago in South Carolina may belong to the largest flying bird ever found, say researchers. With 20-24-foot wingspan, the prehistoric creature challenges the previous record holder i.e. a long-extinct bird named Argentavis magnificens from South America.

Named Pelagornis sandersi, the (new) extinct giant is also believed to be twice the size of the largest flying bird alive, the royal albatross.

It is worth mentioning here that the 25m-year-old fossil was first unearthed in 1983 near Charleston, South Carolina, when construction workers started excavations for a new airport terminal. But it has taken until now to realise full significance of the fossils.

P sandersi was quite a powerful glider, with long slender wings that helped it stay airborne despite its enormous size. It could have used air currents to soar above the ocean, according to researchers.

“The specimen was so big they had to dig it out with a backhoe. The upper wing bone alone was longer than my arm,” said author Dan Ksepka of the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center in Durham, North Carolina.

“By riding on air currents that rise up from the ocean’s surface, P sandersi was able to soar for miles over the open ocean without flapping its wings, occasionally swooping down to the water to feed on soft-bodied prey like squid and eels,” researchers noted.

Huge birds like P sandersi were not uncommon some three million years ago. However, it is not yet known why these giants of the skies died out.

“This fossil is remarkable both for the size, which we could only speculate on before the discovery, and for the preservation,” Ksepka added.

“The skull in particular is exquisite.

“And given the delicate nature of the bones… it is remarkable that the specimen made it to the bottom of the sea, became buried without being destroyed by scavengers, fossilised, and then was discovered before it was eroded or bulldozed away.”

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World’s first temperature-controlled city coming up in Dubai

Tuesday 8th of July 2014 07:51:32 PM

Dubai and extravagance go hand in hand. The economic hub of the Islamic world is all set to become home to the world’s first temperature-controlled city, which will double as the world’s largest mall (with an area of 8 million sq. ft.).

Sheik Mohammed, the ruler of Dubai, recently said in a statement: “Tourism is key driver of our economy and we aim to make the UAE an attractive destination all year long. This is why we will start working on providing pleasant temperature-controlled environments during the summer months.”

Designed by developers Dubai Holding, the Mall of the World project is aimed at producing a city which can be traversed entirely without the need for cars or exposing oneself to Dubai’s harsh desert climate.

Occupying a total area of 48 million sq. ft., the project will comprise the largest indoor theme park in the world, which will be covered by a glass dome that will be open during the winter months.

Additional districts within the project will include a wellness dedicated zone catering to medical tourists, a cultural celebration district as well as a wide range of hospitality options comprising 20,000 hotel rooms catering to all types of tourists.

Once completed, the city is projected to become a year-round destination, welcoming around 180 million visitors the mall hopes to host annually.

Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, chairman of Dubai Holding, had this to say: “Mall of the World presents an innovative concept in the international hospitality sector, further strengthening Dubai’s appeal as a tourism hub with a wide range of options. The project will be developed in phases in alignment with the gradual growth of family tourism in Dubai.”

It’s not yet disclosed how much the project will cost nor when it will be completed, but Mall of the World is likely to be a highlight at the UAE World Expo trade fair in 2020.

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CM11 M8 finally released with Android 4.4.4 and ‘Heads Up’

Tuesday 8th of July 2014 07:50:40 PM

It was only a month ago when we saw the latest CyanogenMod (CM) major update. For those of you who are not familiar with CM they are by far the most downloaded open-source ROM available on the market. For a detailed description you can read our Welcome to CyanogenMod blog.

So last month we saw the release of CM 11 M7 as a Snapshot. Again, those of you who are new to CM a ‘Snapshot’ is a nearly-stable release. This type of release is considered safe-to-use by CM and believed to contain all features and all bugs worked through. It is worth remembering being a Snapshot this does mean it is possible some unknown bugs may still exist although these will be minor. Now already we are seeing the next major release available today. CM 11 M8 was released this morning and offers Android 4.4.4. As the release has only just been made public the devices supported are rather limited although the variance will grow quite quickly knowing CM.

So what’s new?

The most major obvious difference will be the inclusion of the ‘Heads Up’ notification tool which will provide users with a preview of all incoming messages emails and notifications without having to close the currently viewed application. In addition the settings will be reorganized and multiple bug fixes will be included.

The complete change log provided by CM includes

  • Common: Android 4.4.4 (Google)
  • New Devices: Sony Xperia Z2 (sirius); Xiaomi Mi2 (aries); Oppo Find 7a/s (find7); OnePlus One (bacon)
  • Common: Fix VPN issues related to 4.4.3 merge
  • Common: Enable ‘Heads Up’ notification mode (Settings > Notifications)
  • Settings: ‘Interface’ replaced by ‘Status Bar’, ‘Notification Drawer’, and ‘Gestures’
  • Settings: Moved ‘Expanded Desktop’ to ‘Display’
  • Settings: Moved all lock screen related items to ‘Lock Screen’ and removed duplicates from ‘Security’
  • Settings: Moved ‘Navigation Bar’ layout control to ‘Buttons’
  • Trebuchet: Custom Homescreen grid size
  • Trebuchet: Add Protected Apps feature
  • Trebuchet: Add Search Panel (Google Now) option
  • WhisperPush: No longer ignores ‘Blacklist’
  • Futex: Protect against Towelroot
  • Various small bugfixes, global and device-specific

So if you are interesting in checking-out M8 then you first need to check your device capability by heading over to the download page. Remember this will be updated routinely over the next few days so if you are not on the list now then keep checking.

“Happy Flashing”

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J.K. Rowling publishes a new Harry Potter story online

Tuesday 8th of July 2014 07:42:49 PM

In celebration of the FIFA football world cup, J.K. Rowling, the acclaimed author of the Harry Potter series has been writing sports columns over at Pottermore. The most recent one that was just published features Harry Potter and the gang, also known as Dumbledore’s Army. This is the first time that a short story featuring Harry Potter has been written by the author after having closed the book series nearly seven years ago.

The short story is in the form of a news column from the gossip writer Rita Skeeter, whom people might remember from the book as the journalist who could do nothing better than to make up false stories about people and profit from them. The column talks about a 34 year old Harry Potter along with his wife and his closest friends and other characters from the Dumbledore’s Army. The entire team meets up on the stands of the Patagonian Desert, where the famed Quidditch World Cup is being held. As a result, Harry runs into many of the series’ recurring characters and Rowling writes, from the perspective of Rita Skeeter, about the celebrities meeting other celebrities, having been silent for more than a decade.

Although this is the first short story that features Harry Potter, Rowling is not moving away from her determination of keeping the story arc of Harry Potter concluded. Thus, this short story is not a direct narrative, but rather, a coverage of Harry from the journalists’ point of view without any direct interaction with him. Hence even though it ends up being just surface stuff, at least it is better than nothing.

Rowling has said, in the past, that she is done with Harry’s story and her spokesperson confirms that there are no plans to write anymore Harry Potter stories. Rather Rowling is more interested in writing stories that are related to the Wizarding Universe. Given that how much popularity the series garnered, Warner Brothers won’t miss such a good opportunity to milk out more revenues from the franchise.

The original story can be found on Pottermore.com, which is an exceptional resource for anything Potter, being officially from Rowling. The site needs you to sign-up, but the bonus of signing up is that you get to be sorted in to your own house and play through all the books and create your own story. It is like living in the wizard world, only through a computer (maybe VR will change that!) The site however is crawling, as you might’ve already guessed. So another alternative would be to head over to Today.com where the entire text has been reproduced.

Source: The Verge

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Here comes the first release of Plasma 5

Tuesday 8th of July 2014 05:19:57 PM

The KDE Community has announced the first release of Plasma 5. It’s a release candidate so it’s meant for testing and preview purpose, like the developer preview of Android L. The final release will be announced next week so this is the last chance for testers and developers to find issues and get them fixed before the release.

Martin Gräßlin the developer of KWin writes on Google+, “Give some last testing to our release candidate so that we can fix the last issues (I hardly got new bug reports for KWin lately, so either it’s rock solid or people aren’t testing enough ;-)”

How to test?

The best way to test it is via Neon 5 ISO image which is kept updated with the latest builds. But if you want to install it on your system then you can do it very easily on Kubuntu, openSUSE or Arch Linux.

OpenSUSE

Before you test it out on openSUSE, keep in mind that it’s pre-release software so things may break, test it only on your testing machine.

Get KDE Framework 5 & Plasma on openSUE

Kubuntu

Download the built packages from the Next PPA for Kubuntu.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa/next sudo apt-get update && upgrade

Now log-out and log into Plasma 5 desktops

Arch users

KDE Framework 5 packages are already there in Arch Linux’ unstable repositories. If you want to try it out, then check the blog post of Andrea Scarpino.

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KDE’s Frameworks 5 released

Tuesday 8th of July 2014 05:01:49 PM

The KDE Community has announced the first stable release of Frameworks 5. It’s a result of three years of hard work to port KDE Platform 4 to Qt 5 which started back in 2011 at Randa Meeting.

“Frameworks 5 is the next generation of KDE libraries, modularized and optimized for easy integration in Qt applications. The Frameworks offer a wide variety of commonly needed functionality in mature, peer reviewed and well tested libraries with friendly licensing terms,” says the announcement page.

What’s KDE Frameworks?

We have heard of ‘Unity or Gnome or Plasma desktop’. But what is KDE Frameworks and how does it matter to a Plasma desktop user? Why should I be excited about it? Most Plasma users may think they don’t even use the Frameworks, it sounds like something developers should be excited about. So what is Frameworks and how does it affect the Plasma users?

KDE’s mascot Konqui chilling out on KDE chair.

KDE software, which also includes the Plasma desktop, uses a lot of common code base which is formed by KDE Libraries. As Jos Poortvliet explained on Linux.com, “They provide high-level functionality such as toolbars and menus, spell checking and file access.” These libraries were developed over time-frame of 15 years. One problem with these libraries was that it was ‘all or none’ which means you can’t pick and choose the ones a developer needs.

KDE Frameworks 5 is a successor of KDELibs and solves one of the major problems, to a great extent. One of the major improvements is that it has spit the libraries. Now developer can choose whatever they need from the collection of Frameworks thus making it easier for them to ‘use’ the KDE code base and save time and effort.

Jonathan Riddell of Kubuntu puts it very well when he says, “Today you can save yourself the time and effort of repeating work that others have done, relying on over 50 Frameworks with mature, well tested code. For a full list and technical details coders can read the API documentation.” It has notable benefits for QT developers as they can ‘select just what they need from the collection of Frameworks’, as pointed out by Jos.

Coming back to the question ‘why should a Plasma user be excited about it’. The way it directly affects a Plasma user is that their desktop also uses these libraries or the Frameworks. Plasma is one of the many frameworks which provides the foundations that can be used to build a primary user interface, from graphical to logical components. Plasma users are just one of the many beneficiaries of the KDE Frameworks as it benefits everyone using Qt, including Canonical.

The Frameworks announcement clearly mentions, “The KDE Frameworks represent an effort to rework the powerful KDE Platform 4 libraries into a set of independent, cross platform modules that will be readily available to all Qt developers to simplify, accelerate and reduce the cost of Qt development.”

It’s a vender neutral neutral contributor process (anyone can contribute) which is governed by open governance and dictated by flexible licensing such a LGPL (lesser GNU General Public License). The release of KDE Frameworks 5 is a major milestone considering Qt is becoming extremely popular across industries.

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Leaked: Microsoft’s Android-powered Lumia in the works

Monday 7th of July 2014 08:19:32 PM

We have already seen the launch of Nokia’s first Android-powered smartphones under the Nokia X brand earlier this year. And now it seems Microsoft is planning to bring a similar experience for its users under the Lumia brand.

New information from the famous tipster @evleaks suggests that Android-powered Lumia smartphones are currently being developed under the ‘Nokia by Microsoft’ brand.

@evleaks states “Big news: Android-powered Lumia incoming, from Nokia by Microsoft” on its website.

We have been hearing much about Microsoft’s plans to change the brand of Windows Phone handsets’ from Nokia to ‘Nokia by Microsoft’ since last month.

Another report also shows the recently leaked Lumia 830 smartphone to come with a ‘Nokia by Microsoft’ brand name.

It’s not yet disclosed when the company plans to release such a device, or whether the Lumia Android handset would embrace Google’s Android complete with Google services. But if the report turns out to be true, it is sure to help boost sales for Microsoft with users also benefiting from a thriving selection of apps.

It is worth mentioning here that Android currently dominates the smartphone operating system market, according to researcher IDC. Samsung leads in the Android camp, while the rest of the pack is quickly being made up of Chinese vendors.

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YouTube starts shaming ISPs for making its videos slow

Monday 7th of July 2014 08:14:16 PM

If you happen to experience blurring video or excessive buffering, Google-owned YouTube wants you to know that it’s probably because of your Internet service provider’s slow network.

Taking a cue from Netflix, YouTube has started its own Video Quality Report “shaming” ISPs for issues such as slow load-times and long periods of buffering.

The Google-owned company is dropping links to its report into videos in some countries (not globally though).

“Experiencing interruptions?” reads the message in a blue bar at the bottom of the content, as seen in the above screenshot.

Clicking “find out why” takes users to Google’s new website that talks about where, when and how videos can be throttled if ISPs can’t handle all the data pouring in.

“There are many factors that influence your video streaming quality, including your choice of Internet Service Provider (ISP). Learn how your ISP performs and understand your options,” it says.

The Video Quality Report was first rolled out in Canada by Google, which then expanded it to the U.S. and some other countries back in May.

Quartz reports that Google has “a strong interest in deflecting blame for poor video quality. The US government is considering new “net neutrality” regulations that could affect how information, particularly data-heavy streaming video, flows through the internet.”

It seems the company wants users to place more of the responsibility on something other than YouTube and Google for streaming issues.

ISPs, on the other hand, blame video services like YouTube and Netflix, which account for a growing portion of Internet traffic.

Do you think this naming and “shaming” have any impact? Let us know in the comments below.

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Will upcoming Chromebooks have reversible USB ports?

Monday 7th of July 2014 08:12:52 PM

The answer to your USB worries was presented in April this year in the name of the reversible USB dubbed USB Type-C. Unlike the present USB, the new Universal Design Bus design will be smaller and symmetrical. So you no more have to worry about the orientation and can smoothly slip it inside the slot without fumbling. Now the latest news is that Chrome developers are reportedly working on supporting the new USB. So suggests the recent commits to the Chromium source code.

While the cable connector in case of USB Type-C is around the same size as the ones floating in the market right now, it will be a redefined way to hook up peripherals.

According to omgchrome.com, the USB C ports will be boosting its port scalable power charging up to 100 watts. Not only that, the data data transfers speeds will be double to that of the current USB 3.0, up to 10 Gbps.

A Chromium enthusiast on Google+ even referred to the ports references, which talked about the job to update code to “fix type-C ports muxing”.

The HW signals to control the type-C ports muxing have changed between Fruitpie and Samus, update the code to match the HW. Also add the docking mux option and update the board muxing code to prepare for the automatic mode detection:
- the polarity will be determined by the PD code.
- the port muxing will be enable/disable by the common alternate mode PD  code.

Its great to see that Chrome developers are already working on technologies that we see soon in consumer space.

The post Will upcoming Chromebooks have reversible USB ports? appeared first on The Mukt.

TSA will not allow passengers with discharged cellphones onboard

Monday 7th of July 2014 07:47:45 PM

Being a cellphone junkie, that we all have become today, that one thing we all fret is having a device that is low on coverage and low on battery. While you can still get away with the former, be extremely careful about the latter if you have plans to board an international airline. Confused about the connection? Well, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced that they will not be allowing flyers to board the flight if they are moving with uncharged phones and electronics devices.

The official press release states, “As the traveling public knows, all electronic devices are screened by security officers. During the security examination, officers may also ask that owners power up some devices, including cell phones. Powerless devices will not be permitted onboard the aircraft. The traveler may also undergo additional screening.” The passenger will have to actually prove to the authorities that their devices can turn on before they are allowed to fly.

The cause of concern is the recent threat from Al Qaeda about blowing up an airliner. Thereby, new security measures are being put in place. Officials are concerned that discharged laptop, smartphone or a tablet could be used as a bomb.

So if you are flying to or within the US, make sure your electronics is all charged up or you will miss your flight.

The post TSA will not allow passengers with discharged cellphones onboard appeared first on The Mukt.

A million Steam keys up for grabs for free from Bundlestars!

Monday 7th of July 2014 07:42:17 PM

Lets’ be honest, there’s a hidden child in every one of us that love Dinosaurs, be it the formidable Tyrannosaurus Rex or the mild Brontosaurus, we all have a dinosaur that we would love to have. Developers 800 North seems to have heard just that wish of us and brought it to reality with their Multiplayer shooter Dino D-Day. What’s more, Bundlestars have teamed up with PC Gamers to give away a million copies of the game on Steam for free!

Dino D-Day is a multiplayer shooter that pits the Axis and the Allies, yet again, against each other in varied locations. The twist here is that the Axis powers have somehow successfully cloned and tamed Dinosaurs. So they get to strap all sorts of guns on them, including shoulder mounted canons and machine guns and send them off to the battlefield! The Allies too manage to get their hands on the tech and thus this results in all out Dino/human fight against tyranny. (Not the T-Rex by the way, it is just another soldier).

The game has been doing quite well on Windows and the developers 800 North are planning to launch a full-fledged update to the game within a few days that will add a huge number of features including Linux and Mac compatibility. So the penguins can have their fair share of chomping with or on dinosaurs! Rwaar!

Bundlestars started with the giveaway last week with a million keys for an Indie game called SpaceChem. PC Gamers and Bundlestars intend to giveaway a million steam keys of five varied games over the course of five weeks. Dino D-Day is the second of the lot. The intention is to allow a million gamers around the world to build up a custom free Steam Bundle that consists of various kinds of games, a game for all kinds of tastebuds. PC Gamer editor had this to say about the bundle’s game, “In choosing the games from this free Steam key giveaway, we went for variety. Also, dinosaurs!” We definitely hear the last part! There are three more games to giveaway over the next three weeks too.

To redeem your free key, head over to PC Gamers. Using the in-page form, like their FaceBook page, put in your email and click the big request key button. The page will refresh with your key and you will also get an email with the same. From there it’s a simple way of activating a game on Steam. We’ll be sure to cover more games from the bundle. Meanwhile let us know in the comments below how you liked the game and your Dino killing or human chomping deeds!

The post A million Steam keys up for grabs for free from Bundlestars! appeared first on The Mukt.

Win a Moto G smartphone, enter contest [rules updated]

Monday 7th of July 2014 06:39:47 PM

The Mukt is organizing a contest to celebrate our move from Muktware to The Mukt. The Mukt is a complete ‘Open Culture’ magazine with a strong focus on Open Source technologies and Free Software philosophy.

This phone can be yours!

We have a very strong focus on Android, Chrome, CyanogenMOD, Ubuntu, openSUSE, KDE, Gnome, Steam OS and many more free software projects and technologies. We publish tutorials to help users in getting most out of their systems.

We strive to cover the latest breakthrough in science and technology as well as stories from the political landscape. It’s not all, we also publish original stories about travel, food and culture.

How to enter the contest?

It’s very simple and takes less than 60 second – lesser than it would take to find Moto G on Amazon.com and order it

# Circle The Mukt on Google+
Click here to circle us!

# Share this post on your G+


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# Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Get latest news, articles and reviews in your inbox, daily. Click here to subscribe!.

# Post a comment on any of our social networks and mention one cool feature that you like in this phone.

How will the winner be chosen?

We will pick a winner randomly from those who answered the above question on any of our social network.

Terms & Rules

  1. The contest begins on July 7 and ends on August 10, 2014.
  2. Anyone above age 18 is eligible for the contest.
  3. The contest will continue only if we have at least 1000 entries.
  4. It’s not mandatory to fulfill all steps, but it may be a criterion in case we have to pick a second winner, if the first one doesn’t qualify*.
  5. The Mukt team reserves the right to close the contest at any time.
  6. We will require complete postal address and phone number of the winner in order to send the price.
  7. We will not share any data collected during the contest with 3rd parties. We may, however, send promotional emails to regular subscribers.
  8. The winner will get a week to respond to our communication for the delivery of prize. Failure of communication would result in picking the second winner.

* In case the winner turned out to be someone who entered despite being under 18, or he/she never responded to our communication to provide us with postal details for sending the prize.

The post Win a Moto G smartphone, enter contest [rules updated] appeared first on The Mukt.

Is Bill Gates creating our worst nightmare by taking control of human population?

Monday 7th of July 2014 05:38:50 PM

Year 2022, a European study shows that certain tribes and races in Africa were facing a steep decline in population. Over 70% of the tribes had become extinct for some unknown reasons. Upon further investigation, by Right to Live, it was found that a US based company was systematically controlling the population through smart contraceptive pills which were injected in certain populace across the African continent. It was effectively exterminating those whose extraneous research showed would never be able to contribute to global economy. Those who didn’t have purchasing power were erased from the face of the earth.

Year 2020. Source IMDB. One of the most talked about film of US-film-maker Quentin Tarantino was released. The story lines goes like this: In an alternate world Adolf Hitler systematically and peacefully eradicated Jews by giving them a ‘smart capsule’ disguised as birth control pills. The capsule was developed by German doctors which released certain hormones and drugs remotely. They were regularly releasing contraceptive hormone in the blood stream making the entire Jew women population sterile.

There was no suspect, there was not a single drop of blood shed.

2017. The US supreme court ruled in a case Banks Vs Right To Live that the people with extremely poor credits must be given smart pills. The pill would then ensure that, by sterilizing them, this ‘poor’ lot won’t be adding more burden on society. Any attempt to refuse the smart pill will throw then out of social welfare system.

2018. Rick Perry proposes a bill that those immigrants entering the US for low-grade jobs must be implanted with smart pills. The goal was to control the illegal population within the states. It was mandatory for all private businesses hiring people from South America to check their medical records and ensure they are implanted with smart pills.

2017. ISIS started a program to implant as many smart-pill as possible in Shias and non-muslims to control their population.

2025. The US department of defense found that North Korea hijacked their smart pill infrastructure some 10 years and had been pumping contraceptive harmony in women across the US.

By 2027 it has become a chaotic world in which women have become somehow infertile, a former activist agrees to help transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary at sea.

Are we are opening the gates of a dystopian world

If you think if was just fiction, then I have bad news. Bill Gates’ Gates Foundation seems to be obsessed with control over food production and human production. According to reports the foundation is funding a new way to inject drugs into human body which can be controlled remotely.

The Verge reports, “The Gates Foundation project looks to develop a pill that would automatically release a contraceptive hormone into the bloodstream, lasting for 16 years or until it’s disabled by a wireless signal. The project is planning to start preclinical testing in 2015 and reach the market in 2018, but there are still many questions to be answered, including security issues.”

The technology being developed by the Gates Foundation can be a nightmare for human society and the wettest dream of suppressive government.

The post Is Bill Gates creating our worst nightmare by taking control of human population? appeared first on The Mukt.

How to get rolling release-like KDE experience in openSUSE

Monday 7th of July 2014 01:26:28 PM

openSUSE is known for offering the best Plasma desktop experience, from among all GNU/Linux distribution. Till now it has been quite easy, yet manual, to keep your openSUSE PC updated with the latest KDE packages which are released on monthly basis.

Recently openSUSE developers announced new repositories which assist users in keeping their systems updated with latest software. Now there is a new KDE SC repository for openSUSE, called KDE:Current, which will enable users to get a ‘rolling release’ kind of experience. Which means once you add these repositories to your system you will get all stable KDE update as and when they are pushed, so you won’t have to upgrade manually every month.

Before you proceed to add these repositories to your system, remove all other KDE or extra repositories that you added earlier and then add these two repositories and update your system:

zypper ar -f http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/KDE:/Current/openSUSE_13.1/ current zypper ar -f http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/KDE:/Extra/KDE_Current_openSUSE_13.1/ currentextra zypper dup --from current

The Current repository will be updated regularly. KDE SC 4.13 will replace 4.12 when it becomes stable. There is no need to add additional repos in future.

The post How to get rolling release-like KDE experience in openSUSE appeared first on The Mukt.