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A complete web-magazine for a geek!
Updated: 3 hours 55 min ago

Apple, Samsung to withdraw all legal cases outside U.S.

Wednesday 6th of August 2014 02:30:58 PM

In a surprise move, Samsung and Apple have decided to drop all patent litigation against each other outside the United States. Winding down their global patent battle, the tech giants will now focus on the key battleground, the U.S.

The partial-truce agreement affects complaints that were remaining in Australia, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, South Korea, and the UK.

“Apple and Samsung have agreed to drop all litigation between the two companies outside the United States,” the companies said in a joint statement without disclosing the terms of the deal. “This agreement does not involve any licensing arrangements, and the companies are continuing to pursue the existing cases in U.S. courts.”

“Their fighting spirit has weakened…They now see little need to wage a war around the world, which will only fatten the bills of lawyers,” Reuters quoted Young Park, a Hyundai Securities technology analyst in Hong Kong, as saying.

The iPhone and Galaxy handset makers began their legal battle in the United States in 2011, with Apple first filing a suit alleging that Samsung copied features of its iPhone.

What the tech industry saw later was a series of tit-for-tat patent infringement cases that spread around the globe.

“The U.S. litigation is the most important. There is the most at stake. Apple in particular is hesitant to let it go,” quipped Michael Carrier, a patent-law expert and law professor at Rutgers University. “I think Apple is coming to the realization step by step that this litigation is not worth it.”

The post Apple, Samsung to withdraw all legal cases outside U.S. appeared first on The Mukt.

CyanogenMod improves their information portal with the ‘Device Status Roster’

Wednesday 6th of August 2014 02:27:57 PM

CyanogenMod have today launched a central device information point on the CM website. The ‘Device Status Roster’ is an extremely easy to navigate point of reference for anyone looking to install CM or find the latest download available.

According to today’s CM blog the most common question they are asked is why the users particularly device was not included in the most recent update. As a result CM decided to condense and provide an easier system for users to obtain the most relevant information regarding their specific device.

To help give you a central place to check up on this information, we’ve created the Device Status page on our wiki. This page will be updated alongside each monthly release to include an assessment of currently supported devices and what (if any) reasons prevented its release for that particular month”.

The new layout was only released a short while ago but already looks to be a great improvement on the previous design. Now when a user clicks on the device status page they are immediately presented with a list of all the currently supported devices alphabetically (and in view compared to the previous scroll down layout) underneath the latest release (M9 in the image below).

Once the user clicks on their specific device they are greeted with a very clear and readable device page, listing the device information, specific downloads needed and even a how-to-install guide.

This cleaner and more informed addition to the CM website it likely to be a hit with its users and certainly will at least make finding the information and relevant downloads much easier and faster.

If you missed the link above then you can check out the new format by clicking here.

Are you a CM user? If so what do you think of the new layout? Let us know.

The post CyanogenMod improves their information portal with the ‘Device Status Roster’ appeared first on The Mukt.

Navdy launches ‘Heads Up Display’ – The safer way to drive

Wednesday 6th of August 2014 02:23:57 PM

Navdy, a San Francisco start-up today launched their ‘Heads Up Display’ (HUD) for cars. To sum it up, Navdy’s HUD is a small unit which attaches to your dashboard and connects to your smartphone or device.

So what?

Well, yes I admit it doesn’t sound that good so far. But wait! Once your smartphone is connected the HUD displays a small projection in front of the windscreen.

Getting more interesting!

The display can then be used basically as an extension of your smartphone. Using the HUD display (and technology) users can receive calls, read (or have the system speak) texts, emails, provide directions and even select and play your music files. Yes, you can also tweet too. In short this is a virtual reality version of Android Auto…just a little sexier.

The HUD is loosely based on Google Glass principles with the idea that a user can see all the information in front on one screen. Instead of wearing Glass and using a small attached lens while driving (which by the way is likely to be illegal in most countries if not already) HUD simply beams all your smartphone functionality in view of the windscreen. Technically you are never taking your eyes off of the road.

Impressed yet!

The HUD seems to be packed with all the functionality you would expect from Wearables. HUD’s will be able to host apps and can be operated both by voice command or using gesture technology.

Here is a quick rundown of the specs provided by Navdy

  • 5.1″ wide transparent Head-Up Display (HUD)
  • High quality projector
  • IR camera for touchless gesture control
  • Accelerometer, e-compass, ambient light sensor
  • WiFi (802.11 b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0/LE
  • Audio out via Bluetooth or 3.5mm minijack, mini-USB port
  • Internal speaker and microphone with noise canceling DSP
  • Dual core processor running Android 4.4
  • OBD-II power and data connection to car computer, with optional 12 volt power adapter
  • Portable, bendable, non-marking, powered friction mount, with magnetic connection to the device
  • Dimensions (excluding mount): width: 130mm, depth: 140mm, height: 95mm (including display)

So where can I get one? Ah, so you are interested now.

Well, there is good news and bad news. The bad news is that it is only available on a pre-order basis at the moment with Navdy estimating units will first be shipped early 2015. So you will have to wait the best part of a year from now. The unit is expected to sell for $499 and this is where the good news comes in. As part of their launch (technically the pre-order launch) Navdy are offering the units at $299 for those who pre-order in the next thirty days. This is day one so we are giving you plenty of time to think before you buy.

If you are the type of person who loves the idea of Glass on your windscreen then this might be right for you. For those seriously thinking of purchasing the unit it may be worth snapping up while the pre-launch price is $299. If the unit works have as well as the videos on the Navdy site suggest this certainly will be a nifty little product to have installed in the car. To learn more about the HUD, Navdy or make a pre-order than head over to the launch site. Btw, make sure to watch the video, its a good demonstration and actually quite amusing.

Either way let us know what you think? Is it worth it? Are you going to buy one?

The post Navdy launches ‘Heads Up Display’ – The safer way to drive appeared first on The Mukt.

Daewoo put workers in exoskeletons to bolster strength

Wednesday 6th of August 2014 02:20:42 PM

My memories of Daewoo are crappy 12″ TVs with video players built into them. Now they’re smashing that perception in my mind by putting their workers into futuristic exoskeletons to give workers extra lifting strength.

Daewoo successfully tested the equipment last year and now want to deploy the gear across more of the company to take production to a new level. The prototypes allowed their hosts to pick up 65-pound objects with ease but the shipbuilding company want to increase this to 220-pounds by implementing a better design.

The exoskeletons weigh 60 pounds themselves but the frame supports it’s own weight. The worker lock their boots into the foot pads and fasten straps from the thighs to the chest. The suits utilise hydraulic joins and battery-powered motors to allow lifting of heavy objects but also provide support for walking.

Wearing an exoskeleton allows it’s users to manipulate objects precisely, it’s like lifting a much lighter object. The market for rehabilitative robotics, including exoskeletons, is expected to grow to $1.8 billion by 2020.

The post Daewoo put workers in exoskeletons to bolster strength appeared first on The Mukt.

How the US army is embracing solar and wind energy

Wednesday 6th of August 2014 01:52:15 PM

In the age when we have super-computers like power in our mobile phones, reliance on extremely limited natural resources like gas or coal for energy make us look ‘pre-historic’; it’s more like still using Floppy Drives as our primary source of storage! We should move towards those forms of energies which will never deplete or go away such as wind, water and sun.

The US army is doing something similar. They are using a program to cut cost and reliance on ‘will-be-gone-one-day’ energy sources. The Army, under Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPC) Program, has nearly completed the installation of two wind turbines at Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico which will produce an estimated 5 percent of the energy consumed by the installation.

Julia Bobick writes on US Army Corps of Engineers website, “In addition, a total of 21,824 solar photovoltaic panels will produce about 5.5 megawatts of power, which is at least 60 percent of the installation’s current power demand at its peak production.”

Yamil Hernandez, Fort Buchanan Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division, added, “In combination, all measures are expected to save about 30 percent of the fort’s energy demand and 60 percent of potable water demand, well in excess of current federal requirements.”

US Army is the world’s biggest consumer of energy and under the program their goal is to produce as much energy as they consumes. Other US services are also working on increasing the us of solar and wind power to produce energy. The DoD wants renewable energy to take care of at least 25% of their usage by 2013.

The post How the US army is embracing solar and wind energy appeared first on The Mukt.

Google Play extends Refund policy on Apps/Games from 15 minutes to 2 hours

Wednesday 6th of August 2014 03:46:04 AM

Reports are coming in suggesting Google Play may allow (some) apps to be returned and refunded up to two hours after they were purchased.

Currently (and according to Google’s official returns page) refunds for downloads of all apps and games are limited to a small 15 minute window. So users only have this very short period to decide if they want to keep the purchased item.

However Android Police attempted to test this theory by downloading random apps and games and seeing how long the actual return-window remained open. In their attempts Android Police found that the actual return period generally lasted for two hours after purchasing at which point the ‘Refund’ button would disappear.

It is unsure of why this two hour period exits. The Play Store returns page still does indicate return periods are limited to 15 minutes which does suggest Google have not implemented this change as policy. However what is not so clear is whether this is actually a new change which is being trial ran or simply has always been in place. After completing their trials, Android Police did ask Google about this and the reply they received advised that an ‘extended’ period was often available to compensate for download speed and file size. However the extended period was not given as a precise timing. This again raised the suspicion that this very well maybe Google experimenting with different refund policies.

It is also not clear if this works for all apps and games although Android Police did note of the downloads tested it did not seem to matter about file size or content. Whether this does mean Google will soon be changing their refund policy on apps/games remains to be seen. As Google said this very well could be simply a generous time-frame to stop complaints. Only time (and official statements) from Google will clear the issue up indefinitely.

Until then, it is worth noting that if you do buy from the Play Store it may be worth observing the refund time you are offered. If you do decide to check on this then leave a comment and let us know your findings so we can get some consistency on this issue.

Source: Android Police

 

The post Google Play extends Refund policy on Apps/Games from 15 minutes to 2 hours appeared first on The Mukt.

An experimental drug may have saved the lives of American Ebola victims

Wednesday 6th of August 2014 03:42:28 AM

On July 22nd and 25th, two Americans named Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol who worked for charity organization Samaritan’s Purse, started to show signs of having contracted Ebola during their trip to Liberia, West Africa. Nine days later, after taking the experimental ZMapp drug, Dr. Kent was back on his feet.

After signs of the Ebola infection, Dr. Kent isolated himself to prevent the spread of the virus to his coworkers and the local population. Three days after Dr. Kent had seemingly come down with Ebola, Mrs. Writebol started to show similar symptoms. During the ninth day of having the infection, Dr. Kent was given an experimental drug called Zmapp, which had him walking around only an hour after being treated with this new drug.

Zmapp is a humanized monoclonal antibody drug that has been manufactured from plants, specifically from the Nicotiana genus, and is an “optimized cocktail” created from a collaboration between Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc., LeafBio, Defyrus Inc., the U.S. government and the Public Health Agency of Canada. According to Mapp Biopharmaceutical’s informational leaflet about Zmapp, it was first identified as a drug candidate in January of 2014 and has, “…not yet been evaluated for safety in humans.”.

The potency of this Zmapp drug has been not exaggerated in the slightest, with results being seen in an hour or less. Dr. Kent, who was treated first after his condition worsened, managed to begin to walk on his own, his breathing became less laboured, and the rash that had developed over his body had begun to recede.

Some major players in the medical industry who happen to condone safe medical practices such as WHO (World Health Organization), and Doctors Without Borders unsurprisingly did not jump to conclusions. They warned that health authorities not treat patients with experimental drugs no matter how severe their condition, because of the possibility that they may do more harm then good.

The two Americans who were infected are now being treated in Emory University Hospital in the U.S. where they will most likely remain until they no longer have the Ebola virus.

The post An experimental drug may have saved the lives of American Ebola victims appeared first on The Mukt.

Chrome OS Dev gets improved Gallery and Files app features

Wednesday 6th of August 2014 03:36:27 AM

Running on the latest Chrome OS Dev version? Google recently published a few new changes to the Gallery and Files apps.

First off, the gallery app received one cool feature making it much easier to zoom in and out of your photos. If you’re the owner of a Chromebook pixel, you shouldn’t need to worry about this one.

New keyboard shortcuts have been added to make the gallery app have a better experience. As you’re viewing the image try out the shortcuts below:

Ctrl + plus to zoom in
Ctrl + minus to zoom out
Ctrl + 0 to reset the zoom back to normal.

Now isn’t that much better?

Lastly for you ChromeOS users, let’s take a look at what Google has brought to the Files app.

In this latest addition you can now specify the aspect ratio for images while in cropping mode. In the commit logs it’s really that simple.

“Gallery.app: Add buttons to the cropping mode to specifying the aspect ratio. BUG=342176”

Though I haven’t quite had the chance to test out a lot of theses helpful new features, I encourage you to try out ChromeOS Dev for the coolest features.

The post Chrome OS Dev gets improved Gallery and Files app features appeared first on The Mukt.

Superfast charger can charge your smartphone in 15 minutes

Wednesday 6th of August 2014 02:43:32 AM

The mobile phone, as we all know it, has many uses other than making and receiving calls. We use the device to surf the Internet, take photos, play games and many other tasks. The more we use our mobile phones, the shorter its battery last. So if you are tired of plugging your smartphone into a wall electricity socket for hours, here is a charger that can charge your device in just 15 minutes.

Researchers have invented what they claim to be the world’s ‘fastest’ external phone charger that promises power enough for a day’s smartphone use from only a 15-minute charge.

The Petalite Flux battery, created by Leigh Purnell, is scheduled to be launched on the Indiegogo crowdfunding website at the end of this month.

The device is small enough to fit in your pocket or bag. So if your phone needs charging, you can simply connect it to the Flux battery and continue with your day.

“I founded Petalite Battery Systems to permanently remove the stress and worry of having a mobile phone on low battery when you are out and about. It is an increasingly large problem in modern life, especially if you are relying on your phone to direct you somewhere or are waiting for important information to be sent to you,” technology and enterprise management graduate, Leigh said.

He added: “We are very excited about the crowdfunding launch of the Flux battery. We believe that it is the fastest charger in the world and that it has real potential to make peoples’ lives that bit easier, whether commuting to and from work, on a family day out or enjoying an evening catching up with friends.

“We believe that crowdfunding is the perfect environment for our products, bringing people together who share the same enthusiasm for our idea and communicating with the community throughout the campaign to develop an improved experience for the customer.”

The post Superfast charger can charge your smartphone in 15 minutes appeared first on The Mukt.

Soon you will be able to mount your hard drives on RAM slots

Tuesday 5th of August 2014 09:55:21 PM

A PC storage manufacturer, Apacer, has developed a unique way to better use the real estate on the motherboard. They have added a ‘slot’ to the DDR3 desktop RAM which allows a user to mount a M.2 SSD add-in boards (same type of storage used in Chromebooks) or CFast CompactFlash cards.

Don’t get too excited to think that you can now get 64GB of RAM just by adding a M.2 type SSD. The Apacer solution simply uses the RAM slots to connect a hard drive through SATA III interface, the connected device will work like a storage device and not a memory one.

The new RAM sticks, named SDIMMS or Storage DIMMS, will support all the three lengths of M.2 SSD boards which can turn out to be pretty useful, since most mini-ITX desktop motherboard does not support full length M.2 SSDs.

The RAM sticks has a holder to hold the M.2 SSD cards, along with connectors at the top of the sticks to connect to the SATA interface of the motherboard. It’s a pity though that the sticks, at this stage don’t support the much faster PCI Express (PICe) interface.

The post Soon you will be able to mount your hard drives on RAM slots appeared first on The Mukt.

Carnegie Mellon creates open source tool to ‘extract’ 3D objects from 2D images

Tuesday 5th of August 2014 04:55:29 PM

Image being able to move an object in an image maintaining its perspective as if you are physically holding the object and moving it around? Let me give the example of a chair in a picture. How would you feel if you are able to turn it around or “even upside down in the photo, displaying sides of the chair that would have been hidden from the camera, yet appearing to be realistic”?

Carnegie Mellon university has created tool which can add the ’3rd dimension’ to an object in a photo allowing the editors to turn or flip objects any way they want, even exposing surfaces not visible in the original photograph.

“In the real world, we’re used to handling objects — lifting them, turning them around or knocking them over,” said Natasha Kholgade, a Ph.D. student in the Robotics Institute and lead author of the study. “We’ve created an environment that gives you that same freedom when editing a photo.”
Kholgade will present the team’s findings Aug. 13 at the SIGGRAPH 2014 Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques in Vancouver, Canada.

Carnegie Mellon says in a press release, “Though the system is designed for use with digital imagery, it enables the same 3-D manipulation of objects in paintings and in historical photos. Objects that can be manipulated in photos also can be animated; the researchers demonstrated that an origami bird held in a hand can be made to flap its wings and fly away, or a taxi cab shown in a street scene can levitate, flip over to reveal its undercarriage and zip off into the heavens.”

The only limitation of this technology at the moment is that it uses a wide variety of stock models is available online, and not every object is yet available online. But with time this repository will get bigger and bigger as 3D printing and scanning is becoming popular day by day.

“The more pressing question will soon be, not whether a particular model exists online, but whether the user can find it,” Sheikh said. One thrust of future research will thus need to be automating the search for 3-D models in a database of millions.

The tool is available for Mac OX with source code under GNU GPLv2 licence.

The post Carnegie Mellon creates open source tool to ‘extract’ 3D objects from 2D images appeared first on The Mukt.

ownCloud is enjoying startling community contribution

Tuesday 5th of August 2014 04:01:31 PM

ownCloud is one of the most important free software project considering our move to the ‘cloud’ is inevitable. Most of us use more than one computing devices (I have 8) and we want to be able to access some of our data from any device we want and thus the need of cloud based syncing and storing solutions. However, the moment you use 3rd party cloud services such as Dropbox, iCloud, Drive or OneDrive you lost control and ‘ownership’ of your data. At the same time you expose your otherwise private data to these companies and law-enforcement authorities.

The only solution to keep our data private and out of claws of commercial companies or some suppressive government is by keeping it on your ownCloud. That is why I think this one project is the most most important projects around, which we will need more than even in ‘cloud’ based scary future.

ownCloud is gaining momentum not only in the enterprise segment but also in the community. ownCloud project Frank Karlitschek says that , ownCloud has had nearly 57,000 commits made by more than 550 contributors, currently developing ownCloud at a speed of about 1,500 commits (changes to code) per month. This makes ownCloud one of the largest open-source teams in the world — in the top 2% of all project teams on Open Hub.

“Over the past twelve months alone, nearly 300 developers contributed new code to ownCloud,” said Karlitschek. “These contributors are what make ownCloud such a great way to protect the security and privacy of documents, photos, videos and even music.”

Beyond code contributors, including roughly 70 who contribute regularly, more than 4,000 people submitted bug reports and feature requests, more than 900 have closed issues and more than 6,500 participate in discussions around issues and feature requests.

These contributions are not coming from just one region; they are coming from all around the globe representing more than 10 countries.

There are two ‘free and open source’ versions of ownCloud – a free of cost version for the community and a paid version for enterprise customers. Those who don’t want companies like Microsoft, Google or Apple to ‘own’ and ‘control’ their data should be using using ownCloud.

It’s a no-brainer!

The post ownCloud is enjoying startling community contribution appeared first on The Mukt.

Cigarettes can incease your hard drive’s performance!

Tuesday 5th of August 2014 03:38:10 PM

South Korean researchers have managed to convert used cigarette butts into a material which can be used to store energy. The material performs much better than currently used material such as carbon, graphene and carbon nanotubes. The researchers presented their paper in IOP Publishing’s journal Nanotechnology.

Professor Jongheop Yi, co-author of the study, said: “Our study has shown that used-cigarette filters can be transformed into a high-performing carbon-based material using a simple one step process, which simultaneously offers a green solution to meeting the energy demands of society.”

That doesn’t mean more people can start smoking now. What it does mean that the technology can help tackle the approximately 5.6 trillion used-cigarettes, or 766,571 metric tons, which are deposited into the environment worldwide every year.
This ‘waste’ can now be used to create high-performing material for storage in electronics.

I hope tobacco companies won’t come up with advertisements like, “each cigarette increase 5 terabyte of storage’

The post Cigarettes can incease your hard drive’s performance! appeared first on The Mukt.

The Expendables 3 – what if Quentin Tarantino directed it?

Tuesday 5th of August 2014 01:02:29 PM

Any film series that dares to bring together such a diverse array of screen legends and up and coming bucks – doing what they do best – deserves to be seen and enjoyed by every warm-blooded Homo Sapien on the planet.

Now imagine if Sam Peckinpah (long dead bless him, but not forgotten) directed an Expendables movie – take that thought to bed with you tonight and count the slo-mo deaths as you fall asleep.

Unless our reality shifts into an alternate universe, that’s not going to happen. So let’s get Peckinpah’s apprentice to direct the next Expendables – Quentin Tarantino.

Offer him script-tinkering rights and more money than what’s decent, wean him of that western he’s clucking over at the moment and get him signed up.

Yes, I know it’s a popular wet dream for film buffs to wonder and ponder over a Tarantino-made Bond, or Batfinkman, Spiderboy etc. For starters a Tarantino Bond wouldn’t work – Bond is too British and the elegantly-chinned one – too American – it would look and sound ridiculous and would probably be the death of the series.

As for the Superhero movies- such a glut of them that I’ve lost all interest- dark, miserable and repetitive (How many reboots has Superman had? And who cares now that Christopher Reeve is no longer with us?)

Tarantino would struggle to make something that stood out from the crowd. Iron Man is the exception to the pubic Spiderboys and depressed Batmen, Downey Jnr doesn’t really have any special powers, just a nuclear reactor or something in his chest and a cool- gadget laden suit, but what Jnr does have is charm and lots of amusing lines. But one was just right – no need to bludgeon the heck outa it.

Right, back to The Expendables 3 and why Tarantino is the perfect choice to direct no 4 or 5 or 6….

The Opening scene is indicative of what you’ll get throughout the film, a big bag of busted ball-exploding action that is epic and mind-boggling – mind-boggling in good ways and bad ways.

The Good Ways:
The sheer scale, the stunt-work, the incredible array of movie-trickery and logistics involved to achieve the many action scenes in the film and all from the script’s simple descriptions – i.e.: ‘Helicopter attacks armoured prison train, our heroes transfer, in heroic fashion, to the train and continue killing lots of bad guys.’

Stallone looking gorgeously rugged and fit for his age (68!) Lungdren-looking more and more like Mads Mikkelsen’s beautiful dad. And it’s the perfect vehicle for The Snipes to get back to work. There’s even a cheeky in-joke from Wesley (very unlikely action star name) regarding the reason for his cinematic incarceration.

Mel Gibson being really likeable as the bad guy, but that’s just Mel- he would make the devil look cute. Kelsey Grammer and Stallone’s scenes full of warmth and humour. Cheeky wee Statham looking hurt and – Oh look, is that Mads Mikkelsen’s dad?

The Bad Ways:
The curse of modern action movies – too many cameras with shaky operators strung out on coffee, trying to create a sense of urgency. Then the director and editor get together and become overwhelmed by the amount of coverage and edit like the crazed caffeine addicts they are. Just calm down will you – drink herbal tea or just water and let the actors and the action itself put across the urgency, the speed, the danger. Let us take in the whole scene, let us see clearly what’s bloody happening.

And what has happened to the art of framing? If these film-making culprits intended their films to look like a pack of media journalists/cameramen under attack-then they’ve certainly succeeded.

Note to action-movie directors – watch a few Peckinpah’s and Kubrick’s before you start shooting.

Redemption:
Don’t get me wrong there is style and coolness in between the battles and even a bit of slo-mo and by the time the final battle comes around the director, with his editor, is firing on all cylinders, and we have a beautifully pieced together and coherent mini-war with tanks, copters and an inventive body count. As the final credits roll, this writer, testosterone levels through the roof, walks away from the screen an almost satisfied man – there’s just that niggling doubt that war and death shouldn’t really be portrayed as such fun.

And the rest:
Banderas is an irritating but enjoyable breath of fresh air and Jet Li pops in at the last moment to say hello and grab his quota of dead bad guys alongside Arnie and Harrison who has become a pretty good flyer after all those years messing about in his Millennium Falcon.

Tasty dialogue:
Stallone says to Banderas- “you may what to get outa that seat (co-pilot seat) Christmas is coming.”
Banderas, “but it’s June?”

Banderas flirting lustily with Luna in the midst of all the mayhem, “Do you want to hold my gun?”

Cheesiest line:
Mel, who was meant to be brought back alive so he could face war crimes at the Hague, says,
“What about the Hague, eh?”
And Stallone replies in his best-est, gruffest voice, “I am the Hague”

Roll on The Inglorious Expendable Bastards 4 (With more Banderas please).

The post The Expendables 3 – what if Quentin Tarantino directed it? appeared first on The Mukt.

How to use and install the Xposed Framework

Tuesday 5th of August 2014 01:42:10 AM

One of the great pleasures or rooting is the ability to customize and tweak to an almost endless degree. Android devices are quite privileged in this respect and once root access is achieved users have the opportunity to make their device truly their own.

Customizing rooted devices typically involves downloading root access apps and themes which once installed perform actions that would not be possible on non-rooted devices. However this usually involves downloading entire apps which take up valuable space and computing power. What the rooting world really needs is the ability to install some kind of overall framework which would further allow only the essential elements or modules of an app to be installed. For instance you want a torch feature on your phone. Well, wouldn’t it be easier if instead of downloading an entire torch app which has to run and consume battery and data you could simply install a module which patches the LED function without any additional bloatware. If only we had such a framework…

Oh wait, we do!

Xposed framework really is revolutionary in terms of what it means to customise your device and does so in such a lightweight manner that it has quickly become a staple of the rooting world. We recently compiled a list of five must-have apps for rooted devices and although Xposed is not an actual app it made number two on the list as it is an essential install for all rooted users.

If you haven’t got the idea yet then what Xposed does is simple. This is a framework which when installed on your device allows you to download and install ‘modules’. These modules are in essence fragments of apps, the good stuff, pure functions without the dressing up in app form or additional bloatware and advertising. Modules are developed and uploaded to the Xposed depository and the user can simply download and install them. In short, minor tweaks and adjustments which result in big changes to the end-user. Another quick example of its simplicity is with YouTube. Everyone is tired of the numerous adverts on YouTube and yet we all understand why they exist. However by downloading YouTube AdAway via the Xposed installer this module simply restricts YouTube from playing the ads to the user. This is the Xposed framework’s greatest power. It doesn’t install apps but simply add-ons which integrate with your existing apps (and system) to achieve results you want.

Sound too good to be true? Well, its not. Xposed is an excellent addition to the open-source market and certainly one which should be tried by anyone who has rooted their device. Now a warning is needed for this. Xposed is extremely powerful. After all this is why you are thinking of installing it. Xposed has the ability to change the core system of your device and with such power there are inevitably consequences for misuse. You can seriously damage your device with Xposed so as always, you have been warned. Install at your own risk and knowing the consequences.

Still want it? Of course you do!

Installing Xposed is a relatively simply process but to avoid any unwanted issues we will go through this in steps. There are no major requirements needed for Xposed although you do obviously have to be rooted and should be running at least Android 4.0.3

Next Page – Backup & Installation

The post How to use and install the Xposed Framework appeared first on The Mukt.

Flappy Birds returns on Amazon Fire TV

Monday 4th of August 2014 07:22:00 PM

Flappy birds was a phenomenon when it was first released and instantly became an overnight hit attracted millions of users worldwide and reportedly racking in over $50,000 a day through in-app adverts. However the game was eventually pulled both from the iOS and Android stores back in February with the developer claiming he was suffering too much emotional abuse about the app. Not because of how bad it was but simply how addictive the users had become.

This week saw the return of the extremely popular game on the Amazon appstore under the guise of Flappy Birds Family. At first it was unclear if this was the return of one of the most frustrating games ever however it does seem to be the case. What is probably more interesting is that the game is ONLY available to Amazon Fire TV owners and not available to any other device including Amazon devices likes the Kindle Fire or phone.

There are no significant differences to the gameplay with this version identical in all respects to the original. However this version does include additional functions including multi-player ability and it is assumed is the logic behind the ‘family’ evolution of the game.

(CAUTION: THIS VERSION IS ONLY COMPATIBLE WITH AMAZON FIRETV) Flappy Birds now are on Amazon Fire TV with incredible new features: Person vs Person mode, more obstacles, more fun and still very hard. Enjoy playing the game at home (not breaking your TV) with your family and friends“.

So if you weren’t annoyed enough by Flappy Birds the first time round you can know be collectively annoyed along with the rest of your family while playing it on the big screen.

As mentioned this is currently only available exclusively on Fire TV and at the moment is free to download. There are currently no major press releases either by Amazon or the developer about the re-launch and as such we cannot advise if or when this will be available on other devices.

If you own a Fire TV and are ready for the challenge once again then you can download the game by heading over to the Amazon appstore or by clicking here.

The post Flappy Birds returns on Amazon Fire TV appeared first on The Mukt.

LinuxCon and CloudOpen to include Linux Quiz Show, 5K Fun Run and more

Monday 4th of August 2014 07:20:54 PM

The Linux Foundation has announced a host of onsite exciting activities to go along with information-packed keynotes, co-located events, conference sessions and more taking place at LinuxCon and CloudOpen North America August 20-22, 2014 at the Sheraton, Chicago.

“We work hard to ensure that the right projects and people are represented from the worlds of Linux and open cloud technologies, but we also work to ensure the right structures are there for communication and education. We have created a unique set of fun and engaging activities to hopefully strengthen the bonds and collaboration between our speakers, sponsors and attendees. So if you see an adult in an anime costume running in a 5k, you know LinuxCon must be in town,” said Amanda McPherson, chief marketing officer, The Linux Foundation.

Linux Quiz Show, Wednesday – Friday, August 20-22
Attendees will be able to watch their colleagues go head to head against top Linux developers. The Linux Quiz Show will take place on the keynote stage, and prizes will be given away to the winners.
● Wednesday, 10:30am-10:45am – Beat the Kernel Developer
● Thursday, 10:00am-10:15am – Back to the 80′s
● Friday, 10:00am-10:15am – Head in the Clouds

Comic Book Hero Costume Contest, Thursday, August 21
Attendees are invited to dust off their capes and stretch out their tights for the first ever LinuxCon and CloudOpen Comic Book Hero Costume Contest. Attendees can bring their costume or choose one from the costume store available onsite Wednesday, August 20 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Ballroom Office. Judging will take place during the evening Booth Crawl in the Sheraton Ballroom where winners will need to be present to win. Special prizes for the best costumes.

5K Linux Fun Run, Friday, August 22
The Linux Foundation will host an early morning run on the last day of the event. Participants are invited to meet in the Sheraton Lobby at 6:15 a.m.

Late-breaking keynote confirmations being announced include Douglas Balog of IBM, Michael Enescu of Cisco, and Imad Sousou of Intel.

The post LinuxCon and CloudOpen to include Linux Quiz Show, 5K Fun Run and more appeared first on The Mukt.

CyanogenMod CM11 M9 released and ready to install

Monday 4th of August 2014 06:50:54 PM

August is here and just like clockwork CyanogenMod have released a new version of CM11. For those of you unaware CyanogenMod recently changed the way in which they list downloads. Until recently CM was always released as either stable, snapshot (mostly stable) or nightlies (experimental and buggy) versions. However CM11 over the last few months have used an ‘M’ release system which instead simply refers to ‘milestone’. The M releases are technically snapshots but are considerably more stable than nightlies and are considered to be suitable for main or daily usage.

As expected the August release brings CM11 up to M9 and there are some notable improvements. The obvious ones include bug fixes for Heads Up, lockscreen widgets, support for both Play Services and Proximity wake-ups (noted issues in M8) and also support for Korean and Chinese dialler functions.

The full change log provided by CyanogenMod is as follows:

  • Themes support for additional UI elements
  • Heads Up Notifications – Bug Fixes
  • Lockscreen – Allow doubletap to sleep when using secure key guard
  • Torch – Improve performance
  • Safe Headset Volume – prompt when interfering with 3rd party device (Jawbone, Square, etc)
  • Center clock support
  • Quick Settings – respect locale changes on additional tiles
  • Proximity Wake-Up support – prevent accidental wake-up of device by checking to see if proximity sensor is blocked (eg. Device is in a bag or pocket).
  • Spam notification filtering – Set notifications to auto-ignore based on content (perfect for those pesky games that want you to ‘Save 20% on our new game’). Long-press offending notification to set as ignored; manage in Privacy settings.
  • Settings Search – Additional improvements and highlighting
  • Data Usage Info – Add support for CDMA devices without sim cards
  • Bluetooth – Add additional A2DP profiles
  • Bluetooth – Disable AVRCP 1.5 by default (fixes various car unit compatibility)
  • Email – Fix saving attachments to storage for POP3 accounts
  • Translations (Thanks CM Crowdin Team!)
  • Account for Play Services induced wake-locks
  • Fix encryption on some LG Devices
  • Dialer – add support for Korean and Chinese to smart-dialer

In addition to the above improvements M9 also includes support (for the first time) for the Xperia Z2 ‘sirius’, Xperia Z2 Tablets ‘castor’ and the HTC One ‘m8’. Until now CM was only available on these devices as a nightlie.

If you are already running CM11 (presumably M8) then to update all you need to do is head to settings, CyanogenMod Updates and the new update should be listed as M9. Download the update and you will be prompted to install. As long as you are running a new(ish) version of Clockwork Mod (CWM) than the update should all occur automatically once you hit ‘Install’.

If you are not currently running CM than you will firstly need to check out the download page to see if your device is compatible and listed. If it is then download the relative file and install via custom recovery. If you are unsure of how to do this then you can check out our how-to-guide. The information on the guide is largely for Samsung devices but can be used as a general guide for installing CM.

If your device is not listed on the download page then don’t fret too much. These lists are constantly updating throughout the few days following a release and chances are your device will be up sooner than later. So just keep checking the download page

For those of you running M9 leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

The post CyanogenMod CM11 M9 released and ready to install appeared first on The Mukt.

Edward Snowden’s Russian asylum expires

Monday 4th of August 2014 06:30:28 PM

The temporary asylum of the US whistle-blower Edward Snowden, who has been hailed as a hero by a majority or ‘well-informed’, expired yesterday. Russia has not yet confirmed the extension of his asylum, as the country is preparing for a war with Ukrain.

It’s ironic that countries like Germany who learned about US spying their own chancellor Angela Markel, thanks to Snowden, don’t have the spine to offer asylum to Snoden fearing the wrath of the United States.

Only recently Germany arrested two German executives spying for NSA. Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian reporter who exposed NSA’s PRIMS program, recently refused to go to Germany as a witness in their ‘so-called’ investigation. Greenwald who quit Guardian to start The Intercept said that German investigation is nothing more than an illusion to “placate the German public with empty symbolism, and keep the culprit – the U.S. Government – happy.”

There is a growing support for Snowden within the US where leaders are asking for amenity to Snowden.

It’s also ironic that while Snowden is being ‘treated’ as a traitor by the US government, the emperor of the US cyber command, Keith Alexander (who also lied to the congress about spying) has created a company around his ‘cyber-expertise‘ charging over a million dollar per month.

Worried about Alexander’s new business Alan Grayson, a Florida Democrat, said “Disclosing or misusing classified information for profit is, as Mr. Alexander well knows, a felony. I question how Mr. Alexander can provide any of the services he is offering unless he discloses or misuses classified information, including extremely sensitive sources and methods. Without the classified information that he acquired in his former position, he literally would have nothing to offer to you.”

Coming back to the question of Snowden’s asylum status, his lawyers says he can stay in Russia while his application is being processed.

The post Edward Snowden’s Russian asylum expires appeared first on The Mukt.

Linux Kernel Shuffling Zombie Juror aka 3.16 released

Monday 4th of August 2014 04:40:20 PM

Linus Torvalds has announced the release of Linux kernel 3.16 codenamed ‘Shuffling Zombie Juror’, which brings many notable improvements.

This release is just before LinuxCon and Kernel Summit which is being organised in Chicago (I will be attending the event on behalf of The Mukt).

You may also want to read who is trolling the Linux kernel mailing lists.

There was nothing much dramatic about this release as Linus said, “So while 3.16 looked a bit iffy for a while, things cleared up nicely, and there was no reason to do extra release candidates like I feared just a couple of weeks ago.”

It also means that working on 3.17 has started, “And as usual (previous release being the exception) that means that the merge window for 3.17 is obviously open,” said Linus.

As usual, the new kernel sports a lot of fixes and support of new hardware. The most notable changes include reclocking support Kepler GPUs with open source Nvidia driver and groundwork support for the new upcoming Cherryview SoC from Intel. Apart from that changes include

  • Driver support for new *Synaptic RMI4* devices
  • Freefall driver for Dell Latitude machines
  • ACPI and Power Management improvments for Intel CPUs: support for new Broadwell processors has been added
  • Improved support for *Sony Dualshock4* and *Sixaxus* controllers
  • Better Radeon graphics support : newer kernel has better GPU VM optimizations and large PTE support for better VRAM bandwidth performance along with HDMI Deep color support and HDMI Audio fixes which will result in better experience on Radeon cards with the open-source drivers
  • Fixes for the btrfs filesystem, which is soon going to replace ext4 as the default filesystem starting with openSUSE 13.2
  • Support for Nokia N900′s modem is now included in the kernel
  • The “blk-mq” code for better SSD performance is now feature complete
  • Samsung Exynos SoCs now supports multi-cluster power management support and being built as part of a multi-platform kernel which means that one Linux kernel image is now able to run on different SoCs.
  • New SoC support for the Freescale i.MX6SX, LSI Axxia AXM55xx SoCs, Samsung EXYNOS 3250/5260/5410/5420/5800, and STi STIH407.
  • Better support for Jetson TK1 ARM platform
  • GK20A support as the NVIDIA Kepler-based GPU within the Tegra K1 SoC

You can get the source archive from kernel.org and compile it yourself although many distributions (particularly the rolling-release ones) will have the new kernel available shortly after initial testing.

The kernel is not something similar to LibreOffice which you should grab and install. You should better wait for your distro to get 3.16 to your. I doubt any of the major distros will be updating to 3.16 any time soon as openSUSE, Fedora and Ubuntu-families are all coming out with new releases later this year and that’s when we can expect 3.16.

There will be, however, one exception and that’s Arch Linux (read out extremely easy Arch Linux installation guide) which would be pushing out the release as soon as possible.

Abhinav Kumar contributed to this story.

The post Linux Kernel Shuffling Zombie Juror aka 3.16 released appeared first on The Mukt.

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