Links

Places on the web that are of most interest to me:

  • PubMed. The premier site for literature searches in biomedical science.
  • Slashdot. Feel the pulse of today's most pressing issues in science, technology, and rights in the digital age.
  • OSNews. Another geeky news site geared towards articles around the web that concern the "future of computing."
  • Pybliographer. Need a bibliography manager in Linux? Look no further, this program is jam packed with features and competes with many current commercial software packages.
  • Using LaTeX for your thesis proposal and dissertation (from http://www.rpi.edu/computing/software/latex/thesis-info.html [Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute]). This is an excellent starting document for those of you wanting to learn more about LaTeX. By all means, spend the time now to understand this wonderful package and it will save you lots of headache and heartache in the future when you need to whip out a scientific paper, review, or book.


The following are links to my family and friends' web pages:
  • Hieu Vu. My brother is a graduating Chemical Engineer. He's has a number of experiences in the field and is looking for a job, can you help him out?
  • Tone's "The World from Mine Eyes". In need of a good chuckle?
  • Jeffrey T. Mason. He's a childhood friend who has always had a passion for radio and music. He DJs in the Chicago listening area for a popular dance (WKIE - 92.7/5) radio station. Check his site out and listen to him live on the Jeffro Show, 7 pm to Midnight CST.
  • Dragonsfolly.com is my cousin's site. It has excellent prose and sci-fi fantasy fan fiction. Check it out for an interesting read.
  • Pham-Tom Designs is a friend's design company. Browse his pages if you need art design for your website.
  • Color Negative is yet another friend's design company. Browse his pages if you need art design for your website.
  • Minh Pham is a close friend who happens to be a real estate broker. His passion is motivational speaking. Please peruse his site if you need a speaker for your next conference or meeting.
  • Oanh Le is in the IT field in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area (soon to be in the New York City area). She has more than a few years of on-the-job experience under her belt. Follow the link if you need a consultant for contract work.
  • Looking for a snazzy pair of sneaks? Swing on by to gotkickz? and order "two per of those er force ones." In fact, do your holiday shopping early, tell them I sent you.


Some recent deals and news

Channel: DealNews - Today's Edition

  • Vera Bradley Women's Printed Poly Scarf for $10 + free shipping. Vera Bradley via eBay continues to offer its Vera Bradley Women's Printed Poly Scarf in several colors (Katalina Love pictured) for $9.99 with free shipping. That's tied with our mention from last week and the lowest total price we could find by $7.
  • Sony Live View Wireless Remote for $79 + free shipping. B&H Photo Video offers the Sony Live View Wireless Remote for $79 with free shipping. That's the lowest price we could find by $69. The Sony Live View is a wrist-worn remote control for select Sony Action Cam and Cyber-shot models that allows you to start and stop video recording, snap photos, and change settings.
  • The Phantasm Collection Boxset on Blu-Ray for $60 + free shipping. Best Buy offers The Phantasm Collection Boxset on Blu-Ray Disc for $59.99 with free shipping. That's $20 under list and the lowest price we could find. This recently-released 6-disc set features all five Phantasm movies and bonus features.
  • Citizen Eco-Drive Men's Chronograph Watch for $95 + free shipping. Watches Half Price via eBay offers the Citizen Eco-Drive Men's Chronograph Watch, model no. CA0590-82A, for $94.99 with free shipping. That's $5 under our March mention and the lowest price we could find by $52. It features a stainless steel case and band and water resistance to 330 feet.
  • AOC 24" 1080p LED LCD Display for $90 + free shipping. Quill offers the AOC 24" 1080p LED-Backlit LCD Monitor for $89.99 with free shipping. That's $10 under our mention from last October and the lowest total price we could find today by $6. It features a 1920x1080 (1080p) native resolution, 5ms response time, and DVI and VGA inputs.
  • LEGO Architecture U.S. Capitol Building for $68 + pickup at Walmart. Walmart offers the LEGO Architecture United States Capitol Building Kit, model no. 21030, for $69.70. Opt for in-store pickup to drop it to $67.96. (Amazon offers it for a few bucks more.) That's $2 under our mention from Black Friday and the lowest total price we've seen. (It's also the best deal now by $4.) This 1,032-piece kit features a removable top.
  • Suicide Squad on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray $17 + pickup at Best Buy. Best Buy offers Suicide Squad on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Steelbook for $16.99. Choose in-store pickup to dodge the $3.99 shipping fee. That's the lowest price we could find by $13. It also includes digital and standard Blu-ray copies of the movie.
  • Bushnell 8x32 Trophy XLT Binoculars for $50 + free shipping. As one of its daily deals, B&H Photo Video offers the Bushnell 8x32mm Trophy XLT Binoculars for $49.99 with free shipping. That's the lowest total price we could find by $10. They feature fully multicoated optics, Dura-Grip rubber-armored housing, and fast focus system. Deal ends today.
  • GreenWorks G-Max 40V 12" Cordless Chainsaw for $40 + pickup at Walmart. Walmart offers the GreenWorks G-Max 40-volt 12-Inch Cordless Chainsaw for $41.23. Choose in-store pickup to chop it down to $39.62. (Amazon charges the same with free shipping.) That's the lowest price we could find by $16. It features a 12" steel bar and chain, automatic oiler, and tool-less chain tensioning. It does not include a battery or charger.
  • Milwaukee M18 Impact Wrench Kit w/ 9" Blade for $264 + free shippipng. Ending today, Acme Tools offers the Milwaukee M18 Impact Wrench Combo Kit, bundled with the Milwaukee The Ax with Carbide Teeth Sawzall 9" Blade for $264.12 with free shipping. (Add both tools to your cart to see this price.) That's $106 under our mention of the impact wrench alone from a month ago and the lowest total price we could find for the pair by $118. The impact wrench includes a 0.5" friction ring, two batteries, multi-voltage charger, belt clip, a 9-piece socket set, and a carrying case.
  • LEGO Batman Movie Alarm Clock for $14 + pickup at Best Buy. Best Buy via eBay offers the LEGO Batman Movie Alarm Clock for $13.99. Opt for in-store pickup where available to dodge the $5.99 shipping charge. That's the lowest price we could find by $16. It measures 9" tall and requires two AAA batteries (included).
  • Two Clinique Gift Sets for $36 + free shipping. Macy's offers the Clinique 6-Piece Spring Into Colour Gift Set (pictured) bundled with a Clinique 7-Piece Gift Set in Spring Pinks or Spring Nudes for $39.50. (The 7-piece set is added to your cart automatically.) Coupon code "FRIEND" cuts the price to $35.55. Even better, free shipping applies. That's $136 off list for these sets and the lowest price we could find. These sets include an assortment of lipsticks, fragrances, moisturizers, and other makeup.
  • Jos. A. Bank Men's Clearance Ties for $10 each + free shipping. As one of its daily deals, Jos. A. Bank offers a selection of its men's clearance ties for $9.99 each. Plus, Bank Account Rewards members get free shipping. (Not a member? It's free to join.) Deal ends today. A couple of best bets:
    • Jos. A. Bank Men's Executive Regimental Guard Stripe Tie for $9.99 (pictured, $40 off)
    • Jos. A. Bank Men's Regimental Guard Stripe Bow Tie for $9.99 ($40 off)
  • 2 Non-Slip Anti-Microbial Hydro Rugs for $20 + free shipping. As one of its daily deals, 13 Deals offers this Non-Slip Anti-Microbial Hydro Rug for $11.99. Add two to your cart for $19.98. With free shipping, that's tied with our mention from two weeks ago and the lowest total price we could find now for this quantity by $4. This stain-resistant rug measures approximately 30" x 17". Deal ends today.
  • Bitdefender 2017 Software for $20. Bitdefender continues to cut a selection of its 2017 software downloads to $19.99, as listed below. The deals:
    • Bitdefender Total Security 2017 5-Device 1-Year for PC/Mac/Android for $19.99 (low by $30)
    • Bitdefender Internet Security 2017 5-Device 1-Year for PC for $19.99 (low by $63)
    • Bitdefender Anitvirus Plus 2017 3-Device 1-Year for PC for $19.99 (low by $20)
  • Macy's Beauty Sale: Extra 50% off + free shipping. Macy's takes an extra 50% off a selection of cosmetics, skincare, and other beauty items. (Prices are as marked.) Plus, all orders bag free shipping. That's tied with our mention from a week ago as the best sale we've seen on a selection of beauty items at Macy's in over a year. Discounted brands include Elizabeth Arden, Lancome, SmashBox, and BareMinerals.
  • Nexbox 16GB Android TV Box for $50 + free shipping. TomTop offers the Nexbox 16GB WiFi Android TV Box, model no. A95X, for $49.99 with free shipping. That's the lowest price we could find by $2, although we saw it for $18 less last September. Features include an Amlogic S905X 2.0GHz quad-core processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB eMMC storage, 4K support, WiFi, Ethernet, and Android 6.0 (Marshmallow).

    Note: The countdown timer on the product page does not reflect an actual expiration time and resets daily.
  • Manfrotto Veloce V Camera Backpack for $60 + free shipping. As one of its daily deals, Best Buy offers the Manfrotto Veloce V Camera Backpack in Black for $59.99 with free shipping. That's $40 off and the lowest price we could find. It features several padded compartments for carrying a camera, lenses, and even a laptop. Deal ends today.
  • Samsung USB Type-C to microUSB Adapter for $4 + free shipping. As one of its daily deals, A4C again offers the Samsung USB Type-C to microUSB Adapter in White for $3.79 with free shipping. That's tied with our expired mention from six days ago and the best deal we could find by $6, outside of the price below. Deal ends today.

    A close price: Walmart charges $4.42. Choose in-store pickup to dodge the $5.99 shipping fee.
  • 25-Foot Stainless Steel Garden Hose for $20 + free shipping. As one of its daily deals, That Daily Deal offers this 25-Foot Stainless Steel Garden Hose for $19.99 with free shipping. That's $20 under the lowest price we could find for a similar hose, although we saw this one for a buck less two weeks ago. It's puncture- and kink-proof. Deal ends today.

    Note: It's due to ship on or around May 15.
Channel: Techbargains.com

Channel: xpBargains.com deals RSS feed

Channel: Slashdot

Channel: OSNews

  • Building a QNX 7 desktop. BlackBerry QNX is an embedded operating system targeting applications in the automotive, general embedded, and medical markets. However, it is not your garden-variety embedded OS: QNX is a full-blown, UNIX-like, POSIX-compliant operating system with all of the features you would expect of a desktop or server-class OS. Compatibility with other systems means that, at least in theory, porting various open source projects to SDP 7 should be a relatively easy task. And so, while there is no official support in this release for a desktop environment, there is nothing precluding someone from building such a system. With that in mind, I set myself the task of building a BlackBerry QNX 7 desktop. Written by QNX kernel developer Elad Lahav, so you know the information in this article is solid.
  • Why is Microsoft turning its Surface business into the next Nokia?. If Microsoft wants to make PC hardware, it needs to do so properly and commit to the same kinds of updates as other PC OEMs. Almost every other PC OEM has refreshed its systems for Kaby Lake. Almost every other PC OEM has adopted, at least for machines in the premium space that Surface occupies, USB Type-C and Thunderbolt 3. Surface Pro - a machine which, in its early generations, arguably defined that particular style of two-in-one systems - is no longer unique. HP, Dell, Lenovo, Samsung, and others all have solid two-in-one offerings. These machines are modeled after the Surface Pro concept, but they now embody that concept better than Microsoft's own system. The Surface has been out-Surfaced. The failure to do anything with Surface for so long makes us wonder just what Microsoft is up to. If the company is serious about its hardware ambitions - and officially, at least, it still says that its intent is to produce market-leading systems under the Surface brand - then it has to take its hardware seriously. That means refreshing it to keep pace with the competition. He's exactly right. I love my surface Pro 4 - no way I'm ever going back to cumbersome laptops with fixed, stand-in-the-way keyboards - but it definitely leaves a few things to be desired hardware-wise. Although not a huge problem for me since I don't use it, the pen tracking is pretty terrible, the display has some light bleeding issues here and there, the processor is nice but definitely a generation behind, and battery life is decent, but not exceptional. Except for the pen, these are all things that could be addressed by refreshing the device with Intel's latest. So, Microsoft - what will it be?
  • New update options for Windows 10, version 1703. With the release of Windows 10, we simplified the servicing process by moving to cumulative updates, where each update released contains all the new fixes for that month, as well as all the older fixes from previous months. Today, most organizations deploy these cumulative updates when they are released on the second Tuesday of every month, also called "Update Tuesday." Because these updates contain new security fixes, they are considered "Security Updates" in Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) and System Center Configuration Manager. Based on feedback from customers, we are making some adjustments to the updates that we are releasing for Windows 10, version 1703 (also known as the "Creators Update"). With these changes, we will routinely offer one (or sometimes more than one) additional update each month. These additional cumulative updates will contain only new non-security updates, so they will be considered "Updates" in WSUS and Configuration Manager.
  • Alphabet's self-driving cars to get their first real riders. After almost a decade of research, Google's autonomous car project is close to becoming a real service. Now known as Waymo, the Alphabet Inc. self-driving car unit is letting residents of Phoenix sign up to use its vehicles, a major step toward commercializing a technology that could one day upend transportation. This is going to change our society a lot quicker than people seem to think.
  • Google rewrites its search rankings to bury fake news. Google isn't planning to rid fake news from its search results - but it's trying to purge it from the top. The Alphabet Inc. company is making a rare, sweeping change to the algorithm behind its powerful search engine to demote misleading, false and offensive articles online. Google is also setting new rules encouraging its "raters" - the 10,000-plus staff that assess search results - to flag web pages that host hoaxes, conspiracy theories and what the company calls "low-quality" content. Good - but also possibly incredibly dangerous.
  • Torching the modern-day Library of Alexandria. It was strange to me, the idea that somewhere at Google there is a database containing 25-million books and nobody is allowed to read them. It's like that scene at the end of the first Indiana Jones movie where they put the Ark of the Covenant back on a shelf somewhere, lost in the chaos of a vast warehouse. It's there. The books are there. People have been trying to build a library like this for ages - to do so, they've said, would be to erect one of the great humanitarian artifacts of all time - and here we've done the work to make it real and we were about to give it to the world and now, instead, it's 50 or 60 petabytes on disk, and the only people who can see it are half a dozen engineers on the project who happen to have access because they’re the ones responsible for locking it up. I asked someone who used to have that job, what would it take to make the books viewable in full to everybody? I wanted to know how hard it would have been to unlock them. What's standing between us and a digital public library of 25 million volumes? You'd get in a lot of trouble, they said, but all you'd have to do, more or less, is write a single database query. You'd flip some access control bits from off to on. It might take a few minutes for the command to propagate. You know those moments, when reading about history, where you think "how could these people have been so stupid? Why didn't drinking from, defecating in and washing in the same body of water raise a red flag? Why did people think slavery was an a-ok thing to do? Why did they sacrifice children to make sure the sun would rise in the morning? Were these people really that stupid?" A hundred years from now, people are going to look back upon the greatest library of mankind, filled with countless priceless works that nobody has access to, fully indexed, ready to go at a push of a button - this invaluable, irreplaceable treasure trove of human culture, and think, "how could these people have been so stupid?"
  • Apple forces recyclers to shred all iPhones and MacBooks. Apple released its Environmental Responsibility Report Wednesday, an annual grandstanding effort that the company uses to position itself as a progressive, environmentally friendly company. Behind the scenes, though, the company undermines attempts to prolong the lifespan of its products. Apple's new moonshot plan is to make iPhones and computers entirely out of recycled materials by putting pressure on the recycling industry to innovate. But documents obtained by Motherboard using Freedom of Information requests show that Apple's current practices prevent recyclers from doing the most environmentally friendly thing they could do: Salvage phones and computers from the scrap heap. Having "old" but perfectly usable products in the marketplace is a terrible place for a company like Apple to be in. Most computers, smartphones, and tablets from, say, the past 4-5 years are still perfectly fine and usable today, and a lot of people would be smart to buy one of these "old" devices instead of new ones. Except, of course, that Apple doesn't get a dime when people do that. So, they have "recycling" companies destroy them instead. Remember: profit always comes before customer. Apple is executing an environment and sustainability PR campaign right now through its usual PR outlets - don't be fooled.
  • Darwin 0.1 and Rhapsody DR 2 booted. So the recently recovered source code to Darwin 0.1 corresponds with the release of the PowerPC only OS X Server 1.0. However as we all found out, Darwin will still built and maintained on Intel, as it was a very secretive plan B, in case something went wrong with the PowerPC platform. Being portable had saved NeXT before, and now it would save Apple. So with this little background, and a lot of stumbling around in the dark, I came up with some steps, that have permitted me to build the Darwin 0.1 kernel under DR2. This is beyond awesome.
  • Is it time to break up the major tech companies?. The original headline (I changed it) is clickbaity, but the article raises good points. In just 10 years, the world's five largest companies by market capitalization have all changed, save for one: Microsoft. Exxon Mobil, General Electric, Citigroup and Shell Oil are out and Apple, Alphabet (the parent company of Google), Amazon and Facebook have taken their place. They're all tech companies, and each dominates its corner of the industry: Google has an 88 percent market share in search advertising, Facebook (and its subsidiaries Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger) owns 77 percent of mobile social traffic and Amazon has a 74 percent share in the e-book market. In classic economic terms, all three are monopolies. We have been transported back to the early 20th century, when arguments about "the curse of bigness" were advanced by President Woodrow Wilson's counselor, Louis Brandeis, before Wilson appointed him to the Supreme Court. Brandeis wanted to eliminate monopolies, because (in the words of his biographer Melvin Urofsky) "in a democratic society the existence of large centers of private power is dangerous to the continuing vitality of a free people." We need look no further than the conduct of the largest banks in the 2008 financial crisis or the role that Facebook and Google play in the "fake news" business to know that Brandeis was right. Any entity which becomes a threat to the well-being of our society, our planet, or the people on it must be dealt with. I'm not quite sure if e.g. Google or Apple qualify for that, and if they do, how to deal with that, but I sure as hell do not wish to live in a society where any one corporation is more powerful than the people.
  • John Deere: only corporations can own property. John Deere has turned itself into the poster-child for the DMCA, fighting farmers who say they want to fix their own tractors and access their data by saying that doing so violates the 1998 law's prohibition on bypassing copyright locks. Deere's just reiterated that position to a US Copyright Office inquiry on the future of the law, joined by auto manufacturers (but not Tesla) and many other giant corporations, all of them arguing that since the gadgets you buy have software, and since that software is licensed, not sold, you don't really own any of that stuff. You are a licensee, and you have to use the gadget according to the license terms, which spell out where you have to buy your service, parts, consumables, apps, and so on. This is finally a moment where without a doubt I can be all smug and entirely unhelpful by saying I do not use any stuff made by John Deere.
  • Debian GNU/Linux port for RISC-V 64-bit (riscv64). This is a post describing my involvement with the Debian GNU/Linux port for RISC-V (unofficial and not endorsed by Debian at the moment) and announcing the availability of the repository (still very much WIP) with packages built for this architecture.
  • Reverse engineering APFS. I started to reverse engineer APFS and want to share what I found out so far. Notice: I created a test image with macOS Sierra 10.12.3 (16D32). All results are guesses and the reverse engineering is work in progress. Also newer versions of APFS might change structures. The information below is neither complete nor proven to be correct.
  • AmigaOne X5000: first impressions. Many were waiting for the day when new and strong Amiga(One) will appear. That happened now. Currently, the X5000 can be purchased with the dual-core processor. In the future, a more powerful machine will be available. Is it worth buying the current model or wait for a four-core version? A look at the new X5000. Note that the author is Polish (I think), and English isn't her or his first language.
  • Google plans ad-blocking feature in popular Chrome browser. Alphabet Inc.'s Google is planning to introduce an ad-blocking feature in the mobile and desktop versions of its popular Chrome web browser, according to people familiar with the company's plans. The ad-blocking feature, which could be switched on by default within Chrome, would filter out certain online ad types deemed to provide bad experiences for users as they move around the web. Google could announce the feature within weeks, but it is still ironing out specific details and still could decide not to move ahead with the plan, the people said. An ad-blocker from Google? Something tells me this won't go down well with antitrust regulators.
  • Apple promises to stop mining for rare-earth materials. Apple has one of the most aggressive sustainability and recycling programs in tech, but it still pulls plenty of metals and toxic rare-earth materials out of the ground to make iPhones, iPads, Macbooks and other products. That's about to change. The company is set to announce a new, unprecedented goal for the tech industry, "to stop mining the earth altogether". Apple plans to stop mining for rare-earth materials, and exclusively use recycled materials (from iPhones and other Apple products, presumably). Incredibly ambitious goal - one among many environmental goals the company revealed yesterday - and quite laudable. They have the money to blaze these trails, and I'm glad they're using it for this.
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