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

  • The Economist Magazine 1-Year Subscription: 51 issues for $46. DiscountMags offers The Economist 1-Year Subscription (51 issues) for $152. Coupon codes "ECON51" and "STUDENT10" combine to cut it to $45.90. That's $5 under last month's mention and the lowest price we've seen. (It's the best deal now by $106.)
  • Refurb Apple iPhone 6 16GB Phone for AT&T for $185 + free shipping. EMB-Phones via eBay offers the refurbished No-Contract Apple iPhone 6 16GB Smartphone for AT&T in Silver for $184.99 with free shipping. That's $105 under our mention from last November and the lowest price we've seen for a 16GB model for AT&T in any condition. (It's the best deal for a refurb now by $5, although most sellers charge $230 or more.)

    Need more storage? BuySpry via eBay offers the 64GB version in Gold for $209.99 with free shipping. That's the best deal for a refurb today by $60 (excluding other eBay vendors) and also the lowest price we've seen for the 64GB model for AT&T in any condition.

    Note: The 16GB version is covered by a 60-day EMB-Phones warranty, and the 64GB version is covered by a 60-day BuySpry warranty. These items may show sings of use, such as scratches or dents.
  • Samsung 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player for $150 + free shipping. BuyDig via eBay offers the Samsung 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player for the in-cart price of $149.99 with free shipping. That's the lowest price we could find by $40; several stores charge closer to $300. It features HD upscaling, HDMI, USB, dual WiFi, and Ethernet.
  • Asus ROG 27" 1440p IPS LED LCD Display for $640 + free shipping. Newegg via eBay offers the Asus ROG 27" 1440p IPS LED LCD Gaming Monitor for $639.99 with free shipping. That's the lowest total price we could find by $159. It features a 2560x1440 (1440p) native resolution, two 2-watt speakers, Nvidia G-Sync technology, DisplayPort, HDMI, and two USB 3.0 ports.
  • Disney Descendants Neon Lights 4-Pack for $17 + pickup at Walmart. Walmart offers the Disney Descendants Neon Lights 4-Pack for $17.48. Opt for free in-store pickup to avoid the $5.99 shipping charge. That's $7 under last week's mention and the lowest price we could find by $22. It includes four dolls, four outfits, two pairs of earrings, four pairs of shoes, two bracelets, a belt, armband, and hat.
  • Carnival 4Nt Mexico Cruise in November from $366 for 2. Vacations to Go offers a Carnival Cruises 4-Night Mexico Cruise for Two with prices starting from $366. That's a $52 drop from last week's mention and the lowest price we could find for such a cruise in November by $12. This roundtrip cruise aboard the Carnival Inspiration departs on November 13. Additional fees may apply. Book this travel deal by September 30.
  • The Walking Company End of Season Sale: Shoes from $10 + free shipping. The Walking Company discounts a selection of its men's and women's shoes as part of its End of Season Sale, with deals starting at $9.97. (Prices are as marked.) Plus, all orders bag free shipping. That's the best sale we've seen from The Walking Company in a year. Some exclusions apply. Among the discounted brands are Ecco, Dansko, and OluKai. Deal ends September 25.
  • Gudetama Egg Mini Vegan Leather Backpack for $32 + $6 s&h. ThinkGeek offers the Gudetama Egg Mini Vegan Leather Backpack for $31.99 plus $5.95 for shipping. That's the lowest price we could find by $30. It measures 9" x 11" x 5".

    Gudetama may be the anthropomorphic embodiment of "meh," but ironically, this cute backpack will probably give you extra motivation
  • Gift Card Granny: Up to 50% off. Gift Card Granny offers savings of up to 50% off on a wide selection of gift cards. Gift Card Granny allows you to purchase both regular and eGift cards at discount prices. You can also sell a gift card for cash, or trade it for a different brand.
  • Refurb Unlocked iPhone 6s Plus 16GB GSM Phone for $300 + $2 s&h. Newegg via eBay offers the refurbished Unlocked Apple iPhone 6s Plus 16GB GSM Smartphone in Gold or Rose Gold for $299.99 plus $1.99 for shipping. (Newegg direct offers it in Space Gray for the same price.) That's $28 under our August mention and the best deal we've seen for an unlocked iPhone 6s Plus. (It's also the lowest price for a refurb today by $28.)

    Note: A 30-day Apple warranty applies.
  • Refurb Apple iPad w/ Retina 16GB Tablet for $158 + free shipping. Geekdeal via eBay offers the refurbished 4th-generation Apple iPad with Retina Display 16GB WiFi Tablet in White for $157.95 with free shipping. That's $38 under our March mention, a low for a refurb by $52, and the best price we've seen.

    Note: A 90-day Geekdeal warranty applies.
  • INC Men's Linen-Blend Dress Pants for $21 + free s&h w/beauty item. Macy's offers the INC Men's Linen-Blend Dress Pants in Stone or White for $29.99. Coupon code "VIP" cuts the price to $20.99. Pad your order with a beauty item (they start at $2.55 after the coupon) to bag free shipping; otherwise, shipping adds $10.95. That's the lowest price we could find by $17. They're available in sizes 30 to 36 and lengths 30 to 34. Deal ends September 25.
  • Refurb MacBook Air Core i5 Dual 13" Laptop for $470 + free shipping. Tekreplay via eBay offers the refurbished Apple MacBook Air Intel Haswell Core i5 1.3GHz 13.3" Laptop for $469.97 with free shipping. That's $50 below our mention from August and the lowest price we could find for a refurb by $10. It features an Intel Core i5 1.4GHz dual-core processor, 13.3" 1440x900 LED-backlit LCD, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD, 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.0, FaceTime camera, Thunderbolt, Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.

    Note: A 60-day Tekreplay warranty applies.
  • PacSun Sale on Sale: Extra 50% off + free shipping w/ $50. PacSun takes an extra 50% off its men's and women's sale items as part of its Sale on Sale. (Prices are as marked.) Shipping adds $5, although orders of $50 or more bag free shipping. Some exclusions may apply.
  • USB Keyboard and Drum Pad MIDI Controller for $44 + free shipping. TomTop offers the Worlde Panda 25-Key USB Keyboard and Drum Pad MIDI Controller for $43.62 with free shipping. That's the lowest price we could find by $22. It's compatible with Windows and Mac OS X.
  • Star Wars BB-8 Mini Fridge for $40 + $6 s&h. ThinkGeek offers the Star Wars BB-8 Mini Fridge for $39.99 plus $5.95 for shipping. That's the lowest price we could find by $11. It features both warming and cooling settings, but probably won't be able to put things into carbon freeze.
  • Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee for PC for free. GOG offers downloads of Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee for Windows for free. That's the lowest price we could find by $2 for this classic platformer.
  • New Balance coupon: $20 off $150 or more + free shipping w/ $125. New Balance cuts $20 off orders of $150 or more via coupon code "HAYRIDE". Plus, all eligible orders bag free shipping. Some exclusions may apply. Deal ends September 30.
  • $100 Hudson Jeans Gift Card: free w/ $250 purchase. Hudson Jeans offers a $100 Hudson Jeans Gift Card for free when you spend $250 or more. Plus, all orders qualify for free shipping. The gift card must be used on a future purchase of $220 or more; it will be emailed to you on October 2 and will expire on October 31. Deal ends October 1.
  • BCBGeneration Tessa La Vie Boheme Bag for $25 + free shipping. Dollar1 offers the BCBGeneration Tessa La Vie Boheme Shoulder Bag in Tan for $25 with free shipping. That's $10 off list and the lowest price we could find. It features a magnetic snap closure, 16" shoulder drop, and measures 7" x 9".
Channel: Techbargains.com

Channel: xpBargains.com deals RSS feed

Channel: Slashdot

Channel: OSNews

  • CCleaner downloads infected with malware. Talos recently observed a case where the download servers used by software vendor to distribute a legitimate software package were leveraged to deliver malware to unsuspecting victims. For a period of time, the legitimate signed version of CCleaner 5.33 being distributed by Avast also contained a multi-stage malware payload that rode on top of the installation of CCleaner. CCleaner boasted over 2 billion total downloads by November of 2016 with a growth rate of 5 million additional users per week. Given the potential damage that could be caused by a network of infected computers even a tiny fraction of this size we decided to move quickly. On September 13, 2017 Cisco Talos immediately notified Avast of our findings so that they could initiate appropriate response activities. The following sections will discuss the specific details regarding this attack. Don't use registry cleaners. They serve no purpose.
  • HP shows us what a real workstation looks like with a 56-core Z8. If you're a demanding computer user, sometimes your 13-inch Ultrabook laptop just won't quite cut it. For those looking for a little more computing power, HP's new Z8 workstation could be just the answer. The latest iteration of HP's desktop workstations packs in a pair of Intel Skylake-SP processors, topping out with twinned Xeon Platinum 8180 chips: 28 cores/56 threads and 38.5MB cache each running at 2.5-3.8GHz, along with support for up to 1.5TB RAM. Next year, you'll be able to go higher still with the 8180M processors; same core count and speeds, but doubling the total memory capacity to 3TB, as long as you want to fill the machine's 24 RAM slots. Those processors and memory can be combined with up to three Nvidia Quadro P6000 GPUs or AMD Radeon Pro WX 9100 parts if you prefer that team. The hefty desktop systems have four internal drive bays, two external (and a third external for an optical drive), and nine PCIe slots. Storage options include up to 4TB of PCIe-mounted SSD, and 48TB of spinning disks. A range of gigabit and 10 gigabit Ethernet adaptors are available; the machines also support 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2. Thunderbolt 3 is available with an add-in card. This is one hell of a beast of a machine, and something most of us will never have the pleasure to use. That being said - I've always been fascinated by these professional workstations, and the HP ones in particular. Current models are obviously way out of my price range, but older models - such as a model from the Z800 range - are more attainable.
  • What the iPhone X borrowed from the Palm Pre. I have become the unofficial standard bearer for webOS, the operating system created by Palm for the Pre and its successive devices. It was a wildly innovative and smart foundation for a smartphone done in by performance problems, mediocre hardware, and most of all by US carriers who acted as kingmakers for other companies. So as the bearer of a thoroughly-tattered banner, I’ve been hearing a lot of people ask what I thought about the iPhone X and how it borrows many of the ideas first introduced by Palm. Here’s what I think: it’s great, and also it’s silly compare the state of tech in 2017 with the state of tech in 2009. Just because Palm did some stuff first doesn’t take away from Apple is doing them now. Context matters, and our context today is very different. WebOS had some great ideas, but on a technical level, the operating system was a mess. It was a major battery hog, slow, and basically nothing more than a tech demo made in WebKit on top of a largely unmodified Linux kernel, running on mediocre hardware. WebOS wasn't a product worthy of the Palm name.
  • FSFE: publicly funded software has to be open source. Digital services offered and used by public administrations are the critical infrastructure of 21st-century democratic nations. To establish trustworthy systems, government agencies must ensure they have full control over systems at the core of our digital infrastructure. This is rarely the case today due to restrictive software licences. Today, 31 organisations are publishing an open letter in which they call for lawmakers to advance legislation requiring publicly financed software developed for the public sector be made available under a Free and Open Source Software licence. Good initiative, and a complete and utter no-brainer. Public money, public code.
  • Google renames Fuchia's Magenta kernel to Zircon. Zircon is the core platform that powers the Fuchsia OS. Zircon is composed of a microkernel (source in kernel/...) as well as a small set of userspace services, drivers, and libraries (source in system/...) necessary for the system to boot, talk to hardware, load userspace processes and run them, etc. Fuchsia builds a much larger OS on top of this foundation. Google changed the name for this project from Magenta to Zircon, which seems like an opportune time to highlight it.
  • "Honolulu": Microsoft's new Windows Server management tool. Today, we are thrilled to unveil the next step in our journey for Windows Server graphical management experiences. In less than two weeks at Microsoft Ignite, we will launch the Technical Preview release of Project "Honolulu", a flexible, locally-deployed, browser-based management platform and tools. Project "Honolulu" is the culmination of significant customer feedback, which has directly shaped product direction and investments. With support for both hybrid and traditional disconnected server environments, Project "Honolulu" provides a quick and easy solution for common IT admin tasks with a lightweight deployment. I've never managed any servers, so it's difficult for me to gauge how useful of popular tools like these are. What is the usual way people manage their servers?
  • The enduring influence of Metroid. Metroid, which debuted in 1986, would go on to spawn one of Nintendo's most-revered franchises. The ongoing adventures of bounty hunter Samus Aran differed quite a bit from the company's other big names, like Zelda and Mario. In comparison, Metroid was dark and solemn, with a looming feeling of isolation and a powerfully alien sense of place, inspired in large part by the first Alien film. It was also a game that felt unique in its structure. While Metroid was a 2D, side-scrolling game, it took place in an expansive, interconnected world. Players could explore in a nonlinear fashion, and would often have to return to areas using newfound abilities. The game went on to spawn a number of beloved follow-ups, including the sublime Super Metroid in 1994, and the Metroid Prime spinoff series that transformed the 2D adventures into a first-person, 3D experience. Most recently, Nintendo is set to release Metroid: Samus Returns on the Nintendo 3DS, the first traditional side-scrolling Metroid in nearly a decade. But the importance of Metroid can be seen in more than the games released by Nintendo. The series has also had a profound influence on gaming as a whole, inspiring a generation of designers along the way. I ordered a special edition New 3DS XL just for the new Samus Returns. The Metroid series is one of my favourite series in gaming, and many of them are classics all of us have played at some point in our lives. Personally, I greatly prefer the 2D, side-scrolling Metroid games, as the series foray into 3D/FPS - the Prime series - fell a bit flat to me.
  • The dystopia we signed up for. The world has become like an eerily banal dystopian novel. Things look the same on the surface, but they are not. With no apparent boundaries on how algorithms can use and abuse the data that's being collected about us, the potential for it to control our lives is ever-growing. Our drivers' licenses, our keys, our debit and credit cards are all important parts of our lives. Even our social media accounts could soon become crucial components of being fully functional members of society. Now that we live in this world, we must figure out how to maintain our connection with society without surrendering to automated processes that we can neither see nor control.
  • Why you shouldn't unlock your phone with your face. If you value the security of your data - your email, social media accounts, family photos, the history of every place you've ever been with your phone - then I recommend against using biometric identification. Instead, use a passcode to unlock your phone. Can't argue with that - especially in place where law enforcement often takes a... Liberal approach to detainees.
  • Apple's A11 Bionic SoC is kind of insane. With the iPhone X revealed, we really have to start talking about its processor and SoC - the A11 Bionic. It's a six-core chip with two high-power cores, four low-power cores, and this year, for the first time, includes an Apple-designed custom GPU. It also has what Apple calls a Neural Engine, designed to speed up tasks such as face recognition. Apple already had a sizeable performance lead over competing chips from Qualcomm (what Android phones use) in single-core performance, and the A11 blasts past those in multicore performance, as well. Moreover, the A11 also performs better than quite a number of recent desktop Intel chips from the Core i5 and i7 range, which is a big deal. For quite a few people it's really hard to grasp just how powerful these chips are - and to a certain extent, it feels like much of that power is wasted in an iPhone, which is mostly doing relatively mundane tasks anyway. Now that Apple is also buildings its own GPUs, it's not a stretch to imagine a number of mobile GPU makers feeling a bit... Uneasy. At some point, these Apple Ax chips will find their way to something more sizable than phones and tablets.
  • Apple sets release dates for macOS High Sierra, iOS 11. Aside from new iPhones, theres more Apple news - the company has set release dates for iOS 11 - 19 September - and macOS High Sierra - 25 September. I can't say much about High Sierra - I don't have a Mac - but iOS 11 is an absolute must, especially for iPad users. I've been using it for a long time now on my 2017 iPad Pro 12.9", and I haven't looked back to my laptop since buying it and installing iOS 11 on it. iOS 11 is a huge leap forward for the iPad, and it'll make your tablet feel like a new, and much more capable device.
  • Apple introduces iPhone 8, iPhone X. Apple held its iPhone event today, but since the three major leaks got everything right - read our previous items on the leaks to get the full details - there's really not much to add here, other than the pricing for the new iPhones. The 'regular' iPhone 8 will be about €50 more expensive this year, so take that into account when planning your upgrade. The iPhone X (pronounced "ten" by Apple, "ex" by people with good taste), however, carries a very hefty pricetag, especially in Europe and the UK - the base 64GB model is $999 in the US, and a staggering €1159 in Europe (and an equally staggering £999 in the UK). I think it's definitely a nice looking phone, and can certainly hold its own against other small-bezel phones from Samsung, LG, and others (especially others), but especially outside of the US, that's one hell of a price tag. Going over the magic €1000 mark feels like crossing a psychological threshold from high-end brand new smartphone territory into high-end brand new laptop territory, and that's a tough pill to swallow. The additional problem here is that the iPhone 8 simply looks outdated compared to all the minimal bezel phones of this year, and certainly so next to the iPhone X in stores for the iOS users among us. I'm up for contract renewal, and since I'm the kind of person to switch platforms about once a year, I was definitely interested in switching to iOS again by buying the iPhone X. However, that €1159 price tag is way, way beyond the outer limit of my comfort zone.
  • iOS 11 GM leak confirms D22. 9to5Mac is reporting on a leak of the iOS 11 GM release, which details quite a few things about the new iPhone we could only rumour and guess about up until now. Here we go. W're digging through the iOS 11 GM we received this evening to unpack what we can learn about the D22 'iPhone 8' and the rest of the lineup ahead of Apple's big unveiling on Tuesday. It looks like the infamous HomePod leak left a few surprises for us after all. The first discovery is a stunning set of new wallpapers coming with iOS 11 and the first look at the LTE Apple Watch. Next up: new and confirmed features coming to the OLED iPhone. This is a major leak, and confirms several of the final details regarding the iPhone Pro or iPhone X or whatever the more expensive iPhone will be called. The leak confirms the removal of any form of home button - phyisical or virtual - replacing it with a gesture-based UI, as we talked about before. The power switch will also gain some new features, allowing you to set it up to control things like Siri and Apple Pay. iOS 11 also comes with animated animal emojis, which is a sentence that makes me sad. Among many more things I could link to, the leak also reveals how Face ID - the replacement for Touch ID - will work, and how to set it up. The HomePod leak, the recent Bloomberg story by Mark Gurman, and now this GM leak basically leaves nothing left to the imagination - aside from the name and perhaps pricing. Update: and we have the name too: iPhone X. Apple listened to me (this is a joke).
  • Data of 143 million Americans stolen from Equifax. Equifax Inc. today announced a cybersecurity incident potentially impacting approximately 143 million U.S. consumers. Criminals exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files. Based on the company's investigation, the unauthorized access occurred from mid-May through July 2017. The company has found no evidence of unauthorized activity on Equifax's core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases. Names, social security numbers, birthdays, addresses, driver's license numbers, credit card numbers - this is a very big breach. Interestingly enough, three executives of the credit reporting agency sold their shares in the company days after the breach was discovered.
  • LLVM 5.0.0 released. This release is the result of the community's work over the past six months, including: C++17 support, co-routines, improved optimizations, new compiler warnings, many bug fixes, and more. The release notes contain more details.
Channel: