Self preservation had kicked in. I could see that, two weeks down the road, I’d be fielding comments and questions like: “Word looks kinda funny” and “Why won’t iTunes install?”This is the dilemma that anyone who “does IT” faces when buying electronic gifts for those who do not work in IT. Get it wrong and it is going to be a long year providing free IT support for potentially crap gadgets.I fear I am not alone in going against what the other half has decreed as “the” present. Gadget buying essentially divides people into two groups: those who go by looks and aesthetics (Apple users, some would argue) and those that know what they want in terms of functionality (the geeks). In between lies the rest of the populace. You takes your chance and buy what you think appeals.The aircraft, a heavily modified microlight, uses a conventional four-stroke petrol engine as its main power source and an electric motor connected to a bank of 16 large lithium-polymer batteries built into the wings.Although hybrid cars have been available for more than a decade, what's been holding back the development of hybrid or fully-electric aircraft until now is battery technology, said Dr Paul Robertson of Cambridge's Department of Engineering, who led the project.
Until recently, they have been too heavy and didn't have enough energy capacity. But with the advent of improved lithium-polymer batteries, similar to what you'd find in a laptop computer, hybrid aircraft – albeit at a small scale – are now starting to become viable.The aircraft uses its petrol and electric engines simultaneously during takeoff, which is the most power-demanding part of any flight. Once the pilot reaches cruising altitude the electric engine can be switched over to power generation and recharge the batteries, or used to augment the petrol engine to save fuel.In tests at the Sywell Aerodrome, near Northampton, the latter dual engine mode cut petrol consumption by 30 per cent. The electric engine was also judged capable of getting the aircraft safely down in one piece should the petrol engine fail mid-flight.No-one's suggesting you'll board a 737-H any time soon. The Cambridge boffins worked out that if you replaced the engines and fuel load of a commercial jet with electric motors and batteries you'd have enough energy for about 10 minutes of flight time, but hybrid engines could make sense as an economy measure.
Our mission is to keep our sights on finding innovative solutions and technologies that solve our industry's toughest challenges and continually improve environmental performance, said Marty Bradley, Boeing's principal investigator for the program.Hybrid electric is one of several important elements of our research efforts, and we are learning more every day about the feasibility of these technologies and how they could be used in the future. Devuan, the Debian spin-off that will not include systemd has posted its first progress report.The missive says things are going well, as the project now has a GitLab repository and has built the first devuan-baseconf package.The team behind Devuan has also started “following and supporting any cutting-edge research on strategies and expedients to support Init Freedom” and has found at least one contributor that's tossed in some code.The result of those and other efforts is Loginkitd, billed as “a compatible, yet standalone alternative to logind and libsystemd which does not depend on a specific init system. Loginkitd aims to act as a glue layer that exposes logind's interface, but uses ConsoleKit2 as a backend.”
The report also says Devuan has 343 people on its mailing list and €3,473 in the bank, plus about 2.2 Bitcoin. There's even a candidate logo.Through the year 2015 we intend to use donations to advance towards a Devuan 1.0 release that can seamlessly substitute Debian Jessie while keeping its users safe from the systemd avalanche,” the report says.All of which sounds pretty optimistic, although a companion financial report (PDF) makes the effort look a little rickety: there's a footnoote explaining just why it was necessary to buy one of the project's members a €541 laptop! Software engineer Robert Heaton has detailed simple tricks to fondle your mates' Tinder and Facebook accounts over the festive season.Friendship is a pre-requisite for the prank that requires cookies to be swiped off an unattended machine and reworked to be absorbed into the iOS Tinder app.
In a detailed post Heaton said Tinder accounts could be hijacked using a little security knowledge and a few minutes of unattended machine time.You have discovered that all you need is a little time with his laptop's Facebook session and you can bust into his Tinder account on your phone, Heaton said.You can use this small window of opportunity to throw his Facebook session from his laptop onto yours, then continue with the next phase right under his oblivious nose.His session is in his browser cookies. You get his Facebook.com cookies, you get his session.The prank used the Chrome extension EditThisCookie to nab Facebook cookies stored in the Google browser which could then be emailed as JSON serialised cookies. This granted access to the target's Facebook account as long as it remained logged in.Steve comes back, enormous sandwich in hand. But it's too late. You're in.Tinder cupids keen to defeat the attack should drop the sandwich, grab a copy of the Burp Suite web app security tool, install the SSL certificate on their phone and a proxy on their computer.
From there, Heaton advises punters to delete their iOS Facebook app and then use that social network to log in to Tinder in a feat described as man-in-the-middling yourself.This generated a HTTP GET request captured by Burp Suite. The URL was then copied into the browser previously logged into Facebook using the pinched cookie which would ask if the victim would like to authorise their Tinder account.A HTTP POST request from that authentication would be then nabbed by Burp Suite which could be examined to prise open the encrypted authentication token.That token could then using Burp Suite's intercept mode be inserted into the returning HTTP request from the Tinder-Facebook login attempt made on the iOS device, granting access to the victim's Tinder account.You did it. Tears of joy and relief streaming down your face, you change all of his photos to pictures of Gary Busey and start educating all of his matches about his deleterious personal hygiene.Pranksters have up to 45 minutes to enjoy their festive furtive free-for-all before being promptly and inexplicably punted by Facebook and Tinder.
It's nearly impossible to sum up an entire year of developments in something as large and nebulous as the world of desktop Linux, especially in a year like this one which has seen some the best releases that projects like Mint, Fedora and openSUSE have put out to date.At the same time the distro that's closest to being a household name, Ubuntu, has been nearly silent since 14.04 arrived in April.To paraphrase author Charles Dickens, the past year of Linux releases has been both the best of times and the worst of times.At the very moment that Linux desktops seem to be reaching new levels of sophistication, polish and just works ease-of-use, the entire future of the desktop computer (by which I also mean laptop) feels in doubt.No, the desktop is not dead yet, but it increasingly feels as though, for the general use case anyway, the mobile device offers most of what the user needs.A tablet may not be top of the holiday wish list for self-professed power users, but for most it's enough to check email, browse the web and upload some images. Combine that with better battery life, smaller, lighter form factors and you can understand why Canonical spent the better part of year working on its mobile interface.
The good news, for those of us not likely to be ditching the desktop or laptop any time soon, is that 2014 saw the Linux desktop hit a level of polish and sophistication that quite frankly, well, surpasses what's available from Windows 8 or OS X Yosemite.Naturally that's a very subjective statement, but go download Ubuntu 8.04 (the gateway drug, if you will, for many of today's desktop Linux users) and install it alongside Mint 17.1. Suffice to say that these are great days to be a Linux user.Perhaps it's fitting that just as it would appear that the days of the desktop PC as the device of choice for the home are numbered, desktop Linux finally surpasses its closed-source competitors. Bug number one is closed and no one cares, it would seem. Maybe this is the way it was destined to be all along - the only people around for the just-out-of-reach Year of the Linux Desktop will be those of us who've been having our personal year of the Linux desktop for decades, if not more.Still, the final days of the desktop seem to be producing an embarrassment of riches at least. And I'll take it.It used to be that when I sat down to write one of these year in review pieces I would talk about how Ubuntu had continued to refine the desktop Linux experience. Then it'd be a struggle to find something else interesting to comment on.