Mark Wilson

The next Linux kernel is Linux v4.0, codename 'Hurr durr I'ma sheep'

The next Linux kernel is Linux v4.0, codename Hurr durr I'ma sheep

In the spirit of democracy, Linus Torvalds recently started a poll on Google+ to decide on the version number of the next Linux kernel. Should it be Linux v3.20 or Linux v.4.0? Well, the people have spoken, and Torvalds has listened -- albeit somewhat reluctantly.

With 56 percent of the vote, v4.0 came out on top, so that's what the next version will be called. Torvalds made the revelation at the same time as announcing the availability of Linux 4.0-RC1. Oh... and it's codenamed "Hurr durr I'ma sheep".

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LG launches mid-range Magna, Spirit, Leon and Joy Android phones

LG launches mid-range Magna, Spirit, Leon and Joy Android phones

Mobile World Congress (MWC) kicks off next week, but ahead of the big event LG announces a quartet of mid-range Android handsets. Each of the four phones runs Android 5.0 Lollipop and each is available in LTE and 3G variants -- the former has a metal rear cover, and the latter's is plastic.

The Magna, Spirit, Leon and Joy all share something of a similar look and LG describes the range as combining the "perfect balance of style and usability". At the top of the current batch is the LG Magna, which boasts a 5-inch screen, 1.2GHz or 1.3GHz quad core CPU (exact specs are region-dependent), 1GB RAM and 8GB of storage.

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Windows 10 build 10022 screenshots leak along with 10014 release notes

Windows 10 build 10022 screenshots leak along with 10014 release notes

It has been a few weeks since Microsoft released the Windows 10 Technical Preview Build 9926, and Windows Insiders are now champing at the bit for the next version. Mobile users have been kept happy with the release of Windows 10 Technical Preview for Phones, but desktop and laptop users now have some more snippets to whet their appetites.

Over the weekend, screenshots from a couple of new builds were leaked online by the renowned Wzor. First of all we were treated to a glimpse of build 10014, and shortly afterwards images of Windows 10 Professional Technical Preview Build 10022 appeared. Another revelation is a set of release note relating to build 10014. So what do we have to look forward to?

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OS X, iOS and Linux have more vulnerabilities than Windows

OS X, iOS and Linux have more vulnerabilities than Windows

It might come as something of a surprise, but Windows is more secure than not only Apple's iOS and OS X, but also Linux. I'll just let that sink in for a moment...

Windows, the operating system ridiculed for its vulnerabilities and susceptibility to viruses is actually more secure than the supposedly Fort Knox-like Linux and OS X. This startling fact comes from the National Vulnerability Database (described as the "US government repository of standards based vulnerability management data") which details security issues detected in different operating systems and software titles.

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Tumblr now classifies all torrent talk as adult content

Tumblr now classifies all torrent talk as adult content

The idea of online censorship is nothing new, particularly when it comes to content of questionable legality. Just last week it transpired that Valve was blocking talk about Kickass Torrents in Steam chat and now Tumblr is engaged in similar activity.

Rather than blocking bloggers from posting about torrents, or stopping people from reading such posts, Tumblr now classifies torrent-related content as 'adult'. This means that many people will not be able to see posts that make reference to torrents unless they change their account settings.

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Suggestions that Twitter is not a valid news source are insane

Suggestions that Twitter is not a valid news source are insane

This morning, as I do most mornings, I started my day by firing up my phone and browsing the news headlines in bed. One story caught my attention -- and the reaction to the story in particular. As you'll have discerned from the headline, there were comments that questioned the value of using Twitter as a source of serious news.

The subject of the story doesn't really matter, but for the sake of completeness, it was this one in the Guardian. It's about the backlash that followed a Telegraph article which suggested suicides in newspaper journalists could be attributed to stress stemming from trying to hit commercial targets. This is a story that's not without irony.

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Judge dismisses US antitrust claims against Google search in Android

Judge dismisses US antitrust claims against Google search in Android

A San Francisco judge has dismissed a class action against Google's alleged monopolizing of searches on Android devices. Gary Feitelson and Daniel McKee brought a case against Google saying that the search giant was being anticompetitive by forging agreements with handset makers that made Google search the default search engine.

The company faces similar charges in Russia where the country's leading search engine, Yandex, has made a similar complaint to the Federal Antimonopoly Service. In Europe Google has just agreed to regular audits to ensure it complies with Data Protection Authority measures in Italy, and Friday's ruling in its favor in the Northern District of California will come as some welcome good news.

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Canonical teams up with Amazon and Microsoft to push Ubuntu for IoT

Canonical teams up with Amazon and Microsoft to push Ubuntu for IoT

The growth of the Internet of Things spreads, and Canonical wants to ensure that Ubuntu is involved. To help with this, the company behind one of the most popular Linux distributions has announced partnerships with Microsoft and Amazon to help facilitate secure cloud infrastructures.

The two companies are to publish their IoT developer APIs on Ubuntu Core so they can be used by Snappy developers in services and apps. The aim is to avoid a market fragmentation, and the new partnerships lay the groundwork to help Ubuntu Core's development deeper into the IoT.

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Need a flashlight in Android Lollipop? Just yell at your phone

Need a flashlight in Android Lollipop? Just yell at your phone

Who hasn't used their cell phone as a flashlight? Drop your key as you get out of the car at night and it makes sense to reach into your pocket, pull out your handset and search using the light from your screen. If you're really organized you'll have a flashlight app installed, but when you need a source of light quickly, fiddling with the menu can be a little too... er... fiddly.

Well fiddle no more. If your phone is kitted out with Android 5 Lollipop there's no need to navigate menus, or even have a dedicated flashlight app installed. Google has helpfully integrated a flashlight feature into the latest version of its mobile OS which can be activated with your voice.

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Google complies with Italian privacy audits

Google complies with Italian privacy audits

Few weeks go by without Google coming under fire for some privacy-related misdemeanor or other. In Italy, however, the search giant has just agreed to comply with measures put in place by the Data Protection Authority. Moreover, the company will be subjected to regular audits to make sure that everything is in order.

Google is required to make improvements not only to privacy notices for its various services, but also obtain consent from users to use their data in research and profiling. The right-to-be forgotten also rears its head again as the authority requires Google to investigate individuals' requests for search listing removals.

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Google to launch YouTube Kids for Android

Google to launch YouTube Kids for Android

Google is launching a kid-friendly version of YouTube. It's a project we first heard about a few months ago, and now YouTube Kids is about to become reality. But rather than launching as a child-friendly version of the website we've come to know and love, YouTube Kids will start its life as an Android app.

Parents will be pleased at Google's plans, where it will be possible to find carefully selected content that is suitable for a younger audience. Google will be curating videos, but there will be one question that enters the minds of mums and dads around the world: "what if my kid uses 'sex' as a search term".

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SOAP vulnerability leaves Netgear routers open to hackers

SOAP vulnerability leaves Netgear routers open to hackers

Owners of Netgear routers are warned that their wireless security keys and admin password could be accessed by hackers. A security vulnerability has been found in the SOAP service embedded in some Netgear network devices that could be abused with specially designed HTTP requests.

Routers can be tricked into executing commands even if they originate from an unauthenticated session, potentially exposing sensitive information to hackers. For anyone with remote management enabled on their router, there is the added worry that all of this could be carried out by someone without physical access, or who is not in close proximity, to the network. A number of Netgear routers are affected.

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Google faces anti-trust probe in Russia over Android

Google faces antitrust probe in Russia over Android

Google has a new battle on its hands, this time in the form of a potential anti-trust probe in Russia. Yandex, the internet company behind the eponymous Russian search engine, has filed a complaint to the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS). Yandex claims that the US search giant is abusing its position by bundling Google services with Android.

It claims that users are forced into using the Google ecosystem including Google Search, and that it is difficult to install competing services on smartphones and tablets. There are distinct echoes of the antitrust lawsuits Microsoft has faced for its bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows.

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HTTP/2 has been approved, bringing the promise of a more efficient web

HTTP/2 has been approved, bringing the promise of a more efficient web

The web could be in line for a speed boost as the HTTP/2 standard edges closer to being finalized. The updated standard will be the first major alteration to the protocol since the late 1990s, and it includes a number of important updates that should help to make life online faster and more enjoyable.

Although HTTP/2 is yet to be published as a completed standard, it is already supported by some web browsers including Chrome and Firefox. However, it won't be until the standard is far more widely adopted that the real benefits will be felt.

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Google pushes Inbox by pulling Sparrow email client from the App Store

Google pushes Inbox by pulling Sparrow from the App Store

It's not all that long since Google launched Inbox. The 'smart' alternative to Gmail appeared a few months ago and Google tried to get the hype machine going by launching it as an invite-only service, gradually trickling out invites here and there.

Now the search giant is trying a new tactic to encourage people into using the service, specifically Apple users. Google has pulled the iOS and Mac version of the Sparrow email app from the App store; the hope is clearly that Sparrow users will migrate to Inbox.

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