Google Chrome – Your Preferences cannot be read

Logged into my Linux computer today and got this error as I tried to start Chrome. Tried the basics and it did not work, searched Google and saw many others having this same issue so I decided to document the process of fixing this issue here. I’ll start with the basic stuff first then will get into the more detailed steps.
Continue reading Google Chrome – Your Preferences cannot be read

Students do what Social Giants drag ass on

While Facebook, Google, Yahoo and other Social Media Giants debate on whether blocking fake news on their services will be bad enough for their bottom line (because they make revenue for clicks on their sites and traffic flow) instead of focusing on the greater good for their users and society on a whole, a group of college Students have stepped up on done their job for them. Continue reading Students do what Social Giants drag ass on

The singularity – Will it Happen?

What is the singularity?

I honestly was not aware of this topic so I set out to do some research to open my mind and man was my mind blown. Basically what I understand is that the singularity is a point in time when technology will surpass human intelligence and humans will start to become the minority in intelligence.

Vernor Vinge introduced the term Technological Singularity in his science fiction novel Marooned in Realtime(1986) and later developed the concept in his essay the Coming Technological Singularity (1993). His definition of Singularity is widely known as the event horizon thesis and in essence says that trans or post-human minds will imply a weirder future than we can imagine:

“Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the human era will be ended. […] I think it’s fair to call this event a singularity. It is a point where our models must be discarded and a new reality rules. As we move closer and closer to this point, it will loom vaster and vaster over human affairs till the notion becomes a commonplace. Yet when it finally happens it may still be a great surprise and a greater unknown.” (1)

Continue reading The singularity – Will it Happen?

Google Chrome is not battery friendly

This issue has been recorded as being a Windows issue but I have been seeing this on Mac as well. Will have to check on it and see how to test this on my machine.

There is a serious bug in Chrome that causes the browser to wake up the CPU as many as 1,000 times per second even when idle, thanks to the system clock tick rate being set to 1.00ms by Chrome. This is many times more than the 64 times per second usually observed with the Windows default clock tick rate of 15.625ms. Believe it or not, this bug has been known to Google for many years now and they have just recently decided to deal with it.

As noted on code.google.com:

What steps will reproduce the problem?

1. Just open Google Chrome and navigate to a website with any flash content.
2. System clock tick rate is increased to 1ms
3. Close the website or navigate to page without flash content
4. 1ms tick rate is left forever (until browser is closed)

Seems that Goole Chrome has no system clock tick interval management. Just increases it and keeps forever. Keeping tick rate at 1ms is not recommended. See document:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/hardware/gg463266.aspx

“If the system timer interval is decreased to less than the default, including when an application calls timeBeginPeriod with a resolution of 1 ms, the low-power idle states are ineffective at reducing system power consumption and system battery life suffers. System battery life can be reduced as much as 25 percent, depending on the hardware platform. This is because transitions to and from low-power states incur an energy cost. Therefore, entering and exiting low-power states without spending a minimum amount of time in the low-power states can be more costly than if the system simply remained in the high-power state.”

Currently your options are to star the code tracker here to vote for it’s resolution or use a different browser, we recommend Firefox and check out our fav plugins for it here.

 

Google ramps up Android security, scans all apps now

Google is quick to replace the 2013 “Verify Apps” security feature with mandatory app scan for all apps. The flaw in Verify Apps is that it provides the user the ability to scan third-party apps using Google’s security engine after it has been installed on to the local device. Instead, Google is taking a more proactive approach with its Verify Apps security feature. It will now host a dual-layer security system. First, the Verify Apps will scan apps locally on Android devices to look for malicious activities such as SMS abuse. There will also be a server side scan on Google Play store to scan all apps in the Play Store.

Complete Story

PhoneBlocks – a customizeable modular phone you can keep

Every once in a while something so revolutionary comes around that makes you think that you think “This is Crazy.” or “That’s not Possible.” The reason being that we have been grown to believe that anything that falls out of the ordinary  that we have been taught all our lives. This effect is called Planned Obsolescence, basically, products are designed for a short life so you have to spend more on purchasing.

Investopedia explains it as follows:

A manufacturing decision by a company to make consumer products in such a way that they become out-of-date or useless within a known time period. The main goal of this type of production is to ensure that consumers will have to buy the product multiple times, rather than only once. This naturally stimulates demand for an industry’s products because consumers have to keep coming back again and again.

Products ranging from inexpensive light bulbs to high-priced goods such as cars and buildings are subject to planned obsolescence by manufacturers and producers.

Planned obsolescence does not always sit well with consumers, especially if competing companies offer similar products but with much more durability. Pushing this production too far can result in customer backlash, or a bad reputation for a brand.

However, planned obsolescence doesn’t always have such a negative connotation. Companies can engage in this activity solely as a means of controlling costs. For example, a cell phone manufacturer may decide to use parts in its phones that have a maximum lifespan of five years, instead of parts that could last 20 years. It’s unlikely most consumers will use the same cell phone five years after purchase, and so the company can lower input costs by using cheaper parts without fearing a customers backlash. Continue reading PhoneBlocks – a customizeable modular phone you can keep

Chrome Eavesdropping, Balkanized Internet & More…

Is your Chrome browser spying on you?

It’s convoluted and unlikely, perhaps, but there’s a way that websites can trick the Chrome browser into leaving the mic open, allowing who knows whom to eavesdrop.

In Chrome, whenever a website wants to access a visitor’s microphone the browser prompts the user for permission which, if granted, is for that session only. Move to another site or close that tab and the mic is disabled. However, PCWorld reported on Wednesday, there is a way for a site to keep the mic turned on.

“But as Web developer Tal Ater discovered, malicious sites can use pop-under windows to keep listening even after the user has gone to another site or closed the main browser window. Unlike a regular browser tab, pop-under windows don’t show the recording status icon, and can continue to listen in for as long as the pop-under window stays open. The exploit can also stay dormant until the user utters certain key phrases.”

Techworld reported Thursday that although Google had a patch readied to fix this vulnerability on September 24, they decided not to use it.

“‘We’ve reinvestigated and still believe there is no immediate threat, since a user must first enable speech recognition for each site that requests it,’ it [Google] said.”

This kind of makes the case for just using a plug-in mic instead of having one built-in, doesn’t it?

Is the balkanization of the Internet at hand?

It’s no longer news that quite a few countries are concerned enough about the NSA’s actions that they’re taking steps to protect themselves from our spying. This is leading some to suspect this might eventually result in a system of national Internets, as noted by IEEE Spectrum on Thursday.

To a degree, this is already happening. Germany is taking steps to assure that data packets originating in-country to be delivered in-country are never routed outside of Germany. In South America, Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff is seeking legislation that will force companies, including Facebook and Google, to store all data on servers located within Brazil.

In addition, the NSA’s actions have resulted in a revival of the Open Root Server Network (ORSN), a system of root nameservers operating independently from ICANN. Taken offline in 2008, the system was put back in service in June as a result of Edward Snowden’s whistle-blowing.

Complete Story

Man Busts Out of Google, Rebuilds Top-Secret Query Machine

Every so often, the company releases a research paper describing one of the sweeping software platforms that help drive its online empire, and a few years later, this paper will spawn an open source software project that seeks to share Google’s creation with the rest of the world.

Papers describing the Google File System and Google MapReduce spawned Hadoop, an open source platform that lets you spread data across thousands of dirt-cheap computer servers and then crunch it into something useful. Google BigTable gave rise to an army of “NoSQL” databases that can juggle unusually large amounts of information. Google Pregel delivered multiple “graph” databases that can map the many online relationships between people and things.

Some have complained that the outside world takes far too long in rebuilding these groundbreaking Google creations. And thatincludes Mike Olson, the CEO of Cloudera, a Silicon Valley startup that brought Hadoop to the business world. But this time is different. Continue reading Man Busts Out of Google, Rebuilds Top-Secret Query Machine