You’re likely familiar with the old tale about how Steve Jobs was ousted from Apple and started his own company, NeXT. Apple then bought NeXT and their technologies and brought Jobs back as CEO once again. However, Jobs’ path wasn’t unique, and the history of computing since then could’ve gone a whole lot different.
In 1990, Jean-Louis Gassée, who replaced Jobs in Apple as the head of Macintosh development, was also fired from the company. He then also formed his own computer company with the help of another ex-Apple employee, Steve Sakoman. They called it Be Inc, and their goal was to create a more modern operating system from scratch based on the object-oriented design of C++, using proprietary hardware that could allow for greater media capabilities unseen in personal computers at the time.
Continue reading “BeOS: The Alternate Universe’s Mac OS X” →
[Editor’s note: There’s an ongoing back-and-forth about this “spyware” right now. We haven’t personally looked into it on any phones, and decoded Wireshark caps of what the cleaner software sends home seem to be lacking — it could be innocuous. We’re leaving our original text as-run below, but you might want to take this with a grain of salt until further evidence comes out. Or keep us all up to date in the comments. But be wary of jumping to quick conclusions.]
Samsung may have the highest-end options for hardware if you want an Android smartphone, but that hasn’t stopped them from making some questionable decisions on the software they sometimes load on it. Often these phones come with “default” apps that can’t be removed through ordinary means, or can’t even be disabled, and the latest discovery related to pre-loaded software on Samsung phones seems to be of a pretty major security vulnerability.
This software in question is a “storage cleaner” in the “Device Care” section of the phone, which is supposed to handle file optimization and deletion. This particular application is made by a Chinese company called Qihoo 360 and can’t be removed from the phone without using ADB or having root. The company is known for exceptionally bad practices concerning virus scanning, and the software has been accused of sending all information about files on the phone to servers in China, which could then turn all of the data it has over to the Chinese government. This was all discovered through the use of packet capture and osint, which are discussed in the post.
These revelations came about recently on Reddit from [kchaxcer] who made the original claims. It seems to be fairly legitimate at this point as well, and another user named [GeorgePB] was able to provide a temporary solution/workaround in the comments on the original post. It’s an interesting problem that probably shouldn’t exist on any phone, let alone a flagship phone competing with various iPhones, but it does highlight some security concerns we should all have with our daily use devices when we can’t control the software on the hardware that we supposedly own. There are some alternatives though if you are interested in open-source phones.
Thanks to [kickaxe] for the tip!
Photo from Pang Kakit [CC BY-SA 3.0 DE (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/de/deed.en)]
You don’t tug on Superman’s cape, and you don’t come between an engineer and his coffee. And really, if all your office has for coffee is a big old BUNN that makes caffeinated trash, you don’t discourage your coworkers from the pursuit of a better brew.
[George] is over at his desk each day treating coffee like the science experiment it is: with a kettle, a Chemex, and a manual coffee grinder. Trouble is, the setup is attracting more and more attention, and [George]’s unpaid side gig as the office barista is starting to wear out his arm. He considered buying an electric grinder just long enough to laugh at the idea, and then went out to the workshop and built this beautifully over-engineered motorized mount for his manual grinder.
The only trouble with motorizing these hand grinders or even driving them with a drill is that many of them have a pentagonal shaft. But that problem was no match for [George] and his file. He soon had his linkage between the 100RPM motor and the grinder shaft and set about building the overly adequate frame.
The whole thing is gorgeous, but we particularly like the gas spring that holds the motor up out of the way while he pours in the beans. [George] probably ought to start a bean fund, if he hasn’t already. That kind of noise followed by the smell of coffee is bound to bring a few more fresh-ground converts into the fold. Grab a fresh cup and grind past the break to see this baby pulverize some beanage.
Not everyone goes for pour over coffee, but there are hacks to be done at all points on the coffee spectrum. Check out [Maya Posch]’s adventures in totally tweaking an espresso machine.
Continue reading “Engineering Overkill Motorizes The Daily Grind” →