Facebook’s new Incubator may show us how open source should work
Social media giant Facebook has decided to give a structure to the open source software with its new Incubator hub, prompting the developers to think new ways about the software. The Facebook Incubator is the company’s new process for releasing open-source projects and ensuring that they do well in the long run. The best way to think of it is as a beta stage or proving ground for new open source projects from Facebook.
Some may see Incubator as unnecessary, but it’s a cleaner way for a large company to distribute new tools without getting lost in the GitHub whirlpool. It’s also easy to see Apple or Google following suit with similar initiatives, perhaps hosting several incubators under one account.
You can read more here.
Researchers develop video that you can reach out and touch
The MIT team has created an imaging technique called Interactive Dynamic Video (IDV) that allows users to reach in and “touch” objects in videos. IDV uses traditional cameras and algorithms to find the tiny and almost invisible vibrations of an object and create video simulations that users can interact with virtually. The new technology could reduce the need for CGI green screens, too. “This technique lets us capture the physical behavior of objects, which gives us a way to play with them in virtual space,” said Abe Davis, CSAIL Ph.D. student, who will be publishing the work this month for his final dissertation. “By making videos interactive, we can predict how objects will respond to unknown forces and explore new ways to engage with videos.”
You can find out how it works here.
Apple announces $200,000 bug bounty program
Unlike many of the other major tech companies, Apple has never had a formal bug bounty program or corporate policy for welcoming outsiders who poke holes in their security features. The offer was presented at Black Hat, a large computer security conference, where the audience burst into applause when Ivan Krstić, head of Apple Security Engineering and Architecture, flashed a slide with the announcement on the screen.
According to Securosis CEO and iOS security analyst Rich Mogull, the bounty is “the largest potential payout I’m aware of,” but also fairly limited in scope: the guidelines focus on a very specific set of vulnerabilities and Apple is currently working with a select list of researchers.
You can read more here.
Top new products
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 will be available in stores on 19 August
Regarding the specs, the Note 7 will have a 5.7-inch QHD AMOLED display, Gorilla Glass 5, 12MP rear camera, 5MP front-facing camera, IP68 water and dust resistance, Iris scanner, fingerprint scanner, USB Type-C, Android Nougat and 3,500 mAh battery. A report also added that Samsung is likely to bundle 5GB of free cloud storage along with its new upcoming service called Samsung Cloud.
More info can be found here.
Huawei unveils Honor Note 8 with a massive 6.6-inch display
The screen on the new phablet is of the QHD (2,560 x 1,440 resolution, ~443 PPI), 2.5D curved Super AMOLED variety that’s driven by a HiSilicon Kirin 955 octa-core processor (four Cortex-A72 cores @ 2.5GHz and four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.8GHz) and a Mali-T880 MP4 GPU alongside a healthy 4GB of RAM and up to 128GB of local flash storage (expandable via microSD card up to 256GB).There’s a 13-megapixel, f/2.0 aperture camera on the rear with autofocus, optical image stabilization and dual LED flash, a 5-megapixel front-facing shooter with f/2.0 aperture that’s capable of 1080p recording, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac dual-band Wi-Fi, a USB Type-C connector, dual SIM support, a 3.5mm audio jack and so on.
All the features are available here.
Asus launches premium ZenPad 3 8.0 Android tablet
The ZenPad 3 8.0 features a 7.9-inch IPS LED display with an impressive QXGA resolution of 2,048 x 1,536 (324 PPI) that’s powered by Qualcomm’s hexa-core Snapdragon 650 SoC (two Cortex-A72 cores and four Cortex-A53 cores) and an Adreno 510 GPU paired with up to 4GB of LPDDR3 RAM and 32GB of internal flash memory (expandable via microSD card slot).You also get 5GB of cloud storage space from Asus for life, an additional 11GB for one year and 100GB of Google Drive space for two years.
More info are available here.
Top interesting info
A mobile device’s battery status can be used to track your online activity
Cookies and malware aren’t the only things that can track our internet activities. More advanced methods, such as browser fingerprinting techniques and high-frequency sounds, are being used to monitor our online behavior covertly.
Now, researchers have found that even your device’s battery levels can enable tracking online. The system works using HTML5’s battery status API, which lets website developers see how much battery life a device has remaining, the time it will take to discharge, and how long it will take to charge. As there are 14 million different combinations of battery life as a percentage and the number of seconds left before it runs out, and this semi-unique identifier can be used to track devices across websites with fairly good certainty.
More info can be found here and here.
Scientists develop a flexible display that you can cut to size with scissors
As demand for flexible displays grows (think wearables and the like), being able to cut a display for a custom fit suddenly becomes quite desirable which is where the research comes in. Researchers at the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) in Japan used a polymer with electrochromic properties (organic/metal hybrid polymer) to create a display that can be cut into any shape using ordinary scissors. Once cut, the display requires just a few seconds of electrical input to adjust to its new shape. The researchers say they’ve even developed a variant that is capable of functioning while detached from a power source and after being cut.
You can read more here.
Valve is open-sourcing HTC Vive’s room-scale tracking tech
The company has recently opened up SteamVR’s room-scale 3D tracking system to anyone. Development kits include a pair of HTC Vive base stations; a “full complement of EVM circuit boards to enable rapid prototyping of your own tracked object” and 40 sensors for your tracked object that could be applied to a VR golf club or indoor drone, among other options.
On the FAQ page, Valve writes that there isn’t a catch for the company not charging licensing fees. And while that’s technically true, you do need to attend a $3,000 in-person training session in Seattle as part of the process.
You can read about it here.