Dual-mode Avalanche and RF Random Number Generator

OneRNG Open-Source Random Number Generator

[Paul] designed a new open-hardware RNG (random number generator) that includes two sources of entropy in a small package. The first source of entropy is a typical avalanche diode circuit, which is formed by a pair of transistors. This circuit creates high-speed random pulses which are sampled by the onboard microcontroller.

What makes this design unique is a second entropy source: a CC2531 RF receiver. The RF receiver continuously skips around channels in the 2.5Ghz band and measures the RF signal level. The least-significant bit of the signal level is captured and used as a source of entropy. The firmware can be configured to use either source of entropy individually, or to combine both. The firmware also supports optionally whitening the entropy byte stream, which evens out the number of 1’s and 0’s without reducing entropy.

The OneRNG uses the USB-CDC profile, so it shows up as a virtual serial port in most modern operating systems. With the rngd daemon and a bit of configuration, the OneRNG can feed the system entropy source in Linux. [Paul] also has a good writeup about the theory behind the entropy generator which includes images of his schematic. Firmware, drivers, and hardware design files are open-source and are available for download.

Filed under: hardware

Raspberry Pi Brings New Life to Some Old Dinosaurs


Reprogramming the behaviors of a person-sized animatronic dinosaur would have to be among the coolest opportunities to be presented with… This is exactly what [Dr. Lucy Rogers] and a group of fellow techies were tasked to accomplish for the Blackgang Chine park located on the Isle of Wight in the UK.

dino1Before the group arrived, the native dinos didn’t do much else than run a preprogrammed routine when triggered by someone’s presence… which needless to say, lacks the appropriate prehistoric dynamism. Seeing that their dated wag, wiggle, and roar response could use a fresh breath of flair, the park’s technical projects coordinator [Mark Butler] began adapting one of the dinosaur’s control boxes to work with a Raspberry Pi. This is when [Lucy] and her group were called upon for a two-day long excursion of play and development. With help and guidance from Raspberry Pi expert, [Neil Ford], the group learned how to use a ‘drag and build’ programing environment called node-RED in order to choreograph new movement sequences for two of the
smaller dinosaurs provided for use. The visual nature of node-RED helped those of the Blackgang staff with little programming experience understand the code at work, which aided in their training. Now they can reprogram the dinosaurs with new actions on the fly if needed.

The Pi in the end turned out to be a cost-effective solution which will give the robot dinosaurs a longer, more fulfilling lifespan to roar and folic on their island home. Check out this video by [Debbie Davies] to see more…

Thanks Ed, for spotting this one!

Filed under: Raspberry Pi, robots hacks

Funding Daily: Today’s biggest tech funding news, in on

Funding Daily: Today’s biggest tech funding news, in one place
Image Credit: Miran Rijavec

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Here’s a list of today’s tech funding stories, updated as the day unfolds. Tip us here if you have a deal to share.

Slack raises $120M from Google & Kleiner Perkins at $1.12B

Corporate messaging tool Slack announced today that it has closed a $120 million round led by Google Ventures and Kleiner Perkins. The new round values the company at $1.12 billion, post funding — a massive valuation for an eight-month-old company. San Francisco-based Slack was quick to point this out in its press release: “Having just launched in February, this milestone marks Slack as the fastest growing SaaS company ever.”

Read more

Cloud provider Joyent bets the farm on containers, adds $15M

Joyent, a provider of public-cloud infrastructure and software companies can use to create clouds in their own data centers, is announcing today that it’s brought in $15 million in new
funding. Existing investors El Dorado Ventures, EPIC Ventures, Intel Capital, LGI Ventures, and Orascom TMT Investments participated in the round among others. There were no new investors.

Read more

This list will be updated with breaking funding news all day. Check back for more.

Cloud provider Joyent bets the farm on containers, adds $15M

Cloud provider Joyent bets the farm on containers, adds $15M
Image Credit: Joyent

Joyent, a provider of public-cloud infrastructure and software that companies can use to create clouds in their own data centers, is announcing today that it’s brought in $15 million in new funding.

The deal shows investors believe there’s still room for cloud providers other than the big three — Amazon, Google, and Microsoft — even as they become more and more appealing to companies with new features and price cuts. But the new funding also points to the wisdom of the low-level technology Joyent has long used to run multiple applications efficiently on each physical server.

Joyent has
primarily focused on pushing a SmartOS operating system that uses “zones” for securely running applications, based on Sun’s once-open-source operating system, Solaris. SmartOS skips the sort of virtualization technology that enterprise software company VMware made popular, which uses a hypervisor to create multiple virtual machines for running applications on each server.

But while Joyent may have gotten to this solution first, Docker has gotten credit for inventing “container” technology, which packages up application code and can be moved from one server environment to another without tinkering with code.

Over the past year and a half, Docker “sort of made containers what all the cool kids were doing,” Joyent chief executive Scott Hammond told VentureBeat.

Now Joyent wants to emphasize its
ability to run applications inside zones or, well, containers, which it has talked about since as early as 2006, long before Docker made containers a buzzword in cloud-computing circles.

Hammond has focused on containers since joining Joyent in July, after talking with employees and customers. He came away from those talks, he said, “with the conviction that we now have a path to connect what Joyent does to the Docker community and to compete in what I see as a runtime infrastructure layer for these sort of application containers that people like Docker have really popularized.”

So Joyent is taking more money “to build and scale container-driven cloud infrastructure,” according to a statement.

Hammond said Joyent won’t try to compete with the biggest public clouds on price.

“Today we emphasize value of the
services, and we will always do that,” Hammond said. “I think trying to be in a price war with Amazon or Google is a death march. We’ll continue to focus on the differentiation we get from underlying technology.”

The trouble is, VMware, IBM, Microsoft, and Red Hat, among others, have also seen the light about containers in different ways.

“I think the next step now is for companies like Joyent to position themselves as the best, highly differentiated runtime environment for Docker containers,” Hammond said.

San Francisco-based Joyent started in 2004. It most recently announced funding — an $85 million round — in January 2012. Cofounder Jason Hoffman left his position as chief technology officer in September 2013.

Existing investors El Dorado Ventures, EPIC Ventures, Intel Capital, LGI Ventures, and Orascom TMT Investments participated in the round, among others. There were no new investors.

Much of Joyent’s revenue comes from the public cloud, Hammond said, with that part of the business carrying a 10 percent quarter-over-quarter growth rate. The newer private-cloud software business, he said, has a 35 percent growth rate.

A spokeswoman said Joyent’s number of “unique customers” has gone up 45 percent year over year. Customers include Nerve, Nodejitsu, Quizlet, and Wanelo.

Joyent is the high-performance cloud infrastructure company, offering the only solution specifically built to power real-time web and mobile applications. Joyent’s streamlined stack and unique cloud analytics enable companies to a… read more »

The DeanBeat: Like it or hate it, #GamerGate isn’t losi

The DeanBeat: Like it or hate it, #GamerGate isn’t losing steam

Above: Appinions tracks social media around #GamerGate

Image Credit: Appinions

You may be sick of it, but #GamerGate is gathering momentum as a topic of conversation on social media. It’s been brewing since August, and I weighed in on it a couple of weeks ago. Depending on who you ask, it’s either about death and rape threats made against female critics of the male-dominated game industry, or a grassroots movement to address bad ethics in game journalism. Much of the argument is about the attempts by either
to hijack the conversation in a particular direction. As we’ll see in a bit, big data analysis of social media can tell us a lot about what this is really all about.

One thing that’s clear is the growing notoriety of #GamerGate, a hashtag on Twitter that actor Adam Baldwin (best known for the sci-fi TV series Firefly) created in reaction to a controversy that started as a spat between lovers. Appinions, a media analysis firm, created a custom report for GamesBeat on the social media and all media around #GamerGate. As you can see from the chart, #GamerGate had a steady buzz, and then it had a burst of interest at the beginning of October. (You can match the chart against this timeline).

One of the Appinion’s stunning facts:
GamerGate is more talked about than online privacy. That means it has officially become a culture war.

“That’s a pretty huge amount of attention being paid to the topic,” said Jonah Bliss, the director of marketing at Appinions in New York.

At that time, Intel accidentally gave the issue a new life on Oct. 3 when it pulled advertising from game developer news site Gamasutra. The world’s largest chip maker had received complaints from #GamerGate supporters about a pro-feminist column by writer Leigh Alexander. Intel then had to apologize for that act, which was interpreted as company aligning itself with anti-feminist trolls. Then game developer Brianna Wu was driven out of her home on Oct. 10 after receiving death threats for speaking out in support of women in games. On Oct. 14, Anita Sarkeesian, the maker of the feminist “Tropes vs Video Games” series and a prime target of the #GamerGate movement, had to cancel a talk after the venue received a threat of a mass shooting. The New York Times also covered the controversy on its front page, and CNN weighed in as well.

That was when the upward part of the curve on mainstream awareness began, according to Appinions. Last week, actress Felicia Day spoke out about #GamerGate, and then her personal details were posted on the Internet in a harassment practice known as doxxing. Many women in the controversy have been doxxed, and some have remained silent because of that, as Day pointed out.

And last night, the controversy went into the stratosphere as feminist critic Sarkeesian made an appearance on The Colbert Report. In that appearance, Sarkeesian communicated her stance about sexism in games and described how she has been harassed for speaking out.

GamerGate people reacting to Anita Sarkeesian on "The Colbert Report."

Above: GamerGate people reacting to Anita Sarkeesian on “The Colbert Report.”

Zoe Quinn, a female game developer whose ex-lover started the controversy by revealing her romantic relationship with game journalist Nathan Grayson, has now called out for game publishers and industry figures to “stand up and condemn” the #GamerGate harassers. The biggest game companies have remained silent, while trade groups have condemned the harassment. Adobe has stepped forward as the first company to dissociate itself with anything to do with #GamerGate.

Each piece of news, and sadly, each new harassment, keeps #GamerGate in the news. Newsweek asked BrandWatch, a social media analytics company, to look through 2 million tweets about GamerGate since Sept. 1. In a sample survey, BrandWatch found that the female figures in the controversy — Quinn, Alexander, and Sarkeesian — received far more attention than the male game figures such as Grayson or editor Stephen Totilo of the game news site Kotaku. The women also received more negative tweets than the males. Newsweek may have over-reached with its data, but it is pretty clear that the women are
receiving a lot of abusive comments.

Appinions also found that there was a rising trend for negative mentions with the names Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn. It found, for instance, a steady rise in the use of the names with epithets such as “slut,” “die,” and other insults. And another interesting fact: Of the total people talking about GamerGate, only 5 percent talked about Quinn, while 12 percent talked about Sarkeesian.

“Any discussion regarding Anita and Zoe almost always has to do with #Gamergate,” Bliss said. ” Any other mentions of their merits, Anita’s standalone work on feminism, Zoe’s videogame, etc. has been totally consumed by their involvement in this whole crisis.”

The sentiment about #GamerGate is consistently negative, according to Appinions.

GamerGate tweets

Above: GamerGate tweets: Green is pro-GamerGate, purple is anti-GamerGate. Blue is in between.

Image Credit: Andy Baio

Many of the vocal people on Twitter used pseudonymous accounts that were created in the last month, according to a study of three days of tweets from last week by Andy Baio.

So far, the big data analysis, and the biggest headlines around the doxxing of women like Felicia Day, who has 2.3 million followers on Twitter, are discrediting the notion that #GamerGate is mostly about game journalism ethics. Day’s post went further into the mainstream over the discussions it inspired. For instance, former punter Chris Kluwe, who championed
gaming during his NFL days, condemned Day’s doxxing and started his own flame war with #GamerGate supporters.

If game journalism ethics is what the original intention of #GamerGate was about, that battle is lost. #GamerGate has come to represent an anti-woman agenda. The mainstream media have defined #GamerGate this way, and it won’t be easy for #GamerGate supporters with good intentions to turn that around. It’s probably time for those who care about the original issue, game journalism ethics, to come up with a different hashtag.

I would be happy to see #GamerGate go away, and I think much of the game industry feels the same way. But the cycle of news keeps pushing it higher. As that happens, it is becoming more and more about just one issue, the harassment of women. Ironically, Colbert, the fake journalist and comedian, hit the nail on the coffin in framing
#GamerGate as something that was truly ridiculous. I think we can all agree that harassment has to stop. There may be a conversation to have after that. But for now, I think everyone who cares about #GamerGate should take a stance on the contradictory expectation that it is not going to go away — and that taking a stance is really the way to end it.

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We are Intel Sponsors of Tomorrow™, not only through our
technical innovation, but through our endless efforts in education, environmental sustainability, healthcare, and much, much more. The range of computing products based on … read more »

Microsoft stops selling consumer versions of Windows 7 to computer makers

Microsoft stops selling consumer versions of Windows 7 to computer makers

Microsoft today stopped providing Windows 7 Home Basic, Windows 7 Home Premium, and Windows 7 Ultimate licenses to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), including its PC partners and systems builders. This means you’ll only be able to buy a computer running Windows 7 as long as stock lasts.

The only exception will be business computers running Windows 7 Professional, which will continue being sold for at least another year. The Windows Lifecycle chart for sales below summarizes the important dates we know.


The two asterisks for Windows 7 Professional in the last column point to an important note: “Microsoft will provide one year of notice prior to the end of sale date.” Since Microsoft hasn’t updated the chart yet with a new date, we can safely say Windows 7 Professional will still be sold until October 31, 2015, if not longer.

So if you still want a Windows 7 computer, for whatever reason, expect to be paying for Windows 7 Professional. As inventory runs out, you may even be charged a premium for a “business machine,” because OEMs know they can get away with it.

It’s also worth
noting that Mainstream Support for Windows 7, including for Windows 7 Professional, will end sooner than that, on January 13, 2015. Microsoft could decide to extend Mainstream Support, so as to avoid selling it with only Extended Support offered, though it has not given any indication yet it will do so.


For those who don’t know, Mainstream Support includes free incident support, warranty claims, fixes for non-security as well as security bugs, plus design changes and feature requests. Extended Support consists solely of security updates.

Microsoft’s main goal now is to get Windows 10 out the door. That being said, it wants to keep its current customers, especially enterprises and businesses, satisfied. After all, one day they will be considering upgrading from Windows 7 or Windows 8 to the latest and greatest.

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Microsoft Corporation is a public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through … read more »

A Better Anonabox with the Beaglebone Black



A few weeks ago, Anonabox, the ill-conceived router with custom firmware that would protect you from ‘hackers’ and ‘legitimate governments’ drew the ire of tech media. It was discovered that this was simply an off-the-shelf router with an installation of OpenWrt, and the single common thread in the controversy was that, ‘anyone can build that. This guy isn’t doing anything new.’

Finally, someone who didn’t have the terrible idea of grabbing another off the shelf router and putting it up on Kickstarter is doing just that. [Adam] didn’t like the shortcomings of the Anonabox and looked at the best practices of staying anonymous online. He created a Tor dongle in response to this with a Beaglebone Black.

Instead of using wireless like the Anonabox and dozens of other projects, [Andy] is using the Beaglebone as a dongle/Ethernet adapter with all data passed to the computer through the USB port. No, it doesn’t protect your entire network; only a single device and only when it’s plugged in.

The installation process is as simple as installing all the relevent software, uninstalling all the cruft, and configuring a browser. [Adam] was able to get 7Mb/sec down and 250kb/sec up through his Tor-ified Ethernet adapter while only using 40% of the BBB’s CPU.

Filed under: security hacks

Push Button, Receive Candy (or Death)

candy-or-deathWill you be handing out candy on Halloween? Maybe you have a party to attend or kids to take around the neighborhood and can’t be home to answer the bell. You don’t want to be The Dark House With No Candy, ’cause that’s a good way to get TP’d. We’re not exactly sure what [Ben]‘s catalyst was aside from trying to avoid tempting would-be thieves with an unattended bowl on the porch. Whatever the reason, we’re happy to present Candy or Death, his gamified candy (or death)-dispensing machine.

Okay, so it only dispenses candy for now. [Ben] hasn’t quite worked the kinks out of his death ray. He designed it to sit behind a porch-facing window so it can’t be messed with. All trick-or-treaters can do is push the button and take the candy. It’s built around a cereal dispenser that’s modified to be cranked by a piece of round rod driven with a NEMA-17 stepper motor and an Arduino Uno with a motor shield. The candy slides down a length of aluminium rain gutter into a plastic stacking bin, and the whole thing is built into a nice wood frame.

A few adjustments were necessary to keep it from jamming. The dispenser’s hopper uses rubber blades to govern the flow, and he ended up removing a few and trimming the others. [Ben] has an album up of all his build pics and put his code on the gits. Stick around to see videos of the machine from the front and rear.

Filed under: Arduino Hacks, Holiday Hacks

Chinese users can now shop from Alibaba while watching videos on Youku

Chinese users can now shop from Alibaba while watching videos on Youku
Image Credit: Charles Chan

Alibaba Group and Youku Tudou, the leading Chinese video site in which the former has a stake, jointly announced two programs for online retailers on Alibaba marketplaces to do marketing on the video platform in different ways.

View and Buy on Youku, as the name indicates, allows viewers to buy the items shown in a video without pausing the playing video. It is enabled by Alimama, the Google AdSense-like contextual advertising program of Alibaba.
Alimama display ads based on user behavior on Alibaba’s marketplaces.

So far almost all Chinese videos sites make revenues from pre-, mid-, and post-roll ads. Youku Tudou hasn’t turned a profit with it yet. If users liked making purchases when watching a video, the transaction-based ad revenue stream could be a big help to the video site.

A similar program has been available on Sina Weibo, in which Alibaba also has a stake. The one with Sina Weibo allows retailers to post items as micro-posts that users can make purchases from without leaving their Weibo homepage.

Another marketing program announced today is Merchants’ Video Channel on Tudou which is a content marketing project that encourage businesses to produce

This story originally appeared on TechNode.

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Xcovery Presents Phase 1 Results of X-396 in ALK positive NSCLC at the 2014 Multidisciplinary Symposium in Thoracic Oncology

Xcovery Presents Phase 1 Results of X-396 in ALK positive NSCLC at the 2014 Multidisciplinary Symposium in Thoracic Oncology

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–Induces responses in both crizotinib-naïve and crizotinib-resistant ALK+ NSCLC patients– -X-396 demonstrates activity in central nervous system metastases-

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–October 31, 2014–

Xcovery, a developer of next-generation targeted therapeutics for cancer, presented results at the 2014 Multidisciplinary Symposium in Thoracic Oncology from a Phase 1/2 study of X-396, a potent small molecule anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor. Data showed that X-396 is generally well-tolerated and has anti-tumor activity in patients with ALK-positive, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
These data are consistent with the interim data presented at the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in June 2014.

“While still early, X-396 continues to demonstrate activity in treatment-naive ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer patients as well as those that have progressed on crizotinib, and responses have also been seen in patients with central nervous system (CNS) disease,” said Leora Horn, MD, MSc, Associate Professor of Medicine and Clinical Director, Thoracic Oncology Program at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville, Tenn., and lead investigator of this Phase 1 study. “We are continuing to enroll patients in the expansion cohort phase of this trial to learn more about this patient population and inform future studies of X-396.”

“These results further validate the clinical benefit of X-396 that we presented earlier this year and our belief that X-396 has the potential to be an effective and well-tolerated oral
treatment for ALK-positive, non-small cell lung cancer,” said Chris Liang, Ph.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer at the Xcovery group of companies.

At the time of data cutoff, 41 patients were enrolled with tumor types including NSCLC, head and neck, small cell lung, colorectal and breast cancers. The NSCLC (n=33) patient group included ALK-positive patients (n=23) who were either crizotinib-naïve (n=5) or received prior crizotinib (n=18), as well as ceritinib in two patients. Among the 17 ALK positive patients evaluable for response (patient completed one cycle and had post baseline response assessment), 10 patients had a partial response (59 percent) and two had stable disease (12 percent). For the five patients with progressive disease, two were at lower doses (50 mg, 100 mg) with acquired resistance to crizotinib, one (at 200 mg) had failed prior crizotinib and chemotherapy, and one (250 mg) had failed prior crizotinib and ceritinib. The
patient with prior crizotinib and ceritinib had a complete response to X-396 in a retroperitoneal lymph node but progression of bone/CNS metastases.

About X-396
Xcovery is developing X-396 for the treatment of solid tumors where ALK is deregulated. X-396 has been validated in potency and selectivity assays indicating that it is more selective and up to 10 times more potent than competitive ALK inhibitors. X-396 has been active in animal models of NSCLC and neuroblastoma. Importantly, X-396 has shown activity in some ALK mutations that confer resistance to other small molecule ALK inhibitors.

About Xcovery
Xcovery is a clinical-stage company focused on the development of next-generation targeted therapeutics for cancer. Founded by Sheridan G. Snyder and Chris Liang, Ph.D., Xcovery’s vision is to successfully develop innovative oncology therapies to optimize patient outcomes. Through innovative drug design, Xcovery has developed a
comprehensive pipeline of oncology therapies that target a wide range of advanced tumors. For more information, please visit www.xcovery.com.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/multimedia/home/20141030006894/en/

For Xcovery
Media Contact:
LaVoie Health Science
David Connolly, 617-374-8800 ext. 108
Business Development Contact:
Cheryl Calhoun, 561-659-1945
Vice President

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