The video above shows the Firefox OS Gecko runtime cranking away on the Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi’s ARM11 processor even manages to handle some WebGL animations at 60 frames per second — not bad for a computer that’s only $25, and equally impressive for an OS that’s still in the early, experimental stages.
“I’m Feeling Puzzled” will take you to Google’s puzzle a day project. Image: Screenshot/Webmonkey.
Google Instant Search eliminates not just the need for, but the opportunity to even press the venerable “I’m Feeling Lucky” button. With Instant Search, results appear the minute you start typing, without pressing any buttons. That might help explain why Google appears to be phasing out “I’m Feeling Lucky” with some whimsical Easter Eggs instead.
Head to the Google homepage and hover your mouse over “I’m Feeling Lucky” and you’ll see it spin like a slot machine, landing on things like “I’m Feeling Stellar,” which searches for various nebula and other stellar objects, or “I’m Feeling Wonderful,” which takes you to random pages on the World Wonders Project.
Alex Chitu over at Google Operating System points out that there are currently eight different options that the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button will morph into, which is at least somewhat in keeping with the random spirit of the original.
Semachrysa jade, new lacewing species. Image: Kurt/Flickr
Photo sharing giant Flickr may not be the internet hipster favorite it once was, but the site remains not just popular, but useful as well — Flickr recently helped connect a scientist with a photographer, making it possible to classify a new species of green lacewing.
Photographer Hock Ping Guek, whose Flickr stream is full of gorgeous macro images, was photographing in a state park in Malaysia when he snapped an image of an unusual-looking Green Lacewing. Guek then uploaded the images to Flickr.
That’s where Shaun Winterton, a senior insect biosystematist at the California Department of Food & Agriculture, happened to see the somewhat odd-looking green lacewing with its distinct wing pattern of black markings and white spots. It didn’t match anything Winterton had ever seen before. He sent the image to fellow scientists, but no one was familiar with it.
Winterton then got in touch with Guek, who returned to Malaysia, this time collecting a specimen that was then sent back to Winterton. Winterton then collaborated with Stephen J. Brooks of the London Natural History Museum to describe the new species. The two, along with Guek, share credit for the new species, which is named Semachrysa jade.
While the three share credit, the paper outlining the new species (available on Zoo Keys) also credits the web for bringing Semachrysa jade to light:
New species are increasingly being discovered by the general public with interests in the natural sciences long before they are recognized as new to science by professional taxonomists and formally described. With the rapid development of digital photographic technology, professional and amateur photographers are unknowingly discovering and informally documenting new species of animals and plants by placing images of them in online image databases long before taxonomists can examine them.
If you’d like some more background on how it all came together, be sure to check out Guek’s blog Up Close with Nature.
At the moment the Flash Player improvements are only available to Windows users, but the change does apply to the entire Windows spectrum, covering everything from Windows XP (where Chrome is the only option if you want to keep Flash sandboxed) to the coming Windows 8.
As Chrome Software Engineer Justin Schuh writes on the Chromium blog, “Windows Flash is now inside a sandbox that’s as strong as Chrome’s native sandbox, and dramatically more robust than anything else available.”
The Flash update sees Chrome dropping the older Netscape Plugin API — which browsers have long relied on for plugin security — in favor of Google’s own Pepper Plugin API (PPAPI). Since PPAPI has a tighter sandbox it makes it harder to exploit Flash, but Schuh says the new architecture will make Flash more stable as well. “By eliminating the complexity and legacy code associated with NPAPI, we’ve reduced Flash crashes by about 20%.”
There are also performance gains since the PPAPI offloads some of the display work to your PC’s GPU, which makes for faster rendering and smooth scrolling. The new Pepper API also means Flash will work in Windows 8′s don’t-call-it-Metro mode.
Google says that it’s working on bring the same Pepper-based sandboxing to Chrome for Mac OS X and hopes to “ship it soon” (Linux users have enjoyed PPAPI-based Flash Player since Chrome 20).
Decrypt is a silly little Python script that lets you act like a hacker on TV; you know the scenes — a terminal window full of garbage slowly coalesces into a decrypted, er, something, usually just in time to save someone from certain death/ruin.
Perhaps the best part of the Decrypt.py effort from developer Jouke Waleson, is the potential use case: “recover some friend’s hard drive (i.e., he destroyed his mbr). After the “hard” work has been done, act like you are having a hard time and run some of his personal files through this program and ask if he recognizes the content.”
If you’d like to prank a friend, grab the script from GitHub and throw it on a USB stick. Hit play on the video above to see it in action. For some animated GIF demos and more discussion, see the Hacker News page as well.