Ever wanted to download adb or fastboot without having to android studio?

Ever wanted to download adb or fastboot without having to download the whole of Android Studio?…but didn’t want to download executables from some random warez site?

Good news this week:

Previously, you’d have to download Android Studio or the SDK to get these, which are a 400MB-1.6GB download. Even the smaller command line tools download is still 200-300MB

These links will always return the adb/fastboot binaries currently shipping with Android Studio. No need to guess what the current version is, or update your own links: just follow these and get the latest binaries, direct from the source.

HDMI 2.1 Specification adds support for 4K@120Hz, 8K and10K resolutions and new 48G Cable

HDMI Forum, Inc. today announced the upcoming release of Version 2.1 of the HDMI Specification.

This latest HDMI Specification supports a range of Higher Video Resolutions and refresh rates including 8K60 and 4K120, Dynamic HDR, and increased bandwidth with a new 48G cable. Version 2.1 of the HDMI Specification is backward compatible with earlier versions of the Specification, and was developed by the HDMI Forum’s Technical Working Group whose members represent some of the world’s leading manufacturers of consumer electronics, personal computers, mobile devices, cables and components.

“This new release of the Specification offers a broad range of advanced features for enhancing the consumer entertainment experience, as well as providing robust solutions to the commercial AV sector,” said Robert Blanchard of Sony Electronics, president of the HDMI Forum. “This is part of the HDMI Forum’s continuing mission to develop specifications for the HDMI eco-system that meet the growing demand for compelling, high-performance and exciting features.” HDMI Specification 2.1 Features Include:

  • Higher Video Resolutions support a range of higher resolutions and faster refresh rates including 8K60Hz and 4K120Hz for immersive viewing and smooth fast-action detail.
  • Dynamic HDR ensures every moment of a video is displayed at its ideal values for depth, detail, brightness, contrast, and wider color gamuts—on a scene-by-scene or even a frame-by-frame basis.
  • 48G cables enable up to 48Gbps bandwidth for uncompressed HDMI 2.1 feature support including 8K video with HDR. The cable is backwards compatible with earlier versions of the HDMI Specification and can be used with existing HDMI devices.
  • eARC supports the most advanced audio formats such as object-based audio, and enables advanced audio signal control capabilities including device auto-detect.
  • Game Mode VRR features variable refresh rate, which enables a 3D graphics processor to display the image at the moment it is rendered for more fluid and better detailed gameplay, and for reducing or eliminating lag, stutter, and frame tearing.

The new specification will be available to all HDMI 2.0 Adopters and they will be notified when it is released early in Q2 2017

A new human organ was discovered? Say hello to the mesentery, that is keeping your guts together

Mesentery – a previous thought to be insignificant attachment in our human abdomen is now been reclassified as a brand new organ!

So what is a mesentery?

One of the earliest descriptions of the mesentery was made by Leonardo da Vinci, and for centuries it was generally ignored as a type of insignificant attachment. Over the past century, doctors who studied the mesentery assumed it was a fragmented structure made of separate sections, which made it pretty unimportant.

The mesentery which connects the intestine to the abdomen, had for hundreds of years been considered a fragmented structure made up of multiple separate parts. However, research by Professor of Surgery at UL’s Graduate Entry Medical School, J Calvin Coffey, found the mesentery is one, continuous structure.

It’s a double fold of peritoneum – the lining of the abdominal cavity – that attaches our intestine to the wall of our abdomen, and keeps everything locked in place.

In a review published in the November issue of one of the top medical journals, The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Professor Coffey outlined the evidence for categorising the mesentery as an organ.

“In the paper, which has been peer reviewed and assessed, we are now saying we have an organ in the body which hasn’t been acknowledged as such to date,” Professor Coffey stated.

Better understanding and further scientific study of the mesentery could lead to less invasive surgeries, fewer complications, faster patient recovery and lower overall costs.

“When we approach it like every other organ…we can categorise abdominal disease in terms of this organ,” professor Coffey said.

According to Professor Coffey, the Foundation Chair of Surgery at UL’s Graduate Entry Medical School and University Hospitals Limerick, mesenteric science is its own specific field of medical study in the same way as gastroenterology, neurology and coloproctology.

“This is relevant universally as it affects all of us. Up to now there was no such field as mesenteric science. Now we have established anatomy and the structure. The next step is the function. If you understand the function you can identify abnormal function, and then you have disease. Put them all together and you have the field of mesenteric science…the basis for a whole new area of science,” he said.

“During the initial research, we noticed in particular that the mesentery, which connects the gut to the body, was one continuous organ. Up to that it was regarded as fragmented, present here, absent elsewhere and a very complex structure. The anatomic description that had been laid down over 100 years of anatomy was incorrect. This organ is far from fragmented and complex. It is simply one continuous structure,” Professor Coffey explained.

The research has been published in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology.

LibreOffice is trying a new look, Microsoft Office – Ribbon UI

The latest LibreOffice dev builds ship with the notebook bar feature, so if you want to, you can enable the Ribbon-like feature to see if it’s something that suits your workflow ahead of time.

Feature is only present in LibreOffice 5.3 and you can enable it with the following

  • Tools > Options > LibreOffice General > Advanced > Experimental features

Once enabled head back to the main LibreOffice app. To enable (turn on) the Notebook bar click:

  • View > Toolbar Layout > Default/Single toolbar/Sidebar/Notebookbar

Three modes available: Contextual single, Contextual groups, and Tabs.

Lunar fogbow – by Göran Strand

Göran Strand @ astrofotografen.se

Göran Strand took the fogbow picture on the island of Frösön in central Sweden on Dec. 17, 2016, when the Moon was about 85 percent full. He actually went out to photograph the aurora, which didn’t perform well that night. To his delight, he saw the lunar fogbow and a few minutes later the wind dispersed it!

FLAC 1.3.2 was just updated.

FLAC 1.3.2 (01-Jan-2017)

FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) was just updated, 3 years since last update. What is FLAC? Well,  an audio format similar to MP3, but lossless, meaning that audio is compressed in FLAC without any loss in quality. This is similar to how Zip works, except with FLAC you will get much better compression because it is designed specifically for audio, and you can play back compressed FLAC files in your favorite player (or your car or home stereo, see supported devices) just like you would an MP3 file.

  • General:
    • Fix undefined behaviour using GCC/Clang UBSAN (erikd).
    • General hardening via fuzz testing with AFL (erikd and others).
    • General code improvements (lvqcl, erikd and others).
    • Add FLAC in MP4 specification docs (Ralph Giles).
    • MSVS build cleanups (lvqcl).
    • Fix some cppcheck warnings (erikd).
    • Assume all currently used OSes support SSE2.
  • FLAC format:
    • (none)
  • Ogg FLAC format:
    • (none)
  • flac:
    • Fix potential infinite loop on flac-to-flac conversion (erikd).
    • Add WAVEFORMATEXTENSIBLE to WAV (as needed) when decoding (lvqcl).
    • Only write vorbis-comments if they are non-empty.
    • Error out if decoding RAW with bits != (8|16|24).
  • metaflac:
    • Add –scan-replay-gain option.
  • plugins:
    • (none)
  • build system:
    • Fixes for MSVC and Makefile.lite build systems.
  • documentation:
    • (none)
  • libraries:
    • CPU detection cleanup and fixes (Julian Calaby, erikd and lvqcl).
    • Fix two stream decoder bugs (Max Kellermann).
    • Fix a NULL dereference bug (on a malformed file).
    • Changed the LPC order guess for a slight compression improvement, particularly for classical music (Martijn van Beurden).
    • Improved encoding speed on older Intel CPUs.
    • Fixed a seeking bug when decoding certain files (Miroslav Lichvar).
    • Put an upper bound (32768) on the number of seek points.
    • Fix potential memory leaks.
    • Support 64bit brword/bwword allowing FLAC__BYTES_PER_WORD to be set to 8 (disabled by default).
    • Fix an out-of-bounds heap read.
    • Win32: Only use large buffers when writing to disk.
  • Interface changes:
    • libFLAC:
      • (none)
    • libFLAC++:
      • (none)

TLS 1.3 design finalized

The biggest practical development in crypto for 2016 is the finalization  Transport Layer Security version 1.3. TLS is the most important and widely used cryptographic protocol and is the backbone of secure Internet communication.

How might users notice TLS 1.3?

Speed. TLS 1.3 is designed for speed, specifically by reducing the number of network round-trips required before data can be sent to one round-trip (1-RTT) or even zero round-trips (0-RTT) for repeat connections.

These ideas have appeared before in experimental form through the QUIC protocol and False Start for earlier TLS versions, but as part of the default behavior of TLS 1.3 they will soon become much more widespread. This means latency will decrease and webpages will load faster.

TLS 1.3 should be a big improvement security-wise.

First, the protocol is much simpler by removing support for a number of old protocol features and obsolete cryptographic algorithms. Additionally, TLS 1.3 was designed with the benefit of model checking (which has been used to find flaws in many older versions of TLS and SSL).

What are you waiting for?

Now, all we need to do is wait for OpenSSL to release a updated version with TLS. 1.3, something they are working on.  Or if you don’t have time for that, you could build OpenSSL from source yourself.