It’s likely that we’ll see iOS 11.3 launch in the next couple of weeks. The pace of beta releases has quickened recently, and spring (when Apple said the update will roll out) is nearly upon us. With a wide range of features, iOS 11.3 is an exciting software update — and with battery health tools, […] Read More… iDrop News
Migrate to FOSS to continue to provide network services
Apple is planning on changing the scope of it’s macOS Server app to focus on the management of your network devices as opposed to offering hosting services such as HTTP, mail, calendar, VPN, DHCP, DNS and the like. As such, starting in the spring of 2018, Apple will depreciate these services and will eventually send them on the way of the Dodo leaving any macOS running Server without anymore Apple packaged updates.
Apple is positioning this change as a way to cut out the middleman so to speak. All of the packages offered by Apple are from free and open source software (FOSS) and it claims that getting service packages directly from the maintainers allows administrators to get the best, most up-to-date, and secure versions available.
FOSS Calendar and Contact services
Apple is suggesting that administrators migrate to to the following for calendar and contact services.
DavMail is an ambitious project trying to be a standard compliant replacement for Microsoft Exchange. It supports CalDav and CardDav and LDAP protocols for your calendaring and address books as well as mail protocols of POP, IMAP and SMTP.
On the opposite spectrum is Radicale. It’s only function is for calendaring and contacts. It prides itself on being a small and powerful implementation of the CalDAV and CardDAV protocols accessible also via HTTP. If all you require is calendaring and/or contact services, Radicale is for you.
Akin to DavMail to provide a full experience for contact management and collaboration, Citadel provides many other features like email and messaging in it’s suite on top of the built in calendaring and address book features. If you want a full featured service but not necessarily a Microsoft Exchange replacement, Citadel might fit the bill.
Many of the following programs may be familiar to you since administrators have had access to them under the macOS covers via terminal. The only difference is no GUI front end from the macOS Server app.
Kea is a standards compliant feature rich software for implementing DHCPv4 and DHCPv6.
Although the name implies it being a domain name server, Dnsmasq also provides a flexible DHCP service as well. So if you need a single program to provide both services, Dnsmasq can do that.
Apache HTTP Server
The venerable, powerful and highly scalable Apache HTTP server has had many years of development and hardening an still remains one of the best HTTP solutions available.
VPN services allow for secure connections between computers. NetInstall allows for diskless booting as well as writing images to disk.
Probably the most used and documented FOSS VPN solution, OpenVPN is supported on nearly every internet facing device out there. For business or for home OpenVPN gives you protected and private transmission of data to and from your server and client.
If you need NetBoot or Net Install services the NetSUS can provide it for you.
I really liked Apple’s take on service administration. Use the powerful FOSS solutions under the covers whilst providing the ease of access for standard setups via a nice frontend. I’m saddened that macOS Server will no longer be a hub for network services. I’m happy that Apple is pointing administrators to the open source world for their depreciated services. But this leads me to one last thought. Why stop there? Why not simply go completely FOSS and use a GNU/Linux distribution that will NOT remove service functionality instead of sticking with macOS?
Will you be migrating your services whilst still running macOS? Let us know in the comments!
One week ahead of HomePod’s launch date in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia on February 9, the first batch of pre-order customers have begun receiving notifications from their banks about being charged for their orders, many located in the UK. According to tips, customers have noticed a charge placed on their cards related to HomePod orders as of early this morning, one week after pre-orders initially went up last Friday, January 26.
Image via MacRumors forum member smr
As customers begin getting charged, shipment preparations are also gearing up for HomePod and some MacRumors forum members have shared that their orders are “preparing for dispatch” with the expected delivery date of February 9.
This places HomePod pre-order shipping schedules on track with previous Apple device launches, and more users should begin noticing charges and shipment preparation order updates throughout the day. Next, the first set of HomePods will likely begin shipping out this weekend or early next week.
Initial hands-on impressions of the speaker have been positive, with a few websites enjoying the design of the HomePod, a “fast and seamless” integration with Siri, and favoring the audio quality over rival speakers like Sonos One and Google Home Max.
Among those giving impressions was a user on the audiophile subreddit, who noted “significantly better” audio than Google Home Max, and summed up their post by stating, “A single HomePod, for the size and price, slaughters most speakers under $1000.”
For those who haven’t yet pre-ordered, HomePod orders placed on Apple.com today are still available for a February 9 delivery or pick-up date in both White and Space Gray.
Medumo co-founder Adeel Yang has plenty of first-hand experience dealing with cancellations for procedures and appointments as a physician — but it’s been a problem that’s a deceptively hard to solve. So Yang and his co-founders decided to start Medumo to address the problem they’ve seen so often themselves. The company’s main goal is to reduce procedure… Read More Mobile – TechCrunch
During the grand rounds, speakers from the CDC, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and other government agencies will deliver presentations with such titles as “Roadmap to Radiation Preparedness” and “Public Health: Preparing for the Unthinkable.”
According to CDC spokesperson Bert Kelly, the staging of a grand rounds is nothing unusual for the CDC. “Public Health Grand Rounds is part of CDC’s longstanding and routine work, with the goal of ensuring the public health community is prepared for all types of health threats,” he told Futurism. “These presentations take place regularly.”
Additionally, while the timing of a grand rounds on this particular topic may make it seem like the CDC believes the possibility of a nuclear detonation is high right now, CDC spokesperson Kathy Harben told Stat that that’s not the case. She said the agency actually began planning for the session back in April 2017 after CDC officials attended a “radiation/nuclear incident exercise” led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
It’s good news that the CDC isn’t expecting a nuclear detonation in the near future, but there’s still an estimated 22,000 nuclear weapons in existence — so the threat of a future bombing remains. As we learned from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, these events have devastating and long-lasting consequences.
“We can’t predict at this point or confirm with any degree of certainty whether or not a nuclear attack is going to happen in the very near future,” Suzet McKinney, Executive Director of the Illinois Medical District (IMD) told Futurism. Still, that doesn’t mean preparation for such an event isn’t worthwhile, according to McKinney. She believes a whole community approach would be the most likely to save lives.
“No small agency or even a small jurisdiction will be able to handle a nuclear attack on its own,” said McKinney. “Government entities, first responders, and public safety personnel must work together with community members, social service and non-profit organizations, as well as private business and healthcare.”
McKinney suggested government officials make it a point to understand how their individual jurisdiction’s critical infrastructure — its hospitals, police stations, fire stations, water systems, and so on — could be affected by a nuclear detonation. She suggested they try to anticipate the potential needs of not only their own jurisdiction but also those nearby and consider how the areas might work together to cope in the aftermath of a detonation.
Early identification of especially vulnerable populations, such as people who are disabled, don’t have access to technology, or have limited English proficiency, is also important, said McKinney. This information can help officials ensure all citizens are protected in the event of a nuclear event.
Nancy Nydam, the Director of Communications for the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) — one of the agencies presenting at the CDC’s grand rounds — confirmed the need for collaboration and communication between various members of the community.
She told Futurism that while public health is not a first-responder in a radiation emergency (which would include a nuclear detonation) they do work closely with first responders in coordinating all responses. They are also responsible for preparing to activate the Community Reception Centers that act as a liaison between public health and the community, providing surveillance, monitoring, decontamination (if necessary), risk communication, and long-term follow-up of anyone who was or may have been exposed to radiation.
As for individuals looking to prepare for a nuclear detonation, the best thing they can do is educate themselves, according to McKinney. Knowing simple things like the importance of sheltering in place to limit radiation exposure or what it means to duck and cover can go a long way toward staying safe in the event of an attack.
She also recommends that members of the public make an effort to understand what their local and state governments are doing to address the threat of nuclear detonation. She suggests checking government websites, attending relevant community meetings, and asking questions if there’s something they don’t understand.
In that respect, the CDC’s upcoming grand rounds is an excellent resource not just for public health officials, but the public as well. The CDC is the nation’s top public health agency, and the information shared during the session could save your life if the unthinkable ever did occur.
Editor’s Note: This piece has been updated to reflect the correct name of the CDC’s teaching session.
“Bitcoin ought to be outlawed.” Those were the ominous words of economist Joseph Stiglitz in an interview with Bloomberg last week. He’s not the first to say it and he certainly won’t be the last. In its short lifetime, Bitcoin managed to survive against all odds It kept grinding through the collapse of Mt Gox. It outlasted critics and doubters who declared it dead again and again and again. It outwitted an exchange and ICO ban from China. It hasn’t suffered a major security breach, even as it moves billions of dollars around the world in the blink of an eye, something almost no major company or government’s website can…
These severe consequences are caused by one, major, underlying trend: the rapidly growing power needs of server farms which store data from billions of smart devices. As we acquire more devices and use data and these technologies more and more, these servers require significantly more power. And, as it turns out, we are asking a lot of these server farms, and current predictions say it’s only going to get worse.
Swedish researcher Anders Andrae, who worked on the study update, thinks that industry power demands will increase from 200-300 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity per year to 1,200 or even 3,000 TWh by 2025. Andrae comments: “The situation is alarming. We have a tsunami of data approaching. Everything which can be is being digitalised. It is a perfect storm. 5G [the fifth generation of mobile technology] is coming, IP [internet protocol] traffic is much higher than estimated, and all cars and machines, robots and artificial intelligence are being digitalised, producing huge amounts of data which is stored in data centres.”
We have known for years that things like driving, leaving lights on, and letting the water run too long wastes energy and resources, and we should take some personal responsibility for our impact on the planet. But as technology has progressed, the ways in which we affect the environment and contribute to climate change have also changed. The data that we use and the number of devices we own are also now major elements to consider when we think how we use resources. We can even take into consideration our financial investments, as it was recently revealed that the cryptocurrency giant Bitcoin, through mining, consumes more energy than 159 entire countries combined.
But does this energy responsibility rest solely on us? The companies whose technologies use this increasing energy could also make changes in order to reduce energy usage or transition to better renewable energy sources. What these companies do, the technologies that they create, and the way we use them each have relative and specific impact on the environment. And, as many experts have agreed, we need to make every effort if we are to meet the climate goals that will prevent further life-threatening consequences of climate change.
So no, this does not exactly mean that we need to stop using our devices. The availability and easy access to information that the internet provides is not only a precious resource, it is a human right, according to the UN. The education that the internet can provide is an essential part of modern life. But as companies continue to advance technologies, and we carry on consuming them, it’s paramount for both sides to take into consideration what impact these devices will have on the future.
Disclosure: Several members of the Futurism team, including the editors of this piece, are personal investors in a number of cryptocurrency markets. Their personal investment perspectives have no impact on editorial content.
As the year comes to a close, annual wrap-ups are most companies favorite way of reminding us just how much we love using their services. Unfortunately, Facebook’s ‘Year In Review‘ videos have the opposite effect on me. So prepare yourself because as of today, they’re back once again to clog up our newsfeed. Unlike Spotify’s ‘Yearly Wrapped’ playlist, Facebook’s Year in Review videos always highlight the worst moments. Worse, they’re blended over a forgettable and utterly cheesy soundtrack. Populated using ‘new friends’ you’ve made, ‘happy birthdays’ you received, your most popular pictures and more social detritus to annoy your friends with, Facebook…
Blockchain is quickly becoming one of the most anticipated technologies of our time. Much like the early internet, experienced technologists foresee blockchain as a vehicle to drive society forward. Implementations of secure, decentralized systems can empower us to conquer organizational issues of trust and security that have plagued our society for generations. In effect, we can fundamentally disrupt industries core to our economies and social structure, eliminating inefficiency and human error. One of the most exciting and imminent applications of blockchain is with Bitcoin. Though volatile in nature, Bitcoin represents a not so far away future where payments are secure,…