JavaScript Projects Were Broken After Left-Pad Was Unpublished

Tuesday afternoon and you start running your brand new JavaScript for the website you’re working on. You’ve been working on it for days and have been enjoying it working only to find it breaks. The reason your project, among hundreds of JavaScript Projects, was broken for hours because someone unpublished a piece of their work known as Left-pad.

As people create more and more complex programs they often rely on code written by others in modules or tools, in this case, the module was titled left-pad and was taken down my creator Azer Koçulu after lawyers representing instant messaging app, Kik, targeted one of Koçulu’s many modules for having the same name. While this wouldn’t cause problems for many, left-pad whose sole purpose is to pad the left-hand side of strings (or sentences) with zeroes or spaces, is used in projects like Node and Babel, most popular pieces of work that are used in many other projects themselves.

With left-pad removed from NPM (a packet manager that helps developers organise their use of other modules or packages), the projects suddenly found themselves unable to retrieve the code, ultimately falling over in style. With just under 2.5 million downloads in the last month alone according to NPM you can tell just how many projects could have been broken by a single action.

In order to solve this problem Laurie Voss, CTO and co-founder of NPM took a step that many consider unprecedented and republished the previously removed left-pad 0.0.3. This action was apparently prompted by the new owner and allowed Voss to end the day knowing that he was “sleeping fine tonight”.

Oculus Rift Pre-Orders Now Available

Virtual reality is often described as a revolution in entertainment and the Oculus Rift demonstrated how visually stunning VR experiences can be. This inspired other companies to enter the VR market and look beyond traditional gaming purposes. VR has potential in the medical professional and can also put sports fans into the action in a way never thought possible. After a lengthy development period, the Oculus Rift retail model is now available for purchase and comes with an Xbox One controller, Oculus remote and VR sensor. Additionally, the unit is packaged with EVE Valkyrie and A Lucky’s Tale!

The Rift also utilizes integrated headphones designed for VR which creates a enthralling experience and expands the sense of depth during games. Of course, they can be removed and you can use the headphones of your choice.  The entire package will cost $599 plus sales tax and shipping which depends on your region. In the UK, expect a price of around £400. While this is a considered purchase, there is additional value with the includes extras and the Oculus Rift is a truly mind-blowing experience. This will be more than enough to encourage hardware enthusiasts to purchase. However, I doubt the mainstream customer will consider the Rift until there is a significant price cut or budget alternative. Please note, the Rift requires a high-end PC with the minimum specification listed below:

  • NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD R9 290 equivalent or greater
  • Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
  • 8GB+ RAM
  • Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output
  • 3x USB 3.0 ports plus 1x USB 2.0 port
  • Windows 7 SP1 64 bit or newer

What do you think of the Oculus Rift’s launch price?

GitHub’s Text Editor Finally Receives Its First Stable Release

A great development text editor comes from the guys over at GitHub. Its name is Atom and if you’ve never heard of it, I suggest you download it and give it a try. I’ve been using it for some time now and for what it has to offer, I don’t think I’ll change to another IDE any time soon.

Atom has been getting a lot of beta releases up until now, but even with its stable 1.0 release, the GitHub development team still says it’s not quite ready yet. The software is completely customizable and modular. This means you can tweak its interface and theme as much as you want and even add packages and third-party plugins to make it work with your projects.

In addition to the above, it features a development-friendly API, so you can contribute to the vast pool of packages it offers yourself. However, the best part about it is that the piece of software is free and available under the MIT license.

Should you decide to use it, I would recommend downloading the Script package as a ‘must have’ tool. The package lets you compile script on-the-fly directly in the text editor, which is what makes Atom so powerful. It does have compiling limitations on some coding languages, but it extremely useful and constantly updated. While Script works well with Atom on Mac, I got it to compile on Windows too, but there’s some work to be done on the latter OS before you can get it to compile.

If you are interested in downloading the Atom text editor, head on over to its website where you can also get some extra info on it.

Thank you LifeHacker for providing us with this information

Linux Open Source License Allegedly Violated by VMWare

VMWare, the virtualization software maker, is apparently facing a lawsuit for violating the GPLv2 free software license for years by using Linux and other source code in ESXi.

Christoph Hellwig, Linux kernel developer, filed the lawsuit in Hamburg, Germany, with funding from the Software Freedom Conservancy non-profit organisation which works to defend and promote free and open source software. VMWare allegedly combined their own ‘vmkernel’ with parts of the Linux code, licensed only under GPLv2.

VMWare denies the accusation, calling them “without merit”. The ESXi hypervisor is a key part of the company’s leading position in the enterprise virtualization market. VMWare is said to have made $1.7 billion in revenue and $326 million in net income in Q4 2014.

Hellwig is said to be one of the most active developers of the Linux kernels. He was the first to denounce VMWare’s misuse of the GPL-licensed code back in 2007. The Software Freedom Conservancy organisation then discovered in 2011 that VMWare failed to provide any source code for the version of BusyBox included in the ESXi package, as required by the software’s GPLv2 license.

The organisation then begun negotiations with VMWare to provide detailed compliance on all GPL licensed components in ESXi, but progress was slow through 2013. Hellwig had been working more closely with the organisation in 2012 to analyse non-compliant releases of ESXi. After an extended period of time spent analysing the material, it became apparent that VMware’s current ESXi products infringed many of Hellwig’s own copyrights, due to VMware’s failure to comply with Linux’s license, GPLv2.

“During Hellwig’s investigations, Conservancy continued to negotiate with VMware. Sadly, VMware’s legal counsel finally informed Conservancy in 2014 that VMware had no intention of ceasing their distribution of proprietary-licensed works derived from Hellwig’s and other kernel developers’ copyrights, despite the terms of GPLv2. Conservancy therefore had no recourse but to support Hellwig’s court action.”

“In addition to other ways VMware has not complied with the requirements of the GPL, Conservancy and Hellwig specifically assert that VMware has combined copyrighted Linux code, licensed under GPLv2, with their own proprietary code called ‘vmkernel’ and distributed the entire combined work without providing nor offering complete, corresponding source code for that combined work under terms of the GPLv2,” the Conservancy wrote. “Hellwig is an extensive copyright holder in the portions of Linux that VMware misappropriated and used together in a single, new work without permission.”

The Software Freedom Conservancy stated that they proceeded to take legal action only after exploring ‘every other possible alternative’ over the past few years. The organisation is said to currently seek donations to help pay for the lawsuit, which they say could take years.

Thank you Arstechnica for providing us with this information

Tinder Plus Set to Launch This Monday

It looks like a new version of the Tinder app is set to launch on Monday. Bearing the name of Tinder Plus, the app is said to include some new features compared to the free version at a $9.99 price tag.

There is also mention of a subscription package within the app, leading to the conclusion that Tinder is yet again trying to set a new pricing structure. So far, the current version of the app is known to include subscription packages ranging from $0.99 to $19.99 per month.

A subscription to Tinder Plus is said to grant the user the Rewind feature, granting him or her the ability to reverse previous left swipes. The Passport feature seems to come in the new version as well, expanding a user’s searches beyond the current geographical location set by the smartphone.

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information

Amazon’s Mysterious Big Box is Out Again

Remember early this year when people started seeing massive Amazon packages in parts of the US (like the one above)?

Well now they’re back, except not for promotional purposes this time. According to Re/code they’re part of a new programme the company will be unveiling next week.

“We’re excited to be making 15 special deliveries next week as part of the holiday season,”

While the previous boxes contained Nissan cars, these boxes appear to be a bit smaller, albeit still requiring a truck, so it’s intriguing as to what this could be for.

As Amazon says, there are 15 dotted around the US, so if any of you see one, send us a link to your picture in the comments.

Source: Re/code

Unlimited Roaming In The U.S. For Just $15? Wind Mobile Says Yes!

Are you a businessman or just travel frequently to the U.S.? Ever been in the position not to have an active internet connection, being cut out and desperately trying to find a working Wi-Fi hotspot? This might be a great news for you then. Wind Mobile, the Canadian wireless telecommunication provider, has just released a service of great interest.

Wind Mobile just released an offer for unlimited data roaming in the U.S. for just $15 additional per month starting from Monday, February the 3rd. Adding this roaming package gives you unlimited talk and text but also data in the U.S., a pretty big deal for anyone who travels with any frequency and has been hit with big roaming bills. Even with this additional $15 add-on, Wind’s plans will still be very competitively priced to the other carriers.

Wind has a small customer base and is often struggling to make itself relevant as the fourth-place carrier in Canada, so this may just be a good bump to pick up some additional subscribers. And given the relatively small number of roaming deals currently available from Canadian and U.S. carriers alike, they always want to see at least one making a step in this direction. And the price is not so bad given the ‘unlimited’ subscription package name.

Thank you Android Central for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Wikipedia.org