What is HDR for TV?

Submitted by luxian on Wed, 12/14/2016 - 11:50

I asked myself the same question recently and started searching around for it. I was happy to find that Trusted Reviews has an in-detail article about it: HDR TV: What is it and should you care?

In an nutshell:

  • There is a new standard for HRD TV standard/certification you should look for called: UHD Premium
  • UHD Premium certification requires a great brightness range and better color reproduction (10 bit colors)
  • UHD Premium come is two flavors in order to allow both LED LCD and OLED displays to get the certification:
    • Standard 1: requires more maximum brightness (> 1,000 nits) but has demands are more relaxed for black (<0.05 nits) - targeting LCD panels
    • Standard 2: maximum brightness requirements are lowered (>540 nits), but demands more from black colors (0.0005 nits) - targeting OLED panels
  • You will need a compatible video source to enjoy this
  • There are greater chances to get HDR content faster than 4K because it much easier to produce and distribute


Next thing will see are the HDR monitors.

Keeping time is hard

Submitted by luxian on Mon, 12/12/2016 - 23:07

This year we have to compensate for a leap second before entering 2017. That means the last minute of 31st December will have 61 seconds instead of 60. Google describes how they are planning to compensate for it.

They will run the clock slower for 20 hours (ten before and ten after the last second of the year). This way they avoid glitches with systems not able to handle 61 seconds in a minute.

On the same topic, the original article links to the leap second glitch that affected Reddit.



Project Soli

Submitted by luxian on Mon, 12/12/2016 - 23:00

6 years ago we had Leap Motion. Now it's time to meet Soli. The new project developed under Google Advance Technology and Projects (ATAP) creates a sensor that allows you to interact with devices using only your hands or fingers. The sensor is capable of identifying subtle gesture of your fingers and translate them into input for devices. It doesn't require a camera, and it's very small - can be used inside wearable devices.

You can see it in action on in their promo video: Welcome to Project Soli.


Mutate - a simple Launcher inspired by Alfred

Submitted by luxian on Wed, 12/07/2016 - 21:25

Later update: I stopped using Mutate and switched to Ulauncher. You can find out more here: Ulauncher is my new favorite app launcher for Linux.

I'm using a Macbook when I'm in the office, but at home I'm a happy Linux user. My distro of choice is Linux Mint Debian 2 (LMDE2).

While the lack of keyboard shortcuts on OS X bothers me from time to time, when I'm on Linux I miss Alfred a lot. Today I spent some time looking for alternatives. I remembered that a few years ago I saw a friend using something similar for Ubuntu, so there must be something for my distro as well.

That's how I discovered Mutate. LMDE doesn't support PPAs, so I tried the .deb package and it worked. The only thing I had to configure was the shortcut. By default it uses Ctrl + D for general search and Ctrl + T for Google Translate. I found the second one quite annoying (that's the shorcut to open tabs) and the first one only after I opened preferences. To change them, open Mutate (any of the shortcuts above) and type "Preferences". I removed both shortcuts and added Ctrl + Space for default search. 

Update: If you also added the program to startup list, you might find it annoying that the mutate UI opens after you login. Apparently this can be solved by calling the following command:

mutate --hidden

Found on GitHub issue 64.


How to increase timeout for nginx and php7.0-fpm in Ubuntu

Submitted by luxian on Wed, 12/07/2016 - 06:59

PHP FPM timeout settings

To increase PHP timeout, you have to edit /etc/php/7.0/fpm/php.ini and change/add this:

max_execution_time = 300

For FPM you need to change /etc/php/7.0/fpm/pool.d/www.conf as well and change/add this:

php_admin_value[max_execution_time] = 300

There is also another option in the www.conf file names request_terminate_timeout, I didn't change that one because documentation says it should be used only the max_execution_time doesn't stop the script execution.

Next step, restart fpm:

service php7.0-fpm restart

nginx timeout settings

Edit your server configuration file, usually placed in /etc/nginx/sites-available/example.com, and in the cgi section add:

fastcgi_read_timeout 300;

And then restart nginx:

service nginx reload

In case you are using nginx as a proxy to something else, you can find instructions in this article: How to Fix 504 Gateway Timeout using Nginx.

Articifial Intelligence

Submitted by luxian on Mon, 12/05/2016 - 20:08

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how it might change the human kind is debatable topic nowadays. To understand it better you can check these links:

If you prefer reading, Tim Urban (Wait But Why) explains it in two articles: 

Or you can watch the TED talk that's sums it up:

InnoDB: Error: Column last_update in table "mysql"."innodb_table_stats" is INT UNSIGNED NOT NULL but should be BINARY(4) NOT NULL (type mismatch)

Submitted by luxian on Mon, 12/05/2016 - 07:10

Recently I had to investigate some Drupal website crashing. While debugging I noticed a lot of mysql crashes and MySQL log was full of errors like this:

InnoDB: Error: Column last_update in table "mysql"."innodb_table_stats" is INT UNSIGNED NOT NULL but should be BINARY(4) NOT NULL (type mismatch)

After some searching I managed to fix it by running mysql_upgrade command:

mysql_upgrade -u root -p <mysql_root_pass>

I added -p because my root username has a password, you can try without it first.


DDoS attack agains heating system in Finland

Submitted by luxian on Mon, 12/05/2016 - 00:22

DDoS attack halts heating in Finland amidst winter

A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack halted heating distribution at least in two properties in the city of Lappeenranta, located in eastern Finland. In both of the events the attacks disabled the computers that were controlling heating in the buildings.


Netflix will let you download movies to watch offline

Submitted by luxian on Thu, 12/01/2016 - 06:53

This announcement made my day. I will definitely use it for long trips and even while commuting.

Few things you need to know:

  • works only on smartphones (iOS and Android)
  • all videos have an expiration date and they will be deleted automatically afterwards
  • for ~ 1 hour of video you'll need ~280Mb for standard definition or ~ 440Mb for high definition
  • you cannot access video with your file manager (similar to Spotify offline content)

Gizmodo has a full article describing how it will work in detail: Everything you need to know about Netflix downloads