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Exploring the Future of Computing
Updated: 2 hours 57 min ago

How and why EasyOS is different

Friday 20th of September 2019 09:23:25 PM
EasyOS is designed from scratch to support containers. Any app can run in a container, in fact an entire desktop can run in a container. Container management is by a simple GUI, no messing around on the commandline. The container mechanism is named Easy Containers, and is designed from scratch (Docker, LXC, etc are not used). Easy Containers are extremely efficient, with almost no overhead — the base size of each container is only several KB. This is just one of the details of EasyOS, an experimental Linux distribution that really does things differently.

Full video of Nokia Android Feature phone with Google Assistant support emerges

Friday 20th of September 2019 08:48:44 PM
Full video of what shows a Nokia feature phone running Android 8.1 has now emerged. The unknown Nokia feature phone prototype is not running KaiOS and rather one can clearly notice Android 8.1 mentioned in the system settings. It wouldn’t surprise me if Google did indeed have plans to shoehorn Android into feature phones, only to realise it made more sense to just invest in KaiOS instead. I don’t think this Nokia phone is more than an old prototype.

A new iOS arrives, along with a few bugs

Thursday 19th of September 2019 11:35:34 PM
Something atypical for Apple is iOS 13’s notably buggy rollout. Since June, when Apple hosted its annual WWDC software shindig, the company has been releasing developer and public beta versions of its new OS for iPhones. This is usually a fertile time for communities of early users to share notes about their experiences online, and provide useful feedback to Apple on how the software works. This year, some developers say they’re surprised by what feels like a scattershot release. “iOS 13 has felt like a super-messy release, something we haven’t seen this bad since iOS 8 or so,” Steve Troughton-Smith, an app and game developer, tweeted earlier this week. Troughton-Smith frequently blogs about his experiences coding for Apple platforms. “Definitely needs a lengthy period of consolidation and bug fixing,” he says of the new mobile OS. Virtually everyone who’s been testing iOS 13 seems to advise waiting for 13.1. Regardless, it’s iOS/iPadOS release time, which means Federico Viticci’s must-read review has been published. It’s an insanely long read this year, so grab a few coffees and enjoy his excellent work.

LLVM 9.0.0 released

Thursday 19th of September 2019 10:15:18 PM
This release is the result of the LLVM community’s work over the past six months (up to trunk r366426 plus commits on the branch). Some highlights include: – Support for asm goto, enabling for example the mainline Linux kernel for x86_64 to build with Clang – The RISCV-V target is no longer experimental, but built by default – Experimental support for C++ for OpenCL As well as many bug fixes, optimizations, and diagnostics improvements. Read the release notes for the detailed information.

Huawei Mate 30 Pro goes official without Google apps

Thursday 19th of September 2019 09:36:17 PM
Obviously, the most notable aspect of the Chinese-made handset is the distinct lack of official access to Google apps and services. This is the first flagship to be released by Huawei since being blacklisted by the US government, therefore it is the first new release to explicitly come without access to common Google Play Services. Side-loading these services is likely to be possible but it is unclear just how this will be possible for most non-techie buyers. The Huawei Mate 30 Pro does come EMUI 10, which is based upon the recently released Android 10. Although, as expected, this build does not come with any Google apps. It will be interesting to see how well this handset will perform outside of China. I have my sincerest doubts.

A reflection on the departure of RMS

Wednesday 18th of September 2019 11:45:48 PM
Thomas Bushnell (?): But I’ll give you a personal take. By my reckoning, I worked for RMS longer than any other programmer. There has been some bad reporting, and that’s a problem. While I have not waded through the entire email thread Selam G. has posted, my reaction was that RMS did not defend Epstein, and did not say that the victim in this case was acting voluntarily. But it’s not the most important problem. It’s not remotely close to being the most important problem. Add to all this RMS’s background of having defended the idea of adults having sex with minors under some circumstances, and people’s visceral and sharp reaction was entirely sensible. I was around for most of the 90s, and I can confirm the unfortunate reality that RMS’s behavior was a concern at the time, and that this protection was itself part of the problem. He was never held to account; he was himself coddled in his own lower-grade misbehavior and mistreatment of women. He made the place uncomfortable for a lot of people, and especially women. The end result here, while sad for him, is correct.

Ironically, too many video streaming choices may drive users back to piracy

Wednesday 18th of September 2019 11:20:22 AM
Karl Bode at Techdirt: But we’ve also noted that, ironically, the glut of video choices–more specifically the glut of streaming exclusivity silos–risks driving users back to piracy. Studies predict that every broadcaster and their uncle will have launched their own direct-to-consumer streaming platform by 2022. Most of these companies are understandably keen on locking their own content behind exclusivity paywalls, whether that’s HBO Now’s Game of Thrones, or CBS All Access’s Stark Trek: Discovery. But as consumers are forced to pay for more and more subscriptions to get all of the content they’re looking for, they’re not only getting frustrated by the growing costs (defeating the whole point of cutting the cord), they’re frustrated by the experience of having to hunt and peck through an endlessly shifting sea of exclusivity arrangements and licensing deals that make it difficult to track where your favorite show or film resides this month. With all kinds of series and IPs moving around from company to company these days, it’s getting impossible to keep track of where and how to watch both new and old series. It used to be quite simple – Netflix and your local streaming service for us Europeans – and you’d be pretty well set. Maybe add in HBO for Game of Thrones – usually one person in your group of friends had HBO here in Europe – and everything was covered. Now, though, things are rapidly falling apart in countless different silos, each at anywhere between €5-10/month, which is becoming unjustifiable. Piracy is definitely going to make a major comeback if this continues.

Moving Firefox to a faster 4-week release cycle

Wednesday 18th of September 2019 12:31:22 AM
And today we’re excited to announce that we’re moving to a four-week release cycle! We’re adjusting our cadence to increase our agility, and bring you new features more quickly. In recent quarters, we’ve had many requests to take features to market sooner. Feature teams are increasingly working in sprints that align better with shorter release cycles. Considering these factors, it is time we changed our release cadence. I’ve been incredibly satisfied with Firefox for a long time now, and aside from a few hiccups along the way, I trust the team to handle a faster release cycle just fine.

An oral history of ‘Snake’ on Nokia

Tuesday 17th of September 2019 06:37:12 PM
Taneli Armanto doesn’t like to tell people he changed the world. In fact, unless you’re a family friend, I’d bet you haven’t heard of the guy. He never usually mentions his greatest achievement, but of course his kids will take any opportunity to brag about it. After all, their dad created Snake. I played so much Snake during high school.

Richard Stallman resigns from FSF, MIT after defending child rape

Tuesday 17th of September 2019 09:11:48 AM
Richard Stallman has resigned as president of and from the board of directors of the Free Software Foundation. The move comes after several reports on deeply inappropriate behaviour towards women, as well as a spirited defense of convicted child trafficker and child rapist Jeffrey Epstein. Stallman defended Marvin Minsky, an AI pioneer accused of raping one of Epstein’s trafficked children, by basically saying that since the underage child was forced by Epstein, Minsky wasn’t at fault for raping an underage child. Early in the thread, Stallman insists that the “most plausible scenario” is that Epstein’s underage victims were “entirely willing” while being trafficked. Stallman goes on to argue about the definition of “sexual assault,” “rape,” and whether they apply to Minsky and Giuffre’s deposition statement that she was forced to have sex with him. In response to a student pointing out that Giuffre was 17 when she was forced to have sex with Minsky in the Virgin Islands, Stallman said “it is morally absurd to define ‘rape’ in a way that depends on minor details such as which country it was in or whether the victim was 18 years old or 17.” Stallman has a history of defending child rape, so perhaps this shouldn’t come as a surprise. On top of all this, there’s a long list of problematic behaviour towards women. Today, a notice on the Free Software Foundation website announced his resignation, after he left MIT yesterday, too. On September 16, 2019, Richard M. Stallman, founder and president of the Free Software Foundation, resigned as president and from its board of directors. The board will be conducting a search for a new president, beginning immediately. Further details of the search will be published on fsf.org. Good riddance to bad people. We’ve always known Stallman had some seriously disturbing ideas, but I had no idea they went this far and this deep. This is for the better of the Free software community as a whole.

PineTime is a $25 smartwatch/companion for PinePhone Linux phone

Monday 16th of September 2019 11:03:30 PM
We’ve recently seen Linux smartphones are coming in a few weeks or months, but the $150 PinePhone may not come alone, and soon be joined by a $25 companion, namely PineTime smartwatch. That’s what we learned through a tweet by Pine64 explaining the PineTime is a Linux smartphone companion that can run FreeRTOS or Arm Mbed operating systems. It will be a side-project however, and the focus is still on PinePhone and Pinebook Pro, meaning it will take a while depending on the level of community engagement. Thanks in part due to easy access to Chinese OEMs, there’s a lot of interesting working going in building and shipping consumer-oriented devices like smartphones and smartwatches running Linux that isn’t Android – which only a few short years ago would’ve required massive funding and seemed like pipe dreams. While these devices may not be as fast or polished as an Android device or iPhone, they are starting to form a viable option for people who truly value open source.

Amazon changed search algorithm in ways that boost its own products

Monday 16th of September 2019 08:17:42 PM
Amazon.com has adjusted its product-search system to more prominently feature listings that are more profitable for the company, said people who worked on the project—a move, contested internally, that could favor Amazon’s own brands. Late last year, these people said, Amazon optimized the secret algorithm that ranks listings so that instead of showing customers mainly the most-relevant and best-selling listings when they search—as it had for more than a decade—the site also gives a boost to items that are more profitable for the company. Might I also point out that Amazon is cutting the healthcare benefits of Whole Foods temporary workers while Jeff Bezos earns about 1300 dollar per second? Ethics aren’t exactly high on tech companies’ agendas.

Linux 5.3 released

Monday 16th of September 2019 12:39:41 AM
Linux 5.3 has been released. This release includes support for AMD Navi GPUs; support for the umwait x86 instructions that let processes wait for short amounts of time without spinning loops; a ‘utilization clamping’ mechanism that is used to boost interactivity on power-asymmetric CPUs used in phones; a new pidfd_open(2) system call that completes the work done to let users deal with the PID reuse problem; 16 millions of new IPv4 addresses in the 0.0.0.0/8 range are made available; support for Zhaoxin x86 CPUs; support Intel Speed Select for easier power selection in Xeon servers; and support for the lightweight hypervisor ACRN, built for embedded IoT devices. As always, many other new drivers and improvements can be found in the changelog.

IBM introduces next-gen Z Mainframe: the z15

Monday 16th of September 2019 12:37:29 AM
On Thursday IBM unveiled their new mainframe, the z15. Overall, the z15 represents an evolutionary change over its predecessor, the z14. However, there are plenty of enhancements across the board. This goes way over my head, but it’s still immensely cool.

Volkswagen’s bold plan to create a new car operating system

Sunday 15th of September 2019 11:23:40 PM
Eventually, that’s going to mean a single software stack common across VW Group’s vehicles—everything from the instrument displays and the infotainment to powertrain and chassis management (think traction and stability control or advanced driver assistance systems), plus a common connected car infrastructure and cloud. However, each brand will still get to develop its own UX in the same way that Porsche and Audi can build very different-looking vehicles from the same MLB Evo toolbox. They’re going to base it on Android, but without much of the Google parts because of privacy concerns (i.e., VW wants that data for itself, not share it with Google). And, as always in the car world, it will be many, many years before this initiative will make its way to VW Group’s cars – the unit won’t be fully staffed until 2025.

KaiOS Developer Portal launches to help programmers create apps for the platform

Saturday 14th of September 2019 12:51:52 AM
With the launch of the KaiOS Developer Portal, developers new to the platform have all of the tools they need to begin building and distributing apps for KaiOS. The guide can help you get a feel for things with sample code, there are instructions for setting up your development environment, and there’s an easy to set up simulator that lets you run your app virtually to ensure everything is working. KaiOS is used by more than 100 million people, so there’s definitely value in taking a look if you’re a mobile developer.

Sorry Apple, iPhones aren’t for pro video

Friday 13th of September 2019 07:58:43 AM
The Twitter tirade started after we saw yet another “Apple Blue Line Bar Graph Better Than Android Gray Line Benchmark”. The A12 is more powerful than any Android, and the A13 will beat that! But here’s the problem. I truly believe Apple chips are silly powerful, but for the last four years, Apple really hasn’t let us touch that power. I shared my rendering experiences again, comparing the iPhone XS against the iPhone SE. In iMove, the iPhone SE continues to render video faster than the XS. Rendering the same video, the OnePlus is a LOT faster at the task than the more expensive XS. The OnePlus also delivers a final video at twice the bitrate of the iPhone (which does look better to my eye). Better quality, twice the size, in two thirds the time. The common wisdom is that Apple’s A series chips are considerably faster than their Snapdragon counterparts, and I, too, have highlighted that wisdom here on OSNews a number of times. However, if we leave the world of synthetic benchmarks and Apple’s terrible bar graphs behind and start looking at real-world performance, the common wisdom doesn’t seem to hold up. When even an outdated iPhone SE beats another iPhone that’s years newer and four times as expensive, you know something’s up. Performance is more complicated than a synthetic benchmark that can be gamed or Apple’s entirely meaningless bar graphs.

GNOME 3.34 released

Thursday 12th of September 2019 08:00:24 PM
The latest version of GNOME 3 has been released today. Version 3.34 contains six months of work by the GNOME community and includes many improvements, performance improvements and new features. Highlights from this release include visual refreshes for a number of applications, including the desktop itself. The background selection settings also received a redesign, making it easier to select custom backgrounds. They have a video highlighting the changes too.

The iPhone and Apple’s services strategy

Thursday 12th of September 2019 12:46:32 AM
Ben Thompson, on Apple’s services strategy: Apple also adjusted their AppleCare+ terms yesterday: now you can subscribe monthly and AppleCare+ will carry on until you cancel, just as other Apple services like Apple Music or Apple Arcade do. The company already has the iPhone Upgrade Program, that bundles a yearly iPhone and AppleCare+, but this shift for AppleCare+ purchased on its own is another step towards assuming that Apple’s relationship with its customers will be a subscription-based one. To that end, how long until there is a variant of the iPhone Upgrade Program that is simply an all-up Apple subscription? Pay one monthly fee, and get everything Apple has to offer. Indeed, nothing would show that Apple is a Services company more than making the iPhone itself a service, at least as far as the customer relationship goes. You might even say it is innovative. in a way, iPhones already work this way; you don’t really own your iPhone, as it is entirely locked down and not yours to do with as you please. The financing aspect of the equation seems to also be falling in place now, and I indeed wouldn’t be surprised to see Apple offer the described iPhone leasing program over the coming years.

Every iPad wants to be a Surface now

Thursday 12th of September 2019 12:36:15 AM
“Netbooks aren’t better at anything,” joked Steve Jobs when he stood on stage nearly 10 years ago to introduce the first iPad. Apple’s original vision for its tablet was for a new category of device that was focused on browsing, email, photos, video, music, games, and ebooks. “If there’s going to be a third category of device it’s going to have to be better at these kinds of tasks than a laptop or a smartphone, otherwise it has no reason for being,” said Jobs. It wasn’t a giant iPhone, nor was it a full laptop replacement. The iPad has always been something in-between for nearly a decade, but now every iPad wants to be a Surface. The Surface concept has always been a sound concept for many people – it’s the software that’s always been an issue, and will continue to be an issue for a long time to come. Windows is too much of a desktop, and iPadOS is too much of a smartphone operating system. Our software is lagging behind the hardware.

More in Tux Machines

OSS and Openwashing Leftovers

  • Why retail marketers must get CX right the first time and how open source plays a key role

    One of the great things about technology is that it has raised all of our expectations. Once upon a time, people worried that controlling their television with a remote would make them lazy. Now, we don't even have to find the remote. We just talk to the TV — literally. We access hundreds of goods and services easily, without leaving the comfort of our chairs: we download games, order the supermarket shop, watch films and read books online. It really is a brave new world. But with new worlds come new challenges, and the challenge of the new, tech-driven, marketplace is to make your business stand out in a global crowd. Of all the businesses in all the world, why should your customers choose (and stick with) you? Lots of people will tell you that the key to gaining market share lies in improving the customer experience. And they'll be right. A combination of the need to impress and increased customer expectations have combined to make CX fundamental to gaining and retaining custom.

  • The Future of Great Customer Experience Relies on Open Source

    A majority of U.S. consumers feel that brands don't meet their expectations. The bar for customer experience has been set high -- and its on marketers to reach it. [...] In the early 2000s, enterprise IT was dominated by proprietary software companies. Now, with the rise of public cloud computing, more and more developers are adopting open source tools within their organizations due to lower overall costs and access to the latest innovations. The adoption is spreading from IT into other sectors of the business as well, notably marketing. In total, marketing and experience cloud vendors invested over $8 billion to acquire open source companies in 2018, according to PitchBook.

  • ReactOS 0.4.12 Pulls In Wine-Staging 4.0 DLLs, Many Kernel Improvements

    ReactOS, the open-source operating system still striving for binary compatibility with Microsoft Windows as a drop-in replacement, has version 0.4.12 now available as its first big alpha update in six months. ReactOS 0.4.12 features a lot of work on its open-source kernel including some driver compatibility enhancements, rewritten write-protecting system images, Blue Screen of Death fixes, and a lot of other low-level work.

  • Tencent Offers Open-Source System for IoT Innovation

    Chinese internet giants are quickly cottoning onto the benefits of offering open-source technologies to global developers. Tencent is the latest to throw its hat into the ring. The company announced Wednesday that it is allowing developers to use an open-source operating system to create an internet-of-things (IoT) projects that will allow Tencent to improve the performance of its IoT solutions and strengthen its foothold in the sector. Called “TencentOS tiny,” the operating system is lighter, requires fewer resources, and uses less energy compared with other major systems, according to a Tencent release. The company also said it hopes TencentOS tiny will encourage developers to create IoT projects for smart cities, intelligent connected vehicles, and digital wearables — sectors that Tencent is aggressively targeting.

  • WordPress Parent Automattic Raises $300M from Salesforce Ventures

    Automattic, the company behind the open source WordPress content management (CMS) announced on Sept. 19 that it has raised $300 million in a new Series D round of funding. Of note, the entire round was contributed by Salesforce Ventures, bringing total funding to data for Automattic up to $617 million. The Series D marks the first new raise for Automattic since 2014 "This puts us at a post-round valuation of $3 billion, three times what it was after our last fundraising round in 2014," Matt Mullenweg, founder of Automattic wrote. "It’s a tremendous vote of confidence for Automattic and for the open web."

  • Open-source companies gather to gripe: Cloud giants sell our code as a service – and we get the square root of nothing [Ed: So openwashing gets its own summit to sell proprietary software under the false guise of "open"]
  • Software Freedom Day

    As part of its social purpose charter, all software released by Purism is free software. That means our software includes a lot of free software created by others–thank you! We make this commitment with a “free software license” that formally grants these freedoms. This means you don’t need to ask us permission to use our software–you already have it. If you are a programmer, you are free to tweak or even overhaul an application. If you are a consultant, you are free to provide supporting services. If you are an everyday user, you are free to choose whoever you like to provide programming and other services, or even learn how to do it yourself.

  • How spicy should a jalapeno be?

    Everyone has opinions and preferences, especially when it comes to food. To establish a criterion when answering "How spicy should a jalapeño be?." the Scoville Heat Scale was developed as a standard to measure spiciness. This scale allows people to communicate and share information about how spicy we like our peppers. Similarly, open source technology standards, such as USB, I2C, MQTT, and others, were developed to enable global compatibility. Furthermore, open source hardware platforms have enabled communities to “speak the same language” without reinventing the wheel. For example, Raspberry Pi makes it easy for people to use their hardware as a baseline and then add onto it. This has created a revolution in many industries by enabling individuals, startups, and large corporations to apply hardware and software to complex problems without having to design them from the ground up.

Linux 5.4 Adds Support For The FlySky FS-iA6B - A Receiver Popular With DIY Drones

The input driver updates for the Linux 5.4 kernel include the addition of an interesting, budget-friendly RC receiver that can be used for home-built drones and other use-cases while now the driver allows the receiver when paired with a supported RC controller to serve as a traditional Linux joystick input. The input updates were sent in earlier this week and among the changes are allowing drivers to support more precise timestamps for better velocity tracking, improvements to the BU21013 touchpad driver, and other changes as outlined in the pull request. Read more

Android Leftovers

GNOME: Wayland With MATE, NetworkManager and Sébastien Wilmet

  • Ubuntu/Mir Developer Issues Porting Guide To Help Port MATE To Wayland

    Canonical's Mir developers since re-shifting focus to serving as a Wayland compositor have been working with the likes of the GNOME2-forked MATE desktop environment to implement Wayland support using Mir. For helping those interested in porting MATE applications from X11 to Wayland, one of the Mir developers has now issued a porting guide.

  • NetworkManager Will Now Roam For WiFi Signals More Aggressively

    NetworkManager has shifted its threshold for a weak WiFi signal for when to begin searching for other WLAN networks. Up to now NetworkManager used a -80dBm threshold for when to roam for other network signals while now that has changed to find hopefully stronger network signals sooner. 

  • Sébastien Wilmet: Back to University

    And to avoid stress/burnout, I try to no longer work the evenings and weekends, so it drastically limits my time that I’ll devote to GNOME.