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Exploring the Future of Computing
Updated: 1 hour 10 min ago

Microsoft to end Windows 10 Mobile updates and support in December

7 hours 17 min ago
Microsoft is planning to end support for Windows 10 Mobile devices in December. While Microsoft revealed back in 2017 that the company was no longer developing new features or hardware for Windows 10 Mobile, security and software updates have continued. These security updates will now cease on December 10th 2019, and devices will be unsupported after this date. “Windows 10 Mobile, version 1709 (released October 2017) is the last release of Windows 10 Mobile and Microsoft will end support on December 10, 2019,” reads a Microsoft support note that was updated this week. Microsoft is now recommending that Windows 10 Mobile users move to iOS or Android devices. “With the Windows 10 Mobile OS end of support, we recommend that customers move to a supported Android or iOS device,” explains a FAQ on Windows 10 Mobile end of life. After Microsoft pulls support in December, device backups for settings and some apps will continue for three months until March 10th, 2020. Microsoft notes “some services including photo uploads and restoring a device from an existing device backup may continue to work for up to another 12 months from end of support.” It’s yet another one of those moments where Windows Phone dies a little more, and every time, it makes me sad. I was a first-day adopter of both Windows Phone 7.x and 8.x, and to this day I maintain it was the most pleasant to use modern mobile operating system. I’m still sad Microsoft was unable to attract the third party developers required to keep a smartphone platform afloat.

Sailfish OS 3.0.1 released

Saturday 19th of January 2019 03:44:41 AM
Sailfish OS 3.0.1 has been released. From the release notes: Sipoonkorpi is mainly a bug fixing update, bringing in just a few new features. We’ve added Bulgarian language support and improved the handling of email folders. You can now create light ambiences, and respond to meeting invitations through Exchange and Google. We’ve also tuned up SD card encryption and protected critical Top Menu toggles with the security code. It’s available for Jolla devices and the Xperia X and XA2.

Is C++ fast?

Saturday 19th of January 2019 03:31:55 AM
A library that I work on often these days, meshoptimizer, has changed over time to use fewer and fewer C++ library features, up until the current state where the code closely resembles C even though it uses some C++ features. There have been many reasons behind the changes – dropping C++11 requirement allowed me to make sure anybody can compile the library on any platform, removing std::vector substantially improved performance of unoptimized builds, removing algorithm includes sped up compilation. However, I’ve never quite taken the leap all the way to C with this codebase. Today we’ll explore the gamut of possible C++ implementations for one specific algorithm, mesh simplifier, henceforth known as simplifier.cpp, and see if going all the way to C is worthwhile.

Satya Nadella teases Microsoft 365 subscription for consumers

Friday 18th of January 2019 01:00:14 PM
Microsoft first unveiled its Microsoft 365 bundle of Windows 10 and Office for businesses and schools back in 2017. While a bundle of buying Office and Windows licenses makes sense for commercial customers, Microsoft is also looking to launch a similar bundle for consumers. Speaking to journalists at a media event earlier this week, attended by The Verge, CEO Satya Nadella gave some hints that Microsoft 365 will appear for consumers. I already have an Office 365 subscription, and the idea of adding Windows to that certainly seems appealing to me. It’s easy, straightforward, and doesn’t require any periodic large purchases either.

Tim Cook pretends to care about privacy in Time op-ed

Friday 18th of January 2019 12:16:04 AM
Tim Cook, in an op-ed in Time Magazine: In 2019, it’s time to stand up for the right to privacy—yours, mine, all of ours. Consumers shouldn’t have to tolerate another year of companies irresponsibly amassing huge user profiles, data breaches that seem out of control and the vanishing ability to control our own digital lives. This problem is solvable—it isn’t too big, too challenging or too late. Innovation, breakthrough ideas and great features can go hand in hand with user privacy—and they must. Realizing technology’s potential depends on it. That’s why I and others are calling on the U.S. Congress to pass comprehensive federal privacy legislation—a landmark package of reforms that protect and empower the consumer. Last year, before a global body of privacy regulators, I laid out four principles that I believe should guide legislation. If Tim Cook and Apple really cared about privacy, they wouldn’t have thrown 1.2 billion Chinese under the bus by handing over iCloud data to the Chinese government, and by sheepishly refusing to even mention “China” when it comes to Apple’s thin veneer of “privacy first”. Apple’s complete cooperation with the Chinese government makes it very clear that Apple is all too eager to roll over and disregard its privacy chest-thumping the second their own bottom line is at risk. And lest we forget – China is a totalitarian, repressive regime that doesn’t shy away from torture and concentration camps. How many Chinese Apple users have ended up in prison – or worse – because Tim Cook only cares about your privacy if you’re western?

Google is buying Fossil’s smartwatch tech for $40 million

Friday 18th of January 2019 12:06:00 AM
Rumors about a Pixel Watch have abounded for years. Such a device would certainly make sense as Google attempts to prove the viability of its struggling wearable operating system, Wear OS. Seems the company is finally getting serious about the prospect. Today Fossil announced plans to sell its smartwatch IP to the software giant for $40 million. Sounds like Google will be getting a nice head start here as well. The deal pertains to “a smartwatch technology currently under development” and involves the transfer of a number of Fossil employees to team Google. Wear OS is definitely struggling, but it sure isn’t because of lack of trying from Fossil. The company has been churning out a whole wide variety of Wear OS devices, and they offer enough choice in design that anyone can find something they like – at acceptable price points, too. Sadly, like any other Wear OS OEM, they’re held back by a lack of acceptable silicon, since Qualcomm has been unable to deliver a chip that’s even remotely as good as Apple’s wearable SoC. Perhaps Google’s stewardship can address this problem.

Unity clarifies ToS changes, welcomes back “unsupported” SpatialOS

Friday 18th of January 2019 12:00:18 AM
Days after a nasty public split with cloud gaming developer Improbable, Unity has reinstated the company’s license and updated its own terms of service to offer what it is calling a “commitment to being an open platform.” “When you make a game with Unity, you own the content and you should have the right to put it wherever you want,” Unity wrote in a blog post explaining the move. “Our TOS didn’t reflect this principle—something that is not in line with who we are.” The new terms of service allow Unity developers to integrate any third-party service into their projects, no questions asked. As a caveat, though, Unity will now distinguish between “supported” third-party services—those Unity ensures will “always well on the latest version of our software”—and “unsupported” third-party services, which developers use at their own risk. Negative publicity can definitely work.

Microsoft decouples Cortana and Search in Windows 10’s taskbar

Wednesday 16th of January 2019 11:14:25 PM
Microsoft has released a new Windows Insider preview build, and it contains a significant chance we’re all going to be happy about. Going forward, we’ll be decoupling Search and Cortana in the taskbar. This will enable each experience to innovate independently to best serve their target audiences and use cases. Some Insiders have had this update for a few weeks now, and we appreciate all the feedback we’ve received about it so far! For those new to this update, when it rolls out to you, you’ll find clicking the search box in the taskbar now launches our experience focused on giving you the best in house search experience and clicking the Cortana icon will launch you straight into our voice-first digital assistant experience. Cortana is useless, and any steps Microsoft takes to get it out of my way is welcome to me.

Early Android Q build has a system-wide dark theme, permission revamp, more

Wednesday 16th of January 2019 11:08:45 PM
The early Android Q leaked build we have obtained was built just this week with the February 2019 security patches, and it’s up-to-date with Google’s AOSP internal master. That means it has a ton of new Android platform features that you won’t find anywhere publicly, but there are no Google Pixel software customizations nor are there pre-installed Google Play apps or services so I don’t have any new information to share on those fronts. Still, there’s a lot to digest here, so we’ve flashed the build on the Pixel 3 XL to find out what’s new—both on the surface-level and under-the-hood. This article will focus on all the surface-level changes we’ve found in Android Q. There’s a lot of good stuff in here, most notably a complete redesign of the permissions user interface, as well as even stricter limitations on what applications can do, such as only granting certain permissions while the application in question is in use. There’s also a system-wide dark mode, hints of a DeX-like desktop mode, and a lot more.

The curious case of the Raspberry Pi in the network closet

Wednesday 16th of January 2019 05:20:04 PM
Christian Haschek found a Raspberry Pi attached in a network closet at the company he works for, and since nobody knew what it was or where it came from, he and his colleagues decided to investigate. I asked him to unplug it, store it in a safe location, take photos of all parts and to make an image from the SD card (since I mostly work remote). I have worked on many Raspberry Pi projects and I felt confident I could find out what it does. At this point nobody thought it was going to be malicious, more like one of our staffers was playing around with something. Interesting – but worrisome – story.

Google sets deadlines for 64bit support in Android applications

Wednesday 16th of January 2019 05:02:15 PM
64-bit CPUs deliver faster, richer experiences for your users. Adding a 64-bit version of your app provides performance improvements, makes way for future innovation, and sets you up for devices with 64-bit only hardware. We want to help you get ready and know you need time to plan. We’ve supported 64-bit CPUs since Android 5.0 Lollipop and in 2017 we first announced that apps using native code must provide a 64-bit version (in addition to the 32-bit version). Today we’re providing more detailed information and timelines to make it as easy as possible to transition in 2019. Important information for Android developers regarding requirements around 64bit support.

Fedora, UUIDs, and user tracking

Tuesday 15th of January 2019 11:11:13 PM
“User tracking” is generally contentious in free-software communities—even if the “tracking” is not really intended to do so. It is often distributions that have the most interest in counting their users, but Linux users tend to be more privacy conscious than users of more mainstream desktop operating systems. The Fedora project recently discussed how to count its users and ways to preserve their privacy while doing so. As always, an exceptionally good article from LWN.

DuckDuckGo switches to Apple Maps for search results

Tuesday 15th of January 2019 11:04:16 PM
We’re excited to announce that map and address-related searches on DuckDuckGo for mobile and desktop are now powered by Apple’s MapKit JS framework, giving you a valuable combination of mapping and privacy. As one of the first global companies using Apple MapKit JS, we can now offer users improved address searches, additional visual features, enhanced satellite imagery, and continually updated maps already in use on billions of Apple devices worldwide. With this updated integration, Apple Maps are now available both embedded within our private search results for relevant queries, as well as available from the “Maps” tab on any search result page. I’m sure Apple users in San Francisco will be very happy with this news. For me, this means there’s no way I’ll be using DuckDuckGo’s location search and other mapping functions – Apple Maps is entirely unusable in The Netherlands, with severely outdated and faulty maps that are outright dangerous. I understand the privacy angle, but I feel like are better, more accurate options than Apple Maps. The world is larger than Silicon Valley.

Intel Core i9-9990XE: up to 5.0 GHz, auction only

Tuesday 15th of January 2019 03:24:29 PM
AnandTech has seen documents and supporting information from multiple sources that show that Intel is planning to release a new high-end desktop processor, the Core i9-9990XE. These documents show that the processors will not be sold at retail; rather they will only be sold to system integrators, and then only through a closed online auction.  This new processor will be the highest numbered processor in Intel’s high-end desktop line. The current top processor is the i9-9980XE, an 18 core part with a base frequency of 3.5 GHz and a turbo frequency of 4.0 GHz. The i9-9990XE, on the other hand, is not simply the 9980XE with an increase in frequency. The Core i9-9990XE will be a 14 core processor, but with a base frequency of 4.0 GHz and a turbo frequency of 5.0 GHz. This makes it a super-binned 9940X. This probably means this is very much a low-yield chip Intel can’t make enough of to sell at retail.

The first Windows 10 build for foldable devices appears

Tuesday 15th of January 2019 12:04:42 AM
According to BuildFeed, which regularly posts about new builds of Windows 10, the first build of a new SKU for foldable devices has been compiled. It comes with the build string rs_shell_devices_foldables.190111-1800, and it’s from the 19H1 development branch. The build number is 18313.1004. The obvious conclusion to draw is that this is for Microsoft’s rumored Andromeda device. While the project was shelved back in July, it was originally for a foldable PC that could fit in your pocket. It’s likely now that it will be a larger device that’s slated for later on this year. Foldable devices are definitely coming this year, but I feel like it might take a while for both users and device and software makers to figure out where, exactly, the fit into our lives.

Vintage gaming on Xenix

Tuesday 15th of January 2019 12:00:03 AM
This post is about vintage gaming in vintage unusual operating systems, focused on Xenix/x86. Tried Hampa’s turnkey xenix86 images while they had been tested in fake86, 8086tiny and other emulators. The installation was surprisingly easy, because most software packages in floppy/tape images are basically in .tar format, so let’s check GAMES 360k floppy image’s content on host. I can’t get enough of articles like these.

“Don’t kill my app!”

Monday 14th of January 2019 11:49:53 PM
With Android 6 (Marshmallow), Google has introduced Doze mode to the base Android, in an attempt to unify battery saving across the various Android phones. Unfortunately, vendors (e.g. Xiaomi, Huawei, OnePlus or even Samsung..) did not seem to catch that ball and they all have their own battery savers, usually very poorly written, saving battery only superficially with side effects. Naturally users blame developers for their apps failing to deliver. But the truth is developers do the maximum they can. Always investigating new device specific hacks to keep their (your!) apps working. But in many cases they simply fall short as vendors have full control over processes on your phone. This is a legitimate problem on my OnePlus 6T. I enjoy using this phone, but the aggressive non-standard application cycle management definitely leads to issues with not receiving notifications or login procedures being restarted as you leave an application. It doesn’t happen often enough to truly bother me, but I can definitely see how people who make more extensive use of their phone than I do run into this issue every day.

Getting an IBM AS/400 midrange computer on the internet

Monday 14th of January 2019 11:12:50 PM
Recently I’ve gotten a hold of an old IBM mid-range computer, an AS/400 150. This is an 1997 server very much aimed at businesses, pay-rolling, inventory management and such. It can be used as a multi user system, with users logging in via a terminal. The operating system it runs is OS/400 and that is also the only OS it can run, no Linux available for this system. Of course it comes with all the fun programming languages like COBOL and RPG, all the business classics. It’s compatible with the IBM system/36, so any programs made for an 80’s S/36 machine run without problems on the AS/400 machines. It also looks very much 90s, though I personally like the cover at the back, hiding all ports. Stories like these are always great reads. This is the kind of hardware I eventually want to collect and play around with once I have the space to do so.

AMD announces its new mobile Ryzen processors

Monday 7th of January 2019 03:08:59 PM
This year at CES, we have a series of announcements from AMD before the company’s keynote presentation. Addressing the company’s mobile offerings, AMD is launching the first parts of the Ryzen 3000-series of processors, focused around the Ryzen Mobile 2nd Gen family for both the general 15W market as well as the high-performance 35W market. On top of this, AMD is also making an announcement regarding how it will address graphics drivers for these platforms, and then some icing on the cake comes from AMD’s venture into Chromebooks. AMD continues its hot streak, and now we even have several new inexpensive Chromebooks running on AMD hardware, a market segment the company wasn’t active in. The future is looking bright for AMD.

Samsung Smart TVs adding support for iTunes video content and AirPlay 2

Monday 7th of January 2019 12:17:17 PM
Samsung today announced that it has worked with Apple to integrate iTunes movies and TV shows, as well as AirPlay 2 support, into its latest smart TVs. The features will roll out to 2018 models via a firmware update this spring and will be included on new 2019 models. iTunes movie and TV show access will come via a new dedicated app for Samsung’s TV platform, available in over 100 countries.  Apple pretty much had to do this, since it’s unreasonable to expect people to buy relatively expensive Apple TV devices to be able to watch iTunes content on their TVs. Several other platforms tend to be built right into TVs or can be added with cheap dongles like the Chromecast, and Apple couldn’t compete with that. Apple has announced that iTunes content will also become available on TVs from other brands.

More in Tux Machines

Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

OSS Leftovers

  • The Serverless Show: The Importance of Open Source & Community Involvement
    “I’m also involved with some open source projects. I started with Node community and helping out with some node libraries a long time ago. Now I’m mostly doing serverless-related things. I joined the Claudia.js team a long time ago, almost at the beginning, and helped Gojko Adzic and Alexander Simovich to build Claudia.js. Claudia was and still is a deployment library for AWS Lambda and API gateway. At the beginning, it was really hard to deploy serverless applications. If you tried to do that manually, you need to zip everything, to set the permissions, and things like that. The idea of Claudia was to extend AWS CLI tools and to help users deploy serverless applications easier. We continued doing Claudia and a few other things. We contributed a bit to AWS SAM and we built some other applications that are open source. We’re trying to build tools that we need and that the serverless community needs.”
  • Expect to Hear More About Open Source’s Role in Security [Ed: Security implemented with proprietary software is almost always fake. The Australian back doors ("encryption") bill is a reminder of it. If something is proprietary, one must assume back doors (even mandated from above, hidden in binaries)]
    Will 2019 be the year there is a big push for consolidation between open source and cybersecurity? Yes, said Sanjay Beri, CEO of Netskope, in an email comment. IBM’s acquisition of Red Hat could prove to be the game changer in how organizations approach security.
  • Want to Save Some Money? Check out These Free Software Alternatives
    The list covers drawing and design, animation and film, website building, and others. For example, Ghost Malone presents several free alternatives to drawing, design and post-processing, such as GIMP, Krita, Fire Alpaca, Autodesk Sketchbook, MediBang Paint, and Paint.NET. Another example, for editing vector graphics, is Inkscape, which is free and open source. The list goes on with several choices depending on what you're looking for.
  • A free and open source Bitcoin trading tool has been developed by two students
    University students Jonathan Shobrook and Aaron Lichtman have created a free and open source automated trading bot to use on the Bitstamp exchange.
  • Thank Stanford researchers for Puffer, a free and open source live TV streaming service that uses AI to improve video-streaming algorithms
  • Open Source To Open Newer Avenues For CIOs In 2019
    Open source plays a crucial role in all the top strategic technology trends that are reshaping the IT world. Rajarshi Bhattacharyya, Country Head, SUSE, looks at the key trends for 2019 that organizations need to explore and in explains how open source technologies and practices open up a window of opportunities for the CIOs in the coming days.
  • The High Profile Team of Handshake Looks to Truly Open the Internet with a New Domain Name System
    Unlike other major blockchain based companies like Ethereum, they chose to avoid ICO funding altogether and went straight for private investors. They were able to obtain major private investment funding from companies such as Polychain Capital, A16Z Crypto, and Founders Fund (purchasing 7.5% coin supply of HNS between them at $10.2M) with the idea that they could be responsible for replacing entire layers of Domain Name System (DNS) layering. This removes the need for those who safeguard these layers, saving future companies large amounts of cash up front.
  • Handshake is attempting to make the Internet more open
    Handshake came out of stealth mode last August. The project, which intends to replace various levels of the Domain Name System (DNS) hierarchy, was founded by Joseph Poon (co-creator of the Lightning Network & Plasma), Andrew Lee (co-founder & CEO of Purse), Andrew Lee (co-founder & CEO of Private Internet Access), Boyma Fahnbulleh (Bcoin developer), and Christopher Jeffery (Creator of Bcoin & CTO of Purse). Sidestepping the ICO route popularized by Ethereum, Handshake raised private funding from a slew of investors including A16Z Crypto, Polychain Capital, and Founders Fund. These investors purchased 7.5% of the initial coin supply of HNS, Handshake’s native token, for $10.2M, valuing the protocol at $136M.
  • Google remains the top open-source contributor to CNCF projects
    According to the latest data from Stackalytics, a project founded by Mirantis and hosted by the OpenStack Foundation that visualizes a company’s contribution to open-source projects, Google remains the dominant force in the CNCF open-source ecosystem. Indeed, according to this data, Google is responsible for almost 53 percent of all code commits to CNCF projects. Red Hat, the second biggest contributor, is far behind, with 7.4 percent. The CNCF is the home of Kubernetes, the extremely popular container orchestration service that Google open sourced, so the fact that Google is the top contributor may not seem like a major surprise. But according to this data, Google would still be the top code contributor to all CNCF projects without even taking Kubernetes into account. In part, that’s due to the fact that Google is also the major contributor to GRPC, a queuing project the company donated to the CNCF, and Vitess, the database clustering system it developed for YouTube.
  • Google Remains Top Open-Source Contributor
    According to a scan of code contributions to projects sponsored by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) remains by far the largest contributor of code across all projects. Using a tool called Stackalytics, the survey conducted by open-source infrastructure vendor Mirantis found that Google accounted for 52.9 percent of code commits to CNCF projects.
  • Johnson Controls to Introduce Open-Source Software for Targeting Retrofits

Server Side Public License (SSPL), Red Hat and Fedora

  • Red Hat/Fedora decide MongoDB’s SSLP doesn’t fit
    MongoDB’s January blues deepened this week as the team behind the Red Hat-backed Fedora Linux distribution confirmed it had added the open source database’s Server Side Public License to its “bad”list. The move came as it emerged Red Hat – Fedora’s sponsor – had nixed MongoDB support in RHEL 8.0.
  • AWS Raised Its Hand Lest Of Open Source Platform
    Even though AWS stands by MongoDB as the best the customers find it difficult to build and vastly accessible applications on the open-source platform can range from multiple terabytes to hundreds of thousands of reads and writes per second. Thus, the company built its own document database with an Apache 2.0 open source MongoDB 3.6 API compatibility. The open-sources politics are quite difficult to grasp. AWS has been blamed for taking the top open-source projects and re-branding plus re-using it without providing the communities. The catch here is that MongoDB was the company behind putting a halt to the re-licensing of the open-source tools under a novel license that clearly stated the companies willing to do this will have to purchase a commercial license.
  • Red Hat gets heebie-jeebies over MongoDB's T&Cs squeeze: NoSQL database dropped from RHEL 8B over license
    MongoDB justified its decision last October to shift the free version of its NoSQL database software, MongoDB Community Server, from the open-source GNU Affero General Public License to the not-quite-so-open Server Side Public License (SSPL) by arguing that cloud providers sell open-source software as a service without giving back. The following month, and not widely noticed until this week, Red Hat said it would no longer include MongoDB in version 8 of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The removal notice came in the release notes for Red Hat Enterprise Linux Beta 8.0. Under section 4.7, the release notes say, "Note that the NoSQL MongoDB database server is not included in RHEL 8.0 Beta because it uses the Server Side Public License (SSPL)."
  • Server Side Public License struggles to gain open-source support
    MongoDB first announced the release of the new software license in October as a way to protect itself and other open-source projects like it from being taken advantage of by larger companies for monetary gain. At the time, MongoDB co-founder and CTO Eliot Horowitz explained: “This should be a time of incredible opportunity for open source. The revenue generated by a service can be a great source of funding for open-source projects, far greater than what has historically been available. The reality, however, is that once an open-source project becomes interesting, it is too easy for large cloud vendors to capture most of the value while contributing little or nothing back to the community.” Other open-source businesses have developed their own licenses or adopted others in recent months, citing the same issues. However, the problem with these new licenses is that if they are not approved by the Open Source Initiative (OSI), an organization created to promote and protect the open-source ecosystem, the software behind the license is technically not considered open source, and it will have a hard time getting acceptance from members in the community.
  • Open source has a problem with monetization, not AWS
  • Why you should take notice of the open source in enterprise suckers conundrum
    In the MongoDB case, AWS is widely regarded as responding to a licensing change MongoDB made in October 2018 that has caused something of a stir among the open source cognoscenti.
  • Fedora Community Blog: FPgM report: 2019-03
    Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora Program Management this week. I’ve set up weekly office hours in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else.

How to Integrate Dropbox in Ubuntu Using Nautilus File Manager

This beginners guide will help you to install and integrate Dropbox in Ubuntu’s Nautilus file manager. Dropbox is a popular file hosting service provides users cloud storage and access to your files from any device. Dropbox provides free account upto a certain storage limit and also provides subscription based accounts. Dropbox provides native desktop apps for Linux systems. Read more