The smartphone is currently dominated by two big systems; Android and iOS. But there are others in the run. With Microsoft struggling to get anyone to voluntarily use Windows Phone, maybe Sailfish OS, Ubuntu Touch and/or Firefox OS will make a difference. It’s this last one I attended a talk about at FOSDEM. So here it goes; The current state of Firefox OS, and what we can expect for the future.
Facebook, Fidelity, Goldman Sachs, and other leading IT users think the open-source movement is ready to shake up the hardware industry the way Linux did in software.
The desktop is mostly the same as before, so I won't dwell on that for too much. The Axe Menu, which essentially brought the Linux Mint Menu to GNOME 3/Shell, is sadly gone, replaced by the slightly less nice GnoMenu. There is a Conky system monitor sitting on the top-right of the desktop background that also displays the date and time. Docky gives a dock on the bottom that has been expanded to full width, but for some reason it shows an opaque background until the desktop background changes (after which point the Docky background becomes fully transparent). On the whole, the desktop works decently well.
How focused has Samsung become on Chromebooks--portable computers that run Google's cloud-centric Chrome OS? According to a report in DigiTimes, after cutting its targets for notebook computer sales, the company may have plans to "no longer launch conventional notebook models except Chromebooks in 2015, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers." While there is no official confirmation from Samsung, the move would represent a big shift for Samsung and one of the biggest votes of confidence yet for Chromebooks.
The main reason for that: Fedora.next is a huge effort that seems to make everything even more complicated. It imho is also sold pretty badly right now, as you have to invest quite a lot of time to understand what Fedora.next actually is. And Fedora.next to me seems like something the core contributors push forward without having really abort those Fedora contributors who don't have Fedora as one of their top priorities in life.
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) took place recently in Las Vegas, and Mozilla officials made headlines there as they revealed plans to take the Firefox OS mobile platform to devices other than smartphones, and a new deal between Panasonic and Mozilla to drive smart, HTML 5-fluent televisions. It's all part of Mozilla's ongoing effort to focus on mobile technology and new platforms.
For more than a year now, sales have been downright dreary for PCs and PC equipment makers, but new-generation Chromebooks running Google's Chrome OS platform have shown signs of bucking the trend. Late last year, there were many reports that Chromebooks were not selling well at all. For example, a ZDNet column cited some IDC research that apparently showed Chromebooks struggling.
Was Apple involved in any way with the death of Pear OS? The conspiracy-minded among us probably think that might be a real possibility, particularly if Apple acted behind the scenes via a shell company. Apple has been known to do just that in years past when it wanted to negotiate for something without having its real identity known.
The SPIR 1.2 specification announced today provides non-source encoding and binary level portability for OpenCL 1.2 programs. Besides the new specification they're putting otu today, the Khronos Group is also publishing code to a modified Clang 3.2 compiler that can generate SPIR from OpenCL C 1.2 programs, a SPIR module written as an LLVM pass, and a header file with all enumerated values of the SPIR 1.2 specification.