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Proprietary Software and DRM/Monopoly

Filed under
Microsoft
Mac

  • FOSS Patents: Fortnite users continue to make in-app purchases on iOS that bypass Apple's payment system: court filing says "Epic is stealing money from Apple"

    In yesterday's filing, Apple says it has the right to sue Epic not only for breach of contract but also for tort, given that Epic would face tort liability "if [t]c had never executed the contracts with Apple and had instead found another way to smuggle Fortnite and its 'hotfix' payment mechanism into the App Store." Apple argues that a company protecting itself against such behavior through contracts must not be in a weaker legal position than one that doesn't. What Apple does clarify is that it won't seek "multiplicative recovery" if the same conduct on Epic's part constituted both a breach of an agreement and fraud. In other words, Apple would then content itself with only the greater of the two alternative amounts.

    It appears that the "hotfix" was just a simple data point on Epic's servers--not program code, but merely a trigger. When the iOS version of Fortnite checked on that data point, it offered an alternative payment mechanism to end users in circumvention of Apple's in-app payment rules.

    After the "hotfix" that Apple says became Epic's hot mess, Fortnite was removed from the App Store. That means it cannot be downloaded to iOS devices right now, and Epic has already failed twice (with a motion for a temporary restraining order as well as a motion for a preliminary injunction) to get a court to force Apple to tolerate an iOS version of Fortnite that bypasses Apple's in-app payment system.

  • Why Apple’s App Store Is Under Siege

    Fueling the fire was a report issued last week by House Democrats summing up an antitrust probe into four Big Tech companies — Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google — and urging Congress to enact new laws to curb the companies’ power. The 449-page report called on Congress to enact new laws to curb the companies’ power, including prohibiting companies like Apple from operating “adjacent lines of business” (in other words, preventing it from offering its own apps in the App Store that compete with those from third parties).

    “Apple’s monopoly power over app distribution on iPhones permits the App Store to generate supra-normal profits,” the House Judiciary Committee report said.

  • Microsoft Says Long-Time Deals Executive Brown Leaving Company

    Microsoft Corp. said mergers and acquisitions chief Marc Brown is leaving the company after a more than two-decade stint working on deals ranging from LinkedIn to Nokia Oyj’s handset unit.

    Brown, vice president of corporate development, reported to Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood. Microsoft spokesman Frank Shaw on Friday confirmed Brown’s departure and declined to comment on a replacement. The company is still conducting a search for a senior business development executive to replace Peggy Johnson, who left in July to become chief executive officer at Magic Leap Inc.

  • Your brand new Oculus Quest 2 can’t play Oculus Go games, John Carmack confirms [Ed: Digital Restrictions (DRM) in action]

    If you bought a new Oculus Quest 2 with the hopes of experiencing games from the now-discontinued Oculus Go, I have bad news: the company has decided not to include support for Go titles on the Quest 2, Oculus’ consulting CTO John Carmack confirms on Twitter.

    When the Oculus Quest 2 launched three days ago, some people noticed there was no feature on the UI that allowed users to access Go apps and games, something the original Quest headset featured. Carmack did not go into much detail on why support was not added other than “[he] totally lost the internal debate over backwards compatibility.”

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  • Three npm packages found opening shells on Linux, Windows systems [Ed: The writers at ZDNet are apt at blaming “LINUX” for security threats that have nothing to do with Linux. Now that Microsoft is serving malware ZDNet… blames “NPM” (ssshhhhh… don’t mention Microsoft)]
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Digital Restrictions (DRM) and Proprietary Pushers

Filed under
Microsoft
Mac

     
  • Facebook is accidentally locking some users out of their new Oculus headsets

                     

                       

    As UploadVR reported yesterday, users complained that they had been suspended for unclear reasons while they were trying to set up the Quest 2. One poster on the Oculus subreddit, for instance, described getting banned after creating a Facebook page for the first time and merging it with an existing Oculus account. “I logged into Facebook’s website to lock down my profile, as I had no intention of using the social media site more than was needed, and within minutes of merging accounts and changing profile settings my account was banned without any reason given or cause I can think of,” the user told The Verge in an email — rendering the Quest 2 a “new white paperweight.” Other people in the subreddit chimed in with their own experiences getting locked out.

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  • Games Piracy Scene Reinvigorated, Four Denuvo-Protected Titles Released in One Day

           

             

    Late August the piracy Scene was thrown into turmoil when law enforcement raids took place all around Europe. With few hopes of a significant recovery any time soon, in the space of a few minutes yesterday veteran cracking group CPY released four games previously protected by Denuvo. For many pirates, this is the positive signal they'd been waiting for.

  • Microsoft ends support for Office 2010, bangs the Office 365 gong
  • Microsoft is foisting Office web apps on Edge users

    Microsoft is no stranger to using Windows and other software to promote more of its own apps and services. The latest way the company is doing this is via Edge.

    Accusations of using its products as an advertising tool or as a means of forcing products onto users are nothing new for the Windows maker, and the company's latest move with Edge does nothing to shake them off. The browser has been found to install Microsoft Office web apps without asking for permission.

  • JACK2 Audio Server Rolls Out Better Windows + macOS Support - Phoronix

    JACK2 1.9.15 released on Thursday as the newest version of this professional-minded sound server focused on real-time, low-latency connections.

    JACK2 1.9.15 brings a number of bug fixes, improvements to various JACK tools, deprecates JACK-Session, and makes other improvements. JACK1 continues to be in a bug-fix mode while JACK2 continues advancing slowly and incorporating all of its functionality.

  • Has Apple abandoned CUPS, the Linux's world's widely used open-source printing system? Seems so

    After only one public Git commit this year, penguinstas think: Fork it, we don't need Cupertino. The official public repository for CUPS, an Apple open-source project widely used for printing on Linux, is all-but dormant since the lead developer left Apple at the end of 2019.

WhiteSur: macOS Big Sur Like Gtk, Gnome Shell And Icon Themes For Your Linux Desktop

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Mac
GNOME

WhiteSur Gtk Theme is a macOS Big Sur like theme for Gnome-based desktops, supporting Gnome Shell, Cinnamon, Xfce, Pantheon, Budgie and Mate desktops.

The theme pack comes in both light and dark variants, both having regular (with the sidebar slightly transparent in some applications) and solid versions.

There's also an optional Plank dock theme for those that want to achieve an even closer look to macOS Big Sur. As a side note, if you use Ubuntu and want to disable Ubuntu Dock so you can use Plank dock instead, see this article.
The theme requires Gtk 3.20 or newer, so it should work with most Linux distributions, e.g. from Ubuntu 18.04 to 20.10, etc.

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TenFourFox FPR27 available

Filed under
Mac
Moz/FF
Web

TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 27 final is now available for testing (downloads, hashes, release notes). Unfortunately, I have thus far been unable to solve issue 621 regarding the crashes on LinkedIn, so to avoid drive-by crashes, scripts are now globally disabled on LinkedIn until I can (no loss since it doesn't work anyway). If you need them on for some reason, create a pref tenfourfox.troublesome-js.allow and set it to true. I will keep working on this for FPR28 to see if I can at least come up with a better wallpaper, though keep in mind that even if I repair the crash it may still not actually work anyway. There are otherwise no new changes since the beta except for outstanding security updates, and it will go live Monday evening Pacific assuming no new issues.

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Wine and Proprietary Software Leftovers

Filed under
Microsoft
Software
Mac
  • The Steam Play Proton compatibility layer turns two years old

    Two years ago to the date, Valve Software made an announcement that would change Linux gaming on Steam: that announcement was the new version of Steam Play with the Proton compatibility layer.

    Proton is the Valve-funded fork of Wine, a compatibility layer designed to run Windows software on other systems. With Proton, Valve are focusing of course on games and Steam integration with the help of CodeWeavers. Two years on, there's a huge amount more AAA games (thousands) playable on Linux with a few clicks of a button (guide). Thanks to Proton, users moving over from Windows likely don't need to give up a lot of their games, since many should work well and the importance of that cannot be understated as a back catalogue is vital.

  • Adobe accidentally deleted people’s photos in latest Lightroom update

    Adobe representative Rikk Flohr acknowledged and apologized for the snafu in a forum post yesterday. Per Flohr, the company has released another update “to prevent this issue from impacting additional customers.” However, the photos can’t be recovered, according to Flohr. The update won’t help anyone who’s already been impacted.

  • Is Gmail Down? Google Drive Outages Reported in U.S., Europe and Australia

    Many users noted receiving an error message that read either "Oops something went wrong" or "Message could not be sent. Check your network and try again," when attempting to send an email.

    Newsweek has contacted Google for comment.

  • Helsinki man loses €100k in "Microsoft support" scam

    Police said these kinds of scams come to their attention on a nearly daily basis. In June, for example, police reported two similar incidents in which two victims had each been conned out of as much as 30,000 euros.

  • Epic vs. Apple is not about 'freedom'

    In my experience, when wealthy people talk about “freedom,” it doesn’t usually mean freedom for the rest of us, just freedom for them. This whole affair can easily be characterized as being little more than a company of millionaires fighting a company of billionaires over the right to take a cut from software sales.

  • Publishers Ask Apple CEO for Same App Store Deal Given to Amazon

    Apple takes 30% of the revenue from most subscriptions in its App Store, then 15% after the first year. But in late July, a congressional antitrust panel disclosed internal emails showing a more-favorable deal struck between Apple services chief Eddy Cue and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. They agreed to a 15% revenue share for Amazon Prime Video customers who signed up through the iPhone app and no revenue share for users who already subscribed via Amazon or elsewhere, the emails showed.

Want to run Mac OS 8 on Linux as an Electron app? Well, you can anyway

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Mac

After creating Electron-based version of Windows 95 in 2018, Felix is back with a new virtual machine package (and a new apology for creating it).

Called macintosh.js, Felix brings Apple’s ancient Mac OS 8 system to the masses via the medium of JavaScript and everyone’s favourite app creation framework¹ Electron.

His free-to-use-but-don’t-ask-me-if-Apple-approve version of Mac OS 8 runs like a champ on Windows, macOS and Linux (I tested it on the latter). It runs as a standalone app that boots the OS up directly, i.e. there’s no need to fuss around with installers or set up dialogs).

“The virtual machine is emulating a 1991 Macintosh Quadra 900 with a Motorola CPU, which Apple used before switching to the PowerPC architecture (Apple/IBM/Motorola) in the mid 1990s,” Felix says of his effort.

A suite of era-specific software and games is bundled inside as trials, demos, or shareware. This includes Adobe Photoshop 3, Adobe Premiere 4, Netscape Explorer, Duke Nukem 3D, and plenty more.

While there’s no working internet connectivity (meaning the bundled copy of Internet Explorer must go unloved) this is a functional version of Mac OS 8. All of the apps work; this isn’t a superficial reconstruction with the veneer of usability — it works.

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Make the switch from Mac to Linux easier with Homebrew

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Mac

The Homebrew project began its life as an unofficial Linux-style package manager for the Mac. Its users quickly fell in love with its friendly interface and helpful prompts, and—in what may seem like a strange twist of fate—it got ported to Linux.

At first, there were two separate projects for macOS and Linux (Homebrew and Linuxbrew), but now Homebrew's core manages both operating systems. Because I've been on a journey to migrate from Mac to Linux, I have been looking at how my favorite open source applications for macOS perform on Linux, and I've been happy to find that Homebrew's support for Linux truly shines.

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How to Make Ubuntu Look Like macOS in 5 Easy Steps

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Mac
GNOME
Ubuntu

Customization is one of the main reasons why I use Linux. There is no end to the kind of customization you can do to your desktop Linux. You can change icons, themes, change fonts, change terminals, add screenlets, indicator applets, extensions and what not.

We have covered numerous desktop customization tips and tricks on It’s FOSS. In this one, I’ll show you how to make Ubuntu look like macOS.

Many people use macOS because of its simplistic and elegant look. You may disagree with it but it remains a popular opinion. Even there are Linux distributions that have macOS like look and feel.

One of the readers requested us to show how to make Ubuntu look like macOS and hence we’ve created this tutorial. In fact, this is a good example to show the customization capability of desktop Linux.

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The Free Operating System That’s Identical To macOS

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Mac

iRaspbian comes with a series of built-in apps, including Chromium Media Edition (the version of the web browser that allows you to use services such as Netflix), LibreOffice and the GIMP art package - all of which have their own icons on the Dock.

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Apple Music on the web is no longer in beta -- including on Linux

Filed under
Linux
Mac

My favorite streaming music service is Apple Music. As an iPhone user, this was a match made in heaven. As a regular desktop Linux user, however, this was very problematic. You see, for the longest time, you needed iTunes to listen to Apple Music on desktop. This wasn't a problem when using Windows 10 or macOS, but as soon as I signed into, say, Ubuntu, I was out of luck, as there is no iTunes for Linux.

Thankfully, late last year, Apple finally brought its streaming music service to the web. In other words, all you needed to listen to Apple Music was a compatible web browser. This meant that users of desktop Linux could finally listen to the streaming service by simply firing up a web browser, such as Firefox. Despite being a feature Spotify offered for many years, it was still a really big deal. The problem? Apple Music for the web was merely a beta. Today, this changes.

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Incremental backup with Butterfly Backup

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Regressions in GNU/Linux Evolution

  • When "progress" is backwards

    Lately I see many developments in the linux FOSS world that sell themselves as progress, but are actually hugely annoying and counter-productive. Counter-productive to a point where they actually cause major regressions, costs, and as in the case of GTK+3 ruin user experience and the possibility that we'll ever enjoy "The year of the Linux desktop". [...] We live in an era where in the FOSS world one constantly has to relearn things, switch to new, supposedly "better", but more bloated solutions, and is generally left with the impression that someone is pulling the rug from below one's feet. Many of the key changes in this area have been rammed through by a small set of decision makers, often closely related to Red Hat/Gnome/freedesktop.org. We're buying this "progress" at a high cost, and one can't avoid asking oneself whether there's more to the story than meets the eye. Never forget, Red Hat and Microsoft (TM) are partners and might even have the same shareholders.

  • When "progress" is backwards

Graphics: Vulkan, Intel and AMD

  • NVIDIA Ships Vulkan Driver Beta With Fragment Shading Rate Control - Phoronix

    This week's Vulkan 1.2.158 spec release brought the fragment shading rate extension to control the rate at which fragments are shaded on a per-draw, per-primitive, or per-region basis. This can be useful similar to OpenGL and Direct3D support for helping to allow different, less important areas of the screen be shaded less than areas requiring greater detail/focus. NVIDIA on Tuesday released the 455.26.02 Linux driver (and 457.00 version for Windows) that adds this fragment shading rate extension.

  • Intel Begins Adding Alder Lake Graphics Support To Their Linux Driver - Phoronix

    Intel has begun adding support for Alderlake-S to their open-source Linux kernel graphics driver. An initial set of 18 patches amounting to just around 300 lines of new kernel code was sent out today for beginning the hardware enablement work on Alderlake-S from the graphics side. Yes, it's only a few hundred lines of new driver code due to Alder Lake leveraging the existing Gen12/Tigerlake support. The Alder Lake driver patches similarly re-use some of the same workarounds and changes as set for the 14nm Rocket Lake processors with Gen12 graphics coming out in Q1.

  • AMD Linux Driver Preparing For A Navi "Blockchain" Graphics Card - Phoronix

    While all eyes are on the AMD Radeon RX 6000 "Big Navi" graphics cards set to be announced next week, it also looks like AMD is preparing for a Navi 1x "Blockchain" graphics card offering given the latest work in their open-source Linux driver. Patches posted today provide support for a new Navi graphics card referred to as the "navi10 blockchain SKU." The Navi 10 part has a device ID of 0x731E. From the AMDGPU Linux kernel driver perspective, the only difference from the existing Navi 10 GPU support is these patches disable the Display Core Next (DCN) and Video Core Next (VCN) support with this new SKU not having any display support.