Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 25th Nov 2014 20:49 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes

TempleOS is more than an exercise in retro computing, or a hobbyist's space for programming close to the bare metal. It's the brainchild - perhaps the life's work - of 44-year-old Terry Davis, the founder and sole employee of Trivial Solutions. For more than a decade Davis has worked on it; today, TempleOS is 121,176 lines of code, which puts it on par with Photoshop 1.0. (By comparison, Windows 7, a full-fledged modern operating system designed to be everything to everyone, filled with decades of cruft, is ​about 40 million lines.)

If you read just one article today, make sure it's this one.

 

Linked by jessesmith on Tue 25th Nov 2014 20:46 UTC
FreeBSD

The FreeBSD Foundation published a report yesterday on the status of FreeBSD running on 64-bit ARM processors. Work to port FreeBSD to the 64-bit ARM architecture has been progressing quickly and it is now possible to boot a FreeBSD installation into single user mode on the young architecture.

The kernel bring-up portion of the project is nearing completion; FreeBSD/arm64 boots to single-user mode on ARM's reference simulator. Work is underway on the remaining kernel drivers, and on userland support. This project's overall goal is to bring FreeBSD/arm64 to a Tier-1 status, including release media and prebuilt package sets. More information about the arm64 port can be found on the FreeBSD wiki.

 



Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 25th Nov 2014 00:24 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

Samsung's mobile business has been having a rough year - it's still one of the biggest and most profitable players in the Android ecosystem, but profits are down. That can be attributed at least in part to lower than expected sales of the company's flagship Galaxy S5. The Wall Street Journal reports that Samsung increased production by 20 percent relative to last year's Galaxy S4, but that it actually sold 40 percent less than it expected to. The S4 sold around 16 million phones in its first three months on the market, compared to just 12 million for the S5.

Samsung was becoming far too dominant, so I'm glad they're being taken down a notch on both the high and the low end. Other Android manufacturers (and Apple, but that's nothing new) are putting the squeeze on Samsung, and that leads to more choice for consumers, as well as lower prices, and in many cases, better quality for the same or less money.

We all benefit.

 

Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 24th Nov 2014 19:43 UTC
Google

Currently Chrome supports NPAPI plugins, but they are blocked by default unless the user chooses to allow them for specific sites (via the page action UI). A small number of the most popular plugins are whitelisted and allowed by default. In January 2015 we will remove the whitelist, meaning all plugins will be blocked by default.

In April 2015 NPAPI support will be disabled by default in Chrome and we will unpublish extensions requiring NPAPI plugins from the Chrome Web Store. Although plugin vendors are working hard to move to alternate technologies, a small number of users still rely on plugins that haven’t completed the transition yet. We will provide an override for advanced users (via chrome://flags/#enable-npapi) and enterprises (via Enterprise Policy) to temporarily re-enable NPAPI while they wait for mission-critical plugins to make the transition.

Definitely a big chance some Chrome users will have to account for.

 

Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 24th Nov 2014 19:41 UTC
Apple

When first released in 1984, the Apple Macintosh shipped with a black-and-white 512 x 342 display. Fast forward 30 years to the release of the iMac with Retina 5K display, which ships with a 5,120 x 2,880 display with support for millions of colours. That's an increase from 175,000 pixels to more than 14.7 million - an 8,400% increase. 80 of the original Macintosh displays fit within a single Retina 5K display.

The picture really does speak a thousand words. This post turns everything around.

 

Linked by jessesmith on Sat 22nd Nov 2014 10:18 UTC
NetBSD

The NetBSD project has announced two important stability updates for its highly portable operating system.

The NetBSD Project is pleased to announce NetBSD 5.1.5, the fifth security/bugfix update of the NetBSD 5.1 release branch, and NetBSD 5.2.3, the third security/bugfix update of the NetBSD 5.2 release branch. They represent a selected subset of fixes deemed important for security or stability reasons, and if you are running a prior release of either branch, we strongly suggest that you update to one of these releases.

Details on the two updated branches of NetBSD can be found in the release notes for NetBSD 5.1.5 and NetBSD 5.2.3.

 

Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 22nd Nov 2014 10:17 UTC
Linux

Quantum OS aims to build a new operating system based on Linux, with a user interface built on Qt and designed according to Google's Material Design guidelines.

We plan to develop the desktop shell and applications primarily using Qt 5 and QML, which will allow us to build highly polished and dynamic user interfaces and will work well for implementing Material Design. If possible, we will build the desktop shell in as much QML as possible built on top of the QtCompositor API, which provides a Qt framework for building a Wayland compositor.

As for the base system, they're still not sure if they're going for Ubuntu or Arch.

We plan to initially leverage an existing operating system, most likely Arch or Ubuntu. Arch is a strong possibility because of the simple packaging manager, lightweight base system, and the rolling release concept. Our goal is to base our work on the latest upstream versions available, with no patches or modifications, so our work will run on any base Linux distro that supports Wayland.

 

Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 21st Nov 2014 18:22 UTC
Google

Using Photoshop usually requires lugging a typically cumbersome, expensive computer around, and changing that experience has been the dream of many creatives for years. As we found out back in September, it's a problem that Adobe has been actively working with Google to solve. The two companies have been working together for almost two years to bring Photoshop to the browser, and they finally have a working version called Photoshop Streaming that they're letting educational institutions apply to test over the next six months. Yesterday, I got a look at it in action when Adobe's director of engineering, Kirk Gould, remotely ran me through a brief demo of the program.

 

Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 21st Nov 2014 18:20 UTC
Android

Here's one of those things that's been around for a little bit, but well hidden. If you're a fan of the stock Google keyboard but would love to have a dedicated number row - particularly given the size of many of today's smartphones - you can do it. It's not just an Android 5.0 Lollipop feature, so you're able to do this on the Nexus 6 or LG G3 or HTC One or whatever.

You will, however, have to do a little digging in the keyboard settings.

One of those little tips that can really make your phone better.

 

Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 20th Nov 2014 21:54 UTC
BeOS & Derivatives

This week I continued work on moving Beta1 forward, fixing some important and less important bugs. To make things clear about what to expect in the upcoming weeks, I will spend more time on Beta1 tasks, but I'll also continue working on WebKit. However, my work there will focus on fixing bugs, rather than adding new features.

Haiku gives some insights into recent progress towards the first beta release. Definitely worth a read if you want to keep up with how far along they are.

 

Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 20th Nov 2014 21:48 UTC
Windows

AnandTech on the Windows 10 Technical Preview:

Although we have only seen the Technical Preview and a single update to it so far, you can see the potential for Windows 10 and what it will be able to accomplish. It is an ambitious goal to provide a single platform across such a swath of different devices, and one that was held back by the user interface before. With Continuum, it appears that it may be the best of both worlds. Even more exciting is how much more upfront and open Microsoft has been on this entire process, with not just the technical preview but also soliciting and requesting user feedback on the changes. One of the biggest change requests was a simple animation on the Start Menu, and that has already been implemented, so this really is a different world than when Windows 8 was given a sneak peek.

From a technical point of view, Windows 8 was great. However, it was hampered by bad user interface and interaction design at virtually every level. If Windows 10 will undo at least some of the damage done, then it's a great leap forward.

 

Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 20th Nov 2014 21:44 UTC
Legal

Good news, I guess. The patent troll Rockstar - a consortium lead by Apple, Microsoft, and a few others - has kissed and made up with Google.

A court document (PDF) filed Monday revealed that Google and Rockstar had settled, "in principle, all matters in controversy between the parties," and the two sides signed a term sheet. It isn't clear if the deal will also resolve Rockstar's allegations of infringement against Google's Android partners who got sued, including Samsung and HTC.

One patent troll lawsuit less.

 

Linked by jessesmith on Thu 20th Nov 2014 21:32 UTC
Linux

Version 3 of the Mageia distribution reaches its end of life on November 26, 2014. The developers of this user friendly Linux distribution are turning their efforts toward working on the upcoming Mageia 5 and urge users of Mageia 3 to upgrade their installations to continue receiving security updates. The Mageia blog reports:

As you all know, we can’t maintain Mageia releases forever. And it’s time to say goodbye to Mageia 3. After Wednesday the 26th of November, this release won’t benefit from any more security or bugfix updates. This will allow QA team to give more time for polishing our coming Mageia 5. So you have only one week left to upgrade to Mageia 4 if you want to keep an up-to-date system.

People who wish to upgrade their Mageia 3 installations without performing a fresh install of the operating system can follow the upgrade instructions on Mageia's website.

 

Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 20th Nov 2014 01:54 UTC
Mozilla & Gecko clones

Google has been the Firefox global search default since 2004. Our agreement came up for renewal this year, and we took this as an opportunity to review our competitive strategy and explore our options.

US users will now get Yahoo as the default search engine in Firefox. The question here is this: did Google decide that it was no longer worth it to keep Mozilla afloat financially, or did Mozilla decide to cut the agreement?

 

Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 20th Nov 2014 01:50 UTC
Apple

The iPhone 6 was supposed to have a sapphire display. More than a year ago, Apple turned to GT Advanced Technologies, the now-bankrupt supplier, to solve its longstanding problems with scratched and cracked displays. But as soon as the two companies signed an agreement, their relationship became riddled with complications. In the ensuing year, as chronicled in detail by the Wall Street Journal, everything shifted.

I'm linking to The Verge's summary because of the paywall.

 

Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 19th Nov 2014 21:30 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

The Note Edge is a really novel idea, and for what it is it's executed quite well, particularly in terms of hardware and display technology. Samsung manages to introduce a rounded portion without compromising image quality, the software is fairly limited but speedy, and the rest of the phone is exactly the same same as the well-liked Note 4. But unfortunately that doesn't mean that the Note Edge actually makes any sense as a complete package.

A somewhat-fun gimmick, that's it. Why would you buy this over the better Note 4? I doubt even Samsung knows. Still - if this brings truly flexible devices a step closer, I'm all for it.

 

Linked by jessesmith on Wed 19th Nov 2014 21:22 UTC
Debian and its clones

Starting on November 5th the Debian developers went to the polls to vote on a general resolution which would determine how init software and dependencies are handled in the venerable open source distribution. The result of the resolution will determine whether software packaged for Debian can depend on a specific implementation of init software. The init process is the first to start on Linux and UNIX operating systems and is responsible for bringing the operating system up and managing services.

The general resolution stirred up quite a bit of controversy with some developers wishing to keep software uncoupled from any specific init implementation. Others felt packages and upstream developers should be able to depend on a specific init package for the sake of simplicity or convenience. In the end, the votes were counted and it was decided no resolution would be passed addressing coupling software to init. This means, essentially, it will be up to individual packagers and upstream developers to decide whether to depend on one specific init implementation.

 

Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 19th Nov 2014 11:40 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

During an emotional speech delivered today at the Slush conference, Jolla's Marc Dillon unveiled the company's next product: the Jolla tablet, running Sailfish OS 2.0. He launched a crowdfunding campaign for the tablet, with a goal of $380,000 - which was achieved in less than three hours (this may be one of the fastest funding consumer electronics devices ever). I got in early, and was one of the very first people to back the tablet (just as I was one of the first to back the Jolla phone a year ago). A second round has already been announced. Big news for American readers: it'll be available in the US too.

The tablet itself is very similar in specifications to Nokia's N1 tablet, with an 1.8GHz quad-core Intel processor, 2GB RAM, 2048x1536 330ppi 7.85" IPS display, 32GB storage, and all the usual sensors and ports you have come to expect. It's quite light and compact, and has its own design - there's no way people are going to twist this one into an iPad copy.

The tablet is expected to be delivered to us early backers in May 2015, and I can't wait. Also, Mr. Dillon, keep rocking that beard.

 

Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 18th Nov 2014 23:15 UTC
Internet & Networking

At Open Whisper Systems, our goal is to make private communication simple. For the past three years, we've been developing a modern, open source, strong encryption protocol for asynchronous messaging systems, designed to make seamless end-to-end encrypted messaging possible.

Today we're excited to publicly announce a partnership with WhatsApp, the most popular messaging app in the world, to incorporate the TextSecure protocol into their clients and provide end-to-end encryption for their users by default.

Good news for WhatsApp users.

 

Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 18th Nov 2014 18:56 UTC
Apple

Developers are now able to start creating apps for the Apple Watch. Apple is today releasing WatchKit, a developer toolkit that allows third parties to create apps for its upcoming smartwatch. "WatchKit provides the incredible iOS developer community with the tools they need to create exciting new experiences right on your wrist," Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller says in a statement. Notably, Apple is revealing that the initial round of Watch apps are required to be an extension of an existing iPhone app. It won't be until sometime later next year that developers will be able to build apps native to the watch.

Get building! Don't forget to incorporate that scrollwheel you need to awkwardly pinch.