Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 13th Nov 2014 09:12 UTC

Update: Ars Technica's comprehensive Lollipop review is a great companion to the Nexus 6 review.

Nexus 6 reviews are hitting the web all over the place, but as a general rule of thumb, the only one that matters comes from AnandTech. They conclude:

Overall, I think that Google and Motorola have built a solid device. It isn't without its issues, but there's a lot to like, even if you're someone who has never used a phablet before. I had always been somewhat of a skeptic regarding massive phones; I didn't understand the appeal. But after using one, I can see how having a massive display to view all your content can be really beneficial by enabling forms of productivity that simply can't be done comfortably on smaller devices, and by making activities like viewing photos and watching videos significantly more engrossing. Not only did it change my mind about the appeal of phablets, it also changed my mind about Google's ability to compete in the premium device segment of the market. The Nexus 6 holds its own against all the other high end devices that we've seen released this year, although the Galaxy Note 4 with its more phablet oriented software features and hardware advantages might be a better device overall. But those who want a large device and value having software support directly from Google won't be disappointed by the Nexus 6.

It's too big for my tastes - I prefer the 4.5"-5.0" mark - but even so, it's a little sad Google didn't try to make better use of the large display through software tricks. I had hoped that such a large Nexus phone, paired with the new Nexus 9, would finally urge Google to add proper multiwindow to Android (just copy Windows 8's Metro multiwindow. Microsoft got it right), but alas, they did not.


Linked by jessesmith on Wed 12th Nov 2014 23:58 UTC

The OpenBSD operating system, famous for its proactive approach to security, has gained support for USB 3.0 devices. A brief announcement was made on November 10th, letting OpenBSD users know USB 3.0 support had arrived.

The post said legacy USB 1.x devices would continue to work on USB 3.0 ports.

For those of you who'd been looking forward to using those blue USB ports of yours, now's the time to plug in as many 3.0 devices as you can find! Of course, just about the time we publish this story, USB1.x devices are now supported on a USB 3.x controller.


Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 12th Nov 2014 23:56 UTC

Rejoice! Google has started pushing the over-the-air updates to Android 5.0 Lollipop out to Nexus devices, so over the coming days you can expect an update notification on your phone or tablet. In case you don't want to wait, you can grab the system images straight from Google and update manually.

I just updated my Nexus 5 to Lollipop manually, and everything went okay. It's smooth, and the new Material Design is a breath of fresh air. Not much to report after an hour, of course, but it does feel like an entirely new phone.


Linked by jessesmith on Wed 12th Nov 2014 22:44 UTC

Members of the Mageia Linux community have been waiting for a few weeks now for a beta release of Mageia 5. Several delays have held back the Mageia 5 beta and the project's developers have posted an update explaining why. It seems the problems started when Mageia updated its copy of the RPM package manager.

The new RPM version introduced changes that were significant enough to break a lot of core packages during the mass rebuild, and lots of packages failed to build in a chain reaction.

Problems continued when another software update, this time the GNU C library, caused the distribution's system installer to stop functioning properly.

You may know that a Linux distribution release is basically an installer together with a set of packages. The latter were now starting to behave properly, but we were then faced with some issues in the installer regarding glibc (the GNU C library) and RPM. This delayed the beta for another week or so.

All show stopping bugs have been fixed and Mageiia has finally pushed out their beta release for people to test. The upcoming launch of Mageia 5 is expected to take place at the end of January.


Linked by David Adams on Wed 12th Nov 2014 17:03 UTC, submitted by ebasconp
.NET (dotGNU too) Microsoft has just announced they open sourced .NET," including ASP.NET, the .NET compiler, the .NET Core Runtime, Framework and Libraries, enabling developers to build with .NET across Windows, Mac or Linux." They're including a patent promise. Miguel de Icaza reports that the Mono project will be "replacing chunks of Mono code that was either incomplete, buggy, or not as fully featured as it should be with Microsoft's code," and he also notes that "Microsoft has stated that they do not currently plan on taking patches back or engaging into a full open source community style development of this code base, as the requirements for backwards compatibility on Windows are very high." Nevertheless, this is a very interesting development that demonstrates that Microsoft is serious about remaining relevant.


Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 11th Nov 2014 23:43 UTC

Microsoft is sending out emails to Windows Phone app developers informing them that they will no longer be able to unlock any Windows Phone 7.x devices, like the Lumia 900, for app testing after December 31.

Microsoft recommends that app developers who want to unlock those phones do so before the deadline so they can continued to be used for app testing for another 24 months.

I'm guessing very few people are on Windows Phone 7.x at this point, so this kind of makes sense. The move to WP8 is nearing full completion.


Written by David Adams on Tue 11th Nov 2014 17:39 UTC
Apple Over the weekend, Pangu released their iOS jailbreak for the Mac, which is the capstone on a weeks-long journey of incremental releases that brought the wonders of non-Apple-approved software to iDevice users bit by bit according to their level of tinkering devotion. Last week, after an aborted attempt, I managed to jailbreak my iPhone 5S, and though I'm still dealing with some of my favorite tweaks not having been updated to work with the new OS, I'm pretty happy with the update, and I can recommend it for most users. Read more, for the rest.


Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 11th Nov 2014 16:51 UTC, submitted by Wes

Recently Groupon announced a product with the same product name as GNOME. Groupon's product is a tablet based point of sale "operating system for merchants to run their entire operation." The GNOME community was shocked that Groupon would use our mark for a product so closely related to the GNOME desktop and technology. It was almost inconceivable to us that Groupon, with over $2.5 billion in annual revenue, a full legal team and a huge engineering staff would not have heard of the GNOME project, found our trademark registration using a casual search, or even found our website, but we nevertheless got in touch with them and asked them to pick another name. Not only did Groupon refuse, but it has now filed even more trademark applications (the full list of applications they filed can be found here, here and here). To use the GNOME name for a proprietary software product that is antithetical to the fundamental ideas of the GNOME community, the free software community and the GNU project is outrageous. Please help us fight this huge company as they try to trade on our goodwill and hard earned reputation.

Groupon acting scummy. Say it ain't so.

Update: Groupon has decided to abandon the trademark applications. Situation resolved!


Linked by jessesmith on Tue 11th Nov 2014 15:43 UTC

The PC-BSD project has announced a new plan to introduce desktop and server roles into the installation process. A role is essentially a group of pre-defined packages which will be included in a new installation of the operating system.

Roles would be a installation experience for PC-BSD that would allow more flexibility and a more focused package installation based on what you need or want for your role. If you are a web developer maybe you need an IDE or packages specifically focused on that. If you are wanting the best desktop workstation experience maybe you would get an installation with LibreOffice and some other productivity apps.

Roles are not just for desktop users, server administrators will be able to select roles too, enabling web server and ownCloud confiigurations out of the box. People who have suggestions for pre-defined roles or who would like to ask questions about th new feature can join the discussion on the PC-BSD forums.


Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 10th Nov 2014 22:19 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems

When we announced the Model B+ back in July, we said that we'd also be producing a lower-cost variant, analogous to the original Model A. Since then, James has been beavering away, and today we're pleased to announce the release of the Raspberry Pi Model A+ at a new low price of $20.

If you were doubting getting a Pi, now is the time to take the plunge.


Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 10th Nov 2014 22:17 UTC
General Development

Five years ago we launched the Go project. It seems like only yesterday that we were preparing the initial public release: our website was a lovely shade of yellow, we were calling Go a "systems language", and you had to terminate statements with a semicolon and write Makefiles to build your code. We had no idea how Go would be received. Would people share our vision and goals? Would people find Go useful?

Congratulations to the Go community and team.


Linked by jessesmith on Mon 10th Nov 2014 22:14 UTC
Privacy, Security, Encryption

One common method attackers use when attempting to compromise a server is brute forcing login credentials. Given enough time, automated tools can guess a person's username and password, granting the attacker access to an unprotected server. To counter these sorts of attacks, where passwords are guessed by trial and error, several tools have been created. Utilities such as Fail2Ban and DenyHost monitor login attempts and automatically block the computers performing these types of attacks.

Last week the DenyHost project added a feature which allows the utility to block attacks by using the PF firewall. PF is typically used on the OpenBSD and FreeBSD operating systems to block or forward network traffic. The project's website reports:

DenyHost 2.9 adds one new feature, the ability to work with the PF packet filter, popular on BSD systems such as FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, PC-BSD and TrueOS. The DenyHost daemon will now work with existing PF tables in real time, allowing administrators to block incoming secure shell connections at the firewall level. Examples of how to set up the appropriate PF rules and enable DenyHost to work with PF are available in the DenyHost configuration file (denyhosts.conf).


Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 10th Nov 2014 15:54 UTC
Apple AnandTech on the new iPad Air 2:

Overall, the iPad Air 2 is likely to be one of the only tablets worth buying on the market today. While iOS isn't perfect, it's definitely delivering the best tablet experience as its app support is second to none. While other OEMs may have more features, iOS manages to hold on by virtue of its superior polish and integration with Apple hardware. While I'd like to see Apple push the envelope further with the iPad line, it's hard to argue this when other OEMs seem to be content with the status quo. While it's likely that Apple will be able to hold on to its tablet lead, it remains to be seen if Google's Nexus 9 can prove to be a viable competitor to the iPad Air 2.

Still the best tablet you can buy.


Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 10th Nov 2014 15:45 UTC

President Obama has come out in support of reclassifying internet service as a utility, a move that would allow the Federal Communications Commission to enforce more robust regulations and protect net neutrality. "To put these protections in place, I'm asking the FCC to reclassifying internet service under Title II of a law known as the Telecommunications Act," Obama says in a statement this morning. "In plain English, I'm asking [the FCC] to recognize that for most Americans, the internet has become an essential part of everyday communication and everyday life."

Good news, but for now, these are nothing more than mere words - which politicians have in abundance - and not an actual law or policy. The FCC is free to make its own decisions, and could just as easily toss all this aside. With the pendulum of American politics currently firmly in the Republican camp, it just seems unlikely that this will actually become policy.


Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 10th Nov 2014 14:51 UTC
Mozilla & Gecko clones

Firefox Developer Edition replaces the Aurora channel in the Firefox Release Process. Like Aurora, features will land in the Developer Edition every six weeks, after they have stabilized in Nightly builds.

By using the Developer Edition, you gain access to tools and platform features at least 12 weeks before they reach the main Firefox release channel.


Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 8th Nov 2014 22:11 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

Update: LG will begin updating its G3 phone to Android 5.0 starting next week. It's pretty clear by now that things have changed with regards to Android updates. Very good.

In the last few years, we've gotten used to OEMs either delaying updates for seemingly an eternity or not delivering them at all. This time, I sense a disturbance in the force lately - and I'm not referring to platform/external/jarjar in the actual Android source code. Vendors are now seemingly trying to compete which each other to see which will release Lollipop first.

Sony, Motorola (already releasing Lollipop for select Moto X models!), and Samsung all seem to be quite far along in updating to Lollipop. Great news for consumers.


Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 8th Nov 2014 22:08 UTC

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a brief with the Supreme Court of the United States today, arguing on behalf of 77 computer scientists that the justices should review a disastrous appellate court decision finding that application programming interfaces (APIs) are copyrightable. That decision, handed down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in May, up-ended decades of settled legal precedent and industry practice.

Signatories to the brief include five Turing Award winners, four National Medal of Technology winners, and numerous fellows of the Association for Computing Machinery, IEEE, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The list also includes designers of computer systems and programming languages such as AppleScript, AWK, C++, Haskell, IBM S/360, Java, JavaScript, Lotus 1-2-3, MS-DOS, Python, Scala, SmallTalk, TCP/IP, Unix, and Wiki.

You can always count on the EFF to do the right thing.


Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 7th Nov 2014 21:21 UTC

Google Genomics could prove more significant than any of these moonshots. Connecting and comparing genomes by the thousands, and soon by the millions, is what’s going to propel medical discoveries for the next decade. The question of who will store the data is already a point of growing competition between Amazon, Google, IBM, and Microsoft.

This seems like a great technology to help advance medicine, but this being Google, one does have to wonder just what Google will do with data like this - or, better put, what can be done with data like this at all beyond its intended and promised purpose.


Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 7th Nov 2014 16:51 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

We're introducing more choice for Moto 360. From new metal watches and a selection of interchangeable bands, to enhanced experiences that promote a healthier lifestyle, Moto 360 offers a diverse portfolio of modern timepieces.

I was on vacation in the US and Canada the past two weeks, and one of the things I wanted to buy there was a Moto 360. I went to Best Buy - the store that sells them - but they were all out. The sales person told me that they get new shipments every week, but that they sell out in minutes. I had no luck finding one.

These new options are only going to make it sell better. I'm very curious to see just how well.


Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 7th Nov 2014 16:45 UTC
BeOS & Derivatives

As I talked to many attendees about various things like our package management, scheduler update, WebPositive progress, Wi-Fi, ASLR/DEP, and anything else I could think of, and there was an overwhelming positive energy about Haiku by those who saw it in action. By far the most common question I got was "When will the next release be out?". In the past, I would say the most common question is "Why would I ever choose Haiku over any existing Linux distribution?", so it is nice to see that there was a lot more positive energy about Haiku, as well as excitement about the next release.