MidnightBSD 0.4-RELEASE hit FTP servers today and the new version includes a custom package management tool, "mport", that was developed with sqlite3 and libarchive. The packing list and all metadata is stored in SQL and a tool is provided to query the package database directly. This allows scripts and third party tools to easily integrate with the package system.
Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 6th Jul 2013 11:52 UTC
"People who don't play video games would be forgiven if they turned on an Xbox 360 and didn't realize it was a device used to primarily play games. The first screen you see on the Xbox 360 Dashboard is often a mixture of ads for all sorts of goods and services, and many times games are in the minority of ad slots. The latest redesign increased the ad space that can be sold to advertisers, and that in turn increased this problem. Let's be clear, it is a problem. Game discovery is terrible in the current design of Xbox Live, and the usability of a system that used to be about games is suffering in order for Microsoft to make money on ads." Written a year ago by Ben Kuchera for Penny Arcade. In light of increased advertising efforts in Windows 8.1, this has become relevant once more. In a nutshell, do not count on Microsoft being able to strike a proper balance (thanks, Soulbender!).
Linked by Nth_Man on Fri 5th Jul 2013 21:42 UTC
Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 5th Jul 2013 16:30 UTC
"HTC has just announced its unaudited results for the second quarter 2013, and they're not pretty. Despite launching a much-lauded flagship smartphone, the HTC One, the company made just NT$1.25 billion (roughly $41 million) after tax from NT$70.7 billion ($2.35 billion) revenue. In the same quarter last year, the company took in revenue of NT$91.04 billion ($3 billion) and made NT$7.40 billion ($246 million) profit." Make the best Android phone - and perhaps, the best phone period - and still not be out of hot water. And people still claim the smartphone market is not a one-to-one replica of the desktop market. Anywho, another victim of iceberg Apple and hurricane Samsung.
"Today, Microsoft said its advertisers will be able to target users not just on Web search results pages but directly inside Windows Smart Search. David Pann, general manager of Microsoft’s Search Advertising Group, said in an interview that advertisers don’t have to do additional setup to participate. The Smart Search ads will feature a preview of the websites the ad will send people to, as well as click-to-call info and site links, which are additional links under the main result that direct users deeper into a website to the most likely page they might want." So, you pay for a product, and then Microsoft shoves ads in your face. Scumbags. Then again, they've done the same on the Xbox, which is now virtually unusable due to all the ads plastered all over your dashboard. And then people say Google is bad with ads.
"Researchers said they've uncovered a security vulnerability that could allow attackers to take full control of smartphones running Google's Android mobile operating system." So, how bad is this? Can anybody with knowledge of Android's inner workings explain?
"Internet users worried about their personal information being intercepted by U.S. intelligence agencies should stop using websites that send data to the United States, Germany's top security official said Wednesday." Cute, but pointless. France does it too, as does the UK. Documents from the Dutch intelligence agencies indicate that they, too, are involved in mass surveillance, the extent of which will supposedly be investigated by parliament.
Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 3rd Jul 2013 23:09 UTC
"Douglas C. Engelbart, a visionary scientist whose singular epiphany in 1950 about technology's potential to expand human intelligence led to a host of inventions - among them the computer mouse - that became the basis for both the Internet and the modern personal computer, died on Tuesday at his home in Atherton, Calif. He was 88." We lost one of the greatest - if not the greatest - visionaries of computing today.
Opera 15, the brand new version of Opera based on Chromium and Blink, has been released today. I'm still missing a bookmarks bar and a bookmark import feature. Other than that, I'm really liking Opera 15. I hope they bring those two features back soon, because I cannot use a browser without them.
Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 1st Jul 2013 23:07 UTC
"Mozilla today announced that the regional launches of Firefox OS smartphones will begin soon. Deutsche Telekom and Telefonica will release the first Firefox OS devices, the ALCATEL ONE TOUCH Fire and the ZTE Open, soon. Individual partners will announce specifics about launches in each market soon." Lots of soons in there.
Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 1st Jul 2013 22:02 UTC
"In June of 2013, I made an interesting discovery about the Android phone (a Motorola Droid X2) which I was using at the time: it was silently sending a considerable amount of sensitive information to Motorola, and to compound the problem, a great deal of it was over an unencrypted HTTP channel."
Linked by Nth_Man on Mon 1st Jul 2013 15:37 UTC
"This release adds support for bcache, which allows to use SSD devices to cache data from other block devices; a Btrfs format improvement that makes the tree dedicated to store extent information 30-35% smaller; support for XFS metadata checksums and self-describing metadata, timer free multitasking for applications running alone in a CPU, SysV IPC and rwlock scalability improvements, the TCP Tail loss probe algorithm that reduces tail latency of short transactions, KVM virtualization support in the MIPS architecture, many new drivers and small improvements."
Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 1st Jul 2013 15:35 UTC
"Quantum optimizer manufacturer D-Wave Systems has been gaining a lot of traction recently. They've sold systems to Lockheed Martin and Google, and started producing results showing that their system can solve problems that are getting closer to having real-life applications. All in all, they have come a long way since the first hype-filled announcement. Over time, my skepticism has waxed and waned. Although I didn't really trust their demonstrations, D-Wave's papers, which usually made more limited claims, seemed pretty solid. Now, there is a new data point to add to the list, with a paper claiming to show that the D-Wave machine cannot be doing classical simulated annealing."
Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 29th Jun 2013 20:18 UTC
"In recent years, an odd consensus has arisen where many believe that games are easier than they used to be. In many cases it's true, and it isn't surprising, as extreme competition between titles has created the need for games to be immediately entertaining as soon as you press the start button. As a consequence, many older - and potentially newer - players consider these games of yesteryear much more difficult. The immense challenge Wii U owners have experienced with virtual console games is evidence of that. Are these newer adventures really easier? Or has the design philosophy for video games improved instead?" Interesting take. I will tell you this, though - take a game like Dragon Age (the only one that matters, so the first one). It's immediately accessible to newcomers at the easy and normal setting, but try stepping it up to nightmare mode, and you're suddenly back in old-fashioned hardcore territory where you'll need to apply every little bit there is to know about the game to be able to finish it (tip for DA fanatics: finish the game without a single character going down in combat, on nightmare. I did it. It's hell). My point is: sometimes, you have to up the difficulty or create your own challenges to find the rewarding difficulty of gaming yore.
Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 29th Jun 2013 13:41 UTC, submitted by LinuxGizmos
"Japanese firm Systena Corp. has announced the first Tizen-based tablet, which also appears to be the first Tizen product of any kind. The unnamed Systena Tizen tablet offers high-end features including a 1.4GHz, quad-core Cortex-A9 system-on-chip, 2GB of RAM, and a 10.1-inch, 1920 x 1200-pixel display, specs which come close to matching the most powerful Android tablets currently on the market." Interesting.
Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 28th Jun 2013 17:33 UTC
"There's a leaked Android 4.3 Jelly Bean ROM out in the wild this morning, in the form of a pre-release build for the 'Google Play edition' Galaxy S4. It's also been ported to the European LTE Galaxy S4 (GT-i9505) in the form of a custom ROM, courtesy of the original source of the leak, Samsung fansite SamMobile. We've fired up that ROM on our European GS4 and shot a quick hands-on video, giving an early glimpse of the next version of Android." Few changes.
Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 28th Jun 2013 14:37 UTC
"BlackBerry offered few signs of a long-promised turnaround on Friday, with an unexpected quarterly operating loss, a dearth of details on sales of its make-or-break new line of devices and no return to profit expected in the current quarter. BlackBerry shares tumbled about 28 percent in both U.S. and Toronto trading." 'Unexpected'? Really?
Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 27th Jun 2013 18:35 UTC
"Microsoft's Build developers conference in San Francisco has mainly focused on Windows 8.1 so far, but the company spent a few minutes talking about the future Xbox One development platform on Thursday. Steve Guggenheimer, vice president of Microsoft's Developer & Platform Evangelism group, provided big hints at how developers can target the Xbox One in future." Many Windows 8 Metro applications would work relatively well with Kinect gestures and such - so this makes sense to me. Still don't want a 'media entertainment experience device' though; I want a game console.
Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 26th Jun 2013 16:41 UTC
Microsoft has released the Windows 8.1 preview for download, but they region-locked it to 13 specific languages, and Dutch is not one of them. So, even though my Surface RT has been completely and utterly English from the day I bought it, I can't install Windows 8.1 and tell you something about it. Those of you who can download it, why don't you tell us what it's like - or you can head to The Verge who got early access. In case you couldn't tell, I'm a little annoyed that we're arbitrarily being left out once again.
Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 26th Jun 2013 14:12 UTC
"This document outlines the set of requirements and guidelines for file and directory placement under the Linux operating system according to those of the FSSTND v2.3 final (January 29, 2004) and also its actual implementation on an arbitrary system. It is meant to be accessible to all members of the Linux community, be distribution independent and is intended to discuss the impact of the FSSTND and how it has managed to increase the efficiency of support interoperability of applications, system administration tools, development tools, and scripts as well as greater uniformity of documentation for these systems."