But I’ll give you a personal take. By my reckoning, I worked for RMS longer than any other programmer.
There has been some bad reporting, and that’s a problem. While I have not waded through the entire email thread Selam G. has posted, my reaction was that RMS did not defend Epstein, and did not say that the victim in this case was acting voluntarily. But it’s not the most important problem. It’s not remotely close to being the most important problem.[…]
Add to all this RMS’s background of having defended the idea of adults having sex with minors under some circumstances, and people’s visceral and sharp reaction was entirely sensible.[…]
I was around for most of the 90s, and I can confirm the unfortunate reality that RMS’s behavior was a concern at the time, and that this protection was itself part of the problem. He was never held to account; he was himself coddled in his own lower-grade misbehavior and mistreatment of women. He made the place uncomfortable for a lot of people, and especially women.[…]
The end result here, while sad for him, is correct.
But we’ve also noted that, ironically, the glut of video choices–more specifically the glut of streaming exclusivity silos–risks driving users back to piracy. Studies predict that every broadcaster and their uncle will have launched their own direct-to-consumer streaming platform by 2022. Most of these companies are understandably keen on locking their own content behind exclusivity paywalls, whether that’s HBO Now’s Game of Thrones, or CBS All Access’s Stark Trek: Discovery.
But as consumers are forced to pay for more and more subscriptions to get all of the content they’re looking for, they’re not only getting frustrated by the growing costs (defeating the whole point of cutting the cord), they’re frustrated by the experience of having to hunt and peck through an endlessly shifting sea of exclusivity arrangements and licensing deals that make it difficult to track where your favorite show or film resides this month.
With all kinds of series and IPs moving around from company to company these days, it’s getting impossible to keep track of where and how to watch both new and old series. It used to be quite simple – Netflix and your local streaming service for us Europeans – and you’d be pretty well set. Maybe add in HBO for Game of Thrones – usually one person in your group of friends had HBO here in Europe – and everything was covered.
Now, though, things are rapidly falling apart in countless different silos, each at anywhere between €5-10/month, which is becoming unjustifiable. Piracy is definitely going to make a major comeback if this continues.
And today we’re excited to announce that we’re moving to a four-week release cycle! We’re adjusting our cadence to increase our agility, and bring you new features more quickly. In recent quarters, we’ve had many requests to take features to market sooner. Feature teams are increasingly working in sprints that align better with shorter release cycles. Considering these factors, it is time we changed our release cadence.
I’ve been incredibly satisfied with Firefox for a long time now, and aside from a few hiccups along the way, I trust the team to handle a faster release cycle just fine.
Taneli Armanto doesn’t like to tell people he changed the world. In fact, unless you’re a family friend, I’d bet you haven’t heard of the guy. He never usually mentions his greatest achievement, but of course his kids will take any opportunity to brag about it.
I played so much Snake during high school.
Richard Stallman has resigned as president of and from the board of directors of the Free Software Foundation. The move comes after several reports on deeply inappropriate behaviour towards women, as well as a spirited defense of convicted child trafficker and child rapist Jeffrey Epstein. Stallman defended Marvin Minsky, an AI pioneer accused of raping one of Epstein’s trafficked children, by basically saying that since the underage child was forced by Epstein, Minsky wasn’t at fault for raping an underage child.
Early in the thread, Stallman insists that the “most plausible scenario” is that Epstein’s underage victims were “entirely willing” while being trafficked. Stallman goes on to argue about the definition of “sexual assault,” “rape,” and whether they apply to Minsky and Giuffre’s deposition statement that she was forced to have sex with him.
In response to a student pointing out that Giuffre was 17 when she was forced to have sex with Minsky in the Virgin Islands, Stallman said “it is morally absurd to define ‘rape’ in a way that depends on minor details such as which country it was in or whether the victim was 18 years old or 17.”
Today, a notice on the Free Software Foundation website announced his resignation, after he left MIT yesterday, too.
On September 16, 2019, Richard M. Stallman, founder and president of the Free Software Foundation, resigned as president and from its board of directors.
The board will be conducting a search for a new president, beginning immediately. Further details of the search will be published on fsf.org.
Good riddance to bad people. We’ve always known Stallman had some seriously disturbing ideas, but I had no idea they went this far and this deep. This is for the better of the Free software community as a whole.
We’ve recently seen Linux smartphones are coming in a few weeks or months, but the $150 PinePhone may not come alone, and soon be joined by a $25 companion, namely PineTime smartwatch.
That’s what we learned through a tweet by Pine64 explaining the PineTime is a Linux smartphone companion that can run FreeRTOS or Arm Mbed operating systems. It will be a side-project however, and the focus is still on PinePhone and Pinebook Pro, meaning it will take a while depending on the level of community engagement.
Thanks in part due to easy access to Chinese OEMs, there’s a lot of interesting working going in building and shipping consumer-oriented devices like smartphones and smartwatches running Linux that isn’t Android – which only a few short years ago would’ve required massive funding and seemed like pipe dreams.
While these devices may not be as fast or polished as an Android device or iPhone, they are starting to form a viable option for people who truly value open source.
Amazon.com has adjusted its product-search system to more prominently feature listings that are more profitable for the company, said people who worked on the project—a move, contested internally, that could favor Amazon’s own brands.
Late last year, these people said, Amazon optimized the secret algorithm that ranks listings so that instead of showing customers mainly the most-relevant and best-selling listings when they search—as it had for more than a decade—the site also gives a boost to items that are more profitable for the company.
Might I also point out that Amazon is cutting the healthcare benefits of Whole Foods temporary workers while Jeff Bezos earns about 1300 dollar per second?
Ethics aren’t exactly high on tech companies’ agendas.
Linux 5.3 has been released.
This release includes support for AMD Navi GPUs; support for the umwait x86 instructions that let processes wait for short amounts of time without spinning loops; a ‘utilization clamping’ mechanism that is used to boost interactivity on power-asymmetric CPUs used in phones; a new pidfd_open(2) system call that completes the work done to let users deal with the PID reuse problem; 16 millions of new IPv4 addresses in the 0.0.0.0/8 range are made available; support for Zhaoxin x86 CPUs; support Intel Speed Select for easier power selection in Xeon servers; and support for the lightweight hypervisor ACRN, built for embedded IoT devices.
As always, many other new drivers and improvements can be found in the changelog.
On Thursday IBM unveiled their new mainframe, the z15. Overall, the z15 represents an evolutionary change over its predecessor, the z14. However, there are plenty of enhancements across the board.
This goes way over my head, but it’s still immensely cool.
Eventually, that’s going to mean a single software stack common across VW Group’s vehicles—everything from the instrument displays and the infotainment to powertrain and chassis management (think traction and stability control or advanced driver assistance systems), plus a common connected car infrastructure and cloud. However, each brand will still get to develop its own UX in the same way that Porsche and Audi can build very different-looking vehicles from the same MLB Evo toolbox.
They’re going to base it on Android, but without much of the Google parts because of privacy concerns (i.e., VW wants that data for itself, not share it with Google). And, as always in the car world, it will be many, many years before this initiative will make its way to VW Group’s cars – the unit won’t be fully staffed until 2025.
With the launch of the KaiOS Developer Portal, developers new to the platform have all of the tools they need to begin building and distributing apps for KaiOS. The guide can help you get a feel for things with sample code, there are instructions for setting up your development environment, and there’s an easy to set up simulator that lets you run your app virtually to ensure everything is working.
KaiOS is used by more than 100 million people, so there’s definitely value in taking a look if you’re a mobile developer.
The Twitter tirade started after we saw yet another “Apple Blue Line Bar Graph Better Than Android Gray Line Benchmark”. The A12 is more powerful than any Android, and the A13 will beat that!
But here’s the problem.
I truly believe Apple chips are silly powerful, but for the last four years, Apple really hasn’t let us touch that power. I shared my rendering experiences again, comparing the iPhone XS against the iPhone SE. In iMove, the iPhone SE continues to render video faster than the XS.[…]
Rendering the same video, the OnePlus is a LOT faster at the task than the more expensive XS. The OnePlus also delivers a final video at twice the bitrate of the iPhone (which does look better to my eye). Better quality, twice the size, in two thirds the time.
The common wisdom is that Apple’s A series chips are considerably faster than their Snapdragon counterparts, and I, too, have highlighted that wisdom here on OSNews a number of times.
However, if we leave the world of synthetic benchmarks and Apple’s terrible bar graphs behind and start looking at real-world performance, the common wisdom doesn’t seem to hold up. When even an outdated iPhone SE beats another iPhone that’s years newer and four times as expensive, you know something’s up.
Performance is more complicated than a synthetic benchmark that can be gamed or Apple’s entirely meaningless bar graphs.
The latest version of GNOME 3 has been released today. Version 3.34 contains six months of work by the GNOME community and includes many improvements, performance improvements and new features.
Highlights from this release include visual refreshes for a number of applications, including the desktop itself. The background selection settings also received a redesign, making it easier to select custom backgrounds.
They have a video highlighting the changes too.
Ben Thompson, on Apple’s services strategy:
Apple also adjusted their AppleCare+ terms yesterday: now you can subscribe monthly and AppleCare+ will carry on until you cancel, just as other Apple services like Apple Music or Apple Arcade do. The company already has the iPhone Upgrade Program, that bundles a yearly iPhone and AppleCare+, but this shift for AppleCare+ purchased on its own is another step towards assuming that Apple’s relationship with its customers will be a subscription-based one.
To that end, how long until there is a variant of the iPhone Upgrade Program that is simply an all-up Apple subscription? Pay one monthly fee, and get everything Apple has to offer. Indeed, nothing would show that Apple is a Services company more than making the iPhone itself a service, at least as far as the customer relationship goes. You might even say it is innovative.
in a way, iPhones already work this way; you don’t really own your iPhone, as it is entirely locked down and not yours to do with as you please. The financing aspect of the equation seems to also be falling in place now, and I indeed wouldn’t be surprised to see Apple offer the described iPhone leasing program over the coming years.
“Netbooks aren’t better at anything,” joked Steve Jobs when he stood on stage nearly 10 years ago to introduce the first iPad. Apple’s original vision for its tablet was for a new category of device that was focused on browsing, email, photos, video, music, games, and ebooks. “If there’s going to be a third category of device it’s going to have to be better at these kinds of tasks than a laptop or a smartphone, otherwise it has no reason for being,” said Jobs.
The Surface concept has always been a sound concept for many people – it’s the software that’s always been an issue, and will continue to be an issue for a long time to come. Windows is too much of a desktop, and iPadOS is too much of a smartphone operating system. Our software is lagging behind the hardware.
LG has announced that it will demonstrate a new system that integrates its webOS Auto In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) system with Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform (MCVP). By combining webOS Auto and MCVP, the In-Vehicle Infotainment system will be able to collect and transmit data about the driver status, door status, and app usage.
I can’t decide whether it’s sad or great that webOS has managed to find a second, third or even fourth life as an operating system for cars. I do wonder, though, how much of this platform is really webOS – webOS was basically a badly optimised and cobbled together Linux distribution, and I’m assuming very little of what we would recognise as webOS remains in LG’s current automotive and television platforms.
Haiku’s monthly activity report for August has been published, and it’s a big one, so I urge you to read the whole report for all the details on what’s changed, fixed, and new in Haiku over the past month. There should be something for everyone in there.
My personal favourite little tidbit is this one, though.
Pascal Abresch got the first part of his work to handle “media” keys (play, pause, and other additional keys) recognized by Haiku. The PS/2 driver has been adjusted, but adding all these new keys to the keymap means we now have more than 128 possible keys, which the BeOS keymap format does not allow. So we will need a new one, and this will break compatibility with old apps using the keymap directly (as the API allows).
I don’t know why, exactly, this fascinates me so much, but I like the mental image of one of the original BeOS developers, coding for Hobbit development boards, writing the code for keyboard handling, deciding upon the 128 key limit being enough for a long time to come.
If only they knew.
Apple today held its annual iPhone-centric event, which saw the debut of the new iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, Apple Watch Series 5, and 10.2-inch iPad, along with new details on Apple Arcade and Apple TV+.
Decent spec bumps to old designs all around, but nothing to get too excited about.
You thought Google would escape my ire today, didn’t you?
A coalition of attorneys general representing 50 US states and territories today announced a long-awaited joint probe into antitrust complaints against one of the biggest tech companies in the world, Google.
The office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is spearheading the bipartisan investigation, which is beginning with the search and digital advertising markets. Google “dominates all aspects of advertising on the Internet and searching on the Internet,” Paxton told reporters during a press conference.
Is anybody surprised by this? Google’s dominance in search is bad enough as it is, but the company’s real monopolistic power comes not from search, but from its more nebulous online advertising business. It’s not nearly as sexy as App Store manipulation or bundling Internet Explorer with Windows, but it’s just as potentially detrimental to the overall market as they are.
Apple Inc. and manufacturing partner Foxconn violated a Chinese labor rule by using too many temporary staff in the world’s largest iPhone factory, the companies confirmed following a report that also alleged harsh working conditions.
The claims came from China Labor Watch, which issued the report ahead of an Apple event on Tuesday to announce new iPhones. The non-profit advocacy group investigates conditions in Chinese factories, and says it has uncovered other alleged labor rights violations by Apple partners in the past.
We all know how this tune goes: Apple will claim once again it’s going to fix the issue with a sternly worded letter to Foxconn, nothing will change, and a year from now we’ll have another report of even more violations. It’s as routine as the September iPhone event.
Of course, Apple could, you know, use some of its 245 billion dollar stuffed in offshore tax havens to improve the lives of the people building its fancy gadgets, but that would imply a sense of morals and values that we know by now Apple simply lacks.