noTunes: a macOS application to prevent iTunes or Apple Music from launching

noTunes is a macOS application that will prevent iTunes or Apple Music from launching.

Simply launch the noTunes app and iTunes/Music will no longer be able to launch. For example, when bluetooth headphones reconnect.

You can toggle the apps functionality via the menu bar icon with a simple left click.

↫ noTunes GitHub page

Apparently, this is such a common complaint that an application had to be made just to gain some semblance of control over what some people still refer to as “their” computer. For both macOS and Windows, there’s a giant industry – you can’t really call it a cottage industry anymore at this point – of tools, applications, and fixes just to deal with or avoid all the user-hostile, anti-choice garbage Apple and Microsoft shove into their respective operating systems.

As a Linux user – and recent OpenBSD convert – I find this absolutely wild. Following any Apple podcast, or reading any Windows website, makes it so clear just how many hoops these people have to jump through and how many weirdly-shaped holes they have to contort into just to be able to gain some vague semblance of ownership of their own hardware. I’m not judging – we all have areas in our lives where we do this, they just differ from person to person – but it’s still confronting to see it so clearly, all the time.

Scarlett Johansson says she is ‘shocked, angered’ over new ChatGPT voice

Lawyers for Scarlett Johansson are demanding that OpenAI disclose how it developed an AI personal assistant voice that the actress says sounds uncannily similar to her own.

Johansson’s legal team has sent OpenAI two letters asking the company to detail the process by which it developed a voice the tech company dubbed “Sky,” Johansson’s publicist told NPR in a revelation that has not been previously reported.

↫ Bobby Allyn at NPR

This story highlights just how much disdain techbros have for the work of creative people. Here’s the timeline:

  1. Nine months ago, Sam Altman approached Scarlett Johansson to ask her if OpenAI could use her voice for a voice assistant features. Johansson declined.
  2. Two days before the launch of the new voice assistant feature, Altman contacted Johansson’s agent again, asking her to reconsider.
  3. Before Johansson or her agent could reply, OpenAI launched the voice assistant, with a voice that sounds remarkably like Johansson’s. Altman even tweeted “Her”, the name of the film in which Johansson portrays an AI.
  4. After everyone started pointing this out, Johansson’s lawyers demanded OpenAI take the new voice down. They complied.

Techbros like Sam Altman deeply despise and undervalue the work of creatives, believing human creativity to be merely an equation to be solved, definable by an algorithm. To people like him, creative work has no value, and as such, is up for grabs to be taken and cut up for his algorithms to spit out as “new” works. This story highlights this perfectly.

The sleaze runs deep with Altman and OpenAI.

Xeon Phi support removed in GCC 15 compiler

Last week I wrote about Intel aiming to remove Xeon Phi support in GCC 15 with the products being end-of-life and deprecated in GCC 14. While some openly wondered whether the open-source community would allow it given the Xeon Phi accelerators were available to buy just a few years ago and at some very low prices going back years so some potentially finding use still out of them especially during this AI boom (and still readily available to buy used for around ~$50 USD), today the Intel Xeon Phi support was indeed removed.

↫ Michael Larabel

Xeon Phi PCIe cards are incredibly cheap on eBay, and every now and then my mouse hovers over the buy button – but I always realise just in time that the cards have become quite difficult to use, since support for them, already sparse to begin with, is only getting worse by the day. Support for them was already removed in Linux 5.10, and now GCC is pulling he plug too, so the only option is to keep using old kernels, or pass the card on to a VM running an older Linux kernel version, which is a lot of headache for what is essentially a weird toy for nerds at this point.

GCC 15 will also, sadly, remove support for Itanium, which, as I’ve said before, is a huge disgrace and a grave mistake. Itanium is the future, and will stomp all over crappy architectures like x86 and ARM. With this deprecation, GCC relegates itself to the dustbin of history.

Modernizing the AntennaPod code structure

AntennaPod has been around for a long time – the first bit of code was published in 2011. Since then, the app has grown massively and had several main developers. The beauty of open-source is that so many people can contribute and make a great app together. But sometimes having many people work on a project can lead to different ways of thinking about how to structure the project. Because of this, AntennaPod gradually grew to have a number of weird code constructs. Our latest release, version 3.4, fixes this.

↫ ByteHamster

The AntennaPod team had an incredible task ahead of itself, and while it took them a few years, they pulled it off. The code structure graphs from before and after the code restructuring illustrate better than words ever could what they achieved. Thy changed 10000 lines of source code in 62 pull requests for this restructuring alone, while still adding new major features in the meantime. Pretty incredible.

Microsoft gives Windows new compiler, kernel, scheduler, and x86 translation layer on ARM

Microsoft’s developer conference Build is taking place this week, so there’s been some major Windows news and announcements, and for once – we’re not talking about more ads in your operating system, or even “AI” shoehorned into, I don’t know, Phone Dialer or Windows Fax and Scan.

First and foremost, Windows is going to get a new compiler, kernel, and scheduler, but despite such massive low-level changes, the marketing version number won’t jump from 11 to 12. Of course, we all know the marketing version number has nothing to do with the actual Windows NT version number, which currently sits at 10. The Windows NT version number, meanwhile, is actually also meaningless, since it magically jumps around left and right too, going from 6.2 to 10 between Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, where it has stayed ever since.

“We really focused on modernizing this update of Windows 11,” said Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Windows and Devices Pavan Davuluri at a technical briefing on Microsoft’s campus in mid-April. “We engineered this update of Windows 11 with a real focus on AI inference and taking advantage of the Arm64 instruction set at every layer of the operating system stack. For us, what this meant really was building a new compiler in Windows. We built a new kernel in Windows on top of that compiler. We now have new schedulers in the operating system that take advantage of these new SoC architecture.”

↫ Andrew Cunningham at Ars Technica

The focus is clearly on ARM here, which coincides with the launch of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite, a new SoC that finally seems to truly make ARM laptops that aren’t from Apple a real, competitive thing – so much so that Qualcomm is even breaking with tradition and taking Linux support very seriously for this new chip.

Microsoft also unveiled the name for its new x86 translation layer for Windows on ARM: Prism. Microsoft told Ars Technica that Prism is as fast as Apple’s Rosetta 2, which is interesting because Apple’s M series chips contain special silicon to speed up the translation process, making me wonder if Qualcomm has done the same, or is just brute-forcing it.

Performance like this means the apps customers love work great. Microsoft has partnered closely with developers across the globe to optimize their applications for this processor. In addition, the powerful new Prism emulation engine delivers a 2x performance boost compared to Surface Pro 9 with 5G. On the new Surface Pro and Surface Laptop, powered by Snapdragon X Elite and Snapdragon X Plus processors, experiences like Adobe Creative Cloud, Microsoft 365 and Chrome will feel snappy, quick and responsive.

↫ Pete Kyriacou on the Windows blog

The new Windows on ARM machines using the Snapdragon X Elite will be marketed under the new Copilot+ brand name, which brings with it some requirements, the biggest of which is the neural processing unit: it must be capable of at least 40 trillion operations per second. At the time of writing, the only Windows-capable processor that can boast such numbers is, of course, the new Snapdragon X Elite. AMD and Intel need not apply. They simply cannot match this.

Microsoft tied a bow on all this stuff by unveiling the new Surface Pro and new Surface Laptop, both powered by the new Snapdragon SoCs. You can preorder them today, but they won’t be available until 18 June.

KDE Plasma 6 comes to OpenBSD

Last year marked a significant milestone for both myself and the OpenBSD desktop community, as we successfully ported KDE Plasma 5 and all dependencies to OpenBSD. With the release of OpenBSD 7.5 on April 5, 2024, KDE Plasma in version 5.27.10 has become a part of our lovely operating system. This success is the result of years of development work and commitment to achieving this goal.

KDE launched version 6 of its Plasma desktop environment on February 28, 2024, bringing numerous updates and features as well as the major switch to Qt6. I am immensely proud that the OpenBSD team has managed to prepare for this major update so swiftly. All necessary components have been committed to our CVS tree, and the packages will soon be available.

↫ Rafael Sadowski

Excellent news for OpenBSD users who don’t wish to be using GNOME, Xfce, or one of the smaller build-it-yourself desktop environments. My dual-Xeon workstation, which I switched over from Fedora KDE to OpenBSD, runs Xfce, because I feel a smaller desktop environment is a more natural fit for OpenBSD, but I’m very happy to know that I have KDE to fall back on in case Xfce turns out not to be a good fit for me in the long term.

I’ll give the OpenBSD developers an other experts in that community some more time to iron out any wrinkles, and then I’ll probably give it a go to see just how well KDE will be integrated with the OpenBSD base system.

Windows Server 2025 to ship with DTrace by default

Windows Server 2025 comes equipped with dtrace as a native tool. DTrace is a command-line utility that enables users to monitor and troubleshoot their system’s performance in real-time. DTrace allows users to dynamically instrument both the kernel and user-space code without any need to modify the code itself. This versatile tool supports a range of data collection and analysis techniques, such as aggregations, histograms, and tracing of user-level events. To learn more, see DTrace for command line help and DTrace on Windows for additional capabilities.

↫ What’s new in Windows Server 2025

DTrace was originally developed by Sun as part of Solaris, but eventually made its way to other operating systems as Sun collapsed in on itself and Oracle gave it the final push. DTrace is available for the various surviving Solars-based operating systems, Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, macOS, and QNX, and Microsoft ported DTrace from FreeBSD to Windows back in 2018. With Windows Server 2025, DTrace will be shipped out of the box.

Troubling iOS 17.5 bug reportedly resurfacing old deleted photos

iOS 17.5 seems to be experiencing a rather nasty bug that raises some very, very concerning questions about what Apple thinks “delete” really means.

After updating their iPhone, one user said they were shocked to find old NSFW photos that they deleted in 2021 suddenly showing up in photos marked as recently uploaded to iCloud. Other users have also chimed in with similar stories. “Same here,” said one Redditor. “I have four pics from 2010 that keep reappearing as the latest pics uploaded to iCloud. I have deleted them repeatedly.”

“Same thing happened to me,” replied another user. “Six photos from different times, all I have deleted. Some I had deleted in 2023.” More reports have been trickling in overnight. One said: “I had a random photo from a concert taken on my Canon camera reappear in my phone library, and it showed up as if it was added today.”

↫ Tim Hardwick at MacRumors

A report a few days later says that even on devices that have been wiped and sold, photos seem to be reappearing. This is even scarier than photos reappearing on devices you’re still using today – just think of all the iOS devices you’ve had and sold that might still be in use today. Users all over could be looking at old photos you took that you thought weren’t only deleted, but also wiped when you sold the devices in question.

Apple has not said anything yet, but it further illustrates just how untrustworthy companies like Apple really are. Even taking into account it might take some time (minutes? An hour?) for a delete request to propagate through iCloud’s server network, there’s obviously no way photos that were supposedly deleted years ago are resurfacing now – especially when entire device wipes are involved, and any new user isn’t even logged into the same iCloud account.

I hope for everyone involved – the users, that is, I don’t give a rat’s ass about Apple – that this isn’t very widespread, because the last thing any of us needs is old nude photos reappearing on random people’s devices.

What a mess.

Company behind Amiga OS 4 seems to be either going or is in fact bankrupt

So, I won’t be wasting too many words on this – partially because I’m not into cheap soap operas, and partially because there’s no way to know what’s going on with this nonsense without dedicating a year’s worth of detailed study into the subject. So it seems that the company Hyperion, which develops and owns the rights to Amiga OS 4 and Amiga OS 3.2 has gone into bankruptcy proceedings. The main shareholder of Hyperion, someone named Ben Hermans, has apparently set up several shell companies (or something?), and they might now own the rights to the two variants of Amiga OS, or they might not? And those shell companies have also gone into bankruptcy proceedings?

Hyperion has been managed by a receiver since last week (Update)
“Ben Hermans BV” (hereinafter: BHBV) is a private company with limited liability owned by Ben Hermans, which has held 97% of the shares in Hyperion since 2019 and acts as a ‘director’ of Hyperion on paper. In March, bankruptcy proceedings were initiated against BHBV for the second time. In the same month, Ben Hermans had already initiated the founding of a new company with the same name.

As BHBV has not published any statutory annual reports since 2021, it is currently unclear whether the company still holds the majority of shares in Hyperion. Ben Hermans has not responded to an inquiry from; the appointed liquidator Charlotte Piers tells us she’ll get back to us in the next few days with “a more detailed response”.


I stopped trying to keep track of this stuff years and years ago, but bits and bobs I’ve picked up since is that there’s been countless lawsuits flying back and forth, questions of rights ownership, and all sorts of other drama you can only keep track of by following the various different Amiga websites and forums in great detail on a daily basis.

As is Amiga tradition.

Amiga OS 4 is an interesting operating system that I spent some fun time with for an OSNews review way back in 2009, but at this point, if you’re truly hooked on the Amiga OS way of doing things, just stick to AROS. There’s technically also MorphOS, which is pretty great actually, but unless they sort out their own mess of being stuck to dying PowerPC Macs and move to x86 or ARM, they’re basically on borrowed time, too.

Microsoft’s official Windows performance boost app feels your PC is broken if you snub Bing

I didn’t know this was a thing, but apparently Microsoft offers a Windows tune-up application in the vein of things like CCleaner and similar tools. One of the things it does is protect users from applications that try and change default settings, and it seems the application takes this matter very seriously.

Microsoft may be taking a bit of liberty with that last bit. It looks like the PC Manager feels your PC is broken and needs repair if you changed your default search engine from Bing.

↫ Sayan Sen at Neowin

Setting aside just how defeatist it feels that the creator of Windows needs to make an application to keep Windows from falling over, I find it almost endearing just how hard Microsoft is trying to get users to choose Bing.

If you’ve ever seen the Swedish film Fucking Åmål, it’s also very likely you remember the gut-wrenching, maximally cringe-inducing birthday party for main character Agnes where nobody shows up, while her mother, oblivious to just how deeply disliked Agnes is by her classmates, tries desperately to assure her daughter that people will show up. Director Lukas Moodysson takes no prisoners and drags out the scene to really maximise just how uncomfortably sad the whole thing is.

It’s incredibly hard to watch.

Well, Agnes is Bing, Microsoft is its mother, and nobody shows up to Bing’s birthday party either.

Apple geofences third-party browser engine work for EU devices

Apple’s grudging accommodation of European law – allowing third-party browser engines on its mobile devices – apparently comes with a restriction that makes it difficult to develop and support third-party browser engines for the region.

The Register has learned from those involved in the browser trade that Apple has limited the development and testing of third-party browser engines to devices physically located in the EU. That requirement adds an additional barrier to anyone planning to develop and support a browser with an alternative engine in the EU.

↫ Thomas Claburn at The Register

If any normal person like you and I showed the same kind of blatant disregard for the law and authorities like Apple does in the EU, we’d be ruined by fines and possibly end up in jail. My only hope is that the European Commission goes through with its threats of massive fines of up to 10 or even 20 percent of worldwide turnover.

Slack users horrified to discover messages used for “AI” training

After launching Slack AI in February, Slack appears to be digging its heels in, defending its vague policy that by default sucks up customers’ data—including messages, content, and files—to train Slack’s global AI models.

↫ Ashley Belanger at Ars Technica

I’ve never used Slack and don’t intend to ever start, but the outcry about this reached far beyond Slack and its own communities. It’s been all over various forums and social media, and I’m glad Ars dove into it to collect all the various conflicting statements, policies, and blog posts Slack has made about their “Ai” policies. However, even after reading Ars’ article and the various articles about this at other outlets, I still have no idea what, exactly, Slack is or is not using to train its “AI” models.

I know a lot of people here think I am by definition against all forms of what companies are currently calling “AI”, but this is really not the case. I think there are countless areas where these technologies can make meaningful contributions, and a great example I encountered recently is the 4X strategy game Stellaris, one of my favourite games. The game recently got a big update called The Machine Age, which focuses on changing and improving the gameplay when you opt to play as cybernetically enhanced or outright robotic races.

As per Steam’s new rules regarding the use of AI in games, the Steam page included the following clarification about the use of “AI”:

We employ generative AI technologies during the creation of some assets. Typically this involves the ideation of content and visual reference material. These elements represent a minor component of the overall development. AI has been used to generate voices for an AI antagonist and a player advisor.

↫ The Machine Age Steam page

The game’s director explained that during the very early ideation phase, when someone like him, who isn’t a creative person, gets an idea, they might generate a piece of “AI” art and put it up on an ideation wall with tons of other assets just to get the point across, after which several rounds of artists and developers mould and shape some of those ideas into a final product. None of the early “AI” content makes it in the game. Similarly, while the game includes the voice for an AI antagonist and player advisor, the voice actors whose work was willingly used to generate the lines in the game are receiving royalties for each of those lines.

I have no issues whatsoever with this, because here it’s clear everyone involved is doing so in an informed manner and entirely willingly. Everything is above board, consent is freely given, and everybody knows what’s going on. This is a great example of ethical “AI” use; tools to help people make a product, easier – without stealing other people’s work or violating various licenses in the process.

What Slack is doing here – and what Copilot, OpenAI, and the various other tools do – is the exact opposite of this. Consent is only sought when the parties involved are big and powerful enough to cause problems, and even though they claim “AI” is not ripping anyone off, they also claim “AI” can’t work without taking other people’s work. Instead of being open and transparent about what they do, they hide themselves behind magical algorithms and shroud the origins of their “AI” training data in mystery.

If you’re using Slack – and odds are you do – I would strongly consider urging your boss to opt your organisation out of Slack’s “AI” data theft operation. You have no idea how much private information and corporate data is being exposed by these Salesforce clowns.

Why a ‘frozen’ distribution Linux kernel isn’t the safest choice for security

It’s a compelling story and on the surface makes a lot of sense. Carefully curated software patches applied to a known Linux kernel, frozen at a specific release, would obviously seem to be preferable to the random walk of an upstream open source Linux project. But is it true? Is there data to support this ?

After a lot of hard work and data analysis by my CIQ kernel engineering colleagues Ronnie Sahlberg and Jonathan Maple, we finally have an answer to this question. It’s no. The data shows that “frozen” vendor Linux kernels, created by branching off a release point and then using a team of engineers to select specific patches to back-port to that branch, are buggier than the upstream “stable” Linux kernel created by Greg Kroah-Hartman.

↫ Jeremy Allison at CIQ

I mean, it kind of makes sense. The full whitepaper is available, too.

State of the terminal

It’s only been in the last couple of years that I’ve begun to dig deep into the inner workings of how terminal emulators, and the applications that run inside of them, really work. I’ve learned that there is a lot of innovation and creative problem solving happening in this space, even though the underlying technology is over half a century old.

I’ve also found that many people who use terminal based tools (including shells like Bash and editors like Vim) know very little about terminals themselves, or some of the modern features and capabilities they can support.

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the problems that terminal based applications have historically had to deal with (and what the modern solutions are) as well as some features that modern terminal emulators support that you may not be aware of.

↫ Gregory Anders

I don’t use the terminal much – usually just to update my systems – but on occasion I’ve had to really sit down and explore them more than usual, especially now that my workstation runs OpenBSD, and the depth and breadth of features, options, and clever tricks they possess is amazing. Over the past half century they’ve accumulated a lot of features along the way, and even though its unlikely to ever be for me, I can somewhat begin to appreciate why some people just tile a bunch of terminals on their screens and do all their computing that way.

I grew up with MS-DOS and Windows 3.x and later, so I’m just too attached to my mouse and pretty icons to switch to a terminal lifestyle, but over the years I’ve seen some pretty amazing terminal applications, from Mastodon clients to complex mail applications and web browsers, and you can be sure none of them steal your data or show you ads.

Maybe the terminal people are right after all.

Virtual Boy: the bizarre rise and quick fall of Nintendo’s enigmatic red console

Nearly 30 years after the launch of the Virtual Boy, not much is publicly known about how, exactly, Nintendo came to be interested in developing what would ultimately become its ill-fated console. Was Nintendo committed to VR as a future for video games and looking for technological solutions that made business sense? Or was the Virtual Boy primarily the result of Nintendo going “off script” and seizing a unique, and possibly risky, opportunity that presented itself? The answer is probably a little bit of both.

As it turns out, the Virtual Boy was not an anomaly in Nintendo’s history with video game platforms. Rather, it was the result of a deliberate strategy that was consistent with Nintendo’s way of doing things and informed by its lead creator Gunpei Yokoi’s design philosophy.

↫ Benj Edwards and Jose Zagal at Ars Technica

I’ve never used a Virtual Boy, and in fact, I’ve never even seen one in real life. It was mythical object when I was not even a teenager yet, something we read about in gaming magazines in The Netherlands. We didn’t really know what it was or how it worked, and it wasn’t until much later, in the early YouTube age, that I got to see what using one was actually like in the countless YouTube videos made about the device.

It seems it caused quite a few headaches, was cumbersome to use, had very few games, and those that were sold ended up collecting dust pretty quickly. In that sense, it seems not a lot has changed over the past thirty years.

Winamp to “open up” its source code

Winamp has announced that on 24 September 2024, the application’s source code will be open to developers worldwide.

Winamp will open up its code for the player used on Windows, enabling the entire community to participate in its development. This is an invitation to global collaboration, where developers worldwide can contribute their expertise, ideas, and passion to help this iconic software evolve.

↫ Winamp press release

Nice, I guess, but twenty years to late to be of any relevance. At least it’ll be great for software preservation.

But what’s up with the odd language used in the press release, and the weirdly specific date that’s month from now? They really seem to want to avoid the term “open source”, which makes me think this is going to be one of those cases where they hope the community will work for them for free without actually using a real open source license. You know, those schemes that always – no exception – fail.

The X Window System and the curse of NumLock

Ordinary modifiers are normally straightforward, in that they are additional keys that are held down as you type the main key. Control, Shift, and Alt all work this way (by default). However, some modifiers are ‘sticky’, where you tap their key once to turn them on and then tap their key again to turn them off. The obvious example of this is Caps Lock (unless you turn its effects off, remapping its physical key to be, say, another Ctrl key). Another example, one that many X users have historically wound up quietly cursing, is NumLock. Why people wind up cursing NumLock, and why I have a program to control its state, is because of how X programs (such as window managers) often do their key and mouse button bindings.

↫ Chris Siebenmann

I always have an applet in my KDE panel that shows me if I have any sticky modifiers enabled without realising it. On some of my keyboards, this isn’t always easily noticable, especially when you’re focused on what’s happening on your display. A little icon that only shows up when a sticky modifier is engaged solves this problem, as it immediately stands out in your peripheral vision.

Qualcomm details Linux on Snapdragon X Elite, and it’s looking surprisingly good

With Qualcomm and Microsoft about to flood the market with devices using the new Snapdragon X Elite, those of us who don’t want to use Windows felt a bit uneasy – what’s Linux support going to look like for this new generation of ARM devices? Well, it seems Qualcomm’s been busy, and they’ve published a blog post detailing their work on Linux support for the X Elite.

It’s been our priority not only to support Linux on our premium-tier SoCs, but to support it pronto. In fact, within one or two days of publicly announcing each generation of Snapdragon 8, we’ve posted the initial patchset for Linux kernel support. Snapdragon X Elite was no exception: we announced on October 23 of last year and posted the patchset the next day. That was the result of a lot of pre-announcement work to get everything up and running on Linux and Debian.

↫ Qualcomm’s developer blog

In the blog post, the company details exactly which X Elite features have already been merged into mainline with Linux 6.8 and 6.9, as well as which features will be merged into mainline in Linux 6.10 and 6.11, and to be quite frank – it’s looking really solid, especially considering this is Qualcomm we’re talking about. Over the coming six months, they’re going to focus on getting end-to-end hardware video decoding working, including in Firefox and Chrome, as well as various CPU and GPU optimisations, adding the required firmware to the linux-firmware package, and providing access to easy installers.

All in all, it’s looking like the X Elite will be exceptionally well supported by Linux before the year’s over.

The blog post also details the boot path for Linux on the X Elite, and that, too, is looking good. It’s using a standard UEFI boot process, and supports GRUB and systemd-boot out of the box. Linux boots up using devicetrees, though, and apparently, there’s a known problem with using those that Qualcomm and the community are working on.

We’re working closely with upstream communities on an open problem with the UEFI-based BIOS while booting with devicetrees. The problem is that, when you have more than one devicetree blob (DTB) packed into the firmware package flashed on the device, there is no standard way of selecting a devicetree to pass on to the kernel. OEMs commonly put multiple DTBs into the firmware package so it will support devices with slightly different SKUs, so we’re keen to solve this problem.

↫ Qualcomm’s developer blog

I am pleasantly surprised by the openness and straightforwardness Qualcomm is showing the Linux community here, and I really hope this is a sign of how the company will keep supporting its laptop and possibly desktop-oriented SoCs from here on out. It seems like next year we will finally be getting competitive ARM laptops that can run Linux in a fully supported fashion.

Android 15 beta 2 released

Google released Android 15 beta 2 today, and with it, they unveiled some more of the new features coming to Android later this year when the final release lands. Android 15 comes with something called a private space, an area with an extra layer of authentication where you can keep applications and data hidden away, such as banking applications or health data. It’s effectively a separate user profile, and shows up as a separate area in the application drawer when unlocked. When locked, it disappears entirely from sight, share sheets, and so on.

Another awesome new feature is Theft Detection Lock, which uses Google “AI” to detect when a phone is snatched out of your hands by someone running, biking, or driving away, and instantly locks it. Theft like this is quite common in certain areas, and this seems like an excellent use of “AI” (i.e., accelerometer data) to discourage thieves from trying this.

There’s also a bunch of smaller stuff, like custom vibration patterns per notification, giving applications partial access to only your most recent photos and videos, system-wide preferences for which gender you’d like to be addressed as in gendered languages (French gets this feature first), and a whole lot more.

Developers also get a lot to play with here, from safer intents to something like ANGLE:

Vulkan is Android’s preferred interface to the GPU. Therefore, Android 15 includes ANGLE as an optional layer for running OpenGL ES on top of Vulkan. Moving to ANGLE will standardize the Android OpenGL implementation for improved compatibility, and, in some cases, improved performance. You can test out your OpenGL ES app stability and performance with ANGLE by enabling the developer option in Settings -> System -> Developer Options -> Experimental: Enable ANGLE on Android 15.

↫ Android developer blog

You can install Android 15 beta 2 on a number f Pixel devices and devices from other OEMs starting today. I installed it on my Pixel 8 Pro, and after a few hours I haven’t really noticed anything breaking, but that’s really not enough time to make any meaningful observations.

Google also detailed Wear OS 5.

Later this year, battery life optimizations are coming to watches with Wear OS 5. For example, running an outdoor marathon will consume up to 20% less power when compared to watches with Wear OS 4. And your fitness apps will be able to help improve your performance with the option to support more data types like ground contact time, stride length and vertical oscillation.

↫ Android developer blog

Wear OS 5 will also improve the Watch Face Format with more complications, which is very welcome, because the selection of complications is currently rather meager. Wear OS 5 will also ship later this year.

Raspberry Pi officially announces intent to IPO

As expected earlier this year, Raspberry Pi is going public on the stock exchange in London. Back then, CEO Eben Upton said he did not expect the IPO to change how Raspberry Pi did things, but history tells us that initial public offerings tend to, well, change how companies do things. In their official announcement that they intend to hold an IPO, there’s an incredibly interesting and telling contradiction, as noted by @yassie_j on MastoAkkoma:

Raspberry Pi, in their listing press release, says: The Enthusiast and Education market is the “heart” of the Raspberry Pi movement.

But also says: Industrial and Embedded market […] accounts [for] over 72 per cent

So the heart seems to be going neglected, it seems, because there’s no way you’re going to not cash in on industrial applications. Especially when you’ve just done a big IPO.

↫ @yassie_j on Akkoma

This exactly illustrates the fears we all have about what an IPO is going to mean for Raspberry Pi. It’s already become increasingly more difficult for enthusiasts to get their hands on the latest Raspberry Pi models, but once the IPO’s done and there’s shareholders breathing down their neck, that will most likely only get worse. If the industrial and embedded market is where you’re making most of your money, where do you think Raspberry Pi devices are going to end up?

Luckily the market’s a lot bigger and more varied now than it was back when Raspberry Pi was new, so we have a wide variety of options to choose from. Still, I’m definitely worried about what Raspberry Pi, as a company, will look like five, ten years from now.