Mozilla plans to establish an automated process which would verify that binaries contain only the code found in the official source repositories, and not spyware secretly added during the build process at the behest of government intelligence agencies. In a blog post entitled Trust but Verify, CTO Brendan Eich and R&D VP Andreas Gal note that governments "may force service operators to enable surveillance (something that seems to have happened in the Lavabit case)" and pledge to develop systems which will make Firefox resistant to this form of tampering.
Stefano Mosconi (CTO of Jolla) gives a review of the past year, talking about decisions and developments in the company such as changing the SoC manufacturer for their first handset, switching to Wayland with Qt5 for Sailfish and opening their Web store and co-creation site.
The road was extremely tough and still we managed to deliver a product to the market in time. We focused on quality and stability rather than on number of features and we committed to our customers to listen to them and support the phone so it will remain valuable, relevant and well performing. We did this in about 100 guys and girls: we built an OS, an app store, a product, logistic and sales channels, online collaboration tool, SDK and developer intake.
The findings, published in Nature, are probably best described as "mind blowing." Devices with this level of complexity were not seen again for almost 1,500 years, and the Antikythera mechanism's compactness actually bests the later designs. Probably built around 150 B.C., the Antikythera mechanism can perform a number of functions just by turning a crank on the side.
In a blog post from Haiku developer Pawel Dziepak he describes the work he has been doing on improving processor support. Most notably removing the 8 processor limit. From the blog post:
The main scheduler logic has been completed and now I am concentrating mainly on bug fixes, adjusting tunables and some minor improvements. I also removed gSchedulerLock, a spinlock I mentioned in my last post, and replaced it with more fine grained locking. An new interfaces for cpufreq and cpuidle modules has been created together with a cpufreq module for Intel Sandy Bridge or newer cores and cpuidle module for all processors that support C-states and invariant TSC. Furthermore, IRQs (including MSI) can be now directed to an arbitrary logical processor. Implementation of inter-processor interrupts has been improved so that it avoids acquiring any lock if it is not necessary and supports multicast interrupts. And, last but not least, 8 processor limit has been removed.
A new demo live CD of eComStation 2.2 beta, the evolution of OS/2 Warp, is now available. The new live demo CD (beta 5) can be downloaded after a free registration from the eComStation site. There is some discussion about it on the OS2World.com forum.
The Genode project has released version 13.11 of their OS framework. This time, the focus lies on exploring new ways for bringing existing protocol stacks to the Genode world. FUSE-based file systems and the Linux TCP/IP stack have become available as user-level libraries, and the improved Qt5 port covers QML. Hardware-wise, the new version extends the support for Exynos-5, Raspberry Pi, and ARM TrustZone.
With the release cycle of version 13.11, the Genode developers took the chance to explore plenty of experimental features across the whole software stack.
The Contiki operating system, known for its super-slim IPv6 stack, has been updated to version 2.7 with support for new Systems-on-a-Chip: single-chip devices with a microprocessor and an integrated 2.4 GHz radio. This new version has a much strengthened IPv6 wireless mesh networking setup that allows a bunch of chips to autonomously form wireless networks that can be connected directly to the Internet.
Efforts to reboot one of the oldest surviving mass-produced computers are under way in Milton Keynes.
The National Museum of Computing has taken delivery of what it believes is the last ICT 1301 computer to ever have a chance of working again.
This wasn't Grignon's typical route to work. He was a senior engineer at Apple in Cupertino, the town just west of Campbell. His morning drive typically covered seven miles and took exactly 15 minutes. But today was different. He was going to watch his boss, Steve Jobs, make history at the Macworld trade show in San Francisco. Apple fans had for years begged Jobs to put a cellphone inside their iPods so they could stop carrying two devices in their pockets. Jobs was about to fulfill that wish. Grignon and some colleagues would spend the night at a nearby hotel, and around 10 a.m. the following day they - along with the rest of the world - would watch Jobs unveil the first iPhone.
According to a recent article on dot.kde.org, work is proceeding well on the modularization of KDElibs. Instead of being one large static library, KDElibs is being divided into a multi-tiered module system that consists of three framework categories.
These modules will be able to be used by any Qt application without the need to pull in unneeded code as was often the case with version 4 of KDElibs. This change from one large library to a set of smaller but interlinked modules has necessitated a name change from KDE Platform to KDE Frameworks for this aspect of the larger KDE Project.
From the article:
The Frameworks can be divided into three categories:
Functional elements have no runtime dependencies. For example, KArchive handles compression and decompression for many archive formats transparently and can be used as a drop-in library.
Integration designates code that requires runtime dependencies for integration depending on what the OS or platform offers. For example, Solid supplies information on available hardware features and may require runtime components to deliver some of the data on some platforms.
Solutions have mandatory runtime dependencies. For example, KIO (KDE Input/Output) offers a network-transparent virtual filesystem that lets users browse and edit files as if they were local, no matter where they are physically stored. And KIO requires kioslave daemons to function.
Modules may be written in such a way that they require only limited tiers of dependency chains. This should allow Qt application creators to use only the aspects of KDE that they find useful for their application. This modularization will allow for leaner, cleaner code and opens KDE technology to many more platforms than was previously practical; especially in the embedded and mobile markets.
If you would like to know more about the work on KDE Frameworks 5 the KDE.org article offers many useful links; including work with upstream, a roadmap, and current progress.
I've been a big fan of FreeBSD since I first acquired 4.4 on 4 CDs. By that point, I had already spent a lot of time in Linux, but I was always put off by its instability and inconsistency. Once I had FreeBSD installed, it felt like a dream. Everything worked the way it was supposed to, and the consistency of its design meant even older documentation would be mostly applicable without having to figure out how my system was different. There is a reason why in the early days of the Internet, a huge portion of servers ran FreeBSD.
But, that was a while ago. Since then, Linux has matured greatly and has garnered a lot of momentum, becoming the dominant Unix platform. FreeBSD certainly hasn't stood still, however. The FreeBSD team has kept current with hardware support, new features, and a modern, performant design.
Well, allow me to introduce to you an entirely unique and unconventional Database model - NoSQL.