David Adams Archive

OSNews’ Support for Konfabulator on OS X and Mobile Devices

There's a cool little app called Konfabulator for Mac OS X that allows you to display, build, and modify little "widgets" for your desktop, like the weather, a clock, or the OSNews top stories, updated continuously! Screenshot here. Thanks to Adam Pearson for the source sample. Additionally, we added support for a truckload of mobile devices and we would need your help testing them.

The OSNews Powerbook Wars: Continued — Dave’s Review

We've had quite the Powerbook-fest here on OS News over the past few days. I also ordered a 12" Powerbook, and I would have received it several days before Eugenia if Airborne hadn't sent it to the wrong state and then lost it somewhere between Ohio and my house. But it finally arrived, and mine is the hot commodity, a 12" Powerbook with Superdrive (DVD Burner), 640 MB RAM, Airport Extreme (802.11g), and a 60 gig HD. My impression is a little different than Eugenia's and I'm approaching from a different angle.

NEC and Samsung Plan for New, Smaller Devices

NEC and Samsung, two Asian electronics giants, have each announced new hardware components that will help them make smaller, cheaper, and more-functional devices, particularly, "smart" mobile phones. NEC has developed a new small display with a serial interface that requires fewer connecting wires and uses less power than older displays. Samsung has designed a small chip that contains a 206 MHz ARM920T processor core, 32MB of NAND flash memory, and 32MB of SDRAM on a chip measuring .7" square and .05" thick. Read more at PC World.

FOSDEM Publishes Interviews with OSS Luminaries

In preparation for the Free and Open Source Software Developers' Meeting (FOSDEM), to be held in Brussels next week, the event organizers have published interviews with several people who will be speaking at the conference. This week, they interviewed Jon Maddog Hall, who discusses Linux and the role of Linux International, and Havoc Pennington, who covers free standards and platform interoperability.

Gates Reports on Progress in “Trustworthy Computing”

In a Microsoft mailing list posting sent yesterday, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates reports that the company is making progress on its initiative to make its products more secure, though he also notes that the demand for security has risen since Microsoft began the initiative. New versions of Windows Server 2003, SQL Server, and Exchange Server will have all passed the new, more stringent, testing, and users will notice that vulnerable services will be turned off by default. Gates also promoted the use of smart cards for authentication in the email. Read more in this PC World article.

Sneak Peek: Second Update to Solaris 9

We spoke with Bill Moffitt, Product Line Manager for Solaris at Sun Microsystems. The second update to Solaris, called Solaris 9 12/02, was released this month. (Sun puts the month and year of the release date after the version number. Apparently, it was "released" in December, but don't ask why it was only made available a few days ago). In addition to bug fixes and updates that you would expect in a release like this, Sun has included a couple of big extras for capability and performance.

Excuse Me While I Reboot My Dishwasher

An article in Baseline covers the increasing reliance that everyday appliances have on complex software, and the potentially disastrous results when that software fails. One prominent example of this is the BMW 745i, which has a sort of uber-control joystick that controls a WindowsCE-based system. This system was so buggy that BMW has done two recalls. The software was too ambitious and too poorly tested, so things like the brake lights not working and the units suddenly changing to metric are the result.

Linux World Opens In New York

A ZDNet article covering the opening of the Linux World trade show also has a thorough "state of Linux business" overview. Some highlights: Big firms like HP, IBM, and Microsoft(!) will have a big presence; it seems like Linux willl continue its rapid rise in adoption, though it will still be difficult for firms to make the huge profits that companies like Microsoft have made because Linux resists lock-in; enterprise software vendors like BEA will continue to support Linux; and hardware vendors are embracing it more.

Handspring Courts RIM

Infoworld is reporting that Handspring, who has been an exclusive Palm OS licensee, is interested in the RIM email software. The RIM Blackberry devices have proven very popular among business users, but the Blackberry units have limited PDA capabilities. Palm-based wireless messaging devices have been less popular. Presumably, Handspring is interested in producing a "best of both worlds" solution.

Inside the Intel Compiler

The folks at Linux Journal used a time machine to post an article from the future about Intel's compiler for Linux, and specifically about the optimizations they used to beat gcc on benchmarks. The increasing acceptance of Linux among developers and researchers has yet to be matched by a similar increase in the number of available development tools. The recently released Intel C++ and Fortran compilers for Linux aim to bridge this gap by providing application developers with highly optimizable compilers for the Intel IA-32 and Itanium processor families.

Linux in Mobile Phones

In more Linux consumer electronics news, Computerworld has a short article outlining the latest inroads that the open source OS is making in the already crowded phone-OS space.  NEC Corp. said today that it's working on the development of Linux-based cell phones with MontaVista Software Inc., and an executive of the Sunnyvale, Calif., software company said it's in talks with other major cellular handset makers on similar projects.

X11 For Mac OS X Released

Apple is starting to promote its public beta of X11 for OS X: "X11 for Mac OS X offers a complete X Window System implementation for running X11-based applications on Mac OS X. Based on the de facto-standard for X11, the open source XFree86 project, X11 for Mac OS X is compatible, fast and fully integrated with Mac OS X . . . Native Aqua and X11 applications run side by side on the Mac OS X desktop. You can cut and paste between X11 and Aqua windows."

Linux In Consumer Electronics

ZDNet is running an article that coincides with the big consumer electonics show in Las Vegas that highlights the use of Linux in electronic (non-computer) devices. Monta Vista is the vendor that has been most successful in selling its version of "embedded" Linux into devices, and they're set to release a new version especially for consumer electronics. The article gives a good background on Linux' adoption in the consumer space, in places where people don't know, and don't care, what OS their gadget is running.

Apple Announces New Browser

Steve Jobs just announced in his Macworld Keynote that Apple is releasing its own browser, called Safari. Its claim to fame is extremely fast performance on the Mac. The Mac platform has struggled from sluggish browser performance with IE (the old default browser). Update: According to Jobs, Safari is open source and based on khtml. It only runs on Mac OS X and will be available for download today.