It has long been known that in addition to the N900 port of Firefox (released just 49 days ago) Mozilla have been targeting Windows Mobile, drawing ever nearer to a release. They have now decided to put the port on hold, following the news of Windows Phone 7 Series at MIX (and what that holds for Windows Mobile 6.5). "While we think Windows Phone 7 looks interesting and has the potential to do well in the market, Microsoft has unfortunately decided to close off development to native applications. Because of this, we won't be able to provide Firefox for Windows Phone 7 at this time. Given that Microsoft is staking their future in mobile on Windows Mobile 7 (not 6.5) and because we don't know if or when Microsoft will release a native development kit, we are putting our Windows Mobile development on hold."
So have you actually read the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement? The EFF, using a freedom of information act to shrewdly get a copy legally off of NASA, look into the details and don't like what they find. As well as trying to prevent anybody from so much as mentioning the existence of these terms, Apple owe you no more than $50 if they sink your company by removing your apps for any reason they so please. It makes for scary reading, that is--if you think the terms are enforceable in court. I hope to see this very thing challenged as soon as possible.
Fabien "Fab" Coeurjoly has released Origyn Web Browser 1.7 for MorphOS. HTML5 video and audio is provided through FFMpeg, supporting a wide range of codecs (Ogg/Theora/Vorbis, MPEG4, H264, AAC, MP3, Wav). Highlights of the change log follow.
BBC News reports "Mark your diaries for 4 March because in Denver the funeral arrangements are well underway for the planned passing that day of Internet Explorer 6". There's a phobia of being buried alive but I think in this case, it's the living that are all too quick to be shoveling the dirt over as IE6 doesn't officially die until 2014 when Microsoft pull the life-support.
"Normally, the story would end there; you'd RMA the material, get an exchange for the lot, and move on. Except there were a couple of problems. So I kicked into forensic mode. Very low serial numbers are a hallmark of the "ghost shift", i.e. the shift that happens very late at night when a rouge worker enters the factory and runs the production machine off the books." A fascinating in-depth peek into the grey-market of China.
Be prepared for choice to be thrust before you, the Microsoft browser ballot arrives in Europe around the 1st of March. It will also be available in Windows Update as an optional install for interested users to test next week. Microsoft have included screenshots of the process. Via BBC News
BBC News reports that the US and European regulators (yes, the same EC that slapped MS with a EUR900M fine) have approved the deal that will see Microsoft control Yahoo's search and advertising business. This will mean that one of the first, great search engines (there was a time before Google) will now be powered by johnny-come-lately Bing.
We fought you off for as long as possible, but in the end we had to give in :) What decided it was that OSnews is not a mainstream source of news like Engadget or even sites where they actually employ people, we are not an entity like AOL that fails to grasp the reality of the web today and the issues surrounding the technology landscape. We have the technical background, and the community to boot to know that when we criticise others, we had better be doing the right thing ourselves. Get the feed here.
BBC News reports: Google has begun to phase out support for Internet Explorer 6, the browser identified as the weak link in a "sophisticated and targeted" cyber attack on the search engine. The firm said from 1 March some of its services, such as Google Docs, would not work "properly" with the browser. It recommended individuals and firms upgrade "as soon as possible".
Wolfire writes: "Today, Apple announced the new iPad and humbly claimed that there will be a "gold rush" of native apps for the App Store. Sure, but what I find more interesting is that Apple also ironically created the most promising open web app platform, which may eventually undermine the App Store itself. The iPad is the first mainstream device which combines all of the following factors: reasonably powerful hardware, a (potentially) huge user base, a mature WebKit implementation, and constant 3G internet capabilities. All the dominoes are in place, and I think that the iPad will knock the first one down."
Independent game company Wolfire write why you should use OpenGL and not DirectX. The article goes over a brief history and the standard and Microsoft's tactics with DirectX, and what this really means for developers. DirectX keeps games on Windows, and that's not a good thing--over half of the users for one of their games are not on Windows. The fact is that Microsoft will have you believe that DirectX is the better choice for gaming, but OpenGL has always had the best features, first, and in a consistent and transparent way. I'm particularly interested in the last couple of paragraphs where WebGL is mentioned because this is gaining traction with browser vendors and it would go directly against Microsoft's grain for them to implement it in IE--as they should. Will we see yet another generation of Microsoft ignoring the standards and going their own way with a 'WebDirectX'?
HTML5 Video is coming to Opera 10.5. Yesterday (or technically, last year--happy new year readers!) Opera released a new alpha build containing a preview of their HTML5 Video support. There's a number of details to note, not least that this is still an early alpha...
BetaNews writes: "Microsoft executives and product managers -- Chairman Bill Gates, above all of them -- showed great technology vision for the new millennium. The company was right about so many trends to come but, sadly, executed poorly in bringing too many of them to market. Microsoft's stiffness, perhaps a sign of its aging leadership, consistently proved its foible. Then there is arcane organizational structure, which has swelled with needless middle managers, and the system of group competition".
"Google is one of the biggest companies supporting OpenSource movement, they released more than 500 open source projects (most of them are samples showing how to use their API). In this article I will try to write about most interesting and free releases from Google, some of them might be abandoned." Via NewsYCombinator.
At the end of the year, mainly to shamelessly fill slow news around the holidays, OSNews usually asks the readers to share with all the other readers something about their computer setup. Since OSNews can be quite diverse when it comes to computing environments, these threads can often be quite interesting. This year, please chime in with the setup you use to read OSNews - computer, OS, software and maybe even provide screenshots or photos of your proud workspace. Has it changed a lot this year? Maybe switched browser, maybe switched OS even? Let everybody know!
This is old news, but only just crossed my radar! Opera have made available a pre-alpha version of Opera 10.5. There's a massive amount of change under the hood, and I caught wind via taranfx.com.
From Free Software Magazine: "Google promises a much needed shift in the way small computers work. Problems like software updates, backups, installation, maintenance, viruses, have plagued the world for too long: a shift is way overdue. To me, however, the change about to happen shows us what many people have refused to believe for a long time: KDE and GNOME shot each other dead."
Jacob Moller*, founder and CEO of Kiloo, the maker of the Commodore 64 emulator in the Apple App Store has kindly answered a few of my questions regarding App Store controversies, and most importantly, porting to other platforms and future projects.