Kroc Archive

Has Microsoft Missed the Boat With Mobile?

Sometime ago I conjectured that Microsoft made certain changes to IE8 to force web standards forward and drop backwards compatibility as default (a very un-Microsoft move) because of the need for the web to break out of the blinkered IE6 / Desktop-Browser view of content otherwise Microsoft would find itself unable to compete in the mobile space. It's been over a year since that article and in such a short period of time it has become ever clearer that Microsoft's mobile offerings, and their overall mobile platform strategy are failing against the dominant iPhone, the newcomer Android, and a re-invigorated Palm with WebOS.

Ubuntu Report Card (2009)

"For the last 12 months, I have used Ubuntu 8.04, 8.10, and 9.04 as my primary OSes. I remain a very happy Linux convert, but I worry that Ubuntu is being unevenly developed. Certain areas have seen great improvements over the last 12 months, while other areas have languished or been largely ignored. The purpose of this article is not to whine or rant, but to bring some perspective to the evolution (or lack thereof) that Ubuntu has experienced between versions 8.04 and 9.04."

Next Mac Office Due Late 2010 With Outlook

"Microsoft announced Thursday that the next edition of Microsoft Office for Mac will be released in late 2010. The new edition of the venerable office suite will include Outlook for Mac, a new application that will replace Entourage." Whilst the new Outlook:Mac will not offer feature parity with the Window version, it will be written in Cocoa and feature tighter integration with OS X including Spotlight. My Take: So it only took Apple integrating Exchange support into OS X for Microsoft to finally 'fix' the abomination that is Entourage.

Audio Recording in the Browser

"I'm really excited to announce a new feature in Jetpack 0.4 -- Audio Recording. 'Jetpacks' can now access the microphone with just a few simple lines of Javascript The result is an audio file encoded in Ogg/Vorbis, which you can then playback, or if you choose to upload the file to a remote location". A while ago we discussed Jetpack (and Google's) HTML / JavaScript based browser extensions. Now the ante has been upped, with such creativity as URL-based voice memos!

The Snow Clock

"Snow days are great, but generally you still have to wake up to find out if it is a snow day. decided to make a system to solve this problem. He made an alarm clock that would automatically de activate if school is cancelled. What a pleasant surprise it would be to just wake up and find that you had been allowed to sleep in. It is using an Arduino and a python script to control the state of the alarm based off of an online school closing announcement. You can download the software from the instructable." Via Hack-a-Day

Mozilla Uses Video for Everybdody, Publishes Non-JS Example

Last week, OSNews reported on a letter I had wrote to Mozilla complaining of a JavaScript dependant HTML5 video example they had published. The letter caused a great deal of stir and Mozilla have replied by publishing a new example that does not rely upon JavaScript to see the video. Secondly, Mozilla have actually used Video for Everybody for their "What's new in Firefox 3.5" page! A big win for HTML5 video across the web!

What Old Software Do You Still Use?

Software moves on at a break-neck pace these days--version numbers clock up ever quicker as vendors try to market their apps as the latest and greatest. Software generally ages badly, falling into a state of looking grossly out of date, lacking new functionality that we've come to depend upon as well as compatibility problems. Dear OSNews readers, what old software (5+ years) do you still use, why, and what problems do you come across in sticking with it? Read More for my own contribution to the list

Opera 10 Beta

Opera have announced the release of Opera 10 beta. New engine, new features, but I'm more concerned about where Opera 10 fits into Opera's history, and certainly their future. Opera have never made any massive strides in marketshare and is Opera 10 really going to change any of that? Read More to find out.

Opera 10 Beta Is Out

Opera have announced the general availability of Opera 10 beta. Opera 10 includes an improved rendering engine Presto v2.2. The beta adds a new default skin and a couple of new features, notably "Turbo", a proxy compressor for dial-up users, and tab previews. The result? Complete fail. Read More for why and a quick screenshot tour. addendum: As an apology to the community for the reckless and inadequate review I will be doing it again, properly, taking into consideration your fine comments.

Interview: Plamen Dragozov Re: Cross-Platform at PopCap

We are glad to present an exclusive interview with Plamen Dragozov--Director of Engineering at PopCap's mobile studio in Dublin, Ireland. "OSNews prides itself on (trying to) cover the diversity of operating systems, and so whilst we rarely cover games, we have approached you to discuss not so much the games themselves, as the technical challenges you go through bringing your games to a wide range of platforms". Read More for the full scoop.

BBC: History of Home Computing Special

Let's get thoroughly British! What what. Digital Planet, BBC's technology podcast walks through the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park (Home to code-cracking Station-X during WWII), taking a simultaneous trip down memory lane discussing the general history of home computing. The podcast also talks to "Pixelh8" a chip-tune composer who has put together "Obsolete?" 'composed using some of the oldest and rarest computers in the world such as the WWII code-breaking machine Colossus Mark 2 Rebuild'.

Mozilla and Google Announce HTML-Based Extensions

It appears that great minds think alike (or in the case of open-source software and the close-ties between Google and Mozilla, share-alike). Within a week of each other both Mozilla and Google have announced new initiatives to allow for extensions to their browsers to be written using regular HTML / JavaScript and CSS, greatly lowering the bar for developers to join in. Strap on your Mozilla Jetpack and take a peek at extensions for Chrome.

The History of OS Migration

"Operating system vendors face this problem once or twice a decade: They need to migrate their user base from their old operating system to their very different new one, or they need to switch from one CPU architecture to another one, and they want to enable users to run old applications unmodified, and help developers port their applications to the new OS. Let us look at how this has been done in the last 3 decades, looking at DOS/Windows, Macintosh, Amiga and Palm."

UK Government Backs Open Source

The UK Government has said it will accelerate the use of open source software in public services. Open source software will be adopted "when it delivers best value for money", the government said. It added that public services should where possible avoid being "locked into proprietary software". Kroc says: Very welcome, but let's believe it when we see it, the UK is famous for failed IT projects. You can start by removing the DRM from iPlayer.

Safari 4 Beta: Apple Leap-Frog Google

Apple released the Safari 4 Beta today. Features: Tabs on top. "Top Sites" 'Speed Dial' feature. "Smart" address/search fields. HTML5 Canvas. HTML5 Audio/Video (though no Ogg). Acid 3. CSS Animation/Gradients/Masks/Reflection. CSS Web Fonts. New "Nitro" Javascript engine - "Up to 4 times faster than Firefox 3.1". 'Native' look and native font rendering on Windows Vista/XP. I can think of only one thing: "Now witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational battle station!"

Mozilla Labs: Introducing Bespin

Bespin is an experimental in-browser text/source-editor created by Mozilla Labs. Using any modern web browser (that means no IE, obviously), you can edit your projects from any computer, or with the added flexibility of the web - such as online collaboration, decentralisation, and extensibility. Read more for Kroc's review.