The “surround screen” on the Alpha wraps entirely around the device to the point where it meets the camera module on the other side. The effect is of a phone that’s almost completely made of screen, with status icons like network signal and battery charge level displayed on the side. Pressure-sensitive volume buttons are also shown on the side of the phone. Xiaomi is claiming more than 180 percent screen-to-body ratio, a stat that no longer makes any sense to cite at all. Settings aside the obvious usability concerns associated with this design, I do have to say I can barely believe technology like this is now entering the market. This was the kind of stuff confined to science fiction not too long ago.
Thom Holwerda Archive
John Stanley Ford, my father, was the first black software engineer in America, hired by IBM in 1946. Passed over for promotions, discriminated against in pay, with many inside IBM working to ensure his failure, he still viewed his job as an opportunity of a lifetime. He refused to give up. Minority underrepresentation in high tech has been present since the earliest days of the industry. In reflecting upon my father’s career for a new memoir I wrote about him, I saw important lessons about the history and nature of racism in high tech, and about the steps that corporations and individuals can take to bring about much-needed change. An important and fascinating story – especially since it involves IBM, a company with a long and deep roots in racism, eugenics, and genocide.
xv6 is a re-implementation of Dennis Ritchie’s and Ken Thompson’s Unix Version 6 (v6). xv6 loosely follows the structure and style of v6, but is implemented for a modern RISC-V multiprocessor using ANSI C. Exactly what it says on the tin. It runs on Qemu’s RISC-V target.
We’re excited to announce the release of .NET Core 3.0. It includes many improvements, including adding Windows Forms and WPF, adding new JSON APIs, support for ARM64 and improving performance across the board. C# 8 is also part of this release, which includes nullable, async streams, and more patterns. F# 4.7 is included, and focused on relaxing syntax and targeting .NET Standard 2.0. You can start updating existing projects to target .NET Core 3.0 today. The release is compatible with previous versions, making updating easy.
EasyOS is designed from scratch to support containers. Any app can run in a container, in fact an entire desktop can run in a container. Container management is by a simple GUI, no messing around on the commandline. The container mechanism is named Easy Containers, and is designed from scratch (Docker, LXC, etc are not used). Easy Containers are extremely efficient, with almost no overhead — the base size of each container is only several KB. This is just one of the details of EasyOS, an experimental Linux distribution that really does things differently.
Full video of what shows a Nokia feature phone running Android 8.1 has now emerged. The unknown Nokia feature phone prototype is not running KaiOS and rather one can clearly notice Android 8.1 mentioned in the system settings. It wouldn’t surprise me if Google did indeed have plans to shoehorn Android into feature phones, only to realise it made more sense to just invest in KaiOS instead. I don’t think this Nokia phone is more than an old prototype.
Something atypical for Apple is iOS 13’s notably buggy rollout. Since June, when Apple hosted its annual WWDC software shindig, the company has been releasing developer and public beta versions of its new OS for iPhones. This is usually a fertile time for communities of early users to share notes about their experiences online, and provide useful feedback to Apple on how the software works. This year, some developers say they’re surprised by what feels like a scattershot release. “iOS 13 has felt like a super-messy release, something we haven’t seen this bad since iOS 8 or so,” Steve Troughton-Smith, an app and game developer, tweeted earlier this week. Troughton-Smith frequently blogs about his experiences coding for Apple platforms. “Definitely needs a lengthy period of consolidation and bug fixing,” he says of the new mobile OS. Virtually everyone who’s been testing iOS 13 seems to advise waiting for 13.1. Regardless, it’s iOS/iPadOS release time, which means Federico Viticci’s must-read review has been published. It’s an insanely long read this year, so grab a few coffees and enjoy his excellent work.
This release is the result of the LLVM community’s work over the past six months (up to trunk r366426 plus commits on the branch). Some highlights include: – Support for asm goto, enabling for example the mainline Linux kernel for x86_64 to build with Clang – The RISCV-V target is no longer experimental, but built by default – Experimental support for C++ for OpenCL As well as many bug fixes, optimizations, and diagnostics improvements. Read the release notes for the detailed information.
Obviously, the most notable aspect of the Chinese-made handset is the distinct lack of official access to Google apps and services. This is the first flagship to be released by Huawei since being blacklisted by the US government, therefore it is the first new release to explicitly come without access to common Google Play Services. Side-loading these services is likely to be possible but it is unclear just how this will be possible for most non-techie buyers. The Huawei Mate 30 Pro does come EMUI 10, which is based upon the recently released Android 10. Although, as expected, this build does not come with any Google apps. It will be interesting to see how well this handset will perform outside of China. I have my sincerest doubts.
Thomas Bushnell (?): But I’ll give you a personal take. By my reckoning, I worked for RMS longer than any other programmer. There has been some bad reporting, and that’s a problem. While I have not waded through the entire email thread Selam G. has posted, my reaction was that RMS did not defend Epstein, and did not say that the victim in this case was acting voluntarily. But it’s not the most important problem. It’s not remotely close to being the most important problem. Add to all this RMS’s background of having defended the idea of adults having sex with minors under some circumstances, and people’s visceral and sharp reaction was entirely sensible. I was around for most of the 90s, and I can confirm the unfortunate reality that RMS’s behavior was a concern at the time, and that this protection was itself part of the problem. He was never held to account; he was himself coddled in his own lower-grade misbehavior and mistreatment of women. He made the place uncomfortable for a lot of people, and especially women. The end result here, while sad for him, is correct.
Karl Bode at Techdirt: But we’ve also noted that, ironically, the glut of video choices–more specifically the glut of streaming exclusivity silos–risks driving users back to piracy. Studies predict that every broadcaster and their uncle will have launched their own direct-to-consumer streaming platform by 2022. Most of these companies are understandably keen on locking their own content behind exclusivity paywalls, whether that’s HBO Now’s Game of Thrones, or CBS All Access’s Stark Trek: Discovery. But as consumers are forced to pay for more and more subscriptions to get all of the content they’re looking for, they’re not only getting frustrated by the growing costs (defeating the whole point of cutting the cord), they’re frustrated by the experience of having to hunt and peck through an endlessly shifting sea of exclusivity arrangements and licensing deals that make it difficult to track where your favorite show or film resides this month. With all kinds of series and IPs moving around from company to company these days, it’s getting impossible to keep track of where and how to watch both new and old series. It used to be quite simple – Netflix and your local streaming service for us Europeans – and you’d be pretty well set. Maybe add in HBO for Game of Thrones – usually one person in your group of friends had HBO here in Europe – and everything was covered. Now, though, things are rapidly falling apart in countless different silos, each at anywhere between €5-10/month, which is becoming unjustifiable. Piracy is definitely going to make a major comeback if this continues.
And today we’re excited to announce that we’re moving to a four-week release cycle! We’re adjusting our cadence to increase our agility, and bring you new features more quickly. In recent quarters, we’ve had many requests to take features to market sooner. Feature teams are increasingly working in sprints that align better with shorter release cycles. Considering these factors, it is time we changed our release cadence. I’ve been incredibly satisfied with Firefox for a long time now, and aside from a few hiccups along the way, I trust the team to handle a faster release cycle just fine.
Taneli Armanto doesn’t like to tell people he changed the world. In fact, unless you’re a family friend, I’d bet you haven’t heard of the guy. He never usually mentions his greatest achievement, but of course his kids will take any opportunity to brag about it. After all, their dad created Snake. I played so much Snake during high school.
Richard Stallman has resigned as president of and from the board of directors of the Free Software Foundation. The move comes after several reports on deeply inappropriate behaviour towards women, as well as a spirited defense of convicted child trafficker and child rapist Jeffrey Epstein. Stallman defended Marvin Minsky, an AI pioneer accused of raping one of Epstein’s trafficked children, by basically saying that since the underage child was forced by Epstein, Minsky wasn’t at fault for raping an underage child. Early in the thread, Stallman insists that the “most plausible scenario” is that Epstein’s underage victims were “entirely willing” while being trafficked. Stallman goes on to argue about the definition of “sexual assault,” “rape,” and whether they apply to Minsky and Giuffre’s deposition statement that she was forced to have sex with him. In response to a student pointing out that Giuffre was 17 when she was forced to have sex with Minsky in the Virgin Islands, Stallman said “it is morally absurd to define ‘rape’ in a way that depends on minor details such as which country it was in or whether the victim was 18 years old or 17.” Stallman has a history of defending child rape, so perhaps this shouldn’t come as a surprise. On top of all this, there’s a long list of problematic behaviour towards women. Today, a notice on the Free Software Foundation website announced his resignation, after he left MIT yesterday, too. On September 16, 2019, Richard M. Stallman, founder and president of the Free Software Foundation, resigned as president and from its board of directors. The board will be conducting a search for a new president, beginning immediately. Further details of the search will be published on fsf.org. Good riddance to bad people. We’ve always known Stallman had some seriously disturbing ideas, but I had no idea they went this far and this deep. This is for the better of the Free software community as a whole.
We’ve recently seen Linux smartphones are coming in a few weeks or months, but the $150 PinePhone may not come alone, and soon be joined by a $25 companion, namely PineTime smartwatch. That’s what we learned through a tweet by Pine64 explaining the PineTime is a Linux smartphone companion that can run FreeRTOS or Arm Mbed operating systems. It will be a side-project however, and the focus is still on PinePhone and Pinebook Pro, meaning it will take a while depending on the level of community engagement. Thanks in part due to easy access to Chinese OEMs, there’s a lot of interesting working going in building and shipping consumer-oriented devices like smartphones and smartwatches running Linux that isn’t Android – which only a few short years ago would’ve required massive funding and seemed like pipe dreams. While these devices may not be as fast or polished as an Android device or iPhone, they are starting to form a viable option for people who truly value open source.
Amazon.com has adjusted its product-search system to more prominently feature listings that are more profitable for the company, said people who worked on the project—a move, contested internally, that could favor Amazon’s own brands. Late last year, these people said, Amazon optimized the secret algorithm that ranks listings so that instead of showing customers mainly the most-relevant and best-selling listings when they search—as it had for more than a decade—the site also gives a boost to items that are more profitable for the company. Might I also point out that Amazon is cutting the healthcare benefits of Whole Foods temporary workers while Jeff Bezos earns about 1300 dollar per second? Ethics aren’t exactly high on tech companies’ agendas.
Linux 5.3 has been released. This release includes support for AMD Navi GPUs; support for the umwait x86 instructions that let processes wait for short amounts of time without spinning loops; a ‘utilization clamping’ mechanism that is used to boost interactivity on power-asymmetric CPUs used in phones; a new pidfd_open(2) system call that completes the work done to let users deal with the PID reuse problem; 16 millions of new IPv4 addresses in the 0.0.0.0/8 range are made available; support for Zhaoxin x86 CPUs; support Intel Speed Select for easier power selection in Xeon servers; and support for the lightweight hypervisor ACRN, built for embedded IoT devices. As always, many other new drivers and improvements can be found in the changelog.
On Thursday IBM unveiled their new mainframe, the z15. Overall, the z15 represents an evolutionary change over its predecessor, the z14. However, there are plenty of enhancements across the board. This goes way over my head, but it’s still immensely cool.
Eventually, that’s going to mean a single software stack common across VW Group’s vehicles—everything from the instrument displays and the infotainment to powertrain and chassis management (think traction and stability control or advanced driver assistance systems), plus a common connected car infrastructure and cloud. However, each brand will still get to develop its own UX in the same way that Porsche and Audi can build very different-looking vehicles from the same MLB Evo toolbox. They’re going to base it on Android, but without much of the Google parts because of privacy concerns (i.e., VW wants that data for itself, not share it with Google). And, as always in the car world, it will be many, many years before this initiative will make its way to VW Group’s cars – the unit won’t be fully staffed until 2025.
With the launch of the KaiOS Developer Portal, developers new to the platform have all of the tools they need to begin building and distributing apps for KaiOS. The guide can help you get a feel for things with sample code, there are instructions for setting up your development environment, and there’s an easy to set up simulator that lets you run your app virtually to ensure everything is working. KaiOS is used by more than 100 million people, so there’s definitely value in taking a look if you’re a mobile developer.