Exploring the Future of Computing
Updated: 1 hour 3 min ago
"Ilja van Sprundel, a security researcher with IOActive, has discovered a
"Google is facing a new antitrust probe by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission into whether the company is using its leadership in the online display-advertising market to illegally curb competition, people familiar with the matter said." Sucks to be Google today, apparently.
"In the midst of the major press blitz surrounding its annual I/O Conference, Google dropped some unfortunate news about its instant messaging plans. In several places around the web, the company is replacing the existing 'Talk' platform with a new one called 'Hangouts' that sharply diminishes support for the open messaging protocol known as XMPP (or sometimes informally Jabber), and also removes the option to disable the archiving of all chat communications. These changes represent a switch from open protocols to proprietary ones, and a clear step backward for many users." That's why I always say: only suckers trust companies.
"The wave of departures is a sign of internal struggle, but amidst all the bad news, there is a glimmer of hope. According to an anonymous HTC executive cited by WSJ, the crucial HTC One is selling 'pretty good so far'. The executive revealed that HTC sold about five million One units since launch, a performance that is deemed encouraging. However, sales have been limited by the persisting supply issues that still plague the production of the HTC One." Finally some good news for HTC. Five million units amidst supply constraints is very impressive.
"Sony gave the PS4 50% more raw shader performance, plain and simple (768 SPs @ 800MHz vs. 1152 SPs & 800MHz). Unlike last generation, you don't need to be some sort of Jedi to extract the PS4's potential here. The Xbox One and PS4 architectures are quite similar, Sony just has more hardware under the hood. Weâll have to wait and see how this hardware delta gets exposed in games over time, but the gap is definitely there. The funny thing about game consoles is that itâs usually the lowest common denominator that determines the bulk of the experience across all platforms. On the plus side, the Xbox One should enjoy better power/thermal characteristics compared to the PlayStation 4. Even compared to the Xbox 360 we should see improvement in many use cases thanks to modern power management techniques." AnandTech does its usual in-depth thing.
"The Verge has learned that HTC's Chief Product Officer, Kouji Kodera, left the company last week. Kodera was responsible for HTC's overall product strategy, which makes the departure especially notable on the heels of the global launch of the make-or-break One. It's not just Kodera. In the past three-odd months, HTC has lost a number of employees in rapid succession." I really hope HTC pulls it together.
"It is with huge pleasure that the Debian GNU/Hurd team announces the release of Debian GNU/Hurd 2013. This is a snapshot of Debian 'sid' at the time of the Debian 'wheezy' release (May 2013), so it is mostly based on the same sources. It is not an official Debian release, but it is an official Debian GNU/Hurd port release." Important note: 75% of Debian packages are supported bu Debian GNU/Hurd. Impressive.
"The first killer app was VisiCalc. This early spreadsheet turned the Apple II from a hobbyist toy to a business computer. VisiCalc came with room for improvement, though. In addition, a new architecture and operating system, the Intel-based IBM PC and MS-DOS, also needed a spreadsheet to be taken seriously. That spreadsheet, released in early 1983, would be Lotus 1-2-3, and it would change the world. It became the PC's killer app, and the world would never be the same. On May 14, IBM quietly announced the end of the road for 1-2-3, along with Lotus Organizer and the Lotus SmartSuite office suite. Lotus 1-2-3's day is done." Impressive 30 year run.
"There's a disconnect between how Apple CEO Tim Cook sees his company's tax strategies and how some members of the US Senate view it. That became clearer than ever today after Cook and two other Apple executives testified before Congress, explaining why they're holding most of their international income in Irish subsidiaries like Apple Operations International, which declare no tax residency anywhere in the world. AOI hasn't filed a tax return anywhere in the world for the last five years, yet it earned $30 billion in income from 2009 to 2012, according to a Senate report released yesterday." Just because something is legal, doesn't mean it's just. Apple, Google, Microsoft, and many more - these companies might not be breaking any laws, but it's obvious to anyone that what they are doing is scummy.
At an event earlier today, Microsoft unveiled the next Xbox - the third model, but confusingly named Xbox One. The big focus was TV, integrated Kinect, and all the other stuff we all expected to be forced down our throats. I think it took them 25 minutes to actually come to what should be the core of the story: gaming. Nothing groundbreaking in the gaming department, except for how Microsoft intends to handle the used games market and borrowing games from friends: pay up, buddy!
The new WebKit Opera for Android has been released. "Opera 14 for Android is built on top of Chromium 26, with a total overhaul of the UI in native code, making it fit well with the latest Android design guidelines. Go get the build from Google Play or point your browser to m.opera.com, and give it a spin!"
The Verge pointed me to a blog post by Leap Motion - which reveals how their Kinect-like motion control works with Windows 8. "From the second you plug in your Leap Motion Controller, you'll be able to browse the web and interact with your computer just by moving your hands and fingers in the air. With Leap Motion technology and Windows, you can do everything that's possible with multi-touch inputs - without actually touching anything. This also means that existing applications in Windows 7 and 8 will respond to your natural hand and finger movements. Soon, we'll show you how Leap Motion will work with Mac OS X." Quite cool.
PocketNow interviews Marc Dillon, and there's an interesting note about why Jolla is keeping the display properties under wraps: "We're leaving some of those details out because we do understand that there are a lot of really big players in the market and they tend to take certain components in the market and dominate them. We created the ability to actually be able to run Sailfish on multiple hardware displays and be able to swap components, so this is part of the demand and supply planning phase. We are committed to this industrial design which is a 4.5-inch display, an 8 megapixel camera on the back and a front-facing camera at the front, and the exact specs of the display we'll provide when we're close to delivery." Something you rarely hear anything about.
The day has finally come! Jolla has finally announced the launch device for its Sailfish operating system - and by god this is a looker. It's decidedly different from other phones out there, but it has good specifications and carries a relatively reasonably price tag - EUR 399, and it's up for pre-order today, shipping in the fourth quarter of this year.
"This is my NeXTstation Turbo Color booting the Mac System 7.1 Operating System using a hardware add-on called 'Daydream'. The Daydream has a Mac ROM and a few custom ICs in it and hooked up to the NeXTs DSP port. Turns your NeXT into a full fledged 68k powered Mac." So cool.
"The NetBSD Project is pleased to announce NetBSD 6.1, the first feature update of the NetBSD 6 release branch. It represents a selected subset of fixes deemed important for security or stability reasons, as well as new features and enhancements. Please note that all fixes in the prior security/bugfix updates (NetBSD 6.0.1 and 6.0.2) are also in 6.1."
Why does Google get so much credit in the technology industry? Why, despite the company's many obvious failings, do many geeks and enthusiasts still hold a somewhat positive view on the all-knowing technology giant? A specific talk at Google I/O this week provides the answer. Read more on this exclusive OSNews article...
"At the end of a week in which Electronic Arts confirmed it wasn't developing a thing for the Wii U, one of the software engineers in EA Sports' Canada studio, in a series of since-deleted tweets, disparaged the console as 'crap' and suggested Nintendo should give up on hardware altogether. 'The Wii U is crap. Less powerful than an Xbox 360. Poor online/store. Weird tablet', tweeted Bob Summerwill, listed as a senior software engineer at EA Canada, in a reply to a tweet posting a link about EA's no-Wii U news. 'Nintendo are walking dead at this point'." The Wii U is turning into the 21st century's Virtual Boy.
"In NixOS, the entire operating system - the kernel, applications, system packages, configuration files, and so on - is built by the Nix package manager from a description in a purely functional build language. The fact that it's purely functional essentially means that building a new configuration cannot overwrite previous configurations. Most of the other features follow from this." Interesting approach. A Linux distribution, sure, but with some very refreshing ideas about system configuration.
Appfour added, among other features, C/C++ support to its new version of AIDE. From Android-IDE, "Now you can write parts of your app or your whole app in C/C++ on your device. AIDE supports the Standard Android NDK toolchain (GCC 4.6 + Bionic, STL, ...). No changes are necessary if you want to build an app developed on a PC with Eclipse. C/C++ development is fully integrated: Build errors appear in the error list and files can easily be navigated to with Go to file. The editor supports C/C++ syntax highlighting."