Exploring the Future of Computing
Updated: 23 min 55 sec ago
It was now 1984, and IBM had a different problem: DOS was pretty much still a quick and dirty hack. The only real new thing that had been added to it was directory support so that files could be organized a bit better on the IBM PC/ATâs new hard disk. And thanks to the deal that IBM signed in 1980, the cloners could get the exact same copy of DOS and run exactly the same software. IBM needed to design a brand new operating system to differentiate the company from the clones. Committees were formed and meetings were held, and the new operating system was graced with a name: OS/2.
Fantastic article at Ars Technica about the rise and demise of IBM's OS/2. OS/2 is one of those big 'what-ifs' of the technology world, along the lines of 'what if Apple had purchased Be instead of NEXT' or 'what if Nokia had opted for Android' (sorry). Our technology world could've been a lot different had OS/2 won over Windows 3.x/95.
I reviewed OS/2 as it exists today (eComStation) six years ago.
Darwin is the core operating system that lies under both Mac OS X and iPhone OS. It is the true core foundation that bridges the kernel to the actual UI above. (SpringBoard/loginwindow/etc).
With the help of @plus_chan and his Nokia N900, I present to you, Darwin/ARM running on a Nokia N900.
I doubt this has any usefulness whatsoever, but that doesn't make it any less awesome. Great work (via Steven Troughton-Smith).
"We can end government censorship in a decade," Schmidt said during a speech in Washington. "The solution to government surveillance is to encrypt everything."
Setting aside the entertaining aspect of the source of said statement, I don't think encryption in and of itself is enough. Encryption performed by companies is useless, since we know by now that companies - US or otherwise - are more than eager to bend over backwards to please their governments.
What we need is encryption that we perform ourselves, so that neither governments nor companies are involved. I imagine some sort of box between your home network and the internet, that encrypts and decrypts everything, regardless of source or destination. This box obviously needs to run open source software, otherwise we'd be right back where we started.
Is something like that even possible?
MenuetOS sits in an interesting nexus between astonishing technical achievement and computerised work of art. The super-speedy, pre-emptive multitasking operating system is still, despite adding more driver support, more included applications, an improved GUI and digital TV support over the years, capable of fitting on a floppy disk (assuming you can find one).
MenuetOS is a technical marvel. Not only is it written entirely in assembly, it also shoves a fully capable multitasking operating system on a single floppy disk.
The big story in The New York Times on November 20, 1985, concerned Hurricane Kate's advance as it smashed into northern Cuba and the Florida Keys before barreling north to threaten the Gulf Coast. But another big story -- for the technology world -- was about to unfold thousands of miles away in Las Vegas, where the Comdex trade show was getting under way.
Apple had grabbed headlines a year earlier with the introduction of its graphical Macintosh. Now, after two years of delays, Microsoft was finally ready to debut the much-promised Microsoft Windows.
It became the blueprint for many of Microsoft's new product launches. Early versions suck, but get progressively better over the years.
On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to consider legislation aimed at reining in abusive patent litigation. But one of the bill's most important provisions, designed to make it easier to nix low-quality software patents, will be left on the cutting room floor. That provision was the victim of an aggressive lobbying campaign by patent-rich software companies such as IBM and Microsoft.
These companies also happen to have the largest lobbying corruption budgets. This is never going to change.
Remember the curved phone from LG, the LG G Flex? There's actually truth to its name. Not only does the back cover 'heal' from scratches, the phone itself is actually, honest-to-god flexible. It bends without breaking or damaging the phone. So yes, this device may look silly - but the future is peeking into the present here. Quite amazing.
A couple nights ago I was looking over the UEFI spec, and I realized it shouldn't be too hard to write UEFI applications in Rust. It turns out, you can, and here I will tell you how.
Language gets me giddy, but thank god lots of other people get giddy over stuff like this.
The word "because," in standard English usage, is a subordinating conjunction, which means that it connects two parts of a sentence in which one (the subordinate) explains the other. In that capacity, "because" has two distinct forms. It can be followed either by a finite clause (I'm reading this because [I saw it on the web]) or by a prepositional phrase (I'm reading this because [of the web]). These two forms are, traditionally, the only ones to which "because" lends itself.
I mention all that ... because language. Because evolution. Because there is another way to use "because." Linguists are calling it the "prepositional-because." Or the "because-noun."
I'm a sucker for this kind of stuff. This is language changing before our very eyes - and thanks to the internet, it happens out in the open, in an easy documentable way, and at an incredibly fast pace.
Technology leaves nothing untouched.
Samsung Electronics Co said on Tuesday its Galaxy Gear has become the world's most popular smartwatch with sales reaching 800,000 since its debut two months ago, defying some market concerns the accessory would fail due to a lack of compelling features.
The South Korean firm said Gear sales have been better than its own expectations and it would expand sales promotions for the wearable device for the crucial year-end holiday sales.
Impressive for a poorly reviewed device. I guess this is what marketing and bundling can do - then again, without bundling, flagship smartphone sales would crumble like three week old bread too.
The Contiki operating system, known for its super-slim IPv6 stack, has been updated to version 2.7 with support for new Systems-on-a-Chip: single-chip devices with a microprocessor and an integrated 2.4 GHz radio. This new version has a much strengthened IPv6 wireless mesh networking setup that allows a bunch of chips to autonomously form wireless networks that can be connected directly to the Internet.
The Verge reviews the giant Nokia Lumia 1520:
Samsung and others have proven that there is a market for giant smartphones, warts and all. But that doesn't mean that just any smartphone is better if it's bigger, and the 1520 is a prime example of that. It's bigger and faster than any other Windows Phone yet, but it's not necessarily a better Windows Phone because of that. If all you've ever wanted in life is a Lumia 925 with a magnifying glass on top of it, the 1520 is exactly that. It's a tour de force in resolution and speed, but it's not a great smartphone or even a great replacement for a tablet.
And yet, it'll be a better tablet than any Windows 8.1 RT device. There's something poetic about that.
As you are all probably aware of (I hope), I maintain an open-source port of the XNU (iPhone OS/Mac OS X) kernel to ARMv7-A (soon AArch64 and ARMv6/v5!) platforms. The kernel is very bare in its implementation and needs a lot of work. Work seems to also not be put into the proper areas, so I made this article to rectify that issue. Simple enough, I hope.
Very interesting (via @stroughtonsmith).
A-EON Technology, the company behind the AmigaONE X1000, has not exactly been sitting still. They're hard at work developing the successor to the Nemo motherboard (which powers the X1000): it's called Cyrus, and is built around Freescale QorIQ processors, ranging from 32bit 1.5 Ghz (the P3) to 64bit 2.4 Ghz (the P5). Users have been invited to join the beta test programme for this new board, which will eventually power the successor to the X1000. On top of that, A-EON will invest $1.2 million in their partnership with Varisys, the company that builds the Amiga hardware.
Hyperion, the company that develops AmigaOS, hasn't been twiddling their thumbs either. The biggest hurdle the AmigaOS 4 developers are facing right now is SMP, but work on this issue is progressing.
One of the major hurdles right now, as AmigaOS Development Team Lead Steven Solie implied, is getting the AmigaOS Exec-kernel to support multiple CPU cores. As part of the process, a new so called "scheduler" is being implemented. The new scheduler is apparently already running in the current, internal builds of AmigaOS although Steven suggested there will be room for improvement and optimizations prior to an official release. AmigaOS 4.2 will also introduce the Gallium3D WinSys API for hardware accelerated 3D graphics.
As always with these niche products built by and for enthusiasts, it's hard to tell where it will lead to. However, fact remains that the X1000 was apparently a big enough of a success for A-EON to invest into the next generation, and for Hyperion to continue work on getting AmigaOS to support SMP - something that only benefits A-EON's machines.
While everyone else is whining about iOS and Android, the Amiga people are still doing their thing. You have to respect that.
I bought a Droid 4 twenty-one months ago.
As a devout user of physical QWERTY keyboards, I'm pretty sure I'm screwed.
Great article by Sean Hollister on the demise of the QWERTY slider. In the article, Hollister speaks with Doug Kaufman, manager of handset strategy for Sprint, and his revelations are intriguing - it's not so much that people do not want hardware keyboards; it's that people want iconic, flagship phones - like the S4, like the 5S - with huge marketing pushes. Since nobody is pushing a flagship QWERTY slider... Nobody buys them. However, when you ask consumers what they want, physical keyboards are very, very popular.
And so, Kaufman admits: if there was an HTC One or Galaxy S4, a top-of-the-line phone, but with a keyboard - it would sell.
Google has won a resounding victory in its eight-year copyright battle with the Authors Guild over the search giant's controversial decision to scan more than 20 million library and make the available on the internet.
In a ruling (embedded below) issued Thursday morning in New York, US Circuit Judge Denny Chin said the book scanning amounted to fair use because it was "highly transformative" and because it didn't harm the market for the original work.
"Google Books provides significant public benefits," writes Chin, describing it as "an essential research tool" and noting that the scanning service has expanded literary access for the blind and helped preserve the text of old books from physical decay.
Too much common sense. I'm not sure I can handle this.
Jolla's first smartphone, running their new SailfishOS, will be released in Finland on 27 November. It will feature Nokia HERE maps, and the Yandex Android application store.
Currently featuring over 85,000 apps in 17 categories, Yandex.Store offers the best and most popular apps - from social networking and communication apps like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Skype, Viber and WeChat to games like Angry Birds. Yandex.Store will provide in-app purchase opportunities and is available on smartphones and tablets in 37 languages.
International, non-Finnish people who preordered (like myself) will be notified via email shortly. I can't wait. I'm getting the 'other half' in red and white (I get two of them as part of my preorder package) - or perhaps, hot candy pink? Any suggestions from you guys and girls?
The Computer History Museum (CHM) announced today that it has, with the collaboration of the Digibarn Computer Museum and with permission from Apple Inc., posted the historic original 1978 source code for the Apple II DOS "Disk Operating System."
Pretty cool. More on the Apple II can be found at the Computer History Museum's blog.
I've always known this, and I'm sure most of you do too, but we never really talk about it. Every smartphone or other device with mobile communications capability (e.g. 3G or LTE) actually runs not one, but two operating systems. Aside from the operating system that we as end-users see (Android, iOS, PalmOS), it also runs a small operating system that manages everything related to radio. Since this functionality is highly timing-dependent, a real-time operating system is required.
This operating system is stored in firmware, and runs on the baseband processor. As far as I know, this baseband RTOS is always entirely proprietary. For instance, the RTOS inside Qualcomm baseband processors (in this specific case, the MSM6280) is called AMSS, built upon their own proprietary REX kernel, and is made up of 69 concurrent tasks, handling everything from USB to GPS. It runs on an ARMv5 processor.
Read more on this exclusive OSNews article...
Sony, June this year:
"PlayStation 4 won't impose any new restrictions on used games. This is a good thing," said Tretton, to huge applause from the audience in attendance. "When a gamer buys a PS4 disc, they have the rights to that copy of the game."
Sony's Software Usage Terms, updated today:
6.3. You must not lease, rent, sublicense, publish, modify, adapt, or translate any portion of the Software.
7.1. You must not resell either Disc-based Software or Software Downloads, unless expressly authorised by us and, if the publisher is another company, additionally by the publisher.
Liars. Similar language has been found on the boxes of previous PlayStation models, but that's hardly a comfort.