Exploring the Future of Computing
Updated: 54 min 31 sec ago
When Gabriel Weinberg launched a search engine in 2008, plenty of people thought he was insane. How could DuckDuckGo, a tiny, Philadelphia-based startup, go up against Google? One way, he wagered, was by respecting user privacy. Six years later, we're living in the post-Snowden era, and the idea doesn't seem so crazy.
In fact, DuckDuckGo is exploding.
I wonder what the future holds for DuckDuckGo. Will there be a point where people leave Google Search completely, instead of just casting curious glances at DDG?
Facebook today announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire WhatsApp, a rapidly growing cross-platform mobile messaging company, for a total of approximately $16 billion, including $4 billion in cash and approximately $12 billion worth of Facebook shares. The agreement also provides for an additional $3 billion in restricted stock units to be granted to WhatsAppâs founders and employees that will vest over four years subsequent to closing.
A huge deal. WhatsApp is one of the biggest messaging services is in the world - maybe even the biggest.
Canonical today announces it has signed agreements with mobile device manufacturers bq (Spain) and Meizu (China) to bring Ubuntu smartphones to consumers globally. Canonical is working with these partners to ship the first Ubuntu devices on the latest hardware in 2014. Ubuntu has also received significant support from the world's biggest carriers, some of which intend to work with OEM partners to bring phones to market this year.
Good news for Canonical.
Gionee has announced what the company claims is the thinnest smartphone in the world. Aside from boasting the most impressive 5.55mm waistline, the Elife S5.5 runs an Android-based Amigo OS, sports an octa-core 1.7 GHz processor, 2GB of RAM and a duo of 13 MP and 5 MP cameras (back and front).
I've already made the jump to Chinese smartphones early last year, and with still zero complaints about the Find 5, I have no intention of ever going back. Here, too, Gionee, shows that the stereotype we have here of Chinese devices being nothing but clones is starting to get very, very outdated. Influenced by lobbying from western companies, our governments will do all they can to block the influx of Chinese devices for as long as they can, but it won't take long for consumer demand for high-quality devices at low prices to overcome that.
Chinese companies like Oppo, Huawei, Xaomi, and others will do to the device market what Japanese and later South-Korean car brands have done to the car market. If I were a Korean, Japanese, or American device maker - I'd be worried.
Also, I totally want this phone. Beautiful.
So, convertibles. Laptop/tablet hybrids. I think their popularity started with early Asus Transformers, but since then, they've become a pretty big staple in the device landscape. Since I'm in the market for a replacement for my dreadful ARM Surface RT, I've been looking at this market segment again, and have noted that there's a lot of choice out there.
After the dreadful experience with the Surface RT, I'm steering clear of anything Windows RT-related. An x86-based convertible Windows 8.1 machine, however, still has some major appeal due to its excellent desktop application support that fits in nicely with my existing workstation. The tablet side of Windows 8.1, however, is still woefully underserved, with very few applications, and even those that do exist are of abysmal quality.
As far as hardware goes, the Lenovo Miix 2 10" (not to be confused with the older Miix 2!) has really grabbed by attention. It's supposed to end up at around EUR 400-500, which is acceptable. The Surface 2 Pro is also interesting, but quite expensive - although it does have a far better processor than the 10" Miix 2. There's also an 11" Miix 2 which sports the same processor as the Surface 2 Pro, but 11" seems a bit large in my view.
I've also been looking at Android convertibles, and here I run into a bit of trouble - most of them tend to run outdated versions of Android, and I'm really not looking forward to figuring out which of them have the best AOSP support. Do any of you have any suggestions here? Any models to look for? Experiences with custom, AOSP-like ROMs?
An even bigger question regarding Android on convertibles is just how well Android handles laptop-like computing. Does it do a good job of it, considering where Android comes from? It seems like to me that where Windows has the upper hand on the laptop side of the convertible, Android rules on the tablet side of it. Am I right in thinking this is so?
The MorphOS development team is proud to announce the public release of MorphOS 3.5, which introduces support for PowerMac 7,2 machines and features various bug fixes as well as other improvements. For an overview of the included changes, please read our release notes.
They released 3.5.1 shortly after to fix a boot issue in 3.5.
When my 3+ year old DELL laptop died a few weeks back, I decided to give Chromebooks a try. So the Acer C720, at just $199, became my new laptop. This is my experience with it so far.
The Acer C720 is similar in specs to other Chromebooks currently on the market. It's a Haswell architecture with a dual core Celeron, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB flash, HDMI-out, 3 USB, webcam, Bluetooth, and a 1366x768 px screen. It's 0.8" tall, and weighs just 2.76 lbs. Its battery life is rated for 8.5 hours but in real world usage rated at about 7 hours. You can view its specs in detail here.
The laptop feels very light, sturdy and of a good build quality. Its keyboard is easy to get accustomed to, and I had no trouble at all, coming from a radically different keyboard design on the DELL. The ChromeOS function keys are really handy too, e.g. to change brightness, volume etc. The touchpad has the right size, position and responsiveness too. Read more on this exclusive OSNews article...
The University of California, Berkeley, has been authorised by Alcatel-Lucent to release all Plan 9 software previously governed by the Lucent Public License, Version 1.02 under the GNU General Public License, Version 2.
You can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; version 2 of the License.
I never really dove too deep into Plan 9, but it has always fascinated me. I think it's time to learn more - and I suggest you do so too. It's weekend, after all, right?
BareMetal OS now supports TCP/IP by way of a port of LwIP, originally by Adam Dunkels for embedded devices.
BareMetal is a 64-bit OS for x86-64 based computers. The OS is written entirely in Assembly, while applications can be written in Assembly or C/C++.
BareMetal boots via Pure64 and has a command line interface with the ability to load programs/data from a hard drive. Current plans for v0.7.0 call for basic TCP/IP support, improved file handling, as well as general bug fixes and optimizations.