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Exploring the Future of Computing
Updated: 23 min 35 sec ago

Open-sourcing Chrome on iOS

Wednesday 1st of February 2017 12:50:40 AM
Historically, the code for Chrome for iOS was kept separate from the rest of the Chromium project due to the additional complexity required for the platform. After years of careful refactoring, all of this code is rejoining Chromium and being moved into the open-source repository. Due to constraints of the iOS platform, all browsers must be built on top of the WebKit rendering engine. For Chromium, this means supporting both WebKit as well as Blink, Chrome's rendering engine for other platforms. That created some extra complexities which we wanted to avoid placing in the Chromium code base. There is no Chrome for iOS. It doesn't exist. Just because it has a Chrome-like UI doesn't mean it's Chrome. Chrome is the whole package - UI and engine. Without the engine, it's not Chrome. I understand Google wants to leverage the brand recognition, and I know I'm splitting hairs, but until Apple allows competing browser engines, iOS only has one browser, with a bunch of skins.

Cipher war: to crack ancient script, linguists turn to machines

Tuesday 31st of January 2017 03:51:39 AM
Though we now have thousands of examples of these symbols, we have very little idea what they mean. Over a century after Cunningham's discovery, the seals remain undeciphered, their messages lost to us. Are they the letters of an ancient language? Or are they just religious, familial, or political symbols? Those hotly contested questions have sparked infighting among scholars and exacerbated cultural rivalries over who can claim the script as their heritage. But new work from researchers using sophisticated algorithms, machine learning, and even cognitive science are finally helping push us to the edge of cracking the Indus script. The Indus Valley Civilization and the mysteries that surround it are deeply fascinating. It was contemporary to ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, yet we know relatively little about it. It honestly blows my mind that computers can now be used to decipher its ancient script, which may give us a lot of insight into this civilisation. Like in programming, language is key.

Finding an alternative to macOS, part 2: adventures with Linux

Tuesday 31st of January 2017 12:43:26 AM
This is the second in my series on finding an alternative to Mac OS X. Part 1 was about evaluating 13 alternative operating systems and then choosing one to use full time. The selected OS was elementary OS. The motivation for this change is to get access to better hardware since Apple is neglecting the Mac lineup. If video is more your style I gave a short (10 min) talk at work on my adventures with Linux that covers the core content of this post. This impromptu series is a great read. It's positive, focused on solutions instead of complaints, and is an honest effort to expand horizons and try out new and different (to the author) approaches to using his computer.

Solaris moving to a 'continuous delivery model'

Tuesday 31st of January 2017 12:33:23 AM
After the recent removal of Solaris 12 from the Solaris road map inspired much speculation on the future of Solaris, Oracle has finally published a blog post detailing the cause of the removal, and the future of Solaris Oracle Solaris is moving to a continuous delivery model using more frequent updates to deliver the latest features faster, while fully preserving customer and ISV qualification investment in the vast array of ISV applications available on Oracle Solaris 11 today. New features and functionality will be delivered in Oracle Solaris through dot releases instead of more disruptive major releases, consistent with trends seen throughout the industry. In addition, support for current versions of Solaris 11 has been extended to beyond 2030. The actual updated roadmap is light on details, though, but it does appear that Solaris at least isn't dead just yet.

AmiKit 9 Reloaded for Mac

Monday 30th of January 2017 10:27:21 PM
AmiKit 9 Reloaded has been released for the Mac. Now it is super fast because it uses the latest WinUAE emulator running on Wine. This concept, paradoxically, is much faster and actually more stable than the previous E-UAE edition. ​ AmiKit 9 for Mac also includes the Rabbit Hole which allows you to launch Mac apps from AmiKit desktop! You can also open Amiga files with your favourite Mac apps! AmiKit is basically a pre-configured AmigaOS environment that runs inside *UAE, but you do have to supply your own OS and ROM files.

VSI Releases OpenVMS Alpha 8.4-2L1

Monday 30th of January 2017 08:22:36 PM
VMS Software, Inc. today announced the immediate availability of the production release of VSI OpenVMS Alpha V8.4-2L1 for the Alpha hardware platform, including Alphas running on x86-based emulators. This OpenVMS Alpha version is based on, and inherits the benefits of, the latest version of VSI OpenVMS Integrity V8.4-2L1, released in September 2016.

Why didn't the dream of a laptop upgrade slot take off?

Monday 30th of January 2017 08:20:32 PM
The problem with laptops has, at least in recent years, been one of expandability. Once you buy a machine, you’re generally stuck with it, unless you’re willing to take it apart with repairs that have more in common with surgery than mechanics. Part of this has to do with the complexity of our modern machines, but a bigger part is the fact that, simply, upgradability has become less of a concern for manufacturers. But there was a time when laptop upgrades were a big deal - and that time was the 90s. Here's the story of PCMCIA, an acronym only a 90s laptop owner could love. I used a PCMCIA network card on my BeOS laptop (in 2001 or so), since the on-board network chip didn't have a BeOS driver. Good times.

Google recalls staff to US after Trump immigration order

Saturday 28th of January 2017 01:43:19 PM
Alphabet Inc.'s Google delivered a sharp message to staff travelling overseas who may be impacted by a new executive order on immigration from President Donald Trump: Get back to the U.S. now. Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai slammed Trump's move in a note to employees Friday, telling them that more than 100 company staff are affected by the order. The Trump regime's measures also impact the visa program for, among other long-time US allies, The Netherlands. Did anyone tell the Trump regime that it's a very bad idea to make it harder for your third largest investor to, uh, actually invest? Are these men really that dumb? Interesting to note, though, that Google had to be actually impacted by the Trump regime before it spoke up (only in an internal memo, but still). Meanwhile, Elon Musk is kissing the ground Trump walks on, and Tim Cook, CEO of the most arrogantly and smugly (supposedly) liberal tech company is meeting with Trump, Trump's daughter (...?) and other Republican leaders. From other tech giants who always touted the liberal horn of equality and progressiveness - a deafening, but quite revealing, silence. So far, it seems like the tech industry leaders are opting for appeasement instead of resistance to the Trump regime's corruption, conflicts of interest, racism, war on science, and Christian extremism. I would be disappointed if it wasn't so utterly predictable to anyone who wasn't blinded by the fake smiles, hollow promises, and empty praise of equality, science, and progressive ideals. They still have time to be remembered as people who stood up for those that need it the most. I'm afraid, though, we will remember them as spineless cowards, hiding behind shareholders while the free world crumbles to dust. I hope it'll be worth it.

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