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Exploring the Future of Computing
Updated: 1 hour 13 min ago

Brainfuck: code that was designed to hurt

Tuesday 3rd of January 2017 08:19:04 PM
Software is the umbrella term for computer programs and libraries, the coded logic that makes our machines tick. At the root of all software is the code, the instructions that enable a human to tell a machine what to do. This code is written in one of the hundreds of different programming languages - such as C, Java, or Python - each of which has its own eccentricities and context-dependent advantages. Yet regardless of the programming language being used, the functionality, logic, and efficiency of the language are always paramount - unless, of course, you're talking about

Harvey OS meets RISC-V

Monday 2nd of January 2017 11:53:58 PM
Ending this year, Ron G. Minnich has got Harvey running in RISC-V architecture, booting Harvey on Spike (ISA Simulator) and running rc shell on it. But he never rests and now is working on bringing it to QEMU and to FPGA. It's a big step for Harvey because we fixed some multiarch issues across the source and Ron found some bugs in timer interrupts in the hardware, so we all learned something. What is Harvey OS? Harvey is an effort to provide a modern, distributed, 64 bit operating system. A different environment for researching and finding new lines of work. It can be built with gcc and clang and has an ANSI/POSIX compliant subsystem. Two news items about alternative operating systems in a row? The year's off to a good start.

Announcing AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition, Update 1

Monday 2nd of January 2017 11:49:13 PM
Hyperion Entertainment is proud to announce the immediate release of AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition Update 1 for all supported systems including PowerPC equipped 68K Amiga machines. Building on the existing AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition platform, Update 1 is the culmination of many man-months of work by our dedicated team of AmigaOS developers, translators and beta testers. It delivers a selection of new features and a host of bug fixes. The naming scheme still confuses me.

Linux and Steam running on PS4 firmware 4.0

Monday 2nd of January 2017 11:47:15 PM
Marcan42 of Fail0verflow fame was at the CCC33 event this year, to explain how Fail0verflow exploited the PS4 hardware in order to run Linux on the PS4. The presentation goes back to all the pain the hackers had to go through in order to make Linux compatible with the PS4 architecture, which Marcan42 described several times throughout the presentation as "not being a PC" as it lacks lots of the legacy architecture bits required for a computer to constitute what is known today as an IBM compatible PC. Be sure to watch the actual presentation. It's quite informative and detailed.

Windows 10 Creators Update set to be released on April 2017

Monday 2nd of January 2017 09:17:44 PM
Last October at the Windows 10 event in New York City, Microsoft officially unveiled the Windows 10 Creators Update, codenamed "Redstone 2". At the event, Microsoft stated that the update will be released in "early 2017" but we didn't know when exactly the update will arrive. Until now, anyway. Per my sources, Microsoft will be releasing the Windows 10 Creators Update this April. The more regular, smaller updates Windows gets now is such a huge step up from the monolithic releases of yore.

Google Tango on Lenovo's Phab 2 Pro: a work in progress

Thursday 29th of December 2016 09:07:53 PM
The third and most important thing to consider is this is the only device you can buy right now that supports Google Tango. Tango is Google-made software that, combined with specific hardware, offers advanced 3D sensing. If basic augmented reality creates a flat layer of digital information on your smartphone screen - think Pokémon Go, with the game content built on top of your real world - Tango goes beyond that, to the point where it interprets and measures spaces and objects around you and then lets you interact with digital things as though they're really, physically there. Tango sits in that category of technologies like Google Glass and virtual reality in that you can see it takes a lot of research and innovation to build, but that's hard to see a use for in my personal life. It makes much more sense in countless professional environments, but it'll need a lot more work - judging by this review - before it'd be ready for that.

How China built 'iPhone City' with billions in perks for Foxconn

Thursday 29th of December 2016 09:03:09 PM
The well-choreographed customs routine is part of a hidden bounty of perks, tax breaks and subsidies in China that supports the world's biggest iPhone factory, according to confidential government records reviewed by The New York Times, as well as more than 100 interviews with factory workers, logistics handlers, truck drivers, tax specialists and current and former Apple executives. The package of sweeteners and incentives, worth billions of dollars, is central to the production of the iPhone, Apple's best-selling and most profitable product. Fascinating look at what the local Chinese governments do to entice Foxconn.

Has the internet killed curly quotes?

Wednesday 28th of December 2016 10:42:38 PM
The trouble with being a former typesetter is that every day online is a new adventure in torture. Take the shape of quotation marks. These humble symbols are a dagger in my eye when a straight, or typewriter-style, pair appears in the midst of what is often otherwise typographic beauty. It's a small, infuriating difference: "this" versus “this.” I'll stop replacing curly quotes with straight quotes on OSNews the day the tech industry gives me back my Dutch quotation marks („Like so”, he said) and adds multilingual support to Google Now and Siri and so on (which right now require a full wipe to change languages, making them useless for hundreds of millions of people who live bilingual lives). Yes, I can be petty.

Microsoft to require Precision Touchpads on new hardware

Wednesday 28th of December 2016 10:22:10 PM
Microsoft knows this, and have announced at WinHEC that they are looking at making the use of Precision Touchpads a requirement for devices part of the Hardware Compatibility Program, for future versions of Windows 10 after the Creators Update. This, in theory, would mean hardware makers would have no choice but to implement Precision Touchpads rather than touchpads from Synaptics or some other 3rd party trackpad maker if they wish to preload Windows 10 on their devices. I get the impression that most Windows laptops have perfectly decent trackpad hardware, but they just really suck at the software aspect of the story. More often than not, trackpads will function like a PS/2 mouse, with little to no regard for them actually being surfaces instead of rolling balls or bouncing lasers. Even when laptop makers include terrible third-party drivers with horrid configuration applications, the end result is still garbage. I've never actually used one of these fabled Precision Trackpads before, so I can't attest to their quality, but from what I hear, they're almost Apple-level in terms of quality. And honestly - even a potato would be better than the average Windows trackpad.

Microsoft Word for Windows version 1.1a source code

Wednesday 28th of December 2016 09:07:09 PM
Clearly there was something extraordinary about Word for Windows. Part of its success was due to Microsoft's marketing acumen. But it was also a stunning technical achievement, and its ability to run on ordinary PCs created the first popular vanguard of the new graphics-oriented style of document preparation. Remember, this was a time when a typical personal computer might have an 8 Mhz processor, 1 megabyte of memory, a 20 megabyte hard disk, and a floppy disk drive. How did Word accomplish so much with so little? There's only one way to understand the magic in detail: read the code. With the permission of Microsoft Corporation, the Computer History Museum is pleased to make available, for non-commercial use, the source code of Word for Windows version 1.1a as it was on January 10, 1991. Quite amazing that we're getting access to the source code for pivotal software like this.

Pixel for PC and Mac

Wednesday 28th of December 2016 12:24:19 AM
PIXEL represents our best guess as to what the majority of users are looking for in a desktop environment: a clean, modern user interface; a curated suite of productivity software and programming tools, both free and proprietary; and the Chromium web browser with useful plugins, including Adobe Flash, preinstalled. And all of this is built on top of Debian, providing instant access to thousands of free applications. Put simply, it's the GNU/Linux we would want to use. The Raspberry Pi's "own" Linux distribution is now also available for Windows and Mac - i.e., a live image you can run on your PC.

The little book about OS development

Tuesday 27th of December 2016 09:27:24 PM
This text is a practical guide to writing your own x86 operating system. It is designed to give enough help with the technical details while at the same time not reveal too much with samples and code excerpts. We've tried to collect parts of the vast (and often excellent) expanse of material and tutorials available, on the web and otherwise, and add our own insights into the problems we encountered and struggled with.

MacBook Battery time remaining

Tuesday 27th of December 2016 09:26:14 PM
Apple removed the "battery time remaining" indicator from the battery status menu in the latest version 10.12.2 of macOS. Apparently it wasn't accurate. Did you know that MacBook batteries have a dedicated chip that keeps track of how much energy goes in and out of the battery during all times? For example, the 13" MacBook Pro from 2015 uses a BQ20Z451 "battery fuel gauge chip" from Texas Instruments.

FreeDOS 1.2 released

Tuesday 27th of December 2016 11:54:47 AM
The FreeDOS 1.2 release is an updated, more modern FreeDOS. You'll see that we changed many of the packages. Some packages were replaced, deprecated by newer and better packages. We also added other packages. And we expanded what we should include in the FreeDOS distribution. Where FreeDOS 1.0 and 1.1 where fairly spartan distributions with only "core" packages and software sets, the FreeDOS 1.2 distribution includes a rich set of additional packages. We even include games. But the biggest change you are likely to notice in FreeDOS 1.2 is the updated installer. Jerome Shidel wrote an entirely new FreeDOS install program, and it looks great! We focused on keeping the new installer simple and easy to use. While many DOS users in 2016 are experienced DOS programmers and DOS power users, we often see many new users to FreeDOS, and I wanted to make the install process pleasant for them. The default mode for the installer is very straightforward, and you only have to answer a few questions to install FreeDOS on your system. There's also an "Advanced" mode where power users can tweak the install and customize the experience. Great Christmas gift.

More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: Software

  • SMPlayer 17.1 Features ‘Experimental Support’ for Chromecast
  • Support for Chromecast in SMPlayer 17.1
    SMPlayer 17.1 features experimental support for Chromecast. Now you can send videos from SMPlayer to your Chromecast device, including local files from your computer and online streams such as TV channels or videos from sites like YouTube, Dailymotion, Vimeo, Vevo and many more.
  • How Node.js Is Transforming Today’s Enterprises
    On today’s episode of The New Stack Makers, we sat down with NodeSource Solutions Architect Manager Joe Doyle and NodeSource Chief Technology Officer and co-founder Dan Shaw to hear more about how today’s enterprises are approaching working with Node.js. The interview was recorded at Node.js Interactive 2016, which took place in Austin, December 2016.
  • 4 Configuration Management Tools for DevOps
    In the past, maintaining technology infrastructure, deploying applications, and provisioning environments involved many manual, iterative tasks. But in today’s DevOps arena, true automation of these tasks has arrived. The benefits of automated configuration management range from time savings to elimination of human error. Meanwhile, configuration management platforms and tools have converged directly with the world of open source. In fact, several of the very best tools are fully free and open source. From server orchestration to securely delivering high-availability applications, open source tools ranging from Chef to Puppet can bring organizations enormous efficiency boosts.
  • GPMDP Is A Feature-Packed Google Play Music Desktop Application
    The application is built using Electron, so it's a wrapper for the Google Play Music web interface, with various desktop features added on top, like media keys support, tray/indicator and much more.
  • Netdata 1.5 Released With FreeBSD Support, New Plugins
    Netdata, for the uninitiated, is a distributed real-time performance and health monitoring suite. Netdata can be used for monitoring server performance/health as well as VMs, IoT devices, and more in a "fast and efficient" manner. Netdata 1.5 has been released as a big update to this open-source tool.
  • Firefox Gets Better Video Gaming and Warns of Non-Secure Websites
    Today’s release of Firefox includes various features for developers and users that enable a richer and safer experience on the web.

Leftovers: Gaming

Red Hat News

Security Leftovers