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Lessons in Vendor Lock-in: Google and Huawei

Filed under
Android
Google

Vendor lock-in isn't new, but until the last decade or so, it generally was thought of by engineers as a bad thing. Companies would take advantage the fact that you used one of their products that was legitimately good to use the rest of their products that may or may not be as good as those from their competitors. People felt the pain of being stuck with inferior products and rebelled.

These days, a lot of engineers have entered the industry in a world where the new giants of lock-in are still growing and have only flexed their lock-in powers a bit. Many engineers shrug off worries about choosing a solution that requires you to use only products from one vendor, in particular if that vendor is a large enough company. There is an assumption that those companies are too big ever to fail, so why would it matter that you rely on them (as many companies in the cloud do) for every aspect of their technology stack?

Many people who justify lock-in with companies who are too big to fail point to all of the even more important companies who use that vendor who would have even bigger problems should that vendor have a major bug, outage or go out of business. It would take so much effort to use cross-platform technologies, the thinking goes, when the risk of going all-in with a single vendor seems so small.

Huawei also probably figured (rightly) that Google and Android were too big to fail. Why worry about the risks of being beholden to a single vendor for your OS when that vendor was used by other large companies and would have even bigger problems if the vendor went away?

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Microsoft and Google Openwashing

Filed under
Google
Microsoft

Fuchsia OS Developer Site and Less Surveillance-Centric Systems ("Dumb")

Filed under
OS
Google
  • Google's Mysterious Fuchsia OS Developer Site Debuts With New Fascinating Details

    Google's mysterious Fuchsia OS has been a skunkworks project at Google for years now, with only small glimpses of the new operating system...

  • Google's Fuchsia OS Developer Site Debuts

    Forbes reports that Google has launched a new website, fuchsia.dev, with documentation and source for Fuchsia OS, including the Zircon microkernel.signed to run on anything from 32-bit or 64-bit ARM cores to 64-bit X86 processors and it has a potential to be rather disruptive."

  • Fuchsia OS Developer Site Goes Live With Documentation

    oogle hasn’t revealed much about Fuchsia OS publicly, but every now and then, it quietly drops hints and clues which further affirm the progress of the mysterious OS.

  • My phone’s not dumb, it just looks it.

    For my money, the height of the smartphone age was 2009-2011. That brought us the Nokia n900 and Nokia n9. Both brilliant for their own reasons. There were devices before that which I’d be happy to have back. But nothing since then. Sure, the Ubuntu Edge or Neo900 would have been great. But they never came to be.

GSoC Work on KDE and GNOME, Epiphany Version Numbers

Filed under
Development
KDE
Google
GNOME
  • Week 4, Titler Tool and MLT – GSoC ’19

    It’s already been a month now, and this week – it hasn’t been the most exciting one. Mostly meddling with MLT, going through pages of documentation, compiling MLT and getting used to the MLT codebase.

    With the last week, I concluded with the rendering library part and now this week, I began writing a new producer in MLT for QML which will be rendered using the renderering library. So I went through a lot of MLT documentation, and it being a relatively new field for me, here is what I’ve gathered so far:

    At its core, MLT employs the basic producer-consumer concept. A producer produces data (here, frame objects) and a consumer consumes frames – as simple as that.

  • [Older] The Journey Begins | Google Summer of Code

    Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is a global program focused on bringing more student developers into open source software development. Students work with an open source organization on a 3 month programming project during their break from school.

  • Making the 'httpsrc' plugin asynchronous | GSoC 2019

    GStreamer plugins are the building units of any GStreamer application. The plugins can be linked and arranged in a pipeline. This pipeline defines the flow of the data. 'souphttpsrc', aka HTTP source is a plugin which reads data from a remote location specified by a URI and the supported protocols are 'http', 'https'. This plugin is written in C. 'rshttpsrc' is the Rust version of the above said plugin.

  • Michael Catanzaro: On Version Numbers

    I’m afraid 3.33.4 will arrive long before we make it to 3.33.3-333, so this is probably the last cool version number Epiphany will ever have.

    I might be guilty of using an empty commit to claim the -33 commit.

GAFAM and 'Cloud': Google, Microsoft, Amazon and GitHub

Filed under
Google
Microsoft
  • Daniel Stenberg: Google to reimplement curl in libcrurl

    By throwing a lot of man power on it. As the primary author and developer of the libcurl API and the libcurl code, I assume that Cronet works quite differently than libcurl so there’s going to be quite a lot of wrestling of data and code flow to make this API work on that code.

    The libcurl API is also very versatile and is an API that has developed over a period of almost 20 years so there’s a lot of functionality, a lot of options and a lot of subtle behavior that may or may not be easy or straight forward to mimic.

    The initial commit imported the headers and examples from the curl 7.65.1 release.

  • Microsoft, you should look away now: Google's cloud second only to AWS in dev survey [Ed: Longtime Microsoft booster Tim Anderson  on Azure being a failure after so many entryism attempts and underhanded tactics]

    Coders use Google Cloud Platform (GCP) more than Microsoft Azure, though Amazon Web Services (AWS) has a comfortable lead, according to a Developer Ecosystem survey conducted by tools vendor JetBrains.

    Developer usage is 67 per cent AWS versus 28 per cent GCP and 21 per cent Azure, according to the new survey. Unfortunately, the question was posed in a different way in the 2018 survey, adding on-premises into the mix, but last year Azure and GCP had equal share after AWS.

    The survey had 19,000 participants invited via "Twitter ads, Facebook ads, Google Adwords and JetBrains' own communication channels," the tools vendor said, though "only the responses of 6,993 respondents were included in the report." Responses were removed to reduce bias, yet it warned "some bias may be present as JetBrains users may have been more willing on average to compete the survey".

  • Get your coat, you've pulled a Pull Panda: GitHub goes home with code collab specialists [Ed: Notice how Microsoft only takes GitHub in more of a proprietary software direction. That says a lot – they have plans and they’re really detrimental to FOSS]

GNU/Linux on Chrome OS and on Lenovo's 2019 ThinkPad P Series

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google
Ubuntu
  • Best Linux-Centric File Managers for Chrome OS

    I recently covered how to install Linux on Chromebook and you can check it out here. Today, let’s divert our attention to the File Manager in Chrome OS.

    Chrome OS is a beautiful Operating System (as is expected of all Google products) and it houses a responsive file manager for navigating its file trees.

    While it works excellently on Chrome OS which it was designed for, navigating Linux directories with it doesn’t feel as “Linuxy” and it can be helpful to install a Linux-centric file manager to eliminate that need.

  • Proposed Chrome OS 78 change will use the Files app to restore Linux containers on Chromebooks

    Chrome OS 74 brought the ability to backup and restore Linux containers on a Chromebook. It’s handy and it works. However, to use it, you have to go to the Linux settings in Chrome OS, which isn’t ideal.

  • Lenovo's 2019 ThinkPad P Series Lineup: OLED, RTX Quadro, Ubuntu, and More

    All P Series mobile workstations can also be configured with either Windows (up to Windows 10 Pro) or Ubuntu, making these a powerful mobile option for Linux users.

Latest From Mozilla and Chrome 76 Beta

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
  • Mozilla Security Blog: Updated GPG key for signing Firefox Releases

    The GPG key used to sign the Firefox release manifests is expiring soon, and so we’re going to be switching over to new key shortly.

    The new GPG subkey’s fingerprint is 097B 3130 77AE 62A0 2F84 DA4D F1A6 668F BB7D 572E, and it expires 2021-05-29.

  • Happy BMO Push Day!
  • Extensions in Firefox 68

    In Firefox 68, we are introducing a new API and some enhancements to webRequest and private browsing. We’ve also fixed a few issues in order to improve compatibility and resolve issues developers were having with Firefox.

  • Chrome 76 Beta: dark mode, payments, new PWA features and more

    Unless otherwise noted, changes described below apply to the newest Chrome Beta channel release for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, macOS, and Windows. Find more information about the features listed here through the provided links or from the list on ChromeStatus.com. Chrome 76 is beta as of June 13, 2019.

  • Chrome 76 Beta Brings Dark Mode Media Query, Other Improvements

    Following last week's release of Chrome 75, Google today issued the first public beta for the Chrome 76 web-browser. 

    The Chrome 76 browser now supports the "prefers-color-scheme" media query that can be used if wanting to implement a dark mode for a web-site to match any dark theme/mode of the device / operating system.

Browsers: Firefox Upselling and Branding, Chromium-Based Browsers Will Ignore Google’s Ad-Blocking Ban

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • This Free software ain't free to make, pal, it's expensive: Mozilla to bankroll Firefox with paid-for premium extras

    Mozilla is planning to launch a suite of paid-for subscription services to complement its free and open-source Firefox browser in October.

    CEO Chris Beard elaborated on the plan, mentioned in the company's bug reporting system eleven months ago, to German technology site T3N last week. In an interview, he said Mozilla's premium service plan will include VPN bandwidth above what's available from Mozilla's ProtonMail VPN partnership.

    He suggested the arrangement will augment a free VPN tier. That would be a change from the current $10 per month ProtonMail VPN arrangement, one that resembles the free VPN offering from the competing Opera browser. He also suggested the service bundle will include an allotment of secure cloud storage, though it isn't yet clear how much storage will be included or whether "secure" means user-held encryption keys.

  • Firefox 68 Beta 10 Testday, June 14th

    We are happy to let you know that Friday, June 14th we are organizing Firefox 68 Beta 10 Testday. We’ll be focusing our testing on: Sync & Firefox Account and Browser notifications & prompts.

    Check out the detailed instructions via this etherpad.

  • Mozilla Open Design Blog: Firefox: The Evolution Of A Brand

    Consider the fox. It’s known for being quick, clever, and untamed — attributes easily applied to its mythical cousin, the “Firefox” of browser fame. Well, Firefox has another trait not found in earthly foxes: stretchiness. (Just look how it circumnavigates the globe.) That fabled flexibility now enables Firefox to adapt once again to a changing environment.

    The “Firefox” you’ve always known as a browser is stretching to cover a family of products and services united by putting you and your privacy first. Firefox is a browser AND an encrypted service to send huge files. It’s an easy way to protect your passwords on every device AND an early warning if your email has been part of a data breach. Safe, private, eye-opening. That’s just the beginning of the new Firefox family.

    Now Firefox has a new look to support its evolving product line. Today we’re introducing the Firefox parent brand — an icon representing the entire family of products. When you see it, it’s your invitation to join Firefox and gain access to everything we have to offer. That includes the famous Firefox Browser icon for desktop and mobile, and even that icon is getting an update to be rolled out this fall.

  • Chromium-Based Browsers Will Ignore Google’s Ad-Blocking Ban

    Brave Opera and Vivaldi will not implement Google’s changes that will cripple ad-blockers.

    Commercial web browsers including Brave, Opera, and Vivaldi won’t be disabling ad blocker extensions as desired by Google. These browsers are based on the the same open source codebase that is used with Google Chrome. Google maintains an open source project called Chromium as the base of its Chrome browsers.

    According to ZDnet, “At the end of May, Google made a new announcement in which it said that the old technology that ad blockers were relying on would only be available for Chrome enterprise users, but not for regular users.”

Google's Android and Ark OS, GNU/Linux in Games' Back End (Stadia)

Filed under
Android
Google
Gaming
  • Google warns of US national security risks from Huawei ban

    Google has warned the Trump administration it risks compromising US national security if it pushes ahead with sweeping export restrictions on Huawei, as the technology group seeks to continue doing business with the blacklisted Chinese company.

    Senior executives at Google are pushing US officials to exempt it from a ban on exports to Huawei without a licence approved by Washington, according to three people briefed on the conversations.

  • Google Argues Banning Huawei Could Be A “US National Security Risk”

    he Chinese smartphone company is already under a 90-day trial period after which it won’t be able to use Google’s Android and services on its new devices. Huawei has also said they are working hard to quickly release their new Android alternative OS, which would most likely be called Ark OS.

  • Google Stadia Pricing Revealed (And It’s a Bit Confusing Tbh)

    Google today revealed pricing for its Linux-Powered game streaming service Stadia — and well, it’s all a bit confusing.

    Stadia is Google’s console-free way to game on your TV, your laptop, or anywhere else with a decent internet connection and the Google Chrome browser to hand.

    And, instead of downloading games locally to play on hardware in your room, games run in the cloud, on Google servers.

    The company says Stadia is able to deliver over 10 teraflops of graphics processing power, far beyond anything a home games console currently offers.

    But then again, you probably know all that; those details were revealed back in March.

  • Google Stadia Price, Games, Release Date, And Subscription Model Revealed

Can the Ark carry Huawei through the smartphone OS chaos?

Filed under
OS
Android
Google

Huawei registered “Ark OS” at the European trademark office, likely to be the name of its in-house operating system to replace Android for its future smartphones.

It emerged that Huawei has just registered a couple of trade marks with the European Union Intellectual Property Office. These include “Huawei Ark OS”, “Huawei Ark”, and “Huawei Ark Compiler”. It looks that “Ark” could be an overarching brand that covers both the OS and the compiler. It is possible that this would be the name of choice by Huawei for its in-house operating system to replace Android, as was reported earlier. Huawei declined Telecoms.com’s request for comment.

All the three trademarks filed belong to two classes on the “Nice Classification” of goods and services: Class 9 under “goods”, which the applicant explained specifically refers to “compiler software; operating systems for electronic devices”; and Class 42 under “services”, which the application specified includes “design and development of compiler software and operating systems for electronic devices; design and development of mobile phone applications featuring compiler software; Software as a Service (Saas) featuring compiler software.” The applications are “under examination” by the EU office.

Separately, the trademark office of China displayed that Huawei had filed applications for “Huawei Hongmeng” as the name of its operating system. The application was made in May 2018 and was published for opposition on 14 May 2019. In the Chinese myths, “Hongmeng” refers to the chaos before the world was created.

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