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Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Apple

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Mac
  • Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Apple's Products - LinuxLinks

    Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet (Google’s parent), Amazon and Facebook dominate the tech landscape. Their dominance is so broad they account for more than 20% of the S&P 500.

    There are many things to admire about Apple’s hardware and software. Apple make great looking (albeit expensive) hardware. Over the years key successes include the iPhone, iPad, iPod, and the MacBook Air. The company designs its own hardware and software. This gives them the power to make an operating system and suite of apps that are tailor-made and optimized for their hardware. Apple also operates the Apple Music and Apple TV media distribution platforms.

    Mac OS X is Apple’s proprietary operating system for its line of Macintosh computers. Its interface, known as Aqua, is highly polished and built on top of a BSD derivative (Darwin). There’s a whole raft of proprietary applications that are developed by Apple for their operating software. This software is not available for Linux and there’s no prospect of that position changing.

    In 2020, Apple began the Apple silicon transition, using self-designed, 64-bit ARM-based Apple M1 processors on new Mac computers. Maybe it’s the perfect time to move away from the proprietary world of Apple, and embrace the open source Linux scene.

  • Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Apple FaceTime - LinuxLinks

    Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet (Google’s parent), Amazon and Facebook dominate the tech landscape. Their dominance is so broad they account for more than 20% of the S&P 500.

    There are many things to admire about Apple’s hardware and software. Apple make great looking (albeit expensive) hardware. Over the years key successes include the iPhone, iPad, iPod, and the MacBook Air. The company designs its own hardware and software. This gives them the power to make an operating system and suite of apps that are tailor-made and optimized for their hardware. Apple also operates the Apple Music and Apple TV media distribution platforms.

    Mac OS X is Apple’s proprietary operating system for its line of Macintosh computers. Its interface, known as Aqua, is highly polished and built on top of a BSD derivative (Darwin). There’s a whole raft of proprietary applications that are developed by Apple for their operating software. This software is not available for Linux and there’s no prospect of that position changing.

    In 2020, Apple began the Apple silicon transition, using self-designed, 64-bit ARM-based Apple M1 processors on new Mac computers. Maybe it’s the perfect time to move away from the proprietary world of Apple, and embrace the open source Linux scene.

Apple and Microsoft Leftovers

Filed under
Microsoft
Mac

Change Desktop Environments on… iOS?

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Mac

While Apple’s modern operating systems may seem like they exist independently of the rest of the computing world, they are actually close cousins of modern versions of Linux. The primary link between the two is that Apple’s offerings are Unix-based and even though Linux isn’t Unix in the strict sense, it’s built to be extremely Unix-like. Plenty of Linux software is POSIX-compliant, meaning it is effectively compatible with true Unix. But what can we do with that information? Well, to start, we can run Linux desktop environments on top of an iOS install on your favorite iPhone or iPad.

To be sure, we will be filing this hack in the “because you can” category. [Torrekie], the creator of this project, has plenty of builds (Google translate from Chinese) where the boundaries between things like Linux and Unix are either blurred or nonexistant. In this particular project, a jailbroken iOS device is essentially gifted a ported version of XFCE which is able to run fairly well on iOS thanks to its compatibility with Unix environments. Details on how this was accomplished are sparse without a full investigation of the source code right now, but you can head over to the repository if you are curious enough to try this for yourself. [Torrekie] does note that this will only work with iOS devices that have been jailbroken using the “unc0ver” jailbreak only though.

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Proprietary Software and Monopolies/Monopoly Abuse

Filed under
Microsoft
Mac
  • Free Apple support

    Imagine running a trillion dollar company that bundles various open source components into your products, making billions of dollars of profit annually. When one of your users reach out and ask for help, with the product you ship to your customers, you instead refer the user to the open source project. The project which is run by volunteers which you never sponsored with a cent.

  • There's something to be said for delayed gratification when Windows 11 is this full of bugs
  • Microsoft Confirms Its Anticompetitive and User Hostile Behavior is Purposeful
  • How Windows 11 May Soon Force You to Use Microsoft Edge

    While browsing through your newly updated Windows 11, you may have noticed that some of the system's links launch in Microsoft Edge, even if you set Chrome or Firefox to your default browser. If you’re confused about what’s happening, you’re not the only one.

    You'll notice this happen more often when you launch a link in one of Windows 11's apps. For example, clicking an article in the "News and Interests" widget always launches itself in Microsoft’s browser, and not whichever browser you've set as the default for websites.

    But why is this happening? Let's dive in and have a closer look.

GNU/Linux on Overpriced "Mac" PCs

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GNU
Linux
Mac
  • Linux: Coming Soon to M1 Macbooks

    Regardless of the chipset or original intended use of any computer system, someone somewhere is going to want to try and run Linux on it. And why not? Linux is versatile and free to use as well as open-source, so it’s quite capable of running on almost anything. Of course, it takes a little while for the Linux folk to port the software to brand new hardware, but it’s virtually guaranteed that it’s only a matter of time before Linux is running on even the most locked-down of hardware, like the M1 MacBooks.

  • M1 MacBooks Compatible with Linux | Open-Sourced Endless Capabilities

    According to the story by Hackaday, regardless of the chipset or the originally intended use of any particular computer system, there could be someone out there that would still want to attempt to run Linux on it. Although the process of doing so is kind of tricky, Hector Martin was able to do it!

Pumpkins, markets, and one bad Apple

Filed under
GNU
Mac

Imagine your local farmers market: every Saturday the whole town comes together to purchase fresh and homemade goods, enjoy the entertainment, and find that there is always something for everyone. Whatever you need, you can find it here, and anyone can sign up to have their own little stand. It is a wonderful place, or so it seems. Now, imagine starting out as a pumpkin farmer, and you want to sell your pumpkins at this market. The market owner asks 30% of every pumpkin that you sell. It's steep, but the market owner -- we'll call him Mr. Apple -- owns all the markets in your area, so you have little choice.

Let's continue this analogy and imagine that, since it is a little hard for you to make ends meet, you decide to tell your customers that they can come visit you at your farm to purchase pumpkins. Mr. Apple overhears and shuts your stand down. You explain that your business cannot be profitable this way, but the grumpy market owner says that you can either comply or find another place. At the end of your rope, you look for information about starting your own farmers market, but it seems Mr. Apple owns every building in town.

In the midst of Apple announcing its new products, attention is drawn away from its ongoing battle to maintain its subjugation over users globally. The Netherlands’ Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) last month informed the U.S. technology giant of its decision that the rules around the in-app payment system are anticompetitive, making it the first antitrust regulator to conclude that the company has abused market power in the App Store. And while Apple is appealing this verdict, the European Union is charging the company with another antitrust claim concerning the App Store.

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Apple Leftovers

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Mac
  • Apple tried to patch this security hole in macOS Finder but didn't consider upper and lowercase characters

    Apple's macOS Finder application is currently vulnerable to a remote code execution bug, despite an apparent attempt to fix the problem.

    A security advisory published Tuesday by the SSD Secure Disclosure program, on behalf of researcher Park Minchan, explains that macOS Finder – which provides a visual interface for interacting with files – is vulnerable to documents with the .inetloc extension.

    "[T]hese files can be embedded inside emails which if the user clicks on them will execute the commands embedded inside them without providing a prompt or warning to the user," the advisory says.

  • Apple Training Videos Highlight Company's Adversarial Stance On Affordable Repairs

    Apple has never looked too kindly upon users actually repairing their own devices. The company's ham-fisted efforts to shut down, sue, or otherwise imperil third-party repair shops are well established. As are the company's efforts to force recycling shops to shred Apple products (so they can't be refurbished and re-used), and Apple's often comical attacks on essential right to repair legislation, which only sprung up after companies like Apple, Microsoft, Sony, John Deere, and others created a grass-roots counter-movement via their attempts to monopolize repair.

Proprietary Security Issues

Filed under
Microsoft
Mac
Security

Proprietary Software Security

Filed under
Microsoft
Mac
Security
  • OMIGOD: Azure users running Linux VMs need to update now [Ed: They need to abandon Microsoft Azure and get reprimanded by the employer for ever choosing this NSA company as a host in the first place]
  • Microsoft September 2021 Patch Tuesday: Remote code execution flaws in MSHTML, OMI fixed
  • Microsoft Patch Tuesday, September 2021 Edition

    Microsoft today pushed software updates to plug dozens of security holes in Windows and related products, including a vulnerability that is already being exploited in active attacks. Also, Apple has issued an emergency update to fix a flaw that’s reportedly been abused to install spyware on iOS products, and Google‘s got a new version of Chrome that tackles two zero-day flaws. Finally, Adobe has released critical security updates for Acrobat, Reader and a slew of other software.

  • Apple Patches Up Devices In Response To The Exposure Of Yet Another NSO Group Exploit

    Israeli digital arms merchant NSO Group continues to sell its malware to a wide variety of governments. The governments it sells to, which includes a bunch of notorious human rights abusers, continue to use these exploits to target dissidents, activists, journalists, religious leaders, and political opponents. And the manufacturers of the devices exploited by governments to harm people these governments don't like (NSO says "criminals and terrorists," long-term customers say "eh, whoever") continue to patch things up so these exploits no longer work.

  • It's not just you: Emergency software patches are on the rise

    Researchers raised the alarm Monday about a big one: The Israeli spyware company NSO Group, which sells programs for governments to remotely take over people’s smartphones and computers, had figured out a new way into practically any Apple device by sending a fake GIF through iMessage. The only way to guard against it is to install Apple’s emergency software update.

  • Apple Rushes Out Emergency Update to Stop ‘No Click’ Spyware

    The flaw, disclosed Monday by Citizen Lab, allowed a hacker using NSO’s Pegasus malware to gain access to a device owned by an unnamed Saudi activist, according to security researchers. Apple said the flaw could be exploited if a user on a vulnerable device received a “maliciously crafted” PDF file.

Gnome 3 compare to MacOs

Filed under
Mac
GNOME

An assertion I have made in the past is that to me “Gnome 3 feels like MacOs with rough edges”. After some discussions with others, I’m finally going to write this up with examples.

It’s worth pointing out that in my opinion, Gnome 3 is probably still the best desktop experience on Linux today for a variety of reasons - it’s just that for me, these rough edges really take away from that being a good experience for me.

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More in Tux Machines

System Monitoring Center is an Ideal Task Manager & Resource Monitor for Linux

Graphically monitoring the system resources may not be the best experience on Linux. The system monitoring tool that comes baked in with your desktop environment might limit the details. For instance, GNOME’s system monitor does not display the CPU frequency and temperatures. In addition, the default system monitor applications available for Linux usually aim for simplicity instead of providing detailed insights. Read more

today's leftovers

  • How Ubuntu Boosts Developer Desktop Productivity | Ubuntu

    Seventeen years after its first release, Ubuntu is firmly established as the Linux developer desktop of choice around the world. From education through to enterprise, Ubuntu delivers the tools developers need to succeed across their careers. In this blog, we will cover the main aspects that contribute to this success. [...] Developers start their careers with Ubuntu, and 69% of student developers reported that they prefer Ubuntu as an OS. It’s not surprising. With Ubuntu, they gain access to the best of open source, including AI/ML frameworks, such as Pytorch and TensorFlow, ROS for robotics and LXD and multipass for virtualisation. Open source technology is now a critical part of any enterprise, and familiarity with open source is a key consideration in hiring. As a result, getting new developers onboarded and productive quickly is easier with Ubuntu. It’s a system they’re familiar with. It’s flexible and customisable. And, as an operating system, it spans both the workstation and the cloud, providing a consistent development experience across your technology stack.

  • Our 12 favorite Arduino UNO projects | Arduino Blog

    The UNO wasn’t Arduino’s first board, and it won’t be its last. There have been many varieties of microcontroller and maker boards before and after the UNO, but none have been as iconic. As we cross the epic milestone of 10 million UNOs sold and the launch of the UNO Mini Limited Edition, we decided it was time to take a look back at some of our favorite UNO projects from the last 10 years. And we want to hear about yours, too. Join us over on social media to share your favorite UNO projects, whether you built them yourself or marveled at someone else’s electronic creation.

  • Personal computer maker Raspberry Pi plans London listing

    The company behind Britain's best-selling personal computer is preparing the ground for a spring listing which is expected to value it at more than £370m.

    The trading arm of the Raspberry Pi Foundation has hired bankers from Stifel and Liberum to advise on a London float after securing a $45m (£33m) investment in September.

    The Cambridge-based foundation offloaded stakes to Lansdowne Partners and the Ezrah Charitable Trust to fund product development and marketing after seeing booming demand for its miniature personal computers during lockdown.

  • Mozilla Privacy Blog: Mozilla files comments on UK Data Protection Consultation

    Mozilla recently submitted its comments to a public consultation on reforming the UK’s data protection regime launched by the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport. With the public consultation, titled ‘Data: A New Direction’, the UK government set out to re-evaluate the UK’s approach to data protection after no longer being bound by the bloc’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). We took this opportunity to share our thoughts on data stewardship and the role effective regulation can play in addressing the lopsided power dynamics between large data collectors and users. For Mozilla, privacy is not optional. It is an integral aspect of our Manifesto, which states that individuals’ security and privacy on the internet are fundamental and must not be treated as optional. This is why privacy is at the core of our product work and why we have long promoted robust data protection in our policy and advocacy work. Further, Mozilla’s Data Futures Lab is exploring alternative approaches to data governance and promoting data stewardship through original research and support to builders.

  • 42 things I learned from building a production database

    In 2017, I went to Facebook on a sabbatical from my faculty position at Yale. I created a team to build a storage system called Delos at the bottom of the Facebook stack (think of it as Facebook’s version of Chubby). We hit production with a 3-person team in less than a year; and subsequently scaled the team to 30+ engineers spanning multiple sub-teams. In the four years that I led the team (until Spring 2021), we did not experience a single severe outage (nothing higher than a SEV3). The Delos design is well-documented in two academic papers (in OSDI 2020 and SOSP 2021). Delos is currently replacing all uses of ZooKeeper at Facebook.

    Here are some of the things I learned as the tech lead for Delos. My intent in publishing this is to help others in similar roles (leading teams that are building new infra at large companies); much of it may not generalize to different settings.

Audiocasts/Show: Steam Deck, Open Source Security, WP Briefing, and Linux Action News

LVFS and OpenZFS

  • Richard Hughes: Firmware “Best Known Configuration” in fwupd

    I’ve just deployed some new functionality to the LVFS adding support for component <tag>s. These are used by server vendors to identify a known-working (or commercially supported) set of firmware on the machine. This is currently opt-in for each vendor to avoid the UI clutter on the components view, and so if you’re a vendor reading this post and realize you want this feature, let me know and it’s two clicks on the admin panel.

  • FWUPD Linux Firmware Updater Prepares "Best Known Configuration" Feature - Phoronix

    The Linux Vendor Firmware Service (LVFS) and FWUPD on their great upward trajectory has in recent times been expanding beyond their initial focus of desktop/laptop hardware to supporting more server platforms for firmware updating. The latest feature driven by their growing server interests is "best known configuration" handling for where there are multiple independently-versioned firmware packages for a given system and may be support recommendations or potential version conflicts between the the different firmware packages.

  • OpenZFS 3.0 Introduced at Developer Summit

    The ninth annual OpenZFS Developer Summit took place November 8th and 9th online with iXsystems proudly returning as a Gold sponsor. The OpenZFS community remains vibrant and is continuing to develop features at a rapid pace. This blog summarizes some of the more interesting talks.