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Proprietary Software and DRM/Monopoly

Filed under
Microsoft
Mac

  • FOSS Patents: Fortnite users continue to make in-app purchases on iOS that bypass Apple's payment system: court filing says "Epic is stealing money from Apple"

    In yesterday's filing, Apple says it has the right to sue Epic not only for breach of contract but also for tort, given that Epic would face tort liability "if [t]c had never executed the contracts with Apple and had instead found another way to smuggle Fortnite and its 'hotfix' payment mechanism into the App Store." Apple argues that a company protecting itself against such behavior through contracts must not be in a weaker legal position than one that doesn't. What Apple does clarify is that it won't seek "multiplicative recovery" if the same conduct on Epic's part constituted both a breach of an agreement and fraud. In other words, Apple would then content itself with only the greater of the two alternative amounts.

    It appears that the "hotfix" was just a simple data point on Epic's servers--not program code, but merely a trigger. When the iOS version of Fortnite checked on that data point, it offered an alternative payment mechanism to end users in circumvention of Apple's in-app payment rules.

    After the "hotfix" that Apple says became Epic's hot mess, Fortnite was removed from the App Store. That means it cannot be downloaded to iOS devices right now, and Epic has already failed twice (with a motion for a temporary restraining order as well as a motion for a preliminary injunction) to get a court to force Apple to tolerate an iOS version of Fortnite that bypasses Apple's in-app payment system.

  • Why Apple’s App Store Is Under Siege

    Fueling the fire was a report issued last week by House Democrats summing up an antitrust probe into four Big Tech companies — Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google — and urging Congress to enact new laws to curb the companies’ power. The 449-page report called on Congress to enact new laws to curb the companies’ power, including prohibiting companies like Apple from operating “adjacent lines of business” (in other words, preventing it from offering its own apps in the App Store that compete with those from third parties).

    “Apple’s monopoly power over app distribution on iPhones permits the App Store to generate supra-normal profits,” the House Judiciary Committee report said.

  • Microsoft Says Long-Time Deals Executive Brown Leaving Company

    Microsoft Corp. said mergers and acquisitions chief Marc Brown is leaving the company after a more than two-decade stint working on deals ranging from LinkedIn to Nokia Oyj’s handset unit.

    Brown, vice president of corporate development, reported to Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood. Microsoft spokesman Frank Shaw on Friday confirmed Brown’s departure and declined to comment on a replacement. The company is still conducting a search for a senior business development executive to replace Peggy Johnson, who left in July to become chief executive officer at Magic Leap Inc.

  • Your brand new Oculus Quest 2 can’t play Oculus Go games, John Carmack confirms [Ed: Digital Restrictions (DRM) in action]

    If you bought a new Oculus Quest 2 with the hopes of experiencing games from the now-discontinued Oculus Go, I have bad news: the company has decided not to include support for Go titles on the Quest 2, Oculus’ consulting CTO John Carmack confirms on Twitter.

    When the Oculus Quest 2 launched three days ago, some people noticed there was no feature on the UI that allowed users to access Go apps and games, something the original Quest headset featured. Carmack did not go into much detail on why support was not added other than “[he] totally lost the internal debate over backwards compatibility.”

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  • Three npm packages found opening shells on Linux, Windows systems [Ed: The writers at ZDNet are apt at blaming “LINUX” for security threats that have nothing to do with Linux. Now that Microsoft is serving malware ZDNet… blames “NPM” (ssshhhhh… don’t mention Microsoft)]
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Digital Restrictions (DRM) and Proprietary Pushers

Filed under
Microsoft
Mac

     
  • Facebook is accidentally locking some users out of their new Oculus headsets

                     

                       

    As UploadVR reported yesterday, users complained that they had been suspended for unclear reasons while they were trying to set up the Quest 2. One poster on the Oculus subreddit, for instance, described getting banned after creating a Facebook page for the first time and merging it with an existing Oculus account. “I logged into Facebook’s website to lock down my profile, as I had no intention of using the social media site more than was needed, and within minutes of merging accounts and changing profile settings my account was banned without any reason given or cause I can think of,” the user told The Verge in an email — rendering the Quest 2 a “new white paperweight.” Other people in the subreddit chimed in with their own experiences getting locked out.

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  • Games Piracy Scene Reinvigorated, Four Denuvo-Protected Titles Released in One Day

           

             

    Late August the piracy Scene was thrown into turmoil when law enforcement raids took place all around Europe. With few hopes of a significant recovery any time soon, in the space of a few minutes yesterday veteran cracking group CPY released four games previously protected by Denuvo. For many pirates, this is the positive signal they'd been waiting for.

  • Microsoft ends support for Office 2010, bangs the Office 365 gong
  • Microsoft is foisting Office web apps on Edge users

    Microsoft is no stranger to using Windows and other software to promote more of its own apps and services. The latest way the company is doing this is via Edge.

    Accusations of using its products as an advertising tool or as a means of forcing products onto users are nothing new for the Windows maker, and the company's latest move with Edge does nothing to shake them off. The browser has been found to install Microsoft Office web apps without asking for permission.

  • JACK2 Audio Server Rolls Out Better Windows + macOS Support - Phoronix

    JACK2 1.9.15 released on Thursday as the newest version of this professional-minded sound server focused on real-time, low-latency connections.

    JACK2 1.9.15 brings a number of bug fixes, improvements to various JACK tools, deprecates JACK-Session, and makes other improvements. JACK1 continues to be in a bug-fix mode while JACK2 continues advancing slowly and incorporating all of its functionality.

  • Has Apple abandoned CUPS, the Linux's world's widely used open-source printing system? Seems so

    After only one public Git commit this year, penguinstas think: Fork it, we don't need Cupertino. The official public repository for CUPS, an Apple open-source project widely used for printing on Linux, is all-but dormant since the lead developer left Apple at the end of 2019.

WhiteSur: macOS Big Sur Like Gtk, Gnome Shell And Icon Themes For Your Linux Desktop

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Mac
GNOME

WhiteSur Gtk Theme is a macOS Big Sur like theme for Gnome-based desktops, supporting Gnome Shell, Cinnamon, Xfce, Pantheon, Budgie and Mate desktops.

The theme pack comes in both light and dark variants, both having regular (with the sidebar slightly transparent in some applications) and solid versions.

There's also an optional Plank dock theme for those that want to achieve an even closer look to macOS Big Sur. As a side note, if you use Ubuntu and want to disable Ubuntu Dock so you can use Plank dock instead, see this article.
The theme requires Gtk 3.20 or newer, so it should work with most Linux distributions, e.g. from Ubuntu 18.04 to 20.10, etc.

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TenFourFox FPR27 available

Filed under
Mac
Moz/FF
Web

TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 27 final is now available for testing (downloads, hashes, release notes). Unfortunately, I have thus far been unable to solve issue 621 regarding the crashes on LinkedIn, so to avoid drive-by crashes, scripts are now globally disabled on LinkedIn until I can (no loss since it doesn't work anyway). If you need them on for some reason, create a pref tenfourfox.troublesome-js.allow and set it to true. I will keep working on this for FPR28 to see if I can at least come up with a better wallpaper, though keep in mind that even if I repair the crash it may still not actually work anyway. There are otherwise no new changes since the beta except for outstanding security updates, and it will go live Monday evening Pacific assuming no new issues.

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Wine and Proprietary Software Leftovers

Filed under
Microsoft
Software
Mac
  • The Steam Play Proton compatibility layer turns two years old

    Two years ago to the date, Valve Software made an announcement that would change Linux gaming on Steam: that announcement was the new version of Steam Play with the Proton compatibility layer.

    Proton is the Valve-funded fork of Wine, a compatibility layer designed to run Windows software on other systems. With Proton, Valve are focusing of course on games and Steam integration with the help of CodeWeavers. Two years on, there's a huge amount more AAA games (thousands) playable on Linux with a few clicks of a button (guide). Thanks to Proton, users moving over from Windows likely don't need to give up a lot of their games, since many should work well and the importance of that cannot be understated as a back catalogue is vital.

  • Adobe accidentally deleted people’s photos in latest Lightroom update

    Adobe representative Rikk Flohr acknowledged and apologized for the snafu in a forum post yesterday. Per Flohr, the company has released another update “to prevent this issue from impacting additional customers.” However, the photos can’t be recovered, according to Flohr. The update won’t help anyone who’s already been impacted.

  • Is Gmail Down? Google Drive Outages Reported in U.S., Europe and Australia

    Many users noted receiving an error message that read either "Oops something went wrong" or "Message could not be sent. Check your network and try again," when attempting to send an email.

    Newsweek has contacted Google for comment.

  • Helsinki man loses €100k in "Microsoft support" scam

    Police said these kinds of scams come to their attention on a nearly daily basis. In June, for example, police reported two similar incidents in which two victims had each been conned out of as much as 30,000 euros.

  • Epic vs. Apple is not about 'freedom'

    In my experience, when wealthy people talk about “freedom,” it doesn’t usually mean freedom for the rest of us, just freedom for them. This whole affair can easily be characterized as being little more than a company of millionaires fighting a company of billionaires over the right to take a cut from software sales.

  • Publishers Ask Apple CEO for Same App Store Deal Given to Amazon

    Apple takes 30% of the revenue from most subscriptions in its App Store, then 15% after the first year. But in late July, a congressional antitrust panel disclosed internal emails showing a more-favorable deal struck between Apple services chief Eddy Cue and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. They agreed to a 15% revenue share for Amazon Prime Video customers who signed up through the iPhone app and no revenue share for users who already subscribed via Amazon or elsewhere, the emails showed.

Want to run Mac OS 8 on Linux as an Electron app? Well, you can anyway

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Mac

After creating Electron-based version of Windows 95 in 2018, Felix is back with a new virtual machine package (and a new apology for creating it).

Called macintosh.js, Felix brings Apple’s ancient Mac OS 8 system to the masses via the medium of JavaScript and everyone’s favourite app creation framework¹ Electron.

His free-to-use-but-don’t-ask-me-if-Apple-approve version of Mac OS 8 runs like a champ on Windows, macOS and Linux (I tested it on the latter). It runs as a standalone app that boots the OS up directly, i.e. there’s no need to fuss around with installers or set up dialogs).

“The virtual machine is emulating a 1991 Macintosh Quadra 900 with a Motorola CPU, which Apple used before switching to the PowerPC architecture (Apple/IBM/Motorola) in the mid 1990s,” Felix says of his effort.

A suite of era-specific software and games is bundled inside as trials, demos, or shareware. This includes Adobe Photoshop 3, Adobe Premiere 4, Netscape Explorer, Duke Nukem 3D, and plenty more.

While there’s no working internet connectivity (meaning the bundled copy of Internet Explorer must go unloved) this is a functional version of Mac OS 8. All of the apps work; this isn’t a superficial reconstruction with the veneer of usability — it works.

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Make the switch from Mac to Linux easier with Homebrew

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Mac

The Homebrew project began its life as an unofficial Linux-style package manager for the Mac. Its users quickly fell in love with its friendly interface and helpful prompts, and—in what may seem like a strange twist of fate—it got ported to Linux.

At first, there were two separate projects for macOS and Linux (Homebrew and Linuxbrew), but now Homebrew's core manages both operating systems. Because I've been on a journey to migrate from Mac to Linux, I have been looking at how my favorite open source applications for macOS perform on Linux, and I've been happy to find that Homebrew's support for Linux truly shines.

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How to Make Ubuntu Look Like macOS in 5 Easy Steps

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Mac
GNOME
Ubuntu

Customization is one of the main reasons why I use Linux. There is no end to the kind of customization you can do to your desktop Linux. You can change icons, themes, change fonts, change terminals, add screenlets, indicator applets, extensions and what not.

We have covered numerous desktop customization tips and tricks on It’s FOSS. In this one, I’ll show you how to make Ubuntu look like macOS.

Many people use macOS because of its simplistic and elegant look. You may disagree with it but it remains a popular opinion. Even there are Linux distributions that have macOS like look and feel.

One of the readers requested us to show how to make Ubuntu look like macOS and hence we’ve created this tutorial. In fact, this is a good example to show the customization capability of desktop Linux.

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The Free Operating System That’s Identical To macOS

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Mac

iRaspbian comes with a series of built-in apps, including Chromium Media Edition (the version of the web browser that allows you to use services such as Netflix), LibreOffice and the GIMP art package - all of which have their own icons on the Dock.

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Apple Music on the web is no longer in beta -- including on Linux

Filed under
Linux
Mac

My favorite streaming music service is Apple Music. As an iPhone user, this was a match made in heaven. As a regular desktop Linux user, however, this was very problematic. You see, for the longest time, you needed iTunes to listen to Apple Music on desktop. This wasn't a problem when using Windows 10 or macOS, but as soon as I signed into, say, Ubuntu, I was out of luck, as there is no iTunes for Linux.

Thankfully, late last year, Apple finally brought its streaming music service to the web. In other words, all you needed to listen to Apple Music was a compatible web browser. This meant that users of desktop Linux could finally listen to the streaming service by simply firing up a web browser, such as Firefox. Despite being a feature Spotify offered for many years, it was still a really big deal. The problem? Apple Music for the web was merely a beta. Today, this changes.

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More in Tux Machines

Android Leftovers

Games: Godot Engine, Lutris, XCOM, KeeperRL, Ampersat, Europa Universalis and More

  • X11 display server progress report

    I'm Camille, aka PouleyKetchoupp. I use Godot as an indie game developer (Nekomatata) and I've been a Godot contributor for a while (Github). Recently I was hired to work as a contractor on fixes and improvements for the Linux port of Godot 4. Most of the work was dedicated to fixing regressions due to the new Display Server used for window management, which allows support for multiple windows. I've also spent some extra time fixing old issues we had with X11 which required some refactoring in how the engine communicates with the X server. Some of them will be available in a later Godot 3.2 release as well. In this post I'm summarizing all the changes I've made in the X11 Display Server, in order to (hopefully) clarify how the X server works and how Godot communicates with it.

  • Godot Engine to get improved Linux support in the upcoming Godot 4 release | GamingOnLinux

    While the free and open source game engine Godot Engine already has Linux support, for both exported games and the full editor, it's set to get even better in Godot 4.0. In a blog post written by Camille Mohr-Daurat, they mentioned how they've been hired by the Godot team to work as a contractor on fixes and improvements for the Linux port of Godot. Camille Mohr-Daurat is an indie developer who actually uses Godot too at Nekomatata, where they created the unique ping-pong battler Punch Pong. So this is a real fun example of open source in action. Godot 4.0 will be coming with a new windowing system, so that you can separate parts of the Godot Engine editor from the main window. A lot of their work is focused on ensuring that works great on Linux with X11, which seems like there's a lot of work involved, because there's places where X11 doesn't have APIs to handle things where it does on other platforms like Windows and macOS - with drag and drop between windows being one mentioned example they've had to solve directly.

  • Lutris game launcher has a huge new Beta update out for testing | GamingOnLinux

    Lutris is the impressive all-in-one solution for managing games on Linux, bundling tons of sources of Linux releases from different stores under one roof as well as emulators, compatibility layers and more. Just recently on October 19 they put up the Beta of the new 0.5.8 release, and it includes some pretty huge changes and improvements all across the application. The way it actually works under the hood has been completely changed in many ways, along with the way you add games to it. Instead of manually importing games, it now attempts to sync up with your library across other stores like GOG, Humble and Steam. Adding games from the Lutris website using their scripts to set things up is also now in its own section, just called Lutris and it no longer depends on having install scripts for 3rd party services as Lutris will now run stuff with an "auto-generated" script but scripts on the Lutris database will take precedence if available

  • XCOM-ish combat and HOMM-styled world exploration Fort Triumph has a major update and sale | GamingOnLinux

    Possibly one of my favourite strategy game releases of 2020, Fort Triumph blends together XCOM styled combat with HOMM (Heroes of Might and Magic) exploration into quite a gem that doesn't take itself too seriously. What makes it fun is the environment interactions during battles, as you push rocks and drop trees onto enemies - it never gets old. It appears the team at CookieByte Entertainment have been busy too, with a huge free first post-release content upgrade out now. They've added in 27 new locations/events to the world map, and with some of these encounters you can add/remove traits from your heroes. Some of these encounters mix up the combat too, with some being unique Physics-only battles where you can only move around parts of the environment and not use normal abilities which sounds pretty hilarious.

  • KeeperRL, the open source dungeon building sim is getting a price bump in November | GamingOnLinux

    Fancy becoming a dungeon master? Well, if you're watching the pennies you might want to go and pick up KeeperRL before they price gets bumped up. This excellent open source building sim that mixes in RPG and roguelike elements has a lot to like about it, and it's been continually improved over 7 years now. Since it's had a lot added to it, and the developer has been working almost full time on it, they're going to be increasing the price from $14.99 to $20 on November 15. Plenty of notice if you were thinking about picking it up. Keep in mind they also said there will be no discounts planned until the big 1.0 release, so it's not going to be cheaper again any time soon.

  • Ampersat is an upcoming hack and slash shooter where everyone is ASCII | GamingOnLinux

    Mixing together ASCII characters and enemies, along with a full colour world, the hack and slash shooter Ampersat seems like a rather unique blend. A little weird too, with styles that usually clash and don't make sense together. You're the "at sign", the ampersat, and enemies are also these flat characters yet the world is 3D and full of colour. It looks bizarre but it works. Solo developer Gaterooze, Ink mentioned it was inspired by elements of Gauntlet and Smash TV to Zelda and a dash of Angband that "distils some favourite childhood gaming experiences into a fresh, fun hybrid that sees you killing a lot of monsters, finding a lot of loot, freeing captured letters and growing from a world-weary warrior mage into a powerful smashing/blasting machine".

  • Free copy of Europa Universalis II on GOG, with a huge Paradox Interactive sale going on | GamingOnLinux

    Paradox Interactive are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Europa Universalis series so they're giving away Europa Universalis II and putting a bunch of other games on sale. For the free game, simply head to GOG.com and find the big banner. It doesn't support Linux like Paradox's later games, since it's a proper classic from way back in 2001 but you can try your luck with the Wine compatibility layer if you really want it.

  • Try the demo for Pyramid Plunge, a lighthearted platformer with a really odd couple | GamingOnLinux

    Ah yes, dangerous ancient pyramids with traps and deadly creatures, why not let a totally unprepared couple explore it? That's what you're doing in Pyramid Plunge as you run, carry your partner, fart to get airtime are more. The result is actually quite hilarious, mixing together challenging random generation with a sprinkle of comedy from the two wildly different characters that have a bit of banter between them like a true couple would. You don't see many platformers come along like this, what joy.

  • Proton: The Native Port Killer?

    The thrill surrounding the announcement of Street Fighter V coming to Linux was real. It was a few years after SteamOS was announced. After years of silence, fans started to doubt that this was becoming a reality. It wasn’t until two years after the initial release of Proton that Valve started to work with Capcom to try and make the Windows version compatible with Linux. Some people are still salty that it took this long to get here, and even more upset that this isn’t a native port. On the other hand, fans like myself are pleased that Valve/Capcom held to their word, even though they may have compromised a bit by making it Proton-compatible. The same goes for Rocket League. End-users like myself naturally get upset when delays happen, even though we don’t understand what it’s like to be on the developer’s side. Several months came and went after the original announcement, and finally the Mac and Linux versions of the game went live on Steam. Fast forward a few years later, and Psyonix decides to drop the ball for said versions, leaving it up to Proton to pick up the slack on Linux and bootcamp for Mac OS. Don’t even get me started on the fact that they basically abandoned support on Steam altogether in favor of the Epic Crap Store.

today's howtos

System76 Thelio Mega is a quad-GPU Linux desktop powered by Ryzen Threadripper

System76 began its life as a Linux computer seller only. Essentially, the company would sell re-branded laptops with Ubuntu pre-installed. To provide a class-leading experience, however, System76 also provided top-notch customer service, helping Linux beginners get started with a little hand-holding when needed. This focus on service continues today, and it is largely responsible for the company's success and longevity. Seeking to better control its own destiny, the company branched out from only being a computer-seller and transformed into a maker too. It's handcrafted Thelio desktops are powerful works of art, comprised of wood, metal, and good ol' fashioned American elbow grease. Yes, these Thelio machines are made in the USA -- Colorado, specifically. System76 has even created its own operating system -- the Ubuntu-based Pop!_OS, which has been very well received by the Linux community. This Linux distro will work on most computers -- not just Sytem76 machines. If you want vanilla Ubuntu, don't worry -- the company continues to offer that OS as an option when buying one of its computers. Read more