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MacBook Pro (2016) disappointment pushes some Apple loyalists to Ubuntu Linux

Filed under
Mac
Ubuntu

The new Apple MacBook Pro looks to be a wonderful laptop, but understandably, not everyone is impressed. The "Pro" moniker literally means "professional", and there are some concerns from that segment. Some photographers, for instance, will be very hurt and disgusted by the lack of an SD card slot. More importantly, the computer maxes out at 16GB of RAM -- many pro users want 32GB or more, which is not possible on the new machine, sadly.

While you might expect some of these disappointed Apple loyalists to turn to a Windows machine -- and I'm sure some will -- some are turning to an unexpected alternative -- Linux. You see, immediately after the Apple Keynote, famed Ubuntu laptop and desktop seller, System76, saw a huge jump in traffic from people looking to buy its machines. The traffic was so intense, that it needed to upgrade servers to keep up!

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macOS 10.12 Sierra vs. Ubuntu 16.04 Linux Benchmarks

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Mac
Ubuntu

Apple released macOS 10.12 "Sierra" last week as the successor to OS X El Capitan. Given this annual update to macOS / OS X, here are benchmarks of macOS Sierra compared to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS on a MacBook Air and Mac Mini computers.

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Microsoft and Apple

Filed under
Microsoft
Mac
  • These Microsoft veterans are on their way out

    This year, a handful of Microsoft veteran employees are retiring and/or moving on. Over the past couple of weeks, here's who has left or is in the midst of leaving the company:

  • Microsoft fiddles results to show Edge is 'better' than Opera and Chrome

    THE DANCE-OFF over which browser has the best battery life goes on in a war that has turned some parts of the internet into an uninhabitable zone in the hours of darkness.

    Opera pwned everyone in its own tests, taking particular beef with Microsoft's Edge half-browser, but Google then came forward to show that version 53 of its Chrome browser pwned all the things.

    Microsoft has now re-run the tests and, not entirely surprisingly, claimed that Edge beats everything else.

    Microsoft conducted tests against its three biggest rivals, and said that Edge, when used with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, uses 24 per cent less power than Chrome, 32 per cent less than Opera and 43 per cent less than Firefox.

    Edge managed 527 minutes of video playback against 429 for Opera, 365 for Chrome and 312 for Firefox, according to Microsoft.

    However, closer inspection reveals that Microsoft used Chrome 51 (not 53), Opera 38 (not 39) and Firefox 36 (not 38).

    In other words, Microsoft's methodology has been tainted by pitting the latest version of Edge against earlier versions of other browsers.

  • Microsoft Corporation Is Giving Up on Fitness Bands [Ed: The number of dead products at Microsoft keeps increasing]

    According to ZDNet, all signs indicate that the Microsoft Band 2 will be the final product of the software giant's foray into smart fitness trackers. The original Microsoft Band from 2014 was poorly received by the market, as was the follow-up successor, even though it was redesigned and improved in many ways. Band 2 even got a price bump and launched at $250, which didn't help its chances. The company has since reduced the price to $175, presumably in an effort to clear out inventory.

  • Microsoft Corporation: Microsoft and Tuxera strengthen partnership through Tuxera SMB Server[Ed: helping Microsoft's patent fight against Linux and the GPL]
  • Microsoft Azure borkage in central US leads to global woes

    At its height, the fault affected API management, web apps, Service Bus and SQL database services in the central US region, and Azure DNS globally.

    Microsoft's Azure status page has just now reported that SQL database is still affected in the central US region.

    As is often the case, however, customers noticed confusion with Microsoft's messages, as Azure Twitter feeds and status pages seemed to disagree on the speed of recovery.

  • [Reposted] FSF, RMS Issue Statements Over Libreboot's Accusations [Ed: There are a lot of examples of sexism, homophobia and other abuse inside Microsoft and Apple but unlike FOSS communities they hide it. Here are examples of Microsoft sexism [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] and Microsoft homophobia [1, 2, 3]
  • Leaked Apple emails reveal employees' complaints about sexist, toxic work environment [Ed: apropos the above and new report, too]

    Danielle* didn't expect her workday to begin with her male coworkers publicly joking about rape.

    Danielle is an engineer at Apple — and like many of the women in the company, she works on a male-dominated team. On a Tuesday morning in July, when men on her team began to joke that an office intruder was coming to rape everybody, Danielle decided to speak out about what she described as the "very toxic atmosphere" created by jokes about violent sexual assault.

    The coworker who first made the joke apologized, repeatedly assuring her that something like this wouldn't happen again. But his assurances did little to instill confidence. This wasn't the first time Danielle had allegedly seen something like this happen on her team, nor was it the first time she complained that the office culture at Apple was, in her words, toxic. Despite repeated formal complaints to her manager, Danielle said, nothing ever changed.

    But this rape joke was the final straw. The next day, Danielle escalated her complaint about the offense to the very top: Apple CEO Tim Cook.

  • After 23 years, the Apple II gets another OS update

    You can test-drive ProDOS 2.4 in a Web-based emulator set up by computer historian Jason Scott on the Internet Archive. The release includes Bitsy Bye, a menu-driven program launcher that allows for navigation through files on multiple floppy (or hacked USB) drives. Bitsy Bye is an example of highly efficient code: it runs in less than 1 kilobyte of RAM. There's also a boot utility that is under 400 bytes—taking up a single block of storage on a disk.

CUPS 2.2 Printing System Out Now to Support Local IPP Everywhere Print Queues

Filed under
Mac
OSS

Apple announced the release of a new stable version of its open-source CUPS (Common UNIX Printing System) software used in the macOS operating system and all GNU/Linux distributions.

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Here's what Android owners do when Apple releases a new iPhone

Filed under
Android
Mac

We know how a new iPhone gets existing iPhone owners flocking to the Apple Store to upgrade, but how do Android users react to a shiny, new Apple phone?

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iPhone 7 vs. Samsung Galaxy S7: iOS and Android Face Off

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Android
Mac

Apple and Samsung have always dominated the smartphone market by offering flagship phones with a potent combination of powerful hardware, functional software, and unique features. The recent announcement of the iPhone 7 takes things to the next level by adding a beefed-up processor, major improvements to the camera, and waterproofing. Let's take a look at how Apple's new flagship compares with the Samsung Galaxy S7, one of the best Android phones available.

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Android vs iPhone | Android vs iOS: which is best?

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Android
Mac

So you want a new phone, but you’re considering jumping ship from Android or iOS. But is the grass really greener on the other side, or should you stick with what you know? Here we outline the pros and cons of Android phones and iPhones. It’s Android vs iPhone: iOS vs Android. See also: Best new phones

Before we get started, we must point out that this guide is intended as a brief overview to help you decide whether to choose an Android phone or an iPhone. It’s not meant to be an exhaustive comparison of every last feature, both in hardware and software, of each type of phone. And we also know that die-hard fans won’t be persuaded to switch – that’s not the aim of this article at all.

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1.5m US iPhone users are about to switch to Android

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Mac

If we take ComScore figures for January 2016 we see that around 198.5 million people in the US own smartphones. 52.8 percent of these use Android and 43.6 percent use iPhones, ComScore claims.

If we use ComScore’s figures as base we can make some estimates based on Fluent’s research. Fluent believes 29 percent of all iPhone users will definitely buy a new phone this year, and while 87 percent of them will stick with Apple (21.8 million), 6 percent will switch to Android. This suggests that around 1.5 million US iPhone users will make this switch.

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Windows, Mac or Linux... Which operating system best suits your business?

Filed under
Linux
Microsoft
Mac

Linux is a free alternative. Apart from the zero-cost factor, it's still less prone to viruses than Windows. Most Linux machines start out as Windows computers that are reformatted. Linux is also adaptable -- Linux is an OS kernel, not a full system, but is the heart of software distributions such as Ubuntu or Fedora.

As for cons, Linux is more complex to learn and use. There are also far fewer programs written for Linux systems. Of course, someone with an advanced online computer science master’s degree will help you make the most of a Linux system by supplying the skills needed to innovate and implement custom solutions for your business environment.

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Liberating PCs and "Mac"-branded PCs

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft
Mac
  • Reviving Old Macs Using Linux

    All Macintosh computers from about 2006 onwards were made using Intel CPUs and installing Linux on these computers is a breeze. You don’t need to download any Mac specific distro — just choose your favorite distro and install away. About 95 percent of the time you’ll be able to use the 64-bit version of the distro. On CoreDuo Macs, from 2006, you’ll need to use a 32-bit version.

    Here is a screencast video I made on a revived Macbook that came into my hands recently. I downloaded Linux Mint 18 Xfce 64-bit ISO, burned it to DVD, inserted it into the Macbook (after the Macbook was turned on) and then booted the Macbook from DVD by holding the the letter “C” (which tells the Mac to boot from the optical drive).

  • Linux breathes new life into old Mac computers

    Apple is known for its planned obsolescence strategy that encourages customers to upgrade their Macs every so often. This can result in older Macs that can't update to the latest version of macOS, but are still perfectly functional computers that can perform many everyday computing tasks such as web browsing, word processing, image editing, etc.

    So what can you do with an older Mac that no longer gets macOS updates? You can install Linux and breathe new life into that old Mac computer. Distributions such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora and others offer a way to continue using an older Mac that would otherwise be cast aside.

  • The EFF Calls Out Microsoft's Ongoing Bullshit On Windows 10 Privacy Concerns

    While Windows 10 is generally well-liked by reviewers and users, it's relatively clear that it's not the OS to choose if you actually want to control how much babbling your OS does over the network. While a lot of complaints about Windows 10 have been proven to be hyperbole or just plain wrong (like it delivers your BitTorrent behavior to Hollywood or it makes use of menacing keyloggers), Windows 10 is annoyingly chatty, sending numerous reports back to Microsoft even when the operating system is configured to be as quiet and private as possible.

    While Microsoft has been criticized for this behavior for some time now, the general response out of Redmond has been to tap dance over, under and around most of the key complaints.

    Enter the Electronic Freedom Foundation, which last week effectively called on Microsoft to stop bullshitting everybody in terms of what gets collected and why. The EFF does a good job reiterating how Microsoft used malware-esque tactics to get users to upgrade, then once installed, Windows 10 collects user location data, text input, voice input, touch input, web browsing history, and general computing telemetry data, including which programs you run and for how long -- which would be arguably less of an issue if you had full control over how much of this data was collected and funneled back to the Redmond mothership.

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More in Tux Machines

Docker 1.13, Containers, and DevOps

  • Introducing Docker 1.13
    Today we’re releasing Docker 1.13 with lots of new features, improvements and fixes to help Docker users with New Year’s resolutions to build more and better container apps. Docker 1.13 builds on and improves Docker swarm mode introduced in Docker 1.12 and has lots of other fixes. Read on for Docker 1.13 highlights.
  • Docker 1.13 Officially Released, Docker for AWS and Azure Ready for Production
    Docker announced today the general availability of Docker 1.13, the third major update of the open-source application container engine for GNU/Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows operating systems. Docker 1.13 has been in development for the past couple of months, during which it received no less than seven RC (Release Candidate) versions that implemented numerous improvements for the new Swarm Mode introduced in Docker 1.12, a few security features, as well as a new Remote API (version 1.25) and Client.
  • Distributed Fabric: A New Architecture for Container-Based Applications
    There’s a palpable sense of excitement in the application development world around container technology. Containers bring a new level of agility and speed to app development, giving developers the ability to break large monolithic apps into small, manageable microservices that can talk to one another, be more easily tested and deployed, and operate more efficiently as a full application. However, containers also demand a new architecture for the application services managing these microservices and apps, particularly in regards to service discovery — locating and consuming the services of those microservices.
  • DevOps trends emerging for 2017 and beyond
    Finally, one of the biggest trends for 2017 will not be just a focus on engaging and implementing some of these DevOps best practices into your enterprise, but a sweeping adoption of the DevOps/agile culture. This is because one of the most important – if not the absolute most key –tenets to a successful DevOps organization is culture. The enterprises that most espouse the shared responsibility, the empowered autonomous teams, the can-do attitudes, and the continuous learning environment in which DevOps thrives will see the biggest benefits.

Kernel Space/Linux

  • Optimizing Linux for Slow Computers
    It’s interesting, to consider what constitutes a power user of an operating system. For most people in the wider world a power user is someone who knows their way around Windows and Microsoft Office a lot, and can help them get their print jobs to come out right. For those of us in our community, and in particular Linux users though it’s a more difficult thing to nail down. If you’re a LibreOffice power user like your Windows counterpart, you’ve only really scratched the surface. Even if you’ve made your Raspberry Pi do all sorts of tricks in Python from the command line, or spent a career shepherding websites onto virtual Linux machines loaded with Apache and MySQL, are you then a power user compared to the person who knows their way around the system at the lower level and has an understanding of the kernel? Probably not. It’s like climbing a mountain with false summits, there are so many layers to power usership. So while some of you readers will be au fait with your OS at its very lowest level, most of us will be somewhere intermediate. We’ll know our way around our OS in terms of the things we do with it, and while those things might be quite advanced we’ll rely on our distribution packager to take care of the vast majority of the hard work.
  • Long-Term Maintenance, or How to (Mis-)Manage Embedded Systems for 10+ Years
    In this presentation, kernel hacker Jan Lübbe will explain why apparently reasonable approaches to long-term maintenance fail and how to establish a sustainable workflow instead.
  • Linux 4.9 Is the Next Long-Term Supported Kernel Branch, Says Greg Kroah-Hartman
    Linux kernel maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman confirmed today, January 19, 2017, in a short message, on his Google+ page, that the Linux 4.9 branch is now marked as "longterm," or as some of you know as LTS (Long-Term Support). The story behind Linux kernel 4.9 becoming the next long-term supported series dates from way before it's launch last month, on December 11, when Linus Torvalds officially announced the new branch. It all started back on August 12, 2016, when Greg Kroah-Hartman dropped a quick Google+ post to say "4.9 == next LTS kernel."
  • Maintainers Don't Scale
    First let’s look at how the kernel community works, and how a change gets merged into Linus Torvalds’ repository. Changes are submitted as patches to mailing list, then get some review and eventually get applied by a maintainer to that maintainer’s git tree. Each maintainer then sends pull request, often directly to Linus. With a few big subsystems (networking, graphics and ARM-SoC are the major ones) there’s a second or third level of sub-maintainers in. 80% of the patches get merged this way, only 20% are committed by a maintainer directly. Most maintainers are just that, a single person, and often responsible for a bunch of different areas in the kernel with corresponding different git branches and repositories. To my knowledge there are only three subsystems that have embraced group maintainership models of different kinds: TIP (x86 and core kernel), ARM-SoC and the graphics subsystem (DRM).

Graphics in Linux

  • RADV Vulkan Driver Has Geometry Shader Support For Testing
    David Airlie has published a set of 31 patches for testing that provide initial support for geometry shaders within the RADV Radeon Vulkan driver. While RadeonSI has long supported geometry shaders, it's been a bigger work item bringing it to this open-source Radeon Vulkan driver within Mesa. The patches are enough for Vulkan geometry shaders to get working on RADV, but Airlie explains that the support isn't gold: "This is a first pass at geometry shader support on radv, all the code should be here in reviewable pieces, it seems to mostly pass CTS tests but triggers some llvm 3.9 bugs around kill, and there might still be a GPU hang in here, but this should still be a good place to start reviewing."
  • libinput 1.6.0
    This release fixes the slow touchpad acceleration on touchpads with less than 1000dpi, a missing call to normalized the deltas was the source of the issue.
  • Libinput 1.6 Released With New Touchpad Acceleration
    Libinput 1.6.0 was announced a short time ago on wayland-devel.
  • Mesa 17 Gets a First Release Candidate, Final Planned for Early February 2017
    Collabora's Emil Velikov announced today, January 19, 2017, the availability of the first of many Release Candidate (RC) development versions of the upcoming and highly anticipated Mesa 17.0.0 3D Graphics Library. Mesa 17 is shaping up to be a huge milestone that should dramatically improve the performance of the bundled open-source graphics drivers for Intel, AMD Radeon, Nvidia graphics cards on a Linux-based operating system. Just the other day it enabled OpenGL 4.5 support for Intel Haswell GPUs, which is already a big achievement.

Android Leftovers

  • Donald Trump has surrendered his Android phone
    Donald Trump has given up his beloved Android phone ahead of today’s inauguration, the Associated Press reports, though it is unclear what type of device he will use in the White House. According to The New York Times, Trump is now using a more secure, encrypted handset that was approved by the Secret Service. He also has a different phone number, the Times reports, citing people close to the president-elect. Trump doesn’t use email, but he does use his Android phone to tweet. He’s also been very accessible throughout the presidential campaign and transition, taking calls from reporters, politicians, and world leaders. Malcolm Turnbull, the prime minister of Australia, called Trump to congratulate him on his electoral victory after getting his cellphone number from professional golfer Greg Norman.
  • Best affordable Android smartphones you can buy [January 2017]
    There are new smartphones hitting the market constantly, but which is the best to pick up when you’re trying to save a buck or two? We’ve seen some great launches this summer and we’re only expecting more over the coming months, but for now, let’s go over the best affordable Android smartphones you can go pick up today…
  • A list of every Samsung phone getting Android 7.0 Nougat this year
  • WatchMaker to support Gear S2 & Gear S3, 1000s of watchfaces incoming
    WatchMaker, a popular Android and Android Wear watchface platform, has some good news for our readers. They are currently in the process of expanding their supported platforms and will be targeting Tizen and its latest wearable smartwatches, the Samsung Gear S2 and Gear S3.