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A Year Away From Mac OS

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This is the fifth post in my series on finding an alternative to Mac OS X.

A bit over a year ago I wrote about my search for an alternative to Mac OS and switch to Linux. In this post I reflect on how that year went and detail some further adventures into Mac OS alternatives.

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Apple Code Accidentally 'Liberated'

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Apple Woes (Due to Competition From Android/Linux)

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  • iPhone ‘Super Cycle’ Pronounced Dead

    The iPhone “super cycle” -- a wave of upgrades and new customers that was supposed to wash over Apple Inc. this year with the introduction of its model X -- was pronounced dead on arrival.

    In Apple’s first earnings report since the launch of the pricey flagship smartphone, the company reported lower-than-expected handset sales from the holiday period. Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri also forecast a decline in the average selling price of iPhones in the current quarter, suggesting the most-expensive models aren’t as popular.

  • Apple sells fewer phones but profits rise
  • iPhone sales down, but revenue up in latest quarter

    Apple sold less iPhones in the latest quarter but earned a lot more than a year ago, given the price of its iPhone X began at US$1000, according to the company's results for the first fiscal quarter of 2018. The user base of active devices rose to 1.3 billion in January.

  • Apple Says It Will Implement Toggle Option for iPhone Slowdowns Next Month

    Apple has confirmed the investigations launched by the US government over slowing down of customer's iPhone devices without being more transparent and says the promised power management features are coming next month.

    As you may be aware, Apple released last year a new software update that implemented a so-called feature which slowed down the performance of certain iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s devices with degrated batteries under cold weather and when the battery charge was low.

    The feature was extended to iPhone 7 models as well a year later, and discovered by accident after some users reported slowdowns on their older iPhone devices. Apple wasn't really transparent about this feature, even so Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an interview earlier this month that they said so in the release notes of the respective iOS update.

    Anyway, when Apple came clean about slowing down older iPhone devices, numerous customers sued the company, and it now looks like even the U.S. government is asking them about the handling of older iPhone batteries and their transparency to customers, as Bloomberg reported earlier this week.

Phones: Huawei (Android) Sanctions, Apple Sales Collapse, and the Linux-powered “$10 iPhone” in 2020?

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  • Now Verizon drops plans to sell Huawei phones in USA

    CES 2018 was supposed to mark Huawei’s proper entry into the US market, teaming up with major networks to sell phones on contract.

    Unfortunately, AT&T pulled out of the deal in the days before CES, apparently due to US government pressure. It all made for a rather awkward speech by Huawei’s Richard Yu.

    Now, Bloomberg reports that fellow US network Verizon has also decided to drop Huawei phones. The publication, citing “people familiar with the matter”, said this was due to pressure from the US government as well.

  • Apple to Cut iPhone X Production in the Face of Weak Demand

    Apple Inc. is slashing planned production of the iPhone X for the three-month period ending March 31, people familiar with the matter say, in a sign of weaker-than-expected demand for the pricey handset.

  • Top iPhone Suppliers Warn of Slower Sales Ahead of Apple Results

    Some of Apple’s iPhones are built with Qualcomm’s modems, which are chips for connecting to cellular networks. The San Diego-based chipmaker said Wednesday that orders from a large “thin modem” customer tailed off at worse-than-typical levels in the quarter. It was widely interpreted that the customer is Apple.

  • Apple tells U.S. government it isn't slowing old iPhones to get people to buy new ones

    Apple has confirmed the U.S. government is investigating the company after it was discovered Apple slowed down (a.k.a "throttled") older iPhones. The U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission are reportedly probing the company, though Apple wouldn't confirm any specific agencies.

    The tech giant, however, has denied any malicious intent, and reiterated that "we have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades."

  • Are We Going To See The “$10 iPhone” in 2020? No, the clone of 2010 superphones will probably cost around $20 in 2020

    To be clear, right from the start, I emphasized, that Apple will not sell us a $10 iPhone in year 2020. I said it would be a clone-phone-maker, probably running Android or possibly one of the low-cost smartphone OS systems that were then in development. But 8 years ago, in year 2010, if you went into a mobile phone shop anywhere, and picked the top model, you’d get roughly the same specs, which were: [...]

Why my next laptop isn't gonna be a Mac, either

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Tell me how Apple's doing their users a favour by getting rid of those crufty niche tools that "nobody" uses anyway, and how I can just deal. If this is what you want from your computer vendor, then good for you because by golly you're getting it, good and hard. For me, this MacBook's staying on Sierra and I'll wipe it with Linux or FreeBSD when Sierra doesn't get any more updates. Maybe there will be a nice ARMbook around by then because I definitely won't be buying another Mac.

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Android's Competition is Explosive

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  • Second iPhone battery explodes at Apple Store in Europe - this time in Spain

    The explosion occurred at Apple's Calle Colón Store in Valencia, Spain. According to a report in Las Provincias, the battery overheated while being worked upon and started emitting smoke, triggering immediate evacuation from the building. An entire floor in the building was engulfed in smoke, one of the first responders at the site reported.

  • Another iPhone Battery Explodes Right in the Apple Store

    It’s a tough time for Apple Store staff across the world, not only because iPhone owners rush to change their worn-out batteries as part of the $29 discount program, but also due to some batteries actually catching fire right when being serviced.

    It happened earlier this week in Zurich, when an iPhone battery started emitting smoke all of a sudden, and now the same thing took place in Spain at Apple’s store in Valencia.

    A report from local newspaper LasProvincias reveals that the iPhone battery hasn’t just emitted smoke, but it actually exploded, leading to the entire floor being filled with smoke.

    This obviously triggered the store evacuation given the risks of smoke intoxication, and firefighters and police rushed to the scene. Emergency services, however, weren’t required to intervene because Apple Store staff managed to vent the building by opening all windows and to cover the faulty battery with sand. No injuries were caused to Apple employees or store visitors.

Microsoft and Apple Self Harm

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  • Windows’ new Fall Creators Update wreaks havoc on computer displays

    The latest Windows 10 upgrade, a.k.a. the Fall Creators Update, did wreak havoc on some computer displays, as noted by several tech sites — the least of which is resolution confusion. A quick search on Richard’s display, the HP 27-inch monitor, says it has a native resolution of 1920×1080, so what happened to it?

    The likely culprit is that existing hardware — the video card — doesn’t quite work with the update. Some people fixed the issue by downloading updated software (also called drivers) for their Intel, Nvidia, ATI or other graphics card. In some cases, companies, notably Razer, are still working with Microsoft on this.

  • A doomed-but-revolutionary operating system spearheaded by Steve Jobs will be free to download in 2018

    Soon, you'll be able to try Lisa's pioneering operating system for yourself: In 2018, the Computer History Museum will release the code behind the Apple Lisa operating system for free as open source, for anyone to try and tinker with. The news was announced via the LisaList mailing list for Lisa enthusiasts.

  • Apple Facing A Bunch Of Lawsuits After Admitting It Slows Down Older Devices, But Insisting It's For A Good Reason

    There was a bit of controversy last week concerning Apple slowing down older devices. It started, as so many things do, with a Reddit post, noting that Apple appeared to be slowing down the processor on phones with older batteries. Geekbench's John Poole then ran some tests confirming this. Apple then confirmed that it was doing so. All three of those links above also present the reason for this -- which is not necessarily a nefarious one -- though that doesn't necessarily mean it's a good explanation either. In short, it was a solution to a problem of older batteries causing "spontaneous" or "unexpected shutdowns."

    But, of course, slowing down the phone to avoid those kinds of shutdowns still has the impact of reduced performance on older phones -- which ultimately angers users or makes them feel like they need to upgrade before they really do. This wouldn't necessarily be a huge issue if two things were true: (1) it was easy to replace the batteries and (2) Apple was clear and upfront about this -- telling people they could avoid this issue by replacing the battery. Neither of those things are true. Apple makes it quite difficult to replace the batteries (though, not impossible) and only now is explaining this "hack."

Microsoft Screws Staff, Apple Screws Customers

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  • Microsoft ends arbitration in sexual harassment cases [Ed: Microsoft has a long and documented history of sexual abuse at the workplace, so this is 'damage control' or a publicity stunt]

    This week Microsoft has altered a longstanding corporate policy, eliminating forced arbitration agreements for employees who file claims of sexual harassment—it is believed to be the largest such tech firm to make this notable change.

    "The silencing of people’s voices has clearly had an impact in perpetuating sexual harassment," Brad Smith, Microsoft's president and chief legal officer, told The New York Times on Tuesday. In a blog post, Smith also said that the company would support new federal legislation to end the use of arbitration in sexual harassment cases.

  • Apple Is Purposely Slowing Down Older Phones , Says Geekbench

    From time to time, discussions which claim that Apple slows down old iPhones, intentionally, to boost sales keep on appearing on different online forums and discussion. A new report from Geekbench seems to support his narrative but it has got an important point that you shouldn’t miss.

    As per the finding of Geekbench’s John Poole, the iPhone slowdown reports are only going to get more common as phones like iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 continue to age. With time, we expect the battery capacity to decrease but we expect the processor performance to remain same. So, what’s happening here? Pretty confusing, right?

Want to switch from Apple macOS to Linux because of the 'root' security bug? Give deepin 15.5 a try!

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Apple's macOS is a great operating system. Not only is it stable and beautifully designed, but it very secure too. Well, usually it is. Unless you live under a rock, you definitely heard about the macOS High Sierra security bug that made the news over the last couple of days. In case you somehow are unaware, the bug essentially made it so anyone could log into any Mac running the latest version of the operating system.

Luckily, Apple has already patched the bug, and some people -- like me -- have forgiven the company. Understandably, not everyone will be as forgiving as me. Undoubtedly, there are Mac users that are ready to jump ship as a result of the embarrassing bug. While that is probably an overreaction, if you are set on trying an alternative operating system, you should not go with Windows 10. Instead, you should embrace Linux. In fact, rather serendipitously, a Linux distribution with a UI reminiscent of macOS gets a new version today. Called "deepin," version 15.5 of the distro is now ready to download.

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Also: deepin 15.5 Linux Distro Released — Get A Beautiful And Easy-to-use Linux Experience

Darling ('Wine' for OS X) and Games Leftovers

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lkml: remove eight obsolete architectures

In the end, it seems that while the eight architectures are extremely different, they all suffered the same fate: There was one company in charge of an SoC line, a CPU microarchitecture and a software ecosystem, which was more costly than licensing newer off-the-shelf CPU cores from a third party (typically ARM, MIPS, or RISC-V). It seems that all the SoC product lines are still around, but have not used the custom CPU architectures for several years at this point. Read more

If you hitch a ride with a scorpion… (Coverity)

I haven’t seen a blog post or notice about this, but according to the Twitters, Coverity has stopped supporting online scanning for open source projects. Is anybody shocked by this? Anybody? [...] Not sure what the story is with Coverity, but it probably has something to do with 1) they haven’t been able to monetize the service the way they hoped, or 2) they’ve been able to monetize the service and don’t fancy spending the money anymore or 3) they’ve pivoted entirely and just aren’t doing the scanning thing. Not sure which, don’t really care — the end result is the same. Open source projects that have come to depend on this now have to scramble to replace the service. [...] I’m not going to go all RMS, but the only way to prevent this is to have open tools and services. And pay for them. Read more

Easily Fund Open Source Projects With These Platforms

Financial support is one of the many ways to help Linux and Open Source community. This is why you see “Donate” option on the websites of most open source projects. While the big corporations have the necessary funding and resources, most open source projects are developed by individuals in their spare time. However, it does require one’s efforts, time and probably includes some overhead costs too. Monetary supports surely help drive the project development. If you would like to support open source projects financially, let me show you some platforms dedicated to open source and/or Linux. Read more

KDE: Kdenlive, Kubuntu, Elisa, KDE Connect

  • Kdenlive Café #27 and #28 – You can’t miss it
    Timeline refactoring, new Pro features, packages for fast and easy install, Windows version and a bunch of other activities are happening in the Kdenlive world NOW!
  • Kubuntu 17.10 Guide for Newbie Part 9
    This is the 9th article, the final part of the series. This ninth article gives you more documentations to help yourself in using Kubuntu 17.10. The resources are online links to certain manuals and ebooks specialized for Kubuntu basics, command lines usage, software installation instructions, how to operate LibreOffice and KDE Plasma.
  • KDE's Elisa Music Player Preparing For Its v0.1 Released
    We have been tracking the development of Elisa, one of several KDE music players, since development started about one year ago. Following the recent alpha releases, the KDE Elisa 0.1 stable release is on the way. Elisa developers are preparing the Elisa v0.1 release and they plan to have it out around the middle of April.
  • KDE Connect Keeps Getting Better For Interacting With Your Desktop From Android
    KDE Connect is the exciting project that allows you to leverage your KDE desktop from Android tablets/smartphones for features like sending/receiving SMS messages from your desktop, toggling music, sharing files, and much more. KDE Connect does continue getting even better.
  • First blog & KDE Connect media control improvements
    I've started working on KDE Connect last November. My first big features were released yesterday in KDE Connect 1.8 for Android, so cause for celebration and a blog post! My first big feature is media notifications. KDE Connect has, since it's inception, allowed you to remotely control your music and video's. Now you can also do this with a notification, like all Android music apps do! So next time a bad song comes up, you don't need to switch to the KDE Connect app. Just click next on the notification without closing you current app. And just in case you don't like notifications popping up, there's an option to disable it.