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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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Android Leftovers

today's leftovers

  • Purchased a PlayStation 3 Between 2006 and 2010? You May Be Entitled to $65
    PS3 owners first qualified to receive compensation from Sony following the settlement of a lawsuit in 2016. That case dealt with the "OtherOS" feature that came with the console when it debuted. With OtherOS, Sony promised a new PlayStation that would operate like a computer, allowing users to partition their hard drive and install third-party operating systems like the open-source Linux software.
  • Moro – A Command Line Productivity Tool For Tracking Work Hours
    Keeping track of your work hours will give you an insight about the amount of work you get done in a specific time frame. There are plenty of GUI-based productivity tools available on the Internet for tracking work hours. However, I couldn’t find a good CLI-based tool. Today, I stumbled upon a a simple, yet useful tool named “Moro” for tracking work hours. Moro is a Finnish word which means “Hello”. Using Moro, you can find how much time you take to complete a specific task. It is free, open source and written using NodeJS.
  • Twenty years, 1998 – 2018
    curl 4.0 was just a little more than 2000 lines of C code. It featured 23 command line options. curl 4.0 introduced support for the FTP PORT command and now it could do ftp uploads that append to the remote file. The version number was bumped up from the 3.12 which was the last version number used by the tool under the old name, urlget.
  • What’s New in ArchLabs 2018.03
    ArchLabs 2018.03 is the latest release of Linux distribution based on Arch Linux featuring the Openbox window manager as the primary desktop interface. The project’s latest release ArchLabs 2018.03 brings a few fixes and improvements and improve the user. Powered by Linux kernel 4.15 series and based-on latest version of Arch Linux. LUKS and encryption is now working, for those security concious users out there you should be all go on the encryption side. There have been a few installer updates, base-devel is included at install time. Also the mirrorlist is optimised at the same time.
  • [Older] openSUSE.Asia Summit 2018: Call for Host
    The openSUSE.Asia organization committee is accepting proposals to host the openSUSE.Asia Summit during the second half of 2018. The openSUSE.Asia Summit is the largest annual openSUSE conference in Asia, attended by contributors and enthusiasts from all over Asia.
  • TidalScale Software-Defined Servers Now Support SUSE Linux Enterprise Server
    TidalScale, the leader in Software-Defined Servers, announced today that working in partnership with SUSE, the world’s first provider of Enterprise Linux, TidalScale has achieved SUSE Ready certification to ensure full compatibility with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. TidalScale’s breakthrough scaling platform allows multiple industry standard servers to be combined into a single Software-Defined Server running a single instance of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.
  • 8 Best Radio Apps For Android To Stream Online Music In 2018

Kernel and Graphics: Torvalds, Linux Foundation, Nouveau and libinput

  • Which Linux Distribution Does Linus Torvalds Use in 2018?
    We know a sizeable amount of his views on Linux distros, thanks to an interview he took long ago in 2007, but who knows – could he have changed his mind? In a 2007 interview, Linus professed that he didn’t use Debian because he found it hard to install, a statement I find interesting because he’s the guy who wrote GIT in C. Anyway, he buttressed his reason for not using Debian in a later interview from 2014, when he explained that because he is responsible for maintaining his computer and all the computers used by his household, he likes to use an OS with virtually no installation hassle. [...] As far as I know, he uses Fedora on most of his computers because of its fairly good support for PowerPC. He mentioned that he used OpenSuse at one point in time and complimented Ubuntu for making Debian accessible to the mass. So most of the flak on the internet about Linus disliking Ubuntu isn’t factual.
  • Linux Foundation, Intel launch open source IoT hypervisor
    The Linux Foundation has unveiled plans for a new open source project to provide streamlined embedded hypervisors for IoT devices. Called Acrn, the project has been assisted by Intel, which contributed code and engineering. The main thrust of the project is to create small, flexible virtual machines. ACRN comprises two main components: the hypervisor and its device model, complete with I/O mediators. The Linux-based hypervisor can run many ‘guest’ operating systems at the same time.
  • Nouveau NIR Support Appears Almost Baked, NV50 Support Added
    Karol Herbst at Red Hat started off this week by publishing his latest patches around Nouveau NIR support as part of the company's effort for getting SPIR-V/compute support up and running on this open-source NVIDIA driver. Red Hat's grand vision around open-source GPGPU compute still isn't entirely clear especially with Nouveau re-clocking not being suitable for delivering high performance at this point, but it must be grand given the number of developers they have working on improving the Linux GPU compute stack at the moment.
  • xf86-input-libinput 0.27.0 Released
    Aside from a few touchpad issues and other minor random issues with select hardware, libinput these days is mostly in great shape for being a generic input handling library that is working out well for both X.Org and Wayland users.

KDE: KDE Applications 18.04, KDE Connect, KMyMoney 5.0.1 and Qt Quick

  • KDE Applications 18.04 branches created
    Make sure you commit anything you want to end up in the KDE Applications 18.04 release to them :)
  • KDE Connect – State of the union
    We haven’t blogged about KDE Connect in a long time, but that doesn’t mean that we’ve been lazy. Some new people have joined the project and together we have implemented some exciting features. Our last post was about version 1.0, but recently we released version 1.8 of the Android app and 1.2.1 of the desktop component some time ago, which we did not blog about yet. Until now!
  • KMyMoney 5.0.1 released
    The KMyMoney development team is proud to present the first maintenance version 5.0.1 of its open source Personal Finance Manager. Although several members of the development team had been using the new version 5.0.0 in production for some time, a number of bugs and regressions slipped through testing, mainly in areas and features not used by them.
  • Qt Quick without a GPU: i.MX6 ULL
    With the introduction of the Qt Quick software renderer it became possible to use Qt Quick on devices without a GPU. We investigated how viable this option is on a lower end device, particularly the NXP i.MX6 ULL. It turns out that with some (partially not yet integrated) patches developed by KDAB and The Qt Company, the performance is very competitive. Even smooth video playback (with at least half-size VGA resolution) can be done by using the PXP engine on the i.MX6 ULL.