posted about 9 hours ago on OSNews
Due to the awesome work by long-time developer waddlesplash, nightly images after hrev53079 have read/write NVMe support built-in. These devices now show up in /dev/disk/nvme/ and are fully useable by Haiku. I’ve personally tested my Samsung 950 Pro and seen raw read speeds up to 1.4GiB/s. Another important driver for Haiku to have, and with today’s modern laptops (and most desktops) all having NVMe support, pretty much a must-have.

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posted about 11 hours ago on OSNews
Red Hat has taken control of two popular versions of the open source Java implementation, so developers can continue to build apps after Oracle’s support ends. A big deal to enterprise users and Minecraft players, but I can’t really muster any form of excitement over this. Then again, every bit less of Oracle in this world is good news.

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posted 1 day ago on OSNews
A new report has found that 26 states now either restrict or outright prohibit towns and cities from building their own broadband networks. Quite often the laws are directly written by the telecom sector, and in some instances ban towns and cities from building their own broadband networks—even if the local ISP refuses to provide service. Everything about this is disgusting. It goes to show corporatism and unfettered capitalism are cancers upon out society that must be exterminated.

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posted 1 day ago on OSNews
Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo) has been officially released today. This Ubuntu version is supported until January 2020. For a longer supported release, use Ubuntu 18.04 LTS instead, which is supported until April 2023. The new Ubuntu 19.04 ships with Linux 5.0 and the latest stable GNOME 3.32, which includes significant performance improvements, experimental fractional scaling for HiDPI screens, and other updates.The new release also includes Tracker (file index and search) by default, allows users to install proprietary Nvidia drivers from the Ubuntu installer, and much more. I’m using the Kubuntu variant on my desktop, and it seems pretty solid so far. The Xubuntu variant has also seen considerable work.

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posted 2 days ago on OSNews
The Verge has an article about a very unusual and rare Game Boy accessory. But the link cable was just the beginning of the Game Boy’s wild, bizarre experimentation with the future. In the late ‘90s, Japanese game company Hudson Soft eventually came up with a more radical idea to bring wireless connectivity to the handheld. It would use infrared — built directly into game cartridges. That way, you could transfer data between two games, or even download data from the internet, directly onto the game. And for some inexplicable reason lost to time, I convinced my parents to buy the one and only Game Boy Color game sold in North America to feature this technology. The system itself was called GB Kiss, named after the awkward physical dance two players would have to perform to bring the cartridges close enough to one another to initiate the infrared data transfer. For Hudson Soft, it was a remarkably ambitions idea, a leftover from its attempt nearly a decade prior to crack the home console market through its partnership with NEC Home Electronics on the TurboGrafX-16, a device that failed to gain traction but nonetheless spawned a dizzying number of wild accessories and mods. Few things fascinate me more than rare, unique, and obscure console accessories and expansions from the ’80s and ’90s, so this is right up my alley. I had no idea this ever existed.

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posted 2 days ago on OSNews
This is a Commodore 64 port of the 1985 game SUPER MARIO BROS. for the Famicom and Nintendo Entertainment System. It contains the original version that was released in Japan and United States, as well as the European version. It also detects and supports a handful of turbo functionalities, and has 2 SID support. Impressive and fascinating work.

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posted 2 days ago on OSNews
Last year, Microsoft announced when it would be killing app updates and distribution in the Windows Store for Windows Phone 8.x and Windows 8.x. At the time, the blog post stated that Windows Phone 8.x devices would stop receiving app updates after July 1, 2019, while Windows 8.x devices would get app updates through July 1, 2023. However, it seems as though plans have changed a little bit, as the blog post has quietly been updated earlier this month. As spotted by Nawzil on Twitter, Microsoft has changed the wording in the post to state that Windows 8 devices will stop getting updates for their apps at the same time as Windows Phone 8.x, that is, July 1 of this year. Windows 8.1 devices will continue to receive updates through the previously announced date in 2023. Not entirely surprising, and this will affect pretty much nobody since Windows 8.1 is a free update.

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posted 2 days ago on OSNews
Following the changes we made to comply with the European Commission’s ruling last year, we’ll start presenting new screens to Android users in Europe with an option to download search apps and browsers. These new screens will be displayed the first time a user opens Google Play after receiving an upcoming update. Two screens will surface: one for search apps and another for browsers, each containing a total of five apps, including any that are already installed. Apps that are not already installed on the device will be included based on their popularity and shown in a random order. This all seems very similar to the browser choice window Microsoft displayed in Windows for a while. It will be available to both new and existing Android users within the EU.

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posted 4 days ago on OSNews
Via Hackaday: has a Subaru, a car that has an all-in-one entertainment system head unit that is typical of what you’d find across a host of manufacturers. His account of jailbreaking it is a lengthy essay and a fascinating read for anyone. He starts with a serial port, then an SSH prompt for a root password, and a bit of searching to find it was made by Harman and that it runs the closed-source realtime OS QNX. From there he finds an official Subaru update, from which he can slowly peel away the layers and deduce the security mechanism. The write-up lays bare his techniques, for example at one point isolating the ARM assembler for a particular function and transplanting it bodily into his own code for investigation. A very good account of this obscure jailbreaking adventure.

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posted 4 days ago on OSNews
From The Verge: Intel this evening said it has decided to leave the 5G mobile modem market to focus its efforts more on 4G and 5G modems for PCs, smart home devices, and its broader 5G infrastructure business. The announcement comes just hours after Apple and Qualcomm struck a surprise settlement in the two companies’ ongoing patent infringement and royalties dispute related to Apple’s use of Qualcomm modems in the iPhone. It’s likely Intel’s decision here was what prompted Apple and Qualcomm’s decision to settle just as lawyers were presenting opening arguments at the latest courtroom trial that began just yesterday in Southern California. I love it when things make sense.

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posted 4 days ago on OSNews
There’s a war brewing in the video game industry, and it’s getting uglier by the day. Steam, the longtime leading digital distributor for the PC platform, is facing a significant challenge from an equally large and powerful player: Fortnite creator Epic Games, which launched its own PC games store last year. The ensuing competition has morphed into a console war-like debate for a modern generation of players who grew up under the unhindered dominance of Steam, a platform now facing its first real form of competition since it arrived on the scene nearly 15 years ago. I’m glad we’re seeing more and more competition in this space. Steam is a hot mess, both the store and the application itself, and the more competition Valve has to deal with, the better. I’m tired of Valve approving every single garbage reskin “indie” title, leading to an endless stream of terrible “games” that makes it incredibly hard to find the few gems among the pile of feces, and I’m tired of the Steam client being a huge, slow behemoth of an application that regularly crumbles under its own sheer bloat (on Windows – let’s not even get started on the Linux and Mac versions). Valve has had this market all to itself for far too long, and they’ve grown complacent. I welcome the competition from GOG, Epic, Humble, and all the others.

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posted 4 days ago on OSNews
From the company’s joint press release (at either Apple’s or Qualcomm’s website): Qualcomm and Apple today announced an agreement to dismiss all litigation between the two companies worldwide. The settlement includes a payment from Apple to Qualcomm. The companies also have reached a six-year license agreement, effective as of April 1, 2019, including a two-year option to extend, and a multiyear chipset supply agreement. And just like that, one of the possibly most expensive lawsuits in technology is a thing of the past.

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posted 5 days ago on OSNews
It’s no secret that Google Chrome is the world’s most popular browser, and while a lot of that might be owed to its quality, some believe that Google intentionally sabotaged competing browsers in order to grow in popularity. A former Mozilla executive has lashed out at the Mountain View company for repeatedly and continuously finding less-than-desirable ways to promote its own browser. Jonathan Nightingale posted a series of tweets over the weekend, detailing some of the events that took place between Google and Mozilla over the years. Nightingale starts by pointing out that Google typically played nice with Mozilla before Chrome was a thing, but things turned sour once Google’s browser launched. While the company kept trying to convince Mozilla that both organizations were on the same side, things would often break in Firefox for no real reason. This is really not that surprising. The only reason Google plays nice with Mozilla is the same reason Microsoft invested in Apple in the late ’90s and kept its products available on Mac OS despite the fact the Mac was basically dead: they need an antitrust lightning rod.

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posted 5 days ago on OSNews
The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) will investigate whether Apple abuses the position it has attained with its App Store. ACM will do so following indications that ACM has received from other app providers over the course of its market study into app stores. That market study has been published today. Henk Don, Member of the Board of ACM, explains: ‘To a large degree, app providers depend on Apple and Google for offering apps to users. In the market study, ACM has received indications from app providers, which seem to indicate that Apple abuses its position in the App Store. That is why ACM sees sufficient reason for launching a follow-up investigation, on the basis of competition law.’ This will be a long, protracted legal battle – in multiple European countries.

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posted 5 days ago on OSNews
9to5Mac has a long list of features that are coming to iOS 10.3. The biggest change is definitely multiwindow on the iPad, which iOS sorely needs. There are many changes coming to iPad with iOS 13, including the ability for apps to have multiple windows. Each window will also be able to contain sheets that are initially attached to a portion of the screen, but can be detached with a drag gesture, becoming a card that can be moved around freely, similar to what an open-source project called “PanelKit” could do. These cards can also be stacked on top of each other, and use a depth effect to indicate which cards are on top and which are on the bottom. Cards can be flung away to dismiss them. This definitely will make iOS a far more mature and capable operating system, and I can’t wait to try this out on my iPad Pro. All it needs now is proper mouse support, and we got ourselves a proper operating system.

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posted 5 days ago on OSNews
Starting today, the NoScript Firefox extension, a popular tool for privacy-focused users, is also available for Google Chrome, Giorgio Maone, NoScript’s author, has told ZDNet. The NoScript Chrome port, on which Maone has worked for months, is now available from the official Chrome Web Store, via this link. Always a useful tool.

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posted 5 days ago on OSNews
Katie Bouman, a researcher who helped create the first image of a black hole, quickly gained internet fame Thursday for her role in the project after a photo of her went viral. But internet trolls soon followed, questioning Bouman’s work and floating false claims that she did not have much of a role in the project. Colleagues rallied to her defense, but the situation highlighted the vitriol that women continue to face on the internet, and the continued vulnerability of major internet platforms to trolling campaigns. Isn’t it funny how it’s always men?

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posted 6 days ago on OSNews
This document was designed to help you programming the Game Boy Classic, Game Boy Pocket, Super Game Boy and Game Boy Color (basics – you will need additionaldocuments for GBC specific programming). It was ment to be a complete handbook to start right off coding forthe hardware. The documents consists of three major parts. The first is the ‘GBSpec.txt’ (also known as the Pan Document) by Pan of Anthrox, Marat Fayzullin, Pascal Felber, Paul Robson, Martin Korth, kOOPa. This will be found in paragraph 1. The second is a mixture of several documents from ‘Game Boy Assembly Language Primer (GALP) V1.0’ by GABY (GAmeBoY). It contains opcodes, time duration and the affected flags per ASM command and the. This can befound in paragraph 2. The third is a summary of specifications and commands for Nintendo Super Game Boy speciffic programming bykOOPa and Bowser. See paragraph 3. Some light reading to kick off the week.

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posted 10 days ago on OSNews
We’re excited to announce that Gmail will become the first major email provider to follow the new SMTP MTA Strict Transport Security (MTA-STS) RFC 8461 and SMTP TLS Reporting RFC 8460 internet standards. Those new email security standards are the result of three years of collaboration within IETF, with contributions from Google and other large email providers. Google hopes other email services will also adopt these new security standards.

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posted 11 days ago on OSNews
From a Microsoft support document (as discovered by Neowin): Windows defines two main policies, Quick removal and Better performance, that control how the system interacts with external storage devices such as USB thumb drives or Thunderbolt-enabled external drives. Beginning in Windows 10 version 1809, the default policy is Quick removal. In earlier versions of Windows the default policy was Better performance. What this means is that starting with Windows 10 version 1809, you no longer need to use the Safely Remove Hardware process when removing a USB drive, because there’s no longer any write operation caching going on. You can still change this policy if you want to.

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posted 11 days ago on OSNews
SonnyDickson.com has footage of a very unique Apple prototype device. There has been a lot said about Apple’s development of the iPhone, and the history and inspiration behind the device – such as this notable 1983 concept of a “Telephone Mac”. One of the most notable examples of this is Apple’s lesser known desk phone known as the W.A.L.T. (Wizzy Active Lifestyle Telephone). The W.A.L.T., which was announced at MacWorld 1983, was never released to the public, and only a very small handful of prototypes were ever constructed for the device. One of the few known samples of this was sold on eBay for $8,000 back in 2012. It was even prototyped in both “classic Mac” color and a somewhat more “business looking” dark gray color. The device is basically a special PowerBook 100 in a unique, custom case, with a touchscreen, running a special version of System 6. Awesome to see this rare device in working order.

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posted 11 days ago on OSNews
Today, Microsoft announced that it’s releasing the May 2019 Update to the Release Preview ring, and it’s available now. In order to sign up, you’ll need to go to the Windows Insider Program tab, click ‘Get started’, and choose the option for ‘Just fixes, apps, and drivers’. After your PC reboots, you’ll need to check for updates, as it’s only being offered to ‘seekers’ right now. The build that you’ll get is build 18362.30, and that’s the release candidate for the Windows 10 May 2019 Update. It’s possible that there will be cumulative updates between now and when it’s released next month, but the major build number should stay at 18362, unless there are some real dealbreakers that are found. I tried to install this latest update, but I was confronted by a most unhelpful dialog. After working so much on my Linux laptop lately, where there’s almost always an easy way to figure out why something’s going wrong and fix it, it starts dawning on you just how incredibly infuriating it is when you run into such unhelpful, user-hostile dialogs.

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posted 11 days ago on OSNews
When OSNews covered the RISC V architecture recently, I was struck by my own lack of excitement. I looked into it, and the project looks intriguing, but it didn’t move me on an emotional level like a new CPU architecture development would have done many years ago. I think it’s due to a change in myself, as I have got older. When I first got into computers, in the early 80s, there was a vibrant environment of competing designs with different approaches. This tended to foster an interest, in the enthusiast, in what was inside the box, including the CPU architecture. Jump forwards to the current era, and the computer market is largely homogenized to a single approach for each class of computing device, and this means that there is less to get excited about in terms of CPU architectures in general. I want to look at what brought about this change in myself, and maybe these thoughts will resonate with some of you. As said, back in the early 80s, and through the 90s there was lot of variety in the general purpose computers that were available. Take the original IBM PC, for example: on release, in 1982, it didn’t offer much to get “excited” about. Although expensive, it was weak in a number of areas. It had rubbish graphics and sound, and general performance was fairly standard for the time. It’s hard to get emotional about a design like that, and that reflects IBM’s attitude to personal computers at the time – this was a tool for getting work done, nothing more. “Character” is a good word for what a lot of the competing machines had to offer. Even a computer like the Apple II had character, although it was a capable workhorse as well. So, it started back then, then – you could buy a computer, to get a job done, without getting emotional about it or you could buy one for fun. Furthermore, if a computer can sometimes be seen as a grey box to get work done, the CPU can be visualised as black box: being objective in this way, it doesn’t matter how it works internally, we’re only interested in its level of performance. So, this raises the question, is there any rational reason to care about the CPU architecture nowadays, and thinking about that, was there ever? Back in the old days, one reason to care about the type of CPU was that you felt that it took superior approach. So, there’s a practical side to the choice of CPU architecture emerging, and this gives us an important criterion to consider: performance. The performance of a CPU can be broken into two further criteria: throughput and power consumption. So, you might go for an ARM based computer, to reap the benefits of lower power consumption at the expense of software compatibility and throughput. In a way, this example is a cheat, because we’re now talking about different classes of computer. Rather than considering processor architecture choice for, say low power home servers or mobile computers, to level the playing field, let’s just look at desktop computing. Historically, I’d argue, there was more to get excited about when it came to processor architecture choice. Back in the old days, programmers might care about processor architecture because were interested in assembly language programming. Briefly, architectures like ARM and 68000 were reasonably friendly to program, whereas by comparison, the Intel 8086 and its successors were extremely fiddly to work with. Assembly language programming would often be used for game, and sometimes even application programming up until the mid 90s, when high level programming took over. So, this is an example of a justification that has died out for most people, even programmers. In addition, coming back to the concept of pure “approach”, one might feel that a given design ethos had more potential, and that technology was a better one in which to invest. Over the course of its life cycle, Intel’s Pentium 4 series, for example, was widely regarded as an underwhelming technological approach that lagged behind what AMD were offering on the desktop at the time. In all fairness, there is an aspect of CPU architecture, beyond raw performance, that might still be of interest to general users, and that is the number of CPU cores. For a long time it was uncertain whether consumers would be interested multiple core CPUs because it is possible to create a single core processor that offers better throughput than a multicore design in typical use. However, once multicore CPUs became commonly available, many users liked the smoother experience it offered with less interruptions from background tasks. Best of all, it offers a massive speed boost when it is most needed, on tasks that can be parallelised, such as video encoding. So, a user might prefer a CPU architecture based on personal preference (and typical usage), when it comes to a larger number of cores, as opposed to a lower number of faster cores. Ethics can come into it too. I bet I’m not the only user of this site that has sometimes given preference to open source software for this reason. Speaking personally, RISC V stirs something along these lines in me. I like the idea of having an open source processor, one that explores modern design ideas. Going back to the 80s and 90s ethics were often a large part of decision-making process. For a lot of users, they liked the idea of having something that wasn’t powered by an Intel (or compatible) processor, such as a PPC Apple Mac. In terms of the black box approach to objectively assess a processor, who’s to say whether the a PPC was superior to an Intel Pentium of the same price, in terms of raw performance. However, for many, it felt “cool” to be running something hi-tech and non-mainstream. In fact, it can be analogous to supporting a sports team, in terms of emotional attachment. Back in the

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posted 12 days ago on OSNews
Just in time for Tax Day, the for-profit tax preparation industry is about to realize one of its long-sought goals. Congressional Democrats and Republicans are moving to permanently bar the IRS from creating a free electronic tax filing system. Last week, the House Ways and Means Committee, led by Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., passed the Taxpayer First Act, a wide-ranging bill making several administrative changes to the IRS that is sponsored by Reps. John Lewis, D-Ga., and Mike Kelly, R-Pa. In one of its provisions, the bill makes it illegal for the IRS to create its own online system of tax filing. Companies like Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, and H&R Block have lobbied for years to block the IRS from creating such a system. If the tax agency created its own program, which would be similar to programs other developed countries have, it would threaten the industry’s profits. This is straight-up corruption.

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posted 12 days ago on OSNews
Two bits of related news; the 4.0 release of GlideN64, the most-compatible High-Level-Emulation graphics plugin for N64 emulators:  but more interestingly, this story about the struggle to reverse-engineer the GPU microcode used in Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine and Star Wars Episode I: Battle for Naboo that have eluded developers for decades.

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