posted about 21 hours ago on OSNews
Some very smart people I've been talking to suggest that, by building a platform, Apple is generating leverage that it can use to great effect in these negotiations. A mid-market breakout box offering is one thing, but a huge, rumbling platform with an upward trajectory of living-room dominating apps and third-party content is another beast. If, obviously if, Apple is successful with the Apple TV, it could be in a position to dominate content in a way that no other 'smart' TV platform has before it. If Apple did indeed 'delay' the Apple TV from being released at WWDC, then it probably had a reason. And, if my sources are correct, that reason could well be polish, polish, polish. The experience of using it is said to blow away the types of junky smart TV interfaces we've had to deal with so far. This is the first real Apple TV product. If you see another annoying settopbox, they blew it.

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posted 3 days ago on OSNews
This hit the news yesterday. Microsoft released Windows 10 four weeks ago today, and now the company is providing a fresh update on its upgrade figures. 14 million machines had been upgraded to Windows 10 within 24 hours of the operating system release last month, and that figure has now risen to more than 75 million in just four weeks. As somebody who uses Windows every day, and who upgraded to Windows 10 a few weeks before it was released, let me make a statement about all the positive Windows 10 reviews that not everyone is going to like. There are only two reasons Windows 10 is getting positive reviews. First, because it's free. This one's a given. Second, and more importantly: Windows 10 is getting positive reviews because none of the reviewers have forced themselves to use nothing but Metro applications. Here's the cold and harsh truth as I see it: despite all the promises, Metro applications are still complete and utter garbage. Let me explain why. Read more on this exclusive OSNews article...

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posted 3 days ago on OSNews
While Google remains committed to industry-wide adoption of HTTPS, there isn't always full compliance on third party ad networks and custom creative code served via our systems. To ensure ads continue to serve on iOS9 devices for developers transitioning to HTTPS, the recommended short term fix is to add an exception that allows HTTP requests to succeed and non-secure content to load successfully. Confirmed: Google wants me to switch to iOS. Disgusting.

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posted 3 days ago on OSNews
Jordan Hubbard spoke recently at the Bay Area FreeBSD Users Group to discuss NextBSD, a "spork" of FreeBSD. He "covers why mach ports are extremely useful in some cases and no UNIX IPC primitive is an adequate substitute." There's a video of the BAFUG talk and copies of the original slide deck that goes into some detail about NextBSD.

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posted 4 days ago on OSNews
This year's Galaxy Note 5 is an outstanding device - combining power with grace, and utility with handsome looks - but it also has a pretty major design flaw. The phone's stylus can be inserted into its silo in both orientations, which is a change from previous S Pen designs, and one of those orientations can result in permanent damage to the Note's functionality. If you are unfortunate enough to slide your S Pen in the wrong way, you'll have a hard time unjamming it from the slot (though eventually you should be able to pry it away), but more importantly, you might disable the Note's stylus detection feature. It's a big problem that can result from a very small mistake. Samsung has now issued a response, and well, the answer is that you should read and adhere to the manual. Grab the pitchforks everyone, we got ourselves 'nother -gate! I can't believe they shipped this thing with this design flaw, especially since it's so easy to fix: just make the 'wrong' end of the stylus a little bit wider so you can't stick it in the wrong way et voilà, problem fixed. Samsung's response is silly. They should've said "we're replacing all Note 5 styluses with a newer model that can't be inserted the wrong way around, and all damaged devices will be replaced free of charge". And done.

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posted 4 days ago on OSNews
Today the Contiki team announced the release of Contiki 3.0, the latest version of the open source IoT operating system! The 3.0 release is a huge step up from the 2.x branch and brings support for new and exciting hardware, a set of new network protocols, a bunch of improvements in the low-power mesh networking protocols, along with a large number of general stability improvements.

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posted 4 days ago on OSNews
This release of Plasma brings many nice touches for our users such as much improved high DPI support, KRunner auto-completion and many new beautiful Breeze icons. It also lays the ground for the future with a tech preview of Wayland session available. We're shipping a few new components such as an Audio Volume Plasma Widget, monitor calibration tool and the User Manager tool comes out beta. There's a video too.

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posted 5 days ago on OSNews
Over the last few days I've been testing an experimental content blocker called Crystal, which promises to speed up browsing on iOS. I've been particularly impressed by the results and taken aback by how much removing trackers, ads and other scripts makes a difference over a cellular connection. The content blocker is a major selling point for iOS, in my opinion. On Android, this will always be a hack - third party tools, root, that sort of thing - and never properly integrated into the operating system, even though it should be. Good move by Apple, and together with a lack of a decent Android headset out right now, it's pushing me towards an iPhone when my contract renewal is up in October.

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posted 5 days ago on OSNews
The level of Windows 10 paranoia reached new heights this week when reports suggested that Microsoft would wipe torrents and pirated software from people's hard drives. Nonsense, of course, but all the recent privacy concerns were enough to have the operating system banned from several torrent trackers. Another creepy story here. Windows 10's privacy is turning into a headache for Microsoft. It won't be long now until prime time and daytime news shows start picking this stuff up, and blow it out of proportion - deserved or no.

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posted 5 days ago on OSNews
Ever since I wrote on Thursday about the Ashley Madison hack and resulting reactions and consequences, I've heard from dozens of people who used the site. They offer a remarkably wide range of reasons for having done so. I'm posting below one email I received that I find particularly illuminating, which I very lightly edited to correct a few obvious typographical errors. It gets even worse than this email. There are gay men and women in countries where being gay is punishable by death, who were using this site to meet other gay men and women, in secret. This hack will out them, possibly leading to their death. This hack and spreading of private information is just as bad as any other, similar hacks. Despicable as it is, cheating is not a crime, and even if it were, do we really want to live in a world with mob justice? And yes, the parent company in this particular case isn't exactly of clear conscience, but that's no reason to throw its users under the bus - or have them murdered by barbaric, mediaeval governments. I know a lot of people like the world to be black and white, because it's simple, easy to understand, and doesn't strain the brain. Sadly for them, that's not how the world works.

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posted 5 days ago on OSNews
What went unannounced was that most of the original team that built Now had departed, many of them just before I/O, according to multiple sources. Some had grown frustrated that the product, born within Android, was shuttered into search inside of Google, they said. And Sundar Pichai, Google's SVP and incoming CEO, did not prioritize the product as much as Page. The exits reveal the hiccups Google has incubating new products that reach across multiple units of the tech giant. They also expose some key traits of Pichai's leadership style - and some of the many hurdles he has ahead as he marshals Google’s core business.

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posted 9 days ago on OSNews
I didn't believe it would be possible at first, but after spending the better part of a week on Chrome 46 I'm blown away. Memory consumption seems to have halved, groggy slow tabs are snappier than ever and my battery life isn't shamefully bad anymore - also, my laptop's fans aren't constantly blowing. It's going to take a lot of convincing to get me to switch from Safari back to Chrome on my MacBook Pro.

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posted 9 days ago on OSNews
For those who haven't kept up with bcache, the bcache codebase has been evolving/metastasizing into a full blown, general purpose posix filesystem - a modern COW filesystem with checksumming, compression, multiple devices, caching, and eventually snapshots and all kinds of other nifty features. I'll admit I had to do a bit of reading to educate myself on what bcache actually is. Fascinating to see that it has evolved into a full-blown file system.

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posted 9 days ago on OSNews
Twenty years ago, on August 21, 1995, Nintendo released the Virtual Boy in North America. The stilt-legged tabletop gaming console, which offered a unique red stereoscopic 3D display, attempted to ride a wave of popular interest in virtual reality. It was a risky, innovative gamble for Nintendo that didn't pay off, leaving many to wonder why it existed in the first place. I vaguely recall the magazine talk of this thing (I was 9 at the time), but I never actually got to see one, let alone play one.

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posted 9 days ago on OSNews
Today we are announcing some major upcoming changes to Firefox add-ons. Our add-on ecosystem has evolved through incremental, organic growth over the years, but there are some modernizations to Firefox that require some foundational changes to support. Extensions play a central role in Firefox' appeal, so they have to be very careful with how they implement these changes.

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posted 9 days ago on OSNews
I spent a lot of time as a kid playing (generally, pretty terrible) games on my Game Boy. Having never written code for anything other than 'regular' general purpose computers before, I've been wondering recently: how easy is it to write a Game Boy (Advance) game?

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posted 9 days ago on OSNews
Microsoft released the third cumulative update to Windows 10 last week. But surprisingly, the supporting document associated with the patch - known as KB3081438 - was devoid of any information pertaining to what the update contained, except that "it includes improvements to enhance the functionality of Windows 10". This surprised many users of the OS, keeping in mind that Microsoft was forthcoming about the fixes in the previous two cumulative patches. The company has now offered an explanation regarding its policy of change logs regarding Windows 10 patches. It seems like nobody is taking the time anymore to write proper changelogs. Application and even operating system updates are void of any accompanying info, so you have no idea what's new, changed, fixed, or improved. A unwelcome development.

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posted 9 days ago on OSNews
An ill-timed Spotify privacy policy update has

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posted 11 days ago on OSNews
Recent changes to the rules phone makers need to follow to get a Google approved version of Android have allowed for certain apps to no longer be mandatory. Google Play Games, Google Play Books, Google+ and Google Newsstand now join the ranks with Google Earth and Google Keep as apps that aren't a required part of the Google applications package. They are still in the Play Store, are still regularly updated and will work just as well for those of us who want them. And this is how things ought to be. In fact, we'd like to see even more Google apps get sent packing, but still be there in the Play store for those who want them. Good. The less crapware - even stock crapware - on our phones, the better. I hope Apple follows in Google's footsteps, because iOS is accumulating a seizable amount of crapware too.

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posted 11 days ago on OSNews
It turns out that when you make an unconventional phone that lets you swap out its core components, it can be hard to make that same phone stay put together - at least compared to today's smartphones. Google's Project Ara team has tweeted an explanation for why its pilot test plans were reworked and delayed: the current model wasn't faring well when dropped. "No more electropermanent magnets," the team tweeted. That's what you get when you push the envelope.

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posted 11 days ago on OSNews
This release includes significant changes to the implementation. The compiler tool chain was translated from C to Go, removing the last vestiges of C code from the Go code base. The garbage collector was completely redesigned, yielding a dramatic reduction in garbage collection pause times. Related improvements to the scheduler allowed us to change the default GOMAXPROCS value (the number of concurrently executing goroutines) from 1 to the number of logical CPUs. Changes to the linker enable distributing Go packages as shared libraries to link into Go programs, and building Go packages into archives or shared libraries that may be linked into or loaded by C programs (design doc).

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posted 11 days ago on OSNews
Out of all the BlackBerry 'Venice' slider leaks thus far, none have really given us a full look at the keyboard on the upcoming device and that, of course, has left some folks skeptical of everything we've seen recently. Looking to end some of those doubts, @evleaks, has now posted up a follow-up to the first leaked render of the device that clearly shows off that glorious BlackBerry keyboard. Instant buy if this comes out in time for my contract renewal in October. Finally a modern Android device with a hardware keyboard.

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posted 12 days ago on OSNews
So let's do that summary again: Samsung disappointed stylus fans in Europe and wasn't upfront about it; it frustrated power users who look to the Note series to push into ever-higher specs; and it introduced a second Edge device before it could come up with a solid reason to have even one. All of this, along with the erroneous web listings, muddled the launch and anticipation for a pair of technically impressive devices that give everyone more choice and not less. At this point, I have no idea what Samsung is thinking. Not releasing the Note 5 in Europe, opting to only offer the Edge Plus, is pure insanity.

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posted 12 days ago on OSNews
What does it mean to use a flagship smartphone in 2015? It likely means that you're using a phone with a great display, fast performance, good battery life, good build quality, and a great camera. If I'm being honest, I have to say that the OnePlus 2 doesn't hit all of those marks, but it hits most of them and does so at a price that's just over half that of a comparable iPhone. It's not a flagship killer by any means - this year or next - but it's a really solid smartphone that does most everything you need it to do really well. It's easily the best deal on the market right now if you want a high-end smartphone. AndroidCentral has another review of the OnePlus 2. Looks like a great phone for the price, but with some small issues.

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posted 12 days ago on OSNews
While we count on Wi-Fi more than ever to be entertained, productive, and stay connected, we're streaming and sharing in new ways our old routers were never built to handle. So today, with our partner TP-LINK, we're launching OnHub, a different kind of router for a new way to Wi-Fi. Instead of headaches and spotty connections, OnHub gives you Wi-Fi that's fast, secure, and easy to use. Over the years, I've had a lot of routers, and all of them were bad products. No ifs and buts. They had connection problems, terrible user interfaces, they were ugly, and a pain to use. Once I finally had enough, I decided to splurge and get an Apple AirPort Extreme. I can assure you - it's one of the best purchases I've ever made. Great UI, zero problems, it looks nice, and it always works. This new Google product is effectively Google's AirPort Extreme, and as such, I'm pretty sure this will be a great product too. Sure, like the AirPort Extreme, it's a lot more expensive than the crappy €35 routers you can buy, but they're totally worth it. There's also quite a beefy computer in there, and I wonder if you could get to it and do cool stuff with it.

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