posted about 3 hours ago on OSNews
Set backstage at three iconic product launches and ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac, Steve Jobs takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution to paint an intimate portrait of the brilliant man at its epicenter. Judging by this trailer, Apple and its bloggers are not going to like this film. It doesn't exactly paint Jobs in a pretty light.

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posted about 20 hours ago on OSNews
Brent Simmons: You the indie developer could become the next Flexibits. Could. But almost certainly not. Okay - not. What’s more likely is that you'll find yourself working on a Mobile Experience for a Big National Brand(tm) and doing the apps you want to write in your spare time. If there's a way out of despair, it's in changing our expectations. John Gruber, referencing Simmons' article: There is so much that could and should and will be said about this. But the bottom line is that indie development for iOS and the App Store just hasn't worked out the way we thought it would. We thought - and hoped - it would be like the indie Mac app market, only bigger. But it's not like that at all. I've been saying this for years. I'm glad the rest of the world is catching up.

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posted 1 day ago on OSNews
Speaking of Apple: Apple today released OS X Yosemite 10.10.4, an under-the-hood update that introduces several bug fixes and performance improvements. Most notably, 10.10.4 includes the removal of the problematic Discoveryd process, which has caused multiple networking issues for some users in OS X Yosemite. I'm curious to see if this will solve the reconnect-on-wake issues my retina MacBook Pro has. In addition, Apple also released iOS 8.4, which includes a radio station, in case you're sick of listening to the music you want without some random dude blabbering through your songs.

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posted 1 day ago on OSNews
In late March a handful of the western world's best-known iPhone hackers were flown business class to Beijing. They were put up in the five-star Park Hyatt and given a tour of the sites; the Great Wall, the Forbidden City. "They kept referring to us as 'great gods'. I'm guessing it just translates to 'famous person', but we couldn’t contain our giggles every time the translators said it," says Joshua Hill, a 30-year-old from Atlanta who was one of the chosen few. It was a bizarre trip hosted by an equally bizarre and secretive entity called TaiG (pronounced "tie-gee"), which flew the hackers to China to share techniques and tricks to slice through the defences of Apple's mobile operating system in front of an eager conference-hall crowd. Why such interest and why such aggrandisement of iOS researchers? In the last two years, jailbreaking an iPhone - the act of removing iOS' restrictions against installing unauthorized apps, app stores and other features by exploiting Apple security - has become serious business in China. From Alibaba to Baidu, China's biggest companies are supporting and even funding the practice, unfazed at the prospect of peeving Apple, which has sought to stamp out jailbreaking ever since it became a craze in the late 2000s. I had no idea jailbreaking iOS was this popular in China.

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posted 1 day ago on OSNews
At this point, we in the web community need to come to terms with the fact that Safari has become the new IE. Microsoft is repentant these days, Google is pushing the web as far as it can go, and Mozilla is still being Mozilla. Apple is really the one singer in that barbershop quartet hitting all the sour notes, and it's time we start talking about it openly instead of tiptoeing around it like we're going to hurt somebody's feelings. Apple is the most valuable company in the world; they can afford to take a few punches.

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posted 1 day ago on OSNews
The Apple Watch has been out for over two months now, and other modern smartwatches well before that. It’s no longer the stuff of sci-fi to consider using your watch to play music, control your TV, or track your fitness. But these are all things that you’ve been able to do for a surprisingly long time - well, if you maybe lived in Japan in the ‘90s and didn’t mind carrying around a bunch of Casio watches, that is. I already highlighted several of these Casio classics in my Moto 360 review, but The Verge does a nice job of listing them with beautiful photos.

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posted 2 days ago on OSNews
On Monday, the Supreme Court opted not to review a 2014 ruling on copyright law that held Google's Android operating system infringed copyrights relating to Oracle's Java platform. This is a disaster for the software industry. Here's the problem: the digital economy depends on gadgets and software being able to communicate seamlessly. Last year's decision by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals opened the possibility that efforts to make software work together better could trigger copyright liability. The result could be more compatibility problems and less innovation. The most disgusting and most despicable lawsuit in technology. Oracle is a horrible, horrible company.

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posted 5 days ago on OSNews
Researchers have shown that machines are inching closer to self-learning, and perhaps even copping a little attitude. Over at Google, a computer program using a database of movie scripts was asked again and again by researchers to define morality. It struggles to do so, and in a conversation recorded by its human engineers, becomes exasperated and ends the conversation by lashing out at its human inquisitor. Eerie. The full paper is more interesting.

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posted 5 days ago on OSNews
Every year we see the same promise: this is the year that Android-first development will become a reality. At the same time we see big companies like Instagram repeatedly introduce new apps that are iOS-only. Android has been able to tout more market share than iOS for quite some time, but that doesn't seem to have translated into app developers releasing Android apps at the same time as their iOS counterparts, much less Android-first. Over the past few weeks I've been talking with developers and researching why this is still the case. A major reason not discussed in this article: the large companies - Twitter, Facebook, etc. - as well as the major technology press outlets, are all US-based, and clearly have a very US-centric view of the world (or maybe at the very least an Anglo-Saxon view). In the US, iOS and Android both sit at around ~45% market share, so it makes sense that developers working for these companies focus on iOS more than on Android, simply because iOS development tends to be an easier experience (I'm simply echoing what I hear from developers on both sides of the aisle). The same applies to the technology press. Outside of the English-speaking countries, however, Android reigns supreme. If these companies had a more world-centric view, their Android efforts would surely improve - because as it stands right now, most major companies' Android applications lag behind their iOS counterparts considerably. Over here in The Netherlands, though, every major new local application - banks, brands, stores, etc. - are always iOS+Android on day one. It'd be great if American companies finally started getting their acts together too. Don't assume that veteran iOS developers are automatically also good Android developers (they're not), and hire real, proper Android developers. I translate English to Dutch, and my clients would never ask me to translate, I don't know, Spanish documents into Dutch. Small indie Android developers have proven that, even if it may be a little harder, it's perfectly possible to create Android applications that are just as good as, and often even better, than their iOS counterparts. In 2015, there's no excuse for releasing lousy, crappy Android applications. You only have yourself to blame.

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posted 5 days ago on OSNews
Who would spend more than the cost of a PS4 on a video game console that only plays NES games? Well, who would spend thousands of dollars on a digital camera that can’t autofocus? Leica shooters, of course, and people of similar persuasion might just be interested in the Analogue Nt for their gaming needs. The Nt is a modern Nintendo Entertainment System hewn from a solid block of aluminum, and retails for $499 (plus an extra $79 if you want HDMI output and hardware upscaling.) Beautiful piece of hardware - and I love the fact that there might be a market for this. There are way more sensible options, of course, but none of them look this good.

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posted 6 days ago on OSNews
The Clear Linux Project for Intel Architecture is a project that is building a Linux OS distribution for various cloud use cases. The goal of Clear Linux OS is to showcase the best of Intel Architecture technology, from low-level kernel features to more complex items that span across the entire operating system stack. Don't dismiss it - Intel is doing a lot of interesting under-the-hood stuff with this one.

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posted 6 days ago on OSNews
If you've been watching the news recently, you'll know of the huge debate in the U.S over the role of the Confederate flag in contemporary America. Many see it as a reminder of the many pre-Civil War injustices while others see it simply as a way to honor the soldiers who died for the Confederacy. Many large US companies, like Walmart and Amazon, have already banned the sale of any Confederate flag merchandise as a reaction to the recent events. Now, it appears that Apple has decided to join them by pulling many Civil War wargames from the App Store. As of the writing of this story, games like Ultimate General: Gettysburg and all the Hunted Cow Civil War games are nowhere to be found. Apple is famous for reaching for the axe rather than the scalpel when it comes to political issues (like rejecting Hunted Cow's Tank Battle 1942 for depicting Germans and Russians as enemies), so this move doesn't come as a great surprise. While it's obvious that the Confederate flag has no place in, on, or around government buildings, it seems a bit insane to ban games (movies? Books? Comics?) that take place in the US Civil War era for showing the flag. On a sidenote - three Apple stories in a row? What's happening?

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posted 6 days ago on OSNews
For a long time, iOS apps have been able to open links as web views. When you tap a link in a Twitter client, an RSS reader, or a bookmark utility, it usually opens in a mini browser that doesn't leave the app, providing you with the convenience of not having to switch between Safari and the app. For years, in spite of some security concerns, this worked well and became the de-facto standard among third-party iOS apps. With iOS 9, Apple wants this to change - and they're bringing the power of Safari to any app that wants to take advantage of it.

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posted 7 days ago on OSNews
It is showing hidden files (that have names starting with a dot) when invoked by root and doesn’t show them (as expected) when running as a normal user. This differs from what ls on Linux (the one coming from coreutils) does. Why does ls behave this way? Very interesting answer. I love stuff like this.

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posted 7 days ago on OSNews
If you pay close enough attention to these things, you've probably seen Google Play Services updating from time to time on your Android devices. If you follow the more technical side of Android, you'll know it was announced a couple of years ago to introduce new APIs and features in a way that doesn't require a firmware update. You could be forgiven for dismissing it as a dry and technical part of the OS, but in reality it's a crucially important part of the way modern Android works. Play Services is a blessing and a curse. It's a blessing because it makes the lives of developers easier and because it bypasses incompetent carriers and OEMs so that users get considerable updates. It's a curse because they're closed source - making it impossible to dig into the code. They make your device less your device, and that's always a bad thing, especially in today's world. So much of this could be addressed if Google opened up as much of it, but that's very unlikely to happen.

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posted 7 days ago on OSNews
On my home forum Sysnative, a user (wavly) was being assisted with a WU issue, which was going well, aside from the fact that wavly's WU kept getting disabled randomly. It was figured out eventually after using auditpol.exe and registry security auditing that the program that was responsible for disabling WU was Disable_Windowsupdate.exe, which is part of Samsung's SW Update software. SW Update is your typical OEM updating software that will update your Samsung drivers, the bloatware that came on your Samsung machine, etc. The only difference between other OEM updating software is, Samsung's disables WU. No matter how much work Microsoft puts into cleaning up Windows, crappy OEMs like Samsung will undo all their work. How about that line of Surface laptops and desktops, Microsoft?

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posted 8 days ago on OSNews
Over in Europe, things work a little differently. The carrier model still dominates, but it's just as easy to pick up unlocked, unbranded versions of Android phones big and small that work on just about any local operator (and often many not-so-local ones.) Nice overview of the situation in Europe, but to be honest, I haven't seen any carrier-specific models in The Netherlands in years. In fact, at least on my carrier, you can unlock your phone the moment you get it (a low fee may be charged), and after 12 months, the unlock process is always free (at least for T-Mobile - I'm guessing the same applies to the other two carriers). You can buy unlocked phones from major stores - both online and offline - everywhere, and nobody bats an eye. In fact, in the first quarter of 2014, almost half of all 'mobile connections' were SIM-only - i.e., the mobile phone contract is just the SIM card, without any "free" phone. When you do the maths, clever shopping for a SIM-only contract and an unlocked phone can be hundreds of euros cheaper in the total running time of the contract than going the traditional contract+phone route. Coincidentally, I'm pretty sure this explains why Android is so popular here. You can get unlocked Android flagship-quality phones or last year's flagships for a few hundreds euros, whereas unlocked iPhones are two to three times as expensive. When you give consumers an honest breakdown of what a contract+phone really costs, most people will opt to save hundreds of euros.

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posted 8 days ago on OSNews
Google Inc.'s life sciences group has created a health-tracking wristband that could be used in clinical trials and drug tests, giving researchers or physicians minute-by-minute data on how patients are faring. The experimental device, developed within the company's Google X research division, can measure pulse, heart rhythm and skin temperature, and also environmental information like light exposure and noise levels. It won't be marketed as a consumer device, said Andy Conrad, head of the life sciences team at Google. Like Apple's ResearchKit, I'm really glad technology companies are actively trying to help advance medical research, treatments, and so on. Technology can have a huge impact here.

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posted 8 days ago on OSNews
A new iOS 9 feature added in beta 1 was only discovered when users attempted to update to beta 2 earlier today. This new feature will allow the operating system to intelligently delete applications if you don't have enough free space to perform a software update. Once the update is complete, the apps will automatically be reinstalled and your data will remain intact. Clever feature. I would say 'something for Android to adopt', but then I remembered I'm an idiot.

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posted 8 days ago on OSNews
Like all modern processors the Mega-processor is built from transistors. It's just that instead of using teeny-weeny ones integrated on a silicon chip it uses discrete individual ones like those below. Thousands of them. And loads of LEDs. Hand-built. Insane, but also very cool.

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posted 8 days ago on OSNews
Apple's impulsive response to Swift stands in stark contrast to their treatment of indie app developers, who have been lobbying Apple for almost seven years, requesting Apple reform policies in the App Store to no effect. In particular, Cue's use of the word "indie" can only be described as a callous slap in the face given the circumstances that indie developers have been facing. iOS application developers are expendable, and have zero reach. Taylor Swift is unique, and has a quarter metric frickton of reach. Do the math.

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posted 9 days ago on OSNews
Yesterday, news broke that Google has been stealth downloading audio listeners onto every computer that runs Chrome, and transmits audio data back to Google. Effectively, this means that Google had taken itself the right to listen to every conversation in every room that runs Chrome somewhere, without any kind of consent from the people eavesdropped on. In official statements, Google shrugged off the practice with what amounts to "we can do that". Remember how everyone used to make fun of people like Richard Stallman? Way back in 2012, we already reached the point where we had to acknolwedge Richard Stallman was right all along (useless sidenote: this is one of the three most popular OSNews articles of all time). I recent years, people have been putting stickers and tape on their laptops to cover up built-in webcams. The next step is, apparently, to rip out the built-in microphones, too. That's what you get when you entrust a major technology company with automatic updates. If it runs software from any of the major companies, your computer isn't yours. Handle it accordingly.

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posted 9 days ago on OSNews
After being publicly smacked down by music's biggest star, Apple is changing its tune. Late Sunday night, Apple VP Eddy Cue responded to the open letter that Taylor Swift posted earlier in the day, revealing that Apple now plans to pay artists, labels, and publishers for streams during Apple Music's three-month free trial. The premium streaming service is due to launch on June 30th. Taylor Swift just outsmarted one of the biggest, richest, and most arrogant companies on earth. Impressive. The fact that Apple announced this sudden tail-between-its-legs change of heart in the middle of the night (might've been late Sunday night for US - I suck at timezones), via Twitter no less, is indicative of how badly thought-out this whole Apple Music thing seems to be. The presentation during WWDC was awkward, the three month trial period heavily criticised, and now this. Curious.

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posted 10 days ago on OSNews
Nokia's CEO Rajeev Suri told Germany's Manager Magazin (in German, Reuters report in English) that they plan to start designing and licensing (but not manufacturing) phones again once their agreement with Microsoft expires in 2016. The license would include the use of the Nokia brand name. Does this open the door for Jolla goodness to eventually return to its roots?

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