posted 11 days ago on OSNews
So I gave my son a crash course in video game history, compressing 25 years of gaming history into about four years. At this point, you're probably either thinking I'm a monster or a pretty awesome dad. Maybe a little of both. That's okay with me. My son is amazing, he loves video games, and more than anything, he loves playing them with me. Ready, player two? Amazing story. I sometimes wonder if I ever have kids (god forbid), how would I introduce them to the world of computers? Just hand them a dumb, locked, experimentation-hostile box like a modern smartphone or tablet and be done with it, or hook him up with a textual, CLI-based computer that I grew up with? I'm convinced that the latter would instill a far greater appreciation and understanding of technology than the former.

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posted 11 days ago on OSNews
I have a confession: I'm the proud owner of an iPhone 6. In fact, it's now my full-time device. After using Windows Phone on and off since its introduction in 2010, I've grown frustrated enough to give up and switch back to iOS fully. I'm the resident Microsoft expert here at The Verge, and for years I've switched between Android, iOS, and Windows Phone to check out new apps and how each platform is progressing, but it's now clear Windows Phone is being left behind. I'm not alone: Ed Bott, a fellow technology writer, has also given up on Windows Phone, and Microsoft has left its loyal customers frustrated by focusing on iOS and Android. Microsoft may have made some significant changes to Windows Phone this year with the 8.1 update, but like the many previous versions and updates I'm still left waiting for more. I'm through waiting. I was a loyal Windows Phone user from day one - bought a 7.x device on launch day, and an 8.x device on launch day - but it's clear to just about everyone by now that the platform has failed. I doubt there is much of a future for Windows Phone as a separate entity. Windows-proper on PCs will continue to do well, but Windows on phones and tablets is starting to look more and more dire by the day. With the Nokia purchase, Windows on phones/tablets may well be Microsoft's biggest financial blunder in its history.

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posted 11 days ago on OSNews
The FreeNAS project, a network attached storage solution based on FreeBSD, has launched FreeNAS 9.3. The new version introduces some significant changes, including the ability to roll back software updates and a new, streamlined interface. This FreeNAS update is a significant evolutionary step from previous FreeNAS releases, featuring a simplified and reorganized Web User Interface, support for Microsoft ODX and Windows 2012 clustering, better VMWare integration, including VAAI support, a new and more secure update system with roll-back functionality, and hundreds of other technology enhancements. The release notes for FreeNAS 9.3 contain more details and instructions for upgrading from previous releases.

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posted 11 days ago on OSNews
Ford today took the wraps off its next generation in-car technology package. Called Sync 3, it's expectedly faster, sleeker and much improved from the old one. It's also more intuitive, easier on the eyes and better integrates smartphone apps. But the biggest change is under the hood: Sync 3 is powered by QNX instead of Microsoft Auto. The car has become yet another platform battleground.

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posted 12 days ago on OSNews
Google today has announced a major update to Android Wear, bringing some long-awaited official functionality to its smartwatches - and a host of new features to go along with them. There's a lot going on here, folks, and updates will arrive in their usual staggered fashion. The big strokes are official support for third-party watch faces, a new Android Wear app, and software all around. Can't wait for this update to hit my Moto 360. It's based on Android 5.0, so the update is more substantial than the mentioned new features alone.

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posted 12 days ago on OSNews
I learned Windows programming from documents included with the Windows 1.0 beta and release Software Development Kits. These included a printed API reference, of course, but beyond that the most important document was the Programming Guide, which was published with the SDK in 1985 as 258 7"x9" looseleaf pages in a binder. This document contained five sample programs that I studied in great depth in attempting to learn the Windows API. Fascinating story.

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posted 12 days ago on OSNews
Fedora version 21 has been launched. The Fedora project, which is sponsored by Red Hat, has taken a new approach with the new version of the Fedora Linux distribution. Fedora 21 has been split into three separate product offerings: Workstation, Cloud and Server. Each product shares a common base, allowing for software compatibility between the three branches. According to the release announcement, Fedora 21 ships with a number of new administration tools, a new graphical package manager and experimental support for running the GNOME desktop on a Wayland display server. More detailed information on Fedora's latest release can be found in the project's release notes.

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posted 12 days ago on OSNews
What if your cloud instances could be updated with the same certainty and precision as your mobile phone - with carrier grade assurance that an update applies perfectly or is not applied at all? What if your apps could be isolated from one another completely, so there's no possibility that installing one app could break another, and stronger assurance that a compromise of one app won't compromise the data from another? When we set out to build the Ubuntu Phone we took on the challenge of raising the bar for reliability and security in the mobile market. And today that same technology is coming to the cloud, in the form of a new "snappy" image called Ubuntu Core, which is in beta today on Azure and as a KVM image you can run on any Linux machine.

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posted 13 days ago on OSNews
Android Police, one of the two best Android-related news websites (together with AndroidCentral) put together a holiday gift guide. Which tablet do they recommend? iPad Air 2 ($499-expensive). Yes, I am breaking the gift guide by putting this here. Why? Because as you'll notice, none of us recommended the Nexus 9 (edit: Cameron recommended it, but don't listen to him), because it's not exactly great. In fact, I'd argue no Android tablet is. The Shield Tablet is a lot of bang for your buck, but the screen kind of sucks and the battery life isn't spectacular (standby is bad in particular) and it's heavy, thick, and kinda ugly. [...] The Air 2 is reliable, predictable, and very fast. iOS still has some tablet experience apps lacking Android equivalents, too, and while Android tablets do have some advantages (like a better Gmail app BY FAR), the iPad remains a no-brainer for me. If it's my money being spent on a tablet, I'm going to buy the one I know is going to live up to a standard of quality - the iPad has been the gold standard in tablets since it was unveiled, and that hasn't changed. I don't see it changing any time soon, either. And he's totally right, of course. Assuming you don't yet have a preference for Android and you're out looking for the best tablet, the iPad is the only real option. Better applications, better experience, better build quality, better performance, better battery life - the list is endless. Google's still got so much work to do on tablets. There are decent Android tablets, but there are no great ones.

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posted 13 days ago on OSNews
Jolla is another system that took many of the lessons of iOS and Android, and rethought how a mobile system should work. Since Jolla's tablet crowdsourcing project ends tomorrow, this seems like a good time to talk about some of the things Jolla does really well. Sailfish-the-operating-system is pretty good. Sailfish' applications - or lack thereof - however, are not. I've bought the tablet, as did many, many others (it's a runaway hit), so let's hope this changes things for the better.

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posted 13 days ago on OSNews
Anyway, as I was reading the news of the Nokia tablet, a thought hit me - maybe it's time for Nokia and Jolla to kiss and make up. When you think about it, it makes sense. First of all, Jolla employees are used to seeing "Nokia" on their paychecks. Sure they took some time off, but at least they were being productive with their time. It's not going to happen. Jolla somewhat works exactly because they're independent and small, and if Nokia is ever going to get back into phones, it'll be Android.

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posted 13 days ago on OSNews
Today we are excited to introduce Android Studio 1.0. Android Studio is the official Integrated Development Environment (IDE) from the Android team. It is built on the popular IntelliJ IDEA (Community Edition) Java IDE. What a coincidence (*).

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posted 13 days ago on OSNews
Panic in iOS developer land. iOS developer are up in arms again, because of this: Also, at Apple's request, we had to remove the ability to "Send" files to other services, including iCloud Drive. In short, we're told that while Transmit iOS can download content from iCloud Drive, we cannot upload content to iCloud Drive unless the content was created in the app itself. Apple says this use would violate 2.23 - "Apps must follow the iOS Data Storage Guidelines or they will be rejected" - but oddly that page says nothing about iCloud Drive or appropriate uses for iCloud Drive. If you're an iOS developer and you still get upset over Apple's App Store policies, there's only one person to blame, and it isn't Apple. You knew what you signed up for.

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posted 14 days ago on OSNews
Rumours of Nintendo working on its own mobile phone have been appearing on and off for the past decade, and recently we even heard that the idea almost become a reality back in 2004. The prospect of owning a mobile telecommunications device crafted to suit Nintendo's unique vision is a tantalising one, but the firm has so far refused to embrace the notion. With shareholders calling for Nintendo to make its titles available for a wider audience by embracing existing mobile platforms such as iOS and Android, you might assume that the time for creating a unique mobile device has long since passed, but we're not so sure. In fact, it could be argued that there's never been a better time for Nintendo to release a handset of its own. Would you switch phones for Mario? Would anyone? Then again, imagine if Google struck a deal with Nintendo - a full, proper Android phone from Nintendo, with exclusive access to Nintendo's games via Nintendo's own additional platform. Could potentially work.

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posted 14 days ago on OSNews
The maps we use to navigate have come a long way in a short time. Since the '90s we've gone from glove boxes stuffed with paper maps to floorboards littered with Mapquest printouts to mindlessly obeying Siri or her nameless Google counterpart. The maps behind those voices are packed with far more data than most people realize. On a recent visit to Mountain View, I got a peek at how the Google Maps team assembles their maps and refines them with a combination of algorithms and meticulous manual labor - an effort they call Ground Truth. The project launched in 2008, but it was mostly kept under wraps until just a couple years ago. It continues to grow, now covering 51 countries, and algorithms are playing a bigger role in extracting information from satellite, aerial, and Street View imagery. This would have been complete science fiction only very recently.

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posted 16 days ago on OSNews
Starting just a few minutes ago at 1 p.m. ET, Microsoft has begun to roll out another OS update for those utilizing the Preview for Developers program. Heading into Settings and Phone Update, users can tap the Check for Updates button to begin downloading the latest version of Windows Phone 8.1.1. Part of this update should enable Cortana for those in Europe, which was announced this morning. As usual, we also expect some bug fixes and optimizations as well. Cortana will be available in France, Italy, Germany, and Spain. Sidenote: this developer program is the best thing to happen to Windows Phone in a long time. Good job, Microsoft.

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posted 16 days ago on OSNews
Among the topics discussed, why John Chen took the CEO job at BlackBerry, how the company has progressed since his arrival, the NSA and his plans for the future of BlackBerry. Even if you've heard some of the information before, it's still an interesting and deeper look into the man now in charge of BlackBerry. I could have been a BlackBerry customer. I tried to buy a Passport in Canada a few weeks ago, but nobody wanted to sell me one. Every shop I went into carried them, but when I waved my credit card in front of the salespeople and told them they didn't even have to convince me to give them 700-800 Canadian dollars, they told me they were not allowed to sell me Passports off-contract. They are only allowed to sell Passports on-contract and locked. As a Dutch guy waving 700-800 dollars around, this continues to baffle me to this day.

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posted 16 days ago on OSNews
Apple has notified the court that it plans to move for a dismissal in the class action lawsuit against its DRM practices, claiming the plaintiffs in the case did not purchase any iPods which are covered in the lawsuit. This lawsuit is the silliest lawsuit in a long string of silly lawsuits. What a waste of court resources. Has there ever been a legitimate class-action lawsuit in tech?

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posted 17 days ago on OSNews
Mark Zuckerberg, on Apple's and its supporters' tired and overused "you're not the customer. You're the product" tripe. "A frustration I have is that a lot of people increasingly seem to equate an advertising business model with somehow being out of alignment with your customers," Zuckerberg says. "I think it's the most ridiculous concept. What, you think because you're paying Apple that you're somehow in alignment with them? If you were in alignment with them, then they'd make their products a lot cheaper!" That sound you hear is a nail being hit squarely on the head. If you as a consumer were not Apple's product, they would not be charging you margins of 40-50%. Add to this the fact that Apple also collects all kinds of information about its customers, and it becomes even more laughable. Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft - they all see you as just one thing: walking bank accounts. That's it. Don't fool yourself into thinking you're anything more to them just to justify using their crap.

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posted 17 days ago on OSNews
Bitrig 1.0 - an OpenBSD fork - has been released. Why, exactly, did Bitrig fork OpenBSD? OpenBSD is an amazing project and has some of the best code around but some of us are of the opinion that it could use a bit of modernization. OpenBSD is a very security conscious project and, correspondingly, has to be more conservative with features. We want to be less restrictive with the codebase when it comes to experimenting with features.

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posted 17 days ago on OSNews
AmiKit 8 has been released, with MIUI 4. It brings the same experience as AmigaOS4 users have been enjoying for some time. Actually, MUI 4 for AmigaOS4 and MUI 4 for AmigaOS3 are built from the same source code, so any similarities between the two builds are 100% intended! Great news for AmigaOS 3.x users. The previous version of MIUI is 17 years old.

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posted 17 days ago on OSNews
When Gabriel Weinberg launched a search engine in 2008, plenty of people thought he was insane. How could DuckDuckGo, a tiny, Philadelphia-based startup, go up against Google? One way, he wagered, was by respecting user privacy. Six years later, we're living in the post-Snowden era, and the idea doesn't seem so crazy. In fact, DuckDuckGo is exploding.

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posted 18 days ago on OSNews
Paul Graham, way back in 2009: More generally, you can have a fruitful discussion about a topic only if it doesn't engage the identities of any of the participants. What makes politics and religion such minefields is that they engage so many people's identities. But you could in principle have a useful conversation about them with some people. And there are other topics that might seem harmless, like the relative merits of Ford and Chevy pickup trucks, that you couldn't safely talk about with others. And the key takeaway: Most people reading this will already be fairly tolerant. But there is a step beyond thinking of yourself as x but tolerating y: not even to consider yourself an x. The more labels you have for yourself, the dumber they make you. Run a site like OSNews for almost a decade, and you'll see this article come to life every single day.

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posted 18 days ago on OSNews
A few weeks ago the PC-BSD project released version 10.1 of its FreeBSD-based operating system. While it was expected that existing users would be able to upgrade smoothly from PC-BSD 10.0 to 10.1, some community members reported problems with the project's upgrade process. The PC-BSD team has acknowledged the problem and is working on a fix. We are working on a new upgrade patch that will hopefully solve the upgrade problem for some of you who have still not been able to successfully upgrade to 10.1. What we are planning on doing is incorporating just freebsd-update to handle this upgrade for the kernel and let the packages be installed seperately after the kernel has been upgraded. Going forward we have some ideas on how we can improve the updating process to give a better end user experience for PC-BSD. Just one idea we’ve been thinking about is giving ourselves a little more time before letting RELEASE updates become available to the public. During the extra time period we can ask some of our more advanced users to go ahead and install the “beta” updates and provide us with feedback if issues come up that we were not able to find during our initial testing of the update. The project hopes to implement a simplified upgrade experience and more tests to insure smoother upgrades to future releases.

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posted 18 days ago on OSNews
Interesting video comparing Android Auto with Apple's CarPlay (via Daring Fireball). The takeaway for me is clear - CarPlay looks like a mess, with iOS 6 stuff intermingled with vague iOS 7+ designs, but without any clear vision tying it all together. In short, it's ugly as sin. Android Auto looks fantastic and coherent - but it seems far too distracting to be safe to use while driving. It looks too good to be in a car in which it is very easy to either kill yourself or someone else - or both. Interesting, though, that car makers are simply putting both systems in their cars.

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