posted 15 days ago on OSNews
When my brain started combining the complexity of being Black in America with the real world proposal of wandering and exploration that is designed into the gamplay of Pokemon GO, there was only one conclusion. I might die if I keep playing. This week has proven he's not wrong.

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posted 15 days ago on OSNews
Facebook Messenger has started rolling out Secret Conversations, a feature that enables end to end encryption for conversations within Messenger. Secret Conversations is built on Signal Protocol, a modern, open source, strong encryption protocol we developed for asynchronous messaging systems. Signal Protocol powers our own private messaging app, Signal. The protocol is designed from the ground up to make seamless end-to-end encrypted messaging possible and to make private communication simple. To amplify the impact and scope of private communication, we also collaborate with other popular messaging apps like WhatsApp, Google Allo, and now Facebook Messenger to help integrate Signal Protocol into those products. These are all good steps forward, trail-blazed by - at least among the big companies - Apple.

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posted 15 days ago on OSNews
Facebook Messenger has started rolling out Secret Conversations, a feature that enables end to end encryption for conversations within Messenger. Secret Conversations is built on Signal Protocol, a modern, open source, strong encryption protocol we developed for asynchronous messaging systems. Signal Protocol powers our own private messaging app, Signal. The protocol is designed from the ground up to make seamless end-to-end encrypted messaging possible and to make private communication simple. To amplify the impact and scope of private communication, we also collaborate with other popular messaging apps like WhatsApp, Google Allo, and now Facebook Messenger to help integrate Signal Protocol into those products. These are all good steps forward, trail-blazed by - at least among the big companies - Apple.

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posted 15 days ago on OSNews
Some of my favorite operating system updates are ones that rethink longstanding parts of the user interface in intelligent ways, and iOS 10 seems to be shaping up into that kind of update. The lock screen has been newly modeled around TouchID, which was brand-new three years ago but practically omnipresent in iDevices today. The Today View has been broken up into a bunch of configurable widgets and merged with the Siri suggestions screen. Notifications are more versatile and pleasant to interact with. And Messages' improvements, while they won't be to everyone's taste, bring Apple's built-in app more in line with the current zeitgeist as represented by Slack or Facebook Messenger. There are more new features in iOS 10 - improvements to core apps like Photos, Music, and Health, tweaks to how the keyboard works, Apple Pay on the web, and a bunch of other minor changes - that we'll have more time to look at in our final review. But so far the majority of the changes are for the better. Old hardware is getting dropped, but that frees developers from worrying about actively supported devices with 512MB of RAM. The iPad isn't getting nearly the amount of love that it got from iOS 9, but in recent years Apple has been happy to dole out feature updates throughout the year in large point releases like it did in iOS 9.3. If performance on older devices and battery life are both up to snuff in the final release, most of my complaints will end up being pretty minor. Ars' iOS preview - always worth a read to know what's up with the new release.

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posted 16 days ago on OSNews
Today, Apple release the public betas of macOS Sierra and iOS 10. You need to enroll your device through the Apple Beta Software Program; you can always go back to the released versions, or keep using the betas until they update to the final versions once the time has come. As always, install them at your own peril - and for the love of Fiona, don't do it on devices you rely on.

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posted 17 days ago on OSNews
Microsoft is proud of its work on AI, and eager to convey the sense that this time around, it's poised to win. In June, it invited me to its campus to interview some of Nadella's top lieutenants, who are building AI into every corner of the company's business. Over the next two days, Microsoft showed me a wide range of applications for its advancements in natural language processing and machine learning. The company, as ever, talks a big game. Microsoft's historical instincts about where technology is going have been spot-on. But the company has a record of dropping the ball when it comes to acting on that instinct. It saw the promise in smartphones and tablets, for example, long before its peers. But Apple and Google beat Microsoft anyway. The question looming over the company's efforts around AI is simple: Why should it it be different this time? I know we're just at the very beginning of this whole thing, but so far, I'm not particularly impressed with the fruits of all this AI work for us as end users. Things like Cortana and Siri generally just offer more cumbersome ways of doing something achieved quicker with other methods, and they demonstrate little to no "intelligence". Knowing I have a translation deadline at 15:00 and reminding me of it is not really intelligence; it's just a talkative alarm with an annoying attitude. Much like VR, this just needs way, way more technological progress and breakthroughs to really be what its name implies.

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posted 17 days ago on OSNews
Continuous gives you the power of a traditional desktop .NET IDE - full C# 6 and F# 4 language support with semantic highlighting and code completion - while also featuring live code execution so you don’t have to wait around for code to compile and run. Continuous works completely offline so you get super fast compiles and your code is secure. Continuous gives you access to all of .NET’s standard library, F#’s core library, all of Xamarin's iOS binding, and Xamarin.Forms. Access to all of these libraries means you won’t be constrained by Continuous - you can write code exactly as you’re used to. It's absolutely baffling neither Apple nor Microsoft made this application. While I doubt this will suddenly make tablet-doubters such as myself take tablets seriously as the future of computing, it's exactly these kinds of applications that can really show what a platform is capable of. I'd love for applications like this to prove me wrong when it comes to the future of tablets.

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posted 17 days ago on OSNews
Ben Thompson, 8 July, 2014: Ultimately, though, Samsung's fundamental problem is that they have no software-based differentiation, which means in the long run all they can do is compete on price. Perhaps they should ask HP or Dell how that goes. Dan Frommer, 31 July, 2014: But we've seen this story before. This particular chart shows Nokia's adjusted closing price from the day Apple released the first iPhone, in 2007, to the day in 2013 when Microsoft announced it would acquire Nokia's struggling handset business. [...] For Samsung, there's no easy fix. Se Young Lee (and Ben Thompson again, curiously enough), 4 August, 2015: The coming years are set to be more somber for the South Korean tech giant, as it is forced to slash prices and accept lower margins at its mobile division in order to see off competition from rivals including China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and Xiaomi Inc in the mid-to-low end of the market. Behind Samsung's reality-check is the fact it is stuck with the same Android operating system used by its low-cost competitors, who are producing increasingly-capable phones of their own. "The writing has long been on the wall for any premium Android maker: as soon as low end hardware became 'good enough,' there would be no reason to buy a premium brand," said Ben Thompson, an analyst at Stratechery.com in Taipei. Horace Dediu, 13 October, 2014: So the short answer is that Samsung needs to create new categories or businesses. The challenge for them is that they need to control the platform and service infrastructure. These are currently out of their control and I’m not quite sure how they can regain that control. Fast-forward to today: Samsung Electronics' earnings guidance for the second quarter of 2016 show the company expecting to record its strongest profits in more than two years. [...] The results suggest Samsung's best quarterly performance since it made an 8.49 trillion won operating profit in early 2014 before entering a slump that it's only recently started to bounce back from. The figures are preliminary, though Samsung is usually accurate in its forecasting. Samsung is doomed.

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posted 17 days ago on OSNews
It would be nice if, like most email services, these major and forthcoming messaging services could somehow interoperate in the same client of your choice, so they could all somehow learn your preferences and you could use a single scheme of settings and preferences to control their behavior (maybe you could "snooze" them) and their notifications. But that seems highly unlikely. Palm's webOS operating system had a feature something like this called Synergy, but it's defunct. Or, you know, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, etc. could come together and create a single, open, open source, standardised messaging platform for which everybody can make clients. They could, perhaps, call it "Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol" or XMPP. Of course, that would require those companies actually giving a rat's bum about their customers, which they don't really do, so suck it up, Mossberg.

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posted 17 days ago on OSNews
An update to the Rossman story we talked about earlier this week: I am told by my attorney that Apple & the firm like my channel, are fans of it, and are friendly. I am as surprised by this as any of you are. I'm still interested in the precise issue they have with the channel, as it isn't often customary for high end Manhattan lawfirms to reach out to me to tell me that they're fans. It is persistently clear that there is an issue they have with the content, but I don't know what it is yet. That in and of itself is bothersome and unnerving, but whatayagannado. Peculiar case.

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posted 17 days ago on OSNews
In any case, I tend not to worry too much. And I tend to not worry too much about all the digital data I hand over every minute of every day. That's not to say I don't care. I certainly do. And there are some companies I trust more than others. Cable company? Screw 'em. I'd unplug if I could. But I don't think I'm quite ready to subject my wife and kids to that. Cell carrier? They're only after one thing. (Except for when I'm on Project Fi. Those guys rock.) But Google? Google probably knows more about me than anyone. Probably more than I know myself. That's never been more apparent than when I scrolled through the first 100 pixels or so of the My Activity section on my Google account. Everything I've searched for. Apps I've used. Websites I opened. Destinations I've navigated to. All there, and pretty much in real time. There really seem to be two groups of people: those that value the openness of Google regarding the data it collects, giving you insight and control over it, and those that value the secrecy of Apple, trying to keep everything on your device in a way that it can't be tracked to you. The debate passes me by, because I treat my devices as if they are public devices; I don't put anything on there that I don't want other to see, read, or know about. A device is not my mind, so I don't treat it as such. I don't trust any company - Google, Apple, my carrier, or whatever - and I have enough understanding of technology to know that nothing connected to the internet is really private or safe. The idea of "trusting" a company with my deepest private data is wholly alien to me.

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posted 18 days ago on OSNews
We live, we are so often told, in an information age. It is an era obsessed with space, time and speed, in which social media inculcates virtual lives that run parallel to our "real" lives and in which communications technologies collapse distances around the globe. Many of us struggle with the bombardment of information we receive and experience anxiety as a result of new media, which we feel threaten our relationships and "usual" modes of human interaction. Though the technologies may change, these fears actually have a very long history: more than a century ago our forebears had the same concerns. Literary, medical and cultural responses in the Victorian age to the perceived problems of stress and overwork anticipate many of the preoccupations of our own era to an extent that is perhaps surprising. Fascinating look at how people were afraid of new technology over a century ago.

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posted 18 days ago on OSNews
Apple and Donate Life America announced today that, for the first time ever, iPhone users will be able to sign up to be an organ, eye and tissue donor right from the Health app with the release of iOS 10. Through a simple sign up process, iPhone users can learn more and take action with just a few taps. All registrations submitted from iPhone are sent directly to the National Donate Life Registry managed by Donate Life America. The ability to quickly and easily become a nationally-registered donor enables people to carry their decision with them wherever they go. There's a lack of donors in many, many countries, and relatively simple initiatives like this can do a lot to get people to sign up to be a donor and potentially save a lot of lives. Great initiative by Apple and Donate Life America.

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posted 19 days ago on OSNews
It's been my impression that the BSD communit{y,ies}, in general, understand Linux far better than the Linux communit{y,ies} understand BSD. I have a few theories on why that is, but that's not really relevant. I think a lot of Linux people get turned off BSD because they don't really understand how and why it's put together. Thus, this rant; as a BSD person, I want to try to explain how BSD works in a way that Linux people can absorb. While there's overwhelming similarity between the operating systems in most cases, there are also a lot of differences. As you probe more into the differences, you find that they emerge from deep-seated disagreements. Some are disagreements over development methodology, some over deployment and usage, some about what's important, some about who's important, and some about which flavor of ice cream is superior. Just comparing the surface differences doesn't tell you anything; it's the deeper differences that both explain and justify why each group does things the way they do. The article is undated, but I seem to recall it's actually quite old (2005-ish or so). Still, it's an interesting read.

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posted 22 days ago on OSNews
We talk a lot on this blog about why it's getting harder to fix electronics. Not just because of how those devices are designed, but also because a lot manufacturers don't want anyone to know how to fix them. And those companies can issue legal threats to keep repair information - like schematics and repair manuals - out of public view. It looks like Louis Rossmann, an independent Apple repair tech, is fending off a legal attack from one of those companies. [...] For context, Louis does board-level repairs of Apple laptops. You can't do that and you can't teach other people how to fix boards without circuit schematics - which he shows on his channel. Most electronics companies don't share schematics with the public. And certain companies might argue that showing schematics on video is a violation of their copyright. (Louis, by the way, was one of the most vocal supporters of a Right to Repair law in New York that would have protected independent repair techs and given them more access to repair information. Apple's lobbyists killed the bill before it could be voted on.) Happy 4th of July, America.

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posted 24 days ago on OSNews
Warren had different beefs with Google, Apple and Amazon, but the common thread was that she accused each one of using its powerful platform to "lock out smaller guys and newer guys," including some that compete with Google, Apple and Amazon. Google, she said, uses "its dominant search engine to harm rivals of its Google Plus user review feature;" Apple "has placed conditions on its rivals that make it difficult for them to offer competitive streaming services" that compete with Apple Music; and Amazon "uses its position as the dominant bookseller to steer consumers to books published by Amazon to the detriment of other publishers." "Google, Apple and Amazon have created disruptive technologies that changed the world, and ... they deserve to be highly profitable and successful," Warren said. "But the opportunity to compete must remain open for new entrants and smaller competitors that want their chance to change the world again." Before we start, I strongly urge you to watch Warren's actual speech, instead of just reading the linked article. Warren explains clearly why the extreme consolidation and monopolisation in all manner of sectors in America is absolutely terrible for consumers, killing competition, dampening innovation, and maintaining high prices. Obviously, this entire speech is music to my ears. Warren is the obvious - and effectively inevitable - VP pick for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, meaning that if she were to beat the Republican nominee come November, the United States will have a Europe-style democratic socialist as vice-president. Obviously, this has the monopolistic US companies and their corporate cheerleaders shaking in their boots. Thanks to the unexpectedly successful Sanders campaign, Clinton is effectively forced to pick Sanders' friend and ideological compeer as her VP, directly threatening the free ride these companies have been getting for decades since the Reagan years, perpetuated by both Republicans and Democrats ever since. It won't be immediate - the VP position is more of a mindshare podium than one of policy-making - but it represents a huge shift in how the United States government and its politics treat the business world. There's a reason Tim Cook is raising money for Paul Ryan.

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posted 24 days ago on OSNews
The next major Windows 10 update, the Anniversary Update, is going to be released just slightly too late for its namesake event. The operating system first shipped on July 29, 2015. The Anniversary Update will come a few days after the first anniversary of that release, on August 2. You will install this update. Or else.

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posted 26 days ago on OSNews
Speaking of software sucks, take a look at this screenshot of Chrome for Android. Do you notice something out of the ordinary? While you look, let me give you a little history. Way back when Android Lollipop was released, Google introduced a feature called "merge tabs and apps" and enabled it by default for all Lollipop users. Basically, what it did was turn individual Chrome tabs into application windows in Android's application switcher. If you have an understanding of how Android works, this makes perfect sense; this turns tabs into full citizens of the Android application and intents workflow. Starting with - I think? - Android Marshmallow, Google turned the feature off, but kept it as an option in Google Chrome, so that those of us that liked it could turn it back on. Obviously, this was the first thing I always turned on when setting up any new Android device; it just makes sense from an Android perspective. It smooths out the workflow, and makes sure that tab management becomes a thing of the past; they are discarded just like other Android applications. Sadly, starting with Chrome 51, released a few weeks ago, the Android or Chrome or whatever team decided to remove the option altogether. The release notes stated: When Android Lollipop was released last year, we moved Chrome tabs to live alongside apps in Android’s Overview app switcher. Our goal was to make it easier for you to switch between your open apps and websites. However, we heard from many of you that you could not find the tabs you created. This was especially difficult on phones that do not have a dedicated Overview button. While considering how to make Chrome work better for everyone, we brought the tab switcher back into Chrome so you can find your Chrome tabs in a single place. Look for a new way to manage your open tabs in coming releases. This single change has thoroughly ruined the way I use my phone. I now have upwards of 60 - and growing - "open" tabs, because the Chrome team wants me to manually keep track of and close every individual tab that gets opened while using Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, and other applications. I now have to keep track of not only running applications in the switcher, but also open tabs in the tab switcher, the latter of which can only be opened with a button in Chrome all the way at the top of my ginormous Nexus 6P display. The tab switcher itself, meanwhile, is a finicky clusterfuck of imprecise swipes and physics nonsense, making it all incredibly frustrating to use. Trying to switch to a specific tab I may have opened earlier in the day is an exercise in frustration now, since instead of just opening the application switcher and finding it a few swipes up (I don't use many applications), I now have to first find Chrome or launch it from my homescreen, find the tab switcher button all the way at the top, count to ten as I try to use the asinine tab switcher, and then hope I can find it somewhere among the more than 60 - and growing - "open" tabs and UI input lag caused by having to render all these tabs in that weird 3D space. As someone who keeps track of world news, things like UEFA Euro 2016, technology news, and so on, all throughout the day, I end up with countless interesting tabs that get opened on Twitter, other social media, instant messenger, and so on. The Chrome team has actively decided to break my workflow, and there's no way for me to get it back - probably just because instead of looking at the how or why, they just looked at their precious, precious user data, and called it a day. Looking to the future, with (freeform) windowing coming to Android, the change makes even less sense. Having tabs as part of the regular application switcher surely makes sense from a multitasking and multiwindow perspective, automatically giving Android users the ability to have multiple tabs side-by-side, in a way that is consistent with using other applications side-by-side. How are they going to implement this now? Will Android users have to deal with multiple Chrome windows, each with their own tab switcher? Where do tabs of closed windows go? What madness is this? I find solace in that I'm not alone. Countless friends have expressed their hatred for the removal of merge tabs and apps (I've seen some of my programmer friends with well north of 100 "open" tabs), and the Chrome for Android reviews in the Play Store are riddled with angry one-star reviews. Google's forums, too, are filled with angry users. I'm hoping the angry comments and one-star reviews will make the Chrome team reconsider and bring back the option to merge tabs and apps, the Only True Android Way™ to manage tabs. I'm sure tons of people here will consider this whining, but imagine if you're a programmer, and someone randomly took away your ability to insert tabs, forcing you to use spaces instead (or vice versa). That twitch you feel? That's us right now, every time we use Android. For the first time in my life, I actually rated an application on an application store. Guess how many "stars" (why is it always stars?) I gave to Chrome for Android. Read more on this exclusive OSNews article...

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posted 26 days ago on OSNews
Microsoft officials said late on June 27 that the new update experience -- with clearer "upgrade now, schedule a time, or decline the free offer" - will start rolling out this week. Microsoft will also revert to making clicking on the red X at the corner of the Windows 10 update box dismiss the update, rather than initiate it, as it has done for the past several weeks. If you had told me only a few months ago that Microsoft would be putting out a press statement extolling how it made sure that the close button on a window frame actually closed the window instead of initiating something crappy people don't want, I'd have called you crazy. Why do we let software makers get away with producing crap? Why does software suck so much?

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posted 26 days ago on OSNews
A few days after Microsoft released Windows 10 to the public last year, Teri Goldstein's computer started trying to download and install the new operating system. The update, which she says she didn't authorize, failed. Instead, the computer she uses to run her Sausalito, Calif., travel-agency business slowed to a crawl. It would crash, she says, and be unusable for days at a time. "I had never heard of Windows 10," Goldstein said. "Nobody ever asked me if I wanted to update." When outreach to Microsoft's customer support didn’t fix the issue, Goldstein took the software giant to court, seeking compensation for lost wages and the cost of a new computer. She won. Last month, Microsoft dropped an appeal and Goldstein collected a $10,000 judgment from the company. We accept so much crap from software makers, so it feels good if someone manages to get back at them for the terrible quality of software in general.

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posted 27 days ago on OSNews
We are excited to announce the release of .NET Core 1.0, ASP.NET Core 1.0 and Entity Framework 1.0, available on Windows, OS X and Linux! .NET Core is a cross-platform, open source, and modular .NET platform for creating modern web apps, microservices, libraries and console applications. This release includes the .NET Core runtime, libraries and tools and the ASP.NET Core libraries. We are also releasing Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code extensions that enable you to create .NET Core projects. You can get started at https://dot.net/core. Read the release notes for detailed release information.

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posted 30 days ago on OSNews
The long awaited Dolphin 5.0 release is finally here! After nearly a year of bug-hunting and handling the release process, everything has come together for our biggest release yet! The three previous releases followed a very distinct pattern: sacrifice performance, hacks, and features in exchange for higher accuracy. As such, Dolphin 3.0, 3.5, and 4.0 progressively grew slower. But thanks to the cleanups put forward throughout those releases, Dolphin 5.0 is the fastest Dolphin has ever been! By removing all of those hacks and outdated features while cleaning up the codebase, Dolphin has reached a new level of efficiency, powered by a revitalized dynamic recompiler. On the GPU side, OpenGL and D3D11 have seen tons of optimizations and accuracy improvements, and have been joined by a brand new D3D12 backend for huge performance gains. If there's a CPU or GPU extension that can make Dolphin faster, we take advantage of it. Dolphin is an incredibly impressive project - not just from a technological standpoint, but also from an organisation one. They post regular, detailed development updates, have in-depth release notes that are still entirely readable for laypersons such as myself, and you always learn a ton of new stuff following the project's progress. A great example of how to run a project like this. Don't forget to check out the release video with tons of side-by-side examples of the long list of improvements.

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posted 30 days ago on OSNews
PowerNex is a kernel written in the D Programming Language. The goal is to have a whole OS written in D, where PowerNex powers the core. Exactly what it is.

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posted 30 days ago on OSNews
PowerNex is a kernel written in the D Programming Language. The goal is to have a whole OS written in D, where PowerNex powers the core. Exactly what it is.

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posted about 1 month ago on OSNews
It's tempting to read the "macOS" rebranding as some grand statement about the Mac, but, truth be told, "Sierra" is more indicative of what we're getting. The name comes from a mountain range that encompasses Yosemite and El Capitan rather than moving away from them. It's another year of building on Yosemite's foundation, another year of incremental change, and another year of over-saturated mountain wallpapers. Like El Capitan before it, Sierra focuses on a few marquee features, a couple of under-the-hood changes, a smattering of smaller tweaks, and one or two signposts pointing toward future development. It's the next release of OS X, new name or not. And we've spent a week with the first developer beta to dig into some of the new features ahead of the public beta in July and the public release in the fall. Insights into the developer preview.

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