posted 23 days ago on OSNews
We demonstrated a number of exciting new scenarios, made possible through HoloLens powered by Windows 10. Among other things, we announced that for the very first time, we would provide an opportunity for thousands of developers at Build to experience our hardware. So far, the feedback we have received has been pretty incredible and the possibilities that we asked people to imagine are coming to life. The era of holographic computing is here and today I'm honored to share more information about our HoloLens hardware and how it works to make holograms real. Awesome stuff. Yesterday at Build, they demonstrated how regular Windows 10 universal applications load up just fine inside HoloLens, with 'windows' that you can move around and place around your environment. Pretty neat.

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posted 23 days ago on OSNews
Right now, virtually all reporting about Apple focusses on its biggest new product in years - the Apple Watch. It's the centre of the Apple media show, and no matter where you go on the web, there's no way to get around it or avoid it - even here on OSNews. Apple is the biggest company in the world, so this makes perfect sense, whether you like it or not. Even if the Apple Watch does not sell well by Apple's standards, it will still be a billion dollar business, and it will still leave a huge mark on the industry. However, I think Apple has a much more interesting new product on the shelves. This new product got its stage time during the various keynotes, and it sure isn't neglected by the media or anything, but I think its potential is so huge, so game-changing, that it deserves way, way more than it is getting. I've been using touch devices for a really long time. From Palm OS and PocketPC devices, to iPhones and Android phones, and everything in between. I've used them with styluses, my fingertips, my fingernails, but there has always been a hugely important downside to touch interaction that made it cumbersome to use: the lack of any form of tactile feedback. In all these years, I've never learned to type properly on touch devices. I still regularly miss tap targets, and I still need to look at my device whenever I want to tap on something. It's cumbersome. Apple's new Force Touch and Taptic Engine technology has the potential to change all of this. This week, I bought a brand new 13.3" retina MacBook Pro, equipped with the fancy new trackpad technology. Remember the hype on stage as Apple unveiled this new technology? For once, they weren't overselling it. This really feels like some sort of crazy form of black magic. The trackpad does not move; it does not physically depress, and yet, when you use it, it's indistinguishable from a traditional trackpad. When the device is off and the trackpad is, thus, unpowered, "clicking" on the trackpad feels just like trying to click on any other rigid surface. A blind person would not know she is touching a trackpad. Turn the device on, however, and the technology comes to life, turning this inanimate piece of glass into something that feels exactly like a traditional trackpad, clicks and all. Using Force Touch - where you press down a little harder - is an even stranger sensation; it feels identical to a camera's two-stage shutter button, even though there's no actual downward movement of the pad. My brain still doesn't quite comprehend it. I know how the technology works and what's happening, but it's still downright amazing. With the ability to give this kind of detailed tactile feedback to your fingers, Apple is on the cusp of solving the problem of the lack of tactility on touchscreens. Once this technology is further refined, it will surely find its way to iPhones and iPads, allowing you to feel individual keys on the virtual keyboard, and buttons in the user interface. Not only will this allow people to type more accurately and find their way around their device, it will also mean that one of my best friends, who is suffering from a very rare degenerative eye condition that will leave her close to blind within 15-20 years, could possibly continue to use an iPhone. Force Touch and the Taptic Engine are, despite their horrible names, the most exciting products Apple has unveiled since the original iPhone. I'm excited to see where Apple takes this, and once it makes its way to the iPhone, I will have to think long and hard about my choice of mobile platform. Read more on this exclusive OSNews article...

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posted 23 days ago on OSNews
It is with huge pleasure that the Debian GNU/Hurd team announces the release of Debian GNU/Hurd 2015. This is a snapshot of Debian "sid" at the time of the stable Debian "jessie" release (April 2015), so it is mostly based on the same sources. It is not an official Debian release, but it is an official Debian GNU/Hurd port release. A relatively easy way to check the status of Hurd.

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posted 24 days ago on OSNews
Microsoft just demonstrated one of the intriguing possibilities from its single platform/multiple form factors approach for Windows 10: the ability to use your phone as your desktop computer. In contrast to Apple’s “Continuity,” which aims to make moving between phone, tablet and desktop seamless, Microsoft’s Continuum instead has the phone you’re using adapt its interface depending on the context you’re using it. My dream device is getting close, one step at a time.

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posted 24 days ago on OSNews
Microsoft just demonstrated one of the intriguing possibilities from its single platform/multiple form factors approach for Windows 10: the ability to use your phone as your desktop computer. In contrast to Apple’s “Continuity,” which aims to make moving between phone, tablet and desktop seamless, Microsoft’s Continuum instead has the phone you’re using adapt its interface depending on the context you’re using it. My dream device is getting close, one step at a time.

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posted 24 days ago on OSNews
Google Chrome is not the default browser on Android 4.3+. There are now at least eight Chromium-based Android default browsers, and they are all subtly, though not wildly, different. The number of Chromium family members has recently risen from nine to eleven with the addition of HTC and LG Chromium, default browsers for modern HTC and LG high-end devices. Insanity.

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posted 24 days ago on OSNews
When Windows 10 arrives later this year, the company will be introducing its 'One Store' model that will help make the distribution of apps easier for developers. At Build 2015 today, Microsoft talked about new features that will also arrive with this new store model. The company is making it possible to bring Win32 apps into the Store using a new SDK. This feature had been rumored for a long time but it's now finally being released. By doing this, developers can bring classic apps to the Store which increases visibility for their product but also makes consumers' lives easier as the install/update/removal process is streamlined like any other modern app. This Neowin post doesn't even mention the biggest news: all these old Win32 and .Net applications? They are fully sandboxed and run inside virtual machines using App-V. Long-time readers might remember that I've been hoping for this to happen for god knows how long - from way back during the Longhorn and windows 7 days. Once we have more information, I'll post it right away.

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posted 24 days ago on OSNews
Microsoft first revealed its new browser plans back in January. Known as Project Spartan initially, Microsoft is revealing today that the company will use the Microsoft Edge name for its new browser in Windows 10. The Edge naming won’t surprise many as it’s the same moniker given to the new rendering engine (EdgeHTML) that Microsoft is using for its Windows 10 browser. I liked the name Spartan, but alas.

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posted 24 days ago on OSNews
At its Build 2015 developer conference, Microsoft has announced a new member of its Visual Studio family of products, a code editor called Visual Studio Code. It is a cross-platform, lightweight environment that developers can use to do basic tasks from any machine running Windows, a Linux distribution, or OS X. During the keynote, Microsoft was demonstrating Visual Studio Code running on Ubuntu. Considering the Microsoft from yore that we all remember, this was such a surreal experience, my heart actually skipped a beat. This is a huge victory for open source and the Linux project in particular, after all these years of FUD from Microsoft. Today, Linux won.

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posted 24 days ago on OSNews
iOS and Android developers will be able to port their apps and games directly to Windows universal apps, and Microsoft is enabling this with two new software development kits. On the Android side, Microsoft is enabling developers to use Java and C++ code on Windows 10, and for iOS developers they'll be able to take advantage of their existing Objective C code. "We want to enable developers to leverage their current code and current skills to start building those Windows applications in the Store, and to be able to extend those applications," explained Microsoft's Terry Myerson during an interview with The Verge this morning. Microsoft is bringing Java and Objective-C to Windows 10. You can compile your Android and iOS code inside Visual Studio, and run the result on Windows 10.

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posted 25 days ago on OSNews
The KDE community has released Plasma 5.3, a major new release of the popular open source desktop environment. This latest release brings enhanced power management, better support for Bluetooth, and improved Plasma widgets. A technical preview of the Plasma Media Center shell is also available. In addition, Plasma 5.3 represents a step towards support for Wayland. There are also a few other minor tweaks and over 300 bugfixes.

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posted 25 days ago on OSNews
LG's new flagship smartphone, the G4, is official. If you've been following this space, none of that should come as a surprise: virtually everything about the phone has either leaked or has already been announced by LG over the past few weeks. But the lack of surprise doesn't take away from the fact that the G4 is LG's new flagship, the phone that will go head to head with the Galaxy S6 and iPhone 6 when it hits shelves in a few weeks. Disappointed that the Galaxy S6 dropped the SD card slot and removable battery? Good news: the LG G4 has both of those.

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posted 25 days ago on OSNews
For a few months now I have been working behind the scenes with the good folks at m-e-g-a.org, exploring our mutual desire to create a physical 8-bit computer in the spirit of the C65, but that is open-source and open-hardware so far as is possible, so that the community can sustain, improve and explore it. Basically, we agreed that we wanted to do this, and that the C65GS was the logical basis for this, and thus the MEGA65 project was born, to take the C65GS core, to work together to improve it, and plan towards creating a physical form that is strongly reminiscent of the C65 prototypes. The introduction sheds more light on this project.

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posted 25 days ago on OSNews
A detailed, complete, and fair (and not overly long) comparison between the Apple Watch and the Moto 360. While it's unlikely you're deciding between the two - unless you have both a recent iPhone and an Android phone - it may still be useful if you're up for a new phone and want to take the Wear/Apple Watch accessory into account for your purchase. Personally, I wouldn't buy either of these two devices at this very moment. It's too early days, and they're not exactly cheap, either - especially taking into account that a new Moto 360 is probably around the corner already, and you'll see a new Apple Watch within around 12 months, too.

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posted 25 days ago on OSNews
The first Android Wear device that will come out of the box with Google's big new software update is now on sale in the US. Google began selling the LG Urbane on its online store today for $349. The watch comes in either a silver or a gold, and Google says new orders will leave its warehouse by Friday, May 8th. The Urbane is not exactly my cup of coffee, but a lot of people seem to like it, so get it while it's hot. I hope this means said Wear update will be pushed out to other devices soon, too.

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posted 25 days ago on OSNews
We're going to remove the payment feature from the Skyrim workshop. For anyone who spent money on a mod, we'll be refunding you the complete amount. We talked to the team at Bethesda and they agree. We've done this because it's clear we didn't understand exactly what we were doing. We've been shipping many features over the years aimed at allowing community creators to receive a share of the rewards, and in the past, they've been received well. It's obvious now that this case is different. It's refreshing to see a company openly admit this strongly that they made a mistake. Kudos to Valve.

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posted 25 days ago on OSNews
Apple sold 61.2 million iPhones during the quarter, up from 43.7 million a year earlier and a new March quarter record, while Mac sales were also strong with 4.56 million units sold, up from 4.1 million units in the year-ago quarter. iPad sales were down, however, falling to 12.6 million from 16.35 million. Another insanely great quarter. Interesting tidbit: it seems like the post-PC world has hit a bit of a bump, because Apple is earning more profit from its PCs than from its iPads.

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posted 26 days ago on OSNews
So today we're announcing the Patent Purchase Promotion as an experiment to remove friction from the patent market. From May 8, 2015 through May 22, 2015, we'll open a streamlined portal for patent holders to tell Google about patents they're willing to sell at a price they set. As soon as the portal closes, we'll review all the submissions, and let the submitters know whether we're interested in buying their patents by June 26, 2015. If we contact you about purchasing your patent, we'll work through some additional diligence with you and look to close a transaction in short order. We anticipate everyone we transact with getting paid by late August. Wait. So instead of selling your patent to a troll, you sell it to Google (while retaining a license to the patent yourself), who can then license it out as it pleases, and, of course, also sue people with it. Are we supposed to believe Google would never abuse its patents? So far, it's got a pretty good track record when it comes to patent abuse - unlike its major competitors such as Microsoft and Apple - but I would place no faith in this always staying this way. At least former Electronic Frontier Foundation senior staff attorney Julie Samuels is cautiously optimistic, which is something. She told Ars: "Google's patent purchase program is promising to the extent it puts patents that could end up in the hands of trolls into Google's own patent portfolio," she said by e-mail. "While it's frankly troubling that a single entity would own as many patents as Google already does (and presumably will), this is an unfortunate byproduct of a broken patent system and a technology culture that often prioritizes the grant of patents above all else. Google has time and again shown its commitment to clean up the patent system, which is cause for some cautious optimism with regard to its new purchase program." Well, something's better than nothing, I guess.

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posted 26 days ago on OSNews
This is a new challenge for Apple; can it turn a piece of technology into a massively desired fashion accessory? And can the Apple Watch stand up against its competition, from low-end quartz watches to high-end Rolexes? To answer these and many other questions, we put the Apple Watch in the hands of a mechanical watchmaker, the exact type of person Apple is trying to make obsolete. John Tarantino is the founder and CEO of Martenero, one of the few mechanical watch companies based in the US. Martenero sells customizable mechanical watches built in New York City for around $500, a price point that undersells the quality of its timepieces. The Verge sat down with Tarantino (and a 42mm Apple Watch with a leather loop) to discuss his initial thoughts on the Apple Watch as a watchmaker and its potential impact on the mechanical watch market, and to find out if he will purchase one. A very insightful response to the Apple Watch - and let's face it, all current smartwatches.

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posted 27 days ago on OSNews
After almost 24 months of constant development the Debian project is proud to present its new stable version 8 (code name Jessie), which will be supported for the next 5 years thanks to the combined work of the Debian Security team and of the Debian Long Term Support team. Jessie ships with a new default init system, systemd. The systemd suite provides many exciting features such as faster boot times, cgroups for services, and the possibility of isolating part of the services. The sysvinit init system is still available in Jessie. Screenshots and a screencast are available.

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posted 28 days ago on OSNews
It used to be that the only way to make money from a mod was a) make a standalone sequel or remake b) use it as a portfolio to get hired by a studio or c) back in the pre-broadband days, shovel it onto a dodgy CD-ROM (and even then, it almost certainly wasn't the devs who profited). As of last night, that changed. Mod-makers can now charge for their work, via Steam. It's far too soon to know the long-term outcome of Valve offering the option for mod creators to charge for their work, which went live yesterday using Skyrim as a test case. Everyone has an opinion, and I'll try to cover the main angles below, but first I simply want to express simple sadness. Not fatalistic sadness - I'm genuinely curious as to how this will play out, and there's high potential for excitement - but End Of An Era sadness. The backlash Valve is facing over this whole thing is immense. Every gaming website, and sites like Reddit, are swamped with people lashing out against this new Valve policy. This kind of universal backlash is incredibly rare, and it's kind of interesting to see it unfold. Whatever goodwill Valve had with PC gamer - they managed to throw it all away in a day. Absolutely amazing. As for my personal opinion on this matter - I'm used to mods being free, but considering some of the insane amounts of work people have put into incredibly complex, vast, and terrific mods for games like Skyrim, it does seem more than reasonable to give mod makers the possibility to charge for their work. And let's be absolutely clear here: Valve is forcing nobody to charge for their mods - mod makers choose to make their mods for-pay themselves. That being said, introducing money into an previously pretty much money-less scene is bound to have a lot of negative results - for instance, free mods from Nexus are being offered for sale on Steam; not by their authors, but by pirates. As a result, mod makers are removing their content from Nexus to prevent others from profiting off their work. It's a huge mess right now, and it'll be hard for Valve to regain all the goodwill they threw away in just a day.

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posted 28 days ago on OSNews
Ubuntu Desktop will eventually switch to Snappy packages by default, while continuing to provide deb-based images as an alternative, at least for a while. I'm sure this doesn't come as a surprise for some of you, but further details regarding this have been revealed today. They're slowly moving away more and more from Debian packages.

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posted 28 days ago on OSNews
The European Union's decision to take on Google last week stems from official complaints by 19 companies in Europe and the United States, including Microsoft and a number of small firms, people familiar with the matter said on Friday. Microsoft is actually twice on the list; first as Microsoft-proper, but also as part of a lobby group also on the list. There's also a complaint from a party who remains anonymous.

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posted 28 days ago on OSNews
Good news for Pebble and iOS users: Pebble has just posted on Reddit that it is working with Apple to make sure that rejections like this will no longer happen. Still a work-in-progress, but we're working with Apple to clear up any misunderstandings to make sure rejections like the handful of recent ones don't happen again - they're being super responsive the concerns that bubbled up (much appreciated!). Apps are still getting approved with mentions of Pebble support in the description or metadata (e.g. RunKeeper). For now, developers should continue with their iOS app update plans and approval submissions to the iTunes store as normal (i.e. include Pebble support in your app info if that was your original intent).

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posted 28 days ago on OSNews
As mentioned earlier, in film photography, color balance has a lot to do with the chemical composition of the film. For many decades, color film in the United States was calibrated to highlight Caucasian skin tones. This was the most fundamental problem. With an unusual degree of skill and attention, a photographer could compensate for the biases in most stages of production. But there was nothing they could do about the film’s color balance. When the famous New Wave filmmaker Jean Luc Godard was commissioned to make a film about Mozambique, he reportedly refused to use Kodachrome film - the most popular color film at the time. He complained the film, developed for a predominantly white market, was "racist." Positively fascinating story.

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