posted about 1 month ago on OSNews
The battle for Smart TV dominance continues to ratchet up, with Google and Firefox now both wading into the same connected space. The former has reignited its living room ambitions via Android TV, while open source rival Firefox has partnered with Panasonic. You might reasonably expect both to be cut from much the same cloth, but having lived with new tellies from each camp, I can reveal there’s a world of difference. One is lithe, intuitive and fun to use. The other isn’t.

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posted about 1 month ago on OSNews
"Security researchers at Trend Micro's Trend Labs have uncovered a trick in a sample of a fake news application for Android created by the network exploitation tool provider Hacking Team that may have allowed the company's customers to sneak spyware through the Google Play store's code review. While the application in question may have only been downloaded fewer than 50 times from Google Play, the technique may have been used in other Android apps developed for Hacking Team customers--and may now be copied by others trying to get malware onto Android devices." OSNews readers would have never fallen for this ruse, since the name of the app was BeNews. Once we noticed there was nothing about BeOS in these, we discern its nefarious intent.

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posted about 1 month ago on OSNews
For one year, Microsoft is allowing consumers and some businesses with systems running Genuine Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 a free upgrade to Windows 10. But when we asked: Once you upgrade for free to Windows 10, is it possible to downgrade back to Windows 8 or 7 without having to buy a new OS license? Microsoft said those who upgrade to Windows 10 for free will have one month to revert back to the old OS on their device.

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posted about 1 month ago on OSNews
A Hong Kong-based startup run by former Mozilla President Li Gong aims to take on Android with its new Web-based operating system, H5OS. Similar to the Firefox operating system from Mozilla, H50S is based on HTML5, a website development language that tries to give Web apps the same capabilities as so-called native applications that are downloaded to a device like the iPhone. More on H5OS here.

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posted about 1 month ago on OSNews
After cutting 7,800 staff and taking a $7.6bn loss on its Windows Phone division, Microsoft’s chief executive Satya Nadella intends to ramp up the company’s invasion of iPhone and Android with its apps and services. While the write-down has been seen as effectively neutering the remainder of the smartphone business Microsoft bought from Nokia in 2012, Nadella insists that his company is not exiting the smartphone market.

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posted about 1 month ago on OSNews
If the name "Commodore" conjures up images of clicking keyboards, beige boxes, and blinking command lines rather than buttery smooth ballads, this one's for you. Yes, that mainstay of '80s home computing is back, this time as a mobile phone. The Commodore PET--which shares its name with the iconic all-in-one computer released in 1977--might not run Commodore BASIC, but it does feature a customised version of Android 5.0 Lollipop, a 5.5-inch 1080p IPS display, and a pair of emulators for running old Commodore software.

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posted about 1 month ago on OSNews
From Linux Voice: "Perl 6 has been 15 years in the making, and is now due to be released at the end of this year. We speak to its creator to find out what’s going on."

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posted about 1 month ago on OSNews
Microsoft will be holding Windows 10 launch events for "people who played a role in developing Windows 10, at special events in 13 cities around the world. The celebrations will feature experiential demos, hands-on training and even entertainment. Microsoft has also partnered with retailers, including Best Buy, Staples, and Walmart, to roll out easy upgrade programs. And Tech Bench services will offer support and data Relevant Products/Services migration services to consumers who are upgrading. Some Microsoft Stores, meanwhile, will offer prizes on July 29, along with free in-store workshops."

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posted about 1 month ago on OSNews
How can we pass up a title like that? The article takes an interesting approach on practicality. Linux's pros: it runs on so many kinds of hardware, installing software is easy, variety of file managers and desktop environments. The Mac is popular because is has "strong software titles" and good support. The kicker: "If Linux distributions had the same level of consumer tech support available that Windows and OS X does, we'd see adoption number exploding." To be blunt, I find this essay unpersuasive. However, if you look at the examples where Linux has been successful in the market, such as embedded systems like set-top boxes and heavily customized OS variants with their own software ecosystem like Android, it's precisely Linux's esoteric strengths that made those platforms' developers choose it. And what did those platforms have that made them successful? Strong software running on top of the OS along with a worry-free onboarding and maintenance process, usually with professional support for end-users. What do you know?

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posted about 1 month ago on OSNews
A few days ago, Apple released documentation on how any user can download and use the latest iOS beta. Apple doesn't usually run public betas, so it puts users in an interesting position. Should you do it? The Independent reviews the pros and cons.

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posted about 1 month ago on OSNews
Most of us know what virtual machines are but for those don't know, virtual machines are the kind of software that allow users to run other operating system within current operating system. It's the favorite for everyone to taste other operating systems without going away from main operating system. In this article I'll show you how to installPicture VM VirtualBox 5.0 in Ubuntu 15.04/14.10/Linux mint Rafaela or other derivatives. Read more

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posted about 1 month ago on OSNews
It's been over 22 years since the last official version came out of Apple Computer. Some dedicated enthusiasts have made bug fixes and added additional features to create a new version of the operating system. More information and a link to the software can be found here.

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posted about 1 month ago on OSNews
Apple wants to make OS X El Capitan and iOS 9 less susceptible to attackers, so it's introducing a new two-factor authentication system to both operating systems. The new authentication system will be available in the public betas for both operating systems.

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posted about 1 month ago on OSNews
A fun-loving guy named Nick Lee got an Apple Watch running watchOS 2 to run MacOS System 7.5.5, using the Mini vMac Macintosh emulator.

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posted about 1 month ago on OSNews
With the launch today of the watchOS 2.0 beta 3, Apple has officially confirmed that there is currently no way for users to downgrade the operating system of an Apple Watch to an earlier version of the watchOS without sending the wearable device back to Apple.

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posted about 1 month ago on OSNews
The Microsoft corporation has become OpenBSD's first "Gold Level" sponsor after a large donation. (Facebook and Google are both silver contributors). The move is likely related to Microsoft's use of OpenSSH in future versions of Powershell. Meanwhile at the FreeBSD site companies LineRate, NetApp, Google, Hudson River Trading, and Netflix dominate the top sponsors. Noticeably absent was the Apple Computer Corporation who base their OSX and IOS systems off of the free software BSD systems. More info about OpenBSD's 2015 fundraising campaign here.

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posted about 1 month ago on OSNews
Oracle has released Virtualbox 5.0. Major improvements include: Paravirtualization support for modern Windows and Linux guests, xHCI controller to support USB 3.0 devices, Improved Drag & Drop support, Disk image encryption, Headless and Detachable start option, and numerous UI enhancements.

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posted about 1 month ago on OSNews
Microsoft is ceasing support for enterprise IT workhorse Windows Server 2003 on July 14th. Despite support reaching end of life, research from the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) suggests that at the end of 2014 61 per cent of businesses were still reliant on Windows Server 2003. A further study by Bit9 predicts 2.7 million Win2k3 servers will remain deployed post end-of-life. To give the OS a fitting send-off, Databarracks and the University of Surrey’s Electronics and Amateur Radio Society launched a Windows Server 2003 CD-ROM into the stratosphere in a weather balloon. You can watch the video at YouTube.

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posted about 1 month ago on OSNews
The design for the Micro Bit, the sequel to the venerable BBC Micro, has been finalized, and will be given to every 11- and 12-year-old British child in October. BBC Learning head Sinead Rocks said: "The BBC Micro Bit is all about young people learning to express themselves digitally. As the Micro Bit is able to connect to everything from mobile phones to plant pots and Raspberry Pis, this could be for the internet-of-things what the BBC Micro was to the British gaming industry." The Micro Bit's web site confirms it will include an ARM Cortex M0 process, bluetooth, motion sensors and a built in compass.

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posted about 1 month ago on OSNews
As with many things Linux-related, the variety of desktop environments is both a strength and a weakness. For new users, the decision of which DE to use can be a hard one. To help, the folks at Linux and Ubuntu have compiled a list of their top five. In typical fashion, partisans for the DEs that were left out were quick to advocate for their favorites in the comments.

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posted about 1 month ago on OSNews
In a move that shouldn't surprise OSNews readers that much, Microsoft is writing off most of what it acquired from Nokia less than two years ago and will be laying off 7,800 people in its hardware division. According to Ars: "The hardware division includes the lion’s share of former Nokia employees, who became part of Microsoft last year. Former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop is leaving--this much we knew from last month--and Reuters says that Microsoft is also going to record an "impairment charge" of $7.6 billion dollars from the Nokia acquisition and perform a complete restructuring of its phone business. It's a shame, considering that Windows Phone has actually shaped out to be a pretty good OS, and a mobile OS landscape with only two players is good for neither consumers nor OS enthusiasts.

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posted about 1 month ago on OSNews
And so, a day before I leave for Italy for my Summer vacation, we've got some... News about Jolla. The company just put out a press release, announcing a focus shift. Jolla Ltd., the Finnish mobile company and developer of open mobile operating system Sailfish OS, today announced a change in its company structure and management as further action toward company's strategy to focus on Sailfish OS licensing and development. As of today, the company Jolla Ltd. will concentrate on the development and licensing business of the independent and open mobile operating system Sailfish OS. A new company will be established to continue Jolla's device business, where the company sees a specific interest from privacy-aware consumers and corporations around the world. The press release - of course - frames this as happy news, but years of experience in covering technology (or just years of not living under a rock, really) has taught me that moves like this are never borne out of desire, but out of necessity. Combined with several delays of Jolla's tablet and of Sailfish 2.0, it's hard not to conclude the company (companies?) is facing bleak times. I haven't exactly kept my displeasure with the slow pace of progress regarding Sailfish development a secret, and I've had worries about the company's future for a long time now. The Jolla phone is now 19 months old, and it wasn't exactly flagship-quality to begin with when it was first released in December 2013. While there's been considerable updates to Sailfish 1.0, it, too, is now 19 months old. In addition, the promised support for paid applications never arrived. One also has to wonder just how wise it was to focus on building a tablet. Tablets don't get replaced very often, and they are a far smaller market than smartphones. In addition, adding a whole new form factor to support is surely to negatively affect the smartphone experience. Had the company instead focused on releasing a new phone, we might have had it sooner - no new form factor to develop - and we'd have a replacement for the under-performing original Jolla phone. Hindsight, though, right? Regarding the tablet: Jolla is committed to deliver the Jolla Tablet to its Indiegogo crowdfunding contributors and is working hard to start first shipments as soon as possible. "The software (Sailfish OS) part of the work is in good shape but we have been slowed down by supply issues of certain hardware components. We expect to solve this issue very soon," Mr. Saarnio says. I hope the company can stay afloat long enough to ensure we get our tablets (I ordered one within minutes of the announcement). Maybe things are not as bleak as I make them out to be here, but I'm not exactly getting the positive vibes.

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posted about 1 month ago on OSNews
On Sunday, while most of Twitter was watching the Women's World Cup - an amazing game from start to finish - one of the world's most notorious security firms was being hacked. Specializing in surveillance technology, Hacking Team is now learning how it feels to have their internal matters exposed to the world, and privacy advocates are enjoying a bit of schadenfreude at their expense. Hacking Team is an Italian company that sells intrusion and surveillance tools to governments and law enforcement agencies. Feels poetic.

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posted about 1 month ago on OSNews
Big changes afoot for Firefox. We intend to move Firefox away from XUL and XBL, but the discussion of how to do that is in the early stages. There are a ton of unanswered questions: what technologies/best practices for web development should we adopt in its place? How does this affect add-on developers? Is there space for a native-code main-window on desktop like we have on Android? How much time should we spend on this vs. other quality issues? What unanswered questions have we not asked yet? This clearly isn't a small endeavour, but the rationale given seems sound to me.

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posted about 1 month ago on OSNews
It’s a fascinating time to take stock of startup innovation in the Netherlands, a rare turning point where you can watch the hard work of the past give way to the immense promise of the future. Behind London and Berlin, the Dutch startup scene is already considered to be one of the most prominent in Europe. (If it feels unfair to weigh an entire country against individual cities, consider that the Netherlands has 17 million people crammed into an area half the size of South Carolina.) The world of startups is intricately linked to technology, software, and Silicon Valley, but at the same time, it's a world that's very far away from me. The working hours, the insecurity, the minute chances at success - I would never opt for such a life. Which is why people like me don't found the next Apple or Google.

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