posted 3 months ago on OSNews
HFS+ lost a total of 28 files over the course of 6 years. Most of the corrupted files are completely unreadable. The JPEGs typically decode partially, up to the point of failure. So if you're lucky, you may get most of the image except the bottom part. The raw .CR2 files usually turn out to be totally unreadable: either completely black or having a large color overlay on significant portions of the photo. Most of these shots are not so important, but a handful of them are. One of the CR2 files in particular, is a very good picture of my son when he was a baby. I printed and framed that photo, so I am glad that I did not lose the original. If you're keeping all your files and backups on HFS+ volumes, you're doing it wrong. HFS+ is a weird vestigial pre-OS X leftover that, for some reason, Apple just does not replace. Apple tends to be relentless when it comes to moving on from past code, but HFS+ just refuses to die. As John Siracusa, long-time critic of HFS+, stated way back in 2011: I would have certainly welcomed ZFS with open arms, but I was equally confident that Apple could create its own file system suited to its particular needs. That confidence remains, but the ZFS distraction may have added years to the timetable. Three years later, and still nothing, and with Yosemite also shipping with HFS+, it'll take another 1-2 years before we possibly see a new, modern, non-crappy filesystem for OS X. Decades from now, books will be written about this saga.

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
This system worked fairly well. If an app changed its permission needs, you’d be notified, and could choose whether to accept the update. With the most recent Play Store update, however, users are not told about certain permission changes if they don’t result in the addition of permissions to a new group. Given the sheer breadth of permissions a group now covers, this effectively leaves Android with only 13 permissions. An application can quietly update itself in future, to grant itself access to further permissions within a group, with the user left none the wiser. Once an app is granted an individual permission within a group, that application has the ability to add any other permissions from the group in a future update, without users being notified of the change. Oh Google. Optimist view: Google I/O will bring changes to the permission system wherein the above makes sense. Pessimist view: Google is monumentally stupid. I'm not an optimist.

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
Remember this? Turns out there was more to this rumour than we thought. As Steven Troughton-Smith notes (and yes, you can trust him): So... just in case there was any doubt left... iOS 8's SpringBoard has code to run two apps side-by-side. 1/4 size, 1/2 size, or 3/4 size With Apple pushing developers to use Auto Layout as hard as they can, we can pretty much assume that yes, multiwindow is coming to iOS. Note, though, that this is not a Windows 8 or Samsung or whatever feature - multiwindow is as old as the graphical user interface itself. It will be a great addition to future iOS releases, and I can't wait until Android implements multiwindow as well.

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
It's a holiday in The Netherlands today, so I'm a bit late with this, but Jolla has released another Sailfish update today, and it's a big one. The headline feature of the new update is that it enables the phone's 4G support for all countries. So, if you have 4G, your Jolla phone will now use it. The hardware was obviously available from the beginning, but it was never enabled until now. Aside from 4G, this update packs a whole lot more - most importantly, it fixes a major annoyance with the Sailfish browser. The browser did not keep its tab contents in memory, so each time you switched to a tab, the page had to be reloaded. This has now been addressed, and tabs stay in memory properly. These are just two of the many, many improvements, new features, and bug fixes in this update. Us Sailfish users know where to get it.

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
Over the past several years, mobile devices have greatly influenced user interfaces. That's great for handheld users but leaves those of us who rely on laptops and desktops in the lurch. Windows 8, Ubuntu Unity, and GNOME have all radically changed in ways that leave personal computer users scratching their heads. One user interface completely avoided this controversy: Xfce. This review takes a quick look at Xfce today. Who is this product for? Who should pass it by? Read more on this exclusive OSNews article...

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
This site calls itself 'the biggest free abandonware downloads collection in the universe'. No idea if that's true or not, but all I can say is that I spent a lot - a lot - of time today browsing through the incredibly extensive collection of old operating systems. From an alpha release of Windows 1.0 to NEXTSTEP, this site has it all. Great for emulators.

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
Xiaomi (pronounced she-yow-mee) is one of the fastest-growing tech companies in the world. It's the sixth-largest handset maker on earth and No. 3 in China, behind Samsung Electronics and Lenovo Group, according to research firm Canalys. Xiaomi's recent growth is impressive, and its potential is even greater. In 2013, the company says, it sold 18.7 million smartphones almost entirely from its own website, bringing in $5 billion in revenue. Earlier this year, Lei set an internal goal of selling 40 million smartphones in 2014, then raised it to 60 million. In a financing round last August, venture capitalists gave Xiaomi a $10 billion valuation, about on par with 30-year-old PC maker Lenovo and Silicon Valley darlings Dropbox and Airbnb. At the same time, Xiaomi has branched out from smartphones to tablets, the large-screen HDTVs, a set-top box and home router, phone cases, and portable chargers, as well as a $16 white plush toy bunny - Mitoo, the company mascot, who wears a red-starred Chinese army hat. The technology establishment's biggest threat comes from the east.

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
The new release includes new USB stack (USB4BSD), which supports USB3; updated video drivers for Intel and AMD cards (although latter are still disabled by default); binaries in /bin and /sbin are now dynamic, allowing for PAM and NSS. The HAMMER2 filesystem is also included, but not ready for general use just yet.

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
There are still many rough edges in the new OS but overall I am really excited about the visual direction that Mac OS X Yosemite is taking. It demonstrates a more mature and subtle approach in adapting iOS 7 design language. No ultra thin fonts, no crazy parallax, no ridiculous icons, just subtle use of translucent materials accompanied by a bright and cheerful palette. Using the new OS feels fresher, exciting, and more modern. I am looking forward to exploring other design changes in the the new OS that I may have missed. I'm definitely pleased with the design direction Apple is taking OS X into, despite the fact that as it currently stands it's clearly still in flux. We're in beta, though, so that's just fine. The two biggest issues to me are one, that text input fields and buttons are not visually different, and two, that neither of them get any mouseover effect whatsoever - both cursor and button/input fields remain exactly the same. Something else I've noticed: is it just me, or does Apple use a different theme on-stage during a keynote than what actually ships in the beta right now? The transparency and colours pop way more during the keynote than while using the beta. Odd.

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
Android's biggest weakness is the horrible upgrade situation. Where iOS and Windows Phone users are generally always running the latest version, Android users generally have to settle for whatever version the likes of Samsung and HTC bothered to release for their device. This is a horrible situation for developers and user alike, and, in my view, should be Google's number one priority. Unless, of course, you're running a custom ROM. This morning my Find 5 greeted me with an update notification, but that's normal - I get a new OmniROM OTA delta update every morning. This time, however, something was different: the version number clearly stated this update would bump my Find 5 from Android 4.4.2 to 4.4.3. As it turns out, the OmniROM team is already pushing 4.4.3 to all the devices it officially supports (52 phones and tablets). A mere three days after Google pushed 4.4.3 to AOSP. Thanks to the tireless work of our own Xplodwild, Omni has now merged the changes to Android 4.4.3, and these will be rolling out in nightly builds for the 5th June. As I write this, builds are scheduled to start in around 20 minutes or so, and will appear at our download pages once they are completed. They will also be available through Omni's inbuilt delta OTA updater, as always. This is just one of the many, many reasons you should be running a custom ROM. Aside form the fact that a proper custom ROM is lighter and cleaner than the crappy OEM ROMs, they are also more secure because they tend to be up-to-date. In addition, warranty is not an issue because, at least in the EU, rooting and custom ROMs do not void your warranty. As an aside - the fact that a single person, Xplodwild, can make sure Android 4.4.3 runs on 52 devices within a matter of days of the code becoming available is all the proof you need (in case you still needed it) that carriers and OEMs are simply incredibly incompetent at doing their job. Sure, they have to provide warranty and service so some form of delay is understandable because they require more testing, but the way they refuse to update most, if not all, of their devices in a timely manner or even at all should be a crime.

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
Virtualizing OS X is a thing that can today be done very easily, with VMware and VirtualBox fully supporting it under OS X hosts. But what about virtualizing it using a bare metal hypervisor and QEMU? Under Linux? Finally I've got Mavericks fully working under QEMU (with no extra kexts(!)) and it wasn't easy. Impressive.

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
Interesting and detailed review of the OnePlus One by AndroidCentral, but this paragraph stood out to me: Even with all of the right decisions made here, this isn't revolutionary hardware design. There's no two-tone camera flash, fingerprint scanner, ultra-high resolution display, waterproofing, dedicated two-stage camera key, massive camera sensor, front-facing speakers, heart rate sensor, back buttons or anything of the sort. The OnePlus One is just a phone, basically shaped like every other phone and with absolutely no design flair or features to set it apart from other devices. In my view, it's exactly this lack of "design flair and features" that sets it apart from the competition. There's no fake leather, no fake metal backplate, nu buttons on the back, no super-sized gimmicky protruding camera sensors, useless fingerprint scanners, double camera sensors, heart rate monitors, flair guns, flamethrowers, fishing poles, and god knows what else the established players shove into and onto phones these days. It's a minimalist device focused almost entirely on a smartphone's most important aspect - its display. And it's exactly this minimalism that makes it stand our from the pack.

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
My love and appreciation for Palm OS is somewhat obvious around these parts, culminating in the detailed Palm OS retrospective I wrote a little over a year ago. I consider Palm OS to be the shoulders on which all subsequent mobile operating systems are built, and I believe it would do the current technology press and users a world of good if they acquainted themselves with this prescient masterpiece. That being said, with Palm OS being old and dead, the only way to experience it is to get your hands on a real device on eBay or its local equivalent in your country of residence. If you go down this route - which I strongly advise everyone to at least look into - try and go for the ultimate Palm device, the Palm T|X. It's the most advanced PDA Palm ever built, and you can pry mine from my cold, dead hands. Sadly, not everyone has the disposable income, time, will, desire, or any combination thereof, to go out and buy real hardware just to play with a dead operating system and all the hardships that come with it. Since I still want to spread the word of Palm OS, I've been looking into an alternative - namely, the Palm OS Simulator. Read more on this exclusive OSNews article...

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
Close, minimize, and maximize are now close, minimize, and full screen, eliminating the extra full-screen control and consolidating the window controls in one place. Streamlining these and other elements of the interface means you can navigate the desktop more efficiently. OS X' idea of "maximise" was "some random window resizing nobody really used anyway", so I'm glad Apple finally replaced it with something else. Too bad OS X' fullscreen view is way too disruptive for my tastes to be of any practical use.

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