posted 3 months ago on OSNews
Apple Inc. is expected to report Tuesday that its stockpile of cash has topped a quarter of a trillion dollars, an unrivaled corporate hoard that is greater than the market value of both Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Procter & Gamble Co. and exceeds the combined foreign-currency reserves held by the U.K. and Canada combined. The goal of a capitalist, free market-based society is that as companies get more successful, they invest their winnings back into the company, increasing productivity, hiring more people, and thus improving the overall state of the economy. While inherently flawed, this system has brought us a lot of good, and has lifted quite a number of people out of abject poverty. However, one has to ask what individuals and corporations hoarding this much money as Apple is doing are contributing to society. Apple's 250 billion dollars are locked away, and aren't used for anything. Every day, Apple is extracting vast sums of wealth from society - as they should in a capitalist society - but they are no longer investing it back into society. And Apple isn't alone in this, of course - a rich few are extracting immense amounts of wealth from society without giving back. This breaks the traditional capitalist model. Things like increased automation and robotisation are only going to accelerate this process. At some point, we're going to have to stop and ask ourselves if this is tenable, and if not, what we are going to do about it. It goes against the core 'values' of die-hard capitalists, but we might reach a point where we have to forcibly - through law - take it from companies like Apple.

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
Linux 4.11 has been released. This release adds support for pluggable IO schedulers framework in the multiqueue block layer, journalling support in the MD RAID5 implementation that closes the write hole, a more scalable swapping implementation for swap placed in SSDs, a new statx() system call that solves the deficiencies of the existing stat(), a new perf ftrace tool that acts as a frontend for the ftrace interface, support for drives that implement the OPAL Storage Specification, support for the Shared Memory Communications-RDMA protocol as defined in RFC7609, persistent scrollback buffers for all VGA consoles, and many other improvements and new drivers. Here is the full list of changes.

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
Computer security researchers analyzing a North Korean tablet computer have discovered a level of surveillance and control not previously seen inside electronics from the DPRK. If used across all tablets and smartphones, the system could significantly impact the ability of activists to send digital information into North Korea that can be viewed and shared by citizens. With the war propaganda machine in full swing, it's easy to forget that while the North-Korean regime is obviously deeply abhorrent, North-Koreans are just people like you and I, who just want to live a normal life. And yes, they also want cool gadgets.

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
BlackBerry QNX is an embedded operating system targeting applications in the automotive, general embedded, and medical markets. However, it is not your garden-variety embedded OS: QNX is a full-blown, UNIX-like, POSIX-compliant operating system with all of the features you would expect of a desktop or server-class OS. Compatibility with other systems means that, at least in theory, porting various open source projects to SDP 7 should be a relatively easy task. And so, while there is no official support in this release for a desktop environment, there is nothing precluding someone from building such a system. With that in mind, I set myself the task of building a BlackBerry QNX 7 desktop. Written by QNX kernel developer Elad Lahav, so you know the information in this article is solid.

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
If Microsoft wants to make PC hardware, it needs to do so properly and commit to the same kinds of updates as other PC OEMs. Almost every other PC OEM has refreshed its systems for Kaby Lake. Almost every other PC OEM has adopted, at least for machines in the premium space that Surface occupies, USB Type-C and Thunderbolt 3. Surface Pro - a machine which, in its early generations, arguably defined that particular style of two-in-one systems - is no longer unique. HP, Dell, Lenovo, Samsung, and others all have solid two-in-one offerings. These machines are modeled after the Surface Pro concept, but they now embody that concept better than Microsoft's own system. The Surface has been out-Surfaced. The failure to do anything with Surface for so long makes us wonder just what Microsoft is up to. If the company is serious about its hardware ambitions - and officially, at least, it still says that its intent is to produce market-leading systems under the Surface brand - then it has to take its hardware seriously. That means refreshing it to keep pace with the competition. He's exactly right. I love my surface Pro 4 - no way I'm ever going back to cumbersome laptops with fixed, stand-in-the-way keyboards - but it definitely leaves a few things to be desired hardware-wise. Although not a huge problem for me since I don't use it, the pen tracking is pretty terrible, the display has some light bleeding issues here and there, the processor is nice but definitely a generation behind, and battery life is decent, but not exceptional. Except for the pen, these are all things that could be addressed by refreshing the device with Intel's latest. So, Microsoft - what will it be?

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