posted 3 months ago on OSNews
Smartphone users in South Korea will soon be able to have the option of deleting unnecessary pre-installed bloatware, thanks to new industry guidelines commencing in April. "The move aims to rectify an abnormal practice that causes inconvenience to smartphone users and causes unfair competition among industry players," said the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, in a press release. New regulations that fly directly in the face of the biggest player in mobile - Samsung. Odd, since we were told that Samsung owns the South-Korean government. I do wonder where the line is drawn, though. Will South-Koreans also be able to delete Newsstand and Weather from iOS, or the Calculator from Android?

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
Ingrid Lunden explains the significance of the deal (I dislike her headline though, since it falsely implies Google and Samsung were at legal odds): First, the deal will bolster both Samsung and Google's patent positions against patent infringement allegations and subsequent litigation from competitors, and specifically Apple, which has been involved in acrimonious, multinational patent battles worth billions of dollars against Samsung for years now, over Samsung's Android-powered range of Galaxy smartphones and tablets. Second, it is a sign of how Google continues to put the patents it gained from its $12.5 billion Motorola acquisition to good use across the Android ecosystem. The ecosystem part is key here. I personally wouldn’t be surprised to see deals like this one appear with other OEMs.

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
Thirty years ago, Apple introduced the Macintosh with the promise to put the creative power of technology in everyone's hands. It launched a generation of innovators who continue to change the world. This 30-year timeline celebrates some of those pioneers and the profound impact they've made. Apple is also asking what your first Mac experience was. For me, it was a computer I had saved up for a long time. Back in those days - around 2002-2003 - the Mac was virtually non-existent here in The Netherlands (or at least in the area where I lived), and the only place I'd ever seen Macs was at the dental department. Colourful iMacs - fun machines. In any case, I was intrigued, and eventually bought an iMac G4 800Mhz. In my view, the most beautiful design the iMac ever had, but mine eventually died of a logic board failure within a few years (a notorious problem). I still think they're beautiful little machines, and would love to have the ultimate G4 iMac. After that first iMac, I owned several Macs - an original iMac, a PowerBook G4 15", a PowerMac G4 dual 450Mhz, a Cube, my current iMac from 2012, and my favourite, a 12.1" iBook G4. There's one Mac I really want to add to my collection as soon as possible: the iBook G3/466 Special Edition. If you have one of these and would like to get rid of it - let me know.

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
One more tidbit about Windows 8.1 Update 1 from my aforementioned source: Update 1 may feature some of the work that Microsoft has been doing behind the scenes to reduce further the memory and disk space requirements for Windows. This would allow Windows 8.1 Update 1 to run on cheaper small tablets. Windows 8.1 Update 1, screen shots of which leaked earlier this week, is expected to allow users to pin Metro-style/Windows Store apps to their desktop task bars. Thumbnail previews of these Metro-style apps will be available from the Desktop task bar, according to additional screen shots. Windows 8.1 Update 1 also is expected to include close boxes for Metro-style apps. Seems like some welcome changes, but it's going to take a lot more for people to warm up to Metro. The biggest problem to me is that since there aren't any compelling Metro applications, there's simply no reason to put with its idiosyncrasies, especially on desktops. I cannot think of a single Metro application that is better than its desktop counterpart, nor is there any Metro application that is better than similar applications on competing platforms. Developers need users, and users need developers. Right now - Metro seems to lacks both.

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
In early 2005, as demand for Silicon Valley engineers began booming, Apple's Steve Jobs sealed a secret and illegal pact with Google's Eric Schmidt to artificially push their workers wages lower by agreeing not to recruit each other's employees, sharing wage scale information, and punishing violators. On February 27, 2005, Bill Campbell, a member of Apple's board of directors and senior advisor to Google, emailed Jobs to confirm that Eric Schmidt "got directly involved and firmly stopped all efforts to recruit anyone from Apple." Later that year, Schmidt instructed his Sr VP for Business Operation Shona Brown to keep the pact a secret and only share information "verbally, since I don't want to create a paper trail over which we can be sued later?" This is why I always smile whenever I hear a pundit claim his or her pet company "does no evil" or has "moral standards". Companies are guided by one thing, and one thing alone: money. They have no morals. They have no moral compass. We see evidence of this every single day - whether it's poor working conditions in low-wage countries, scummy tax evasion techniques, or stuff like this, which is essentially robbing hard-working people of their money. It's important to note, though, that the way companies work in our society has also been a major factor in the development of our wealth, luxury, and scientific progress; so no, it's not all bad. However, I do wish companies would stop spouting the obvious nonsense that they "do no evil" or have "moral standards", when it's clear to everyone with more than two brain cells to rub together that that's just a bunch of marketing bullshit. I really feel for the people that actually believe that nonsense. Of course, the criminals responsible for the illegal behaviour described in the article should be put behind bars. Sadly, that won't happen.

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