posted 3 months ago on OSNews
Moscow Center of SPARC Technologies (MCST) has announced it's now taking orders for its Russian-made microprocessors from domestic computer and server manufacturers. The chip, called Elbrus-4C, was fully designed and developed in MCST's Moscow labs. It's claimed to be the most high-tech processor ever built in Russia, and is comparable with Intel Corp's Core i3 and Intel Core i5 processors. I'd rather have a processor hand-built by the director of the NSA than one designed and built in Russia.

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
I work for a certain corporation which uses a certain product. This is its story. To put the quality of this product into perspective, let me say it's been in development for about 20 years and has pretty much no users (besides my corp and some "hey - let's make our own Linux crappy distro, which no one will ever use" fanatics) and no community. It was written by a C programmer who "doesn't like the notion of 'type' in programming". Let that be a prelude of what's to follow. Envy those who don't know it; pity those who use it. The product is called Enlightenment Foundation Libraries and it's the absolutely worst piece of shit software you can imagine. Poor Tizen.

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
The first microprocessor, the TMX 1795, had the same architecture as the 8008 but was built months before the 8008. Never sold commercially, this Texas Instruments processor is now almost forgotten even though it had a huge impact on the computer industry. In this article, I present the surprising history of the TMX 1795 in detail, look at other early processors, and explain why the TMX 1795 should be considered the first microprocessor.

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
This is the first Mono release that contains code from Microsoft's open sourced .NET code. We are only getting started with this work. We are swiftly moving ahead in mono/master much more code that is being replaced and ported. This version also is the first one to ship with C# 6.0 enabled by default. Learn all about C# 6.0 in only eight minutes on this presentation. The release notes will tell you more.

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
Google's Android operating system is set to give users more detailed choices over what apps can access, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter remains private. That could include photos, contacts or location. An announcement of the change, which would put Android closer in line with Apple Inc.’s iOS, is expected for Google’s developer’s conference in San Francisco this month, one of the people said. If there's ever been a use case for 'finally', this is it. iOS gains Android features, Android gains iOS features. They pressure each other into becoming better, and we, all, benefit. The Apples and Googles of this world might rather not have to deal with it, but isn't competition beautiful?

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
"Right now we’re releasing Windows 10, and because Windows 10 is the last version of Windows, we’re all still working on Windows 10." That was the message from Microsoft employee Jerry Nixon, a developer evangelist speaking at the company's Ignite conference this week. Nixon was explaining how Microsoft was launching Windows 8.1 last year, but in the background it was developing Windows 10. Now, Microsoft employees can talk freely about future updates to Windows 10 because there's no secret update in the works coming next. It's all just Windows 10. While it immediately sounds like Microsoft is killing off Windows and not doing future versions, the reality is a little more complex. The future is "Windows as a service." Call me a convert. Instead of having to buy several copies of Office every few years for multiple computers (I require Office for my translation company), I now have a €99/year Office subscription allowing me to install Office on 5 PCs and 5 mobile devices. I know most of our readers are not a fan of this model, but I, personally, am all for it.

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
Still, for those who have taken the plunge, Amazon continues providing software updates. Fire OS 4.6.1 includes a fair number of changes, but the largest is one Amazon doesn't mention - it updates the underlying version of Android from 4.2 Jelly Bean to 4.4 KitKat. KitKat is still a year-and-a-half old at this point, but that's a year newer than Jelly Bean, and it's still the most-used version of Android according to Google's developer dashboard. Why anyone would buy these outdated Amazon frankendroid devices is beyond me.

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
My dislike for application stores, the race to the bottom they enabled, and the myth of it being a great way for small developers to make it big is well-documented at OSNews, so yeah, I couldn't pass up this story (don't click the link yet!). Developer Sam Soffes released an interesting application on the Mac App Store, and when he looked at how well his application as doing later that day, he was in for a shock. For launch, the price was $4.99. I may play with that some over time. I was originally thinking $2.99 and a bunch of folks on Twitter said $4.99 was better. Anyway, Redacted was #8 top paid in the US and #1 top paid in Graphics at the end of launch day. It was also at the top of Product Hunt with 538 up votes! Wow! This sounds amazing, right? Surely, this is a story of an indie developer making it big, becoming a millionaire overnight. Good feels were had all around, right? Now read the post.

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
Federico Viticci's iOS 9 wishlist contains my number one gamebreakinig missing feature in iOS: Seven years into the App Store, I struggle to find a reasonable motivation for not allowing users to set different default apps on iOS. I believe Apple should accept that they can't make the perfect email client or web browser for all kinds of users, and, just like custom keyboards, they should let users choose their favorite app for a specific set of core tasks. If personalization of a user's iOS device has truly become a priority at Apple, then it should be extended to activities that users frequently perform on an iPhone or iPad. If Apple were to finally make this possible, there's going to be a whole lot of Google iPhones and Google iPads out there.

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
As always, AnandTech has the only review of the new Surface 3 that really matters. So with those caveats aside, we can finally get to the conclusion that you have likely guessed already. The Surface 3 is a great device. The build quality is really at the top level of any OEM out there. The form factor is finally the right one after two previous generations that got it slightly wrong. The weight is lighter than any previous Surface, and just as balanced. Performance of the x7 Atom CPU is great for light tasks, and if you need more than light tasks then this is not the device for you. As a tablet, it is great to use in either orientation, with the portrait mode being especially good now for browsing the web. The kickstand is improved, they keyboard is improved, the base tier steps up to 64 GB of storage, making it actually useful without immediately adding micro SD to the mix. When I was weighing the pros and cons of the retina MacBook Pro vs. the Surface, I eventually ended up not going with the Surface because of the keyboard and trackpad. As nice as the Surface hardware is, its detachable keyboard and trackpad (whether it's the Pro or the regular) are several orders of magnitude worse than those on the MacBook Pro, which are best-in-class (well, the trackpad at least). Those are the primary input methods for my kind of use, so the MBP won out in the end. The point: Microsoft should just make a Surface laptop. Keep the detachable model as well if you want, but also offer a proper Surface laptop that can compete with actual laptops.

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
Hugo Barra, currently Xiamoi's vice president of international and formerly VP of Google's Android vision, on SD cards in an interview with Engadget: "For high performance devices, we are fundamentally against an SD card slot." Barra backed up his statement by pointing out that his team didn't want to sacrifice battery capacity, ergonomics, appearance and, in the case of the new Mi 4i, the second Micro SIM slot for the sake of letting users add a storage card. More importantly, microSD cards "are incredibly prone to failure and malfunctioning of various different sorts," and the fact that there are a lot of fake cards out there - and we've seen it ourselves - doesn't help, either. In case you disagree with him, The Verge's review of the LG G4 states it's a pretty decent phone.

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
imgix is an image processing and delivery service that provides a supremely flexible, high performance, ultra-reliable solution to the problem of serving images on the modern internet. We operate our own hardware, run our own datacenters, and manage our own network infrastructure. At imgix's scale, maximizing efficiency and performance in image processing is critical for success. For this reason, we decided to incorporate Mac Pros in planning the build of our next generation image renderers. Because no existing Mac Pro server rack suited our needs, we designed and built our own. Crazy custom build. Can't be cheap.

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
This is a nice article overall, but this part stood out to me. The history of Apple and Microsoft’s relationship has often been one of direct confrontation. Whether it’s Surface vs. iPad, Zune vs. iPod, or the classic PC vs. Mac, the two American giants have often competed for the same clientele, trying to sate the same needs. This is a common misconception. While the two companies certainly had their tussles (the look and feel lawsuit being a major one), most of it was nothing but marketing - riling up their own fanbases. During most of their history, these two companies have had close ties, working together very closely on many projects. The supposedly great rivalry between these two companies existed mostly between its fans, not between the companies themselves. They've always needed each other, and continue to need each other to this day. In fact, in fighting Google, these two companies have been working together more closely than ever before. If you think the sudden onslaught of patent abuse against Android and its OEMs from Microsoft and Apple (and Oracle, another company with close ties to Apple and Microsoft) was a coincidence, I have a bridge to sell you. I always find it fascinating that the idea that Apple and Microsoft are bitter rivals has survived to this day.

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
Regardless of the many issues people were reporting with discoveryd, Apple went ahead and released it anyway. As a result, this piece of software is responsible for a large portion of the thousand cuts. Personally, I've wasted many hours just trying to keep my devices talking to each other. Macs that used to go months between restarts were being rebooted weekly. The situation is so bad that I actually feel good when I can just kill discoveryd and toggle the network interface to get back to work. Seems to be a huge paint point in OS X right now. I've experienced this issue once with my new retina MacBook Pro since I got it (a week ago), and it basically stops any data from being transferred to the Mac. The wireless connection remains online, but it just does't transfer any data. I hope Apple gets to fixing this soon.

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
This is a small 32bit (i586) kernel written using the Nim programming language. I have been wanting to do this for a while but it wasn't until people in the #nim IRC channel inquired about Nim OS dev and the rustboot kernel inspired me that I finally did it. It doesn't do much, but it doesn't need to. Its purpose is to provide a starting point for anyone wishing to write an OS in Nim.

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
The Department of Justice is looking closely into Apple’s business practices in relation to its upcoming music streaming service, according to multiple sources. The Verge has learned that Apple has been pushing major music labels to force streaming services like Spotify to abandon their free tiers, which will dramatically reduce the competition for Apple’s upcoming offering. DOJ officials have already interviewed high-ranking music industry executives about Apple’s business habits. [...] Sources also indicated that Apple offered to pay YouTube’s music licensing fee to Universal Music Group if the label stopped allowing its songs on YouTube. Apple is seemingly trying to clear a path before its streaming service launches, which is expected to debut at WWDC in June. If Apple convinces the labels to stop licensing freemium services from Spotify and YouTube, it could take out a significant portion of business from its two largest music competitors. This clearly calls for an official EU investigation into Google.

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
Microsoft's Windows chief, Terry Myerson, isn't pulling any punches against Android this week. Speaking during a keynote appearance at Microsoft's Ignite conference in Chicago, Myerson knocked Google's Android update plans. "Google ships a big pile of... code, with no commitment to update your device," Myerson said, with an intentional pause that left the audience laughing. "Google takes no responsibility to update customer devices and refuses to take responsibility to update their devices, leaving end users and businesses increasingly exposed every day they use an Android device." He's completely right, of course, but his words does have a souer taste when you look at Microsoft's Windows Phone and Windows RT update history and near future.

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
Have you ever played a video game and wondered what rules you could bend? What's behind the flagpole in Super Mario Bros, can you skip a dungeon in Legend of Zelda or beat the BubbleMan with his own gun? Sometimes the game authors themselves leave cheat codes that implement interesting game rules like flying, all weapons etc. Game genie codes and glitches like cartrigde tilting can also provide a ton of fun. But what if the game you like has no exotic codes, and the only game genie codes you can find online give you infinite ammo? You break the game yourself, of course!

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
Apple can’t grow like this forever. No company can. In a few short years, Apple has become the biggest company on the planet by market value - so big that it dwarfs every other one on the stock market. It dominates the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index as no other company has in 30 years. With the kind of money Apple has in reserve, and the kind of growth figures the company is still demonstrating each quarter, this seems like a very, very, very distant future. Apple will remain on top like this for a long, long time.

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
One of the big news stories to come out of Build 2015 was the Objective C tools that Microsoft is introducing to welcome iOS developers to Windows 10. This is amazing news, but there's a small elephant in the room, and that's Swift. Apple announced this at its WWDC 2014 developer conference, and is the newest way that iOS developers are building apps. But that doesn't mean Microsoft has forgotten about it. It's "going there." Microsoft's really going all-in on this.

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posted 3 months ago on OSNews
Steven Troughton-Smith has been looking into the how and what behind Microsoft's ability to compile Objective-C code for Windows 10, and the history of it all is interesting. It turns out that Microsoft's current implementation was initially developed by a company called Inception Mobile for BlackBerryOS 10. It took iOS Objective-C and converted as much as possible to Java or C++, hooking into the native platform APIs. It still works similarly on Windows 10. After trying to woo BlackBerry, Inception Mobile tried to shop it around to Samsung for its Tizen platform. The audio file of the company's presentation at the Tizen Developer Conference 2013 is still available, too. Eventually, as we know now, Inception Mobile was acquired by Microsoft, and its co-founder Salmaan Ahmed ended up at Microsoft. And lo and behold: Ahmed was a speaker at this year's Build conference, under the title "Compiling Objective-C Using the Visual Studio 2015 C++ Code Generation that Builds Windows, SQL, .Net, and Office". In other words, this technology has been in development for a long time, and looking at the slides and listening to the presentation from the past few years indicates that the technology was platform-agnostic, working on BlackBerryOS, Tizen, Android, and now Windows. Very interesting. Apparently BlackBerry and Samsung saw no real value in this technology - at least, not enough to acquire it or include it in their platforms, whereas Microsoft jumped on it and turned it into a big deal for Windows 10.

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