The next update to BlackBerry’s latest operating system is expected to deliver a number of new features and changes. BlackBerry 10.1 made its way to developers this week ahead of a public launch with no fewer than 14 new features in tow according to fan site Crackberry.
The publication came up with the following list of changes in the update based on user feedback from their forum: Read more...
Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs noted during the All Things D conference on Monday that Firefox OS will launch in five countries starting this summer. The mobile operating system, designed for budget handsets, will show up first in Brazil, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Venezuela, the outgoing CEO said.
During the chat, Kovacs said the whole mission with Firefox OS is to stimulate the economy. He referenced Mozilla’s entrance into the browser market as a time when the number of people, websites and experiences on the web exploded. Read more...
Vid Windows Blue - the supposedly leaked sequel to Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system - will apparently look a lot more like Windows Phone 8 and allow users to further personalise their computers.
Copies of what appears to be build 9364 of Windows Blue are circulating on peer-to-peer file-sharing networks; once the alpha-grade software is installed, users will find they are able to customise colours on the start screen and poke smaller tiles without needing to go through the options warehouse of the Control Panel, we're told. Read more...
Overall, I think Windows 8 is a truly wonderful operating system. The under-the-hood changes make it a fantastic improvement over Windows 7. I am completely in love with Server 2012; I can't imagine the next few years without it. Despite being in love with the technology underpinning Windows 8, I ultimately have to walk away from Microsoft's new client OS.
The overwhelming majority of my Windows 8 interaction has been with it as a workstation operating system. With months of use, I've learned to beat the OS into submission. Tools are emerging to help, but some things still have to be done manually.
Using Windows 8 as a workstation and on my stylus-driven Asus R1F has proven to be frustrating. My brief interactions with it in touch mode have ultimately not softened my mood. Read more...
Cambridge University has joined the ranks of terribly prestigious universities giving computer science classes away online, releasing a 12-step course teaching how to create what it calls a "basic terminal Operating System" for the Raspberry Pi.
To create the OS you’ll need YAGARTO Tools and YAGARTO GNU ARM, a Raspberry Pi (not necessarily connected to a display), an SD card to insert into the Pi and a PC running Windows, Mac OS or Linux to get everything ready.
The tutorials start with some theory, progress into lessons explaining how to get a Pi's sole LED to turn on and off, and eventually explain how to display graphics and text. There's an obligatory Hello World exercise, and at the end of the course you'll have built a command line interface to play with, albeit one with just four commands. Read more...
This year at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin vendors introduced and demonstrated a plethora of ultra-high resolution TVs, hybrid tablets based on Microsoft's upcoming operating systems, as well as the first device based on Windows Phone 8.
Here are some of most interesting trends at IFA 2012 and the products they have spawned:
LG Electronics, Sony and a number of other vendors all showed so-called 4K TVs, which increase the resolution from the current 1,920-by-1,080 pixels to 3,840-by-2,160 pixels. The term 4K comes from the horizontal resolution. Read more...
I've heard from several people who are concerned they won't be able to find new PCs with Windows 7 this holiday season. Businesses planning on buying new PCs may have money allocated for the machines, but there's not nearly enough in the coffers to train the troops in the care and feeding of the new dual-faced operating system as well.
For those people, I have some good news and some sorta good news.
Back in July 2010, Brandon LeBlanc on the Windows Team Blog had some words of cheer. "In the interest of providing more consistency and predictability with how we manage the Windows lifecycle," LeBlanc said, "we are confirming our current policy of allowing retailers to sell the boxed version of the previous OS for up to 1 year after release of a new OS, and that OEMs can sell PCs with the previous OS pre-loaded for up to 2 years after, the launch date of the new OS." Read more...
The roots of Microsoft's success in using a clone of Gary Kildall's CP/M operating system are well-known and supported by a court ruling five years ago. But that hasn't stopped a software consultant from making claims that could smear Kildall and the late computer pioneer's legacy.
In an astonishing piece published by the IEEE's reputable publication Spectrum, a software consultant called Bob Zeidman claimed to have established "beyond doubt" that Microsoft's MS-DOS was not a derivative work of CP/M.
However Zeidman contrives to ignore the incontrovertible evidence that MS-DOS was derived from CP/M, and instead establishes a straw man. Zeidman, who pictures himself in a deerstalker hat, asserts that he can refute the allegation that "Microsoft stole the CP/M source code" - a claim that has never been made, let alone contested.
Zeidman turns out to be a consultant who developed a tool called CodeSafe, which (like Unix's grep and diff) finds matches in source code files and is plugged several times in the Spectrum piece.
Having used CodeSafe on the source code for CP/M and an early instance of MS-DOS, and found no significant matches, Zeidman declares the job done.
Miscellaneous slurs on Kildall's character, and the origins of his work, are added for good measure.
A quick recap of history
Gary Kildall, a former Intel engineer, created a low-cost operating system that became the standard for personal computers. As such, he's recognised as an innovator, for both the idea and the "business model" were popularised by Kildall and his company, Digital Research Inc. Read more...
Security researcher Jonathan Brossard created a proof-of-concept hardware backdoor called Rakshasa that replaces a computer's BIOS (Basic Input Output System) and can compromise the operating system at boot time without leaving traces on the hard drive.
Brossard, who is CEO and security research engineer at French security company Toucan System, demonstrated how the malware works at the Defcon hacker conference on Saturday, after also presenting it at the Black Hat security conference on Thursday.
Rakshasa, named after a demon from the Hindu mythology, is not the first malware to target the BIOS -- the low-level motherboard firmware that initializes other hardware components. However, it differentiates itself from similar threats by using new tricks to achieve persistency and evade detection. Read more...
Microsoft Surface tablets will go on sale on Oct. 26, the same day that Windows 8 becomes available, the company disclosed in a 10-K report filed on July 26 with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Pricing for the Surface tablets, which run Windows 8 or Windows RT, wasn't disclosed. Microsoft didn't respond to a request for comment on the 10-K report or its tablet pricing plans on Monday.
In the 10K filing, Microsoft said, "The next version of our operating system, Windows 8, will be generally available on October 26, 2012. At that time, we will begin selling the Surface, a series of Microsoft-designed and manufactured hardware devices." Read more...
You may think Nokia needs to keep all the app developers it can muster loyal to the company - but last week it terminated VIP privileges for a star Symbian programmer. Nokia has since changed its mind.
The brains behind the highly regarded Gravity application, Jan Ole Suhr, was one of a number of Symbian coders who discovered their membership of the Nokia Developer Champions programme had been terminated early. This is a scheme that recognises key programmers and gives them early access to tools and technical information.
But Symbian - the mobile phone operating system now officially known as "Nokia Belle" - is no more: there are no future handsets on the drawing board, and just a small fraction of the 3,000 Nokia engineers who worked on the platform are actively developing Symbian at Accenture. Nokia spun them out last year. Read more...
The mobile operating system you choose may determine the fate of the U.S. presidency in the November election. Certainly, it's likely to dictate whether you're bombarded with pro-Barack Obama ads or pro-Mitt Romney ads as you browse the mobile Internet this year. A new study from Localytics found that 70 percent of the states with the most active iPhone users vote Democratic, 70 percent of the states with the most active Android lean Republican, and critical swing states are clustered in the middle.
The presidential candidates' respective campaigns may use those nuggets of information as we head toward Election Day, Localytics predicts: "With the Obama and Romney campaigns seeking every advantage, targeted smartphone advertising will be useful when trying to reach Democratic and Republican voters and volunteers in swing states, which cluster around the average iPhone and Android distribution." Read more...
Intel is porting the Android 4.1 operating system, also called Jelly Bean, to work on smartphones and tablets using low-power Atom processors, the company said this week.
The company did not provide a time frame for when the Android 4.1 port would be complete, or when the OS would be deployed in products.
"Intel continues to work closely with Google to enable future versions of Android, including Jelly Bean, on our family of low power Atom processors," said Suzy Greenberg, a company spokeswoman, in an e-mail.
Smartphones running on Intel chips are currently being rolled out with Android 2.3, code-named Gingerbread, and are due to get Android 4.0, code-named Ice Cream Sandwich, as an update, though a time-frame has not been provided. Read more...
Buyers of Apple's "jaw-dropping" Retina display MacBooks are indeed picking their chins off the floor - in reaction to bizarre on-screen glitches blighting the expensive lap-warmers.
Two fanboi-support forum topics have sprung up to detail problems encountered when the shiny kit runs Mac OS X Lion and is woken up from sleep.
On affected Macs, the operating system's user-interface redraw process completely collapses, scribbling bits of windows over the screen. Forum poster olafwagner said:
I don't get it consistently, but sometimes when the screensaver is on, and I touch the touchpad, the machine doesn't seem to 'repaint' the screen correctly and I get a garbled UI.
Fellow fanboi GarnetR added:
The repainting gets so bad, so many phantom copies of old windows laying around on my screen, that I can't really navigate to anything to fix the problem. Read more...
Accusations that an Android-based botnet is spewing spam may, in fact, be no such thing, but instead a sign that criminals are exploiting bugs in the Yahoo Mail app for Google's mobile operating system, a security firm said today.
"There's no smoking gun, but my guess is that it's not malware," said Kevin Mahaffrey, co-founder and CTO of San Francisco-based Lookout Security, essentially dismissing the botnet possibility. "It's more likely an issue with the Yahoo Mail app."
Lookout has discovered what Mahaffrey called "potential security issues" in Yahoo's Android app, and reported its findings to the California search company's security team. Read more...