Operating Systems

Jolla Spins Off Hardware Business 3 3

New submitter John.Banister writes: Jolla, founded by former Nokia employees to continue where Nokia left off developing Linux based mobile devices, has spun off its hardware division with the intent to focus more strongly on its Sailfish Operating System. In its press release, the company assured backers of its crowdfunding campaign that it's still committed to delivering a tablet once hardware supply issues are resolved (PDF).
Operating Systems

Ask Slashdot: If You Could Assemble a "FrankenOS" What Parts Would You Use? 458 458

rnws writes: While commenting about log-structured file systems in relation to flash SSDs, I referenced Digital's Spiralog [pdf], released for OpenVMS in 1996. This got me thinking about how VMS to this day has some of, if not the best storage clustering (still) in use today. Many operating systems have come and gone over the years, particularly from the minicomputer era, and each usually had something unique it did really well. If you could stitch together your ideal OS, then which "body parts" would you use from today and reanimate from the past? I'd probably start with VMS's storage system, MPE's print handling, OS/2's Workplace Shell, AS/400's hardware abstraction and GNU's Bash shell. What would you choose?
Graphics

Square Enix Pulls, Apologizes For Mac Version of Final Fantasy XIV 94 94

_xeno_ writes: Just over a week after Warner Bros. pulled the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight due to bugs, Square Enix is now being forced to do the same thing with the Mac OS X version of Final Fantasy XIV (which was released at the same time as Batman: Arkham Knight). The rather long note explaining the decision apologizes for releasing the port before it was ready and blames OS X and OpenGL for the discrepancy between the game's performance on identical Mac hardware running Windows. It's unclear when (or even if) Square Enix will resume selling an OS X version — the note indicates that the development team is hopeful that "[w]ith the adoption of DirectX 11 for Mac, and the replacement of OpenGL with a new graphics API in Apple's next OS, the fundamental gap in current performance issues may soon be eliminated." (I'm not sure what "the adoption of DirectX 11 for Mac" refers to. OS X gaining DirectX 11 support is news to me — and, I suspect, Microsoft.) Given that the game supports the aging PS3 console, you'd think the developers would be able to find a way to get the same graphics as the PS3 version on more powerful Mac OS X hardware.
Firefox

Firefox 39 Released, Bringing Security Improvements and Social Sharing 166 166

An anonymous reader writes: Today Mozilla announced the release of Firefox 39.0, which brings an number of minor improvements to the open source browser. (Full release notes.) They've integrated Firefox Share with Firefox Hello, which means that users will be able to open video calls through links sent over social media. Internally, the browser dropped support for the insecure SSLv3 and disabled use of RC4 except where explicitly whitelisted. The SafeBrowsing malware detection now works for downloads on OS X and Linux. (Full list of security changes.) The Mac OS X version of Firefox is now running Project Silk, which makes animations and scrolling noticeably smoother. Developers now have access to the powerful Fetch API, which should provide a better interface for grabbing things over a network.
GUI

Qt 5.5 Released 79 79

New submitter mx+b writes: The latest version of Qt, the cross platform GUI toolkit and development platform, is out for all major platforms. Highlights include better 3D, multimedia, and web support, as well as better support for the latest OS X and Windows releases (including Windows 10) and more Linux distributions.
Operating Systems

People Are Obtaining Windows 7 Licenses For the Free Windows 10 Upgrade 172 172

jones_supa writes: Windows 7 has quickly started increasing its market share of desktop operating systems, nearing 61%. If you're wondering why this is happening when Windows 10 is almost here, the reason is this: Windows 10 will be available as a free upgrade for those running Windows 7 and 8, and the new OS will have the exact same hardware requirements as its predecessor, so the majority of PCs should be able to run it just as well. Because Windows 7 was launched in 2009, a license is more affordable than for Windows 8, so many users are switching to this version to take advantage of the Windows 10 free upgrade offer.
Open Source

First Fedora Image For the MIPS Available For Testing 28 28

New submitter alexvoica writes: Today Fedora contributor Michal Toman has announced that the first Fedora 22 image for 32-bit MIPS CPUs is available for testing; this version of the operating system was developed using our Creator CI20 microcomputer, which includes a 1.2 GHz dual-core MIPS processor. In addition, Michal announced he is working on a 64-bit version designed to run on MIPS-based Cavium OCTEON III processors.
Microsoft

New Leaked Build Is Evidence That Windows 10 Will Be Ready By July 29 302 302

Ammalgam writes: A new pre-released build of Microsoft's latest Operating System Windows 10 leaked to the internet today. The build (10151) shows a more refined and significantly faster user interface than previous versions of the product. Microsoft seem to be focused on last minute refinements of the UI at this point and the product looks almost ready for prime time. A picture gallery of Windows 10 build 10151 can be found here.
Input Devices

Disney Bans Selfie Sticks 177 177

New submitter albimaturityr writes with a story from the Orlando Sentinel that Disney is banning selfie sticks from its parks, starting with Disney World (as of Tuesday) but continuing with its other parks in California, Paris, and Hong Kong. Says the report: The issue has been building at Disney. Previously, the sticks were prohibited from its rides, and "no selfie-sticks" signs were at select rides, such as Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Magic Kingdom. Cast members have given verbal warnings to rule breakers. Several incidents preceded the change, but officials have been discussing the rules for some time, Disney said. This week at Disney California Adventure park, a roller coaster was halted after a passenger pulled out a selfie-stick. The ride was closed for an hour.
Security

Hackers Exploit MacKeeper Flaw To Spread OS X Malware 63 63

An anonymous reader writes: Controversial OS X 'clean-up utility' MacKeeper is being exploited by cybercriminals to diffuse Mac malware OSX/Agent-ANTU, according to the BAE cyber security unit. A single line of JavaScript on a malicious web-page is enough to hand over control of the user's system via MacKeeper. Lead security researcher Sergei Shevchenko said 'attackers might simply be 'spraying' their targets with the phishing emails hoping that some of them will have MacKeeper installed, thus allowing the malware to be delivered to their computers and executed,' The malware enables remote control over commands, uploads and downloads, and the setting of execution permissions, as well as granting access to details of VPN connections, user names, and lists of processes and statuses.
Operating Systems

Linux 4.1 Kernel Released With EXT4 Encryption, Performance Improvements 116 116

An anonymous reader writes: The Linux 4.1 kernel has been announced and its release brings expanded features for the Linux kernel including EXT4 file-system encryption, open-source GeForce GTX 750 support, performance improvements for Intel Atom / Bay Trail hardware, RAID 5/6 improvements, and other additions.
Windows

The Unintended Consequences of Free Windows 10 For Everyone 277 277

Ammalgam writes: Microsoft seems to be really driven to pushing over a billion people to the new Windows 10 platform as soon as humanly possible. In the latest push to make this happen, the company has basically decided that (somewhat off the record), pirates can come in the side door and it really doesn't matter what the state of their Windows license is, they can get Windows 10 for free. To get deep into the weeds on how this is happening, you have to read Ed Bott's excellent article on ZDNET – "With a nod and a wink, Microsoft gives away Windows 10 to anyone who asks." However, on Windows10update.com, Onuora Amobi asks whether the cost benefit analysis has been done and if this deluge of new members will have a detrimental effect on the Windows Insider Program.
Windows

Windows 10 Will Be Free To Users Who Test It 281 281

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft has been making a big push to change its business model for Windows — likely due to the low/no cost updates you can get for competing operating systems. The company surprised everyone when it said legit copies of Windows 7 and 8 would be supplied with free upgrades, but now they're extending that even further: anyone who tests the Windows 10 Technical Preview will get a free upgrade to the full version of Windows 10 when it comes out. In a blog post, Microsoft's Gabe Aul said, "As long as you are running an Insider Preview build and connected with the [Microsoft account] you used to register, you will receive the Windows 10 final release build and remain activated. Once you have successfully installed this build and activated, you will also be able to clean install on that PC from final media if you want to start over fresh."
Security

Researchers Find Major Keychain Vulnerability in iOS and OS X 78 78

An anonymous reader notes a report from El Reg on a major cross-app resource vulnerability in iOS and Mac OS X. Researchers say it's possible to break app sandboxes, bypass App Store security checks, and crack the Apple keychain. The researchers wrote, "specifically, we found that the inter-app interaction services, including the keychain and WebSocket on OS X and URL Scheme on OS X and iOS, can all be exploited by [malware] to steal such confidential information as the passwords for iCloud, email and bank, and the secret token of Evernote. Further, the design of the App sandbox on OS X was found to be vulnerable, exposing an app’s private directory to the sandboxed malware that hijacks its Apple Bundle ID. As a result, sensitive user data, like the notes and user contacts under Evernote and photos under WeChat, have all been disclosed. Fundamentally, these problems are caused by the lack of app-to-app and app-to-OS authentications." Their full academic paper (PDF) is available online, as are a series of video demos. They withheld publication for six months at Apple's request, but haven't heard anything further about a fix.
Android

Google Expands Security Rewards To Bugs In Android Devices 20 20

An anonymous reader sends news that Google has launched the Android Security Rewards program, which expands its bug bounty efforts to include vulnerabilities in the Android mobile operating system. At present, the program is fairly limited — only bugs found in the most recent version of Android are accepted, and only those that exist on the Nexus 6 phone or the Nexus 9 tablet. Google says that list will change in the future. "Eligible bugs include those in Android Open Source Project (AOSP) code, OEM code (libraries and drivers), the kernel, and the TrustZone OS and modules. Vulnerabilities in other non-Android code, such as the code that runs in chipset firmware, may be eligible if they impact Android’s overall security." Bounty amounts range from $500 for a moderate severity bug to $2,000 for a critical bug. The amounts can be increased by various multipliers if a security researcher is able to submit code that helps Google test or fix the issue.
Open Source

Linus Torvalds Says Linux Can Move On Without Him 323 323

pacopico writes: In a typically blunt interview, Linus Torvalds has said for the first time that if he were to die, Linux could safely continue on its own. Bloomberg has the report, which includes a video with Torvalds at his home office. Torvalds insists that people like Greg Kroah-Hartman have taken over huge parts of the day-to-day work maintaining Linux and that they've built up enough trust to be respected. This all comes as Torvalds has been irking more and more people with his aggressive attitude. The line between "blunt" and "aggressive" is one that you probably get to skirt a lot, when you (in the words of the Bloomberg reporter) "may be the most influential individual economic force of the past 20 years."
Operating Systems

Ask Slashdot: A Development Environment Still Usable In 25 Years Time? 257 257

pev writes: I'm working on an embedded project that will need to be maintainable for the next 25 years. This raises the interesting question of how this can be best supported. The obvious solution seems to be to use a VM that has a portable disk image that can be moved to any emulators in the future (the build environment is currently based around Ubuntu 14.04 LTS / x86_64) but how do you predict what vendors / hardware will be available in 25 years? Is anyone currently supporting software of a similar age that can share lessons learned from experience? Where do you choose to draw the line between handling likely issues and making things overly complicated?
Operating Systems

A Technical Look Inside TempleOS 284 284

jones_supa writes: TempleOS has become somewhat of a legend in the operating system community. Its sole author, Terry A. Davis, is a special kind of person, who has a tendency to appear in various places with a burst of strange comments. Nevertheless, he has spent the past 12 years creating a new operating system from scratch, and has shipped a functional product. An article takes a constructive technical look at the internals of TempleOS: installation, shell, file explorer, hypertext system, custom HolyC programming language, and interaction with hardware. The OS ships with a suite of several tools and demos as well. To see the sheer amount of content that's been written here over the years, to see such effort expended on a labor of love, is wonderfully heart-warming. In many ways TempleOS seems similar to systems such as the Xerox Alto, Oberon, and Plan 9; an all-inclusive system that blurs the lines between programs and documents.