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Media

Mozilla, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Others Form 'Alliance For Open Media' 98

BrianFagioli tips news that Mozilla, Microsoft, Google, Cisco, Intel, Amazon, and Netflix are teaming up to create the Alliance for Open Media, "an open-source project that will develop next-generation media formats, codecs and technologies in the public interest." Several of these companies have been working on this problem alone: Mozilla started Daala, Google has VP9 and VP10, and Cisco just recently announced Thor. Amazon and Netflix, of course, are major suppliers of online video streaming, so they have a vested interested in royalty-free codecs. They're inviting others to join them — the more technology and patents they get on their side, the less likely they'll run into the issues that Microsoft's VC-1 and Google's VP8 struggled with. "The Alliance will operate under W3C patent rules and release code under an Apache 2.0 license. This means all Alliance participants are waiving royalties both for the codec implementation and for any patents on the codec itself."
OS X

A FreeBSD "Spork" With Touches of NeXT and OS X: NeXTBSD 163

There are a lot of open source operating systems out there; being open source, they lend themselves to forks, clones or near clones, and friendly offshoots. There are even services to let you customize, download, and (if you choose) bulk-install your own OS based on common components. Phoronix notes a new project called NeXTBSD that might turn more heads than most new open source OSes, in part because of the developers behind it, and in part because of the positive thoughts many people have toward the aesthetics of NeXTSTEP and Mac OS X. (And while it might be a fork of FreeBSD, the developers would rather call it a spork, instead.) NeXTBSD was announced last week by Jordan Hubbard and Kip Macy at the Bay Area FreeBSD Users Group (BAFUG). NeXTBSD / FreeBSD X is based on the FreeBSD-CURRENT kernel while adding in Mach IPC, Libdispatch, notifyd, asld, launchd, and other components derived from Apple's open-source code for OS X. The basic launchd/notifyd/asld/libdispatch stack atop their "fork" of FreeBSD is working along with other basic components of their new design. You can watch a recording of the announcement as well as a longer introduction linked from Phoronix's story.

Comment Re:New fullscreen application launcher! (Score 1) 43

Indeed, Plasma is configurable, so if you want to run it as a tablet you CAN. Or feel free to ignore it...

Win 8 was designed to compete with touch screen platforms such as iOS and Android which both display rows of icons full screen. The mistake MS made was inflicting this on traditional mouse/keyboard desktop users, which wasn't that the whole point of the Windows 10 makeover...

Comment Re:Could someone ELI5 how Macbooks retain value? (Score 1) 435

One reason why almost nobody wants it; especially for school.

I can plug in at many places, so a 90 min limit is a good excuse for a coffee break. :) I'm typically carrying 5kg in my backpack, so a power brick doesn't bother me!

Don't be too snobby about about the cpu "branding"... 6 years is a long time.

I'm referring more to the low end CPUs being intentionally crippled by Intel for the low-cost/tablet market to limit them to a 1 or 2 GB - I wouldn't spend $300 on such a machine. Like I said, mainstream manufacturers like HP are still selling low-end devices with WXGA 14" screens that max out at 2GB. I didn't check Dell/Lenovo at that price point but their models seemed 25% extra at my local shop.

i hate typing on a "hot" keyboard, or listening to the fans.

No problems with the keyboard. The fan does get noisy but libraries are surprising loud, even in the 'quiet area' zones. So I usually have a pair of headphones. :)

Don't get me wrong, I do appreciate quiet and have a fanless machine at home - this is purely a portable device with a screen.

Do yourself a favor and swap in an SSD :)

Like I said, I do have a debian testing SSD on standby for when I'm done playing with Win 10.

To summarize, a $US35 laptop isn't for everyone - if I were working professionally and needed a laptop for work I'd probably look at a Surface Pro 4. But equally, I'll save my money by not shelling out for a new 'budget' machine.

Comment Re:Could someone ELI5 how Macbooks retain value? (Score 1) 435

Or if all you want is 6 year old hardware, you can pay considerably less on a used laptop. Why would I spend $300 on a pos shiny new budget entry level HP netbook with a crappy Pentium/Celery/Atom?

Case in point, I have just started a university course and wanted a portable. $AUD50 (that's about $US35) bought me a Core 2 Duo with 3GB RAM and a 250GB HD (no bad sectors). It's winter, so I save on heating.

It came with a 3 month warranty, 90 mins of battery life, and a re-imaged install of Windows 7, now upgraded to Windows 10 Home. When I get tired of Windows 10 I'll swap in my 128GB SSD running debian to give the machine a speed boost, which cost more than the laptop - 2 computers ago.

And I can leave this laptop in a busy library while I pee - no one's going to steal a scratched up Toshiba when all the cool kids half my age leave unattended $1000 macbooks. :)

The reason computer chips are so small is computers don't eat much.

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