jbernardo writes: While trying to justify breaking audio on firefox for several linux users by making it depend on pulseaudio (and not even mentioning it in the release notes), Anthony Jones, who claims, among other proud achievements, to be "responsible for bringing Widevine DRM to Linux, Windows and Mac OSX", informs users that disabling telemetry will have consequences — "Telemetry informs our decisions. Turning it off is not without disadvantage." The latest one is, as documented on the mentioned bug, that firefox no long has audio unless you have pulseaudio installed. Many bug reporters suggest that firefox telemetry is disabled by default on many distributions, and also that power users, who are the ones more likely to remove pulseaudio, are also the ones more likely to disable telemetry. As for the pulseaudio dependence, apparently there was a "public" discussion on google groups, and it can be seen that the decision was indeed based on telemetry. So, if for any reason you still use firefox, and want to have some hope it won't be broken for you in the future, enable all the spyware/telemetry.
jbernardo writes: After yesterday's news on the ZANO crowd-fund collapse, another huge crowd-funding effort seems to be ending badly too — Jolla's tablet (Finnish news here).
It would seem that Jolla has spend the 2.5M funding, as well as the extra funding obtained during the September/October round of pre-orders. Since the campaign, Jolla has gone through the split into hardware and software companies, has changed the screen of the not so original tablet, has chased suppliers and manufacturers, but more important has failed to communicate with backers, only doing vague promises on delivery waves.
The split into hardware and software companies looks more suspicious now, as it will allow the hardware decision to fail, leaving backers and creditors empty handed, while the software company continues unscathed.
The situation isn't a complete surprise, as some key employees had already left Jolla, with the CTO announcing his departure via twitter two days ago.
jbernardo writes: Microsoft has built a Linux distro, and is using it for their Azure data centres: "It is a cross-platform modular operating system for data center networking built on Linux" Apparently, the existing SDN (Software Defined Network) implementations didn't fit on Microsoft's plans for the ACS (Azure Cloud Switch), so they decided to roll their own infrastructure. No explanation why they settled on Linux, though — could it be that there is no windows variant that would fit the bill? On other news, Lucifer has been heard complaining of the sudden cold.
Am I the only one who is scared of this "tivoisation" by design? If this ever makes it to arm devices, say goodbye to DD-WRT, OpenWRT, Tomato, etc. And that will be just the beginning. Be ready for all your devices becoming appliances, non-customizable and to be thrown out as soon as they become obsolete by design. Being allowed to only run signed code will probably be good for redhat, but will it be good for the user?
Strange that a few years ago "trusted computing" was stopped, and now it seems almost inevitable even in Linux.
jbernardo writes: Afflicted by still lower than expected sales of Windows Phones, this time, Nokia drops a hosting service for projects, projects.developer.nokia.com. Registered developers received an email starting with the following paragraph:
"With some sadness we announce that the Nokia Developer Projects service (https://projects.developer.nokia.com) will be discontinued in the following months (due to ongoing trend of low activity and increasing costs). Please backup any project data you wish to save as soon as possible (ideally within the next few weeks). After the service has been stopped all unsaved data will be lost!"
The email then goes on to detail on how to use git, mercurial or subversion to pull project data. It seems the news are still only distributed by email, no mention as of now (2013-07-18 11h30 GMT+2) on the Nokia developers site itself.
Particularly interesting is the "ongoing trend" line. It implies that, as feared, the situation keeps getting worse for Nokia, despite all optimism projected by upper management.
jbernardo writes: After all the indie, multi-platform (including 4 for android) and DRM free releases, the latest Humble Bundle release is a polemic one. It features non-indie games, it is Windows only, and the games are saddled with DRM. There is already a very vocal discussion on the Humble Bundle Google+ thread, but it seems it is selling well.
jbernardo writes: Nokia has put in deep freeze its free developer program, the launchpad. Now, in the Developer Programs page, one can only see a pitch for a paid "Nokia Premium Developer Program", and below, in the Nokia Developer Pro and Developer Launchpad box, there is a text merely stating that Nokia are not currently accepting new applications for Nokia Developer Launchpad and Nokia Developer Pro programs. With most (if not all) Launchpad memberships already expired, seems like Nokia no longer is interested in the developer community, which once was one of the mainstays of its domination of the smartphone market. Of course, that domination was destroyed by Elop and its "burning platforms" memo, together with the failed bet on windows phone 7, so maybe giving up on developers would also be expectable.
jbernardo writes: There seems to be an interesting side-effect of the flawed jury verdict of last Friday — Samsung sales have surged. Even with the approach of the launch of Apple's new shinny, the Galaxy SIII is sold out in many stores, and there is a measurable increase in sales, according to Trip Chowdhry, the managing director of equity research at Global Equities Research, cited in Forbes.
Maybe Apple really managed to convince its customers that Samsung phones are equivalent or better, so they are being overcharged? Or is it a rush to buy the currently best smartphone in the market in case there is an injunction on its sale in the US any time soon?
jbernardo writes: Do you know those trays used to load sims into devices? It seems like a logic extension of the DVD trays of the old days, right? You'd think that such a design wouldn't be patentable, but remember, the USPTO is there to make money and approve patents of obvious stuff. And right now they've awarded this one to Apple, your favorite filer of patents on obvious stuff!
jbernardo writes: Foxmarks, a browser bookmarks and passwords sync utility, seems to be heading fast to be another "social" something. In their blog entry announcing the new features, there are already some voices expressing consternation at the added bloat and privacy problems the new features will add. One has already been added to foxmarks — suggested tagging of bookmarks. Others will be added over time, such as "smarter searches", "site info", and, if the survey they sent to users is any indication, "smart" bookmark handling (based on aggregated results from foxmarks users) are on the works.
Another example of feature creep or something you'll really use? For me, it is time to start searching for another alternative, as it was when google browser sync was discontinued.