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Science/Tech / OS News

This could be our first look at an Android-powered feature phone from Nokia

Kyle Bradshaw at 9To5Google: For the past few months, we’ve been tracking developments in Chrome that point to Android becoming a competitor to KaiOS by entering the feature phone market. Today, the first purported image of an Android feature phone has come to light, with Nokia stylings. Thus far, everything we’ve learned about the likelihood of Android coming to feature phones has come from tidbits within public Chrome code. From the code, we know that Android feature phones will be distinc

19 Jul 2019 3:04 am
Google claims to have cancelled its censored Chinese search engine project

At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday, Google’s vice president of public policy, Karan Bhatia, said that the tech giant’s much-criticized effort to launch a search engine in China had been abandoned. “We have terminated Project Dragonfly,” Bhatia said of the controversial search app for the Chinese market that Google had reportedly been working on last year. He was responding to a series of questions from Republican Sen. Josh Hawley about Google’s business with China. Google

18 Jul 2019 5:14 am
Zelda NES screen transitions are undefined behaviour

The vertical scrolling effect in the original “The Legend of Zelda” relies on manipulating the NES graphics hardware in a manner likely that was unintended by its designers. Writing to a particular PPU register while a frame is being drawn can result in graphical artefacts. The Legend of Zelda intentionally causes an artefact which manifests itself as partial vertical scrolling. This post gives some background on NES graphics hardware, and explains how the partial vertical scrolling trick w

18 Jul 2019 5:06 am
Cities: Skylines is Turing complete

Cities: Skylines is a city simulation game that is complex enough to build universal logic gates in it. Using universal logic gates it is possible to construct any circuit including Turing complete machines. So, just like in Minecraft one can build a computer inside Cities: Skylines. However, it would be very complicated to build a fully fledged computer using these gates, so I will demonstrate a 4-bit adder instead. Everything is done in the vanilla version of the game, no mods or add-ons are r

18 Jul 2019 2:00 am
To break Google’s monopoly on search, make its index public

Fortunately, there is a simple way to end the company’s monopoly without breaking up its search engine, and that is to turn its “index”—the mammoth and ever-growing database it maintains of internet content—into a kind of public commons. There is precedent for this both in law and in Google’s business practices. When private ownership of essential resources and services—water, electricity, telecommunications, and so on—no longer serves the public interest, governments often step

16 Jul 2019 4:59 am
How US tech giants are helping to build China’s surveillance state

The OpenPower Foundation — a nonprofit led by Google and IBM executives with the aim of trying to “drive innovation” — has set up a collaboration between IBM, Chinese company Semptian, and U.S. chip manufacturer Xilinx. Together, they have worked to advance a breed of microprocessors that enable computers to analyze vast amounts of data more efficiently. Shenzhen-based Semptian is using the devices to enhance the capabilities of internet surveillance and censorship technology it provides

16 Jul 2019 4:50 am
40 years later, lessons from the rise and quick decline of the first ‘killer app’

Remember VisiCalc, the world’s first spreadsheet? Today’s tech giants do, and that is why they buy up and invest in potential competitive threats. It was the first killer app, the spark for Apple’s early success and a trigger for the broader PC boom that vaulted Microsoft to its central position in business computing. And within a few years, it was tech-industry roadkill. Many silicon valley startups basically have only one purpose these days: flaunt their ideas in front of the tech giants

16 Jul 2019 12:08 am
Pete’s QBasic site

QBasic lives! QBasic is an old-school, vintage programming language that was designed for beginners. QBasic ran on MS-DOS, and was a more advanced version of BASIC. QB was a lot of people’s first foray into programming (particularly those of us who grew up in the ‘80s and ‘90s). Therefore, a lot of people look back at QBasic with nostalgia. QBasic is one of the very few programming languages I actually ever even used – back when i was a very young kid – so I do have some faint

15 Jul 2019 11:38 pm
One player spent 10 years exploring every corner of Eve Online

Eve Online is unique among spacefaring games — not just for its complexity, but for its structure. The galaxy of New Eden is composed of nearly 8,000 star systems, each one placed into the virtual firmament by the hand of its creators at CCP Games. Some are easy to find, while others are hidden. Few players have actually visited all of New Eden’s known star systems. Fewer still have visited the thousands more that are hidden from view. But only one has visited all of them without losing a si

15 Jul 2019 9:42 pm
AmigaOS 3.1.4.1 released

Hyperion Entertainment CVBA is pleased to announced the immediate availability of AmigaOS 3.1.4.1 as a free update to AmigaOS 3.1.4 released in September 2018. Since then, some bugs were found and functionality reviewed. We are therefore providing updates that address those issues in order to improve the user experience and also added more workarounds to improve compatibility with some oddly behaving programs. A small bugfix release for the operating system that never dies.

15 Jul 2019 2:33 am
Debian 10 “buster” released

In this release, GNOME defaults to using the Wayland display server instead of Xorg. Wayland has a simpler and more modern design, which has advantages for security. However, the Xorg display server is still installed by default and the default display manager allows users to choose Xorg as the display server for their next session. Thanks to the Reproducible Builds project, over 91% of the source packages included in Debian 10 will build bit-for-bit identical binary packages. This is an importa

15 Jul 2019 2:30 am
Facebook’s $5 billion FTC fine is an embarrassing joke

Facebook’s stock went up after news of a record-breaking $5 billion FTC fine for various privacy violations broke today. That, as the New York Times’ Mike Isaac points out, is the real story here: the United States government spent months coming up with a punishment for Facebook’s long list of privacy-related bad behavior, and the best it could do was so weak that Facebook’s stock price went up. Facebook was one of the most important tools that Russia used to interfere in the US presiden

13 Jul 2019 7:52 pm
Microsoft discreetly drops ‘telemetry’ as part of larger ‘security cumulative update’ for Windows 7

Microsoft appears to have once again attempted to sneak telemetry components. The company released security updates for all supported operating systems on the July 2019 Patch Day. However, this month’s cumulative updates, which were supposed to contain only security-related components, contain an unexpected compatibility/telemetry component. The suspicious components were hidden in plain sight. Incidentally, this is the second time Microsoft has attempted to insert telemetry components. Howeve

13 Jul 2019 7:50 pm
The AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT and RX 5700 review

So how does AMD’s first example of RDNA stack up? For AMD and for consumers it’s much needed progress. To be sure, the Radeon RX 5700 series cards are not going to be Turing killers. But they are competitive in price, performance, and power consumption – the all-important trifecta that AMD has trailed NVIDIA at for too many years now. AMD’s new graphics cards have already managed to do what has been sorely needed for a long time now: they’ve forced NVIDIA to lower prices and re

13 Jul 2019 4:22 am
Windows 10 20H1 build hints at old Microsoft Edge removal

According to an entry in Windows 10 20H1 Build 18936, Microsoft has started working on a new change that would hide the legacy Edge browser when ChromiumEdge is installed. A new entry titled ‘HideUwpEdgeFromAppListIfWin32EdgePresent’ has been spotted in Windows 10 20H1 and the function could be enabled with third-party tool Mach2, but it does nothing at the moment. Microsoft seems to be really aggressive with this endeavour.

13 Jul 2019 4:18 am