For the Ubuntu phone.
But congratulations to FF. I sincerely hope they are a worthy competitor.
The first batch of phones based on the Mozilla Foundation's open source Firefox OS has sold out, mere hours after they were announced for sale. As we press the big, red Publish button on this story, Geeksphone, the Spanish startup that designed and built the devices, has shut down its online store, replacing it with a notice …
I downloaded the Ubuntu Touch beta. Imho, it has a UX that makes Windows 8 look like it was designed by a genius.
I'm sure it will be good for some people, but there are far too many (well, actually everything is) hidden behind non-intuitive gestures. And in many cases the gestures are overloaded (depending on where you gesture from). Worse, some parts simply don't work because of positioning (app tray getting in the way).
I've played with the Firefox OS simulator, and whilst it's a less "powerful" OS, it's a hell of a lot more user friendly than Ubuntu Touch. I was sceptical of Firefox OS, but it looks like it will be a perfectly usable OS for the majority of people (most don't need complex apps that can't be made HTML 5).
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You can install Ubuntu on the Nexus4 now...
I would also like to know how many actual phones were sold, 10? As this stinks of a publicity stunt. Particularly given handsets that can boot FirefoxOS have been available for months...
I agree, the Ubuntu phone is looking better the FF phone this in my opinion. The multi-tasking looks much better on Ubuntu than Android with a complete luncher that can be accessed at any time to start programs or to search the phone/Internet sources. It has many innovations that I think are worth the wait. As far as user friendlessness mentioned here already. I'm sure it will take all of 30 seconds to learn that swiping in from each screen edge triggers an clearly understandable action.
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You seem to be letting emotion trump logic.
A true geek would insist on a phone that was based on a real time operating system. That rules out all of the popular phones, and Windows phone as well.
A practical person would insist on a phone that provided access to a huge app store. That limits the choice to iOS or Android.
Ubuntu satisfies neither the true geek nor the practical person.
Thank you for the link, obnoxiousGit. I see that you can configure the 2.6 kernel to get so-called "soft" real-time performance (which is another way of saying that it is not in fact real time), but for "hard" (i.e. actual) real-time performance you need to re-write Linux, which various people have done.
I am not aware of Android or iOS being based on "hard" real-time variants of Linux or Unix, but feel free to correct me on that if I am mistaken. If it is your overwhelming desire to own a phone based on an actual real time operating system you should buy a Blackberry.
Personally I'd rather have a good choice of both apps and hardware.
If I really need real time, I use a cheap dedicated SoC. Debian's official repository has 29000 software packages. I am admit that is not quite enough for me, so I use a few unofficial repositories too.
PS: Eadon - my Pi's are doing a useful work, but their hardware would not be my first choice for a smart phone. Top of the list of problems would be VideoCore. I have more confidence in the availability of Lima drivers for Mali on future ARM cores than for anything open related to the VideoCore DSP - if you can buy a modern CPU with one.
"A true geek would insist on a phone that was based on a real time operating system. That rules out all of the popular phones, and Windows phone as well."
Setting aside the inevitable debate about popularity, Blackberry's BB10 is based on QNX which is first and foremost a hard real time OS.
"...but for "hard" (i.e. actual) real-time performance you need to re-write Linux, which various people have done.
Indeed. The PREEMPT_RT patch set is one of the major efforts. I use it, and it's pretty good. It's a pretty hard RTOS in that the context swith times seem to be pretty stable. It's not as good as, say, VxWorks (which I've also used a lot) which was designed from the ground up for that puprpose and has lightning fast context switch times.
Still, I gather that people have applied PREEMPT_RT to various ARM Linuxes, so there's no fundamental reason why one couldn't homebrew an Android featuring it.
Once I started developing multithreaded apps for an RTOS I started bitterly regretting the fact that most operating systems aren't real time (Windows, Mac, etc). RT means that you can do a really good job on anything doing anything with media or human interaction.
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Don't feed the Eadon, kids.
If FirefoxOS can give me a "cheap" backup smartphone that has a great battery life I'm interested. Otherwise I'll wait and see what what Sailfish has to offer. Of course ideally one of these would reach feature parity with Android, meaning it could replace my primary device.
A Linux distro for smartphones abandoned by their manufacturers, postmarketOS, has introduced in-place upgrades.
Alpine Linux is a very minimal general-purpose distro that runs well on low-end kit, as The Reg FOSS desk found when we looked at version 3.16 last month. postmarketOS's – pmOS for short – version 22.06 is based on the same version.
Analysis Toxic discussions on open-source GitHub projects tend to involve entitlement, subtle insults, and arrogance, according to an academic study. That contrasts with the toxic behavior – typically bad language, hate speech, and harassment – found on other corners of the web.
Whether that seems obvious or not, it's an interesting point to consider because, for one thing, it means technical and non-technical methods to detect and curb toxic behavior on one part of the internet may not therefore work well on GitHub, and if you're involved in communities on the code-hosting giant, you may find this research useful in combating trolls and unacceptable conduct.
It may also mean systems intended to automatically detect and report toxicity in open-source projects, or at least ones on GitHub, may need to be developed specifically for that task due to their unique nature.
At The Linux Foundation's Open Source Summit in Austin, Texas on Tuesday, Linus Torvalds said he expects support for Rust code in the Linux kernel to be merged soon, possibly with the next release, 5.20.
At least since last December, when a patch added support for Rust as a second language for kernel code, the Linux community has been anticipating this transition, in the hope it leads to greater stability and security.
In a conversation with Dirk Hohndel, chief open source officer at Cardano, Torvalds said the patches to integrate Rust have not yet been merged because there's far more caution among Linux kernel maintainers than there was 30 years ago.
Analysis A blog post calling for a boycott of the well-known 7-Zip compression app is attracting some discussion on Reddit.
However, it seems criticism for Igor Pavlov and his FOSS compression app 7-Zip is somewhat overblown and may reflect the anti-Russian sentiment of the times.
7-Zip has been around since 1999 and during that two-decade span there have been more widely used Windows compression tools (WinZip and WinRAR, in particular) they are shareware, so try-before-you-buy versus free.
Open-source cross-platform email and messaging client Thunderbird has hit version 102, with a new look and improved functionality, including Matrix chat support.
The latest release is the first major upgrade since version 91, which The Reg looked at last August. This is normal for the app – it follows the same approximately annual release cycle as Firefox's Extended Support Releases, the most recent of which was also version 91. From now until the next major release, Thunderbird 102 will get a regular stream of minor updates and bug fixes.
102 has a modernized look and feel. There's a new "Spaces" toolbar, which appears vertically on the left of the app window and lets users quickly flip between inbox, address book, calendar, task list, and chat tabs. All of these are built-in features – the former Lightning calendar add-on is now an integral part of the app, as is PGP support, which used to be an add-on called Enigmail. Thunderbird can talk to various groupware calendar and contact servers, including both private and corporate Google Mail accounts, Microsoft Exchange and Office 365, and others.
EndeavourOS is a rolling-release Linux distro based on Arch Linux. Although the project is relatively new, having started in 2019, it's the successor to an earlier Arch-based distro called Antergos, so it's not quite as immature as its youth might imply. It's a little more vanilla than Antergos was – for instance, it uses the Calamares cross-distro installer.
EndeavourOS hews more closely to its parent distro than, for example, Manjaro, which we looked at very recently. Unlike Manjaro, it doesn't have its own staging repositories or releases. It installs packages directly from the upstream Arch repositories, using the standard Arch package manager
pacman. It also bundles yay to easily fetch packages from the Arch User Repository, AUR. The
yay command takes the same switches as
pacman does, so if you wanted to install, say, Google Chrome, it's as simple as
yay -s google-chrome and a few seconds later, it's done.
Arm has at least one of Intel's more capable mainstream laptop processors in mind with its Cortex-X3 CPU design.
The British outfit said the X3, revealed Tuesday alongside other CPU and GPU blueprints, is expected to provide an estimated 34 percent higher peak performance than a performance core in Intel's upper mid-range Core i7-1260P processor from this year.
Arm came to that conclusion, mind you, after running the SPECRate2017_int_base single-threaded benchmark in a simulation of its CPU core design clocked at an equivalent to 3.6GHz with 1MB of L2 and 16MB of L3 cache.
Arm is beefing up its role in the rapidly-evolving (yet long-standing) hardware-based real-time ray tracing arena.
The company revealed on Tuesday that it will introduce the feature in its new flagship Immortalis-G715 GPU design for smartphones, promising to deliver graphics in mobile games that realistically recreate the way light interacts with objects.
Arm is promoting the Immortalis-G715 as its best mobile GPU design yet, claiming that it will provide 15 percent faster performance and 15 percent better energy efficiency compared to the currently available Mali-G710.
FOSS Fest There are still ways to run DOS apps under 64-bit Windows and Linux, and a lot of free apps to choose from.
One of the differences between the Microsoft and Apple approaches to maintaining widely used OSes is that Apple is quite aggressive about removing backwards compatibility, while Microsoft tries hard to keep it.
One of the few times Microsoft removed a whole compatibility layer from Windows was with the launch of 64-bit Windows, which went mainstream with Vista in 2007. 64-bit editions of Windows can't run 16-bit apps, whether they're for DOS or Windows.
E-paper display startup Modos wants to make laptops, but is starting out with a standalone high-refresh-rate monitor first.
The initial plan is for the "Modos Paper Monitor," which the company describes as: "An open-hardware standalone portable monitor made for reading and writing, especially for people who need to stare at the display for a long time."
The listed specifications sound good: a 13.3", 1600×1200 e-ink panel, with a DisplayPort 1.2 input, powered off MicroUSB because it only takes 1.5-2W.
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