Torrent site YTS takes over development of the controversial app
Started as a small experiment by “a bunch of geeks from Buenos Aires”, Popcorn Time emerged out of nowhere on the tech media’s radar earlier this month, earning itself such flattering appellations as the “Netflix for pirates” and attracting scores of collaborators from all over the globe on Github. Despite initially displaying remarkable equanimity in face of questions over the cross-platform, BitTorrent-based movie streaming app’s legality, Popcorn Time’s creators did something very unexpected on Friday by abruptly shutting it down.
When it comes to Android, mobile users are mostly living in Samsung's galaxy, with relatively few venturing off with other device makers. Based on the latest data from Localytics, Samsung has a 63 percent share of all Android mobile devices, leaving the competition to fight for the remaining 37 percent. Samsung's closest competitor in the Android space is HTC, which lays claim to just 6.5 percent of the market.
Jelly Bean rises to prominence as KitKat comes into view
Few Android users like to acknowledge that dirty little "F" word that's followed Android almost since the beginning. We're talking about "fragmentation," or the fact that Android devices far and wide run a variety of versions of Android. Fragmentation still exists in the Android ecosystem, but it's not nearly as bad as it once was. In fact, over half of all Android devices are now running Jelly Bean.
Tiny PC supports a variety of open source platforms
Teeny tiny PCs like the Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone are finding fans among the modding community, which in turn is leading to some interesting and unique projects. It's also fostering competition in the fun-size PC market. One of the newest entries to the of field mini computing is SolidRun and its CuBox-i line of open source systems starting at $45. That gets you the CuBox-i1 with a 1GHz single-core ARM processor.
The chefs at Google have decided against going with the codename Key Lime Pie to describe the next version of Android and instead have entered into a licensing agreement with Nestle to dub Android 4.4 "Kit Kat" after the popular chocolate candy bar. Google's Sundar Pichai spilled the beans in a Google+ post in which he also announced that Android has now surpassed 1 billion device activations.
The world's largest semiconductor company finds itself hooked on the mini computing craze that was, in part, popularized by the Raspberry PC and other tiny systems that would follow. Intel, along with CircuitCo Electronics, a company that knows a thing or two about open-source motherboards, shipped the chip maker's first open source PC known as MinnowBoard, which is essentially a slice of silicon powered by Intel's Atom E640 processor (1GHz).
Hewlett-Packard seems to have a bit of a minor crush on Google as of late. The first evidence came when HP offered up its Pavilion Chromebook to the public, a 14-inch notebook running Google's Chrome OS. For what it's worth, HP is still the only OEM outside of Acer and Samsung to offer a Chromebook model, the other two of which were on the bandwagon since day 1. Perhaps looking to further test the waters outside of Windows, HP this week announced another Google-driven product, the HP Slate 21 All-In-One (AIO).
The newest version of Ubuntu promises dramatic graphical performance enhancements.
Canonical's pretty good about keeping its Ubuntu Linux distro up to date with frequent releases, the latest of which is Ubuntu 13.04, otherwise known as Raring Ringtail. Now available to download to desktops and servers, version 13.04 is being billed as the "fastest and most visually polished" build to date. Canonical said it particularly focused its attention on fine tuning performance on lightweight systems as it gets ready to launch Ubuntu to a range of mobile devices.
Open source group takes issue with Microsoft's controversial UEFI Secure Boot mechanism.
A Spanish open software group has filed a complaint against Microsoft with the European Union claiming that it's unnecessarily difficult to install Linux on Windows 8 hardware. Hispalinux, which is made up of 8,000 Linux users and developers living in Spain, issued a 14-page complaint regarding Microsoft's UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) Secure Boot technology, which the group calls an "obstruction mechanism."
Attention, would-be cord cutters: If you’re going to tell the cable man to shove it, you’re going to want a full-featured media center app to make browsing your digital movies, music, and pictures as pretty and painless as possible. Two of the top no-cost contenders are the open-source XBMC and Plex, a partly proprietary fork of XBMC that focuses on streaming media to multiple devices. Which is the blockbuster and which is the dud? Let’s find out.
Note: This article first appeared in the December issue of the magazine.