Valve is forging ahead with plans to port its Steam distribution platform over to Linux and has even managed to tweak Left 4 Dead 2 to run faster on a 32-bit Ubuntu system than on a Windows 7 machine, but as far as John Carmack is concerned, the real challenge will be getting Linux users to open their wallets. Carmack, as you know, is the founder and technical director of id Software, and also an open source advocate. He's also a realist.
Some head-in-the-clouds philosophical types say time is like a rubber band, stretching out slowly then snapping forward in a burst; the proof to that hypothesis may just lie in the humble Linux kernel. It took Linus and co. a whopping 20 years to finally release Linux 3.0 last July, and less than a year later, Linux 3.4 is already here. The new build brings several new things to the table, with a multitude of Brtfs updates and support for the latest graphics options being the most noticeable changes.
We’ve recommended VLC on more than one occasion, and for good reasons. It’s the swiss army knife of the video playback world. It supports more formats and codecs then we can count, installs quickly, and is updated frequently. With the upcoming release of Windows 8 however, it will start offering a new killer feature most people probably didn’t care about before - DVD playback. Microsoft’s decision to not support DVD playback in Windows 8 unless you shell out the extra cash for media center has created a ton of vitriol in comment feeds around the web, but also a pretty obvious question. If a free and open source app can offer the feature, why can’t Microsoft? ZDNet blogger Ed Bott set out to answer the question, and his findings may surprise you.
The Linux Foundation earlier this week welcomed four new members. It’s not the number of new members that’s important here, though. What’s more important is the fact that one these new Linux patrons is graphics chip maker Nvidia. Hit the jump for more.
The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) this week rolled out version 2.4 of its open source Apache HTTP Server software. It's the first major overhaul in six years, and it also happens to coincide with the software's 17th anniversary. During its nearly two-decade run, Apache HTTP Server has come to power almost 400 million websites around the globe, making it the most popular Web server around.
Google Docs and Office Web apps have gone a long way towards offering a compelling solution for storing our documents online, but for those in need of offline access, Open Office used to be the best free alterative to Microsoft around. Fast forward to 2012 however, and Open Office hasn’t just fallen off the map, it has been lapped several times by a new community fork called LibreOffice.
True to its word, HP has officially started releasing the webOS source code. The company said late last year that it would open source the mostly-failed platform so the community could continue to work on it. HP itself has pledged to continue contributing to the project as well. Today’s release included the Enyo application framework, and the rest of the platform will be released over the coming months, with a few surprises along the way.
Given a choice, most enthusiasts would prefer a stock build of Android on their smartphone, and the preference towards an unmolested UI is part of the reason people root. But not everyone has the know-how or courage to root, even though smartphones sporting custom UIs far outnumber ones with a stock build. The reason, according to Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha, is because it's tough to make money on stock devices.
Isn't it swell to be heard? Sometimes all it takes is a collective effort to help raise your voice loud enough for the recipient to get the message, and if you need a case in point, look no further than Asus. We reported earlier today that Asus was telling the modding community to chillax while it works up an official statement regarding the Transformer Prime's locked bootloader, and we (correctly) guessed the news would be good...mostly.
Few people would argue that fragmentation is a problem on the Android platform, or at the very least it's sometimes a frustration. The fact that Android is open source and is within reach of any handset/tablet maker who wants to take the source code and run with it is partially what made the OS so popular to begin with. However, with so many Android devices in the wild, many sporting their own custom UIs, it's almost a crap-shoot as to when or even if any particular model will receive a major update, like Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0). Could paid updates solve this problem?