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Android 8.0 Oreo, thoroughly reviewed

posted onSeptember 6, 2017
by l33tdawg

Android 8.0 Oreo is the 26th version of the world's most popular operating system. This year, Google's mobile-and-everything-else OS hit two billion monthly active users—and that's just counting phones and tablets. What can all those users expect from the new version? In an interview with Ars earlier this year, Android's VP of engineering Dave Burke said that the 8.0 release would be about "foundation and fundamentals." His team was guided by a single question: "What are we doing to Android to make sure Android is in a great place in the next 5 to 10 years?"

Classic Mac OS and dozens of apps can now be run in a browser window

posted onApril 18, 2017
by l33tdawg

The Internet Archive is a great resource if you're looking to play with older PC apps and operating systems—thanks to a JavaScript port of DOSBox, you can run stuff like Mario Teaches Typing and Windows For Workgroups 3.11 right in your browser, giving you a quick and easy way to get some idea of what it was like to use a computer 20 or 25 years ago.

Chrome will suck less RAM

posted onOctober 11, 2016
by l33tdawg

Google has announced that it has finally sorted out Chrome’s tendancy to suck up RAM as efficiently as a Dyson vacuum when visiting javascript heavy sites.

The search engine outfit said that it will roll out an update on December 6 that will slash the amount of RAM Chrome uses by up to half.

By using less RAM, Chrome will let keep more open tabs and run more apps without slowing down your computer as much. It could also help if your computer is on the low-end in terms of memory, which ranges from four gigabytes and below.

Meet Noto, Google’s Free Font for More Than 800 Languages

posted onOctober 7, 2016
by l33tdawg

Something funny happens when your computer or phone can’t display a font: A blank rectangular box pops up in place of the missing glyph. This little box is called .notdef, or “not defined,” in coder lingo, but everyone else just calls it tofu.

Mozilla Thunderbird 45.4.0 FINAL

posted onOctober 3, 2016
by l33tdawg

Thunderbird is an email client from Mozilla, the organisation better known for the Firefox web browser which has a great deal to offer. In addition to handling multiple email accounts, the program can also be used to subscribe to RSS feeds and access online newsgroups and a new tabbed interface makes it easy to jump between individual emails or different aspects of the program.

Can’t Afford Coding Camp? The Feds May Have a Loan for You

posted onAugust 16, 2016
by l33tdawg

When he was just a senator from Illinois, Barack Obama ran for President on the platform that college should be affordable to anyone who wants to go.

Now that he holds the office, his approach has shifted ever so slightly. College should be affordable, yes, but also, not everyone should have to go to a four-year college to land a job.

Apple's Swift 4 road map focuses on ABI, concurrency

posted onAugust 7, 2016
by l33tdawg

Apple hasn't even delivered its Swift 3 language yet and already is getting an early thumbs-up from developers for planned Swift 4 follow-ups, which will focus on application binary interface (ABI) stability, concurrency, and scripting.

In a recent post on the swift-evolution mailing list on swift-org, Apple's Chris Lattner, senior director of developer tools, said Swift 4 was due in fall 2017, with Swift 3.x set to arrive next spring. Swift was introduced as an eventual successor to Objective-C in June 2014.

IoT spurs surprise surge in assembly language popularity

posted onJuly 19, 2016
by l33tdawg

Assembly language, a reliable staple of low-level programming, has taken a backseat to the multitude of higher-level, easier-to-use languages that have emerged over the years. But it is making a comeback, thanks to IoT (the internet of things) and embedded computing.

This month's Tiobe index, which gauges language popularity based on a formula examining internet searches, has assembly returning to its top 10 for the second time this year, with a 10th-place slotting. It also reached the top 10 in January.