Get the Hot Pockets, there's a new Sid Meier's Civilization title out
Civilization isn't the first strategy series in video gaming, but it is probably the most enduring. Since the series' introduction in 1991, countless players have been stormed by barbarians, built the pyramids, and been nuked into oblivion (because of a coding bug) by the Indians. This year, the Firaxis-developed series launched a sequel to both Civilization V and the well-regarded Alpha Centauri in the form of Civilization: Beyond Earth available on OS X, Windows, and Linux. How many hours of your life will this one take?
Charming roguelike dungeon-clearing game brings a touch of Finnish legend to the genre
Because of the accessibility of game design tools, independently-produced games are springing up on every platform. There's certainly no shortage of dungeon crawlers, roguelikes, or turn-based strategy games today. That doesn't mean, though, that Sproggiwood, by Freehold Games, should be overlooked. This turn-based roguelike has the player explore dungeons inspired by Finnish mythology, bringing peace to the land of Sprog.
Support comes from Chrome 37, $12 a month plan required for new 4K video subscribers
Linux users of the Ubuntu variety can now watch Netflix without hacks or workarounds. The ability to stream Netflix comes with the latest build of the Chrome browser for the operating system, for up-to-date Ubuntu users. Netflix also confirmed that subscription fees for users wanting to stream 4K Ultra HD video are increasing.
Major security risk could be bigger issue than Heartbleed
A new bug may have a greater potential for harm than April's Heartbleed vulnerability, according to reports. The "Shellshock" vulnerability in Bash, a Unix shell typically used in Linux systems as well as in OS X, apparently allows for code held in environment variables to be executed within the shell as soon as it is invoked, potentially allowing for the control of affected systems to be taken over by another user.
Kickstarter RTS game Planetary Annihilation shows considerable polish
In August 2012, a team from Uber Entertainment launched a kickStarter campaign, aiming to raise $900,000 to make a new real-time strategy game called Planetary Annihilation. After two years of work and raising over $2.2 million, as well as other funds via "early access," the game is finally released outside of beta, and gamers can finally try out what backers have been playing for some time during the game's development.
Windows users get better fonts via DirectWrite
Google has released Chrome 37 for Windows, Mac, and Linux. The biggest change affects only Windows users, in the form of DirectWrite support for better font rendering. Previously, Chrome for Windows depended on the Graphics Device Interface, and Google explains that the change "required extensive re-architecting and streamlining of Chrome's font rendering engine."
Support added for Mint, Ubuntu with distro-independent archives, remains DRM-free
GOG, the gaming website and merchant previously known as Good Old Games, announced today that it has added support for Linux, delivering on an earlier promise to expand to the operating system. The DRM-free game distributor said earlier in the year that one of the next steps for the company would be to add support Linux distros.
Linux gets better Chrome App Launcher
Google has issued Chrome 36 updates for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android users. The new version is mostly a maintenance release, making stability, performance, and security fixes. It does however implement several cosmetic changes across desktop platforms, for instance improving rich notifications with a "flatter" look, and giving Incognito mode a new tab page (below) that's cleaner and easier to read. Likewise, the Chrome App Launcher for Linux has been revamped.
CFast card ISC3E released, compatible with CFast 2.0 and SATA 3.1
ADATA Technology has announced the launch of its CFast 2.0 memory card, the ISC3E. Combining the form-factor of a CF Card with a high-speed SATA interface, the ISC3E is compatible with CFast 2.0 and SATA 3.1. Its sequential read/write speed is up to 435/120 MB/s and 165/170 MB/s, with its physical integrity offerin shock and vibration resistance, as well as the ability to withstand temperatures from -40C to 85C.
Hit Firaxis strategy game will make its way to Linux with Enemy Within content
Multiple award-winning game XCOM: Enemy Unknown will be making its way to Linux distros in the future, including Ubuntu 14.04 and Valve's SteamOS. The port to Linux will also include the expansion pack XCOM: Enemy Within, which was originally released in November 2013. The strategy game from Firaxis Games is a re-imagined remake of the early 1990s game XCOM: UFO Defense. Feral Interactive will be handling the development and publishing.
Stream Steam games from a Windows computer to OSX, Linux
Earlier this week, game purveyor Steam opened up the in-home game streaming feature to all users. In a nutshell, the feature allows users of a Windows PC to stream the video of a game to a satellite computer on Windows, OS X, or some flavors of Linux in real-time, with input provided by the satellite computer . All the "heavy lifting" of the game is done by the Windows PC streaming the game, as well as "on the fly" conversion of the video stream to H.264, allowing for the satellite computer with a much lower specification or incompatible operating system to play. How well does this work in real life?
Windows exploits already active
Adobe has issued a new security bulletin warning of a Flash flaw that could allow a hacker to seize control of a computer. So far just Windows exploits have been seen in the wild, but Adobe cautions that Mac and Linux systems are vulnerable as well. The security hole is present only in older versions of Flash Player, requiring simply that people have up-to-date software.
Images can be picked to match device specs
Google has released Chrome 34 for Windows, Mac, and Linux users. The main addition is support for "responsive" images. This allows web developers to set multiple versions of a graphic, improving speed and bandwidth consumption on less powerful devices. Whereas a Windows desktop user might see the full-quality version of an image, for example, someone on an iPhone might see a lower-resolution file. The iOS and Android apps haven't been updated yet, however.
Threat seen in the wild, Adobe says
Adobe has released a new version of Flash Player for Windows and Mac, 18.104.22.168, to cope with a serious security hole. The company warns that exploits for the vulnerability have been seen in the wild, and that the problem could potentially allow an attacker to seize control of a computer. A matching Linux update is labeled v22.214.171.1245.
Social API gains simultaneous notifications
Mozilla has released Firefox 27, an update to its browser for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. The desktop apps have been given an updated Social API, allowing for multiple notifications at the same time. Until today, Firefox would only show notifications for the social network indicated in a user's toolbar. Mozilla is also supporting two new networks, Delicious and Saavn.
'New' look replaces Windows 7-inspired desktop in previous version
While it continues to dominate the vast majority of worldwide, there is a sense that both consumers and industry are moving slowly away from Windows software as alternatives -- primarily Apple's OS X and iOS -- gain more mainstream attention. This drift seems to be embodied in the latest release of "Red Star OS," a Linux variant developed for the last decade by North Korea as a state-sanctioned OS. In a bold move, version 3 has adopted a directly OS X-like look, dropping the previous Windows 7 stylings.
Pay-what-you-want bundle offers DRM-free games for charity fundraising
Once again, the Humble Bundle team has put together a package of DRM-free indie games in support of its chosen charities, with users paying whatever amount they want for four cross-platform games. Buyers paying above the average price ($4.03 at present) also get two additional games, with more said to be coming. Soundtracks are included for some of the games, all of which run on the PC, Mac, Linux and Android platforms (system requirements vary).
In discussions with four more manufacturers for Ubuntu mobile OS
A smartphone running on Ubuntu Touch will be available in 2014, according to Canonical founder and product strategy leader Mark Shuttleworth. Canonical has signed an agreement with an unnamed manufacturer to have the Linux distribution put onto high-end smartphones, with other manufacturers also apparently in talks to do likewise.
Free upgrade spurs quick adoption
Mavericks is already the predominant version of OS X in use by the public, according to November tracking data from Net Applications. During that month, Mavericks' share rose from 0.84 percent to 2.42 percent of the Mac's total global share of 7.55 percent. Mountain Lion's share, meanwhile, plummeted from 3.31 percent to 1.85, while Lion dipped from 1.56 percent to 1.34. Leopard and Snow Leopard, already marginal platforms, dropped only slightly, slipping from 0.33 and 1.6 percent to 0.32 and 1.53 percent, respectively.
Mac client going without web payment tech for now
Google has released Chrome 31, an update of its web browser for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and Chrome OS. The primary addition is better payment support, in the form of allowing site access to Chrome's auto-complete data (with user permission). This lets people save payment information in the browser for quicker access. Google says, however, that Mac compatibility will only be included "in a future release."
Valve CEO confirms commitment to Linux, reiterates anti-Windows stance
At the New Orleans LinuxCon, Valve founder and game developer Gabe Newell reaffirmed his commitment to Linux, calling it the "future of gaming." Additionally, the Valve head claimed that "next week, we're going to be rolling out more information about how we get there and what are the hardware opportunities we see for bringing Linux into the living room," perhaps bringing the previously-rumored "Steam Box" game system to fruition.
Tizen to be used for appliances
Samsung is reportedly preparing to launch televisions that run Tizen, a Linux-based operating system that the company is co-developing with Intel. Speaking to German outlet Die Welt, Samsung's consumer electronics head, Boo-Keun Yoon, noted that Tizen will be used for upcoming smartphones, TVs and home appliances.
GeekBench 3 benchmarking utility brings 15 new benchmark tests
GeekBench 3 has been released for all major platforms including Windows, OS X, and Linux on the desktop. A mobile version of the widely used benchmarking utility has also been released for Android and iOS. The new version is the first major revision to the app since version 2 was released six years ago. According to Primate Labs, the new suite of tests includes 15 new benchmark tests that have been designed to real-world processor intensive tasks.
Share function allows quick sharing of any link
Mozilla has released Firefox 23, an update of its web browser for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. The desktop apps have gained several important features, most notably a Share button, which ties into Mozilla's new Social API. The button lets people share virtually any content on the web without having to use buttons built into a website.
Salted passwords, usernames, e-mail addresses taken, state Canonical
Forums for the Linux distribution Ubuntu have been hacked, with sensitive data for all members of the forum being seized in the intrusion. Usernames, passwords, and e-mail addresses for every user on the Canonical-operated forum has been taken in the attack, which is estimated to have affected around 1.82 million users.
Main, Gmail searches pull results from other Google apps
Google has released a beta version of Chrome 28 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. The most significant change is in the Windows release, where a native notification center for apps and extensions has been turned on. These can include not only text and images, but optional actions such as making a phone call or sending email. Notifications can appear even when Chrome is closed. Google is promising Mac notifications "soon."
Jolla inches closer to launch with release of the Sailfish OS SDK
Jolla has released the Software Development Kit (SDK) for its Linux-based Sailfish mobile operating system. The SDK has been made available for Mac, Windows and Linux (32-bit and 64-bit) with its release paving the way for interested developers to create native applications for Jolla’s forthcoming handsets. The Sailfish OS also supports the Qt platform, which developers previously used for creating native apps on Nokia’s abandoned Symbian and MeeGo operating systems, making it simple for apps running on those platforms to be ported to the new OS.
Linux on a Mac could be hazardous
Yesterday in the MacNN forums, Grizzled Veteran "abbaZaba" questioned the veracity of a technician's report that Linux on Apple hardware could permanently damage the CPU. "Do I need Adobe Flash Player?" asks one Forum Regular who is trying to avoid a plague of pesky popups and other such annoyances.
Device reads each track multiple times, ensuring correct playback
High-end consumer audio manufacturer Parasound has released a CD player driven by a Mini-ITX computer, powered by Linux to make CDs "sound significantly better than anyone has imagined possible" according to the manufacturer. The Halo CD 1 utilizes a PC-grade CD-ROM drive that reads the track multiple times before it is converted to audio, nearly guaranteeing no error in playback.
Rolling updates blog post complains about 'elite' users
The founder of Canonical, Mark Shuttleworth, called out users of Linux that believe that using the operating system is "supposed to be hard." A blog post by Shuttleworth responding to recent changes and rolling releases in the Ubuntu Linux distribution complained about aspects of the community that seemingly want Linux to be an insular, introverted and exclusive operating system.
Tablet-based OS to offer added multitasking, device convergence
Canonical has launched a version of its Linux distribution specifically made for tablets. Ubuntu for Tablets follows on from Unbuntu Phone, launched last month at CES, and the desktop version of Ubuntu in using the same base code, but instead relies on touch-based navigation and gestures, rather than physical buttons or keyboards.
First devices not expected until later this year
The Linux Foundation has introduced a major update to its Tizen operating system, adding many essential features as developers continue working on the first Tizen-powered devices. Version 2.0, spotted by TG Daily, will enable devices to take advantage of Bluetooth and NFC hardware, while app developers can integrate new features such as text-to-speech and background operation.
Source code available for developers
Canonical has announced that it is set to release the first public preview of its Ubuntu Phone operating system for smartphones. The initial release will be available in two builds, one for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and another for LG's Nexus 4, while source code will also be posted for developers to begin working on installations for other devices.
Linux client, games major step towards Steam Box
Valve has launched its Steam game distribution platform on Linux, after a lengthy period of beta testing. Initially announced in July 2012, the internal project has now opened up the store on Ubuntu, with interested users being able to download the client through Canonical's Ubuntu Software Center at no charge.
Most iOS devices supported
The Evad3rs hacking team has released its promised jailbreaking tool for iOS 6 devices. Known as evasi0n, the software supports any version of iOS 6 through 6.1, and is available in Mac, Windows, and Linux editions. It's also untethered, meaning that it doesn't require connecting to a computer and reapplying the jailbreak if an iOS device is rebooted.
Ubuntu's mobile OS impresses in our brief look at it in action
We got a chance to check out a demonstration of Ubuntu's mobile operating system that was announced at the start of the year. It was running on a GSM-version of the Galaxy Nexus, and was certainly impressive when viewed from a close distance. The graphics look clean and smooth, without any hiccups on what is an older, though one-time flagship device.
Ubuntu set to reveal touch-based OS plans?
The Ubuntu homepage is teasing a countdown to what hints at a touch-based version of its Linux variant. The banner on the site reads, “So close, you can almost touch it,” setting the stage for a major announcement, or possible reveal, of the next iteration of the popular OS. The countdown is expected to run its course by 8AM ET on Wednesday, January 2nd, when all will be revealed.
Change in 3.8 kernel seen as positive by Torvolds
Linux is phasing out support for Intel's i386 architecture, in an effort to simplify maintenance to the operating system's kernel. The changes in the 3.8 version of the kernel marks a departure of the OS from the processor that Linus Torvolds developed Linux on in 1991, an architecture the software supported long after the rest of the computing industry moved on to other architectures.
'Experimental' Mac Driver may eliminate need for X Window
CodeWeavers has launched CrossOver 12, a new version of its software designed to run Windows apps in OS X or Linux. The update implements a new version of Wine, the program's core technology, which is said to have received over 5,000 changes. Support has been improved for a number of Windows apps, such as Microsoft Office and several editions of Quicken. Newly compatible apps include Quicken 13 and World of Tanks; on Linux, Guild Wars 2 has been added.
Search results transmitted to Amazon, Facebook, others by default
Web search settings in the latest Ubuntu 12.10 are to blame for what the Electronic Frontier Foundation calls a "data leak" and a privacy violation. Unless settings are altered, every time a search is performed for a document, application, or other file using the Dash feature, the search includes results from Amazon. Search results can also return advertisements sent unencrypted in the results, allowing for Wi-Fi or network sniffers to intercept and read the text.
Linux distribution installer to help mobile development efforts
Users of the Google Nexus 7 can now install Ubuntu onto the tablet. The Linux distribution maintained by Canonical can be made to run as the operating system instead of the factory-installed Jelly Bean version of Android, though the exercise is meant to help in developing a future iteration of Ubuntu for mobile devices, and not for general use.
Update 7 addresses hole ahead of planned update
Oracle has issued a patch to address a recently discovered security hole affecting Mac, Windows, and Linux users. The patch represents a rare early fix release, as Oracle was already slated to release a patch in October of this year. The patch is available for download at Java.com.
Lion, Mountain Lion safeguards provide modest defense
A new security exploit in Java 7 is affecting Mac, Windows, and Linux users alike, according to an engineering manager for Metasploit, an open-source penetration testing framework. The vulnerability is described as "super dangerous," since an attack can be triggered simply by visiting a hacked or intentionally malicious website. OS X Lion and Mountain Lion do provide a modest level of protection, since Java isn't installed by default on the operating systems, which also ask users if they want to run the software.
Risk so far 'considered low'
A new piece of backdoor malware affecting OS X, Windows, Linux, and Solaris is in the wild, according to security firm Intego. Nicknamed OSX/NetWeirdRC, the code is said to be similar to Crisis in that it's a commercial remote access tool that was leaked to Virus Total. If a computer is infected, it can potentially allow an attacker to install new files, grab screenshots and system information, see which programs are running and steal encrypted passwords from apps like Firefox, Thunderbird, and Opera.
Dell Project Sputnik leads to release of XPS 13 with Ubuntu
Dell will release a version of its popular XPS 13 ultrabook with Linux preinstalled. The company has issued a statement on the release indicating that the Linux-based ultrabook is part of its Project Sputnik initiative with the aim of bringing an Ubuntu developer notebook to market. When it is released this fall, the XP3 with Linux will ship with the Ubuntu 12.04LTS distro onboard.
Windows, Mac, Linux updates available
Skype is now releasing hotfixes addressing a serious security flaw in its VoIP client, according to a blog post. If a few recent versions of the app crashed during the middle of an IM session, they would sometimes send out the last recorded message to the wrong person on a user's contact list. The glitch was also contingent on rebooting Skype, or logging in as a new user.
Left 4 Dead 2 reportedly stable, working towards full Linux support
Valve is bringing the Steam game distribution platform to Ubuntu. A company blog for the project tells of an 11-person team porting not only Steam, but also Source engine-powered game Left 4 Dead 2. According to the post, co-founder of Valve Gabe Newell has been interested in a Linux port of Steam and Source for some time, and last year formed the team devoted to the project.
Uses rare cross-platform attack method
A new piece of malware is targeting Mac, Windows, and Linux users all at the same time, note security firms F-Secure and Sophos. The code pretends to be a needed add-on; in reality victims are opening up a Java Archive file, which then detects the platform a person is using before connecting to a remote server to fetch additional code, creating a back door for hackers. The Mac version of the malware is identified by F-Secure as "Backdoor:OSX/GetShell.A."
NVIDA loses up to $500 million in lost GPU order
NVIDIA is said have lost an order to supply 10 million GPUs due to its poor support for Linux. The news follows Linus Torvalds recently blasting NVIDIA for its commercial decision to back mobile GPUs that support Linux-based operating systems like Android, but offer very limited support for the open source platform on PCs. The lost GPU order was for the Chinese government and is estimated to have cost the company between $200 million and $500 million in lost sales.
Linux founder Torvalds lets fly at Nvidia
Linus Torvalds, one of the living legends of the computer industry as the genius behind Limux, has used a forum hosted by Aalto Center for Entrepreneurship in Otaniemi, Finland to vent his frustration with Nvidia. As the clip embedded below highlights, Torvalds was responding to a question from a woman in the audience about the technical trouble she was experiencing trying to run Linux using a notebook with an Nvida GPU.