Lunduke's Normal Computing News - Nov 2, 2022
EU tells Apple how to make iPhones, Chromebook sales crash, & Ubuntu's Lunar Lobster.
It’s Wednesday! So let’s talk about the normal computer news. You know. Big Tech stuff. Popular stuff. (Come back on Sunday for the weird computer news…)
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EU forcing Apple to change iPhone hardware (and maybe software)
The European Union has made passed a law that will force Apple to change to use a USB-C charging port by 2024.
But they aren’t stopping there. According to Wired, one EU official is quoted as saying:
“If you have an iPhone, you should be able to download apps not just from the App Store but from other app stores or from the internet.”
The law behind this is the “Digital Markets Act”, which was passed by EU Parliament back in July. And, clearly, the EU would like to use it to force Apple to allow third party software stores (and, thus, non-App Store installation of software).
I have an awful lot of thoughts on this. I like flexibility of installing software. I like standard hardware ports. But I dislike governments telling tech companies how to make their hardware and software. My feelings here are complex. Tune into today’s podcast to hear me wrestle with this.
GNOME is closing all mailing lists
E-Mail lists are a mainstay of the open source world. Every major project seems to have a long-standing mailing list, and GNOME is no exception.
That is… until now. GNOME is closing down their mailing lists (all of them) in favor of a forum hosted on Discourse.
The GNOME Infrastructure Team told The Register:
“Since we introduced Discourse, GNOME's Mailman instance has seen a decline in utilization over the past years. The new platform offers way more features than Mailman, including gamification which newer generations, in general, appreciate, but also markdown support, RSS feeds, proper spam support, multiple authentication types and so on and so forth.”
The part that stuck out at me: The GNOME project wants to “gamify” communication within their community. Which. That just feels weird.
The GNOME executive director blamed Python:
“Like many other projects which use Mailman, we are finding that relying on a Python 2 program is not sustainable.”
Ubuntu 23.04 to be… “Lunar Lobster”?
Ubuntu 23.04 — scheduled for release in April of 2023 — does not yet have an official “Alliterative Animal” codename. You know. Like “Dancing Doggy” or “Cantankerous Cow”… like all Ubuntu releases get.
Well, the Ubuntu Twitter account has tweeted out this little teaser:
Technically… it’s a question. In emoji.
A moon. And a lobster. With a question mark.
Could that mean Ubuntu 23.04 will be… “Lunar Lobster”? Since the releases go in alphabetical order… and the current release is “Kinetic Kudu”… it seems logical that “Lunar Lobster” is what they’re proposing.
Possibly related: Apparently there is a lobster on the “moon” tarot card. Which… has a meaning… or something? Who knows. But here’s a picture of it.
VHS makes animated GIFs of Terminal output for Linux, Mac, Windows
This new open source tool, VHS, is absolutely glorious. It runs a predefined set of terminal commands… and spits out an animated GIF of the output. What’s better: it runs on Linux, macOS, and Windows.
With VHS you can change the font size, the typing speed… the works. This is just such an incredibly good idea, I had to share.
Chromebook (and tablet) sales drop. A lot.
According to IDC:
“Chromebook shipments also struggled in 3Q22, falling to 4.3 million units and a year-over-year decline of 34.4%.”
While this was also a bad month for tablet sales (in fact… the 5th quarter, in a row, of declining tablet sales — down 8.8% from this time last year)… that 34.4% decline in Chromebook sales is pretty massive.
Here’s the breakdown based on individual Chromebook makers:
Lenovo Chromebook sales down over 50%. In a single year! Dang!
Still quite a large number of Chromebooks sold in the third quarter (4.3 million laptops). So it’s not exactly a dead market. But that decline is going to have an impact going forward.
Twitter to make that blue check cost… $8 / month
Twitter’s new El Presidente has unveiled one of his plans for the platform in a series of Twitter posts:
“Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is [NAUGHTY WORD]. Power to the people! Blue for $8/month.
Price adjusted by country proportionate to purchasing power parity
You will also get: - Priority in replies, mentions & search, which is essential to defeat spam/scam - Ability to post long video & audio - Half as many ads
And paywall bypass for publishers willing to work with us
This will also give Twitter a revenue stream to reward content creators
There will be a secondary tag below the name for someone who is a public figure, which is already the case for politicians”
Elon then posted this picture:
My thoughts on this are many, and varied. But, in general, I think this is a good idea. In fact… I think Elon should go further and charge for folks to post Comments/Replies on Twitter. Then just do away with advertising completely.
That would all but eliminate the army of bots (which make up the majority of Twitter at the moment) and trolls (which makes up most of the rest of the users). Having a “paywall” may have disadvantages… but it sure does work wonders on getting rid of trolls.
Just ask folks in The Lunduke Journal Community. It works.