Tag: developer

Seattle IT people suffer bad case of Darwin

It seems that straight male IT experts will become an endangered species in Seattle because the male dominated industry dominates the region and women are thin on the ground.

Apparently the problem is about to be made worse because of the growth of Amazon which has a staff profile which is 75 percent men.

Writing in his bog Jeff Reifman said Amazon’s 75 per cent figure is similar to Microsoft and other tech companies, as well. The difference is that Amazon has been expanding rapidly in Seattle, now employing nearly 25,000 people in the city, up from 5,000 in 2010.

By the end of 2014, Reifman projects, there will be 130 single men in Seattle for every 100 single women — up from a ratio of 119 single men to 100 single women in April 2010.

He said that over the past two years, I’ve personally found dating in Seattle has become increasingly difficult. It’s less common to meet single women in person and online dating is more difficult.

“It’s not that I can’t get dates but it’s harder to find women that are a good match for me. Online, it’s been harder to catch women’s attention, harder to get them to schedule a date and they cancel dates more frequently,” he said.

On the bright side, if you’re a straight single woman outside of Seattle, this might be a great time to move there. Well, if you want to marry an IT person and live in Seattle. The comments on the blog make for amusing reading too. 

KDE project at risk as developer disappears

An open sauce video editor project has stalled after the project leader, known by the handle Jean-Baptiste Mardelle, disappeared.

Kdenlive development efforts have stopped completely after Mardelle stopped posting in July and has not been seen since.

So far no one has been able to find Mardelle to establish if he is ok, but it does pour cold ice cubes down the pants of those who see Open Sauce as reliable. Without Mardelle it has been impossible to get commits moving and the software development has stopped completely.

According to Phoronix,  with the leadership and commits are gone and there was a risk that there would never be a new release again as people drift away.

The hope is that someone could see the news and fork the project off, or pick it up and keep it going. The problem with this case is that no one is actually aware that there is a problem.

There have been some questions on KDE Forums recently whether Kdenlive development is over, only to have the only response being from a user saying, “no one answers, you might think that the development is finished.”

There’s been no communication from Jean-Baptiste and one of the mailing list threads created one month ago still doesn’t have any actual answer on what’s going on with the project. 

Javascript is compulsory on Firefox

The internet appears to have evolved past the days when it was possible to view a web page using only HTML.

Firefox 23, currently in beta, has removed the option to disable JavaScript which means that users will have to run it by default.

While Mozilla isn’t making much of a fuss about about the change, it is fairly significant.

When the world wide wibble first got off the ground a browser was only interested in using HTML.

JavaScript and CSS appeared on the scene but it was still possible to view the web without JavaScript. In fact many developers adopted the line that JavaScript should only be used for webpage enhancement. It was a training philosophy which insisted that anyone who was visiting a page with the Javascript turned off should still be able to see it.

All this has changed with the heavy development of web apps and things have reached a point where developers are saying that visiting a page with Javascript off is as silly as trying to consume it without HTML.

The problem really is about things like privacy. Having Javascript enabled means that you cannot really get to a site without having tons of code thrown at you. Some of this could be telling the world plus dog about your browsing habits.

Mozilla, which for years has been the tool of choice for the more open saucey, opting for Javascript by default means that it no longer thinks this privacy fear is sustainable. It is better that user options are reduced to stop applications breaking.

Mozilla had the problem that people were clicking “disable Javascript” options on Firefox and then visiting sites where it was needed and finding everything was broken.

This might equally hack off those experienced users who switch off Javascript and know what they are doing.

As the web developer Ian Elliot pointed out here, it does mean that an internet where you could rely on Javascript being switched on would be simpler. 

Java developer builds Office in 30 days

 Microsoft might be a little spooked after a Java developer announced that he knocked up a basic open source office suite that runs on multiple OSes in just 30 days.

Anthony Goubard has created Joeffice which works on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux as well as in browsers.

It is a basic package which includes a word processor, spreadsheet program, presentation program and database software.

It was built using NetBeans and uses many popular open source Java libraries, Goubard said.

He has been showing users how he did it on Youtube and he has released his alpha version already.

His outfit, Japplis, launched the suite, which is available under an Apache 2.0 licence. This allows companies to change and redistribute the code internally without having to share the new code publicly, he said.

Goubard hopes to make the suite available on mobile platforms and possibly the Raspberry Pi credit-card size PC.

It is not really meant to be as advanced as Vole’s office, or LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org but is designed for companies with specific needs such as obtaining data from a Java library, he said.

If all goes well, Goubard aims to release a full version of the suite next year.

You can download and play with Joeffice  here. You need Java 7 to get it to run. 

Android rules US smartphone market

The latest figures from ComScore show that Android now has dominance of the US smartphone market.

Comscore said that 104 million people in the US own a smartphone – and 50.1 percent of them are based on the Android operating system.

ComScore’s report focused on mobile use for the three months ending in February and is based on a survey of more than 30,000 mobile phone subscribers.

The company found that Google had continued to grow since November, when Android had 46.9 percent of the market share.

Apple’s gear was a long way behind with just 30.2 percent of the smartphone market, followed by RIM which dropped to 13.4 percent.

Other figures will be disappointing to Apple. Its former partner and now sworn enemy Samsung captured 25.6 percent of the market, with LG coming in second at 20.5 percent. 

Of course, it looks like Google’s plan all along was to open up Android to any manufacturer that wanted to use it, swamping the market in share almost by default.

Apple, for its part, has decided to put its trust in being a patent troll and trying to get Android banned from the world markets.

Google abandons CDMA

Google has decided to pull all references to CDMA phones and tablets from its Android website.

This includes source code and factory ROMs for Verizon’s CDMA version of the Galaxy Nexus and Motorola Xoom, as well as the Nexus S 4G.

The implication of this, according to one Android developer we have spoken to, is that Google can’t be bothered providing the  official updates for CDMA which is expected from “developer” hardware.

It looks like the GSM Nexus S and WiFi-only Motorola XOOM will still be supported and there are some references to the Galaxy Nexus CDMA/LTE, though these are marked as “archived, for reference only”.

In response, Google said that it had decided to remove CDMA devices from its official support documentation because the technology and software required to make them function correctly is closed-source.

According to Android Community, radios and other APK files for a CDMA device must be digitally signed by a carrier, something that can’t be open-sourced, and therefore isn’t included in the Android Open Source Project.

Writing in the forums, Google said that recent CDMA Android devices implement core telephony functionality in .apk files provided in binary form by the carriers.

To use them, .apk files must be signed by the so-called “platform” key, but if an individual creates a custom build from the AOSP source code, they don’t use the same signing key as these CDMA flies were signed with.

As a result, the files don’t work and pure AOSP builds running on these devices can’t place calls, access mobile data, and so on.

It said that it will try to make available as many as possible of the closed-source binaries for these devices, and Nexus devices will continue to have unlockable bootloaders. GSM/HSPA+ devices are still supported, as are any other devices it is able to support, Google claims.

So, Google is saying it will support the Galaxy Nexus LTE, Nexus S 4G and XOOM CDMA, at least as long as the hardware is compatible with updated versions of Android. However, it will not be at the same levels that GSM developers get.

The guess is that updates to the Galaxy Nexus will come through Verizon which means the phone company can delay or ignore updates. 

Apple just does not give up in Android battle

It is fast becoming clear that Apple is carrying out its dead CEO’s orders to shut down Android by any legal means possible.

Apple is not having a good time of it lately, with most courts either invalidating its patents or refusing to ban its rivals products from sale without proof.

Now it seems that Apple is not giving up and has filed another patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung in Germany, this time calling for a sales ban on 10 smartphones it says violate its design rights.

The new court case does not make much sense, other than to satisfy Apple’s Steve Jobs’ promise to waste every penny his company has made trying to shut down Google’s Android. Jobs, who famously admitting stealing other people’s ideas, thought it was morally wrong that anyone produce anything that looked like the ideas he stole.

According to the Times of India, Apple’s new claims have been filed in the Dusseldorf Regional Court, and call for a ban on the Galaxy S II, Galaxy S Plus and eight other models.

Jobs’ Mob has also filed a suit against five Samsung tablets “related to a September ruling” that imposes a sales ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Samsung redesigned the Galaxy Tab 10.1N, which the Dusseldorf court said in December is different enough from the iPad that “it is unlikely to grant an injunction” against the new design. So it is not clear what the five tablets are that Apple thinks look like the Galaxy Tab 10.1.

The Galaxy Tab 10.1 ruling was on shaky ground as an appeals court also voiced doubts about the reach of Apple’s European Union design right, which won the company the injunction against it in the first place.

All that Apple appears to be doing is repeating its tablet antics against Samsung with smartphones. The smartphone case is set to go to the courts in August and the case against Samsung’s tablets will follow in September.

It could all go pear shaped for both companies. Last year the scrap between the two caught the eye of the European Commission, which is conducting an antitrust investigation into the two. 

Galaxy S and Tab will not get new Android OS

Samsung has angered its Galaxy S smartphone and the 7-inch Galaxy Tab owners by refusing to upgrade the gadgets to run the latest version of Android.

According to its website,  Samsung will not update the two toys to Android 4.0, because it is too much like hardwork to upgrade additional software features on the toys.

The Samsung S and seven inch tab have software like TouchWiz, widgets, video calling and carrier software pack-ins and if they are upgraded to Android 4 they will not have the RAM to run properly.

Many users will be surprised by all this. The Galaxy S, would have expected the 1GHz Hummingbird processor and accompanying memory to be able to handle ICS after all it is the same hardware that runs the Nexus S and it can do Android 4.0.

However Samsung said that the Nexus S only has to run the basic Android OS, whereas the Galaxy S has to deliver TouchWiz, carrier services, video calling software, and, in some markets, mobile TV.

When HTC was in a similar position when upgrading the Desire to Gingerbread it was forced to disable some functions of its own Android skin, Sense, in order to make the upgrade fit.

However many users will be really cross as Ice Cream Sandwich adds a number of new features to devices on the platform, the main one being the unification of the OS for both tablets and smartphones, as well as the addition of software-based buttons that replace the ones that have been physical buttons. 

Android 4 ends up on AMD tablets

Google’s Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” operating system has been ported to work with x86 processors in a move which could help AMD elbow its way into a market dominated by ARM.

Android 4.0 is used on tablets and smartphones but by porting it to AMD chips it could also see the light of day in cheap and cheerful laptops and netbooks too.

When Android 4 hit the shops in October, Google said that it should run on ARM and AMD chips, but the Android 4.0 SDK so far supports only ARM.

Chih-Wei of the Android-x86 project  made the announcement that all is ready here – open source effort has ported the source code of Android 4.0.1 to work with tablets based on the low-power x86 Brazos, which are headed for netbooks and low-end laptops.

Generally we are not seeing a lot of AMD chips in this market other than inside the MSI WindPad 110W. Thanks to the port, Android 4.0 based on x86 chips could be on the horizon, but using AMD’s cheaper chips rather than Intel’s somewhat dull and expensive Atoms.

What we are surprised about is that neither Google, nor AMD thought to do the work themselves as it gives both an advantage in the marketplace.

As it is, the open source port of Android 4.0.1 to x86 is still under development. The team got their source code using Wi-Fi, multitouch, and hardware graphics acceleration capabilities. However it still can’t run sound, camera, and Ethernet networking. 

Android continues to rule roost

Phones based on Google’s Android operating system are continuing to gain market share.

According to Gartner figures, in the third quarter of the year Android ran on an estimated 52.5 per cent of all smartphones sold.

The analyst house points out that this is more than doubling its market share from the third quarter of 2010. Roberta Cozza, Gartner’s principal research analyst, told the Sydney Morning Herald that Android benefits from more mass-market offerings, a weaker competitive environment and the lack of exciting new products on alternative operating systems such as Windows Phone 7.

Meanwhile Apple’s market share suffered from delayed purchases as consumers waited for the new iPhone.

But Android appears more to be gaining at the expense of RIM’s performance. Its smartphone share reached its lowest point so far in the US market, where it dropped to 10 percent.

The market for smartphones is growing too. It increased by 42 percent year over year in the third quarter, with about 115.2 million handsets sold worldwide.

Gartner said that the the overall mobile phone market grew by 5.6 percent from a year ago with about 440.5 million phones sold. One in four phones sold is a smartphone.

It is the first time that Android has taken more than half of the smartphone market. In the second quarter of the year, Android accounted for 43.4 per cent of all smartphones sold.

Gartner thinks that iPhone’s sales will increase in the final quarter of the year as consumers take to the 4S and the older iPhone 4 and 3GS have had price cuts.