YouTube Music will replace Google Play Music but won’t kill user uploads

Enlarge / The home screen of the revamped YouTube Music app, running on an iPad. (credit: Jeff Dunn)

Google has confirmed that its revamped YouTube Music streaming service will eventually support key features of its Google Play Music app, including the ability for users to upload music files that may not exist in the service’s streaming catalog.

Google announced an overhaul for YouTube Music last week alongside a price bump for its YouTube Red service. It then began a “soft” rollout of the app for select users on Tuesday.

But the announcement of a revamped YouTube Music app has caused some confusion among those who subscribe to Google Play Music, a streaming music service Google launched in 2011 but has struggled to attract subscribers on the level of category leaders Spotify and Apple Music.

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Don’t expect Apple to combine macOS and iOS anytime soon

At the end of 2017, Bloomberg reported that Apple will merge its Mac and iOS software codebases. This would enable designers to create a single version that works on both platforms — and it was rumored to come as early as this year. But the tech giant’s CEO Tim Cook denied this, stating that a merger would inevitably require diluting one operating system to make software compatible with the other. The compromises wouldn’t be what users actually want.

Via: Apple Insider

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Next Gen Intel Processors Feature Redesigned Hardware to Address Spectre, Meltdown

In order to protect against the recent Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced today that the company’s next generation of processors will feature redesigned components.

The CEO added that Variant 1 of the vulnerabilities will continue to be addressed via software, while Variants 2 and 3 will be addressed with the hardware changes.

According to Krzanich, these changes will begin with Intel’s next-generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors (code-named Cascade Lake) as well as 8th Generation Intel Core processors that expected to ship in the second half of 2018.

Intel also released a video today (above) with more information to help viewers understand Spectre and Meltdown.

Developers love trendy new languages, but earn more with functional programming

(credit: Stack Exchange)

Developer Q&A site Stack Overflow performs an annual survey to find out more about the programmer community, and the latest set of results has just been published.

JavaScript remains the most widely used programming language among professional developers, making that six years at the top for the lingua franca of Web development. Other Web tech including HTML (#2 in the ranking), CSS (#3), and PHP (#9). Business-oriented languages were also in wide use, with SQL at #4, Java at #5, and C# at #8. Shell scripting made a surprising showing at #6 (having not shown up at all in past years, which suggests that the questions have changed year-to-year), Python appeared at #7, and systems programming stalwart C++ rounded out the top 10.

These aren’t, however, the languages that developers necessarily want to use. Only three languages from the most-used top ten were in the most-loved

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iTunes Store drops support for Windows Vista on May 25th

Ah, 2007: the days when Windows Vista was all the rage (or inducing rage), the Apple TV was brand new and music download stores were the hottest way to get the latest albums. Apple certainly remembers that year… and would like you to move on. The company has posted a support page warning that the iTunes Store will no longer work on Windows XP, Windows Vista and first-generation Apple TVs as of May 25th. iTunes itself will function, but new purchases and re-downloads are off limits. “Security changes” necessitate dropping these older platforms, Apple said.

Via: MacRumors

Source: Apple

The interface to send out a missile alert in Hawaii is, as expected, quite bad

Enlarge / A morning view of the city of Honolulu, Hawaii is seen on January 13, 2018.
Social media ignited on January 13, 2018 after apparent screenshots of cell phone emergency alerts warning of a “ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii” began circulating, which US officials quickly dismissed as “false.”
(Eugene Tanner/AFP/Getty Images) (credit: Getty Images)

The Honolulu Civil Beat claims to have obtained a picture of the interface used to send out tests and missile alerts to the people of Hawaii, and it’s not pretty.

It appears the employee who sent out the mobile and broadcast missile alert that sent Hawaii into a panic for 38 minutes on Saturday was supposed to choose “DRILL – PACOM (CDW) – STATE ONLY” but instead chose “PACOM (CDW) – STATE ONLY” from an unordered list of equally unintuitive and difficult-to-read options.

Alienware revamps its Command Center app with a centralized game hub

Enlarge / The revamped Alienware Command Center’s home screen, with its game library on the right. (credit: Jeff Dunn)

Another quick update out of CES: Gaming PC maker Alienware is refreshing the Command Center software that comes paired with its line of notebooks and desktops. The overhauled settings app will first arrive in February on a slightly updated version of the company’s Area 51 desktop, which loses a front USB port, adds a couple more fans and U.2 SSD support, and supports a wider breadth of LED colors on its chassis. The software will then come pre-installed on new Alienware devices going forward. Unfortunately, it won’t be available for the Dell subsidiary’s existing machines.

Apple updates macOS and iOS to address Spectre vulnerability

Just a few days after Apple disclosed how it would be dealing with the Meltdown bug that affects modern computers, it’s pushed out fixes for the Spectre exploit as well. iOS 11.2.2 includes “Security improvements to Safari and WebKit to mitigate the effects of Spectre,” the company writes on its support page, while the macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 Supplemental Update does the same for your Mac laptop or desktop. Installing this update on your Mac will also update Safari to version 11.0.2.

Via: Rene Ritchie

Source: Apple iOS, Apple macOS

Meltdown and Spectre: Here’s what Intel, Apple, Microsoft, others are doing about it

Enlarge (credit:

The Meltdown and Spectre flaws—two related vulnerabilities that enable a wide range of information disclosure from every mainstream processor, with particularly severe flaws for Intel and some ARM chips—were originally revealed privately to chip companies, operating system developers, and cloud computing providers. That private disclosure was scheduled to become public some time next week, enabling these companies to develop (and, in the case of the cloud companies, deploy) suitable patches, workarounds, and mitigations.

With researchers figuring out one of the flaws ahead of that planned reveal, that schedule was abruptly brought forward, and the pair of vulnerabilities was publicly disclosed on Wednesday, prompting a rather disorderly set of responses from the companies involved.

There are three main groups of companies responding to the Meltdown and Spectre pair: processor companies, operating system companies, and cloud providers. Their reactions have been quite varied.

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Apple’s original graphical OS will be available for free in 2018

If you’ve ever wanted to try Apple’s graphical interface on the Lisa, the computer that preceded the Mac, you’ve been relegated to either using an emulator or (if you’re lucky) tracking down one of the rare, expensive machines. Thankfully, it’s about to get much easier. The Computer History Museum’s Al Kossow has revealed that the source code for the Lisa’s operating system and programs will be published for free sometime in 2018. And this isn’t some unofficial effort — Apple is reviewing the code itself.

Via: Gizmodo

Source: Google Groups

Apple Final Cut Pro X is ready to edit VR video

Apple isn’t just making the iMac Pro available to order — it’s also updating the creative software you’ll likely run on that iMac. A new upgrade to Final Cut Pro X adds support for both newer video technology and some key color editing tools. Most notably, the editing tool now handles VR video — you can edit 360-degree footage at high resolutions (8K “and beyond”), complete with motion graphics. And if you need to see how your work looks, you can preview it in real-time on an HTC Vive or other compatible headsets.

Source: Apple

Microsoft’s Q# quantum programming language out now in preview

Enlarge (credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft today launched a preview version of a new programming language for quantum computing called Q#. The industry giant also launched a quantum simulator that developers can use to test and debug their quantum algorithms.

The language and simulator were announced in September. The then-unnamed language was intended to bring traditional programming concepts—functions, variables, and branches, along with a syntax-highlighted development environment complete with quantum debugger—to quantum computing, a field that has hitherto built algorithms from wiring up logic gates. Microsoft’s hope is that this selection of tools, along with the training material and documentation, will open up quantum computing to more than just physicists.

Given that quantum computers are still rare, Microsoft has built an as-yet-unnamed quantum simulator to run those quantum programs. The local version, released as part of the preview, can support programs using up to 32 quantum bits (qubits), using some 32GB

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Chrome to stop third-party software injections because they make it crash

Enlarge / This will hurt… a lot. (credit: ZaldyImg)

To boost the stability of Chrome, Google has announced that it’s going to start blocking third-party software from being injected into the browser.

Third-party software such as anti-virus scanners and video driver utilities often injects libraries into running processes to do things like inspect network traffic, or add custom menu options to menus. Malicious software can also do the same to spy on users, steal passwords, and similar. Google has found that people who have such injected code are 15 percent more likely to see their browser crash. As such, it’s going to start blocking such injections.

The change will start in Chrome 66, due in April 2018. If that version crashes, it will warn users that there is something injected that could be causing problems. Chrome 68, due in July 2018, will start blocking the injection; if the browser

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Apple fixes macOS bug allowing full access without a password

It didn’t take long for Apple to patch that nasty macOS High Sierra flaw that let intruders gain full administrator access (aka root) on your system. The company has released Security Update 2017-001, which should prevent people from gaining control over a Mac just by putting “root” in the username and hitting the Return key a few times. Needless to say, you’ll want to apply this fix as soon as you can if you’re running Apple’s latest desktop OS.

Source: Apple

Your face might do more than just unlock the new iPhone

Apple’s latest secret leak was from its own documentation — and it’s given plenty for developers to chew over. The latest code snippets shared by Guilherme Rambo and Steve Troughton-Smith offer all kinds of tantalising details that may (almost certainly) come with that new iPhone — whichever model that may be. Not only are there further suggestions that the physical Home button will be ditched, but according to Troughton-Smith, some pointers inside the firmware for Apple’s incoming HomePod suggest that a new iPhone could have a screen with a resolution far beyond that found existing models, as well as mentions of facial expression detection.

Source: Twitter (@stroughtonsmith), (@_inside)

Next Windows 10 update won’t include the most exciting promised feature

Resuming an activity in Windows Timeline. (video link)

Arguably the most interesting forthcoming Windows 10 features that Microsoft showed off at its Build developer conference this year were “Timeline” and “Pick Up Where I Left Off.” Timeline lets you both go “back in time”—to recreate prior working environments and restore opened documents and files—while PUWILO would enable a working session to be moved between devices—for example, migrating that half-written e-mail from your phone to your PC when you get into work.

The assumption was that these features would be part of the Fall Creators Update (FCU), the next major Windows 10 update that’s scheduled for around September this year. But Microsoft has now confirmed that that’s not to be the case after all. Joe Belfiore, in charge of the Windows Experience and Edge browser, tweeted that Timeline won’t be in the FCU after all. Instead, it’ll be included in

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iOS 11 preview: Full of promise, especially on bigger screens

As always, Apple spent a considerable chunk of WWDC earlier this month hyping up iOS 11 and all of the new features it brings. Now it’s your turn to take them for a spin. The first public release of the iOS 11 beta goes live today for people participating in Apple’s testing program, and we’ve been playing with it for a few days to get a better sense of what it has to offer. Long story short, it’s already shaping up to be a very valuable, very comprehensive release.

In order to find out for yourself, you’ll need the right hardware: an iPhone 5s or newer, an iPad mini 2 or newer or a sixth-generation iPod touch. Before you replace your iVessel’s perfectly functional software with something that’s still months away from being ready, keep reading for a primer on what to expect.

According to statistics, programming with spaces instead of tabs makes you rich

Enlarge (credit: Kai Hendry)

Stop the world, I want to get off.

The annual Stack Overflow developer surveys often include lots of bad news. “People still use PHP,” for example, is a recurring and distressing theme. “Perl exists” is another.

But never before has the survey revealed something as devastatingly terrible as the 2017 survey. Using PHP and Perl are matters of taste. Extremely masochistic taste, certainly, but nobody is wrong for using those languages; it’s just the programming equivalent of enjoying Adam Sandler movies. But the 2017 survey goes beyond taste; it goes into deep philosophical questions of right and wrong, and it turns out that being wrong pays more than being right.

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Watch Apple’s WWDC keynote live at 1PM ET

The day has come. It’s time for Apple’s annual developer conference to kick off and you can watch it live from wherever you’ll be at 1PM ET/10AM PT. The company is keeping with its tradition of broadcasting the WWDC opening keynote for all the world to watch via the internet and Apple TV. When the time comes, tune in here (or on your set-top box) to catch all of the news as it’s announced from San Jose. Yes, if you’re watching on the web, you’ll have to do so with either Safari or Microsoft’s Edge browser.

You’ll also want to keep our liveblog open in a separate window to catch commentary from the crew on the ground. And while you wait for the festivities to begin, check out what we expect to be announced later today with our WWDC 2017 preview.

Get all the latest news from WWDC 2017 here!

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After Nintendo Switch, does the 3DS have a future?

Nintendo has recently said that its portable 3DS still has “has a long life in front of it” and that it will “coexist just fine in the marketplace” alongside the recently launched hybrid Switch. Last night’s announcement of a new 2DS XL redesign also suggests Nintendo might not be done supporting its aging portable platform, despite the Switch’s monumental market success so far.

If recent history is any guide, though, the 3DS will only enjoy a few more years of active support from Nintendo before being fully phased out.

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