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Jide Kills Remix OS

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Jide Kills Remix OS

Remix OS-- the desktop-style Android fork complete with floating windows, mouse and keyboard support, and a start button-- is no more, as developer Jide announces an end to its consumer products.

A simple announcement on the Jide website states work on "all existing products," including Remix OS software and various hardware products, is over. The company is even going to refund preorders on devices, such as the Remix IO and IO+ STBs, made on both Kickstarter and its online storefront starting from 15 August.

But why is Jide bringing such work to an end? Apparently this is due to a reshuffling of company priorities. As the announcement puts it, “over the past year, we received an increasing number of inquiries from enterprises in various industries, and began helping them build great tools for their organisations... [G]iven our existing resources, we decided to focus our company efforts solely on the enterprise space moving forward.”

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Dark Web Hosts New Mac Malware

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Dark Web Hosts New Mac Malware

Security news site Bleeping Computer discovers a pair of Mac malware strains on the Dark Web-- a piece of spyware dubbed MacSpy and MacRansom, an example of Mac ransomware.

The two pieces of malware are the work of the same developer (or cybercriminal group), and are found on almost identical Dark Web portals. Both websites run on a "closed" manner, meaning interested parties have to contact the malware creator for demo packages and the price negotiations.

Following the initial Bleeping Computer report, security researchers at Fortinet and AlienVault managed to get samples of the Mac malware. The two companies believe MacSpy and MacRansom are the work of an inexperienced coder, since MacRansom is not a digitally signed file (meaning it triggers security alerts if executed as a standard macOS installation) and MacSpy is built from code copy-pasted from Stack Overflow.

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Microsoft: Windows 10 PCs total 500 Million

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Microsoft: Windows 10 PCs total 500 Million

Microsoft opens the 2017 Build developer conference with the announcement that Windows 10 machines total 500 million, 8 months after it revealed 400m devices run on the latest version of the OS.

Back in April 2016 the company was hoping to have 1 billion devices running on Windows 10 by 2018. However, by July 2016 it was forced to revise the perhaps overly optimistic forecast, especially following the failure of Windows-powered smartphones to capture the imagination.

In fact, Microsoft was hoping to sell 50 million Windows 10 Mobile devices-- a number currently clocking at, well, around zero, leaving something of a gap in the expected userbase.

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Ubuntu Gives Up on Convergence

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Ubuntu Gives Up on Convergence

A blog post by Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth dashes the dream of PCs and smartphones running on the same version of Linux-- the company is going to stop working on Ubuntu for phones and tablets.

Instead, the next version of Ubuntu (18.04 LTS) will shift back to the GNOME desktop environment.

“We will continue to produce the most usable open source desktop in the world, to maintain the existing LTS releases, to work with our commercial partners to distribute that desktop, to support our corporate customers who rely on it, and to delight the millions of IoT and cloud developers who innovate on top of it,” Shuttleworth writes. "The choice, ultimately, is to invest in the areas which are contributing to the growth of the company."

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Remix OS Gets Mobile Version

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Remix OS Gets Mobile Version

Jide Technologies announces a new version of the Android-based Remix OS-- one designed for both smartphones and Android-based PCs armed with a new feature dubbed Remix Singularity.

Essentially Remix Singularity is an Android equivalent to Continuum, the Windows 10 feature allowing users to turn a smartphones into a PC by plugging in the necessary peripherals (such as a keyboard and monitor). Thus, the smartphone version of Remix OS has a UI ideal for smaller displays, but plugging the mobile device to a monitor or TV brings the full Remix OS UI seen in tablets and PCs.

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Windows 10 Cloud OS Leaks

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Windows 10 Cloud OS Leaks

Windows 10 Cloud could be the Microsoft answer to Google's ChromeOS. Twitter user adguard (@rgadguard) leaked this lightweight version of Windows 10-- and curious users took the risk and installed the leaked ISO file.

They discovered a stripped-down version of the OS able to only run Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps, something reminiscent of the short-lived Windows RT.

The UI looks very similar to that of regular Windows 10, with a task bar and integrated Cortana-powered search field. However, attempts at installing Win32 applications brings a message stating the OS "was made to help protect you and your device by exclusively running Windows Store apps."

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Windows 10 Arrives on Qualcomm Chips

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Windows 10 Arrives on Qualcomm Chips

Microsoft takes another stab at putting Windows on ARM-based chipsets-- a collaboration with Qualcomm brings about a full version of Windows 10 running on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor.

Machines running on such Snapdragon CPUs can support x86 Win 32 and universal Windows apps, including Adobe Photoshop, Windows 10 games and, of course, the likes of Office. A demo of the Windows 10 Enterprise Edition emulation running on the ARM-based Qualcomm CPU appears to be as smooth as expected, and can lead to what the two companies insist on calling "cellular PCs."

“We are excited to bring Windows 10 to the ARM ecosystem with Qualcomm Technologies,” Microsoft Windows and Devices Group VP Terry Myerson says. “We continue to look for ways to empower our customers to create wherever they are. Bringing Windows 10 to life with a range of thin, light, power-efficient and always-connected devices, powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon platform, is the next step in delivering the innovations our customers love-- touch, pen, Windows Hello, and more-- anytime, anywhere.”

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Parallels Updates Desktop for Mac

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Parallels Updates Desktop for Mac

Parallels announces Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac-- an update featuring macOS Sierra support-- together with Parallels Toolbox, a standalone app allowing users to perform simple tasks not tied to virtualisation.

Additions to Desktop 12 include "always on" Windows 10 in the background, instant Windows app launching, incremental backup and Windows update scheduling, improved Microsoft Edge, Outlook and Office 365 integration, the ability to assign special behaviours to Windows apps and Xbox app support. Another feature involves a partnership with Blizzard with support for the hit multiplayer shooter Overwatch.

Parallels also claims the update offers 90% faster snapshot creation, 60% faster VM suspension, 25% faster shared folder performance, 25% faster Visual Studio project compilation and up to 10% improvement in battery life for "certain environments."

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Chinese Opera Takeover Fails

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Chinese Opera Takeover Fails

Back in February Opera announced it received a $1.2 billion buyout offer from a Chinese consortium-- but it failed to get regulatory approval, leading to a partial acquisition of the company.

Dubbed the Kunqi Consortium, the buyer-to-be includes ISP mobile games distributor Beijing Kunlun Tech and billionaire Zhou Hongyi, owner of security and search company Qihoo 360.

According to Reuters, "U.S. privacy concerns would have led to an investigation into some of Opera's products that risked delaying the acquisition for up to a year." As a result, the involved parties to bypass regulatory issues by buying parts of Opera-- specifically its mobile phone and desktop computer browser business, performance and privacy apps division, technology licensing business and a stake in Chinese joint venture nHorizon-- for $500 million.

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