Category Archives: News

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IRIX community proposes to reverse-engineer the last 32 bit IRIX kernel

Source: OSNews

Article note: That is an odd project - while the userland was interesting, Irix's kernel was (AFIK) not particularly special, at least not until later. It has always been Unix-brand-Unix with occasionally some BSD derived extensions before they were folded in. The 5.3 release they're talking about is directly SVR4 derived, and it didn't pick up the interesting in-house scalable MP extensions until 6.4, so the kernel they're working is essentially a MIPS port of SVR4.

The IRIX Network, the primary community for SGI and IRIX enthousiasts, has announced a fundraising effort to reverse-engineer the last 32 bit version of the IRIX kernel.

IRIX-32, so named for its basis on kernel and APIs of the last 32-bit compatible IRIX (5.3) is a proposed reverse engineering project to be conducted by a team of developers in the US and the EU.

Purpose: We will reverse engineer the version 5.3 kernel with future goal of producing a fully open source reference implementation. This is the first major step and the delivery will be documentation and reference material to enable effective emulation and driver development for IRIX.

This is huge. If they can do this, they will save the operating system from an inevitable demise. I’m of course 100% behind this, and the total costs of 8500 dollars – 6500 from the fundraiser, 1000 as a donation from the IRIX Network itself, and 1000 from a few companies still using IRIX – is definitely realistic in the sense that they should be able to meet their goal. It’s not a lot of money, and it’s not meant as fair compensation for the work delivered – the teams of developers involved know this and aren’t asking for such either.

The thread so far is a great read. They haven’t selected a fundraising platform yet, but I am definitely throwing money their way once they do.

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Raspberry Pi/PlatformIO conflict blocks support for Pico-Arduino toolchain

Source: Hacker News

Article note: Apparently PlatformIO tried to shake down the Pi foundation for ongoing funding in order to accept community-contributed RP2040 support? I was playing with various STM32 toolchains for the last few weeks (CubeIDE, the two Arduino cores, libopencm3+gnu parts),and it was one I was going to consider but... That's distasteful.
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Halo and Destiny developer Bungie reboots classic FPS franchise Marathon

Source: Ars Technica

Article note: Looks like they're using the name of their groundbreaking and beloved old single-player story driven franchise for a typical modern lootbox as a service multiplayer shooter.

Marathon trailer.

It's been more than 25 years since the last game in the storied Marathon first-person shooter franchise came out, but developer Bungie is (sort of) returning to its roots by rebooting the IP with a new game simply titled Marathon.

The game was revealed as a PlayStation 5 title in a short cinematic trailer during Sony's not-E3 "PlayStation Showcase" stream Wednesday afternoon. That said, it is also coming to PC and Xbox Series X/S. Bungie says it will support cross-play and cross-save between those platforms, just like the developer's current flagship title, Destiny 2.

The cross-platform nature of it wasn't a foregone conclusion though, as Sony closed an acquisition of Bungie in July 2022. This is Bungie's first non-Destiny title in 13 years.

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PyPI Was Subpoenaed

Source: Hacker News

Article note: This is a solid transparency report: it states that they complied at the advice of legal council, shows reasonably precisely how they complied and what data can be exposed by the process, and says they're revising their data retention policies to manage exposure in the future.
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Built-in ChatGPT-driven Copilot will transform Windows 11 starting in June

Source: Ars Technica

Article note: The hype cycle is fully out of control. Always on, connected, data harvesting, AI enabled ...Clippy.
Windows Copilot is an AI-assisted feature coming to Windows 11 preview builds starting in June.

Enlarge / Windows Copilot is an AI-assisted feature coming to Windows 11 preview builds starting in June. (credit: Microsoft)

A couple of months ago, Microsoft added generative AI features to Windows 11 in the form of a taskbar-mounted version of the Bing chatbot. Starting this summer, the company will be going even further, adding a new ChatGPT-driven Copilot feature that can be used alongside your other Windows apps. The company announced the change at its Build developer conference alongside another new batch of Windows 11 updates due later this year. Windows Copilot will be available to Windows Insiders starting in June.

Like the Microsoft 365 Copilot, Windows Copilot is a separate window that opens up along the right side of your screen and assists with various tasks based on what you ask it to do. A Microsoft demo video shows Copilot changing Windows settings, rearranging windows with Snap Layouts, summarizing and rewriting documents that were dragged into it, and opening apps like Spotify, Adobe Express, and Teams. Copilot is launched with a dedicated button on the taskbar.

"Once open, the Windows Copilot side bar stays consistent across your apps, programs and windows, always available to act as your personal assistant. It makes every user a power user, helping you take action, customize your settings, and seamlessly connect across your favorite apps," wrote Microsoft Chief Product Officer Panos Panay.

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[Approved] Plasma 6 Proposal: incubate SDDM (#91) · Issues · Plasma / Plasma Desktop · GitLab

Source: Published articles

Article note: Woo! SDDM is great, but hasn't had a release in like 4 years, despite major patches in git (like... working Wayland support major). Sending some resources their way would be awesome.
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FBI abused spy law but only like 280,000 times in a year

Source: The Register

Article note: This is ...more or less exactly what everyone said would happen.

Well, well, well, if it isn't the Leaning Tower of FISA again

The FBI misused controversial surveillance powers more than 278,000 times between 2020 and early 2021 to conduct warrantless searches on George Floyd protesters, January 6 rioters who stormed the Capitol, and donors to a Congressional campaign, according to a newly unclassified court opinion.…

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Envisioning a Simplified Intel Architecture

Source: Hacker News

Article note: A new legacy-free x86_64 bring-up path gets talked about from time to time, but I hadn't seen any public work from Intel/AMD. This is a fleshed-out proposal that I could easily see going into production in the near future. (The presser also contains an amusing amount of passive-voice retcon about how things came to be the way they are).
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CodeWeavers Now Controlled by an Employee Ownership Trust

Source: Hacker News

Article note: That's pretty cool. In addition to other things, these are the people doing most of the Wine/Proton work, and having them be in a state less prone to private equity whims is a good thing. It looks like a much weaker form of employee ownership than a CoOp or something, but still leagues better than what usually happens these days.
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Disney’s absurdly expensive Star Wars hotel is shutting down

Source: The Verge - All Posts

Article note: I actually thought the concept was _super_ cool (a human-scale closed Starship for days-long RP) but uh... yeah it was niche and _absurdly_ expensive.
An image showing the inside of Disney’s Galactic Starcruiser experience
Photo by Chaim Gartenberg / The Verge

Disney World is shutting down the Galactic Starcruiser, the immersive Star Wars-themed hotel that costs around $5,000 for a two-night stay. In an update on Disney’s website, the company says the Starcruiser will host its final guests from September 28th to the 30th.

“We are so proud of all of the Cast Members and Imagineers who brought Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser to life and look forward to delivering an excellent experience for Guests during the remaining voyages over the coming months,” Disney’s update says. “Thank you to our Guests and fans for making this experience so special.”

Disney’s Galatic Starcruiser hasn’t been around for long, as it only first opened its doors to guests in March 2022. The lavish hotel is modeled after...

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