CUPS is the popular open-source printing system that many projects have used successfully as a core, for desktop printing and as the basis of dedicated print servers. Reader donadony writes with word that Apple "has chosen to abandon certain Linux exclusive features, [while] continuing with popular Mac OS X features. The changeover is being attempted by Apple to set new printing standards that will not require 'drivers' in the future." However, as this message from Tim Waugh at Red Hat points out, all is not lost: "Where they are of use for the Linux environment, those orphaned features will continue to be maintained at OpenPrinting as a separate project."
Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive
zacharye writes "A lawyer representing Proview International on Monday announced that the Intermediate People's Court in Huizhou, a city in southern China, ruled that distributors should stop selling iPads in China. From the article: 'The ruling, which was also reported widely in China's state media, may not have a far-reaching effect. In its battle with Apple, Proview is utilizing lawsuits in several places and also requesting commercial authorities in 40 cities to block iPad sales. Apple Inc. said in a statement Monday that its case is still pending in mainland China. The company has appealed to Guangdong's High Court against an earlier ruling in Proview's favor.'"
theodp writes "Microsoft is working on a touch-friendly version of Office for Windows 8, writes GeekWire's Todd Bishop. But what about Microsoft Office on the iPad? 'The decision,' Bishop says, 'will say a lot about Microsoft's priorities in this new era. The company can give Windows 8 a boost if it makes Office exclusive to Windows-based tablets. But that's also a risk. The iPad's momentum not only in the home but in the workplace opens the door for Office alternatives to take hold on the Apple tablet, posing a challenge to Microsoft Office.' Over at Minimal Mac, Patrick Rhone feels Microsoft has bigger problems than the lack of Office apps for iOS and Android. 'Like the curtain finally falling from the Wizard of Oz to find just a small, frail, man pretending to be far more powerful and relevant than he really was,' writes Rhone, 'Microsoft's biggest miss was allowing the world to finally see the truth behind the big lie — they were not needed to get real work done. Or anything done, really. And that will be what ultimately kills them.' Perhaps, but BusinessInsider — which finds it just can't quit Excel — also makes a case for why Microsoft should put Office on every platform. Speaking of the future of Office, did you ever notice how people use MS-Word to convince people to use Google Docs?"
An anonymous reader writes "A preliminary settlement has been reached in the class-action lawsuit brought against Apple in June 2010 over the 'Antennagate' fiasco. Ira Rothken, co-lead counsel for the case, says there are 21 million people entitled to either $15 or a free bumper. 'The settlement comes from 18 separate lawsuits that were consolidated into one. All share the claim that Apple was "misrepresenting and concealing material information in the marketing, advertising, sale, and servicing of its iPhone 4 — particularly as it relates to the quality of the mobile phone antenna and reception and related software." The settlement has its own Web site, www.iPhone4Settlement.com, which will be up in the coming weeks (the site doesn't go anywhere right now). There, customers will be able to get information about the settlement and how to make a claim. As part of the arrangement, e-mails will also be sent alerting original buyers to the settlement before April 30, 2012. The claims period is then open for 120 days.'"
Richard.Tao writes "The Fair Labor Association found that Apple's plant where iPhones and iPads are far better than those at garment factories or other facilities elsewhere in the country. A quote: 'The lead investigator stated "The facilities are first-class; the physical conditions are way, way above average of the norm."' Which leaves the question, what is the acceptable norm?"
bonch writes "After months of reporting on photos of iPad 3 screen parts, MacRumors finally obtained one for themselves and examined it under a microscope, confirming that the new screens will have twice the linear resolution of the iPad 2, with a whopping 2048x1536 pixel density. Hints of the new display's resolution were found in iBooks 2, which contains hi-DPI versions of its artwork. The iPad 3 is rumored to be launching in early March."
DJRumpy points out an article (based on a possibly paywalled WSJ report) describing how Google and other ad networks wrote code that would bypass the privacy settings of Apple's Safari web browser. 'The default settings of Safari block cookies "from third parties and advertisers," a setting that is supposed to only allow sites that the user is directly interacting with to save a cookie (client side data that remote web servers can later access in subsequent visits). ... The report notes that "Google added coding to some of its ads that made Safari think that a person was submitting an invisible form to Google. Safari would then let Google install a cookie on the phone or computer.' Google says this mischaracterizes what the code does, claiming it simply enables 'features for signed-in Google users on Safari who had opted to see personalized ads and other content — such as the ability to “+1” things that interest them.' Google adds that the data transferred between Safari and Google's servers was anonymized. John Battelle writes that the WSJ's story is sensationalist, but that it raises good questions about the practices of ad networks as well as Apple's efforts to stymie industry-standard practices.
adeelarshad82 writes "Earlier today Apple announced their next OS, Mountain Lion. According to an early look, OS X 10.8 does more to integrate social networking and file-synching into a personal computer than any other OS. It tightly integrates with the whole Apple ecosystem that includes iOS devices and the free iCloud sharing service. Moreover Mountain Lion adds a powerful new line of defense against future threats where a malware app is prevented from running even if it is deliberately downloaded to a computer. Even though Apple's clearly got a lot of fine-tuning to do—and possibly a few features to add, there's no doubt that Mountain Lion already looks very fine." Update: 02/16 15:04 GMT by T : New submitter StephenBrannen writes with some more details culled from CNET. The newest OS X has now been released to developers, with an official release date planned for this summer. "Mountain Lion, as it is called, will further blur the lines between iOS and its Mac OS. iOS features that are being ported include: Messages (replacing iChat), Notification Center, Game Center, Notes, and AirPlay mirroring. Also new to Mac OS is the addition of Gatekeeper, which should help prevent malware attacks on Apple products. Not announced is whether Siri will be ported to the Mac."
First time accepted submitter yankexpat writes "The patent battles in the mobile communications space have taken another turn, as Apple has asked a court for permission to sue the bankrupt Kodak for patent infringement. From the article: 'Apple Inc. asked a bankruptcy judge for permission to sue Eastman Kodak Co. over allegations it’s infringing patents that Apple says cover technologies used in printers, digital cameras and digital picture frames. Apple said in a filing yesterday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York that it intends to file a complaint against Kodak at the International Trade Commission and a corresponding suit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan based on patent-infringement claims. The suit will seek an order blocking Kodak’s infringement, according to the filing.'"
zacharye writes in with a story about Senior EVP of AT&T technology and network operations John Donovan's blog post detailing why customers with unlimited smartphone plans are getting throttled. "In an effort to justify its policies surrounding data service throttling for subscribers with unlimited smartphone data plans, AT&T on Tuesday issued a brief report regarding data usage on its nationwide wireless network. Senior EVP of AT&T technology and network operations John Donovan wrote on a company blog that data traffic on AT&T's network has grown a staggering 20,000% over the past five years. Usage has doubled between 2010 and 2011 according to the executive, due in large part to the proliferation of smartphones. AT&T sold more smartphones in the fourth quarter of 2011 than in any other quarter in its history. And because its smartphone subscribers use so much data, AT&T seems to suggest it has no choice but to put measures such as data throttling in place."
An anonymous reader writes "Recognizing Steve Jobs's immense contribution to music, he was the recipient of the Grammy Trustees Award at the Grammy's this past Sunday. The award is handed out annually to 'individuals who, during their careers in music, have made significant contributions, other than performance, to the field of recording.'" Eddy Cue, head of iTunes, accepted the Grammy in place of Jobs.
Sparrowvsrevolution writes "In the wake of news that the iPhone app Path uploads users' entire contact lists without permission, Forbes dug up a study from a group of researchers at the University of California at Santa Barbara and the International Security Systems Lab that aimed to analyze how and where iPhone apps transmit users' private data. Not only did the researchers find that one in five of the free apps in Apple's app store upload private data back to the apps' creators that could potentially identify users and allow profiles to be built of their activities; they also discovered that programs in Cydia, the most popular platform for unauthorized apps that run only on 'jailbroken' iPhones, tend to leak private data far less frequently than Apple's approved apps. The researchers ran their analysis on 1,407 free apps (PDF) on the two platforms. Of those tested apps, 21 percent of official App Store apps uploaded the user's Unique Device Identifier, for instance, compared with only four percent of unauthorized apps."
AZA43 writes "Amazon.com has blocked its Instant Video streaming service on BlackBerry PlayBook tablets, in an apparent effort to make its Kindle Fire device more attractive to tablet buyers. And it says Apple is the reason why it blocked the service. But the company hasn't blocked comparable Android tablets from streaming Instant Video, and Android tablets hold a much larger portion of the overall tablet market than PlayBooks. Amazon will likely succeed only in alienating customer with PlayBooks who have already purchased lots of streaming video content."
redletterdave writes "Apple announced on Monday that the Fair Labor Association has begun inspecting Foxconn's Chinese factories, upon Apple's request. Apple said that Auret van Heerden, the president of the FLA, is leading a group of labor rights experts in the first round of inspections at the sprawling plant in Shenzhen, China, more informally known as 'Foxconn City.' The FLA's independent assessment — completely supplementary to Apple's own auditing practices — will involve interviewing thousands of Foxconn employees about the working and living conditions, including working hours, compensation, managerial issues, and health and safety conditions. Foxconn has 'pledged full cooperation with the FLA,' and will reportedly allow unrestricted access to all of their operations. The investigative team will report their findings in early March on the FLA's website. Apple's other suppliers, including Quanta and Pegatron, will be inspected later this spring. By the time summer rolls around, the FLA hopes to have covered 90 percent of facilities where Apple products are built and assembled."
redletterdave writes "If you were expecting a radically different-looking tablet from the iPad 2, prepare for a minor letdown. In the same way Apple upgraded the iPhone 4 into the iPhone 4S, the exterior of the iPad 3 mirrors that of the iPad 2, despite completely renovated and upgraded innards. iLab Factory reportedly provided Sharp with the necessary parts to build the high-resolution iPad 3 display, and in a company blog post, various iPad 3 components are displayed alongside those of the iPad 2 for quick comparison. In addition to a new camera mount that will reportedly match or improve upon the 8-megapixel camera system in the iPhone 4S, the post also revealed that the iPad 3 will be approximately 1 mm thicker than its predecessor to house Apple's upgraded components, including a bigger battery, an improved camera, and a dual-LED lit system to make the 2048 x 1536 display even brighter."