The NewsDemon Blog

Newsgroups Report Linux Founder Trovalds Likes Google Nexus One

February 8th, 2010

linus-trovalds-google-nexus-one

Linus Torvalds is a programmer and has been known as an honest man. So when he finds something he likes he says so, without artifice, and that’s all it means. Torvalds is the person who created the ever popular open-source Linux kernel which forms the cornerstone of the Android operating system that runs the Google Nexus One alongside a host of operating systems, software and naturally, newsreaders.

Linus Torvalds, who had announced his creation of Linux on USENET newsgroups has proclaimed that the “Google Nexus One is a winner”. Unsurprisingly, the man who invented the most popular open source operating system in the world is a “happy camper” over the fact that this cellphone runs Linux. But Linux alone wasn’t enough to get Linus on board with the rest of the smartphone crazy 21rst century. His previous phones, in fact—the ones he mostly used to “play Galaga” on long flights—also had various versions of Linux, but lacked that certain spark.

After a week of using the new smartphone, Torvalds is now raving about the Google Android based Nexus One:

“I generally hate phones. They’re irritating and disturb you as you work or read or whatever – and a cell phone to me is just an opportunity to be irritated wherever you are,” Torvalds said in a blog post. “But I have to admit, the Nexus One is a winner.”

Torvalds has owned a number of phones before, including Google’s G1 device and ‘one of the early China-only Motorola Linux phones’, but it took for Google to add multi-touch capabilities to the Nexus One before he finally broke down and bought one from the company’s web store. The device can run open-source software created for the Android device including a couple of newsreaders.

Google’s Android operating system used in the Nexus One is built atop a Linux foundation, but the applications typically don’t run on the Linux. Instead, as Android and Google related newsgroups discuss, they run atop Linux on a Java-like layer, Google’s Dalvik virtual machine and accompanying software libraries.  Through that technology, another open source foundation, Mozilla, is working on a version of Firefox browser for Android.  Recently, newsgroups had discussed rumors that Google was struggling with Nexus One sales, so an unsolicited celebrity endorsement such as this couldn’t have come at a better time.

‘I no longer feel like I’m dragging a phone with me “just in case”’ Linus Torvalds says, ‘… now I’m having a useful (and admittedly pretty good-looking) gadget instead. The fact you can use it as a phone too is kind of secondary.’

Read more about Linus Torvalds, Linux and the Google Android operating system on the largest forum on the planet, USENET newsgroups. Recently, Linux celebrated its 18th Birthday

 

Samsung and Netbook Maker Announce Android Devices

April 27th, 2009

Two Android powered devices have recently been announced, growing the exposure and the adoption of the Google OS. The open source operating system is being displayed in new phones and netbooks. The Android OS currently supports Usenet newsgroups by means of the mobile version of Google Groups as well as a 3rd party newsreader application.

Samsung released its first handset based on Google’s Android platform, the I7500. O2 Germany will launch the phone in June. The candybar handset will have tri-band 7.2 Mbps HSDPA (in the 900 MHz, 1700 MHz and 2100 MHz bands), WiFi, a 3.2-inch AMOLED touchscreen display, a 5-megapixel camera and 8GB of internal storage (with a microSD slot capable of holding up to an additional 32GB). It also has Bluetooth 2.0, GPS and a 3.5 mm headset jack. The phone does not have a physical keyboard.

This model will have a tablet shape and an HVGA display. Users will need to depend on the touchscreen for text input and dialing numbers, as there is no hardware keyboard.

With the introduction of the I7500, there are now two handset makers currently selling Android phones. HTC has unveiled both the G1 and the Magic, and plans on releasing at least two more Android handsets by the end of the year. LG Electronics and Motorola have also indicated their intentions to release Android phones this year, as have smaller firms such as Acer and Huawei.

In the netbook market, Skytone announced the first Android-powered netbook earlier this week, when the Alpha 680 quietly appeared on the company’s website. The Alpha 680 is to be the first netbook to carry the Google Android platform from Guangzhou Skytone Transmission Technologies Company LTD. The Alpha 680 will run a low cost ARM chip and is expected to become available possibly within the next 3 months.

Roughly priced at $250, the Alpha 680 will run on Google’s Android operating system, and will make use of the economical and energy-efficient ARM processor – used in mobile phones, including iPhone – rather than the commonly-used Atom processor used in most netbooks.

The current prototypes measure 8.5 inches long, 6 inches wide and 1.2 inches thick, which is small enough to inside a small bag. The unit will also be very lightweight at just 700g (1.5lbs) and between 2 to 4 hours of battery life out of the Alpha 680’s 2-cell battery. ARM 11 533MHz processor,128MB RAM and 1GB of flash storage are standard on the device. An optional upgrade to 256MB RAM and 4GB flash storage is possible. For those that want more, a SDHC slot is also supported.

They were showcased at Hongkong’s electronics trade show last week and will likely be readied by June, with the final product to become available within a couple of months after that.

Currently, the only supported newsreader for the Android OS is the Groundhog Newsreader.

 

Mobile Application Usenet Newsgroup Newsreaders For iPhone, Android and Windows Mobile

April 13th, 2009

Looking to access newsgroups while on the go? Nowadays its easier than ever, especially with current gen phones.

For the ever popular Apple iPhone, NewsTap is available as a Usenet newsreader for the devices, including the iTouch. Features include:

  • It’s easy and simple to subscribe, manage and read news groups.
  • The application fully supports the portrait and landscape mode.
  • Limited support for binary groups so photos and pictures can be displayed as well. It’s possible to add photoes into the photo album.
  • Quotes are displayed in different colors. Hyperlinks can be opened in the web browser Safari.
  • Optimized article layout for the small iPhone display. The original layout is also available.
  • Navigate articles via thread tree or by flicking with one finger.
  • Filter available for read articles and quotes.
  • Build-in help, which explains all the application features.
  • Backup feature (requires a Macintosh computer and the Mac application “NewsTap Backup Tool”), which can be used to save and restore preferences and subscriptions. This feature can also be used to import export “newsrc” files so you can synchronize NewsTap with other Newsreader applications on your Mac. This feature requires a Mac, currently it doesn’t work with Windows.

It is available for $4.00 on the iPhone App Store. NewsTap is pretty easy to navigate and as noted by the list of features, has many different options to customize the iPhone newsreader to your liking. NewsTap Lite is also available for trial use.

For the Android platform, Almarsoft has released Groundhog Newsreader. Some of the features include:

  • Online/Offline modes, so you can choose to download the messages anywhere or in bulk when you have a fast connection (like WI-FI.)
  • Easy reading using colors for the different levels of quoting.
  • Screen to easily select what lines to quote when replying to someone.
  • Messages are grouped by thread using separators to clearly define thread changes and thread level indicators.
  • Starring of users and authors.
  • Banning by thread and author (don’t feed the trolls!)
  • Mail forwarding of Usenet messages.
  • Configurable text size.
  • Group search.

Although currently in beta, the Groundhog Newsreader is pretty stable on the Android system with little to no comments of any crashing (as often is the case with 3rd party applications) with its latest releases. Best of all, its Free.

For Windows Mobile, you can use Outlook or your mail client as your newsreader. However, you may want to try a 3rd party Usenet newsreader such as Qmail or Qusnetsoft NewsReaders available for the device. These programs have not been tested by us, but does seem to get good reviews, which features:

  • NNTP, RSS and RDF Transport support.
  • SSL Encryption for NNTP support.
  • NNTP Authentication support.
  • Online and Offline reading.
  • HTML and Attaches support.
  • Working with several servers.
  • Working without PC Synchronization.
  • Today Screen Plugin.
  • VGA Resolution Display support.
  • Autobackup and Autorestore.
 

Newsgroup Spotlight: Cell Phones on Usenet

February 4th, 2009

It’s undeniable that cell phones are being used less and less nowadays as a phone. Recently, research studies have suggested that cell phones are being relied upon for everything from using your email to downloading and playing favorite tunes and videos. The future of this market seems only to be increasing by the day as phone manufacturers rush to supply the latest and greatest. The iPhone, G1, Blackberry Storm and the new Palm Pre are all examples of these all-in-one devices that are quick to cater to the flood.

A great source for both fans and owners of these devices have been found on newsgroups. From development to the technology in which they’re based, many newsgroups are hosts to dedicated discussions of the different phones and platforms they’re based upon.
As an example, newsgroups such as misc.phone.mobile.iphone hosts general discussions of fans of the iPhone. Users of the recently released Google phone, the G1, have been active on alt.cellular.t-mobile – the only US Carrier suporting the phone. While patiently awaiting fans of the new Palm Pre have been getting leaked details of the new phone on alt.comp.os.palm. Other newsgroups dedicated to the development of the platforms and the phones themselves have been an invaluable resource for developers. The newsgroups have been responsible for creating and maintaining some of the core functions these phones feature.
General chatter on providers, service and technology also are prominent on Usenet. For the US, alt.cellular.attwsand alt.att have been a meeting ground regarding ATT service, while the UK community meets upon groups such as uk.telecom.mobile and tw.bbs.rec.mobilecomm.
Many other newsgroups exist on the subject as well that cater to different phones and providers alonside the other thousands of newsgroups that exist on Usenet today. Many of these newsgroups came into existence even before there products were released, as others will be created as technology and advancements are made.