Did China copy Android in its new mobile operating system?

Today in Open Source: The Chinese launch their own mobile operating system. Plus: Best Bitcoin clients for Ubuntu and Linux, and Linux 3.13 released

China Operating System resembles Android

The Chinese have launched their own mobile operating system to compete with Android and iOS, according to the Register.

China is backing a mobile operating system designed to offer a state-approved alternative to foreign platforms.

Dubbed China Operating System (COS), the platform is set to launch first on handheld devices, with a possible expansion to other platforms.

The OS is said to be based on some flavor of the open-source kernel Linux, and is hoped to compete against Android and iOS in the mobile space.

More at The Register

Engadget thinks that the new mobile operating system seems to borrow from Android.

Ironically, all the COS variants -- in the form of phones, tablets, PCs and set-top boxes -- shown in the promo video after the break are very Android-like, and some of those features, like multitasking, content streaming and remote desktop, are nothing new.

Image credit: Engadget

More at Engadget

It really doesn't surprise me that China would do this, it makes sense in terms of improving language support though I find the security claim mentioned in The Register article as somewhat dubious.

And, as Engadget points out, it looks like they are borrowing some ideas from Android. I find this somewhat amusing since Android borrowed a lot of ideas from iOS back when it first launched. What's good for the goose is good for the gander, apparently. Engadget has a full slideshow of China Operating System screenshots, so make up your own mind about how close it is to Android.

I have to admit though that I'm always skeptical of government-run technology initiatives like this. Perhaps China can do it better than the federal government of these United States, but the track record for government projects like this really isn't very good.

And I wonder how many people in China would want to use a government-owned mobile operating system on their phones and tablets. What sort of limitations will the Chinese government impose on China Operating System? Nothing is free in life, so you know that there will most likely be some downsides to using it.

For the time being, I don't think Android has anything to worry about from China Operating System. Even the name seems a bit lame right now. Maybe they should call it Chindroid or perhaps Anchina?

Three Bitcoin clients for Ubuntu and Linux

Tech Drive-in has a list of what they think are the three best Bitcoin clients for Ubuntu and Linux. The article also includes install instructions for each client.

Bitcoin is going to be big, we predicted way back in 2010. The value of Bitcoin soared from a little over 1 USD in 2011 to a mammoth 1000 USD in 2013. Bitcoin is now a world-wide phenomenon with nearly 100,000 transactions every day. The revolutionary new "internet currency" is changing the world as we know it. Be it any platform, if you want to use Bitcoins, you have to have reliable Bitcoin clients. And here we'll discuss 3 of the best free Bitcoin clients available for Ubuntu (and Linux) and the required steps for installing each one of them.

Image credit: Tech Drive-in

More at Tech Drive-in

I've mostly ignored Bitcoin personally, I don't own any Bitcoins and don't have any plans to buy any. It's not something that I fully understand on a practical level, and I never invest in anything that I don't understand.

But it is good that these kinds of clients are available for Ubuntu and Linux in general. I know that there are plenty of folks out there who might find them useful.

I've included a video in the quote above for those of you who aren't familiar with Bitcoins. As always do your own due diligence before investing in anything. You can also read Wikipedia's article about Bitcoins:

Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer payment system and digital currency introduced as open source software in 2009 by pseudonymous developer Satoshi Nakamoto. It is a cryptocurrency, so-called because it uses cryptography to control the creation and transfer of money.[5] Users send payments by broadcasting digitally signed messages to the network. Participants known as miners verify and timestamp transactions into a shared public database called the block chain, for which they are rewarded with transaction fees and newly minted bitcoins.[6] Conventionally "Bitcoin" capitalized refers to the technology and network whereas "bitcoins" lowercase refers to the currency itself.[7] Bitcoins can be obtained by mining or in exchange for products, services, or other currencies.[8]

Bitcoin has been a subject of scrutiny due to ties with illicit activity. In 2013 the FBI shut down the Silk Road online black market and seized 144,000 bitcoins worth US$28.5 million at the time.[9] The United States, however, is currently considered to be Bitcoin friendly compared to other governments.[10] In China, new rules restricted bitcoin exchange for local currency,[11] and the European Banking Authority has warned that Bitcoin lacks consumer protections.[12] Bitcoins can be stolen, and chargebacks are impossible.[13]

More at Wikipedia

Linux 3.13 released

Kernel Newbies is reporting that Linux 3.13 has been released, and the site has a detailed list of features and changes in it.

This release includes nftables, the successor of iptables, a revamp of the block layer designed for high-performance SSDs, a power capping framework to cap power consumption in Intel RAPL devices, improved squashfs performance, AMD Radeon power management enabled by default and automatic Radeon GPU switching, improved NUMA performance, improved performance with hugepage workloads, TCP Fast Open enabled by default, support for NFC payments, support for the High-availability Seamless Redundancy protocol, new drivers and many other small improvements.

More at Kernel Newbies

What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.

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