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A complete web-magazine for a geek!
Updated: 2 hours 12 min ago

Microsoft buying Cyanogen would be the end of Windows

6 hours 33 min ago

According to unconfirmed media reports IT giants like Amazon, Samsung, Yahoo! and Microsoft are in talks to either acquire or partner with Cyanogen, a company which forked the Android Open Source Project and has become quite popular lately.

As far as Samsung is concerned he company had hired Steve Kondik, the founder of CyanogenMOD project, who later quit the Galaxy maker and started his own Cyanongen and raised millions of dollars in funds and also got his OS running on OnePlus devices. I don’t see any reason why Steve will go back to Samsung and why would Samsung go for an Android fork when they are an elite Google Android partner.

Yes Samsung can be seen as distancing itself from Google, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Samsung has been working on their own operating system for ages and they do need services for those platforms. If Google is not offering service for Tizen at the moment, Samsung will create their own services or partner with companies like Nokia. We have seen such services on Samsung’s Google Android devices too and the way I see it is by pushing these service to popular Android devices, Samsung gets the user-base it needs to test such services which they won’t get for Tizen due to no market. So I don’t see it as a struggle between Google and Samsung. It’s simply Samsung trying to be more independent. So I would rule Samsung out of any partnership with CM.

Amazon have their own Android fork which powers the Kindle series of devices, and I see no reason for them to get CM as Amazon is not known as a ‘community’ company and they often work hard to keep developers from rooting their devices. CM and Amazon may not be a good mix and then Amazon doesn’t need CM.

As far as Yahoo! Is concerned they have not showed any interest in any OS or browser for so long and have gone back to become a content company handing over search to Microsoft Bing. They are struggling to survive so I see no reason for them to acquire or partner with CM.

Which leaves us with Microsoft which is fast losing its core market, which was desktop and Office, to Google and Apple. This is one company which is struggling to survice in the so-called post PC era.

Microsoft has already acquired Nokia, by planing Stephen Elop and destroying all open source projects at Nokia and also ensuring that this long time partner of Microsoft won’t join the Android bandwagon. Initially Microsoft Windows enjoyed a boost in sales and remaining loyal Nokia fans continued to buy Nokia hardware. But soon, as they seemed to realized that the OS is not as good as iOS or Android, the sales of Nokia devices started to decline and Microsoft’s share have gone down to only 2.5% in the mobile space.

After Satya took over, the company seemed to be interested in becoming a company which focuses on services than the OS. Microsoft just killed the Android project at Nokia, which is now owned by Microsoft. So I don’t see why would Microsoft want to acquire CyanogenMOD when they killed their own Android project? If talent is answer then Nokia had great Android talent which was working on Nokia X? Why would a company kills its own talent pool only to acquire another set of talent pool? So I don’t really see Microsoft acquiring of partnering with CyanogenMod because it will send a fatality message to the industry and that message would be – it’s the beginning of the end of Microsoft Windows.

Choosing Android over their own Windows would clearly mean that even Microsoft doesn’t trust they can survive with Windows. It would mean that even Microsoft needs Google Linux powered Android to survive. I very much doubt that Microsoft would want that message to go to the market.

Or maybe the new Microsoft doesn’t much care about Bill Gates Windows and just want to stay alive even if it means killing Windows and embracing an operating system developed by their number one competitor. Even if it means adopting the OS which their CEO once called cancer.

I very much doubt that’s going to happen, but I can be wrong. Time will tell. In any case if that does happen it would start the end of Windows OS, as we know it.

The move will also be fatal for Cyanogen (as it was for Nokia) which was burned by users when they announced the formation of the company. Quite a lot of CM developers were upset with it and they publicly protested. Even super-star developers like Koushik Datta left the company to focus on their own projects.

Even if CM falls for Microsoft, they won’t be missed as other custom ROMs will rise and replace them. That’s the beauty of open source;  anyone can take Cyanogen’s code and get all CM users onboard.

Possible partnership
Only possible partnerships that I can see here is that these companies – Microsoft, Yahoo!, Samsung or Amazon – may want to tie up with Cyanogen to offer their services exclusively to CM users. That’s where I can see these companies offering their services to CyanogenMod user, cutting Android Google users out. Amazon is already doing this by not offering their Amazon Prime videos on non-Amazon Android which, which actually made a lot of users to stop using such services as no one want to be locked to few devices.

This is the only possibility I can see here, which will allows companies like Microsoft to get an Android player in their camp without diluting their own operating system.

The post Microsoft buying Cyanogen would be the end of Windows appeared first on The Mukt.

MediaGoblin version 0.7.0 out with new features

7 hours 13 min ago

Media publishing platform, MediaGoblin, has hit version 0.7.0. With this update new features include initial support for federalisation, a responsive CSS system, a featured media option, bulk uploading via the command line and a blogging media type.

If you’ve never heard of this project the best way that I can explain it is like a soon-to-be federalised version of DeviantArt, you make an account and upload your work. Unlike DA however you can take the code and run your own instance of MediaGoblin or join up at an existing site.

The most noticeable feature in this release for most people will be the responsive UI, so when you take to a mobile device the page will restructure to fit properly on that device. Second to this is the new blogging feature, this is probably to provide a GNU friendly version of Tumblr.

For the people running the instances, this next bit is for you

For site administrators, we also have two new subcommands: “deletemedia” and “deleteusers”. Whew! Now you can get that cruft that shouldn’t be there off your site in an automated manner!

And lastly they say that they have fixed a lot of the bugs such as the “video thumbnails not generating” bug. Improvements to translations have been made as well as fixes to the PDF media type. To see all the new changes head over to the changelog page.

The post MediaGoblin version 0.7.0 out with new features appeared first on The Mukt.

Intel announces its first 8-core desktop CPU for $999!

Friday 29th of August 2014 10:55:17 PM

Intel announced three new processors to power personal computers today at Gaming Conference in Seattle, USA. This marks the beginning of 8-core desktop processors by Intel. The company made announcement about upcoming Haswell chips (Devil’s Canyon) back in March. Intel’s this new range of processors are based on Haswell architecture.

Intel showcased three processors today. The Core i7-5960X sports eight core CPU, it has 3 GHz of clock speed and 20 MB of cache. The thread count in this processor is 16, which makes it blazing fast for high productivity applications such as photo, video editing and rendering. The other two chips feature six core CPU. The Core i7-5820K has clock speed of 3.3 GHz while, Core i7-5930K clocks at 3.5 GHz. These two chips have 12 threads. This is designed to improve the performance of multi threaded application software like Adobe Photoshop, Sony Vegas Pro or Cakewalk Sonar.

The eight-core i7-5960X is priced at $999. The six core i7-5820K and i7-5930K are available for $389 and $583 respectively. These processors are compatible with DDR4 RAM and Intel X99 motherboard chipset. The DDR4 support will result in higher transfer speed than ever before. Intel is the first company to manufacture CPU that supports DDR4 memory.

Intel’s Haswell range of processors are focused on low power consumption, integrated graphics and high performance. Intel has achieved this so far with fourth generation of Core processors. The better graphics has eliminated the need of outboard graphics card, redesigned power consumption has resulted in greater battery life and TDP (Thermal Design Power) helps in maintaining the low temperature.

If you are looking for high performance desktop CPU, you should consider this 8-core i7-5960X CPU by Intel.

The post Intel announces its first 8-core desktop CPU for $999! appeared first on The Mukt.

Chromebook to come with Intel Broadwell chips

Friday 29th of August 2014 10:51:16 PM

Intel is expected to launch its 5th-gen Intel Core CPUs based on Broadwell architecture by the end of this year. According to the latest leaked information, Google’s Chromebook might feature this Broadwell chip. Intel is focusing on bringing high performance CPU which has minimum power requirement with Broadwell chip.

Even though Broadwell is the scaled down version of Haswell, it will still maintain the same CPU performance as Haswell. The company is working on better performance-per-watt and lower power consumption to improve battery life of devices. Broadwell is just 14 nanometer in size.

Francois Beaufort has observed, Broadwell based code repository being tested and uploaded by Auron on Chromium code repository. Auron is the code name for the board that is being tested on Chromium code repository. The code shows reference of 14 nanometer sized Intel CPU.

The Broadwell has its own benefits such as, low power consumption, smaller size, faster performance and improved graphics support. If some manufacturer is really testing the Intel Broadwell powered Chromebook or Chromebox then, we can expect to see lighter, thinner and fanless Chromebooks in the near future.

Intel is launching the first Broadwell chip for desktop by end of this year. Would you like to see thinner and faster Google Chromebook flaunting Intel Broadwell CPU in future? Let us know in comments section below.

The post Chromebook to come with Intel Broadwell chips appeared first on The Mukt.

Samsung to ditch Google Maps and use Nokia’s HERE?

Friday 29th of August 2014 10:43:56 PM

So, today we saw an interesting development in the Wear and Android operating system markets with the news that Here has opted to beta their new Here maps app on Samsung devices. More interestingly, in terms of Wear devices Here will debut on the Galaxy Gear S meaning its first Wear outing will be on Tizen first and not Android Wear.

Here Maps was built by Nokia and was not part of the Microsoft acquisition which occurred a few months ago. As such the here app was available early on Window and Nokia based phones. However the new Here has been optimised to run with the new and highly anticipated Wear market allowing users to use their smartwatches for directions.

No more standing there holding your phone and trying to gauge where you are. Instead just glance at your watch and see which street to take. Another very interesting feature of Here is the ability to cache entire countries for offline use. With this feature users are able to download theoretically everywhere and plan their routes offline. This has never been a feature on Google Maps with Google limiting cache to a very small, limited and immediate area.

So what does this all mean? There is no doubt that the Here app looks to be a very useful and functional product but what is definitely more of an attention grabber is what the Here/Samsung alliance means! It is no secret that Samsung have been making waves recently by trying to distant themselves from the ever-expanding Google Ecosystem. With Samsung effectively attempting to offer an alternative to Google Maps incorporated with an alternative to Google’s Android operating system (Tizen) further highlights Samsung’s intention to distance themselves.

Samsung is a powerhouse in the industry and with the introduction of Tizen on the newest Samsung smartwatches and the introduction of Here on Samsung smartwear there can be no escaping Samsung want to offer a real and viable alternative to the Google foothold on everything. But Google is Google! They have not got to where they are without revolutionising the industry and creating an environment (love it or not) that works extremely well.

Do Samsung have what it takes to really take on the might of Google? If anyone does, then it certainly could be Samsung. Although in my opinion Google are too strong, too wide-reaching and actually too beneficial to the tech industry as a whole. Tizen will be an interesting OS and anything that is as light as Tizen will be welcomed. However with the likes of OnePlus trying to dislodge the price-fixing of the big players maybe this is not the right time for Samsung to be so heavily investing in alternative systems. I have always been a Samsung fan and especially of the Galaxy range (own both phone and tablet) but I am not interested in Samsung selling me their OS or their maps or their endorsed products in the same way I do not appreciate it with Google. I want a lightweight phone which is heavy on performance, but light on software which allows me to customize with the OS, apps and software I choose. In the end what is the difference between Samsung offering an in-house OS, an in-house Appstore and in-house software and Apple? By trying to be more open source (offering an alternative to Google) are Samsung actually becoming more closed like Apple?

What do you guys think? Is anyone out there interested in Tizen? Looking forward to it? See Tizen (or Here) as viable alternative to Google’s Android? Join the debate by leaving a comment.

The post Samsung to ditch Google Maps and use Nokia’s HERE? appeared first on The Mukt.

Linux Mint Debian Edition 2 will be named “Betsy”

Friday 29th of August 2014 08:46:16 PM

Linux Mint project lead Clement Lefebvre announced that the second version of Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) will be named “Betsy”. This version will be based on Debian “Jessie” and will have the same kernel and set of drivers. The goal is to develop the desktop and apps over a stable base.

Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) is a semi-rolling distribution based on Debian. It’s available in both 32 and 64-bit as a live DVD with MATE or Cinnamon. The purpose of LMDE is to look identical to the main edition and to provide the same functionality while using Debian as a base. This version is not compatible with the Ubuntu-based Linux Mint editions. While there is no need to re-install the system because of a semi-rolling model and the Debian-based flavour is faster than the Ubuntu-based editions, it does need a deeper understanding of Linux and the packaging system.

The stable ISO of Betsy will be available around November this year and it will have Cinnamon 2.2 as the desktop environment. An official upgrade path to upgrade from UP8 (Update Pack 8) will be provided. LMDE is switching to Debian Stable from Debian testing and will have a frozen cycle like Linux Mint. Current work is ongoing on adapting to the new Debian edition, setting up the repositories and porting various packages.

Beta testing details will be announced when the distribution is functional which will be somewhere between now and November.

The post Linux Mint Debian Edition 2 will be named “Betsy” appeared first on The Mukt.

How to get a Xiaomi device and MIUI on existing devices

Friday 29th of August 2014 05:41:32 PM

I am based in the UK and I have never seen a person who likes Xiaomi or MIUI (the ROM that Xiaomi makes and runs on their devices, it can also be installed on 3rd party devices). The main reason for this is because they have not really expanded too far from China, since their launch they’ve expanded into a few more Asian markets and recently India where their Mi3 device sold out in under three seconds on Flipkart, the registration for that device in three days is already closed but you can register to buy the entry level Redmi 1S here.

So, a lot of Asian countries can easily buy a Xiaomi devies but what about people in the EU/UK/US? Well there are a few options and I’ll start with the UK as this is arguably the easiest one to explain. For UK users it’s as simple as jumping on amazon and doing a search, in my opinion the best device on Amazon at the moment when it comes to Xiaomi is the new Redmi (also called Hongmi) Note Pro which comes packed with a 5.5 inch screen, 2GB RAM, 8GB Storage and 13MP camera and Octa-Core 1.4GHz, unfortunately it does only support up to 3G but other than that it is hands down the best device you can find for £154 and coming with MIUI makes it that much more better. You can also find the Mi3 device for around £200.

The second option for people in the US/EU/UK is to go to ibuygou which is a reliable Chinese importing website that sells Xiaomi devices as well as Lenovo, OPPO, ZTE, Meizu and a swath of other less well known brands. They offer devices at a much lower price than Amazon but depending on the tax regime in your country, after you add on tax and shipping then for the UK at least, it ends up a bit more expensive than the Amazon option (ibuygou do not charge you, customs will though.)

However I get it that you might not want to shill out cash for a Xiaomi device, you can still get the ROM, MIUI, for your existing device if it’s well known. Firstly I advice checking here to see if they release a ROM for your phone, if you don’t see your device in the latest thread check an older one, I know the Nexus 4 wasn’t updated since 4.8.8 on there. Another option is to check the official MIUI website for ROMS here, for me the Nexus 4 download seems to be slow downloading and tended to opt for the ROMS on the other forum.

Of course, manually flashing this ROM will require that your bootloader is unlocked, that you’ve flashed CWM recovery or TWRP and that you know how to flash ROMS and Gapps package. It’s not a difficult task to learn how to do this, the XDA Developers website is a good place to start.

Xiaomi is only four years old but they’ve made waves in China, becoming the largest mobile phone player in the country this has largely been by marketing itself as the Apple of China and it’s notorious flash sales, but to be fair they do happen to piss a lot of people off.

Overall though, for a Westerner with no Xiaomi fans in meatspace, the forums online are all excellent and will help with problems you have. Make sure you do try a device or the ROM otherwise you can’t really get why all the people are so excited.

The post How to get a Xiaomi device and MIUI on existing devices appeared first on The Mukt.

ALS Association will sue those who run ice bucket challenge

Friday 29th of August 2014 01:14:06 PM

Satire: ALS Association has been granted the trademark on the phrases ‘ice bucket challenge’ and ‘ALS ice bucket challenge’ by the overworked U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

The application was spotted by attorney Erik Pelton and he said “I was upset,” he told The Post. “Similar to the reaction I had last year when I saw the applications for ‘Boston Strong.’ ”

ALS Association attorney told me over email, “This trademark can be a very valuable asset for the organization as now we can run this challenge every year and raise the money we need to pay salaries, the trips of our executives and other administrative expenses.”

Chairman of the association wrote on his blog post, “Intellectual Property is very important to us and we will be investing over 20% of our total earning through the campaign to build a legal department which can defend our trademark, which we created after hard work and rigorous research.”

The trademark has upset a lot of supporters of ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. John Robe, who had been actively getting people to pour ice on their head so they can be on YouTube said h was disgusted with the trademark, “They didn’t invent the ice bucket challenge, they did not even start it. It was started by some random person and ALS Association was picked as a body to get donation, and now they want to own it?”

ALS Association is close to raising over $100 million through the ice bucket challenge and over 77% of this money will go to pay the expenses of the organization and only 27% will go to actual research on the disease, which means the organization has over $77 million free cash to spend on themselves.

Ajay Tripathi, a development communicator expert from India said, A majority of non-profits run like businesses and their primary goal is to find a business model so they can generate heavy salaries and also maintain a very wealthy support system. These so-called non-profits spend almost 80% of their ‘funds’, which they get through donations, in paying salaries or in admin expense; only 30-20% of those ‘funds’ go to the actual cause. Let’s assume there is this problem of slums in India, some smart guy will come up with a non-profit for ‘educating children of slums’. The whole business will be set-up on the foundation of this ‘education’ where the ‘founder’ and his associates will start getting thick ‘salaries’, facilities like cars, houses, vacation and of course trips around the globe. The poor kids will get a tiny share from this empire, may be a notebook per week.”

“Don’t give your money to such organizations so that they can get heavy salaries. Instead pick an organization which spends over 70% of that money on actual research,” added Tripathi.

According to reports ALS Association has filed a patent on ice bucket challenge, detailing how one can pour ice on head.

“What if some cancer organization wants to spread awareness and ran an ice bucket challenge? ALS will go an sue them? You have to protect your trademark, right?,” said Issac Finn, a patent attorney.

The association is also in talks with patents trolls like Rockstar Consortium and may start suing everyone who pours ice water on their head to raise money.

“If the deal between the association and patent trolls works out they may actually create a very sustainable business model around suing other organizations who want to use #icebucktchallenge. The association may never have to run such a campaign again as lawsuits will bring in a lot of money,” said Issac.

Tripathi added, “It’s time to boycott the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. There is no need to pay expenses of such a greedy organization. I would instead suggest #ricebucketchallenge – pick any cause you like (except for the ones where money goes to such organizations) and either donate to the organization or give rice or food to a homeless person.

Unlike the #icebucketchallege, instead of wasting water, you will end up helping someone – either the organization or some homeless person.”

ALS Association says that Rice Bucket Challenge is infringement of their trademark and they will take legal action against anything participating in the challenge.

“There is no such free lunch, except for us,” said a spokesperson for ALS Association.

The post ALS Association will sue those who run ice bucket challenge appeared first on The Mukt.

patool a great tool to extract and compress files on Linux

Friday 29th of August 2014 12:37:40 PM

Don’t you think that remembering the switches to tar to handle gzip and bzip2 files is difficult? The answer should be yes if you are not a regular terminal user. Latest versions of tar can detect the file compression type during extraction. But how about other formats? Sounds an impossible task? Not anymore! To make your life easy with compression formats, patool remembers all the cumbersome options and switches.

patool is a Python-written wrapper to various compression utilities. It needs at least Python 2.7 (for 2.x) or 3.3 (for 3.x) installed in the system. It detects the file type of the source archives using the file command on Linux. For target archives it uses the extension provided in the output file name. The support matrix includes almost all popular compression formats:

7z (.7z), ACE (.ace), ADF (.adf), ALZIP (.alz), APE (.ape), AR (.a), ARC (.arc), ARJ (.arj), BZIP2 (.bz2), CAB (.cab), COMPRESS (.Z), CPIO (.cpio), DEB (.deb), DMS (.dms), FLAC (.flac), GZIP (.gz), LRZIP (.lrz), LZH (.lha, .lzh), LZIP (.lz), LZMA (.lzma), LZOP (.lzo), RPM (.rpm), RAR (.rar), RZIP (.rz), SHN (.shn), TAR (.tar), XZ (.xz), ZIP (.zip, .jar) and ZOO (.zoo).

patool supports TAR, ZIP, BZIP2 and GZIP files natively and other compression formats by using external tools. So remember that you should still have the original programs needed to handle different formats. For example, p7zip-full should be installed to handle 7zip files.

patool has many advanced options in addition to file compression and extraction. Let’s check them out!

To install on Ubuntu, run

$ sudo apt-get install patool

To install on other distributions

$ pip install patool

List the archive types patool can handle on your system

$ patool formats

List the files in an archive

$ patool list archive

Extract archives to a specific directory (default is the working directory)

$ patool extract archive1 archive2 --outdir path_to_target_dir

Create an archive (remember to provide the correct extension)

$ patool archive file dir ...

Test if an archive is intact

$ patool test archive

Search archive contents for a pattern (uses grep -r). Add other options to the environment variable GREP_OPTIONS.

$ patool search pattern archive

Show the difference between two archives (uses diff -urN)

$ patool diff archive1 archive2

Repack an archive to a new format

$ patool repack archive archive_new

Show more information

$ patool --verbose extract archive

You can add aliases to your .bashrc for shortcuts to patool commands. For example,

alias pe='patool extract' alias pc='patool create' alias pl='patool list'

The post patool a great tool to extract and compress files on Linux appeared first on The Mukt.

Kubuntu 14.10 beta 1 arrives, comes with Plasma 5 preview

Thursday 28th of August 2014 11:07:30 PM

The Christmas season for GNU/Linux is coming as most communities will be releasing the next version of their Linux-distributions. Betas have started to arrive and there is obvious excitement around those distributions which offer a great Plasma experience and Kubuntu is one such distribution.

Kubuntu has really improved a lot lately. I remember those days, some 2 years back, when Kubuntu was known for ruining the ‘KDE’ experience. It used to be buggy and ugly. Every time I came across someone who dearly hated ‘KDE’ and if I asked which OS did he try, the answer used to be Kubuntu 99% of the time.

The fact is – it used to be bad. But post 4.4 release KDE Plasma became fully stable and Kubuntu has  become extremely adorable and useful. I don’t know if it had anything to do with Kubuntu getting out of Canonical’s wings and being funded by Blue Systems.

I have been using Kubuntu as my main OS for a while now (though I triple boot with Arch, openSUSE and Kubuntu) and I am extremely satisfied. To me an operating system is just a medium to get my work done – as long as computing free from any locks and chains or compromise my privacy.

I can’t afford an OS which is either unstable or works more like a calculator than a computer. I may be among the minority which doesn’t wants a feature-less ATM machine kind of computer. I look at my computer as a toy, as a tool – it’s like Lego blocks to me which allows me to do whatever I want  with it. Which makes Plasma a perfect fit for me when combined with the base of Ubuntu or openSUSE or iconic Arch.

As a Plasma user I am excited about 14.10 release and Plasma 5 in particular so this is an important release of any Kubuntu user.

I have already upgraded my ‘production’ machine to 14.10 beta 1 which also comes with a preview of Plasma 5, though I already have Plasma 5 installed on this machine through project-neon ppa.

If you want to upgrade your system to first beta of Kubuntu 14.10, open the Konsole and run this command, then simply follow the instructions:

# sudo kubuntu-devel-release-upgrade

Other members of Ubuntu family – Ubuntu Gnome, Lubuntu, Xubuntu and Ubuntu Kylin have also released the beta 1 which you can download by clicking on the names above.

Once you managed to upgrade your system do, share your opinion about 14.10 and Plasma 5 in comments below. Oh you may also want to join the ever growing KDE community on Google+.

The post Kubuntu 14.10 beta 1 arrives, comes with Plasma 5 preview appeared first on The Mukt.

Linux Mint goes beyond green, to add more colors

Thursday 28th of August 2014 06:49:31 PM

Linux Mint, as the name suggests, has always been green in its icons and themes. Clement Lefebvre, the Linux Mint project lead, updated today that more colors are on the cards for the next releases of Mint.

In addition to the regular Green Mint-X icon theme, two colors those are already designed are Grey and Blue. Both the icon themes will be variants of Mint-X. However, the colors are going to be predetermined and won’t be any color chosen on the fly, Clement clarified in one of his responses.

And there’s more! Future plans include the following:

  • Suggest your favourite color and the Mint team will consider those.
  • Variants of the GTK theme with new colors.
  • The file managers Nemo and Caja will be modified so that users can change the color of specific individual directories.
  • Emblem support will be revived so that users can add different emblems to individual directories.

Linux Mint is arguably the most popular Linux distribution available today. It is derived from Ubuntu and has stunning look and feel. The latest version is Linux Mint 17 “Qiana”.

The post Linux Mint goes beyond green, to add more colors appeared first on The Mukt.

Samsung’s new Gear S comes with 3G, doesn’t need your phone

Thursday 28th of August 2014 05:10:36 PM

Say hello to the Gear S, the latest wearable from Samsung–which has Bluetooth, wireless and (a twist) a built-in 3G modem that can let the wearable work independently of a smartphone. It runs the Tizen mobile operating system instead of Android Wear.

Powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor, the curved-screen Samsung Gear S (aka Solo) smartwatch features a 2-inch Super AMOLED display and flexible band. It also packs a wide array of sensors, including a barometer, GPS, a compass, a pulse rate reader, and even a UV monitor.

The device allows users to read messages and notifications at a single glance with features such as conversation view and condensed font.

According to JK Shin, CEO and head of IT and mobile communication at Samsung Electronics, “The Samsung Gear S redefines the idea of the smart wearable and the culture of mobile communication. It will let consumers live a truly connected life anywhere, anytime.”

The Samsung Gear S provides easy access to relevant information through essential widgets and combined notification boards. Other features include turn-by-turn pedestrian navigation provided by HERE, a 24-hour news and views service from The Financial Times ‘fastFT’, works together with advanced-reading technology from Spritz, and the ability to see and respond to important social notifications instantly with Facebook.

Also announced today with the Samsung Gear S is the new Samsung Gear Circle. When paired with a smartphone, users can easily receive calls, listen to music, and make voice commands in style through a Bluetooth connection. It features a magnetic lock which clasps around the user’s neck when not in use, as well as a vibrate function to signal incoming calls and notifications.

Both these products will be available in global markets in phases beginning October.

Samsung’s announcement coincided with LG’s official unveiling of an Android Wear smartwatch, the LG G Watch R that comes with a traditional round display.

The post Samsung’s new Gear S comes with 3G, doesn’t need your phone appeared first on The Mukt.

Microsoft Office competitor LibreOffice gets 4.3.1 update

Thursday 28th of August 2014 02:52:43 PM

The Document foundation has announced the release of LibreOffice 4.3.1, the first minor release of LibreOffice 4.3 “fresh” family, with over 100 fixes (including patches for two CVEs, backported to LibreOffice 4.2.6-secfix, which is also available for download now).

Italo Vignoli suggest that LO users should upgrade to this version as soon as possible otherwise they would run security risks.

Italo further adds, “LibreOffice 4.3.1 and LibreOffice 4.2.6 will be shown on stage at the LibreOffice Conference in Bern, from September 3 to September 5, with a large number of sessions about development, community, marketing and migrations.”

Mac and Windows users can simply download the latest version from here, Kubuntu users can keep their LO updated by adding the PPA for 4.x series:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:libreoffice/libreoffice-4-3 sudo apt-get update && apt-get upgrade

Arch users can simply run pacman -Syu (that’s what I did on my Arch box) to update to the latest version of LO.

The post Microsoft Office competitor LibreOffice gets 4.3.1 update appeared first on The Mukt.

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS users can try MATE, thanks to a PPA

Thursday 28th of August 2014 01:41:02 PM

A team of developers is working hard to develop the classic, simple and lightweight Ubuntu MATE Remix. Now current Ubuntu users can try out MATE without having to wait for the release of the distro. One of the developers working on MATE Remix has given Ubuntu 14.04 users a chance to try out MATE though a PPA (Personal Package Archive). PPA allows users to use the software that isn’t there in Ubuntu’s official repositories.

Martin Wimpress, an Ubuntu developer, writes on his Google+ page, “One of the requests that has come out of my discussions with Ubuntu Technical Board was creating a MATE 1.8.1 PPA for Ubuntu Trusty 14.04. So, here it is”.

MATE environment can be easily installed on computers running Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. Open terminal and run following commands:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ubuntu-mate-dev/ppa sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ubuntu-mate-dev/trusty-mate sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get upgrade sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends ubuntu-mate-core ubuntu-mate-desktop

Ubuntu MATE is the solution for those Ubuntu fans who are not really fond of Unity interface. Ubuntu MATE follows traditional desktop metaphor in its user interface and is extremely light weight so it can also run on older hardware.

The post Ubuntu 14.04 LTS users can try MATE, thanks to a PPA appeared first on The Mukt.

Android One to land in India in September

Wednesday 27th of August 2014 05:37:21 PM

Recently, Android talk has been overwhelmed with reports on Android Wear and Android L. So much so that one would be forgiven for forgetting about another big Android project in the pipeline.

Just like Wear and L, ‘Android One’ was also announced at Google’s I/O event back in June. Since then there has been little information or reports released. However that is very likely to change over the next few days with reports coming in that Android One is set to launch in September.

For those of you who don’t remember (or missed it) Android One is basically Google’s attempt to enter emerging world markets with a significantly cheaper handset which in turns contains a significantly cheaper version of Android. Traditionally, markets such as India have been largely dominated by Blackberry and Nokia with the general trend not adopting Android in the same way as other markets. This has partly been seen to be a result of the dramatic rise in the cost of the average handset since the introduction of Android. Blackberry and Nokia devices tend to be more limited which in turn results in a cheaper device for these regions.

As Google have struggled to develop any kind of foothold in the regions they have attempted to address this issue by introducing Android One which is a limited and low-on-spec version of Android. By reducing the level of Android, Google hope to offer significantly cheaper handsets and in turn hope to secure a bigger piece of the pie.

India in particular is very important to Google right now. This region is one of the fastest growing smartphone markets and as such Google are wasting no time in making sure this is the place Android One launches. Until now, reports had been limited with no firm release dates. However it seems the first Android One devices are likely to hit the market sometime in September with Economic Times reporting as early as next week.

The device was originally expected to sell in India for as little as RS 6,000 (roughly $100) but it now seems this was slightly too ambitious. Instead the first devices are now expected to sell between RS 7,000 and RS 10,000 ($115-$150). The devices are expected to be launched by Micromax, Karbonn and Spice which although may be relatively unknown to the West are significant local players. Micromax for instance is generally deemed to be the second biggest local manufacturer securing 18% of the market in the last quarter, second only to Samsung.

As noted, the device itself will be rather basic (compared to what we expect with Android) with a 4.5” display, 1GB RAM, dual sim capability, SD card slot, 5MP camera, 1700mAh battery and Snapdragon 400 processor.

 

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Amazon, Google pushed Dropbox to drop prices

Wednesday 27th of August 2014 03:35:40 PM

Cloud storage providers like Dropbox and Copy are feeling the heat created by giants like Google and Amazon who are offering cloud storage for dirt cheap. While these giants have other business models and cloud is just a by-product they can afford to offer cloud for literally free of cost.

In order to stay competitive with these giants Dropbox has dropped the prices of its packages. Dropbox now offers 1TB for just $99 per year which is huge when compare with the earlier pricing of $500 for 500GB.

Can we trust the cloud?
However, one biggest risks of using 3rd party cloud storage remains privacy and full access by authorities. Companies like Google, Microsoft have joined government programs where they will aggressively tip the law enforcement authorities if they find ‘objectionable’ (which is debatable) content in your cloud.

That’s where it is becoming increasingly important to run and own your own cloud. ownCloud is a free and open source cloud storage and sync service which you can run on your own server. It may be a bit expensive to run your own server, but it does make a lot of sense to take control of your cloud.

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Simplenote want developers to make a GNU/Linux implementation

Wednesday 27th of August 2014 03:01:52 PM

Matt Mullenweg founder and CEO of Automattic which is responsible for WordPress.com has reached out to people who develop software on the GNU/Linux platform to find someone who will bring the Simplenote application to GNU/Linux.

We have a great Simplenote for Mac client, and a super clean web version, but nothing first-party for Linux. If anyone is experienced with Linux desktop development and would be interested in creating something extremely minimalist like our Mac app please…

Reading the comments on Mullenweg’s blog post about the subject one commenter brought to everyone’s attention that he has made a similar app for Windows called Notation which can be found here it’s certainly not designed as nicely as Simplenote in my opinion and couldn’t see hipsters using it but it is feature comparable to Simplenote.

If you are after a way to use Simplenote on your GNU/Linux machines however, you can sign up and use the online version of the application, below is what you will see in the browser window:

Chrom(ium/e) has a feature that will let you pin websites to the menus, the feature is available in GNU/Linux, Windows and likely OS X. Press the menu button in Chrome and then go to tool and create application shortcut. You can decide to have the new addition stored in the menus and or desktop.

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Thomas Stocking of gandi: FCC’s fast lane may kill the Internet as we know it

Tuesday 26th of August 2014 10:59:38 PM

Thomas Stocking is chief operating officer of US operations at gandi and I met him during LinuxCon Chicago. We talked about gandi’s no bullshit policy, how a France based company is offering services across the globe, how gandi is defending the Internet and how they engage with the Linux & Open Source community.

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Ebola drug recipient dead

Tuesday 26th of August 2014 09:25:43 PM

Dr. Abraham Borbor died on Sunday night even after receiving the ZMAPP anti-Ebola drug which is still experimental and has only been sanctioned to be administered due to the urgency of the spread of Ebola in Africa.

This comes after a Spanish priest, who was working in Liberian hospitals was given the ZMAPP drug and also died. Strangely in the case of Mr. Borbor, he seemed to be making progress before he died, the Liberian Information Minister Lewis Brown said that Borbor was “walking around yesterday and the doctors were hopeful that he would make a full recovery”, the information minister was a classmate in high school with the doctor, who was also the only recorded internist in Liberia.

Earlier in August, two patients who had been treated for the disease with ZMAPP were released after recovering. The Emory Healthcare team who were responsible for helping cure Nancy Writebol and Kent Brantly said that people should not assume that ZMAPP may not have been what cured them from Ebola as little testing has been done with the drug.

Ebola is currently breaking out in high numbers in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone and 55 percent of cases recorded have resulted in death. The quantity of the drug is very limited and the CDC has claimed over 2,400 perople have been infected with Ebola since the winter, however there will still be many more who have gone unregistered due to skepticism from the nationals who do not trust the aid and some even claiming the source of the disease is witchcraft.

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OnePlus One explodes in owner’s pocket

Tuesday 26th of August 2014 09:24:21 PM

Over the last few weeks and months we have constantly heard great things about the OnePlus One. How good its specs are! How great the hardware is! But mostly how well the device is put together. OnePlus make a point of insisting that the device is extremely well built and has undergone rigorous testing to ensure its durability.

Well, today it seems we have an interesting development in this respect and the first casualty of the One. Yesterday a One owner who goes by the name ‘MiYzu’ in the OnePlus forums reports that his One literally combusted and caught on fire. What makes this story a little more worrying is MiYzu claims the phone was under no duress at the time but simply in his back pocket.

I was in a subway talking with my brother and the phone was in my rear pocket”.

With such a limited number of actual One’s in the public domain (compared to other handsets) this will be a slight worry for OnePlus. After the recent backlash to the invite system and recent marketing gaffs like the Ladies Only competition the last thing OnePlus needs are public safety fears and concerns.

As such it is not surprising OnePlus are taking this extremely seriously. What is slightly unexpected is how seriously they are taking this. According to MiYzu’s post, OnePlus are sending an actual representative (from China) to personally collect the defective device.

This was also confirmed in an official email response which was sent to Android Police.

We are very sorry to see one of our users had to experience this with their device as the safety of our customers is our first and foremost concern. We have already contacted MiYzu to learn more about his condition, as well as dispatched OnePlus staff to physically retrieve back the phone. This way, we can determine the circumstances surrounding this so that we may work to prevent this happening in the future“.

This is slightly unusual for a company but does highlight the seriousness of the situation for OnePlus. If this was to happen again or with more serious consequences this really could be a deal-breaker for the company.

MiYzu did sustain minor burns to his legs which indicate how hot the device must have become to burn through his trousers and to scold his leg. MiYzu has since updated his post advising he has seen a doctor and will be fine although will certainly be left with a scar.

This was also addressed by OnePlus in their email response to Android Police stating they will reimburse MiYzu for the cost of his jeans as well as any medical costs.

We take this issue very seriously. We will send MiyZu a new phone and also reimburse him for the damage to his jeans and phone case, as well as any medical costs associated with this accident.”

If this remains a sole incident then it is unlikely to hurt OnePlus too much and their response so far seems to have been welcomed by the OnePlus community. MiYzu’s page has already attracted over forty pages of comments wishing him well, as well as the odd comment still asking for an invite. As such it does seem this has not too adversely affected demand yet.

If OnePlus ever get passed their notorious invite system and expect to roll-out supply on a serious level they will have to make sure this does not happen again.

Anyone else had any unfortunate or safety issues with their One device yet? Let us know.

Source: Oneplus MiYzu Post, Android Police

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