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December 2014

Xiaomi Said to Launch a Linux Notebook

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Xiaomi is quickly becoming a major player in the tech gadget space. It’s already a huge smartphone maker in China, though has started to spread its wings into other arenas as well. Next up may be a new laptop, at least according to some specs that were recently provided by GizmoChina. As you’ll note from the image above, this looks like a MacBook Air – but don’t let that fool you just yet.

GizmoChina says that the Xiaomi notebook, powered by Linux, may cost under $500, though the specs suggest it may cost a bit more than that. The site says Xiaomi’s notebook will pack an Intel Core i7 Haswell processor, a 15-inch 1920 x 1080-pixel display and a solid 16GB of RAM. There’s no news on what sort of storage this will pack, though if it’s as thin as the picture suggests, it may have a solid state hard drive as well.

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Performance Analysis With Performance Co-Pilot, iPython and Pandas

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Software
HowTos

One of many reasons to love Performance Co-Pilot, is the fact that it is a fully fledged framework to do performance analysis. It makes it extremely simple to extend and to build anything on top of it. In this post we shall explore how simple it is to analyze your performance data using iPython and pandas.

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Systemd Development Skyrocketed This Year

Filed under
Linux

Rising above all of the systemd controversies and in-fighting this year, systemd developers remained committed and did a heck of a job at adding code to the project.

As some complementary development statistics for systemd focused on 2014 to yesterday's lead developers of systemd article, I ran GitStats this morning on the latest end-of-year systemd mainline Git repository. The numbers speak for themselves and systemd grew significantly this year.

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Ringing in 2015 with 40 Linux-friendly hacker SBCs

Filed under
Android
Linux

2014 brought us plenty of new open-spec, community-backed SBCs — from $35 bargains, to octa-core powerhouses — and all with Linux or Android support.

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Purism Librem 15

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Reviews

While the Librem 15 doesn't necessarily match my personal tastes for laptop hardware due to the overall size and the mouse in particular, the mission of the company definitely does. Up until this point there were few options for laptops that ran purely Free Software, much less any that had modern hardware and a modern look and feel. I believe Purism genuinely wants to create a quality laptop that will appeal both to the Free Software community as well as privacy advocates and the Librem 15 is a nice start. In this era of pervasive surveillance, rootkits bundled with corporate software, threats of hardware backdoors by nation states, and the overall increasing sophistication of attacks, I think Purism is on to something here. As more people value transparency as a means toward security, a computer that can provide the source code for every driver, application, and firmware it uses becomes more valuable.

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My Chromebook with KDE

Filed under
Reviews

I got my new Chromebook... Smile Yes, you've heard me right, but wait before you raise your eyebrows...

HP Chromebook 14

HP Chromebook 14

HP Chromebook 14

HP Chromebook 14

HP Chromebook 14

HP Chromebook 14

I installed Ubuntu on it as my default OS, though I can go back to Chrome OS any time I want. I don't see any point in doing it.

HP Chromebook 14

Roy helped me do the partitioning, configuration and tweaking. We configure it in a way so that I can use it in my work, not just for Facebooking, tweeting and chatting's sake.

HP Chromebook 14

HP Chromebook 14

I am still exploring the machine, basically familiarising with the keyboard and all the function settings on it. The Kubuntu environment which I chose will need some adjustments; also the applications which I downloaded are a bit different from the other laptop's (which I used to work on).

HP Chromebook 14

Change is good, but it requires a lot of patience and adaptation to the new environment.

HP Chromebook 14

I like my Chromebook very much. It is one of the best gifts I have received from my husband. It is more practical, it gives me more confidence to learn and to develop more of my computer skills. Innovation is fast-moving and technology is progressing, so you definitely need to catch up with it. Unless you want to be left behind by choice...

Linux Deepin 2014.2 Makes It Out Just In Time For The New Year

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Deepin Linux with its original desktop environment claims to have been downloaded tens of millions of times and in use in more than 40 countries around the globe. Deepin 2014.2 delivers new themes, drag-and-drop reordering support for the Dock icons, launcher improvements, improved multi-screen support, network improvements, system notification improvements, tablet support, and other updates focused around its HTML5-based desktop.

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Mesa Crosses 1.5 Million Lines Of Code, Highest Activity Since 2011

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

Mesa 3D in 2014 saw slightly more commits this year than the previous two years. However, Mesa didn't see much in the way of new active contributors this year.

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Desktop Linux and Open Source in 2014: Looking Back

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Clichéd though they may be, year-in-review pieces about desktop Linux—by which I mean Linux distributions designed for end users working on desktops, PCs and, perhaps, large-form mobile devices—are a tradition here at The VAR Guy (and, before that, at our late, great sister-site, WorksWithU, a blog dedicated to Ubuntu Linux). But at the end of 2014, there's not much to say about desktop Linux other than that it's now so mature, and open source momentum so focused on other niches, that the Linux desktop has seen little major action over the past 12 months.

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Windows Phone Replaced with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS on Lumia 1020

Filed under
Ubuntu

Windows phone (Lumia 1020) is probably the last place where you would expect to see Ubuntu, but a user has posted images with Ubuntu running on this device and they seem to be legit.

The first thing that users might think is that someone ported Ubuntu Touch for the Lumia 1020 device and that would not be an impossible task. It would be difficult but not impossible. It would also be a difficult to install a custom ROM, but that's also not impossible. The interesting thing is that the images show an Ubuntu system running and not the Touch version.

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More in Tux Machines

The best free alternatives to Windows and Microsoft Office

Many people don’t realise that there is high-quality, free software available that can compete with Microsoft Office and the Windows operating system. While you might feel comfortable using traditional programs and be hesitant to change, you could save thousands of rand just by choosing high-quality freeware over paid software. With the right products, it is possible to run a suite of useful programs on your computer without spending a cent. Read more

How to compile a Linux kernel in the 21st century

In computing, a kernel is the low-level software that handles communication with hardware and general system coordination. Aside from some initial firmware built into your computer's motherboard, when you start your computer, the kernel is what provides awareness that it has a hard drive and a screen and a keyboard and a network card. It's also the kernel's job to ensure equal time (more or less) is given to each component so that your graphics and audio and filesystem and network all run smoothly, even though they're running concurrently. The quest for hardware support, however, is ongoing, because the more hardware that gets released, the more stuff a kernel must adopt into its code to make the hardware work as expected. It's difficult to get accurate numbers, but the Linux kernel is certainly among the top kernels for hardware compatibility. Linux operates innumerable computers and mobile phones, embedded system on a chip (SoC) boards for hobbyist and industrial uses, RAID cards, sewing machines, and much more. Read more

Life with an offline laptop

When I think about an offline laptop, I immediately think I will miss IRC, mails, file synchronization, Mastodon and remote ssh to my servers. But do I really need it _all the time_?

As I started thinking about preparing an old laptop for the experiment, differents ideas with theirs pros and cons came to my mind.

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today's leftovers

  • Huawei mulls open-source chip design if US ban continues

    Huawei Technologies Co said Friday that it would consider using RISC-V, an open-source chip architecture, if the US government continues restricting its access to the latest technologies from the UK firm ARM Holdings for a long time. Xu Zhijun, rotating chairman of Huawei, said in an interview in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, that the company has already obtained the perpetual license to ARM's V8 architecture technology, so the US government ban does not affect its current launch schedule of chips. "If ARM's new technologies are not available in the future, we can also use RISC-V, an architecture which is open to all companies. The challenge is not insurmountable," Xu said.

  • From Spark To Airflow And Presto: Demystifying The Fast-Moving Cloud Data Stack

    Putting data to work starts with exploration, or inspecting data so that you know what you have to work with and its characteristics. Presto is excellent for exploring large, unstructured data sets because it uses storage efficiently, which keeps costs down, and it’s compatible with SQL, a language data analysts are familiar with.  Spark, on the other hand, is great for exploring data sets when programming is required, such as being able to manipulate data for use in data science or machine learning. It has good support for non-SQL interfaces.

  • Databricks launches AutoML Toolkit for model building and deployment

    Databricks today introduced its AutoML Toolkit, an automated end-to-end machine learning service made to accommodate developers with a range of experience.

  • DigitalOcean Managed Databases add MySQL, Redis support

    DigitalOcean Managed Databases introduced support for open source relational database MySQL and in-memory database Redis to eliminate the complexity involved in managing, scaling and securing database infrastructure. DigitalOcean, a cloud computing vendor offering infrastructure-as-a-service platforms for software developers, intends its new managed database offerings to enable developers to focus more exclusively on building apps and boosting productivity.

  • How Storj Is Building a Storage Cloud Without Owning a Single Disk

    Led by Docker's former CEO, the startup is crowdsourcing empty disk space from desktops and data centers around the world.

  • HPC Computing Is Replacing Supercomputers In Enterprise: Jeff Reser

    Jeff Reser – Global Product and Solutions Marketing Manager of SUSE talks about High-Performance Computing.

  • Mable & The Wood is a fairly unusual Metroidvania out now with Linux support

    Featuring a sweet fairy-powered protagonist wielding a sword so big they can hardly move, Mable & The Wood certainly presents a healthy amount of charm. Developed by Triplevision Games, a solo outfit from the UK, with publishing from Graffiti Games. "Mable is a passion project for me and for so long I worked on it by myself," said Andrew Stewart, Founder of Triplevision Games. “Thanks to Graffiti, I was able to have additional support to release the game sooner and on multiple platforms. Players on Steam can finally get their hands on the brilliant title today, and fear not Switch and Xbox One players, that version will be releasing very soon."