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December 2015

The Next Version Of Android Wear Is Being Tested On The Huawei Watch, And It Finally Activates The Speaker

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Fair play to Huawei for including a speaker on its self-titled Android Wear watch long before the software actually supported it. That being said, I'm sure Huawei Watch owners are wondering when their expensive gadget will have all of its parts activated so they can stop carrying around an extra quarter-ounce of extraneous electronics. According to multiple sources, that speaker will be activated soon, specifically whenever Google gets around to issuing the next version of Android Wear's firmware.

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16 best and worst Android features of 2015

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Like years before it, 2015 saw the release plenty of big-name Android smartphones. Flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S6, LG G4, Motorola Moto X Pure Edition, Sony Xperia Z4/Z5, and the Nexus 6P were all just a few of the great options available to Android fans. While each device brought something new to the table, there was (and always will be) some glaring features missing in every single one.

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Ringing in 2016 with 64 open-spec, hacker friendly SBCs

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In 2015, the number of open-spec, hacker friendly single board computers running Linux or Android has continued to grow while prices have dropped to unprecedented levels. Low-cost boards such as the Chip, Raspberry Pi Zero, and Orange Pi PC have set a higher bar for price/performance ratio, while on the high end, we saw the first 64-bit, ARMv8 hacker SBCs arrive at surprisingly low prices. Meanwhile, the board that matters most to makers around the world — the Raspberry Pi — was updated to a Pi 2 model with a modern quad-core, ARMv7 processor that opens up new applications and a wider range of Linux distributions.

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Calculate Linux 15.12 released

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We are happy to announce the release of Calculate Linux 15.12.

Calculate Linux Desktop, featuring either the KDE SC 4 (CLD), the MATE (CLDM) or the Xfce (CLDX) environment, Calculate Directory Server (CDS), Calculate Media Center (CMC), Calculate Linux Scratch (CLS) and CLSK with KDE SC 5, Calculate Scratch Server (CSS) are all available for download.

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Don't believe the hype: That GRUB backspace bug wasn't a big deal

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You can hack any Linux system just by pressing the backspace key 28 times! That's what some sites would have you believe after an unfortunate GRUB bug was recently made public. But this won't actually allow you to easily own any Linux system.

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Rating KDE Applications: Great to Not too Good

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On the Manjaro mail forum, a thread is rating KDE applications into three categories: second to none, decent, and better uninstalled and replaced.

Despite the modern proliferation of desktop environments, such a rating could only be done with GNOME or KDE. No other desktops have encouraged as extensive ecosystems of applications, and, in fact, most modern desktops borrow from GNOME.

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Leftovers: OSS

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  • MuseScore 2.0.2 Brings A Bunch Of New Features

    As you may know, MuseScore is an open-source music composition and notation software, allowing the users tp create, edit and print music in an WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) environment.

  • How software developers helped end the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone

    A team of open source software developers solved the problem that most urgently needed solving: distributing wages to healthcare workers

  • 2015 at a glance: Open Source Yearbook

    For our first Open Source Yearbook, we reached out to dozens of open source organizations and community members and asked them to contribute articles that help provide a feel for 2015. What were a few of the LibreOffice extensions that stood out in 2015? Which Drupal modules were notable? Which books would publishers highlight if they could only pick a handful from the past year? What did open source wearables and 3D printing look like in 2015? And how in the world could we pick one best couple for our yearbook without offending all the other fabulous open source couples in the world? The 2015 Open Source Yearbook answers all these questions, and many more.

  • Best of Education
  • LinkedIn reflects on its open-source successes in 2015

    With 2015 coming to an end, LinkedIn Corp. has taken a look back at its year of using, developing and contributing to open-source software.

  • November/December 2015 - Gent and Mexico

    RMS gave his speech "Copyright vs Community" at the Quetelet auditorium, Sint Pietersplein, in Gent, Belgium, on November 17th, to a diverse student audience.

  • Happy GNU Year! Last chance to give in 2015

    Thanks to the free software community's giving, we have already raised more than $250,000 toward our goal of $450,000 by January 31st, 2016. As we look to the new year, we at the Free Software Foundation are feeling optimistic about our plans for 2016.d

  • Glass Half – Brilliant and Hilarious short from the Blender Institute.

    Directed by Beorn Leonard and produced by Ton Roosendaal, Blender’s original founder and chairman of the Blender Foundation, the film is reminiscent in tone of Pixar’s shorts, with the key difference that all assets, including tutorials for some of the techniques used in the film, are free and can be downloaded from Blender’s Cloud storage service.

  • France’s first Digital Law co-created with citizens

    The French draft law Loi Numérique will be presented to the French Parliament on 19 January, after being co-created with citizens through an online public consultation. This is the first law in France resulting from a co-design process.

  • Northern Ireland launches its open data portal

    Northern Ireland has officially launched its open data portal, OpenDataNI, the goal of which is to provide a global platform where public services and all governmental agencies can publish data.

    This CKan-based portal is now accessible through NIDirect, the official governmental portal for Northern Ireland citizens, which states that it provides ‘a single point of access to public sector information and services’.

Gentoo GNU/Linux on PS4

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  • PS4 Linux Fai0verflow
  • PlayStation 4 Hacked to Run Linux

    The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One systems are just PCs, and now hardware hackers have started doing some very cool things with at least one of these systems. Console-hacking group Fail0verflow has cracked the PlayStation 4 and loaded it up with a version of Linux.

  • Modders hack PS4 to run Linux and Pokemon

    It's been some since we've heard about impressive mods to get game consoles running software and games they're not meant to, but thanks to Failoverflow, a collective of console hackers, there's something new to closeout 2015 with. The group has managed to hack Sony's PlayStation 4 to install the Linux operating system on it, taking advantage of the console's fairly standard PC architecture.

  • PlayStation 4 Has Been Hacked to Run Gentoo Linux

    Believe it or not, it would appear that a hacking group that goes by the name of Fail0verflow managed to hack Sony's PlayStation 4 (PS4) gaming console to run a Linux kernel-based operating system.

Leftovers: Software

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  • coala platypus

    Although coala’s primary purpose is to make the creation of analysis routines easy, we have taken an effort to include functionality of other open source linters into it. coala can automatically fix the indentation of your Octave files, sort and correct Python imports or add the missing dereferenciation operator to your C++ code (greetings from Clang!) – the list is growing every week. Try running coala with the -A argument to see what we’ve got!

  • Sylpheed 3.5.0 RC2 Brings A Few Bug-Fixes Only
  • Frogr 1.0 (Software For Uploading Photos On Flickr) Has Been Released

    As you may know, Frogr is an open source program that enables the users to easily upgrade photos on Flickr. Among others, it has a simple and clear interface, allows the uploaders to edit the visibility, content type, tags, description and enable/disable global search results in Flickr.

  • Variety 0.5.5 (Open-Source Wallpaping Software) Has Been Released

    As you may know, Variety is an app indicator that changes the desktop wallpaper, using automatically downloaded images from:, Flickr,, Desktoppr, NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day.

  • Audacious 3.7.1 Adds Bug-Fixes Only

    Audacious is an open-source music player, having the features of a modern music player, including support for audio effects, equalizer, lyrics and plugins, visualization, support for Winamp skins and support for playlists organized in tabs.

More in Tux Machines

Ubuntu: Logic Supply and Linux 4.15/Linux 4.16

  • Tiny Apollo Lake based mini-PCs run Ubuntu
    Logic Supply unveiled two 116 x 83 x 34mm mini-PCs built around a Celeron N3350: a CL200 with 3x USB ports and a CL210 that doubles memory to 2GB LPDDR4 and 32GB eMMC, and adds a second mini-DP and GbE port. Logic Supply announced its smallest mini-PCs to date with CL200 and CL210 models that measure just 116 x 83 x 34mm. The CL200 ships with Ubuntu 16.04 while the more advanced CL210 also offers Windows 10 IoT. Both of these “IoT Edge Device” mini-PCs tap Intel’s dual-core, 1.1GHz Celeron N3350 with 6W TDP from the Apollo Lake generation, and support digital media, data acquisition, automation, and network gateway applications.
  • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Continues Prepping With The Linux 4.15 Kernel
    There were various calls by independent end-users voicing their two cents that Ubuntu 18.04 "Bionic Beaver" should ship with Linux 4.16 instead of Linux 4.15, but that isn't going to happen. In several different places the past few weeks I've seen various remarks made of how "Ubuntu 18.04 should ship with Linux 4.16" on the basis of either better Spectre/Meltdown support, Linux 4.16 will be out in time and neither 4.15 or 4.16 are even LTS releases, better hardware support, or users simply wanting all the goodies in Linux 4.16. But that's simply foolish given Ubuntu 18.04 is being a Long Term Support release and how close the timing ends up being as is.
  • Kernel Team summary: March 21, 2018
    On the road to 18.04 we have a 4.15 based kernel in the Bionic repository.

Graphics: mesa 17.3.7, mesa 18.0.0-rc5, VGA_Switcheroo and More

  • mesa 17.3.7
    Mesa 17.3.7 is now available.
  • Mesa 17.3.7 Released With A Bunch Of Fixes
    While Mesa 18.0 should finally be out on Friday as the major quarterly update to the Mesa 3D drivers, Mesa 17.3.7 is out today and it's a rather big update for being just another point release to last month's 17.3 series. Last week marked the release candidate of Mesa 17.3.7 with 50+ changes and then on Monday came a second release candidate given all the extra patches.
  • mesa 18.0.0-rc5
    The fifth and final release candidate for Mesa 18.0.0 is now available.
  • Mesa 18.0-RC5 Released, Mesa 18.0 Should Finally Be Out On Friday
    Nearly one and a half months since Mesa 18.0-RC4 and nearly one month since last seeing any Git activity on the "18.0" Mesa Git branch, it's finally been updated today with the availability of Mesa 18.0-RC5. Mesa release manager Emil Velikov announced this long-awaited release candidate today. He says this is the fifth and final release candidate. Given the month plus since the last RC, there are many fixes/changes in this release: In fact, more than 80 changes in total for Mesa 18.0-RC5.
  • Improved VGA_Switcheroo Going Into Linux 4.17
    Google's Sean Paul has sent in the final drm-misc-next pull request to DRM-Next of new feature material for the upcoming Linux 4.17 kernel cycle. Most notable with this final drm-misc-next update is the recent VGA_Switcheroo improvements by Lukas Wunner. This is the device link
  • AMD Posts Open-Source Driver Patches For Vega 12
    It's been a while since last hearing anything about the rumored "Vega 12" GPU but coming out this morning are a set of 42 patches providing support for this unreleased GPU within the mainline Linux kernel. Alex Deucher of AMD's Linux driver team sent out the 42 patches this morning providing initial support for Vega 12 within the AMDGPU DRM kernel driver.
  • DXVK Now Has An On-Disk Shader Cache
    DXVK, the exciting project implementing the Direct3D 11 API over Vulkan for Wine gamers, now has an on-disk shader cache.
  • Freedreno's MSM DRM Driver Continues Prepping For Adreno 600 Series Support
    Rob Clark has submitted the MSM DRM driver changes to DRM-Next for the Linux 4.17 kernel for benefiting Qualcomm SoC owners. Changes this cycle for the open-source MSM DRM driver include DSI updates, fixing some race conditions, DebugFS enhancements, MDP5 fixes, and refactoring/prep work for the Adreno 600 series support.
  • NVIDIA's Jetson TK1 Is Being EOL'ed Next Month
    Easily one of our favorite ARM single-board computers ever, the Jetson TK1 from NVIDIA, will be facing retirement next month. A Phoronix reader has tipped us off that NVIDIA has sent out their EOL notice that shipments of the Jetson TK1 developer kits will be ending by the end of April. Following that, it will just live on until distributors run out of their inventory.

Slax Linux Distribution Begins Planning For Its First 2018 Release

Arriving last Christmas was a rejuvenated release of Slax, the long-running, lightweight Linux distribution with its development restarting last year and having shifted from being a Slackware derivative to Debian and moving from KDE to Fluxbox+Compton. Those involved are working on a new Slax release for 2018. Slax lead developer Tomas Matejicek has announced work is underway on the next version of this modern Slax OS with Debian+Fluxbox. Read more Original: Work in progress on next version

Games: The Pillars of the Earth, Steam, Mighty Fight Federation, Civilization VI: Rise and Fall