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Where does Linux go from here?

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Linux is now mainstream -- so mainstream, in fact, that two of the top three Linux distributions are commercially successful operations, and the third aims to be. Every day, more and more old-school IT firms shake off their initial doubts, get in line behind their customers, and try Linux and other free software projects. In the face of such success, will Linux remain true to its free software ideals and to the community which created it? Or will it morph into a corporate byproduct, driven by the bottom line, and complacent with all forms of predatory intellectual property (IP), including software patents and closed, proprietary standards which are standard fare in the IT industry.

Red Hat is the most successful commercial distribution of Linux. It has refined the model of selling services, not software, to the nth degree. Michael Tiemann, the man who first viewed the GPL as a business plan rather than a license, brought that model with him when Red Hat bought the firm he founded, Cygnus, which was the first successful open source company. Red Hat has been successful without selling out its beliefs in open source and free software. It puts its money where its mouth is on issues such as software patents, open standards, and the OLPC project.

Ubuntu, however, looms on the horizon.

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today's leftovers

today's howtos

Android Leftovers

  • Google Pixel review: The best Android phone, even if it is a little pricey
    Welcome to the age of Google Hardware. Apparently tired of letting third-party Android OEMs serve as the stewards of Android handsets, Google has become a hardware company. (Again). Earlier this year Google, launched a hardware division with former Motorola President Rick Osterloh at the helm. With the high-ranking title of "Senior Vice President," Osterloh doesn't oversee a side project—his group is on even footing with Android, Search, YouTube, and Ads. The hardware group is so powerful inside Google that it was able to merge Nexus, Pixel, Chromecast, OnHub, ATAP, and Glass into a single business unit. The group's coming out party was October 4, 2016, where it announced Google Home, Google Wifi, a 4K Chromecast, the Daydream VR headset, and the pair of phones we're looking at today: the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL. The arrival of the Pixel phones marks the apparent death of the Nexus line; Google says that it has "no plans" for future Nexus devices. With the new branding comes a change in strategy, too. The Pixel brand is about making devices that are 100 percent Google, so despite Google's position as the developer of Android, get ready for Google-designed hardware combined with exclusive Google software.
  • Hands-on with the LeEco Le Pro3: services first, Android second
    LeEco’s flagship Le Pro3 smartphone isn’t trying to compete with the Google Pixel, which puts modern Google services in front of a stock Android backdrop. After playing with the Le Pro3 at the company’s U.S. launch event in San Francisco today, I’m left feeling that it’s an easy, low-cost way to get the full experience of LeEco’s applications. There are proprietary LeEco utility tools like the browser, email, calendar, messages, notes, and phone apps, along with bloatware like Yahoo Weather, but mostly the Pro3 is a means of distribution for the LeEco apps, like Live, LeVidi, and Le. There is also a standard-issue My LeEco app for managing services like EcoPass membership. Under it all is the EUI custom user interface. If you swipe left from the home screen, you see videos that LeEco recommends you watch — not Google Now.
  • Report: Google reaches agreement with CBS for 'Unplugged' web TV service - Fox and Disney may follow