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Many Minor Glitches Make Mint 15 More Work Than It's Worth

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The latest release of Linux Mint 15, nicknamed Olivia, tries really hard to reach new design goals but is marred by a series of petty flaws.

The latest rendition of Linux Mint's flagship desktop, Cinnamon 1.8, is ambitious but immature in its execution. If you choose the new MATE 1.6 desktop version over Cinnamon, you get a very workable GNOME 2 fork that may not be worth wallowing in yesteryear.

Overall, the best of what is new with Linux Mint 15 could be an HTML5-themed login screen and the additional features of Software Sources and Driver Managers. You also get lots of little system improvements that by themselves may not seem overly impressive, but taken together, they make Linux Mint 15 a workable upgrade that still needs some tweaking.

After a week or two of rotating between Mint 14 and Mint 15 on two daily workhorse computers, I find that once the glitz wears off, I forget which version is which when I get bogged down with my work.

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today's leftovers

today's howtos

Android Leftovers

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    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.
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