|Story||The science behind the ebb and flow of Ubuntu Unity's popularity||Roy Schestowitz||30/10/2014 - 11:15pm|
|Story||today's howtos||Roy Schestowitz||30/10/2014 - 10:31pm|
|Story||Leftovers: Gaming||Roy Schestowitz||30/10/2014 - 10:31pm|
|Story||4MLinux Rescue Edition 10.1 Beta Helps Users with Data Recovery||Roy Schestowitz||30/10/2014 - 9:59pm|
|Story||Watch a working Project Ara prototype demonstrated ahead of Spiral 2 reveal||Roy Schestowitz||30/10/2014 - 9:11pm|
|Story||Interview with Jessica Tallon of PyPump||Rianne Schestowitz||30/10/2014 - 9:05pm|
|Story||Black Lab Education Desktop 6.0.1 to Be Supported Until 2022||Rianne Schestowitz||30/10/2014 - 8:37pm|
|Story||Conspirationist Website Wants People to Boycott Linux and Use Minix||Rianne Schestowitz||30/10/2014 - 8:14pm|
|Story||Samsung's Gear S smartwatch coming to the US on November 7th||Rianne Schestowitz||30/10/2014 - 8:07pm|
|Story||Windows 8.1 vs. Ubuntu 14.10 With Intel HD Graphics||Rianne Schestowitz||30/10/2014 - 8:01pm|
The engineers behind Project Ara are trying to make the last smartphone you'll ever need. Their design for a modular device has users slotting components — a camera, extra storage space, a Wi-Fi connector — into their phones, as and when they need them. It's an ambitious scheme, but engineers working at NK Labs in Boston have already produced a working prototype, which they showed off to modular smartphone evangelist Dave Hakkens during a recent visit.
There are several interesting projects out there which use PyPump. With my day job as a GNU MediaGoblin developer, we're going to be using it as a way of communicating between servers as a part of our federation effort. A great use I've seen is PumpMigrate, which will migrate one pump.io account to another. Another little utility that I wrote over the course of a weekend is p, which was made to be an easy way of making a quick post, bulk uploading photos, or anything you can script with the shell.
There are numerous Linux distributions that are oriented towards education, but you can never have too many in a domain such as this one. It's based on the Black Lab Professional Desktop, which is a very good and powerful solution. Interestingly enough, Black Lab Linux is actually based on Ubuntu, and the latest one uses the 14.04.1 base (Trusty Tahr).
Just like the base that is used for this distribution, the desktop environment used is GNOME 3, but with a few extensions to make it somewhat different from the stock version and to provide users with better functionality. One of the most interesting aspects of this operating system is the fact that it has a very long support period, which, in theory, it should end in 2022.
This is not the first initiative of its kind. In fact, a similar website was released just a couple of weeks ago, asking users to support forking Debian because it adopted systemd. Now, the Linux kernel is the target and the website claims to be the work of multiple users (developers?).
As you might imagine, this will not have any visible or real impact on the Linux kernel. The project is too big and too important to stoop to such challenges and to answer, but it's interesting to see a radicalization of the online environment, even when it comes to open source. Communities are built with all sorts of people and some of them are bound to disagree viciously with what the others are saying or doing.
Samsung's Gear S smartwatch will launch in the United States on November 7th, the company announced today. All four major US carriers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile) will carry the device, and you'll also be able to purchase it from Samsung's store-in-a-store shops at Best Buy locations across the US. The Gear S will be available in black or white, but Samsung's not revealing any pricing details; it's leaving that task to the carriers. Just don't expect the Gear S, with its built-in cellular radio and curved OLED screen, to come cheap.
For those curious how the latest open-source Intel Linux graphics driver is performing against Intel's newest closed-source Windows OpenGL driver, we've put Ubuntu 14.10 (including a second run with the latest Linux kernel / Mesa) against Microsoft Windows 8.1 with the newest Intel GPU driver released earlier this month.
As I've been mentioning on Twitter, fresh Windows 8.1 vs. Ubuntu 14.10 benchmarks are coming in the days ahead with Intel HD Graphics, AMD Radeon, and NVIDIA GeForce hardware. With the AMD/NVIDIA tests it includes the closed-source, binary drivers for Linux too. The Intel Haswell graphics results are up first since that's the most straight forward with Intel's Linux graphics support only coming through via their open-source driver.
The main lesson I've learned since becoming Neutron PTL is the fact that running a large scale open source project involves utilizing not only engineering skills, but also project management skills and people management skills. Trying to move a large ship like Neutron in the right direction is a full time job. I love the fact I have the privilege of being elected to this job, and I work hard with all of our community members to ensure they are successful. Ultimately, a project is defined not only for the code which is produced, but also by the people and relationships built while producing that code. Having a healthy community is something which drives the long term health of a project. These are all things which are obvious when you think about them, but when leading an open source project, these become the core tenants of how you interact with everything you do.
A new minor release of the hugely popular open-source office suite LibreOffice has been made available for immediate download.
LibreOffice 4.3.3, the third minor update in the 4.3.x series and the first since the September release of 4.3.2, comes packed with plenty of stability and performance fixes, but no major new features to sing of.
SIMD.js will accelerate a wide range of demanding applications today, including games, video and audio manipulation, scientific simulations, and more, on the web. Applications will be able to use the SIMD.js API directly, libraries will be able to use SIMD.js to expose higher-level interfaces that applications can use, and Emscripten will compile C++ with popular SIMD idioms onto optimized SIMD.js code.
Looking forward, SIMD.js will continue to grow, to provide broader functionality. We hope to eventually accompany SIMD.js with a long-SIMD-style API as well, in which the two APIs can cooperate in a manner very similar to the way that OpenCL combines explicit vector types with the implicit long-vector parallelism of the underlying programming model.
It's Halloween week, and the big names in Linux are determined not to disappoint the trick-or-treaters. No less than three mainline distributions have released new versions this week, led by perennially-loved-and-hated crowd favourite Ubuntu.
Ubuntu 14.10, better-known by its nom de womb "Utopic Unicorn", hit the streets last Thursday. It appears to be a mostly update release, with more of the release announcement's ink devoted to parent-company Canonical's "Canonical Distribution of Ubuntu Openstack" than to Utopic's "latest and greatest open source technologies". Among those, the v3.16 kernel has been included, as well as updated versions of GTK, Qt, Firefox, LibreOffice, Juju, Docker, MAAS, and of course, Unity. Full details can be found in the official release notes.
The French capital is pushing for the use of free and open source software solutions to extend its smart city project to the city region. Making databases and applications interoperable and creating smart city grids requires tools to be as open as possible, and the use of open source provides many advantages over proprietary tools, says the city’s Deputy Mayor Jean-Louis Missika.
All around it was a great event, with additional keynotes from luminaries in the Chinese government and industry, sessions from Intel, Samsung, and the community, and a well-attended DevLab where attendees learned how to write and deploy their first wearable Tizen app. I spoke to one person who had written a complete sketchpad app in the 1.5 hour session, who had never used the Tizen wearable platform before. All around, we were very pleased with the event and the attendees were as well.
I've been researching OpenStack deployment methods lately and so when I got an email from Canonical inviting me to check out how they deploy OpenStack using their Metal as a Service (MaaS) software on their fantastic Orange Box demo platform I jumped at the opportunity. While I was already somewhat familiar with MaaS and Juju from research for my Official Ubuntu Server Book, I'd never seen it in action at this scale. Plus a chance to see the Orange Box--a ten-server computing cluster and network stack that fits in a box about the size of a old desktop computer--was not something I could pass up.
We made all the necessary arrangements and bright and early one morning Dustin Kirkland showed up at my office with a laptop and the second-largest Pelican case I'd ever seen. My team sat down with him as he unpacked and explained a little bit about the Orange Box. Throughout the day we walked through the MaaS and Juju interfaces and used them to bootstrap a few servers that were then configured with Juju: Canonical's service orchestration project. By the end of the day we had not only deployed OpenStack, along the way we set up a Hadoop cluster and even a multi-node transcoding cluster that split up transcoding tasks among the different nodes in the cluster and transcoded a high-definition movie down to a more consumable size in no time. In this article I'm going to introduce the basic concepts behind MaaS, highlight some of it's more interesting new features, and point out a few interesting tips I picked up along the way that you might find useful even if you don't use MaaS or Juju.