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Reviews

Sony Xperia X Compact review: Small Android is still good, but not much better

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Android
Reviews

Sony's Xperia X Compact is basically the newest version of the Z5 Compact that hit the US earlier this year. But just because it's a newer version of the (comparatively) tiny handset doesn't mean it's an upgrade in every way. Sony is pushing the camera sensors in the X Compact and the flagship-level XZ, as well as new features like five-axis image stabilization and HDR photo mode. Sony knows cameras, so we know the shooter in the X Compact will at least be competent. However, it has to be good enough to encourage photography buffs to shell out $499 for this unlocked handset while delivering solid performance across the board as well.

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Black Panther OS Is No Cool Cat

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OS
Reviews

Installation requires at least 10 GB of hard drive space and 1.5 GB memory. Normally, those requirements are not an issue. It becomes one, however, when installing to a virtual machine.

Avoid two annoyances with installing Black Panther OS. The cancel/next buttons on the bottom of the screen did not show until I narrowed the height of the panel bar.

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Polar M600 review: The best sports focused Android Wear smartwatch available

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Reviews

Polar created a solid Android Wear device and when you consider it is also a highly functional GPS sports watch, the $329.95 retail price is very reasonable. You can purchase one in black or white. Polar has done a great job of updating the Polar V800 sports watch so you can expect to see updates for its first Android Wear device as well.

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Uruk GNU/Linux 1.0

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Reviews

Uruk GNU/Linux appears to be a fairly young project with some lofty goals, but some rough edges and unusual characteristics. I applaud the developers' attempts to provide a pure free software distribution, particularly their use of Gnash to provide a pretty good stand-in for Adobe's Flash player. Gnash is not perfect, but it should work well enough for most people.

On the other hand, Uruk does not appear to offer much above and beyond what Trisquel provides. Uruk uses Trisquel's repositories and maintains the same free software only stance, but does not appear to provide a lot that Trisquel on its own does not already offer. Uruk does feature some add-ons from Linux Mint, like the update manager. However, this tends to work against the distribution as the update manager hides most security updates by default while Mint usually shows all updates, minus just the ones known to cause problems with stability.

As I mentioned above, the package compatibility tools talked about on the Uruk website do not really deliver and are hampered by the missing alien package in the default installation. The build-from-source u-src tool may be handy in some limited cases, but it only works in very simple scenarios with specific archive types and build processes. Hopefully these package compatibility tools will be expanded for future releases.

Right now I'm not sure Uruk provides much above what Trisquel 7.0 provided two years ago. The project is still young and may grow in time. This is a 1.0 release and I would hold off trying the distribution until it has time to build toward its goals.

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OpenSUSE Leap 42.2 Beta2 OpenSUSE Leap 42.2 Beta2

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Reviews
SUSE

Leap 42.2 Beta2 is looking pretty good, except for the problems with Plasma 5 and the nouveau driver. That’s really an upstream issue (a “kde.org” issue). I hope that is fixed in time for the final release. Otherwise, I may have to give up on KDE for that box.

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Lenovo G50 & CentOS 7.2 MATE - Fairly solid

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Red Hat
Reviews

Is there a perfect track record for any which distro? No. Do any two desktop environments ever behave the same? No. Is there anything really good and cool about the MATE offering? Yes, definitely. It's not the finest, but it's definitely quite all right.

You do get very decent hardware support, adequate battery life and good performance, smartphone and media support is top notch, and your applications will all run happily. On the other hand, you will struggle with Samba and Bluetooth, and there are some odd issues here and there. I think the Gnome and Xfce offerings are better, but MATE is not to be dissed as a useless relic. Far from it, this is definitely an option you ought to consider if you're into less-than-mainstream desktops, and you happen to like CentOS. To sum it all up, another goodie in the growing arsenal of CentOS fun facts. Enjoy.

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2016 LiFT Scholarship Winner Yasin Sekabira: Open Source Entrepreneur

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Linux
OSS
Reviews

Being a LiFT Scholarship 2016 recipient on paper is like a dream come true. It’s an opportunity to work even harder, train harder, and stay competitive in what you really do best,

Today open source and Linux are absolutely up there in the top, it’s an opportunity to sharpen my open source skills from newbie to Ninja Pro. With The Linux Foundation and Linus Torvalds, you just feel like you’re learning and mastering Kung fu from Bruce-Lee.

The LiFT Scholarship will help me to prepare for my LFCE (Linux Foundation Certified Engineer), and hopefully pass it and add it to my belt. The LFCE badge really shows the world that you can play like Messi or Score like T.Henry of Arsenal.

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A Not For The Everyday Linux User Review Of Porteus 3.1

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Reviews

Ok, so this is the way I see it. Porteus is fine as a USB based distribution if you just want to use a web browser and maybe type a document.

For everything else it is just too difficult and for no real reward. For instance I could create a Xubuntu or Lubuntu persistent USB drive and all the hardware stuff would work out of the box and I would have access to the full software repositories.

With Porteus it feels like you are fighting it and if something is difficult to master then it needs to provide some reward for the effort such as having something so cool that you go wow.

Yes it is small at around the 300 megabytes mark and it boots quickly. The download screen is a good idea and whilst the idea of save files isn't new (Puppy does it, as do persistent *buntu distributions) the concept is a decent one.

The fact that you have to mess around with configuration files to get it to work and the fact that there is a concept of cheat codes and the fact that finding and installing software is so convoluted just makes it too much effort.

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OpenMandriva Lx 3.0

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MDV
Reviews

OpenMandriva is a member of the Mandriva (formally Mandrake Linux) family of Linux distributions. OpenMandriva strives to be a newcomer friendly, desktop operating system. The latest release, version 3.0, features version 5.6 of the KDE Plasma desktop environment and the Calamares system installer. This release of OpenMandriva was compiled using the Clang compiler which is unusual for a Linux distribution as most distributions use the GNU Compiler Collection to build their software. From the end-user's perspective the choice of compiler will probably have no practical impact, but it does suggest the OpenMandriva team sees either a practical or philosophical benefit to using the liberally licensed Clang compiler.

OpenMandriva is available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds for the x86 architecture. I downloaded the project's 64-bit build which is approximately 1.8GB in size. Booting from the project's media brings up a menu asking if we would like to start a live desktop session or launch the Calamares system installer. Taking the live option brings up a graphical configuration wizard which asks us a handful of questions. We are asked to select our preferred language from a list, accept a license agreement, select our keyboard's layout from a list and confirm our time zone. With these steps completed, the wizard disappears and the Plasma desktop loads. The desktop displays an application menu, task switcher and system tray at the bottom of the screen. The wallpaper is a soft blue and, on the desktop, we find an icon which will launch the Calamares system installer. Other icons on the desktop are available for launching a welcome screen and accessing the OpenMandriva website.

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Parsix Normalizes GNOME

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Linux
GNOME
Reviews

The Parsix project's goal is to provide a ready-to-use and easy-to-install Debian operating system with the latest stable release of the GNOME desktop environment. The Parsix distro meets that goal and even goes beyond it.

The developer community is far more independent than other Debian testing-based derivatives. The Parsix community keeps four software repositories enabled by default. Official repositories contain packages maintained by project developers that are built on the community's own build servers.

Content repository is a snapshot of Debian's stable branch. Wonderland repository contains multimedia-related software packages and is a snapshot of Debian multimedia repositories.

Even better is the fact that the community maintains its own security software repository for both the stable and testing branches. Parsix Developers closely follow Debian Security Advisories and port them to the distro's own security repository.

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