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Reviews

Desktop Environment Review: Budgie

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GNU
Linux
Reviews

Budgie is a new desktop environment created for Solus Operating System, emphasized to be user-friendly. Budgie is not a descendant from any previous desktop environment, so it's not a fork of GNOME nor KDE. This review covers some aspects of Budgie at its latest version today (10.2.8). It is my first time to review Budgie Desktop Environment. For Mr. Ikey Doherty, thank you!

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Polar M600 review: For Android users who want to be more connected during workouts

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Android
Reviews

There's no shortage of Android Wear watches to choose from. Companies including Huawei, LG, Casio, and Fossil all have smartwatches that run on Google's wearable operating system, and all of them can use Google Fit's activity tracking. Now, the fitness company Polar is getting into the mix with the M600 Android Wear-based fitness watch, which is the first device that integrates Polar's existing exercise software with Android Wear.

The M600 wants to appeal to a specific kind of user: one who is into fitness and wants a heart rate monitor and onboard GPS in their tracker, but who also cares about getting wrist notifications and using wearable apps. But at $329, Polar's device is right up there with the Apple Watch in price, and that might be too steep for some consumers, considering the experience it offers is much different.

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Ubuntu 16.10 review: Convergence is in a holding pattern; consistency’s here instead

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Reviews
Ubuntu

There's plenty in Ubuntu 16.10 that makes it worth the upgrade, though nothing about Canonical's latest release is groundbreaking. This less experimental but worthwhile update continues to refine and bug-fix what at this point has become the fastest, stablest, least-likely-to-completely-change-between-point releases of the three major "modern" Linux desktops.

Still, while the Unity 7.5 desktop offers stability and speed today, it's not long for this world. Ubuntu 16.10 is the seventh release since the fabled Unity 8 and its accompanying Mir display server were announced. Yet in Ubuntu 16.10, there's still no Unity 8 nor Mir.

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LG V20 Review: For spec-hungry Android enthusiasts, it’s the best Android phablet you can buy [Video]

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Android
Reviews

2016 has been a tough year for the Android market. In previous years we couldn’t count on one hand the number of awesome devices, but this year there have only been a few to choose from. The Galaxy S7, specifically the Edge has stood out as a clear winner, despite the praise given to competing devices like the HTC 10. On the other hand, no one really cared about LG this year. The G5 was a flop by every definition.

Now in late 2016, there still isn’t much to pick from. The Galaxy Note 7 was close to perfection, and then it literally exploded in Samsung’s face. Google’s Pixel aims to fill the void, and redefine what an Android smartphone can and should be. However, if you’re not looking to get a Pixel, the LG V20 is 100% what you should be looking at, especially if you’re aiming for a big phone. Let’s take a closer look.

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Zorin OS 12 Beta - Flat white, no sugar

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Reviews

I did not do any other testing, no extensive tweaking, no customization. I felt no need or desire to do so. Now, do remember Zorin OS 12 is still in beta, so we can excuse some of the problems we see here. But others are purely Ubuntu, and have been ported over from the parent distro without any discrimination or any improvements and fixes introduced in the last six months. The big offenders include: multimedia and smartphone support, poor software management, and then the somewhat heavy utilization and slow performance.

Zorin is quite pretty but weary on the eyes, it tries perhaps too hard to be more than it is, and overall, the value it brings is negatively offset by the myriad papercuts of its design and the implementation of its unique style, plus the failings of the Ubuntu family. It's an okay choice, if you will, but there's nothing too special about it anymore. It's not as fun as it used to be. Gone is the character, gone is the glamor. This aligns well with the overall despair in the Linux desktop world. Maybe the official release will be better, but I doubt it. Why would suddenly one distro excel where 50 others of the same crop had failed with the exact same problems? Final grade, 5/10. Test if you like the looks, other than that, there's no incentive in really using Zorin. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

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Ubuntu 16.10 Review

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Reviews
Ubuntu

The list of major new features in Ubuntu 16.10 is impressive and interesting, but only if you are using the server product. Very little has changed on the desktop side of things other than the included packages being slightly newer. In fact, other than touting the number of applications available as Snaps, the only desktop-focused feature in the release announcement is a developer preview of Unity 8 desktop.

To see what the desktop version of Ubuntu 16.10 has to offer compared to the previous 16.04 LTS release, I downloaded the 1.48GB ISO and gave it a try. Below, I take a look at what is new and different. I also take a look at the Unity 8 developer preview.

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Also: Why is Ubuntu's Unity 8 development taking so long?

Elementary OS 0.4 LOKI is one of the best distro based on Ubuntu & better too

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Reviews

Elementary OS 0.4 LOKI was released on last month 09 Sep, 2016 almost one and half year of development, after succeeds Freya which was released in April of 2015. Elementary OS 0.4 LOKI based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Long Term Support).

Elementary is one of the beautiful Linux distribution based on Ubuntu LTS release with power of Pantheon flagship desktop environment. Loki is clean, elegant, polish, perfect and best designed Linux distributions for beginners, Mac & windows users, it looks similar to Mac OS.

The previous release of elementary OS Freya was downloaded more than 1.2 million times, which is the biggest achievement on FOSS as per elementary founder, Daniel Foré reports.

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Ubuntu 16.10 Review: Not Bad, But if You’re Happy with 16.04 LTS, Stick with it!

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Reviews
Ubuntu

After the previous 16.04 Long Term Release, Ubuntu has rolled out its latest ‘short term’ (my own naming convention for the non-LTS releases) version 16.10. Mainly, the ‘short term’ releases are only supported for 9 months and usually include software applications with their recent updates.

When you release a new version of your operating system within every 6 months, usually there isn’t a lot of room for adding major changes. And that is the case with many GNU/Linux distributions these days, and Ubuntu 16.10 release is no exception. Since Unity is based on the user application set provided by GNOME desktop environment, according to the release notes, the underlying GNOME user applications have been upgraded to the version 3.20 at least (which is the case with the file manager -- ‘files’, for instance) and some others have been upgraded to the version 3.22 which is the latest release of GNOME currently.

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Open-source storage that doesn't suck? Our man tries to break TrueNAS

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Server
OSS
Reviews

Review Data storage is difficult, and ZFS-based storage doubly so. There's a lot of money to be made if you can do storage right, so it's uncommon to see a storage company with an open-source model deliver storage that doesn't suck.

I looked at TrueNAS from iXsystems, which, importantly, targets the SMB and midmarket with something that is theoretically more resilient than a Synology. That's really odd. Not a lot of companies do that, so it intrigued me.

I'd also had a few interesting conversations with some Reg readers about the dearth of storage offerings for the "small, but not Synology small" business space.

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Meet Maui 1, the Slick New Hawaiian Netrunner

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Reviews
Ubuntu

Maui, the Netrunner Kubuntu replacement, is an inviting alternative. It is both new and already accomplished. The developers took a Kubuntu distro that was well-oiled but at the end of its development line to the next level.

That should make adopting the Maui Linux distro a less risky option. Most other Linux distros are moving in the new direction of Wayland, Systemd and such. Maui's developers are already there.

Maui 1 is very stable and easy to use. It is a well-stocked distribution with an established library of KDE software.

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7 cool little open source projects that stood out in 2016

In the early days of the open source movement, a lot of the attention was on operating systems, and later on large content management systems. These days, containers are mentioned regularly even in mainstream news outlets. The big tech stories are great, but they miss the other great activity in the niches of the open source space. I've rounded up seven interesting lesser-known projects from the past year. You can see more articles about projects like this in my Nooks and Crannies column. Read more

RaspArch, the Arch Linux Remix for Raspberry Pi 3 SBCs, Now Shipping with Yaourt

After announcing the release of a new version of his Ubuntu-based ExTiX Linux operating system for Intel Compute Stick devices, Arne Exton has announced today the availability of RaspArch Build 161205. RaspArch is a remix of Arch Linux ARM for Raspberry Pi 3 and Raspberry Pi 2 single-board computers, and the latest release is shipping with the long-term supported Linux 4.4.35 kernel and the latest package versions released upstream as of December 5, 2016. "When you have installed RaspArch to your Micro SD Card you can use the system like any other Arch Linux system, i.e. install new programs, etc," said Arne Exton in the release announcement. "Arch motto is KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). RaspArch uses kernel 4.4.35-1-ARCH and the LXDE Desktop environment." Read more

Gentoo-Based Porteus Kiosk 4.2 Released with Linux Kernel 4.4.36, Firefox 45.5.1

Porteus Solutions, through Tomasz Jokiel, announced today the release and immediate availability of Porteus Kiosk 4.2.0, the latest stable version of the free and open source Gentoo-based kiosk operating system for web terminals. Powered by the latest long-term supported Linux 4.4.36 kernel, Porteus Kiosk 4.2.0 ships with some of the latest and greatest GNU/Linux technologies and Open Source software projects, including the recently released X.Org Server 1.18.4 display server, as well as the Mozilla Firefox 45.5.1 ESR and Google Chrome 54.0.2840.100 web browsers. Read more